Our Son’s Christmas List

Demetrous & Yvette

Our son gave us his Christmas list Wednesday night.  He’s a senior in high school, so he created a Christmas list that resembles a diploma or a scroll, complete with a ribbon and bow.   The list includes things like a Playstation 3, iPod Nano, XBOX 360 Kinect Sensor, clothes, shoes, and a few other items.  This list is extra special because it’s addressed to three special ladies in his life, Yvette, Ettie, and me, Joani.  He signed the list “Your hard-headed, caring, difficult, smart son.”

Demetrous & Ettie

Demetrous is very fortunate to have three women in his life that love him and want the best for him.  Even though he’s hard-headed and difficult sometimes, he is very caring and smart.  He has really good days, when modelling practice goes well and he’s gotten a complement about the way he walks, or he got the highest score on all his school assignments for the day.  He also has really bad days, when he’s gotten into it with one of his teachers and been sent home.

Demetrous & Joani

The good days outweigh the bad, so Yvette, Ettie, and I will be purchasing his gifts during the next few days.  He’s not so sure, but Demetrous will most likely get everything on his Christmas list because he’s the joy of our life.



My Mom’s Christmas Present

I haven’t spent Christmas with my family in St. Louis for two years.  On July 1, 2009 I was playing volleyball at my office cookout.  I jumped in the air to return the winning shot and when I came down on my right leg I felt something pop.  I tore my ACL and meniscus.  In simpler terms, I blew my knee out.  As a result I had two surgeries, the first to reconstruct my ACL in August 2009, followed by the second surgery in December 2009.   It took a while to get my range of motion back, and arthritis developed under my knee cap.  So, I haven’t been home to St. Louis since my knee accident.

Christmas 1967 - Joani, Kelvin, and Bill

Well, I’ve been checking on travel arrangements all week.  Before I made my final flight selection I called my Mom to make sure my arrival and departure times wouldn’t conflict with her schedule.  Keep in mind I hadn’t told my Mom I was coming home.  I wish you could have heard the excitement in her voice when I said, “Mom, I’m making my travel arrangements to come home.”    She referred to me as her “Christmas Present.”  So, I’m looking forward to a joyful Christmas in St. Louis with my family.

Wishing You and Yours a Very Merry Christmas!

My Secret Santa and the 2011 Office Holiday Party

Jefferson Memorial

Yesterday my office had a great holiday party on the Spirit Cruise Ship in Washington, DC.  We had a ball.  There were great singers providing entertainment.  Good food, and the DJ played all our requests, from the Cupid Shuffle to the Wobble.  Best of all, we exchanged Secret Santa gifts.  Santa gave me gifts for my dogs.  He selected the cutest cover-ups, some great toys, and a beautiful doggie blanket.  My dogs will be very happy when they see all the goodies in the bag from Santa.


Lambchop gets chilly at night, so I’m sure he will really love the blanket from Santa.   Don’t forget to purchase some special gifts for those little ones that share kisses on a regular basis, like belly rubs, lay across the computer when you have a deadline, and greet you with unconditional love, no matter how long you’ve been away.

Happy Holidays!!!!



Brian Gibson’s Annual Christmas Dinner

Shirley & Harrison Gibson

Shirley and Harrison Gibson held their annual “Brian Gibson’s Christmas Dinner” on Wednesday, December 14, 2011. The dinner is in memory of their son, Master Patrol Officer Brian T. Gibson.  This dinner makes Christmas special for the Gibson’s.  It gives them a chance to see the officers from all over the city, as well as giving them a chance to visit with many of the DC  survivors.  Dinner started at 12:00pm and ended around 6:30pm.

Clyde & Pat Odom

As always, they had a steady flow of officers coming to dine and fellowship.   Pat Odom, Mrs. Gibson’s sister, and her husband Clyde, came to DC to assist Mr. & Mrs. Gibson with the dinner.  I didn’t have the opportunity to meet Brian, but I believe he must have been some kind of wonderful, based on the number of officers and friends that come out every year in his memory.

On February 5, 1997, shortly before 3 a.m., a recently released convict was evicted by an off-duty police officer from the Washington, D.C., night club where he was celebrating his 23rd birthday. Embarrassed in front of his gang-member friends and seeking revenge, the man retrieved a gun from his car, intending to return to the club and shoot the officer.

MPO Brian Wilson

Before he made it back, however, a police cruiser pulled up at a nearby intersection and stopped at the red light. He changed direction, walked around the back of the patrol car to the driver’s side, where he fired four shots into Brian Gibson’s head, neck and shoulder.   Gibson, 27,  married and the father of two children, died later that morning. The shooter said afterwards, he shot Gibson because “One cop is as good as another.”

Children’s Reactions To Gifts

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The deadline for online purchases to reach you and your loved ones by Christmas  is Friday, December 16.  I know you don’t want to see any sad faces on Christmas morning.

