Luke decides to make us dinner....

Every few days Luke gets the cooking fever and want to cook us something. He will use whatever we have in the fridge and start cutting and mixing. This time he cut up zucchini, lettuce and tomatoes and had me boil the mix. At dinner he insisted on personally serving each of us.
Luke has been helping me cook dinner since he was 2. I am always amazed at how uniform these pieces look.
He washes, cuts and adds the lettuce on top. Check out the bling. Luke loves wearing these 2 rings. We love the fact that he is such an individual.
Patting down all the veggies.

Luke Teaching Nora how to write her name and her letters

For all the fighting they do daily you bet I'd be recording any positive moments that go on between them....be aware then, these are very rare moments in our household.

Below is Luke proudly standing next to Nora's spelling of her own name.

Nora poses in front of her name......she looks so proud.
Luke teaching Nora to draw a letter "o"
Now she's trying to write an "8". I hear Luke saying, "Nora, it's just two 'o's that are on top of each other, no Nora! they are connected!"
He is so patient with her....just like Chris.
The whole time he is giving her positive reinforcement.....who knows, maybe he'll be a teacher too.....3rd generation in a row.
Look, an 'o' and an '8'.
Luke decides on a more challenging letter for Nora.
a 'v' !!
He holds her hand to show her how...

If I could just remember these moments every time they are driving dad and I crazy it might help me keep my strength during those times.

Reclaim the Dream Weekend...

Nora is painting her sign....

Luke chose a peace sign.
It was a HOT day....I heard an observing Tea Partier say, "where are the flags?". Does one have to wear the flag on every part of their body to be a true patriot?
It was a beautiful day.
The minute we took a break in a shaded area....Luke collapsed on the grass.....
A fire truck had water!! yum!! what fun!!

Nora was asleep throughout the entire rally....when we got home she was all ready to chant, we felt really bad that we let her sleep through the whole experience.
Luke and dad cuddling...

I love my boys....

my wise hubby....


I'll take the genuine me, imperfections and all

"Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it

in others."

-Marian Wright Edelman

I think above all else in my spiritual path I seek to be ME.

Not the cliche 'me' we learn about in self-esteem, self-help books or mix and match new age ideas. What I seek is the 'me' that is fully human, present and available to a common everyday world.

Seems quite easy to toss it aside claiming it too elementary and almost overlook its irrevocable depth. On the contrary, it's secrets are monumentally revolutionary in nature and have the potential to affect world change.

Imagine getting frustrated at someone and allowing yourself to actually walk the path of frustration without rushing to define it, or stuff it away, forcing yourself to feel something else incongruent to your very nature at that moment.

I have abandoned long ago trying to change the world through telling people how to live their lives. Now my only aim is to bring comfort to people in my presence by simply being myself.

From my own experience I have learned that most people are repelled or drained by unsolicited advice and lectures and that they do nothing to create change in my ways of thinking no matter how hard I may think I should.

Yet, when I meet a person who is so comfortable in their own body that it oozes out of every pore, I am drawn by their actions and voraciously seek out their ideas, thoughts and story. Also, in their presence I also feel immediately at ease and yet they do not need to utter a single word, for their actions speak volumes.

Remember, blindly trust that human beings have always been able to distinguish true brightness in human actions and that no verbal reminders are needed to solidify your credentials in people's minds. In the end, it's more meaningful and a longer lasting lesson to learn through example than through the guidance of someone else's words.

Caught Chloe posting on FB....

Caught Chloe playing on my laptop.....I think she was trying to post on Facebook.

Luke begins Kindergarten.....

My little boy on his first day of kindergarten......he put on a forced smile although inside he was super nervous. Lucky for him he is having a great time....whew!!

Intensity is not a good sign...

Being a Buddhist I have always heard about the "Middle Path". It's further described in Wikipedia as a "moderation between the extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification". I think the smarter side of me has always been drawn to non-extremes and perhaps that is why I am best drawn to the Buddhist philosophy.

In fourth grade, I distinctly remember this boy who embarrassingly professed his love for me in front of the whole class, making it impossible to lead a normal class day for weeks. My visceral reaction was to run from this situation and that is exactly what I did. Much later in life, I dated a man who on the 2nd week of dating professed his love to me and wanted me to meet mom and dad. Again, my instinctual reaction was to get away from this situation for it felt wrong in a way I could not express to myself even, but I also could not ignore. No one ever taught me this was a red flag, but such lessons were not needed. I knew in every cell of my body, that for me, this level of intensity was wrong. Aside from the two examples above, I can list dozens of other incidences where people or situations that were too extreme in one way or another would cause me to repel. I like to think of it as a very helpful gift from our instincts.

After doing some further thinking I have decided that perhaps running or avoiding the situation or person who is intense is not always possible. First, I've decided that instead I'd just place my time, thoughts and actions primarily on people that gave me strength and blended with my energy level. The generic spiritual dogma might profess ' turning the other cheek' staying with the situation and learning from the extreme personality which is all nice and dandy. But it helps this fiery personality in no way by pretending they are not a clashing force to my whole system. Hence, my second solution would be to confront it decisively without anger but without backing down. Just as we do with children when they act out, we do them no favors by playing along with their negative behaviors and hiding our discomfort. As long as the 'standing-up-for-oneself' does not hold an ounce of anger trust that the words expressed will help the person grow eventually.


Hate and Love are actually close neighbors

I thought I hated you
but I don't
Took a while to get here but it turns out all I wanted was for you to like me
I see you smile and I am joyous
I see you upset and I am a total mess
I wish there was a heavy metal door separating us. Perhaps this door would also have an armed guard, discriminating, protecting and keeping me away from the waves of negative energy that come and go at your ever-so-illogical will.
But the craziest thought by far is that I may just not only like you, but that I may also love you.
Oh, What a relief it would be to peel off these heavy negative thoughts and again feel light and clear.
Perhaps on the inside you are just like me,
wanting my love,
my approval,
my warm smile.

I trust that in changing my own thoughts both our worlds will begin to reflect a new beginning.


Luke and Nora posing for me....finally

I got home from work and my hubby tells me that not only has Nora been in her princess dress all day but that she has both slept in it and has been wearing her patent leather sparkle shoes all day as well. I had to take a picture.
I LOVE this smile.....
now serious.
The hops Luke.....and she is very patient with him.
She's trying to maintain...
Now she's mad.....
keeping those shoulders tight
Now comes the protest.....
She shoots back with "baby"!!
Luke then gets a turn and I had to literally BEG him to not make a face for just a second. So this is the shot.
Nora on the couch....remember, everything has to be perfectly democratic in order to prevent chaos.

Harper's Ferry for the day

We drove 1-hour west to Harper's Ferry this past weekend. I had gone there so many times at night when younger, but very few times during the day. We had a great time.

Wherever I end up living when I grow up I hope it's near lots of nature......like mountains, or a river or an ocean....just breathtaking.

We were fascinated by the tunnel that cut through this mountain.
Luke, dad and Nora checking out the people floating on tubes.
A train went by.

Nora now doing what Luke does when I try to take his picture....oh no.....what if they do that for the rest of their childhood....!!!

Luke, after chocolate ice cream.
The view from Harper's Ferry train station.

Nora, Luke and I.

The train tunnel.......full of cobwebs.....looks like NYC train subway.