Spring 2006 Postcard

Posted: May 27, 2006 in Postcard
Our Spring 2006 Postcard!!!

Howdy Friends! Boy it’s been a busy spring season for us! Frankly… We’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. Our calendar seems to have too many collisions, the kids are starting to ask for time to kick back, even the cat seems to need a lot of attention!! But BOY did we have some fun! Here are some of the things that we did…

Just before Christmas, we got to visit with John’s Williston buddy, Charlie Laprade, and his family. We met at the Ecotarium in Worcester for a day of fun and catching up.

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We had a blast at Christmas! Shawn’s Uncle Cleon and Aunt Ellie came to visit us from New York and Charlie and Cyndi came up from Florida (and, of course, rented a convertible). Throw in Nancy and Kjartan from just down the road… And it’s a party! So party we did! We stayed in, we went out, we opened gifts… Great fun!

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We took the second annual Chestnut Woods ski outing to Bretton Woods with a raft of our neighbors. What fun it is to live around such a great group of fun-loving of people!

The guys played a lot of basketball this spring – Jacob in the third grade league and Joshua in the fifth/sixth combined. Both were excellent players and did well for their teams – and also had a lot of fun!

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On a sad note… We lost Rosie this spring. She was 12 and had given of lots of good years. We’ll miss her. She was a good dog.

For the February school vacation, we took a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas to the Southern Caribbean! We had a blast on board – despite some questionable judging in the belly flop contest.

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After flying to San Juan, Puerto Rico, our first stop was St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We’d been here before so we didn’t do a huge amount of exploring this time. John spent the morning “goober” diving off the coast at Joe’s Jam (mythical Joe got in a Jam when he was caught there with a woman other than his wife) and at the Navy Barges.

From there, we were off to St. Martin – another island we’d been to before but one of our favorites. While there, we took a boat to neighboring Anguilla where we enjoyed some beach time and a dolphin encounter. The dolphins made quite an impression on the boys!

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Next up was Antigua where we took a kayaking/hiking/snorkeling eco-adventure! What a hoot! Jake and John even won the little kayak race! We had a beautiful family snorkel in the bay pictured behind us below!

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Next stop was St. Lucia. We think we’d like to go back here sometime – it was gorgeous!

Our final stop was at Barbados where we took a mini-buggy adventure! Shawn even broke her cart!

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This winter, Jacob participated in a science competition called Exploravision. (John helped out as a mentor too!) Jake’s team researched the kinds of challenges that hearing impaired people face (they even interviewed Grampa!) and invented the “CCEye” – a heads-up display implemented through contact lenses that provides real-time captioning for conversations. The team team won an Honorable Mention award!

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Jacob also participated in our church’s Christian education program and was awarded his own bible on Bible Sunday!

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Jake, Josh, and John all participated in the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. Jake did well enough that he got to compete in the district derby as well! Though he didn’t win there – he did his pack proud!

Shawn, Joshua, and Jacob all raced together at the Penguin Classic 5k in Wakelfield – and even talked our friend Melanie into running with them!! John rode his bike between them and cheered. All ran strong and did awesome!

We got to see John’s college buddy, Steve Gorman, when he came to Boston to run in the National Master’s Indoor Track Championship.

John got to see more of his college friends when he had the privilege of escorting THREE women, Diane, Jennifer, and Martha, to his buddy Marty’s wedding in Scottsdale, AZ! It’s a tough job but… They all had a blast celebrating with old friends, enjoying the warm climate, and spending time reminiscing! Marty put on several great parties and scored a beautiful wife to boot!

While John was in Arizona, Grammy Susan came by for a weekend! She and Shawn and the boys had a lot of fun together. They made cookies and the kids even took her to the Witch Museum in Salem!

The guys played a LOT of soccer this spring. Josh and Jake both played on travel teams and did very well. Jake played several positions, including goalie, and used his speed and quickness to keep up with many older kids on his U10 team! Joshua honed his goalie and defensive skills with his U11 team. They got to play on the same team for a Memorial Day weekend tournament. Josh kept goal for the four U12 games while Jake was a designated sub. Both played very well and had a lot of fun!
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Both boys played baseball this springs as well. As luck would have it, they ended up on the same team – the RiverDogs. Jake used his speed on the bases and as an infielder while Josh helped power the offense and showed off his arm making great throws to the plate from deep in the outfield.

We celebrated Joshua’s 11th birthday in April. He got a new bike and some help from Grams with blowing out the candles! Since it was Easter weekend, he even got promised a pool/sleepover party when the weather got warmer!

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Grampa and his pal Victor came up from Florida to spend Easter with us. We love having family around and Grams came up to join the fun too! We did all the traditional stuff – ham, Easter services, egg hunt – all great fun!

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That same weekend, John tackled the Boston Marathon again. After putting on some weight and suffering a training setback or two, he approached the race with the goals of staying under four hours and having fun. He ran 3:51 and accomplished both goals! He was thrilled to see the whole family at mile 22 – just the boost he needed for the last four miles!

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Thanks to Jacob’s friend Lucy, we got “flocked” as part of a fund raiser that one of the schools in town was running. Pretty fun to come out your door at 5:30 AM for a run and find a flock of plastic flamingos surrounding your house!

Josh sang and played the trombone as part of his school’s spring concert – mom and dad got to go watch He was great!

Shawn ran the Triathlon by the Sea in Marblehead along with a few friends from our town, Thor, Mark and Annette. All of them did GREAT and we had a lot of fun cheering them along.

At an outdoor ceremony held near a local pond, Joshua officially “crossed over” from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and was awarded the Arrow of Light, Cub Scouting’s highest honor. Though mom was off at a Triathlon training weekend and couldn’t attend, Cubmaster Dad and little bro’ were both very proud!

Memorial Day weekend was filled with soccer, marching in the parade with the scouts, a cookout at a neighbor’s, getting the pool open, and enjoying the unexpectedly good weather. On the Saturday night, Shawn and John even got to go see Bruce with a vanload of friends! We arrived early, barbecued in the parking lot, stayed out late, and generally had a blast. Below, Lori hides behind the van from the parking lot police while Bob relaxes.

All that excitement this spring wore out the cat…

We’re trying to follow Flash’s lead and stay relaxed this summer. So if you’re in the neighborhood… Stop on by for a beer and a dip in the pool! (Flash says she’ll pass on the pool.) We’d love to catch up! If you can’t come by, at least drop us a line!

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