I was watching tv Sunday evening and saw a program featuring children’s reactions to the gifts they receive on Christmas.  They featured a brother and sister that each received a bicycle.  The little girl was ecstatic, but the little boy didn’t want a bicycle, so he was unhappy.  They also featured a young lady that wanted a cell phone for Christmas.  She had opened all the gifts under the tree with her name on them, but no cell phone.  Suddenly her Dad said what’s that behind the tree?  She looked and picked up the package.  What do you think it was?  The phone, of course.  She hollered and jumped and cried, she was so happy.

Reminds me of a Christmas Eve when I was helping my Mom wrap my younger brother’s gifts.  I had seen a blue Timex watch I liked while my Mom and I were out shopping one day.  Blue is my favorite color, so I was drawn to the blue Timex like a magnet.  Days went by and I forgot about the watch.  On this Christmas Eve my Mom handed me a wrapped box and said, “Merry Christmas Sweetheart.”  I opened the box and it was the blue Timex.  I was so touched, all I could do was cry.  I still get touched when I remember that special Christmas.

Happy Holidays!!

Green Monday

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According to comScore, online sales are up 15% compared to revenue reports from 2010.  $24.6 billion spent online so far.  FedX anticipates moving 17 million packages today.

I’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but Green Monday was a new term for me.  Mark your calendar, because the second Monday in December will always be Green Monday going forward, and one of the top spending days of the season.

 Green Monday marks the beginning of the heaviest week of shopping for online retailers.  Consumers need to complete their purchases by Friday, December 16 to ensure delivery by Christmas.

FedEx and other shipping companies will have to perform a Christmas miracle to get all of their packages delivered on time.  That effort will take nearly 290,000 people, 90,000 trucks and 680,000 flights to safely deliver more than 260 million shipments to gift recipients before Christmas day.

Happy Holidays!!!

Extra Special Sale

The Magic of Macy’s

Last 2 days!  Now through Mon., Dec. 12 enjoy extra savings at Macy’s.  Sunday, Dec. 11 shop 8am – 11pm.  Monday, Dec. 12 shop 9am – 10pm.

25% – 50% off, plus take an extra 20% or 15% off when you use you Macy’s card or savings pass.  Over $100 in holiday dollars to make your shopping easier.

Happy Holidays!!

Holiday Gifts For The Entrepreneur In Your Life

15 days til …

Here are some gift suggestions for the entrepreneur in your life.

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1.  “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel Pink – This New York Times best seller is a must for any entrepreneur.  It discusses the things that motivate us to succeed and perform at our highest capacity.  Starting at $10.88 at Amazon.com

2.  The complete works of Guy Kawasaki – There are numerous books by Kawasaki that are fun and easy reads, and also really inexpensive.  “The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything” is a great starter book.  It explains the requirements for entrepreneurs to take action with their business ideas.    Starting at $18.45 at Amazon.com

3.  “Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist” by Brad Feld – A quick and invaluable reference for all entrepreneurs, especially in connection with understanding the art of the term sheet.  Starting at $32.97 at Amazon.com.

4. “The Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne – Read about how Cirque du Soleil became successful by diving into a market that had no competitors – the blue ocean.  This book is a great resource for helping entrepreneurs identify their target market.  Starting at $19.77 at Amazon.com

5. “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath – A great book to help entrepreneurs understand the importance of communicating their business ideas with others so that they are memorable.  Starting at $15.72 at Amazon.com

Other Gift Suggestions

Idea Paint/Dry Erase Paint or Chalkboard Paint –   Enables the entrepreneur to paint a wall in their home to make it into a dry erase board (Idea Paint) or a working chalkboard (Chalkboard Paint).  No more searching for paper when you have a great business idea.  Available at Amazon.com in the Office Products Category

Pizza Hut Gift Card – Pizza is always a great gift for the entrepreneur that works overtime building their business, but still needs nourishment to keep them going.  Also a great gift for the entrepreneur that’s too busy to go grocery shopping.  Available at Amazon.com in the Gift Cards Category

Be a customer or deliver a customer from your network. Priceless

Recommend a successful mentor so the entrepreneur doesn’t reinvent the wheel.  Priceless

Happy Holidays!!

Do You Know The Words To This Song?

1. Making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.

2. I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus underneath the Mistletoe last night.

3. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.  Jack Frost nipping at your nose.

4. Deck the halls with ….

5. We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Happy Holidays!!


17 Days Until…

Here’s a last minute Holiday Gift Guide – Items for less than $50.

1. Botanical Calendar – $28 at http://www.riflepaper.com
2.  Homegrown Monogram Mug – $8 at http://wwwanthropologie.com
3.  Paperblanks hand-tooled lined journal – $18.95 at http://www.papersource.com
4. Boxed notecards – $45 for a box of 10 at http://www.iprintery.com
5.  Bamboo iPad stand – $24 at http://www.wisteria.com
6. Fish hotel – $29.00 at http://www.crateandbarrel.com
7. AM/FM/MP3 sound station – $29 at http://www.restorationhardware.com
8. Red rubber address stamp from Lettergirl – starts at $38 at http://www.etsy.com