Sunday, January 9, 2011


December 26.

So, this is how our morning started on the 26th (It makes me wonder if Daijo is getting too comfortable in hotels...):

Anyhow, after we got everything packed up at the hotel, we went over to a community center to meet up with  Brian's extended family from his mom's side.  This is the first year that they met at someplace other than his grandmother's house, but due to a recent surgery, she just couldn't host everyone at her place.  I just nodded at first when they told me this, but then the scope of what that meant hit home when I saw what a huge get-together this actually was.  There were 40 people at this Christmas Party.  The youngest had just turned one and the oldest is over 90.  I can't comprehend how this woman has been capable of entertaining that many people in her home to this point!

Here is Brian's grandmother: very observant, very sweet and the obvious matriarch of the family:

There are some pretty serious traditions with this side of his family.  He had told me about them, but it was really neat to see everything in action.  
First, everyone gathers around as the youngest of the children read (or get read to) a version of the bible Christmas Story.  Here is Brian's mom with Clarie, Emma, his cousin's sons and his grandmother reading that story.

Then, beginning with the youngest child, everyone comes up to the table, lights a candle, reads a blessing off of a list that Brian's Grandmother has prepared and places the candle in a birthday cake to Jesus. I took tons of pictures of everyone lighting their candles, but this one was one of my favorites...

No one is excluded from this.  If you come to the celebration, then you're going to be a part of the Jesus birthday bash.  

After everyone has had their turn, we all sing Happy Birthday, say the Our Father and the Hail Mary and all the little kids blow out the candles.  It's quite impressive.

We spent the rest of our time there just enjoying the company of his family, well, and taking pictures of Claire and Brielle.  I mean, really, how can I not taking pictures of babies in Cub Food boxes?

We then celebrated the twins' birthdays by watching them cover themselves in cupcakes...

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