Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ways to Show Gratitude

Click here to see what ideas TMG brainstormed last year to help show gratitude.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Thanksgiving Article Worth Reading

Click here to read a very touching article that might resonate with you this holiday season as it is with me right now ( its posted on our old blog)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What to do to help make your morning routine meltdown and tear-free!

1. HAVE A ROUTINE- stick with it! No matter what it is, do the same thing everyday

2. Make a chart with pictures and words for each thing that needs to be accomplished in the morning. Allow the child to checkoff as they go.

3. Set goals for what needs to be done. Perhaps, get dressed, brush hair, and feed the dog before breakfast. Brush teeth, pack backpack, and read a book after breakfast.

4. Bribery! A donut if you get your stuff done!

5. Allowance...have them earn some money while they show they can be responsible for themselves in the morning.

6. No TV

7. Wake up even 10 minutes early

8. Lay out clothes, make lunches, and pack backpacks the night before










Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ways to Organize your winter gear ( hats, gloves, scarves,etc)

1. Hang two cup hooks on the back of a door with a string between and use clothes pins to hang hats and gloves.

2. Use an over the door shoe organizer inside a closet to hold winter gear. In the summer switch it to sunglasses, sunscreen and hats.

3. Hang hooks at kid height for backpacks and coats.

4. Use a wall hanging file folder holder for kids to put their papers from school in - one folder per kid.

5. Store winter gear in a diaper stacker or laundry sorter.

6. Use a bookcase to hold shoes - boots on the bottom shelf.

7. Use a hanging closet rod extender to add more usable closet space that is easy for kids to reach

8.We use those cloth baskets from Walmart to store the hats and gloves and put them in the coat closet on the floor. Then we hang backpacks on hooks outside the closet...



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TMG's First Ever Mommy/Son Event

Today was our first ever Mommy/Son event and it was WONDERFUL! I loved my time with just my son and had a great time with the other moms too!

We started at Dairy Queen for an icecream treat. I tried to save seats and these two sweet older women say down near us. I told them that we were having a mommy/son event and it might get loud. Her response, "I raised 5 boys- loud doesn't bother me!"

Then we headed to the bowling alley for some competition. Mommies were on one lane and the boys were on the other.

Kristi and Mason

Kathy and Cole
Sandi and Ethan

Andrea and Liam

Sandi and Caleb
Sandi and Westin

Moms battled it out with their sons!
The boys crouched around the computer checking out the scores and cheering on their moms and their new friends.
Katie and AlaricMoms, Kristi and Kathy had their own battle with their iphones and their lightsabors ap that really makes noise when you move your phone ( the boys thought it was so cool)Kim and Andrew and ThomasWe LOVE our boys!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Homecoming Parade- TMG style!

You tell one mom in TMG where the best parade view is and you might as well have told everyone ( actually, we did tell everyone) and we definately had the best spot to see the parade and get the most candy. TMG members and friends took almost a whole block as we gathered, had picnic lunches and waited for the parade to start.
This group of kiddos can't wait to fill their candy buckets

Max says, "GO SAGES!!!"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

To Let Go

To let go doesn't mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.
- To let go is not to cut myself off, it's the realization that I can't control another.
- To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
- To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
- To let go is not to try to change or blame another, I can only change myself.
- To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
- To let go is not to fix but to be supportive.
- To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
- To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes. but to allow others to effect their own outcomes.
- To let go is not to be protective; but to permit another to face reality.
- To let is not to deny, but t accept.
- To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue, but to search out my own short comings and to correct them.
- To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes.
- To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone, but to try to become what dream I can be.
- To let go is notto regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
- To let go is to FEAR less and LOVE more!

