Sunday, January 15, 2006
Dear Family and Friends, We hope that this letter finds all of you in good health and good spirits! It has been a while since we last wrote a Pecchia Family letter. We may not have kept in touch with all of you very well, but please know that you have been in our thoughts and hearts. The last couple of years seem to have flown by. The children have grown, of course, and they delight us daily as we see the world and enjoy life through their points of view. We've experienced a lot of "firsts" with them – first slumber party, bike ride, and ribbon in a horse show for Surenna; first tooth lost, play date by herself, and school for Dahlia; first hair cut, airplane ride, and trip to Washington for Jemma. I think our most significant "last" has been diapers! Surenna, our 8 year old, continues to enjoy school as she is in the third grade this year. She is evolving into a mature, studious, and a generally quiet girl (when she isn't wrangling with her sisters or belting out pop songs with her friends). Taking after her father and her Grammy, she has found great joy in reading. She gobbled up all the Roald Dahl books she could get her hands on last summer and "The BFG" was by far her favorite. She's working her way through the "Chronicles of Narnia" and screamed when she got book the 12th of the "Series of Unfortunate Events". She also loves to write small stories and poems (in cursive), create beautiful pieces of art, and she has been scrap booking too. Dahlia, our gregarious middle child, has found kindergarten to be the perfect social outlet, full of small, like-minded people who hang on her every word. Being a November baby, she had a painfully long wait after turning 5 to start kindergarten. Like her big sister, she adores school and learning in general. Her interests are toward nature and science. She constantly challenges our understanding of these matters, not to mention how to appropriately word our answers to a 6 year old. "Mamma, how do babies get 23 chromosomes from their Daddy when they are growing in their Mommy's tummy?" Our youngest, Jemma, is just as spunky as ever. She is proving to be a handful – defiant and aggressive. She doesn't let anyone get away with anything. But her high-spiritedness is thankfully tempered by her utter sweetness, and she is, after all, the baby of our family. She turns 4 in less than a month and has two more summers to go before starting school. But seeing her sisters in their academic pursuits has inspired her and she does have an interest in learning. She can quite nicely write her first name. David and I are still working full time. He has been with Millipore for 1.5 years now. He enjoys his job working with the clients and has been on several trips for on-site training and meetings lately. In February, he goes to Puerto Rico (lucky). At home, he has been spending time on home improvements, most notable of which are a lovely stone patio in the back yard and an entire new room (an office) on the back of the house that he is constructing from the screened porch. Last year, he created several pieces of furniture by hand – a table for Dahlia's room, a cabinet for Surenna, and a buffet for me. The china hutch is in progress! I have been with Emdeon Corporation (formerly named WebMD) for 3 years, working with the Practices Services division performing quality assurance on medical information reporting and analysis software. I feel blessed to have a job that affords me the autonomy and freedom to work from home whenever I choose. I am home when the children get off the bus and I can attend any school function. What a gig! David keeps a great blog on www.pecchia.blogspot.com where he recounts events in our lives and includes photos too. Take a look every so often to see what we're up to. Most likely, you will see a picture of you there! Please do keep in touch with us and remember that you are always welcome in our home whenever you would like to visit! Take care, God bless, and best wishes to you in the coming year! With Our Love, David, Vaishali, Surenna, Dahlia, and Jemma
I hope that we sent our Christmas picture to everybody we have the addresses for, but just in case; here it is! This is the day before Christmas in our porch--which is in the process of being converted to an office. Vaishali dressed them all up in Indian outfits for the occasion.
Toward the end of last Summer my work sent me to DC for a conference. The ony time I had for tourist activities was during a break in the middle of the day. My turn to man the booth had ended just a few minutes too late to go to a conference session, so I had a couple of hours free. I went for a camera tour/jog (I like to get in my daily road-work). The hotel was only about 5 blocks from the Mall, about half-way between the Capitol Bldg and the Washington Monument. So I ran to the Mall, then towards the Capitol and around it. Then I ran to the Washington Monument, then over to the White House and then back through the city to my hotel. The previous day when I had just flown-in, I ran (sans camera) in the opposite direction toward Catholic University and then back by way of Howard University. There were some scary neiborhoods there, but it was Sunday afternoon and things were pretty quiet. Just about the only people I saw that run were people all dressed-up for church. After my run and a much needed shower, I met up with an old friend from the Marine Reserves. It was great to catch-up on what he had been doing. He has been to Iraq a couple of times in his capacity as a Navy dentist, among much else. We are lucky as a nation to have folks like this.
Washington Monument from the Capitol Bldg. Notice the white pavilions which look like they are at the base of the monument? Two pictures below this one is a shot of the Capitol from the Washington Monument. From this shot you see that the pavilions are about halfway between the Capitol Bldg. and the Washington Monument.
The White House from the Washington Monument. I think this shot illustrates why the hijacker went for the Pentagon instead of the White House. You can hardy see it from the air, it isn't very large and all the buildings around it are taller. The only clear approach is from the Washington Monument and then youv'e got a giant tower in your way.