All Things Cuff 'Em.

It was our turn to host the Cub Scout Den meeting this week and I called the Reno PD to see if an officer can stop by and give the boys a talk about safety. Oh what a talk! He was wonderful and talked to the boys for 1.5 hours...they peppered him with questions and he showed so much patience in answering what was conservatively 314 inquiries...a minute.

Do you wear a bullet-proof vest? Where is your gun? Your pepper spray? Your taser? Have you used them all? You are like Batman!

He was so good to them...truly making them think about safety...personal and their friends...it was awesome...and then in the end...a certain little fella asked him if he could see his handcuffs...

Hopefully this is the first and last time I'll see him cuffed!

Wishing you a moment like Alex felt when he was UNcuffed...free and easy and a lot more appreciative of the fact that even his little wrists couldn't slip out of the handcuffs.


All Things Fuzzy and Stuffed.

I don't know why Ken and I do the Things We Do sometimes...but after all the Easter celebrations, we decided to cash in Easter Bunny's gift certificate and Grandma Sandi's gift at Build A Bear Workshop.

Alex's Rainbow Bear has outplayed, outwitted and outlasted any stuffed animal we've ever owned. He got a fluffing...which was well deserved. That bear's been through a lot.

Bella was determined to find a dress...not for her bear, Lavender...but for herself...that's right, following in her Mama's footsteps...she thought that these itty bitty little bear dresses would fit her. Bless you child...much like your Mama, you may want to try the Big Girl section in another store.

Kata was ::thrilled:: to find out that they had an elephant as a selection this month...so before you can say "Sale at Nordstrom" she whipped out her gift card and saved money and got herself an elephant...it is the softest and plushest by far in her menagerie.

Clockwise starting at the Top - While they stuff, the kids get to press the pedal, select a heart that goes in the animal and give it a hug to see if its squishy enough.
Alex waiting for his turn, all of the hearts get the appropriate ritual, birth certificates at the computers and happiness all around.

So there they were about 30-minutes later...Bella got a pink bear, Alex a husky dog...and Kata her elephant.

Wishing you'd take a moment to hug that teddy of yours...he knows all your secrets!


All Things Easter Bunny.

Bella still yawning...she stayed up late the night before.

So it was Easter today for everyone but Eastern Orthodox Christians...sometimes our Easter falls on the same Sunday and other times it's as much as a month apart...and this year it's the far apart version...for those curious there are good explanations out there...but basically it has to do with calendar differences and the bottom line is that the Orthodox observe the old calendar.

Alex was worried, but the Easter Bunny comes on Western Easter...as I assured Alex we're in the Western Hemisphere...so he came today...with leaps and bounds and eggs all around...this year he led the kids on a Treasure Hunt for their baskets...cute little poetry from that Bunny...and then they were off...hunting eggs outside...playing with their goodies inside. It was all one big, tiring but happy, messy morning.

From Top to Bottom, starting on the Left - hiding places the Easter Bunny used.

Hunting for eggs outside...Bella was a pro this year.

Wishing you overflowing baskets of treats this week!


All Things Daddy Did It.

Please ask yourself...what is wrong with this picture??? Look at the girls' pajama bottoms??? Do they match? No. Are Kata's pajamas awfully short and Bella's awfully long? Yes.

This is the way Ken dressed the girls for bed last night...Bella had these loooooong pjs on all night, wrestling with them no doubt...but she did sleep through the night by some miracle (she usually wakes up at least once) and Kata sported capris...wouldn't be a problem but Kata's knees have already busted through a pair of brand new pjs...she wore a total of ummm three times.

No matter....here they are...our fairly well adjusted sister pair...years later they may need therapy for having us as parents...but right now...they thought it was pretty funny and they kinda liked the fact that they wore each other's pj bottoms all night long.

Ah, the long and the short of it all...wishing you a moment where you can see it both...the long...and the short.


All Things Science Fair, Part 2

The week ended with a Basketball Playoff...Alex's team lost in their own version of March Madness...no matter...he improved so much from start to finish...I truly hope he goes out for basketball next year...but the team overall seemed to peter out at the end...so we finished the season not so triumphantly...but full of little accomplishments that they individually gathered...a lot to be proud of those self-named Mad Dogs.

And after the last game, we went to the Regional Science Fair...remember our excitement over Alex's Second Place at his school??? Well, now we were playing in the Big Leagues...against all of the Northern Nevada Elementary Schools....and using university professors as actual judges...we were quoting the Academy Award nominees about "just being happy to be there."

The judging was last night...and in the wee hours of the morning we logged on to the website to see...that our Alex...got a....Honorable Mention...

We were a little giddy. Our first Science Fair. Second Place at his school. Honorable Mention at the Regional Science Fair. We know it's a Fluke. But we're going to enjoy the happiness anyway.

It's well deserved. Little Dude (and his Mama, here) worked hard to stick to the Scientific Method and make it as real an experiment as we could. What amazed me about the process was the judges (judging from 6 pm to midnight) took the time to write constructive criticism on each and every science project. Ours got a "great journal and data" and an "excellent representation of your data!"

