Spring Service Project

23 Apr

This semester MomTime is supporting the efforts of Babies of Juarez by collecting formula and diapers. Formula can be powdered, premixed, freebies from the pediatrician’s office, purchased at the store, name-brand, generic, even expired! Diapers can be in various sizes, name-brand, generic, samples, or full boxes.

Why are we collecting these items? The Babies of Juarez organization distributes to women and children in need, who without donations, would spot-clean and reuse a single diaper for up to a week because they can’t afford to buy more; or would succumb to the high infant mortality rate due to malnutrition.

Read more on their website: http://babiesofjuarez.org/

A representative from their organization will come to MomTime on May 1 to tell us more about their efforts in Juarez and to collect the supplies donated by our members. In the meantime, please start stockpiling any samples you receive and/or buy some formula and diapers to bring in May.

If you have any questions, please contact our Service Project Coordinator, Francine Mugge.

“Prayer: The Heart’s Language” on April 3, 2015

15 Apr

Sandy Prouty, Minister of Children and Families at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church facilitated and spoke on the topic of prayer the Good Friday before Easter.  It was an intimate group due to coinciding spring break, according to Beth Ball who took wonderful notes on the day’s discussion.

Mom Time members discuss prayer

Mom Time members discuss prayer

Prayer was explored with a view to reflect on our own honest perspectives and to consider the perspectives of our children. One theme was to think about different forms of prayer from traditional, personal, active, and child-inpired and ways to add prayer in our lives.  The group was encouraged to work on writing and drawing personal prayer with art materials, as pictured above. Sandy stressed the importance principle of “no rules to prayer practice”, adding that we should expand and explore with our own children. One can encourage spontaneity as in singing a little song, saying blessings aloud for those we meet, or while driving, for example, when an an ambulance passes with sirens blaring and lights flashing we can ask our children to join us in blessing those who may be hurt, before meals and bedtime, among other situations.

Sandy used Scripture to open the topic.  On concerning prayer, she read the from Matthew 6: 5-13 (New Revised Standard or NRSV).  Verses 9-13: “Pray then in this way”:  Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.”

She shared many quotes and meaningful stories from various sources.  Here are some:

  • “I do not know much about God and prayer, but I have come to believe…that there’s something to be said about keeping prayer simple.  Prayer is private, even when we pray with others. It is communication from the heart to that which surpasses understanding. Let’s say it is communication from one’s heart to God.” -Anne Lamott from Help, Thanks, Wow
  • “Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays” -Soren Kierkegaard
  • “Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them” – Mahalia Jackson
  • “Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of  your thankful thoughts.” -Alan Cohen
  • “There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.” – John Wooden
  • “I do believe we’re all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world. And I believe in taking care of each other.” – Harvey Fierstein
  • “Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.”  -Mahatma Gandhi

The speaker expanded the discussion to include explaining the Easter story, facing challenges and losses in life, prayers of Supplication (requests), and sin.  On the topic of sin, Sandy explained that the term sin originates from archery, meaning “missing the target”.  We should think of it as making an error, and to encourage children and ourselves to try again.  This concept helps us understand God’s unconditional love.

Sandy also brought up how nature can help kids understand, with certainty, their place in the world.  She gave the example of how amazing trees are able to withstand great adversity in the environment such as great storms, draught, wind, etc, all while staying rooted, much they way we may face adversity and stay rooted in who we are.

The meeting ended with reflective time where members were encouraged to work on writing personal prayers or expanding on a known prayer that has already has meaning to us.  It was a meaningful and thoughtful morning.

Spring 2015, Announcements

26 Mar

MomTime’s Spring Calendar: Mark Your Calendars

  • Run Like Mothers- MomTime’s running moms have formed a team race in the Colfax Marathon on Sunday, May 17. Currently, MomTime has one team, but would welcome more runners.  Thus far, Linda, Miriam, Jen N, Pam, and Chris are running a relay team.  If there is interest, we may form two, maybe three teams.  Up for discussion, is the probable future sponsorship of a charity to help further one mission of MomTime: to help the wider community. Contact Jennifer Nutter for more details.  Come and support the team.  For more information on the race: www.runcolfax.org
  • The Spring Social is Saturday, May 30 at the home of Haley Figueroa.  Book your sitters!  This event is a fun gathering intended for MomTime members and their spouses.  Check your inbox for details via e-vite.
  • Spring Bake Sale is coming.  The date is TBD, most likely a Sunday in May or early June.  Funds will sponsor our Spring Service Project.
  • Summer Camping Trip is August 14-15 at Elk Creek Campgrounds near Grand Lake.  Reserve your spot now. Spaces are limited. Check back here soon for a link.

Ongoing Momtime Events

Mom’s Night Out- orMNO” ( as known by regulars) meets the second Thursday evening of the month, is organized by Miriam Morrison.  Check your inbox for details.

