Wednesday, December 26, 2007


We celebrated Christmas this year NYC style! We are blessed to live here & the Christmas season was filled with excitement in the city. Every morning for the past few weeks I have been greeted at the World Trade Center by the Salvation Army bell ringers - these 2 were not your average bell ringers - they had a jambox with Christmas music blarring! It put a smile on my face everytime. What joy they bring to the people of New York. Its great how the simplest of things can make your day :)

Dick & Diana spent Christmas with us again this year and I think we wore them out! There is just so much to do around here - and so little time to do all of it. Below is a slide show if our adventures. I will try my best to give you the play-by-play....

Thursday, December 20:
Dick & Diana arrive & we cooked dinner at home. The menu was a mix of favorites! Pecan Chicken (my mom's recipe) & Potatoe Casserole (Diana's recipe). Yum Yum! Who doesn't love home cooking!

Friday, December 21:
We slept in & then took the train into the World Trade Center to see the memorial & the construction site. It really is still moving to see all of it, even though I see it almost everyday. From there we made our first Subway trip to Time Square. We took some pictures & then worked our way up to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas Tree & all the lights! Its was perfect! Dinner reservations were at 5:30pm so we had to move quickly to Virgil's BBQ on 44th Street. We had a very filling dinner! The BBQ was great - even though its not Texas. Then we headed to the THEATER! Dick & Diana's request was Les Miserables & it was amazing! I tried to hold back from belting out all the songs - I am a Clark what can I say :)

Saturday, December 22:
Down the shore.....We made a short trip to the New Jersey Shore for shopping & site seeing during the day. Then we prepared for Saturday Night Football & THE COWBOYS! Our only mistake was picking the Palisades Mall as our venue - parking was a nightmare. FOX Sports Grill was nice though.

Sunday, December 23:
Christmas Day in the Farrell house! I put a brisket on late Saturday so Sunday afternoon we could enjoy another meal at home....Chris is going to think something happened to me....all this cooking! Anyway, it was pouring rain outside so we thought we would take advantage of a lazy day inside to open gifts & take a nap. It was a blast as always! Diana & I also appreciated the fact that we looked nice for the Christmas morning pictures - as opposed to that just rolled out of bed look we typically have. Later that day we took in a movie at the local AMC - "I AM LEGEND" was Chris' pick. I think we all enjoyed it!

Monday, December 24:
Christmas Eve. This was our second trip to the city for some shopping! We made it to the NBA store, Trump Tower, FAO Schwartz & The American Girl. It was a busy day & we had to be back in Hawthorne by 4pm for a 5pm Christmas Eve service at church. We cleaned up & made it on time. Chris participated in the service & I know Dick & Diana really enjoyed seeing the church, meeting the people & singing the carols. After all HE is the reason for the season!!!

Tuesday, December 25:
Back to NYC for more fun....Our lunch reservation was for 12:30pm at Bryant Park Grill. We decided that traffic would be light enough to make the drive in instead of using public transportation. We arrived early & sat in the park calling family members to wish them all a Merry Christmas! We were seated early in the Holiday Room - it was beautiful! I think we all had a great meal & of course great family fellowship. We even toasted to the coming year! The afternoon was our chance to catch the last few tourist attractions so we took the Subway from Bryant Park to Wall Street. On Wall Street we saw the NYSE, Federal Hall & my office building (the highlight :)). From there we walked to the Staten Island Ferry & rode across to see the Statue of Liberty - still an amazing sight! Afterwards we made our way back uptown to Central Park for a stroll before we came home.

Today we took Dick & Diana around to our stomping grounds Ridgewood, Ramsey & Wyckoff. We had breakfast at the Daily Treat & shopped a little along the way. Then we rounded things up and made the trip back to the airport to see Dick & Diana off & back to Texas.

We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Things I've Learned

Since moving to north Jersey in August there are several things I've learned about living here.

1) Don't expect to make left turns unless you're in a residental neighborhood
2) U-turn doesn't mean U-turn. When the sign says U-turn it means you will exit to the right and loop around, then you'll go over the highway where you'll need to loop around again to the right so that it can spit you out finally going the opposite direction you originally were going. Everyone jokes that they are really clovers.
3) It is really expensive to live here. A house in Texas that cost between 150-200K is between 400-500K. Property taxes range between 6-9K a year as well!
4) All gas stations are full service. This is really nice when it is cold and wet. (Granty would love this!)
5) You take your chances when you eat at local places. There are obviously some exceptions, but chains are your safer bet.
6) You never get tired of coming over the hill and seeing the NYC skyline straight ahead.
7) Amanda must have a built in GPS. Sometimes it can be confusing getting around here with all the little side roads and towns but she has got it down. Also if you ever go to NYC she is the best!
8) People love going "down the shore". People love the Jersey shore here and try to get there whenever they can. I have been a couple times to two different places and I have to admit it is alot of fun.
9) Soccer is almost as big as football.
10) There are lots of Dutch people here and they are notorious for sticking close to other Dutch and being tight with there money.
11) For all you theology guys there really are Hyper-Calvinist here! Their churches are called "Ebeneezer".
12) Once people like you they are really loyal but it takes a little longer for them to like you here.
12) In our short time here we have traveled into NYC more times than most people who have lived here all their lives. (What a shame!)
13) For one reason or another children live at home well into there late 20's and sometimes even into there 30's.
14) All the small towns around here are alot of fun to go find a place to eat or shop.
15) I love basements!

