HAPPY 2009!

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

2008 SCRAPBOOK

 

 

 

 

January 2009

Dear family and friends,

With this belated holiday greeting, we extend our arms in hugs to all of you. While everything outside is frozen, the streets flanked by enormous snow banks, the four of us are keeping warm together, thankful for another year. Indeed, this New Year finds us hopeful for fresh beginnings in our country and for a more united and involved people. Yes we can!

 

 

Acton MA
(Jan  2008)
Waking up to gifts from Los tres reyes

Acton MA
(Mar  2008)
Easter eggs are everywhere!

Humacao PR
(Mar  2008)
Frolicking in the warm PR sunshine

Acton MA
(Mar  2008)
Cheering on the Patriots, who lose the perfect season

 

Humacao PR
(Mar 2008)
At Palmas del Mar

Acton MA
(Mar  2008)
Crazy boys playing downstairs

Acton MA
(Mar  2008)
At the frozen beach, aching for the spring baseball season

  

 

Acton MA
(Mar  2008)
Two brothers reading

Concord MA
(Apr  2008)
Planting Potatoes for Gaining Ground

Concord MA
(Apr  2008)
With fife and drum and stockade during April 19 March to Concord.

 

Acton MA
(Apr  2008)
Getting a colonial checkup by Dr. John Swift

Groton MA
(Jun  2008)
Enjoying the scenery on the Nashua River Rail Trail

Acton MA
(May  2008)
Making full use of the homemade Green Monster!

 

 

Jordan is an active six year old who always keep us entertained. He continues to melt mommy’s heart with declarations like, “I love you more than you love me,” or “I wish I could be attached to you…then I’ll be warm forever.” Or, "I know why you have those bumps on your chest, Mommy...I was in one, and Ben was in the other." His new thing is dressing up, carefully picking out his clothes for the day and tucking in his shirt, then checking himself in the mirror.

 

Concord MA
(Mar  2008)
Celebrating a kindergarten beach day in the middle of winter

Humacao PR
(Mar  2008)
Soaking in the rays in style

San Juan PR
(Mar  2008)
Swimming without a vest for the first time

Río Grande PR
(Mar  2008)
Admiring the miramelinda at El Yunque

Ansonia CT
(Mar  2008)
Horsing around with cousin Aidan

Dorchester MA
(Apr  2008)
Loving the "baby cub lions" at Franklin Park Zoo

 

 

 

Concord MA
(Apr  2008)
Planting potatoes with Mama

Groton MA
(Apr  2008)
Crossing the finish at his first 2K!

Acton MA
(May  2008)
Taking aim at Ben's 10th bday

Concord MA
(May  2008)
At the kindergarten spring performance

Acton MA
(Jun  2008)
Ending his season as a Blue Jay

Acton MA
(Aug  2008)
Dozing on the clean laundry

 

Jordan had lots of new experiences this year. In the fall, he started first grade at Ben’s school. While he was sad to leave Mommy’s school, he handled the transition nicely and is happy with his new friends, including a new girlfriend who he “will probably marry even though we’re not in love.” Early in the year he started karate with Ben, and he loved it. In the summer he also joined Ben in piano. He’s not into practicing as much as we’d like, but he sure does like dressing up in a suit and bow tie and performing for the crowd. After his first performance, a Christmas duet with Ben, he said he was going to ask his teacher for “a longer piece so he can be on the stage longer.” In fact, he probably practiced bowing more than he did playing!

 

Baltimore MD
(Aug  2008)
With Grandpa Harry and Grandma Barbara

Westford MA
(Aug 2008)
Doing his first kata in karate class

Portsmouth NH
(Aug 2008)
Celebrating  six at the water park

Portsmouth NH
(Aug 2008)
A perfect summer day at the Water Country wave pool

Acton MA
(Aug 2008)
Turning six with Mom and a box cake

Boston MA
(Aug  2008)
With pal Greyson at Fenway Park

Acton MA
(Sep 2008)
Jordan's first day in first grade at his new school

 

Like his older brother, Jordan’s biggest love is baseball. In spring little league, he moved up to Minor C, with coach pitch. He gave the game his all and was quite a sight, running around the bases like little Speedy González. He also enjoyed baseball camp in the summer, as well as swim lessons. During our trip to Puerto Rico in the spring, Daddy taught him to swim in the water without a life vest. He’s also still very much into drawing and taping up his artwork all around the house. Check him out trying to get out of doing his homework.

