Monday, April 28, 2008

Going to Church Camp

Colin will be going to a week-long church camp for the first time this year! He has been to several different 2-day get-a-aways but he has never gone for a whole week.
The camp that he is going to is Camp Sandy Cove in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
It is a spectacular opportunity for the pre-teens and youth of NCC. Part of the journey of going to camp is FUNDRAISING. For any of you who haven't sent kids to summer camp, it can be fairly pricey. So, the NCC Leadership (Nina- You Rock!) and parents have wisely decided to include the kids in fundraising, both so that they can feel greater participation in this awesome week of fun , and also to allow for as many kids as possible to attend without any financial restraints.

Last night at the 4th annual NCC Variety Show (it wuz dope by the way), the kids had a bake sale/concession stand. The kids worked through the whole show and did a great job promoting their items, totaling prices, handling the money, and having some fun. They truly did their fair share of the work and took pride in participating. Many of their siblings (like Connor) and even kids who's schedules won't allow them to attend camp helped out and supported the fundraising efforts. It was absolutely spectacular to see the looks on their faces when people told them, "Keep the Change!" Their gratitude matched the Radical Hospitality of their benefactors (and their bakers).
Quite a bit of money was raised to be split amongst the NCC kids attending camp BUT the Fundraising Journey is not over. There will be a yard sale, a car wash, and Colin will be glad to mow yards---so if you have any chores that a 10-year is qualified for, let us know!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


On Saturday afternoon, Connor's team won their soccer game. Connor scored his FIRST goal this season. It was an awesome shot that was just ahead of the defender and hit the back of the net despite the other team's best efforts-Great Job Connor!!

Here is a picture of the "kick-off" right after Connor's goal-

Note Connor's confident stance. The celebrating had just ceased. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Meeting Mrs. Laura Bush

How Exciting.....Tonight, we had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Laura Bush! The First Lady? Yes!!!!! That's right, she was conducting a book signing at the Books-a-Million in McLean, VA. She has just finished a new children's book (released on 4-22-08) that she co-wrote with her daughter Jenna. The book is called Read All About It! It is the story of a boy named Tyrone who loves school, everything about school that is, except reading, until now....

So, the book is awesome BUT meeting the First Lady was not too shabby either. She is beautiful, gracious, and her heart shines bright. I was so pleased to both meet her and have the children and my mom meet the most famous librarian around. :)

For those who are curious, there are no pictures of the First Lady signing our books because just as when we met President Carter, the Secret Service does not allow photo taking "up close" (40 feet or so). And since Shauna and I braved the challenge, having sat out on Monday morning at 6am to get tickets (see pictures below), we were at the front of the line tonight--much closer than 40 feet!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What time is it?

Tuesday morning I roll out of bed around 4am and finish packing...really I was just double checking everything before I jumped on the plane. It is now a day and half later but my clock says its Thursday!

Wait a wait a day...that's right, I have crossed the IDL (International Date Line) and my body is all out of whack. It is 6pm at home and I just finished my morning workout (yes Sharon I decided to go workout :-) Actually, studies show the best way to avoid jet lag is by working out. I also find that a glass of wine or two helps.

So I awoke this morning and here is the view from my hotel window at the Hilton Millennium in Seoul, South Korea. I know...way too nice...I assure you I am working long days and trying to get everything done in short order so that I can get back home. Seoul isn't as much fun when you can't bring your family.

I am off to work and several meetings. Just wanted to stop and say hello to everyone from Korea. By the way, it was a 5-hour flight from DC to California and then 13 hours from Cali on to Korea. Did you know you can read an entire book watch 2 movies, eat dinner, and read another book when you are trapped in a confined space with no email or phone for an entire day?


Monday, April 21, 2008

Climbing Trees

More Birthday fun:

These pictures were too good to pass up, so I had to add them to David's recent post; Colin and his friend Sean decided to use a new strategy to wage their 'Army Battle' against friends, Matt and Nick. They decided to climb one of the trees in our yard and create a vantage point for surprising the "enemy." (If Sean's parents are reading this, I hope you let him climb trees....I promise, everything else at the party was Low-Risk!)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Right of passage

I figured since Colin turned 10, he should join the great American past time...


