Tag Archives: texas

Holiday Wrap-Up

5 Jan

I thought I’d give you an update about my holiday!  I know it’s a little late, but…better late than never?  Right??

Matthew and I flew down to TX the Wednesday before Christmas, and – believe it or not – it was colder in TX than it was in Seattle when we left!  I definitely didn’t anticipate that, which meant I didn’t really pack for that kind of weather…and neither did Matthew.  Fortunately we made it through okay.

We had such a great time down there.  It was a very packed week, but we really enjoyed ourselves.  We made (almost disastrously) and decorated Christmas cookies, ate more food than you can imagine, went to the weirdest Christmas Eve service ever, and so much more.

Christmas day we went down to my Gran & Papa’s house in New Braunfels to spend the holiday with the whole family (minus a few, unfortunately).  Matthew got to meet everybody there, which was fun, and we all enjoyed our annual White Elephant gift exchange.  I personally think I ended up with the best gift out of everyone, especially considering most of the gifts are gag gifts.  I got a whole bunch of red satin ball ornaments that were my great-grandmother’s.  What a precious heirloom!  I can’t wait to hang them on my own tree someday.

Two days after Christmas, Matthew and I spent the day together shopping (thanks to the ‘rent and grand’rents who gave us gift cards) and enjoying ourselves at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco.  And when I say Texas Ranger, I’m not talking about the baseball team, people.  I’m talking about THE Texas Rangers…as in the Chuck Norris kind of Texas Ranger.  My favorite exhibit was the one for Bonnie & Clyde.  As it turns out, one of the people in their gang killed a man in my hometown – CRAZY.  (And, not coincidentally, I watched the 1967 version of “Bonnie and Clyde” a few days ago for further “study” on the duo and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.)  And while we were shopping, Matthew got himself a pair of legit cowboy boots – one of his goals for the trip.  I can now say I’m dating a cowboy.

The rest of our trip in TX was spent chilling with the family, which was nice after the hectic-ness of Christmas.  (As an aside: I think, as I get older, Christmas seems to rush by so much faster than it did when I was a kid.  It’s a little saddening.)  I so enjoyed seeing my family, extended family included.  Matthew seemed to really enjoy his time, too, which was an added bonus.

We had Christmas with Matthew’s family the day after we got back to WA, which is always fun with all the kiddos.  And for New Year’s Eve we didn’t really do much, but it was fun nonetheless.  We made pigs in a blanket, and Matthew made a delicious roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots as a “last meal,” so to speak, of the year.  He’s a goober (but I love him).

When I think back on 2010 I have a wave of mixed emotions.  This last year was definitely an interesting one.  As a whole, it seems like it was a pretty dark year for me.  I went through unemployment, a huge fight with Matthew, a demotion, and the ending of more than one friendship (for more than one reason).

On the other hand, though, I can’t help but see just how blessed I am – if for nothing else – for how the Lord has turned every one of those bad situations into a good one.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been able to see so many bad circumstances (in my life, at least) come full circle into great circumstances.  I’m just so blessed.  🙂

I guess I’ll wrap it up with some pics from the holidays – click on any of them to make them larger.  Enjoy!

On a Jet Plane

Matthew caught this out of the plane window: the tip of a mountain peeking out through the clouds

The "Welcome Home" sign Kristen made for me & Matthew.

O Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas!

My Dad wearing the hat/beard combo I made him

Lunch with high school friends (Photo taken by Nathan MacDonald)

Matthew being a Cowboy at the museum

Me being a Cowgirl at the museum

The A-M-A-Z-I-N-G picture Matthew snapped at the museum

The New Year's Eve Chicken: "Before"

The New Year's Eve Chicken: "After"

That’s all folks!



19 Nov

I realized that I’m way past due for giving you guys an update.  (*Note: I know I say this in a lot all of my blog posts – definitely needs to be will be remedied.)

Anyhow, I’m doing pretty grand right now.  I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away.  Where have the last couple of months gone?!  Before you know it, we’ll be heading into Christmas (my personal fave)!

Speaking of Christmas…BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.  Are you ready for it?  Are you sure?  Absolutely positively?  Absotively posolutely?  Okay, okay – don’t get pushy.

Matthew’s coming home to Texas with me for Christmas!

Did you have to read it twice because you were so excited?  I know, me too.  We’ll be in Texas Dec. 22nd through the 29th, and we’re both super excited.  🙂  He’ll get to meet the ENTIRE family on my mom’s side, which should be fun, and I hope to introduce him to a couple of my TX friends too.  And I can’t wait to include Matthew in all of our fun family traditions, including decorating Christmas cookies while listening to a little bit of Mitch Miller & the Gang.  Oh bliss.

My trip to TX back in Oct was fantastic – the perfect little vacation.  And my next day back to work upon my return I was promoted!  So lots of big things happening for me.  (Here’s a little eye candy of me and my Texi-boy for you – can’t wait to see him in Dec too.)

