January 26, 2015

McLendon Christmas Letter: Now that it is almost February…

Well…Robert wrote a Christmas letter this year and we failed to get it in the mail. It is too good not to share, so we are posting it here. For all to enjoy. So, now that it is almost February we are going to officially say good bye to 2014 and say hello to 2015. 
Does anyone else wonder where January just went?


I hope this season meets you with merriment and diminished anxiety (whatever that means). Once again, we decided it was best to send you an update on our family through the written word rather than a picture-perfect portrait of our family sitting in wonderment at how organized we are. We would have done that, but we really couldn’t find one or pose for one long enough for the needed millisecond of camera flash. 
Kristin is still taking on the world one student at a time as the RiverStone Student Pastor. She loves what she does when she’s not drowning in kids. She took a lovely group of students to Costa Rica this year to work with an orphanage and a local impoverished community near the orphanage. She is really good at hitting teenagers over the head with selfless reality. The kids are really no problem for her at all. She is having a blast with her students. Kristin fulfilled one bucket list item this year – she ran from the top of Mount Hood in Oregon, through Portland, and to the coast of Oregon. She did it with several friends and had a great time. They finished the relay in 34 hours! What is currently killing her is her recent decision to go to Grad School!!! She just finished up her first semester at Asbury Theological Seminary where she is getting her Master’s Degree in Intercultural Studies with a focus in Church Planting – this really means she is studying missionary processes both domestic and international. As much as it pains me to say, her school seems to be harder than mine. 
Robert has also had an interesting year. In January of 2014 he started a counseling internship working with individuals who were court-ordered to go to counseling for anger/violence problems and alcohol/drug abuse problems. Whatever you picture in your mind when you read that is probably pretty accurate. He encountered lots or rewarding and heartbreaking moments over the past year. This internship was long and had some late hours, so Kristin was single mother for most of the year. Robert also continued to work at RiverStone as the Missions Coordinator helping missionaries and mission teams get their finances in order and counseling leaving and returning missionaries through transitions. Robert also went back to Scotland this past summer to work with kids and host a summer camp – And his dad went with him. Robert did take time off during the summer to drive a 15-passenger van from the top of Mount Hood to the coast of Oregon. He drove 34 consecutive hours and stayed awake for 42 consecutive hours (needless to say, Kristin had more fun than Robert did). With all the busy-ness, Robert looked at life a lot like Forest Gump looked at running across the country. “When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go, you know, I went.” Robert finished his internship on December 12th, and started working with Kristin at RiverStone as a Student Pastor January 1st. A dream come true for the McLendons!  
Jude has been a beautiful behavioral challenge this year.  I’m sure after reading this letter you can probably deduce that he has been acting out because he has been the only child of a working single mother this year. Jude’s energy level equals that of the sun. He is either “all systems go” or asleep. It is not fair to say he has been all bad this year. We have shared so many sweet times with our boy. We took a road trip to Asheville, NC, Lynchburg, VA, and Charlotte, NC with Jude in October. He had a blast, and we had sweet family time. 4-6 hour car rides are not really his thing, but he managed. 
Top 10 Lessons Life Taught Us this Year
10. If you take your dad to Scotland, don’t let him buy a kilt.
9. Kristin can run longer than most people can drive.
8. Oregon has traffic jams at 3am. 
7. Jude can go through a “hungry-tired-angry-wired-happy-snuggly-screaming” cycle in 90 seconds. 
6. Three-year-olds are the worst.
5. Three-year-olds are the best.
4. Kristin’s bucket list will probably kill Robert.
3. If a 3-year old wants to walk the dog, you have to walk the 3-year old while he walks the dog.
2. Don’t promise a 3 year-old movies for a 5-hour car ride if the portable DVD player doesn’t work.
1. Only the McLendons can get photo bombed by a man in a kilt while picking out a Christmas Tree!

Happy 2015 friends!
**Disclaimer:  Letter was written by Robert**
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