Previous Letters to Bloomfield Club Luxury Home Owners

27 September 2013
Neighborhood Watch Letter Addendum
From Bill Bahr

Dear Neighbor:
In addition to the items I mentioned yesterday in my update, I'd like to add the following:
1. Correction: The new BC IV (Luxury Homes) representative to the BCRA Board, Tony Fato, lives at 162 Greenfield (not Bloomingdale) Drive. Again, congratulations, Tony, and, on behalf of all the rest of us in BC IV, THANKS!!
2. Fall Branch Pick-up is scheduled for the week of Oct. 14. See the Village website for details (link at the BCRA website: . This is your chance to trim trees and dispose of them at no additional cost. Please make sure that any tree branches which extend over the sidewalk should be at least 7 feet high. If you can stand on the sidewalk and touch a limb, it needs to come off! Again, use the opportunity to look at your house from your neighbors' vantage points. If you can't clearly see entry points to your home (doors and windows) because of vegetation (that can hide burglars), clear it away! Also check your house at night and see that you have enough lighting to allow your neighbors to see your house's entry points. Other Neighborhood Watch Tips:
3. Indian Lakes Open Space Development: Although I cannot yet find it on the Village website, I have it on good authority that:
A Public Meeting to discuss plans for the Indian Lakes Open Space Area Development will be held at 7:00 pm on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at the Bloomingdale Golf Course. This will be a discussion of plans for the southern portion of Indian Lakes Golf course which the Village bought in 2007 for $4.7 million. A consultant will present plans for a storm water retention and additional passive park space. This is a 34 acre area bordered by Cardinal and Meadowlark just on the other side of our neighboring golf course.
Current plans call for the park development to include only 10 parking spaces on Cardinal Road and only one walking-path/biking-access from the western side. This meeting will give Bloomfield Club residents a chance to review the plans and to voice their opinions before the proposal is finalized. We already have a significant tax dollar investment in the purchase of this property and the development costs for the area will also likely come from tax dollars.
4. House Maintenance: As most of our BCRA houses are now over 20 years old, the cedar faced ones are starting to show their knotholes. A house maintenance professional told me that unless these are caulked over first, any stain put over them is likely to not cover the cracks where water will continue to get in and ruin your wood, resulting in costly board replacement just a few years from now. Save a lot of money by acting soon: take a close look at the wood on your house! Caulk and use touch-up stain now and re-stain your house at the first opportunity.
5. I mentioned the Bloomfield Club financials are on line at Here's an interesting item that just popped up in the news:,0,1195644.column?track=rss Even though the article is most appropriate for high rises like in downtown Chicago, BCRA (a Condo Act is posted on the Club website) is what is known as a common interest master association in that we don't own your individual dwelling unit but we do own the Clubhouse and common area grounds. As such, our responsibilities are more limited but most of the recommendations in this article apply. The recommendation for a reserve study could easily be met by our Board, without going to the expense of hiring an outside firm, simply by the Board proposing and publishing a comprehensive common asset list and the projected useful-life/repair/replacement schedule. Beware, the financial audit mentioned by the article and which is performed at Bloomfield Club once per year is one that essentially only verifies our financial assets, that is, it verifies that the cash balances listed on the asset side of our balance sheet actually exist at the institutions listed. It does not say anything about appropriate operating procedures, management, or reserve and operating fund balances. A number of these items were touched upon at the Annual Meeting, and this article summarizes some of the issues of concern. Your home is possibly your biggest investment. Know enough to take care of it!
Stay safe!
Best regards,
Bill Bahr
Neighborhood Watch Block Captain
150 Greenfield
630 307-3634


26 September 2013
Neighborhood Watch Letter
From Bill Bahr

Dear Neighbor:

For this email I thought I'd include a number of items that have come my way over the past week or so.
1. It's been reported that a group of kids was apparently dropped off within Bloomingdale after which they walked down a number of streets. One of the kids went into someone's open garage until confronted by the resident (believed until then not to have been visible to anyone on the street), then used the excuse that he was thirsty. After one resident called 9-1-1 noting suspicious activities, the BPD responded. Evidently some of the boys were carrying backpacks with items that had likely been taken from unlocked cars. Please remember to keep your garage-doors closed and your on-the-driveway car-doors locked!
2. If you have prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet, be aware that misuse and abuse of drugs by folks (other family members, house visitors) is on the rise and at surprisingly high rates. Make sure you count your pills!!
3. As a result of a discussion representatives from the Luxury Homes had at the last Annual Meeting, the BCRA financials are now on the website. Here's the current one: As a homeowner paying dues, you are welcome to inspect them and make sure you're getting your money's worth.
3. The Bloomfield Club Luxury Homes (BC-IV) had its annual election for its BCRA Board Representative on Tuesday, 24 September. As my wife, Mary, announced she was not running for reelection, having already served six years, needing a break from this and from chairing the BCRA Landscaping effort, and hoping that fresh perspective and energy would advance the effort to improve our neighborhood, those homeowners in attendance and with proxies, unanimously elected Tony Fato our new representative to the BCRA Board.  [He will begin his representation at the October BCRA Board meeting.] A longtime resident, Tony lives at 162 [Greenfield Dr], Bloomingdale  Tel: 630-505-3383 email: Tony has an MBA and runs his own business, and he is eager to put his experience to work for us. If you have issues you'd like him and BCRA to address, he welcomes your input. As part of this, he and his supporters will make even more use of the Luxury Homes website: available through links from Also put to use will be the BCRA email list on an opt-out basis; notice to be put in the upcoming BCRA newsletter.
4. The BCRA will likely have its architectural committee walk through the Luxury Homes before winter sets in. Please do them and yourself a favor and take care of any needed repairs without them having to remind you and/or fine you. Rules and regs are available on the Club's website. Also, please generally keep in mind the Golden Rule: If your neighbor (or better yet -- all your neighbors) do (or don't do) to their residences what you do (or don't do) to yours, would you like it? A very small example, if you have a flashy-colored, highly-visible garden hose, please don't leave it lying unwound on your yard between uses; just wind it up and put it away out of sight. Another example: lawn trash bags are trash, and subject to the same rules as trashcans -- if you use them, keep them out of sight until trashday. As well, lawncare items such as mulch bags and soil should not be piled up in sight for weeks and months on end waiting for use. Also, very important -- please keep in mind that those items needing a permit from the Village for outside construction will also first need approval from the BCRA architectural committee before the Village approves them. Save yourself some time and take your outside-work permit approval requests to the ClubHouse. Approval process normally takes a couple days.
4. Have you noticed that the other associations in BCRA have lawn services that eradicate the weeds in their driveways and on the street? Unfortunately, BC IV doesn't have a unified service that does this. Each resident is left to himself to do this. As the Village has cut down dramatically on street sweeping and spraying for street weeds, and cost-cutting individual lawn services have failed to use blowers to clean-up the street gutters, we have seen a crop of weeds arise in what one might think is supposedly the nicest, most expensive area of Bloomfield Club. I personally use weed-killer spray about once a month. I've just tried one environmentally friendly suggestion to use a 20% solution of vinegar, but that doesn't appear to be strong enough for all the various types of weeds. Pardon my mentioning this a couple times, but I'm personally baffled about how we in BC IV can spend all sorts of money on our houses and taxes and then let such a small thing detract from our neighborhood street appeal. Again, my apologies and enough said.
5. Finally, if you're a subscriber to the Village E-News, (to subscribe, contact ) you've possibly already seen the item below. First, it mentions that the Village has a new survey out asking for feedback on possible new directions. I am especially pleased that they have tried to assign costs to various alternatives, as "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!" Even most grants are not free -- just ask the greater neighborhood of taxpayers. So please keep in mind that one way or another you'll be paying for the things you want. Secondly, it mentions some items regarding scams hitting our neighborhood. Again, see something suspicious, best to call 9-1-1.
Stay safe!
Best regards,
Bill Bahr, NW Block Captain
150 Greenfield Dr
630 307-3634