 

Acton MA
(Oct 2008)
Fall little league, a nice play at 1B

Acton MA
(Oct 2008)
Run, Jordan, run!

Acton MA
(Oct 2008)
Jordan in Minor C little league

Acton MA
(Oct 2008)
A leftie batter

Acton MA
(Dec 2008)
So much for "Less Mess Neat Squeeze!"

Acton MA
(Jan 2009)
Showing off his homemade trophy shelf Daddy made with him

Concord MA
(Jan 2009)
Sledding fun on a Concord hillside

 

Our big guy, Ben, celebrated his tenth birthday in our backyard with all his classmates in fifth grade. He is our quiet “little man” who surprises us with his observations. In a discussion about peace, Ben said he liked what Martin Luther King said, that “darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can,” and that if “you like really, really think about it, violence doesn’t make any sense.” 

 

Humacao PR
(Mar  2008)
Hold the rum

San Juan PR
(Mar  2008)
Playing piano while Carli Muñoz (of Beach Boys fame) looks on

Acton MA
(Mar  2008)
A fourth-grade pueblo collage

Acton MA
(Mar  2008)
Preparing gourmet meals with Dad to bring home

Framingham MA
(Mar  2008)
Taking a break at the MACA chess tournament (won 2 and lost 2)

Concord MA
(Apr 2008)
With Mama planting potatoes

 

 

Groton MA
(Apr 2008)
Running his first road race (2K)

Littleton MA
(May 2008)
At the spring piano recital

Acton MA
(May 2008)
With best friend JT at Ben's 10th bday party

Acton MA
(May 2008)
Red Sox boy gets a new Red Sox toy

Acton MA
(May  2008)
A Crazy Bones gift from baby bro

Acton MA
(May 2008)
A big hug for Mom

 

For Halloween he suggested that he and Jordan collect for UNICEF instead of candy because "we won't get through it all and it'll be a waste." Even more surprisingly for us, Ben’s voice has started to change, so Mom felt it appropriate to have the first half of “the talk” with him. Of course, Ben thought it was all really funny, and he still laughs when he thinks about it.

 

Boston MA
(May 2008)
10th birthday at Fenway, watch the video!

Acton MA
(Jun 2008)
Getting his trophy from coach Ken from Minor A baseball at our season-ending backyard celebration

Acton MA
(Jun 2008)
With fourth grade teacher Callie at Patriot's Pool

Acton MA
(Jul 2008)
Finishing another session of Level 4 swim lessons

Baltimore MD
(Aug 2008)
Presenting the celebratory poster to Grandma Barbara

Westford MA
(Aug 2008)
Performing a kata at his karate class

 

Ben’s most exciting new experience this year has been karate. He started early in the year with Jordan but has since moved to Dad’s school for long sessions (two-hours) on Thursday nights. He absolutely loves the challenge and, with his young mind, keeps Dad straight on the Shotokan katas. Like Jordan, Ben also got a kick out of running his first 2K. With his fifth-grade class, he took pleasure in his first field trip away from home, at Camp Merrowvista in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, with Dad as one of the volunteer parent chaperones.  

 

Acton MA
(Sep 2008)
Getting ready for his first day of 5th grade

Acton MA
(Sep 2008)
First day in the fifth-grade classroom

Provincetown MA
(Sep 2008)
Sunset at the jetty

Littleton MA
(Oct  2008)
In full costume at the Halloween recital.
Watch video

Tuftonburo NH
(Oct  2008)
With his camp group at the fifth-grade sleep away camp, Merrowvista

Tuftonburo NH
(Oct 2008)
Rock climbing!

 

Naturally, Ben was happiest playing any sport but especially baseball, spending hours outside doing scrimmage with Jordan or working on his own to refine his pitching and catching. He was overjoyed this year to have Dad as a coach for two seasons on his little league teams. And he too enjoyed baseball camp in the summer. When he can’t play, he’s content watching the sports channel, always keeping us up to date on what’s happening in the sports world.  On his birthday he and Dad went to Fenway Park, and Ben was famous if only for a few seconds with an appearance on TV, holding up his homemade birthday sign in the stands during the game. He’s also keeping himself busy with chess, swimming, and piano. And he’s quite into dancing too! Check him out "gettin' jiggy with it" at Daddy's company party. 

 

 

Tuftonburo NH
(Oct 2008)
On the ledge after a 40-minute hike, with chaperone Dad

Acton MA
(Dec 2008)
Building a homemade trophy shelf with Dad

Acton MA
(Jan  2008)
The completed project!

