The Russell Christmas Letter 2001

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Last year we spent Christmas and New Year at home. Emily and Becky got some new clothes and we had roast turkey and homemade rolls for Xmas lunch :
 

Emily in her new clothes

Xmas Lunch

Becky in her new clothes

Thanks to the help of a good friend in New Orleans, Marian got an electric guitar and Roland VG-8 in time for Christmas last year. In January, the girls got cheerleader costumes for the Austrian carnival season. In February, we all went to Lachtal, Austria, for a skiing holiday, but the weather was so bad, and the slopes so windy and icy, that the girls spent most of their time sledging, while John read thriller novels and Marian played her new guitar :

Marian's new guitar and VG-8!

Cheerleaders!

Sledging in the snow

In March, Becky's teacher asked her to play the leading role in her class play "Rumpelstiltskin" when the original actress suddenly became ill. Becky learned all the lines (and there were many!) in just a few days and gave an outstanding performance. In April, Emily sang in a concert with the Junior Choir and was one of the children interviewed for the introductory segment of the choir video. In the spring, we added three new family members, Baby, Ellie, and Zoey :
 

Becky as Rumpelstiltskin

Emily at the Spring Concert

Our birds - Baby, Ellie, and Zoey

In June, the girls took part in the sports day at school and Emily played in a piano recital :
 

Emily with her teacher, Mr Kevin

Becky running across a bench

Emily playing the piano

 
 
 

In July, Ellie Kirby, the daughter of one of John's friends from university, came over from England to look after the girls. They really enjoyed spending time with her and we appreciated her help very much. In August, it was extremely hot so we bought a heavy-duty plastic swimming pool and the girls spent many hours splashing around in it. Emily and Becky celebrated their birthdays at the beginning of September and invited six of their friends for a sleepover party :
 

The new swimming pool

Birthday cake

The sleepover party

Early in September, we went to the wedding of some friends, Richard and Sandra. Also in September, John's parents visited for two weeks. As always, we really enjoyed their company and wished they could have stayed longer. They were here to celebrate John's 50th birthday and got to ride around in his new car (a Passat Variant) which arrived on Marian's birthday. It was John's 50th birthday present, replacing his 13-year-old Saab which had to be scrapped :
 

Sandra and the girls

John's birthday apple pie

The new car!

 
 

Alexander, the cat, is like a lion in his dreams! The girls made a pumpkin lantern and dressed up as witches for Halloween. Marian's generous friend, Donna, sent the girls a fabulous collection of beanie babies :

Alexander and the lion

Halloween

Beanie baby collection

At the end of November, John received a gold pin for his 25 years of service at the International Atomic Energy Agency. On 16 December, Becky competed in a gymnastics event and won a medal. We think she might have inherited a few genes from her great-grandfather, John Howard Thomas, who was a gymnast for Wales in the Commonwealth Games :

25 years gold pin

Becky on the balance beam

Becky and her friend Amy with their medals

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Copyright 2001 John Russell, last updated 19 December 2001, Number of hits =  Counter