Welcome to the Bucher Family Christmas Web Page for 2003! Click on any of the pictures to view a larger version.
in 2002 we were very busy: we bought a new house, bought a new van,
bought had a new baby,
etc. By comparison, 2003 was mercifully tame.
You'll all recall our joy last March at finally becoming homeowners. That joy has been tempered by a year of clearing snow from the longest, steepest driveway in the Northeast. Although brand new, our house has also brought expenses. In April we installed central air conditioning--a huge expense, but worth every penny by July. We've also had to hire plumbers, pavers, locksmiths, exterminators, foundation welders--pretty much everybody except an exorcist (at least so far). Throughout the year Eric and Elaine also busied themselves being surprisingly productive, building stereo cabinets, making curtains, laying stone walkways, building and upholstering cornices, and so on. Must be all those episodes of Trading Spaces that keep appearing on our TiVo. . .
Eric has continued to settle in well at work. In January he was appointed Chief of the Department of Pediatrics at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport. In theory this is an honor, but Eric has the sneaking suspicion that in reality nobody else wanted the 7 AM meetings and administrative headaches for the measly salary it pays.
Elaine has been busy between the girls and other projects. She teaches Sunday school at church, volunteers at Laura's school, plays chauffeur for swimming lessons, piano lessons, and a kids' bowling league (all for two children now). She made Laura's and Tina's Halloween costumes for the fifth year running in addition to making curtains for all ten windows on the first floor of our house.
Laura is in first grade (hard to believe) and continues to take piano lessons. The song you're listening to right now (if you haven't turned it off by now) is a MIDI recording of her playing one of her Christmas tunes on my lousy computer keyboard. She plays much better on our real piano. Her seventh birthday was at Build-A-Bear Workshop. For the uninitiated, their gimmick is that the kids stuff their own reasonably-priced stuffed animals, and then the parents spend hundreds of dollars on cutesy clothes and accessories that are all sold separately. The lion in the picture is Laura's sixth animal from that money trap.
Tina started preschool and turned four in September. Eric finally relented and let her have a birthday party this year. He has since blessedly repressed the memory of a dozen three-year-olds running wild through the aMAZEment Center. Tina also started piano lessons and no, we won't torture you with that this time around.
Rachel turned one in April and finally decided to walk in July. She's not the chattiest of girls; in fact, she's still pretty much limited to "Mama," "No," and "Dada" (which signifies everything else in the world that is not Mommy or no. Occasionally it even refers to her father). Elaine keeps insisting that she's just a deep-thinking, strong, silent type. Eric's not as convinced but is just thankful at least one of his daughters doesn't talk back to him. Yet.
Hope this holiday season finds all of you well, and we wish you all the best for a wonderful 2004.
Laura, Christina & Rachel Bucher
10 Old County Road
Amesbury, MA 01913