Friday, July 30, 2004

going to the sand dunes

I guess we're going to go camping at the sand dunes this weekend. Here's a link to a website about it:
I keep forgetting that we're going camping this weekend because there always seems to be stuff going on. We're all really tired today. I hope that we get a good night's sleep tonight. Anyway, I'll hopefully get stuff written about the trip next week. I have a lot of work to get done here too before I leave. I can't believe I'll only be here another 3 weeks. Anyway, gotta go back to work. Hope you all are doing well.

Ivan a.k.a. "The Polar Bear"

So Ivan's leaving tomorrow morning.  Boo!  I guess I wanted to take this opportunity to write about him.  I want to write about each of the interns, and I will eventually get to everyone when I get the time.  Anyway, the first thing to say about Ivan is that he takes great pictures, actually great pictures are taken of him.  Here's Ivan and his cousin's bird.  Here's Ivan playing mini-golf.  Here's Ivan doing something (I don't know what he's doing).  There's also some normal pictures of Ivan.  Here's Ivan painting.  Another thing about Ivan is that he can survive sub-zero temperatures (okay, that's an exaggeration, but he likes to jump into really cold water).  Maybe it's because he's from Michigan, it's got to get pretty cold up there.  That's partly why we call him the polar bear, it's also because he works in "the cave" in the office.  He's the only one up in that corner.  He also just reminds us of a bear :).  It might be the being partly soft and sweet, and partly wild :).

Alrighty, so, Ivan lives on a farm (hog farm i think), and goes deer hunting in the forest in his backyard.  Every year they have a harvest party where 600 people go to his farm and party all night.  Some of the interns are trying to see if we can make it to his harvest party this year.  I really want to square dance!  He also goes to a Christian college where he gets a bible minor with his engineering major.  I'm so jealous.

Ivan's a really really awesome guy.  He's firm in his faith, and seems to have a really cool understanding of God.  I see so much of God in him.  One thing I have noticed is that he will always listen to what you're saying like it's important.  He doesn't think himself more important than anyone else, and it's noticeable in the way he lives his life.  He makes you feel special when you interact with him.  He's also really really funny.  He has great expressions and I wish I could have video-taped them.  Ivan, it's so cu-- . . . I mean you make me smile :).  He quotes Brian Regan at very appropriate times and loves to laugh.  When you first meet him, you get this impression that he's a really quiet, simple, shy guy, but when you get to know him, you find out that he has a pretty wild streak.  He's told us stories of things he's done that we could not believe.  Me and Jenni said that we would hate to be Ivan's mother because we'd be worrying all the time :).  It's funny, we were having a conversation about "Wild at Heart" and Ivan's the type of guy that I would expect to really relate with that book, growing up in the wild, but he didn't really like it.  He thought that God puts people in different places and there's nothing wrong with being nice, if that's who you are.  Ivan's also such a family man.  He's been staying with his aunt and uncle and cousins while he's been here in Colorado Springs and in the beginning of the summer, he'd always go home before 9 so that he could say goodnight to his cousins before they went to bed.  He spends as much time with them as he can.  We were lucky in the last couple weeks because they went on a vacation, so we got to spend more time with Ivan :).

I don't know what else to say . . . Ivan just makes you happy, just his being around makes you feel better.  I know that God will do amazing things through him.  We're gonna miss you Ivan.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Intern pictures

It is a tradition here each semester for Donna to take pictures of all the interns.  Yesterday was also intern picture day.  We decided it would be fun for all the girls to wear bright t-shirts and jeans while the guys wore dress shirts and ties.  This was awesome because I finally have pictures of all the interns.  It's kinda tough to take pictures with 9 people, but lots of fun.  Anyway, here are some pictures:

