Sunday, December 24, 2006

It's Over!

Kettle season 2006 is officially over. All of the kettles and stands are back in storage, our dining room now resembles a dining room rather than a counting room. The bells are out of the van. What will I do when I don't hear a jingle every time I go over a bump?

In all seriousness, we have had a record year of kettles. As of Monday, December 18th we exceeded our goal of $68,000. I won't know the final figures until at least Wednesday when our coins are counted at the bank, but I am estimating that we will come in at about $80,000. Last year we did $63,700. I enjoy the thrill of kettles. I enjoy challenging myself and my workers to push a little harder. Only once in my 9 years of doing this by myself have I not exceeded my goal. I am not bragging that is is just fact.

Here are some numbers from the last 6 weeks of my life.

Miles put on Chevrolet Express Van---7,350
Miles per gallon on those miles--11.7
Hours per work each day---14-15
Black Bags under my eyes--2

Seeing peoples faces as they receive gifts and knowing the Army's work will go through in 2007...priceless!

That is what it is all about. My soldiers told me to get rest. They noticed the bags under my eyes! Today Jay was thrilled that there would be no kettle pick ups tonight or for the next 11 months.

As I type this our home is clean, and our kids are laying down in anticipation of Santa coming to Norwich. It was good hard work, but I am glad it is over.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Follow Up to Yesterday--Celtic Woman

Monday, December 18, 2006

Non Traditional Music

Lately for some reason, I have been drawn to music that I have is non traditional in nature. Don't worry, I can't stand hip hop, but when I say non traditional, I mean music that I don't "traditionally" listen to. Here are the two examples.

Trans Siberian Orchestra
I first came across the Trans Siberian Orchestra when I was a subscriber to XM Satellite Radio. I used to listen to channel 23 Holly at Christmas time and TSO was often featured on that channel. Now, I normally would not have paid attention to the artist, but one of the great features of XM is the display which tells you a variety of information including song name and artist.

TSO features traditional holiday music to a rock and roll rhythm. My favorite song by them is Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24. It features several well known Christmas carols to a very rock and roll beat. It is a very exciting group and there is something to be said of hearing an electric guitar wail out Carol of the Bells or O Holy Night.

Celtic Woman
Last evening while flipping the channels during the NY Giants debacle against the Philadelphia Eagles, I turned to none other than PBS and discovered 5 women singing awesome harmony to a full orchestra in front of a British Castle. The song was Orinoco Flow made popular by Enya, but these ladies were very impressive. The orchestra and rhythm section was also impressive. I went to their website today and read some background information on them and that they will be at Mohegan Sun in March. I think I will have to save my money. I love hearing women sing harmony and 5 part harmony is even more beautiful. As a teenager, I used to love the group Wilson Phillips. The three members of that group had great harmony and I still listen to their first hit, "Hold On" These women of Celtic Woman are very talented and what started as a one night concert now has a global fan base. I went to itunes today and downloaded their debut album and am listening to it now as type this.

Non traditional music rocks! Pun intended!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Return of the Lefty

I don't mean to double post, but I found this pic on the YES Network Message boards, and it is great!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Pettitte's Back!

It is a good day to be a Yankee fan. As my sister said, "Christmas has come early!" For the last several years, Yankee fans have got Christmas gifts, but none as sweet as this one. Our beloved lefty, Andy Pettitte is returning to the Yankees after three years pitching for his home team Houston Astros.

Today he agreed to a 1 year $16 million dollar deal with a players option for the 2nd year. He is far from gutless as the pitchers the Yankees have signed as of late, Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano, Kyle Farnsworth to name a few. This guy can pitch in the pressure cooker that is Yankee Stadium and better yet, he can pitch under the bright lights and cold temperatures of October baseball. Who could forget Game 5 of the 1996 World Series when then 24 year old Andy was huddled under his towel in the late innings after pitching a great game. He couldn't bear to watch, but his work was done, he did his job. He has proven his toughness over the years, and has pitched over 200 innings these last two years for Houston. He, I believe could be the link the Yankees have been missing these last few years...A big game pitcher.

He is a family favorite! Even my mom loves him. In fact, she is the one who called Tracy to let her know. Additionally he is a Christian and shares his faith.

Welcome home Andy! I can't wait to see you pitch again!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Samantha--Junior Soldier

Greetings everyone! It has been a very busy Christmas season, but I want to quickly give a little family update.

Yesterday, Samantha, along with 8 other children were enrolled as Junior Soldiers at the Norwich Corps. It was a good day, and a proud moment as Samantha signed her promise.

She looked so cute in her little uniform! I can't believe my kids are growin up so fast. People said it would happen and of course I didn't believe them.

There are a lot of great things happening here, and we are staying busy. I hope to give some more updates again soon.