MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Welcome
to the tenth anniversary of our Christmas web page! The truly bored or pathetic among you can find all of the previous nine installments at this link. This time around we decided on a chronological tour through the fun-filled year of 2010, Bucher family style. As usual, you can click on any of the thumbnails for larger pictures.

January: The snow falls, and Eric continues to thank the good sense that led him to trade the longest, steepest driveway in North America for his current blessedly short and flat one. Laura performs at the middle school talent show [see a video at this link]. Elaine begins the longest six weeks of her life as the 40-year-old wife of a young man still in his 30’s.

February: Over school vacation the Buchers head to California.  It is a trip of many firsts for the family:
our first time in the Pacific Ocean, the first time on a horse for four of us and, excepting Eric’s one weekend in Houston more than twenty years ago, our first time west of the Mississippi. We spend the week bumming around the Los Angeles area doing touristy things and having a wonderful time. The weather is gorgeous--warm but not hot and not a drop of rain until the night before we leave--and it is difficult to climb back on the plane for arctic New England at the end of the week. The girls unanimously pick as the trip’s highlight our day in the high desert an hour outside of L.A. riding horses at Rainbow Ridge Ranch. Eric spends the next three days trying to figure out why he is so sore that he can barely move when it was supposedly the horse doing all the work.

Also, Tina and Rachel win first place at the school science fair for their project, “The Science of Magic.” The curious can see the demonstration video they made for it at this link. [Video clip trivia nugget: Due to a power outage, the entire thing was shot and edited on Eric’s iPhone in the last few dying rays of sunlight coming through the window the evening before the science fair.]

March: Eric has a birthday, but is still not as old as his lovely bride.

April: Laura lands the leading role of Laurey in her middle school’s production of Oklahoma!, which runs for a phenomenal four performances [watch a clip at this link].Rachel turns eight, and Eric and Elaine serve as godparents for their nephew, Milo.

May: We make a whirlwind weekend trip to New York City to take in the Addams Family musical on Broadway. [Eric’s ten second review: Nothing special. Goofy but harmless and relatively safe for the family. Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth were fine; Carolee Carmello and Terrence Mann were underutilized in small supporting roles.] We all manage to make it up 354 steps (that’s 22 stories) to reach the crown of the Statue of Liberty, and Eric makes it out of his 4th different American Girl store alive.

June: 
We finish (meaning have professionals finish) half of our basement so that we will never have to see our children or their friends again. Eric somehow talks Elaine into tucking a small recording studio into one of the corners because, you know, every house needs a recording studio. That made the perfect excuse to adorn the walls with music memorabilia that Eric acquired through the spring until Elaine changed the password on his ebay account. You can hear a project Laura and Eric did in the studio at this link.

July: The girls all play summer soccer and Laura takes voice lessons for the first time.

August: Laura spends a week at soccer camp, giving rise to Eric’s hope that this coming summer he might actually achieve the coveted hat trick of all three girls at sleep-away camp during the same week

September: Laura enters eighth grade, Tina fifth grade, and Rachel third grade. Tina turns eleven and becomes one of onl
y two fifth graders to make it into Melody Club (the middle school’s selective singing group). All three girls play travel soccer, making for a weekly total of six soccer practices, three soccer games, three piano lessons, two drama club rehearsals, two Melody Club rehearsals, one jazz band practice, and two Girl Scout meetings. Elaine starts her third year teaching junior English at Whittier Vocational Technical High School. Eric frequently wonders if anyone else lives at home with him.

October: Two weeks before her fourteenth birthday Laura announces that she is “going out” with someone for the first time, and
an hour later Elaine, Tina, and Rachel depart for New Jersey. Eric and Laura spend a lot of quality, not at all awkward time together over the next two days. Somehow both of them manage to survive the beginning, middle, and breakup of her first three-week-long “relationship.” Eric tries not to think about life five years from now with three teenage daughters living under his roof. Fall travel soccer ends. Laura’s team finishes first in their division, and Rachel’s team goes undefeated for the entire season despite being the youngest team overall in their division. Tina’s team. . . well, Tina’s team also played many games.

November: Tina is cast as Georgie, one of the leads in the middle school drama club’s fall play, We the People. On Thanksgiving Day we attend the annual Amesbury vs. Newburyport game which is, according to Wikipedia, the sixteenth oldest high school football rivalry in the country, dating to 1891. Amesbury is crushingly defeated.

And December is still going strong. . .

Hope this finds you and your family alive, free, and pursuing happiness into 2011.

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