{SQT} Beach Trips, Nunchucks, and Stealing Ghosts

Seven Quick Takes

1. Finally *FINALLY* it’s starting to feel like May in New Jersey. After an unseasonably warm winter, it seemed a cruel joke for the wet and chilly spring to linger on and on. But no more! Of course that means beach trips.

may beach day

I LOVE THE BEACH IN THE OFF SEASON!! The tide was out, so we had tons of space to build and play, and with no lifeguards on duty, we crawled all over the jetty exploring tide pools without whistle blowing in our direction.

edie on sand dune

The dunes suffered some damage due to a winter storm but Edie simply used them as obstacles to climb and pose from.


Since the ocean was still a bit too chilly to use the beach chair, I placed Fulton’s supportive booster seat directly on the ground, then dug out a hole for his feet to rest in the sand. He and Edie created a large village for his dollar store action figures and army men.  That left me plenty of time to run around, act giddy and attempt to take artsy shots of my feet in the water…but not too much water cause it was cold!

2. Fulton and Teddy had their fourth Science and Adventure Club this week. Without a doubt, it’s been a huge success. We’ve covered astronauts, ninjas, Star Wars, robots, and we’ve got the final meeting about Super Heros just around the corner. Highlights have included making weaponry from pool noodles, allowing the boys to wail on me with said weaponry while I was dressed as a turtle, and learning what it’s like to cry in space. I spend an inordinate amount of time on Pinterst and YouTube finding crafts, activities and educational videos that will appeal to the club’s age range and also be accessible to Fulton and Teddy. It’s not always easy, but knowing that all the boys are enjoying themselves make the last minutes runs to the dollar store for supplies and repeated nunchuck/lightsaber blows to the torso worth it.


I just made seven pairs of nunchucks for Fulton and Teddy’s club meeting. I’m taking the rest of the week off.

A photo posted by Kelly Mantoan (@kellymantoan) on

3. If you’re interested, I’ve got most of the activities, plus a few extras, saved to this Pinterest board. Eventually, I’d like to fancy up the plans I’ve created and share them with y’all, but right now random misspelled lists with notes about “that green slime sucked! find new pin!!!” would probably not be all that helpful. And for the record, one cup of corn starch and about one cup of water does not make a very convincing toxic mutagen slime. 


4. I was totally excited when IHM Conferences invited me to speak at their upcoming national conference in Fredericksburg, VA. Since I started using Periscope and Facebook Live to work on developing a more relaxed speaking style, I find I have 99 percent less terror in my soul and waves of nausea in my bowels then this time last year when I was preparing for Edel. The conference is free and everyone, not just homeschoolers, are welcome. I’m tentatively scheduled to speak Friday evening, but I will have a table both days. Please come and say hi! My oldest daughter will be there too, trying not to incessantly roll her eyes at me as I indulge in copious amounts of selfies with strangers.

5. Obviously I’ll have my planner on hand, plus ‘Rosaries Aren’t Just For Teething’, but I’m busting butt to finish up a retreat book I compiled so it’s also ready in time. It features chapters from Thomas a Kempis’ spiritual classic ‘The Imitation of Christ’ to be read over four days in preparation for the reception of Confession and Communion. I love ‘The Imitation of Christ’ but I know it can be intimidating to people. When I discovered this retreat outlined in the back of an antique copy I owned, I thought it might be just the thing to not only draw people closer to the Lord through His sacraments, but also help more people discover Kempis’ mediations. Of course, if you can’t make it to Fredericksburg, ‘A Worthy Reception’ will be available to purchase online, I just have to ya know, finish editing it. (insert the sound of me inhaling into a brown paper bag repeatedly)

6. Of course all this other stuff means I’m hardly reading at all, even though I did finally find my old Kindle. It was stuffed in the glove box of my husband’s car and no one seems to know how it got there. We have a lot of things happen via Mr. Nobody in this house. I used to think those Family Circus cartoons were funny as a kid, but then it became my life and now I sometimes wonder if there actually are ghosts walking through my house moving and taking things just to mess with me.  I am seriously this close to setting up surveillance cameras…and calling the Ghost Busters.


7. Teddy lost his first tooth yesterday. The consequence of being the fifth child is that he just came right out and asked me if I was going to put money under his pillow.  The tooth fairy myth died long ago, after she forgot to leave money for Edie’s tooth for about…..three months. I couldn’t even pretend like there was a tooth fairy with Teddy. “I don’t know bud, maybe the money will appear tonight but chances are it will take me awhile.” Then Addie piped up that she still has some antique tooth under her pillow that she demanded payment for with interest; like she’s been holding that tooth for me on loan or something. HA! At least I know Teddy will be overjoyed with a couple quarters.

How was your week? Write it down then link it up below. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!



  1. Upon finding a mysterious bluish gray puddle on the bathroom counter that nobody knew anything about yesterday, I actually said, “I didn’t ask who DIDN’T do it, I asked who DID do it!”

    I suppose I should cut them some slack; as a kid I remember thinking that flushing an apple down the toilet was a great idea. Not sure if I ever actually confessed that to my parents, or if I just looked on with fabricated astonishment and horror as my poor dad wrestled said apple out of said toilet. 🙂

    At any rate, it’s apparently a 30 or so year process, but I’m confident I’ll get my revenge through grandkids.

  2. Haha the tooth fairy thing is hilarious 🙂 Those nunchucks look great-the Science & Adventure club sounds so cool!

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