A few of our inspirations

*I mean, seriously... how could I respond to this with any other answer? Martha( Stewart)!! ~ Kathy

*My parents are my inspiration!!~ Sandi

*All the Mom's at Mom's Group- With out their inspiration I am not sure I would have had the will power to survive raising 2 boys 16m apart or the ability to move so often. I love this Wonderful, strong, exciting, powerful, godly group of women... Kim O

*My friend, Arin Cox, Breast Cancer Survivor, mom, wife, and teacher ~Katie

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Fest

Today was The Fall Fest for TMG at Lodge Park. What a perfect day to gather families and be together.
Daddies and Daughters....
Mommies and sons.....many gathered to enjoy some fellowship together
Kathy created an amazing scavenger hunt for us that sent families all over the park on the search for some very interesting and spooky things
The Fairs looked high and low
Kim and her little boy found a witches mode of transportation
The O'Linc boys and mom found the most stuff- way to go!!!
Bobbing for apples was enjoyed my many kids
And the hay-rack ride was a huge hit!
Amara gets help from a friend as kids of all ages played and played and played
Parents and kids played in the sand, played football, played on the play structures, played bags, and played and played and played
Others relaxed by the fire and met new friends.
What a wonderful day it was!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Moms Group is a Sweet Retreat!

First we made them, then we all got to enjoy them!

On September 19th, Katie, Kathy, Sandi, Kristi, Cara, and Jenn gathered at the Methodist Church to turn Kathy's vision of "sweet" centerpieces into a reality. We had SO MUCH FUN doing it!

These are made from baby socks!

and diapers

and washcloths and toilet paper rolls
and yarn
and gumdrops! yesterday's meeting, Kathy ( and friends) beautifully arranged them as the new permanant centerpieces for the year at our TMG meetings. If a meeting has a theme and the hosts want to do something special for it, they can change the centerpieces. if not- these gorgeous designs will allow us to remember how sweet our lives our and how sweet it is to be at TMG twice a month to celebrate being moms!
This is the candy table...
The cake table....

The icecream table....
and the chocolate table....
What a delicious year this will be!!!!

Creative things to do with Apples during this yummy APPLE Season!!!

1. Fried apples...little bit of butter in a pan- cored, pealed apples...sugar and cinnamon- YUM!
2. Make an apple wreath with thick sliced apples
3. Let an apple get old on your counter ( it won't mold). turn it into an old lady for halloween
4. Dried apple slices will deter ants- put them on your counter or wherever ants are
5. Make a yellow cake mix according to the box. Cut up apples and sprinkle on top then sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon- another SUPER easy recipe!
6. Spice cake according to box and apple pie filling. on Microwave for 6 minutes. Drizzle with caramel.
7. Taffy Apple Pizza using a sugar cookie base
8.Here's my favorite apple pie recipe:Filling:4-5 apples1/2 cup of sugar3/4 tsp. of cinnamonDutch top crust:1/3 cup sugar3/4 cup flour6 tsp. of sugar.Fork crust ingredients and crumble on top. Bake at 400 for about 35 -40 minutes.
9. Make homemake applesauce.
10. Make your homemade or storebought apple sauce silly for your kids by adding a drop of different colored food coloring before you serve it.
11. Apple pancakes
12. Apple painting nad stamping...cut so you see the star
13. Honeycrisp apples- just bite and enjoy!
14. use apples to decorate. wash and dry. If you want them super shiny, add a tiny bit of veggie oil to a clean rag and shine your apples. Put in a bowl on your dinner table or coffee table. Intermix with leaves and put on your mantle.
15. Find one perfect apple and give to your child's teacher
16. Visit a local apple orchard
17. Do your own apple tasting at home
18. Have an apple meal...pork chops or chicken with baked apples, applesauce, apples on your salad or in bread, dessert!
19. Sory apples with your kids by color, size, shape, stems or no stems, leaves or no leaves, etc.
20. Turn an apple into a Mr. Potato head by adding eyes, ears, and other face features
21. Make caramel apples
22. make mini caramel apples or chocolate apples. Take a mellon baller and scoop out small apple balls from your apples. Put on a kabob skewer. Dip in caramel or chocolate. Let harden. USe p-nuts or sprinkles, etc to decorate.
23.Apple bobbing at home
24. Polka dot apples. Take two apples of different colors and use a mellon baller to scoop out apple. Switch the balls from the apples and put in the other apple ( red apple with green dots or vice versa)
25. paint two paper plates red, staple together with rice or beans inside, add a green pipe cleaner to make an apple shaker

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cheap Date Nights!

