HAPPY 2005!

FROM THE G-O-T-T-E-S-M-A-N-S

 

(seated at top) Rich, Jacky (seated at bottom) Ben, Jordan

January 2005

 Dear Everyone:

    As the holidays pass and we finally get some time to write about our year, we send our condolences and thoughts to all the people in world who have lost loved ones in the recent disaster in the Indian Ocean. Humbly, we are all healthy and well here in snowy Massachusetts.

 

Boston, MA
(Nov 2004)
Ben paying tribute to the 2004 Red Sox
World Series Champs.

 

Mansfield Center, CT
(Dec 2004)
A quick trip to visit Santa at the mall.

    Jordan celebrated his second birthday with the family in Connecticut this year. He has bolstered the terrible twos stereotype with his astonishing energy, while Mommy and Daddy continue to work hard to tame him. We can count on his human alarm around 6am every day ("Mommy, I want to come out!"). But his numerous hugs and kisses more than make up for his conduct. (He is very affectionate.)

         

Burlington, MA
(Jan 2004)
Jordan screaming through his first haircut.

 

Acton, MA
(Apr 2004)
After stuffing fistfuls of food in his mouth.

 

Acton, MA
(Apr 2004)
Brotherly love
in its splendor.

 

Stamford, CT
(Apr 2004)
Terrorized by the Easter bunny. 

 

Wellfleet, MA
(Jun 2004)
Jordan about to have a fit at Marconi Station Beach
in Cape Cod.

 

Acton, MA
(Jul 2004)
Posing by Mom's plant.

    In his husky, booming voice, Jordan is speaking in full sentences (recently shut mom up with the response, "I'm talking to Daddy, mama") and has established a number of opinions, including a dislike of clowns, vacuum cleaners, and hair dryers. He's not into haircuts either, after suffering through his first one early in the year, reminding us of Daddy's tribulations back in 1970. Lately he's been using the potty, with Potty Elmo by his side. And he has found a new girlfriend at daycare. Check him out dancing merengue! (2.8mb)

         

Stamford, CT
(Aug 2004)
Jordan awaiting the delivery of his birthday cake.

 

Bridgewater, NJ
(Aug 2004)
Getting his cupcake
face cleaned by aunt Amy.

 

Bridgewater, NJ
(Nov 2004)
Hanging out with new furry pal, Grover.

 

Acton, MA
(Dec 2004)
Practicing Kung Fu with Ben and Daddy.

 

Acton, MA
(Dec 2004)
Ben feeds Jordan
so he'll poop.

 

Acton, MA
(Jan 2005)
Sitting with Potty Elmo.

    Ben is now 6½ and has recently lost his second tooth. In the spring we enjoyed his spring music concert, and we watched him graduate from kindergarten and say farewell to the Montessori. While we loved the private school, we are nonetheless pleased not to be paying for it.  In the fall, Ben started public school at McCarthy-Towne here in Acton, where he has learned a lot in a few months (math being his current obsession) and where he has fallen in love with the school bus and the cafeteria.  Of course, Ben continues playing Chess and is becoming quite a challenger.

         

Dorado, PR
(Apr 2004)
Learning to Snorkel with Daddy at the Hyatt Hacienda del Mar.

 

San Juan, PR
(Apr 2004)
Ben choosing his next move carefully.

 

Burlington, MA
(May 2004)
Ben celebrating his 6th

birthday at Macaroni Grill.

 

Littleton, MA
(Jun 2004)
Graduating from Kindergarten at
Oak Meadow
(see first day photo)

 

Littleton, MA
(Aug 2004)
Posing with his first piano teacher.

 

Acton, MA
(Aug 2004)

Happy after reaching home base  safely (see montage)

    After 2 years of swimming lessons, it was during a trip to Cape Cod in the summer when swimming suddenly "clicked" for Ben, thanks in part to relatives who, in the absence of Mom and Dad, encouraged him to tread through five feet of water.  In the fall, Ben began piano lessons and is scheduled for his first recital in late January. He also started Spanish immersion one day a week at a classmate’s house. And maybe his most exciting experience this year was playing baseball without a tee. Check him out reading his special Thanksgiving poem! (2.8mb)

         

Sterling, MA
(Aug 2004)
Fearlessly feeding the livestock at Davis Farm.

 

Mashantucket, CT

(Sep 2004)
It's never too young to learn how to play Keno, at Foxwoods, since the casino proper refused his entry.

