Katie Holmes: Tom's Kids with Nicole 'Call Me Mom'

12/19/2007 at 08:55 PM EST

Katie Holmes: Tom's Kids with Nicole 'Call Me Mom'
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise
Miguel Villagran/AP
Katie Holmes gushes that husband Tom Cruise is a "great father and husband" and says his two children with ex-wife Nicole Kidman are "incredible, really smart and kind."

"They call me 'Mom'," Holmes says in this week's Parade Magazine of Cruise's first two children, Isabella, who turns 15 this month, and Connor, 12.

The 29-year-old actress says she's looking forward to spending the holidays cooking and skiing in Telluride, Colo., with Cruise, their baby daughter Suri, and both sides of the big family.

"Last year was Suri's first Christmas. It was so spectacular to share the holidays with her," she says. "It really meant the world to me. To be able to create a tradition for your children is one of the best gifts you can have."

Her one-year marriage to Cruise, she says, is another gift.

"Oh, we have so much fun," she says. "Tom has introduced me to so many new experiences. I have done things I never thought I would do, like climbing mountains and flying in the P-51. That's what is so inspiring about being with him – constant thrills and joy."

After taking a two-year hiatus from her acting career, Holmes stars in the upcoming film Mad Money with Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah. She says the three of them had a blast: "We got our morning female talk in the trailer every day."

She tells Parade that Tom was very excited for her to do the movie, and that he loved hearing all the stories. He has a great understanding of "the female bond" because he has three sisters, she says. "He was raised by a single mother and has two daughters," she explains.

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