All Things Children's Hour.

Almost summer...and there's still snow in them thar hills...beautiful...very late in the afternoon, we went off to Callaghan Park, where its incredibly shady..."thanks to all the conifers" as Kata would add...yes, she knows the word from a They Must Be Giants Playhouse Disney song...yup, everywhere you look, conifers....

The moment we got to the park, Kata hits the swings...she loves swinging...look at her little pink self against nature's backdrop....

Alex on the other hand, wanted to play in the creek...what little boy (or not so very little these days) doesn't?? He used his Frisbee as a boat...through all the white water...so to speak...little bubbling white water...he was Indiana Jones, he was an explorer, he was a scout...he was whatever he wanted to be that day.

And Bella, well, she napped...under the whispering trees, in the shade of the shade.

And Kata came to help Alex with his exploring ventures...

And then we all hit the swings one last time....

And Bella woke up just in time...that girl loves swinging...man, does she ever...when my arm got tired, Ken had to step in....Daddy pushes it higher than Mommy, of course...and what's not to love about that??

We then played, peek-a-boo on the play structure...and said good-bye to a wonderful, late afternoon adventure.

Wishing you a Longfellow moment...your very own Children's Hour -

Between the dark and the daylight,

When the night is beginning to lower,

Comes a pause in the day's occupations,

That is known as the Children's Hour.


All Things Best In Show.

Kata's preschool had a Bring Your Pet to School Day...so our Becksie, much like Mary's Little Lamb, finally got his wish to go to school...he's been there often enough to pick up Kata but today was special because she got to talk about him and show him off to all the kids in the Kitten and Gecko classes.

Kata was worried all week long...that it would be like last year, when I sent her off with a picture of the, now dearly departed, fish...

"Yes, Kata."
"Are you really going to bring Beckham?"
"Yes, Kata."
"You're not going to send me to school with a picture of him?"
"No, Kata."
"'Cause last year, I was one of the kids in the circle...and I had to hold up a picture of the fish."
"Yes, Kata."
"But this year, you're really going to bring Beckham to school?"
"Yes, Kata."
"You're the best-EST Mama in the whole world!"

If only for a minute...let me bask in that comment...so we went to school...and she showed him off...and he was good and licked everyone...and smelled all the other dogs...and didn't bite. I'm hoping that Bella behaves like that when its her turn to go to Sunflower in September.

And the whole class got to say the word, "Bichon Frise." There you have it, folks. Wishing you a Best in Show moment.


All Things What the World Eats.

Since I've been staying at home these last almost four years, I've really delved into cooking...and lately been obsessed with a return to the way my Baka (grandmother) used to cook...all organic... she had no choice living in Yugoslavia...where a Farmer's Market was the norm...and you had a butcher and a baker...and a very small refrigerator...things were made fresh...and eaten immediately and graciously...

I often wonder what she would do with a microwave, a food processor and my Kitchen Aid mixer...I know she would love them all and use them...and wonder...why do we need fast food on top of all these conveniences???

Perhaps I'll even make jam this summer in her honor...

Here are some pictures from a Time Magazine's "What the World Eats" article from the book The Hungry Planet...click on the links it may be an eye-opener for you, as it was for me.


All Things Thank You and Idol.

Can you believe that Alex is almost done with Third Grade...tomorrow's his Last Day...wow!...how time has flown!!!

To thank his amazing teacher...I made a gift card holder...I know, I know...I always say I'm going to scrap and make cards and things...but while watching "American Idol" last night, I actually DID have a creative moment...and here are the results...

A gift card holder with a cute poem -

And because his teacher is pregnant with twins...and her oldest daughter, who is 3, goes to Kata's preschool...we ::had:: to do a Big Sister gift -

Pretty cute, eh? I am proud of myself for actually Doing Something About It!!!

As for last night's results on AI...all I can say is...once again all is right with the world and the right person won!!! Wooo-hooooo!

Wishing you a moment to Do Something About It...whatever, your "It" is...and oh yes, I'll be creating more Teacher Gifts...Kata's last day of school at Sunflower is in two weeks...yikes!!!


All Things WE'll.BE.LOyal.Scouts.

Boy, what a beautiful afternoon...today was the Cub Scout Crossing Over ceremony...once again held at Galena State Park...such a beautiful area...so wooded and shaded...with a gorgeous bridge and a really gushing stream thanks to the snow run off...perfect setting...

We get to say farewell to his early Cub Scout years...the Wolf, the Bear...and now for the next two years he will be a Webelos...which stands for (that's why I spelled it funny in the title)...We'll Be Loyal Scouts...I know it takes a while getting used to seeing it spelled out...Webelos...it's a Cub Scout thing...I know Girl Scouts have their own peculiarities...

