All Things Dear Baka.

Baka is the Serbian word for grandmother...more correctly, its the diminutive form, i.e. granny.

We celebrated Baka's birthday with homemade cherry cake...and lots and lots of candles placed semi-securely by her grandchildren, wearing their grandfather's (Djedo's) South Beach Yacht Club matching shirts.

Bella made us all laugh when she proclaimed that it was "time to light the fire!" Yes, she meant the candles. She's just our little comedian.

Our Baka also got help with the blowing out process. And please note, Kata's being so good about wearing her patch to correct that lazy eye.

And for those of you who knew that I had a small biopsy last Wednesday (a spot that managed to invade my inner lower eyelid)...thank you for your prayers. The pathology results came in today...and the mole is just a benign freckle. God is good, indeed. For those that didn't know, my apologies...attacking my moles, spots and freckles is an ongoing battle after the discovery of my small melanoma last October. This one was troubling because of its location but I didn't want the blog to be about moles and melanoma. Just remember to wear sunscreen this summer...and don't skimp, please.

Wishing you all a moment when you are surrounded with love. We're enjoying ours, can't you tell?


All Things St. George Medal.

I just can't believe that we've had another Sunday School Graduation under our collective belts. It's been three years since we started this version of St. Anthony's Sunday School. The children have all grown so much.

Father George had a special treat for them. He had prayer ropes from Mt. Athos, which is the center of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. Mt. Athos is the oldest surviving monastic community in the world and it dates back over one thousand years to the Byzantine times. So this was, indeed, something special. The children were thrilled with the tiny bracelets which fit their little wrists perfectly.

Father also had a special treat for the Riggsby family. For the last year and a half (some things take longer than they should), Alex has been working on his Cub Scout religious medal program. If you are ever bored, click on the link here scroll up and you'll see that hundreds of religions are represented. I find it comforting that we can keep "God" in scouting. Some things truly do not need to change. As in the Cub Scout promise- "I promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people and obey the law of the pack."

But enough of my tangent, the bottom line is that he finally finished it! And yesterday, he was awarded the St. George Medal, which he can now proudly wear on his uniform.

And I, the proud mommy, got to partake in the tradition of pinning it on him. Can't you tell the motherly pride just bursting forth?? It's only because it was a longer journey than we expected.

And oh yes, he makes this face all the time. He thinks it's fierce and funny. Little does he know I plan a montage of these faces on a slideshow in the future. Ah, the embarassing opportunities up ahead. This Mom gig is turning out to have some fun moments after all.

Some things are worth the struggle. As you go about your Monday, keep that thought in mind.


All Things Rodeo.

The Reno Rodeo. It's one of those things that if you live here, you really need to go to even if you're not per se a rodeo fan. The town's simply buzzin' about it. It's all over the newspaper, the TV and the radio. You literally can't escape it, although I've been successful for approximately three years. But eventually, they do getcha.

Things I didn't know before going to the rodeo so I feel the need to share (File Under - look, Lorraine, I am doing the research for that western novella you're them thar writin'!).

  • In the Wild West (oh dear, that ::IS:: where I live??), cowboys needed to hone their cattle roping, etc skills and being by nature...MEN...they immediately turned it into a competition.

  • Buffalo Bill turned these competitions into more of a showcase of frontiersmen as athletes in his well advertised Wild West Shows.

  • Ropin' and ridin' that's what you'll see when you go, nothing more nothing less.
  • Please do not confuse the pronunciation of rodeo with the more famous pronunciation (in my mind) of RO-deo (as in Drive as in Hollywood, baby).

  • There is such a thing as the PRCA - Professional Rodeos Cowboy Association. I am not mocking it. Who knew it existed however? But who knew that there was such a job as Corn Maze Architect (File Under - Things We Learned From Going to the Farm on Bella's Birthday)??

  • There is marketing everywhere...via sponsor flags at the rodeo. Someone has to pay for the "wildest, richest rodeo in the West."

  • Here come the cowboys and their bucking broncos. Prior to last night I assumed that these were all untamed, wild horses. We have those here, y'know. They are in the hills behind our new high school. The mustangs come down and drop poop all over the well planned, gated community in front of the school. You got to love that.
No, rodeo horses are bred to buck and are helped along by straps tied around their flanks. Don't alarm PETA however, apparently these straps are of the humane variety. Picture me picketing at the next rodeo a la Kim Basinger and the elephants in the circus. Honestly, the horses seemed well treated in spite of a few picketers. Again, it is the Wild West where we don't need no stinkin' picketers ;-)!

The bull riders have to be the bravest of the bunch. What person in their right mind would want to get onto a 2,000lb bucking bull?? Perhaps it's the phrase "person in their right mind?"

For fans of Wells Fargo...there were a couple of stagecoach exhibitions. Yee-haw.

For fans of our kids...here are two of the three...the youngest was struggling to stay awake. And yes, Alex wanted to wear the Indy hat to the rodeo (an independent streak). And yes, he has a black (what other color exists?) cowboy hat in his accessory arsenal.

