Thursday, December 8, 2016

Welcome and Thank You

Please enjoy the 2016 edition of our Marshall Merriment. It is our hope that this newsletter brings a smile to your face and warms your heart. The mere fact that we are sending this to you means that you are special to this family in some way. Thank you for doing whatever you have done for one of us or all of us.
Please enjoy every typo, story, joke, and picture. You are gifts to us. Kaden, Kennedy, and Kori really hope you post stuff on this blog/newsletter. We are trying to teach them the appropriate usages of social networks and get them use to communicating effectively via technology. But, we fully understand if you don’t wish to.
With admiration and celebration

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Kori... Everybody's Fine

Hi everyone. This is Kori. I am suppose to write about my year and what I did. I think I did pretty well. I made good grades, didn’t get in a lot of trouble, and did ok listening to my sisters and mom. I always listen to Dad because Dad and I are on the same page.

I feel like what you really need to know is that I am really good at Cross Country and Karate. And I love both. Oh yeah, I love soccer too. This year, I always placed in top 10% at every race and was always the fastest girl in my grade for school. Dad and Mom always talk about scholarships and going to college. They are determined that I can/will get a scholarship because I’m smart. I’m fine with getting one for running.

I think the highlight of my year was hanging out with my family and friends. I learned to ride my bike. Now my sisters and Kendyll can’t leave me. I’ve also had some great parties this year. My birthday party was a blast.

Here’s a Flipgram to the greatest party ever. We kicked it! I also found out that I really like writing. My Daddy writes all the time. He says, “It’s nobody’s business what a person writes in thier own journal.” I think everyone should keep a journal and share what they want. I like to write letters to my friends, to myself, and parents. I also really like to write short-stories. Maybe one day I will let you read them.

I am inviting you ahead of time to come to my next party, my meets, or the mall. I love shopping. I think I get that from Ann. Gee-Gee always says that I act like Ann. My sisters always say it’s hard being my big sister, I say that I’m fine. Ann’s fine. We are all fine.

Happy Holidays everyone. I love being a Marshall.

Kennedy... A Very Special Christmas

Hello everyone! This is Kennedy. Happy Holidays.

This year I had great time. I want to first say that I got straight A’s on my report card. Mommy and Daddy always say, “The three things that make you good are practice, practice, practice.” I practiced a lot.  I still want to get better in math; so I think I’m going to get in some math camps and keep working with Ms. Thornsbury. She’s my teacher.

I am now a cheerleader for school. I really like cheering. It’s a lot of fun. The practices are hard; but when it’s time to perform it pays off. We just won first place in a competition in Bullit County. I was very happy. We are also going to the state championship in Lexington. Feel free to come cheer your head off.

I just want to say to everyone that reads this, that I love my family and I hope you all have a Merry Christmas.  My Dad says that everyone doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Well I hope they have a good time over the break too. One of my best friends does not celebrate Christmas. They are Muslim. We are still going to watch movies, play, and be friends.

I’m looking forward to 2017. I just know it will be great. Dad and I have adopted a needy family. I’m going to give them stuff and make sure the little boy has some brand new toys. He’s going to have a good year.

Well, drink a lot of hot chocolate and jam to your favorite Christmas songs.
I have attached one of my favorite Christmas songs from YouTube. It’s called This Christmas. It rocks!,

Kennedy (Puddin’) Marshall

Kaden... Life's About Cupcakes

Merry Christmas everyone!

I am very excited about the Christmas Holidays. I cannot wait to experiment with some new cupcake recipes. As many of you know, I’ve been very interested in owning my own cupcake store. Besides the fact I like to bake, I really think I could make a lot of money doing it.

I already take requests from my friends and family.  I’ve made everything from Red Velvet cupcakes to Oreo cupcakes. I’ve even tried to make my Dad’s favorite cupcakes- spice cupcakes.

Anyway, I am officially a middle schooler. I  am enjoying Ramsey Middle school so much. The work is different and so are the teachers. Not to say they aren’t nice. It’s just no time for babying or explaining. Which is fine. So far so good.

