Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hard Times

No we aren't having 'hard times' at the Simon's...just eating there:

I went to the Hard Times Cafe for a lunch meeting with a friend. This place has awesome chilli and is one of the top 3 places to hang out in Alexandria, VA. It is one of my favorite meeting places (of course any meeting of food is a favorite place fore me). It really hit the spot with the wind blowing and making it a little colder than usual. Over lunch we talked about a number of things to include FOCUS.

Looking back on many personal adventures as well as the business ventures of friends around me, we talked about how your focus determines your direction and ultimately your destiny. Whether you are an owner, employee, or leader, it is critical to remind yourself of why you are doing what your doing. I watch way too many people here in DC thinking about being at home while they are at work and thinking about work while they are at home. And then they wonder why they are not achieving the success that others around them are having. Their focus is off.

Here's a hint...don't take the laptop home one night and turn off the blackberry and see what happens around the house. I am just as guilty as the next guy but sometimes that stuff has to be put aside and the focus needs to be on family. Now I would comment on the opposite of this but far more people struggle to make home and family the priority than the other way around.

The other thing I will mention is that my life goals and dreams are written down and saved on my desktop so that I can look at them daily. I don't dwell on them or stare at them for minutes on end but glancing at them keeps me in focus as to why I am doing what I am doing.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Yep that's ouch is more of tear than pull. After several sleepless nights and difficulty walking, I broke down and did the unthinkable. I WENT TO THE DR!

He tells me I hyperextended the quadracep and tore the ligaments. Looks like 2 to 3 weeks of R.I.C.E
R = Rest
I = Ice
C = Compression
E = Elevation

I guess I'm not as young as I think I am :-)


Friday, January 25, 2008


What fun! Start to finish the boys and I had a blast. My approach is that they are the cub scout and this is their project. So I made them read the instructions, pick a design, trace it out on the wood, cut, sand, and paint! That's right, we spent a lot of time together working side-by-side but I am giving them all the credit. Grandpa came by and help with the paint; it was a family bonding experience. Uncle Phillip (my brother) showed up at the races to cheer them on. It is great to have family who can be close by to encourage and cheer them on.

Now race night was interesting. I did not realize how serious this stuff is. There were mom's cheering, dad's working on cars, and all out chaos with that many children in one place. It was NASCAR meets CHUCK-E-CHEESE. There was a professional track with a laser light counter to clock times. I have to admit that when the 1st heat raced down the track and one car did not finished I prayed, "Dear God, just let the boys cars cross the finish line." Is that wrong? I knew how hard they both worked and I would have felt terrible if their cars did not finish the race. They both did great and almost trophied (both missed 3rd by milli-seconds). I WAS SO PROUD OF THEM! This was not Dad's project & car that they raced, this was their project that they built and raced.

The boys finished the race...

How many times do people start things and not finish the race?

Lesson 1:
Hebrews 12 - talks about running the race set before us. Now I know we are talking about pinewood derby but I believe that kids learn the lessons early in life and carry them through to adulthood. We all have a race to you know what your race is? How well are you running?

Lesson 2:

1 Corinthians 9:24 - Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. I guess I have to remind myself of this because during the project the boys put the tools down, stopped sanding, and I let them go play while I worked on the cars (not a lot) but...the point is I want the boys to run in such a way as to win. I have seen so many people go to work, take on a project, or go through life never giving it their all. No wonder people are unhappy with their jobs, if you are not running to win then all that can be expected is mediocrity.

So I ask...Are you running to win?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Father to Daughter

Awesome book by Harry Harrison, Jr.

Sharon picked this one up for me. I got some cool ideas for raising Sybella. When I read "Wild at Heart", I gained new insight as to why my boys act the way they do and what drives boys as they become men. Father to Daughter, is full of cute one liners, great ideas, and tips on dealing with that special little girl in your life.

One of my favorite words of wisdom is, "When you tell a boy not to stick something in an electrical socket, he will either stomp off or do it any ways. Girls will cry!" I have already seen this one. One of the ideas I walk away with is to buy her a nice necklace and then by charms for different events as she grows-up.

Again, well written book helping remind men in America that we need to be the example of how men should treat women and that lesson starts with treating are little girl right.


This morning before I drove off for work Sharon asked me if I would carry a few boxes downstairs. Little did I know what awaited me...I took the stairs a little to fast and found myself sliding down to the bottom with my left leg extended and my right leg bent backward. Yes that's right... SNAP, CRACKLE, POP! I tore my 'quad'. Not walking very good and the kids are not authorized to sit on my lap as the result is me screaming in pain. I was hoping for a cool sports story to go with this bad of an injury but no such luck. ~David

Sunday, January 20, 2008

St. Louis

I am heading to St. Louis February 22-24 to meet with leading authors Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady at the Team Leadership Development Convention. I have known these men for over 5 years and they are incredible leaders who wrote a best seller "Launching the Leadership Revolution". Orrin is a great visionary and Chris is a catalyst for change. If you are looking for professional development, a fresh perspective, or a leadership development system...this is a great place to be.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I am back home after a 6 day (8 flight) trip. WOW! While in the air I saw, the highest peak in the US and the depths of the Grand Canyon! I love travel and seeing our country. Very glad to be home. ~David

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I looked up the synonyms for patience today: endurance, staying power, persistence, fortitude, and lack of complaint. I flew into Seattle on Sunday and went to our home to see how things are going. Yes, that’s right; we still have not sold our home in Puyallup, WA. One of the things I have learned is not to complain or ask the question ‘why me’.

Clearly God is helping provide the opportunity to have patience and trust in him. Every time I want to complain about the house not selling, I have to ask myself two questions:

1. Am I being patient? One who lacks complaints.
2. How do I choose to respond/react to this situation?

M2C (my two cents)…I think these same two questions can be asked by all of us in any challenge we face.



