HAPPY 2010!

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

2009 SCRAPBOOK

 

March 2010

Dear friends and family,

Another year (and a quarter) has passed, and thankfully all is well with us. With the end of March almost here, we have set a new record for the timing of our annual letter. Looking out the window, instead of snow, starkness, and stillness, one sees grass and flowers and budding tree branches swaying gently in the breeze. Having just returned from Puerto Rico, it was a treat to come home to a new spring. Happy two-kay-ten and warm hugs to all of you!

Acton MA
(Jan 2009)
Scooterin' indoors in the winter

Acton MA
(Jan 2009)
Three Kings morning!

Mayagüez PR
(Mar 2009)
Brothers at the Mayagüez Resort

Boston MA
(Mar 2009)
Winning the scavenger hunt @ Matt's 40th

Acton MA
(Apr 2009)
Easter eggs!

Acton MA
(Apr 2009)
Patriot's Day walkers in our back yard

Niagara Falls CAN
(May 2009)
On the Maid of the Mist

Acton MA
(May 2009)
Enjoying Jordan's desert unit

 

Jordan is a seven year old pasta fiend with a big, gap tooth smile. Second grade has been tricky as he gets used to the weekly homework packets, but most importantly he has settled in with nice new friendships and love of learning. He is still close to Mommy, proposing marriage to her and suggesting that he not go to college so he won’t have to leave “the best mom I ever had.” J His passion for art continues, and he is attuned to the beauty of nature, especially flowers and the moon. He has also taken to dog sitting for our friend's schnoodle, and he loves the responsibility, taking it very seriously and giving the dog lots of love.

 

 

Littleton MA
(Jan 2009)
Jordan's first piano recital

Acton MA
(Jan 2009)
Blizzard to lamppost heights!

Camden ME
(Feb 2009)
About to go tobogganing

Acton MA
(Dec 2009)
Jordan in his long-ago attire (see filmstrip)

Maynard MA
(Feb 2009)
Reading to Réka

Acton MA
(Mar 2009)
All Red Sox

Acton MA
(Mar 2009)
Jokin' around with buddy Nicholas

Rincón PR
(Mar 2009)
Welcome to the Puerto Rican rock!

  

 

Rincón PR
(Mar 2009)
Cuddling with Mom in the pool

Acton MA
(Apr 2009)
ABRHS pitching clinic

Acton MA
(May 2009)
Sharing work with Mom

Acton MA
(May 2009)
Batting as a Red Sock!

Niagara Falls CAN
(May 2009)
The falls...

Acton MA
(Jun 2009)
With Pat, his first grade teacher

Acton MA
(Jun 2009)
Mom reads coquí book
to Jordan, classmates

Acton MA
(Jun 2009)
At the Lion's Fair with Aidan

  

To help Jordan develop his own identity, we recently switched him to learn guitar instead of piano. He is sort of blasé about practicing, but he actively seeks out opportunities to perform for friends and family. He also loves to sing along while he plays, loudly and utterly off-key but with joie de vivre. Check him out performing When the Saints go Marching In. This summer Jordan took his first big boy swim lessons, and in his determination to keep up with his friends and big brother he got through Levels I and II. He also joined Ben’s chess class, and in his easygoing way he comes home after each one to joke about all the games he lost.

 

 

Stamford MA
(Jun 2009)
Hanging with Aidan at the Bennett Cancer Walk

Littleton MA
(Jul 2009)
Jordan passes Level II swimming!

Easton MA
(Jul 2009)
At camp with Jason Varitek & Dustin Pedroia

Concord MA
(Jul 2009)
Climbing at Thoreau

Kennebunk ME
(Jul 2009)
With dad at the beach

Acton MA
(Aug 2009)
With Ben and Aidan at Dad's softball game

Easton MA
(Aug 2009)
Getting his Dharma name: Wise Lion

  

In the spring, Jordan, an early riser, was delighted to do basketball in the mornings before school. But his number one thing is still baseball. In the fall he moved to Minor B and was psyched to be able to pitch, and for Mom, Dad and Ben it was fun to watch him do so as a leftie. Any free time he and Ben have together is sure to be spent in the backyard, playing one-on-one wiffle ball tournaments ‘til dusk. Jordan has learned a lot about the game from big brother. Check him out hitting it to left center.

 

Acton MA
(Aug 2009)
At Fire Your Desire camp

Acton MA
(Aug 2009)
Hangin' with Jacinta

Acton MA
(Aug 2009)
Celebrating his seventh!

