Friday, May 30, 2008


Prompted by a friend's blog, I googled "Manders' Musings."

My blog came up on the first two hits, followed by. . . someone who does adult fan fiction.

Yikes! Just so you know - THAT IS NOT ME!

Orienting the Parent

Tuesday was Braeden's kindergarten orientation - but I had the distinct impression it was the parents they wanted to orient!

I didn't expect the experience to be a walk down memory lane. The hallway from the office to the kindergarten classrooms was a long one, and it brought back a flood of memories from my days in elementary at Florence Mattison. I felt like a six-year-old again - one who could barely contain her excitement and struggled to restrain her skip into a walk.

You see, I was one of those kids - the kind who absolutely loved school. Learning was fun for me - I don't recall ever dreading a single day of elementary. The school was fortunate to be staffed with wonderful teachers, and there was never a doubt in my mind that they cared about me.

Braeden was pretty dang excited, too! The elem apparently was having small groups of kids + parents come in so they could easily answer questions. There were two other kids there; one was a boy who was utterly silent, and the other was a small blonde girl who liked to talk. She and Braeden took one look at each other and became instant friends. It was the cutest thing to see. When the teachers led us to the classroom, they even wanted to sit together!

Speaking of classrooms - this school is enormous compared to the one I attended! I was floored at the size of the room, and I can only imagine it was intimidating to Bebo. Of course, he didn't let on! We were given a huge stack of papers, and lectured on all the applicable rules - no peanut butter, pick the child up between 2:30 -3:00 pm, wear appropriate shoes on gym day, no, we don't have room mothers but yes, you can volunteer, teach them to write their name, here is a recommended reading list - you get the idea. Braeden happily scribbled all over the paperwork and was actually pretty quiet, although he wouldn't hold still for long.

Then we went for a tour. . . and it was that point that I feared Bebo "marked" himself as a problem child. He and the little girl went nuts! As soon as we stepped into the gym, they looked at each other and without a word started running in circles together around the room! *sigh* I can hear the parent-teacher conferences now! We went into the cafeteria, and they did the same thing.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how my child is ever going to sit still from 8am - 2:30pm every day. I can only hope that he will follow the lead of the quieter kids and that we won't have too many calls from the teacher. It makes me sad that he has to go a full day instead of half a day like I did.

Ah, well. I'll try to teach him to write his name this summer - he seems to enjoy playing "school" - and beyond that, I'm just going to let him be a boy as much as he wants. Because when August rolls around, things are going to change quite a bit for the little guy - and his Mama!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I am Supermom

I think I could conquer anything - I just survived a weekend with my niece and nephew, and didn't have to kill anyone!

Okay, I know those of you with three-plus kids are not impressed. But it's different when you are only used to one kidlet! This morning I packed the kids things back up, put the finishing touches on my bible class lesson, coifed three heads of hair, painted the fingernails of a wiggly 2-year-old, fed them all breakfast, got myself through the shower, curled my hair and put on makeup without them setting off the smoke alarm, and we got to church 15 minutes early.

We certainly attracted some attention at church - as well as a few smart-aleck-y remarks. I was amazed at how many people (including Mom) asked me if I still wanted a houseful. After this weekend, the answer is only a more emphatic, resounding "yes!" Of course I do - this weekend simply proved that I can handle it. I've watched them before at Mom & Dad's, but it was a much easier job on my home turf, where I can easily find important things such as apple juice, legos, and band-aids.

I'll some amusing pics later, but for now let me leave with a couple of stories.

Katie is a prissy little thing. When she put on her dress this morning she said, "Look! I am so pretty!" (I wish you could hear how unbelievably articulate this child is!)

And last night, as she said prayers, she thanked God for (in this order) milkshakes, Jesus, God, and Santa Claus. :)

Good day!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Coconut.... lovely, blessed coconut

I've had more than one person ask me if I was pregnant when I said I had been craving coconut lately. I can assure you, I am not pregnant - I just have hated coconut my entire life. When I was young, Dad said it tasted like grass, and that cemented in my mind that coconut was an evil thing to be avoided at all costs.

Until Valentine's. Jeff bought me a box of Ferrero candy, which included a coconut-encrusted truffle. I immediately fell in love. Before I knew it, I was seeking out other elegant (and not-so-elegant) coconut offerings, including Nutty Coconut ice cream from Baskin Robbins, and pretty much anything else I could get my hands on.

