Saturday, October 27, 2012

November Play Date - Operation Christmas Child

On November 7th we the special opportunity to serve side by side with our children as we prepare shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. We will meet at 10am at Derwood Bible Church to assemble the boxes.

Each year Samaritan's Purse, a international relief organization, collects and distributes Christmas shoeboxes filled with goodies for needy children around the world. Read more about Samaritan Purse here.

This year you and your child(ren) have an opportunity to be a part of bringing joy to a child across the globe. Here's how:

1. Decide to pack a shoebox or two (we'll provide the box!).
2. Select the type of child you would like to prepare a shoebox(es) for:
  • Boy or Girl
  • Age range: 2-4 or 5-9 or 10-14
3. Purchase goodies for the shoebox. Here are some ideas:
  • TOYS (small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos,jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky®, etc.
  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES (pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
  • HYGIENE ITEMS (toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.
  • OTHER (Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps; sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)Come to the November 17 playdate at DBC. 
  • DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans

***Click here for a handy dandy printable from Samaritans Purse with everything you need to know about packing a shoebox.***

4. Bring your goodies to DBC on November 7th at 10AM and fill up a shoebox.
5. Don't forget $7.00/box for shipping. You can put it directly in your box OR donate online and track your shoebox!  If you donate online, you need to do this BEFORE you come on November 7th.  They will give you a printable label to affix to your box that will allow you to track the box to its final destination.
6. Don't forget to pray for your shoebox recipient(s).

We will provide: shoeboxes, labels (click on clipart and scroll to find the labels), direction for packing the boxes, coloring sheets (click on clipart and scroll to find the coloring sheet) for inside the boxes, rubberbands for the outside of the boxes, and a snack for all box packers!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

UPDATED: October MNO - Freezer Cooking

As we announced at our October 10th MOPS meeting we will be moving our October MNO - Freezer Cooking from Monday, October 22nd to Monday, October 29th. All other details will remain the same. Please click here to see the original post with all of the VERY IMPORTANT DETAILS for the event and click here to see all of the recipes in detail.

Below is the updated sign-up form. If you had signed up previously you only need to fill out items one and two. If you are signing up for the first time please be sure to fill out the entire form.

Please be sure to sign-up and/or cancel your order by this FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12th at MIDNIGHT!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Freezer Cooking Recipes

The following are the recipes that we will be using for our MNO Freezer Cooking event. If you plan on participating please check them out and make your selections. If you are able to participate these are still great recipes to use to stock up your freezer!!

1). Manicotti in Minutes (serves 5)


Spaghetti sauce
32 oz

Canned diced tomatoes
15 oz

Minced garlic
1 clove

Mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 c

Ricotta cheese
1 c

Grated parmesan
3 T

Egg whites

Chopped, fresh parsley
¼ c

Uncooked manicotti shells
1 pkg


Containers: 9x13 foil pans. 

Assembly Directions:  Combine spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, and garlic; set aside.  Combine cheeses, egg whites and parsley.  Stuff UNCOOKED shells using a small spatula or knife.  Fill bottom of a 9x13 pan w/ 2 cups tomato mixture.  Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer over the sauce, side by side.  Cover shells w/ remaining tomato sauce.  Pour water over sauce (don’t be concerned about the watery appearance, it will be absorbed during the cooking process).  Cover dish with foil.  Freeze.

Freezing and Cooking Directions:  Freeze.  To serve:   Thaw completely and bake in a pre-heated 450 oven for 50 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes

2). Chicken Parmesan (serves 4-6)
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 Cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 Cup of bread crumbs
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Jar of Favorite marinara sauce

Step One - Coat the bottom of the slow cooker with olive oil. In a separate bowl, whisk egg.
Step Two - Mix together bread crumb, seasonings, and parmesan cheese in a separate dish.
Step Three - Dip chicken into egg mixture; then into bread crumb mixture, coating both sides.
Step Four - Place the chicken in slow cooker and top with 2-3 layers of mozzarella cheese.
Step Five - Cover with entire jar of marinara sauce.
Step Six - Cook on low 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Step Seven - Serve over pasta

3). Chicken Tetrazzini (serves 4-6)
  • 3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1.5 cups nonfat shredded cheddar cheese
  • Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in freezer bag and freeze.  To cook , empty bag into slow cooker.  Cover and cook for 4-6 hours on low.  Serve over hot pasta.

4). Chipotle Crusted Pork Tenderloin (serves 6)
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 3 T chipotle Chile powder
  • 1 ½ t salt
  • 4 T brown sugar
  • 2 ( ¾ ) lb pork tenderloins

Place everything but the pork into a gallon sized freezer bag. Place tenderloins in bag and shake, coating meat evenly. Label and freeze.