Acton MA
(Sep 2009)
First day of second grade!

Westport NY
(Sep 2009)
Hiking with Mom at the Big House

Acton MA
(Sep 2009)
Losing his first baby tooth

Acton MA
(Oct 2009)
Catchin' for the Marlins

  

 

   

New York NY
(Nov 2009)
At the Empire State Building

Acton MA
(Nov 2009)
First year of guitar, home practicing

Acton MA
(Dec 2009)
Jordan in his long-ago attire (see filmstrip)

Acton MA
(Jan 2010)
Caring for buddy Brady

Westford MA
(Jan 2010)
Skiing Falling at Nashoba Valley

Boxborough MA

(Dec 2009)
Ice skating at Nashoba Valley Olympia

East Haddam CT
(May 2009)
At Gillette Castle w/Benji

 

Our Benji (as he coined himself back in fourth grade) is a sixth grader and math enthusiast, spending his last year at school with Jordan before he heads off to the junior high. It took him a while to adjust to not having his good bud as a classmate for the first time, but he has developed a new friendship or two and is handling his heaviest workload yet independently. He became a Student Council Representative for the first time and has taken his responsibility very seriously, waking up on his own for early morning meetings (he is not a morning person). Early in the year he took a “Home Alone” class, and recently we have allowed him to bus home with Jordan and hang out for 15 to 30 minutes before Mom arrives from school. He also had his first trip away without Mom or Dad, spending a week at the Cape with his friend and his family over the summer. Our big guy is becoming our little man! Check him out posing a question about peace to Thich Nhat Hanh.   

 

Acton MA
(Jan 2009)
After the blizzard

Littleton MA
(Jan 2009)
At the IHMS holiday recital

Acton MA
(Mar 2010)
At the end of basketball season

Acton MA
(May 2009)
Impersonating Erkel

Acton MA
(May 2009)
Wolpac 11 AAU warm-up

Acton MA
(May 2009)
Hugging mom on the 11th anniversary of her delivery

Acton MA
(May 2009)
Bday boy celebrates his 11th w/ yummy flan!

  

East Haddam CT
(May 2009)
At Gillette Castle

Niagara Falls CAN
(May 2009)
Bein' silly

Niagara Falls CAN
(May 2009)
On the Maid of the Mist

Stamford CT
(Jun 2009)
Sitting with Lincoln

Concord MA
(Jul  2009)
Horsin' around at Thoreau

Ashland MA
(Jun 2009)
With buddies on Wolpac 11

Acton MA
(Jun 2009)
With Caitlin, fifth grade teacher

Also in the summer, after four tries spanning two years, Benji was relieved to pass Level IV swimming. He continues to play piano, but in the fall he began working with a new teacher. Benji also ran his first 5K, beating dad by two seconds. In the winter, Benji joined the "Musical Notes," a volunteer group of kids who come together to play in retirement homes. He also joined Community Ed basketball (having never done it before) and got totally into it, playing tireless defense and improving offensively. He continues karate with Dad, but with his busy schedule he can only do so as time permits. Benji has also gotten into ping pong, quickly leaving mom in the dust and regularly challenging dad. Check him out playing at the jazz club owned by Carli Muñoz (former Beach Boy and Barbara's friend) in Old San Juan.

Littleton MA
(Jun 2009)
Piano recital?

Somewhere MA
(Jun 2009)
At a weekend tournament, representing Acton

Acton MA
(Jul 2009)
Ben (finally) passes Level IV swimming!

Kennebunk ME
(Jul 2009)
Bein' brave

Easton MA
(Jul 2009)
At camp with Jason Vairtek & Dustin Pedroia

Westford MA
(Aug 2009)
MIB (town summer ball) with Dad as coach

Acton MA
(Jul 2009)
With Baystate team (Benji is #7)

As usual, nothing thrilled Benji more than baseball, and this year he played perhaps more than he has in his lifetime. He tried out and got into his first AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) team, spending the winter practicing indoors and playing two double headers every weekend over the spring. In the summer he tried out and played as an alternate for the Acton Baystate team, and he also played in the regular town summer league. In the fall he moved up to the majors for town ball. And this past winter he joined a better-run AAU program and has been practicing indoors, with intense workouts and lots of situational play. His favorite positions are shortstop and pitching, and he partook in a 10-week clinic to develop the latter. Check him out using his change-up on his third pitch.  

