Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

"Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying":

"'Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.'"

Luke 2:25-32

For all who accept God's son, Jesus, as Lord of their life, they see their salvation just as Simeon. Some see their salvation as children but some don't until they are long since aged. I was reminded this Christmas of the great joy to have seen my salvation and to live my life knowing him. Just as Simeon said 'a light for revelation to the Gentiles' has broken through my darkness and transformed my life.

You don't have to wait as Simeon. Jesus comes to you today not as a baby but as a Risen Saviour who will deliver you from your sins and shine a bright light into your darkness. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16.



"Glory to God in the Highest!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bethel Christmas Dinner

As members of Mom's Connection, you are invited to join us for Bethel's Christmas Dinner themed "Christmas in New York" on Wednesday, December 21 at 7 PM in the gym of Bethel Assembly of God.

There's something about Christmas that brings cheer like no other time--the lights, the carols, the treats, the gifts...and the Savior being born. Join us for a time to celebrate the wonder of the season.

Ham, rolls, and beverages will be provided. Your family is asked to bring a side dish if your last name begins with A-H and a dessert if it begins with an I-Z.

Everyone Is Welcome!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Walking in Winter Wonderland

Don't miss the Frederick County Parks & Recreation's annual light show at Clearbrook Park in Clearbrook, VA - memories to last a lifetime! Don your stocking caps and wrap those scarves tight as you take a magical stroll through this winter wonderland. Warm up in the cabin, where you might run into Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies!

Admission prices:12 and over $4; 2-11: $3; 1 and under: Free

Monday, November 28, 2011

Our Christmas Party

You are cordially invited to our Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 13 at 11 am. Join us in the gym at Bethel Assembly of God where you and your child(ren) can get a picture with Santa (bring your cameras), mom and child craft(s) and large inflatables for them to play in.

We will have a catered lunch of lasagna, salad, garlic bread, and pizza. Please bring a dessert to share.

**In order to attend, you must RSVP by 12/6/2011.**

During our Christmas party we would like to have a re-gift gift exchange with each other. This is how it works- find something you don’t want anymore or never use and wrap it up. Bring it in and put it on the gift table. For everyone who participates, you can choose a gift before you leave (moms only).

If you have any questions, contact Amanda Dagostino at, the Event Coordinator for Mom's Connection

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Recognition and Special Thanks to Janine

During our topic meeting on Tuesday, November 22, Janine was recognized for her faithful service as our much needed Childcare Director because she is stepping down from this role. Janine has taken on a much larger role as Director of Nursery Ministries at Bethel Assembly of God.

This is how she was honored:

"I would like to take a few minutes and recognize Janine DiGiovanni who has served as our Childcare Director for four years. There are no words to adequately express my deep appreciation for all she has done for Mom’s Connection.

She has handled every task and every obstacle that has come her way making it possible to always provide good childcare for all our meetings. But more than succeeding as our Childcare Director, she has been an invaluable resource during every decision making process and has always been found full of great ideas, honest with her opinions, and trustworthy to keep it confidential.

Janine, thank you for being willing to step up and tackle our childcare issues with a smile on your face, and a loving, caring heart towards moms and their children. I have thanked God for you more times than you will ever know."

Lisa Fraley- Director

Presented to Janine were flowers, card of thanks, and gift card.

Janine will be staying on as part of our leadership for Mom’s Connection as our Finance Coordinator. This is a role she has been fulfilling without the title or recognition.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Children's Closet

Mission: The Children's Closet is a ministry anwering God's call to support the smallest among us by providing them with basic necessities.

Vision: Our desire is that all families have the ability to ensure that the children of the community have what they need.

First started out of Marci Faro's home, The Children's Closet is a place where families can come and shop for free! You will find available maternity clothes, baby items, children's clothes, and toys.

We are located at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV behind the Mace building. Our room hours are every 2nd and 4th Tuesday from Noon - 1pm and every Wednesday evening from 6 - 6:45 pm. We will be open for business this Tuesday, November 22, 2011.

You may donate your gently used clothes, baby equipment, maternity clothes, baby and children's clothes up to size 18. We are accepting winter clothes only.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Be a "Susie" in someone's life

Come with me to a third grade classroom

There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk

and all of sudden, there is a puddle between his feet

and the front of his pants are wet.

He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot

possibly imagine how this has happened.

It's never happened before,

and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it.

When the girls find out,

they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop;

he puts his head down and prays this prayer,

'Dear God, this is an emergency!

I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat.'

He looks up from his prayer and here comes

the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered.

As the teacher is walking toward him,

a class mate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water.

Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap.

The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself,

'Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!'

Now all of a sudden,

instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy.

The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out.

All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk.

The sympathy is wonderful.

But as life would have it,

the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else -


She tries to help, but they tell her to get out.

You've done enough, you klutz!'

Finally, at the end of the day,

as they are waiting for the bus,

the boy walks over to Susie and whispers,

'You did that on purpose, didn't you?' Susie whispers back,

'I wet my pants once too.'

May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trunk or Treat has been rescheduled...

Trunk or Treat has been rescheduled for Monday, October 31 from 6-8 pm in the parking lot of Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A New Recipe...Salsa Chicken


1 jar of salsa
2 cans of corn, drained
2 cans of black beans, drained
5-6 chicken breasts, fresh or frozen

Combine everything in a crock pot and cook for 4 hours on high. When meal is complete, shred the chicken. Serve on tortilla wraps with sour cream, cheese, shredded lettuce, etc.

You can freeze any extra or use the salsa for chips.

Thank you to Maryrose Gill for sharing this with us! I'm putting this on the menu this week!
If you have a recipe you love, please email it to me so we can all enjoy it!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace."

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Right now is a season of your life. If your baby is waking you up in the middle of the night, your body is not your own because of breastfeeding, or you have no privacy due to a clingy two year old, take heart- it will not last forever. It's your season of life.

Being in Mom's Connection is a season and God has brought you here. Maybe you will meet a life long friend, grow in the knowledge of God, or discover for the first time a relationship with the One who made you and loves you.

For whatever the reason, embrace it.

Opener for topic meeting on 10/25/2011
Lisa Fraley

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

One of our moms wanted to share this pumpkin patch with us called Hagerstown Corn Maze.

You can get lost in one or all three of the Mazes for one price. Open weekends in October. Moonlight mazes on Friday and Saturday nights only...bring your flashlight and be prepared to have lots of fun. All proceeds benefit local Faith Based Non-Profits Organizations. Here are the prices for the mazes: 4 and under free; $5 for adults; $3 for children.

You can also pick-your-own pumpkins for about $2, $3, or $4 each. Check it out on

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Teach our daughters and our sons...

How are you doing this with your sons and daughters? Click on comment and let us know!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Upcoming Events for 2011


Tuesday, October 25 Topic Meeting- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV from 9:45- 11:45 am for a time of brunch, discussion, and fun! Childcare is provided.

Saturday, October 29 Trunk or Treat at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV from 6-8pm- Participants will park their cars in the parking lot, open up the trunk or the back of the vehicle, decorate them in a theme such as a favorite sports team, a cartoon character, etc. (Please Not Scary!!) and pass out candy or other goodies (provided by the participant). There will also be a hayride and inside the gym a few inflatable games. All at not cost. Just come out and enjoy!


Friday, November 4 Baby Shower for Katie Trenary- Celebrate with us the upcoming birth of Katie's baby girl at 6:30 pm with food, games, and prizes!