At my host family's backyard (not on intern picture day, but we're all there)
(Just to let you know: (from left) Ivan, me, Dave, Jenni, Will, Lisa, HoJun, Adam, Matthew) 
On the office stairs
Doing a Can-Can line
With the mountains in the background (it would be a good picture if there weren't a lamp coming out of Ivan's head)


fun times

Things have been so busy lately.  I keep feeling like one of these days I need to get some sleep.  Yesterday was open house for eMi, and a lot of people came.  It was really fun getting to meet and talk to people, but getting ready for it was pretty tiring and by the end of the night, everyone seemed really tired.  I struggled a lot with criticalness when we were preparing.  It seemed to me that everyone was either too uptight and stressed, or too easygoing that it was disrupting things getting done.  I tend to get stressed very easily when other people get stressed.  Praise God that He gives me everything I need to get through.  I am realizing more and more how incapable I am of anything good, and am constantly convicted of my pride and judgemental attitude.  God gave me really awesome interactions with people at the open house though and they were such a blessing. 

After the open house, we wanted to do something because Ivan's leaving this saturday.  He was supposed to decide what we were gonna do, but I think it was too much pressure for him.  We ended up going to the Broadmoor.  It's this 5-star hotel with a cool tavern that has live music.  It was beautiful!  The bathrooms had real towels, not disposable ones, and they reminded me of the Neiman Marcus bathrooms at Ala Moana (I'd walk in the store just to go to the bathroom).  The tavern was a great place too.  The band was amazing.  They played lots of popular songs and we danced and danced and danced (swing, waltz, polka, cha-cha).  It kind of reminded me of the MOB but with live music and set in a restaurant.  It was a lot of fun.  One of the band members came up to our table afterward and complimented us on our dancing :).  We got to walk around the hotel after we went to the tavern.  Man, it's such a pretty place.  It costs like $400 a night to stay there I hear.  We got home after 12.  I still had to do my reading for mentoring today.  I was really tired this morning but I'm feeling a lot better now. 

It's beautiful outside today and Adam got the Caedmon's Call "Chronicles" CD, which I'm listening to now.  It's such a great CD.  Listening to it is making me happy.  I'm sitting at my desk and dancing as I do my work on Autocad.  I want to buy it.  Maybe I will if it gets cheaper on 

Tonight we're supposed to go to the karaoke coffee shop (it's called Jimbo's Bikes and Coffee I think).  We were supposed to last week thursday too, but it seemed like we were too lazy and ended up hanging out at Ivan's uncle's house instead.  I think it will be a lot of fun.  All the things that we do tend to be a lot of fun :).  Praise God for this summer, and for the interns. 

We're all getting sad that Ivan's leaving.  Things won't be the same with him gone.  We said that we were gonna try not to talk about it until he actually goes, but it keeps coming up.  Ivan's a great guy.  We're gonna miss him a lot.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

sorry about the pictures

Okay, the pictures are now fixed, so if you want to see the pictures in the bootie! blog entry the links will probably work now.  I should probably post the pictures from the hike.  It was soooo beautiful (but also freezing).  The hike took us a total of 4 hours to do.  2.5 going up and 1.5 coming down.  The hike was also unlike any other I've ever done.  Usually I've hiked kinda in a bunch of trees, but up there, there was nothing.  I felt like I was in some epic movie like Lord of the Rings or something.  The top was great, although still freezing.  Someone had a thermometer and it was 30 degrees.  The wind was also blowing at about 40 mph, so yeah.  But 14,148 ft.  Woo hoo!  Okay, here are the pictures.  Don't have too much time to write again.  Oh, open house is today, so we're rushing around here to get ready for it.

lisa with the valley
us and the log (Ivan carried that log from the middle of the hike to the top of the mountain, he said it weighed about 30 pounds, I'm wondering why he didn't just carry me)
me taking a break
HoJun and Ivan taking a break
look at those mountains
us at the top
view from almost the top
Adam and HoJun at the top

It was sooooo gorgeous, and I was expecting that it would be harder, but I wasn't even sore after.  The breathing was really hard though.  The hike was steep and there is so much less oxygen at 14000 ft. than there is even here in Colorado Springs.  There were times where we had to stop literally every 10 steps to catch our breath.  I'm so glad I did it though, and it was an awesome weekend.  Awesome!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

birthday card from eboogerfac

I got a birthday card from Colie in the mail today.  My sister and I have a tradition of getting each other funny cards for birthdays and Christmas and filling them with text that mocks either each other or circumstances that we both have been in (mine are usually funnier).  The card I got today was pretty good though.  I don't quite appreciate all the jokes about being old, but the rap was a particularly good one.  She wrote me a rap!  Anyway, I just wanted to thank her for that.  She knows that she's my favorite, most beautiful sister.  Don't know when I'll get to see her next.  You better come down to visit during this semester, and bring the Darren's Dance Grooves!

