Tuesday, November 29, 2016

December Play Date and Mom's Night Out Details!

Here's all the MOPS fun for December.  Well, not ALL of it, because we are fun people.  But the scheduled fun...

Thursday, December 1 from 10-noon, come to Rockin' Jump at 18620 Woodfield Road in Gaithersburg for a morning of jumping (hopefully leading to an afternoon of napping!).  Cost is $5 per jumper. If you're like me, consider wearing a little protection to compensate for your weak pelvic floor ;)  You're welcome.

Friday, December 9th, time TBD
White Elephant gift exchange at Joy's home

Gift ideas:
Spend $5 or less at the store
Re-gift (for example: a full bottle of Bath and Body Works scent that did not work for you)
Homemade gift
Something funny
No need to break the bank!  But please don't bring something broken...that happened to me at my first White Elephant Gift Exchange in college.  I ended up with a broken yo-yo...still haven't recovered from that one.

Please RSVP to Sarah Newens at derwoodmops@gmail.com for the MNO so we know how many people to expect!  Put Sarah's name in the subject so she doesn't miss it.  And if an email reminder is sent closer to that one you could just reply to that directly.  That would be nice, wouldn't it?

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

November Mom's Night Out and Play Date Details!

Playdate: Operation Christmas Child
Wednesday, November 16th from 10-noon in the DBC main building
RSVP to megan@lillybee.com

Come join us in packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child, an organization which delivers Christmas gifts and the Gospel to children worldwide. 

1.  Get a shoebox - an actual shoebox or a plastic box of similar size. I will also have plenty of Samaritan's Purse boxes for you to use. So if you just want to come with a bag of toys, that is ok too!
2.  Include a "wow" toy - like a doll or stuffed animal, etc
3.  Fill with gifts - such as hygiene items or school supplies
4.  Pray for the children receiving these boxes
5.  Bring a $7 donation to cover shipping (check or cash) OR donate online and follow your box to its destination. If you donate online, you will print out a label and bring it along. If you write a check (preferred), make it out to "Samaritans Purse". The label/check will be placed inside of each box. 
6.  Come meet us in the main building of DBC and pack your boxes! We will have snacks for the kiddos and coloring papers/crayons for kids to color a picture to send. There will also be a storytime for the kiddos along with singing and dancing provided by Montgomery County Library. 
7.  We will deliver your box for you during the national collection week. Hope to see you there!!!! :)

Mom's Night Out: Cheesecake Factory
Monday, November 7th from 7:30-? :)
RSVP to megan@lillybee.com

Come join me at the Montgomery Mall Cheesecake Factory to indulge in some yummy cheesecake and conversation! Please RSVP by November 2nd! Hope to see you there! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

October Play Date and MNO Details

October is here, which means it must officially be time for pumpkin patches and chilly nights with bonfires and S'mores, right?  Lucky YOU, we have some great events planned for this month!  See details below.
WHEN: October 12th at 10am
WHERE: Butler's Orchard - 22222 Davis Mill Road, Germantown
WHAT: Butler's Orchard Pumpkin Harvest Days - Includes:
  • Exploring the learning stations, jumping in the hayloft barn, swooshing down the giant slides, visiting barnyard animals, picking a pumpkin in the pumpkin patch, and exploring the straw maze. 
  • Each person picks one head-sized pumpkin and also receives a crisp Butler’s Apple and a copy of the “Pumpkin Post” – a facts and fun worksheet that can be used in the classroom or at home to reinforce material learned on the farm. (Helpful hint: bring a heavy duty bag to carry your pumpkins!)
COST: Price is $7.25 per person (over a year old).  If you want your younger child(ren) to have a pumpkin, you must pay for that child as well. PLEASE BRING CASH!
RSVP: email derwoodmops@gmail.com with the number of PAYING people that will be coming.  You are welcome to just show up but an RSVP will be very helpful to Katherine who is organizing this play date, as she has to give Butler's Orchard a number for our group and pay ahead! 

WHEN: October 17th at 7:30pm
WHERE: Kory Glossop's house
WHAT: A bonfire with drinks and S'mores along with some great fellowship! :) 

Hope to see you at our events!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If We're Honest

By: Becca Bergman

Have you ever heard the song “If We’re Honest” by Francesca Battistelli? It is my new personal anthem. I love everything about it - the music, her voice, and most of all, the lyrics. They speak right to my heart and the message behind them is so powerful!

