Purpose Statement

MOPS Purpose Statement: MOPS International exists to encourage, equip and develop every mother of preschoolers to realize her potential as a woman, mother and leader in the name of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What Some Common Terms REALLY Mean to Mothers of Preschoolers

By Linda Vujnov (MOMSense magazine)

Birth control: play group at your house with six of your friends and all of their kids.
Birthmark: those annoyances that mark the fact that you have given birth (sagging and/or loss of breasts, varicose veins, stretch marks and failure to remember anything).
Birth weight: what the scale registered before you had children, which your scale may never see again.
Diaper wipes: wet, soapy cloths used for cleaning counter tops, dusting furniture, wiping down the inside of cars and making dirty sneakers clean (do not use on mirrors or windows).
Hotel: foreign word, definition unknown.
Night waking: a symptom that develops in every mother from the first moment you step into your home with a newborn and usually ends once the child has moved out of your house.
Quiet time: the moment of time when you realize that your toddlers have been quiet for too long and you then discover they have been up to no good (sticking feminine pads all over the bathroom walls and cupboards or attempting to apply mascara to the baby).
Romance: falling asleep on the couch with your husband while watching a rented movie and sharing a bowl of popcorn (usually around 8:30 p.m.).
Rooting reflex: when the dark hair roots on your head begin appearing more quickly than you remember and have taken on a much grayer tone.
Soft spot: eyeing your pillow with wishful thinking at 3 p.m.
Time out: girls' night, frosted brownies, blogs, cheese fries, lattes, date nights, shopping, magazines, MOPS and anything else that helps your brain refocus.

This article first appeared in January/February 2006 issue of MOMSense, p 12. Used by permission of MOPS International, Denver, Colorado 80231.

Upcoming Dates/Events

July 18th HOUSE CALLS with Dr Roger Morris (GP). Morning Tea = Soups and Bread. Craft = Boo-Boo Bunnies

August 1st SOCIAL OUTING. To get into the theme of "Start Here Go There" we are having a Social Event on the 1 August. This will be NOT BE AT MBC but will be out in the park.

Meeting at 9.30 at Landsborough Park. This park is fully fenced, toilet facilities, some shade but remember hats, morning tea and sun-block.

This is a great opportunity to come and spend some time with Mums you may already know as well as an opportunity to meet some of the other Mums and MOPPETS leaders etc that you may not have had a chance to meet yet. Your children will love running around in the wide open spaces and discovering all the play equipment. Please note that there will be no MOPPETS child minding. All will be responsible for own children. Contact Sarah Beal on the morning if you need directions or to check if it's still on, i.e. if it's cloudy. The event will be cancelled if it's raining.

June 20 - Style on a Budget

On June 20 the topic was Decorating on a Budget.

Here is the information from the Interior Decorator from the DVD (Shari) for those that wanted it again.

A Great Room -Style on a Budget
  • Tips and ideas from Interior Decorator (Shari) and Mary-Beth
  • Go shopping in your own basement – concept of re-purposing, re-using things you already have
  • Aim for a home that reflects God, creativity and beauty. One that is warm, inviting, generous and has a sense of humour not one that is tight, rigid and merely practical
  • Be responsible with how you create your home. Don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful and inviting home
  • Start with colours that you like, use paint to change or brighten a room or tie areas together
  • Work with the things you have, if have a rug you like in reds and blues use those colours
  • It is ok to mix patterns as long as you select some of the same colours to tie together
  • Take clippings out of magazines and store in a notebook to give you ideas when comes time to redecorate
  • Ok to have a theme but try not to be “too cutesy”
  • Try not to decorate with fas, saves money to stick with classics that don’t date
  • Buy seconds eg kitchen cupboards slightly chipped/damaged but can’t see
  • Focus on making things both use-able and beautiful
  • Try unusual ideas such as painting the floor in a rug pattern (stencilling)
  • Know the meaning/impact/psychology of colours. Eg red is a stimulating colour so probably not a good one to paint and entire bedroom
  • Be careful doing a child’s nursery as is expensive to have to redo again when child outgrows. Better to go for basics and aim at an older age child
  • Take something from somewhere else to use in a different room eg a side table from the hall may become a bookshelf in a child’s room
  • Look for discounted fabrics for bedding/curtains etc and things on clearance sales
  • Make small spaces feel larger by painting walls and ceilings in the same colour
  • Ensure your master bedroom is a refuge
  • Ensure you have ample storage to reduce clutter
  • Build things yourself if you can
  • Putting photos all in the same colour frame unites them
  • Use kids art – again frame in same colour frame
  • Tie rooms/area together with a continuing colour in the walls or in furnishings/curtains (eg Shari’s lounge/dining curtains same at either end of one big area
  • Signal transitions from one area to another with a different colour paint or different style of art (eg Shari’s downstairs basement area much brighter primary colours than the more natural colours upstairs)
  • Let kids gather things they love to direct their style of their room as they get older
  • Cover damaged/uneven walls with a rough finish
  • Create areas in your home around what you do eg if you read create and area for reading/books, if your kids do a lot of craft create a craft area
  • Consider the atmosphere of your home. Think how you can make your home warm, inviting, fun and beautiful.
  • If rooms/home beautiful to us/our families it doesn’t matter if others don’t agree with your style
  • Try to create a sense of order and unclutteredness – beauty refreshes
  • Don’t have to redecorate your entire house in one hit. Start with a plan for the room that most needs help or is most important
  • Creating a home involves both the relationships and the atmosphere. A good home has both rest AND play areas (the inhale and the exhale). Important to get a balance here. A home that is too formal is one where you can’t play and relax, whereas one that has toys everywhere and no refuge or respite from this mess does not allow for rest. Try to see your home as a whole and create some areas to enable/encourage play and some areas to enable/encourage rest
  • Shari’s concept that the way you decorate your home reflects your view of God. We are created in the image of the creator God. God created order and beauty and a desire and appreciation of beauty in all of us

And also the 20 tips that appeared in the newsletter.