After refereeing at the highest levels of soccer (MLS) it is quite humbling to go play indoor soccer last night. I joined my friends from ATS to play with the "Burn'o'nators" ... which describes exactly how my legs felt! They were buring baby!

It was a blast playing with all the guys from ATS at the Olympic indoor sports arena in Bremerton. The team had thier first 'non-loss' of the season. AKA...we tied. Win or lose it was loads of fun and a great workout.

Playing sports is so great because it draws out the competitive nature, gets the blood flowing, changes my focus from work, and teaches us all that life isn't always fair (you know the comment, "that's a foul ref!"). Yes I did say it once.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Travel on Alaska Airlines

I have not been on a plane since OCTOBER 19th! For those of you that know me, this is major and worth blogging about. For someone who is familiar with traveling 2 to 3 times a month, this was a major accomplishment. I have a couple of 'quirks' when I travel...
1. I have to touch the outside of the plane as I am stepping onto it
2. I have to have a book to read (this time I have 3 with me)
3. I hate sitting in the aisle and having someone get up every 10 minutes

Any of you have quirks to traveling?

I am sitting in LA today - Sunny and 72

I am traveling on Alaska Airlines and have forgotten why I love this airlines so much. Great customer service, comfortable airport clubs, and just a genuine touch of class. The customer service is the best in the industry! Having spent the last 10+ years in Seattle, we have gotten to fly them a lot. Now that I am in DC it is only when I am making the trek back west that I get to enjoy.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hawaii or Bust!

Hey...if you can't head to Hawaii during the winter than here is the next best thing! The HAWAIIAN DANCE at Cunningham Park Elementary. Yes that's Connor and I doin' the Chicken Dance. Hope everyone is having fun. It is great to see a community that all comes together to have fun, relax, and step away from the 'DC business'.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Christmas Pictures

By: Sharon
I just realized that we never put Christmas pictures on the blog. So, here are a couple of shots.

Monday, January 7, 2008

50 in 52

By: Sharon
50 in 52? What is that? Let me tell you.

I have loved reading as long as I can remember. A friend suggested Shelfari to me a couple of months ago; It's a site on which you record the books you've read or are reading. You can rate books, join book groups, write reviews of books, and share opinions or notes with your friends. I think it's a great idea and I have found that it has a particular relevence in my life recently---back to the 50 in 52; I have embarked on a journey...I will read 50 books in 52 weeks!

The goal of this endeavor is to read a mix of fiction, spiritual, financial, parenting, marriage, business, and personal growth books. I would like to focus my reading on stretching the capacity of my mind. I feel like I have been a bit on the stagnant side in 2007. Personal growth (stretching myself mentally) will be a high priority during this adventure and yet I don't want it to be ALL work. I would like to continue to enjoy reading :D So, I WILL allow myself to read books that I like, just for fun. (I will try not to reread any books that I have already read.) I will be using Shelfari to get suggestions and post my reading. I started this journey on Dec 10, 2007 and will continue until Dec 14, 2008. Go to shelfari to see the books I love and see if we have any in common. Then suggest a book so I can keep on reading.
I will post updates to my reading status here on the blog as I hit goals or challenges.
My first goal was to finish 4 books by January 6th. I finished 5! So, I am on my way to the second marker: to have finished 10 total books by February 20th. I'll let you know!
If you want to check out my bookshelf go to

Friday, January 4, 2008

Household Rivalry

By: Sharon

My goodness, it is amazing as the kids get older how there is no longer 1 opinion or 2 opinions (Mom & Dad's) in a house; everyone has an opinion! In a recent conversation with Colin, I reminded him that the Redskins would be playing the Seahawks in the first round of the NFL playoffs this Sat @ 4:30pm. He casually asked who I would be cheering for. I told him that I would be cheering for the Redskins. He said, "Woo-hoo. This will be good because I am cheering for the Seahawks." I must admit I was a bit surprised. Normally when the family watches a game, the kids ask who's side we're on so they know who to cheer for; but not this time, Colin was quick to add that it was obvious that he would root for the Seahawks because Seattle is his "Hometown!" It made me stop, think, and smile. My son is getting bigger and has a mind of his own with opinions that he will share more and more in the future. Seattle is the only place he has known (until September) in his life. And, I was in fact cheering for the Redskins not only because we live in VA now but also because I grew up in this area and the Redskins were my team.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

So what are you looking forward to in 2008?

I'm a movie buff so here are movies in 2008 I am looking forward to:

Comedy/Slap Stick Humor- "Semi-Pro" - Will Ferrell puts Flint, MI on the map by taking the semi-pro basketball team (The Tropics) to the NBA.

Comedy/Classic - "Get Smart" - What can I say...I loved the classic tv show and the 'cone of silence'...can I get one of those for my boys?

Drama/History - "Lincoln" - Spielberg may release in 2008 (might slide to 2009) A movie about the United States 16th President Abraham Lincoln and leading the country through Civil War

Action - "Bond 22" - that's wife calls him a hunk, 'Daniel Craig' returns in his 2nd Bond film as 007

Kids/Family - "Horton Hears Who" - I can't resist a good Dr. Seuss classic and this one appears to be much better and family friendly in comparison to the disaster of 'Cat in the Hat'.

Action/Family - "Narnia" - If you have not read the books with your kids you are missing out. We make the boys sit down with us and read the book before they can go see the movie. C.S. Lewis is a brilliant author. This movie will be Lord of the Rings meets Spider Man with all the color, anamation, and underlying moral themes, DON'T miss this second story 'Prince Caspian' in the 7 book series...Chronicles of Narnia.

What are movies in 2007 that you LOVED and WHY???