Archive for the ‘School’ Category

Shunned by the Queen

Posted: March 28, 2016 in Family, School, Travel

With Josh studying in London for a semester, we thought how nice it would be to spend Easter with Her Majesty. Yet, when we arrived at Heathrow on Good Friday morning, there was no car from the palace waiting and we were forced to resort to the Underground for transport to our hotel. We were sure she’d call later.

After being thrilled that The Zetter had a room waiting for us, we showered and were off to meet Josh at his flat. We then enjoyed what had to be one of the most fabulous weather days ever experienced in London! In warm sun, we saw Syracuse’s Faraday House, toured the British Museum, and then headed for Trafalgar Square for a spot of lunch, The Passion of Jesus, and a tour of the National Gallery. It was then on to a walk down Downing street to the Palace of Westminster before moving on to see St. Paul’s from the inside and, spectacularly from the roof of the One New Change shopping center, and finishing up our day on the Millennium Bridge. By the end of what seemed like a very long day, we were ready for early bed.

Saturday morning began with us starting to wonder why the Queen had yet to contact us. Undaunted, we trudged on. After a good breakfast, we headed out to tour the London City Hall and it’s surrounding plaza and buildings, followed by watching the Tower Bridge open for a passing ship! Next was a trip to the eclectic neighborhood of Shoreditch to visit the site of Josh’s major design project for the semester. We were then back across town to King’s Crossing for a walk along the Grand Union Canal to the Camden Markets. A traditional pub lunch at the Hawley Arms refreshed us for a walk up Primrose Hill for the beautiful panoramic view of London. It was back to Farringdon for pub and grub before a well-deserved rest.

Easter Sunday dawned with spotty showers and our confidence that the Queen would meet us at the services. We donned our finery and headed for Westminster Abbey arriving an hour before the service to stand in line and were then seated in the North Transept. Although the Queen never showed her face, we enjoyed a beautiful Sung Eucharist with boys’ choir and a wonderful brass section. Back to our hotel for a change and then a walk-around of Buckingham Palace before a quick run to Putney Bridge to see the men’s start of the one hundred and sixty-second edition of The Boat Race. We thawed in a cafe prior to touring the grounds of Kensington Palace and finally returning to Farringdon for dinner, a bit of pub time, and bed.

We awoke Monday morning still not having heard from the Queen and resolved to return to the States. After breakfast with Josh, we headed to the airport where we were granted a complimentary upgrade to Premium Economy – no doubt an apologetic parting gesture from Her Highness.

We had a whirlwind of a visit and a great time seeing Josh and hearing his take on the city. We were amazed at his ability to point out so many of the city’s landmark buildings and describe their design and designers. We’re so proud of him!

Empty Nest!

Posted: August 27, 2015 in Family, Home, School

Way back when as these guys were getting on the school bus, it was hard to imagine that someday both would be young men off to college. But it’s happened.

Josh is at Syracuse for his third year of architecture studies. He’s living in the SigEp Fraternity house this fall. Though it smells a bit like stale beer, we’re glad he has his “Brothers” around him and are sure he’ll have another great year.

Jake has just started his Freshman year studying criminal justice at the University at Albany. He’s got a great roommate he met online and got to know at Orientation and we think he’s poised for an awesome experience.

So that leaves just Shawn and John at home with the pets! No sports games or school open houses to attend, drastically reduced grocery bill, laundry volume way down… All a bit odd. We’re rattling around the house(s) a bit and getting used to the quiet. It’s certainly a new stage in our lives that’s going to take a bit of adjustment!

Spring Sports 2015

Posted: June 26, 2015 in School, Sports

Building on the skills he’d learned in last year’s debut season, Jake was a regular starter on the varsity lacrosse team this year.

Playing as a defensive midfielder, he was credited with many stops and steals.

He’d also put his speed to work after obtaining the ball to deliver it to the attack.

Senor night honored the ten soon-to-graduate seniors that will be greatly missed by next year’s team. Shawn and John were certainly proud parents!

The team punched their ticket to the 2015 MIAA Boys Lacrosse North Division 3 tournament but, after a blow out win in the first round, came up against the #1 seeded Ipswich, and couldn’t hang. We were still so very proud of the team and of Jake’s growth as a player in his short two-year career! He went from clueless ot the “#1 defensive midfielder” on his team in the words of his coach!