20 Ways to Decorate Your Home with Little or No Money
Adapted from Anya Brighouse – Parenting, Issue 3 Winter 2008 (New Zealand)
1. Move furniture: move things into a different position, change the purpose of a room (lounge becomes dining room etc)
2. Winter/Summer: rugs etc for winter, bare boards summer, reposition furniture to catch the sun etc
3. Feathers: place in a vase or on the wall or frame. Can get cheaply from $2 shops or craft outlets
4. Shells: Collect from the beach or can buy cheaply, display on a table, in a bowl, vase, lamp base, make into a mobile, glue around a mirror, frame them etc. Set up as part of a ‘nature table’ as a conversation point
5. Photo walls: As big or small as you want, down an entire hallway or in your entry, create a feature wall.
6. Flowers and plants: Raid your garden, use foliage and greenery if you don’t have flowers
7. Fruit: Stack the fruit you buy in a nice bowl on the dining table or hall table. All one fruit (when cheap/in abundance) such as limes or lemons or pears can look great
8. Cushions: Re-use the same inners just update the covers. Easy to make your own covers using off cuts or material, or cheap tea towels or beach towels etc or look for cheap colourful ones to change the look of your room
9. Collections: blue and white china, glass bottles, jewellery boxes, tea cups. Cluster them together in sight not tucked away in the cupboards
10. Candles/Lighting: Very cheap, Ikea has bags of 100 or 500 tea lights for around $5. Use any safe container to display them in (vases, saucers, pot plants, teacups etc) Cluster same colour/different sizes together. Look out for cheap table lamps or floor lamps to change the look/feel of a room
11. Repetition: A row of the same thing, such as bottles with a single leaf or flower down the centre of a table or on a shelf. Can be cheap (keep and clean up San Pellegrino mineral water bottles etc)
12. Letters (alphabet): Again try $2 shops and craft outlets such as Spotlight/Lincraft. Can paint/decorate and add to a child’s bedroom door/wall. Can project on to a wall with an overhead projector and paint with a test post. Can paint on to a canvas and decorate with sequins
13. Paint: Paint a feature wall, change the colour of a room, paint an old piece of furniture to give it a new lease of life, paint a wall or section of a wall to be a chalkboard
14. Hand prints: or footprints on a canvas. One for each child or all the family on one canvas
15. Kids artwork: look for cheap frames to frame the special ones, or make your own frame out of cardboard, look for existing frames at op shops or garage sales. Replace the picture with your child’s artwork
16. Internet: search for decorating ideas, print things out to frame, find websites that help with things such as converting your digital photo to a canvas for you walls
17. Bunting: Triangle flags on a long strip basically. Quite expensive to buy from kids shops etc. Easy to make. Colourful for parties or kids room. Can be re-used or moved from room to room, placed around doorways etc.
18. Fabric pictures: photocopy fabric and frame or stretch over a canvas
19. Umbrellas: Chinese silk umbrellas, Chinese lanterns etc for wall decorations or as a lampshade or for parties/garden decoration
20. Read and collect inspiration regularly: Houses are organic and need to grow and change as your family does. If you are always keeping an eye out for new ideas then you will be prepared for transition times such as new baby, child outgrowing room etc

June 6 - The Family Room: Begin Here

Guest Speaker: Psychologist Lisa LindleyTopic: Separation Anxiety and Child Behaviour
Morning Tea Theme: Biscuits,Biscuits and more Biscuits
Craft: Decorating Jar Lids (one possible use ....Lisa's NOODLE JAR strategy)
Today we had Lisa Lindley come and speak. Lisa is a local psychologist specialising in child and family behaviour and Post Natal Depression.
Today she shared with us about Separation Anxiety. Her main points were that Separation Anxiety (child getting upset, tearful, clingy, crying when Mum leaves) is a NORMAL DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONE.It means that your baby is attached to you as its primary care giver and that you have succeeded in creating a safe and secure environment for them. Those who would like further information on Infant Attachment (what it is, the importance of it etc) please see here (Early Childhood website) or here (Canadian website - attachment from a babies perspective).
It is important to realise that separation anxiety is a phase or stage of development, in time and with practice majority of infants will grow out of it. Some babies may experience Separation Anxiety for a longer period and more severely than others.Separation Anxiety commonly starts/peaks at around 7-8 mths -18mths. Your child may be more fearful of strangers, they may prefer one parent to the other and may wake at night looking for the comfort of parent.
What can you do to help your baby at this stage?
  • Don't worry about what others say. Just continue to love your baby so that they feel safe and secure and they will grow up to feel secure and trusting
  • Play games like peek a boo and hide and seek to help introduce your baby to the idea that things come and go and exist even if they can't see them. Babies are learning something called OBJECT PERMANENCE
  • Practice with quick and short separations
  • Try leaving baby in one room while you go to another room but continue to talk or sing to the baby to let them know you are there nearby even though they cant see you
  • Your baby needs to build trust so try not to sneak away and leave them. For an older toddler tell them where you are going and when you will be back (ie after their daytime sleep, after lunch etc)
  • Don't prolong your goodbye, establish a brief routine and stick with it (e.g., one kiss one cuddle say goodbye and leave). Be confident when you leave don't hesitate or linger or keep returning
  • Leave your baby with familiar people and try to organise it so you can stay for the first few times
  • If in day care aim for a centre that has same carers not rotated or frequent changes so your baby is less confused and can get to know the staff
  • Provide a distraction for as soon as you leave (get carers to help with this) e.g child engaged in playdoh etc
  • Allow your baby to have a special toy or comforter to help them adjust to new situations and people and ease the pain of the separation
  • If your baby attached to the other parent or another adult try not to take it personally as it is a normal phase of development
For those MOPS Mums wanting advice and strategies for toddlers and older children regarding difficulty separating please contact Parentline on 1300 301 300 and ask for the Triple P tipsheets on these topics (Leaving your Child with others, Separation Anxiety) to be sent out to you. They can also take you through these strategies over the phone. Advice from Parentline is just the cost of the call. Tipsheets are provided at no charge. If the problem is more severe you may want to meet with a Psychologist that specialises in child behaviour. Look under P in the Yellow Pages, contact your local QLD Health Child Health service and ask for an appointment with the Early Intervention Specialist (No charge but likely to be a waitlist) or click on Find a Psychologist on the Australian Psychologists Society website.