Monday, July 26, 2004


So this last weekend the interns took a trip to the mountains.  On saturday we went rafting again because Will got us a great deal.  We don't have rafting pictures yet because no one wanted to bring their cameras and get them wet, except for Danna but it's not digital, so it will be a while till I get that picture.  It was the first picture that had all the interns in it.  It's so hard to get all 9 of us in the same place, except at work.  Hmm, we should take more pictures at work.  Anyway, when we went rafting, I saw people from Hawaii, not only from Hawaii, but from Pearl City.  That was soooooo weird.  They were in the rafts next to us, and while we were going down the river, this girl calls out "are you Michelle?".  I'm thinking, "what the heck?".  Turns out it was someone I hadn't seen in like 10 years, but she remembered me.  That was soooooo weird.  Anyway, so we rafted, and it was really fun, but we got pretty wet this time because we had a lot of water fights going down the river.  Dave and HoJun are such trouble makers.  Lisa says "It's true".

Then we all had lunch at Subway and then went shopping for camping food.  Then we headed to our camp site at Kite Lake.  Driving there, we could see the top of the mountain we would be climbing, Mt. Democrat.  Kite Lake was beautiful, and at about 12000 ft. elevation.  There were no trees at our campsite because it was above the treeline.  It was too high for trees to grow.  Right as we got to our campsite, it started snowing.  I started feeling miserable, I felt like I was just hit with all these negative thoughts and I wanted to cry.  I couldn't stop thinking that it would be freezing and I'd have to sleep on the hard ground and not get to shower.   Everyone else was so excited about being out there, and getting to camp.  I took some time and prayed.  That made me feel a lot better.  I went and washed my face in the lake and felt ready for anything :).  Ivan and Adam went fly fishing.  Everyone helped set up camp.  It was cool because our camp site was right next to the lake.  We forgot to buy water before we headed up there, so we filtered lake water to drink.  Lisa and I were the water-filterers.   Clouds came in (oh, and that's the outhouse by the way).  It was crazy that we were so high up that we were in the clouds.  Anyway, it was freezing.  Okay, now it's time to explain the title of the blog entry.  It all started when we were rafting because we got to rent booties to wear on our feet, and me and Lisa would joke about our bootie-tans.  Then as we were riding the bus back, we were joking about playing "big bootie".  Ivan had some experience with "big bootie", and Danna got all excited about it.  I guess from all that bootie talk, Jenni started singing "Shake your bootie", you know, the old one that goes "shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your bootie".  Okay, so it was freezing at the campsite and guess what our method of staying warm was . . . yup, you guessed it.  We even made a "shake your bootie" video,  but it didn't come out very well because it was dark by that time.  Dave didn't really get into the bootie-shaking although he had to have been really cold.  It has become our theme song I think.  Kinda weird, but lots of fun.  We had a remake of the "shake your bootie" video last night.  I wish I could attach videos.  We're pretty funny to watch.  Anyway, got side-tracked there. 

We cooked some "Damn good chili".  Hey, I'm just quoting the package.  It was pretty good.  I think it's also because we were camping.  Everything tastes better when you're camping.  We then tried to make smores, but we only had this old package of marshmallows which had turned into one giant marshmallow.  It was a little difficult to make smores out of it, but we had fun trying.  We kinda mooched off the fire that our neighbors made.  Ooh, I forgot, Ivan caught a fish and we cooked it.  It was the first trout I've ever tasted.  It was sooooooo good.  We decided to turn in pretty early because were gonna start hiking early the next morning.  We wanted to have a short worship time before we went to bed though, so we all piled into a tent and Ivan played a little backpacking guitar and we sang in the dark.  It was great.  Here is a picture of us in the tent about to worship.  When Adam took this picture, it was very dark and he couldn't see through the viewfinder, but he did a good job anyway.  Go Adam!

