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    Sunday Spark: Words to Live By

    Taken from my 7-year-old's list of house rules, this is number three:


    Have a positive attitude and be HAPPY!


    Right on, kiddo. Words to live by.

    Posted: Sep 03 2012, 14:59 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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    Sunday Spark: Spring Break

    As our Spring Break comes to a close today, I'm looking back with fondness on a week that we didn't really go anywhere, butwe had a grand time all the same - relaxing, witnessing the many Spring flowers in bloom, planting and finding geocaches, and just enjoying tons of family time. Okay, yes, and enduring the stomach bug too (fortunately, that passed quickly). And with today's weather in the 80's, the kids put up a lemonade stand (They made $3.75!!). I hope your Spring break was as agreeable as ours (less the intestinal flu). Happy Spring! 

    Lemonade stand and chalk drawing in April!


    Clematis in our front garden, in nearly full bloom!




    Iris in our front yard. So quickly they come & go...


    One of many geocaches we found this week!


    Ah, tulips - the sure sign of Spring!


    Serious egg-dying at Grandma's house.


    Eggs on the lawn after the fifth or six hide & seek game.


    Fetching a ball from the pond. 


    The stunning beauty of nature & why I love New Jersey - the pines.

    Posted: Apr 15 2012, 19:36 by kelly | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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    Sunday Spark: You Have a Choice

    Every moment you have a choice. A choice to feel happy or feel down. A choice to observe or react. To regret or move on. Feel resentful or make a change.

    When you’re presented with a challenge, you have a choice of how to face that challenge (or even to walk away – that too is a choice).

    At the end of the day, when your reserves are spent, when your children are bouncing off the walls, when bedtime is not quite here, your house is a mess, your to-do list is undone, and you may be wishing you were anywhere else but where you are, you have a choice – to greet your children’s boundless energy with joy, and let it fill you – pushing out the frustration… or to let the frustration consume you, and spill over on to your children.

    How you react – or not react – is always up to you.

    To show love and tolerance and patience – to choose (and in choosing, teach) happiness and peace is never the wrong course of action.

    Posted: Nov 13 2011, 00:57 by kelly | Comments (4) RSS comment feed |
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    Sunday Spark: Hiking in the Woods

    When Adam asked me what I’d like to do for my birthday, naturally, I said I’d like to go for a hike.

    (Leaves had fallen all along the trail... beautiful!)
    We’ve been hiking together for 17 years. I’ve hiked through two pregnancies, hiked with a newborn, hiked when the snow was up to my hips and when the wind blew so hard and cold that the water was freezing in my drinking water line, hiked when the mosquitoes have bitten my ankles til they’re swollen. Together we’ve woken with the sun, put a tent up in the dark, and the rain, hiked on the Appalachian Trail, in Canada, Mexico, and several US states, and have carried everything we needed for days on our backs. Our children have been along with us for much of the journey. So when we say we’re going hiking – they shout joyously: WHEN!! It warms my heart to see how much they love the woods, too.
    See, nature is my second language. When I’m out in the woods, everything is clear, right, and okay. We could be cold; it’s okay. We could be lost; it’s okay. We could be tired; it’s okay. The energy of the trees, the synergy between sun, air, ground, plants, animals, humans… the world is condensed, tangible, reachable, when you’re in the woods. There aren't any hard, fast schedules, no expectations, no limits. Everything seems possible, and life, perfect.

    (Starting off up the AT)
    Yesterday, as usual, nature didn’t disappoint! We chose a circuit trail at the Delaware Water Gap, on the Pennsylvania side – a favorite spot since it’s not too far a drive for us, and the elevation increase from base to peak isn’t too great, so the incline is gentle – perfect for hikes with children.

    (View across the gap - Mt. Tammany straight ahead, Mt. Minsi to the right)
    We climbed Mount Minsi this time, which was a gentle incline on a mostly clear, not-too-narrow, and well-marked part of the AT. We crossed streams, past a couple of ponds and rocky outcroppings, and were treated to several beautiful views of the gap. At the top, Mt. Minsi opens up to a glorious view of Mount Tammany – still very green, as you can see!

    (View of Mt. Tammany from the top of Mt. Minsi)
    We’ve hiked Mt. Tammany with the kids in the past; it was a slightly shorter loop. The Minsi loop we chose was a ~4.25 miler up the Appalachian Trail, and down a fire lane. It was a beautiful Fall day, warm, bright, the leaves starting to fall – it was absolutely perfect for a day hike.

    (Heading down the fire lane)
    I hope you had a lovely weekend, and are enjoying the Fall. If you hike with your family, tell me about your favorite hiking spot - I'd love to hear!
    Posted: Oct 09 2011, 11:29 by kelly | Comments (3) RSS comment feed |
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    Sunday Spark: Oh River Rise From Your Sleep

    This entire album is wonderful, but this song in particular is quite touching. Hope it gives you a little spark to start your week. Enjoy!

    The Maker – Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds

    (Live at Radio City, April 22, 2007)



    Oh, oh deep water, black and cold like the night

    I stand with arms wide open; I’ve run a twisted mile

    I’m a stranger in the eyes of the maker

    I could not see for the fog in my eyes

    I could not feel for the fear in my life

    From across the great divide, in the distance I saw a light

    John Baptist walking to me with the maker

    My body is bent and broken by long and dangerous sleep

    But I can’t work the fields of Abraham and turn my head away

    I’m not a stranger in the hands of the maker.

    Brother John, have you seen the homeless daughters

    Standing there with broken wings?

    I have seen the flaming swords there over east of Eden

    Burning in the eyes of the maker

    Oh, river rise from your sleep

    ~ Daniel Lanois (The Maker)

    Posted: Oct 02 2011, 22:27 by kelly | Comments (1) RSS comment feed |
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