HAPPY 2004

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

 

February 2004

 Dear Everyone:

Someone very dear to us recently coined the name “last-minute Rich”, and at this point it can be extended to “last-minute Rich and his family”.  We hope this characteristically late greeting finds you all healthy and peaceful. 

Life for us has been very hectic these past few months, as we do our best to parent, work, and keep up with the household. But thankfully we are all well and enjoying the minute-by-minute longer days with our two rapidly growing boys.

     

Acton, MA
(May 2003)
Last-minute Rich with son Benjamin layin' cobblestone

 

Acton, MA
(December 2003)
Jacky and the rapidly growing boys

 

Acton, MA
(April 2003)
April 19 - Historic Patriot's Day in Historic Acton
(view from our front door)

 

Acton, MA
(July 2003)
Mitch (Jacky's niece) during her annual
summer visit

Jordan is 17 months and is doing well in daycare, where we recently attended his “toddler arts show”. He was very happy to hug and kiss with his little girlfriend Lili, but when he decided to charge her to really demonstrate his affection for her, he accidentally bowled her over. (He is tall and stocky and is still adjusting to his own strength.) This gaffe has indeed brought them closer, as they are inseparable. This past August, Jordan celebrated his 1st birthday at his uncle Nelson's house in Stamford.  Both Mommy and Daddy's families were there for the party, and daddy nearly burned the house down after putting too much charcoal (and lighter fluid) on his new grill.  Everybody was fine.  At home Jordan tromps around making demands for attention and food. He is nonstop energy, and by the time we put him down for bed we are wiped. But he does keep us laughing. We can get him to stop crying instantly by asking, “Jord, do you want to watch Sesame Street?” Mid-cry, no matter how hard it is, he’ll stop and exclaim, “Eh?” He loves to look through his books (he sleeps with one) and run around screaming.

       

Stamford, CT
(August 2003)
Jordan's 1st birthday party before the eating of the cake

  Stamford, CT
(August 2003)
..and during the eating (and wearing) of the cake...
 

Stamford, CT
(August 2003)
Nelson's new BBQ grill (after extinguishing the 6-foot flames)

 

Acton, MA
(January 2004)
Jordan at his daycare art exhibition

 

Acton, MA
(December 2003)
Ben holds Jordan back from tearing up the house

Ben is almost 5½ and is just finishing his last year at Montessori. We’ve succumbed to the public schools for first-grade after determining that 1) we can no longer afford to pay for private school, and 2) the Acton school system is actually quite good. We are now working to get him into the Montessori-like school of the five in town. Ben is quite passionate about learning and is lately really into the solar system and math. He also continues to love the game of chess and this year enjoyed a little skiing, gymnastics, t-ball and swim lessons. As one of the older kids in his class he has become more confident, and when giving an interesting show-and-tell presentation on skeletons he went on to say, “We all have a skeleton in our bodies. When we get older some of us will have them in our closet. Daddy told me he has two in his.”  His teachers were on the floor.

       

Boxborough, MA
(May 2003)
Ben at a t-ball game, his first season, playing for the Colorado Rockies

  Acton, MA
(August 2003)
Ben at Swim Lessons doing his breathing exercises
 

Dorado, PR
(February 2003)
Floating with Jordan in the river pool at Hyatt Cerromar

 

Stamford, CT
(August 2003)
Ben commanding the

chess board with Aunt Melonie in Stamford, CT

 

 

Boxborough, MA

(October 2003)
Ben reporting to fall t-ball, this time as a Red Sox player

 

At his 5th birthday party this May, Ben invited 21 friends to share in a fun-packed day in our sunny backyard.  He had a blast!

       

Acton, MA
(May 2003)
Ben's 5th - Whacking the Piñata!

  Acton, MA
(May 2003)
...and playing dress-up with the family
  Acton, MA
(May 2003)
Ben finds gold at his birthday treasure hunt
 

Acton, MA
(May 2003)
Mom holds up the scroll for the treasure hunt!

 

Littleton, MA
(December, 2003)
Learning math the Montessori way with the number chain.

