Monday, August 8, 2011

My life in pictures...

Currently, this is all my life consists of...

As soon as I can get back to my life as the fun, single 20 something then I'll be back updating with my adventures.  Until's lots of caffeine and lack of sleep. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Meet My DR Friends

 Abel, William's fiance, William, Marcel, Yrahisa, Danny

I was so blessed to meet some absolutely incredible Dominican's while on my adventure.  The people you see in the first picture above were our translators throughout the week, but more importantly, they were our friends. Ryan was our go to person for all things Dominican! He was not only our DR tour leader but also a translator, chauffeur (at times), friend, ice cream expert, and the only person I've ever found that can speak faster than I can. 

The Dominican is extremely blessed to have these people.  After spending only a week with them, I can say that they are truly some of the most amazing people I've ever had the privilege to meet.  They love the Lord so tremendously and it shows in everything that they do.  There's a joy that just radiates from them that I rarely get to see in the United States.  I learned so very much from them during the week that I was there and I doubt that they even know that.  I don't even think the realize the type of impact they have on people.  As cliche as it sounds, they make others want to be better people.  

These people are the epitome of servanthood.  I feel so honored to be able to stand with them in their country and learn from them, if only for a week.  I know that while I may never see some of them again in this life, they have left an impact on my life that will never be forgotten.

The Lord is working in the Dominican and it was so evident everyday.  It's these friends of mine who the Lord is using to change their country for the better.  He is using them in mighty ways and it was a blessing to be able to witness it first hand. 
And their fearless leader, Boss man Jose


Farewell beautiful Dominican Republic, until we meet again! Is next year too soon?!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Packing Time!

All the supplies for the development centers are bought and it's packing time! I can't even begin to express how thankful I am to my sweet family and friends who have been so generous in helping with the supplies.  We were able to get more items then I originally thought we would.  Those kiddos are going to absolutely LOVE all the items.  I'll be sure to send y'alls love with me when I go. Thanks so much for being such huge blessings for this trip.

Development Centers:
(we bought for 3 development centers so everything is in multiples of 3)
Soccer balls, ball pumps and needles, baseballs, jump ropes, construction paper, coloring books, markers, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, scissors, glue sticks, stickers, bubbles, hair bands and burettes.
Items for Jose and his family:
backpack, soccer ball, football, ball pump and needles, baseball, bouncy balls, kitchen towels, wooden spoons, sandals, shorts, Astros/Dynamo/A&M shirts, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap

My roomie has been so great this whole time; from shopping for supplies with me, to letting me borrow things I need for the trip, and for constantly being an encourager.  God has truly blessed me with an amazing roommate. 

Charis gets the rockstar award for my trip.  She so generously gave up her Saturday to travel the city with me looking for supplies, helped me sort and pack all the supplies, and then made tons of braceletts for the kiddos with me.  I couldn't have done it with out her!! Thank you friend. 

I can't believe tomorrow's the day I head out to FL before I head to the Dominican on Saturday.  I am so excited to see how the Lord is working in that gorgeous country and to get to love on some of his sweet children.  I am just so humbled by the love, support, and prayers that I have received over the past months while preparing for this adventure.  He is working and I'm can't wait to see how He pulls strangers from across the country to come together as one, to serve and love His people.  It's going to be a thrilling journey and I can't wait to be able to share the experience when I get back.

“I am living the life I was called to live, and I will continue to do so until I am interrupted by heaven."
(Wess Stafford - Compassion International President) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Road Trip!!!

At the beginning of the month a few of us girls decided to venture over to New Orleans to see Amos Lee and Jason Mraz at Jazz Fest.  We had some great/delirious times in the car but the trip was well worth it.  Thankfully the gorgeous weather and amazing food welcomed us with open arms. 

 Charis, Angie, Tamara, and Me outside in Jackson Square
 Mother's Cafe, a Nawlins legend
 Jazz Fest
Cafe Du Monde, an absolute must!

Definition of Success, right girls?! ;-)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dominican Itinerary and Prayer Points!

May 14-21, 2011

Saturday, May 14 
Our adventure begins!  We will plan to meet at our departure gate around 6:00 PM. Our American Airlines flight #1901 is scheduled to depart at 7:50 PM. and arrives into Santo Domingo at 9:55 PM.

Please pray that everyone reaches our gateway city of Miami as scheduled and that we are able to board our international flight for the Dominican Republic as planned. Additionally, we would ask that the Lord would quickly knit our hearts together as we anticipate this grand adventure together.