To serve: Thaw meat. Lightly oil grill grate and preheat to medium heat. Cook pork for about 20 minutes, turning meat every 5 minutes. Remove from grill and let stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

5). Turkey Meatloaf w/ Feta and Sun-dried Tomatoes (serves 4-6)
  • ½ c bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T milk
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 ½ t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1 lb ground turkey

Gently mix together bread crumbs, parsley, tomatoes, garlic, eggs, milk, feta, salt and pepper. Add the turkey and stir gently to combine. Place mixture onto a large sheet of aluminum foil. Shape into a loaf and seal with foil. Label and freeze.

To serve: Thaw loaf. Remove from foil and place loaf in a greased baking dish or carefully pack meat mixture into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and slice.

October Mom's Night Out - Freezer Cooking

Please read the details of freezer cooking below, VERY carefully, before you sign up. We need you to do a few things at the end of this blog post - you have until midnight on Wednesday, October 10th to sign up. We hope LOTS of ladies will be able to join us for a fun and productive night!

What Is It?
A chance to get together with other moms for an evening of fun with the intention of filling our freezers with delicious, homemade meals for our families, thereby reducing the dinntertime-induced stress that is so common among moms of preschoolers.

Time, Date, & Place: 
Monday, October 22 at 7:30PM
Derwood Bible Church, Lower Level

Things to Consider Before Signing Up:
1). Sign up with 100% definite commitment to attending this MNO and paying for your meals
2).  Place your order - you may select up to 10 meals of any combination of recipes.
3). Give your top 3 preferences for prep work.  Courtney will do her best to match you to your top choice!

Meals (Click here to see recipes): 
Manicotti in Minutes (serves 5)
Chicken Parmesan (serves 4-6)
Chicken Tetrazzini (serves 4-6)
Chipotle Crusted Pork Tenderloin (serves 6)
Turkey Meatload with Feta & Sun-dried Tomatoes (serves 4-6)

Prep Work (when signing up please indicate your top 3 choices):
1). Cook and shred chicken (can do at home) **
2). Chop sundried tomatoes **
3). Dice red onion **
4). Slice chicken breast in half lengthwise **
5). Chop parsley **
6). Arrive early for set-up
7). Stay late to clean up
** If you are prepping an ingredient, you may arrange to pick it up from Courtney's house in Silver Spring over the weekend of Friday Oct 19-Sunday Oct 21. 

We will be working with 5 different recipes.  Once Courtney has everyone's order, she will do all the shopping for the ingredients and will be able to tally your final cost for your order.  Meals typically average out to $12/meal but the pork meal will probably be closer to $16.  Again, that's an estimation just to give you an idea of how much each will be - she won't have the final cost until after everyone submits their order.  Please remember that when you sign up you are committing to pay for your total order! Each mom will be expected to pay for the cost of her chosen meals in FULL on the night of freezer cooking.

Mom Responsibility:
Each mom participating is responsible for the following:
1. Choosing and entering meal preferences for your family (up to 10 total) on the blog form by midnight October 10th. Grocery lists are created from the meal sign ups, once you sign up for meals, you are committed to freezer cooking and your meal order cannot be changed.

2. Arriving ON TIME, the evening of freezer cooking and participating in meal prep for the ENTIRE evening (2-3 hours), regardless of number of meals your family will receive.

3. Full payment for selected meals on the evening of freezer cooking. 

A special thanks to Courtney Christensen (a freezer cooking guru) who is coordinating our October Mom's Night Out!! 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Courtney at

Minute for Moms - Focus on the Family

Hi Ladies!
I wanted to post this article (link below) from Focus on the Family that I read a few weeks ago.  I thought it was interesting as it relates to our first meeting topic on understanding our children's love languages.  This article helps explain children's personalities.  It is geared toward preschool age and up, but I think it's helpful to read even if your kids aren't at that age yet.

It always amazes me how different each one of my three children are- all from the same home and same parents!  I find this article particularly helpful as it has a section on how to understand the cause of and how to deal with personality clashes between parents and children.  As our kids grow it is helpful to remember that they are each God's unique creation, and supporting and encouraging their individuality is such an important role we have as their parent!

I hope you will find this a helpful article too!

Lindsey P.

Your Child's Personality

Pumpkin Harvest Days at Butler's Orchard

On Wednesday, October 17 at 9:40AM, we will meet at Butler's Orchard for their annual Pumpkin Harvest Days. 

Admission fee: $6.75/child or adult (infants under 12 months free). Please bring cash for payment to the playdate

Admission fee includes:
  • One head-size pumpkin; 2 crisp apples to take home
  • A Jump in the Hayloft Barn
  • Exploring the Straw Maze
  • Visiting Barnyard Buddies
  • Taking a Tractor-driven Hayride
  • Playing at the Learning Station
  • Coasting down a Giant Slide
  • Picking a Pumpkin in the Pumpkin Patch
Location: Butler's Orchard, 22200 Davis Mill Road, Germantown, MD

**We'll be eating a picnic lunch together around 11am...please join us!

Please sign-up by Tuesday, October 16!

For more information visit Butler's Orchard Events Page and scroll down to the Pumpkin Harvest Days Flyer and FAQ.