Thursday, November 29, 2012

Surviving and Thriving as a Stay-at-Home Mom

When I first quit my career to stay at home with my infant daughter full-time, I knew I had a lot to learn but no idea how much…

I had no idea what I was doing. There had been no children in my life since I was a child and I babysat my cousins (and that was ages ago!). I’d never been much of a cook ‒ and I had previously hired a cleaning service ‒ so the word “homemaking” really had no meaning for me. All my friends were single and working during the day. So while I spent a lot of time on Facebook, I didn’t actually speak with anyone other than my husband, who I mostly fought with, and my daughter, who could only babble.

My neighbor is the one who rescued me. She invited me over for coffee while we watched her kids and mine play in the front room. She introduced me to MOPS and reacquainted me with the love of Jesus through her gentle example. She introduced me to other moms who were supportive and kind. They were so helpful, inclusive and non-judgmental. To this day, I am hugely grateful for MOPS and still attend meetings, even though I’m two states away from where I began. 

To continue reading click here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

50 Ways to Inspire Your Husband

There’s an old joke about one of our presidents walking with his wife, who sees one of her old boyfriends in a less-than-glorious occupation. The president looks at the old boyfriend and remarks, “If you hadn’t married me, you might be married to that guy.”
The first lady answers calmly, “If I had married him, he’d be president.”
Now, occupation is not the measure of a man. But as a wife, you do possess a unique power to inspire your husband. Your loving vision of the man he’s becoming propels him toward greatness—not necessarily by the world’s yardstick of success, or even your own, but of God’s.
When you believe in him, he is secure. He can take the leaps of faith required to surmount fear. He can bear up under pressure, pioneer new territory.
An inspired husband feels the freedom to reach the fullest potential of the man God has created him to be. He’s not merely encouraged. He’s a man who’s empowered; a conqueror. If you want to give your man some “wind beneath his wings”… start here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wonderfully Made

From Sarah Brammer, Evening MOPS 

We had the pleasure of listening to Mentor Mom Karen Bendell speak to us this evening about "body image." During her message, we were reminded that God created each one of us in his loving image, and that according to Him, each and every one of us is beautiful! This message is an important one to reinforce with our children. Remember this: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10). For links to the videos and other resources shared by Karen, click here. Thanks to Karen for shedding light on this very relevant child-rearing topic. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Giving Up On Perfection

by Kathi Lipp, mom and stepmom of four
I may have to give up reading blogs.
Once again I've stumbled across a blog that my friend LOVES, and it's all about a perfect family who looks perfect, who are making their clean eating, sugar-free snacks (from scratch) as they do EVERY DAY, living on their pseudo-farm, where not only are they all hard workers, but their kids are all gifted. And there are plenty of Instagram photos to document all this perfect-ness.
It feels like a bunch of mini-Marthas trying to out-perfect each other, and I have to say it concerns me.
When all we are seeing is the perfect slice of a person's life, it can make us, the reader, a regular mom, feel like there is something wrong with us because WE aren't perfect. I live with daily evidence of my imperfection:
    My kids talk back to me.
    No one ever offers to do chores.
    I’m happy if I get dinner on the table (even if part of it came from a box).
    I may have (just possibly) watched a little too much TV last night.
    My second child has exactly one page of her scrapbook filled in.
But here’s the thing: WE are not designed to be perfect.
Let me see your dirty laundry. 
Tell me about that cobbler that tasted like actual shoes. 
Tell me about the time you messed up as a mom. 
And let me know that you are being the best mom you can be, leaning on a community of moms and asking for help and grace from others and God.
God, help me to be the girl you created me to be – living loved. Help me to see others through your lens, not to compare myself to, but to learn to love.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

MOPS A Documents

MOPS A Schedule 12

MOPS A Directory 12

MOPS A Leader Bios 12

Reflections on Alyssa's story

At our first meeting, our coordinator, Alyssa Theisen shared with us some of her journey as a mom and her experience in MOPS.  Thank you Alyssa for sharing your story and being transparent with us.

I’ve been reflecting upon our first meeting and some of the things that Alyssa said.  She made the comment that when she first came to MOPS, she didn’t feel like she needed MOPS.  But she felt compelled by God to keep coming, and so she did.  Maybe she did need MOPS, and she just didn’t know it yet.  Or perhaps she really didn’t need MOPS, but maybe MOPS needed her!  In the years since then, Alyssa has served as a Discussion Group Leader, Caregiving & Service, and as Coordinator.  I, for one, am so glad that she obeyed God and kept coming back!