Tuesday, November 8 Topic Meeting- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV from 9:45- 11:45 am for a time of brunch, discussion, and fun. Childcare is provided.

Tuesday, November 15 Restaurant Hopping- Join us as we enjoy appetizer, main course, and dessert at three different locations beginning at 6 pm. Locations TBA.

Tuesday, November 22 Topic Meeting- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV from 9:45- 11:45 am for a time of brunch, discussion, and fun. Childcare is provided.


**Note Date Change**
Tuesday, December 6 Christmas Shopping at the Prime Outlets in Hagerstown, MD- Join at the food court at 6:30 pm to shop and stay for dessert at the Longhorn Restaurant at 9 pm.

Tuesday, December 13 Christmas Party- Details TBA.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Cracked Pot

A water bearer in India served his master by toting water from the stream to his master's home. He carried the water in two pots that hung on either end of a pole balanced across his shoulders.

One of the pots had a crack in it; the other pot was perfect. The perfect pot always delivered a full portion of water from the stream, while the cracked pot always arrived at the master's house only half full.

For a full two years this went on, every day the water bearer delivering one full and one half-full measures of water to the master's home. Naturally the full pot was proud of its service, perfect to the end for which it had been made. But the cracked pot was unhappy; ashamed of its imperfection, miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After an eternity of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day. "I'm so ashamed of myself," it said. "I want to apologize to you."

"But why?" asked the water bearer.

"For the past two years," spoke the pot, "this crack in my side has let water leak out all the way to the master's house, and I have been unable to deliver but half my load. You do the work carrying me from the stream to our master's house each day, but because of my defect, you don't get full value from your effort," sighed the anguished pot.

Kindly, the water bearer told the distressed pot, "As we return to the master's house today, please notice the lovely flowers along the way."

As the trio returned up the hill, the old cracked pot noticed the winsome wild flowers--the sun glistening off their bright faces, the breeze bending their heads. But still, at the end of the trail, the faulty pot felt bad because it had again leaked out half its load, and again it apologized to the bearer for it's failure.

But the bearer said to the pot, "Did you not notice that the flowers were only on your side of the path? Because I have always known about your 'flaw' I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we wind our way walk back from the stream, you have watered them. And every day I am able to pick these beautiful flowers to adorn our master's table. Were you not just the way you are, the master would not have had this beauty to grace his house."

"The Cracked Pot" by Willy McNamara from "Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul: 101 Inspirational Stories of Overcoming Life's Challenges" by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Heather McNamara copyright 1999 Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

I saw the preceding story and it made me think of all of the "imperfections" we see in ourselves. We might see another woman and think ,"Man, she's really got it together...look how she serves God...I am too flawed to be able to serve in that way..."

None of us is perfect, but we are perfectly suited to serve in the way God intends for us to serve.

What beauty do you have to grace the Master's house?

Christina Burton

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Our October Events

Tuesday, October 11 Topic Meeting- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV from 9:45- 11:45 am for a time of brunch, discussion, and fun! Childcare is provided.

Tuesday, October 11 Mom's Game Night- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV in the Mace building, room 109 at 6:30 pm. Bring an appetizer and drink to share.

Tuesday, October 25 Topic Meeting- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV from 9:45- 11:45 am for a time of brunch, discussion, and fun! Childcare is provided.

Saturday, October 29 Trunk or Treat at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV from 6-8pm- Participants will park their cars in the parking lot, open up the trunk or the back of the vehicle, decorate them in a theme such as a favorite sports team, a cartoon character, etc. (Please Not Scary!!) and pass out candy or other goodies (provided by the participant). There will also be a hayride and inside the gym a few inflatable games. All at not cost. Just come out and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

YoungLives Ministry

During our topic meeting on Tuesday, September 27 Jill Bevins from YoungLives Ministry came and spoke to Mom's Connection.

YoungLives, part of the larger Young Life Ministry, helps teen moms find hope through mentors. It's about letting teen moms be teenagers and providing someone to walk alongside them to help figure out who they are and who they will become. It's about modeling Jesus Christ's love to young women who may not have experienced real love before.

Jill shared with us how this ministry is growing in Berkeley County and is being blessed by the hand of God. The mentors are the heart of YoungLives and they are currently in need of mentors. Being a mentor means loving a teen mom right where she's at in her life...becoming a trusted friend who models Christ's unconditional love and show her what life is like when you are walking with Christ. Teen moms need women to help them have hope and look forward to a future for themselves and their children.

YoungLives meets every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at Rosemont Grace Brethren Church in Martinsburg, WV from 6-8:30 pm where free childcare and a free meal is available. If you are interested in helping in this ministry, please contact Jill Bevins at 304-919-1681. You can check it out at

A YoungLives Banquet is coming up on October 27, 2011 at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg, WV from 6-9pm. The theme is semi-formal- formal masquarade seated dinner. Please contact Jessica Brown by phone or email for a formal invite and dinner selections at 301-672-7036 or This event is by donation.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Our Upcoming Topic Meeting

Tuesday, September 27 Topic Meeting- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV at 9:45 am for a time of brunch, discussion, and fun!

Care Circles begin... We will begin discussing the book, He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobsen. If you haven't ordered it yet, please do so. You will get the most out of the discussion if you read the book!

Join us after the meeting for lunch at Chick-fil-A at 12 Noon with a purchase of an adult meal, kid's meal will be $0.99 each.

Please remember Mariah Triggs who is expecting a baby boy this November. We are collecting consumable's to bless her as she prepares for this blessing from God. Consumables consist of diapers, wipes, ointments, medicines, lotions, body washes, etc. and anything else you would like to pick up for her! There will be a basket out for you to place these items in at our next two topic meetings!

Don't forget to get started on the Mom's Scavenger Hunt! If you haven't received a copy, be sure to see Christy Shrom, our Hospitality Coordinator, at our next meeting! Have fun!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And, And, And...

Peeking out from the corner of my desk blotter is a note, slowly yellowing and bent from time.

It is a card from my mother, containing only four sentences, but with enough impact to change my life forever.

In it, she praises my abilities as a writer, without qualification. Each sentence is filled with love, offering specific examples of what my pursuit has meant to her and my father.

The word "but" never appears on the card. However the word "and" is there almost a half dozen times.

Every time I read it--which is almost every day--I am reminded to ask myself if I am doing the same thing for my daughters. I've asked myself how many times I've "but-ted" them, and me, out of happiness.

I hate to say that it's more often then I'd like to admit.

Although our eldest daughter usually got all As on her report card, there was never a semester when at least one teacher would not suggest that she talked too much in class. I always forgot to ask them if she was making improvement in controlling her behavior, if her comments contributed to the discussion in progress or encouraged a quieter child to talk. Instead, I would come home and greet her with, "Congratulations! Your dad and I are very proud of your accomplishment, but could you try to tone it down in class?"

The same was true of our younger daughter. Like her sister, she is a lovely, bright, articulate, and friendly child. She also treats the floor of her room and the bathroom as a closet, which has provoked me to say on more than one occasion, "Yes, that project is great, but clean up your room!"

I've noticed that other parents do the same thing, "Our whole family was together for Christmas, but Kyle skipped out early to play his new computer game." "The hockey team won, but Mike should have made that last goal." "Amy's the homecoming queen, but now she wants two hundred dollars to buy a new dress and shoes."

But, but, but.

Instead, what I learned from my mother is that if you really want love to flow to your children, start thinking "and, and, and..." instead.

