Warm greetings this beautiful Christmas 2005!

You share a special place in our hearts, even though distance and time often struggle to separate us. We want to wish you the Merriest of Christmasses and the Happiest of New Years, and may God's blessings pour out on you not undeservingly.
Each and every year is full of memories, expected and unexpected, and this past one was no exception. After ringing in the New Year in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, we wended our way across the frozen Russian countryside to Moscow, spread our wings and stretched our legs a bit in Zurich, Switzerland, and returned to our apartment in New Haven, CT.
Our weekly routine consisted of Stan's physics classes throughout the week, a Friday night trip of about 90 miles up to Southbridge, MA, where Ira tutored her Bay Path College students Friday night while Stan relaxed in the luxurious Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center, and then a marathon 6-hour teaching on Saturday, where Ira taught several courses, and Stan even joined the fun one session. One of the most relaxing, nicest drives we had was during the so-called "Blizzard of 2005" which wasn't actually a blizzard at all, but was indeed a lovely snowfall of well over a foot. Because the announcers had scared everyone off the roads, that was the only drive we had when we didn't have to worry about crazy traffic! We just took it easy on the plowed roads with a bit of snowpack from time to time, and enjoyed the white beauty.
In the spring, we were briefly visited by our friends the Kershners. After that, we took a jaunt to Allen Fuller and Natasha Volkova's wedding just outside of Atlanta, where Ira was the maid of honor (we knew Natasha from our church in Moscow.) Upon returning, we learned that our landlord was wanting to raise our rent (again), so...
We bought a house! After our May 27 closing, our Memorial Day weekend was occupied by our extreme makeover, home edition. Our friend Lena Tropinova arrived a few days earlier, but we had bought the house in such a whirlwind, we weren't able to change any plans, and she graciously helped us strip out most of the inside and add a few layers of new paint, as well as new carpet (of course, for that part, we hired out other people to hurt their knees at a very reasonable wage.)
Our new house is located in New Haven, right on the border with Woodbridge, where we attend Trinity Evangelical Free Church. We started attending there in July of 2004, and enjoy the small groups, helping out in the nursery, attending ladies Bible study (no comment on which of us attends that part; guess ;) and singing in choir. In addition to weekly worship, we sang two annual Christmas concerts (4 per year!), as well as for a Tenebrae Service, and even once in joint concerts with an inner city church.
Before we knew we would be buying a house, we bought season passes to Six Flags, and visited many times throughout the summer (mostly on Saturday afternoons, after Ira's teaching), including when Melanie visited us, and when Stan's parents visited. The rest of our time was spent with various tasks around the house, fun without end.
Backing up a bit, last spring Stan started working with Prof. Mark Reed, who specializes in electrical aspects of nanotechnology. Specifically, Stan has been growing and characterizing III-V semiconducting nanowires with other members of the research group. The results so far include one paper published (which contained measurements of 1096 GaN nanowire transistors, when the total published in the world to that point was well under a thousand) and another paper on indium oxide recently submitted.
With the blessing of a great research group, Stan buckled down and finally passed his qualifying examination, so he is likely to stay in the Ph.D. program a bit longer. In fact, Yale promises to give a Master of Science degree, so Stan will finally have as many degrees as Ira. That degree is theoretically for December 2005, but the ceremony won't be held until Spring 2006.
After the seemingly-never-ending studies finally ceased, we were able to patch together the last of the details at our house and finally host over 50 guests at our open house. This is certainly maximum capacity!!!
For Thanksgiving, we spent celebrated with Dean and Olga Kershner (and their 3 boys) our Third Quasi Annual Turkey and Liver-filled Thankful Feast. The first two were in Moscow, which was a tad bit colder than this year's, at their home in West Palm Beach, FL. It was hard to believe the end of November was upon us, with warm walks along the beach and swimming in the clear ocean waters!
Jumping backward again, last spring Ira was accepted to the Economics Ph.D. programs at Cornell, MIT, and the University of Connecticut, but all without funding. After driving to all 3 schools, we reinforced what we already knew: they were all too far away. So Ira declined all their offers, and we bought our house. But then in July, UConn called up and asked Ira to reconsider, and to sweeten their offer, not only waived tuition, but provided a stipend. This was enough to change a mind, and also pay for transportation expenses, including a 2004 Ford Focus to befriend our 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. The drive is 90-120 minutes each way, depending on traffic, but at least Ira only needs to go 4 days a week most of the weeks. The semester finished very well, with a nice GPA (even though the classes were really hard!)
Perhaps the biggest change of the year is due April 29, 2006. Yes, that's right!!! Our yellow room / guest room will become our yellow room / nursery! Ira was so busy all semester, that we only started seeing the doctors this past week. Praise God, everybody is healthy! :) Ira's parents have valid U.S. visas, and are planning to come in the spring to help out with the baby.
Well, that about wraps it up for the year! Thanks for reading this far, and for thinking of us. We think of you often, and would love to hear from you! If you want to see pictures and more details now and throughout the year, go to our family website, http://www.guthrielife.com/original/
Merry Christmas
--> Stan and Ira






Stan and Irina Guthrie
New Haven, CT 06515

Web: http://www.guthrielife.com/original/
Skype nickname: siguthrie
ICQ #: 294-600-725