Monday, March 31, 2008

Sybella's Mornings

Here are some quick shots of Sybella from this past week.
Many times before we even get out of our PJs, we have new "adventures;"
we explore or try something new. These adventures were created by the boys. They shared a powdered donut with Sybella and then another morning, Connor let Sybella borrow his shoes.






















These are definately cute pictures but the fun couldn't be had without trying something new. The moral: Try Something New Today - Usually the fun that results will far outweigh the courage it takes.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today was Sharon's Birthday and while it is nice to give gifts, I wanted to add something a little different to the occasion by adding a special message on our Blog for Sharon...

video

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHARON!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Bunny



We had the opportunity on Saturday to see the Easter Bunny at our favorite toy store, Tree Top Kids. Sybella had no idea what we were talking about and once she discovered what the Easter Bunny was, she was not exactly enamored! Nervous or apprehensive is much more like it; of course, she's not interested in most new people, so a pretend 5-foot bunny probably never had a chance. :-)
The boys on the other hand were enthusiastic about seeing the Easter Bunny-- they were humoring us, but more than that, I think it's because they were quite certain that they could use their brilliant skills of persuasion to acquire a new item while at the store. They were wrong.
But all in all, we had fun and the kids love the store.





Monday, March 24, 2008

No White House Egg Roll for Us!

Despite arriving in D.C. at 4:30am and waiting in line, the girls and I were unable to secure tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll. It was certainly disappointing since there were rumored to be 18,000 tickets but, we certainly had fun making the attempt! Maybe next year...
From Left to Right: Shauna, Sharon, Jessica, and Vanja

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The 3 D's for 2 C's

The 3 D's:
Direction, Delayed Gratification, and Dirt bikes

The 2 C's:
Colin & Connor

Some time ago we were walking through Toys-R-Us and saw these motorbikes. Of course the boys immediately wanted one. While I thought it would be cool to buy them one, Sharon had an idea and we agreed this would be a great opportunity to teach some key life lessons. We made a deal with the boys we would match them dollar for dollar if they would save there money and practice delayed gratification.

Direction - We set a goal with them and helped them establish a plan to accomplish that goal.

Delayed Gratification - We gave them their allowance that they earned based on a weekly plan to participate in work that needed done around the house. So in October of last year we started this journey and now 6 months later they have achieved their goal...a Dirt Bike!

At the end of the week they had to tithe 10%, 20% to savings, and then determine what they would do with the remaining 70%. That's right, we did not make them save it and when we went to a coffee shop and they wanted a hot chocolate...guess who paid? Yes, we made them buy their own hot chocolate. We went to the movies and guess who bought the candy and soda? Yep...they did. It is amazing to watch them prioritize and what they decide to spend money on.

Cruel? Unusual? Maybe...

Effective? Definitely!

The 3rd D - DIRT BIKE...check it out!

video

Friday, March 21, 2008

Family Night

Tuesday night we took the boys and headed over to RFK Stadium to watch DC United play Jamaica's Harbour View in the CONCACAF Quarterfinals. We rode the metro from Vienna to the other side of DC and walked to the stadium. Being spring break we had no worries about getting home late. The boys got to hang out with "Sammy the Eagle"...United's mascot. We had great seats in the 'rowdy' section of the stadium. We actually sat just to the right of the group that was throwing confetti, splashing liquids, and beating the drums.

The boys are embracing the great American past time of heading to the local stadium and cheering on your favorite sports team. We left Sybella at home with Granda while we headed out into the cold weather. We decided to get stadium food...OUCH! Forgot how expensive that stuff is. Anyways, it was a fun game and the home team won.

After a 1-1 draw with D.C. United at the Harbour View Mini-Stadium, many were expecting Harbour View to lose the return-leg CONCACAF Champions Cup game in Washington on Tuesday night.

However, a 5-0 thrashing was more than many, yours truly included, bargained for. Tons of scoring, lots of yelling, what a wonderful atmosphere.