Acton MA
(Jan 2009)
Helping Dad sand some shelves for the basement

Concord MA
(Jan 2009)
Gettin' air at the Concord sledding hill

 

 

Rich continues to enjoy his work at Monster doing CRM work, and is trying to carve a role out for himself in the world of data visualization and dashboard technology.  Check out his published interview in a vendor case study. Two business trips this year took him to Los Angeles in the spring and Salt Lake City in the fall.

 

 

El Yunque PR
(Mar 2008)
On the road with Bob and Jamila, waiting for the rain to start

El Yunque PR
(Mar 2008)
Climbing the rocks at Coco Falls

Humacao PR
(Mar 2008)
Eating his favorite Puerto Rican pastry, the Mallorca

Acton MA
(Mar 2008)
Introducing the boys to the basics of karate

Groton MA
(Apr 2008)
Rich and the boys after his 5K run

 

At home, Rich worked on a number of projects, including finishing the basement bookshelves with help from his friend Paul, starting work on an oversized basement wall disco mirror, and updating our downstairs bathroom.  Nothing, however, exemplified Rich-ness more than the homemade “green monster” Fenway Park scoreboard he built as an accessory for Ben’s birthday party.  That thing must weigh about 500 pounds and hangs on a portable steel framing system he came up with, that can be used to support a small building. He’s currently building a ping pong table (and a Nok Hockey table) to help keep everyone entertained in these cold winter months.  Earlier in the year, he finished the new Parrot Book and another edition of Tables.

 

Baltimore MD
(Apr 2008)
At Camden Yards with the family

Acton MA
(May 2008)
Putting the finishing touches on the homemade Green Monster

Acton MA
(May 2008)
Amy helps paint hundreds of score tiles for the new scoreboard

Acton MA
(Jun 2008)
Father's Day in bed

Narragansett RI
(Jul 2008)
A romantic twilight beach walk with Jacqueline

Acton MA
(Aug 2008)
With Amy at the annual Swarm softball party in the backyard

 

Baltimore MD
(Aug 2008)
With mom at her 75th birthday bash in Balto

Westford MA
(Aug  2008)
With Jordan at his 6th birthday dinner at Applebee's

Narragansett RI
(Aug  2008)
Splashing with the boys

Brighton MA
(Aug  2008)
A rainy street fair selling bumper stickers outside a loud bar

Acton MA
(Sep 2008)

In the AASL-sponsored dunk tank during Acton Day at the local park

Acton MA
(Sep 2008)

The dunk event at Acton Day

 

 

Early in the year, Rich resurrected his practice of karate after a 20-year hiatus. He has recently enjoyed having Ben along and having someone at home to practice with. In the fall, Rich and his bumper sticker partner finally participated in their first street fair. It was the wrong venue and rainy at that. In the end they sold about four stickers, but at least Rich was able to get some satisfaction from the construction of a reinforced steel booth to display all the sticker samples. He’s quite a character. Major events in Rich’s family included, sadly, the passing of his father’s last living sibling, BAM (Beautiful Aunt Marilyn).

 

Acton MA
(Sep 2008)
Dad showing the boys the fun of collecting coins!

Littleton MA
(Oct 2008)
Picking a Halloween pumpkin

Acton MA
(Nov 2008)
Getting love at birthday dinner and party

Acton MA
(Nov 2008)
Reading cards from the boys

Acton MA
(Dec 2008)
Taking his karate test, gets blue belt

Jacky started her fourth year at NBSC, taking on additional responsibility as the Team Leader for grades 4-6. Her most heartening experience was forging a partnership between her school and another in a working class Hispanic community to bring girls from two different worlds together for a common purpose. She also enjoyed hopping down to New Orleans late in the year to attend her second NAIS People of Color Conference. While she didn’t get to the depressed parts of the city, she was pleased to discover that the indomitable spirit of N’Oleans is still going strong.

 

Concord MA
(Jan  2008)
Keeping warm at the North Bridge

Humacao PR
(Mar  2008)
Watching the precious ones while reading

Río Grande
(Mar  2008)
Jumping in the rain at El Yunque

San Juan PR
(Mar  2008)
At the annual Table's chef's award gala

Río Grande PR
(Mar  2008)
Chewin' tostones with Bobbow

Humacao PR
(Mar  2008)
Reading to baby boy at Chez Daniel tapas bar on the pier

 

Humacao PR
(Mar  2008)
Contemplating a private Puerto Rican sunrise

Ansonia CT
(Mar  2008)
Looking up to big sis Annie

Acton MA
(Mar  2008)
Saying good-bye to the blue Honda

Concord MA
(Apr  2008)
Partying with the Minute Men

Acton MA
(Apr  2008)
Painting tiles for the monster

Acton MA
(May  2008)
With Yvette at Ben's 10th bash

Early in the year Jacky took some swim lessons to help build her strength in the water. Alas, she also spent half the year in physical therapy with a herniated disc on L5/S1 plus a stubborn case of lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). Her hopes of becoming a 5K runner are history, but she has now turned to dance, teaching Salsa on Thursday nights through a partnership with her gym. 