Our craft today was decorating Moccona coffee jars to recycle them as pretty storage jars etc (some examples were whole coffee beans in the lid, ribbons, fabric, other bits and pieces from craft supplies, nuts and bolts etc. Pretty much anything that fits inside the lid).
Lisa saw these jars we were working on and was prompted to also share a really effective way of rewarding children for good behaviour - a neat way of catching them being good and working up to a bigger reward.Her idea was that you choose a behaviour you want to see more often (eg speaking nicely, sharing, taking turns, saying please and thank you, doing a wee in the potty etc) and each time you catch the child doing this behaviour they can earn a noodle to place in jar. Can use marbles or buttons or anything else but noodles have the benefit of being cheap, in the pantry, large so fill up quick etc.
Since this meeting I (Michele) have been using this Noodle Jar idea in place of a standard behaviour chart for Compliance (doing what Mummy and Daddy say straight away) with our 3 year old and have had great success. Great novelty factor (the stickers on behaviour chart REALLY effective too but getting a bit tired as we have been using Behaviour Charts for a while now for various things on and off since Ella around 2 yo) and she loves putting the noodles in as well as seeing progress as it fills up.We started with drawing a few lines across the jar as was a big jar and wanted to increase chance of success initially. So reaching the first line earned Ella a trip to the park, then next line was baking a cake with mum and getting to crack the eggs (very exciting) and all the way to the top was a trip to Under Water World (where we have an Annual Pass).
Lisa also promoted her Post Natal Depression Support Group that meets on Wednesdays from 1-3pm at Maroochy Baptist Church (in the Beach Hut). Next course starts July 16, 2008. Here is the info off her flyer:
If you have had a child in the last 12mths and feel that you are
having difficulty adapting to motherhood
or have been diagnosed with Post Natal Depression
come along to a PND Support Group.
The group will commence with an 8 week program
aimed at providing you
with information about PND
and providing practical ways to
reduce symptoms or depression.
Come along for a coffee
and receive support and friendship from other women.
We are unable to offer childcare,
but you are welcome to bring along your baby
Contact Lisa on 0417 540 820 for further information.

As well as the PND support group, Lisa would like all MOPS Mums to know that she has her own private practice and offers individual counselling in the ares of depression, anxiety, PND, fertility issues, parenting , behaviour management as well as cognitive assessments for children. Contact Lisa on 0417 540 820 for further information.
Here is some info on PND and some common signs and symptoms of Post Natal Depression taken from the excellent booklet titled Understanding Postnatal Disorders which has been put out jointly by Womens' Health Queensland Wide Inc and Women's Info Link.
This booklet Understanding Postnatal Disorders can be found and downloaded for FREE here.It has plenty of quality information about The Baby Blues, Postnatal Depression and Postnatal Psychosis. As well as information on Signs and Symptoms, this booklet also covers Risk Factors, Myths and Expectations of Motherhood, Impact of Postnatal Depression on Relationships, Overcoming Postnatal Depression (including professional help, medication, support groups, other treatment, how to help yourself, how partners can help, what family and friends can do), Planning Ahead, Personal Stories and more. Well worth a read.
PND symptoms need to be present for 2 weeks+ consistently. They effect everyday functioning such as eating, sleeping and thinking. The symptoms may include (but not limited to): Physical:
  • sleep disturbances (insomnia, excessive sleep, early morning awakening)
  • changes in appetite (not eating, overeating) and weight (significant weight loss or gain)
  • social withdrawal
  • lack of energy and motivation
  • loss of sexual interest
  • exhaustion
  • headaches
  • feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness, emptiness, failure as a mother
  • feelings of anger, guilt, resentment, shame
  • irritability
  • persistent low mood
  • loss of confidence
  • sadness, tearfulness
  • anxiety, panic attacks or phobias
  • irrational fears
  • mental confusion, lack of concentration, poor memory
  • apathy (just don't care)
  • rejection or excessive attachment to the baby
  • thoughts of suicide
What a Woman Can Do To Help Herself:
  • Sleep when the baby sleeps
  • Minimise workload by sharing it with others or ignoring anything unnecessary
  • Talk about experiences and feelings to family and friends
  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Do something special for yourself everyday (have a aromatic bath, read a book, buy fresh flowers)
  • Get out of the house regularly
  • Maintain social contacts
  • Utilise the services of a support group
Although it may not always be easy to put these suggestions into practice, incorporating just a few can be very beneficialWhat a Partner Can Do:
  • Listen to what partner saying without trying to solve the problem
  • Be understanding (even if their partner has stayed in bed all day, house s mess, nothing for dinner)
  • Minimise visitors when it is tiring or when those visitors are unsympathetic
  • Attend appointments with health professionals
  • Be sympathetic to loss of sexual interest. Pressuring your partner into having sex is not helpful. Try to express love and affection in non-sexual ways such as hugs and cuddles
  • Organise time together as a couple
  • Take time out for themselves
What Family and Friends Can Do:
  • Listening: encourage the woman to talk about her emotions without feeling guilty or selfish. This can be very reassuring and can help relieve stress and anxiety
  • Practical Assistance: offer to do the weekly shopping, prepare meals, help with housework
  • Child-Care: offer to baby-sit so she can sleep or have time out alone or with her partner
When and Where to Seek Help: If you feel you aren't coping with the transition to mother hood or want to talk further about your feelings or are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms above or are just not feeling like yourself then please speak to someone. You are not alone. You do not need to feel like this. There is help. Please talk to your partner, a family member, GP, midwife, child health nurse about how you are feeling. If the person you speak to 'doesn't seem to get it' or is unsympathetic then take the time and effort to find someone who IS supportive.
Further Info/Assistance:

May 23 - Unpacking Your Treasures

Guest Speaker: DVD presentation
Morning Tea Theme: High Tea/Old Time Favourites
Craft Activity: Photo Frame Decoration

Today we introduced our new policy of CLAIMING MUM TIME AT MOPS xxx to be inserted xxxx

At MOPS today we also watched another of the Home Tours on the Dwelling DVD series. This home tour told the story of a woman who had to move out of her home into temporary accommodation and how she learnt from this experience what was really important to her. Her main points were that a lot of stuff is just that... STUFF (material things), and what made a home a home was family and routines. She stressed the importance of allowing the children to keep some personal items and special bedding and books etc and maintaining routines such as reading before bed etc to make sure children felt secure.

Our Morning Tea theme this week was a High Tea setting full of all sorts of delicious "Old Time Favourites" such as licorice all-sorts, passionfruit sponge, turkish delight. The main table and all the Group Tables were beautifully decorated in theme with lovely old china/crystal etc and "Grandmas Garden" flowers (roses and hydrangeas and camellias). Lovely!

Our craft activity today involved painting and embellishing photo frames.

Here is the information from todays newsletter on Preserving Family History.

