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Archive for the ‘Laughter’ Category

Coming To A Rainbow Near You….

March 17, 2013 8 comments

Hrtlepp

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!

 

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

 

hannah

lepp3

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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 & Takingtheworldonwithasmile.com

It Smells Like Updog!

February 19, 2012 8 comments

It smells like updog in here!

Updog?

Yes. Updog.

What’s-Up-Dog?

Oh, not much!

Come on, you know you’re laughing. Let’s face it, that’s funny!

That’s also the kind of humor you get subjected treated to when you spend a long weekend with two teenage boys, a 10-year old girl and her 9-year old comrade. Oh, and there’s the girlfriend of the thirteen-year-old (yes, I said, girlfriend) who makes her presence known with the constant text-ing that is revealed through his ringtone which loudly and annoyingly announces:

“Excuse me boss, you have a text message.”

Every 5 to 10 minutes.

I truly feel like she came with us.

It started with a simple statement. Me, telling my kids I was taking them up to our place in the woods for this President’s Day long weekend. Before I could be consulted, a cousin was quickly added to the mix and then a friend.

It became the perfect blend of a very unlikely pairing of people.

It takes two-hours by car to go through the Catskills to get to our destination, a place I usually go to for serenity. The car-load spent their time partly singing Katy Perry’s Fireworks (over and over again) and partly playing Truth or Dare.

I love kids. They’re so honest, especially when they’re playing a game like Truth or Dare. They feel completely obligated to tell the truth.

It was basketball on the driveway. Tacos for dinner. A game of Striker on the ancient but still functional game-cube. Ice-cream at the Penguin. Man-hunt in the dark with flashlights, in the middle of winter, while it was snowing. Hot cocoa with whipped cream. Playing monopoly while watching Jeremy Lin magically maneuver the ball on the court against the Hornets and tea and cookies before bed.

These are the things kids’ dreams are made of.

It’s good to take a break from life, if you can. I’m extremely fortunate to have the place to escape to and these fabulous children to escape away with. I’ve been laughing-out-loud now for nearly three days straight. It’s a privilege to be the fly-on-the-wall, allowed to listen in to the lively conversations that span the wit and humor of the seven-year-age-difference between the youngest and oldest in this motley but most-loveable crew, thrown together by chance and circumstance. They’re truly making the best of it.

Sometimes, the best times are had with the least amount of planning.

It’s been an incredibly difficult time for my kids, in particular these past two years. There’s been lots of upheaval and turmoil and change and it has been a very long time since they’ve been in a relaxed enough environment where they can just  have fun. It’s a joy to witness.

But it’s the never-ending laughter that I am so grateful to hear.

Seeing your kids laughing and happy is what parents’ dreams are made of.

It’s the middle of a strangely warm winter but nothing warms a mother’s heart more than to hear the echoing of her child’s laughter.

Photo Credit #1: What’s Up Dog Hat

Photo Credit #3, 4 & 5: Karen Szczuka Teich & http://www.takingtheworldonwithasmile.com

Drinking Hot Chocolate Takes Skill

January 1, 2012 10 comments

Everybody has their limits.

After all the build up and anticipation, it’s hard to believe that another year of fancy-feasts and holiday-hoopla with friends and family, attending parties and opening presents have come and gone inside the span of just about two weeks. Throw moving from one house to another into the mix of merriment-making and you may find yourself like me, teetering on the fringe of insanity because even though I am truly 100% exhausted, like that crazy “Energizer Bunny” I seem to push myself to just keep “going and going” until my body refuses to go any further, rendering me motionless, forced to stop and (gasp!) relax. That’s exactly what put me in my PJs and drove me to my bed just shy of 6pm a few nights ago. I couldn’t go on for one-more-minute. With my daughter in tow, we set ourselves up to catch up on all of the Once Upon A Time TV-episodes from the new ABC series that we missed, by being away and being busy.

Just after the first episode, Hannah asked me for “hot chocolate”. Rarely do I indulge in drinking hot chocolate myself, let alone drinking it in my bed but since I had no intention or strength left for making dinner, I figured, it was the least I could do and did what any good mother in my weary position would have and said, “sure”. I put the TV on pause, dragged myself out of the comfort I had just settled into and made us each a cup, the only way I know how; piping hot and piled high with whipped cream.

Toward the end of the 2nd of 4 episodes, I began to feel a lot better, in a jittery-caffeinated sort of way and realized we had both sipped through the white mound of sweetness that lead to the pure-chocolate-heaven that filled our mugs.