Then it was time to go to bed, so we all went to our tents.  The girls got all comfortable and were about to sleep when we heard someone yelling and splashing in the lake.  Ivan had jumped in the lake.  He is insane.  It was soooooooo cold.  He thought it would be a good time to go for a swim.  We've nicknamed him "the bear" or "the polar bear" and you can probably understand why.  Anyway, the night wasn't too restful for a lot of us.  It was cold and the tents got a little wet.  Even with the tons of extra sleeping bags we had, it was hard to keep warm.  When we woke up in the morning, everything was covered in frost.  I think this had to be the coldest place I've been in for the longest period of time.  Dave thinks it was under 20 degrees that morning.  Crazy.  We cooked some bacon, made some trail mix, pb and j sandwiches, and bagels and cream cheese to take with us, and we started off at about 6:30 for the top of the mountain.

To be continued . . .

Friday, July 23, 2004

honduras pictures

Alright, I know I forgot all about the Honduras pictures.  I don't think I can write that much about each of them because again, no time, but here are some cool pictures from Honduras:

the hills outside Tegucigalpa
Diesel exhaust that was constantly coming out of our van (the city reeked of diesel exhaust)
my broken nalgene bottle (Boo Adam!)
Valley of the Angels (it was really beautiful there)
street markets (look at those avocados)
more of the street market
me with a group of the students at the school for the deaf (they are so cool)
me with my pinata and birthday cake (that cake was amazing! and so was my team for getting it for me)

I have more, but my picture site won't let me post anymore pictures for today :-/.  Who knew posting pictures would be so difficult.  You'll just have to wait :).

the office

We are having an open house at the office next wednesday because eMi just moved here this last spring and they want people to come and see the new office.  Today everyone's working on housekeeping (painting, hanging flags, cleaning) to make it look a lot prettier than it does now.  I think this is a good opportunity to show some pictures of the office.  I realize now that I don't have very good pictures of the office, so you're just going to have to deal with that.  The office is really nice looking.  I was really surprised by that when I got here.  I have to say that it's the nicest office that I've ever worked in.  Here's a picture of the interns (except for Dave and Lisa because they weren't here yet) during our "boot camp".  We're standing on the second floor hallway.  I think the picture was taken from the landing on the stairway below.  The office has a glass ceiling (at least I think it's glass) so we can see the sky all the time.  It's kinda cool because my desk is in the open space under the ceiling and the sun shines on me.  It's not so great for being able to see my computer screen though.  Here's a not so great picture of the ceiling.  Right now they're putting these 3 ft. x 5 ft. flags up of all the countries eMi has been to so it will look very different when they're done with that.  Now are you ready to see my desk?  Here's me at my desk on a typical day of work ;).  Look how messy it is, reminds me of my desk at school: always covered in papers.  It's actually a lot more neat now.  This is Jenni at her desk.  She's a lot more neat than me :-/.  Anyway, those are all the pictures I have of the office for now.  Maybe I'll get more soon. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