Preserving Your History
Perhaps you have read Tuesdays With Morrie – the 1997 book that details how the author (Mitch Albom) reconnects with his old college professor (Morrie Schwartz) towards the end of the professor’s life. The book chronicles the lessons Albom learns about life as he meets with Morrie every Tuesday until his death.
In a similar vein, I recently started the fascinating process of sitting down with my Gran to record some of her memories and stories and wisdom and I would like to share some of this process with you as we are focusing on this topic at MOPS today.
My Gran was born in 1924 so she is 84 years young. She has lived through good times and hard times. She has been a seamstress and a dancer and a single mother who had to work to support her family at a time when this was not socially acceptable. She has climbed Ayers Rock and travelled solo to Papua New Guinea. She is in great health still, loves gardening and stamp collecting among other things. She is a mother of two, grandmother of 6, great-grandmother of 5 (so far) and is about to become a great-great-grandmother later this year. She lives independently, in a house semi-attached to that of my parents here on the coast so I am extremely privileged to have her in my life and in the lives of my children.
I guess I have always been fascinated with her life - she would always tell us stories when we were little about her childhood and her adventures and this laid the foundations for a strong interest in history that led to studying Australian Social History, Psychology and Journalism at Uni.
When I became I Mum just over 3 years ago, I experienced a profound sense of connection with women generally and with women in my life and my past specifically. My interest in finding out more about Gran’s personal history was reinvigorated.
So what can I tell you about the process of how I went about it? Some years back I attended a one day workshop by David Murray from the Toowoomba Educational Centre held at the TAFE in Mountain Creek that looked at documenting local history etc and how to self-publish. Then the next step was convincing Gran that her stories were of importance and value. Initially, she was put off thinking that she had nothing to say and she was quite reticent thinking she would have to write stuff down by hand and so on. Although it wasn’t said in so many words I am sure my asking also made her very aware of her mortality and the sense of urgency to do this “before it’s too late”.
Many of her friends and relatives had already passed away and at her age there are not many representatives of the many branches of the family tree that remain.
Despite trying to tread carefully here, I found it really hard to get around this one as it is at the heart of it all. …there are only so many years remaining and this is part of the reason why I am so keen to do it now. I would live with a lot of regret if I left it too late.
But anyway, she thought about it and had a change of heart when her younger brother (in his 80’s) sent up a self-published “book” of his life so far and suggested she do the same. It also helped when I said that I planned to use photos and questions as prompts and she would just have to talk to me just as she always has, the only difference being the tape recorder amongst the shortbread biscuits. Just on that, I purchased a really small one with a strong microphone so it doesn’t get in the way and I find after a few minutes talking and half a cup of tea we have both forgotten that it is even there. The recorder has the added advantage of a USB cable allowing whatever is recorded to be uploaded and saved on the computer as a sound file. How good is that! There are endless versions out there from the old tape recorder, to mini tape recorders to the digital models. Just do some research and find what suits your needs and budget.
I have scanned the photos that we use as prompts and add them to the text file as I type it up from the recorded conversations.
I wrote out a loose list of areas to cover (Childhood, Family Life, School Years, How she met her husband, Becoming a mother, getting divorced, the War Years, places she has lived, her travels, favourite songs etc) and some specific questions to ask (see below for some places to get questions/prompts from) but we don’t adhere to that too tightly. We go where her thoughts and take us.
A point to consider when doing these interviews – while it is fascinating to listen and learn to all this history, please be mindful of stirring up painful memories. Be sensitive. I choose not to meet with her in the evenings and then leave her to toss and turn all night stewing over old hurts, I don’t push or pry too much if I sense she is uncomfortable, I am on the watch for her getting too tired even though I could always hear more. Finally, I always try and end on a positive note with a nice memory before wrapping up that session.
This is an ongoing labour of love, I am currently struggling with a title for the book and I am not sure when it will be finished but I am already thinking ahead to my next project – my Mum turns 60 next year so I am planning to so something similar and document those 60 years as a gift for her birthday.
I thank God for my family and my Gran’s long and full life and for the opportunity to delve into it. These stories and memories are far too precious to lose. I feel obligated to preserve them both to honour her and to bless my children and my children’s children with the gift of this connection with their past.
If you have been inspired and would like to document and preserve your personal history here are some other resources that you may find useful:
· Google memory prompts OR oral history OR family history
· 8 Ways to Preserve Your Families Memories www.caring.com/checklists/ways-to-preserve-family-memories
· Book – Write Your Heart Out by Rebecca McClanahan
· Book – Mothballs in My Attic see www.mothballsinmyattic (fill in the blanks)
· Book – Telling Your Own Stories – Donald Davis
· Look for “fill in the blank” type books in all bookstores
· David Murray of Toowoomba Education Centre Commercial Printer’s presents free workshops on self-publishing for family/community history. More on the technical side of publishing things rather than how together/write it but still useful. Contact David on 0427 301 722 or see www.tec.qld.edu.au/
· Oral History Training Workshops (Brisbane) Contact Suzanne Mulligan on mulligan@gil.com.au or www.flexi.net.au/~mulligan/ or phone Suzanne on (07) 3376 1865
· Genealogy databases, resources and tuition – see your local council libraries
· Local writing course and groups. See local papers and noticeboards

ADDITION (Mon 27 July, 2009) I recently saw a brochure advertising some workshops (5 week course, 2 hours a week) on writing personal/social histories called  "My Story"  by Elizabeth (Libby) Urbahn (possibly related to Keith Urban hmmmm? as he did change his name apparently). Her contact details all from the brochure are Ph 5476 7138 or 0415 087 876 and email is libbyandpete@bigpond.com and website is www.elizabethurbahn.com. Starts MON AUG 3, 2009 from 10.30-12.30. Contact Libby for more information.