Apple Pie...nadda

LAWN MOWING! You guessed it.

That's right, with age comes experience, life lessons, and responsibility. So on his 10th Birthday we started the morning out at the soccer game and then ran home to learn how to cut the grass! As is the case for all of us at that young and naive age; he thought this was the greatest day of his life and how cool was he to be able to mow the lawn.

I caught several activities on camera and so as to not flood the blog, I have posted them on our 'flickr' account:

Colin's Birthday

Soccer Activities

As always, I am embracing the social networks and technology like

Have a great week.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Ladies Shopping Trip

Today, we took a trip out to the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets. Sybella and her friend Kylee got their first lessons about an all day shopping trip with their moms. Content included: planning a meeting time, packing snacks to help the day run smooth, wearing comfortable shoes, organizing shopping for maximum use of time, finding a bargain, and HAVING FUN! The girls were quite successful in their first All-Day Shopping Trip. There were no meltdowns and both girls even managed to take a 1-hour stroller nap. They were angels! Here is a picture of the girls with all their treasures...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Nana

Happy Birthday Nana!


Colin, Connor and Sybella

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


On Sunday night, Colin's team won their soccer game 5-3. Our very own Colin scored his team's 5th goal which also happened to be Colin's first goal this season. Great Job Colin!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sybella's 'Baby'

Over the last few weeks, Sybella has had increasing interest in caring for her baby doll. In fact, we even attempted to help her give her baby a name this past week. After many suggestions, she settled on "Baby." However, this weekend she took caring for baby to a new level. Sybella started the new practice of taking her Baby Doll to bed with her. It is rather cute if I do say so myself-- Sybella and her baby say "night, night" and drift off in to dreamland.

Sweet Dreams Sybella and Baby!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lollipop Friends

Friendship is an amazing gift. I am so glad that Sybella is developing her first friendship at such a young age. Kylee is about 3 months older than Sybella and is such a sweet girl! They love spending time together every week, whether it's for Bible Study, Mom's Group/Play Group, Nursery at Church, shopping with their moms, or Friday Outings. It's fun to watch them discovering life's tresures. Yesterday, at a birthday party, they discovered the joy of sharing lollipops. I suspect Willy Wonka would be proud.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mudslides! not the alcoholic kind - and not the natural disaster kind either. I am talking about one of my children and where the playground 'slide' and 'mud' met my daughter.

Now Colin and Sybella were having fun and the sun was shining but it was only a matter of a few minutes before that when the rain came pouring down. As they prepared to launch themselves down the slide, everyone was laughing and having fun.

Colin was being a big brother and having a blast. Round and round they went swirling to the bottom of the slide. As they got to the bottom, Colin hopped off and left his sister sitting on the end of the slide. The next thing I knew...slip...slide...MUD SLIDE...

OOPS! Now here is the interesting thing, she got up, smiled, and went on playing. THAT'S MY GIRL!

Each of us jumps into life experiences, choices at work, relationships. On the surface things often times start out great and are a lot of fun. There are even times when we are fortunate enough to form friendships from theses experiences or have a mentor come along side us. At some point (sometimes unexpectedly) we find ourselves in a place where we didn't expect to be and face down in the mud. It is not always fun and you can sometimes get really dirty. The question do you handle the situation?

Sybella got up and laughed, some people roll over and cry, others get angry, and yet other people panic. There is a Proverb (15:18) that says, a hot-temper stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. I also believe that patience lends clarity to difficult situations.

SO...when you find yourself in a muddy situation, just remember this smiling 16 month old full of joy while covered in mud and say to yourself...MUDSLIDE!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cherry Blossoms

Today Sybella and I went on an outing into DC to see the Cherry Blossoms. The Cherry Blossoms in DC were a gift from Japan in 1912 symbolizing friendship. What better way to see the beautiful trees and their pink flowers than with friends!
We met our friends Shauna and Kylee downtown to walk around in the glorious weather. We visited the Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, the Tidal Basin, the Cherry Blossoms, and the Tulip Garden. There was even a band playing during our picnic lunch. It was a wonderful day. It is so neat to see Sybella and Kylee growing up together and developing their friendship.