busy, busy, busy

I still haven't gotten the pictures from mini-golf (ahem, Matthew) so I can't write about it yet :).  I guess I just wanted to write an update on what's going on this week for me because I just about finished my work on the retaining walls. 
It's funny cuz no one in the office really knew about mortar for the walls, and I remembered that my dad has made at least a few stone retaining walls, so I asked him if he knew the proportions of stuff to mix, and he said he does.  Yay for dads!  I've been looking that up for the last 3 days.
Anyway, we interns are keeping ourselves pretty busy.  It was funny because yesterday all the interns were so tired that we were catching ourselves falling asleep at work.  Maybe we should schedule in time for sleep.  Tonight we're going to the dollar theater to watch a movie for 50 cents.  It looks like we're going to see "The Day After Tomorrow".  I seem to be watching a lot of movies this summer.  I hope it's good.  Tomorrow is bowling and thursday we're going to a karaoke coffee shop :) after work.  We were going to go camping on friday and hike 4 14,000 ft. mountains on saturday, take a day off for rest, and go white-water rafting on monday, but it looks like the plans have changed.  Instead, we're going rafting on saturday, camp on saturday night, and hike the 14-ers on sunday.  Sounds exciting.  I hope I don't die.  Hmm, maybe it's not so smart to write that in here knowing that my mom reads my blog :).  Mom, I'll be fine, just pray for me.  Oh, that's another thing, my mom is coming out to visit me!!!  Jon's also going to come visit me about the same time.  I'm excited to see them again, and to let them see all the cool stuff that's going on over here.  My plans for leaving the Springs are still really up in the air.  There seem to be so many options, and I'm bad at making decisions, especially when there are so many options.  Well, we'll see I guess.  
I feel like there's so much stuff to write.  Jenni has taken a liking to the idea of taking pictures and putting them up on my blog, so she's been taking a lot of "blog pictures" detailing our daily lives.  Now, I just need the time to write about them.  Well, stay tuned I guess . . .

Monday, July 19, 2004

God sings to me :)

Yesterday I decided not to go to a church service and just spend some time in prayer.  It was a really good time with God.  I realize that I need to pray a lot more, and it felt really good to lift up all my friends to Him.  This summer, I feel like I have come to rely on God much more than before, and I feel like I can trust Him with everything in my life, but I haven't been feeling His presence in a very personal way.  I feel like He's making Himself known to me when I get little insights into things that I know I wouldn't get on my own, when I see how things have happened for a reason, and when I've felt peace when I shouldn't have been at peace, but no real emotional moments with Him.  I was remembering a time of solitude I spent at a conference at the beginning of the summer where God really spoke to me.  Then, I was just struck by His love for me, I felt like He just kept saying "I love you, Michelle, you're beautiful".  Words from great love songs came to me and I felt so good.  I wondered why this hasn't been the case since then.  Since last year, I've been realizing that God sometimes gives me songs and song lyrics that seem to fit situations.  There have been times of prayer where I've been listening to God to give me wisdom about praying for another person, and a song would come into my head.  I'd share that song, and it would be really applicable to what's going on for them.  I guess I hadn't ever really thought about it as God singing to me, but yesterday, I felt Him say that He is singing to me.  I love music, it always seems to hit me hard, and I often feel myself longing for someone to sing to me.  God does! :)
I also started taking spanish classes at the church yesterday.  I feel like I will someday go back to central america, and I just feel this pull on my heart to learn spanish, so I'm gonna try.

fun weekend

This weekend was really fun.  On friday night we did one of those murder mystery party games.  It was a little sketchy, strange love triangles, and people killing each other and stuff.  There were also WAY too many puns :).   We were supposed to go horseback riding on saturday morning but it's been storming a lot here so the people that were going to take us said it would be too dangerous to go.  The weather's been pretty crazy.  I've never seen lightning so clear before.  It's scary.
Anyway, since we all got up way too early we decided to go to breakfast instead.  So we went to IHOP.  It was really funny because they had this paradise special there, so it was decorated with all these "tropical" things.  They were teasing me about it because I'm from Hawaii, and we took a picture on "the beach".  Then we all split up.  The girls (all 3 of us) went back to our place and did the advanced Tae Bo video.  That was hilarious.  I think we're all still sore.  Sorry, no pictures of that :).
Then we decided to do a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, since it was on our list.  It was really intense.  There were 7 of us working on it and we got it done in a few hours.  Colie, I'm not a dork, you know that you want to work on a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle too but you don't have enough time for it because you're studying all the time :).  Here's a picture of the puzzle in progress.  This is us with the finished puzzle.  The picture was supposed to be a lot cooler, but the ceiling fan kept Jenni from being able to take the picture from the top.  I can't believe we did the puzzle so fast.  That is amazing.
Jon called me on saturday from the airport about to leave for India.  They are going to do some pretty crazy things.  For more information on their mission trip, go to Brooke's website at  He has links to a website from another person on his team too, so it's pretty informative.  Pray for them!  I'm really excited about what God's gonna do through them.