Sunday, May 15
After breakfast, we will travel a short distance to experience authentic worship, Dominican Republic style with our brothers and sisters in Christ at one of the churches with which Compassion partners in Santo Domingo. After Sunday service we’ll learn about Compassion’s Child Survival Program and meet some of the moms and their babies who are part of this program.

Please pray that all team members stay flexible and engaged in the adventure while truly immersing themselves in this unique people and culture. Pray for traveling mercies and that all team members will remain healthy throughout the duration of this tour.

Monday, May 16
Today we visit the community of Batey Magdalena. The children and staff of DR-462 (Jose's Compassion Development center!!) are eager to meet you and to share their gifts and talents with you through a wonderful welcome program they have prepared. You’ll have time to observe what they are learning and to interact with the children. A little later we’ll divide into groups to visit the homes of some of the children who attend this student center before returning to our beautiful resort to enjoy the beauty of this country as we rest from our fast-paced start to the trip. Later we’ll work together to finalize our ministry activities which we’ll use as we interact with another group of beautiful children tomorrow.

Please pray that each tour member will connect with the specific life lessons and experiences the Lord has planned for him/her and continue to pray for the health of all participants and trip leaders.

Tuesday, May 17
This day takes us to DR-634, this exciting ministry partner has been planted in Batey Angelina and is doing an amazing job bringing hope and transformation to this community. They have also utilized additional funding available through Compassion’s Complementary Interventions Program to provide clean drinking water and a number of vocational programs, which you’ll get to see today.  After lunch we will get organized to welcome the afternoon group of children for whom we prepared our ministry activities.

Today will be full of new experiences that will likely require a physical and emotional investment. Please pray that each sponsor becomes an instrument of blessing for the sponsored children they are meeting or the children the others interact with at the student center. Also, pray that the Lord uses today for His kingdom purposes as He expands the hearts of the sponsors and the children.

Wednesday, May 18
This morning we'll begin our journey back to Santo Domingo. Along the way we will stop to visit a Compassion child development center in the community of San Pedro de Marcoris, DR 302. Yesterday, you experienced the amazing environment and joy Compassion children experience when they attend a student center. Today, we’ll take a step deeper as we spend several hours with a family experiencing their daily life at home. The children will be gracious to share their daily routine with us as we come alongside and serve with them in their homes. Later we have lunch and then complete our journey back to Santo Domingo. After some time to rest, we’ll have dinner with some emerging young leaders who are part of Compassion’s Leadership Development Program. Listen closely to their testimonies and dreams as well as the criteria that was used to select them for this program because tomorrow you’ll be with the child(ren) you sponsor and will have the opportunity to share what you learned with them.

Please pray that the Lord continue to knit our hearts together in unity as we minister together today and that our hearts become like that of the Father’s heart for these children and this country.

Thursday, May 19
Today is the day we have all been waiting for – Child Sponsor Fun Day. We’ll meet up in the lobby and then travel to where the children are being gathered. From here, you’ll have time to visit on the bus as we travel to Club Fiesta Campestre. The day must leave at 4:30 PM to make their journey home. After a brief rest we’ll gather in the lobby to go out to a fun authentic Dominican restaurant for dinner.

Please pray that each child is available, healthy and eager to have a wonderful day with his/her sponsor. Pray for safety as everyone plays and enjoys the day together and for the children as they travel home later this afternoon.

Friday, May 20
To finish the adventure, we will conclude as we began – with devotions and worship, but this time it will be at our Compassion Country Office in the Dominican Republic. After this time of reflection and praise, we’ll split into groups to learn more about how Compassion works operationally in this country. After lunch we’ll have time for sight-seeing and shopping before returning to the hotel for dinner and our last time of sharing together.
These tours often stir emotions, renew dedication to the ministry of Compassion, and cause tour members to look at life just a bit differently, amidst our day of work and rest please pray that the Lord will be present and active as we begin to think about how we extend what we have learned and experienced this week -when we return home

Saturday, May 21
What a week it has been. We will need to leave the hotel at 4:30 AM to make our 7:00 AM departure for Miami a reality. The team will be back in Miami by 9:30 AM to connect with their domestic flights home.
Please pray that the Lord will guide each traveler safely home and be gracious to them as they continue to unpack everything they have seen and learned this past week.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Things Really Worth Caring About In Your 20s.