Basic Scones (16)
3 cups SR Flour
80 g butter (cubed)
1 cup milk
Plus ¼ cup of milk for tops of scones
Jam and whipped cream to serve
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  • Lightly dust a baking tray with flour
  • Sift SR flour into a large bowl
  • Rub in butter with fingertips
  • Make a well in the centre
  • Add 1 cup milk
  • Mix with a flat bladed knife until forms a soft dough. Add more milk if need be
  • Knead GENTLY on a lightly floured surface
  • Pat dough into 2 cm thin round
  • Cut out 12 scones (use a cutter or a small glass)
  • Reshape remaining dough and continue to cut out scones (handle dough gently)
  • Pat tops of scone with milk so they brown up
  • Cook for 20-25 mins at 200 deg
  • Cool on a wire rack. Serve with thick whipped cream and jam

    May 9 - Taking Care of Mum

    This meeting fell just prior to Mother's Day so we set it up as a Day Spa with lots of "pampering stations" for Mums. We had nail painting/nail art, eyebrow waxing, foot spas, Simone gave a hand massage demo/lesson so we all tried that out. Morning Tea theme was decadence (lots of yummy treats including the best brownies we have ever tasted from Eileen (recipe to be posted ASAP). The craft activity was lovely Eye Pillows. made out of lovely fabric (pre-sown thankyou Nat) and filled with rice....now we just have to make the time to lay down, place one of these over our eyes and relax.....aaaahhhh

    The following is a copy of the info presented by Michele Hill (Psychologist) as part of the Pampering Day Spa morning.


    There are a large number of relaxation techniques and strategies however in the MOPS session Michele cover some of the quick and easy (yet still very effective) methods of relaxation. She talked us through the strategies and then there was time for further practice if Mum's wished at the Relaxation Station. Mum's were also invited to come and ask questions about relaxation if you wished

    What is Relaxation? Relaxation strategies are powerful tools you can use to cope with or minimise the effects of difficult and stressful situations. These strategies lead to a distinct physiological state that is the distinct opposite of the way your body feels and reacts under stress and tension. You can relax by having a bath, reading a book, going for a walk, getting a massage etc but these strategies go beyond that and have the advantage of being relatively portable and can be used almost anywhere anytime

    Some of the Strategies to Try

    Just stopping and slowing down: Too often we rush and race and don’t savour or enjoy. Sit somewhere nice for that cup of tea and use an actual china cup you like rather than grabbing it and doing 10 things while you gulp it down. Eat at the table with a nice plate and the TV off and savour the meal. Do one task, focus on one thing. Be in the moment. Achieve “FLOW” (art, sport etc flow = total absorption)

    Diaphragmatic Breathing: Place one hand on your belly, just below the navel (belly button). On the inhalation (breathing in) your hand should move away from your body (stomach goes out), on the exhalation (breathing out) your hand should move toward the body. Focus your attention on the movement of your hand. You can do this standing, sitting or lying down. Follow your hand for several breaths. To help re-learn this skill, watch an animal or baby/young child breathing. This is the natural rhythm of breathing but we get lazy and learn to breathe incorrectly from the top part of lungs only and that then becomes habitual

    Equalizing Breathing: Take four seconds to breathe in and four seconds to breathe out. That is, as you inhale (breathe in) count silently to yourself: one . . . two . . . three . . . four. Do the same as you breathe out. Do this for four or five breath cycles. Avoid holding your breath after the inhalation or the exhalation, just smoothly transition from one phase to the other

    Controlled Breathing :This is one of the more simple strategies, but also one of the most effective. In its most basic forms it simply involves taking a slow deep breath in for a count of 3 or 4 seconds through your nose, and then letting that breathe out for a count of 3-4 seconds through your mouth. At the same time, focus your mind on your breathing and repeat the word "relax" quietly to yourself every time you breathe out. Let your breathing flow smoothly. Imagine the tension flowing out of your body each time you breathe out. Continue this way for about 5 minutes.
    10’s and 100’s and Alphabet: Another breathing and counting one. Variation on the old counting sheep method. This one is good for falling asleep if you want to use it for that but also good for relaxing in a stressful awake time. This one involves starting at 100 (or 10 if you want a REALLY quick one) and focus on saying the number to yourself as you slowly and rhythmically breathe in and then breathe out (no number). Say the next number as you breathe in again, counting down (so 99), then breathe out and then 98 (as you breathe in) and then breath out and so on. If you want to add a visual element you can picture the numbers as you say them (maybe floating past, on the backs of a train, on a cloud, on a computer screen etc or you can picture stepping down a step each time you say a number. V v effective for going to sleep if your mind is racing at night. After a few practices of it, it becomes almost instant relaxation as you start it and you won’t make it all the way down to 0 very often. If you do get to zero just start again and cycle through. If your mind wanders and you do find yourself missing a number just start again or pick any number to start from it doesn’t matter. Seems to work better (particularly for sleep) going from 100 down to 0 but can work from 0 to 100 too if you wish. Another variation on this is to go through the alphabet (forwards) particularly if you are finding you are worrying too much about numbers and losing your place.
    Scanning: Starting at the top of your head, mentally work your way slowly down your body noticing what areas are tense and actively releasing tension, allowing those parts to relax, droop, sag, de-knot. May help to think of something scanning your body such as the hand-held metal detectors at the airport as you scan through your body. Good one to do at the lights or when ever you answer the phone etc

    Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) :The main idea of PMR is to breathe nice and slowly as described in the controlled breathing technique, and then also to tense each muscle group in your body, in succession (eg. Working from your head and face, neck and shoulders, arms and hands, abdomen and back, buttocks and thighs, lower legs and feet), as you breathe in and then to let go and relax the muscles as you breathe out. Then give yourself 15-20 seconds to relax, noticing how the muscle group feels when relaxed in contrast to how it feels when tensed, before going on to the next group. Try and stay focused on your muscles as you're working through the exercise. Plenty of CDs/tapes that take you through PMR or you can try and read out instructions to yourself on a tape to follow. Once you know the routine very easy to do without the prompts but they may just help you when getting starting. Initially it may be hard to isolate specific muscles or muscle groups when trying this technique but keep practicing. Doesn’t really matter as long as there is an area of your body that is more tense and then relaxed.
    Isometrics: This involves using opposite muscle pressure (pushing or pulling against t one of your own muscle groups or against an immovable object) to first notice and then release tension. Some examples are a) placing your hand under the sides of your chair and try to lift he chair pulling yourself down into the chair (feel the tension in your arms and shoulders and then release, b) Place your hand on your head (opposite side) and push into it. Feel the tension in your neck and then release c) interlock your fingers in front of you or behind you. Imagine they are stuck together with glue but try to pull them apart anyway. Feel the tension in your chest, arms and shoulder and then release. Try and breathe in as you tense your muscles and out as you relax. Don’t hold your breath. This shouldn’t hurt your muscles or cause pain. If this occurs you are tensing your muscles too hard. Aiming for tension not pain.