So first they had some games...tug of war seemed to be the favorite...

Then we had the yummy barbecue...

And then the crossing over ceremony...

Such a serious, grown up moment...each year, this ceremony makes me think just how much he's grown and matured.


All Things Narnia Re-enactment.

Alex and I went to see "Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian" this afternoon...and it was spectacular...a darker movie in both plot and atmosphere...but so true to the book...there were some spine tingling moments...and there were a couple of times when I gasped very loudly and was immediately nominated The Embarrassing Mom for a moment...but all in all it was a great movie....

So when we got back...Ken had already set up the pool for the girls...and Alex turned it into our version of Narnia...we kept trying to decide if Becks would be Aslan or just a loyal servant...a DLF (dear little friend)...let's go with DLF...

Yes, and their weapons of choice were the spray water bottles...

And in no particular order, we have Queen Kata, the Magnificent...she has powers of Drama that no one can touch...

King Alex, the Great - High King over all of the Kings of Narnia...confusing, just like in the movie...his powers extend to the Being the Very Cause of Drama to Seeing Humor and Lightness in All Things Good and Bad....

And...last but never ever least...our version of Lucy...Her Majesty Queen Bella, the Valiant...she's afraid of absolutely...no-thing...except for spiders, bugs, pieces of fuzz in her way and oh yes, leaves...I swear leaves lying on the ground that are peculiar in shape...make her scream and go on...

and every movie needs a director/producer in our case that would be...

Wishing you some Fun in the Sun...go out and enjoy it...with sunblock on, please!

All Things Blockbuster.

You can just feel that Summer is upon us...and school is about to end, summer camps are about to begin and Summer Movie Blockbusters are opening every weekend...with the latter in mind, Alex and I have been busy watching all three Indy movies in preparation for the "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" as well as reading "Prince Caspian."

Right now with summer in the air, I am reminded of just how much I love movies...and finally, I have a little companion who can watch them with me!!! The fact that I had to give birth and wait 9 years for him to mature in order to wake up my DNA pattern is a separate issue altogether!

Here he is doing his Movie Countdown Ticker and wearing Ken's old Disneyland Indy hat -

It's really ::HOT:: here...we're going to hit 95-degrees tomorrow...that's about 15-degrees above average and will be an all time record...so escaping to the movies is a Good Thing.

Here are some pics of Mt. Rose (with a rapidly melting snow pack) and a sunset taken from Alex's room last night...feel free to meditate and Think Peaceful Thoughts :)...Wishing you an escapist moment this weekend...and thank you to all who wished me a Happy Birthday for my 45 (yikes) trips around the sun this past week...although I was grumbly, your sentiments were appreciated!


All Things Mama's Day.

In case you are in need of reading glasses like me these days...the caption reads -

Very early in the morning
They come pitter pattering
and thumping onto my bed...
Happy Mother's Day, Mama!
they shout, giggling and laughing
carrying their creations proudly.

It was about 7 am...that's late in our household and I was still in my jammies, definitely no make up on this face...when I was assaulted by the very creatures I've cared for all these years...they were so incredibly proud of the artwork they made for me...and I remember my mom holding on to these pieces of modern art for many years...in fact, she probably still has a few in her china cabinet, don't you, Baka?

Ken and the girls, I am sure, made certain that I, too, had an Ugly Doll. The girls love these things and mine is appropriately two sided! And my Alex, my only son, made sure his Mama had flowers...isn't the blossom gorgeous with its tissue paper center??? LOVE it!

And here they are holding up their card creations. Kata has been talking about making me a card with smiley faces and flowers for months now...and so she did. Bella drew me a monster on her card. At least, that's what she said every time we asked. And Alex he wrote me a poem stuck besides that tissue paper flower. His teacher gave them the assignment to write a poem based on your mother's favorite color. So here's his -

I Love You the Reddest

I love you the reddest like a mad angereed person

yelling in the winds.

I love you the color of the sunset in the horizon

with a reddish orange glow.

I love you the color of a rose blossoming

the color of love.

Love blowing through the breeze like a fire raging

through the forest.

A race car racing by the others

and fire is coming out of it.

That's why I love you the reddest!

So this second Sunday in May was a day originally designed to celebrate the goddesses of Spring - Isis (Egypt), Cybele (Roman) and Rhea (Greek). But in 1870, Julia Ward Howe (incidentally the woman who penned "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"), after seeing the caranage of the Civil War, turned the focus from Spring onto something much more important and still pertinent today...she declared in the Mother's Day Proclamation of 1870 - that the celebration should be one of motherhood and peace.

It's frightening to think that nothing much has changed...we still celebrate Spring, we still have wars and we still have mothers wishing for peace and the safe return of their children. Here's to World Peace.