For example: "Our whole family was together for Christmas dinner, and Kyle mastered his new computer game before the night was through." "The hockey team won, and Mike did his best the whole game."

"Amy's the homecoming queen, and she's going to look gorgeous!"

The fact is that "but" feels bad--"and" feels good. And when it comes to our children, feeling good is definitely the way to go. When they feel good about themselves and what they're doing, they do more of it, building their self-confidence, their judgement and their harmonious connections to others. When everything they say, think or do is qualified or put down in some way, their joy sours and their anger soars.

This is not to say that children don't need or won't respond to their parents' expectations. They do and they will, regardless of whether those expectations are good or bad. When those expectations are consistently bright and positive and then are taught, modeled, and expressed amazing things happen. "I see you made a mistake. And I know you are intelligent enough to figure out what you did wrong and make a better decision next time." Or, "You've been spending hours on that project, and I'd love to have you explain it to me." Or, "We work hard for our money, and I know you can help figure out a way to pay for what you want."

It's not enough just to say we love our children. In a time when frustration has grown fierce, we can no longer afford to limit loves expression. If we want to tone down the sound of violence in our society, we're going to have to turn up the volume on noticing, praising, guiding and participating in what is right with our children.

"No more buts!" is a clarion call for joy. It's also a challenge, the opportunity fresh before us every day to put our attention on what is good and promising about our children, and to believe with all our hearts that they will eventually be able to see the same in us and the people with who they will ultimately live, work and serve.

And if I ever forget, I have my mother's note to remind me.

"And, And, And" by Robin Silverman copyright 1999 from "Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul: 101 Inspirational Stories of Overcoming Life's Challenges" by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Heather McNamara

Thank you to Tina Burton for sharing this with all of us.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What beautiful designs!

Thank you for coming today to our first meeting for the fall semester! Look at our beautiful toilet paper designs which were modeled by these great moms!

Monday, September 12, 2011

He loves me!

Introducing for this year of Mom’s Connection, our book of choice , is “He Loves Me” by Wayne Jacobsen. This book is about learning to live in God’s love for you.

Read this excerpt:
"The little girl stands in the backyard chanting as she plucks petals one by one from the daisy and drops them to the ground. At game's end, the last petal tells all: whether or not the person desired returns the affection."

"Of course no one takes it seriously, and if children don't get the answer they desire, they take another daisy and start again. It doesn't take long even for children to realize that flowers weren't designed to tell romantic fortunes. Why should they link their hearts' desires to the fickleness of chance?"

"Why indeed! But it is a lesson far easier learned in romance than in more spiritual pursuits. For long after we've put away our daisies, many of us continue to play the game with God. This time we don't pluck flower petals but probe through our circumstances trying to figure out exactly how God feels about us."

"I got a raise. He loves me!
I didn't get the promotion I wanted. He loves me not!
Something in the Bible inspired me today. He loves me!
My child is seriously ill. He loves me not!
I gave money to someone in need. He loves me!
I stretched the truth to get myself out of a tight spot. He loves me not!"

I grew up believing God loved me and for the most part I believed it to be true. It’s easy to believe it in good times. But like the author, I had some hard times that made me question God’s love for me.

What about you?

My prayer for you this year is that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the other mom’s here, to grasp how wide and long, and high and deep is the love of God, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Growing Roots

When I was growing up, I had an old neighbor named Dr. Gibbs. He didn't look like any doctor I'd ever known. Every time I saw him, he wore denim overalls and a straw hat, the front brim of which was green sun glass plastic. He smiled a lot, a smile that matched his hat--old and crinkly and well worn. He never yelled at us for playing in his yard. I remember him as someone who was a lot nicer than circumstances warranted.

When Dr. Gibbs wasn't saving lives, he was planting trees. His house sat on ten acres, and his life's goal was to make it a forest.

The good doctor had some interesting theories concerning plant husbandry. He came from the "no pain, no gain" school of horticulture. He never watered his new trees, which flew in the face of conventional wisdom. Once I asked why. He said that watering plants spoiled them, and that if you water them, each successive tree generation will grow weaker and weaker. So you have to make things rough for them and weed out the weenie trees early on.

He talked about how watering trees made for shallow roots, and how trees that weren't watered had to grow deep roots in search of moisture. I took him to mean that deep roots were something to be treasured.

So he never watered his trees. He'd plant an oak and instead of watering it every morning, he'd beat it with a rolled-up newspaper. Smack! Slap! Pow! I asked him why he did that, and he said it was to get the tree's attention.

Dr. Gibbs went to glory a couple of years after I left home. Every now and again, I walk by his house and look at the trees that I'd watched him plant some twenty-five years ago. They're granite strong now. Big and robust. Those trees wake up in the morning and beat their chests and drink their coffee black.

I planted a couple of trees a few years back. Carried water to them for a solid summer. Sprayed them. Prayed over them. The whole nine yards. Two years of coddling has resulted in trees that expect to be waited on hand and foot. Whenever a cold wind blows in, they tremble and chatter their branches. Sissy trees.

Funny thing about those trees of Dr. Gibbs'. Adversity and deprivation seemed to benefit them in ways comfort and ease never could.

Every night before I go to bed, I check on my two sons. I stand over them and watch their little bodies, the rising and falling of life within. I often pray for them. Mostly I pray that their lives will be easy. "Lord, spare them from hardship." But lately I've been thinking that it's time to change my prayer.

This change has to do with the inevitability of cold winds that hit us at the core. I know my children are going to encounter hardship, and my praying they won't is naive. There's always a cold wind blowing somewhere.

So I'm changing my eventide prayer. Because life is tough, whether we want it to be or not. Instead, I'm going to pray that my sons' roots grow deep, so they can draw strength from the hidden sources of the eternal God.

Too many times we pray for ease, but that's a prayer seldom met. What we need to do is pray for roots that reach deep into the Eternal, so when the rains fall and the winds blow, we won't be swept asunder.

from "Front Porch Tales" by Philip Gulley copyright 1997

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our first meeting this fall...

Join us on Tuesday, September 13 at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV (just past City Hospital) in the MACE building (large activity building behind the church) in room 109 (large center room on first floor) from 9:45- 11:45 AM. Our topic meetings usually consist of enjoying brunch together, sharing our ups and downs, and discussion in small groups. There is no fee to join.

Childcare is provided by trusted, approved childcare workers in Bethel's Nursery department for ages 6 months and up. We also have a homeschooling classroom for students to study, complete homework, and do fun activities together. Using our childcare is encouraged but not manditory.

Come...take a deep'll be among friends.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Just Playing

When I'm building in the block room,
Please don't say I'm "just playing."
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
About balance and shapes.

When I'm getting all dressed up,
Setting the table, caring for the babies.
Don't get the idea I'm "just playing."
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I may be a mother or a father someday.

When you see me up to my elbows in paint,
Or standing at an easel, or molding and shaping clay,
Please don't let me hear you say, "he's just playing."
For you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm expressing myself and being creative.
I may be an artist or an inventor someday.

When you see me sitting in a chair
"Reading" to an imaginary audience,
Please don't laugh and think I'm "just playing."
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I may be a teacher someday.

When you see me combing the bushes for bugs,
Or packing my pockets with choice things I find,
Don't pass it off as "just playing."
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I may be a scientist someday.

When you see me engrossed in a puzzle,
Or some "plaything" at my school,
Please don't feel the time is wasted in "play"
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm learning to solve problems and concentrate.
I may be in business someday.

