Rainbow Warriors and Fishy Tails

With bated breath, we have been eagerly awaiting the end of the annual ritual of Choosing of the Halloween Costume...and drum roll, please...Kata decided right away she was going to be Ariel this year. Her fascination with the Mermaid Princess lives on...now if we can reassure her she needs to breathe while swimming and hold her breath underwater (and not sing)...she'll be alright. Thank heavens, swimming lessons will resume soon.

Bella wanted to go with something that rhymes easily with her name...so she'll be Cinderella this year. I know...inexplicably, she is pictured wearing Kata's bear Ariel wig...but that's because her quest to be Just Like Kata is not over...although when you ask her what she will be for Halloween...she confidently answers, "Cinderella..."...incidentally, she gives you the same answer when asked what is her favorite animal.

And now....the Boy Who Couldn't Make Up His Mind...he wanted to be Bobo Fett...don't ask...he has his mother's fascination with All Things Star Wars...but the Bucket Head?? Eh gads. After checking out the costume online and gasping at the $70 price...I convinced him there had to be another choice. He chose a magician. Brilliant. I ran out and purchased a beautiful, black, double-breasted suit (love thrift shopping!)...dropped it off at the dry cleaners and was about to run to the fabric store for an appropriately silky cape fabric...when...screeeech! We stopped by Target. And he saw the Rainbow Warrior...for all of you not familiar with NASCAR...the Rainbow Warriors are Jeff Gordon's pit crew name...yes, gotten from the Dupont Rainbow decal (see top of his hat)...and it was done...my dreams of lining a magic hat so his blue bunny could pop out vanished in the mist of a stickered, polyester jumpsuit.

And so it goes, my friends...it's officially time for Fall to begin.


Let There Be...Snow?!?

These pics were taken on Friday, September 21st (double-click on the first pic and it should enlarge)...and we finally had some rainfall in the valley and snow (?!?) in the mountains...hmmm...is this a sign of the winter to come?...will we have a Fall this year??? Stay tuned...the one thing about Reno weather is if you hold your breath, it will change!


Buzzing About

Soccer season officially started yesterday. Alex is on the Blue Legged Lions...don't ask...the kids all came up with the name...He loves his team and they've been playing together for the last three years and this is the first year with referees...so now, at last, we can "boo" someone...Sports Mom Etiquette prevented me from boo-ing the opponents who had what must've been three 12 year olds playing on an Under 9 team...okay, we lost 7-1...so I had to come up with a Mom Excuse...and Bigger Opponents is always a good one.

In her soccer debut, our rookie, Kata...was in her element (she's no. 5...like Chanel's perfume and kicking the pink ball in the pic below)...bending it like Beckham, for sure...hollering at Coach Daddy and loving every minute of it...especially the snack and drink treats at the end of the game...she announced that she thinks she'd like cheerleading better.

And then today...it was time for the Great Reno Balloon Race. This year my friend from ADP-land, April, came along with her Dad's balloon - The Aurora Australis (pictured below). And we actually made it to Dawn Patrol. What a sight it was...a bare sliver of a reddish moon and the balloons rising silently above our heads. Even Bella stayed awake.

Here are the other four Dawn Patrol balloons...they go all over for these races and one even went to Dubai last year. Our favorite part? When the balloons flickered their lights to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"...and Belly held up her hands to join them.

The Eagle rises first to the National Anthem...and we even had a fly over courtesy of our local air bases...it's always an inspiring sight.

The kids and Ken in front of the Aurora as its readying for take-off to join the Mass Ascension.

I cannot even begin to capture the sights and sounds of a gazillion balloons over the spectators heads...it's simply beautiful...and so totally worth it to get up at 4:15 am...and y'all know me the Night Owl...yes, there was Starbucks in a thermos for this mama!

"Mama, youk...balloooooons!" was about all Bella could muster...

Fast friends...April's son, Ryan and Alex became fast friends as Ryan taught Alex all he knows about hot air balloon-ing...and our resident scientist, Alex, immediately caught on to the physics of the sport.

And the buzzing part...I took this picture for our Brave Daddy Ken...who survived 4 yellow jacket stings and stayed to make sure we all had fun...to note, he had no swelling...just pain at the sting site...thank goodness the yellow jacket stung him and not the kids...but he was being a good Dad...throwing away trash when OUCH! one decided to stay with him...I managed to crush the thing, still wiggling, with my big ol' Croc shoe...you think after four stings of all that sports blood, the thing would have rolled over and died...must've been a New Orleans Hornets fan...

The strawberry balloon was a huge hit with the girls...as were the cow, octopus and frog.

Sorry, for the loooong post...as you can imagine I took even more pics...and for those of you who want to join in the fun...there's always next year! I know we'll be there...and then we may even make it for the Glow Show (which preceeds Dawn Patrol) and is supposed to be super fun!

Thanks April, my friend, for sharing your Dad's balloon with us! We're still buzzing about it (ouch...that one's for Ken!)!


Surfin' USA

The thing about living in the mountains is that the weather can change in a blink of an eye. This was last weekend when my parents came out to visit and we went to Sand Harbor. Peaceful. 84 blissful degrees and then a slight breeze...okay...one of our famous zephyrs...who knew those existed except in legends and songs?...And then BAM! two foot swells...

As you can see we enjoyed every minute of them...and even the water temp...a balmy 54...seemed less freezing...we came back to toasty 97 degree conditions in Reno...and we felt so calm and tired and full of sand...but fulfilled, for a minute, with surfing dreams.

And then Bush came to Reno...and left...this is the pic of Airforce One from our Master Bedroom window...looks better in the original then on the blog...you can actually see the "United...tes of America" logo in the original. Yes...there was quite a bit of zoom going on...but it was still pretty cool to see the plane take off and land...For the record, he was the first sitting president to come to Reno...and now our Grand Sierra Resort (formerly the Hilton) can boast a Presidential Suite for a mere $1,000/night...yikes...y'all know where I land on the political end of all this...but it was cool to see the plane and our Mt. Rose behind it...I know...where's the pic with the mountain...that was a little too far to zoom...ahem...shutter delay...or a jillion other excuses...

We've had plenty of presidential candidates coming through lately...and I am sure many more to come given our early primary...stay tuned...My Mama's for Obama shirts are being printed as we speak...and for the record, no, I haven't decided...yet.

Then the most important celebration of them all...Djedo's delayed birthday celebration. The kids really wanted a pirate theme what with his sailing ventures and all...but we opted for the more elegant chocolate extravaganza courtesy of Joseph's again...this time...a chocolate truffle torte which was worth the $4 extra dollars because apparently it's a "specialty cake." Love small town marketing ideals. But hey, they sometimes work.

And yes, most of you know Birthday Math...it's always the birthday + 1 for the total amount of candles...and for us...ahem...in our middle decades we like to do the decade +1....so even though he's a septuagenarian and proud of it...he's got that eighth good luck candle...

Happy Dirt Day, Djedo (yes, Bella still calls it that) and many more!