    Visual Imagery – Going to your happy place: This involves visualizing (or imagining) yourself in a peaceful, pleasant, relaxing scene such as in a rainforest or by a lake or down by the beach. Somewhere where you have felt relaxed before. The idea is to free yourself from your stressful thoughts and to focus only on pleasant and relaxing thoughts. This sort of works on the same principle of how just thinking about a nice roast (or whatever your favourite meal is) makes you salivate and almost smell and taste it. You get a change in you when you think about it. Also works for sex too (just thinking about sex can create the arousal).,,,,, so similarly actively and deliberately thinking about a particularly peaceful and relaxing place tricks your body into feeling similar feelings. For best results, try and picture the scene in enough detail so that it completely absorbs your attention. Involve all of your senses (ie. imagine not just what you can see, but also what you can feel, hear, smell, touch and taste) so that you can return to this place whenever you want to relax. I often think about hanging in a hammock when camping just swinging in the breeze with a book in hand with just the right amount of sunshine and warmth, a light breeze and the smell and sound of the ocean in the background. Perfect. Works for me. What might work for you??? If you have trouble coming up with your own you can purchase CDs/tapes that take you on a guided journey, basically describing a place for you, usually with quiet ‘relaxation’ music to help set the scene and slow your breathing down

    Relaxation music/CDs: A useful tool. Often set at a pace that slows your heartbeat/matches a resting heartbeat. A lot of classical music is relaxing for this reason, ditto lullabies etc. Gives you something to listen to to block out the world and may help you slow down and switch off. Downside is you cant just pull out and use anywhere not as portable as some of these strategies above

    Troubleshooting Common Problems with Relaxation

    No time: Make time. Plan to practice relaxation at set times and plan in advance where the children are going to be at these times. Place reminders (green spots or post it notes etc around the place to prompt you).These strategies can pretty much be practiced anywhere anytime. Look for moments where you can practice these, in the car, at the lights, while on the loo, cleaning your teeth, standing at the sink or the ironing board, standing in the line at the supermarket, while sitting at your desk. It is a good idea to make it habitual like cleaning your teeth. Ritualise it. Look for anchors or reminders such as every time you change a nappy or stop at red light or answer the telephone

    Not being able to relax/Losing focus/Mind wandering: Practice! Like any new skill the more you practice the better you get at it. You can learn to train your attention. It is within your control. Think of your attention like a torch beam that can be broad (wandering) or narrow (focused). Think about how you can tune in and out of a conversation or TV program or movie dialogue. With practice you can do the same with relaxation. Thoughts will enter your mind. That’s fine. Let them pass and go back to the relaxation task. Some people write down all their thoughts/worries on a notepad before starting relaxation to clear their head. Others use visualisation (thinking in detail about it/forming pictures in your head, using all the senses where possible) to picture any concerns or things that may get in the way of relaxation using a symbol for each issue (so maybe an alarm clock if you are thinking I have to be out of the house by 2.30, a vacuum cleaner if you are thinking about all the housework still to be done, and a computer if you are thinking about all the work you need to do. Then picture a big box/trunk etc, picture yourself opening the box and placing all these issues in the box, shutting the lid and even maybe putting a big lock in the box and placing it out of sight. THEN start the relaxation technique, Another idea is to imagine the thoughts floating by on clouds, or down a stream/river or running past on neon sign. Main thing is to acknowledge the thought but to bring your mind back to the relaxation and focus on that.

    Getting stressed/agitated: It is paradoxical but occasionally some people find they start to get agitated or stressed when trying to relax. This may be as it is very new and different and their body is used to/more familiar being in a ‘wired’ state so much so that this feels “the norm”. Often there is a feeling of being unsafe and vulnerable, of letting your guard down. If this is the case it is a good idea to initially perhaps relax with eyes open, or relax in a place where there are other people you trust or somewhere that you feel safe and more at ease.

    Falling asleep: While you can certainly use relaxation as a very effective way to help you fall asleep at night it is also useful/important to learn to relax your body while in a wakeful state (and to remain awake). Falling asleep while practicing relaxation techniques is usually more of an issue with the longer/deeper methods of relaxation than these brief ones. Obviously falling asleep during relaxation is a sign that you are not getting adequate sleep. So after working on how to improve both sleep quantity and quality (something outside the scope of this handout) try using only the upright methods rather than laying on a bed etc sit in a chair or on the floor or remain standing.

    April 18 - Refuel and Refresh

    Guest Speaker: Josie Thompson spoke on her experience as a mum dealing with Food Additives
    Morning Tea Theme: Healthy/Fresh
    Demonstration: MOPS Mum Teresa H demonstrated fresh juicing (see recipes below)

    Local mum of two Josie Thompson shared on her journey of discovery in the area of Food Additives.

    This process started when her daughter was experiencing some behavioural difficulties and Josie felt prompted to pursue the Failsafe Diet, first eliminating and then re-introducing different food groups/types and food additives in the form of a "challenge" to try and establish what her child reacted to/was sensitive to.

    FAILSAFE stands for Free of Additives, Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavour Enhancers and is Sue Dengate's term for the comprehensive low-chemical, low-reactive exclusion diet formulated by allergists at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia.

    Here is an extract of the information from Josies MOPS presentation.MORE TO BE ADDED UNDER CONSTRUCTION.


    Artificial colours

    102 tartrazine

    132 Indigotine

    104 quinoline yellow

    133 brilliant blue

    110 sunset yellow

    142 food green

    122 carmoisine

    143 fast green

    123 amaranth

    151 brilliant black

    124 ponceau

    155 chocolate brown

    127 erythrosine

    Natural colour

    129 allura red

    160b annato



    200-203 sorbic acids and sorbates

    310-312 gallates
    319 TBHQ

    210-213 benzoic acid and benzoates

    320 BHA
    321 BHT

    220-228 sulphur dioxide and sulphites

    Flavour Enhancers
    620-625 Glutamates. MSG, HVP, HPP

    280-283 propionic acid and propionates

    627 Disodium guanylate
    631 Disodium inosinate

    249-252 nitrates, nitrites

    635 Ribonucleotides

    For more information on Food Additives/Chemicals/Coloring/Flavours, the "Failsafe Diet" and resources such as the books Fed Up and Failsafe Cookbook please click here.

    See this site also for plenty of "FAILSAFE" recipes

    See also 'What is the FAILSAFE diet?"

    We also had one of our MOPS Mums Teresa H do a great demonstration and talk on the benefits of juicing. Here is an extract of her talk xxx to be inserted xxx.