When you see me cooking or tasting foods,
Please don't think that because I enjoy it, it is just "play."
I'm learning to follow directions and see differences.
I may be a chef someday.

When you see me learning to skip, hop, run, and move my body,
Please don't say I'm "just playing."
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm learning how my body works.
I may be a doctor, nurse, or athlete someday.

When you ask me what I've done at school today,
And I say, "I've played."
Please don't misunderstand me.
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm learning to enjoy and be successful in work.
I'm preparing for tomorrow.
Today, I'm a child and my work is play.

Anita Wadley

Copyright 1999 Anita Wadley. Taken from "Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul; 101 Inspirational Stories of Overcoming Life's Challenges" by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Heather McNamara copyright 1999 by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Friday, August 26, 2011

Back to School Bash!!

Monday, August 29 Back to School Bash at War Memorial Park Pool in Martinsburg, WV from 6:30-8:30 PM. Snacks and drinks will be provided. This event is for the whole family!

In case of bad weather, check email or blog for details. No raindate.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Event Coordinator, Amanda Dagostino, at

Releasing our children to God...

Repost from August 2010
Just spending a week covering our children in prayer is not enough. There are so many areas of their lives that need the touch of God. However when we do all we can to love, care, and pray over our children, in the end we must release them to God. Stormie Omartian says it best, "We can't be everywhere. But God can. We can't see everything. But God can. We can't know everything. But God can. No matter what age our children are, releasing them into God's hands is a sign of our faith and trust in Him and is the first step toward making a difference in their lives." Let's pray...


I come to You in Jesus' name and give (name of child) to You. I'm convinced that You alone know what is best for him (her). You alone know what he (she) needs. I release him (her) to You to care for and protect, and I commit myself to pray for everything concerning him (her) that I can think of or that You put upon my heart. Teach me how to pray and guide me in what to pray about. Help me not to impose my own will when I'm praying for him (her), but rather enable me to pray that Your will be done in his (her) life.

Thank You that I can partner with You in raising him (her) and that I don't have to do it alone. I'm grateful that I don't have to rely on the world's unreliable and ever-changing methods for child rearing, but that I can have clear directions from Your Word and wisdom as I pray to You for answers.

Thank You, Lord, for the precious gift of this child. Because Your Word says that every good gift comes from You, I know that You have given him (her) to me to care for and raise. Help me to do that. Show me places where I continue to hang on to him (her) and enable me to release him (her) to Your protection, guidance, and counsel. Help me not to live in fear of possible dangers, but in the joy and peace of knowing that You are in control. I rely on You for everything, and this day I trust my child to You and release him (her) into Your hands.

A prayer from The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian, Releasing My Child into God's Hands


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Let's pray over our child's room...

A repost from August 2010
We have lifted up our child(ren) this week while they have been at school. Now let's pray over our child's room so when they come home their room will be spiritually clean. Just think about all they come in contact with during the day especially in public school. We don't want them to bring anything home that shouldn't be. Let's pray...

I invite Your Holy Spirit to dwell in this room, which belongs to (name of child). You are Lord over heaven and earth, and I proclaim that You are Lord over this room as well. Flood it with Your light and life. Crowd our any darkness which seeks to impose itself here, and let no spirits of fear, depression, anger, doubt, anxiety, rebelliousness, or hatred (name anything you've seen manifested in your child's behavior) find any place here. I pray that nothing will come into this room that is not brought by You, Lord. If there is anything here that shouldn't be, show me so it can be taken out.Put Your complete protection over this room so that evil cannot enter here by any means. Fill this room with Your love, peace, and joy. I pray that my child will say, as David did, "I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set nothing wicked before my eyes" (Psalm 101:2-3). I pray that You, Lord, will make this room a holy place, sanctified for Your glory.

A prayer from the The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian, Praying through a child's room


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Praying for our children this first week of school...

A repost from August 2010
We know as adults, especially now, how important friends can be in our lives. The people we choose to surround ourselves with can either build us up or tear us down. The Bible says, "The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray" (Proverbs 12:26). This is why we take the time to pray that our children will make the right friends this school year and be drawn to the right role models. Join me...

I lift up (name of child) to You and ask that You would bring godly friends and role models into his (her) life. Give him (her) the wisdom he (she) needs to choose friends who are godly and help him (her) to never compromise his (her) walk with You in order to gain acceptance. Give me Holy Spirit-inspired discernment in how I guide or influence him (her) in the selection of friends.

I pray that You would take anyone who is not a godly influence out of his (her) life or else transform that person into Your likeness.Your Word says, "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed" (Proverbs 13:20). Don't let my child be a companion of fools. Enable him (her) to walk with wise friends and not have to experience the destruction that can happen by walking with foolish people.

Deliver him (her) from anyone with an ungodly character so he (she) will not learn that person's ways and set a snare for his (her) own soul.Whenever there is grief over a lost friendship, comfort him (her) and send new friends with whom he (she) can connect, share, and be the person You created him (her) to be. Take away any loneliness or low self-esteem that would cause him (her) to seek out less than God-glorifying relationships.

In Jesus' name I pray that You would teach him (her) the meaning of true friendship. Teach him (her) how to be a good friend and make strong, close, lasting relationships. May each of his (her) friendships always glorify You.

A prayer from The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian, Attracting Godly Friends and Role Models


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The first week of school, let's pray...

Repost from August 2010
Yesterday I felt it imperative to pray first over our children's safety. I think it's our first concern. I know it's mine. For today, let's pray for our children's school, teachers, classes, and their mind.

I pray that (name of child) will have a deep reverence for You and Your ways. May he (she) hide Your word in his (her) heart like a treasure, and seek after understanding like silver or gold. Give him (her) a good mind, a teachable spirit, and an ability to learn. Instill in him (her) a desire to attain knowledge and skill, and may he (she) have joy in the process. Above all, I pray that he (she) will be taught by You, for Your Word says that when our children are taught by You they are guaranteed peace. You have also said, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). May he (she) never be a fool and turn away from learning, but rather may he (she) turn to You for the knowledge he (she) needs.

I pray he (she) will respect the wisdom of his (her) parents and be willing to be taught by them. May he (she) also have the desire to be taught by the teachers You bring into his (her) life. Handpick each one, Lord, and my they be godly people from whom he (she) can easily learn. Take out of his (her) life any teacher who would be an ungodly influence or create a bad learning experience. Let him (her) find favor with his (her) teachers and have good communication with them. Help him (her) to excel in school and do well in any classes he (she) may take. Make the pathways of learning smooth and not something with which he (she) must strain and struggle. Connect everything in his (her) brain the way it is supposed to be so that he (she) has clarity of thought, organization, good memory, and strong learning ability.

I say to him (her) according to Your Word, "Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge" (Proverbs 23:12). "May the Lord give you understanding in all things" (2 Timothy 2:7). Lord, enable him (her) to experience the joy of learning more about You and Your world.
In Jesus' Name

Prayer from The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian, Instilling the Desire to Learn


Monday, August 22, 2011

The First Day of School!!!

A Repost from August 2010:
When my children were five years old, this was a day I dreaded-the first day of school. Now after a few years under their belts, I'm not upset anymore. There are moments I breath a sigh of relief. However, I still am concerned over them. Who will they sit with on the bus? Will their teacher like them? What does this school year hold? With that in mind, I bring all my burdens for them to God in prayer.

So this week I would like to focus on praying for our children. Whether you're teaching them at home, sending them off to Pre-K, Elementary, or "Ahhh" Middle School, lets agree together that God will look after our children's mind, body, and soul.

