Happy Holidays to all, and welcome to the Bucher Family Christmas web page for 2002. Click on any of the small pictures for larger versions, and feel free to turn off your speakers when the cutesy music starts to drive you nuts.

It was once again an eventful year for our family. In March we became part of the landed gentry, buying our first house in Amesbury, Massachusetts a few miles from the rented house where we lived last year. The house was just built (we even got to pick the carpeting), but Eric is still trying to fathom why New Englanders don't seem to believe in central air conditioning in new constructions.  After having moved every one to three years for the last fourteen, we're looking forward to staying put for the foreseeable future. Forgive the picture--we haven't taken any since moving in and no, the dumpster and broken mailboxes are not still in our front yard.

Figuring that one can never cut it too close, eight days after we moved into the new house we welcomed our third (and last--Elaine has promised) daughter into the world. Rachel Grace was born on April 12, 2002 and has been looking forward to her first Christmas. We have now managed to have our children born in three different cities more than 500 miles apart in the space of five years. Rachel is doing well and has cooperated by being smaller than the other two girls at her age, making her sisters' hand-me-down-clothes match the proper seasons despite a spring birthday.

Laura started kindergarten in September and was the first student in her class to lose a tooth. In October she decided to have a Halloween party, and we were gutsy enough to tackle a kid's birthday party at home for the first time. Laura is the cheerleader (and yes, she can sing "Go U Northwestern" in its entirety) and Tina is one of the three witches (dead center in the first row, right in front of Laura ). Elaine made the girls' costumes for the fourth year running. Rachel did not attend the festivities.

Tina is, well, just Tina. She turned three in September and we were able to dodge having a kid's birthday party for her since she won't start preschool until this coming fall. She has mellowed somewhat with age--a very little somewhat, mind you--and spends most of her days playing the role of Big Sister to Rachel or singing atonal operatic commentaries on the vagaries of her life.

Elaine and Eric celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary in August with a trip to New York to see the new Broadway musical Dance of the Vampires in its first preview week. Elaine's brave parents watched the three girls, and despite Eric's suggestions, we did return home to collect them the next day. Our big anniversary gift to each other was a new car or, more more precisely, a new Chrysler Town & Country. And nothing says hip, young, and trendy like a minivan full of carseats and screaming kids.

Hope this finds you all well, and have a blessed and joyous holiday season. Drop us a line any time by any route:

Eric, Elaine,

Laura, Christina, and Rachel Bucher

10 Old County Road

Amesbury, MA  01913

(978) 388-6789

ebucher995@md.nwu.edu

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!