Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We had a wonderful Christmas with ALL our kids here in Spokane so I thought I’d share a quick note.
Christmas day was VERY busy! We crammed a lot into one day.
We woke up around 10:00 AM as we were up late getting things ready the night before. Started the coffee, Rachael was up earlier making walnut and fig scones..yum! Nothing better than a hot scone right from the oven along with hot coffee. So good.
Then we poured our “mimosa’s” and took all of that into the front room where we started our traditions.
First we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, at the end the lights on the Christmas tree “magically” go out, as though Jesus blew out the candles. So funny. We started this when the kids were young and they still love doing it.
Then comes the hourS long unwrapping of presents. One person opens one present at a time, as we all watch for the look of surprise (or disgust) on their faces. Takes a LONG time to get through the morning, but it’s much more enjoyable. We take breaks to fill our coffee, mimosa’s and bathroom breaks, and by the time we’re done 3 or 4 hours have gone by. Very enjoyable.
Obviously we thanked God for being able to have ALL the Mooter’s together this Christmas. Of course Beth didn’t understand when we all looked at her. Then she thought for a moment and said, “Oh yeah, my brain injury. Was it really that close?” So funny. She has no idea of how close she was… And even when we tell her she doesn’t remember.
So we started with Beth getting to open the 1st one and it’s so funny to watch her. She’s like a little kid. Rachael bought her a purple belt and Cass bought her purple eyeliner and when she opened the presents she would clap her hands together quickly, eyes wide open, and smile so brightly and squeal just like a little kid. She was so happy. Then we’d move on down the line to someone else opening a present, then all of a sudden we’d hear another squeal and look over and Bethany had just re-discovered the purple belt or eyeliner or some other gift she opened but had quickly forgotten. So funny. That’s how her birthday was too. I called it a surprise birthday because each time she would look at the balloons she’d ask, “Is it my birthday?” While she has always been a good sport about this, I know it’s very tough for her to constantly be forgetting things so quickly and sometimes it get’s the best of her and causes her to be very sad, but as you’ll see, she IS GETTING BETTER!!!
So round and round we went, each one opening a new gift with oo’s and awe’s being heard from everyone. Nate told us from the start, that he went for the quantity rather than quality gifts this year and he was right. I received a “gift” called “Instant Boobies“! He bought all his gifts at the Chinese area of town in Seattle, so just the packing alone was hilarious.
Oh, one note in regards to the presents. Eleven days before Christmas, the support group that Bethany goes to for traumatic brain injured people had a Christmas party and handed out gifts. Bethany came away with two of them. So Rachael re-wrapped them and stuck them under the tree. As we handed them to her on Christmas we all were holding our breaths to see if she would remember them. She ripped open the package and you could see by the look on her face that something was strange. She was really concentrating and she said, “Hey, this looks familiar”. We just said, “really?” And she kept looking at it and finally popped up her head and said, “Yes! I got this from that TBI thingy!!”. We all shouted and looked around at each other saying “YES YES YES!!! Great MEMORY!!!” That was 11 days ago she got those presents!!! Amazing!!!! We were thanking God! She IS getting better!!!
Finally we finished around 3:00pm and had to hurry to get dressed because out next tradition was go out for Chinese or Japaneses food!
I’m not sure how this tradition started. Rachael surmises that we did it be cause we didn’t want to put anyone out on Christmas so we looked towards folks who didn’t celebrate Christmas and that’s how we wound up going to Hong Kong Buffet. And you know what? It was GREAT! Crab, shrimp, cray fish (yuck! I couldn’t even pick them up to put them on my plate, let alone eat them!), sushi of all kinds (Beth somehow found all the non-vegetarian ones and quickly spit them out!), and yummy deserts!
With our tummy’s full we waddled over to our next tradition, A MOVIE!
This year it was Tin Tin and it was great! This was a comic that Nate used to read when he was younger and I remember looking at them and being concerned that they were filled with things perhaps a young boy shouldn’t experience. The captain was a drunk and whenever he spoke there were all these bubbles by his mouth representing a foul smelling breath. There were bad guys with guns and people getting shot. So as a concerned parent I was not 100% on board with Nate reading this, but then I started reading them and was hooked! Pretty soon the whole family had read all the comic books, and now here it is in a movie! 3D no less! So we all donned our 3D glasses and settled in for an adventure Tin Tin style!
The first thing Beth did was to rip off the glasses and say they’re all smudged. I stopped her from rubbing them and possibly scratching them and told her the 3D stuff hadn’t started yet so it’s just the glasses. A few minutes later the same thing! So I held onto them until the 3D part of the movie started. And BAM! She was like, “OH MY GOSH! THAT’S AMAZING!” She actually had to take them off at one point as it appeared to be too much for her, but she quickly put them back on.
So after the movie we hopped into the car and made our way over to the Jett’s house for Christmas evening deserts and games. On the way over we were talking about the movie and Bethany asked if we had just seen a movie. We said yes, and if she could remember it….no, she couldn’t. Amazing. That was just a few minutes after watching a 2 hour long movie.
At the Jett’s we had a wonderful time! Great food, wine, games, songs, BINGO, Karaoke, and Dancing! WOW! Terry & Margo always put on a huge spread of food, prime rib, mashed potatoes, gosh…so much! And the deserts? To die for!
But the real fun was down stairs where we played many games of Bingo and whoever won had 30 seconds to pic from a pile of great gifts. Bethany played and was really into it but wasn’t winning. So at one point Nate was the caller so he glanced over and saw what number she needed and “somehow” her number came up and she jumped up and yelled “BINGO!!!!!!” She ran over to the pile of gifts (and we’re all counting down from 30), she’s frantically pawing through everything and it’s coming down to the final count down (5..4…3…2..1!), at the last minute she grabs a brain game from the Mensus Society. Ugh..Those are HARD!
Another thing we did that Bethany enjoyed was dancing to the Wii game. Well, Cassie, Nate and Rach also liked it! In fact they all rawked! I tried to dance with them but always came away with the lowest score and the most laughs.
The last thing we did is Karoke and that is always a hit with my family. Cassie and Beth did it a number of times and of course Cass is the drama queen so she really hammed it up and did an amazing job. Beth also did very well. She remembered most all the words and when I tried to help her with the words from one of the app’s on my phone she pushed it away and said she didn’t need it. So somehow she can remember all the words to songs. So strange.
Needless to say, we had a fantastic time, and didn’t leave Terry & Margo’s until 2:30 AM!!! WAY past my bedtime!
I’m so thankful that we had all 4 kids home and we all enjoyed each other. God is so good.
Thanks to Terry & Margo for a WONDERFUL time laughing and joking and singing and eating and eating and …did I say eating? SOOOOO GOOD!Here’s a few pictures of our Christmas day. There’s a couple of drawings from the kids about an Ironman tattoo. I didn’t understand why they were giving me all these drawings until they gave me my final gift….a Visa card with money on it to purchase the tattoo. Duh. Enjoy the pics!