HAPPY 2008!

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

2007 SCRAPBOOK

  

January 2008

Brrrr! There's a Nor'easter out there right now, but we are enjoying our time at home on our first snow day of 2008. Another year has passed, and we are gratefully all well here in the frosty suburbs of Boston. Blessings and peace to all of you.

 

Acton, MA
(Jan 2007)
Heading off to our last CRD holiday party

Acton, MA
(Feb 2007)
The boys tubing on their own little hill

Bridgeport, CT
(Feb 2007)
With Cookster at his 21st bday

Acton, MA
(Apr 2007)
"We found all the Easter eggs!"

Bronxville, NY
(Apr 2007)
Ballroom dinner dance with Uncle Martin

Concord, MA
(Apr 2007)
Excavating at the site of Thoreau's cabin


Jordan has grown into quite the romantic for a five-year-old! At dinnertime, he asks, “Mom and Dad, can we have a restaurant?” and then quickly runs around turning off all the lights for a candlelight meal. He notices and compliments everything, from the phases of the moon to people who resemble each other to different shades of toenail polish. And one day he startled us by asking, “Mom, are you in love with me?” to which mom now regularly replies, “Madly.” Check him out being his silly self as "Bear" in the legend of Night and Day.

 

Acton, MA
(Mar 2007)
Jord filling his head before bed

Concord, MA
(Mar 2007)
With PSII teachers, Ms. Davis & Ms. Long

Concord, MA
(Mar 2007)
Reading w/ Mama at school open house

Acton, MA
(Mar 2007)
Learning to type with Auntie Amy

Lincoln, MA
(Mar 2007)
Hanging with Mama at the DeCordova

Burlington, MA
(Apr 2007)
At Missy's Build-a-Bear bday party

 

Preschool II and now Kindergarten have given Jordan great experiences, like a simulated journey to Kenya with his class, a unit on oceans culminating in a fall field trip to the beach, a nocturnal open house with marshmallows and singing around a raging bonfire, and roles in big-boy assemblies and plays.  We kept him busy in the summer with swim lessons, as well as math, science, and art camps at Mom's school.

 

Acton, MA
(Apr 2007)
Helping Dada paint the basement

Acton, MA
(Apr 2007)
In the shower with Dada

Concord, MA
(May 2007)
Jordan possessed by BGB to misbehave at George's bday party

Newport, RI
(Jun 2007)
Spiffed up for Mom & Dad's 10th

Myrtle Beach, SC
(Jul 2007)
Laughing with Grandma Barbara at CohenFest

Acton, MA
(Aug 2007)
Taking swim lessons!

Malagá, Spain
(Aug 2007)
"Whoa, is this my birthday party?!"

 

In the fall Jordan started tee ball and, like Ben, is obsessed with the sport. When he's not playing it in our backyard, he watches it on TV--so  much so that he has become a raging Red Sox fan like his brother, abandoning his mom's dreams of having a second Yankee fan in the house. His best friend is clearly his brother, who he looks up to and mimics in many ways. After moving out of his toddler bed to a big-boy bed, he opted to sleep in Ben's bottom bunk instead. Jordan is also into learning to read and doing his own Kindergarten activities in workbooks and on the computer. He is especially fond of creating his own artwork and taping it up around the house. Recently, he got his first cavity and a new baby-tooth filling to fix it.

 

Malagá, Spain
(Aug 2007)
Gravel/

sand

Acton, MA
(Sep 2007)
At his first official t-ball game!

Acton, MA
(Sep 2007)
Taking his first swing...keep your eye on the ball!

Acton, MA
(Sep 2007)
Ready for first day of Kindergarten!

Concord, MA
(Nov 2007)
In orbit as the moon in the solar system for Night Magic!

Concord, MA
(Nov 2007)
As "the pointer" for his Kindergarten performance

Concord, MA
(Nov 2007)
As "the bear" in the Legend of Night and Day

Acton, MA
(Dec 2007)
Sledding in a mini-blizzard at NARA Park

 

Our gentle Ben is a funny nine-year-old kid who makes the goofiest faces and lankiest gestures and who is happy laughing at himself. He loves to learn and be challenged by Trivia and he gets a kick out of making up his own board games and drawing "cool dudes and dudettes" annotated with amusing dialogue. He also calls himself "the cheese man" and is writing short illustrated series of stories called "Cheese Wars." Questions from our big guy go something like, “Why do people smoke if it’s killing them?” or “Who cares what color anybody is?” or “Mom, is your back broken?” (after hearing from friends that he shouldn’t step on the cracks).

