Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas New Years Letter

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Tricola Transitions 2011

To our Dear Friends and Family,

A lot has changed in our lives recently, so we wanted to give you an update. In 2009, we moved to Boise where Brad and Heather were co-pastoring at the Friends Church. Levi Matthew joined our lives (surprise!) on April 5, 2011. Soon after Levi’s birth, we made the difficult decision to resign from our pastoral position and move to Camas. We found that the church was not the fit we hoped it would be. We really value the experience we had there and the relationships we built. We are happy to be back in the beauty and relentless green of the northwest, where we feel more at home and can see family and friends (and we are not missing the arduous drive over the Blue Mountains this winter).

We have settled into the Camas community nicely. The Tricolas moved into the second floor of the Goecks’ house (Heather’s parents) and are thankful that there is room in the Inn for this growing family. We have been integrated into the life of the Camas Friends Church community. We value the rich Quaker tradition and core values of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community and Equality. We have found support and collaboration with this church community. Brad enjoys working at the Laundry Love project, leading music, and preaching.

Heather got a job that works perfectly for our family. She is teaching math at Union High School in Camas. Its proximity to our home, the engaged (mostly), quirky, and fun students, and the supportive staff make her work a joy. She is truly grateful for being able to balance meaningful work with a rich family life. This summer, Brad finished his Master’s degree in Ministry Leadership from George Fox Seminary. He is relieved-glad-sad to be finished. Brad really appreciated the experience and is grateful for his family’s support when he was busy with all the books and essays and online posts. Brad is beginning to see many rewarding and challenging life pieces come together. As a very active, hands-on dad (is there any other way to change diapers?), Brad also makes time for work that he finds engaging and fulfilling. He enjoys posting on his blog ( if you’re interested). In this new year, Brad will add administrative and pastoral work with Camas Friends, and an online facilitator position with George Fox Seminary, to his job as an enrichment instructor with the YMCA. Brad and Heather hope to find that Work-Life balance that seems so elusive. It will take simplicity, restraint, discernment, and God’s grace. We think it’s worth it. The Tricola children agree.

Braden started Kindergarten. His teacher has them learning tons, but is still able to nurture and inspire a love of learning. He’s beginning to read more fluently using a combination of strategies like sight words, chunking, and context clues. It’s so much fun to see it all starting to come together. His teacher describes Braden as imaginative, an outside-the-box thinker, and a pleasure to have in class. He has found a few kindred spirits that have become good friends. Zachariah is vibrant and good-natured. Even when he is in trouble, he often has a smile on his face. Zac makes beautiful art work and has a great sense of humor. In their recent church Christmas program, Zac and Braden both charmed the socks off the audience, singing out with gusto and hamming it up. Braden and Zac have been wonderful big brothers. When Levi is cranky, they are sometimes the only ones who can comfort him with their silly faces and noises. Levi is a sweet, social baby. He is starting to copy words and actions, like clicking his tongue. He is a boy who knows what he wants and works hard to get it, climbing up entire staircases or crawling through tiny spaces. Our three boys (mom is completely outnumbered!) bring such delight and energy to our lives.

Thank you for being a part of our story. We hope many blessings come your way this year.

With much love,

Heather, Brad, Braden, Zachariah, and Levi

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