17 September 2010
To: Homeowners, Bloomfield Unit IV (Luxury Homes)
From: Mary Bahr
RE: BCRA Annual Meeting (Held 15 Sept) and BC IV – Luxury Homes Meeting (Scheduled for Tuesday 21 Sept)
The Annual Meeting of the Bloomfield Club Recreation Association was held on Sept. 15. It was announced that the Board had approved the 2011 Budget for the Association, as submitted to the membership in the August newsletter. Assessments for 2011 will be $82 per month, starting with the January 2011 dues payment.
The major expenditures for the 2010 year included exterior painting and repairs of the clubhouse, replacement of several portions of the HVAC system, and clean-up of damage to trees and shrubs following this summer’s rain and windstorms. Our usual spring planting at the entrance to the Club was delayed because of construction on Schick Road. Fall mums and mulch have now been installed. We had expected to start retrofitting the swimming pools to meet Virginia Graeme Baker Act requirements this fall. We have submitted proposals for that retrofit to the State of Illinois, but have not yet received a response. We expect that we will need to do that work prior to opening the outdoor pool for the 2011 season.
David Heidner left his long time position as member of the BCRA Board after Wednesday’s meeting. He has served on the Board for some 13 years as Treasurer, President, and at-large board member. Mr. Heidner has devoted hundreds of hours to the community and has been, more than any other single person, the association’s strong guiding arm. We would like to thank him for his service.
Mike Novinski, a resident of BC-I (Leisure Homes) was elected to fill the 3 year at-large position on the board which had been held by David Heidner.
A meeting of Luxury Homes residents is scheduled for Tuesday the 21st at 7:00 in the clubhouse. Please come to help choose your representative to the board and discuss any issues that you might have. I am available and will be seeking to serve for another 1 year term. Your attendance and vote would be appreciated.

8/26/2010 News for Luxury Homeowners of Bloomfield Club
Luxury Homeowners’ Annual Meeting:  Tuesday, September 21, 7 p.m.  Election of BCRA Director and representative of the Bloomfield Club Luxury Homes.  

Note:  Because of the abnormally warm and wet summer this year, lawn care has been a challenge.  Here are some things to keep in mind.  Lawn clippings should be quickly removed from sidewalks and streets to prevent unsightly grass growth and deterioration around pavement cracks.  Please also remember that all lawn trash bags and garbage cans need to be stored out of sight.  

9/23/09 News for Luxury Homeowners of Bloomfield Club
Thanks for your support on 21 October in reelecting Mary Bahr to another term as BCRA Director and representative of the Bloomfield Club Luxury Homes.  

9/19/09 News for Luxury Homeowners of Bloomfield Club
19 Sept 2009

Dear Neighbors:

The Bloomfield Club Annual meeting was held on Wednesday, Sept. 16.  At that meeting, Shawn Rodgers was elected to the one open 3 year term director at-large position on the Board which was vacated by long-time Treasurer Joe Sykora.  Shawn has served on the board for the past couple of years as a representative of BCIII.   Dave Heidner, who has served as President of the Board for many years, announced his intention to serve the remainder of his 3-year term as a director at-large rather than president.  The Board will elect officers for the next year at the October 21 regular meeting.
The Bloomfield Recreation Association Board consists of 7 directors.  Three are elected at-large on staggered terms.  3 of the remaining members are appointed by the board of their individual associations (Leisure Homes, Townhomes II, and Townhomes III).  The 7th member is appointed by the residents in the Luxury Homes at their annual meeting. This year the Annual meeting for the Luxury Homes will be on Tuesday, Sept 22 at 7:00 pm in the Clubhouse.  Please come to help choose your representative to the board and discuss any issues that you might have.  I am available and will be seeking to serve for another 1 year term.  Your attendance and vote would be appreciated.  
The budget for 2010 has been approved.  It calls for a $1 per month increase in monthly assessments to $80.  We are fortunate to be able to hold the line on expenses.  Our major project for 2009 was the replacement of the south side windows in the indoor pool area and the South Rotunda.  There was a great deal of wood rot in the rotunda area which required extensive repair and put us slightly over budget for the project.  We will be looking at replacing windows in the Party Room during the coming year.
We continue work on landscaping.  This year, we had volunteers install plants at the front entrance and in front of the clubhouse.  I think you will agree that the parkway looked better this summer than it has in several years.  We will need volunteers again next spring.  Please consider coming joining us for spring planting on one of those nice spring Saturdays.
The gazebo was completely refurbished early this spring.  Unfortunately, within a matter of a week, someone knocked out the back posts and defaced it with graffiti.   Therefore, the Board had decided that we will no longer pay to make repairs on the gazebo.   If the vandalism continues, we will have a gazebo with only a roof and no seats, since those seem to be the main targets.  
The Village’s Fall Branch pick up will be during the week of Oct 19.  That is an excellent time to trim back the trees which have grown too low over some of the sidewalks.  Your front yard trees branches should be no lower than 7 feet above the sidewalk.  “If you can touch it, cut it!”
Our websites are now up to date.  We have posted the Bloomfield Club Terms and Conditions, the Bylaws, the Newsletters and Board Meeting Minutes.  The calendar is up to date; phone numbers are posted; email links to the Clubhouse, EPI management and many of the directors are available.  We have also included links to community organizations.  Bill Bahr has done a great job in serving as web master and chief guru for both the Club and Luxury Homes websites.  MarLene McGuire is learning how to keep the information current with timely posting.  Let me know if there is any other information which you would like to see on the site.
Please feel free to contact me either by phone for email if you have any
comments or questions:

Mary Bahr                or   630 307-3634
BCRA website:     
Luxury Homes website:   [no longer active]
Or follow the link from

See you at the meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 7:00 in the Clubhouse.
Best regards,

Mary Bahr

PS:  This letter is being mailed to 3 email groups.  Those neighbors who gave me an email address are receiving the email from me.  I also asked 2 of the neighborhood watch captains, who have mailing lists to forward the letter to their group lists.  I am sorry if you are receiving duplicates.  Let me know and I will remove you from my list.  Conversely, if you would like to have someone else added to the list, please let me know.  Thanks!  

6/13/08 News for Luxury Homeowners of Bloomfield Club
13 June 2008

Dear Neighbors:

It has been a busy spring for the BCRA board.  I have spent most of the last few months learning more about the internal workings of the board and the association.  The Board will be compiling the 2009 budget in the next couple of months, so your comments and suggestions would be both welcome and timely.

A new elliptical trainer has been purchased and installed in the exercise room.  It is a big hit with all the regular club attendees.

We have been working hard to tidy up ongoing landscaping issues.  I'm sure you have seen the annual plantings at the front entrance.  Cypress Landscaping has replaced the plants which did not survive the winter.  The landscaping committee planted impatiens in the area at the front of the Clubhouse.  We still have a number of problem areas, and I believe that it will take at least another year of working within the annual landscaping budget to bring the plantings up to par.  We could use more volunteers for
ideas and implementation.  There are a number of areas that could benefit from individual attention.  We have a small group of volunteers who have devoted many hours of thought and labor to keep the grounds looking good.   More helpers are always welcome.

This summer will mark the 20th anniversary of our subdivision.  The party is being planned for Saturday, July 26.  A full afternoon of family activities include a bounce house and pony rides for the kids, various games, and a barbecue supper. Tickets are $ 10 for adults and $ 5 for children under 12.  Volunteers are needed to supervise the games.  Stop by the Clubhouse to buy tickets and sign up for a helper role.  We need to see ticket sales hit the 100 mark by Monday, July 14 for the party to proceed as planned.  Only a very limited number of tickets will be available on the day of the 26th, and the event may be canceled if enough advance tickets are not sold.  Guests are welcome.  Come for the afternoon and get a chance to meet your neighbors.  On Saturday, the 26th, the clubhouse and pools will be close at 1:00 pm for all but Party attendees.  Activities are scheduled to run from 2 to 7 pm. The fire department and paramedics will be present.  Food will be served from 4 to 6 pm.  Is anyone interested in form a Luxury Homes team for a bean bag toss challenge?

The light fixtures at the Schick entrance and those around the outdoor pool are being replaced and refurbished with the help of Shawn Rodgers, one of our Board members.  Shawn has also been very active in refurbishing the holiday decorations and helping with landscaping issues.  Two major projects are also being evaluated:

--  A committee has been formed to look at what it would take to replace the carpeting in the clubhouse.  We have been lucky to get 20 years out of the initial installation, and it looks like we will need to put together a plan to replace it soon.  We may want to use tile on the lower level to minimize problems with tracking water in from the outdoor pool.  We are also thinking about using a rubber composite floor for the exercise room.

-- We may also need to replace some of the windows on the south side of the clubhouse.  The south end indoor pool area windows are in need of attention.  We will be getting cost estimates and will decide how to proceed.

The next Board meeting will be on June 18.  Our BCRA controls a $400,000 annual budget; oversees 5 direct employees and many contractors, and a multi-million dollar Clubhouse.  Input from residents is absolutely required to keep us on course!

Board meeting minutes, as well as newsletters, are available at the BCRA website.

Please feel free to contact me either by phone for email if you have any comments or questions:

Mary Bahr              or 630 307-3634
BCRA website:     
Luxury Homes website:  [no longer active]
Or follow the link from

Have a great Flag Day and Father's Day weekend!

