The emotional character  from Pixar's "Inside Out" Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Fear (voice of Bill Hader), Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith)

While sitting inside the Dolby Screening Room at a recent MOMS screening of Disney  Pixar’s animated  movie ‘Inside Out‘ three pairs of eyes looked over at me to see if I was crying. I had taken my 9-year old daughter, Kameko,  my 7-year old son  Kai and  his friend Lexi Anne  also 7,  along to the screening.

Three cute NYC kids attending Pixar's 'Inside Out' Lexi Anne 7, Kai 7 and Kameko 9 are over-the-moon happy after seeing the MOMS’ screening of “Inside Out”at the Dolby Screening Room on June 12

At a particular point in the movie Kai and Lexi Anne began whispering to each .I then noticed that they were staring intently at me to see if I had tears streaming down.  I quickly said  before they could  say anything, “Hey, guys  are those tears…

View original post 1,400 more words



It was lots of  skipping, jumping, frolicking and dancing with the  Mark Lamb Dance company amongst real life  butterflies and Spring flowers this past weekend if  you were in Brooklyn  and  experienced the  Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s FROLIC festival and  grand opening of  its  new  Discovery Garden.



Talk about a whale of a good time! My kids and I have not had this much fun discovering, smelling, touching  and cavorting through the many gardens within the Garden as we did on Saturday. What a thrill!  Making this Frolic even more special was the numerous activities and events  planned around the new Discovery Garden’s grand opening  located  just inside of the Flatbush Avenue entrance.


The new Discovery Garden is a child’s outdoor dream of discovery —-designed by the award-winning firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.  It encourages children to touch, examine  and explore nature through hands-on experiences. From toddler to adult  one can investigate plants and animals to uncover their mysteries or learn about the Garden  and plant wildlife at many of the  fun  hand-on exhibits  while also exploring the  meadow,  marsh, or  the woodlands habitats throughout the Gardens.


Activities across  the Garden that kept the kids excited included  crafting their own butterfly  antennae,  going on a  wondrous sonic scavenger hunt with stops in Brazil, India,  Indonesia, West Africa  and Australia. We then  pranced across   the  Cherry Esplanade and bumped into all sorts of  out-of-this-world  larger than life  moths and dragonflies  all members of  a clutch of fantastical creatures courtesy of Ralph Lee’s Mettawee River Theater Company who seamlessly cavorted  amongst the Garden goers  and through the  bare cherry blossom trees and pathways.  The  excitement  and looks of awe on people’s faces was addicting..


Dixieland Jazz by the Shinbone Alley Stilt Band


Salieu Suso play the West African Kora


The kids encounter a cool unearthly being from Mettawee River Theater Company


A fun creatures encounter


In awe of this creature


My favorite encounter witha creature courtesy of the Mettawee River Theater Company


The only short break -less than 5 minutes— the kids took


This giant puppet creature lead the parade through the Botanic Garden


Go visit The Brooklyn Botanical Garden and check out the Discovery Garden. Hours:  Tue- Fri :8am-6pm ;  Sat and  Sun: 10am-6pm ; Mondays: Closed




Have you ever sat down and tried to  put your family tree together? You know,  sit  with pen and paper in hand,  draw a tree  and  branch by branch add individual family members . Not easy is it? In fact, it’s  quite laborious.  I have tried a few times and always end up quitting because it is just too tedious of a task,  usually ending  in frustration  because I  have again left off  family member names I knew nothing of until pointed out , by one of my elder relatives.

With genealogy websites like Ancestry.com, My Heritage.com and  Geni readily available  for anyone to start their own  family tree the once tedious task of creating a  family tree has become a lighter one which can now be  shared  and built upon by family members  spread across the globe .

With everyone on earth  now 4 degrees of separation thanks to Facebook and social media  Author A.J.  Jacobs  sees us all as being related to each other  in some way . The aim of his Global Family Reunion ?   To  connect  the human race. Why?,  We Are all Family!



Global Family Reunion founder A.J Jacobs[L] with singer John Legend [R]

The TED Talks speaker  with over 18K Twitter followers and TED views of  over a million  is the founder of the Global Family Reunion. He  is also the best-selling author of  The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically  and Drop Dead Healthy and is an  editor at large at Esquire and a NPR commentator. Crownheightsmom sought out AJ after hearing that  he is planning the MOTHER OF ALL FAMILY REUNIONS in  New  York on June 6  Crownheightsmom needed to know just how he is going to  pull it all off and more so where is he going to fit all  of  his darn family members. I mean seriously he has invited YOU and  seven billion members of the human family.  AJ says,  “Those with a proven connection to the world’s biggest family tree (currently at 77 million people) get a bracelet and take part of the largest family photo in history.”