Also, I am on the Cheerleading team. We are going to state. I have a good feeling that we are going to win. We practice so hard. One of things that I need to work on is doing my back handspring series. I can do it during competitions and at home. But during halftime, or something like that, I get nervous.  Dad says he paid all that money for Cheerleading so that I will do it all the time. “Look here, we ain’t paying all this money for you to sit around and not flip. Your butt needs to be flipping everywhere we go,” he says.

Anyway, I am making good grades. I don’t really know what else to say about that other than I am doing well. I guess I can add that my favorite subject is English. We are reading some pretty interesting books.

I guess my favorite part of the year so far was when we went to Orlando.  I had so much fun. It was just good to be able to sit back and relax. I think I really needed that time to just chill and hangout. I don’t think I had a favorite ride. I just had a good time. My favorite part of the vacation was going to the beach. I had so much fun with my sisters.

When I become rich, I am going to have a house on the beach and a house here in Louisville. Wherever I am, feel free to call me for some cupcakes. You will love them.

Here’s are some pics of my birthday party. We had such a good time. If you haven’t been to Bake My Day. You should go. It’s a great place have ‘Bake Offs’ and learn to make real pretty cakes. I’ve also attached the link for thier website. Check it out!
Happy Holidays everyone.

Peppermint Cupcakes

Never tried these before. But The Marshalls will give these a try over the break. Please revisit our blog to get reports from those that tasted the cupcakes.

Vanilla-Peppermint Cupcake:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour , sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. coarse salt
½ cup whole milk , room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. peppermint extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter , room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg , room temperature
2 large egg whites , room temperature
Vanilla-Peppermint Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , firm but not cold
1/8 tsp. salt
3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar , sifted
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. peppermint extract
½ tsp. milk
To make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners

Uncle Father Joe...They Don't Make Em Like This Guy

When you first look at this picture, you could assume that this post will be about me earning my doctorate. In actuality, it’s about the man standing beside me through it all. My Uncle Joe is the best father a nephew could have. He’s taught me so much about myself and what a man is suppose to be.

Tiffany always - literally always, tells me, “You need to be more like Uncle Joe.” My response is always the same. “Girl, they don’t make ‘em like Uncle Joe anymore.” I say that in jest; however, there’s a lot of seriousness to that.

Joe, was my Dad’s best friend. They could almost finish each other’s sentences. He’s one of the most reliable people you could ever meet. He’s family centered and just flat out cool. There’s no job too small or too big for Joe. Whether it’s cutting branches from trees, picking up any of his great nieces and nephews and taking them somewhere. Driving from Louisville to ANYWHERE at a moments notice, Joe will do it.

When I told Joe I was getting married, I will never forget what he said. He said. “ Shhheeeeeeeeiiittt son. I’m happy for you. But remember after you say I do, remember to say I love you everyday. And most important, the words that are better and safer than I love you are … Yes Dear. No matter what is asked of you, just say. Yes Dear.” I haven’t mastered that one yet, but it’s clear, that when I do, things will be smoother sailing. I am sure Tiff will agree.

I’ve dedicated my dissertation to my Uncle (Father) Joe. This degree and others do not compare to his smarts, wisdom, and understanding of how this crazy world works.

So I am proud to announce that I am Dr. Marshall. I am even more proud to say that Joe Lewis Harlan is my Uncle. He’s a big  reason I’m here. They don’t make them like this guy.

My Oh My Orlando

Another big part of the year was us taking on Orlando. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of Disney World, Orlando, or 100 degree weather. But the girls and Tiff really had a good time.

It was magical to watch them walk around the park and just be girls. I often caught myself wondering if they will bring their kids - my grandkids to Disney. Would they see what I saw? Truly something magical. Truly something dreamlike.

I will never forget walking around the bend and seeing the Tree of Life. Kennedy said, “Oh my goodness! We’re in Africa!” Honestly, for a moment, I too thought that we were some place other than Disney.

Who goes to Orlando without, going to the beach? Well, of course the Marshall tribe went to the beach. It was too hot. The whole beach smelled like walrus poo-poo.  As where I loved watching the waves come in and seeing the girls marvel at the size of the ocean, the beach scares me a little bit. I’ve always felt like it was a prime spot to lose a kid and get swept away by some new oceanic creature.