We love having visitors and having a fun place to show off so I hope this small peak into north Jersey life will make you want to come see it for yourself!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


The first big snow storm hit the Northeast this morning.....we got a little snow and alot of ice. Either way it was fun! My snow boots are on their way here via UPS - so last night we made a trip to Target to pick up a pair of rain boots so I don't soak my feet in all the mess tomorrow in Manhattan.

Chris thought it was very important that we capture this in pictures. Notice there are no pictures of him. Hmmmmm......looks like I got the raw end of this deal.

Later this weekend we are expecting the first Noreaster (sounds scary enough). Its Christmas time so who doesn't like to see snow! Hopefully there is more to come :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Recap Story

Well...who'd of thought we'd actually do this blog thing. Amanda wants me to tell our story up to this point so those who we haven't talked with in a long time can hear it. all began back in 2005. I had been a part of the singles group at Dallas Bible Church for a few years when Amanda and Amy started visiting the group. Pretty quickly after they started coming to the group we all felt pretty comfortable hanging out together. Amanda, Amy, Mike and I all started running at White Rock Lake and the four of us became pretty good friends. At the beginning of the fall I started to think there might be something between Amanda and I but I wasn't sure and since I was finishing up at Dallas Seminary I didn't know exactly what to do. After talking with Mike I decided to see if Amanda was interested in seeing if there was something more there.

In October of 2005 Amanda and I started dating and pretty quickly after that realized we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. In March of 2006 I asked Amanda to marry me and thankfully she said yes. We were engaged for 5 months and got married August 6. Amanda had always wanted an exotic wedding on the beach so we got married at Horseshoe Bay on the beach. It was a great time with family and friends. Following the wedding weekend we spent a week in San Diego having the time of our lives before the craziness began.

Upon graduating from DTS in December of 2005 I still hadn't received a church offer and we had decided that we'd like to start our lives somewhere different than Dallas. Thankfully one of my good friends Dustin offered me a job working for him in Phoenix, AZ so we decided to take a chance. Four days after getting back from our honeymoon we had packed our cars to move them and some stuff to Phoenix. Since we didn't find an apartment we felt comfortable committing to we moved in with Dustin and Laci for 3 weeks while we searched. Once we found a place we flew back to Dallas to pack up the rest of our stuff and drive a moving truck back to Phoenix.

Now that was a crazy trip! The next night was the big Ohio St. vs Texas game and I really wanted to see it so we basically drove through the night (3 hours of sleep) so that we could be back in Phoenix within 24 hours of leaving Dallas. It was alot of fun but very tiring! Living with Dustin and Laci was alot of fun but it was also nice to finally find our own place. Since we got married it had been 5 weeks since we stayed in our own place for the first time.

While in Phoenix we both had the opportunity to meet some great people and make some friends that will hopefully last the rest of our lives. I worked for a dealer of Cingular/AT&T products and Amanda worked for a WORKspaces (a Herman Miller dealer) doing office furniture project management and design. I really believe God used this opportunity to start our life together on the right foot.

Finally... almost 2 years after finishing seminary, God opened a door for me to go into full-time ministry. In late August of 2007 we moved once again. We are now in north New Jersey and I am the Young Adults and Small Groups Pastor at Hawthorne Gospel Church. This church has a long and storied history and it is such a blessing that God has given me. Amanda has been able to continue her work as a Project Manager for WB Wood NY. She is working in NYC, and learning how to commute on a higher level - trains,'s different but she enjoys it. NYC is a whole new beast!

Right now we're living in the churches missionary house on a temporary basis until we determine where we would like to settle and plant roots! For those of you not familiar with real estate the northeast is very expensive - to say the least. It is definetly different living up here but we are starting to make some friends and the church staff is alot of fun. Ministry is alot of fun but don't kid yourself by thinking everyone loves pastors. God is faithful and continually teach us things. We look forward to our future here and we hope this blog will allow you to also be apart of our journey.

We'll try to keep this updated as often as possible. Talk to you soon!