We enjoyed a fantastic end to our MOPS year with a Fierce Fiesta on Friday, May 6!! Jeri also put together a wonderful slideshow of our year – so fun to see the good times we’ve had. Have a great summer and we hope to see you in the fall!!
Our fierce flourishing theme took us today to helping our homes and cooking flourish. We painted mason jars and planted herbs in them – so cute and colorful! Thanks to Home Depot Park Meadows for donating the plants. See the recipe below that calls for rosemary, one of the herbs planted. We had this with Easter dinner and the fresh rosemary made all the difference.
Corn and Potato Gratin with Rosemary (from Colorado Classique cookbook by the Junior League of Denver)
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
2 C fresh corn kernels (3-4 ears) or frozen, thawed
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 C 1/2-inch diced red skin potatoes, not peeled (about 2/3 lb)
1 C chopped onions
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 C half-and-half
1 1/2 C Gruyere cheese, grated and divided
rosemary sprigs for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp oil and butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. Add corn and saute 6 min or until golden brown. Remove corn and set aside. Return skillet to medium heat and add 3 Tbsp oil. When oil is hot, add potatoes and onions. Saute, stirring constantly, for about 8 min. Remove from heat and stir in corn, rosemary, salt and cayenne. In a large bowl, whisk together half-and-half and eggs. Add corn mixture and half of the cheese. Stir well and transfer to a greased shallow 2-quart baking dish. Bake on center rack for 25 min. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and bake 20 min longer. Garnish with rosemary sprigs before serving. Gratin can be made a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Reheat at 300 degrees for 30 min.
And GAME NIGHT!
Despite the snow, Moms and Pops Game Night was on Saturday night and a great time was had by all who braved the roads! Many thanks to Vanessa and Diego for their fantastic games, organizing and hosting. We joined with the Pax Christi group and had good, friendly competition with one team coming from behind to win at the last minute! So fun to spend time with the hubbies too.
Happy Spring fellow MOPsters! Our new topic for the month of April is Embracing Rest: Caring for our Body and Soul Through Exercise. To start us off we had an inspirational speaker, Corinne Baur, author of Running By THE BOOK. After feeling so connected to God while running, she began writing down her thoughts when she got home. This developed into a race training program book (for half marathon and 10K races) that correlates with a Bible study each week. Here’s some of what she had to share with us today:
–Find the time to exercise and do a type of exercise you enjoy. You will be happier, have more energy, sleep better and likely try to eat better once you incorporate exercise into your life.
–Include your family, either by exercising with them or helping them see how important this is to you. It sets a great example for your kids to see you exercising.
–Give your spouse time to exercise and be supportive of that, and ask the same of him.
–Benefits of exercise: controls weight, combats health conditions/disease (such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, metabolic syndrome, depression), boosts your energy level, promotes better sleep.
–The pros of exercise have to outweigh the cons to really make it part of your life. Motivation comes first, then consistency and priority next.
–What motivates you?:
:My family – be there for them when you’re healthier, kids follow our example, become an exercising family
:My friends – exercising can be a social time, for example running with friends, feeling motivated by each other
:Alone time – connect to God, time to think
:Scary wake up call – a health crisis
–Practical ways to apply your motivation:
:create accountability – for example, Corinne shares a personal trainer with friends who count on her to be there for financial reasons and support. Put a race or a fitness class on the family calendar to help with accountability.
:set tangible, realistic goals
:involve your family
:make it FUN!
:reward yourself (ideally not with food although that’s OK sometimes! Maybe get a pedicure or a new workout top)
–We can’t separate the physical from the spiritual (Genesis 2:7). Both need to be exercised and strengthened.
There are no shortcuts to growth, both physical and spiritual. Both take work and both are worth it! Same with marriage and raising kids.
–Find joy in the race!! “Therefore…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 ESV)
You can find out more about Corinne and her powerful message at:
Coming up this weekend is a fun event at Littleton Ballet Academy, a Fairy Godmother Tea. It’s on Sunday, March 13 from 1:00-2:30pm. See the picture below for details. Littleton Ballet Academy is located at 1169 W. Littleton Blvd, Littleton, phone # 303-794-6694. Sounds like a sweet outing!
Also coming up in April is the Cinderella ballet at the Lone Tree Arts Center! Christene’s daughter is an amazing dancer and she will be part of this show. We’re going to try to get a group together to go with discounted tickets – we’ll discuss at our next meeting. Take a look at the dates/times below and see if any will work for you. I know my daughters will be excited to see it!
At our March 4 meeting, we welcomed Anna Cejka, a clinical health psychologist. Her topic was “Raising our Children to Flourish,” and she gave us many excellent tips, strategies and scientific ideas to help us help our children grow up safe, healthy and happy.
She says we should parent with the “3 Cs” approach:
CALM: Calm yourself down first.
CONNECT: Listen to and understand what your child is trying to communicate. Label their emotion. (Ex: “You’re feeling sad that you lost your special toy.”)
CORRECT: “It is not OK to hit when you are angry. You can stomp your feet, punch a pillow or take deep breaths to calm down. Do you want me to help you?”
Anna said often we fall into a habit of CORRECTING first, but we should focus on that after CALMING and CONNECTING.
Anna said our main tasks as parents are:
- To love and encourage without conditions.
- To set consistent expectations and limits and develop healthy routines.
- To help them build confidence through autonomy.
My biggest takeaway was that no parent is perfect, but we can strive to incorporate healthy parenting habits as often as possible into our lives. And if we do make an error or lose our cool, we can “redo” the situation by apologizing, sharing our feelings and growing with our children.
Anna also passed out a great handout called “The Science of Raising Happy Kids.” You can find that handout here: http://www.happify.com/hd/the-science-of-raising-happy-kids/
Anna Cejka can be reached at 720-507-5502 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.