 

Littleton, MA
(Jan 2007)
Ben at his first piano recital of the year

Natick, MA
(Mar 2007)
At a chess tourney!

Acton, MA
(Mar 2007)
Building le Tour Eiffel for third grade

Concord, MA
(Apr 2007)
Getting TLC after appendectomy

Concord, MA
(Apr 2007)
Brave boy heading home

Acton, MA
(Apr 2007)
Team photos 2 post-surgery

Acton, MA
(May 2007)
Homemade 9th

birthday cake!

 

School-wise, third grade was fun (ending on a high note with a field trip to Boston's Fenway Park) but now he's got a lot more responsibility in fourth grade (working hard to keep up with all the homework and writing assignments). After his first real team project, his new and really cute thing is doing his own research and then presenting it to us at dinner. In the spring, we had somewhat of a scare when Ben required an emergency appendectomy (he blames it on the 13 chicken McNuggets he gulped down a few days before the diagnosis); thankfully he was a trooper and everything turned out okay after the surgery.  

 

Acton, MA
(May 2007)
Pitching for The Mets ABYB team, Minor B

Acton, MA
(May 2007)
Reading bday cards at family bday party!

Acton, MA
(Jun 2007)
Upon finishing his first swim session, the prized document!

Littleton, MA
(Jun 2007)
At second piano recital of the year

Boston, MA
(Jun 2007)
At tour of Fenway with Mom

Acton, MA
(Jun 2007)
Ben is...safe at first!

Newport, RI
(Jun 2007)
Spiffed up for Mom & Dad's 10th

 

In the summer, we kept Ben busy with Spanish, drama, and basketball camps at Mom's school and swim lessons. He continues to mature as a young pianist and has performed at three recitals and a talent show at his school this past year.  Then there's chess and his beloved baseball (with a move to Minor A). Two days after his surgery he hobbled out to the field (literally doubled over) to support his teammates in their first outing of the season. The finished basement has brought new joy to Ben's life as he (with dad and Jordan) religiously watches all the Red Sox (and Patriots) games.  He's the driving force behind getting the boys to watch all the games, as well as the family expert for sports-related statistics. The 2008 Red Sox World Series title brought him to the height of his existence to date. Period. Check him out hitting a bunt homerun!

 

Myrtle Beach, SC
(Jul 2007)
With cousin Josh at CohenFest

Lowell, MA
(Aug 2007)
Getting ready to play an inning at LeLacheur Park

Lowell, MA
(Aug 2007)
Running home as a brief minor leaguer!

Acton, MA
(Jun 2007)
Good effort for Level IV!

Ronda, Spain
(Aug 2007)
Deep in

La Mina

Ronda, Spain
(Aug 2007)
Running around

La Plaza de Toros
(oldest bullring in Spain)

Acton, MA
(Sep 2007)
First day of 4th grade

Acton, MA
(Sep 2007)
First at-bat as a Toronto Blue Jay in Minor A ball - ABYB

 

Baltimore, MD
(Sep 2007)
Partaking in the Baltimore Book Fair Spelling Bee

Baltimore, MD
(Sep 2007)
With Grandma Barbara and Mom at Camden Yards

Acton, MA
(Oct 2007)
Helping Dad paint the dining room

Littleton, MA
(Dec 2007)
Ben at his holiday piano recital

Acton, MA
(Dec 2007)
Ben in his Hopi presentation

Acton, MA
(Dec 2007)
Sledding in a blizzard at NARA Park

Stamford, CT
(Dec 2007)
Hugging Abuela Ana at Christmas

 

The biggest change for Rich this year was his new job. He’s been at Monster (yes, the resume people) since March and seems to be enjoying the work, the shorter commute to Maynard, the telecommuting flexibility, and the interpersonal nature of the job. He left his position as a software developer and now does more analyst work, supporting Monster's sales team's usage of the Salesforce.com CRM. The company culture is also a draw, with a dot com feel of the nineties that (for the time being) includes free lunches (after a food poisoning incident in the building cafeteria) and a lounge with big-screen TV and pool tables.  Work took him to San Francisco this year for the annual Salesforce.com conference, and to Monster's LA office.

