We originally planned to fly out to Vegas (and St George) for Christmas on Dec 22nd, but the week before my mom AND Mama were admitted into the hospital. Mama had a stroke, and my mom got pneumonia. So, we drove out a week early to help take care of them and help maintain my parents' house.
While there, my grandparents, my dear cousin Missy and Aunt Lola were there. And most exciting, my brother and his wife and children came to visit from Ghana! Needless to say, it was so special being with so much family, and seeing how loved and supported my mom is by her family and friends.
I got to spend my mom's last night in the hospital with her, and while it was a VERY long night, with little sleep due to all her pain and discomfort, I'm so happy to have helped. My mom has done so much for me throughout my life, and it gave me a chance to serve her for once. The next day my dad made the difficult decision to bring my mom home from the hospital, which meant no platelets or transfusions. The Thursday before Christmas my mom made a turn for the worst, so we all gathered into her room to say goodbye and give her a blessing. However, a few hours later she miraculously began to be alert again and wanted to walk around. I truly believe the Lord gave us a miracle that day, because she continued to stay alert and energetic through Christmas and her birthday. It was more than we could have hoped for. :)
The Sunday before Christmas we received carolers from the neighborhood, who made me cry and touched me with their love and kindness towards my mom. My parents truly have some amazing friends that were so sweet and generous to our family, particularly throughout the Christmas season. Thanks to each of you for touching our hearts and sharing your food, homes, and music.
Christmas Eve we gathered with all of my siblings, the grandkids, my grandparents, and cousin and his family. We had a delicious seafood dinner, and I made my mom's amazing peppermint ice cream dessert. After cleaning up, we sat in the living room and read of Christ's birth, and sang a ton of Christmas songs. We also enjoyed a cute little Christmas "show" by my cousins and niece and nephew. I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas eve with so much family, music, and laughter.
On Christmas Day, the little kids surprisingly were very patient and waited to open presents. We ate a delicious biscuits and gravy, prepared by Brook, and then gathered to open presents. Max didn't make it to opening up presents, and napped right through it all. Because we had 20+ people, it took hours for everyone to open presents and clean up all the trash. Pretty funny how full my parents house was. :) Some fun and random memories of the day:
-Grandpa Mortensen, who carries around a small radio to listen to Fox news ALL DAY, was getting mad because all the stations would only plan Christmas music and not his precious news.
-Playing (and losing) Jenga with Adam and the little kids.
-Slaving away in the kitchen all day for a nice Christmas dinner, only to realize we had no time to eat the wonderful dinner because the movie time was sooner than we thought.
-Seeing Les Miserables that night...so good! I highly recommend it!