I lift (name of child) up to You and ask that You would put a hedge of protection around her (him). Protect her (his) spirit, body, mind, and emotions from any kind of evil or harm. I pray specifically for protection from accidents, disease, injury, or any other physical, mental, or emotional abuse. I pray that she (he) will make her (his) refuge "in the shadow of Your wings" until " these calamities have passed by" (Psalm 57:1). Hide her (him) from any kind of evil influences that would come against her (him). Keep her (him) safe from any hidden dangers and let no weapon formed against her (him) be able to prosper.
Thank You, Lord, for Your many promises of protection. Help her (him) to walk in Your ways and in obedience to Your will so that she (he) never comes out from under the umbrella of that protection. Keep her (him) safe in all she (he) does and wherever she (he) goes.
In Jesus name, I pray.

Prayer from The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian, Securing Protection from Harm

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.'" Psalm 91:1


Monday, August 15, 2011

Martina McBride - Anyway

For those who need to hear it...

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Great Back Pack Give-A-Way

On Sunday, August 14 at 3pm at Hedgesville Assembly of God there will be a Community Outreach to give away backpacks to whoever is in need of one. There will be 600 free backpacks filled with school supplies given away as well as free food, free games, free haircuts, live music, face painting, moon bounce and other giveaways. The Master’s Closet will be there with free clothing. Check out

Guidelines are as follows:
Kids must be in Grades K-5 to participate
A parent or guardian must accompany kids
Only 600 backpacks will be given away to be in line by 3pm
Kids must be present to win one of the four new bikes that will be given away

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Help Wanted--The Ideal Mother

The transition into motherhood can be tough on anyone.
"I just wasn't cut out to be a good mother," says the weary voice of my friend on the telephone. "I can't get the baby to sleep through the night. I scream too much at my toddler when he gets into things. And my six-year-old is always whining that she doesn't have enough to do. At least in the office I have someone to teach me the job and my evening and weekends off."
I understand her completely because I am also a mother. The difficulty isn't just that first transition, either. It's the ongoing reshaping of pieces of a personality and a way of living to become the kind of mother a child needs at each stage of his or her life.
For example, a job description for the kind of person who would be an ideal mother for a baby might read like this:

Wanted--Easygoing, relaxed, loving type to care for infant. Should enjoy rocking, cuddling, be able to hold baby patiently for 20- minute feedings every three or four hours without fidgeting. Light sleeper, early riser. No degree necessary. Must take all shifts, seven-day week. No vacation unless can arrange to have own mother as temporary substitute. No opportunity to advance.

A year and a half later, the ideal candidate for the job of mothering the same child would match this description:

Wanted--Athlete in top condition to safeguard tireless toddler. Needs quick reflexes, boundless energy, infinite patience. ESP helpful. Knowledge of first aid essential. Must be able to drive, cook. phone, work despite constant distractions. Workday, 15 hours. No coffee or lunch breaks unless child naps. Would consider pediatric nurse with Olympic background.

In another 18 months, the same mother should be able to meet these qualifications:

Position Open--Expert in early childhood education to provide stimulating. loving, creative, individualized learning environment for pre-schooler. Should have experience in art, music, recreation, be able to speak one foreign language. Training in linguistics, psychology and Montessori desirable. Two hours off five days a week when nursery school is in session and child is well.

Job stability improves somewhat when a child is between 6 and 12, and the mothers who cope most easily meet these qualifications:

Good Opportunity-- For expert in recreation, camping, Indian arts, all sports. Should be able to referree. Must be willing to be den mother, room mother, block mother. Public relations skills essential. Should be able to deal effectively with teachers, PTA officers, other parents. Knowledge of sex education, new math required. Must have no objections to mud, insect collections, pets, neighbor's kids.

A mother changes occupations again when her child reaches 13 or 14 and must face up to new requirements:

Job Available--For specialist in adolescent psychology, with experience in large-quantity cooking. Tolerance is chief requirement. Slight hearing-loss helpful or must provide own ear plugs. Must be unflappable. Should be able to sense when presense is embarrassing to child and disappear.

After 18 years as a working mother, a woman is qualified for only one more job:

Urgently Needed-- Financier to provide money, clothes, music, wheels to collegian. No advice necessary. Position may last indefinately. Ample time left to take income-producing work.

Like most want ads, there are some things these work descriptions leave out: (1) A mother who has more than one child must usually hold down two or more of these posts simultaneously; (2) those who handle the jobs best work themselves permanently out of a job, and (3) there are greater rewards than anyone could ever imagine.

By Joan Beck from "Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Hearts and Rekindle the Spirits of Women" by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne and Marci Shimoff Copyright 1996

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Awesome August!

Tuesday, August 9 Chuck E. Cheese in Hagerstown, MD- Join us for lunch and games at 11 am. Check out for coupons and special promotions (kids can earn 10 free tokens)!

Monday, Auguest 29 Back to School Bash at War Memorial Park Pool in Martinsburg, WV from 6:30-8:30 pm. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Invite your whole family out for this event!

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Amanda Dagostino at .

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Nursery Facility

I have some exciting news to share... Bethel Assembly of God is remodeling their Nursery! As you know this will greatly impact our meetings making a better facility for our babies and children! Because this will benefit us, I would like to invite you to a fundraising luncheon and auction on Sunday, August 6 at 12:15 pm in Bethel's gym.

The entry fee is just a donation but there are other ways you could help:
1. Make an item to donate: cakes, pies, desserts, quilts, an item from your business, etc. Please contact the church office at 304-267-8694.
2. Bid on some of the items up for auction or make a donation if you cannot attend. Just label it nursery remodel and drop it in the offering!
3. Pass the word to friend and family about what is going on and encourage them to attend!

Mom's Connection is looking for childcare workers!!!

When: Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday or whenever available

Time: 9:30- Noon

Benefits: *Get to show the love of Jesus Christ to children some for the 1st time

*Get to be a blessing to a mother who desperately needs connection to other moms

*Earn a $10 grocery/gas card every time you help.

*Most importantly, give a mom the opportunity to discover a relationship with Jesus Christ and grow spiritually.

If you are interested, contact Lisa Fraley at

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tropical FUNraising Event

Join us at Tropical Smoothie Cafe located in The Commons in Martinsburg, WV and enjoy great food for a great cause. Come by on Friday, July 15 from 5-9pm and Bethel Assembly of God will receive 20% of the event's proceeds. This fundraiser will go towards buying school supplies and backpacks to benefit area children.

Also beginning Friday, July 15 if you bring designated flier to 5 & Below, 10% of your purchase amount will be donated to Bethel Assembly of God for their School Supplies and Backback Drive to benefit area children. Contact Bethel A/G for flyer or come by 5 & Below on Saturday, July 16 between 11 am and 2 pm to get one!

Thank you for your support!

Monday, July 11, 2011

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus

You wake and the sun is shining. You rise from your bed with a healthy, strong body. You have gas in your car, money in your pocket, and a kiss on your cheek from those you love, and a song in your heart from God. You are at peace with all those around you. You blissfully soar through the day accomplishing everything you set to do. When your day looks like this, it’s easy to trust God.

If your anything like me, life doesn’t go that smoothly. It’s one of the reasons I asked God to give me more faith and trust in Him. It’s easy to trust Him when life is great but much harder when life is completely opposite from what you would like. I want to be at peace in my spirit no matter what is going on around me. I want to be confident that I rest in the arms of the Almighty (Matthew 11:28-30) that my help comes from the maker of heaven and earth (Ps. 146:6), and I am the apple of His eye (Ps. 17:8). I go back and remind myself all that God has brought me through in the past so I won’t fret about the future.

