Monday, December 27, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
So here goes:
On Dec 1st Sybella turned 4 years old. I can't believe it's been 4 years since our only girl, a princess, and a perceived 1st born (both the boys were in school by the time she came along) came into our lives. Amazing. [Note: I intended to put a photo here from when she was born and I just realized that I haven't transferred them from my other computer...oops]
This year Sybella had a birthday week of fun and adventure.
On her birthday, her preschool went on a field trip to a local Tiny Tots Concert.
Then, after dinner we opened her gifts from our family-- it was a lady bug year as requested by the birthday girl.
Sybella had an awesome birthday week- hope she's not expecting that kind of fan fare every year! :0)
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The Christmas Spirit of giving is already underway- check out this awesome giveaway and get more information or inspiration about adoption.
Adoption is something that is often on my heart. Many of our friends are parents thru adoption and we even had the blessed opportunity about one year ago to share a trip to Korea as our friends brought home their precious boy. It is as touching to me today as any birth I have attended as a Labor and Delivery nurse!
This past Sunday was Orphan Sunday and I am so proud that churches and organizations all over the country are bringing awareness to the needs of orphans and foster children. In DC alone, there are 4000 orphans.
If you have never thought about adoption or foster care, I would encourage you to think about it in this upcoming holiday season....even if you are not prepared to adopt or foster at this time (or ever), there are things you can do for those in the journey, the kids affected, and the workers who tirelessly serve them. Look for an opportunity to serve or give this year-- the blessing returned to you will be great!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Ok, I wasn't thrilled to have Sybella switching to short hair (especially right before her flowergirl debut) but, I have to admit that this cut is cute!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
In September, I had the opportunity to run a Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) with some gals from our church. Thanks to Lauren for getting us started by sending out an email to see if anyone would like to get together and do some longer runs on Saturday morning. This was a relaxed (show up when you could, with no guilt over missing) way to have some companionship on what is a mentally grueling process of training for a race. The plan to do the 'Half' together didn't come up until later but it was the perfect way to celebrate some of our results at the end of summer. We chose the Wilson Bridge Half-Marathon. It starts at historic Mount Vernon, goes up the George Washington Parkway, across the Wilson Bridge (and the Potomac) and into the new National Harbor Complex in Maryland. (It's a 2 state race.) There was quite a bit up "uphill" running, I am glad I didn't look at the elevation map until the morning of the race. The view was amazing though and made it worth the hills!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
What is it that I am failing to understand? I just can't see any circumstance that warrants this behavior...
Taliban using kids in Afghan fight: http://usat.me?40088670
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Ralph de la Vega, a native of Cuba, became President and CEO of AT&T
Mobility and Consumer Markets in October 2008. He is responsible for
all wireline as well as wireless networks. Previously, he had been in
charge at Cingular Wireless and assumed further responsibilities when
AT&T consolidated. Before that, he was the President of Latin America
Operations, and the President of Broadband and Internet Services for
Bellsouth's operations in ten countries.
Hearing the set backs and challenges he faced was really intriguing
given the perspective of being a customer in the wireless market and
watching how it played out in the public spotlight. While he offered
'his' process and steps to success...I think the value came through in
his anecdotes and openness about the resistance he faced and failures
like AT&T's U-Verse Project. His book addressed rumors, gossip, and
drift within an organization as well as how to build a team for a
major project like his solution on on the AT&T and Cingular merger
(that alone was well worth the purchase of this book).
Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Like I've always said, I am more about transparency than some touchy feely posting. The first 24 hours was rough. DC left me so hyped and tense that it took all of the first day and most of day two to unwind. So now we are starting to relax...some lazy river, canoeing, and body surfing.
I know some of you think all those activities can't possibly produce relaxation but when your a Simon it's more about distraction and changing the focus of our attention. To prove that point...I read 74 emails during the first day of my vacation (hardly a vacation)...so I unplugged and stopped reading today.
So vacation is going great, the relaxation has begun, but the expectation was skewed (according to Sharon). We left the kids to play and disappeared to the floating river to grab drinks and drift along. Topic: My EXPECTATION of vacation.
See, my expectation of vacation is relaxation...which I accomplish with a whole lot of peace and quiet, several books, and adult beverages. When you have four kids...this isn't going to happen. So I have had to reframe my thinking and expectation of what this vacation would be like.
More to follow this week on being TIRED vs. being RESTED which is what really came out of today.
Bottom line- day two in Jamaica has been wonderful and it was time to get away. Cheers to all my friends.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
The pace of DC and business in general has kept me focused but yet distracted. Focused on revenue and support to my clients but distracted from the things that had made me successful. During my vacation over the next two weeks I hope to find that focus and passion again.
Part of my secret to sharing the stories more readily will be the fact that I can now post blogs through email. Since 80% of my life has been consumed by "electronic" mail ....I figured I should figure out how to maximize it to benefit my goals.
Cheers in the remainder of 2010!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
My brother and his wife moved to the DC area last year and I LOVE it. We have busy lives and we don’t see each other enough (I am sure that all of you who live within 30 minutes of your siblings and have kids understand this). But, having not grown up near any of my extended family (read “grown up as a military brat”), I will never tire of the precious beauty of my kids saying and knowing that they want to see their cousins!