Looking back on it, I was probably a  little too protective while we were there. I just didn’t want to be that guy that had to fight off a new water monster with a beach towel and umbrella. Nonetheless, the girls truly enjoyed it. They were the prettiest things on the beach and in all of Florida.

Tiff and I were blessed to be able to take them. I’m not sure if we will ever go back; however, I can assure you I will never forget it.

Happy Holidays

Please enjoy Flipgram

Share your resolution

Please share your resolutions with us. We can’t sit in judgment of anyone; however, we can support each other’s goals:
Tiffany: Finish my dissertation and spend more time with friends
John: Detach from my cell phone and begin cycling
Kaden: Focus/pay attention, practice baking, and remember to say my prayers
Kennedy: Slow down on homework, jog, and spend more time with Gee-Gee and Isaac
Kori: Get a cell phone, practice reading, and listen to my sisters

Favs of 2016

Sometimes you just have stay with family.  Some of our funniest/fun moments in 2016 were when when we had our pajamas on, music blasting, and movies playing. As we share a few of our fun and/or most memorable moments with you, please share some of your most memorable moments of 2016 with us.

Best Movie/TV Show
      Tiff:              Underground
     John:            Luke Cage, Roots, Jungle Book
      Kaden:        Twilight
      Kennedy:   She fell asleep through every
      Kori:            Moana

Funniest memory
      Tiff:               John falling in the creek FOUR
      John:            Catching Tiff acting like she had
                             superpowers and I think
                             shooting spiderwebs at the
       Kaden:         When we were racing Isaac and                               he ran into the fence
       Kennedy:     When Kaden farted EVERYTIME                             she jumped playing Leap Frog in                             the back yard
       Kori:         When Dad sticks his finger in
                         Mom’s nose or mouth when she’s
                         trying to have a serios
                         conversation with us

Best Restaurant:
Tiffany: Eddie Merlot’s
John:  Landry’s in Orlando
Kaden:  Stoney River
Kennedy:  Homerun Burger
Kori:  Morton’s

Favorite Book 2016:
Tiff:   Anything romantic
John: The New Jim Crow - Michelle Alexander
Kaden: Strider  - Beverly Cleary
Kennedy:  Going Crazy in Alabama- Rita Williams-Garcia
Kori: Moon Girl and the Devil
Dinosaur -Marvel

Favorite 2016 song:
Tiff:    One Dance  - Drake
John:   Alright - Kendrick Lamar
Kaden:  OUI - Jeremiah
Kennedy: Powerful - Empire Soundtrack
Kori: Conqueror - Empire Soundtrack

Please enjoy some pics from one of our lounge days.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Food & Fit Challenge ….

Food & Fit Challenge ….

The Marshalls are challenging all family and friends that read this newsletter, to make a concerted effort to make healthier choices in excercise and eating. I went to the Doctor’s office the other day and found out…. I had a clean bill of health.

I was floored. Between my job and the rest of my life, I was truly prepared for him to whisk me to a hospital room. It is by grace that such did not happen.

Everyone reading this newsletter, knows that tomorrow is not promised. We can live the best/healthiest life ever and still be called “home”. But we sure don’t need to expedite our home-going.

One of the things we do is hike/walk.  As a family we’ve found delight in hitting a trail at one of the parks and getting lost. It’s fun, adventurous, and healthy. - Unless you count when I fell in the creek FOUR TIMES IN ROW.

Please post healthy recipes, pictures, times you exercised, workouts, etc. in this newsletter. We would love to see what you’re doing to be healthy. We love each and everyone you.

Health is wealth!

With hopes of more holidays to come,

John, Tiffany, Kaden, Kennedy, and Kori
Photo album of our jaunts in the park.

Friday, December 2, 2016


Let The Good Times Roll…..And let me ride along.

We took on Memphis and won! It was warming to watch the girls and John take it all in. If you know John, you know that he’s an old soul and loves blues music. If you know the girls, you know that all they want to do is whatever their Daddy wants to do.

Both John and I love travelling. Maybe for different reasons. He loves to people watch and learn corny stuff about the buildings and lore of the place. He’ll check out the demographic makeup of the city and schools.  But, don’t get me wrong, the man loves his downtime. He insist that part of his vacation be restful and quiet.

