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Newberg MOPS

Welcome to Newberg MOPS!

MOPS is a grassroots movement that believes moms are world influencers. We believe that incubating hearts and giving just-because-hugs can change the course of history. That’s why MOPS connects moms all over the world to a community of women, in their own neighborhoods, who meet together to laugh, cry and embrace the journey of motherhood. MOPS groups are rallying women to be more honest, to feel more equipped and to find our identity by journeying alongside one another.

MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers, and by preschoolers we mean kiddos from birth through kindergarten. We know it’s a little confusing so let’s just stick with “MOPS.”

We are moms, and we believe that better moms make a better world.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Meet Your Steering Team - Stephanie Thouvenel

Name: Stephanie Thouvenel

Position: Discussion Group Leader

Kids/Family: My husband Joseph and I have been married for 9 years. We are blessed with our sweet and spicy daughter Hope (4) our wiggly worm son Tad (1), two kittens, and our two chickens, Flip and Flap.
Where did you grow up: I grew up in Newberg and my husband and I just moved back after being away on the Oregon Coast for the last ten years.
What did you do before kids: Before kids I worked in partnership with my husband at Twin Rocks Friends Camp in Rockaway Beach where we ran all the summer and year-round programs. I worked a lot more hours, got a lot more sleep, and had a much, much cleaner house.
Hobbies: I love to cook, organize, read, play board games, jog, garden, and many other various things that I don't spend nearly enough time doing these days.

Favorite MOPS memory: This is my first year being a part of Newberg MOPS, but at my last MOPS group we had a Mom's Day Out to the local Tea Shop which was tons of fun. I loved the low key environment and the ability to chat casually with everyone.

Why did you join steering: I am really excited to get more involved in the Newberg community since I have been away from it for so long. I also love helping people connect and supporting other moms, so I thought this would be a great way of jumping in before too many other commitments clutter up my life. I tend to be a bit commitment shy quite honestly, so I figured it was now or never.

What are you most looking forward to for this year of MOPS:  I am looking forward to making new friends and connecting with old ones. It is so helpful to me to have an opportunity to share my story with others and hear their stories in return. MOPS reminds me I am not alone in this sometimes lonely walk as a mom, and that is invaluable. I also love the opportunity for my kids to experience time away from me in a safe environment.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Meet Your Steering Team - Christi Kokkeler

Name- Christi Kokkeler

Position- Registration

Kids/Family- I've been married to Zach for 8 years and we have twin boys who just turned two- Henry and Andy. 

Where did you grow up- Eugene, Oregon

What did you do before kids -I have my bachelors degree in Education and taught in various elementary school settings before having Andy and Henry. 

Hobbies- I like anything crafty, playing games and trying new restaurants. 

Favorite MOPS memory- Nothing specific-- I loved the community of our table group last year. It felt like we were really committed to making connections and building each other up as moms. I always really looked forward to our time together! 

Why did you join steering? I've loved MOPS as a new mom, so giving back to a group I've felt so blessed by was an easy decision!

What are you most looking forward to for this year of MOPS- Two glorious hours every month where no one will try to climb me with their pointy little elbows, eat from my plate or wipe any number of things on my pants- I hope! I'm also really excited to meet some new moms (and their kiddos!) and hopefully learn a trick or two from some moms more seasoned than myself-- potty training two boys is on the horizon... I'll take your advice and your prayers :) 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Meet Your Steering Team - Jenny Hoots

Name- Jenny Hoots

Position - Crafts and Fundraising

Kids/Family - My husband Doc and I have been married for 10 years and we have three daughters-Kennedy who is 6, Reece is 4 and
Taylor is 1.

Where did you grow up - I've lived in Newberg all my life and I'm thrilled to be raising my family here.

What did you do before kids - I worked full time for an auto body repair facility, scrapbooked and spent a lot more time reading than I do now.

Hobbies - Since becoming a mom and having a family to care for I've discovered I really love to cook and bake.  I am always trying out new recipes and baking delicious treats.  Last year I started running and just completed my first half marathon in July.  And sometimes, I still squeeze in some time to read.

Favorite MOPS memory - I don't have a particular favorite but I do remember on a few occasions when it was a MOPS morning and I was frazzled and having a hard time getting everyone out the door.  I felt like it would have been easier to stay home but we went anyway and afterward I arrived home refreshed and feeling like a better mom.  My cup was filled by the ladies at my table who could relate to the ups and downs of motherhood and offered support and kind words. 

Why did you join steering - It was one of those things I felt drawn to but hadn't fully decided on until I heard myself piping up to volunteer.  I arrived home that day and wondered what had just happened but I knew MOPS was exactly what I needed in my life and I wanted to be involved in a bigger way. I am very excited about this years theme "Be You Bravely" because I am a fairly introverted person and to join Steering is truly going to be a personal test of being myself bravely. 

What are you most looking forward to for this year of MOPS
- I'm looking forward to seeing old friends again and meeting new ones.  And honestly, sitting down to breakfast and a nice cup of coffee with friends is pretty great.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meet Your Steering Team - Heather Luben

Name- Heather Luben

Position – Care

Kids/Family- My husband and I have been married
 for 13 years.  Our kids include Isaiah, age 9, Luci, age 5, 
Nehemiah, age 1, and Kayson, our angel baby.