In my prayer journal entry on December 30, 2010, I wrote "Every concern I had- relationships, finances, my husband's job, Mom's Connection- God saw me through and had everything in His hands! God is faithful! God is my provider! God is trustworthy!" It is my hope and prayer that you will trust God with whatever you are going through today!


Friday, July 1, 2011

Events for July...

Monday, July 4 "I Love Community" Celebration at Bethel Assembly of God beginning at 5 pm. Bring your family and some lawn chairs for some fun and relaxation.

Food vendors, inflatables for all ages, pony rides, petting zoo, give-aways, treasure hunt, face painting, balloon art, competitive events, eating contests, musical concert, and the Martinsburg City fireworks to end the evening.

Tuesday, July 12 Playdate at Allison Adam's house in Kearneysville, WV beginning at 11 am. Bring a packed lunch or money for pizza for lunch. Pony rides and pool access will be available.
If directions are needed, contact Allison at

Tuesday, July 26 Jay Dee's Family Fun Center in Inwood, WV- Join us for the water part at 12 Noon. The pricing is $7 per person with slides, $5 without which includes unlimited use of spray toys, slides, and splash pool. Other activities are putt putt golf, nature zone, arcade, and jungle gym area each at individual pricing.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Amanda Dagostino at .

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Surprise Baby Gift for Kim Schmuck

Thank you all so very much! I greatly appreciate the thoughtfulness and love shown to our family. It's great to be a part of such a caring circle of ladies!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Coming this fall...

"The friendship Jesus shared with His disciples was the model for the relationship He extends to you. He wants to be the voice that steers you through every situation, the peace that sets your troubled heart at rest, and the power that holds you up in the storm. He wants to be closer than your dearest friend and more faithful than anyone you've ever known."
He Loves Me! By Wayne Jacobsen.

If this statement intrigues you, join us in the fall as we study this wonderful book together and learn about the Fathers love for us and His desire that we walk close beside Him in an intimate relationship, feeling secure in His great affection for us.

Kim Ratcliffe

Friday, June 24, 2011

I Love Community Celebration!

July 4, 2011 from 5- 10 PM

Bring your family and some lawn chairs to Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV for some fun and relaxation...

Food vendors, inflatables for all ages, pony rides, petting zoo, give-aways, treasure hunt, face painting, balloon art, competitive events, eating contests, musical concert, and the Martinsburg City fireworks to end the evening!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The King of Books

"The Bible is the mind of God, and reveals the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. It's doctrines are holy, it's precepts are binding, it's histories are true, and it's decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to supply you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's chart. Here paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is it's grand subject our good it's design, and the glory of God it's end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given to you in life, will be open at the Judgement, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with it's contents."
Anonymous A Christian publication for British railroad workers entitled "The King of Books" (1891)

No book has ever impacted the world like the Bible. It's the most popular and powerful book on earth and it's influence is growing stronger every day. Many spurn it, ridicule it, attack it, trash it, and even burn it. But it outlives all its critics while, at the same time, transforming the lives of all who receive its message. In good conscience, I can full recommend God's Word to your minds and hearts. I have no reservations at all. We may not fully understand every single verse, but that's only to be expected if our Book comes from an infinite mind. It contains mysteries unfathomable. Yet all we really need to know is contained within its covers. The apostle Peter said, "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature....
(2 Peter 1:3-4).

Isaac Watts, the great hymnist, was a lifelong bachelor (he once proposed to a girl but was turned down). He lives in borrowed (but elegant) quarters. He spent much of his time writing great hymns and, later, influential textbooks. And he somehow balanced the tasks of pastoring a church and producing a massive volume of published works. He once revealed the secret of his vitality and productivity in this admonition: "Abandon the secret chamber," he warned, "and the spiritual life will decay." In other words, don't miss your devotions! Read, learn, memorize, and obey God's Word every day. It is inspired by Him and therefore indispensable to us. It truly is the king of Books.
Turning Point by David Jeremiah (June issue)

Kim Ratcliffe

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Gardner

On the path I take every evening when I’m walking my dog, I go past an abandoned house. A few weeks back, I noticed a beautiful rose bush with six roses in full bloom. Because of my love of roses, I stopped to admire them. For each rose to be so full, I knew there were years of pruning and care given to this bush. And now it stands alone.

What if the once gardener of this rose bush had become frustrated with the growing process and hacked it away or trimmed too much? What if when it was attacked with disease, the gardener yanked it out of the ground? I’m sure there were times when there was doubt in the gardener’s eyes that this rose bush would ever become the vision of beauty it is today.

We, as mothers, are like the gardner in our child’s life. We have to carefully look after, love, and prune each child given to us by God. There is much time and consideration put into this process. We must take care of their physical needs as well as emotional and spiritual. We can become frustrated and wonder if our efforts will ever produce the beautiful masterpiece we hope to see one day.

While our children are in our care, we can’t give up. The gardner clearly knows what is seeks to achieve~ the bounty of harvest or the rose in full bloom. We need to keep before us the outcome we are striving for in our children.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galations 6:9


Monday, June 6, 2011

Our Summer Schedule!

I hope to see you all this summer. We must be intentional in staying in touch by reaching out with a phone call, having a playdate, and planning an event by inviting others to join you. If during our summer break life takes you by surprise with something upsetting for you or your family, we are only a phone call or email away. Please reach out to someone- your care circle leader, our hospitality coordinator, Christy Shrom, Kim or myself, and of course our prayer support partner, Patricia Law! Do not go it alone when you don’t have to!! If you need prayer, any of us will stop what we are doing to meet and pray with you!!
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another..." Hebrews 10:25

Tuesday, June 14 Clearbrook Park in Clearbrook, VA- Join us at 10:30 AM for lots of fun on the playground, fishing on the 3-acre lake, paved walking paths (for bikes/scooters), and picnic areas on a beautiful 55-acre park. Bring a packed lunch for your family and let's enjoy the day together! Rain date 6/16.

Tuesday, June 28 Galaxy Skateland Evening Family Event in Martinsburg, WV- Join us from 6:30-9 PM for skating and 3-story huge jungle gym. Price: $2 per person, $2 skate rental, $5 jungle gym (optional). Skate sizes available are kids sizes 8-2, adult sizes 3-15, and rollerblades available upon request.

Monday, July 4 Independence Day "I love Community Celebration" at Bethel Assembly of God beginning at 4 pm. Further info to come.

Tuesday, July 12 Playdate at Allison Adam's house in Kearneysville, WV at 11:00 AM. Bring a dish for lunch to share. If desired, pony rides will be given to the children.

Tuesday, July 26 Jay Dee's Family Fun Center in Inwood, WV- Join us for the water park at 12 Noon. The pricing is $7 per person with slides, $5 without which includes unlimited use of spray toys, slides, and splash pool. Other activities are putt putt golf, nature zone, arcade, and jungle gym area each at individual pricing.

Tuesday, August 9 Chuck E. Cheese in Hagerstown, MD- Join us for lunch and games at 11 AM. Go to for special offers and coupons before this event.

Monday, August 29 Back-to-School Bash at War Memorial Park Pool in Martinsburg, WV from 6:30-8:30 PM. Snacks and drinks will be provided. This event is for the whole family!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our Event Coordinator, Amanda Dagostino, at

Friday, May 27, 2011

Movies this summer...

