Dialogic Reading & Creating a Literacy Rich Home

On February 27, 2018 we had the privilege of hearing Janice Johannesen, LSW speak to our MOPS group about dialogic reading. She focused on sharing ways that we, as mothers, can help create a literacy rich environment within our homes. Check out this sweet note she sent that includes some additional resources:

Grace MOPS moms,

I want to start by saying thank you so much for the privilege of coming and talking at your group this morning. Like I mentioned before, your group has a special place in my heart and it was an honor to give back to a group that has blessed my life.
I hope you found my presentation on dialogic reading enjoyable and useful. I wanted to give you all some more resources that you can go to for making your home a literacy rich environment. Some of my favorites are:
And for those moms who were asking me about Intermountain Christian School, here is our website, www.intermountainchristian.org. Both Jennifer and myself would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have as moms of students and employees of ICS.
Janice Johannesen, LSW
Early Childhood Teacher
Intermountain Christian School
Jennifer Adema



palm tree

Psalm 92:12

The righteous man will flourish like a palm tree.

God compares us to many things in the scriptures:  salt, mustard seed, light, etc.  Today we are going to look at PS 92:12 where we are compared to palm trees.  Why does God do this?  So we can better understand what HE desires for His children.

Let’s look at three qualities of a palm tree.

  1. GROWTH- A palm tree is known for their long life.  To flourish like palm trees means to stand tall and live long.  A palm tree never grows wild.  It has to be planted with intensive care.  It has an internal column of living tissue protected by it’s bark.  The bark can be bruised or cut but you cannot kill it.  With the tissue protecting underneath, the palm tree grows to the sky.   Our outward man is like the bark of the palm tree.  It can be abused and battered by many circumstances of life, but with much patience, perseverance, determination and feeding on God’s word and staying on our knees in prayer, we can grow in Christ.  II Peter 3:18
  1. USES- The palm tree has over 200 uses.  Wood, rope, textiles, mats, brooms, hats, food and rubber are just a few.  One use of the palm tree branches is found in John 12:12-13, where the people laid across Jesus’ path as HE made HIS triumphal entry into Jerusalem right before HIS crucifixion.  In comparison:  we yearn to be used by God in different ways:  to feed others, teach, reconcile, love and many other things.  The palm tree does not wither because it’s roots are deep.  We need to have deep roots in our Christian life to be strong.  We need to go deep and stay connected to HIM and trust God and grow stronger.  With these deep roots, a palm tree can bow and be tossed about in a storm, but won’t break.  CHRIST strengthens us in the storms of life that we face and can teach us to flourish, fiercely.
  1. FRUIT- In contrast with many fruit trees, the palm tree’s fruit is much sweeter when it is older. So should it be with us.  The more we mature in our Christian life, the more bountiful and sweet should be the fruit we bear as a result of a life in Christ Jesus.  Because of our life in Jesus Christ, we can flourish as we come along side of other women, who may not know Christ as Savior and Lord and we can share HIM with them.  1:10-12.  The pulp of the palm tree gives off oil when heated.  This is used in soaps and lotions.  When we find ourselves in the furnace of affliction, God wants to use us to be a healing balm to others.  They may be going through the same thing and we can be there to help them through it.  Fruits of the Spirit:  Gal.5: 22-23

Conclusion:  You may be bent over by the force of winds, but get up.   You may be bent, but you’re not broken.  Your roots are grounded in the word of the Almighty GOD, continually growing stronger as the storm rages on.  Don’t lose your peace or joy.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and have that FIERCE FLOURISHING that only HE can give.

Devotional By:


Mentor Mom – Martha Rudd

A Year to Fiercely Flourish

Hello moms! As we are about to begin MOPS 2015-2016 “A Fierce Flourishing” Year, I have been reflecting on how this theme applies to my life as a mom and what it really means to Embrace Rest, Notice Goodness and Celebrate Lavishly so ultimately I could Flourish as a woman, a mom, and a wife.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t really know how to apply this to my life. I didn’t quite “get it”. It seemed like MOPS was stretching it to make it work, but what I didn’t realize, that I myself needed to actually put the 3 points of this years theme in to practice. It wasn’t until then, that I finally understood what this theme really means and how much I’m blessed by it!

As I have been reflecting on these 3 points of rest, noticing goodness and celebration, I realized how often I have filled my time with things that really don’t matter and how many times I have missed the point.  There have been many parties and celebrations that I have spent tons of time being busy by perfecting the plans, and decor that by the time the party rolls around, I’m too tired to actually enjoy it.

Being the mom of 2 boys, soon to be 3, I have realized that children really do grow quickly.  My oldest began Kindergarten this year. This major milestone in his life snuck up out of NO WHERE.  Where did the time go?  Where did my little baby boy go? He now proudly goes to school and I feel the ties that binds him to me begin to unwind as he takes steps forward to one day becoming an adult, a man, who I hope I haven’t failed or forgotten to teach him something important or valuable.  As I prepare myself for the birth of #3, I look at my soon to be middle child and cannot believe that he is my wild, independent little boy who soon will no longer be my “baby”.

They are only little once and it is for such a short time, I need to stop and embrace this time with them, to take ques from them and live life with unabashed celebration like they do (well, maybe not quite like they do because for them, it sometimes includes running through the house naked).  But by slowing down to stop and rest, to notice all the good things in life and to celebrate all the big and little daily events.

Soaking up these moments with my boys, the seasons of life that can sometimes seem mundane and monotonous, these are the important ones.  It isn’t a time to be running around with our checklists of perfection, or lists of daily activities that must be done that I barely have time to notice the beautiful rainstorm or sunset, the thoughtfulness of my oldest when he brings me a flower to put in my hair (really?!? how can you not stop for that?).

I remember a time when I was in college, I realized one day, that I had been so busy with my classes, 4 to 6 hour science labs and training for Track and Field that I hadn’t stopped to notice the clouds in the sky…the clouds!  When did we allow ourselves to get this busy in life? Do you remember a time where you just stopped the craziness and just enjoyed simple things like clouds?!?  I do, and it was a long time ago.

It is really easy for us moms to fill our time with lots of activity and then end up missing the precious moments in life, like the unplanned moments with our kids that can only happen when we have actually stopped in our busyness and hear their little voice say the funniest things or run around with joy that we have forgotten how to do ourselves because we are too busy to let loose.  Let this new MOPS year break down the walls of rigidity and planning in your life, so we can all Embrace rest, Notice the Good and Celebrate in ways we have forgotten or never experienced before, so we can FLOURISH in who we were created to be!  Take the challenge this year to stop the craziness by Embracing Rest so you can Notice the Good things in life and once you do those things, you will be able to Celebrate life Lavishly!

Andrea Madison GCBC MOPS Coordinator

Andrea Madison,  GCBC MOPS Coordinator

Passion Week

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Passion Week, in which we we observe, worship and celebrate the events that lead up to Christs death on the cross for our sins and defeated death by His Resurrection.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life.  Romans 6:23

This past MOPS meeting, we celebrated Easter by reviewing the events that unfolded over Passion Week and we encourage you to follow through these Passion Week passages that tell the story of the events leading to Christs death on the cross and his resurrection.

Helping our children understand that there is SO much more to Easter than the Easter Bunny is an important role we as parents have.  Focus on the Family has a lot of tools that we can use to assist us in this.  For smaller children, who think so literally, and are visual, making Resurrection Rolls or Resurrection cookies is a great activity to illustrate Christs death and resurrection