Merry Christmas 2017!
Merry Christmas from the Marsh Peanuts Gallery!
2017 has been a year of both change and settling in for our family. After moving to Michigan in 2015, we were living in a rental home in Flushing until this March when we bought a beautiful new home on 8 acres in the rural (read: corn and cattle field country) Webberville. It’s a wonderful piece of land, mostly wooded with a seasonal pond, plenty of wildlife, and the most beautiful sunrises you’ve ever seen.
Much of the year was spent settling into the new home. Projects this year included a large fenced-in area for the dogs (followed by a never-ending escalation of security and reinforcement against Letzty the escape artist), a shed for the zero-turn/mower/snowblower/leafblower/etc, trail clearing for the Jeeps, and cutting and splitting firewood for the woodburning stove which not only provides heat but a cozy warm heart of the home.
As you can see from the picture, in addition to our 4 previous animals, we've also added 8 new chickens named Henrietta, Truffles (the original two), Hi-ya, Lofty, Soy, Blackbeak, Dusky, and Grayling (Truffle's babies). We are excited to have lots of free-range eggs again and eventually some fresh meat in the spring.
Geoff is now in his third year working as a web developer for Kettering University and successfully launched the website that he was hired two years ago to design, implement, and oversee. It was a soup-to-nuts project that involved requirements gathering, technology and vendor selection, content auditing, and design approvals all the way through editor training and support, launch coordination, and generally updating University processes to ensure more accurate and collaborative data and branding. The launch went smoothly and seamlessly and he is excited to continue with the support and evolution of the site as time goes on.
Dianna is still the team lead for Cub Scout Camping in the Michigan Crossroads Council. She currently oversees 3 year-round properties and all Cub Resident/Family camping opportunities in the state. She had a big summer this year with an increase of 4.7% Cubs camping during the summer over last year and is feeling positive for even more growth this summer. Of course she keeps busy trying to wrangle both (all 3?) boys between the eating, playing, and constant flow of laundry.
Despite the move, we like our daycare enough that Winchester and Rutherford have been joining Geoff in the 40 minute commute to stay with their same daycare.
Winchester, 3, had a very exciting year making lots of new friends, learning, growing, eating, and more growing. He has been trying out new hobbies including taking dance lessons (Dianna and I still can't get his recital song out of our heads), swim lessons at the Y, and reciting all the details of the lastest Rescue Bots episode. He ensures Dianna is busy keeping him in not only clean clothes, but new clothes as well as he continues to keep the tag on his outfits about two years ahead of his actual age. He's independent, vibrant, silly, and coming into his own as a force to be reckoned with.
Rutherford, 1, (aka Cricket aka Sweep), while actually wearing clothes intended for his age, takes after his brother with his hobbit-like eating habits. It's not uncommon in our house to have breakfast, second breakfast, snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and second dinner (and dessert if they've been good). It's pretty easy to see where all that fuel is going now that he's walking, climbing, giggling, and snuggling constantly. We got lucky a second time with a great sleeper and he's just an all-around great kid.