I should also tell you that after a year + working for Youth Missions International, my time there has come to an end.  It was a very natural end for both me and the organization.  The promotion at my other job just made it too difficult for me to try to do both.  I feel so blessed to have been a part of that wonderful ministry and look forward to helping out in any way I can, whether through volunteering and/or financial support.

On to other things now…Several months ago Jessica and I decided to decoupage Mattie’s ceiling fan to match her bedspread after I saw this tutorial on one of my favorite craft blogs.  And I finally got some decent pictures in some decent lighting.  So for your viewing pleasure (click the pic to zoom in):

Each blade is different (obviously) with an “applique” on each one to match some of the objects on her bedspread from Pottery Barn Kids.  I free-handed them and was pretty impressed, if I do say so myself.  😉  It was a really fun project, and I’ve become completely addicted to Mod Podge projects.

And now I feel like I’ve blog-vomited all over the place with all of these different things going on, but so much has happened – which means there’s lots to share!  These next couple of weeks are going to be B-U-S-Y for me, but I’ll try to get an update in here every once in a while.  Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Holiday Fun

30 Dec

Merry -late- Christmas and Happy -early- New Year!  I hope you have all been blessed richly this holiday season.  I have been fortunate enough to spend the holidays with my family in Texas.  Christmas was great, and I’m looking forward to the beginning of a new year.  Here are some pics from Christmas…

I was supposed to be home in Seattle Monday night, but I’m still here in Texas.  Because I’m flying standby, I’m not guaranteed a seat.  And Monday was a bad day to fly standby.  The next available flight is New Year’s Eve, and I’m hoping I can make one of the two flights that day.  Otherwise I don’t know when I’ll be back in Seattle.  In the meantime, my luggage is in Seattle.  That’s right.  My toothbrush, retainer, cell phone charger, clothes, and almost everything else is waiting for me to follow it to Seattle.  It’s frustrating, but oh well.

Although I wish I was already in Seattle, it’s nice to get extra time with my family.  The dad of one of my good friends from high school died on Sunday.  And because I am here for an extended stay, I will be able to go to the funeral and offer up some love and sympathy.  I’m grateful that I have that opportunity.  Please pray for her and her family through this difficult time.

Hopefully next time I write I’ll be in Seattle.  Happy New Year!


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30 Days of Thankful

25 Nov

In light of Thanksgiving, I decided to make a list of 30 things/people/whatever I am thankful for – one for every day of the month of November (in random order).  Some are serious; some are…not so serious.

I am thankful for…

  • Matthew – my best friend and incredible boyfriend – for always being there for me, for always laughing at my jokes (no matter how lame they are)and being silly with me, for always getting excited about the things I find exciting (even the seemingly unexciting things), and for countless other reasons.
  • Sweet, selfless prayers from a 9-year-old.
  • New friends and opportunities for fellowship.
  • Good health.
  • Central Baptist Church Hillsboro – for being such an integral part of my spiritual formation throughout jr. high, high school, and college.
  • Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection – because of him I am saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8).
  • Naps.
  • My dog, Tex – because he is the best dog in the world.
  • April 19, 1993 – the day my sweet Jesus saved me from myself.
  • Pastor Jamie – for tending to his little flock at FBCPO and for not being afraid to step on some toes, including mine.
  • Sheila & Steve Cochran – my “adopted WA parents,” who love me and take care of me here in WA.
  • Music – especially The Beatles, Coldplay, and Hanson.
  • Hannah – my roommate and friend – for “blessing” me (please excuse the inside joke).
  • 22 years and 9 months of life. (Geez, I’m getting old!)
  • My car (as old and clunky as it is) – for getting me all the way to WA from TX with no problems.
  • My family – for loving and supporting me every step of the way, even when I move 2000 miles away from them.
  • ETBU – for my education and the life lessons it taught me throughout (and even after) the four years I was there.
  • God’s mercy and grace – that they are renewed daily.
  • Ice cream.
  • Youth Missions International – for giving me the opportunity to follow my calling and serve in the Northwest.
  • The library – for providing me with hours upon hours of free entertainment.
  • Weekends.
  • The Jarretts and The Cooks – Hannah’s family – for being awesome and for being great friends to me these last couple of years.
  • God’s faithful and unending provision.
  • First Baptist Church Port Orchard – for lovingly taking me in and making me a part of their family.
  • Kasie, Kenneth, and Kristen – for being the coolest siblings of all time.  OF ALL TIME.
  • Mentors.
  • Babies – for their sweet innocence and fresh life.
  • The Venturas – Matthew’s family – for being my second family.
  • The Greening Family – for being my Texas buddies here in the Northwest.

I hope all of you have just as many reasons (and more) to be thankful.