 So imagine (Old soul) John and three henchmen on Beal Street. I must say, it was kind of adorable and awkward at the same time. They literally payed little attention to anyone else. It wasn’t until, they caught up to Ken (his brother) and Kendyll, that any form of attention was given to anyone else. Between dancing on Beal Street and chomping on Barbecue, my little babies and big baby were in heaven.

I was in heaven watching them. I think I even saw John eat a pork rib or two or three. (Closet swine eater).  I love this family to the very core of my being. To be able to decompress and unwind and go anywhere is a blessing for me. We could have went to Lexington, KY.  It would not have mattered to me. I’m just happy to be along for the ride.
Merry Christmas! Tiff

Thursday, December 1, 2016

And Then There’s...

Well, we had another successful first day of school. The Marshall girls seemed to be very excited about going. Even Kori!

As Tiff and I took pictures and gave our pep speeches, it became abundantly clear that they were growing up. Kaden was calmer than I was about going to middle school. Holding back tears and trying to be the cool Dad, I asked her, “Kaden, are you good with going school by yourself?” Keep in mind, Kaden is my tolerant baby. She said, “Yeah Dad. I got this. You seem awful ‘huggy’ today. It is what it is. I can’t go back to 5th grade. You’ll be fine Dad.”

How did she manage to flip my attempt at being ‘fatherly’ to me being a soft sappy Dad? Confession - She was right! My baby was going to sixth grade; and she had it.

Then there’s Kennedy…
Kennedy was the first to get out of bed. Normally, if I am not at the gym in the morning, she will come to our room, give me a kiss, lay beside me for a few minutes, give me another kiss and then start her day.

Everyone reading this knows that I look forward to that ritual. That didn’t happen on the first day of school. Ms. Kennedy got up, put her clothes on, brushed her teeth, we ate our traditional huuuugge breakfast, put her backpack by the door and was ready! By now I’m good and mad. [Actually, I was all in my feelings].

I asked Kennedy, why she didn’t come to my room and hang out with me. She said, “Daddy, I have to show that I can be the oldest Marshall girl at Farmer Elementary. I have to show you that we will be fine. I don’t want you and Mom to worry about me and Kori. I am ready. I thought this is what you wanted.” Cornered, I said, “Yeah, Puddin’ that is exactly what I want. Responsibilty! Way to step up! That’s what I’m talking ‘bout.”

 Ya’ll know I was lying. I wanted her tail to come give me a kiss and fall in my arms. The nerve of her ass being responsible made me want to cry. This day was not going well for me. 

Then there’s Kori… I just knew Kori would give me what she always gives me, a good laugh and some excuse as to why school is set up all wrong. She started out true to form by bothering her sisters. “Sisters, I can’t reach the milk. One of you need to get it for me. Sisters, I can’t find my pencil pack. I need help looking.” In my head I was like, ‘Yes! Squirty-Bird is being the household nussiance that I know and love.’

 I felt like there was still hope. Kori let me cut her pancakes, add extra powder sugar, sprinkle more cheese on her eggs. I was in heaven. Until…. “Girls, I can’t wait to see Marvin. I hope to get to sit beside him.” Tiff looked at me! I glared at Tiff; and before she could stop me, I said, “Who’s Marvin? Why do you  need to sit by Marvin?” Both Kaden and Kennedy could see that it was about to get real up in the Marshall house. Kori had  the nerve to only say, “A boy Dad.” 

As I promised Tiff to not share my entire reaction to this munchkin money pit, I will just say that Kori, wanted to sit by Marvin because he is the fastest boy in the class and she’s the fastest girl in the class. She popped that smirk, that only she can pop and then dropped this to me, “Daddy, I’m about my grades my sports. I don’t need you over here losing it. Keep it tight big guy. Boys are dumb.” Now all of sudden, nobody wants to make eye contact with me. Like I’m the fool. Being the nice calm father that I am, I did what any Father with a shred of self respect would do. I said, “Breakfast is over! Everybody get away from me.” But oh no! Kori couldn’t stop there. She had to ask, “Daddy, were you a boy once?” To this day, I think she was trying say, I was being dumb. I didn’t answer her little butt.