Sunday, October 26, 2008


Colin’s football team WON today and has made it to the playoffs. GO WARHAWKS!!
They will be playing Braddock Road TOMORROW night at 8pm under the bright lights at Water’s Field.
If anyone would like to attend, you are welcome. [Water’s Field is just off Maple Ave on Church Street in Vienna, VA]

We enter the playoffs with slightly mixed emotions. We are absolutely excited for Colin, the other players, and the coaches, who have worked so hard this season. But, as first year 'football parents' who had NO idea the commitment we were getting in to when we signed up for football, we were secretly ready for the season to be over. We have had practices 3-5 days a week since August 1st, plus a game a week, several scrimmages, fundraising 'booster' days, raffle tickets, pictures, working in the Snack Bar, Chain Gang duty (moving the first down chains), and various other 'responsibilities.' Did I mention learning how to put pads in football pants and WASHING those stinky clothes? :)

Seriously though, we are super-excited for the Warhawks and as Sybella says, "YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Stop Doing IT!!!!

Recently I was fortunate to hear Jim Collins expound on several ideas from his book Good to Great. He also spent some time in a shorter but just as challenging book "Good to Great in the Social Sectors". He spent his time centered around the theme that greatness is not a function of our circumstances or the cards we are dealt but rather...greatness starts with a choice and then the discipline to carry out that decision.

In the follow-on study of great organizations and the differences between them, Collins made 2 statements/observations that I took to heart:


His point was there was one characteristic between Level 4 and 5 leaders that made all the difference. In the words of Rick Warren, "It's not about you." Humility was the game changer in taking good organizations to that next level. I have to admit that it made me stop and think about all the times I take credit for something when I could be passing it along to someone else in the organization.

The other MAJOR take away for me was the 'stop doing list'. We all have our 'To Do' lists and Collins said that great leaders take time to evaluate where and how they are being most and least effective. Based on that, they create a 'stop doing' list, These are things they will stop doing because they: can be delegated, are taking up too much time of the leadership and there by are creating inefficiency, or they are things that need to not be done at all by the organization.

Some quick thoughts...David

Friday, October 24, 2008

In the City

While I was in Atlanta several weeks ago this song just hit me hard. With so much going on in our nation, people struggling economically, and the fear that exists in society...I just couldn't help but to be over powered by the hope that is expressed in this song. 

My heart goes out in faith, hope, and love for:
DC, Seattle, Santa Domingo, and all the other great cities across the globe. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Out with Friends

Sybella and I had a chance to go to a Tot-Swap (consignment sale) yesterday with our friends Shauna and Kylee. The girls move so fast now that I didn't get exactly the shots I wanted, but here are some cute ones of them outside and saying "good-bye."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lots of planning

Well we are officially heading to the Dominican Republic (DR) as part of the A1:8 Project ( In partnership with NCC and Salt & Light Ministries...Sharon and I will be leading a team to the DR in January of 2009!

We are meeting to discuss the details and inform people of how they can join us in the DR. Sharon and I will be at Ebz Coffeehouse in downtown DC Saturday night (Oct 25) at 7:30pm and then Sunday (the 26th) at 12:00pm in the Food Court at Ballston Common Mall.

More to follow...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Baby Simon #4

By now, I bet many if not all of you know that we are expecting Baby Simon #4. (Gotta Love Facebook!) My due date is April 28, 2009. I am sure that there will be many posts between now and then but I thought that we should start off with pictures of the Baby! We had an U/S today and managed 4 great pictures. I am currently 12 weeks and 4 days. David and I were both commenting that with each child, the pictures have gotten better and better. It is truly amazing that you can get pictures like this so soon.
So, here they are:
(If you click on the mosaic, it will enlarge to give a better view.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tax Return

If you filed an tax extension back in April, today is the last day to file a tax return. Now, if you normally procrastinate, as long as you are SURE that you are getting a refund, you could actually wait a while longer and still be fine. But, if you want to collect your Economic Stimulus Package check, you must file your taxes today.

Why do I know all this? I got a friendly reminder on the news this morning and just got off the phone with my accountant; he will be e-filing for me in the next hour or so.....thank you Doug!

Most times, I plan ahead, organize too much, and get stuff done right away but occasionally (particularly with taxes) I work under the "adrenaline rush," wait until the last 24 hours kind of pressure. Thankfully, my accountant is understanding and I am organized enough and technically proficient enough to still get him everything he needs even from 3000 miles away.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

For Young Men Only!

I always believe in putting the bottom line up front in the military we would tell out soldiers “BLUF”.