    For more info from Dr Sandra Cabot re juicing see here

    March 28 - Home: A Soft Place to Fall

    Guest Speaker/DVD:
    Morning Tea Theme: Comfort Food
    Craft Activity: Celebration Plates

    Summary to be added. Please check back again

    March 14 - Easter in Your Home

    Guest Speaker: Pastor Lloyd Miller from Maroochy Baptist Church
    Morning Tea Theme: Easter treats
    Craft Activity: Leather Beaded Bookmark
    Here are the notes provided by Ps Lloyd from his talk today.
    Jesus in our homes by Pastor Lloyd Miller from MBC
    Today I want to talk about the topic of ‘Jesus in our Homes’. I know as we all sit here today that we are from all walks of life and levels of faith and spirituality. And that is ok. But as you would know that I am pastor of this church and when it comes to encouraging faith and walk with God, you are kind of speaking to the converted!!!
    If there was ever a need in the world for people to know more of the presence and power of God in their lived and families, now would be the time.
    I believe one of the harders things to do today is to take on the challenge of raising children and holding a family together. It is really tough, Simone and I have three boys, Jordan, Drew and Ashton – 8, 3, and 3 months …and believe me we find it really tough and I know that most of you do too.
    If there is a God and a great and mighty power that is beyond me in the universe and he wants to be part of my life and is offering to help me and us with our families then I’ve got to tell you I have both arms open to receive. I want all the help I can get. And I know for a fact that Jesus can, and will, make a real difference in our lives.
    I want to offer a few tips about how you might encourage Jesus’ presence and power in your family and get to know him and watch him make all the difference in your lives.
    Two verses that I want to share with you from the lips of Jesus:
    Matthew Chapter 11: Verse 28-30 (Bible: New International Version)
    28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
    29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls
    30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.
    Matthew 7:7-8
    7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
    8 For everyone who asks received; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened
    Another scripture says that ‘you don’t have because you haven’t asked for it’.
    Firstly, it is really important that you tell God that you need him in your family. It is important to ask and make it really clear to God and to yourself that this is really impossible without his help! God loves for us to realise that we can only live life the way it was intended, with his awesome help!
    It is ok to offer desperate cries for help; if we lose it and cry out for help we feel that we are less than human; but this is what God intended. (Ps Lloyd gave the example of being very frustrated and at his wits end with one of his children and crying out to God for help with the situation).
    Three Areas: Spiritual, Physical and Emotional
    Some practical tips
    1. Spiritually: When you first come to faith, you invite Jesus to come into your life and Jesus’ presence is only in your life and house as much as you let him (don’t just let him into the foyer, let him into all of your house/life). God needs an invitation; he never crosses our will to choose. The same goes for your family
    1. Pray for Jesus’ presence in your home, seek his presence, his power and his protection
    2. Pray together
    3. Avoid things that oppose his presence. Illustration: Angels in our home. When Ps Lloyd and Simone moved into home concerned about things such as angels etc everywhere. Things not from God.
    i. Trinkets and Idols can carry spiritual influences, be careful that you know the origin and meanings of things (e.g., PNG gods, buddah’s etc)
    ii. Zodiacs, star signs, astrology
    iii. Clairvoyants
    iv. TV programs you watch
    1. Get rid of all doubtful things
    2. Have people pray through your home
    1. Physically/Practically:
      1. Model and live in front of your children that you invite Jesus to be part of your home
      2. Have a quiet time with God/Christ and let your kids know about it
      3. Pray (say Grace) before you eat
      4. Pray with your kids before bed
      5. Demonstrate a living relationship with Jesus, at your best and and your worst (Jordan has said to me at time that ‘You’re not the boss Dad, Jesus is”)
      6. Make church a consistent part of life
      7. Encourage your kids to face their difficulties with God’s help
    1. Emotionally:
      1. Let Jesus be part of the highs as well as the lows
      2. Genuinely care for each other
      3. Show affection to each other
      4. Keep short accounts – ‘don’t let the sun go down while you’re still angry’
      5. Encourage an open spirit, words and actions can OPEN or CLOSE someone’s spirit (see book Gary Smalley’s Homes of Honour). A model for righting a wrong (apologising)
    i. Say sorry for what you have done
    ii. Ask for their forgiveness (will you forgive me)
    iii. Ask if you can have a hug (make physical contact)
    Live as if you expect Jesus to be there, look for his hand in things. Ps Lloyd gave example of having to go away and leave wife Simone home alone with the three boys and not well etc and worried about her and the situation so prayed for Jesus’ hand on things and at the same time a friend turned up unannounced at home to help out with the boys while he was not able to.

    Easter Story Cookies or 'Resurrection Cookies'
    This is a great recipe to make the night before Easter and discuss the Easter story with your children.

    1 cup whole pecans
    1 tsp. vinegar
    3 egg whites
    Pinch of Salt
    1 cup sugar
    Zipper baggie
    Wooden spoon

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important, don't wait till you're half done with the recipe!)

    *Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was Beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

    *Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1tsp vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

    *Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

    *Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

    *So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

    *Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

    *Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.

    *Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.

    *GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

    *On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.

    Read Matthew 28:1-9

    CRAFT: Today we made beaded leather bookmarks. This involved threading beads of our choice onto a strip of leather that had a small trinket (butterfly) attached to one end (butterfly part of this years theme/logo of Home Factor: Start Here Go There). Description/Photo of craft to be added

    Theme Scripture

    Psalm 139

    1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
    2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
    3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
    4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
    5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
    6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

    7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
    8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
    9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
    10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
    11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
    12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

    13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
    17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
    18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand — when I awake, I am still with you.

    19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
    20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
    21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
    22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
    23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

    Annual MOPS Participation Fee

    The annual MOPS Participation Fee of $10 assists MOPS Australia in covering the cost of training for Regional Coordinators to help other MOPS groups to develop around Australia. It also allows more MOPS group leaders around Australia to access regional training.

    This will go a long way to helping MOPS Australia bring MOPS to more Mums around Australia.

    When you register for MOPS each year, you will be handed an Annual Participation Fee form, and we ask that if you are able to pay this $10 participation fee, please do so before the end of April 2011.

    The payment options are...
    1. Direct Debit to MOPS Australia bank account
    2. Credit card
    3. Cheque payable to MOPS Australia
    4. Cash to MOPS@MBC front desk

    Thank you, from the MOPS@MBC team.

    How did MOPS begin?

