Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Marshall Family Christmas Ode 2013 Vol. 9

Hello friends, here's a note from us to you
Filled with love & sharing what's new

We celebrated New Years with friends in SB wondering what 2013 would hold
And grandparents spoiled us all at Disneyland where it snowed without being cold.

February was filled with swim lessons, tumbling, & ballets,
And visits to the Denver Aquarium to pass snowy days

In March Janay became a part-time childcare coordinator with Cultural Care Au Pair
We visited family at Powderhorn where all of us skied (even 18 m. Oli) giving us grey hair

In April Aricin turned 5 with a construction & building party at Home Depot
We enjoyed bike rides from the burbs to downtown Denver in melting snow

May included t-ball, soccer, tennis, pottery, & river dance classes for the kids
Oli earned his 1st stitches & we rode Alpine slides leaving lots of skids

Heading West for Aaron's new zoo gig, we sadly waved goodbye to Denver & sold our house
We stopped to visit family, pick lavender, & wine taste on bikes with the spouse

In July Aaron began work as the Director of Education at the Santa Barbara Zoo
He loves his work & God provided a wonderful place for us to live too

The summer was full of weddings, unpacking, & watching dolphins at the beaches
And though Aricin earned more stitches, we are happy as peaches

In August Janay spent a weekend with old college friends - filled with mimosas and fun.
We settled on a church, joined a small group, started MOPS, & new friendships have begun.

In September a new tradition of birthday carousel rides began as Oliver turned two
Janay began homeschooling kindergarten and pre-school giving her much to do

In October we threw Tally a "fairy princess tea party" with tiaras, fairy wings, & treats
We visited a bounce house wonderland, watched volleyball at Westmont & on the beach.

For Halloween the kids emerged as 2 hammerheads and 1 great white shark.
Good friends visited & our sales pitch for them to move included beaches and the park.

The Carpinteria Avocado & Goldeta Lemon festivals were fun
And good friends visited to play great tunes we wished it wasn't done

In November we enjoyed a business & pleasure trip to DC without kids
Followed by a Denver weekend to support Impact edVentures and see friends.

In December visited Great Grandma Ruth at Lake Arrowhead with lots of snow
Then came home for the harbor boat parade of lights all a glow

We are excited to see the Nutcracker Ballet next week - our family tradition
Aaron is imaging paddling out more on a new SUP acquisition.

Oliver is a funny toddler, loves to love, take risks & has no fear.
He loves to be with his brother and sister - apart from them he sheds a tear.

Talia is full of passion - she loves to pray for others
She's very girly but doesn't mind playing in the sand with her brothers.

Aricin is full of questions. He loves to learn and read.
But he's also an adrenaline junkie, loving sports, falls, & speed.

Aaron's still working with Impact edVentures
encouraging leadership through service-learning & adventure

The PhD research through Edinburgh rolls on, 
Collecting data and writing analysis anon.

The kids are growing so fast, we're trying to embrace every moment
Knowing soon they'll be grown & we'll just have each other to torment

We miss Colorado, our old community, Denver, & having seasons
But we are also convinced God brought us here for so many reasons

Reflecting on the last year we feel blessed by God's provision
Looking ahead through doubts, we are confident of his grand supervision

Many trials and transitions have filled this last year to say the least
But God's faithfulness shapes and grows us, God's teachings are our feast

Again, I like to say when life is easy we get comfortable and self reliant
When it's hard Christ teaches us to let go of control and be less defiant

Life is a journey and lasts but a short while 
Stumbling we try to live beneath God's smile

So that's our year so much to tell
We hope you are happy, healthy, & well.

We wish you PEACE, LOVE, HOPE, JOY, and blessings this holiday season
And invite you to visit us anytime for any reason.

With Love and Extending Big Hugs
Aaron, Janay, Aricin, Talia, and Oliver

Monday, December 02, 2013

A note worthy November

We love to do music time before bed and the boys like to try to play their guitars with daddy
Sword fight with Grandpa
 Washington DC

 DC Date night - Cuban food and Mojitos
 Yes, i had an Obama Action figure in my purse... long story :)

 Poor guy, his sister loves to put dresses on him

 Impact EdVentures 2nd Annual Christmas Tree Auction in Denver
 Denver Friends
 I've known Kimber since freshman year in college. I love this girl- sadly she moved to colorado from Washington the week we left :(
 I saw this at Marshalls in Denver- and thought it was AWESOME... I want to try to make one

 Checking out the Paseo Nuevo Christmas Tree in SB
 Beach time with uncle Jasun

 tuckered out kiddos
 our green martian
 all tied up- this is what happens when there aren't high chairs around :)
November was an awesome month. We flew to Washington DC for a conference I had to go to for my job with Cultural Care Au Pair- the conference was great and Aaron came out and worked a day at the National Zoo- so it was a win win. It was the first time we had ever really left the kids and it was hard and good, we had fun walks around the city and ate great meals with interruptions.  The next weekend we flew to Denver for Aaron's non profit (Impact EdVenture's) 2nd annual Christmas Tree Auction. Again it was great to go but hard to leave the kids. In Denver we got to experience snow and cold which were kind of fun since it's still in the 70's here in SB. We got to catch up and have good uninterrupted conversations with special friends. Thanksgiving was low key- Aaron had to work so it was just us with lots and lots of food. A few days after Thanksgiving all of Aaron's family came here to SB to do Thanksgiving with Aaron's grandma and decorate her house for Christmas. We are still loving it here and feeling blessed.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ohhhh October

