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

Giving Back: Backpacks for Foster Care

Yesterday at MOPS we held our annual Service Project Meeting and put together backpacks for children who are removed from homes in emergency situations and enter into the Utah Foster Care system. Now 30 children will receive a backpack that we hope will show them that they are loved and cared for, that they will make it through this situation, and that they matter. God calls us to love the least among us (Matthew 25:40) and to care for the orphans among us (James 1:27, Deuteronomy 14:29), and this was such an amazing way to do just that.

As women, there are many things that pull at our heartstrings and call us to take action in life. From the moment when we first become a mother, our inner “mama bear” is awoken within us and we begin to truly understand the depth of passion and love we have for not only our own little ones, but also others that are in need. Through this passion as moms we get to rise up and take action to show a small token of love to children who are in tough and difficult situations that we hope and pray they never have to experience again.

The Foster Care system is something that we almost all know by name and a small snippet of what they do, but we don’t necessarily know all that is involved in placing children in a – hopefully – loving home. We are so thankful to Timi, one of our Sandy MOPS mamas, who opened up and shared about her experience with fostering her two littlest children (that ultimately led to her amazing adoption stories and those two little lives being changed for the better forever!).

If you are interested in learning more about fostering because you have felt a tugging on your heartstrings: perhaps you feel that God is calling you to care for the orphans among us in an even bigger way, please visit utahfostercare.org for more information about how to become a foster parent or to get involved in respite care.

Becoming a foster parent isn’t for everyone but, as Timi shared with us, there is still such a need for support for families of foster children. When a child is placed in a new home we can support that family by providing meals or setting up and completing an Amazon Wish List. No matter the age of the child, and no matter how long they may be with that family in their home, the family still has a period of adjustment (much like bringing a newborn baby home from the hospital!). The love and support we can show these families is one small way we can care for those in need and the orphans among us.

Thank you all the Women at Sandy MOPS who donated and gave of time and resources to make this service project a success. You are all amazing women who are world changers.

Better Moms. Better World.

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Meeting Recap


Hello Ladies,

It has been a great start to the year.  I have been super busy and unfortunately when I get super busy somethings have to fall off my ever balancing plate and this time it was the MOPS Blog.  I know it’s a bummer because I want this to be a great resource to you!

Today’s devotional was given by Andrea Madison and it focused on one of the sub themes for “We are the Starry Eyed”: Wonder.  MOPS International’s explanation of this aspect of our theme can be seen in this video which was shown during the meeting and you can see it here. Wonder, which by definition means: “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable” can be tied together with the verse Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will show you great and unsearchable things”. Andrea reminded us that we are so busy as moms that we sometimes forget to slow down, pause and look at all the beauty and all the wonder-filled world around us, just as our children do.  They are  not busy running around tied to lists and deadlines, they are pausing and enjoying the world around them, looking at bugs, the clouds, flowers and wondering about all things new.  We need to be more like this.  Over the last several years MOPS International keeps talking about living life with “reckless abandon” and until recently, Andrea struggled to really grasp what that looks like in one’s life, until she was at Cornbelly’s this past weekend and was watching her son, JJ, rolling around and playing on the bounce bubble.  He was laying in the sand doing sand angels with pure happiness and joy.  This was the perfect picture of wonder and reckless abandon that we all need to strive for in our lives.

This week’s verse is: Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

We also received the photo directory.  If you did not receive your copy please let your table leader know and we can get you one!  This will not be published on the website as your privacy is our priority and our new web-server does not offer a way to password protect it.

A few announcements:

Brandie had her baby girl, Caroline, and was at MOPS!  Congratulations and you go girl!

We have a Mom’s Night Out on Saturday.  You can find an evite here, if you missed it in your email.

The church youth hosts a Fall Festival, it is a ton of fun and it is indoors!  This year it is on Monday Oct 24th.

You can find all the information in the October newsletter.

