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|Carrie Lynn Mandera|
Carrie is my daughter. She and I are currently living at my Mom's house. She was born on April 27th, 1999, and is the sweetest little girl ever. She brings me joy each and every day, and whenever things seem difficult, she reminds me exactly how much it is all worth it. I enjoy watching her learn new things and grow. She is truely amazing, and I love her with all of my heart.
She is now 8 years old, and each day is a new trial, a new experience, and a new lesson to learn. For both her and I. :) We have good days, and better days, and sometimes trying days, but we share a love that only a parent can truly understand. It's remarkable and amazing, and I'm so very lucky to have her in my life.
Currently, she's a 3rd grader at Bryant Elementary (although they're off for summer!). She's busy making new friends, and learning new things. She can read, and write (a good bit on cursive), and is getting smarter every single day. I'm very proud of her. She's also taking cheerleading and tumbling. She loves every bit of it.
She's spoiled, with a ton of toys, and a wardrobe almost Barbie would be envious of. ;) She enjoys Hannah Montana, Lizzie McGuire/Hilary Duff, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, Barbie, and Care Bears. She likes to ride bicycles, dressing up, "tap shoes", baby dolls, and she loves to dance. More than anything it seems, she loves her friends, and tries to spend as much time as she can with them. She doesn't care much for bedtimes, or following rules, but we're working on all of that. She loves her Grandmom, Uncle Shawn, Uncle Ric, Aunt Michelle, her Cousin Joleigh, Gramps, Grammy and Pappy, etc, very much.
|Thomas "Shawn" Mandera|
Tom "Shawn" is my eldest brother. His full name is Thomas Shawn.. The family calls him Shawn, and his friends call him Tom. Shawn has been a great older brother, though a bit stingy at times. :) He's always been very interested in computers, and has his own business, TM Computers. He was kind of enough to provide us all with internet, websites, and email. He spends a lot of his time these days working on his International Scout II's, which he absolutely loves. Also, he's spending time with family and friends, going 4x4ing, not to mention he's always busy working on his race Scout and seems to enjoy racing.
He also is married to a wonderful woman named Michelle who is a complete sweetheart. They met because they worked together. She joins him for his 4x4ing aventures and cheers him on at his races. She's even raced herself, wins more than he does, and has her own scout! She's really great. Carrie absolutely loves her. :) She's a wonderful person, and she's managed to steal the hearts of the entire family. :)
They brought a beautiful little girl into this world on July 10, 1996, named Joleigh June.
|Michelle Ann (Dukleth) Mandera|
Michelle is my only sister. She married my brother Shawn in October 2003, and has been a fantastic addition to our family. She's a very sweet person, and very caring, and I'm always getting to know her better. Michelle is very into scrapbooking, and other crafty things, and enjoys photography as well. (So do I!) She's from Havre, Montana originally, but met Shawn because they work at the same place. She puts up with my brothers strange habits (of having junk vehicles all over among other things), and gives him limits when he probably needs them!
Michelle gave birth to my favorite (and only!) niece, Joleigh, in July 2006. She looks an awful lot like Michelle (thank goodness) and already has quite the sweet disposition. :)
|Joleigh June Mandera|
Miss Joleigh June is my most favorite niece. She's also my only niece, but that's totally beside the point. I'm also her favorite aunt. (Yup, you guessed it, I'm her only aunt too!) She's an adorable little girl who was born on July 10, 2006, with lots of dark brown hair and big huge blue eyes. She defintely takes after her mother and is just a wonderful addition to our family.
Joleigh is good at stealing hearts! She also is learning to walk, getting ready to celebrate her first ever birthday, and learning to speak. She seems to like animals, and absolutely LOVES to swing. She's also fascinated by ceiling fans. She may soon own ever single Pooh thing made.
|Richard David Mandera|
Ric is living in Missoula, currently in between places to live, and sometimes comes home on the weekends. We generally don't see him very often. He plays hockey a lot in his spare time, and likes to hang out with friends. He's working at UPS and is currently single, although he has "visitation" of an adorable puppy named Obsidian (Sid) due to a recent breakup.
