Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Police Department

Today I took the kids to the City of Fairfax Police Department.

Before I get into why I was at the police station, I have a little vignette to tell you:

We were in the parking lot on our way into the building. There was a policeman who had just gotten out of his cruiser and was on the way into the building. Sybella says, "Mom, that's a Police Man." I responded, "you're right Sybella, that is a Police Man." She then says in an adorable, sing-song, 2-yr-old voice, "I Liiiiike him!" It was too cute.

OK, back to why I was actually at the Police Station: The Optimist Club of Fairfax was assisting the Police Department in hosting a SafeAssured ID Program.

You may not know what the program is, The SafeAssured privacy-protected mini-CD offers a single repository of important information:

· All ten electronically imaged fingerprints

· Digital photograph

· Streaming video showing mannerisms and gait with linked audio file providing the child's voice inflection and accent.

· Private information (general physical description, street address, date of birth, life-threatening medical conditions, identifying scars or marks, and tattoos)

· Ability to create missing person poster from the mini-CD

Families also receive a full-color photo data card and a Parents' Guidebook with prevention tips, written in conjunction with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Essentially, you have everything you need to launch a National Amber alert and provide identification data to the police, all at your fingertips. I hope to NEVER need the CD and ID card that I was provided for each of the kids, but I would rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it! The experience also provided me with an opportunity to review safety information with the kids including our family "password," how to handle encounters with strangers, how a 911 call works, etc.

The Program we attended today was Free of Charge and they did a CD/ID card for each of my 4 kids (the baby's CD did not include a streaming video of him walking and talking since he doesn't do that yet-- but does have a photo and his fingerprints!).

This was a great experience, an awesome resource, and the kids loved interacting with the police officers and volunteers.

Note: Most organizations offer this service for between $0 and $10. It is recommended that you update your child's kit every year because kids change so dramatically from year to year. Check with your local police department, Optimist Club, or the SafeAssured ID event site to find an event near you!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Waking Cooper Up

Sybella loves her little brother, loves him so much in fact, that she'll wake him up to spend time with him. LOL---can't ever take your eyes off a toddler!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Breakfast with Grandma Cretella

While we were in Ohio this weekend for a wedding, we got the chance to have breakfast with David's Grandma Cretella. She met us at the Cracker Barrel to spend an hour with us before we drove back to DC. Here are some shots of her with Sybella and Cooper.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Nicole's Wedding

Tracy and I have known each other for about 10 years. I honestly can't believe it's been that long but it has. Seems that our kids have gotten older but we HAVE NOT. :0)
At any rate, when we met, I got to know Tracy's 2 daughters too (and Alan, her husband). Eventually, Tracy's oldest daughter started babysitting for us. She was great with the boys and our families became close. Nicole who has been known as "Miss Micole" because that's what Colin has always called her, became a regular around our house and we stayed close even when she started college and later moved to Ohio. We have been great friends with Tracy and Alan but I have also had a special relationship with the girls. I have always been a sorta "big sister" to them. As much as I can't believe it, Nicole is now 24 and her little sister Chelsea is 20! We don't all get to see each other often, but we had the awesome opportunity to spend time together this week. Nicole got married Friday Night. She was a gorgeous bride. Chelsea was a beautiful maid of honor. And Eric is getting a wonderful wife.
I looked at David after the wedding and remarked that I got a small glimmer during the ceremony of what it will be like to watch Sybella get married someday. It surprised me the emotions that I felt watching Nicole begin the amazing journey of marriage.

Here is a photo of Eric and Nicole sharing communion at the wedding. Chelsea is the Maid of Honor and Eric's Brother was the Best Man:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Daddy's Chair

David has a favorite chair in our family room. It's his favorite place to work, watch TV, and just hang out. It's a Love Sac. There are several Love Sac chairs to choose from; ours is the "Movie Sac." A Love Sac is basically a very nice, suede, oversized, foam, "bean-bag-like" chair. Needless to say, a man who can fall asleep anywhere can definitely fall asleep here. What I found out this week is that: Sybella can fall asleep here too....