I feel like Alyssa’s story applies to all of us.  I don’t know exactly why God placed me in MOPS this year.  It’s my eighth year – maybe I should move on and do something else.  But here I am because I feel this is where I am supposed to be.  Maybe God has something to teach me through MOPS this year.  So I am supposed to wait and watch with an open heart for whatever that is.  Or perhaps God wants to use me this year.  Maybe there is someone else in that room that God wants to reach out to – and He wants to use me to do it.  So, again, I wait and watch for opportunities to be God’s hands and feet to the women around me.

Really, this idea can go much farther.  Where else do you find yourself?  In your home, in your neighborhood, your workplace, on the sidelines at your child’s soccer game, in a hospital waiting room…  I believe that God can speak to us, and use us, anyplace and at any time.  All He asks of us is an open heart and willingness to obey.

Why are you in MOPS this year?  Maybe you need MOPS, or maybe MOPS needs you!  Whatever the reason, we are SO glad you are here!  See you next week!

MOPS A Communications

Monday, October 1, 2012

Serve on Saturday (SOS)

Join an S.O.S. crew on Saturday, Oct.13, 8:30am–12:00pm and demonstrate
the love of Jesus Christ through hands-on service. Open to all ages
S.O.S is a great way for individuals, families and small groups to spend a
few hours making a difference for God’s Kingdom. INFO/Registration:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fun Fall Activities

Here is a list, definitely not a comprehensive one, of a few resources to find fun activities for your kiddos this fall. 

Where to Find Corn Mazes in the West Metro
Twin Cities Harvest Festival & Maze
Halloween Happenings in the NW Metro
Three Rivers Park District: Halloween Happenings
Minnetonka Apple Orchard
Apple Jack Orchards
Sever's Corn Maze

The MN Landscape Arboretum has a ton of autumn activities. Every Thursday is free from November - March. Every 3rd Thursday is free from April - October.

If you have others to add to the list, please email Melissa Moore.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Four Letter Word

Today was special. All-day meetings at work were followed by a difficult daycare pick-up. Naptime had ended with the discovery of a puddle of pee on the carpeted floor – and I’m sorry to say it wasn’t the dog. There was a refusal to apologize, a proliferation of tears, and a definite lack of understanding on my part as to why a potty trained 4-year-old would urinate on the carpet with the bathroom just a few feet away.

Next stop was a dreaded but necessary trip to Walmart. What mom doesn’t love a solo trip to the store with toddlers?

To read the rest of the article click here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Welcome Baby Carter!

Congratulations to Megan Hanson who welcomed Carter Jay Hanson on August 31st. He weighed 9 lbs, 7 ozs and was 21 inches long. God bless your growing family!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Look Up

This morning, my 4-year-old son looked out the sliding door in our kitchen. It is the same sliding door that he has looked out of for the past eleven months. The same sliding door he opens and closes countless times a day as he runs outside to play with the dogs. But this morning was different. This morning he looked through the large rectangle of glass and exclaimed, “Mom! There's a mountain over there!”

Indeed, there is. It’s the same mountain that has been visible through that sliding door since long before we moved into the house. Apparently he had been too busy enjoying life from his vantage point to look up high enough to notice it.

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Children

#1 - Salvation: "Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory." (Isa. 45:8; 2 Tim. 2:10)

#2 - Grow in Grace: "I pray that my children may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Pet. 3:18)

To download the entire list, please click here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Your Screaming Kids Are Distracting Me

I was at a holy hour the other night, totally focused and immersed in my thoughts, when from the back of the church came the sound of a wailing toddler.  Just like that, I lost it.  I was completely distracted by some kid who was far too young to be stuck sitting in a church. And thank God for that...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2012-2013 MOPS Registration is Open!

Registration is now open for the upcoming Session I of MOPS.

Click here to register.

Click here to download a Westwood MOPS brochure.

Registration Information
Registration fee: $60 per session.
Your registration fee covers crafts, special guests, MOPS International membership and a subscription to MomSense magazine.  Registrations are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Scholarships are made available to those in need.  Send your request to 

Group A & B MOPS
$10 for 1st child, $5 for each additional child per session (maximum of $25).
Evening MOPS 
MOPPETS childcare is not available for Evening MOPS. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Far From Perfect

by Susan Besze Wallace from

In the sea of boy toys that is our house, the gold plastic gladiator helmet is one of many costumes my boys use for fighting evil, finding adventure or feigning royalty. I didn’t think much of it when I found the helmet, a huge crack running front to back, and put it in the garage near the trash bin. 