Acton MA
(Aug 2009)
Advertising for our garage sale

Easton MA
(Aug 2009)
Getting his Dharma name: Strong Heart

Cape Cod MA
(Aug 2009)
At the cape with buddy Jonathan

Westport NY
(Sep 2009)
Trying water skiing for the first time

Acton MA
(Sep 2009)
Pitchin' as a White Sock (town ball)

Acton MA
(Sep 2009)
After running in the Oktoberfest 5K

Acton MA
(Oct 2009)
Batting practice with Dad

 

New York NY
(Nov 2009)
Shoppin' in NYC. Blah, Yankees!

Acton MA
(Nov 2009)
Practicing piano

Acton MA
(Dec 2009)
Doing karate w/Dad

Acton MA
(Dec 2009)
Doin' fifth grade presentation about littering

Groton MA
(Dec 2009)
After his first Musical Notes performance

Westford MA
(Jan 2010)
At Nashoba Valley

 

Rich continues working at Monster, but in the fall he moved into a new position as a Business Intelligence Developer (Microsoft toolset). He likes the hands on work using leading-edge technology, as well as his interaction with the business side to effectively bridge communication between them and his division. But working long hours has been demanding, particularly when it involves weekends. Mostly, however, Rich likes the challenge of his new work and being plugged in and in a visible role.  

 

Acton MA
(Jan 2009)
Winter Carnival snowball toss sponsored by AASL

Acton MA
(Feb 2009)
Working on the basement mirror

Acton MA
(Feb 2009)
The finished product: homemade ping pong table

Acton MA
(Mar 2009)
The finished product: homemade nok hockey table

Gardner MA
(Mar 2009)
Getting ready to spar in the karate tournament

Mayagüez PR
(Mar 2009)
Muscle men flexing their stuff at the Mayagüez Resort

Acton MA
(Mar 2009)
Using the bo in karate class

East Haddam CT
(May 2009)
At Gillette w/boys

  

Rich continued karate, participating in a tournament in the spring (something he hasn't done since 1988) and passing his green belt promotion test at the end of the year.  A new experience for him has involved working with the bo, a long wooden staff used in martial arts defense. In the fall he ran a 5K in the rain with Ben for Oktoberfest. He has spent lots of fun time with the boys playing wiffle ball outside or just hanging out down in the Man Cave, whether watching the Sox or playing nok hockey, ping pong or chess.  

 

Buffalo NY
(May 2009)
At Anchor Bar (the home of the wing)

Cambridge MA
(May 2009)
At the park for Mother's Day

Norwich NY
(May 2009)
Gottesman clan at BAM's memorial

Niagara Falls CAN
(May 2009)
Tasch/Gottesman sibs at the falls

Acton MA
(Jun 2009)
Celebrating father's day with LOML

Baltimore MD
(Jul 2009)
At Camden Yards with Mom (Barbara)

Bridgewater NJ
(Aug 2009)
With Aunt Rhona

 

Acton MA
(Aug 2009)
Playing softball!

Acton MA
(Sep 2009)
At our big garage sale with a small turnout

Westport NY
(Sep 2009)
Getting ready to ski at the Big House

Westport NY
(Sep 2009)
He did it!

Maynard MA
(Oct 2009)
Wheelin' and dealin' at Monster's Halloween party

Stow MA
(Oct 2009)
Apple pickin' at Honeypot Orchards

Acton MA
(Oct 2009)
After running the Okterbest 5K

  

Because of his heavy work schedule Rich hasn’t had as much time as he would like for home projects. However, he managed to continue his work for his Mom (Barbara), finishing another edition of Tables, as well as the layout and graphics of her 464-page Oral History book. He also painted the boys’ bathroom and started building and painting a custom, oversized (14-foot) Red Sox/Patriots wall mount to hang on the front wall of the basement. Early in the year, Rich decided to resume cutting the lawn himself, investing in a new mower and listening to his audio books as he works. Check out his 2009 book list.

Auburn AL
(Nov 2009)
At the Auburn/Alabama game w/Amy

Auburn AL
(Nov 2009)
Up close and cute :-)

Acton MA
(Dec 2009)
Testing for green

Acton MA
(Dec 2009)
Homemade Red Sox / Patriots Wall Mount

Acton MA
(Dec 2009)
Painting the sox

Acton MA
(Dec 2009)
Ebelskivers (Rich's latest culinary fetish)

Westford MA
(Jan 2010)
Skiing with Jax at Nashoba Valley

  

Jacky is in her fifth year at Nashoba Brooks and loving it, although she has been sad to see some of her colleagues impacted by the recession. This year she was eligible and wrote a proposal for a mini-sabbatical, and with its recent granting she is planning to spend some time over the summer in Marbella, Spain taking advanced Spanish classes and learning to dance flamenco. Lately, Jacky has found a number of occasions to teach Latin dance, and with this new opportunity she really looks forward to learning how to move her entire body in a whole new way.