Lunch Bunch is a group of members who meets  midweek the last week of the month at noon. Linda Beardsley is the coordinator for this gathering.

  • Monday, 4/27 Lunch Bunch will meet at Devil’s Food in Wash Park.  See www.devilsfooddenver.com
  • 5/27 is the May date, location tbd

Dad’s Night Out ( “DNO”) is organized by Chris Beardsley.  This group is for spouses of MT members to get together usually on the first Thursday evening of the month.  Please contact Chris: cbeardsley@gmail.com to have your husband added to the distribution list.

Working Moms That Make It Work, A Panel Discussion

21 Mar

A trio of Mom Time members led a panel discussion on the rewards and challenges of working while being a mom.

The panel consisted of Shaylisa Turner a Broker Associate at PorchLight, Susan Bross an Independent Consultant on Nonprofit Leadership and Fundraising, and Anna Clark formerly of Neva Meetings and Events, Stella & Dot stylist and soon-to-be Senior Manager of Special Events at Children’s Hospital Foundation.

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The overwhelming theme that underlined the informal discussion was finding the right balance in dividing energies and attention.

Susan Bross introduced the topic stressing a key to balance for her has been to strive to align one’s values with our daily tasks.  She suggested making a list of 20 values that one would like to manifest in our lives, and then to check the alignment of our allotted time and attention with those goals in mind.  She wisely suggested “quieting the noise” around us that informs our functioning in arenas as broad as our parenting, cooking, crafting ( or not! ) to advancing careers and professional development. Her thought is that the more we can focus on our own voice, the more closely our actions will reflect those core values.  In other words, let your authentic voice guide you.

Anna Clark gave a narrative of her work, mothering, and spousal identities that are really intertwined.  A given identity informs another.  She gently discussed the importance of timing in childrearing and career advancement.  Anna said,  “I feel that I ‘launched my young children’ through kindergarten” by being a stay-at-home mom for five years while working from home as a stylist for Stella and Dot.  The consultant-stylist form of work allowed her to volunteer as the room mom, to serve as a chairperson for the complex fundraising event (Touch a Truck) for her children’s school, and to generally be present at home.  As the kids have grown, she stressed that the readiness and challenges of returning to a full-time position surprised her. She peppered her talk with her broad adventures in everything from having started her own business to preparing to transition to a major fundraising role for a regional institution.

Shaylisa Turner reviewed her career biography which began with her studies in political science which she dovetailed into a full-time career in fundraising for political campaigns.  She was involved in financing  for successful state senatorial (Ken Salazar) and gubernatorial (Bill Ritter) elections.  She served as a civic leader under Bill Ritter, a position she really enjoyed.  She described deciding to transition away from fundraising into a more flexible position as a real estate broker.  Her new role as real estate broker allows her to help people through one of the most important decisions: ” deciding where we live shapes everything”.  This writer (Jenny McGinn) had the pleasure of traveling around the Denver Metro Area as far afield as Longmont to Evergreen and back while she showed my parents a wide array of choices.  She never wavered in patience and enthusiasm.  Shaylisa stresses the importance of building a network of support in order to balance one’s parenting a career endeavors.  She talked about having found a mentor early on in her political career, then tapping into support offered in her neighborhood and here at Mom Time.  Her role as a real estate broker is instrumental in providing a flexible work environment, one that allows her to complete work goals in transit, off the traditional time table, with the kids in tow, if needed.

Pictured here from left: Shaylisa Turner, Susan Bross, and Anna Clark

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“Truth and Lies: Turning Conflict Into Connection” by Hilary Silver, LCSW

10 Mar

Friday, March 6

Hilary Silver, Licensed Therapist and Relationship Expert led the group in a workshop focusing on how to improve relationships through getting comfortable with conflict as a means to more honest, authentic communication.  Her talk focused on the theme of telling the truth and exploring the many ways one can “tell lies in relationships” ( withholding information, fibbing, etc).  The room was alternately held in wrapt silence by her telling of her own compelling stories and examples, and then broken up into laughter and participation by MomTime members.  She led the group through workshop questions while presenting slides.  The whole session was entertaining as she is a warm and engaging speaker.  Her talk was full of information challenging listeners to: “Find your Truth, Speak your Truth & Live Your Truth” going as far as to promote conflict to improve relationships.

Attendees who accept an e-mail invitation to her website may view a series of free videos on various topics.  If you were unable to attend or would just like to learn more, you can contact Hilary directly: hilary@hilarysilver.com or go to hilarysilver.com

A free consultation session was generously raffled to a lucky seminar attendee.

The bulk of the presentation is available!  .

Hilary explains slide: schema slide of representing what not to attempt achieving in relationships.  A better schema for which to strive: two autonomous circles within a frame: representing two whole persons choosing to share the same space.