 

Acton, MA
(Jan 2007)
Sanding raw cabinetry

Acton, MA
(Feb 2007)
Finishing cabinets with
Tried 'n True varnish

Concord, MA
(Feb 2007)
Working with Paul on face frames

Acton, MA
(Mar 2007)
Squaring and assembling cabinets

Acton, MA
(Mar 2007)
Building window boxes and installing trim

Acton, MA
(Apr 2007)
Caulking stairwell moldings

Acton, MA
(Apr 2007)
Chiseling kick frame for a level cabinet installation

 

Acton, MA
(Apr 2007)
Enough sawdust, work outside!  Sanding cabinet doors

San Juan, PR
(Apr 2007)
Taking a break in San Juan at the Tables party

Icacos, PR
(Apr 2007)
Sunning the lard on a snorkeling trip with Amy

Acton, MA
(Apr 2007)
Back to work. Painting the new Man Cave, finally!

Acton, MA
(May 2007)
Applying finish to the 600lb countertop.

Acton, MA
(May 2007)
Installing countertop with Ben holding it down, as if

Acton, MA
(May 2007)
The payoff. Carrying in the behemoth with Steve

 

More interestingly, Rich was very productive with home improvements. After 18 months, he “finished finishing” the basement, now known as the Man Cave.  He is putting together a photo book of the transformation and is pleased (as we all are) with the results.  He is still planning out the other half of his custom-made built-in cabinets/shelves, working with his friend Paul, who is the brains behind the construction.  To help furnish the basement, we were overjoyed to cash in on the Red Sox World Series promotion with a free sectional from Jordan's Furniture, fueling Rich's theory that gambling can in fact be profitable.  He also painted and redecorated the dining room and office in time for Thanksgiving at home. In the spring, Rich went to Puerto Rico with Mom and siblings for the seventh annual Chef’s Hat Award. On the side he's still running the Acton Adult Softball League (going into it's 9th year) and enjoyed his time with friend Andy going to see Roger Waters in Boston in July. Check out his 2007 booklist and ratings.

 

Newport, RI
(May 2007)
Relaxing outdoors near the pool in Newport

Charleston, SC
(Jul 2007)
With muboys at the Magnolia Plantation

Charleston, SC
(Jul 2007)
The clear waters of the low country extend into plantation gardens

Sevilla, Spain
(Aug 2007)

Roaming around Seville

Sevilla, Spain
(Aug 2007)

The best part of Spain in the summertime is the outdoor dining environment

Arcos de la Frontera, Spain
(Aug 2007)
Red Sox rock, even in Arcos

Gibraltar
(Aug 2007)
At "the rock"

Ronda, Spain
(Aug 2007)
At the chasm in Ronda, the best location in Spain

 

Malagá, Spain
(Aug 2007)
Our hotel rooftop with a great view of the
cathedral

Granada, Spain
(Aug 2007)
Contemplating the universe

Sevilla, Spain
(Aug 2007)
The ancient bath house restaurant

Acton, MA
(Sep 2007)
Enjoying a visit from brother Dennis

Baltimore, MD
(Sep 2007)
All the rage at the Baltimore Book Fair

Acton, MA
(Sep 2007)
"Acton Day" at the AASL sponsored dunk tank!

Jersey City, NJ
(Oct 2007)
Tearing it up with the bride at Mudra and Doug's wedding

Acton, MA
(Nov 2007)
Another year older, Rich celebrates with his two favorite sons

Boston, MA
(Dec 2007)
Hosting some great kids from the Boys and Girls club at Monster's Winter Wonderland

 

Jacky continued to keep herself busy this year with family, teaching (school year and summer camp), and personal pursuits. For work she went to the People of Color Conference in Boston, hosted by the NAIS , and it was a powerful experience. She has also taken over teaching Spanish lessons for Ben and Jord once a week, although she misses the discipline of their scheduled classes with other kids in the community.

 

Acton, MA
(Feb 2007)
Jacky with Hector, Ruth, Chuli and Faith

Westford, MA
(Feb 2007)
Skiing with niece Chuli

Boston, MA
(Feb 2007)
At Faneuil Hall with Chuli, Tim and the boys

Lincoln, MA
(Mar 2007)
In solidarity with the head sculpture at DeCordova

Concord, MA
(Apr 2007)
Loving her brave big boy

Acton, MA
(Apr 2007)
Acting as though she just won the Acton NARA 5K

Acton, MA
(May 2007)
Hosting Faculty SEED at home

 

Acton, MA
(May 2007)
Painting!

