Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Has Arrived

Ferris Wheel
We are fortunate to live within easy driving distance of what I consider to be the nicest amusement park in the United States. Knoebel's Grove charges no admission, no parking fees, and has plenty of rides to keep us happy. You can buy tickets and pay per ride or get a handstamp for one price to ride all day. I no longer ride much due to inner ear issues, so this park is great for me. Our habit for the last few years has been to visit the park on a day soon after they open for the season but before all of the local schools let out for the summer. This year we had a little more company than usual, several of the local schools were having field trips to the park that day, but the crowds were not bad and the lines for the rides were short. In fact, most of the rides were half empty.

nearly empty
My kids were on this ride, but I am still not an expert at moving targets with the camera. Plus, I like to keep my boys' photos off the web, so this one serves that purpose well. This ride is called the Downdraft. JT has been riding it solo in recent years, but EM decided it was time to be brave and try it out. They rode it twice and he loved it. Sometimes I look at the boys and just can not believe how little they look like my babies anymore. I know my goal as a parent is to work myself out of a job, but it's hard to imagine in a few short years they'll be on their way.

another group of empty seats

Speaking of independence and parenting- I was dealing with a dilemma last week. JT was expressing desire to go to an overnight church camp this summer. I have been to this camp for a few ladies' retreats and as a chaperone on youth rallies. I like their programs, but I was concerned for several reasons.The main problem is that JT deals with allergies and asthma. At home, he sleeps with his windows closed and air conditioning all summer. Sleeping in an open cabin in the woods seems like it might be a recipe for disaster. We talked for awhile about the potential problems but the thing that made him decide not to go was that he would have to eat too much processed camp food.  It's funny the things that guide our decisions now.

ghostly riders
The day after our discussion on camp a great opportunity came to my attention. The Uptown Music Collective located in Williamsport had an ad on our local newspaper's website about the camps they are offering this summer. I had never heard of the collective before. I did a little research on the web and through friends and quickly signed JT up for their drum technique camp. It turns out I just made it in under the wire to get him a place. This will fit perfectly into his planned summer project of improving his drum skills. He's already been working hard with his dad, but I feel a little structured instruction could go a long way. Maybe after he finishes the camp, he'll be more interested in taking regular classes. The drive is going to be a bit more than I'd like, but I'm willing to put in the hours if it gives him what he needs. I also registered EM to attend a three day local history camp for the same week JT will be at drum camp. I'm hoping I can coordinate all of the dropping off and picking up that will be involved.

I gave the boys a break from our plan to do school work one day a week through the summer. They have continued to watch The Universe series we bought to further our astronomy unit, but I did not assign any math. I will bring that back on board next week. Between history camp, drum camp, Kids' College, and fire safety camp, it's looking like summer is going to be a little busier than our school year.Once again, we can't do anything like everyone else.

We can't even use summer for relaxation!

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