    It was a Tuesday morning, at about 9.30. They each had faced spilled cereal, tangled hair, and a few had even been forced to change their outfits due to a last-minute baby throw-up on a shoulder or lap. They had driven, or pushed strollers, to the church and had dropped their little ones off in the creche. They had made it!

    And now they sat, knees almost touching, in the circle of children's chairs from the Sunday school room. Hands held hot cups of tea and biscuits in utter freedom because this treat did not have to be shared with a child's sticky fingers. Mouths moved in eager, uninterrupted conversation. Eyes sparkled with enthusiasm. Hearts stirred with understanding. Needs were met.

    That morning in 1973, was the first morning of MOPS, or Mothers of Preschoolers. Little was it known that from this small beginning in a church in Colorado, USA, the seeds of the MOPS concept and format had been planted. The needs of the women were met even then, through the opportunity for friendship, creative outlet and spiritual emphasis. MOPS International now charters approximately 2,500 MOPS groups in churches in the United States and 13 other countries throughout the world.

    How did MOPS begin in Australia?

    How did MOPS begin in Australia?

    Nineteen years later and thousands of kilometres away, the same mutual need for sharing was realised by a group of mums with children under school age in Melbourne. After reading about the MOPS concept in the US, leaders introduced the program to the Clayton Church of Christ Fellowship in early 1990 and MOPS was born in Australia. From this small beginning, the seeds for future growth were planted, resulting in the formation of an affiliated body to support the ever-increasing number of Australian groups and the mums they served.

    Since its formation in June 2000, MOPS Australia, Inc has grown rapidly and there are currently over 100 groups throughout Australia. In the last year alone, 35 new groups have commenced, with groups starting up regularly throughout different Christian denominations. Groups now meet in every state and territory in Australia, with an estimated ministry to approximately 2500 mums and 3000 children.

    How did MOPS begin at MBC?

    A Brief History of MOPS at MBC by Karen Askey-Doran (COordinator of MOPS til 2008 and currently Regional Coordinator).

    In 1999, the leader of MBC’s women’s ministry caught the vision of MOPS. At that time I was a new Mum with little inclination to help; I was interested but not convicted!

    Roughly a year later another meeting was held to generate interest. At this time I had another little baby girl, a 16-month-old toddler and, although I was unaware of it, Post Natal Depression. And once again people were interested but not compelled to lead.

    In 2005 Holly, caught the vision of MOPS and began to sow the seeds of interest throughout the young Mums in our church. Robyn Robertson came to our first meeting and inspired us into action…the seeds Holly planted took hold!

    People came slowly at first to fill the positions, it seemed there were a lot of blanks for a long time! Holly was going to be our Coordinator and when she filled out the charter she realised that a Mother of Preschoolers should really fill that role…. So she called me! Very graciously, Holly took a side step into a Mentoring role (very appropriate really).

    God was moving in our midst, we had been blessed with an inspired team of 15 Mops Leaders and 9 Moppets Leaders, each one having a testimony about how God had lead them to this ministry!

    I suspect that God has big plans for our group. I still feel very inadequate sometimes but I do trust God and I want to serve him and to reach out to Mums who are hurting, to support them. I want to encourage, you know, to build up… to make a difference in people’s lives, especially my children’s!

    I know I’m not alone… In Romans 8:28 it says “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” He planned for my girls, my twins, my battle with PND. He planned for MOPS - at this time - in our church! The door has literally been flung open!

    What happens at a MOPS meeting?

    When a mum enters a MOPS meeting, she is greeted by a friendly face and escorted to MOPPETS, where her children enjoy their special part of the MOPS program. In MOPPETS, children from infancy through to school age experience a caring environment while they learn, sing, play and make crafts.

    Once her children are settled, the MOPS mum joins a program tailor-made to meet her needs. She can grab something to eat and not have to share it! She can finish a sentence and not have to speak in words of two syllables!

    The program typically begins with a brief lesson taught by an older mum who's been through the challenging years of mothering and who can share from her experience and from the truths taught in the Bible. Then the women move into small discussion groups where there are no "wrong answers" and each mum is free to share her joys and struggles with other mums who truly understand her feelings. In these moments, long-lasting friendships are often made on the common ground of finally being understood.

    From here, the women participate in a craft or other creative activity. For mums who are often frustrated by the impossibility of completing anything in their unpredictable days, this activity is deeply satisfying. It provides a sense of accomplishment and growth for many mums.

    Because mums of preschoolers themselves lead MOPS, the program also offers women a chance to develop their leadership skills and other talents. It takes organisation, creativity, and management skills to run a MOPS program successfully.

    By the time they finish the MOPS meeting and pick up their children, the mums feel refreshed and better able to mother. MOPS helps them recognise that mums have needs too! And when they take the time to meet those needs, they find they are more effective in meeting the needs of their families.

    Meeting the needs of Mothers of Preschoolers

    The MOPS program is dedicated to meeting the needs of mothers of preschoolers. These needs have been identified by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall in their book, What Every Mum Needs:

    The need for Identity: Sometimes I'm not sure who I am

    The need for Growth: Sometimes I long to develop who I am

    The need for Relationship: Sometimes I long to be understood

    The need for Help: Sometimes I need to share the load

    The need for Perspective: Sometimes I lose my focus

    The need for Hope: Sometimes I wonder if there's more to life

    Here's How Some Mums Describe MOPS

    "MOPS means that I am able to share the joys and frustrations and insecurities of being a mum. Our meetings provide the opportunity to hear someone else say, "I was up all night," or "They're driving me crazy!"

    MOPS mum, Perth

    "As a single mum, this is the first group I've felt accepted in for who I am."

    MOPS mum, Canberra

    'On my first day at MOPS, I knew my life had changed forever! The women made me feel so relaxed. I had a peace I hadn't felt for a long time. They were so caring, pleasant, helpful…the list goes on! I just want to say, "Thank you MOPS!" If it weren't for MOPS, I wouldn't be where I am today.'

    MOPS mum, Melbourne

    'When I first started MOPS, I was very, very lonely. MOPS gave me a chance to get out of the house which I was grateful for. The talks were very informative. I found out a lot through these talks. My problems seemed to become smaller. When I first started at MOPS, I thought I was a Christian. I wasn't. Through MOPS I can now say, 'I am a Christian.' MOPS to me is not only Mothers of Pre Schoolers, but My Own Private Salvation!'

    MOPS mum, Canberra