“Pause it!” I said unexpectedly, and she did.

With a burst of sugar-ized spontaneity and false energy, I jumped off the bed and ran out of the room to retrieve the red-topped can of Reddi Wip from the fridge in the kitchen.

 “Mom, what are you doing?” she called from the bedroom.

Ignoring her, I made a mad-dash from the fridge, back to the bedroom and apparently, in my crazy, creamy, sugar-filled stupor, I forgot just how exhausted I really was. With can in hand, just as I rounded the corner from the kitchen to the hallway, my slippery, sock-covered feet hit the hardwood flooring at a speeding angle that sent me crashing into the wall and smashing my whole-self down, breaking the skin of my elbow and jamming my ankle awkwardly into the point where plaster meets wood. It was a ridiculous effort to break my fall without letting go of the chemical-laden can containing “REAL Cream” that I couldn’t seem to live without.

Success! The can was saved but my body ached as I lay there moaning for a minute, hoping there was no blood and that nothing was broken. Hannah poked her head out of the bedroom, barely holding back her laughter at the sight of me sprawled out on the floor holding the can up in the air.

“Mom, are you okay? What the heck are you doing?” she asked before bursting into uncontrollable laughter; the kind that makes you snort and sends liquid squirting out of  each of your nostrils if  you’ve just taken a sip of something, which she had.

In the throes of pain and hysterics, I feebly got myself back up, limped my way back into the bedroom and wordlessly poured clouds of dairy whipped topping back into our mugs until they were over-filled and the can sputtered, forcing out its last drop of “REAL Cream”. I resumed my position on the left side of the bed and with a great sigh, started licking my Reddi Wip. I was the power of example as Hannah proceeded to do the same and we sat, pleasantly making our way through another mountain of sweet, white fluff, once again, warming our bellies with chocolate goodness.

Silence ensued.

Three-quarters of the way into the third episode of Once Upon A Time, Hannah looked over at me with a huge smile on her face and said with confidence,

“Drinking hot chocolate takes a lot of skill, mom.”

Yes, it does, my dear. Yes-it-does.

I always try to be cognizant of moments like this, ones that end up meaning so much. Had I not been so exhausted that my body forced myself to stop, I’m not so sure we would have found that precious time to spend together. I wouldn’t have shared that hilarious laughter with my girl and I could tell it meant as much to her as it did to me.

It was the true magic of the season showing itself. I got it. I’m grateful.

And it was very simple.

This past year has been chock-full of complicated, unexpected occurrences and while many of the events of the days behind me are a bit of a blur now, the future, even with all it’s imperfection and uncertainty really does look a little brighter, a little clearer and feels a little calmer.

I don’t think I’ll be making any elaborate New Year’s resolutions this year. I think I might drink a little more hot chocolate than I usually do and run a little less in my socks on hardwood floors but mostly, I think I’ll just try my best to simply, keep it simple.

How about you?

May your year be filled with lots of peace, love and joy!

Photo Credit #1 Energizer Bunny

Photo Credit #2: Hot Chocolate

Photo Credit #3 & #4: Reddi Wip Google Images

Categories: Comfort, Family, Laughter, Life, Love Tags:

Kids Really Do Say The Darndest Things!

November 13, 2011 9 comments

This week I’m taking a cue from a blog I follow where the genius mom actually documents her kids’ quotes! Brilliant, cause kids really do say the darndest things!

If you follow my blog, you probably know I have two kids (that I love and adore) but I will only be quoting one today, my 10-year old daughter. Besides, if I were lucky enough to even overhear a conversation, let alone have one, with my 13-year old son, the entire quote would most likely consist of these three words:

Um, Yeah and Nah.

There. 

I’m a good mom and have just documented my boy’s quotes for the past six months.

My girl on the other hand, is a non-stop chatterbox. (I think it’s a gender thing.) Ever see the Volvo commercial where the Dad puts his 5-year old daughter in her car seat, closes the door, gets into the driver’s seat and takes her to school, all the while, she is non-stop chatter, going on and on about who knows what?

That’s my Hannah and at age ten, not only do I get the non-stop chatter about who knows what, I  get the added bonus of her opinion!

Here are a few recent ones….

On The World’s Status

My daughter goes to a progressive school and we do not practice any formal religion. I of course went to Catholic school and was a practicing catholic until I went to college, receiving many of the sacraments up until that age, including confession of my sins.

