The last drops of summer

We are holding on to the last drops of summer here, especially since most of August we were drenched from the continuous rain.

We usually visit a local campground near us two or three times a summer but this year we’d only visited once before severe humidity, flash-flooding producing rain and a summer cold hit us. In previous visits my daughter wasn’t interested in the small splash pad they have there, but this time she ran in and out of the water and giggled each time the water dropped and came back up again.

DSC_0386DSC_0283DSC_0440It was fun to watch her have so much fun with it. It was also fun for my family to laugh at me when one of the fountains sprayed me in the back unexpectedly while I was wearing my regular clothes and photographing Little Miss darting in and out of the streams of water.

Since we are homeschooling this year we didn’t feel as rushed to hurry up and cram in as much as we could once the sun came back out and before the school bus arrived.

We drove by my son’s old school on the second day for students there, on the way back from a day at the pool, and I felt a rush of excitement at the prospect of a new way of learning and experiencing education.

I remembered the tight knots that used to draw up my stomach each August when I knew my son had to go back to school and I would see less of him throughout the day. I briefly felt the old feelings again before a refreshing feeling of relief rushed through me and I began to think about the opportunities we’ll have with homeschooling and the local homeschooling group.


Also unlike previous years I don’t feel the rush to plan as many activities for the last week before school starts. While there are some activities we won’t be able to enjoy once the weather gets colder, there are others we will be able to take time off from school work to do, days out at the playground, hikes, and visits to area zoos or museums. Many of these activities can, and will, count as educational field trips throughout the year. Flexibility is one thing I’m looking forward to with homeschooling.


Since we can start school when we like, as long as we fit 180 days in before June 30, we are giving ourselves another couple of weeks to enjoy the warmer temperatures and visit some local attractions, including an animal park in Upstate New York that’s home to the giraffe everyone was waiting to give birth a couple of years ago. Incidentally, she’s pregnant again, if you didn’t know.

So to savor these last drops of summer I think we’ll take it easy, except that one planned field trip, and we will drink some lemonade, visit my parents in the country, maybe go fishing at my dad’s pond (which we haven’t done yet either this summer), and simply enjoy these carefree days before we have to be a little more intentional about how we spend our hours.


The end of school and 100 days of summer photo project


That’s what it is.

Insane that my blue-eyed little boy is now a fifth grader.

School finished last week with fun days and field trips.

J.G. is definitely my child because he missed the last two days of school with a stomach issue. He sure knows how to kick off his summer.

The year seemed to rush by. He ended it with his first pair of glasses, which was inevitable since both his parents wear glasses. He also ended it similar to how he began – on the high honors list.

He took a break from karate for the months of April and May but we’ve agreed on a trial run for the summer to get him back into a focused activity and away from video games and apathy. 

Even before summer officially arrived I started the 100 days of summer photo project. I hope to share those images weekly on the blog. I plan to do better with this project than I did with the 365, which fell apart sometime in March.

Now that school is out I’m sure I’ll put that familiar pressure on myself to keep the children entertained each day, mentally scolding myself on the days we sit in the house and watch cartoons instead of undertaking grand adventures. 

And like other summers there will be the inevitable envy from images of other’s summer trips and adventures, which is probably why a planned Facebook detox is coming just at the right time. 

And how about you? What are your summer plans? Lazy days? Or days full of activity? 



Four on Four | Ithaca NY Child Photographer

We have been enjoying the summer, taking things as the come and that has included playing in the puddles after a rain storm moved through recently.

Somehow my daughter ended up without clothes at one point, but, well, that’s what living life as a toddler is all about, right?

This post is part of a Four on Four blog circle through Clickin’ Moms. This is the time of the month when we choose four photos from either an event or simply taken in the previous month and then share them.

Enjoy other photographer’s work by following the circle. Next up is Chrissy Mazer

Exploring the ‘cricks’ of New York

I took the kids to a local park last week and we were disappointed when we got there to see the waterfall was only trickling, which is how it usually looks when we visit there. I’ve heard water actually pours from it at other times, but I’ve only seen that once in the 14 years I’ve lived in the area. Apparently I just have horrible timing.

Because there was hardly any water in the waterfall, this also meant there was almost no water in the creek, or as I call it, for some reason, “the crick.”

No matter how “creek”  is said, the children enjoyed playing in the little bit of water that was in the creek bed, looking for minnows, throwing rocks, throwing and digging in dirt and looking at fossils of creatures that had been left in the rocks. They loved simply getting dirty and playing the same way I did as a child – exploring nature without direction and more importantly, without technology.

Finding photo opportunities in unlikely places.

My dad had his knee replaced this week at a hospital about an hour from where we live. My mom can’t get around well and my brother is more than two hours from the hospital but I was able to travel there fairly easily, taking my 20 month old alone with me for the second trip. Since apparently our family doesn’t get out much, the first trip was like a family mini vacation, complete with sight seeing of the country side around the facility. I have to admit I was surprised how pretty the drive there was.

The hospital is located in a tiny Pennsylvania city called Montrose and is surrounded by farmland, cows, hills and trees. You have to drive though some 30 miles of wilderness then boom, there is the town and at the end of it a small hospital on the hill, almost in the middle of nowhere, though there are a few houses near it.

The second trip involved a lot of waiting for Dad to have physical therapy and deal with stomach issues from the pain killers so Little One and I explored the hospital, which isn’t really very active. It’s a beautiful, new building with long, empty hallways. I’m not sure why there are so few patients there, but it could be because the town itself is fairly small.

Of course I couldn’t resist photos of at least one of those hallways, especially when I saw blocks of light illuminating spaces of the hallway from skylights. I used the only camera I had with me that day – an iPhone. Sometimes I find photograph opportunities in very unlikely places. I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse but sometimes I see a photograph in my mind and know it has to be taken.

This post is part of Melissa Firman’s 99 days of blogging and the 100 Days of Summer Photo Challenge.

100 Days of summer | Athens PA Child Photographer

I’m always up for a challenge (um…yeah, not really) so in addition to the 99 Days of Blogging, I’m starting a 100 Days of Summer where I take a photo a day for the 100 days of summer. This should be fun!

I’m counting yesterday as my first day so I’ll showcase this photo I grabbed of the kids playing out back before dark clouds moved in. And yes, I kept the snot running from my daughter’s nose in there because I am keeping it real, ya’ll.