At no point did I envision D.C. United, a United States Major League Soccer kingpin, as a team that was five goals better than any of the top Jamaican sides.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Napping


I am the first to admit that since I entered the work force a while ago that there have been occasions where after lunch I was dragging and wanted to take a nap. Today around 11am I was walking by an office and the guy was face planted on his desk! The door was wide open and he wasn't hiding his sleep issue from anyone. This is not his picture...I did not have a camera with me and secondly I would not post his face on the internet and create a difficult situation for the guy.

It's been another busy day and I am getting ready to leave the office and head off to one more meeting before driving home. Napping is great (on the weekends) as a matter of fact I love to nap! But, I have this fundamental problem with napping on the job. Just struck me a funny and kind of crazy so I thought I would post something on the blog.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Andrew's Baptism


When your family is spread far and wide, you don't often get to have family together to share special moments of tradition. However, this past weekend, we had the chance to celebrate my nephew's baptism. My brother Joel and his wife Stephanie lived in the DC area for four years prior to moving to Dallas for seminary. So, while they were in town over the last week, they had their son, Andrew, baptized at their home church, McLean Presbyterian. We were fortunate not only to spend time visiting with them but also to celebrate with them. The kids (cousins: Colin, Connor, Hannah, Sybella, & Andrew) really enjoyed seeing each other. Who knows, one day, maybe we will all live in Virginia! :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tag-Along


By: Sharon

Saturday morning, David was going to get a haircut. Since we had family pictures on Sunday, I asked him to take the boys so that they could get haircuts too. Then, since I was getting ready for a baby shower that I was hosting Saturday afternoon, it was decided that Sybella would go with the boys to tag-along.
....Apparently, the "tag-along" part was not UNDERSTOOD.

Stop laughing!

So as you've guessed, Dad decided that Sybella needed to get a haircut too. Of course she should also look her best for family pictures! Sybella had her bangs trimmed and had the back "cleaned- up" according to dad (cleaned-up is apparently synonymous with cut-shorter).

I must admit that the cut is cute and Dad was right, she needed it. That being said, it's a little weird to have dad in charge of things like Sybella's first haircut. I have always done those things. But, even as it feels weird, Dad did a good job, which is no surprise for me. Also, Ladies, aren't we always the ones wishing that our husbands could: help out, pick up the slack, give us a short break, or take on a family job without us planning it from start to finish?? I must brag on David to say that as much as possible he does those things and does them well, even a little girl's first haircut!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Where did it go?


Where did the 11th week of 2008 go?


I just looked up at 1:40pm and realized I am just coming up for air. I didn't even stop for lunch today which is why I am stopping in the work day to blog...I NEEDED A BREAK. I think one of the most effective ways to be more productive is to PAUSE. It use to freak me out and I wanted to go, go, go...but all that did was lead to burn out, frustration, and often times strained relationships at home and work.

I am blown away at ALL of the areas God is challenging me to grown in (work, vision, faith, family, mission, finances, mentorship, relationship...just to name a few). I feel really good about the 'margins' I have and my choices of when to pause...even with the overwhelming stress I feel day to day in the market place. I firmly believe that my ability to close my eyes at night and know that I AM RIGHT WHERE GOD wants me is because:

1. Of a choice to rest - The single biggest one is my recent choice to really place emphasis on 'remembering the Sabbath' and having that day of rest (this one guidepost is a critical element to maintaining my margins)

2. An amazing women in my life (Sharon) who encourages me and loves me despite my bone-headed decisions sometimes

3. A mentor who is reminds me of what I am called to and keeps me grounded

4. Some amazing friends and leaders at NCC who I don't think realize how big a part they are playing in God's vision for the Simon's...

Just some quick FRIDAY REFLECTIONS!