Not too long ago, my girl came home from school and asked,

Mom, what’s a sin?

Me, in freak-out mode responded, “A sin? Why? Why do you want to know what a sin is?”

I heard it was bad. My teacher doesn’t teach us about sins or war or anything. She pretty much teaches us that the world is perfect but I know it’s not perfect.

You’re a super sleuth, Hannah and you’re right, the world is not perfect.

On Getting A New Car

At the onset of having to get new wheels, I admit, I had a brief moment of panic at the thought of having to bring the car I loved so dearly back to the dealership it was leased from, knowing, now, there would be no way I could afford to lease the same car again. Myself and my girl were driving around town when it hit me and without really thinking about it or looking for a response, I tugged at the steering wheel and said,

“Hannah, how am I going to keep this car?”

Not a full minute passed before my girls’ wheels started turning and she sprung into solution mode……

Here's my Billboard Baby scooter-ing throughout the neighborhood, drumming up sales for our yard-sale earlier this year.

Mom, I got it! From tomorrow to the end of the summer, I say, we go out in the middle of the median and sell like there’s no tomorrow!

Sell? Sell what, Hannah? Lemonade?

Lemonade AND ice-pops mom, lemonade AND ice-pops!

Turns out, I LOVE my new car but Thank you, Hannah!!


On Edward

A year and a half ago, I brought Edward home. My Edward is a creepy but important part of me being able to live life on life’s terms and while we sometimes bring him out to participate in various family activities, his primary function is to keep a watchful eye on my 22-year old punk neighbor.

Edward does an excellent job!

My Edward. Doing his job.

In a few weeks we will begin the process of moving from the only home my daughter has ever known.

Mom I think we have to leave Edward here.

Why?

At least until we get to meet our new neighbors.

Why, Hannah?

Well, if we put him in the window before we meet them, they’re going to think we’re freaks and they won’t bring us cookies or cupcakes (cause we’re the new neighbors) and I want the cookies and cupcakes.

Point well taken, Hannah. I  want the cookies and cupcakes too but Edward comes with us.

Hannah & Edward, just hanging around.

Besides, we both know you love him just as much as I do!

Aside from the funny stuff, there are also great pearls of wisdom and insight, as well as profound statements that often come from this blessing of a child, leaving me stunned but mostly, extremely grateful for the gift of her life in mine.

Those I’ll save for another day.

Meanwhile, for more adept quotes from other skilled and clever kids, visit the Young American Wisdom blog — the inspiration for this post!

For happy thoughts from a happy kid, visit Hannah’s blog, I’m Thinking Happy!

If you have an endearing or humorous kid quote, feel free to leave it with me!

Photo Credit #1: Sin

Photo Credit #2: Super Sleuth

Photo Credit# 3-5: Karen Szczuka Teich & http://www.takingtheworldonwithasmile.com

The Devil Made Him Do It!

October 16, 2011 8 comments

Either that, or it was his funny bone!

©2007 NHT Noah Henry Teich                                                (My son’s hand drawn picture that became an art-card for Christmas gifts and Thank-You cards. I think it’s probably a good thing he didn’t go to Catholic school.)

Some people are just naturally funny. They don’t have to try hard. The joke just kind of flows out of them, or their PowerPoint presentation.

I ask you, what’s life without a little humor?

Seriously. I know this 15-year old sophomore who happens to be a funny guy and who happens to go to a Catholic school. I went to Catholic school from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Anyone who has ever gone to Catholic school knows, funny and religion do-not-mix-well. Do one “funny” thing and you’re immediately slapped with the “class clown” label for as long as you go to that school. Being the class clown in Catholic school can mean countless hours of detention, clapping the erasers (cause they still have erasers) or worse; points taken off grades. It can mean being called out of class and calls made home, to parents; not to mention purposeful, public scoldings designed to put you in the position of becoming the “example” for any other student who might be thinking humor belongs in school. Thus, the funny guy becomes the fall guy.

In short, Catholic School is 99.9% serious business. Recently, my funny little sophomore friend, fell.