I could listen to this song on repeat, and most days I do! Every time I listen to it I am reminded of the type of person I want to be and the type of person God has given me grace to be.

Before I go on, take a minute to read the lyrics below:

"Truth is harder than a lie/the dark seems safer than the light/and everyone has a heart that loves to hide/I’m a mess and so are you/we’ve built walls nobody can get though…”

“Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine/‘cause love can heal what hurt divides/and mercy’s waiting on the other side/if we’re honest”

“Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not/living life afraid of getting caught/there is freedom found when we lay our secrets down at the cross, at the cross”

 She is talking about being honest and laying all our stuff, the good, bad, and ugly, out on the table. We build walls that keep people from seeing the real us. Often because we feel ashamed, like we will be judged, or we are comparing ourselves to others. All this does is cause pain and separation from God and the ones we love.

There is no need to be bound by our sin or shame since God has already forgiven us. As she writes, “There is freedom found when we lay our secrets down at the cross.” In this freedom, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and allow others to be that way with us. 

Laying my mess on the table to others has saved my sanity, my marriage, and helped me become a better mom, friend, and follower of Christ. The beauty of sharing this brokenness and being truly honest is that it forms real, deep, and meaningful friendships.  In those times I needed to be real so I could get real feedback, support, and advice.

James 5:16 (NLT): Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

The real beauty of this song is that God knows our hearts and the deepest secrets we keep. He has already forgiven our sins; we are no longer bound by our past. Sharing our experiences with others only glorifies God and will help others find that same freedom as well.

As we prepare for MOPS this year my prayer is that we can all lay our burdens at the cross and gain freedom in Christ, and that you come to MOPS just as you are, mess and all. We will all be here with our messes, too, and we can get through it all together.

“It would change our lives/it would set us free/it’s what we need to be…”

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September Play Date and Mom's Night Out!

Hey there, friends!  Here's the info for our September events.  Can't wait to meet you!

PLAY DATE!  Our first play date will be before our first MOPS meeting, a chance to mingle, meet some new moms and kids, and enjoy an awesome park.  We hope you will be able to come so you and your kids can see some of the friendly faces you'll be getting to know this year! Bring a picnic lunch if you feel so inclined. No need to RSVP.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 14, 10 AM to noon.
WHERE: Woodley Gardens Park Playground in Rockville (It's awesome! Lots of shade!)

Mom's Night Out!  Our first Mom's Night Out is a favorite of many.  We will be meeting for dessert at the Melting Pot to mingle, laugh, meet new friends, and eat ALL the chocolate.  (All of it.)

WHEN: Monday, September 19, 7:30 PM.
WHERE: Melting Pot on Gaither Road in Gaithersburg
COST: Approximately $15 to cover dessert, tax and tip.  Cash please!
RSVP: Yay or nay, click on this link by Friday, Sept. 16:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Starry Eyed

By Rian Ryan

Wonder.  Hope.  Kindness.  Those are the sub-themes in this year’s MOPS theme: We are the Starry Eyed.  And they seem a little wild to me.  As in wilderness, they seem foreign and distant; like things I once knew but haven’t experienced deeply in quite some time.  I think, at a minimum, being inundated by the everyday sameness of mothering little people can, over time, deaden those parts of us that are in tune to the beauty around us. So, also, can the slightly bigger things that come our way.  Like Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. 

Yes, many of you reading this already know of my family’s summer drama.  The school year ended with a bout of colds for all (the kind with the never ending runny noses), followed immediately by another bout of colds.  Followed shortly by a terrible case of HFM (for everyone but my husband) that lasted about 10 days.  One of those days I laid on the couch unable to do anything due to fever and exhaustion, and another day I sat on the couch all day because I couldn’t walk from the pain in my feet.  That was followed by ANOTHER case of HFM that we are still dealing with as I type.  My middle child didn’t sleep at all one night last week but instead thrashed and moaned from itching and pain while we held him, and two nights later my 2-year-old daughter followed suit.  My daughter’s feet are still peeling from the blisters she had two weeks ago even as new blisters are forming around them.  Some summer, huh?  Due to our quarantine we’ve only been to the pool once, library once, and so help me I have only been to Target once or twice and it was by myself (ok, that part wasn’t so bad).  We have missed almost a month of church, have turned down all the playdates, have been too feverish or too tired or in too much pain for fun indoor activities.  Or I’ve been too tired or depressed to make them happen.  The walls are closing in on me and for the love of all that’s holy the AIR CONDITIONING CRAPPED OUT during the hottest week of the summer (obviously) and we can’t even go anywhere!  And as it turns out, summer break is woefully shorter than I remember it being when I was a kid and school starts the week after we get back from our vacation (assuming we don’t get another case of HFM, though if that happens I might just wrap everyone in plastic and put them on the plane anyway) and I’m just DONE!