Later that week, I found it in the playroom again. My mommy brain made me think I’d imagined the toss-out and hadn’t followed through. So I put it in the kitchen trash.

Days later, I saw the helmet in the basement. Trash police? Recycling elf?... To read the full article, click here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

MOPS Dates 2012-2013

Mark your Calendars with the upcoming 2012-2013 MOPS Dates!   

Registration opens August 1st  

Please visit Westwood's web site to register. 

Group A: Session I: 9/27, 10/11, 11/1, 11/15, 12/6, 1/10, 1/24 
Session II: 2/14, 2/28, 3/14, 4/4, 4/18, 5/2, 5/16

Group B: Session I: 9/20, 10/4, 10/25, 11/8, 11/29, 1/3, 1/17          
Session II: 2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 4/11, 4/25, 5/9 

Evening MOPS: Session 1: 10/4, 11/1, 11/15, 12/6, 1/3 
Session 2: 2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 4/11, 5/2

Monday, May 7, 2012

Treat of the Week Winner: Bacon Wrapped Dates

Bacon Wrapped Dates by Ellen Boss Krohn thanks to Solera Restaurant

Medjool Dates (pit in or pitted)
1 # soft goats cheese
1/4 Cup herbs (thyme, parsley, cilantro, chives)
1 # bacon (we use all natural organic meats from MN farmers at Solera, Linden Hills Coop has this available)

-If your dates have pits in them you will need to slice them in half lengthwise and remove the pit, if you can buy them without pits and halved that will save you some prep time. If you cannot find medjool other dates will work just fine.

-pick your thyme, remove stems from parsley, remove stems from cilantro ( you don't want to CHOP your herbs because you will bruise them . . . you can tell when they start leaching liquid around the edges and turn a dark green color . . . . you want to gently chiffonad them until they are finely minced

-place your goats cheese and herbs together and mix until well incorporated, add a pinch of sea salt

-take about 1/2 a teaspoon of the goats cheese mixture and mold it into the date, you don't want to overstuff it otherwise it will negatively affect the cooking procedure. Stuff all your dates 

-cut your bacon in half and roll the dates in the bacon and then secure with a toothpick

-deep fry the dates until the bacon is just crispy . . . . if you have over stuffed the dates the cheese will start to melt out

-once out of the fryer, toss in an acid vinaigrette and a little bit of chives or parsley then eat . . .can be eaten at room temp as well, it won't hurt them to sit out a little bit.

Treat of the Week Winner: Better Than Sex Cake

Better Than Sex Cake by Annalisa Christensen
Bake one box chocolate cake mix according to directions. Poke holes in cake with bottom of wooden spoon. Pour one can sweetened condensed milk and one jar butterscotch/caramel sundae topping over cake. Top with one container cool whip and crushed toffee pieces.

Treat of the Week Winner: Spicy Hash browns

Spicy Hash browns by Annalisa Christensen
Brown 1lb Jimmy Dean hot sausage. Mix 8 oz softened cream cheese with 1/4c chopped jalapenos. Add 1/3 c milk, 1 c cheddar cheese, 1/4c melted butter and 30oz thawed hashbrowns. Add salt and pepper or Lawry's seasoning to taste. Spread in 13x9 pan. Crush 2c corn flakes with 1/4c cheddar cheese. Spread on top of potatoes and pour another 1/4c melted butter on top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

We hope that you have had a wonderful experience this year in Evening MOPs.  It has been such a joy to see everyone grow in their relationships with each other and with Christ.

We would love to hear about your experience.  Your table leader should have sent you an email with the below link to a survey.  We would appreciate you taking the time to give feedback and help us plan for next year.

There will be some play dates and activities planned for this summer.  More information to come at our next meeting.  We hope to see you over the summer!
Our wonderful coordinator, Michelle, will be leaving us after this year.  Michelle and her family are also moving out of the area.  Best of luck with your move!
Thank you, Michelle, for sharing your gift of leadership and companionship over the past 2 years!  We appreciate all that you have done!
We will miss you!
We would love to have you come back next fall!  If you did not pre-register for MOPs for next fall, iis not too late!  Registration will open later this summer.  Keep your eyes out and be sure to check the blog over the summer for more information.

We will be welcoming a new coordinator this fall, Niki E. 