My very favorite of the night (besides the stirred not shaken margarita on the rocks...two please, so my feet squeezed into my semi-sensible leather sandals won't hurt so much or swell attractively in the heat), was a bull...now warning...my astrological sign is Taurus, so there is a built in affinity for these thundering, majestic, load bearing beasts of burden.

He has only been ridden successfully three times in five years. I liked him instantly.

So with steak house sponsorships fresh in our minds, we trotted off home. Tired. Dusty. And full of spunk.

Wishing you a day where you take the bull by the horns. Try it. You may find that it's your new way of approaching life.


All Things Recital.

So we're a little bleary from last night's recital...it started at 7 pm (actually 7:20) and by the time we got all our things, headed home and tucked ourselves in...it was 1:15 am. Our kids have ::NEVER:: stayed up that late. But it was so worth it. Look at Grandma Sandi with Bella and Alex, all fashionably attired, need I add.

Kata was in a really good mood. Stayed backstage and played nicely with the other girls. It was the first time I saw what her preschool teachers told me about...she does play well with others. Wow, our little diva can do it. They waited their turn, playing with Polly Pockets, their Uno cards and eating their snacks.

And then it was their turn...I'll write less and just let the pictures do the talking. I know they're blurry...the darn mice move too fast for my lil' ol' camera and the low lighting of that big, ol' , very professional Grand Sierra Resort stage (click on the link and you'll see the set up...and then think of the place...packed with friends and family...there, you've got the image now).

And she executed the quick change from a mouse into a magic fairy with perfection...all by herself...and hit her mark on time. What a pro. It was as she kept mentioning her ::FOURTH:: recital after all. Pretty good for a 5 year old.

The big surprise of the night??? Uncle Ricky drove in from Fallon, where he's doing that Navy Thing again...and saw Kata in all her glory. What a guy to do that. Works hard. Defends our country. Drives one hour 10 minutes, one way, to see an amateur production. We just love him.

Wishing you a moment in the spotlight where you can perform like a pro. We're going to take a loooong nap today!


All Things Scout Camp.

Do you remember your summer camp experiences? Well, we're pretty sure Alex will! For the second year in a row, Ken and Alex attended Cub Scout Day Camp and boy, did the boys have fun. This year's theme was Space. And our not-so-little, future aerospace engineer loved every minute of it (we'll blame both his Djedo and his godmother for the activation of that gene).

But, where else can you make your own space shuttle, shoot a gun and an arrow? Not in our house, that's for sure.

Or make your own rocket...that then takes off about 200-feet (Ken's approximation, so we know it's true) in the air?

More fun games were played...

A handy dandy bug vacuum and catcher was fashioned out of recycled materials...that'll come in handy for our annual ant invasion. Patent, I am certain, is pending right at this very moment.

And then it was time for the closing ceremony, which Alex led. Not pictured is the inside ceremony where he did the Pledge of Allegiance in front of about 300 people...nice and loud and clear, that's our first born.

My favorite part, you ask?? It was watching both of my boys get excited about scout stuff. Pretty cool. And oh yes, when my husband of almost 15 years received the Helper of the Day award. Now those are some fond memories in the making.

Wishing that you have a Helpful Moment today whether on the giving or receiving end.


All Things Daddy.

Happy, happy Daddy's Day to all the daddies, grandfathers, djedos, uncles we know!!! Ours was a fairly quiet day...started off with a yummy breakfast...chocolate chip pancakes, bacon and strawberries.

Followed by presents and cards....

Our gift basket for Daddy included a sports book he's been eyeing...an Awesome Dad t-shirt (he has to get one a year or its not Father's Day)...his favorite candies and chips...and...(drum roll) a package of ear plugs...so he can enjoy reading in peace.

Kata worked long and hard on her card, illustrating all of us including the dog.

Alex drew an elaborate map and wrote his own poem. "Love is in the air, the stars shine brighter, the days are hot and beautiful, blossoms are blooming and Daddy's watching sports..." the next American poet, no doubt.

And Bella's simple hand print...of which she was, oh, so proud.

I finally put together a little mini scrapbook...(love my Bind It All machine)...full of fatherly quotes and pictures from the last two months...here are a few of the pages.

And then for those of you who wanted to see the craftiest creation I've ever made (yes, I am bragging now...but honestly, usually these things don't come out so nicely for me)...without a pattern, need I add....

A giant pincushion for the Cinderella mouse we love the most...Kata's prop is quite the talk of ballet class...many thanks to my friend Brandi for the suggestion of Styrofoam balls and dowels to make the pins...and the nice lady at Wal-Mart for her suggestion on the pattern...it takes a village to make a prop. Her ballet director pronounced that I am the new Prop Mistress...another thing to add to that stale resume of mine.

Many thanks to Uncle Rick who joined us at Chevy's for lunch...it was so good to see him. The kids just clammored all over him and barely let him eat. They were full of questions and demanding attention. His naval training comes in handy when he's dealing with our threesome!

Wishing you a quiet day full of reflective moments.