Jacobs (L) with his new found relative and cousin, actor, Daniel Radcliffe (R)

It has gotten easier with DNA testing and the  internet to connect to long lost family members. AJ’s Global Family Reunion will  be one more opportunity to connect .  Global Family Reunions  will be happening all over the world simultaneously and across the US at places like the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Clayton Library Center in Houston, Texas, Allen County Public Library in Wayne, Indiana and the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri

Added to  this global excitement  are  invited celebrities and experts helping to  pull it all off. So expect  to see  featured talks and presentations by known figures  including filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, magician, David Blaine,Former President, George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush (via video), Comedy Central star Nick Kroll, NPR host Ophira Eisenberg and former Obama administration member Cass Sunstein and more.

Magician David Blaine  will be a featured speaker

Magician David Blaine will be a featured speaker

The day promises to be fun says the Global Family Reunion’s  website with lots  of activities  including taking the world’s largest family pic, a  talent contest, lots of info and exhibitions about family history and genealogy.and of course with the event being held at  the New York Hall of Science, there will be over 450  interactive museum exhibits.

An Epic Family Festival
Music! Talks! Comedy! Genealogy! Contests! Potato sack races! Crafts! LOTS of celebrity cousins!

CrownHeightsMom talked with A.J about the big day. Below  is what he shared.

CrownHeightsMOM: June 6 is a BIG day for you. I  would love for you to  share a bit about  that date  and the event you are having  called the  Global Family Reunion. What exactly is it ?                                                          A.J. Jacobs: The Family Reunion is a World’s Fair meets a music festival meets a TED conference. It’s fun for every generation. There are more than 50 entertainers and more than 400 activities – music, exhibits, food from around the world, trivia quizzes, scavenger hunts, you name it.

CrownHeightsMOM: Why did you  start the Global Family Reunion?            A.J. Jacobs:  About a year ago, I got a surprise email from a stranger that said, “I am your twelfth cousin.” At first, I figured the guy wanted to me to wire $10,000 to a Nigerian bank. But as it turned out, the man was part of a team of scientists and researchers helping to build a Family Tree of the entire human race. But it’s not even a tree anymore. It’s an Amazonian forest.  The Global Family Tree is now at 270 million people. It’s unprecedented, and I saw this as proof  we are part of something larger than our individual selves. And here’s the cool thing: If you come to the Global Family Reunion, we have a team of genealogists who will try to connect you to the Big Tree so you can see how you’re related to Nelson Mandela and Lady Gaga and everyone in between.

CrownHeightsMOM: Why is such an event important?                                   A.J. Jacobs: For one, all the proceeds after expenses go towards Alzheimer’s research and education. But I also think the event is important, because once we see how we are all connected, hopefully we’ll treat each other with more kindness. Which sounds optimistic, I know.

CrownHeightsMOM: How can families get involved?                                        A.J. Jacobs: They can sign up on our website to volunteer at the event.Of course, I also encourage anyone interested to buy a ticket online or make a donation

CrownHeightsMOM: I  see lots of celebs seem to be involved . Whom exactly will be there?                                                                                             A.J. Jacobs: Presenters will include Morgan Spurlock, David Blaine and Henry Louis Gates. We’ll also have Sister Sledge singing “We Are Family.” And hopefully you’ll be there too!

Dr. Henry Louis Gates a known expert in genealogies will be a featured guest speaker

Dr. Henry Louis Gates a known expert in genealogies will be a featured guest speaker

CrownHeightsMOM: Sooo, after the reunion, then what?                                  A.J. Jacobs: I’d like a nice peaceful break from the madness where I can spend a week or two eating takeout with my wife and watching movies with my kids while not having to worry about getting event permits or lining up vendors. But I also have to finish the manuscript for my next book, It’s All Relative, which is about my journey through all this genealogy research and organizing the Global Family Reunion, so my break will likely be short-lived.

CrownHeightsMOM:  Btw, are you prepared to deal with  the   “drama-filled ” or bad behaved far flung relatives because as you know You know there is bound to be a few in attendance.                                                         A.J Jacobs: I just nod my head, smile, and listen reflectively. That’s about all you can do in those situations.