Acton MA
(Jan 2009)
With Armand practicing Salsa (Jacky teaches Salsa classes!)

Boston MA
(Jan 2009)
Getting ready to watch the circus at the Boston Opera House

Rincón PR
(March 2009)
The sun sets in Rincón

Acton MA
(Apr 2009)
Holding the Easter eggs as the boys find 'em

Mystic CT
(May 2009)
Feigning fear at the Aquarium

Boston MA
(May 2009)
Posing with my bud Barack at Newbury Comics

Cambridge MA
(May 2009)
Getting love on Mother's Day

 

Jacky has continued her practice of mindfulness, dabbling in Vietnamese, Tibetan and Korean Buddhism before settling on Korean with her Wednesday night carpool (aka the "Dharma bus" to Jacky and friends). In the summer, Jacky spent a week with Ben and Jordan at Stonehill College in Easton for a Zen mindfulness retreat. As a parent she was invited to many of the boys’ activities, and at the end of the retreat the boys decided that they wanted to receive Dharma names and take the Buddhist vows: to develop understanding and compassion in order to live peacefully with and protect the lives of people, animals, plants and minerals. A new hobby for Jacky is tending to her small collection of bonsai trees.

 

Niagara Falls CAN
(May 2009)
Walkin' with the boys

Stamford CT
(Jun 2009)
With la familia at the Bennett Cancer Walk

Buffalo NY
(May 2009)
Mimicking the wings lady at Anchor Bar

Cambridge MA
(May 2009)
Enjoying Mother's Day in Cambridge
 

East Haddam CT
(May 2009)
On the veranda at Gillette Castle

Acton MA
(Jun 2009)
With Aidan and the boys at the fair

Littleton MA
(Jun 2009)
At the boys' piano recital

  

 

 

Baltimore MD
(Jul 2009)
Flexin' at the Sports Museum

Baltimore MD
(Jul 2009)
With Moofs on the Camden Yards tour

Baltimore MD
(Jul 2009)
Roaring at the zoo

Baltimore MD
(Jul 2009)
An Orioles fan before a Red Sox fan

Bridgewater NJ
(Aug 2009)
At Amy's BBQ

Easton MA
(Aug 2009)
Relaxing before the Dharma talk at the mindfulness retreat

Acton MA
(Aug 2009)
Decluttering the house

Acton MA
(Aug 2009)
With Mama at Rich's championship game

  

At home, Jacky took the initiative of purging all the unused “stuff” in the house, with the goal of hosting a massive neighborhood yard sale and donating some proceeds and all remaining items for good causes.  With twelve years worth of possessions to go through (much of it the boys' clothes, baby paraphernalia and toys that they outgrew), the work turned into an eight-month ordeal that she undertook with help on the tail-end from Rich and her Mom (Ana), who visited over the summer. In the end the yard sale wasn’t a huge success (and Jacky got sick from all the dust), but above all she was pleased to be able to get a handle on the innards of the house, to help simplify her and her family’s existence and to donate belongings to people who could really use them. Jacky was happy to make the boys' Halloween costumes again this year. Check out her Touch and Brush® video (Part I and Part II) with the boys, as well as her 2009 booklist.

    

Westport NY
(Sep 2009)
Posing with Diane

Acton MA
(Sep 2009)
Playin' with the boys

Acton MA
(Sep 2009)
Bday breakfast in bed!

Stow MA
(Sep 2009)
Finding the "middle way" with LOML

Acton MA
(Nov 2009)
MCing at the United Way Salsa Party

Stamford CT
(Dec 2009)
Celebrating Nelson's 43rd

Acton MA
(Dec 2009)
Ice skating at Nashoba Valley Olympia

Westford MA
(Jan 2009)
Skiing at Nashoba Valley

  

As a family we took a number of trips (mostly over long weekends) to be with family and friends. Our biggest trip was in March to Puerto Rico for the annual Chef’s Hat Awards ceremony hosted by Barbara and her magazine, Tables. This time we spent most of our time on the other end of the island, in Rincón, hanging out at the pool and beach and getting familiar with a number of the fantastic restaurants there. We also spent a day each in Mayagüez at the water park and in Ponce to meet up with one of Jacky’s uncles. For Valentine’s weekend we went away with neighbors Matt and Susan and their two boys to Camden, Maine and we had fun skiing, tubing and tobogganing at the snow bowl there (check out the video Rich put together).

