Entries Tagged as 'hideto'

Christmas Dinner at Aunty Gail’s

December 26th, 2014 · No Comments

Photo by Heather

Photo by Heather

Photo by Heather

This was the 10th year in a row that we have gone to Dallas’s Aunty Gail’s house for Christmas dinner. My parents are visiting from Wisconsin this year and we contemplated not going, but in the end we did and dragged my parents along. I’m glad we did because it is so nice to see all of the family, including many who fly in and we don’t see very often. Of course, everyone made my parents feel right at home and they had a great time.


Photos by Heather





Photo by Heather

Last year Makai was just a baby. This year John was the smallest baby. Makai was running around and trying to get right in there with the bigger kids. That was fun to watch. He and his pal Hana are getting to the age when they can finally play together. When they were hugging I almost died. Cuteness!! Also, we keep Makai away from our stairs at home as much as we can, but at Aunty Gail’s tri-level home, there are a lot of stairs and they’re carpeted with VERY plush carpet and Makai would not hold back on going up the stairs. He’s a pro now.


Photo by Heather

Every year Aunty Gail makes beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole and her mom’s lettuce/mayo/crab/pea salad. It never varies. Dessert varies because other people always bring different desserts, but Aunty Gail always makes her signature cookies. Someone made brownies, my parents brought a tray of their homemade Christmas candy and Naoko made a delicious yule log.



Photo by Heather

Every year Aunty Gail reminds you a hundred times to bring your grab bag, “no junk!”. The gift exchange was a little more lively than it had been in the past couple years. Maybe because with my parents and Marty’s new wife, there were a few newbies. I just wanted the bottle of wine, dangit! My gift ended up including a bottle of wine, though, so that was nice.

Christmas Dinners Past:


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New Years Day

January 2nd, 2011 · No Comments

As we do most years, this year we spent New Years Eve at Dallas’s cousin Jeff and his wife Heather’s house in Schaumburg. We always sit at home hungover on New Years Day and debate whether we should go or not. One of the biggest motivating factors for me is always the pork shumai they make. They’re not like the traditional pork shumai that I get when I order in restaurants, more like a pork dumpling, but they are so delicious. Heather and Dallas’s Aunty Gail make so many that it’s basically all-you-can-eat pork shumai, plus they always send some home with us. We also always have homemade maki sushi, cone sushi, sashimi, somen, mochi soup, chicken salad, char siu, teriyaki chicken, and about 100 other things, including a red bean for luck. .. but it’s those pork dumplings that I load up on. Then sit for a few hours, then eat some more. It does wonders for the hangovers. .. though I am starting to wonder if I’ll always associate this dumpling with being a hangover cure!

This year most of the kids were all in the downstairs playroom for almost the entire party. We played with Hideto a bunch. He’s visiting from California and is about 4 years old. I think the play room was a little much for him, so he was up in the living room. Fun kid. He can totally do this belly roll from the top of his belly all the way down and is happy to demonstrate! We also played a lot with Kenji, who is 2 years old. Kenji has always been a major mommy’s boy, but this time we played football with him in the living room using a little water bottle for a loong time. This is probably the most open to people as he’s ever been. It will be interesting to see what happens when his mom, Naoko, has the new baby in just over a week!

Basically we ate, watched football (Badgers lost in the Rose Bowl), played with whatever kids were in the living room, ate more, and watched more football. Oh, and drank sake whenever Jeff came around with it. This is about how New Years goes every year, which is totally fine by me! Can’t wait for next year’s shumai!

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Christmas Dinner at Aunty Gail’s

December 28th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Cory, Miko, John

Kenji, Hideto and Derek playing the super-old pinball machine

Tickle fight with Tommy

Dallas & Rachelle. I don’t know why I’m so squinty. Wine?

As you can see, the kids were really focused on eating dinner (Tommy & Kenji)

Mitch & Hideto

Cory, Chris, Aunty Laura, Scotty, Krystyn, Hideto. In the front: Danny & Caroline.

Chris won the prize for figuring out how to fold up the chairs.

Aunty Glenna and Uncle BB

Trying to assemble for a family photo.

This always takes a while.

Getting closer…..

Almost there….

Made it! (Photo by Heather)
Back: Jeff, Heather, John, Kyle, Miko, Dallas, Chris, Caroline, Danny, Chris, Aly, Brad, Amanda, Cory.
Middle: Uncle Neil, Kate, Aunty Gail, Kenji, Aunty Peggy, Derek, Aunty Laura, Hideto, Uncle BB, Aunty Glenna.
Front: Doug, Naoko, Tommy, Mitch, Ben, Winnie, Rachelle

Dallas, Hideto, Cory



Some of the older kids help facilitate the gift exchange.

Derek, Chris, Mitch

Gift exchange in full swing.

Amanda and Brad. Brad got bacon popcorn that we brought.

Danny got Spam in the gift exchange.

Mitch & Chris

Tommy & Kenji

Dallas with his rice. (Photo by Heather)

On Christmas day we always go to Dallas’s Aunty Gail’s house out in Mount Prospect, IL. Every year Aunty Gail makes beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole and her mom’s lettuce/mayo/crab/pea salad. It never varies. Dessert varies because other people always bring different desserts, but Aunty Gail always makes her signature cookies. Now, I’m not complaining that it doesn’t vary, because it’s not like I’m eating steak and potatoes every night! And dinner always tastes super good.

After dinner all of the adults have a $10 gift exchange. There were a lot of people participating in the gift exchange this year. 25, I think, but it wasn’t very crazy at all. Not compared to some of the other years. We’re going to have to kick it up a notch next year. This year I came out with some votives and Dallas got a big bag of rice. Actually, he got something else and traded for the rice. He always wants that rice gift that Aunty Gail puts in every year.

This year it was amazing to see all the kids in the family. .. and more on the way!

Previous Christmases at Aunty Gail’s:

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