 

Pepperell MA
(May  2008)
A beautiful encounter during a lone mother's day walk

Sudbury MA
(May  2008)
Watching the monks create their mandala at the Compassion Festival

Acton MA
(Jun  2008)
Embracing the boys at one of their games

Acton MA
(Jun  2008)
Cookin' and spinnin'

Acton MA
(Jun  2008)
Hosting the SEED party

Stamford CT
(Jun  2008)
At the annual walk for cancer to honor Dad

 

Washington DC
(Aug  2008)
At the Lincoln Memorial with Billy

Baltimore MD
(Aug  2008)
With sis' n' law Amy at the Barbara n' Harry's bday/anniversary party...

Baltimore MD
(Aug  2008)
...and with Uncle Martin

Westford MA
(Aug  2008)
Dancin' with the boys at Dad's Monster bash

Westford MA
(Aug  2008)
Sneakin' in a read while the boys relieve themselves

Boston MA
(Aug  2008)
Pretending to be a Sox fan

In the summer Jacky flew down to the south of France, solo, for a week-long Zen meditation retreat at Plum Village. She got so much out of the experience that she wrote all about it and has begun to more formally adopt the Buddhist philosophy.  As the boys express interest, she continues to get them involved, and they’re especially keen to learn how meditation can help them in their athletic pursuits.  For the remainder of the summer, Jacky was very happy to spend her time out and about with her little rug rats, as she lovingly calls them. And, of course, Jacky continued her voracious reading during any break she could muster—check out her book 2008 booklist. Big events in Jacky’s family included her little sister Melonie’s marriage to Derek.

 

Narragansett RI
(Aug  2008)
Splashing with the boys

Stamford CT
(Sep  2008)
At Aidan's party with Mama

Acton MA
(Sep  2008)
Birthday kisses from the boys

Lowell MA
(Oct  2008)
At the Lowell Poetry Festival with writer girlfriends

Acton MA
(Nov  2008)
Reading with The Moofs

Lowell MA
(Oct  2008)
Amazed at the bathroom in Life Alive Café

 

Stamford CT
(Nov  2008)
With twin sister Liz

Acton MA
(Nov  2008)
Honoring deceased loved ones for El día de los muertos

Acton MA
(Nov  2008)
Voting with the boys - yes we did!

Acton MA
(Dec  2008)
Opening holiday gifts from students

Bridgeport CT
(Dec  2008)
With siblings on Christmas Day

Stamford CT
(Dec  2008)
Cooking up rhythms in the kitchen

As a family we were more subdued than last year. Phew! We flew down to Puerto Rico in March for the annual Chef’s Hat Awards party. In addition to relaxing in the quiet Palmas del Mar in Humacao, we were delighted to see our old friends Bob and Jamila, who flew over from St. Croix to meet up with us at the tail end of our trip.

 

Concord MA
(Jan  2008)
Visiting North Bridge in the bitter cold with Andy, Leslie, Marissa, and Cayla

Littleton, MA
(Jan 2008)
With Aunt Amy at Ben's piano recital

El Yunque PR
(Mar  2008)
Eating "limber" at the rainforest

San Juan PR
(Mar  2008)
Barbara and Harry still got it

Stamford CT
(Mar 2008)
At cousin Faith's third birthday party

Boston MA
(Mar  2008)
With the Murphys at the Museum of Science Sleepover camp

Stamford CT
(Mar  2008)
Melonie and Derek with little bruiser Aidan

 

 

San Juan PR
(Mar  2008)
Bob and Jamila visit us in San Juan

Acton MA
(May  2008)
Dad, Spike and boys want part of the history too!

Acton MA
(May  2008)
So do Derek, Melonie, Melissa and Timmy.