Stamford, CT
(Jun 2007)
Finishing the Hope in Motion run

Bedford, MA
(Jun 2007)
With her writer's group and poet Frank Bidart

Boston, MA
(Jul 2007)
With her little men at Fenway Park

Charleston, SC
(Jul 2007)
At Magnolia Plantation with her boys

Acton, MA
(Jul 2007)
Enjoying the Man Cave with the boys

Sevilla, Spain
(Aug 2007)
With Suggie at El Río Guadalquivir

 

For fun, she took some yoga classes and ran two 5Ks, improving her time from 34:11 in the April run to 32:21 for the June one. In the summer she took a two-week painting class at the DeCordova Museum and reignited a passion for painting. Her most intriguing cultural outings were Wicked and the Body World II exhibit, both in Boston, and a sizzling flamenco performance in Spain. Wicked was a birthday treat to herself, after first reading the book and memorizing the soundtrack (and getting the whole family into the songs).

 

Gibraltar
(Aug 2007)
First rock sighting

Parauta, Spain
(Aug 2007)
On the terrace of our two-day apartment

Ronda, Spain
(Aug 2007)
With prized flamenco dancer Pilar Becerra

Ronda, Spain
(Aug 2007)
Enjoy(ing) the view

Malagá, Spain
(Aug 2007)
Loving bday boy

Sevilla, Spain
(Aug 2007)
At La Plaza de Toros

Tetouan, Morocco
(Aug 2007)
Camel ride!

 

Tetouan, Morocco
(Aug 2007)
Looking virginal in Moroccan garb

Tetouan, Morocco
(Aug 2007)
With Suggie and the medicine man

Acton, MA
(Sep 2007)
Celebrating 42 years with her boys...

Acton, MA
(Sep 2007)
...and with her Gups

Baltimore, MA
(Sep 2007)
Up close with Derek Jeter at the Yankees last game

Westwood, MA
(Sep 2007)
Jacky with her fifth-grade homeroom

 

On the side, Jacky was the Spanish translator for a second bilingual children's book, The Parrot Club/Club Cotorra, to be released in the near future by our favorite publisher, Read Street Publishing. At home, when she's not undertaking her own crafts (while the boys bang their chests down in their cave), you can catch Jacky bundled up in a robe and fully enjoying her half of the housework with a book in her ears. Check out her 2007 book list and ratings. Big events in her family included nephew Tim’s and niece Christina’s graduation from high school and sister Melonie’s graduation as a masseuse.

 

Concord, MA
(Oct 2007)
Jacky and Ben and the Crop Walk for Hunger

Acton, MA
(Aug 2007)
Inspired by Spain's bullrings - the boys' Halloween costumes are underway!

Stamford, MA
(Oct  2007)
Máma and three of her hijas hanging at Bean's

Waltham, MA
(Nov 2007)
Partaking in the customs of the "Day of the Dead" celebration at Brandeis University

Carlisle, MA
(Dec 2007)
A family hike at Great Brook State Park

Acton, MA
(Dec 2007)
Sifting through the holiday cards and gifts from students and coworkers.

 

And then there was everything we did together as a family. We spent New Year's Eve 2006 in Boston, strolling through the city in unusually mild weather, and then again in Chatham (Cape Cod) a few weeks ago, and decided that these First Night affairs are a good way to explore major New England cities and towns. In June, we took the boys to Castle Hill Inn in Newport, RI to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary at the place of our nuptials. After dinner we watched from afar as a young couple celebrated a similar tent wedding on the grounds, and it was a moving encounter.

 

Newport, RI
(Jun 2007)
Arriving, still in love,
10 years later (thankfully)

Newport, RI
(Jun 2007)
Married a decade:

Gups and Gups

Newport, RI
(Jun 2007)
The lovers' offspring

Newport, RI
(Jun 2007)
Celebrating Steve's 40th

Stamford, CT
(Jun 2007)
La Familia at our third annual Walk for Cancer

Boston, MA
(Jul 2007)
With Tim and Spike at Fenway

Charleston, SC
(Jul 2007)
On the boardwalk before the terrific lightning storm

 

In July we had a blast down at Myrtle Beach for our fifth CohenFest family reunion of relatives on Rich's Mom's side, spending a couple days beforehand in Charleston as tourists. A highlight for the boys this year was spending several hours at Fenway Park, watching BP and meeting some of the players before a Red Sox game, as part of a special event arranged by Monster.