Welcome to Regal's Summer Movie Express 2011. Pre-selected G or PG rated movies for $1 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00am.
950 FOXCROFT AVE Martinsburg WV 304-264-4061

Dates and movies:
6/14-6/15 (10am)

6/21-6/22 (10am)

6/28-6/29 (10am)

7/5-7/6 (10am)

7/12-7/13 (10am)

7/19-7/20 (10am)

7/26-7/27 (10am)

8/2-8/3 (10am)

8/9-8/10 (10am)

The Berkeley Plaza Theatre 7
Free every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 10 AM

Dates and movies:
June 13 - 14 - 15, 2011
1. Cats and Dogs (PG)
2. Chronicles of Narnia: Dawn Treader (PG)

June 20 - 21 - 22, 2011
1. Despicable Me (PG)
2. Legend of the Guardians (PG)

June 27 - 28 - 29, 2011
1. Furry Vengeance (PG)
2. Nanny Mcphee Returns (PG)

July 4 - 5 - 6, 2011 (PG)
1. Gulliver's Travels (PG)
2. The Karate Kid (PG)

July 11 - 12 - 13, 2011
1. Marmaduke (PG)
2. How to train Dragon (PG)

July 18 - 19 - 20, 2011
1. Shrek Forever After (PG)
2. Grown Ups (PG-13)

July 25 - 26 - 27, 2011
1. Yogi Bear (PG)
2. Mega Mind (PG)

August 1 - 2 - 3, 2011
1. Ramona and Beezus (PG)
2. The Spy Next Door (PG)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Preparing for the teen years

Pastor Jane Campbell was so kind to come and speak with many of us moms this past Tuesday who want to be prepared as our children approach the teen years. For those who participated in another discussion opportunity or who could not make it, below is what she shared with us. I hope you get as much out of it as I did. ~Lisa

I want to tell you that the teen years are incredible years of parenting- and way more than merely tolerating your adolescent.

What is your current outlook?
1. You might as well take me away to the funny farm now!
2. You don't know my child- I don't know if I can do this.
3. I've enjoyed every stage of parenting- I believe the teen years will be no exception.

As I was praying for you about this talk, I felt the Lord prompt me to share this: Don't be afraid. The Lord will help you navigate through these years.

And also: For some of you in your desire to keep your child safe, protected, and on the right path, your tendency is to control too much. Yes, be wise. Yes, be aware. But don't suffocate your child.

As a parent you feel a deep-in-your-soul fear about the world your son or daughter must live in. Let's face it, there are risks that we are preparing them to face in our environment: depression, the power of friends, the bombardment of media, violence, alternative lifestyles, a sexually saturated society. It is enough to make a mom's heart afraid. But listen to God's timeless words to us: "Our son's in their youth will be like well nurtured plants, and our daughter's will be pillars carved to adorn a palace." Psalm 144:12

That's not just a nice poetic thought. It's a promise from the inventor of the family, the designer of your son or daughter. If you "well nurture" your son, he will be like a healthy plant, rooted, strong, productive. If you skillfully carve your daughter's life, she will be like a pillar of a palace. This doesn't refer to her figure, but to a young woman who is a work of art, royally beautiful, solidly dependable. And if we do a good job nurturing and beautifying, here's the payoff:
"Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision, there will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cries of distress in our streets." Psalm 144:13-14

So how can we nurture and shape?

1. Thermostat or thermometer? A thermometer reflects the temperature. A thermostat sets the temperature and as parents set the climate. Unfortunately too many parents are thermometers. They reflect the temperature set by their child at the moment: hot, cold, loud, moody, nice, nasty. this is reactive parenting- forever reacting to the changing moods of someone one third their age.

An effective parent is a thermostat- knowing your mission and staying steady on the course. Thermostat moms set the climate with each child at a consistent temperature.

2. Look beyond their deeds to their needs- Most of a teens deeds are the acting out of needs that are either met or unmet. If we want to change the deed, meet the need that's fueling it.

3. Maintaining a relationship with them is key with communication, time, and listening.

4. Too much too soon. Be careful with texting, facebook, computer, and music. They should all be monitored. Be in touch with your teens technology related social life by monitoring it because they need accountability.

5. Play with your child now and often. When they enjoy you and you enjoy them, you earn the right to be heard. You can do this with last night talks and spontaneous moments of laughter.

A teen needs:
1. A secure self- Our primary feelings of whether we are okay or not come from our mother and father.
2. Sexual answers
3. Satisfying love
4. Stable authority- a united front
5. Spiritual reality- modeling a passionate, growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Final thought
A parent could raise a child who is physically attractive, mentally sharp, and socially skilled and still leave him or her spiritually unprovided for.
Our missle defense system in America is pretty impressive. Inside each of those silos where the missle is held, is a missle that will go up to 6000 miles- punched into the sky by a fiery launch beneath the ground- and it knows where its going. Missles have inner guidance systems toward a target.
Your teen is a powerful missle with a high-powered education, socially aware, and sexually aware and needs an internal guidance system.
Pastor Jane Campbell

Recommended books from Pastor Jane:
"'Bloom' A Girls Guide to Growing Up" by Susie Shellenberger
"What Your Daughter Isn't Telling You" by Susie Shellenberger
"I Kissed Dating Goodbye" by Joshua Harris
"Preparing for Adolescence" by James Dobson

Devotional book for your teen:
"The One Minute Bible" by Doug Fields

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't miss it!

"My mother is a woman who speaks with her life as much as with her tongue."
Kesaya E. Noda, Growing Up Asian in America

Tuesday, May 24 Topic Meeting with special guest speakers- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV in the Mace building, room 109 from 9:45-11:45 AM for a time of brunch, discussion, and prayer. Childcare is provided!

Our special topics and speakers are Take others to a higher level, What kind of encourager are you? with Louise Harris; Preparing for the teenage years with Pastor Jane Campbell; Multiple Intelligence with Sherry White; and Overcoming Postpartum Depression and Ask the Doula with Grace Mueller.

Monday, May 30 Memorial Day Picnic- Join us at Poorhouse Farm Park from 11 AM- 3 PM. Bethel will be providing the meat and drinks. Each family is asked to bring one side dish and one dessert. There will be activities, games, food, and fun for the entire family. Please make plans to join us!

If you have any questions about our special events, please contact Amanda Dagostino at or Lisa Fraley at .

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Mother's Prayer - Rachel Aldous

Many of us viewed this video at our Mother's Day Breakfast. It was so beautiful. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Introducing Oliver Michael Larry Allgeier

Congratulations to Mike and Jenn Allgeier on the birth of their baby boy. Ollie came into the world at 9:35 pm on May 6, 2011 weighing 7 pounds, 10.8 oz. and 19 1/4 inches long. Mother and baby are doing great.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Our Lovely Speaker...

Thank you to Pastor Rebecca Johnston for the wonderful message to all of us moms! God is the God that sees each of us! Praise the Lord!

Our Lovely Breakfast...

All of you looked so beautiful! Your real beauty shows in your kindness and love to one another! Thank you for coming!



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Before I was a Mom...

I made and ate hot meals. I had unstained clothing. I had quiet conversations on the phone.

Before I was a Mom... I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed. I brushed my hair and my teeth everyday.

Before I was a Mom... I cleaned my house each day. I never tripped over toys or forgot words to lullabies.

Before I was a Mom... I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about Immunizations.