Niagara Falls CA
(May 2009)
Somewhere under the rainbow

Stamford CT
(Jun 2009)

At the Bennett Cancer Center walk

Baltimore MD
(Jun 2009)
At the zoo with Grandpa Harry

Baltimore MD
(Jul 2009)
At the Orioles/Sox game at Camden Yards

Baltimore MD
(Jul 2009)
Rooting for the Orioles:Sox 1:3

Baltimore MD
(Jul 2009)
Having slushies with Grandpa

Kennebunk ME
(Jul 2009)
Late afternoon at the beach

Baltimore MD
(Jul 2009)
With Babe

In May we went up to Norwich, NY for BAM’s (Rich’s great aunt) belated memorial service, taking the opportunity afterward to continue on up to Niagara Falls with Rich’s siblings Amy and Robert, who also came up for the service. In late June we spent a week with Barbara and hubby Harry in Baltimore, visiting the zoo, going to a Sox game, visiting the sports and industry museums, and watching the harbor fireworks from Barbara’s friend’s rooftop in Federal Hill. In July we spent beautiful days on the beach with friends Steve and Edit and their daughter in Kennebunk, Maine. In August, Jacky, Ben and Jordan spent a week back at Stonehill College in Easton so the boys could do the Jason Varitek & Dustin Pedroia summer camp, which they loved. For Labor Day we stayed on Lake Champlain with friends Kitty and John and their daughters at their “Big House,” with other families from Rich’s softball team. We spent the weekend boating, water skiing, hiking and cooking, culminating in a big ole' softball scrimmage.

Bridgewater NJ
(Aug 2009)
Barbara and sibs, Martin & Rhona

Acton MA
(Aug 2009)
Aidan, Ben & Jordan at Rich's softball game

Littleton MA
(Aug 2009)
Ben, Jord & Aidan w/ 'hood kids at Long Lake

Acton MA
(Aug 2009)
Boys sell lemonade at the "big" garage sale

Acton MA
(Aug 2009)
At home w/Ana, Mel, Derek & Aidan

Westport NY
(Aug 2009)
The Big House crowd on a hike

Acton MA
(Oct 2009)
Rakin' leaves

  

For Thanksgiving we flew down to Auburn, Alabama to stay with Robert and his wife Tina and their two kids, along with Barbara, Harry and Amy. Once there we took in the festivities for the big Auburn University home game vs. Alabama State. For the holidays we took a trip down to CT to be with Jacky’s family and then to NYC to meet up with Amy. Like last year, we rang in the New Year back at home with friends Marni and John and their kids and guests in their spacious warehouse offices.

Salem MA
(Oct 2009)
On scavenger hunt w/ Erika & Amy

Acton MA
(Nov 2009)
Baseball rivalry deepens our love

Auburn AL
(Nov 2009)
The family down in 'Bama

Littleton MA
(Dec 2009)
Boys at the holiday piano recital

Stamford CT
(Dec 2009)
Opening presents at midnight, XMas

New York NY
(Dec 2009)
Rockefeller Center

New York NY
(Dec 2009)
With Amy, Rockefeller

Westford MA
(Jan 2010)
The boys skiin'

Acton MA
(Jan 2010)
Getting grass for the camels

  

As we say in Puerto Rico: mi casa es su casa. Please come visit us in Massachusetts any time! We love you and your company. Be blessed, healthy and peaceful in 2010. 

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

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

 


Movies and Rentals of 2009
- Not necessarily a complete list
- Not necessarily movies released in 2009
- 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)

21       

Mamma Mia
Elf
American Gangster
Jumper
Charlie Wilson's War
Burn After Reading
Mall Cop
Coraline
Slumdog Millionaire
Changling

Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Chopshop
Flash of Genius
Rachel Getting Married
Sunshine Cleaning
The Wrestler
Revolutionary Road
Bolt
Doubt
Dodgeball
Up
The Borrowers
He's Just Not That Into You
Pink Panther
Bedtime Stories
Defiance
Crossing Over
State of Play
Whatever Works
The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
Shorts

 

Jacky's Book List  |  Rich's Book List