When you’re 25-ish, you’re old enough to know what kind of music you love, regardless of what your last boyfriend or roommate always used to play. You know how to walk in heels, how to tie a necktie, how to give a good toast at a wedding and how to make something for dinner. You don’t have to think much about skin care, home ownership or your retirement plan. Your life can look a lot of different ways when you’re 25: single, dating, engaged, married. You are working in dream jobs, pay-the-bills jobs and downright horrible jobs. You are young enough to believe that anything is possible, and you are old enough to make that belief a reality.
Now is the time to figure out what kind of work you love to do. What are you good at? What makes you feel alive? What do you dream about? You can go back to school now, switch directions entirely. You can work for almost nothing, or live in another country, or volunteer long hours for something that moves you. There will be a time when finances and schedules make this a little trickier, so do it now. Try it, apply for it, get up and do it.

When I was 25, I was in my third job in as many years—all in the same area at a church, but the responsibilities were different each time. I was frustrated at the end of the third year because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do next. I didn’t feel like I’d found my place yet. I met with my boss, who was in his 50s. I told him how anxious I was about finding the one perfect job for me, and quick. He asked me how old I was, and when I told him I was 25, he told me that I couldn’t complain to him about finding the right job until I was 32. In his opinion, it takes about 10 years after college to find the right fit, and anyone who finds it earlier than that is just plain lucky. So use every bit of your 10 years: try things, take classes, start over.
Now is also the time to get serious about relationships. And “serious” might mean walking away from the ones that don’t give you everything you need. Some of the most life-shaping decisions you make in this season will be about walking away from good-enough, in search of can’t-live-without. One of the only truly devastating mistakes you can make in this season is staying with the wrong person even though you know he or she is the wrong person. It’s not fair to that person, and it’s not fair to you.
Twenty-five is also a great time to start counseling, if you haven’t already, and it might be a good round two of counseling if it’s been a while. You might have just enough space from your parents to start digging around your childhood a little bit. Unravel the knots that keep you from living a healthy whole life, and do it now, before any more time passes.
Twenty-five is the perfect time to get involved in a church you love, no matter how different it is from the one you were a part of growing up. Be patient and prayerful, and decide that you’re going to be a person who grows, who seeks your own faith, who lives with intention. Set your alarm on Sunday mornings, no matter how late you were out on Saturday night. It will be dreadful at first, and then after a few weeks, you’ll find that you like it, that the pattern of it fills up something inside you.
Don't get stuck
This is the thing: when you start to hit 28 or 30, everything starts to divide, and you can see very clearly two kinds of people: on one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find God and themselves and their deep dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. And then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. They mean to find a church, they mean to develop honest, intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in kind of an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than they were when they graduated college.

Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. Walk away, try something new. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal. Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? What have I learned about God this year? What parts of my childhood faith am I leaving behind, and what parts am I choosing to keep with me for this leg of the journey? Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”

Now is your time. Become, believe, try. Walk closely with people you love, and with other people who believe that God is very good and life is a grand adventure. Don’t spend time with people who make you feel like less than you are. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.

Taken from Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist Copyright © 2010. Used by permission of Zondervan.

Relevant Magazine

Monday, April 25, 2011

No One Dances Alone!

"weeping may stay for the night,
   but rejoicing comes in the morning.
...You turned my wailing into dancing;
   you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
   LORD my God, I will praise you forever."
(from Psalm 30)

Sending prayers to sweet friend today!!  If LTTA taught us anything, it's that we're not alone in this...we dance through lifes ups and downs TOGETHER. You will never go it alone, we always have and always will dance together!!! So get ready because we've got some Whitney waiting for you!!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's about the Cross

It's easy to get caught up in the commercialization of Christian holidays; Easter becomes about the candy and bunnies, crosses become a thing of decoration and popular jewelry.  But it's this time of year in which we need to be reminded of the importance of the cross.  It's the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus that gives us grace and redemption today.  The cross is what allows us to be sinners yet not eternally separated from our Lord.  On the cross He bore our sins so that we may be healed, it was the ultimate act of limitless and unfailing love.  Jesus lived the perfect life and then suffered and died on the cross for our sins. Christ was the sacrifice, the perfect Lamb slain on our behalf. "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8

We are all called to live a life of purpose, a life which makes Him known.  God commands us to go and make disciples of ALL the nations, near and the ends of the earth.   So live a life with meaning, live in daily remembrance of the cross and the supreme sacrifice for our sins.

Its about the cross, its about our sin... 

He's the King of kings and He's the Lord of lords. That's my King. 

...The Pharisees couldn't stand Him, but they found out they couldn't stop Him. Pilate couldn't find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn't get their testimonies to agree about Him. Herod couldn't kill Him. Death couldn't handle Him and the grave couldn't hold Him. That's my King.

("That's My King" Dr. S. M.  Lockeridge)

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. (Matt 16:21)

And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. (Matt 27:28-31)

...And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." Then two  robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, "You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross." So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying,  "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.  He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.  (Matt 27:37-44)

...Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. (Matt 28:1-6)

Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.  (Acts 2:22-24)

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Countdown Begins!!

