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

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