School is here! Rosa started preschool this fall. All our kids loved preschool. Sounds backwards, homeschooling - but sending the preschoolers to school. Truth be told, those of us homeschooling enjoy the half-day break from some of the little ones!
Here's Rosa, on her first day of school:

Rosa on our porch

So what about Anna? We keep her busy! She loves to do baking:

Anna helping bake

and dishes!

Anna doing dishes

That way the home-schoolers can get about the serious business of schoolwork.

Alex doing a science experiment

This fall was wet and brief, but we still managed a walk through Sibley State Park. We started with a favorite: a quick walk around the pond.

a view of the pond

The sun seems to have disappeared on us, leaving us a bit chilly, even with our jackets on.

A chilly Anna

The trees seemed confused by the sudden coldness, unwilling to admit it was time to drop the leaves. It was eerily quiet; no crooking of frogs or buzzing of insects, just an occasional chirp of a bird.
Nora loved touching the cat-tails: so soft and silky!

a group of tall cattails

Some wildflowers were still blooming. The Brown-eyed Susans were a neat contrast from the sea of dying grass.

brown-eyed susans

Alex was the first to notice the bees. On just about every bunch of flowers a small group of bees clung motionlessly. The cold must have grounded them.

a bee on a flower

some bees on a flower

From the pond we hiked up to the look out on Mt. Tom (really just a hill). The view is always awesome.

a view from the top of mount tom

Here were are, on the look-out.

the gang looking down

I had to try to get a couple of kid shots in, too.

The kids on Mt. Tom

The girls wanted a "just us girls" shot, and I was happy to oblige.

the girls on Mt. Tom

We walked in the woods a bit, glad that the thousands of caterpillars of early summer were gone. Caleb enjoyed strolling along with Grandpa.

Caleb and Grandpa

The boys love being "George of the Jungle", swinging on the large vines.

Caleb hanging out Corbin on the same branch

Our last stop was Lake Andrew. It was so dreary, if not for the trees on the opposite shore, the sky and water would have blended together.

Nora by Lake Andrew

The younger kids quickly got busy doing their favorite lakeside pastime: throwing rocks!

Anna throwing a rock into the lake

The older boys love walking up and down the shore, looking for treasures. Alex found some neat trees. They look like they could get up and walk around on their feet!

trees with roots for feet

We were all getting cold, so we decided to go get some pizza. Corbin sums up our day:

Corbin being Corbin

A couple weeks later, we were finally rewarded with a nice warm fall day. The jackets were shed, the leaves were raked, and the gardens put to bed for the winter.
Anna enjoyed playing on our porch while the leaves were being raked.

Anna with her toys

Then it was time to jump in!

Anna in a leaf pile

Rosa got out the tricycle for one last ride.

Rosa biking

The boys were supposed to be helping rake, but got in some playing between filing bags of leaves.

Corbin and Caleb playing ball.

Caleb decided playing ball with Alex could be dangerous!

Caleb with a bucket on his head

The children have been asking for years to have a dog. I have been the sole one opposed. But this fall, I gave in. We adopted Lizzy. She is a "poodle mix" (I see a lot of Bichon Frise in her.) Her previous life might not have been the best, but here she is spoiled and pampered!

Lizzy looking cute Lizzy ready to play

The kids adore her. Anna loves holding the leash:

Ana walking Lizzy

Rosa has officially proclaimed it's HER dog:

Rosa and Lizzy

And the boys love playing with her.

Corbin and Lizzy

Even our cat, Luigi, seems to think the newcomer is okay.

Luigi the cat and Lizzy the dog

In October we had our first real snow of the season. The kids were so excited! All ran out to play.

The kids in the snow

Nora made her usual: a snow cat.

Nora with her snow cat

Rosa surprised us all this year by deciding she actually likes the snow! Here she is with her snowball.

Rosa holding her snowball

The snow didn't last long, though, except for Nora's snow cat. It managed to hang out on our lawn for a good week after all the other snow was gone!
We'll wrap up our fall happenings with one last trip to a local park. Nora just hung around...

Nora on a jungle gym bar

while Corbin zipped from one place to another.

Corbin on a zip-line

Rosa and Anna had their ups and downs...

Anna going down a slide

Rosa on a slide

We brought Lizzy along, too. She looked so cute in her new winter coat, I just had to take some pictures!

Lizzy Lizzy with her hood on

Whew! All that playing can wear one out!

Anna sleeping

Don't you just love sleeping baby pictures? She must be dreaming of winter. But that's another adventure!

Anna asleep

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