The key to date nights with your sweetie is TO HAVE THEM!!!! No matter what, make sure you set time aside to reconnect with each other. A few minutes everyday or once a week or once a month or whatever works for you- just do it and stay committed to you. It will make a huge difference.

Here are some ideas for cheap, creative dates with the one you love! Most of these are Free OR $10 or less!

1. Take your kids to your friends' house, rend a red box or blockbuster video and eat chinese
2. Share a hobby, riding bikes, running, antiquing, movies, whatever.
3.Turn off the TV and talk after the kids go to bed
4. Fondue's a long process and you have to wait and listen and sit while your food cooks- gives you an excuse to talk and just be ( Katie FUlton has a pot if you want to borrow)
5. Go on a hike at Allerton...maybe even kiss or makeout in the woods!
6. Do dishes together...or some sort of household can make anything special if you do it together.
7. Go on a bike ride together
8. have sex. Seriously- it will make him happy and something it just needs to be done
9. Sit outside and have a drink ( ice tea works great) after the kids go to sleep. Sometimes just getting out of the house, even if it's on your porch makes you feel like you've done something.
10. Every Sunday look at your calendar and pick one day that week for an US night. Mark it on the calendar with a heart and stick to it- no matter how big or small. Take turns planning. if it's his turn, it's his turn- no judgements- just enjoy!
11. Get a babysitter for an hour or so and walk to the pub for a beer and some conversation...or DQ for icecream...or Brown Bag for get the picture
12. Talk to 3 or 4 friends and work out a babysitting exchange just for cheap date nights like this---even if it's for an hour from 6-7 PM or having a friend come to your house and watch tv for an hour after you get the kids down. You'll do the same for them happily. Send out an e-mail to TMG- someone will do it of they know you'll do it for them ( katie will do it anytime- just ask!)
13. Make your time at home alone special..don't sit on the coach but spread a blanket on the ground. Pop some popcorn. Do something different and new!
14. gps decive scavenger hunt!
15.another hunting game
16. ( great and SUPER creative date nights)
17. Just BE together but be sure to be present and enjoy your time together

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mommy Rhapsody

This video was shared at our first TMG meeting-So FUN!

The First TMG Meeting of the Year!!!!

Today was the first meeting of the year for The Moms Group of Monticello. We were in our new space at Crossroads Church and in our new room for TMG. There was lots of getting to know you and TMG, lots of clipboards and sign-ups, opportunities to share and reconnect and lots of fun!

As a getting to know you game, members had a piece of the puzzle they had to match up with someone else's and then form the bigger puzzle together. Moms enjoyed introducing themselves to new friends and old and working together to make it all work!
There are new changes this year- new leadership, new schedule, new childcare, small groups, and more.
Melinda is back as our amazing mentor with her inspiring and uplifting devotionals.Leah and Aaron sang a beautiful song for us too.
And the great thing about TMG....we are all moms! We multi-task by strapping babies to our chest so we can get it all done!

What a wonderful start! See you at our next meeting on September 16th!

Creative Ways to Discipline your Children in Public.

How to Discipline Your Kids In Public

Disciplining our kids in public has now become a huge hurdle. The few have ruined it for the many. There's nothing worse than to be eating in a restaurant and hearing an out of control child screaming while the parent does nothing. As a parent you may feel like your hands are tied and you're not sure what you can and can't do. The kids know this and will push you to see how far they can go because they don't think you'll do anything. Don't fret! There are a few things that you can do!