I am only a month and a few days away from my trip to the Dominican Republic with Compassion International! I'm planning on taking some supplies with me for the development centers throughout the country as well as take a special package for my sweet sponsor boy.  Let me know if you're wanting to donate any items...any little bit helps!!

It's humbling to think that in the region where my sponosor boy, Jose (9), lives that the average monthly income is $117.  $117 a month is hardly anything here,  some of us can spend that amount on shoes/clothes/food in one day.  My goal is to take as much stuff as I can to both Jose and his family as well as the multiple development centers.

Development Center Needs
(will divide these supplies between the five to six centers we'll visit):
  • arts and crafts

  • sports supplies

  • Gifts I can take to Jose:
  • backpack or tote bag

  • simple toys, such as jump rope, jacks, marbles, toy cars

  • doll, doll clothes

  • soccer ball, Frisbee

  • picture books, coloring books and crayons

  • T-shirts from your area

  • clothes — skirt, blouse, pants, shirt, socks

  • baseball cap

  • hair ribbons, barrettes

  • soap, shampoo

  • toothbrush, toothpaste

  • hard candy (nothing that melts)

  • liquid bubbles

  • calculator (simple)

  • bookmarks

  • mini album for photos and letters you send to your child

  • pens, pencils, small sharpener, markers, paper, stickers

  • Some information on Jose's Development Center:

    Name: Amor Viviente Student Center
    Program Type: Student Center
    Project Opening Date: 1/7/2003
    Month school year begins: September
    Information last updated: 11/26/2002

    Program Description:
    Your sponsored child lives on the plains of Batey Magdalena, home to approximately 2,500 residents. Typical houses are constructed of cement and have block walls. The primary ethnic group is Haitian and the most commonly spoken language is Creole. The regional diet consists of maize, beans, chicken, fish, plantains, cassava and rice. Common health problems in this area include tuberculosis, fevers and malnutrition. Most adults in Batey Magdalena are unemployed but some work on plantations and earn the equivalent of $117 per month. This community needs potable water, medical centers, vocational courses and employment opportunities. Your sponsorship allows the staff of Amor Viviente Student Center to provide your sponsored child with Bible teaching, medical care, nutritious food, field trips, social events, vocational training, educational workshops, scholastic materials, uniforms and developmental activities. The center staff will also provide evangelism, vocational training and educational classes for the parents or guardians of your sponsored child.

    General Information Community Information:
    Population: 2,500
    Name Of Major City: Romana
    Distance from Major City: 25 km east of La Romana
    Information last updated: 11/26/2002
    Home floor typically made of: Brick/Block/Cement
    Home walls typically made of: Brick/Block/Cement
    Home roof typically made of: Brick/Block/Cement
    Warmest Month: August
    Avg. Temperature Of Warmest Month: 33C
    Coolest Month: January
    Avg. Temperature Of Coolest Month: 21C
    Climate: Dry
    Terrain: Plains/Flat land
    Planting Month(s): November
    Rainy Month(s): March, October
    Harvest Month(s): February, November
    Hunger Month(s): January, May
    Illness Month(s): May, December
    Average Family monthly income: $117
    Primary Occupation: Plantation Worker

    "And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" Matt 25:40


    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Greater Still

    Give me eyes to see more of who You are 
    May what I behold, still my anxious heart. 
    Take what I have known and break it all apart 
    For You my God, are greater still.

    No sky contains, no doubt restrains,
    All You are, the greatness of our God.
    I spend my life to know, and I'm far from close 
    To all You are, the greatness of our God.

    Give me grace to see beyond this moment here. 
    To believe that there is nothing left to fear.
    That You alone are high above it all.
    For You my God, are greater still.

    No sky contains, no doubt restrains,
    All You are, the greatness of our God.
    I spend my life to know, and I'm far from close 
    To all You are, the greatness of our God.

    And there is nothing that can ever separate us.
    There is nothing that can ever separate us from Your love.
    No life, no death, of this I am convinced.
    You my God, are greater still.

    And no words can say or song convey,
    all You are the greatness of our God.
    I spend my life to know and I'm far from close 
    to all You are, the greatness of our God.

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Aid Sudan 5K!

    On Saturday, my sweet roommate talked me into running the Aid Sudan 5K with her and a few of her friends.  As most of you are aware, I'm not the biggest running fan in the world. However, since Soozi has moved into the house we've had some quality roomie bonding time over our 3 miles runs at Memorial Park. I actually find myself looking forward to our runs, as shocking as that may be.