And I know, yes, that these aren’t even really big things.  I can list 1,000 things worse than what we are dealing with.  But our things are just piled up getting heavier and heavier and this camel’s back is broken.  When the second case of HFM hit us, I was too shocked to even be upset.  For about 5 hours.  Then I got mad.  Just plain mad.  I grumbled at God.  How was he letting this happen?  Seriously.  I’d been looking forward to the awesome fun we were going to have on our summer vacation.  We made a summer bucket list, for crying out loud.  It remains vastly untouched.  And I was bitter.  Honestly, I still am a little bit.  Why did we have to get sick and watch everyone else have fun? Why did I have to be stuck at home with kids too contagious to take into public?  I was truly despairing, so very sad and exhausted and disappointed…and bitter (did I mention that?).
But here’s the beautiful part.  In the midst of all this, God has been showing me kindness.  In between two rounds of HFM I got to visit a wonderful friend in PA (by myself!) and my kids were healthy enough to go to the Sports Camp that we had already paid for and to which they were looking forward.  The day I was unable to walk was a Saturday and my husband was home to take care of everything.  My sweet friends did all the meal prep for a freezer cooking session I was supposed to be involved in, and then the one who was 9 months pregnant delivered it to my house.  A friend who is dealing with her own personal hardships right now delivered a Frappuccino to my door.  The same friend who was 9 months pregnant just had the baby but still delivered a bunch of movies for us to watch while stuck inside.  A brave woman knowingly invited my family to her home when our AC was out despite the HFM.  I accepted the invitation when the dark, humid, stale house started making me feel like I was going crazy. And then there’s Facebook through which my friends provided me with so many ideas to help soothe my kids’ pain and itching, offered supportive words, and offered their HOMES when our AC was broken.  My kids somehow contented themselves to just play inside all freaking day.  On repeat.  But I couldn’t immediately see all of those things as the gifts they were.  The hardness that had built up only allowed me to see the trials as devastating interruptions to the fun we were supposed to be having.  There was no hope to be seen, no wonder at God’s goodness.

But something clicked yesterday when I saw the offers to help come pouring in.  God wasn’t casting down plagues upon my house, he was offering glimpses of his vast love and unending kindness THROUGH it all.  There IS hope in the midst of any trial that comes our way.  We have to CHOOSE it by opening our eyes to see.  There is wonder in the midst of the mundane, and hope in the midst of fear and despair.

 Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. – Psalm 139:12

“Starry Eyed means looking for the light even when darkness is enveloping. It is an opportunity to hope recklessly and to witness God’s presence guiding things seen and unseen, comfortable and uncomfortable.” (MOPS.org) I want to choose to be Starry Eyed this year.  Will you join me?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

August Play Date!

There's a new Splash Pad in Gaithersburg right next to Barking Mad Cafe!  Come out and enjoy the fun with your kiddos!  Meet new MOPS mom and see some old friends too :)

August 17th, 10:00 AM.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

July Mom's Night Out and Playdates

July Mom's Night Out and Playdates

Thursday, July 7th, 7pm Barking Mad Café
Dinner/Drinks/Appetizers/Dessert, whatever you fancy, with friends! http://www.barkingmadcafe.com/home

Wednesday, July 20th, 7:00pm Rockville Escape Rooms
Come out and join us to do an escape room activity. (http://www.rockvilleescaperoom.com/home.html) There is one room that can take up to 10 people and 2 other rooms that can each take up to 6/7. I will need to know if you plan to attend by a week before so that I can book the room. If you want a discount, you can go in with a friend, or a few friends and get a groupon (https://www.groupon.com/deals/rockville-escape-room). Hope we can get a good sized group out!

Friday, July 8th, 11 am- 1pm, Rockville Town Square
Splash time and lunch at Rockville Town Square

(TBD) Tuesday, July 12th or Thursday, July 14th at 10am
Monkey Joe’s in Germantown. Come for an open bounce time on inflatables. There’s a space for kids 3 and under as well as places for older kids, a parent lounge area and snack bar. Kids 3 and up will be $10 and kids 2 and under are $7. Adults are free

Tuesday, July 19th- 10 a.m. - noon, Rockville Town Square
Mommy & Me (& Daddy Too!) meets for a special morning, from 10am to Noon, on the third Tuesday of each month beginning in May, with active learning and creative play at all your favorite stores! There are lunch specials, story time, arts & crafts, sing-a-longs, prizes, and a whole lot more! 

