The Russell Christmas Letter 1998

So 1998 is almost over and the new millennium is almost upon us.  1998 started with our traditional New Year's Eve celebration.  It's nice to start off the new year with good friends, good food and fireworks!

In February we went skiing in Zauchensee and Emily learned to snowplow in the ski school.  Rebecca and Marian stayed close by while Emily was learning and Rebecca got pretty good at keeping her balance skiing straight down the baby slope.  In March, we went to Tauplitz and Emily was able to ski down a big slope all by herself.  Rebecca spent most of the time skiing between John's legs down the big slope, which was very exhausting for John.
At Easter time, Marian took a trip to Virginia to visit her sister and John managed for two weeks on his own with the kids.  During this time the dishwasher broke down and was replaced.  Unfortunately the new dishwasher was slightly larger than the old one and did not fit the hole in the cupboards.  It took John about 3 days, including 3 trips to the shop to buy tools, to make the hole large enough!

In July we visited England and stayed in a caravan (mobile home) on a site near Chichester on the south coast.  This was 100 yards from a caravan owned by John's parents. Having discovered in June that Rebecca could already (at age 4) ride a bike without training wheels (outriders), we rented bicycles for Emily and Rebecca. Emily soon learned to ride as well as Becky and they spent much of the holiday on their bikes.  We took turns with John's parents preparing the evening meals and a couple of times we treated ourselves to Indian take-out food.  We enjoyed sharing meals together.  The caravan site was very peaceful and it was great for the girls to be able to spend so much time with their grandparents.

At the beginning of August, on the way home form England, we stayed 3 days in Disneyland, Paris.  Since it was the height of the tourist season, we got up early each day, went into the park as soon as it opened and did as much as we could until it became too crowded.  We were able to do all of the things we were interested in doing and we especially enjoyed the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
At the end of August, Rebecca joined Emily in the Vienna International School. This was a big day for her to be able to go to the "big" school. Emily's reading and writing are coming along nicely and Rebecca is also making a lot of progress.  Emily was 7 and Rebecca 5 in September.  Emily's main present was a desk as you can see in this picture. We had a big party in the garden with Sparkles the clown.
Marian baked a lovely cake :-
In September, John spent another weekend back in England with fellow railway enthusiasts met via a discussion list on the Internet. Click here for more details.
In October. Marian travelled to the US again to visit her sister and to see Joni Mitchell live in concert in Detroit. Marian brought some new Beanie Babies back from the US :-
In December, Rebecca performed in a concert at her school and had a solo part in one of the songs!  We are very proud of her!
The snow fell early this year and we went out on our sledge and soon afterwards Santa Claus delivered an early present (a kitten named Alexander).
The dreaded Trigeminal Neuralgia seems to have receded, although John had some pain in the early part of the year which flared up in February, probably due to too much sun on the ski slopes.  Since May of this year, he has been pain free.  This is the first long time without pain for over 5 years.  Hopefully this will continue.

We are both very much into web design and have our own family web site.  This Christmas letter with live links and photos can be found at

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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Created by John Russell, last updated 7 August 2002, Number of hits =  Counter