Okay, so after the puzzle thing, we decided to go to Cowboys, a country-western bar.   They have country line dancing there.  It was pretty interesting.  The dances were really hard and no one wanted to teach us, so it got a little frustrating.  I think we still had a good time though.  Had my fill of country music for the night.  I'm starting to listen to more country now thanks to Matthew.  Greg, you'd be proud of me.
Okay, the rest of the weekend will have to wait because I have to get to work.  Still got all of sunday to go :).

Friday, July 16, 2004


I decided to dedicate a post to my roommate Jenni.  She's cool.  She's from Illinois and she's half korean, half white.  She likes to laugh with me.  This is a picture of me and Jenni in her Camaro.  She hates her Camaro and wants to get rid of it :).  She decided that it was a stupid car to buy but didn't realize that when she was 16.  Here is a picture of Adam, me, and Jenni in her Camaro.  I moved to the backseat when Adam got in.  Keep in mind that Jenni is driving as this picture is being taken.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

random stuff

Now I know the problem with having a blog.  There's so much stuff to write about what I've been thinking about and I don't know what to write.  Also, I'm at work so I shouldn't spend too much time writing in this.  This morning during devotions, our team shared about our trip to Honduras.  Last night I was talking to one of the other interns and also reflected a bunch on the trip and all the stuff that God did while I was there, and was able to gain more insight into it.  It was awesome to get to share that this morning.  God's really good. 
Also last night I got to baby-sit.  One of the staff at eMi had a young marrieds small group meeting, and they needed people to watch their kids while they met.  Me and another intern, Matthew, went.  There were 6 kids, ranging from age 1 to 3.  It was pretty tough.  It's amazing how much energy kids can have and how quirky they are.  I enjoyed it, but was pretty wiped out after.  It was funny cuz I let some of the kids play with my cell phone and forgot about keyguard.  They called Joshdan :).  Sorry about that Josh. 
Went to the soup kitchen to volunteer again today.  After going every week since I've been here, I still don't know what to think about it.  I love interacting with the people there, but it always seems like the majority of the people there don't need to be coming to a soup kitchen to eat.  I wonder when I think of the people that are actually starving.  My roommate saw a baby die of starvation right in front of her while she was on her project trip in Mozambique.  I can't even imagine. 

i can't seem to post pictures here

So I'm disappointed in this blog already. I can't figure out how to post pictures, so I might put them up on yahoo. I'll let you know when I get that done.

Anyway, while I'm here, I might as well say some stuff. Last night the interns got together and watched "The Medallion". I have to say that was one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It's right up there with "Master and Commander" :). One thing was interesting about it though. The main couple in the movie was Jackie Chan and Claire Forlani. As Jon would point out, multi-ethnic couples usually don't go that way, so it's kinda cool to see it in a movie.

Work is going okay. I'm doing some structural analysis for the project trip that Rose went on in India. I find it really cool that we're working on the same project :). This next part is kinda for the engineers. Everyone can read it, but I'm not sure you'll find it interesting at all. The whole building that I'm analyzing is made up of concrete frames, and the analysis is a pain in the butt. It's been taking me 4 days to figure out the loading, and the finite element software that eMi has also makes things a little difficult. It's probably good practice though. I'm learning a lot about the code, and any practice with different kinds of finite element software is good by me.

My cousin Jean in California told me to send her my resume because she has some engineer friends who could probably find me a job. I'm pretty excited about starting to work. I know that the work probably won't be as rewarding, but the idea of looking for a job and getting a car and other stuff like that seems exciting to me. Maybe that will change in a couple months :).

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

first blog ever (for me that is)

this is weird. i never thought i'd have an online blog, but i wanted somewhere to post pictures from the internship this summer, so Lisa, another intern told me to try this because it's free and easy :). anyway, seems like the title of the blog is perfect for me, so i like it already. i don't know how much i'm going to post here, but we'll see.