Now, I have highlighted my brother’s family here b/c I have recent pictures of some of the cousins at the playground. But I have to say that my brother-in-law also lives in the area (SCORE! More family to hang with) and he and his fiancé are WONDERFUL about hanging out with us and including the kids in their plans.
Thank you God for the blessings of family!
**Disclaimer: I didn’t mention my mom at all, but she lives a block away and has moved to two different states to follow grandkids. Wouldn’t trade that for the world.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Sybella got a chance to go to the “nail place” with me on Aug 5th. We had a mommy-daughter date. She had a good time, was remarkably still, and was totally doted on by the ladies. She chose a pale pink nail polish for her fingers and toes and then we sat and chatted while the pampering commenced. The polish lasted almost a week which is much longer than it lasts when I do it….and it looked better from the start. :0) But most importantly, in a house full of guys and with a little brother that needs lots of attention, Sybella got to have one-on-one girl time with mommy!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tonight I made this Summer Stir Fry for dinner. It was incredible! Wow, I haven’t had a dish this flavorful and filling (that didn’t have lots of fattening stuff in it) in quite a while.
Disclaimer: Although the name tends to bring Asian cuisine to mind, it’s not a Asian stir fry. Also, I made it with steak strips instead of shrimp since we have a severe shellfish allergy at our house.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I thought I would share this one for anyone who needs to make some changes in daily life to get revved up for fall and school starting (and doesn't desire to read Proverbs 31 daily):
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
I HAD to take a picture of Connor napping because as a stomach-sleeper, I have TROUBLE getting comfortable and sleeping anywhere beside my bed. I can absolutely understand that this was the most comfortable position he could find. I felt bad when I had to wake him up before I could drive home. I know vehicle safety has necessarily come a long way but I remember sleeping in the front seat with my head next to the steering wheel as a kid.
Sweet Dreams Connor!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
One of Colin's favorite parts (shown in this picture) was his first funnel cake. Sad he had to go to camp to experience funnel cake?! We dropped the ball on that one. And apparently, they have come a long way...his had caramel and chocolate syrup along with the powdered sugar. What a great summer memory from an awesome camp week.
Friday, July 2, 2010
We took our first Summer 2010 Field Trip on Wednesday. We got discounted tickets from Groupon for The National Crime & Punishment Museum. With a 1-yr old that already carries a cap gun around saying “Bam-Dam” and with 2 sons that are in to ALL things guns, battles, wars, etc. (and in fact, one is outside right now playing cops and robbers), this was a perfect field trip. Don’t fret for my poor daughter; Sybella also had a great time- her favorite parts were the interactive stations and the “emergency vehicle driving simulator.”
I was very impressed with the museum. There are historical facts and tidbits everywhere along with plenty of relics, mementos, and memorabilia. The perspective of criminals, crime-fighters, victims, and the public are all presented in various forms. The displays are at a good height and kid friendly (my kids could read the descriptions on their own and they weren’t scary). The museum is now the studio location for the TV show America’s Most Wanted. And therefore education of children about cyber-bullying, giving out passwords or information, and personal safety are all highlighted throughout the museum using kiosks, multiple choice questions and McGruff the Crime Dog.
Other activities included: safe cracking, seeing a modern jail cell, riding a police motorcycle, being in an old-west jail, being in stocks, seeing a guillotine, and an entire CSI lab walk thru.
The older kids also got to pretend they were “SWAT” officers and shoot a 9mm in a gallery style game using a video- they entered a house for an arrest and couldn’t fire their weapons until they had a weapon pointed at them (think Hogan’s Alley game). The boys’ shots were all on target, 80% were lethal, and they never fired before having a weapon drawn on them. As a mom whose 2nd home is Texas, I am PROUD.
Age recommendation- 9 and older for maximum benefit *however, there was plenty of room for my younger kids to wander, touch, and play without breaking things or being in the way of other patrons-- and there were things that were fun for my 3 ½ year old
Content Recommendation- I was thinking as I walked through, this would be a great date night activity.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Today we went to the Kingstowne Library to see a puppet show. It was a show called Dig those Dinosaurs. The puppets were marionette puppets that danced to music. It was cute and the kids enjoyed the different puppets, all the movements, and the music (even the big kids- although they wouldn’t admit it). We were joined by 3 other families from our church, which we loved- it’s nice to be able to see them and spend more time together. Afterwards, we headed to Red, Hot, and Blue (a good BBQ place) with the Oswalds. It had been too long since our last lunch date. :0)
Monday, June 28, 2010
School ended last Thursday, so today officially started our summer reading. Each of the boys will read a book a week (if we can stick to the plan!). They were a little surprised that I had already looked at the Fairfax County recommended reading lists for their grade levels and checked out books from the library for them. **chuckle** Do they think I was born yesterday? I know that if the books aren’t already at the house and ready to go that we will NEVER get on the right track. Since we are now on the right track, I am hoping that we can stay on course—feel free to ask the boys when you see them how the books are and if they are keeping up on their reading. :0)
We are starting off with Code Talkers: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War II for Colin and Archer’s Quest for Connor.
We also will be taking our first field trip this week. We are visiting the Museum of Crime and Punishment.