The carenvale in Venice ended on Tuesday and our carnival at Cottonwood Elementary started today! Jenn Bell, Tammy LaPlant, Aimee Kemp and everyone else on the committee did an incredible job putting tonight's event together - it was one of the best that I can remember.
The weather was perfect - we often battle high winds, rain and/or cold...no today. The high was around 88, not a cloud in the sky.
Kimmy always enjoyed helping with the carnival. She helped at varying levels, over the years, and, as you might imagine, helped with a great deal of the art work -whether it was signs place strategically around Rita Ranch, or posters for each elementary school - or wonderful paintings to decorate the school grounds...Kimmy LOVED this aspect of the carnival. Today, after helping with some of the set up, I picked up Tonio and Autumn and asked how they liked the decorations. They both said everything looked great...and then, Tonio said, ' I miss Mama's elephant that she made for last year' - I had forgotten that Kim had made a host of circus animals to decorate the outside stage last year! So I asked Tonio if people were talking about that today in school...no, he said - I just figured somebody reminded him about the clown, ring master, circus dog and playful elephant that Kimmy hand sketched and painted for the stage...
The carnival always has a large cake walk. The kids love to play until they win - I've tried to coach them to always choose the home made baked goods - they are just better! And, as you can imagine, Kimmy always loved to contribute one, or several, of her incredible baked goods! Cream cheese brownies were an awesome hit each year!
And we always loved to work at the teacher's games that they have in front of their rooms. Last year, we helped with the wet sponge toss - where students could lob a wet sponge at their teacher! Kimmy put her face through the hole, at one point to allow the sugar crazed kids to hurl large, moist, sponges at her face!
Pete Inks, of the Vail Education Foundation, was an instant Kimmy fan as soon as he met her. He worked with her on fund raisers, like the Entertainment Book sale and on events like Vail Pride Day. He loved her enthusiasm and work ethic. Today, I got to thank Pete, as the VEF has made a $500 donation to Kimmy's Foundation!! Thank you Pete and VEF!!
Tonight, we helped out Mrs. Schrantz, who made a large scale Yahtzee game for the kids to play!
Next, it was on to Mrs. Rudzena's Frisbee throw!
These girls can eat, too! They each had a slice of pizza, giant pickle (Autumn had two), cupcakes, cotton candy and lollipops, and then had angel hair pasta when we got home!
When the kids were done playing, they had a chance to redeem their carnival punch tickets for wonderous prizes in the library - Annette and Kirk Perrini did a great job holding down that particular fort! No easy feat, the swarms of prize thirsty kids, once sugar crazed, covered every square inch of that library, yet, they kept the chaos under control!
As we walked around, taking in the decorations and watching the kids having fun playing the games that the teachers made, I told the bambini's stories about their Mama and the contributions she made over the years to the carnival...and I could see her helping with the games, or hustling to finish baking something in time for the cake walk, or covering our living room floor with paper she was transforming into a fabulous piece of art work for the carnival...was she there tonight? Did you feel her??