It's good that this Mama put her marketing skills to use...and the use of a nice report cover (that was for Tante Lorraine...see professors haven't changed that much in the 20 years since we've been students...always go for the quality report cover with the nice page protectors).

Below's the picture that will make into his biography (properly tinted and blurred)...I know that he will cure all sorts of ailments one day...and not have to worry about the next round of funding...ah, a Mama's Dream at least.

We celebrated by hoisting a round of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Wishing you an "ah-a!" moment as you enjoy this spring weekend.


All Things Blog-a-versary.

I just realized that's it's my one year Blog-a-versary. So it made me think...365 days...made me think of that song from "Rent"..."Seasons of Love"...

525,600 minutes,
How do you measure a year?
In Daylights - In Sunsets
In Midnights - In Cups Of Coffee
In Inches - In Miles
In Laughter - In Strife
How Do You MeasureA Year In The Life?
How About Love?

We've had our share of all of the above, including lots of cups of coffee...lattes...iced...try the new honey latte, iced at Starbucks. Very yummy.

So thank you for indulging me in -
  • One year of torturing all of you with our Goings On.
  • One year of way too many pictures per post.
  • One year of wondering who is from Singapore, Sweden, Romania, Brazil and South Africa (see Who Comes to Say "Hello")? And then the one person from "Europe"? Didn't know Europe was a country. But these days anything is possible. A hardy "hello" to all of you from places I know we don't have any relatives or lifelong friends!
  • One year of joining us in watching our kiddies change and grow up.

Thank you. I wish you could share in our St. Paddy's Day leftovers. I did go all out yesterday baking away - Irish Soda Bread, Irish Pizzas (yes, there's potato in those lil' ol' pizzas) and green pancakes for the kids...and Ken, who ate the maple syrup-y leftovers.

Sending you lots of hugs and wishing you a 365 day-perspective...today...the Day After St. Patrick's Day.


All Things Icon.

Yesterday was the Sunday of Orthodoxy at our church. The Divine Liturgy ends with a procession led by the priest of people holding their icons . In our case, its the children who hold up their Saint's Icon (i.e. their baptismal Saint). This was the first year that Bella marched in it all by herself. She's become quite the Little Miss Grown-Up. Of course, potty training still continues to be a challenge, at times. Nothing ever lines up perfectly, does it?

Wishing you a week where you march to the beat of your own drummer. Try it. I promise it will go well.


All Things Creepy Crawly.

One of our local museums had an exhibition on "Snakes, Bugs and Other Backyard Monsters." Just the kinda thing I dislike with a passion that is only mirrored by the lead character in the Indiana Jones movies. Snakes, I hate snakes. But off we went in squeezing in the last of Spring Break Fun...a storm was approaching (last night Tahoe got 14-inches of snow...mercifully we got none...just wind and snow showers)...and I just wanted to get back to my hot tea and knitting.

Fortunately, we first encoutered the benign and peaceful koi pond.

Unfortunately, Bella fixated on it...like only a two-year-old can fixate on something...and kept wanting to go back to it. "I want to go see the fishies," she demanded at every turn.

From L to R , clockwise - The fishies, Mama, look!; I want to see the fishies; But the fishies are over there!; Bubby, come see the fishies.

Dada, I don't care about the big mantis...the fishies are over there!

The fishies, I want to see the fishies.

But, where are the fishies? Can we go back?

From L to R, clockwise - Butterflies, the ones Kata and Mama liked, a mechanical beetle, a giant yucky scorpion (yes, we have those in the High Desert...yikes!..but not so very big).

Alex loved playing with the mechanical beetles...following in his grandfather's engineering footsteps, no doubt.

Kata made her own dragonfly headband. She did all the coloring and cutting herself. She's practicing all those Kindergarten skills...color within the lines, cut close.

The funny thing here, as most of you know, since Alex was around 4 he's had a tremendous fear of dragonflies. Inexplicable. I agree. So to see him with this is rather amusing for some of us.

The giant bug eye was loved by all. Kata was still coloring and cutting her headband. Mama's Little Crafter.

Dada, but I want to see the fishies!

We then walked over to the next exhibition room where we ::HAD:: to put together these giant ant puzzles.

And just as I was beginning to give up, Mr. Riggsby, in one of his mechanical moods, put them together quite nicely. Eighteen years of knowing him (fifteen in marriage this September) and he still has a knack of surprising me when I least expect it.

Then the nice lady with three millipedes, all named Fred incidentally (Baby Fred, Big Fred, Fat Fred) came in and Kata's hand was outstretched first. She loved holding Baby Fred. Big Brother stepped up to the plate because he couldn't be outdone by his Little Sister and actually held the millipede. Bella just wondered if we could go back to the fish.

And all three of our Future Scientists loved using the mircoscopes and the mechanical models. "Is there a fish in there, Bubby?", wondered Bella.

Then it was time for the sssssssSnakes...yikes...Again, Kata stepped right up and held her hands out.

She is ::SO:: brave...she thought they were fabulous. And my Big Boy, Alex, once again stepped up...taking the lead set by Kata and held the icky snake.

As we head into the work and school week, I wish you a moment of sheer bravado. You can do it,really, you can.