Ric is an alright brother;) Sometimes we get along really well, and sometimes we don'tget along at all. I suppose that's normal for brothers and sisters. It's strange though, because we never got along growing up, and I'm suddenly feeling like we're actually.. friends? Can I say that? :) As we get older we seem to get along better. He's really not so bad of a guy after all. :) He needs to come home more often though because we all miss him tons, especially Carrie. :)
|Carol Lynn (Lias) Mandera|
Carol, my mom, works for the federal government.. Office of Motor carriers, Department of Transportation. She inspects truck driving companies and stuff like that. So *no* she is not going to have any of you arrested ;) *Laugh* :) So don't worry ;) My mom and my dad got divorced when I was 3. And while she's had a few boyfriends, and one very short term husband since, none are really worth mentioning here.
Mom has always tried to help us out as much as she could, and she did an incredible job for a single mother raising 3 kids. We didn't always make it easy either, and I'm afraid I have disappointed her far more times than my brothers have. But she never gave up on me, and she's always believed in me. She is also a wonderful grandmother to Carrie, and now to Joleigh, even though the title of "Grandmom" was thrown at her sooner than she expected. I love you Mom, never forget it. :)
|Thomas John Mandera|
|Thomas is my father. My brother Shawn was named after him. But we call Shawn by his middle name so we don't get them mixed up. Although my father has a different middle name.. John :) Anyway, he still lives back in Pennsylvania. He works for Kramer Construction, I think. He is an architect and he also does carpentry work. Not too much anymore though, 'cause he has a very very bad back, from falling off buildings too many times ;) *Grin* I keep telling him to stop trying to fly.. but he never listens ;) Over time my father has become a different person to me in my eyes. He's grown, much as I have. We have both changed, and we've become better friends. I was amazed at how well he took the news of Carrie, and he loves her very much. I am glad for this. I love you, Dad. I can't wait to visit again. :)|
|Lynn is my old therapist, and yet she's an important person to me. I was going through some troubled times (to say the least ;) and my mom started dragging me from psychiatrist to psychiatrist.. None of them were right. Then I started seeing Lynn. =) She's great =) I admire her, she's full of energy, she's cheerful, she has a wild taste in fashion (especially containing shoes ;), she's fun to be around, she's patient, she's just a great person =) She seems to be a tad forgetful and distractable as well ;) But that's something I can't help but admit I'm guilty of either. I don't see her anymore, but Carrie sees her now! I feel she is more of a friend.. and I know that she considers me a friend as well. She's a great person, and I'm glad she's in my life =) She's helped me help myself, so much. Thank you Lynn. =)|
Jessica Strealy.. How do I describe her? She is one of my very very best friends, even though I haven't seen her in over a decade (has itreally been that long?) I hadn't even talked to her in years, until recently. At any rate.. I met Jessica when I was.. hrm.. 6 or 7. I lived in Merced and Winton California (Merced when I was 6, Winton when I was 7). When I lived in Winton, she lived about 3 or 4 houses down the street. We became the best of friends,and we were always together. To this day I love her dearly, even though I realize we were rather young, and the things we did seem so childish now.. =) I remember we used to watch "The Sound ofMusic" Because she loved it, and Punky Brewster we watched everyday.. :) We also talked and laughed and whispered, and shared all of our secrets with one another. Our mothers were also best friends. I moved from California when I was 8 (in 1988) and to this day, I still have not seen her again. I was in Merced again in March of 2000, and I feel bad because I was unable to get ahold of her. But I will see her again. We keep in touch, as I said, in letters, and sometimes phonecalls, and now online. She is someone that will always stay in my heart, even though so much time has passed.. and I know she will always remember me as well. Jessica, I can't wait to see you, to hear from you, to talk to you. I love you.
Jessica! I know you have access to my webpage now, and it was great hearing from you. I love you too, always.
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