1. Most kids will freeze with this technique.
Place your hand gently at the back of the child's neck. It's similar to grabbing an animal by the scruff and in the same manner, it shows authority. No, our kids aren't animals but as humans our nature can be very animalistic. Trust me, this works and it's a great way to get your kids attention. You don't have to squeeze either!!!

2. Kneel down at their level if you need to.
Get the child to look at you when speaking to them. It's a form of respect that they need to learn anyways. When you're done speaking, ask them to repeat back to you so you know that they heard you.

3. Most kids will snap to attention with this one.
One trick is to kneel down in front of the child and to grab a pinch of their inner thigh. It's a very sensitive area so you don't need to actually pinch them, but it will get their attention very quickly. If they scream, and make sure your not really pinching them please, at least the people around you will have no idea and have no reason to interfere. Again, get the child to look at you when you are speaking to them. Especially moms. Moms have a natural mad mommy look that will get the kids attention.

4. It's more effective to have them face the corner instead of have their back to it.
You can always find a corner in any public place and make them stand in it with their nose to the corner. If they're physically fighting with you, try step 1 above while they are in the corner, and with your other hand hold on to theirs behind their back. There's something about being in public and getting disciplined that kids really hate, it's humiliating to them, especially if they're older and their friends might walk by and see them. It's a good humiliation though, one that will prevent them from acting up again.

5. Ignoring the kids behavior doesn't cut it.
If you're stuck in a car and the child is acting up, pull over in a safe place so that you can deal with it properly. For some reason the kids seem to think that we won't pull the car over so they just push parents' buttons because they can get away with it. The look on their face is priceless when you stop the car to turn around and deal with them. Believe me, try it and see it for yourse

Read more: How to Discipline Your Kids In Public

Discipline kids in public places by having a plan before you leave the house. How many times have you seen this in a grocery store or department store? A grown adult is allowing a child to misbehave and act out in public. Screaming and rolling on the floor. If you agree that there is something wrong with this picture then you need this article.It will give you step-by-step instructions for how to discipline your kids in public places.

5. Explain to your child before you leave the house that misbehaving will not be tolerated. Discipline your kids in public places by communicating.

6.Pack a favorite toy for your child in order to distract them while you are trying to get your shopping completed.

6.Remind your child that they are not to misbehave when you reach the store and before you walk inside. Discipline your kids in public places by sticking to a plan.

7.Show your little one a list of the items that mommy or daddy plan to purchase while shopping.

8. When you enter the store, find a customer service representative and ask them to tell your child there is no screaming allowed in the store.

9. Avoid walking down aisles with toys and candy to keep your child's attention.

10. When you see other children misbehaving, explain to your child that the behavior is unacceptable.

Read more: How to Discipline Kids in Public Places

How to Deal Witha Toddler Throwing a Tantrum in public

Toddlerhood is an exhausting stage. A almost verbal child with very large ideas of what they want and no understanding of why they can't have it.

11.Take a big deep breath and remember this is only a tantrum and it too will pass.

12.If you are in a public place, pick up your child and go somewhere quiet if at all possible. Feeling like people are watching never helped any parent deal with a tantrum. But do remember most people are sympathetic, they have had their own toddler' s with tantrums. The only judgmental group I encounter is first time parents of 1 year olds who just haven't got there yet and can't imagine it. Don't worry their time IS coming.

13. Once you are away from the crowd. Relax your child is going to yell and kick for a little bit. It won't hurt them and it really won't hurt you. You can offer them a snack or water but other than that don't try to reason. Soft Soothing word are best but don't really end the tantrum. They Do let your child know you are there and aren't abandoning them to their awful emotions. Toddlers are often a little frightened at how powerful their emotions are during a tantrum.

14.Keep in mind a tantrum is not fun for your child. It is a breaking point of frustration that what they are trying to do isn't working. For example they asked for a piece of candy but someone said no. Why didn't asking work? They don't know and don't care. They are frustrated. When they try their next step like asking louder or again. There is more frustration. Until it is just overwhelming. Then you get a toddler tantrum.