CrownHeightsMOM: Did you by any chance contact Madea aka Tyler Perry for any tips on throwing a family reunion.                                                A.J Jacobs: : I have not, but that’s a great idea! I wish I had thought of contacting Madea months ago, now.


CrownHeightsMOM: What will the money raised  go towards?                       A.J. Jacobs: Fighting Alzheimer’s. We’ve partnered with the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and the Alzheimer’s Association New York Chapter who will use the proceeds for Alzheimer’s research, education.

CrownHeightsMOM: What have you told your wife and kids to expect out of the Reunion?                                                                                                           A.J. Jacobs: I think they can expect a fun, wild, exciting, and educational experience. My 8-year-old said he wants to be head of security, but I’m afraid we’re hiring some bigger people for the job.

CrownHeightsMOM: You chose the New York  Hall of Science,  home of the 1964  World’s Fair  as the location for this event. Is there a significance ?                                                                                                           A.J. Jacobs: It’s a beautiful location with a lot of space, which is hard to find in NYC. And the museum’s  hands-on exhibits are really cool.



The Unisphere outside the New York Hall Of Science in Queens, New York

 CrownHeightsMOM: You have gotten such a positive  response to this event and so many celebs have come aboard. Why do you think this is?      A.J. Jacobs :I think it’s the ultimate social network. We are all part of the global family, and there’s something appealing about that. Also, they’re my cousins so they have to be enthusiastic.

For more info on author AJ. Jacobs  and to purchase tix to the Global Family Reunion go here ! And of course also check out  more at The New York Hall of Science.


Actor Kevin James leads  over 100 on Segways to two Guinness World Book records making history

Actor Kevin James leads crownheightsmoms and over 100 on Segways to set two Guinness World Records .


Actor Kevin James loves to horse around and  make people laugh but when it comes to being next to  the real thing  James is  not laughing. In fact the actor  and star of the film Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 which segwayed into our hearts in April and  continues to dominate the box office is should we say, a little shy of  horses.  “I am afraid of horses,” the actor recently told a group of mom bloggers when he sat down  to chat with the MOMS co-creators Denise Albert and Melissa  Gerstein . Adds the actor,  about the hilarious scene where he is kicked by a horse  into a car. “It is called green screen! If a horse kicked me like that in real life, I would be  in real bad shape. ” Says James,   “I was supposed to slap it on the butt, but I  was afraid it would really kick me .I was really nervous about that scene.”

Paul Blart :Mall Cop 2  is still in theaters  and it’s doing  not too shabby at the box office either. In fact it has  garnered  over $52 mil in domestic  ticket sales so far according to Box Office Mojo.. The movie  is funny and my 7 and 9 year olds and their friends love it . Out of  5 popcorn stars they give Paul Blart : Mall Cop 2 the maximum 5 stars.

imgresimgresimgres imgresimgres


On filming the second installment of the Mall Cop  franchise James says, “This one is a lot funnier and everybody  was funnier. Adds the actor, “The comedy looks  a lot better  and is certainly shot a lot better because the budget was a little bigger ,which was good to have  and we shot in a better environment,that  was beautiful.”

Crownheightsmom.com  caught up with  the actor at a recent MOMS sit-down just days after joining him  and over 100 security guards  perched atop Segways to make Guinness  World  Records history



crownheightsmom strikes a pose alongside volunteers John and Jim

Talk about history making and an exciting day that I will remember forever. It included  learning to ride a Segway,  free Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 movie loot  that included  tee shirts,, rain ponchos,tattoos for the  kids and  face painting, free hot dogs and drinks  and all this just before hitting the red carpet  for a world premier screening .

Knowing that I  am was included amongst the more than 100 participants, most, like myself, first time  Segway  riders who were given lessons that morning by certified Segway trainers before going on to  make history on the largest 2-Wheeled Electric Personal Vehicle or Segway is just an amazing feeling. To have  set not one, but two new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS, is just -.

Getting my lesson  from my trainer.

Getting my lesson in from my trainer.


Guinness Book World Records official

Guinness Book World Records official


MOMS co-creator Denise Albert is now a pro on a Segway

MOMS co-creator Denise Albert is now a pro on a Segway

Geri listening intently

Geraldine Buchanan Rogers listens to her trainer  intently.

Alexa getting the hang of it

Alexa getting the hang of it as her trainer looks on.

Security guards are fast learners

Security guards are fast learners.