Helping out the Family

My mother wanted me to show her how to hyperlink as they are blogging from the Dominican Republic. Have a great night all! ~David

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Making My Own Closet Fort

And I thought that only the boys would be interested in a “Fort.” Oh wait, maybe with a girl, it's a "Play House."
At any rate, Sybella figured out that if she knocked over the diaper genie and used the chair to help brace herself that she could climb into her clothes armoire. She was quite content to play in there for 20 minutes.
Watching kids explore and discover is adventure at it’s finest!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Soccer begins...

Soccer began today and as evidenced by the photos, everyone is playing in some capacity.

In the VYS they told us that we would not be keeping score. Excuse me! Last time I checked we are a culture built on capitalism. In a capitalistic society you have to be competitive. Instead of the laundry list of reasons why keeping score hurts our kids, maybe we need to revisit this concept and ask...How does not keeping score in a soccer game help teach and cultivate the competitive spirit? Don't get me wrong...we are a long way from the MLS but competition begins somewhere. Soccer was formalized in the 1800's in English Boys Schools and was intended to teach young men through athletics, general principles in life: discipline, rules, competition, and fairness.

Here is the irony of their rule...despite no one keeping is amazing the boys know exactly what the score was and who won and who lost.

Colin tied 2-2 and Connor won 4-1.

It goes to show you that most people, inherently have a sense of winning, losing, and competition.


Friday, April 4, 2008


On the road this week in Suffolk, VA. I arrived at Double Tree last night and got that infamous warm cookie! You can usually find me at a Hilton or one of the affiliates...I think the warm cookie as a welcome is always a nice touch.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Book Signing

Reading is a common past-time at our house. David and I both enjoy a good book and we value the way in which life can be enhanced by reading. So, it makes sense that we spend lots of time reading with the kids. They get to pick the books that we read together and the ones that they read on their own. By far, Colin and Connor's favorite books are from The Magic Tree House Series. For those who don't know, these 39 books are historical fiction and are centered around Jack and Annie, a brother and sister from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania. Jack and Annie use their magic tree house to visit events and time periods in history. In our reading, we have gone with them to the time of: ninjas, pirates, the first Olympics, the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and many other adventures.

Imagine our excitement when we discovered that Mary Pope Osborne, the author of The Magic Tree House series would be at the Tree Top Kids store in McLean, VA- just a few miles from where we live. Mary Pope Osborn is on a book tour promoting her 39th book, Dark Day in the Deep Sea; touring with her is her sister, Nataline Pope Boyce who has begun writing non-fiction/research books for kids to pair with each of the Magic Tree House titles. How could we miss this? WE COULDN’T! So, after school on Wednesday, we went to stand in line for her 5pm book signing. We got to vote on upcoming storylines, weigh in on potential book titles, and leave our suggestions for new magic tree house books. How cool! She is considering a book about a World Cup Soccer Game. The boys were ecstatic. In the meantime, she also previewed her next book on penguins. Each of the kids (Sybella too) had Mary Pope Osborne sign her newest release as well as their 2 favorite books. It was such fun.

As a side note, I had to ask the kids whether they enjoyed meeting Mary Pope Osborn or President Carter more---we met him at a book signing in September. They couldn’t decide, “He’s a President and had Secret Service Agents” but “She writes our books and gave her autographs at a toy store!”

Oh to be young and to Instinctively and Consistently see the silver lining in Everything!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Weekend at Mt.Vernon

On Saturday the sun was out and the skies were clear. We decided to take the family down to Mount Vernon. We took pictures, ran around, enjoyed the view, and had a picnic. We love history and never tire of the incredible stories that are preserved at Mount Vernon, George and Martha Washington’s home.