Here’s a video of their season! (Jake’s #3. He first appears about 5:30 in.)

In a slightly more relaxed fashion, Jake played soccer again this spring with the now U19 Black Hornets. Comprised mostly of players from the High School Team,they were a force to be reckoned with. Many of the team had been playing together since at least their U-8 season and could well anticipate each other’s moves.

Finishing in first place in the league, they took the #1 seed into the tournament and played Hamilton-Wenham in the finals. The Hornets took a 1-0 lead when Jake caught a long pass, beat his man into the box, drew the keeper, and then made a sweet pass to a teammate at the six who one-touched it in for the goal. Unfortunately, a sketchy call with only a couple of minutes to go gave H-W a penalty kick on which they tied it up. After two scoreless overtime periods, the game was decided on PKs and North Reading came up short. It was a horrible way to end what had been a stellar run for the Black Hornets. Many hats off to Joe and Peter and all the others who helped coach along the way. The boys will never forget their NRYS experiences!!

Jake’s Graduation

Posted: June 6, 2015 in School

Behind every proud graduate is a proud Mom!

The days leading up to graduation were cool and damp but the weather cleared and (unlike Josh’s graduation) the ceremonies were held outdoors and 174 seniors followed the piper from the new school to the stadium field.

Speeches and musical performances were accompanied by frivolity among the candidates.

When Jake’s turn to step up came, there wasn’t a dry eye in the family!

And we we’re proud of him too!

Jake poured on the effort in his upperclassman years and graduated with honors, AP credits, and an exciting future at The University at Albany. We’re so proud!

Even Gramsie made it out for the celebration!

Way to go boi!!!

Summer Tour 2014

Posted: July 27, 2014 in Family, School, Vacation

With Jake having been home less than 12 hours from the Spanish Exchange, we left home for our combination college tour and beach vacation under cloudy skies and drove through a mix of clouds, sun, and downpours. Our first stop was at the University of Delaware for a quick walk around the gorgeous campus.

We continued on to Fairfax, VA where we enjoyed a great meal at the Auld Shebeen, spent the night, and toured George Mason the following morning.

With half the college touring done, it was time for fun! We aimed the family wagon south and Headed for Emerald Isle, NC where Shawn’s brother’s wife’s family owns two lovely homes! We were treated like royalty throughout our stay! We were granted the penthouse suite, served homemade ice cream, fantastic barbeque, and more food and drink than we needed!

The real attraction, of course, was the beach, where we played and played! The 82° water made our pool at home feel cold!

Scott’s wife Susan was joined by her sister Gena and her son Nate and even 89 year-old Mrs. Burroughs was on the beach for the fun!

Cousin Pete was a great sport! He gave kayaking and surfing lessons and really kept the guys busy!

Scott and John chose a generally more relaxing approach to the beach – although John did give kayaking a try – much to the amusement of those on the beach!

Dinner out on our last night was a fun family night out – we sure wish we could see these folks more often!

Heading back north, we cruised into Times Square on Saturday night just in time for a nice dinner a Osteria al Doge and a great performance of Phantom. Our hotel was in the middle of it all making everything a quick walk – well, except for getting through the thick summer crowds!

Sunday morning it was a drive-by at John Jay and then a walking tour at Rutgers-Newark – both really cool places!

We arrived home tanned but tired with a pile of pictures and some great memories!

Senior Prom 2014

Posted: June 3, 2014 in Prom, School

On a warm June evening, Jake had the honor of escorting Ms. Rachel Roberts to her senior prom.

The evening started at Rachel’s house for flowers and photos. Rachel, her twin sister Nicole, and a few other couples posed and laughed and primped.

And, of course, we had the obligatory family shots.

Next it was into the stretch limo for the couples and a short trip to Ipswich River Park for the Grand March.

Back into the limo and off to The Tewksbury Country Club for an evening of fun, the couples were on their own. Reports are sparse from the tight-lipped revelers but we’re pretty sure a good time was had by all!

Junior Prom 2014

Posted: April 15, 2014 in Prom, School

It was Jake’s Junior Prom this year – and he attended with flair!

The evening started at the home of Jake’s date, Lauren. Lauren was beautiful in her long periwinkle gown and its beaded bodice. Jake wore a black tux and shirt with vest and tie to match Lauren’s dress. They made a great couple!

