Newsletter, 2008

Life was great in 2008!

Life was great in 2008!

2008 Goldberg Family Year End Newsletter



2008 Year in Review


Jocelyn continues to home-school the children and leads the Dry Creek Ward choir.  Daniel, Deborah and Susannah supplement their home-schooling with distance learning classes offered by Liahona Academy in Utah. Michael marks 11 years working at Becton Dickinson, a biotech firm, while acting as president of the Young Men’s program at church and singing with the Valparaiso Singers. Daniel, Deborah, Matiah, Jonathan and Nathaniel remain active in Karate, while Susannah has taken up swimming and all the kids have been involved with youth volleyball.


This past month has been incredibly busy.  On Saturday, Dec 6th  the boys competed with their home-school co-op teams in an all-day Lego League robotics competition.  Both teams did well but missed making the finals. In addition, Daniel’s team received a trophy for Creative Programming. Sunday, December 7th Michael (and his sister Toby) performed with the Valparaiso Singers for two concerts at the Palo Alto Christmas Creche exhibit (  In addition to singing, Michael accompanied the choir with the soprano record on ‘Celtic Advent Carol’. The following Wednesday, Michael had surgery on his right ear to install a shunt to stablize some problems he’s been having with the cochlea.  The surgery went smoothly and 3 days after surgery  Michael, Jocelyn and Daniel performed up at Temple Hill in Oakland ( for another Christmas concert  on December 13th.  It was billed as Brigitte Doss-Johnson and Friends – we were some of the “Friends”.  This also marked the first time that Daniel and Michael performed together (Michael singing, Daniel on Recorder, Jocelyn on piano).  Earlier that same week, Matiah, Jonathan, and Nathaniel had their first performance with the concert band “The Sounds Of Joy”. The band consists of a number of home-school children (and some parents!).  Matiah (trumpet), Jonathan (flute) and Nathaniel (clarinet) have now been taking lessons now for 6 months and we were quite impressed with how well they sounded (not at all what Michael expected)! Jocelyn has been preparing her church choir (all the family are also members) for their Christmas program on Sunday, Dec. 21st . 


November was full of fun as we prepared for Thanksgiving.  Matiah, Jonathan and Nathaniel participated in what was described as a Father/Son cake bake-off in their Cub Scout pack (Dad, however, was NOT allowed to contribute, so he contented himself with licking the batter).  Thanksgiving Day, Michael and the boys played football in the annual Turkey Bowl game at Del Mar high field before high-tailing it home for the feast.  This year the kids decided to do most of the baking themselves – making pie crusts and rolls from scratch, mashing pumpkin and squash for filling, it was quite an event!


In October the family (minus Michael, who stayed in San Jose to work in order to pay for our trip) attended the Saturday morning session of General Conference at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City (or, as Jonathat puts it, we attended the REAL conference).  This was a first-time experience for the kids.  Daniel, Deborah, & Susannah spent the following week at the Liahona Youth Conference in Aspen Grove, Utah while Jocelyn and triplets canned Utah peaches at Kathleen’s to bring back to San Jose.


Some other highlights this year include the exciting discovery of our cousins, the Andrew Rawicki family, who had just moved to San Jose.  We also had a visit from Grandma Hannah, who came out west for a business trip in April.  Then there was the Pinewood Derby, Youth Volleyball, medals earned at a Karate Tournament, Halloween pumpkin carving, Susannah joining the Campbell Wave swim team, and Michael and Jocelyn playing co-ed volleyball together for the first time ever (Jocelyn set them up, Michael knocked them down, what more could you ask for?).  Daniel also became the family’s first published author as a joke he made up was printed in the September issue of Boy’s Life magazine.  Even more noteworthy, this spring Daniel had the opportunity to study voice with Isaac Hurtado, a lyric tenor who was starring at Opera San Jose.  And Susannah and Jocelyn took an oil painting class together.


During the summer, Daniel and Michael went to Zion’s Camp for 1 week up at Camp Ritchie up in the Sierra’s. Daniel earned merit badges, had adventures and spiritual experiences while Michael helped crew the kitchen.  One week prior, Deborah and Susannah attended Girls Camp at the very same site, during which they were thrilled by a visit from Elaine Dalton, YW General President, who so spiritually charged them that they still remember exactly what she said.


In April, the family spent 2 weeks in Washington D.C. – what an adventure! (1600 photos later – we’re still sorting through them!)  Papa Geoff and Noni Karen surprised the children and joined us at our hotel for the first few days.   Kevin & Crystal Riehle (friends of Michael’s) and family showed us around the area, took us to church, and helped make our trip a wonderful experience.


On a more solemn note, Jocelyn’s mother, Olive, passed away in early April and we traveled to Utah for the funeral.  Although tearful, funerals are also a time of joyful reunions.  In this case it was the reunion of Mom & Dad Nielsen on the other side of the veil even as their posterity (60+ and growing) on this side gathered together in Mom’s honor from across the continent.  It was also the reunion of Mom with her parents, sisters, brothers, one grandchild, and prior generations. We cherished the sweet but fleeting moments spent with our Nielsen side of the family and feel grateful to be connected to such a grand network, even as we miss Mom/Grandma Nielsen—especially at this holiday time.


And it is especially during the holidays that we remember each of you with great fondness and feel grateful to be connected to you in some way or another.


Michael & Jocelyn Goldberg

Daniel, Deborah, Susannah, Matiah, Jonathan, & Nathaniel




  1. All I can say is 😀

  2. Beautiful family 🙂 Thanks for the Christmas letter and picture, and the direction to the website.

  3. Jocelyn,
    I am in Fremont, CA, with Greg who is doing some training for his company. I had meant to email you when I got here but stupidly didn’t realize that I wouldn’t have your email address on this little laptop I have with me. However, I was able to find your blog site. So I guess this is a good alternte way to contact you–if you check your blog site frequently! When we flew in on Monday, we drove to Burlingame where Greg ued to live during his elementary years. I loved the beautiful houses and lush greenery, even in February. I saw several orange trees and loved the bright orange balls in among the green leaves. I remembered that you had a lemon tree in your yard in San Jose. So I’ve been thinking a lot about you and your family since I am in your neighborhood, so to speak.
    Love, Dlora

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