Rich both worked hard and played hard this past year.  He just got back from a trip to Hungary and Austria with friends for a couple days of skiing in the Austrian Alps (Hochkar), encountering the best snow conditions ever. Earlier in the year he decided to get SSI scuba-certification in preparation for our annual Puerto Rico trip. In May he took a trip down to Alabama for his brother Robert’s surprise 40th birthday celebration. And in October he ran a 5K race in the rain where he came in almost last place, spurring him to join FitCorp at work!  Wait 'til next year. But the biggest news from Rich is the recent purchase of his own custom-made, personalized clay poker chips which he spent nearly a full year designing and getting all his buddies riled up about. He almost got fired (not really) for running an illegal late night blackjack event at his company’s annual client conference in Newport.  But his contribution to bagel day at work kept him popular. This past Friday was the official unveiling of the chips, and Rich’s friends have tried to convince Jacky that this purchase was indeed worth the money and time. Somehow with all this Rich also managed to do graphic and layout work for his mom's publishing company, including the 2004 edition Tables Magazine, the latest Great Chefs of Puerto Rico book, and the kids Coquí book.  And after painting our guest bedroom, he also continued to devote lots of time to his softball league, which is about to enter its 5th year. He still works at CRD, and soon he will be sporting Invisalign braces so, eat your heart our, Brad Pitt!

           

Austria
(Jan 2003
Skiing at Hochkar

 

Puerto Rico (Feb 2003) SCUBA boy at certification day

Alabama
(May 2003) Robert's Suprise 40th!

Acton, MA (Feb 2004) Rich's proposed plan for braces

Acton, MA
(Feb 2004)
The Friday Nite Card House Chips have arrived!

Burlington, MA
(April 2003)
Rich hosts Bagel Day

at his job; a bit overdone but still very popular among his coworkers

 

     

Acton, MA
(October 2003)
West Acton's Annual Oktoberfest 5K run, with friends and neighbors

 

Acton, MA
(August 2003)
Rich and his 2003 Softball team, the Swarm, finishing 8th in the regular season and in the semi-finals during playoffs

  Acton, MA
(August 2003)
A nice view of softball playoffs day in warm August
 

Acton, MA
(August 2003)
New plaque recognizing championship teams and hanging in Acton Town Hall
(Swarm not yet listed!)

Jacky is a licensed, bona fide World Language Teacher at Fuller Middle School in Framingham (MA), where she started as a long-term substitute back in March. As a first-year teacher she is inundated with lesson planning, working through student issues, and keeping up with all the paperwork. But she is loving the challenge and is always trying to come up with ways to make learning fun for her students. Back in the fall, Jacky managed some college “field study” courses while teaching full time and slept through a good chunk of the lectures. A nice perk about Jacky’s job is that as team leader she went to the MaFLA conference in Sturbridge, MA where she won a free trip to Paris for a Global Teacher’s Conference next year. Late last year, she attempted to arrange a tour to Costa Rica with her students for spring break but ended up canceling due to lack of enough interest.  Rich did a bang up job building the website for this, as well as handling about 98% of the organization.  He was bummed it fell through because he was the first one to registered to go.  When people comment about “all the time off” Jacky gets as a teacher, she laughs. The demands on teachers are tremendous…something no one can appreciate until they try teaching for themselves. Earlier in the year, Jacky tried her hand at teaching Spanish to elementary students after school through Global Child.  She spent more money on supplies than she got paid, and had to drive all around Massachusetts for these short, 30-minute sessions. Other fun things Jacky found the time to do this past year were taking guitar lessons over the summer and making Halloween costumes for Ben and Jord, as she does every year. She has had to drop her editing/translating moonlighting but was happy to finish on a good note with the printing of Everywhere Coquís/En dondequiera coquíes, as well as the translation of the Great Chefs book. On a very sad note, Jacky lost her cousin José in a swimming accident down in Florida.

       

Acton, MA
(August 2003)
Jacky performs for Jordan with newly acquired guitar playing skills

  Acton, MA
(October 2003)
Jacky's homemade Halloween costume for Ben - going as "Stuphero!" (a name he made up for Trunks from Dragon Ball Z)
 

Acton, MA
(October 2003)
Jacky's homemade Halloween costume for Jordan - going as the "Pillsbury Doughboy!"

  Acton, MA
(October 2003)
Jacky's home-made Halloween ghosts swinging from our trees and scaring the crap out of all who walk by
  Framingham, MA
(October 2003)
Jacky and her World Language Team counterparts at Fuller Middle School

 

     

Acton, MA
(September 2003)
Jacky celebrates her 38th birthday!

    Acton, MA
(October 2003)
Jacky and Ben celebrating "Día de los Muertos" with their decorated masks
  Acton, MA
(January 2004)
Jacky embraces her babies

Finally, we did squeeze in a few trips this year. In addition to several road outings to visit family in the tri-state area, we also took a family trip to Puerto Rico back in February…and aside from Jordan being sick with high fevers, we had a good time and got to see more of the island this time around (Camuy Caverns, Arecibo Observatory, Rincón beaches/restaurants, El Yunque).

