{SQT} Let’s be Friends!

seven quick takes friday 2

Here I am two months into hosting this here link up and I just realized we weren’t formally introduced. Sure, some of you go way back to my bloggy cotillion, but since the Quick Takes torch passed, there’s been a lot of new people around here, and I figured it was about time for a refresher of who I am, and what exactly it is that I do around here. (I do have an ‘About’ page [‘Aboot’ if you’re Canadian] but, it kind of sucks. Thanks to everyone that hasn’t pointed that out.) And old timers stick around, I’ll try to throw you a bone of new info about yours truly occasionally.


1. My name is Kelly Mantoan. I’ve been happily married to my high school sweetheart Tony for 13 years. (I asked him to the senior prom.) We have five children; Adeline (Addie) Β 12, Byron 11, Edith (Edie) 9, Fulton 6, and Theodore (Teddy) 4. We live in New Jersey where I stay at home and attempt to educate the older four while my husband does things with computers to pay the bills. We live on an acre of land with a cat, dog and some chickens. We host epic parties.

teddy meeting the chick
2012, Teddy wondering WTH is up with this chicken.Β 

2. My two youngest sons have a neuromuscular disorder known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It is genetic. Tony and I are both missing a specific gene, therefore, there is a 1 in 4 chance of a child of ours having SMA. Β All the voluntary muscle movement of Fulton and Teddy is affected, and subsequently both are very weak and require assistance to do everything, thus the powerchairs. It is a degenerative disease. Fulton is weaker than Teddy and requires things like breathing assistance at night and a g-tube while Teddy does not. We are not an SMA family but a family that happens to include SMA. If you don’t think we’re normal, I hope it’s because of my selfies and not because of the wheelchairs. Still gotta question? Click the SMA page at the top or email me.

iPad, stuffed monkey, Goldfish crackers and a dragon style nebulizer mask= on the road to recovery.
December 2012, What the common cold does to a kid with SMA.


3. I am gluten-free. Although I am a beer lover at heart, I am restricted to hard cider, wine and liquor (and the occasional expensive GF beer, most of which are lousy.) I gave up gluten right before starting this blog and to my dismay it alleviated a bunch of symptoms I was having. However, I am not officially diagnosed with Celiac disease. BONUS: We recently took Teddy off dairy so we are “one of those families” that is oh so fun to have over for dinner.

photo (73)
Gluten. free. …and perfect for gift giving.

4. I love the beach, specifically Ocean City, NJ. Between the months of March and December, I make numerous “field trips” and vacations to the shore. I finally just decided to redesign my whole blog around a beach theme even though this is supposedly a homeschooling blog. Some day my husband will do so many awesome things with computers we will live at the beach! But until then, science will have to include multiple tide pool trips…to study ecology of course.

addie surfing
Addie surfing, 2012. Photo courtesy Tony, while I’m lying on the beach trying to catch my breath from attempting at surfing.


It’s never too cold on the sand.

5. I started ‘This Ain’t the Lyceum’ on Feb. 21, 2012. Teddy had finally started sleeping through the night, I was done with our local parish dinner theater production and I needed something to do in those extra ten minutes at night when I wasn’t exhausted so I started a blog. I’d had a blog in the past (2006-2008?), but it’d outgrown it’s purpose so I started fresh with a new url and a name my husband created. I stayed fairly anonymous at first then gradually started opening up. By November 2012 I got an iPod touch and my ridiculous pictures became a regular feature. I’ve redesigned the blog five times….because I’m nuts and I have a husband who understands HTML.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 11.37.58 PM
Who remembers this header?
Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 11.39.22 PM
The very short lived banner that paled in comparison to my headshot.
Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 11.40.43 PM
This one stuck around for awhile until I realized, “I don’t write about books all that much…especially pretty books.”

6. I’m originally from Lancaster County, PA and I love things like red beet eggs, chicken and waffles and scrapple. (No, just kidding I hate the smell of scrapple.) My whole extended family (minus my cool sister) still lives in Lancaster and when we all get together, my PA Dutch accent is pretty hard-core. For two years, my husband and I lived in Lancaster and ran a Bed and Breakfast ( in addition to me raising two little children at home and he commuting to NJ). That business didn’t work out, and we found ourselves in NJ on what was to be a temporary layover. Nine years later, here we still are, surrounded by a great community of friends.

7. I’m a Catholic convert, and not because my cradle Catholic husband forced me to! I was raised Methodist and by my teenage years, I didn’t really know what I believed (although I read a book on Wicca and I was pretty sure I didn’t believe in any of that.) Cue my husband, then boyfriend, who was knowledgable in his faith and patiently answered all my questions. By college, I knew I wanted to convert, even when Tony and I, sob, broke up for a bit; but I waited until I’d graduated and moved out to start the RCIA process. I joined the Church the Easter before we married in 2001 and I’ve only grown to love Her more in that time. We currently attend an Extraordinary Form church in the Camden diocese. I love the Latin Mass and our family fully celebrates the liturgical year with all the bonfires, paper crafts and incense that’s allowed!

