Ok. I'm not sure why this has gotten soooo draaaawnn ouuuuttt, but it has. Blame it on my verbose way of communicating. As anyone who has ever read my writing can tell you, I suffer from a complete inability to be succinct. After this post, though, it will be back to shorter, easier-to-digest posts, with more pictures. I can't put many pictures on these, because I don't post pictures of the kids, and I did a pretty bad job of taking pictures without kids in them.
Saturday morning, we got up early and headed for the synagogue, where professional pictures were to proceed the actual ceremony. At the temple we met the rest of the extended families, and swarms of kids played while different family groups were photographed. There are even some pictures of the kids and ME! All of the children did a really marvellous job being patient and smiling on demand for photos. Hundreds were taken, and then we headed to our seats to await the beginning of the ceremony. Mitzvah did a WONDERFUL job on what must have been a rather nerve-wracking project. He sang in Hebrew confidently, calmly presented a lovely speech, and generally conducted himself with poise and good humour. What an accomplishment for anyone-- never mind a 13-year-old! I was, I must admit, almost equally impressed with the ability of the children in the family to sit through a two hour service, focused and quiet. They could even tell you about it in some detail afterwards. Amazing! I haven't ever seen them focus that long on ANYTHING before.
There was the party. Ohhh my. I had heard about these shindigs before, but never experienced one personally. Friends, let me tell you. There was a PHOTOBOOTH-- with PROPS! There was lots of FOOD! There was MUSIC! There was DANCING! Both of which were orchestrated by two men who put a great deal of energy into getting everyone to have fun. (Side note: How does one end up as a DJ for bar mitzvahs? Because, personally, I can't imagine doing that every week-- attending one was GREAT fun. Attending one a week? No way. Exhausting.)
There was a BUBBLE WRAP DANCE FLOOR!
And there was a CANDY BUFFET!
The party lasted for several hours, during which Neptune won at Black Jack, we all took pictures in the photobooth, met many wonderful people, wrote in the guest/photobook, and generally enjoyed ourselves. When the party had died down, we left to get some rest at the hotel before gearing up for the Next Event-- a BBQ dinner for the family and out-of-town guests.
It was Neptune's dream-come-true, a whole range of options of BBQed delicacies (can barbeque be called a "delicacy?"), though Clover, as always, struggled to find something she would be willing to consume. Instead, she largely spent her time with her new friend, putting peppermint candies in different types of soft drinks to see what happened. A few of the little boys tried to irritate the girls by drawing unflattering pictures of them, but the girls saw the humour in it, so the effort was wasted.
That night we got an extra hour of sleep, thanks to the bizarre nature of Daylight Savings Time. It was definitely needed!
Sunday morning found us happily brunching at Mitzvah's house, with his family and their friendly dog. Before too long, it was time to head to the airport and back to the PNW. The airport and flight were uneventful (though both children worked on math homework or studying on the plane, with no complaints... that counts as remarkable as far as I'm concerned!), and we all made it home safe and sound.