Interested in leadership?  Please talk to Niki to learn more about these incredible roles.

Welcome Baby Carter!

Evening MOPs would like to welcome Carter Joseph!
Carter was born on March 23rd, 2012 to Heidi P.
He weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz.

Welcome Carter!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Treat of the Week Winner: Jalapeno Popper Dip

Jalapeno Popper Dip 
by Kate Kadlec

2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (softened)
1 cup mayo
1 (4oz) can chopped green chilies (drained)
2 ounces canned or jarred diced jalapeno peppers (drained)
8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1. Stir together cream cheese and mayo in a large bowl until smooth, stir in green chilies, jalapeno peppers, and 1/2 of shredded mozzeralla cheese.
2. Pour mixture into a microwave safe serving dish, and sprinkle with the other half of the shredded mozzeralla cheese and the parmesan cheese
3. Microwave on High until hot, about 5 minutes
4. Serve with Tortilla chips

Treat of the Week: Pool-side dip

Treat of the Week: Pool-side dip (found on Pinterest): 
By Amanda Melquist
1 red pepper
2 jalepenos (unseeded) (I actually used a can of diced Jalapenos)
1 can of corn
1/2 can diced olives
16 oz cream cheese (softened)
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dip seasoning mix. 

Mix together and serve with crackers.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Treat of the Week Winner: Wildfire Chopped Salad

Wildfire Chopped Salad

thanks to Jamey Kline

Serves 6-8

1 to 1 ½ heads of fresh romaine lettuce, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup cooked corn kernels (cool before adding to salad)

2-3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

2-3 tbsp finely chopped green onion

1-2 avocados, diced (add just before serving)

crumbled bacon

crumbled gorgonzola cheese

crumbled tortilla chips (add just before serving)

Wildfire dressing (I’ve found it at Jerry’s & Byerly’s – also available for purchase at Wildfire)

Chopped chicken, optional

Treat of the Week Winner: Tex-Mex Chicken Salad

Tex-Mex Chicken Salad

Thanks to Jamey Kline!

2 tbsp sour cream

1 ½ tbsp fresh lime juice, more if needed

Generous pinch ground cumin (I usually use close to 1 tsp)

Cayenne pepper, to taste

1 cup cooked chopped or shredded chicken

½ cup cooked corn kernels, slightly browned

½ cup diced cherry tomatoes

1 avocado diced

2 tbsp thinly sliced green onions

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp minced fresh jalapeƱo

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Tortilla chips, for serving

In a large skillet, add 2 cups water and 1 cup chicken broth. Season with taco seasoning, cumin and cayenne pepper. Add raw chicken breasts and cook thoroughly. Once cooked, remove and shred or chop. Discard liquid. Use this pan (without rinsing) to cook the corn kernels. Let chicken and corn cool.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, lime juice, cumin and cayenne pepper. Wisk well.

In a medium bowl, combine chicken and corn, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro & jalapeno. Add the sour cream mixture. Gently fold all ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld before serving.

Welcome Calista!

Ashley Kautzer's new baby girl, Calista Jacqueline was born Friday, March 16th at 10:32 am.
She weighed 8 lbs and was 18 1/2 inches long.
Welcome Calista!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Treat of the Week Winner: Artichoke Dip

Artichoke Dip by Beth Biesterfeld
  • 1 (8 ounces) block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (14 ounces) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Dash hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand held electric mixer until smooth. Then beat in the mayonnaise until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and stir together until combined. Transfer the dip to a pie plate or shallow gratin dish. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the dip is bubbling.

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Baby!

MOPS B would love to welcome new baby Elin Jennifer Krueger born on February 20th to Erin Krueger! Welcome Elin!

New Baby!

MOPS A would like to welcome new baby,
Addison Kay Bellin
born on February 22nd
to Jamie Bellin

Monday, February 6, 2012

Congratulations to Missy, Abe and their 2 year old Henry who welcomed the newest blessing to their family, Cal Hunter!

Cal was born on 2/1/12 at 11:33pm.
What a cool birthdate for little Cal, 2112! He was 7lb 6oz and 19 inches tall

He is quite a doll!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Updated list for Reece's needs

Items of Need- Theme Based Puzzles- outer space, bugs, garbage trucks, construction Model of the Solar System Books/DVD- Things that move/how things work Weather- Thunderstorms, rain, floods and tornadoes Canada Africa Fables/Fairy Tales- Cinderella, Pinocchio, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Milan DVD’s or books Veggie Tales Jonah (in the $5 dollar movie section at Target) Construction Books Bible Stories Gift cards to Target or Barnes and Noble Because of the uncertainty of what might be donated, if possible, please include a gift receipt- Thank you SO much for your support and willingness to help Reece out. Blessings~ please contact Tammy ( or Suzy ( if you are able to help.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Congratulations to
Kim and Darren who were blessed
with the birth of their twins on 1/13/12!

