Since my last post I made a very quick trip to see my family and attend my niece's baptism. All told, I was gone just under 37 hours, so that works out to about half of the time on the road and half of the time at my destination. Short, but sweet. I visited my nephews, both of whom have grown quite a bit taller since I last saw them! The elder, RH, comes up to my shoulder now. He's only 9 years old! I guess I shouldn't be too surprised -- I've had cub scouts that are that tall. I was sorry I couldn't spend more time with the boys, but promised I would stay for a week at Christmas and bring several games with me. (I'm extremely lucky because ALL of my nieces and nephews like to play games)
A funny thing happened during the baptism. Apparently, just before the service started, my brother, Yevi, talked his daughter through the expected procedure. It went something like this: There will be a short prayer, then you will plug your nose with one hand and hold onto me with the other hand and just sit down in the water.
However, after the prayer, my niece let go of her dad's arm and started to turn away, and her dad quickly whispered that they weren't done yet. My niece got a little flustered, remembered most of what she was supposed to do, and promptly sat down in the water... essentially baptizing herself! My brother snorted (VERY un-baptism like behavior), and pushed her head down to make sure all of her hair went under, ensuring complete immersion. He then looked up at the witnesses, who nodded approval, and it was a done deed. We had a good laugh about it later. My brother said it as definitely a "first" for him to have a child baptize herself.