G striking a pose

Gagnine (schoolyardstyle.com) striking a pose as she takes lessons


Watchout here comes two arresting officers

Watchout here comes two arresting officers

After setting  the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS the actor then  joined us  in setting another personal record for Most People Simultaneously Performing a 360-Degree Turn on 2-Wheeled Electric Personal Vehicles or Segways.

Actor Kevin James leads  over 100 on Segways to two Guinness World Book records making history

Actor Kevin James,  MOMS co-creator Denise Albert (far right) and over 100 Segway riders  earn  two Guinness World Book records .


Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, opened nationwide April 17 . It  picked up from where the original Mall Cop left off  with Blart on vacation in Vegas with his teenage daughter just before she’s set to head  off to college. The proud security guard who has kept our  malls safe  for over six years finds himself jumping into action doing what he knows best, keeping everyone safe-even while on vacation. For Blart, safety is never on holiday! Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is directed by Andy Fickman.


Kevin James  sat down with The MOMS. Here is what he had to share ——————-

On  the original installment of Mall Cop  says the  actor. “It holds a tender  position in my heart.”

On how he got started in acting : “I  was in the Montreal Comedy Festival and  people from NBC saw me  and liked me  . I signed a development deal to try and get my own sitcom  and that’s when it started. I was about about 25, 26, around there and that i show it started.

On his favorite donut.”You can’t look at my body  and ask me if I like donuts. It’s self evident. I like  chocolate filled donuts and cinna-buns  but my favorite donut is the fudge ones with the glaze. Yup, chocolate glazed is my favorite..

On any words not allowed to be uttered by his kids at home. “My kids are still young. They don’t know, so I don’t have  that yet but we keep mine on lockdown pretty much( laughing) they don’t see much people, they don’t get out much.  We give them a little sun for about five minutes a day.(Laughing out loud ).Seriously he adds “They are really good kids. I am blessed  for sure but  it is scary.” All you can do he say is, “Give them the tool to deals with all of that stuff. They will be ok.”

On being kicked into the car by the horse. ” If a horse kicked me like that in real life   I would be  in real bad shape.  It is called green screen.

On how he feels about horses . “There was a horse there (on set) . I am afraid of horses and to be standing behind the horse where  I was supposed to slap the horse on the butt, I  was afraid it would really kick me .I was really nervous about that scene because I did have to slap the butt of a horse.

On parenting advice  he would like to share with other  dads.” Listen to your kids! ..A lot of times you just  kinda  tell them  to listen to the rules . It’s nice for kids if they can  express themselves . Just  listen to them or hear them out . I mean they may not get their way.   Get on their level with them  they appreciate  it. My wife told me  this , you have to listen get on their level let them feel like they are expressing themselves.

On  how  he and his family spend Friday nights he tells Crownheightsmom.com .”We do movie night  as a family on Fridays but we do dinner together every night as long as I am there  and we can do it. We sit down and do it. We stop everything and we eat together .Movie night is a really  fun night . It’s Friday night and everybody gets to stay up late and have  a really  fun night . The girls are really great and want o stay up late, but they always pass out by 9 or 9:30  they never make it . Movie night is  that  thing we do that is very consistent,  we also do ice cream on sunday

Catch Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 at you  local theater



I was in my mid teens when Sakura Matsuri started at the  Brooklyn Botanic  Gardens. Back then, the faces attending were mostly  of Japanese origin and they   came out in droves  to celebrate the blooming cherry blossom flowers and rejoice in the planned Japanese cultural programs and activities.


Miu Soda in traditional regal mode

In recent years, the  two-day weekend festival has become more popular  and has grown by  leaps and bounds attracting people of all races, nationalities and cultures. The impact of its popularity is  felt in the buildup of  traffic as more and more people   come to the borough and  as attendees join lines snaking along  Washington and Flatbush avenues .Many come dressed in their favorite  anime costumes or opt to wearing  traditional Japanese kimonos.  The mostly open -air outdoors celebration  gives those attending a taste of Japan with  sword fighting displays, Taiko drumming exhibition, manga artists and much more.

Seeing  such an  assortments of Japanese culture, food and arts made for a  breathtakingly  beautiful afternoon spent amongst the  cherry blossoms.


For many, myself included,  attending  the annual Sakura Matsuri festival signals,  that  Spring  has finally sprung.