New fun tradition... We ride the old carousel on Cabrillo whenever it's someone's birthday. It's only $2 a kiddo and the ride lasts 5 minutes- the kids love this and look forward to it.
 My little Oliver has no fear. He loves to find rocks and cliffs to climb at the park. And actually giggles when he starts to fall at the rush of Adrenaline- My little Adrnaline junkie keeps me nervous.
 Home School- Abstract Art time. We are loving home schooling. It's such a gift to be able to sit and teach the kids new things. It's not all perfect- I have very little moments of down time and find that it's a lot harder to keep up with the house work and my super part time job with Cultural Care Au Pair. But all and all it's been a huge blessing for our family
 On the same day that Aricin scored his goal his ball popped
 AVP came to SB and my brother came to town- we all went and watched Kerri Walsh dominate after having just had her 3rd kiddo. 
 Oli loves to poke the sea anenamaes on our walks at Hendry's
 The Carpinteria Avocado Festival
 Making Chocolate dipped pumpkin pretzels. So fun and yet so messy!
 We caught a Westmont Volleyball game- It was so nice to be back in that gym, it even smelled the same :) It made me feel both young and old at the same time
 Shark Attack!

 Fun times at my cousin Jamie's wedding...

 Fun times at a Halloween Carnival...

 Seriously... this was a little high for me, especially considering technically she didn't quite weigh enough to be doing it 

 Oli wasn't too sure about the Bubbles on water- but he didn't cry- just looked a little confused the whole time

 Race track at the Carnival- Aricin ran almost everyone off the road

At the park I looked up and found Aricin at the top of the slide... with his bike. I stopped him from an Evil Kaneval Ideas he may of had. Are all boys like this??? 
 Talia's Fairy Princess Tea Party
 Love Light and Melody benefit concert in SB with Brian Kettler and Brad Corigan from Dispatch- such a good show and soo good to see these guys- we miss them!
 My baby girl is 4 years old!!!
 She is so full of life. Loves to nurture her dolls. Loves to pray with authority prayers of protection and prayers of thanksgiving for our family and her brothers. She has such a sweet spirit about her- I'm so thankful God has allowed me to help raise this princess
 Aricin searching for treasures around the harbor at Sunset. We have so much shell shrapnel in our car and garage it's ridiculous.
 Cruisin. They still love the cars Grandpa Rick
 Fun times hanging out with good friends from SLO at Jennie Davis's wedding
Sword fighting with grandpa in Avila Beach at the Martinet's  
 We love doing worship time together- Aaron plays his guitar and the boys grab their guitars to strum along with daddy. I Love these moments!
 More from the Fairy Princess Tea Party

 This is our good friend Michael... He's a giraffe.
 The kids like to feed Michael at the Zoo. They've got the craziest- long blue tongues
 Aricin's soccer team... The Purple Dragons

 In Action- So fun to watch him

As you can see October has been busy. We went to 2 beautiful weddings, Aricin has been loving soccer and hanging out with his teammates. Talia turned 4 and we celebrated with a Fairy Princess Tea Party with some of her new girlfriends from school. Our good friends, Jeff and Katie Brown flew out from Denver and got to hang out with us. We did the carousel, fed the giraffes at the Zoo, took a quick trip to Avila Beach where the kids hung out with grandma and Grandpa at the Martinet's. The kids dressed up as Sharks for Halloween and went trick or treating for the first time. We also got to go to an Amazing church carnival where the kids jumped on bungee trampolines and got to walk on water in big bubbles along with lots of other fun rides and bounce houses. 

We are continuing to lay roots here. We like our church (Santa Barbara Community Church), enjoy our  wednesday night small group, I'm getting to know new mommy friends in mops on fridays. Aricin enjoys his school with me and getting to hang out with friends at Santa Barbara Charter school on Tuesdays and in his Medieval Heraldry class on thursdays. Both kids enjoy going to Classical Conversations on Wednesdays where they are learning Latin, multiplication tables, history, and other fun things. We continue to make new friends and connect with new and old friends and yet still desire and can't wait to grow deeper with our friends here- Aaron keeps reminding me depth takes time. We still miss our old small group friends in Denver, but we've already seen 3 out of 5 of the couples as they've come out to visit. I'm struggling with balance. Trying to figure out how to be a homeschooling mom, while keeping the house clean, exercising (what's that?), and feeling at peace and not stressed. I often struggling with extending Grace to myself as I try to "do everything." as I often have a tough time asking for help. We're still unsure of the longterm vision of our housing situation. We are thankful for the rental that we're in now, and thankful that we qualify to buy under the median housing program in Santa Barbara but aren't sure how or when we will try to take advantage of it because we'd have to sell our house in Visalia first and we're not sure if we'd be able to break even on it. We are trying to just maintain grateful hearts and treasure these sweet moments with our kiddos and enjoy the sun, sand, and Santa Barbara. Please come visit :)