Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Chao

Oh my… well I have just experienced one of the best meals I may have ever had in my entire life! I am so overcome with food I can not work and had to write this post. My boys and I here at the office have been talking about going to Fogo De Chao ever since Dave went there in the spring. But things always came up and we kept putting it off. Today Dave surprised us and said we are going today… What! Are you kidding me! I have not prepared! I planned to fast before hand, have a serious work out in the morning… wear stretchy pants! Here I am in my normal suit with no room to breathe and have had breakfast and dinner last night and you want me to go today! Well to be honest despite my lack of preparation it was not hard to convince me.

Once we arrived it was all I had prayed it would be. They are working on the outside area and thus it does not look like a gem from the outside but once you grace the doors you see the goodness that is the Chao. The atmosphere is awesome, not too stuffy but still nice. The waiters are dressed in traditional Brazilian garb and are some of the best in all of DC. The whole idea of the Chao is meat on swords! Basically is kinda like Tres Amigos with the little flags you raise when you are ready for food. Except a bit classier. There is a salad station that is amazing with all sorts of salads, cheeses, vegetables, spreads and breads and well you get the picture. Then they bring you wonderful warm cheese bread, fried bananas, crispy hot polenta and seasoned mashed potatoes and they keep refilling these if needed. So if you go with two big boys who played college ball like me you don’t have to worry about loosing all your food. Then come the servers…

It's so glorious, Dave was a bit sad we were seated near the kitchen but I thought it was the best, you could see the waiters come rushing out of the kitchen swords of meat in hand. It was quite a sight, they come out in droves ready to serve and rush to your side to ask if you want one of the 15 cuts of beef, pork, chicken, and lamb that they have. They then slice it right there onto your plate and the next sword walks up. When you have enough on your plate you simply turn over your disk to signal you are good for now. My plan of attack I left mine up till I saw each of the 15 meats and chose a small to lets be honest medium selection of each. Whew! It was intense and amazing! The meats are awesome and mouth watering. The waiters were gentleman and ladies, and took care of your every need. Its how a restaurant should be run. If you can go to the Chao I HIGHLY recommend it as there are many there in Texas! Okay I am going back to my food coma…….

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cierra Video

Please go check this out on Johns Blog... it is awesome! I am so proud of our students!

Volleyball and Early Morning Movin

Well I would like to start off with the great news that this morning was my first morning back in the gym and it was glorious! Everyone was asking how I was and excited to have me back. It was a great work out for what I can do right now and I am SO EXCITED about getting back into the routine!

But that is not what this blog is about. This weekend was very eventful and except for the Aggies and Cowboy’s losses it was an awesome weekend! Friday night a crew of Gathering folks rallied to go and support our good friend Cinnamon in her return to the AU Volleyball court! It was a great game and the ladies killed Lafayette quickly!

Saturday morning we were up bright and early and headed out to serve Cierra’s family and help in the moving process. It was awesome watching the students rally around this family and serve them in ways that truly went above and beyond! I am constantly amazed at the heart of service these students have! They are some of the best Rock Stars I know!!!

The Gathering Cheering Section!

Cinnamon and I

The Country Car Waiting for Direction

Tymon making Jeff carry the load

Jeff and Tymon

The Gals Movin Boxes

The guys moving the TV... not sure what Jeff is doing?

Aaron trying to make Cierra do all the raking!

Tired from moving and ready for lunch!

Alessandra and Sarah with a pizza pile as big as her!

The whole Gathering Moving Team (minus Phillipe and James) with Cierra and her Mom

Little bit crazy...

The ladies who set everything up... Alessandra and Sarah with Cierra

No words... Jeff and Aaron being awkward...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I really don't know what else to say but WOW! I sat last night speechless at the faithfulness of God. Not that I ever doubted Him to be faithful to our prayers because I knew He would provide exactly what we asked for. But even when you know God is going to take care of it, the moment He does is still amazing and leaves you awe struck. I know I say that often about a Tuesday night but there is something about watching these students coming together and worshiping and serving their campus that always gets me choked up. I love these students and care for them more than I can ever express and do realize that they are the Lords and He is just allowing me to watch them for a while.

Our students have partnered with an organization called the Sparrow Club to sponsor a child by the name of Cierra who has been battling cystic fibrosis her whole life. They are working to provide her family with basic needs and assistance and watching them rally around this little girl last night was amazing. The worship was what I think a glimpse of what heaven will be like. It was as if the students could not sing loud enough to express their love for the Lord, and then as Mike began to talk I started my Tuesday ritual of counting to see where we are. Now please hear me when I say it is NEVER about numbers for us but it something we love to see Gods faithfulness in. If we were back with just three students or one for that matter I would be just as happy to be there. But my prayer for this semester was to break that 100 mark. And last night as I began to count I thought I miscounted and started again because as I finished just one side I was already well into the 50's. We ended the night with 101 souls in that room and I was in awe of the Lord. Because these 101 souls were there to worship God and see Him move. They did not come because we were giving out free burritos or anything else they were there to meet with the God in heaven and He brought them there so He could meet them face to face.

Standing in the back of the Kay center last night and seeing all that God has done over these short years not only on our campus but the fact we are on 5 was amazing! John and I were speaking to two potential volunteers and they asked how many more campuses we thought the Gathering would spread to. And we both just said we had no idea God was going to spread us to 5! So who knows! its awesome when you see the Lord bless a ministry this way, and I love that our volunteers and John always give Him the praise never trying to take any of the credit. I am blessed immensely to serve in this capacity and I am so excited to see where God has us going! Who knows but one thing I do know, He is going to continue to show up in a major way and I can not wait to see what He does next Tuesday!