Now that you know more than you wanted about me, why not share some mundane details about your life?! Link up below with the url of your #7QT blog post! I can’t wait to learn more!


      1. Oh my! I’ll stick to my grits and eggs! Scrapple is named because it’s a bunch of animal scraps and parts scrapped off the ground and fried right? Ugggh…

  1. Kelly, thank you once again for hosting 7QT! I’m linked up at #3 and I really think if you are going to read just one 7QT link up it should be mine πŸ™‚ You know why???? Because as you raise your little saints, you may want to know more about SaintNook! What’s SaintNook you ask? Well, that’s why my post is the only one you should read! πŸ™‚ LOL! πŸ™‚

    Anyhoo, enough about MY post (I’m really not that selfish in real life). Let’s chat about YOUR 7QT, why don’t we?

    So yeah, what’s scrapple? I’m a G.R.I.T.S. (Girl Raised In The South) and I eat grits and eggs, but I don’t think we have scrapple in our parts. Educate me please πŸ™‚

    SMA…I have a friend whose grandson had SMA. Your sons and all your children are blessed by all your constant love and care. God bless you!

    Loved finding out more about you! Way to go Addie on the surfboard! We live at the beach too, but on the NC coast. Addie definitely surfs better than me!

    ALL your headers are fabulous as your corner of blog land evolved. I’m jealous your husband speaks and types HTML. πŸ™‚

    So glad you came into the Church! My husband is a convert since 2006.

    Ok, I’ve rambled long enough! Have a blessed weekend! πŸ™‚

  2. The bishop that confirmed me at one time was in the Camden Diocese…have no idea if he is still there. Bishop Gillante I think was his name..I’m sure by now he may be retired.

    Fun Fact: I’m flying to NJ next weekend! Trenton to be exact but I’ll be visiting family that live north of there and of course NYC and other escapades. I should do a quick takes with some fun facts about me…although once I wrote a post of 75 facts about me…that took FOREVER! Nice to meet you!

  3. Being from Delaware and being surrounded by Amish, I love red beet eggs and scrapple. Yes, yes, I do! I know what it is and do not care. Scrapple falls into a category with hot dogs, bologna, and sausage titled “Not Made From the Best Part of the Animal Meat Product”. I don’t allow myself to eat any of those them often, but I do think they are all tasty. πŸ˜‰

  4. I went to high school in Lancaster county, Lampeter-Strasburg High School. You know I meet so many people from Lancaster even though I haven’t been back in 10 years.

  5. Oh my goodness, I have (had? it doesn’t fit anymore but I still have it) the same nebulizer mask. It was my favorite, I never wanted to wear the boring one without the dinosaur, which meant my mother had to wash it 3-4 times a day some days when I was having a particularly hard time and getting lots of breathing treatments. I’m so glad they still make them, does Fulton like his?

    Also, yay Extraordinary Form! I would say you should stop by the FSSP (not the same thing as the SSPX) church in Pequannock, but from what I’ve heard they have a tiny chapel and have to have six Masses on Sundays to fit everyone and so I kind of doubt it’s very wheelchair friendly.

  6. Thanks for introducing yourself – it’s nice to feel more at home here with friends. πŸ™‚ Also, I want to say thank you for saying you are a Family Affected by SMA, rather than an SMA Family. I have come across all too many blogs that focus on SMA and all this stuff about how people should have genetic tests so they can avoid producing children with SMA. LOVE that you took what you were dealt and embraced it. Yay for life!

  7. I may need help in the coming month if we decide to do this Whole 30 (40) thing. I’ve never been good with food restrictions, but really want to make some serious changes and address some serious slothiness/gluttonosity (though sloths are kind of cute). We have one with a milk sensitivity, but not an allergy, so while we struggle when we are out (like hello – I had no idea about the milk and McD fries ’til Bonnie’s post!), we are fortunate that it isn’t a full-blown allergy.

  8. Thanks for the introduction to you! I’m so glad I was able to blog this week, since it’s been CRAZY for me all month. GOOD RIDDANCE, JANUARY! Anyway, if I hadn’t blogged this week, I would have missed all this goodness!

    I grew up on the Shore, and never made it to Ocean City. (Probably because I lived near Seaside and IBSP.) We may have driven right by you on our way home last Sunday.

  9. I loved reading your getting to know you post.

    We became “one of those families” a couple years ago when we discovered that half of our kids are allergic to wheat and the other half are allergic to dairy. It drives me a bit nuts as a person who could probably live exclusively on pizza for the rest of my life… but I’ve definitely learned more about gluten and dairy free cooking than I ever imagined that I would before becoming a mom!

    And now I need to go to the link above to see what Scrapple is…

  10. My husband and I both came into the church at the 2001 Easter Vigil!

    We were “one of those families” for 7 (long) years. Our son appears to have outgrown his food sensitivities, so I wish you that blessing someday. πŸ™‚

  11. Thanks for sharing…I love that you are originally from Lancaster, PA..We live in York, PA and that makes me love your blog even more. And yes, we are one of those “families” on a special diet as well!!!

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