Monday, December 15, 2008

Driving In Circles!

I know I owe y'all a post on my last Gathering... I have written something a few times but its actually harder than I thought... so an easy one... Something I won't miss! DRIVING IN CIRCLES!

If there is one thing I will not understand its the circle intersection. They claim it is supposed to be better than regular intersections and more efficient but this is just not true! You get one person in that mess who does not understand the circle (I am usually that girl) and the whole circle can become grid-locked and it can be one of the most stressful moments of your driving life!! I have lived in DC for 6 years now... and one thing I will not miss is driving in circles especially DuPont Circle! (If you looked at the photo do not be fooled by the lack of cars... I think they photo shopped them out) Its as bad as you think it would be and I avoid it at all cost. IF I HAVE to drive around it, I usually have to prepare myself in prayer and relaxing thoughts of my happy place (Texas) to get through it... but alas I usually end up screaming like a little girl the whole way through and crying to my destination and having to gather myself before I enter where ever I am going...

So this brings us to this morning, I had a VERY important event to be at this morning and thus ran directions last night from my computer to the site. Calculated a time to leave added an hour for lovely traffic and I knew it would be sprinkling outside so all DC-Metro area drivers would be acting like it was the end of the world and the horrible 2 hr commutes I had to endure last week would rear their ugly heads. I immediately saw the words I did not want to see "enter DuPont Circle Roundabout" I almost started crying last night, but looked at the map and thought I had a plan... Well as many well laid out plans it was to no avail for me this morning because indeed it did sprinkle and indeed all those driving around me forgot how to do so and thus entering on to 495 was not doable with the back up and I had to by-pass heading to my own demise in the circle.

Now one other note was I knew I could get there without the circle if I went over the 14th street Bridge. But the problem here is that this bridge has been rated the WORST for traffic by AAA for the last 3 years... so I was throwing the dice of getting there on time, I would be lying if I did not think about taking the bridge and dealing with the traffic and being late, so you know how much I hate the circle. But my better judgement and need for a job talked me out of it and I headed across the Key Bridge to my doom.

I had been prepping myself the whole way, praying that God would give me a sweet blessing and open up the circle so I could breeze right through. These thoughts were quickly squashed as I came upon my entrance to the circle and there was a water main break! WHAT! Water EVERY WHERE! A dump truck and many utility trucks in the road, I could feel the fear rising, I mean what more did rush hour in the circle need but a dump truck and water every where! Adding in the still fact that it was drizzling, and the people of Washington had still lost their minds! Seriously it was literally the perfect storm and I thought why not just drive over the circle and through the park, but the last time I did that a few park benches and tourist had to pay and the police have told me no more for that.

The best part is you get a yellow arrow to tell you to cautiously enter the circle, because even the light knows how horrible it is. So I sucked it up and entered the circle. My body tensed and my eyes darted in every direction, as you never know where these cars are coming from. I tried to follow the lines and stay in the right lane, I moved like the frogger dodging buses and pedestrians. And in no time I was through and safely on the other side of New Hampshire Ave! WHEW! So I was a little angry as I thought all these years and I finally over come this stupid circle! Well don;t plan to see me going through again unless I have to, but I feel better knowing that once just once even under the WORST conditions, I won.

1 Point Michelle
436 - DuPont

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

AU Christmas Party

So its the beginning of the end for me with the Gathering. This is the amazing ministry on American University's campus that the Lord has allowed me to be a part of for the last 5 years since it was started. And tonight I will attend my last Gathering Service. it comes with mix emotions, as I look to tonight, I am excited to spend one more night of worship and learning from the Lord with these amazing college students but sad that this will be the end. We are a small ministry compared to most so you really get to know all your students and watch them grow and develop through college. So not to speak too soon... last night was our annual on campus Christmas party and it was a huge success counting the fact that the AU Men's Basketball team was hosting their first home game of the season... and we still packed our room out! WHOOP!



There was the Annual Gingerbread House competition that I was a judge for, the wonderful voices from the AU Gospel Choir were there... still trying to get that video to upload... there was food fun and merriment all around! It was a great night hangin with these guys and I look forward to being with them one last night tonight... okay I am ending this before I start crying...