They were joined by a few other couples that planned to head to the prom together. Though the intermittent rain forced them indoors for pictures, it was still really nice.

Gramsie was able to come along too so of course we forced Jake into the obligatory family shots!

There was next a gathering at another friend’s house.  This one was HUGE with maybe 30+ couples all gathered for pictures. When again the rain forced things indoors, it got a little tight.

The Grand March is traditionally held outside at the Hillview Country Club, but was moved indoors this year to keep all those hairdos in shape. Things were again a little crowded but the couples still got to show off their finery. John took lots of photos of all the couples but, obviously, Lauren and Jake were the best!

The prom itself was wrapped in its usual shroud of secrecy. There was reportedly dancing, chicken, and some sunglasses. We’re pretty sure there was a lot of fun too!

Fall Sports 2013

Posted: November 19, 2013 in School, Sports

With Josh off at Syracuse, we only had one “kid” to follow around this fall.

Jake was up to the challenge and provided plenty of excitement! As a junior playing his second year of Varsity soccer at the High School, he won the job of starting striker. He and the team were great to watch as they improved from a low point of 2-4-0 to a regular season finish of 12-5-1 and managed to place themselves as the #3 seed heading into the sectional tournament. They made it as far as the semi finals before loosing to the eventual champions on a fluke goal in overtime.

An overall record of 13-6-1 was awesome and Jake was tied for most goals scored for the team and even picked up “Hornet of the Week” honors in the local newspaper!

Here’s a video that John made for the team that recaps their great season.  Jake is #3.

Can’t wait for next year!!!

SU Parents’ Weekend 2013

Posted: November 17, 2013 in Family, School

With our first born in his first college semester, there was no way we’d pass on Parents’ Weekend at Syracuse University!

We made the five hour drive out on Friday night and arrived in time to catch the SU men’s basketball team in an exhibition game against a lesser opponent that they thoroughly trounced.

Still, it was our first game in the Carrier Dome and we had a lot of fun. After the game, Josh showed us the way to Phoebe’s for a great dinner.

On Saturday, we got a tour of Slocum Hall, the home of Syracuse University School of Architecture. There was a great presentation about the school’s approach and Josh showed us his studio home and some of the cool work he’s been doing.

We spent the rest of the morning touring the campus, buying souvenirs, and having fun.

Then it was back to the Dome to watch Syracuse beat Wake Forest and the retirement of Donovan McNabb’s jersey!

After the game we headed into downtown Syracuse and had a fun meal at the Syracuse Suds Factory!

On Sunday morning, we picked up Josh and then met up with Shawn’s Uncle Cleon and Aunt Ellie, Cousins Betsy, John, and Sally, and spouse Tom. We had a great lunch at Coleman’s Irish Pub and only wish we could have stayed longer! It was great catching up with family!

Soon enough it was time to head back East.  We’re so proud of Josh!  He’s doing great and having fun. Way to go buddy!

Joshua’s Graduation

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Family, Home, School

Nursery through Kindergarten at Puddle Duck, First through Fifth at The Batch (including two years of busing to Stoneham Central), three years at the North Reading Middle School, and then four more at the High School all paid off when Josh graduated (with honors) on June 7. At ceremonies held in the gym due to rain, he was presented his diploma by School Committee Chairman (and friend, and coach) Mel Webster.

We are all very proud of Josh’s accomplishments and know that he’ll continue to work hard as he enters the Syracuse University School of Architecture this fall.

The following weekend, we had a little bash in our backyard to celebrate…

The weather was perfect and we had a fun crowd great friends young and old on hand! Even a couple of Josh’s cousins from out of state made it along with Gramsie and many of our neighbors. Mario’s brought too much food and we all enjoyed the early summer afternoon.

Josh did the honors cutting the HUGE cake while our neighbor Sarah eagerly awaited her piece. She and the others would devour all but a small corner by the end of the night.

Corn hole, soccer, pool games, badminton, wiffle ball, lacrosse…  All had their participants and their critics. Check out Max’s follow-through!

As dusk approached, we fired up the projector, lined up the chairs, and got the Stanley Cup up on the wall.

The Bruins obliged with an overtime win and we all cheered into the night.

It’s been a great ride Josh! Keep it up at SU!