Saturday, November 14, 2009

The VA/DC Visit!!

Part of the reason I started this blog was so I could give it out to "my girls" (attendees of my Vessels of Honor group) as a means to stay connected and for a place to share what the Lord has been showing me.  So to all of you who knew about my recent trip, I want to put up an update!

First of all, it was so special being there, knowing that you all had in a sense "sent me."  It was a precious and memorable time full of encouragement, laugher, and good conversations.  There were 12 other young ladies there, three moms, and one speaker, and each one of them were SUCH a joy.  Y'all would have just loved them- all daughters of the King walking this same pilgrim path.  We laughed together, ate chocolate (I even ate it for breakfast one morning!) and caught marshallows on fire together; there was princess hat making (girls, we should SO make them one day together- they are the BOMB) and newspaper dresses (inspired by OURS!); beautiful autumn leaves and a pond; silly songs and even sillier "inside jokes."  ;)  The Lord was so good to me.

Of course I had my favorite traveling buddy with me, Lea.  :)  It was only our second time to fly, so on our first flight I do believe we provided some free enteretainment to the man sitting next to us.  (apparently most people don't read over the safety instructions and flip out over the clouds. why, I don't know.) ;)  The flight was wonderful, and the very biggest hiccup we had was simply Lea spilling water all over herself at lunch during our layover in Atlanta.  ;) 

We got to the lodge late Tuesday evening, and the first thing we did was get busy docorating notebooks!

The next morning, when the sun came up, I saw what autumn is "supposed" to look like!  ;)  We just don't get the vibrant colors like this in Houston... and these pictures really don't do it justice- look at these and think 10x more vibrant! 

Yours truly, walking to chapel the first morning. :)  When the leaves blew down, it was just like you were in a golden snow globe, girls! 

We enjoyed some wonderful devotionals and speakers.   On the couch (L to R) Noel, Laura, Christine, Betsy, and Alina was sharing the devotional.  Y'all would have just loved all of the girls there- each one was so precious and loved the Lord with all their hearts.

During some free time we took a walk through the wood- and of course I got to spend time with famous and widely acclaimed KoolKat/BusiBeth/fellow nutsie/Elizabeth!!!   She is such a jewel, and she worked so hard on the retreat; it was really neat to see how the Lord blessed her obedience.

One evening we did newspaper dresses!  (inspired by us!!)  :D  Elizabeth put me in charge of this activity because she said needed someone who " really believed in the activity."  And of course, I did.   ;) 

Girls, these dresses were AMAZING!  They all did such intricate details, I was so impressed!   From L to R (and according to the timeline of our outfits), a Renaissance Princess, a pilgrim, a Martha Washingtonish dress, a Japanese dress, 1940's era dress, a 50's homemaker, 50's jumper, 50's poodle skirt (well, some of the girls referred to it as a "rottweiler skirt" because it looked more like a rottweiler than a poodle :P),  a 50's dress, and "Super Girl" (her helmet and sword were really impressive!).  So much fun.  :)

Ms. Yolanda (on couch) gave a moving testimony of what God has done in her life, and then we split up into small groups for prayer.

That night we made PRINCESS HATS!!! 

One day Elizabeth planned an outing for us in a historical downtown area.  We had High Tea at a lovely English tea house.

That night we enjoyed one of my favorite things- a bonfire with s'mores!!
L to R: Noelle, Alina, Effie, Betsy, Meridith, Elizabeth J., Elizabeth M., Christine, and Lea.

I never can seem to go through a bonfire without catching my marshmallow on fire at least once!  :P

Fireside Singing:

The next morning, we got ready to leave the retreat center.  The hat made it a more pleasant occasion.  :)

The outside of the lodge we stayed in.  Saying goodbye to some of the girls the last day of the retreat:

We stayed one last night at BusiBeth's house, and on our way to her house we stopped and had lunch with some of her friends at Patrick Henry.

Sweet new friends:

One Lea and I and a few of the girls from the retreat got to BusiBeth's house, we got to meet her whole family!  Her younger brother (in the blue shirt at right) cooked us a wonderful dinner!

After dinner, Alina, Betsy, Laura, Lea and I went into DC and toured some monuments!  Girls, it was just so surreal- I didn't think I'd ever get to see them in person!

The Washington Monument was SO TALL!  Taller than it looks in pictures.   It's two different colors, because they stopped building it during the Civil War and when they resumed afterwards they had to get the stone from a different location (hence the different color).

View of the Capitol from there:

I really enjoyed the WWII Memorial- it was so beautiful.


Representing all the Texas WWII veterans and fallen heroes. 

The Lincoln was also very amazing!  Again, much bigger than I expected!

The columns were also huge.  And no, it wasn't snowing; just a light rain.  :)

The next morning, Lea and I found that sitting on our suitcases was the best way to get them zipped. ;)

BusiBeth/KoolKat/Elizabeth showing me her tap shoes!!!  :D

On our last day, Ms. Yolanda had us all over for a wonderful brunch!  Her hospitality and love for the Lord was such a blessing and inspiration.

Ms. Yolanda is in the lavender shirt:

And lastly, on our way from Ms. Yolanda's and to the airport, we managed to squeeze in a visit to Arlington National Cemetery.  It was such a sobering, yet beautiful, place to visit...

Every 30 minutes 24/7 they change soldiers to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers.  The inscription reads, "Here rests in honored glory an American solder Known but to God"

And finally we made it to the airport to go home.  :)  On the concourse at our layover in GA where Lea and I had a little "Lucy and Ethel moment."  ;)T

Enjoying the puppet display during our layover.  :)

My favorite part of flying is looking at the sky... looking DOWN at a sea of clouds is such a novelty.  :)  I just kept thinking about how great his mercy and goodness is...

"I will praise You, oh Lord, among the people.  And I will sing praises to You among the nations.  For Your mercy is great above the heavens.  And Your truth reaches to the clouds.  Be exalted, oh God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earch."  ~Ps. 108:3-5

Thank all of y'all so much again for your support and prayers- what an encouragement.  It was such a special, refreshing, and memorable time that I will treasure in my heart and memory forever.  I can't wait to see all of you soon.  So sorry this update is so late in coming; I haven't had time to catch my breath since we got back, it seems.   I'm so thankful the Lord has given me the privilege of  knowing each one of you "VoH girls" (and families!)- I love and pray for each one of you.   <3

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