Wonderful Sarah and I



Powdered Cookies are the BEST!


My Cuz and Brother Tymon!

This Years Party Planner! Sarah!




Amanda, Sarah and Julie!

Gingerbread Houses!

Rachael trying to win my bias!

Our Gospel Choir Director for the Night! Aiyo!

The Gals Hanging out!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankgiving!!!

So I spent this Thanksgiving here in DC, maybe my last and it was a good one... Joe did almost all the cooking, Turkey, Greenbean Casserole, Stuffin, and the crucial Cranberry Sauce. Kyle made 4 count them one, two, three, FOUR pies for the four of us! He baked them ALL from scratch... Apple, Pecan, Pumkin, and Buttermilk... they were AWESOME! Ashliegh and I got it easy, she made another homemade Apple Pie, it was too awesome! And I made my family's famous Mash-potato's and Brown and Serve Rolls... ;) It was an awesome meal, and some good fellowship with three other wonderful Aggies and Texans!

Happy Thanksgiving All! I pray this day finds you with family or friends and enjoying a lot of good food and fellowship. I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and the wonderful friends and memories that are wrapping up here in DC is just the start of it. Its been a weird last month, realizing that the last 6 years is coming to an end, and everything that that brings with it... but there is still much to be done and be thankful for. Saturday a bunch of folks from work are getting together for our own special Thanksgiving meal, and I am looking forward to that.

Now if only I could get the Ags to BTHO TU... then this Thanksgiving would be perfect... A girl can dream can't she.



Joe and all his good food!


Kyle and His Pies!


Hank... waiting for something to fall!


Ash and her great Apple Pie!


My Famous Brown and Serve and Idaho Instant Potato's.


The Gang Getting Ready for Dinner


This means good meal... Kyle and Hank Sleeping with football on...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fish and Monkeys!

So yesterday we headed out to Gamboa Resort to have some fun in the wonderful Panama Rain Forest! It was all set up by the folks we are working with here and they went above and beyond! We started with some fishing in the Gatun Lake (which is the man made lake from the building of the canal and connects the two sides). Two of the ladies on our team have never been fishing, so we had a lot of fun with that! And I caught 6 fish! Ralena one of the first timers caught 13!!! Crazy!


We then headed over to Monkey Island to check out the local monkeys where we learned South American Monkeys have tails when African Monkeys tend not too. They jumped on our boats scared us a bit but once we got through it I fed one of the monkeys! There is a short video at the bottom!


We were then supposed to head to a canopy tour of the rain forest but since it is the rainy season it started to pour on us! And rained for the rest of the day so we just had a wonderful brunch and headed back to the hotel. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we get back and can do the tour. So here are a bunch more pics...



Michael getting all bug sprayed up!


The Rain Forest


Sondra, Michael and Kristin "Flashy" Us as the Cruise Boat did, I forgot to mention in the other post it was a Sr. Citzen tour so the ladies who flased were at least 70 yrs old... Wade stated he never thought someone could wear more clothing when they lifted their shirt!


Wade and I heading out to Fish!


Ralena Fishing for the first Time!


My First Catch of the day! He was a Fighter!


Wade's Little First Catch of the Day...


Wade showing off our boats spoils! All done in an Hour People!


Ralena feeding the Monkeys


Wade put his poncho on wrong when the rain came...


The Team Wet Tired and Ready for Brunch!


video

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Panama!

So some as some of you know I have been working in Panama the last three days... and all I have to say is that this place is awesome! I had no idea how amazing t was down here, its like a slice of New Orleans an Miami and Brazil! It is hot and humid thus my hair is not happy, we were put up in a hotel with a casino! So its pretty interesting the folks we see around. We also came during the rainy season... so from about 11 am to 2 pm each day it rains! Sometimes its a drizzle and most of the time its a serious Texas downpour! Which is also great for my hair!