 

Rockport, MA
(Sep 2004)
Navigating his way to our parking spot.

 

Acton, MA
(Sep 2004)
Proudly displaying his first tooth to fall out.

 

Acton, MA
(Sep 2004)
Heading out for first day of 1st grade!

 

Acton, MA
(Oct  2004)
Dressed as Johnny Damon for Halloween.

     Rich continues to work as a software developer at CRD. He (with sister Amy) and Ben visited Puerto Rico in April for a little vacation and had a nice time bonding father-son style.  He's still commissioner of the town's softball league and having fun with it, especially when he scraped his calf into a jellied mess while sliding into third base. He got a bad infection (doctor's office, antibiotics, etc), but has a nice scar for memories. Check out his team's 2004 softball yearbook!  In September (on Jacky’s birthday afternoon, to be exact), Rich started the “one-hour job” of painting the family room and finished approximately one month later.

     

San Juan, PR
(Apr 2004)
Standing by his latest TABLES cover at the Chef Award Reception.

 

Concord, MA
(Apr 2004)
Admiring the view at Walden Pond.

 

Stamford, CT
(Jun 2004)
The 5k walk after the 5k run.

 

Acton, MA
(Aug 2004)
Exhibiting softball injuries, all leg scrapes.

Rockport, MA
(Aug 2004)
Climbing the stones

 

      Rich often laments over the corporate hum-drum life of work-sleep-work, but makes do by enjoying recorded books during his commute.  He listens to anything narrated by George Guidall, averaging about 15 books per year. He also continues his gambling mania with his card-playing friends, and maintains his fascination with Amazing Race and the betting pool.  His latest obsession is his new toy, a Canon S70 digital camera that we were forced to buy after dropping our last one into the Caribbean off the coast of Buck Island. But back to the camera...he babies it so much he jokes that Jacky has to "sign it out" if she wants to use it. Lately, Rich has been in a frenzy trying to come up with new plans for family travel. Other than that, and work, he hopes to continue painting rooms this year and maybe start to build a finished basement.

 

     

Acton, MA
(Sep 2004)
Living room, before and after.  Notice the plan for more recessed lighting.

 

Acton, MA
(Oct 2004)
Daddy and the boys head out on Halloween night!

 

Acton, MA
(Nov 2004)
38th b'day - with a yummy box cake

 

Acton, MA
(Jan 2005)
The long awaited (repaired) hot water heater!

           

    Jacky had a trying year, with the loss of her father, Héctor M. Quiñones, Sr. in early April to lung cancer. She spent most of March back and forth between home and CT, in her attempts to care for her family and for her Dad simultaneously. Mostly she is grateful for the quality time she spent with her Dad near the end and for the honor of helping to nurse him and make his transition beyond as comfortable as possible. In their father's memory, Jacky and her siblings (see panorama) participated in the Bennett Cancer Center Walk. And shortly after her father's death, Jacky's Abuela Eugenia (grandmother and Dad’s mom) passed away of natural causes. To Jacky, mother and son are reliving their happiest days of their lives together, wherever they may be.

 

   

Stamford, CT
(Mar 2004)
Daddy Q during his final days with his girls (Liz, Annie, Jacky).

 

Stamford, CT
(Apr 2004)
Paying a tribute to Dad.

 

  Stamford, CT
(Jun 2004)
After a rainy outing at the "Walk for Cancer"

 

    In the beginning of the year, Jacky participated in the faculty variety show at her school. She continues to love, slave for, and learn a lot about teaching and her students. In the spring, Jacky and Ben got up at the crack of dawn to take in the Acton Minutemen reenactment. And graduations were big in Jacky's family this year, with nephews José and Roberto graduating from high school and niece Natalie graduating from UCONN.

 

       

Framingham, MA
(Jan 2004)
Jacky singing at her faculty variety show at Fuller Middle School.

 

Boston, MA
(Feb 2004)
A simulated teaching environment for Jacky, this one at the Children's Museum

 

Acton, MA
(Apr 2004)
Jacky/Ben participate
in the April 19th
Minuteman walk
near our house.

 

Hyannis, MA
(Jul 2004)
Enjoying centrifugal force

 

Rockport, MA
(Aug 2004)
Smiling after a visit with the psychic woman.