Washington DC
(Aug  2008)
With pal Billy walking the DC circuit

Boston MA
(Aug  2008)
At the Chinatown street fair with Amy

Westford MA
(Aug  2008)
With Sensei Eric

Baltimore MD
(Aug  2008)
The extended family on the famous staircase at Gma and Gpa's place in Balto

Boston MA
(Aug  2008)
Taking a duck boat tour in Boston, with friend Greyson

In the summer we got down to Baltimore for Rich’s mom and her husband Harry’s 100th celebration (Harry’s 75th and their 25th wedding anniversary). We had fun catching up with our friend Bill in DC. We also spent a couple of beautiful weekends at Narragansett and then PTown with our friends Steve and Edit.

 

Stamford CT
(Sep  2008)
Boys help Aidan celebrate his 4th

Provincetown MA
(Sep  2008)
At Race Point Beach, while visiting Ptown with friends Edit and Steve (and Reka)

Acton MA
(Oct  2008)
Halloween fun with the neighbors

Acton MA
(Nov 2008)
Celebrating Thanksgiving at home

Bridgeport CT
(Dec  2008)
Las chicas partying at Liz's place

Bridgeport CT
(Dec  2008)
Los chicos partying at Liz's place

Acton MA
(Jan 2009)
Getting rug burn with Lady Réka

New experiences for us included cross country skiing (in pristine powder snow), which we loved. We also tried out one of those dinner preparation places, where you go to assemble a handful of ready-to-cook, freezable entrees in fully stocked kitchen stations. Although some of the recipes were really good, most of the stuff wasn’t practical enough for the boys to enjoy.

 

Sudbury MA
(May  2008)
At Lincoln-Sudbury High School for the Compassion Festival

Ayer MA
(May  2008)
Our 11th anniversary dinner at Mango Grill

Westford, MA
(May  2008)
Mini golf at Kimball Farm

Nashua, NH
(Jun  2008)
After six miles, we made it to Nashua!

Acton MA
(Jun  2008)
A quiet afternoon for water colors

 

Narragansett, RI
(Jul  2008)
A beautiful day at the RI seashore

Narragansett, RI
(Jul  2008)
Celebrating the shore line

Narragansett, RI
(Jul  2008)
Beach walk at dusk

Newport RI
(Jul  2008)
At the Astor Mansion

Acton MA
(Jul  2008)
Door-to-door ice cream

Boston MA
(Aug  2008)
Enjoying EMC level seats at Fenway Park with friends.

Concord MA
(Aug  2008)
Just after swimming the length of Walden Pond

The holidays saw us staying put in New England. What a treat! We celebrated Thanksgiving at our home with Rich and his family. For Christmas we went down to visit with Jacky’s family in Connecticut. And the New Year saw us in the next town, ringing in 2009 with neighbors.

 

Baltimore MD
(Aug  2008)
Family love at Park Ave

Concord MA
(Aug  2008)
Early morning meditation at Walden Pond

Washington DC
(Aug  2008)
Walking the mall on a scorching hot day in August

Provincetown MA
(Sep  2008)

Fine dining silliness on Jacky's bday

Provincetown MA
(Sep  2008)
Cape Cod boys at Race Point beach

Truro MA
(Sep  2008)
Stopping at wine festival on the way home

Acton MA
(Nov  2008)
Taking time to relax and read by a warm fire

 

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 2009.  p.s. If you haven't already, please join Facebook and befriend us! It's a great way for us to keep in touch!

 

Acton MA
(Nov  2008)
A good time of year to rake leaves, and play in 'em

Stamford CT
(Nov 2008)
At Melonie and Derek's pad

Acton MA
(Dec  2008)
Supporting the sox in the snow

Acton MA
(Dec  2008)
Lantern walk on conservation land on New Year's Eve

Concord MA
(Jan 2009)
Ringing in the new year at friends John and Marni's studio

Carlisle MA
(Jan 2009)
Trying out cross country skiing for the first time

Acton MA
(Jan 2009)
This is just the beginning

 

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

 

 

 


Movies and Rentals of  2008
- Not necessarily a complete list
- Not necessarily movies released in 2008
- 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)

Art School Confidential

There Will Be Blood
HairSpray
Original Sin
L.O.S.T. Seasons 1-4
Horton Hears a Who
Things we Lost in the Fire
Dan in Real Life
Goya's Ghosts
Bucket List
Kung Fu Panda
Diving Bell
Into the Wild
Wall-E
Hancock
Benjamin Button
21
Mamma Mia!
Elf
American Gangster
Jumper
Charlie Wilson's War
Burn After Reading
Mall Cop
Coraline
Slumdog Millionaire
Changeling
Vicki Christina Barcelona

 

Jacky's Book List  |  Rich's Book List