Hilary explains schema of representation of what not to attempt achieving in relationships.
A better schema for which to strive would be two autonomous circles within a frame representing two whole persons choosing to share the same space.

Dr. Deb Efird’s presents “How Do You Know When It’s Time to Call the Doc or Visit the ER”

20 Feb

February 20, 15

Mom Time member and University of Colorado Pediatrician, Deb Efird, MD gave a talk today on how to recognize when to contact your doctor and when to visit the emergency department in case of illness or accident.  She reviewed the different levels of care available in various health care settings: physician offices, urgent care centers, and hospital emergency centers.  Dr. Deb advises getting to know one’s care-provider and the services offered in triage situations. Most pediatrician practices have a nurse triaging parental calls, but not all. Some doctor’s offices are equipped with radiography, for example, and others not.  It is a good idea to develop a relationship and to find a good “fit” with the provider. It is always ok to call when concerned; the take-home message being to trust one’s parental instinct.

Dr Deb introduced the group to ChildrensMD, a free iPhone and Android app designed to answer parent’s questions about the 100 most common childhood symptoms.  This service is on-call 24/7: evenings, weekend, while on vacation, at work, or when the office is closed.

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As listed in the above flyer, more information can be found, www.SelfCare.info.

We enjoyed an entertaining ice-breaker activity during which we all shared personal or parental trips to the ER.  Tanya Duffy gave a devotional by reading a piece written by life coach Larry Strauss emphasizing being present in the moment.  IMG_3870

Summer Prep: Camps & Activities.

6 Feb

It may seem like overkill to start putting things on the calendar for the summer when it’s still 6 months away, but many of the popular camp programs in town start filling up their registration by February and March.  Our panel of summer planning “experts” (a.k.a. moms like us) shared their strategies and ideas with us for a fun summer with or for your kids.

Bear with us: this is a long post, but hopefully you’ll find it helpful!

Before our panel shared their presentations, we talked about our intentions for summer at each of our table groups:

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Chris Campbell talked about summer camps in Denver

Click to download: Summer Camps 101

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  • Remember that the good camps fill up fast, so plan early.
  • Make a budget of what works for your family.
  • Consider using a “fun per minute” ratio when calculating if the camp is worth the cost – is this something your child would really enjoy, how much time do they spend actually doing activities vs. lunch/play time, how much personal attention will they get from camp counselors (adult to child ratio), etc.
  • Alternatives to organized camps would be to ask a group of 3-4 friends to designate a “camp week” where each mom/dad takes on all the kids for a full or half day of camp. Plan outings to the museum, do crafts, teach them skills such as cooking or sewing – and then once you’ve done your day as camp counselor, you get the remaining days of camp week to yourself!

Leah Oliver led us through her PDF slides on camping in Colorado

Click to download: Camping Presentation for MomTime

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  • Camp Out is a good resource for planning camping trips, including packing lists and recipes.
  • If you’re not into tent camping (or you don’t have the gear), look into camper cabins or yurts.
  • Camping offers your children the opportunity to explore the outdoors in a way they cannot while growing up in the city. What great memories for them!

And finally Paola Ramirez had us to put our heads together to create lists of activities around Denver that are around $5/person or even free:

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Unique Parks, Splash Parks, Fun Family Outings:
  • Group brainstorm list pictured below, PLUS…
  • Skyline Park (downtown Denver) – skate park, good for older kids.
  • Center Park (Centennial, CO) – splash park, huge pirate ship playground, tall webbed/rope climbing structure, swings, great for a range of ages.
  • Tiny Town (Morrison, CO) – miniature houses, playground, picnic areas, miniature train ride, good for younger kids ages 1-6.
  • US Mint (downtown Denver) – free tours.
  • Hammonds Candy Factory – free tours.

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Sports & Outdoors:
  • Group brainstorm list pictured below, PLUS…
  • Rockies Rookies club at Rox games – kids can run the field, $12 for the season, they get t-shirts too.
  • Highland Canal.
  • Colorado Mountain Mamas – group hikes for all levels and ages. Check their website for the schedule.

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Festivals, Markets, Music:
  • Group brainstorm list pictured below, PLUS…
  • Sweet William Market (Stapleton, Saturdays) – local artisans, restored furniture, “Etsy come to life”!
  • Mayfair Park jazz series (Sundays).
  • Art walks on Tennyson Street (Highlands).
  • Planet Bluegrass in Lyons, CO. Kid-friendly outdoor music venue.
  • Colorado Music Festival – attend rehearsals for free.

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Reading, Crafts, Movies, Theater:
  • Group brainstorm list pictured below…

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Here are some summer book recommendations to get your kids excited about what’s to come!

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Happy planning, everyone!


 

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