~ David

Monday, March 10, 2008

1st Communion

This weekend was the boys 1st communion. We decided to go into the District Saturday night and hang out at Ebenezers. Besides being the largest coffee shop in DC it is also home to National Community Church (NCC). We got to know NCC and the senior Pastor Mark Batterson over 2 years ago via the web and podcasts. So when we decided to move from Seattle to DC, it was a natural fit to plug into a church that meets in a coffee house.

Anyways, back to the real story...it was not planned but NCC decided to have communion and the timing was right. So I stood next to the boys and explained to them what communion was and why we do it. Really cool experience. I love technology and being able to capture the moment. ~David

Competition

Not that Sharon and I are competitive at all but I feel like a total slacker...I have not been posting much the last week due to a really hectic schedule but I am making the commitment to get back up on the blog bandwagon and let you know what has been going on. Kudos to Sharon for being a blogging machine. Of course my competitive nature won't let me sit by idle and let Sharon do all the blogging.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

~David

Weekend Visitor













By: Sharon

What a treat! We had a great friend in town for the weekend. Nicole started babysitting our kids many years ago in Washington State and she has been a beloved friend every since. Now that we are in DC and she lives in Eastern Ohio, she is close enough that she was able to come down for a weekend visit. The kids loved having "Miss Micole" around. That's what Connor called her as a small boy- he couldn't say Nicole. Now, of course, Miss Nicole is her name. Looking forward to doing it again!









Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sights in D.C.


By: Sharon
Well, even with the rain on Saturday, we were able to spend some time in the Nation's Capital this weekend. I can never tire of seeing the sites, admiring the architecture, and reflecting on history. Enjoy some moments with these pictures--






Thursday, March 6, 2008

Laundry Day


By: Sharon

I was trying to explain to the boys more about laundry; I wanted to begin to help them understand that even though I wash and dry and they put it away, that some day, they would begin to wash and dry. SO, yesterday we went over a lesson on 1. turning clothes right-side-out and
2. how to sort.
The results were MIXED. LOL.


(the picture is blurry but it was all I could get --too much laughing)

Piano Prodigy?




By: Sharon



15 months old and genius already--What a beautiful moment! Sybella and Dad “playing” the piano, she loves it. Maybe with a little a focus and a lot of fun, she will still be able to play the piano when she is an adult (unlike mom, who had 3 years of lessons). Any suggestions Jenni or Angela?






Monday, March 3, 2008

Dr. Suess' Birthday


By: Sharon


This morning, Connor's class celebrated Dr. Suess' Birthday with some reading and a Green Eggs and Ham breakfast.






















Blue & Gold Banquet

By: Sharon


Well, This was our FIRST Blue & Gold Banquet. For those who don't know, this is the annual awards banquet in Cub Scouts. The banquet was held on Feb 21, 2008 at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (a beautiful and spacious facility). The food was catered and delicious. Following dinner, each of the dens (year groups) presented the boys' achievement badges and beltloops. Each den then did a skit for the parents. Both the Tigers (Connor's Den) and the Webelos (Colin's Den) did baseball skits that were quite entertaining.
Our boys were so excited and proud of their accomplishments. They each received MANY badges/beltloops--enough so that David and I had the opportunity to teach about humility and being gracious in our victories! :)

Colin's Awards- The Webelos badge, Aquanaut, Athlete, Family Member, Handyman, and Readyman badges, also he earned beltloops for: Art, Astronomy, Bicycling, Citizenship, Communicating, Ice Skating, Math, Music, and Flag Football.

Connor's Awards- 3 Tiger Tracks, The Tiger Badge, and Beltloops for: Bicycling, Citizenship, Ice Skating, Math, & Flag Football.
Congratulations Boys!!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Back from Seattle

Got in around 10pm last night from my week back in Seattle. Had a number of very productive meetings and had the opportunity to have dinner with several friends. Great to see everyone and to sneak in a game of soccer on Tuesday night! The hamstring still isn't fully recovered but it was good to get out and run around the field with all my co-workers from ATS. ~ David