Thursday, June 30, 2011

Traffic is a tool of the devil

This week I went to the AP (advanced placement) Summer Institute at Rice university, to learn how to teach World History AP (WHAP).  I’m not teaching WHAP next year (at least that I know of) but when I signed up for it, there was a possibility that it could happen, so I went anyways to learn and be prepared for anything that could happen in the future.
However, Rice is downtown, and Houston is trafficky. Please refer to the map below that shows scientifically where all the traffic is. (lol just kidding I made it- but it’s probably 94% true).

It took me all four days to figure out a good (or at least the least amount of traffic).  Here is a map that I
 made that showed my routes.
rice routes

The first day I went the purple route.  Though it is the most direct, it is by far the most traffic.  The second day one of my coworkers who was there too, showed me the benefits of Westpark Tollway (definitely a fan!).  I took that to Sam Houston Tollway (blue route).  I was going to take 290 next, but traffic was already stopped on the ramp- so I though that going up to 249 and going the back way to the house would be faster- that was a NO! 

The third day I tried the tollways to 10 (green).  And I noticed that there is two HOV lanes and one says “Katy Tollway” where you can pay to go in the HOV lanes even if you are a single rider – well I didn’t take it because the HOV lanes in Houston are permanent, once you are in you are in so I did want to get in and not be able to get out in time.  Well on the fourth day I realized that yes I can take it and on the fourth and final day I got home in about an hour (unlike the 1 hour and 30 minute drive I had the first three days).  Going there wasn’t too bad (about 45 minutes).  But I was still having to get up and leave by 6:30 (waaaaaay to early for the summer)

But all that said and done, it was good to go- I learned a lot.  And if they need me to teach WHAP then I can (two of our WHAP teachers from this past year moved up to other grades- but we did bring someone else in that has taught it before).

Tomorrow I will once again wake up early, but it will be to take Russell to work, so that I can pick him up and go to lunch and he can take me to the airport- and then only have one car to deal with.  I leave for Tennessee to hang out with Christy before her wedding next week- can’t believe it’s already here!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


This week I got to help out with the first week of VBS with my church.  The church we go to is a satellite campus of a larger church and we meet in a middle school.  Every Sunday people get up at 6am to unload our four trailers to set up.  We stay after church to load everything back up.  Over the last few months we have put together a “dream team”- we can pack and load by 1:10 every Sunday.  Last Sunday we had to pack differently because one trailer will be specifically for VBS. 

VBS was at an elementary school, we set up Sunday afternoon to make sure everything was ready on Monday morning.  I got the Kindergarten group.  On Monday we had 4 kiddos, 3 youth helpers and me.  Tuesday two girls did not show up again, but we got one new, and Wednesday everyone showed up for a total of 5.  Not too bad, overall there were probably between 40-50 Kindergarten-5th graders and about 25 youth and adult helpers.  Our theme was "JUMP putting faith in motion” following the life of Paul.  I was very impressed with my Ks, they all memorized the memory verse: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, set an example for the believers in what you say and how you live.” 1 Timothy 4:12.

Unfortunately on Wednesday we had to tear down in the rain.  We then had to rearrange how we packed the trailer, because we had a few more VBS carts than that would fit in the trailer, so we had put them on a flatbed trailer behind our pastors F150 (normally we had F350s take the normal 4 trailers we pack up every week).  So when it was raining only a few of the carts were able to be on the flatbed trailer that were waterproof.  So we had to put a few extra carts in the big trailers, so it made for some finagling and praying- lol.

On Tuesday me and Russell went golfing again on a course out in Hempstead.   The course was really nice with some water.  I liked it- it was cheap, so I’m sure we will be going back.  Unfortunately Russell didn’t get off work that early, and the course had a policy that you had to be in by 8, so we only got 15 holes in.

Yesterday, we had dinner with Amanda and Leslie (her sister who flew in for the weekend).  We went to OTB (of course) lol, and then afterwards we went to our house and played some wii.  It was fun to hang out with them.  Russell fell asleep on the couch (remember we had a busy weekend last weekend- so he has been a sleepy boy all week).  But they didn’t end up leaving until 12:45.  Lots of fun and laughing and dying on Super Mario Brothers.

Some good news!  My sister Leslie passed her nursing test so she is officially an BSN, RN !!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Father’s Day

My parents and Leslie and Jeremy came done last weekend for fathers day.  My parents had just spent the better part of the last two weeks on their Alaskan cruise.  So when they got back they called and asked if they could come visit- and of course I said yes!  Unfortunately, that very day I had sent out dad’s father’s day present in the mail.  Ugh could have saved a few bucks- the ONE time I was actually on top of it.  Oh well he still got it when they got back.

It has been awhile since everyone came down here.  Most of the time Jeremy has to work on Saturday nights so he doesn’t come.  But the whole crew came down late Friday night.  Saturday the boys went golfing and us girls did a little shopping.  We started out on a scrubs store for Leslie, and Google led us to someone’s house- lol, so we ended up going down in Spring Branch to find it.  But the place we ended up at had a lot of stuff, and she got everything she needed.  Then we went to the outlet mall.  Jeremy was going the long way to Austin (via Houston for the weekend) before middle school camp, so he brought his X box Kinect.  It basically takes video feed of you to make sure you are doing the game right.  He brought a dancing game.  It was a lot of fun/sweaty.

I love my family, and glad they got to come down.  Smile


It rained today.  A LOT!  I woke up around 7 am to thunder and rain (and Rusty going crazy) and it didn’t stop until about 1 pm. 

It hasn’t rained since May 19th.  The reason I remember is because it was the Thursday before finals week, and we had a lot of kids scheduled to come in for afterschool tutorials and they cancelled all afterschool activities because it was raining (I know very ridiculous).  But before that it hadn’t rained in probably two months.  And it hasn’t rained since then. 



It was a good, solid, steady rain.  Very much need rain!  Thank you God!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bad Luck

The past few weeks have been bad luck for the McCarthy’s regarding our vehicles.  Two Friday’s ago I got into a fender bender.  Well MY fender was slightly bent, his whole front of his car was slightly more smooshed.  I was pulling out onto a major road and did not see him at all and he ran into the back of me.  So yeah my fault- but still not fun.  Especially because he called the police (I mean really was that necessary?!?)  So then we just had to wait on the side of the road for the cop to come, write a report, gave us pieces of paper that had each others information on it, all of that could have been done without his help.  And in like 5 minutes instead of standing on the side of the road for almost an hour.  He also gave me a ticket- failure to yield right of way.  ugh- now I have to go to court in July and I’m sure go to defensive driving.


The damage to my car


The damage to his car- I guess there are some good things about having an SUV!

And then the next week we were out to eat with Cohlby and his new girlfriend.  When we parked- I commented on how big the parking space was (Russell’s doors are kind big and sometimes he has to let me out before he pulls into the space- but that was not the case, and there was plenty of room in this space).  However, apparently it wasn’t big enough because when we came back out we noticed that the drivers side door was gashed.  Needless to say Russell was not happy.


So hopefully that will be enough excitement for our cars for awhile.


Summer is going well, haven’t done too much, but starting next week that will change.  Next week is VBS, the week after is the AP institute, and then two weeks in Tennessee for Christy’s wedding.