The Christmas Tree!
When we arrived home (to Stan & Pat's - we are still staying there) from the hospital after Ellie's bone marrow biopsies, Jill had set up a beautiful live Christmas tree - complete with colored lights (Ellie's favorite). I asked if Jill would leave the ornaments off of the tree so that we could look at each one and see who they were from. Ellie and I spent the rest of the day looking the ornaments and appreciating each and every one! It was amazing. I have known that there are so many people praying for Ellie and our family, but watching the tree fill up with tangible expressions of love was overwhelming and touching in a way that I just didn't expect. Having looked carefully at each ornament, now when I pass the tree, one or two will catch my attention and I will think of the person who gave it. Everytime I look at the tree I see the love of each one of you. One of the things that amazed me the most was how vastly different each ornament was. There were exquisitely handcrafted ornaments, extravagent store-bought ones, some made with children's hands, others made together by a whole multi-generational family at Thanksgiving, many bought with a little 8 year old girl in mind, one that had been on a family's tree for many years, and several that were made in and sent from other countries. I don't think that I will ever be able to express to you all how happy this tree has made our whole family - watching Ellie's delight as she admired and examined each precious ornament was a priceless gift for a mother's heart. Thank you all.
Following are pictures of the tree from several angles. You won't be able to see each ornament because there were so many and some were heavy and had to be placed deeper in the tree.