Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Autumn has Arrived

The mornings are chilly and the leaves have turned. Pumpkin and ginger are reigning in our kitchen. We got our firewood on Sunday, and Neumania (8 crazy nights of Neuman Family birthdays) begins on Thursday. As I have said before, this is my favorite time of year. The beauty of God's creation astounds me, and since all my babies were born in the Fall, I am filled with profoundly happy memories this season.

But this also seems to be the season of crisis for our family. Four autumns have included a brain surgery for Sam. And while this year we have only signs of excellent health, every so often, out of the blue, I get a lump in my throat or tears fill my eyes. At first I am confused by my shifting emotions and then I remember why.
When I think of carving pumpkins last year, or smell the gingerbread tea brewing and pumpkin muffins baking, I realize that last year when I experienced these things, fear for my precious child hung heavy in the air, like the smoke from the fireplaces. And yet, the sadness doesn't last long. It lasts just long enough to remember. It makes me slow down and take notice, even when I am rushed or tired. It reminds me to be grateful, for every laugh, every smile and every, "I love you Mom." These sudden memories remind me that these are good times, and I am so very blessed.

So while I may feel a tinge of fear or sadness from time to time, what God has really given me is a gift. I know how blessed we are, and every moment I am thankful. And while the tears sometimes catch me by surprise, I can't think of any way I would rather spend this season, than with a heart full of gratitude.

A Fun Afternoon

Today, after school, we went out target shooting. It was a beautiful day, full of adventure and fun. Will really enjoys hugging and loving on his brothers. Jake and Sam are learning early the meaning of "Love Hurts."

Sam conquered this mountain and then christened it "Loose Rock"
Jake had to conquer it as well. They felt very tall and had a great view of the canyon we were in.

Sam's Latest Creation

Girl with pig tails and roller skates.
(I love the flip on the ends of her hair!)

Hair Cuts

I have become somewhat tired of laying out a small fortune everytime the boys need a haircut. So I decided, "How hard can it be to cut a boys hair?" I watched a Youtube video and after a little practice I was pretty happy with their hair. It's not their best haircut they have ever had, but it is far from their worst. John thought this was a great idea for the boys, but not for him. After seeing Jake and Sam's hair, he decided to give me a chance. I didn't get a picture, but it's pretty darned good, if I do say so myself! Now, Will, on the other hand...well, let's just say toddlers move--a lot. So, no pictures!

WWII Reenactment and Pizza Night

This weekend we went to a WWII reenactment. John and Jake are huge WWII buffs and Sam, Will and I went along for the ride. We all ended up having a great time. The people were so generous and knowledgable. We all learned something new. (Well except maybe John, he already knows everything about WWII! Seriously.) This man spent a lot of time with us, answering each of the kids' questions thoroughly. Doesn't he look really authentic?
Will thought it was great!

Sam found out that rifle was REALLY heavy!
Have you ever seen a happier dad? He has three boys to share his interests and hobbies. Life is good!

When we got home e decided to make our own pizzas from the bread dough that Sammy and I make and keep in the fridge.
Will was very serious about rolling out the dough.

Looks like John could always get a second job as a pizza tosser!

The final product. It was delicious!

First Day of School and Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary

September 8th was our first day of school as well as the birthday of the Blessed Mother. We had a great first day of school and afterward we enjoyed a little birthday celebration for Mary.

Will was really glad we had cake!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Whose Been Eating our Cat's Food

This little guy and his merry band of brothers have been sneaking into our garage at night. I wondered why the cats' were eating so much food! One night I went out to get something and I saw a racoon and gasped! Then they started coming out from all over the place! The little bandits were calmly nosing through our belongings. The cats were hiding under a shelf shaking in their fur! The racoons; however, were not afraid of us at all. They just looked up as if to say, "Aaah, at least we meet!"

On a sad note, our sweet kitty Baghera was hit by a car last week and died. Sam really misses him, but the mice will be happy. Hopefully Maple will step up and take over where Baghera left off.

The Fruits of Our Labors

We've been enjoying our "harvest" lately. Our tomatoes and swiss chard are wonderful! But take it from me, even the tiniest bite of that cayenne chile, will kill you! It actually made my tongue swell--and I like hot food!

Peek a Boo!

Peek a Boo!

Saturday Morning

Will watching cartoons in Mom and Dad's bed
mmmm...pumpkin donuts

Autumn is definitely in the air in Flagstaff. I can't wait! This is by far my favorite time of year. I love everything Fall. The colors, the smells, the tastes and especially Back to School. School in Arizona started August 14th!! But not the Neuman Homeschool. We are starting the day after Labor Day. I just don't believe that school should start until the mornings are crisp and a few leaves are starting to change. We are having a very mellow weekend since it is the official last weekend of vacation. The boys are in their jammies watching cartoons in bed and I made pumpkin donuts to get everyone in an Autumn frame of mind. I'll spend the rest of today finishing up lesson plans and getting our classroom ready for Tuesday. I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend, and that Fall begins to show itself at your house soon!

Fun at the Fair

It's fair time! Everyone got on their boots for a day of fun!
Will really loved riding the pony. Her name was Vicky, and he did NOT want to get off. He kept saying more, more, ONE more!!
Walking down the bleachers all by himself! His favorite way to do everything these days! I should also tell you that Will is obsessed with those boots. They are the first thing he asks for every morning and at night he doesn't want me to take them off for bed. He thinks boots are a wardrobe staple; they go with anything from jeans and overalls to shorts and pajamas. I think his favorite ensemble though, is just boots and a diaper! He frequently calls "Mom-Mom, booots, Mom-Mom, boooots!" He's got a lot of his pop in him!
Having fun listening to a concert
Funnel cake. Need I say more????
Jake and Sam had a great time doing the Euro Bungee!