The people have been veru nice and must speak English, but luckily Wade is here so even if they don't he gets us through pretty safely. Which breings me to the team we are with! Its a great group some new faces to me but it is really fun to have Wade and KK here! We headed to the Panama Canal today and watched a cruise ship go through which is supposed to be good luck. It was VERY funny watching a shore FULL of people taking pictures and I think just about every passanger on the ship out taking pictures the other way! One woman got a bit ahead o f herself with her friend on the pool deck and lets just say she left nothing to the imagination, and the biys were very respectful and covered our eyes and theirs which made the Panaminian men mock them... but Wade instructed them this is how a respectful Texan gentlemen operate. There is a lot of fun to be had here in Panama and I have 6 more days to go! Tomorrow we are heading out to the rain forest the folks we are working with set up an awesome tour for us, and I am hoping I get to zip line over the canopy, I REALLY want to do it and our folks did not put it on their schedule for us. I will tell you more as it hapens and those who are on my e-mail list, I will send out more details and so really cool pics I can not put on the world wide web once I am back in the states!



The Canal from our Plane


KK grabbed a bottle of water... only to take a big drink and find out it was coconut flavored!


Streets of Panama~


Wade and I were very confused about this sign...


The Mire Flores Canal Locks


Our whole team at the Locks

Wade driving a simulated boat through the locks


Carol ordering us a pizza for when we get on the other side!


Wade and I trying to manuever the Locks


I'm confused...


Downtown area


Wade and I at the Ministry of Foriegn Affairs



Me with one of the Guards


Our Team at the Palace Gates


Wade giving his speech


Dicing into some THICK Queso!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Phi Lamb Invades DC

So this past weekend Washington, DC was invaded by 6 ladies from Phi Lamb at Texas A&M… They landed late on Thursday and took off late on Sunday and left a lot of folks staring in their tracks! It was so great to have these ladies in town, they are 5 of the 7 officers of Phi Lamb and one roomie, and they cane to hang with me this weekend and see the sights and the city. It was a little culture shock to them, and completely to the folks of DC. Laughter, bright colors, and lots of hugs are looked at with confused faces and concerned words. But these ladies did not leave any of those items in Texas!

It was a breathe of fresh air for me to be able to show off all the great things about this city after a week here that was no fun at all. To have 6 faces who enjoyed and appreciated every inch of this city was a lot of fun! They kept me up to date on the play by play of their journey here, when they left College Station, when they got to Houston and then a phone call from the plane before they took off. As they landed the squeals started… I had to rent a big mini-van (why do they call them mini when they are not so much) to tote everyone around… Lets just say this was an experience all of its own. And since I now am a member of Team Dickerson, I thought it best not to subject the great couple to six college girls, so we rented a two bedroom suite at the Marriott (thanks Dad) and had a blast there!

They got the full tour of everything and anything there is to see here. And they were constantly amazed at the color of the leaves and kept wanting to play in them. They took LOTS of pictures 921 to be exact, and lots of video… What was really awesome was we had lunch Sunday afternoon after church with my AU college students. It was awesome to see students I am privileged to pour into on opposite ends of the country and opposite on so many other issues, hang out and laugh over a meal… What a blessing! It was a jammed packed weekend and trying to give it any justice in words would just not do! I loved having them here every minute and missed them the moment they stepped out of my crazy mini-van for their plane home… Can’t wait for our next trip ladies! Love you, Katie, Alex, Sassy Chappy, Hannah, Fingers and Faith.

This is just a SMALL sample of the pics as I said 921 were taken... these are a few of my favs!

Katie on the phone telling me they are taking off!

Greeting the girls when they arrived

Getting excited about the weekend!

Please notices Hannah's bag which is only for 3 Days!

Me "Driving" a Mini-Van!


Alex a little scared by the driving and Katie amazed at the Lights...

Everyone trying to help me drive! I could not see anything!

With the Bosses Boots and Saber from A&M

Holding their own Press Conference

Spelling out USA in my office building lobby.... DC was not ready for them...

Taking them to DC MUST Ben's Chili Bowl!

Places their orders at the counter

My Roomies and Steph came to join us for dinner

Diggin In to Ben's Famous Half-Smokes

One of 50 or so photo shoots in the leaves

Big Night Out!

Alex and Hannah realizing its a bit colder in DC

My Friend Kate took this as we were walking around the reflecting pool

One Last Photo Shoot before they got on the plane!
Faith, Katie, Sassy Chappy, Me, Fingers, Hannah and Alex

Heading back to Texas... Miss them already!