 

Myrtle Beach, SC
(Jul 2007)
With cousin Josh at twilight on Myrtle's warm beach

Myrtle Beach, SC
(Jul 2007)
A large chunk of family (The Tasch's) at the 7th Cohenfest family reunion

Lowell, MA
(Aug 2007)
Watching the Lowell Spinners!

Lowell, MA
(Aug 2007)
As if we just met.  Every day is like this. (Well, mostly.)

Nashua, NH
(Aug 2007)
Hiking in Nashua's lush forests with Amy.

Acton, MA
(Aug 2007)
Two "swimblings" finishing lessons on one fine August weekend

 

But our most glorious adventure this year was wandering through Spain’s vibrant and luscious Andalucía region (Sevilla->Arcos de la Frontera->Cádiz->Tarifa->Aljeciras->Parauta->Ronda->Málaga->Almuñécar->Granada->Sevilla) for two weeks in August with niece Natalie, with stopovers in Gibraltar and Morocco. We are still processing the experience and are working up a photo book and journal as a way to keep the journey with us (we snapped over 2,000 photos).

 

Sevilla, Spain
(Aug 2007)
Outside of La Giralda

Sevilla, Spain
(Aug 2007)
At the local bullring, off season

Tarifa, Spain
(Aug 2007)
One windy point in Spain's southernmost town

Gibraltar
(Aug 2007)
This might as well have been Photoshopped

Granada, Spain
(Aug 2007)
From warm->hot->cold, the allure of Arab baths at 11pm with youngsters

Ronda, Spain
(Aug 2007)
Walking around (or in this case sitting) at La Mina

 

Thanksgiving saw us giving gracias at home for the first time ever, and we were happy to host Rich’s family. On a sad note, our friend Judith passed away in April...we felt so lucky and blessed to have known her through her connection with Rich's Uncle Martin.

 

Acton, MA
(Sep 2007)
A typical Saturday morning

Stowe, MA
(Sep 2007)
Apple picking partners
and dear friends
Yvette and Bill

Westport, CT
(Sep 2007)
Celebrating with Melonie at her graduation

Acton, MA
(Oct 2007)
Mom-made matador and bull for Halloween!

Stamford, CT
(Oct 2007)
Celebrating Spike's 21st bday!

Lowell, MA
(Oct 2007)
At Ethan's birthday party at the Lowell Devil's hockey game!

Acton, MA
(Nov 2007)
Thanksgiving at home

 

We realized it had been a frenzied 2007 when Jacky finished a painting of our home in the fall and Rich asked her to sign it “Jacky 08." Well, she did just that, and none of us noticed the slip with the year until our Thanksgiving guests pointed it out. In 2008, we hope to be less busy and thus more sane. We are optimistic that this year will mark the beginning of many positive changes in the world, starting right here in the USA (hint: 1/20/09).

 

Acton, MA
(Dec 2007)
Meeting Santa on parade in Acton

Sudbury, MA
(Dec 2007)
Dinner at Bullfinch's with Jeff, Robin, Scot,  and family

Stamford, CT
(Dec 2007)
A midnight visit from Old St. Hector

Stamford, CT
(Dec 2007)
Boys get their wish!

Stamford, CT
(Dec 2007)
Conversation and glee with family at Yankee swap

Chatham, MA
Dec 31 2007 11:58pm
Waiting for fireworks and the
dropping of the cod

 

As always, we await a visit by you and yours to our home in Massachusetts any time because, of course, we love you and your company. Be blessed, healthy and peaceful in 2008. 

 

Con mucho amor,
Jacqueline, Richard, Benjamin, and Jordan

 


Movies and Rentals of  2007
- Not necessarily a complete list
- Not necessarily movies released in 2007
- Listed in no order we saw them, for the most part.

 

Rich Rating
(4 circles is best)

(red is noteworthy)

 

Jacky Rating
(4 circles is best)

(red is noteworthy)

Brick

Babel

Volver

The Departed

Running with Scissors

Invincible

Quinceañera

The Prestige

Manderlay

Pursuit of Happiness

Rocky Balboa

Night at the Museum

National Lampoon's Vacation

Deja Vu

Last King of Scotland

Children of Men

Notes on a Scandal

The Kid

Tie Me Up Tie Me Down

Shopgirl

Absolute Power

The Holiday

Next

Office Space

I am Legend

The Great Debaters

Sicko

The Kite Runner

 

Jackys Book List  |  Rich's Book List