This past week I stumbled on a recipe from a Quick Cooking book, and I am declaring it my favorite candy. Ever.

Because it would be wrong of me not to share, allow me to indulge your imagination in a delightful, chewy, decadent treat that will have you dreaming of more and sneaking to the kitchen for just one more bite.

Chocolate Coconut Candies (Totally lame name for a wonderful dessert. I need to improve it!)

1 3/4 c. shredded coconut
1 3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. shortening

In a bowl, combine coconut, sugar and milk. (This will be sticky.) Shape into balls and transfer to cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Refrigerate until hardened, approximately 30 minutes. In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips and shortening. Coat candies with chocolate and allow to harden. Store in airtight container.

I cannot wait to go back to the grocery store to make more!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Toot (Part 3)

I thought I was out for this round, since the toots had gone up on the 2ps message board. But last night, there it was - sitting neatly in my inbox, a congratulatory email from Digital Scrapbook Mag. They want to print another one of my pages! This time it's a layout I did of our Thanksgiving meal last year. I took close-ups of the dishes, and if I do say so myself, the pics were quite nice - almost as yummy as the food!

Fun, huh?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Officially Mom of a Boy

Oh, he's always been a boy, but yesterday Braeden proved, unequivocally and with great finality, his Boyhood.

Allow me to explain.

Monday evenings bring the great Grocery Trip. I sit at the table and plan out my menus for the week (that I rarely stick to, but that's beside the point), then dutifully prepare the list, adding food items in the order they appear in the store aisles. Last night, my head was bent to my task, and I was ignoring everyone else in the house. Jeff was playing a computer game, Buddy was barking at some unseen speck of dust, and Braeden was playing trains.

At least that's what I thought he was doing. Suddenly he appeared at my side, proudly waving. . .

Are you ready for this?


A dead roach. Oh, yeah.

"Mommy!!! Look!!! This bug is DEAD!!!"

And he dropped it on the table in front of me. Right on top of my grocery list.

The bug was dead - and Mommy almost joined it. I screamed - twice - and sailed out of the chair, halfway across the room. This scared Braeden half to death, and he crawled under the table in retreat.

Jeff managed to peel himself from the computer long enough to see what the commotion was about. I was still hyperventilating - y'all know how I hate bugs, dead or alive, right? - and Braeden was still under the table. He promptly sheltered in Daddy's arms, baffled as to why Mommy wasn't utterly thrilled with his prize.

When I finally managed to speak, all I could say was "go wash your hands, Braeden."

On my post-traumatic to-do list for today? Call the exterminator. We don't need more dead bugs to tempt the resident 5-year-old.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cal Marching Band

Someone posted this on the 2ps message board, and, well - you just have to see for yourself, okay?


What to blog about today?

- I am disgusted by the government in Burma/Myanmar. It is reprehensible that they are allowing their people to die in such a manner.

- Mother's Day was a little wild. I spent the weekend at Mom's. One kid had strep throat and the other two were determined to irritate the snot out of everyone.

- The Impala is running again, but the Lumina is not. This means, once again, that I am grounded until we can find money to fix the Lumina.

- I finally got to see my first published page in print. Mom & Dad were impressed, and wanted to know what my chances are of being published again. That much, I do not know.

- I got my first pair of Crocs. Okay, they're really Wal-Mart rip-offs, but I cannot believe how comfortable they are. Well - mostly. They're a little tight across the top of my feet, but they are so comfy on the soles of my feet, which have been rather sore of late and feel like I'm walking barefoot on gravel all of the time.

- Yesterday Braeden was exasperated with me over something, and he told me I was "causing him nuts." Irritated as I have been at him, I had to laugh at that.

- Jeff is hoping to get a job at Memorial Hospital soon. If it all works out, this will be a very good thing, indeed.

I suppose that's it. Not much to tell, really - at least nothing of great value. Good day!

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Real Story

If you were to come to my house on any given day (without warning), this is most likely what you would find. In fact, it might be worse. I try, I promise I do - but housekeeping is just not my forte, and with Jeff & Bebo to clean up after, I am fighting a losing battle anyway.

Just for fun... because it's Monday and all. :)