Best regards,

Mary Bahr

PS:  This letter is being mailed to 3 email groups.  Those neighbors who gave me an email address are receiving the email from me.  I also asked 2 of the neighborhood watch captains, who have mailing lists to forward the letter to their group lists.  I am sorry if you are receiving duplicates.  Let me know and I will remove you from my list.  Conversely, if you would like to have someone else added to the list, please let me know.


3/12/08 News for Luxury Homeowners of Bloomfield Club:
It looks like spring has finally found us and activities are kicking into higher gear.  I thought I would take this opportunity to summarize my first quarter as your representative to the Board.  
Expenses for last year’s landscaping project have now been absorbed and our monthly assessments have fallen back to $76.00, as was approved at the annual meeting.  We have every expectation of keeping spending within that budget this year.   We face challenges with higher utility rates as well as increased in payroll and contractor costs.  No major new projects are planned.
We have completed setting up the websites for both the Club and Luxury Homes.  There you can find telephone numbers, email addresses, copies of the newsletters and minutes of the board meetings.  We have started posting the board minutes as soon as they are typed, usually within one week of the meeting, so you can get a quick summary of discussion topics.  I am hoping to be able to post an agenda for the next meeting as soon as I receive it, usually the weekend before the regular third Wednesday Board meeting.  Take a look at the websites and let us know if there is any other information that you would like to see posted.  Check out the sites.  Our volunteer webmaster, Bill Bahr, has done a super job.    
In the first quarter of this year, the Club’s Christmas decorations were revamped and new lights and garlands were added.  The initiative for this project came from board member Shawn Rodgers.  Several other club members helped with the project.  More information about this project was given in the newsletter and in the minutes, which you can find on the website!
Landscaping is still a major concern.  The landscape contractor who installed the original plantings has been unwilling to replace plants which did not survive the first winter.  In addition, some of the landscaping ideas simply did not work.  We will be making some changes this spring in the hopes of bringing the Parkway and Clubhouse areas up to the standards that we all have for our association.  The top priorities for this year will be the Schick entrance and the area in front of the Clubhouse lawn.  We have a proposal to return to the use of annual plantings in the Schick entrance area.  The ground cover vinca and sedum has not grown in as planned and provides little in the way of color.   The landscaping committee met this week and requested a bid to remove the ground cover and plant a mix of white, yellow and orange marigolds into the three beds at the front entrance.   We will also be replacing some of the roses and other bushes which did not survive the winter.  It will be several weeks before we know exactly what the full winter toll has been.  We will also be reconfiguring the plantings at the front of the Clubhouse lawn.  The hydrangeas and shrubs did not perform well last year.  Several ideas for that area are being explored, including replacing the center shrub with another spruce.   Come to the Board meeting on March 19, if you have any ideas.
The Board is considering the purchase of an Elliptical Trainer for the exercise room.  To make room for that machine, something, probably the rowing machine, will have to be removed.  Your thoughts on this subject are very welcome.
Maintenance of the gazebo area continues to be a problem.  The iron fence has worked well but the gazebo, itself is looking pretty sad and seems to attract unwelcome attention.  It may be possible to replace the wood slats with iron fencing or even to remove the seats and sides completely.  We continue to support increased police patrols of the area and encourage all residents to call 911 if they notice suspicious activity.
I am looking forward to being able to get outside after the long winter.  The Community Garage Sale, our own unique welcome to Spring is just around the corner.  Please feel free to contact me either by phone for email if you have any comments or questions.  
                                               Mary Bahr         
                                               BCRA website: 
Luxury Homes:         Or follow the link from

Neighborhood Watch:  28 July 07:
Dear Neighbor:

Hope your summer is going well.

The last Bloomingdale Neighborhood Watch meeting was very informative. With regards to reported break-ins in our area, I was told that Bloomingdale is not being specially targeted. Other areas are suffering a similar increase in crime. At this meeting, the owner of Action Lock (near the intersection of Lake and Garden) gave an outstanding presentation on how to make your home safer. While you're away, he advised using timers (also connected to radios) and lights, especially outside lights and motion-activated lights. He advised cleaning (with WD40) and lubricating (with TriFlow found at Ace Hardware) your locks, as it makes them hard to "bump," a trick allowing someone to easily hit your lock with a hammer and gain almost immediate access to your home. He also advised that sliding doors be modified, if need be, to prevent thieves from lifting up and out the doors and from easily dislodging the familiar "broomstick" brace. Action Lock also sells a number of locks; the owner demonstrated an ingenious new lock coming out based upon finger-print reading. Of course, he also mentioned, to everyone's active agreement, cutting back any overgrown shrubbery that gives visual cover to anyone intent on breaking and entering. My own rule of thumb: if it's a tree branch in your yard and you can reach up and touch it, it's probably blocking a neighbor's view of your home. Also consider getting an alarm system for your home. However, realize that a common criminal tactic these days is "smash and grab." They knock on the front door; not hearing anyone, they go to the back of the house and enter. Knowing they'll likely trip an alarm, they figure they'll have 60 seconds to grab high-value items such as jewelry and leave. Don't hide your valuables and keys in the typical places. If that's where the average person would look, that's where a criminal would look. Also, lock your car if you keep it your driveway and, above all, don't leave any valuables in open view.