    So Saturday, in all of Houston's humid glory, we ran our 5K...talking, joking, and dying the whole way.  Soozi and her friend Danielle did the the first two while I tried my best not to die. That darn competitive drive will get you every time!

     Before shot: Soozi, her friend, Danielle, myself
    After Shot: And no it wasn't raining, that's how humid it was.
    Soozi's two friends, Soozi, Myself, Danielle, another friend.

    The race ended up being a reunion of sorts, I ran into some sweet friends from First Baptist, Second Baptist and high school. It was definitely great Saturday fun, even finished the race in under 30 minutes.

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Caught Up In Grace...

    And I find myself here on my knees again
    Caught up in grace like an avalanche
    Nothing compare to this love

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Ft. Worth Fun

    I recently escaped the hecticness of Houston to go spend sometime with the Ft. Worth Brewers.  There's nothing better than some beautiful weather, my sweet family, and a trip to the zoo!!!
     Starting off the day right with french toast
     Giraffes and wildflowers
     Ft. Worth Brewers
     Feeding the birds

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Llamas, Kanagroos, and Deer...oh my!

    You know it's Rodeo time in Houston when the llamas come out to play!! Llamas and kanagroos at a petting zoo, who knew?! We also encountered a cute deer and then an annoying one that would eat our clothes, little potbelly pigs, and tons of sheep and goats.  Pethora of randomness at that petting zoo but tons o fun.
    Lyndsey, Charis, and me with our llama friend
    Lyndsey and Charis

    Friday, March 4, 2011


    So what can I say
    What can I do
    But offer this heart O God
    Completely to You

    So I'll stand
    With arms high and heart abandoned
    In awe of the One who gave it all

    So I'll stand
    My soul Lord to You surrendered
    All I am is Yours

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Come and Take It!

    Happy Texas Independence Day!!!

    The convention was convened on March 1, 1836 with Richard Ellis as president. The delegates selected a committee of five to draft a declaration of independence; the committee was led by George Childress and also included Edward Conrad, James Gaines, Bailey Hardeman, and Collin McKinney. The committee submitted its draft within a mere 24 hours, leading historians to speculate that Childress had written much of it before his arrival at the Convention.

    The declaration was approved on March 2 with no debate. Based primarily on the writings of John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, the declaration proclaimed that the Mexican government "ceased to protect the lives, liberty, and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived" and complained about "arbitrary acts of oppression and tyranny". The declaration officially established the Republic of Texas.

    Based upon the United States Declaration of Independence, the Texas Declaration also contains many memorable expressions of American political principles:
    • "the right of trial by jury, that palladium of civil liberty, and only safe guarantee for the life, liberty, and property of the citizen."
    • "our arms ... are essential to our defence, the rightful property of freemen, and formidable only to tyrannical governments."

    10 Important Dates:
    University of Houston history professor Raul Ramos gives his take on 10 of the most important dates leading to the establishment of the Republic of Texas:

    • May 17, 1718: Father Antonio de San Buenaventura y Olivares established the mission San Antonio de Valero, which would later become the Alamo.
    • Aug. 18, 1813: The Battle of Medina marked the end of José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara and Augustus William Magee’s armed rebellion against Spain for Mexico’s independence.
    • Jan. 3, 1823: Mexico passed general colonization laws under which Stephen F. Austin and other empresarios established legal immigrant settlements in Texas.
    • Dec., 21, 1826: Haden 
Edwards organized the Fredonian Rebellion in an attempt to separate his colony from Mexico. Stephen F. Austin and Peter Ellis Bean aid Mexico in stifling the rebellion, but it causes scrutiny of the colonization program by Mexican government officials.
    • Sept. 15, 1829: Mexico banned slavery but gave Texas a temporary exemption.
    • April 30, 1830: Mexico stops American immigration into Texas after reports surfaced of Americans violating the colonization laws.
    • January 1834: Stephen F. Austin traveled to Mexico City to advocate for Texas statehood and ask that the law of April 30, 1830, be rescinded. He was jailed for a year. Texans had already begun preparing for secession from Mexico.
    • September 1835: The first shots are fired in the Texas war when American settlers in Gonzales refuse to return a cannon to Mexican military commander Domingo de Ugartechea.
    • March 2, 1836: The Texas Declaration of Independence is signed, calling for Texas’ secession from Mexico. Fighting had already begun at the Alamo.
    • Sept. 5, 1836: Texans voted for annexation to the United States, but the American government refused to annex the state because of the internal politics of slavery. Texas was finally admitted to the union in 1845.

    (That was for you Brent!!)