We speed friended today.  Feel free to answer a few of the questions in the comments below and see who you have things in common with:

1-What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
2-What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a mom?
3-What surprised you most about being a mom?
4-Where would you go on  your dream vacation?
5-What is one of your best memories from your childhood?
6-If you weren’t raising your children as you are now, what would you be doing?
7-Where did you and your husband meet?
8-What is your perfect date night?
9-Out of all the wonderful qualities you love about your husband, which one do you hope your children inherit?
10-What cartoon do you hate most that your kids love?
11-What is one thing you would like to learn?
12-What would you do if you had an hour to yourself with out your children.

I hope to see you all at the Mom’s Night out on Saturday at 7pm!



Meeting Recap 1-26: Fiercely Safe

Michelle Sitz started off our meeting with a wonderful devotional about mom guilt.  She talked about how we have numerous opportunities to be critical of ourselves and we set unrealistic expectations.  She discussed turning off the receptors and doing something different.  Ask your family what are their need and ask them how they can help meet their own needs.

Two versus to meditate on are

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31).

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

Michelle ended with “Meditate on the good when everything seems against you!”

For our meeting Jeff Rudd and Jen Swenson talk to us about how to protect our children.  Jeff provided handouts for reference to his CPR demonstration.  You can find them below:




The biggest take away from Jeff’s lesson was to start compressions immediately on a child: 15 compressions and 2 breaths.  On an adult call 911 and then start compressions: 30 compressions and 2 breaths.  You do not want to stop compressions longer than 10 seconds and your goal is for 120 compressions a minute.

Jen Swenson, Table leader for Abound, who is also a doctor talked to us about simple first aid.  First and foremost is to stay calm.  If you are calm; they will be calm.  If you are freaking out; they will be freaking out.  Next, if the are cut: wash the wound, place a bandage on it, and apply pressure.  If the bleeding stops within 20 minutes there is probably no need for stitches.  If a child has second degree burn (meaning with blisters) wrap it loosely and seek medical attention. For a nose bleed pinch the bridge of the nose and lean forward.

Jenn shared with us about a time when they were on vacation and Harper swallowed a pill.  Even though she is a doctor she called the Poison control hotline 800.222.1222.  They have the data base immediately available to tell you what to look for and what to do if your child has ingested something.  So go ahead and program it into your phone and never be afraid to call.  (You will get an answer from them way faster than google.) And more than likely they will give you a follow up call to make sure everything is okay.


Thank  you so much Jeff and Jen for sharing your knowledge with us!

Meeting Recap 1/12/16

Hey Ladies,

If you missed the meeting on Tuesday; here are the announcements:

January 19 Mom’s Night Out: Dinner and a movie.  See Evite.

January 26 Next Meeting (further discussion of our service project for 2016)

Feb 6 Family Valentine’s Party being held at the church – Kids will get to make a cookie.

There are opportunities available on leadership.  If you are interested please talk to someone on steering so that we can arrange for you to come to one of the leadership meetings so you can get a better idea of how things run in the background.

Feb Meetings 12 and 26th

Feb 19 Playdate at Curiosity Museum (several moms have membership which allow them to get an unlimited number of people in for half off)  If cost is an issue please talk to someone on leadership.  If  you need a ride let someone know and we can make arrangements.


As for our meeting this week:  you missed our new Junior Mentor Mom Jenn Hatch discussing new year resolutions.

Jenn became a grandmother on January  6 to Sawyer Mei Shelton.  And like most grandma’s she things she is the most beautiful baby.   She has three children: Michael (24), Jaxon (6), Elayna (5).  She was the coordinator of this MOPS group two years ago and stepped away to finish her Associate of Science in Sociology.  She graduated in the spring and is so glad to be back mentoring to us.


Here are some words from Jenn:

Sometimes we need a new perspective to flourish, celebrate lavishly, embrace rest, and recognize the goodness in our lives.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans” (Proverbs 16:3)

It seems like there is always change happening in my life, whether it’s the beginning or end of the year. Changes in jobs, ministries, housing, location, friends, and even schedules. Change can be hard and uncomfortable. But everything healthy goes through change. As you look ahead to the coming year I challenge you to be open  to change. But we also must do our part to create change.  Changes that will benefit our life and impact our health – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. One thing that is for sure is that this year is going to go by fast and we will either come out better, worse or the same. We also cannot change on our own we need God’s help. This is why many New Year’s Resolutions do not last past January because you are trying to do them alone.  Ask for help. Find an accountability partner. Pray.