Before I was a Mom... I had never been puked on, pooped on, spit on, chewed on, peed on or pinched by tiny fingers. I had complete control of my mind, my thoughts, and my body. I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom... I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom... I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom... I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Mom... I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment, or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.
Author Unknown

Friday, May 6, 2011

Yardsale Season is here!

Community Yard Sale at Inwood Primary School: May 7, 2011 beginning at 8 AM.

Kid’s Stuff Yard Sale: May 22, 2011
If you live near Hagerstown, Maryland you don't want to miss the upcoming Kid's Stuff yard sale! It's the best yard sale in our area and it usually takes place twice a year (Spring and Fall). This is a great way to shop for baby items, kids clothes and all kinds of kid/baby gear and toys.
You don't want to miss it! Meet at Volvo Powertrain parking lot at 13302 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown, MD beginning 7:00 AM.

CSC Child Spirit Consignment's Seasonal Event: June 2-5, 2011

This yard sale will feature high quality, gently used children's clothing, furnature, toys, and maternity items. Meet at Berkeley County Fairgrounds at 2419 Golf Course Road, Martinsburg, WV beginning at 10 AM.

You have the opportunity to be apart of this yardsale as a consignor or a volunteer. Contact Michele Townsend Grove at 304-283-7005

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May News

The LORD your God is with you...
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Refuel Series on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm beginning May 11- What the Bible really says about Men & Women by Pastor Ralph Campbell III. Please join us for this eye-opening, fun, and interactive teaching series!

Tuesday, May 10 Our Annual Mother's Day Breakfast- Join us to honor you as a mother at the Purple Iris in Martinsburg, WV from 9:45-11:45 AM. Tickets were sold in advance.

We will enjoy this time together among friends with a delicious breakfast, special prizes, and guest speaker, Pastor Rebecca Johnston. Our meal will include the following: Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Herbs, Herb and Onion Potatoes, Bacon, Sausage, French Toast, Assorted Breakfast Pastries, and Fresh Fruits, Assorted Juices, Coffee, Teas, and Water.

Friday, May 13 Jus' Moms Coffee Break- For those moms who need a break or want to connect, join us at Starbuck's in Target in Martinsburg, WV at 9:30 AM. This is primarily for those moms whose children are in school however it's open to anyone.

Tuesday, May 24 Topic Meeting with special guest speakers- Join us at Bethel Assembly of God in Martinsburg, WV in the Mace building, room 109 from 9:45-11:45 AM for a time of brunch, discussion, and prayer. Childcare is provided!

Our special topics and speakers are Take others to a higher level, What kind of encourager are you? with Louise Harris; Preparing for the teenage years with Pastor Jane Campbell; Multiple Intelligence with Sherry White; and Overcoming Postpartum Depression and Ask the Doula with Grace Mueller.

Monday, May 30 Memorial Day Picnic- Join us at Poorhouse Farm Park from 11 AM- 3 PM. Bethel will be providing the meat and drinks. Each family is asked to bring one side dish and one dessert. There will be activities, games, food, and fun for the entire family. Please make plans to join us!

If you have any questions about our special events, please contact Amanda Dagostino at or Lisa Fraley at .

Monday, May 2, 2011

Trusting God

Throughout Scripture, God continually encourages us to rely on him like a child relies on a parent. Some of us may have lost the ability to trust because our parents never provided adequately for our needs, while others of us may have lost our ability to trust through circumstances- a failed job, death of a loved one, a lost desire. But God has revealed time and again that he can help us relearn that childlike faith if we let him. It's a matter of cultivating a relationship with him and letting him show himself faithful as he works good out of our circumstances. Close your eyes and picture yourself resting your head on Jesus' chest. Can you hear his heart beating with love for you?

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust God because...
God blesses those who trust him. Psalm 143:8
God cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7
Trusting God brings joy, peace, and hope. Romans 15:13

Devotional from The Busy Mom's Bible

Friday, April 29, 2011

An Easter Miracle

A month ago an awful, horrible thing happened at my home. “Purple Bunny” went missing. My daughter, Hannah, was devastated and then it began…the looking, hoping, and praying.

For four weeks we looked for bunny. I looked all over the house, in the car, and outside. I drove around the mall parking lot because maybe it dropped out of the car. I asked my friends. I checked lost and founds. I asked the church office if they had seen a purple bunny. But nothing…

We wondered what happened to purple bunny. Was she in a dark ditch somewhere? Was she dirty, wet, or cold? Was she going to be like Edward Tulane on a great adventure or the Velveteen Rabbit on her way to becoming real?

Every night at bedtime Hannah called upon God to bring purple bunny home. She was relentless in her prayers. She cried and asked God to watch over her bunny. It seemed impossible that bunny would ever be found. As I was praying over our Easter dinner thanking Jesus for dying on the cross for our sins and raising from the dead three days later, here comes a small voice breaking through saying, “And Jesus, please bring my purple bunny home.”

That night as I was tucking in my daughter and praying again over her purple bunny, I asked God to show Hannah how important she was to Him and how He does hear her prayers. And the next day, He did! She found thin, scruffy, one eyed, purple bunny! That night Hannah proclaimed it was her EASTER MIRACLE!

It wasn’t just her Easter miracle but it was mine too! The real miracle for me was seeing God show up for my child, to see her faith grow right in front of me, and to remind me that God answers prayers.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

BUYcott Chick-fil-A this week

A few weeks ago, AFA alerted you to an attack by homosexual activists against the Christian-owned Chick-fil-A company.In February, a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Pennsylvania donated some sandwiches and brownies to a marriage seminar hosted by the Pennsylvania Family Institute. Because the seminar promoted marriage as between one man and one woman, pro-homosexual activists launched an all-out attack on Chick-fil-A.Some started calling the company's main product "Jesus Chicken," while others mocked and belittled the company's "Not Open on Sunday" policy. They even smeared company employees, calling them "anti-gay."

Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy built a 1500-restaurant chain on his "personal and business philosophy based on biblical principles." Something else you may not know:

Chick-fil-A plays Christian music in its restaurants...exclusively.
Chick-fil-A closes all its locations on exceptions.
Chick-fil-A's stated corporate purpose is:
1) To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us; and
2) To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.

AFA, American Family Association, is encouraging you to "BUYCOTT" a Chick-fil-A restaurant during the week f April 25-30. When you pay for your meal, take a moment to thank them for standing on Christian principles by printing and handing them the Chick-fil-A "Thank You!" card.

Tim Wildmon, PresidentAmerican Family Association
Take Action Link*
Click on link for thank you note

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rooted and Grounded

Every morning as I am pouring my coffee, I look out my kitchen window to see an oak tree standing along the banks of the Opequon creek. Undoubtedly, this oak has been through many a Spring flood, as it bears two markings. One is about six feet up its trunk and the other is about seven feet up. We were told when we bought our house that these markings were from previous floods that consumed our backyard and even a cabin that once stood there. The tree, however, remains.
This oak represents what we have in Christ. As we are rooted and grounded in Christ, and we withstand the mighty floods in our lives, we stand firm. The waters subside, and we can bear the markings of those flood waters, but we still stand firm. We survive the test of the flood with hands reaching to the heavens. Our roots so firmly grounded in Christ's word and our faith, that not even the rushing waters of a Spring flood can tear us from the soil. We can feel washed out, washed up, caught in the whirlpool, saturated, or even drowned, but we hold tight with our roots. We stand firm in Christ's soil.
Sharon Doerk