7-year old Kai amongst the blooming flowers at BBG

One of my very best friends, Asako, hails from Japan. I remember talking to her years ago about  her country’s  most cherished flower and her saying that  in Japan they  have  Sakura Hanami parties  throughout the country . Getting  dressed up  in cultural garb  like a Kimono and  attending Cherry blossom viewing she says is a serious thing there, where the blooming flowers are watched carefully  and celebrated by all.

I am most proud that this festival occurs  in my Crown Heights neighborhood with the BBG being a hop, skip and a jump from my doorsteps.My kids especially got a blast  seeing all  the  beautiful flowers in  bloom in an assortment of colors. Taking in the festival this past weekend was a  joy from seeing the many families in attendance to  seeing the  festival goers decked out in  traditional Kimonos and others in their  favorite Japanese inspired costumes. The $25 admittance fee definitely  was worth every penny .


Hip hopping with the one and only Akim Funk Buddha and Chihiro ‘Cute Beat’

Crownheightmom.com is definitely looking forward to next year’s  festival.


Kameko takes a rest while taking in the colorful flowers


An attendee at the Cherry Blossom festival


The Taiko drums were played loudly and beautifully


The Japanese Hill and Pond Garden


Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them.—-Mahalia Jackson

The power of prayer has a way of granting miracles.  Thus the case of Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Bobbi Kristina Brown

Bobbi Kristina Brown

Bobbi Kristina Brown has  awakened  from the coma  she’s  been in for over a month and a half a source close to her family tells crownheightsmom.com exclusively.

“Bobbi Kristina  is out of the coma” says a source close to the 22-year old’s  family . “She  is opening  her eyes but isn’t talking yet,”  adds the source.

For  family and friends  of the aspiring singer and especially for her father R&B singer  Bobby Brown this  must come as  the best news  since that fateful Jan. 31, 2015  day when Bobbi Kristina  was found unresponsive  in the Roswell, Georgia home she shared with boyfriend Nick Gordon. She was found  unconscious and in a bathtub – eerily similar to how  her mother Whitney Houston had died in 2012.

R&B singer Bobby Brown

R&B singer Bobby Brown

“Krissi awakened about two weeks ago,” says the  source close to her family. Could Bobby Brown have  hinted  at  this news  in a March 3 press release his lawyer sent out saying, “We thank everyone that supports Bobbi Kristina and God is hearing our prayers.”

One can  imagine how  thankful Bobby Brown must be feeling. The singer  has continuously asked for  prayers  for his daughter Bobbi Kristina and as the  weeks have gone by and   we have  seen the pictures of his daily trips to and  from  the  hospital  to be at her bedside. He has been a dad who is enduring what happened to his daughter  publicly while  asking for privacy from the press as he continues trying to hold it all together for himself and his family  while  the  criminal investigation  continues  into how his daughter  ended up in the condition she’s in . Most parents  would prefer to  never go through a situation like this, but if they had to be in  a situation like this they would prefer  to go through it  privately. It is good to see that the R&B star  has held firm to his faith to pull him through and to see that in some ways these prayers are being answered. Crownheightsmom reached out to Bobby Brown’s camp for a response  and was told  to refer to what  Bobby has said  in his press releases, saying, “We continue to request privacy in regards to my daughter’s medical condition.  We thank everyone that supports Bobbi Kristina and God is hearing our prayers.”


Bobbi Kristina Brown and her mother Whitney Houston

Bobbi Kristina Brown and her mother Whitney Houston

Not out of the woods though progressing slowly . “She is not recognizing people’s faces but she has eye movement and  is responsive to voices and touch,”  the  source tells crownheightsmom exclusively. This progress, says the source, is what prompted the family to  move her from Emory Hospital to a specialized facility,  still in Georgia, that can better treat her.

Visitors to see Bobbi Kristina since her improvement have included her grandmother Cissy Houston,  81  who arrived about a week ago  to visit  her  granddaughter says the  source.  Cissy  last visited  in early February.  As of this writing  Cissy is reported to have returned  to her home in New Jersey .

Bobbi Kristina and her grandmother Cissy Houston

Bobbi Kristina and her grandmother Cissy Houston

It definitely feels great to hear  promising news about Bobbi Kristina’s  condition and as she progresses we hope to  keep well wishers up to date.

As Bobbi Kristina’s   condition continues to improve the source close to the  family  adds,  ” I would like to  ask people to keep praying for Bobbi Kristina. She still has a long way to go.”

by Debra Lewis-Boothman