We will always remember Ellie for her love for others, her creativity, sensitivity, and delight in life! Ellie's light has spread far and wide... may it continue to shine in our hearts.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Random thoughts...

Well, I can't say that I'm feeling much better, but it has been nice to be able to sit back and let others take care of the kids - especially Ellie. It's been a good break for me to not have to even do all of the thinking about what to feed her, etc. So feeling poorly has it's perks. :-) Bless Loretta's heart, she's been doing enough thinking and working for three people. Reni has been cooking and Mike's been doing lots of cleanup. (Reni and Mike are John's aunt and uncle - John's dad is Loretta and Reni's brother.) John's grandma has been faithfully folding any and all laundry that I take out of the dryer - and there've been many loads... John's cousin Lauren also lives here and when she's not at work she helps feed and entertain Ethan and run errands. So as you can see I've been rather pampered these days! (And you'll have to forgive the small twinge of self-satisfaction that I get when I see how many people it takes to keep our little family going - I KNEW there was a reason why I feel so tired when I'm home alone with the kids!) There is some other family in the area that we can't wait to see. I keep praying that we can all just get over this sickness so we can get down to the serious business of having FUN!!

John has been helping with the kids - often getting up with Ethan so that I can sleep in with Ellie. He has also been running around planning forays into the mountains. He's taken some drives around to look at scenery on the days that have been too soggy to do much hiking. When John's eyes roam to the mountains I can almost see the same look that a horse gets when you dangle a carrot just out of his reach. My sweet husband is absolutely driven to explore.

And speaking of husbands... just the other day John and I went out for lunch. I didn't feel great, but it was so nice just to be out together. We sat in a booth of the restaurant and simply enjoyed each other's company. It was a great big booth, and as is his way, John sat down beside me insead of across from me. As I am left-handed and he is right, we are able to eat an entire meal holding hands or with his arm around me. John commented that he almost felt guilty that given all of the stress and strain of the past year, we could be so happy. And that's the plain and beautiful truth of it - God has just blessed us with such joy in each other. It's funny because we really don't have a lot in common as far as interests and activities, but we love to enjoy a meal together and talk a while. Sure, there is still the daily work of a relationship - choosing to be kind to each other in the little things; him choosing to act in a loving way towards me; and me choosing to respect him... But when it all comes down to it, we truly feel blessed by God in that the joy comes easily. I still have a vivid memory of the first time we came home from the hospital with Ellie last October. She had been in the hospital for a month, and I had slept at the hospital for the entire time. Finally we were home and the kids were tucked into their beds. Once we were settled into our bed for the night, I started crying and as John held me, I admitted that I felt like I should be happy, but that somehow we would never be able to be happy again. Feeling joy at a time when life as we knew it was unravelling somehow just seemed wrong. And then something wonderful started to happen. The little joyful moments over the months have begun to string together in such a way that joy has become second nature...

And now on to pictures!

Back in New York:
Michael and Kathy in my favorite little French restaurant that's close to the hospital.
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Michael and our little buddy:
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In Montana:
The gorgeous view from Mike and Reni's home.
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The view of Bigfork and Flathead Lake from Jewel Basin.
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A few of the many sweet moments since our arrival in Montana:
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And so... goodnight dear family and friends. Even in our lovely time of rest and recharge we are thankful for your love and prayers. You are never far from my thoughts.


At 5:17 AM, Blogger Elijah Gill said...

Thank you for sharing. You have no idea how much it blesses me to read your blog and to hear of your trust and faith in the Lord. It is amazing how that joy comes in the midst of pain. Praise God! I know there have been down times too and thank you for sharing so honestly about those times as well.
You don't know me but i'm so blessed by your writting. And you have a beautiful family. Ethen and Ellie are so precious.
Those pictures from Montana are gorgious! I hope you feel better soon. We are praying for you.
<><, Melissa

At 6:35 AM, Blogger LindaSueBuhl said...

Who IS that perky looking little girl with the hoodie on? Your family has become so dear to us - and your entry today reminds us why - you have learned that whether things are easy or difficult- there is still a center of joy. Hooray for Montana - a center of healing because of the love of your family and your Father. Thank you SO much for this update.

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Old Kids - New Kids said...

I am touched by every word you write.
You have such an amazing family.

In the last photo, Ellie looks just like her daddy!

Still praying in Texas!

Terri, Tricia's friend

At 7:41 PM, Blogger tricia said...

Great pictures, Ellie looks good and Ethan so happy! I'm glad someone is taking care of you for a change. Those Skees are a pretty awesome group of people.

At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always, I am so touched by the way you say things, Sarah. Right from the heart!

Ellie looks so good!

I hope you are feeling better quickly and I am glad the sun came out.

The pictures were great. Ethan looks like he is having fun on that tractor :)

I bet John IS looking forward to some serious exploring. I don't think a person can ever get done exploring this place. There is always somewhere new and just as beautiful around the corner.

Still praying for your precious family, Sheri

At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Skees Family,

You are never far from our thoughts as well! Sarah, you have such an amazing gift of writing... I like others have never met your sweet family but feel like you are part of ours. How neat the Lord has knitted us all together in his family!!!
We love and pray for you everyday.
Hugs and Kisses to that beautiful girl Ellie!!

The Haviland's

At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Darla said...

Okay Henry said he is jealous Mike and Reni have a better view than he does. The kids look good that fresh air is doing them well. So glad that you are being cared for and you can regroup as a family.

At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still following along every day and praying for this time to reenergize and strengthen you all! les

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Jeff Roberts said...

Looks like a great place to regroup. That view would make a great postcard.

At 7:32 PM, Anonymous kristina mcd said...

Again, thank you for letting us see into the window of your soul, Sarah. Few people are strong enough to offer such vulnerability. I am reading the book "Captivating" by John and Staci Eldridge. I believe you are such a women that invites others into your beauty and you offer strength in that beauty.

What a sweet picture of Ellie in her hooded jacket! Her countenance says so much.... how precious she is. I hope each of you soak up all of the "moments" and love you can these days.

Blessed by your life,

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

Wow, what a beautiful girl! I've never seen such a happy smile! I'm so glad that you are able to have this time of joy! What a blessing to have this chance to be together! I hope you feel much better soon!
You're in our prayers,

At 10:20 PM, Blogger BreezieGirl said...

Continue to feel better... I can't imagine not feeling well in such a BEAUTIFUL place!

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that view is beautiful!!! ellie looks great. so happy for you all to have this time. hope you are feeling better. have a wonderful time. love always simons family


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