Tracie Renfrow is literally one of the sweetest people I know. When she sent me an event to add to the South Charlotte Playgroups calendar regarding a local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Chapter, I knew I wanted to share information about joining her group. If you are a mom that needs some mom-friends that will make you feel at-home and comfortable right off the bat, Id suggest any group that Tracie is a part of. As a mom to two precious little girls, Tracie has come to rely on the Carmel Baptist MOPS group for weekly friendship, fellowship and socializing.
Q. Where does your MOPS Chapter meet?
We meet the first Tuesday of the month (Sept-May) from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. at Carmel Baptist Church located at 1145 Pineville-Matthews Road in Matthews.
Q. How did you get started with MOPS?
Four years ago we moved to Charlotte. Three months prior to our move, I had given birth to our first child and it seemed like the perfect time for me to transition from a working wife to a stay at home mom. I loved my new job. Getting to see Lily Kate change and develop seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime, but being a social person and going from being around co-workers 40-plus hours a week to not having many friends in town, I felt very alone. I had heard about MOPS and decided to look it up online to see if there were any in Charlotte. This was a great way to meet new friends, glean from other more experienced moms, and...lets face it...to have a few hours child-free to relax and have adult conversation. Each month, I look forward to my Tuesday night Moms Night Out at MOPS.
Q. In your experience, what made the MOPS group stand out from other mom-groups that youve participated in?
I appreciated the practical and applicable advice that the speakers shared and probably even more so, I loved the fellowship and friendships that I developed through the group.
Q. Going to a group event can be intimidating the first time. What are some tips youd give to a mom attending her first MOPS meeting?
Though the meeting will have 70+ people, it is divided up into tables of eight. This makes it easier develop genuine friendships- you see the same eight people each month, and have opportunities to get together in between meetings for play dates or moms nights out. Everyone is very friendly and we make an effort to provide opportunities for you to meet all of the members with things like friends speed dating and icebreaker games.
Q. How does one sign up to attend?
You may register before the first meeting by picking up an application at the WeeSchool desk in Carmel Baptist, or you can register at the first meeting. Cost is $70 for the year and includes childcare if needed. (Your money is used toward the costs of the speakers and craft activities and provides you with a one-year membership to MOPS International which includes the MOPS to MOM magazine and other special offers). Carmel Baptist MOPS has a FB page and a blog. If someone would like to find out more about a MOPS group in their area they can visit MOPS.org
Q. What are some of your favorite local places for a playdate?
Pineville Lake Park, Monkey Joes, My house (the moms get to visit more, because the kids are contained) Carolina Place Mall
Q. Favorite tip for removing stains?
Rubbing Alcohol helps take off Sharpie permanent ink!
Q. Im sure you have a lot of opportunities for a pot luck dinner. Whats your go-to recipe?
Trader Joe's Chili Cornbread Bake
Trader Joe's Turkey Chili with Beans - 3 cans
Trader Joes Cornbread Mix (prepare with egg, 1/2 cup oil, 3/4 cup milk)
Fancy Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Spread chili into a 9x13 casserole dish
3. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese over chili
4. Top with prepared uncooked cornbread mix
5. Bake 35 minutes, until cornbread is fully cooked and beginning to brown at the edge
6. Serve piping hot and garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, fritos, and your favorite chili toppings