Here’s what happened:

The  Religious Assignment

Make a PowerPoint presentation talking about the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Back Story

Saint Juan Diego

According to tradition, on December 9, 1531 Juan Diego, a young, simple indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady told him to build a church exactly on the spot where they were standing. He told the local bishop, who asked for some proof. He went back and had the vision again. He told the lady that the bishop wanted proof, and she said “Bring the roses behind you.” Turning to look, he found a rose bush growing behind him.He cut the roses, placed them in his poncho and returned to the bishop, saying he had brought proof. When he opened his poncho, instead of roses, there was an image of the young lady in the vision. (Manga Hero)

St. Juan Diego is proof that God uses those who are most humble to do His work. By all accounts, Juan Diego, was a humble and young man.

Serious stuff.

My young, sophomore friend, who also happens to be an honor student, put all of this serious information into his Power Point presentation, only when it came time to reveal Juan Diego’s likeness, my funny friend flashed this image to his class instead of the one above:

Saint Juan Diego – maybe

Come on, now THAT is funny!

Needless to say, this startling, daring, depiction of the young, blessed Saint Juan Diego in my friend’s Power Point presentation brought the class to well, pandemonium to put it mildly; uncontrollable laughter burst onto the scene, requiring the teacher to admonish the class several times before order was restored. And if you’ve ever gone to Catholic school, you know, order MUST be restored.

The Consequence

Being called out of the next class. The “call” home to the parents. 18 points taken off the final grade, giving this slacker an 82 out of 100% on the report and a mandatory apology letter to the teacher (at the teacher’s request, of course).

Inside information from the mom: apology letter number one, had to be scratched when the boy, after saying he was sorry to the teacher, said he only did it to try to keep the rest of the students from falling asleep in class. “Kudos”, I say for at least being truthful.

 Was it worth the laugh?  I asked him.

Yes. It was totally worth the laugh. I thought these Power Points could use some funny moments.

There you have it and again, there’s got to be something said for the honesty here, not to mention, you are witnessing a comedian in the making.  I sent the boy $10 in the mail along with a note telling him not to be disrespectful but never to lose his sense of humor.

The world needs more levity if you will; more laughter.

The Result

Not only will every student in that religion class remember the story of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, always and forever, they will remember it, with a smile on their face.

The Disclaimer

While the views expressed by this student do in fact reflect those of this author, ABSOLUTELY NO DISRESPECT is meant toward the Catholic church, its teachers or teachings.

I’m Catholic. I went to Catholic school and I only WISH some kid had the moxie to do something–anything to cause the type of uproar and uncontrollable laughter in class that this boy did.

It would have made the whole experience so much more human,

with a little more humor.

Photo Credit #1  ©2007 Noah Henry Teich

(All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced.)

Photo Credit #2 Saint Juan Diego

Photo Credit #3 Forwarded From The Nameless Catholic Boy

Billboard Baby

June 26, 2011 6 comments

“Yard sale!  Yard sale!  Come check out the yard sale!”

Forget the PennySaver.      Who needs the classifieds in the newspaper?

Why even bother to advertise on Craig’s List when you can have this??

That’s right, for the price of a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a croissant, this willing and able 10-year old will happily take your idea, event or function on the road! She comes complete with borrowed wings, a friend’s home-made shield, soccer shoes, red knee-high soccer socks, a Tinkerbell birthday hat and her very own pink-wheeled scooter!

Let this Billboard Baby loose in your neighborhood and customers will be clambering at your door, yard sale or lemonade stand. Satisfaction guaranteed!

But wait! Don’t just let these pictures alone convince you…. here is an actual client testimonial:

“No one came to our yard sale for HOURS. Finally, we agreed to give Hannah’s approach a try. It was amazing! A miracle! She literally stopped traffic! As soon as Hannah hit the pavement, customers started coming out of the woodwork (or at least their homes, to see what all the commotion was) and over to our yard sale.  I’ll never have another yard sale — without her!” ~ Karen Szczuka Teich

Okay, so while everything at my Everything Must Go yard sale eventually went, unfortunately, most of it went to the Goodwill. Not exactly the money-maker I had hoped it would be, despite the literally months of planning and preparation. Who knew the biggest flea market venue in the county was holding their annual “public” yard sale the same day I was having my little “private” one? Apparently everyone. Except me of course.

Oh well, I guess we never would have discovered Hannah’s new knack for advertising if our sale was such a success in the first place, right? It’s all in the way you choose to look at things and honestly, watching Hannah scooter through the neighborhood while hollering her heart out about our “sale” was worth every idle hour!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (mostly to remind myself),

It’s not what happens but what you do– how you deal with — what happens, that really matters.

It may not have been a profitable day but it was a great day, nonetheless.

 

Photo credits: © Karen Szczuka Teich.

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