Allyson Grace weighed 7 pounds
and Elijah Samuel weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces

Friday, January 20, 2012

Treat of the Week: Baked French Toast

Baked French Toast (from the Pioneer Woman)

Made by Amy Lemkuil

1 loaf crusty french or sourdough bread
8 eggs
2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. whipping cream
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. vanilla extract

1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
Fresh fruit (optional)

Grease 9 x 13 pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and evenly distribute in pan. Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge several hours or overnight. In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add dash of nutmeg if desired. Add butter pieces and cut into dry mixture with pastry cutter until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a Ziploc in the frig. When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from the frig and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. (If you're using fruit, sprinkle on before the crumb mixture). Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture. May top portions with butter and maple syrup if desired.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Treat of the Week: Caramel-Chocolate Mini Bars

Caramel-Chocolate Mini Bars
Made by Kami Rude

2 C. Oatmeal
2 C. Flour
2 C. Packed Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 C. Butter, melted
2 - 14oz. packages Caramel Candies, unwrapped
1/4 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
1 1/2 C. Milk Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl; mix well. Add butter; mix until crumbly. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 16-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove pan from oven and place on cooling rack.

2. Place unwrapped caramels and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1-3 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour over hot crust; carefully spread to edges. Let stand 10 minutes or until caramel is set. Cut dessert lengthwise into eight rows.

3. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Spoon melted chocolate into a ziploc bag; twist top of the bag and trim the corner (don't trim too much or your chocolate drizzle will pour out too quickly!). Pipe a continual loop of chocolate in swirls down each row. Let the dessert sit until the chocolate is set. Cut rows crosswise and serve.

Treat of the Week: Gooey Butter Cake

Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Cake
Made by Jillian Block
1 box (18.25 ounce box) yellow cake mix
1 large egg
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 box (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.
3) Cake: Place cake mix, egg, and butter (melted, but not hot) in a large bowl. Mix well using a large spoon. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth out.
4) Filling: Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Add melted butter and beat. Slowly add confectioner's sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, and beat between each addition. Using a spatula, spread filling over cake mixture.
5) Bake for 40-50 minutes. You want center to be a little gooey. When you stick a toothpick in the center it should come out with a few wet crumbs.
Voila! Delicious.

Treat of the Week: Roxi's Egg Casserole

Egg Casserole
Made by Roxi Kendrick

3 c. cheese and garlic croutons
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
6 Tbls butter, melted
2&1/2 c. milk
9 eggs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg breakfast sausage, browned and set aside
Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Put croutons in bottom, cover with cheese and cooked sausage. Melt butter and pour over croutons, cheese and meat. Beat eggs, soup, milk and salt and pepper to taste; pour over everything. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350, covered for 45 minutes. uncover and bake 15 minutes more.

Treat of the Week: Knock You Naked Brownies

Knock You Naked Brownies
Made by Jillian Block
- German Chocolate Cake Mix (1 box, 18.5 oz)
- Pecans, 1 c. finely chopped
- Evaporated Milk (1/3 c., for mix)
- Evaporated Milk (1/2 c., for caramel mixture)
- Butter, melted (1/2 c.)
- Caramels, 60, unwrapped
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips (1/3 c.)
- Powdered Sugar (1/4 c.)
1) Preheat oven to 350
2) Grease a 9 x 9 square baking pan
3) In a large bowl, mix cake mix, chopped pecans, 1/3 c. evaporated milk, and butter (melted). Stir together It will be thick.
4) Press HALF of the mixture into the greased pan. Back for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
5) While baking...get out a double boiler (or a boiling saucepan with heatproof bowl on top...which never works quite right, but whatever...I don't have a double boiler). Add caramels with 1/2 c. evaporated milk. When melted, pour over the brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
6) Turn out the remaining brownie dough on a work surface. Use your hands to make it into a large square that is a little smaller than the pan. Use a spatula to remove it and put it on top of the caramel and chocolate chips.
7) Bake fr 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Then cover and refrigerate for a few hours. When ready to serve, sift powdered sugar on top.