Back in the saddle again

7 Oct

I am currently writing this blog from the comfort of my own bed in my own apartment.  That’s right.  I’m back in Washington and residing in my new place.

I drove from Hillsboro, Texas, all the way to Port Orchard, Washington, last week.  It took me four very long days, but I made it.  I barely missed snow in Salt Lake City and had a flat tire once I got here, but at least I arrived.  Along the way I had a chance to visit with my aunt, uncle, and cousin, who was very upset that I didn’t get to stay longer than a day.  But we had a good time, nonetheless.

Now I’m back to the same ol’ routine…sort of.  Work had me busy on Friday and Saturday getting the word out about YMI at Missions Fest Seattle.  Then on Sunday I started the hard task of moving into my apartment.  And now that I’m moved in, I’ll be going back to my normal work schedule…plus an added bonus.

I had an interview on Sunday with Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services, and I am now contracted as a tutor!  I’m really excited about this opportunity.  I tutored throughout college, and now I’ll be able to pick up some extra income by tutoring a couple kids during the week.

My trip to Texas was so good.  I was able to spend some much-needed time with my family (including Tex, my dog), and I also was able to simultaneously promote YMI while seeing college friends.  It was a great trip, but I’m glad to be back in the Northwest.

I hope all of you are enjoying Autumn as much as I am.  See you next week!


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Bouquet-catching, Roof-damaging Fun

23 Sep

Kasie caught the bouquet.  I shoved her out of the way and tried to reach it’s precious petals, but it slipped through my fingers.  I was so close.  Looks like I’ll have to wait until the next wedding to catch one.

That’s right.  This weekend I was at a wedding.  My aunt Tracy finally tied the knot with her long-time boyfriend, Guy.  Yep, his name is Guy, and they’re honeymooning in Mexico right now.  We had such a blast celebrating with them – and dancing our tails off the whole night.  Here are some pics from the wedding (Click here to see the entire album – Click here to see a video of Kenneth playing/singing the song he wrote for Tracy & Guy and performed at their rehearsal dinner).

My dad walked Tracy down the aisle.  She was gorgeous.

My dad walked Tracy down the aisle. She was gorgeous.

The Clary Girls

The Clary Girls

My brother Kenneth and our cousin Owen.  Owen = Ninja.  Kenneth = Superhero.

My brother Kenneth and our cousin Owen. Owen = Ninja. Kenneth = Superhero.

In other news, the weather was crazy Monday night (Click here to see the light show God put on for us).  It was so crazy that it took the roof off of our porch, threw it onto the roof of our house, and then got carried by the wind several yards away from the house into the backyard.  It was intense.

There used to be a tin roof on top of those porch beams.

There used to be a tin roof on top of those porch beams.

Now the tin roof is in the backyard (instead of the front).  The house is in the background.  See how far it flew?!

Now the tin roof is in the backyard (instead of the front). The house is in the background. See how far it flew?!

Fortunately, insurance covers the damage.  So we’re getting a whole new roof for the porch AND the house!  Holler!

My trip to Texas is coming to a quick close – the next time you hear from me I’ll be back in Washington.  I have really enjoyed being here to visit family and friends, but I admit I am ready to get back to my job and friends in Washington.

Still waiting on God’s provision and can’t wait to see how he’s going to make it happen.  See you next week from the great Pacific Northwest!


*If you’d like to be added to my email list so you can be notified when I post a new blog, shoot me an email at kendall@ymimissions.org.

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My Request of You

9 Sep

I’ve been in Texas for a week now, and it’s just as hot as I expected.  I’m trying hard not to complain about the heat or dwell on it too much, but I must admit: I sure do love Washington weather much more than Texas heat!

So why am I in Texas?  Well, as many of you know, in order to work for YMI I have to raise 100% of my own funds.  This means I am dependent on others to financially partner with my ministry with YMI in order for my work to continue, which is why I am in Texas for the month of September – to launch my fund-raising mission.

It is my belief that, if God desires me to work for YMI (as I believe he does), he will provide the funds for me to stay a part of the YMI team.  My work with YMI will be determined on whether or not I have the funds to continue.

So this is my humble request of you: Please prayerfully consider whether God is calling you to financially partner with me by supporting me with a monthly donation.

If you should feel God calling you to do so, please click here to make an online donation through our secure online giving form.  All donations are tax-deductible.  If you would like to know more information before you make your decision, feel free to read more here (the “Partner” link on my blog) or here (YMI’s Giving Page).  Or you can always feel free to email me at kendall@ymimissions.org.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership with the gospel from the first day until now.” — Philippians 1:3-5  (ESV)


*If you’d like to be added to my email list so you can be notified when I post a new blog, shoot me an email at kendall@ymimissions.org.

Quick Links:

Contribute to my ministry at YMI

Youth Missions International Website

Project Resonate with John Yao

Follow me on Twitter