 

    In September, Jacky became an aunt for the fifteenth time or so with the arrival of her little sister Melonie’s son, Aidan Thigpen. Later in the fall, Jacky dropped in on Rich's sister Amy in NJ to go to the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry festival, along with her writer’s group friends. She also traveled to Paris gratis for 3 days and 4 nights for a Global Teacher’s Conference trip she won in a raffle last year. She had a lot of fun wandering on foot all over the city and was captivated with a visit out to the champagne region in Reims and Epernay

 

       

Acton, MA
(Sep 2004)
Jacky's 39 birthday gala event!

 

Stamford, CT
(Oct 2004)
Jacky with
brand new nephew Aidan.

 

Stamford, CT
(Oct 2004)
Trying to play and messing it all up.

 

Paris, France
(Nov 2004)
Posing by
Les Invalides.

 

Storrs, CT
(Dec 2004)
Jacky and niece
Natalie at her
UCONN graduation

     On the family front, in the spring we took the boys on a number of local excursions to places like the Boston Children’s Museum and the Big Apple Circus.  We also we met up with Jacky’s family for a camping trip at Jellystone Park in Sturbridge, MA. The summer was a bit insane. Ben and Jordan spent a whole week with Aunt Annie in Connecticut while Mommy and Daddy spent a fabulous week in St. Croix with friends. Then we met up again with Jacky’s family, this time in Cape Cod, where we enjoyed perfect weather in West Yarmouth and Wellfleet. We also went to Amy’s house for a mini family reunion (on Rich’s side).

     

San Juan, PR
(Apr 2004)
Ben digs holes in the sand.

 

Boston, MA
(Apr 2004)
At the Big Apple Circus, intermission.

 

Sturbridge, MA
(May 2004)
Ben prepares for
moonlight fishing
at the campground, with cousin Tim.

 

St. Croix, USVI
(Jul 2004)
A splattering of fun events highlighting our St. Croix trip!

    Unfortunately, we ended up having to replace both our cars after our beloved 10-year-old Accord took it’s last breath, and after some mega repair requirements on the Grand Cherokee. Jacky is now a legitimate soccer mom, hauling the boys around in our recently leased Honda Odyssey, while Rich continues as a happy Accord owner. And last and probably least, in the fall we took part in a multi-family garage sale on our street, in our continuing efforts to simplify our lives by eliminating clutter and getting rid of as many possessions as possible. Our ultimate goal is to find a multi-year assignment overseas somewhere (e.g., Spain) to spice up our lives; please send suggestions or job opportunities. 

       

Acton, MA
(Jul 2004)
The boys with Abuela Ana, Aunt Annie, and cousins Natalie and Roberto.

 

Hyannis, MA
(Jul 2004)
Waiting for

Steven Wright's performance.

 

Bridgewater, NJ
(Aug 2004)
The boys with Grandma Barbara and Grandpa
Harry.

 

Bridgewater, NJ
(Nov 2004)
Our annual post Thanksgiving gathering with Jersey Friends.

 

Acton, MA
(Dec 2005)
The boys with visiting friends Cayla and Marissa Kass.

            Wishing you health and peace in 2005. As always, if you’re in Massachusetts, stop on by...we love your company.

         

Bedford, MA
(Mar 2004)
Walking and pedaling on the bike path.

 

Acton, MA
(May 2004)
Enjoying the breeze at NARA Park.

 

Sturbridge, MA
(May 2004)
Riding with Yogi Bear at the campground.

 

Acton, MA
(Jul 2004)
The boys on
Independence Day

 

Westford, MA
(Sep 2004)
Jordan oohs and aahs at the animals behind the gate.

 

Rockport, MA
(Aug 2004)
Boys being boys.

 

Hugs and Kisses,

Jacky, Rich, Ben & Jordan

 


Movies and Rentals of  2004
- Not a complete list
- Not necessarily movies released in 2004
- Listed in no particular order

 

Rich Rating
(4 circles is best)

 

Jacky Rating
(4 circles is best)

School of Rock

Eternal Sunshine

House of Sand and Fog

Beyond Borders

Cheaper by the Dozen

Intolerable Cruelty

Kill Bill 1

Kill Bill 2

Master and Commander

The Cooler

Osama

Love Actually

Secret Window

City of No Limits

Girl with the Pearl Earring

Shrek 2

Butterfly Effect

Starsky & Hutch

Manchurian Candidate

Spiderman 2

The Terminal

Bourne Supremacy

Secretary

Croupier

City of God

Envy

Home at the End of the World

Lord of the Rings

Man on Fire

Collateral

Between Strangers

Day After Tomorrow

Terminal

Ocean's Twelve

Door in the Floor

A fun little music video.