Welcome to the Bucher Christmas Page for 2007! As usual, you can click on any picture for a larger version, and for the truly bored & lonely with too much time on their hands, you can access our pages from prior years at this link.

This past semester Elaine did her student teaching in English at Amesbury High School. While it was difficult to choose just one from the sea of thrilling and enlightening experiences found in babysitting the teenage inmates, the highlight of her term clearly was taking over a class of “froshmores.” For the uninitiated, that means a class composed entirely of sophomores who failed freshman English and are back for more fun. After scaling such heady heights, it won’t be easy to return to the routine of regular classes after that. Next term she plans to start substitute teaching while also beginning a job hunt in earnest. Oh, and finishing up her second master’s degree, being cookie mom for the Brownie troop, chauffeuring kids four days week to after-school activities, and occasionally eating and sleeping.

For those not familiar with the Boston area, there is a chain of furniture stores around here that boast other attractions to lure you in such as 3-D IMAX theatres, indoor water fireworks, and a trapeze school. Well, shortly before last Christmas Eric made the mistake of saying that trapeze school would be fun to try. Unfortunately the girls called his bluff, and last Christmas gave him a gift certificate. In January he discovered first hand why the comedian Gallagher once said that at a certain age, your bottom just doesn't belong over your head. And yes, he was able to move again without excruciating muscle pain within a few days. Eric has also continued to waste, er, that is invest, money in woodworking equipment, this year adding a thickness planer to the ever-shrinking floor space in the basement. His projects included the first piece of furniture he’s put in his own house (a cherry drop-front secretary for Elaine), a scrapbook cover for his parents’ 40th anniversary in June, and a variety of pens and smaller items. On the side he continues his hobby of practicing medicine on other people’s children.

Laura entered fifth grade this year, which in our town means shipping her off to middle school. Unfortunately they only really ship her as far as the middle of town. She turned eleven in October and as an early birthday present in August was allowed to get her ears pierced. When Eric offered to bring home piercers from the office and do it for her, she demurred and said she’d rather have “a professional” do it. In her eyes the 19-year-old clerk in Claire’s at the mall fit the bill. We didn’t ask to see her medical license. Laura continues to play piano (hear her play by following this link), sing in chorus, participate in Girl Scouts, and this year added playing soccer, writing for literary journal and playing saxophone to her schedule. I think once I even saw her doing some school work.

Tina started second grade this year and turned eight in September. That same month she became the first of our daughters to lose her ill-fated battle against genetics and succumb to myopia. Not surprisingly (at least to her bespectacled father), her IQ seemed to jump sharply with the advent of her glasses, and she is now in the top reading group at school and—no joke—asked Santa for a chemistry set this year. Tina continues her unhealthy obsession with dolphins: in the spring she won first place in the school science fair for her dolphin project and this year, on her own initiative, she started a fund-raising campaign at her school to help save the highly endangered baiji (a nearly-extinct Chinese river dolphin she read about). She also plays piano (if you haven't already, hear her play by clicking this link), takes swimming lessons, plays on the town soccer team, and sells cookies as a Brownie.

Rachel turned five in April and finally started kindergarten this fall. With Elaine busy doing student teaching this term, her usual ritual of making the girls’ Halloween costumes fell by the wayside. Thankfully this year Rachel chose to go as her favorite singer—a costume that Eric was eminently qualified to assemble. And lest you think this a mere isolated fluke in her otherwise High-School-Musical-world, she also says she is going to marry Rod Stewart (not so far-fetched considering his current mate. . .). Rachel also plays piano (you've probably already heard her play at this link), swims, plays soccer, and is a Daisy. Yes, the hooks of the Girl Scouts of America reach deep into our family.

Hope you and yours are all well and we wish you the best for a happy holiday and a blessed and prosperous 2008.

Eric & Elaine

Laura, Christina, Rachel

10 Old County Road

Amesbury, MA 01913

(978) 388-6789