Where did you grow up-  I grew up in Seattle, WA

What did you do before kids-  I was in grad school when Isaiah was 
born...so I guess I just went to school until I had kids! 
Hobbies-  I like to sew and cook!  I have an etsy store that I started 
about a year ago.  I host craft night and freezer meal workshops at my 
house to keep my creativity up :)

Favorite MOPS memory- I really like the mom's night out activities!

Why did you join steering - I was on steering for a couple of years, 
and loved to be involved in the planning.  I love to make things for 
people, so I've rotated through the craft-y roles of steering.

What are you most looking forward to for this year of MOPS- Making new 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Meet Your Steering Team - Anna Duff

Name- Anna Duff 

Position – Finance

Kids/Family – Lily (3 ½) Hayden (2 ½ months)

Where did you grow up – I was raised in Gresham Oregon and moved to Newberg in 2007 for my job. My husband and I instantly loved Newberg and have decided to make it our “forever town.”

What did you do before kids – In 2006 I graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelors of Science in Merchandising Management with an emphasis in Apparel and Sewn Production. I went to work for The Kelly Group Keller Williams Realty in Newberg as a Marketing Coordinator. I absolutely loved my job and the amazing people I worked with. My time at The Kelly Group was a life changing experience that I am eternally grateful for. In 2007 I married my high school sweetheart. When our daughter was born in 2011 I was blessed with the chance to be a stay at home mom, which has always been my dream job.

Hobbies – My favorite quote is, “enjoy life’s simple pleasures.” This is exactly what I do. The smallest of things seems to thrill me and make life worth living. My life might seem humdrum to some, but this is exactly the way I like. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoy being creative. I like sewing, craft projects and baking. I love polka dots and heels, but have also been known to enjoy a few monster truck rallies in my time. Number one in my life is my family and friends.

Favorite MOPS memory – I have many favorite MOPS memories! Do I have to choose one? I guess I would have to say that I most enjoy the Moms Time Outs. Necklace making, fondant class, meet and greets and so much more! I can’t choose just one!

Why did you join steering – I joined steering as a personal challenge. I tend to be a shy person and get a little too comfortable with my simple day to day life. I knew I needed to branch out and meet other moms. I needed to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone. It was announced at my very first MOPS meeting that the crafts position was open. This was right up my alley. I decided to dive right in and go for it. This ended up being a great decision. The friendships and comradery I have experience by being a part of steering has been amazing. After 2 years doing crafts, I am now giving finance a try.

What are you most looking forward to for this year of mops – I am most looking forward to learning. The knowledge I have gained from other MOPS moms over the past 2 years is priceless. In terms of raising a preschooler and getting through all the stages that crop up between birth and age 5, some moms have been there before, some are there right now and some have yet to get there. Each of us has different experiences and knowledge to share.  It’s fun to share the good times with friends, but also good to know that you are not alone during the rough times. I think there is truly something special and powerful about a woman’s relationship and bond with other women.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet Your Steering Team - Nancy Almquist

Name- Nancy Almquist

Position -
Mentor Mom

Kids/Family - Tim (21), Mark (21) and Andrew (17)

Where did you grow up - I was born in southeast Texas and many of my family members still live there. I moved to Eugene, Oregon when I was in 5th grade and have lived in Oregon ever since.

What did you do before kids - before kids I seemed to have more margin in my life. I worked along side my husband in ministry and also was full time college student.

Hobbies - I love being creative - paper is my preferred textile (as it's pretty cheap and ends up in more instant gratification). I also enjoy cooking, being outdoors with my husband and our family; I love movies, the smell of roses, laughing - for any number of reasons.

Favorite MOPS memory - Learning years ago from the MOPS International President Elise Morgan - it was ok to be imperfect as a Mom.

Why did you join steering - I am passionate about encouraging Moms to be the blessed and amazing woman they are. If I can give hope, courage and inspire a woman to see herself as God does - I have done what I was created to do.

What are you most looking forward to for this year of mops - Seeing our returning Moms and their kiddos and meeting the new ones. (It gives me great joy to walk this journey with other young Moms!)                   

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet Your Steering Team - Angela Kantz

Name- Angela Kantz

Kids/Family- My husband Ben and I have been married for 9 years and we have two sweet littles, Noah will be 4 in September, and Selah is 7 months.

Where did you grow up - I pretty much grew up in Newberg.  I've lived here since I was 10.

What did you do before kids- before kids I worked full time, I read more, sewed, and got more sleep.

Hobbies - I enjoy reading, quilting, playing games, and being with friends.

Favorite mops memory - Hmmm one specific memory doesn't come to mind.
Probably what I like best is laughing with my table group and the friendships that come from that time.

Why did you join steering- I joined steering to get more involved. I like planning things and being apart of a team.  This is my 3rd year on steering and I really enjoy it!

What are you most looking forward to for this year of MOPS- I am really excited about the theme of mops, and the challenge to really live into 'being myself bravely'.  I'm hoping to work on accepting myself AS I AM, instead of trying to fit into something that I am not, and not doing that in secret but with other moms all around me.