The Russell Christmas Letter 2004

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We took our usual one week ski trip - this year to Kanzelhoehe in southern Austria. Emily and Marian tried out snowboarding and Becky just gets faster and faster on her skis. In April, Becky took part in the Spring Concert at the school as part of the Junior Choir.


Emily and Marian Snowboarding

Becky wins the race

Becky announcing a song at the Spring Concert

In the spring, we built a trampoline, imported all the way from Texas, in the back garden. The kids spent a lot of time on it during the summer. In May, John achieved a major milestone of 800 runs with the Hash House Harriers running group in Vienna and held a special run at which he presented everyone with a commemorative baseball cap. At the school sports day (in June), Becky won the high jump in her year with 1.15m.


The new trampoline

John's 800th run with the Hash

Becky wins the High Jump (1.15m)

The girls spent the first three weeks of their summer holiday with their sister, Margaret, and her husband, Chris, in Florida. Among many other things, they spent a lot of time shopping, one of Margaret's favorite past-times, were introduced to North American food specialities such as grits and Boston Cream Pie, and rode all the rides at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando. We all spent the rest of the summer holiday with the grandparents in a nice bungalow near Hereford in England. John met up with some old school friends and it was the first time they had all gotten together since 28 years! The whole trip was planned around a big meeting of runners from the Hash House Harriers in Cardiff and John spent the weekend running around the Welsh valleys. We had some nice days out, including a visit to a steam railway (Severn Valley Railway).


Emily & Becky with Margaret & Chris in Jacksonville

Tony, John and Andy meet after 28 years

The InterHash in Wales 2004

From Hereford, we were able to visit Wales and the small village (Llanhilleth) where Grandma grew up. Her father was the postmaster. It was sad to wave them off at the end of a too short family holiday. Marian baked a nice cake for Becky's birthday (chocolate of course!). She also baked one for Emily's birthday, but Emily baked such an outstanding cake and the picture of it is so nice that we decided to include the picture of Emily's cake instead.


Grandma and the family outside her father's post office in Wales

Grandma and Grandad leaving Hereford

Becky and her birthday cake

Emily is becoming a real expert at cooking, has made dinner for the whole family on many occasions, and enjoys trying out new recipes. Here is a picture of her with her first attempt at a Boston Cream Pie (it was excellent). There was another Fun Fest Junior Choir concert in October and Becky was in a special song where she had to pop a paper bag. The girls went out around the village with some of their friends on Halloween.


Emily's Boston Cream Pie

Becky pops a paper bag at the Fun Fest

Halloween in Probstdorf

Emily has started taking drumming lessons after school, and we bought a drum kit for her to practice on. We put it in a storage room in the cellar to keep the noise down a bit. Becky spent most of her time after school in the Autumn rehearsing for a musical show called "Where the Wild Things are". This was written and produced by her Junior (Grammar) School teacher from last year. Becky played a major part as "Shimmer" (part of the Ocean group) and other friends were part of the Forest group or the Wild Things group.


Emily and her new drum kit

Becky as "Shimmer" in "Where the Wild Things are"

Becky and 2 more "Wild Things"

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Copyright 2004 John Russell, last updated 21 December 2004, Number of hits = Counter