Tuesday, July 26th- 9:30am-??, Larriland Farm
Pick your own fruits/veggies and play on the farm!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Indoor Activities for the Cold Winter Months!

By: Jen Etzel

As a child I never wanted Summer to end. I think we can all agree with that. Endless hours of outdoor activities late into the evening, often with the sun still glowing way past dinner. As as Mom, I still feel the same about Summer and I even favor Fall with it's crisp outdoor days that require just a light jacket (and a lot less sunscreen to apply on little arms and legs!). But Winter, has never been my favorite. I had my daughter during the Fall so that first Winter she was home seemed to drag on for years. I was in the "newborn fog" for a few months and my brain felt like Summer had turned straight into Winter. Even 2 years later I still feel like Fall isn't long enough.

During the Winter months I become an avid weather checker, and have been since the day I started school as a child and even more so when I was a full time teacher. Because the Winter is really only good for a few things, Christmas and Snow Days. Now I may be alone on this one, but unless it's snowing I really have little desire to engage with the Winter months. Especially, now that I have a child bundling up just to do weekly errands or simply go get the mail seems daunting. The Winter months also bring cabin fever for our little ones, who we can't send out into the backyard or take to the park or pool to run out their energy. They are whining, getting into everything, and those new toys they just received for Christmas just don't seem fun after a few weeks of solid indoor play. What's a mom do to?! Instead of pouring the Red Wine at 3pm I have compiled as list of tried and true out of the house activities that will make it worth the coat, hat, and gloves shuffle and will tire your little ones into a perfect afternoon of quiet. Even this Winter fearing Momma will get out of the house for that promise! The locations and resources below are favorites of our family as well my current and former students. All are close to home and usually have a very minimal fee if not are free. Enjoy!

The Montgomery County Nature Center's- These are a fantastic free indoor resource. Many even do programs throughout the week. Our favorite is Meadowside Nature Center but each is different and really fun. http://www.montgomeryparks.org/nature_centers/

BounceU- This one costs $10.95 + tax so it's a little pricey but they have two locations one near Derwood Bible Church in Rockville and one in Clarksburg. The Tot Time/Preschool Time is fantastic, two hours of jumping and a break in between for a snack and drink provided by Bounce U. Parents are free! http://www.bounceu.com/open-bounce/preschool/rockville-md#anchor

College Park Aviation Museum-  This one is a little further, located in College Park very close to the University of MD. But it's worth the drive, huge airplanes and indoor space to run around them. They have a few kids areas too where they can get hands on. These museum supports home-schooling and can be contacted to help guide you and your children if you would like. Cost is $2 for children over 1 year and $5 for adults. 

Library Story Time- Montgomery County Library system put fantstic story times on in multiple locations daily for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. They always have multiple story times, sometimes in the same location. You usually just show up or get a ticket (free) from the help desk. Programs are always fun and interactive! The link below is to the library system calender adjust the settings on the left if needed.

Noyes Library for Children- This is an adorable one room library made for just little ones, located in Kensington!

Library Discovery Rooms- Grab a few friends and reserve a Discovery Room. They are located in a few libraries around the county and are each different. Each reservation lasts for an hour. Check out the bios about each room on the reservation page. You do need a library card number to sign up and you check in at the help desk when you arrive.

The Puppet Company- Located in Glen Echo park this organization does Tot Times on select Wednesday and weekend mornings at 10:00am. Cost is $6 for all participants even babies. The shows run for 30 minutes.

Maryland (Germantown) Soccer Plex- Playtime is every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 10-12pm for $2 for children over a year. Lots of room to run around and play!

The Children's Playseum (Bethesda) and The Original Playhouse (New Market, Frederick County)- Both of these places cost around $10 per child but you can often find a Groupon or Living Social deal. The New Market location is much further but it is cheaper for children under 3 years and adults so it may be worth the drive. No time limit on how long you can stay and it's always a great morning of exploration and imagination. 
Bethesda Children's Playseum- http://playseum.com/about.html
New Market The Original Playhouse- http://originalplayhouse.com/?page_id=68