If you’re looking for changes to better yourself and flourish this year, here are some great ideas to get you started.

Practice Being Present

The past few years have brought huge changes in our lives with the introduction of the latest and greatest technology.  We’re all totally “connected” every single moment of the day. But often times, our connection to the inanimate trumps our connection to the intimate. We’ve sort of lost the art of connecting to real people in real life. This year, consider setting your phone aside a little more, in exchange for more of real life. Instead of always catching the moment for Instagram, be deliberate about soaking in and savoring the moment simply for yourself.

Start a Bucket List

So often in life we wait around for the milestones of life, not realizing that every step of the journey holds value and significance. So stop waiting around for the next big thing, and start living life by creating a bucket list for yourself this year. As you’re planning it out, don’t just think extravagant (thought that’s always fun), but think meaningful as well: schedule an interview with a grandparent to glean their wisdom, share Jesus with an unbelieving friend, sponsor a compassion child, invite someone to church, or get creative with random acts of kindness. Whatever it is, stop waiting and start living. Create a meaningful life by doing meaningful things.

Get Involved in Community

One of the most meaningful things you can invest in this year is people. The concept of community is such an important part in the life of a Christian because it is in the context of our relationships that we have the opportunity to learn how to five and receive love. Take initiative, have the courage to be vulnerable, and get involved in community like never before this coming year. We weren’t meant to do this life alone, so let’s not.

Be Actively Generous

We can all afford to be more generous. And generosity is such an important thing to foster, because it really shapes the condition of our heart.  The more we can give to God, the world around us, and those in need, the more we realize that the most valuable things are not our possessions, but the sharing of our possessions. Open your heart and learn to give this year. Because where your treasure is, there your heart will be as well.

Plug into Ministry

What are the talents and passions God has gifted you with, and how are you using those talents for him? That’s an important question to answer in your pursuit of becoming the person God made you to be. Whether or not you realize it, you have so much to offer the world around you. And as you give you will quickly learn that service is actually sort of “hedonistic” because it truly feels better to give than to receive.

Be more Active

Even in our 20’s and 30’s, we could all use a little more physical health and fitness in our lives (um…especially those of us in our 40s). Whether that means joining a gym (and not just through February), running a marathon (maybe start with a 5k), parking at the end of the lot and walking the rest of the way, taking the stairs at work, or eating healthier foods – take inventory of your life and examine the changes that need to be made as you strive to honor God with your body more this year.

Dig Into God’s Word

This one is for me this year. I really want to dig into God’s word in a new way. I am desiring to see God’s words with new eyes and an open heart.  Sometimes, in our familiarity of God’s word, it can seem to grow stale.  But the problem  isn’t with  his word, it’s with our heart.  Commit to feasting on God’s words this year, asking for transformation in your life.  Because there’s nothing more satisfying than blocking out the noise of this world, and instead being filled with his Truth.

Emotional/Relational Goals

Colossians 3:12-13 says ” Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Often we need to work on emotional issues or strained relationships, but continually avoid doing so because of the difficulties involved.  Consider goals in the following areas:

  1. Forgiveness – Decide to extend the gift of forgiveness for an old hurt. You’ll gain a new sense of freedom because you no longer carry a grudge.
  2. Patience – practice patience win areas where you are historically impatient.

Whether you take on just one or even all of these challenges, may we all strive to make this year the best one we’ve ever lived.

Jenn also gave us a worksheet so we can fill it out and have a visual reminder of our goals to help us all Flourish in 2016.   You can find it here.  The remainder of the meeting was spent discussing the M & M game at your table.The newsletter also has an article Five ways to flourish as a Mom and age appropriate goal setting tips for children.  If you missed it, you can read it here.

See you at the next meeting on  January 26th