So here goes: I am giving a copy of this book to my son (that simple). The book was short and easy read that I read on my flight from DC to Atlanta and for men, a short read is essential to make sure they get to the end. I will be using the book to drive discussion with my 5th grader over the coming months.

FYMO by authors Jeff Feldhahn & Eric Rice with Shaunti Feldhahn. When I saw the quote on the cover by Jeff Foxworthy, I was thinking, “Foxworthy? Really? What does he know or care about relative to this subject? Isn’t he just another comedian?”. The irony was that when I landed in Atlanta, Jeff was there at the conference to discuss some tough topics and help with a charity event and I had the opportunity to see his heart for helping young people all over the world.

FYMO was a great way to quickly earn a Masters Degree in ‘Girl’. Being clueless doesn’t look good on a man and when you are a young man navigating the minefield of the teen years it is even more important to get clued in. The stories and surveys shared from young women will give any young man a new perspective on what young women are looking for, what they are not, and how to win them over.

There is some great practical advice like: 5 smart moves a guy can make to get the girl. And there are some clear steps given to breaking the code about women (let’s be honest…I have been married for over 11 years and still not accomplished that).

The authors (and their wives) do a great job in gathering important information from young women and dealing with tough issues for men regarding: social networks, facebook, myspace, dating, sex, being one of the bad boys vs. a good guy, and more. My favorite quote in the book was, “Honesty is where superficiality stops and real friendship begins.”
At the end of the book there is also a short guide that will help you engage and drive discussion with your teen (or pre-teen / young man) who is starting to figure out there is in fact an opposite sex and that they don’t all have cooties.

Drawing on a fresh national survey of 600 teen girls, as well as hundreds of personal interviews, For Young Men Only reveals the real truth about what teenage girls think, what they want, and how average teen guys can build healthy friendships with high quality girls. I do recommend picking up a copy and sharing it with your son. Heck, I was even reminded of some practical things I need to do a better job of relative to my wife.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Catalyst Nuggets and the Leadership Challenge

Can I just say that I was stretched (Sharon will admit she was too).  3 Days (Pre-Conference Labs and a 2-day Conference). I got my money's worth during the labs. I loved the personal setting and being able to engage top leaders from around the country face to face. When Reggie Joiner, Founder & CEO of Re-Think, was speaking there were times where he was staring right at me. 

Day 1 of the conference was overwhelming and actually left me emotionally drained! Sharon and I had the opportunity to hang out with the leadership of NCC and really engage with such great people! What amazing young leaders who are going to be used by God in awesome ways over the coming years. 

While this can not possibly capture the entire are some nuggets:

1. Grace and mercy is demonstrated when you provide clarity to your employees

2. When we make decisions in fear we almost always make bad decisions

3. True innovation and creativity starts with a Creative Circle of 2 to 4 people. When the right people in a creative circle come together, YOU can move the impossible into the realm of possible. Every leader who wants to stretch themselves should build a "Personal Board of Directors" and allow those people to speak into your life and provide input.

4. If you want to be really passionate, influence culture, and achieve the impossible; you are going to have to be broken to your core and gain clarity and focus. Become a HERETIC!

5. Structure you organization for growth not control.

6. To reach people no one else is reaching; we must do things no one else is doing

7. The next generation products and ideas will not come from the last generation

- Focus by Al Ries (marketing book)

- It takes the last generation leadership to clear the space, lend the resources, provide them margin to grow, champion the next generation. The next generation MUST create and the last generation MUST encourage and support.

- Be a student not a critic

8. Edification of your tribe…set a vision with your leadership and hold on to it. Re-visit the vision and mission frequently, keep an amazing level of humility as you achieve success, always stop to recognize the core of the tribe who played supporting roles. Simply…Edification, duplication, association.

9.  Organizations all too often are slow to upgrade or change systems and process because:

- It is costly

- It takes time and/or

- It is so hard

10. If you want something ‘built to last’ you have to be willing to change the very thing you are building. Steve Jobs and his team at Apple to get from 1985 ‘Mac Plus’ to 2008 ‘Mac Air’ made 10 complete operating system changes, over 80 major upgrades, and went through more than 60 platforms…all in 20 years!

Monday, October 6, 2008



Heading to Atlanta tomorrow. Sharon and I will be getting away to focus on how the year has gone so far, set some long range goals, spend time with wonderful friends, and have an opportunity for the two of us to just enjoy a few minutes of down time without the kids around. 

Great conference and incredible line up: Seth Godin, Jim Collins, Andy Stanley, Dave Ramsey, Craig Groeschel, Mark Batterson, and so many more.