Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

Shaking-Up The Apple Tree!

October 14, 2012 7 comments

I’ve been known to shake-up the apple tree — on occasion.

My kids do too.

Every now and then.

After all….

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

So “they” say.

Actually, “they” are right. The apple, when it falls, usually lands right below the tree or very close to it anyway and if it sits there too long, without being picked up and taken home to be turned into a delicious pie, turn-over, sauce or eaten as is, it gets mushy and eventually stomped on and smushed. I know this to be true because I spent a glorious afternoon at Barton Orchards, picking apples with my family last weekend.

We’re blessed here in the Northeast with fantastic, fall foliage, spectacular autumn views and orchards open to the public for picking farm-fresh, delicious eats. Like cutting down your very own Christmas tree in December, it’s tradition around these parts, at this time of year, to pick-a-pumpkin, grab a gourd or avalanche a cascade of apples into your bag with a few good shakes of the tree.

Not only does Barton Orchards in Poughquag, NY offer palatable produce for the pickin’, they also have a petite petting zoo and playground, a crazy corn maze, walking trails, a bouncy house, live entertainment, magnificent mums, amazing apple-cider doughnuts, smiles galore and quality time with your kids. For the older goblins in your group, you can go for the scare, if you dare and take a tour of the Rotten Core Manor.  There’s something for everyone!

I love spending time with my kids but as they get older, it gets a little harder finding something we can all enjoy doing. This was a fun-filled, family day that lent itself to all kinds of opportunities for talking, walking and laughing together. Even the weather cooperated! It was the perfect temperature; just heart-warming enough to take the chill out of the cool October air.

What kinds of things do you do with your family?

Photo Credits: ©Karen Szczuka Teich &

Simply Joyful

July 1, 2012 6 comments

School’s out and summer’s on!

When I sat down Saturday afternoon to collect my thoughts and start writing, I realized after having been away all week, I hadn’t given the content of this week’s post much thought. Oddly enough, I wasn’t panicked either. It also occurred to me that even though there is still so much going on around me and so much to do, there is nothing pressing, nothing special, nothing terrible and nothing wrong, to write about.

It’s kind of nice when that happens. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it really is kind of nice. Fishing for something would be foolish. I truly appreciate being able to step off of life’s roller coaster every once in a while, for a while. Recharge. Regroup. Rejoice!

In searching my heart for what was tugging, I kept falling back to thoughts of this past week and smiling to myself.

Nothing brings more joy to my heart than seeing children happy.

Helping the 2-yr old fill up the water tank on the rescue jeep. Get ready to get wet!

Helping the 2-yr old fill up the water tank on the rescue jeep. Get ready to get wet!

And having a rather playful heart myself, I’m keen to the sound of mischievous giggles. When the laughter has an 11-year span in childhood and includes kids ages 2 to 13, conspiring in harmony, even better! Catching the moment on camera? Well, priceless!

This week was simple. It was joyful. It was Simply Joyful.

What brings joy to your heart?

Photo Credit #1 The Gift of Joy

Photo Credit #2 & #3 ©2012 Karen Szczuka Teich &

Slip-Sliding Away!

May 28, 2012 16 comments

I’ve lamented many times before in this space about the concerns I have, the effects all of our new-found technology is having on our youth. I worry about what our kids might be missing in the great outdoors when they’re all cooped up inside, flexing only their fingers in an up-down or side-to-side Wii motion. I worry that they are barely challenging their brains, while their little thumbs fly nimbly across the tiny keyboards of what used to be talking devices but are now mostly used to send text messages in an almost unrecognizable English language. I pine for my own childhood, remembering how much we did with so little, fearing our children are losing the know-how to “making fun”.

Will they even know what “eye to eye” means without thinking of Skype or “face to face” without thinking it is a reference to Facebook ten or even five years from now?

Because of my worries, I make a concerted effort to put my kids in situations and environments where they have to think for themselves and not let Google do it for them. To that end, my post is a little late this weekend as I’ve been busy watching my children have a great time in the great outdoors!

I suppose we could have fought the traffic and crowds and made our way to a Six Flags park only a few hundred miles away like so many other folks. After all, the forecast promised beautiful weather for us New Yorkers, this holiday weekend.

I chose to take them to our little patch of heaven Upstate, instead.

Six Flags eat your heart out! It turns out our 100% kid-made, Slip-n-Soapy-Slide provided hours and hours of wet fun-filled laughter, and entertainment and I am happy to report my worries have been replaced with faith. Faith in our kids. Great faith that kids will be kids during any era! Faith, that when removed from and relieved of, the technological pressures of text-ing, Facebook-ing and Skype-ing and left to their own devices, kids do in fact resort to using their imagination and creativity! Yes, I am happy to report it’s not gone at all.

It just lies in wait for an opportunity to burst onto the scene and show itself.

It was a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend filled with reading, puzzling, grilling and sliding! It was also a time to remember the great sacrifice of those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice that makes such a great weekend possible.

How was your Memorial Day Weekend and what did you do?

Photo Credits #1-5 Karen Szczuka Teich & All Rights Reserved.

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