Saturday, December 30, 2006

Visiting the cousins over Thanksgiving in Iowa. We miss you all! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas in Mitford-I mean B- Texas

We just got back from spending Christmas in B_ Texas with Ray's folks. B_ is a very small town. Ray's parents live about a block from the local Catholic Church. Christmas Eve Day Father Andrew, the parish priest, blasted Christmas music from speakers out of the church from about 6:30am to 11:00pm or so. We could hear it clearly in Ray's parent's house all day. Emma and I went to midnight mass with most of the family and Emma sang in the childrens choir with 6 of her 8 cousins. As I sat in through Mass I looked at the people in the service and wondered what motivated each of them to come to church so late on Christmas Eve. For some they have probably done it for so many years it is just part of their tradition, some looked very serious and worshipful and some looked antsy and figity. The church was decorated very beautifully and felt cozy. I felt like I was sitting through a scene in one of the Mitford books. About 8 kids did a nativity play before the mass which was very moving. This caused mass to start late so we didn't get home till after 1:00am even though the singing and play began around 11:30pm. Emma fell asleep after singing with the choir and it was like walking with a drunk person when we finally tried to walk home after the mass. The Christmas Choir consisted of about 9 kids ranging from about 9-17. They had been taught by my niece to sing the carols in all different parts... it really was amazing. If in their hearts they were there to praise God I'm sure God was as blessed and pleased with their effort as we were to hear their sweet voices. I got to have my traditional cheese and jalapeno tamales and this year they were absolutely dreamy! I tried a dessert wasn't my thing. There were bean and beef tamale but I love the cheese ones so much I didn't even try the others! Thank God they are a once a year tradition because I'm sure these had enough lard to take a year off my heart. I got to spend some time looking at old pictures with Ray's mom. It was fun to hear her stories about growing up in Monterrey, Mexico. Gabe, Emma and Julia had lots of fun with their cousins. I was so excited to see Ray's sisters new house. They are painting and will move in shortly I can't wait to see it all finished. All in all we had a great visit and a lovely family Christmas.