Merry Christmas!  As I sit down to write this letter, I have the daunting task of looking back over the past year & try to decide what moments have been most noteworthy.  Colton is now 3, so the number of stories I have on a daily basis could fill a book.

Colton celebrated his 3rd birthday with a Little Einstein’s Party held in the barn.  This is the first year that I have made his cake – Rocket from The Little Einstein’s.  In September, Colton started preschool.  He really enjoys it.  When I pick him up, he tells what letter they worked on today & I ask if he was good that day.  Without fail, he ponders a moment and then replies, “A little bit.  I was talking.” 

Trains are still a favorite for Colton.  This year we were able to take two train rides.  In September, we took a weekend trip to Nashville, TN & took a ride on Thomas the Train.  Just a few weeks ago, we got to ride on another special train, The Polar Express, which was a lot of fun.  After picking Santa up from the North Pole, he came to ask the kids what they wanted for Christmas.  Colton said he wanted a monster truck.  Santa in turn handed him a jingle bell (like in the story).  Colton looked at Santa and said, “But I want a monster truck.” 

Our two horses, Jack & Alpine, caused quite a commotion this summer.  While we were in town one evening (town is a half hour away), our neighbors called to tell us that our horses had been spotted running down the road about a mile from the house.  David and Nancy were headed out in search of them for us.  We drove home praying that our horses were safe, had not caused any harm, and had even wandered home already.  We drove around some then back past the house to find the horses and sort of wandered home.  They were in the cow pasture behind our barn frantically pacing back & forth.  They’d run through David and Nancy’s electric fence into the pasture.  Other than the repairs to the fence, all was well.  It appears that Alpine had fiddled with the bungee cord keeping the gate latched.  Despite his years, he is still quite adept at opening gates and stall doors.  He will be good for awhile and when we become lax he is at it again. 

Our two flocks of chickens are aging which means they are dwindling in number and don’t lay as well as they used too.  The eggs are still delicious and the chickens do such a great job of keeping the garden and flower beds pest free.  I love having them.  Chet (who does most of their care) longs for a day when they are gone.
As for our “pets”, Ruby & Otis are getting up in years.  Colton loves playing with them.  He feeds them as well as the cats.  The vet said they all put on weight this year.  This is probably related to the fact that Colton takes the food bowls to where they are laying & the cats are free to move as little as possible.  We said farewell to Pete the Parakeet this fall.  Several years ago, his partner passed away and we thought he would be shortly behind her.  Instead, he lived to the very old age of nine.  No, there will be no more birds in our pet family. 

We now have a barn cat named Pete that was given to us from some friends at church.  He was not exactly happy about his change from house cat to barn cat.  But after a 2 week hunger strike and months of avoiding all things dirty, he has become a very good barn cat.  He still avoids dirt if at all possible.

C2IT Consulting, Inc. continues to do well.  Chet works from home 2 days a week.  He continues to be involved in the Sunday School leadership team & has enjoyed working more with the youth group at church.  I am Colton’s chauffer & enjoy working at the pediatrics office one day a week. 

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!  We’d love to hear from you.  If you’re ever in the area, give us a call!  We’d love to show you our crazy slice of life.

With Love,
Erin (and Chet and Colton)