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Sybella loves her baby brother and will support him in ANYTHING....even if that means taking up thumb sucking.
Now, many of you know that Colin sucked his fingers when he was little and I determined that I would NEVER have a finger baby again. I practically shoved the pacifier into Connor, Sybella, and Cooper. My rationale: you can throw away pacifiers when they should be gone and I can't cut off fingers. Colin sucked his fingers at night for a lonnnggggg time and I could just hear the orthodontic bills "cha-chinging" away!
What may you ask did I do then when Cooper, my fourth and final baby decided last week (after lots of pacifier training I might add) to start toying with the idea of sucking his thumb???
Well, I'll tell you!
First, I took a picture quick, I mean it's absolutely adorable!
Next, I reminded myself that there is NO room for the word "NEVER" in parenting; I should have known better.
And Last, I decided that since: everyone in our family has had braces and both Colin and Connor have recently gotten head gear in preparation for braces (one was a finger baby and the other a pacifier baby), the odds were against us no matter what Cooper does.
So, I am offering the pacifier, which he sometimes takes, but smiling fondly on the occasions that he chooses his thumb. We'll see what happens.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Our Small Group

We have an awesome Small Group! David and I host/lead a group at our house on Sunday nights. The group meets for dinner and then the kids go upstairs to the babysitters and the adults get to spend time in Bible Study and Fellowship. It's a time of connecting, sharing, accountability, and encouragement. I am so thankful for this group of friends; it's amazing to me how God has placed us with each other to "do" life together.
Our group has some married couples and singles in it, an unusual mix for many small/care groups, but for us, it works great! We have had people come and go in our group; that's part of the life cycle of a group, especially if it is a healthy, catalytic, dynamic, maturing group. However, we recently had to say, "Farewell" to one of our families who isn't just changing groups or doing something different for a semester. They are moving away and it's bittersweet. Brad and Glenda came to NCC last year as part of the Protege program for Media training. They left the security of being Senior Pastors to follow their calling to something new and a bit scary. They have finished the program and are now beginning a 9-month period of support raising in their journey to becoming full-time missionaries. We will miss them but are excited for the adventures they have ahead. Our group got together to have a Going Away Party to send off our friends. Here is a picture from the party:

**Not Pictured: Steve and Trish Arnold, Liam & Caitlin

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Different" (AKA Myrtle Beach Day 1)

We arrived in Myrtle Beach last night and today was our first full day on the beach. It was an awesome day (Praise God the weatherman was NOT correct in his forecast)!

“Different” is the key word for our trip; different than the other trips we have taken down to the beach because:

  • · This time it’s not just the Simon Family, our great friends the Oswalds have joined us for vacation. We met Joel, Shauna, and Kylee almost immediately after arriving in Northern Virginia and we have been friends every sense. It’s always great to spend time with your friends, particularly when it’s fun stuff like: sun, surf, sand, and swimming. But, also, when you go on vacation with friends and you spend 24 hours a day together, you get to know each other on another level. You appreciate even more what you have in each other; already, I have learned more about my friend Shauna. I love how we are the same and I love how we are different.
  • · This time the ladies started vacation without the guys. We departed on Sunday with all the kids and the guys will join us on Tuesday night. (A late departure for the guys was the best way to ensure that both families could go on vacation and that we wouldn’t need to bring 3 cars down to the beach.)
  • · This time, the drive from DC to Myrtle Beach took about 2 hours longer. We stopped a bit more because of Cooper’s age, the toddler’s potty breaks, and the POURING rain (I could only drive 50mph for quite a while due to visibility---and I am not a slow driver).
  • · This time, we are planning to Putt-Putt while we are in town. Myrtle Beach seems to be the Golf Capital of the World. And, I think that they have more miniature golf courses than any other city in America. Anyway, we have never putt-putted while in Myrtle Beach and this time we will hit one of the many, intriguing, creative, “over-the-top” courses. Now we just have to decide if we want to golf among waterfalls, fire-breathing dragons, pirate ships, or dinosaurs.

· I am sure that there will be other parts of this trip that are different than our other adventures in Myrtle Beach but the one thing that will not be different is that we are going to have a good time~