15. Try to prevent them. When you have an over tired toddler let them go somewhere quiet for a little while. It will help. Don't let them get hungry. Have a health (or even unhealthy in a pinch) snack available to them bananas and apples are easy to carry. So are cheerios. These small things really help to stop a tantrum before it starts.

16. Know there are no magic techniques just desperate parents and tantrum throwing toddlers and the occasional distraction that works the one or two times. But really this stage will end and you can smile the next time you see someone in the same situation.

Read more: How to Deal Witha Toddler Throwing a Tantrum in public

17. Gice hugs before scolding. make sure they feel safe and know you love them.

18. Be consistant. if you time out at home, time out in public.

19. If your kid gets in trouble because they were using their hands wrong, have them hold their hands about their head or put their hands on top of their head while they walk around the store or location in public. If they backtalked or used their words inappropriately, they have to literally hold the tip of their tongue while they walk around.

20. Bribery

21. Leave the store- follow through. if you said you were going to leave- leave.

22. Talk about what your doing and what your expectations are before you go anywhere.

23. For a strong-willed child- remove from the situation and pay no attention to the fit throwing. When they calm down, give lots of attention to them.

24. "Going out is a priviledge. It's easier to stay home. If you want to go out, you have to behave."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Meet Our New Space! Crossroads Church!!!!

Meet The Moms Group new home- Crossroads Church off of Monticello Road.

We have our own large parking lot. Pull up and head right under the covered path to the front door!
All our welcome! We can't wait to see you again or meet you for the first time!
When you enter, you'll see you walk into a large, open fellowship area. Each meeting we will have a table set up close to the front door with our bulletins, handouts, nametags, and anything else you need for the meetings.
This wonderful area is ours for our pre-meeting fellowship. Tables, chairs, comfy couches, books to look through and check out, and space for our food. On the left side of this picture you'll see a counter with a yellow top. There's a kitchenette right behind it.
This will become our HUB- the place for us to put our delicious breakfast foods and snacks to enjoy together. TMG is trying small groups this year and The Leadership Team is so excited for this opportunity to allow our members to get to know each other better. Each group will be assigned a meeting sometime during the year to bring refreshments to share. Simply set out what you brought before the meetings, and let everyone devour it!This is Crossroad's Youth room and will be the central location for most of our meetings. We'll add some more round tables and chairs and gather here for speakers, topics, discussions, round tables, and more. This room opens up to the nice fellowship area so fussy babies can move to a larger area and moms can still be involved, members can continue to graze on food, and we have a very open feel! Plus, we have that awesome screen for our speaker's powerpoint presentations, etc.
This is Crossroad's santuary. While this space will not be used often by our group for meetings, if we have a movie and discussion we want to view in here or have a powerful speaker who needs more room, this space can also be utilized by us- maybe another Family Event Movie Night will be in here too this year!
This is a picture of the wide open area behind the church. Picture us sitting out there on a beautiful morning or watching our kids running and playing and doing activities while we enjoy some mommy time!
Off the main fellowship area, you can enter into the Children's area. There are two rooms, one for 6 mos- 3 year olds and one for 3-5 year olds.
This is the preschool room! Each meeting the older kids will enjoy free play, arts and crafts, an organized activity, and snack in this beautiful, bold space!

The nursery is a child's dream come true. These children will also enjoy snack, activities, and lots of great toys!

Each childcare room also connects to the outside where they each have their own access to this great little playground! We want our kids OUTSIDE and running and playing ( and getting tired) as much as possible. Now, the childcare providers can take them out whenever they want!

The new space is great but what's even better is the incredible things The Moms Group is doing this year! New topics, new speakers, new special events, including Mommy/Son and Mommy/Daughter events, a new meeting format, and lots of new faces!
Take a Fresh, New Look at TMG!