Oh other cool thing, on our churches prayer guide for the month of October, the entire church was praying for The Gathering as a whole yesterday! So we were extra blessed that it fell on the day of our service! PTL!

I would be lying if I said these images were from last night, sadly I took no pictures but did get some video... but these are from a couple of Tuesday's ago. Still gives you a glimpse of what amazing students I get to hang out with!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Line by Lines and Babies?

Friday night I was able to have a fun night out with some old co-workers. It was my friend Allie’s 30th Birthday and it quickly became a work reunion! I was so pumped as I saw so many shining faces coming through the door. We grabbed a table in the back and started in on a long night of catching up and laughing at so many old stories! Some how the conversation turned to our home towns. One fellow lost Texan was there and we began to talk about how weird it was to us that all of our friends were mothers. Some twice over and even a handful 3 times over. Not that we are not happy for our friends because believe you me I love my friends kiddos! They are the cutest! But to us in this stage of our life it just seemed weird.

Christal quickly realized that once we moved back to the homeland it would probably not be too long till we started families of our own. We both paused at the thought of being the oldest ladies in Mothers Day Out. And what our play groups would look like. Then we decided the only way to fix this problem was we would all have to live close by to each other again and have babies at the same time so we would have each other. This then became a somewhat scary thought for our children realizing we would probably set up time with line by lines. (These are to the minute detailed schedules) That we would provide briefing papers for all the mothers in our group on our chosen play destination such as the rate of accidents, how far it would be to the nearest hospital, and any info on big projects and play days the location had done in the past and their success rate. Maybe a few bios and resumes of the Gymboree Instructers. You know the norm info you get before going some where.

This was beginning to look much like my good friend Bonny Kate’s wedding. Now you know I have been in something like 17 weddings and all have their own unique flare. But the best thing about BK’s wedding was the schedule and material she sent to all of us before hand. I had my line by line in hand and knew to the minute where I needed to be thus allowing me to schedule time to see others. I had all my briefing materials as to where I would stay, the distance from the Marshal home to the church and such. It made my wedding experience go much smoother and BK’s as well. So I feel that her wedding in Texas is a small glimpse of what ours may look like and then what our wonderful playgroups will look like.

I laugh now, but I think my kiddos may either hate it or love it (which can be scary on their own.) But I will say there is a lot of good in a detailed line by line and a lot more in a detailed briefing paper. It stops all those pesky surprises and you know what you are walking into. So all that to say I am looking forward to continuing to do life with these ladies, I think it is rare to find this many fun women in the environment we live in and I am glad I have each one of them with me. They are driven, organized, prepared, professional and then on the off time very crazy and a good time. I have to run now to begin the briefing papers on our potential future husbands so we can begin the interview process asap our time here is running up!

Friday, October 5, 2007

He Does Exsist

We had heard rumors of this man lurking around the city, not just in our TVs. Many friends had stated they had sited him but none had proof... then lo-and-behold there I was sitting and enjoying some nice jazz with some friends when he starts casually walking by us. Two of my college students were sitting with me, Candace was prepared and had her camera. so we jumped and asked for a picture from the guy who swears he can get you all the governments money!

Candace, Matthew Leskow (Question Mark Guy), Me, and Sabrina

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Here we go Again!

So I feel like recently I have just been posting catch up posts, and here is yet another. I am sitting here with a VERY Venti Mocha and trying to get myself awake to write this and then dive into the pile in front of me of work. So I am procrastinating! And I will put another side note in there. I LOVE my folks at the Starbees by my office. They are a great team and are always having fun and encouraging. But not in a over bearing I want to kill you this early in the morning kinda way. I was in Philly this past week for work and the Starbees there had a staff that looked like they were just as asleep as I was and not happy to have to serve me coffee... No fun!

But I digress so here is some pics of things going on... a couple of weekends ago my good friend Jared came up to visit and we headed to Annapolis to tour the Naval Academy with one of his hometown friends, and then go to the navy vs. Duke game. While this was a HUGE change from my Kyle Field days it was an amazing campus and the game atmosphere was fun! The we headed down to the harbour to have some good seafood, and then to the city for a little dessert! It was good times by all

The Group out for Dinner at Cactus Cantina!

Jared's friend John toured us around the Academy! Its amazing everyone should go see it! Especially the chapel!

Jared, Me, Cristina and Matt at the Game

We hung out with one of my former students Des for dinner

Then my good friend Shari and I got together to tour the monuments as she and her husband have headed back to Texas and there was still some sight seeing to be done. The fun part was one of my campers from when I was a camp counselor in Texas moved up here and contacted me so we had dinner and hung out as well!

Shari, Me, J'aime and President Lincoln

Then I headed to Philly for some work and was able to have dinner and a relaxing girls night with my good friend Kate!

Then it was off to our churches Fall Retreat! 500 + singles drove down to a Young Life camp in South West Virginia for a weekend away of great teaching and some of the best worship I have ever taken part in!

Our little group getting ready to head into a talk

John Speaking at Retreat
Me and the Gathering Gal leaders from George Mason

Old Friends are the best friends Beau, Me, Amanda and Jerry after breakfast one morning

Me and the guys before the last session

My good friend Dan and I

Me, Beau and Lauren late one night