Counting Our Blessings and Thanksgiving Songs

  This November, as we have been counting our blessings at home and at school, it has been such a blessing for me to help the children in my life to focus on an “attitude of gratitude.” And a great reminder for me, as well. We have enjoyed adding leaves of thanks to our “Blessing […]

My Top 10 Brain-Building TOYS for Christmas

It’s a cold, rainy day in Dallas….guessing some of you might be getting started on your online holiday shopping….Yesterday, I overheard some moms asking each other with deep sighs of dread if they had yet begun their holiday shopping. We all agreed that it was definitely the season for avoiding the malls! As you begin […]

Prayers Answered for my “Normal” Kindergartner

On Thursday, MJ came home from school with 3 awards that he won (certificates) at a morning pep rally held to mark the end of the 1st 6-week-block. I somehow missed the memo about the 8:15 event, and when other parents were staying after dropping off their children, Ellie and I had to scoot home […]

Are Trophies BAD for kids? Why It’s Good to be a Loser…Sometimes.

So, this is the first year my kids have ever participated in an extracurricular “sport” activity, Michael James (6) in soccer, and Ellie (4) in Ballet. I’m not sure, but I’m guessing there will be some sort of symbol of recognition at the end of the season – a trophy or certificate, something to put […]

Good Things and “God” Things

Last week in chapel at my pre-school, CCDC (Christian Childhood Development Center) where I am the music/ chapel teacher for all the precious kiddos, we discussed how God is EVERYWHERE, even in our hearts. And how it doesn’t have to be a special day like Christmas or Easter or a birthday to celebrate God’s love, but we […]

Back to School Blessings and Songs

CONNECTING BEFORE SCHOOL What are your rituals for getting the kids to school or childcare? Is it all chaos and confusion? Yelling and pleading? We’ve ALL been there, and the challenges change with every stage and every child. But somehow those with us with kids tend to be worn out by 9:01, or whatever your “drop-off” […]

Ready, Set, Go KINDERGARTEN!

So the morning didn’t go as I’d imagined for myself, the nostalgic Mommy who wanted to Norman Rockwell “First Day of Kindergarten” all-around experience. But it ended up being a great day for MJ, and that’s what matters! Despite all my well-thought-out plans and strategizing, sh** happened. (That’s just life, right? The Universe mocking my […]

The Verdict: Reflect, Refrain, Respect

I’m white and most of my readers are, too. So nobody should really care what I have to say about the Trayvon Martin case. I get that…I’m not even really entitled to an opinion on this matter….EXCEPT… I’m a mom, too. And I’m an American citizen….And I DO see this as a “teachable moment” not […]

Good Deeds from Good Kids: Good moments from Mommy Manders Camp

Where have I been?? It’s definitely been a while since I’ve blogged, and I’ve really missed it and you all! I just took it off my plate as I was finishing up the semester teaching pre-school, leading the end-of-year programs for parents, and getting set for my first week of “Mommy Manders” summer camp at […]

Talking with your Kids about the Tornado…

On May 3. 1999, I was hunkered down in the basement of the Delta Gamma sorority house as the tornado sirens blared, and the radio told us of the destruction unfolding in neighboring Moore, just a few miles up the highway from Norman. A few of the girls lost friends, loved ones, homes, and all […]