       

Puerto Rico
(February 2003)
The boys with Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Harry

  Puerto Rico
(February 2003)
Visiting Arecibo Observatory home of the largest radio telescope in the northern hemisphere
  Stamford, CT
(February 2003)
Jacky's Family posing for el cumpleaños de Abuela Ana
 

Stamford, CT
(February 2003)
Jordan with Abuelo Héctor

 

Stamford, CT
(February 2003)
Abuela Ana with naked boy Jordan

 

In March, Rich and Jacky left the boys with Aunt Annie and met up with Jacky’s niece Natalie and her father Roberto in London…we then took a drive up to Scotland. In May we got to see the Yankees whip the Red Sox at Fenway (Jacky being the only Yankee fan at home and one of the few in the state). In June we spent some time in upstate Norwich, New York with Rich’s Beautiful Aunt Marilyn.

       

London
(March 2003) Montage of fun photos!

  Scotland
(March 2003) Montage of fun photos!
  Falkirk, Scotland
(March 2003)
Viewing the sword of William Wallace (aka "Braveheart"), at the Wallace Monument
  Norwich, NY
(July 2003)
Visiting with Beautiful Aunt Marilyn ("BAM")
 

Norwich, NY
(July 2003)
Dennis (Rich's Brother), Renee, and Megan

In July we flew south to Town Creek, Alabama for Rich’s triennial Cohen family reunion.

     

Town Creek, Alabama
(July 2003)
Rich and his siblings (Robert, Amy, Mark)

  Town Creek, Alabama
(July 2003)
Rich deals out at the Family Blackjack Tournament
($5 entry, $100 top prize)
(Robert wins)
  Town Creek, Alabama
(July 2003)
Jordan (youngest attendee) with his Great, Great Aunt Irene (oldest attendee)
 

Town Creek, Alabama
(July 2003)
The 102-degree family softball game participants

In late August, we drove to Neversink, NY to enjoy Michael (Rich's Cousin) and Jennifer's wedding and another chance to visit a good chunk of the Cohen clan.

     

Neversink, NY
(August 2003)
Michael and Jennifer cutting the cake.

  Neversink, NY
(August 2003)
Barbara (Rich's Mom) with siblings Martin and Rhona.
  Neversink, NY
(August 2003)
Rich, back-palmin' his
cousin once removed Elaine
  Neversink, NY
(August 2003)
The giddy couple (Rich & Jacky) kickin' back before the cake is served.

So we hope you have a great 2004 and that all of us throughout the world get closer to respecting and tolerating one another. As always, if you’re in MA, come thaw us out or rover on by. Mi planeta es su planeta.

 

Hugs and Kisses,

Jacky, Rich, Ben & Jordan

 

 

Topic

Jacky

Rich

Favorite 2003 Movie

Mystic River

Bowling for Columbine

Favorite All-Time Movie

The Color Purple

Braveheart

Favorite Book(s)

Harry Potter Order Phoenix (JK Rowling);


Paradise (Toni Morrison)

 

The Corrections (J Franzen)

I know this much is true (Wally Lamb)

 

The Corrections (Jonathan Franzen)

 

Two O'Clock Eastern Wartime (John Dunning)

Favorite Music Album(s)

Nelly Furtado: Folklore

ColdPlay: A Rush of Cold Blood ...

Favorite Website(s)

www.cnn.com

www.atomfilms.com

 

www.bushin30seconds.org

 

www.pokerchips.com

 

 



Movies and Rentals of  2003
- Not a complete list
- Not necessarily movies released in 2003
- Listed in no particular order

 

 

Rich Rating
(4 circles is best)

 

Jacky Rating
(4 circles is best)

About a Boy

Catch Me if you Can

Antwone Fisher

Basic

Gangs of New York

Final Destination 2

n/a

Life of David Gale

School Ties

The Hunted

Guys & Dolls

Levity

Confidence

Bowling for Columbine

Italian Job

Last Samurai

Cold Mountain

Crime of Padre Amado

Harry Potter 1

Harry Potter 2

Punch Drunk Love

Waking up in Reno

Time of the Butterflies

Frida

Lost in Translation

Finding Nemo

Lord of the Rings 2

n/a

Mystic River

Finding Forrester

We Were Soldiers

Trapped

n/a

Bruce Almighty

you'd think we have nothing better to do than keep track of this crap...