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Hello summer! Our MOPS/MOMSNext crew is in full swing with our summer activity schedule. Right now we are on 'vacation' so-to-speak, but that doesn't mean that the fun has to stop. We are currently meeting at least once a week for play dates at the park. We meet every Thursday at Kerr Park off of Stearns Road here in Oakdale. We meet from 10:30 a.m. until around noon. We encourage all moms to bring a sack lunch to the park for themselves and their little ones. The kids can run and play and the moms have time for some great conversation and fellowship.

We are also having a few 'field trips' over the summer. We recently packed up our little ones and caravanned to Lathrop to a fun little establishment called Go Bananas! This was a super great trip for all of our little sprouts. For just a small fee the kids were allowed to play for three hours on a variety of bounce houses and slides. They also offered a section just for our wee little ones. Four years and under had their very own play area. It was so nice for the smaller kids to be able to enjoy themselves just like the older children.

After we ran, jumped, bounced and played our little hearts out we trekked up the road and grabbed the kids some lunch at a nearby McDonalds, complete with PlayPlace, because everyone deserves a treat every once in a while. This gave the kids a chance to settle down and the moms a chance to chat. This is just one example of the fun things we do over the summer.

We also recently had our Steering Team retreat. This is a get together of the team that is set to lead our moms for the coming year. We whisked away to a cabin in the mountains to discuss our upcoming season. We brainstormed, planned and set in motion what is going to be a great program for our 2012-2013 year. A lot tends to get done when you have no cell phone service to interrupt your idea process. We have so many wonderful speakers, awesome crafts and great 'Moms Night Out' activities planned for all of our participants. The year hasn't even started yet and we are already diligently working on all the aspects that will prove to be a great experience for all.

We are really excited and very much looking forward to when MOPS/MOMSNext starts up again in September but in the meantime we are so delighted to be able to get together and just have fun. We are always looking for new moms to join our group and engage with us in these fun activities. We encourage you to check out our group and give yourself the chance at new friendships, fun activities and great fellowship.

If you are interested in joining our group we would love to have you. You can contact our MOPS Coordinator, Kristyn Sorrick, at 209-988-5911 or you can contact our MOMSNext coordinator, Tracy Mota, at 209-324-3649 if you have any questions or would like to sign up for the 2012-2013 session.

Have a great summer and we hope to see you when MOPS/MOMSNext starts again in September.

Erin Pearson is a local resident and mother of both a preschool child and a high school-age child. She is an active member of the local MOPS organization, which draws members from the Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon areas. For more information about the local group, contact Tracy Mota at (209) 324-3649.