By Geri Gibbons - For Times Leader

Mother’s Day luncheon at Work of Art Learning Center features unique menu

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Ellie,3, Cefalo and her mom Jacqueline look at a framed photo the Ellie made for her at Work of Art Pre-School in Exeter. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Joseph Bonomo jokes with his mom Jessica while giving her flowers for the Mother’s Day luncheon at Work of Art Learning Center.
Kristen Dietrick reads a card her 4-year-old daughter, Avery, made for her.
Carrey Mudlock snuggles her daughter Sahara.

EXETER — A Mother’s Day luncheon at Work of Art Learning Center on Thursday provided preschool students a chance to give their mothers a few of their favorite things, including marigolds, picture frames and, yes in one case, hot peppers and milk.

Part of the tradition of the luncheon, which is in its fifth year, is having the children, who range in age from 2 to 5, pick their mothers’ favorite food to be served.

Or, at least, what the child thinks is her favorite food.

“One year, we had a little boy who told us that his mother’s favorite food was cough drops. We suggested that maybe she had another favorite food, but he stuck with cough drops,” said Director Gina Malsky. “His mom laughed when she saw them on her plate.”

In addition to hot peppers, moms also found foods such as pizza, chicken soup, pancakes and steak carefully placed in front of them as they made their way into the party room.

Jill Stronski, of Wyoming, and her 2-year-old daughter, Penelope, seemed to be enjoying the time together, with Jill not only enjoying her chicken sandwich, but all the niceties that the event provided.

Stronski was quick to share artwork created by her daughter entitled “All about my Mom.”

In completing the sentence, “My mom likes to … ” Penelope chose “spin.”

“I don’t go to the gym that often,” said Jill Stronski. “I think she means the spinning around that we do in the kitchen.”

Debbie Lemardy, who teaches 2- and 3-year-olds at the center, said the event, although requiring a great deal of effort and preparation, was well worth it.

“When the mothers arrive through the front door, the kids are so excited,” she said. “We allow the kids to really put the event together themselves, from choosing crafts to gifts to the food.”

Pamela Coleman, of Pittston Township, said she couldn’t be happier with the event or the center.

As she made her way though the front door, daughter Alice, 4, clad in a print dress and striped leotards, ran over to her with a smile and a hug.

“I let her pick out her clothes herself,” Pamela said. “That’s the way we roll.”

​Also a ballet teacher and proponent of the arts, Malsky said she draws energy from the children at the center.

She pointed out that everything from the flowers presented to the mothers, grown by the children from seeds, to artwork that included each child’s photo had been initiated by the children.

Looking around her at the 28 children happily interacting with their mothers, Malsky said,

“It’s chaos,” said Malsky, looking out at 28 children with their mothers, “wonderful organized chaos.”

Ellie,3, Cefalo and her mom Jacqueline look at a framed photo the Ellie made for her at Work of Art Pre-School in Exeter. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL051217Mothers-Brunch.jpgEllie,3, Cefalo and her mom Jacqueline look at a framed photo the Ellie made for her at Work of Art Pre-School in Exeter. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Joseph Bonomo jokes with his mom Jessica while giving her flowers for the Mother’s Day luncheon at Work of Art Learning Center.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL051217Mothers-Brunch3.jpgJoseph Bonomo jokes with his mom Jessica while giving her flowers for the Mother’s Day luncheon at Work of Art Learning Center.

Kristen Dietrick reads a card her 4-year-old daughter, Avery, made for her.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL051217Mothers-Brunch2.jpgKristen Dietrick reads a card her 4-year-old daughter, Avery, made for her.

Carrey Mudlock snuggles her daughter Sahara.
https://www.theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL051217Mothers-Brunch1.jpgCarrey Mudlock snuggles her daughter Sahara.

By Geri Gibbons

For Times Leader

Reach the Times Leader newsroom at 570-829-7242 or on Twitter @TLNews.

Reach the Times Leader newsroom at 570-829-7242 or on Twitter @TLNews.