Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Technology and History

Cool feature just added at the Library of Congress. Watch the whole 4 minute video. It is worth stopping and checking out. Great features that capture the youth and provide access to all vistors when someone wants to check out truly historic documents. Nice example of leveraging technology to make the Library of Congress a more hands on and engaging experience. 

Sharon and the kids went to the Library of Congress this summer and this technology wasn't in place yet. It's nice that these things are free to the public...I think it is a shame that people don't take advantage of it. 


Sunday, September 14, 2008

How things get set in motion

This weekend I had the opportunity to marvel at how a master carpenter works. I am not going to share all the details but I will tell you that it takes pure genius and powers far beyond my capabilities to accomplish what God did…

11 years ago Sharon and I moved to the Pacific Northwest and as a seasoned professional in the soccer community I started refereeing soccer in the local area. This is where I met Tracy Kelly who was the treasurer of one of the leagues I served as a referee in. Tracy and her husband Alan became great friends of ours and they partook in some crazy adventures with us over the years. Their oldest daughter, Nicole, became our trusted babysitter in 2000. Through a series of events Nicole ended up moving to my home town of Youngstown, Ohio back in 2006. She is a paramedic and a wonderful gal.

This weekend I have to stop and say THANK YOU to Nicole for "doing her job". She was instrumental in a place and time where none of us could have influenced the situation.

BOTTOM LINE – God put in motion a story 11 years ago something that changed people's lives this weekend!

WOW…if you only knew the challenges between 1997 and today! How many times paths could have changed, people gave bad advice, road blocks appeared, and the situation looked bleak. And who could have imaged that being a referee in soccer would set in motion a chain of events that ended up saving someone's life?

I was reading several books and listening to a podcast today and here are some reflections:

  1. If you succeed at the wrong thing you failed
  2. People will criticize your choices but often can't grasp the bigger vision
  3. Don't be ordinary – be EXTRAordinary
  4. It's people who are willing to do the irresponsible thing that seems irrational who end up getting the responsible and amazing result
  5. Ask yourself – What makes you cry, what makes you pound your fist, what makes you smile = YOUR PASSION
  6. All too often we pick small dreams and accomplish them to fast – find big dreams and spend the rest of your life pursing them
  7. When you step out in faith God will bless it.


Connor's Soccer Game

Yesterday, Connor had his first soccer game of the season. He and the team did a GREAT job. I have to say that I was absolutely amazed. The boys have matured so much as players since the spring season. Their stamina, ball skills, communication, passing, and their interest in the game have grown exponentially since last season. I loved watching last season because the boys have fun. Now, I will enjoy watching because the game interesting! They still play on a smaller field and only 4 players to a side, but with their new skills and stamina, it means that they are all over the field and play much longer without substitutions. Can't wait until next week's game. Enjoy the pics.

**There are some pics of Sybella --who by the way tried to enter the field of play several times, not understanding why this game was any different than the ones at home. She gets to kick the ball at home. After she realized she couldn't play, she followed her buddy Ian around for while; he was very kind and tolerate of his shadow. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

I haven't blogged in a LONG time. I have been too busy.

The long and short of it, is that I decided to take a PRN Nursing Job at Virginia Hospital Center (PRN is nurse-speak for "as needed"). I will work 2 days a month (not a week, 2 days a month) . It's very convenient and it's self-scheduled. It will give me an opportunity to keep up my nursing skills and to be familiar with our preferred area hospital. I haven't worked in 2 1/2 years and in the 2 years before that, I was a Manager so, I didn't do much patient care. Labor and Delivery is a Specialty Service that is always changing so I didn't want to be away too long, for fear that I would not be proficient anymore.

Don't get me wrong. I prefer to be at home with the kids and I intend to be, but, I have always said that if something happened to David or some other unforeseen circumstances arose, that I would want to still be able to enter the work force in a speedy fashion. For me personally, it's a form of stewardship. I am very thankful for my blessings and the opportunities that I have been given, both in the education/work environment and in the ability to be at home with my kids as a stay-home-mom. Working 2 days a month gives me the opportunity to stay current, maintain connections, and to truly have the best of both worlds. I am thrilled that nursing provides opportunities like this; many professions do not provide this option to moms that choose to be at home.

There is only one catch, and it was a huge and unexpected one. In order to be a PRN nurse and work 2 days a month, I had to attend 10 days of orientation/classes and then another 7 days of preceptorship to get oriented to Labor & Delivery. Seventeen, that's a lot when you are used to being at home and you still want to be at home. But, I decided it wouldn't kill me.

Also, to make matters slightly more complicated, we are moving next week. (packing and boxes blog later) The boys started school on Sep 2nd at the new school, which is a 15 minute drive from our current house and obviously would not involve school transportation from Vienna. So, I needed to hire a temporary nanny and it needed to be one who could transport my kids to and from school when need be. My, do I love Craig's List?! Yes I do! We found a another stay-home-mom who wanted to make some extra money. She comes to our house (with her 14-month-old daughter) to take care of the kids and she is able to pick the boys up from school for us. Fortunately, David's schedule is flexible, so he has adjusted his hours to accommodate being with the kids more. Of course, that means he works later in the evening but wait, he usually does that anyway :) He is a great Mr. Mom. (only a few more days left David!)

I am taking next week off to pack and move, and then I only have a few more days of preceptorship left. God is faithful and the whole family has survived a 3-week explosion of chaos.

Did I mention that we are still a one-car family? Thanks Mom for loaning your car many times over the last month!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Quick Notes and Consistent Hurricanes

Just wanted to leave a few quick insights, catch-up on a busy weekend and mention a few points. I have not blogged for a week now and I think it facebook and twitter’s fault :-)

However, my folks (Karen and Bud Simon) are really starting to update their blog and fight now it is more important than ever. Gustav did not start in New Orleans, Hanna did not magically appear along the Carolina’s, and Ike didn’t rise up out of the Florida coast line. They all started somewhere off the western coast of Africa and headed west. One of their favorite ‘rest stops’ along the way has been the D.R. (Dominican Republic); my folks have been down there in full time ministry now for 4 years and while tropical storms and hurricanes are not new…this season has not really let up.

We are looking to put a team together and head down there in early 2009 (January or February)…in the meantime we are also looking at ways to help the support the work and efforts of those on the ground day after day.