Two websites you might want to check out are:

This last one needs a bit of updating but still will give you all sorts of good advice as well as familiarize you a little more regarding Neighborhood Watch.

If you get chance you may want to look at and bookmark:  [no longer active]
This is a Luxury Homes website I'm working on and where I'll try to post Neighborhood Watch information. Please note the link there to

Also, please remember that 7 August is the National Night Out Against Crime. Free information, food, beverages, and more, to include swimming opportunities will be provided. This event has traditionally been held at the Park District Johnston Rec Center from 6-9 pm. Bring the whole family.

Finally, please look after your neighbors' property; hopefully they'll look after yours. And remember, if you see anything suspicious, please report it immediately to 911.

Thanks. Have a great summer.

Bill Bahr
Neighborhood Watch Block Captain


We need to get serious about security for this month.  In recent weeks we have had a rash of burglaries and car break-ins in our community.  While police presence has been increased there are several things you can do to better secure your home.
Light It - Sounds simple right?  You be amazed about how easy it is to light up the outside of our houses at night however many owners are in the dark.  Keep your front and rear outside lights on 8pm to 4am at least.  I would love to drive down the road and see everyone's lights on.  You can easily add timer switches to these lights ($20/each) to automate this.  If you have followed my previous article about fluorescent lights, you know that this won't run up your electric bill either and will provide even more light than normal.  You can use a 100W fluorescent bulb in place of the standard 60w light without any issue in our fixtures.
Lock It - Don't leave your house with your windows open.  You are making it easy to break into you home.  Make sure your locks and strike plates are well-secured and working properly and for the sliding glass doors add a pin lock or a short stick or bar between the jam and door so it can't be easily slid open.  For homes with the garage separate from the home (Tyler Units) consider adding a Garage Door Monitor ($35) so you can tell if your door is open or closed from within your home.  They are very easy to install.
Lower The Temptation—If you leave you home make sure to not leave your drapes or blinds open.  Someone could look into your windows and see what you have.  If you leave them open you are just making it easy for the burglar to decide if he wants to rob your home or not.  If you leave them closed he doesn't know what you have and will look elsewhere.  Also if you have large shrubs or bushes in front of windows consider removing them or trimming them back.  You do not want to "make" a hiding place for someone to work on breaking in or to hide a broken window.
Record and Document - If you do get burglarized how can you insure yourself?  First take pictures of all of your belongings BEFORE something happens and document the cost of each item.  I know it sounds hard and tedious to do but it will save you time and headaches when filing an insurance claim.
Going on Vacation? Let a neighbor know you will be gone and to look out for your place.  Bloomingdale Police Dept. also has a vacation Watch program.  Call 630-529-9868 for more information.  Add timers to interior lamps that will randomly turn on lights or a radio at various intervals; in doing so it may look or feel like someone is home.
Don’t’ Advertise -  No I don’t mean stop putting up signs.  I mean the things that can tip off someone that you are gone for an extended period of time.  Stop your paper and mail delivery or have your neighbor pick up these items from the driveway.  Also have your neighbor look out for any flyers or packages that may be on the garage or at the front door.  Seeing a stack of papers on the driveway advertises no one is home or the house is vacant.  
Watch your Children — If you children are outside teach them about safety.  There are many classes that your children can attend on general safety issues.  Also instruct your children about bike safety it has been brought to my attention there are several children that don't follow the usual look before you turn rules and unfortunately there are a few speeders in our neighborhood also.
Alarm It - Adding an alarm system to your home is an expensive choice in many cases.  It not a fool-proof system either.  Anyone that says they can "protect" your home doesn't know what they are talking about.  You can only detect an intrusion and alert with sound or an automated phone call to the police or a central alarm monitoring station.  Putting an alarm sign outside may act as a deterrent however it also could also tip off