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.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year

I hope that you all have had a very happy new year so far. I cannot imagine this next year bringing any more joy or pain than the last one did for us... I think that my best wish for our new year is that it be boring! That's not too much to ask is it?

As we are about to begin "making the rounds" so to speak, as we get together with family and friends, I thought that I would address the most frequently asked question that we have had: are we planning to move back to Florida? The short answer is... no. The long answer is... we don't know how God will lead us in the future, but He has clearly led us to Montana - where we will stay until we receive further direction. We have completely turned our life upside down over this past year, and our biggest desire right now as a family is to settle into one spot. We are so close to that goal right now. We wish that we could live closer to the many family and friends that we have here in Florida, but we will be back for visits... We have been taken in by a wonderful community (made up of both family and friends) in Montana, and are looking forward to settling in and having some semblance of a "normal" life (whatever that is), but it does not diminish the impact or importance of all those in Florida that we love. We do believe that God led us to Montana, and that it wasn't just for the season of Ellie's healing or death. He seems to have also led us there just for us, and we trust Him in that.

Thanks again for praying! We love you all.


At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Jen Johnson said...

I have thought of you often the past few days as you all have been back in Florida. In getting to know you and your family.....I almost think about your move as being part of your roots. It seems as if everyone in your family is involved in New Tribe Ministry. I think of Montana as being a place for you to plant your roots again, us being your tribe! Maybe not for ever, but for now. I stand in awe at your trust in the Lord and thank God each day that he brought you into my life. Please tell Ethan that Cody and Bailey say hello. Enjoy some Florida sunshine!
Much Love,

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Ellie Skees said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Ellie Skees said...

Sorry - that last comment that was "removed by the author" was just me. I messed something up... no big deal. Sarah

p.s. Thanks, Jen - you guys are definitely part of our tribe! Love you guys.

At 5:27 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

I am so glad you are settling into Montana. I will be praying for a less than boring year for you!

God bless,

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous jeni said...


just thinking of you as we start a new year. praying for your peace....


At 4:52 AM, Blogger LindaSueBuhl said...

So glad you answered the question I wasn't willing to ask - it does appear that Montana holds healing and change that your family truly can embrace. Besides - where else can you learn not to wear billowy skirts when bees are exploring the area? Sorry - that might be inappropriate levity but I treasured the stories of those expeditions y'all took. Besides no home for believers is forever except heaven - so Montana makes a good interim spot.Thank you for your posts - it is good to know where you are and what is happening. We continue to pray for you all - especially little brother Ethan - what a guy.

At 6:53 AM, Anonymous Debi said...

Now you have 2 places to love and call "home." Florida and Montana are both special places for you, and God will guide your steps in settling into a great life in Montana. I pray this is a year of hope and a restoration in your purpose as a family. You had to rally around Ellie for so long, and did that so well. May God richly restore and pour His blessings on your life together.

I keep thinking of the Scripture, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant(s)" when I think of your long enduring faithfulness to Ellie.

Have a blessed, hope-filled New Year.

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ellie watched the night launch of the shuttle, laughing so excitedly her entire body laughed right to her toes. As the shuttle's light filled the night sky, she exclaimed with such awe, "It looks like morning in Montana!" Right there her life led you where you most needed to be and her words confirm what you already know. Ellie's beautiful spirit lights the darkest of times. She is just like the Montana mornings she dreamily spoke of...

The Whitakers

At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

enjoy your time here in Florida and continue to seek Gods plan for you and your family. we continue to pray for you all. love simons family

At 9:19 AM, Blogger sunset years said...

Have I missed it...it seems there has been no information re memorial gifts. Are they to go to NB research? Sent where?
Be assured of our prayers for you and all the family there.
Ps 105:4: "Seek the LORD & His strength, seek His face continually." He is the God of all comfort.

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous jeni said...

I am standing upon that foreshore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails in the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, "There! She's gone!" "Gone where?" "Gone from my sight, that's all." She is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side; just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at that moment when someone at my side says, "There! She's gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"
- henry van dyke

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

I stumbled across your blog and I've spent the past hour reading about your sweet Ellie - laughing, crying, marveling at your strength, at your ability to give others hope...and comfort others around you, even as your world is crumbling. You are truly a testimony to God's love and grace, and to the power of prayer.

I know I'm a stranger, and therefore cannot offer the kind of comfort and encouragement that a friend or family member can offer. I can't sit and pray with you. I can't hug you, or bring you big piles of food. (What is it about food, especially piping hot food, that really does help?)

We too know the pain of losing a child. Our story is way different. We didn't lose Seth to an agonizing illness. I won't pretend to know the pain of watching your child endure that. But the loss, and the suffocating grief and pain that follows the loss of a child is the same. I don't know if it will help, but I wanted to share this with you:


Go to the post entitled "Remembering", from December 18. Please know that I am committed to pray for your family. Know that I am thinking of you often (there's no way I can HELP but think of you guys often now). And know that, no matter how unbearable the storm feels as the dark moments wash over you, you are being held in the loving arms of our Father. After the clouds, God will bring the warmth of the Son to rejuvenate you and give you strength.

Love in Christ,

"My hope in God is the anchor of my soul, both sure and steadfast." Hebrews 6:19

At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying as you make your rounds. And totally agree that it's time for you to just STOP and BE right now and for however long God has you in Montana. You all need some stability, especially Ethan. Praying for a boring 2008 for you. Much love from us in the UK.

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Jen Johnson said...

I returned home from work yesterday to find two busy bodies at the kitchen table crafting. All the totes were out and glitter was a flyin. When Bailey was finished with her masterpiece she showed it to me. She made what looked to be an ornament and it was covered in glitter. It was what she wrote that got me a little choked up.....she wrote "Never Forget Ellie." It was when I awoke this morning and came out into the kitchen that I noticed it.......the kitchen floor was sparkling! Nothing like your living room floor the morning glitter woke you up, but sweet little reminders of Ellie just the same! I was going to mop the floor today but I think I am going to wait. Miss you guys and can't wait for you to return home. I think you took a little bit of Montana with you. I hear it has been quite cold in Florida! Love you guys!

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Mrs. Pat Dye said...

Just wrote you a blog then it didn't receive it....Well anyway....I have just read yours and thru it all I could do nothing but cry and wonder how and why...But someday we shall know....Thank you for sharing yourself and being so transparent in your writing...You need to write a book...No doubt God would use it in a mighty way... We have had you in our prayers for so long that you have become a part of the family and our household...We shall pray that this New Year won't only be boring but a time of real healing and restoration....We love you three! Ethan will become a spoiled brat I know...but heh that is ok :)
with our love and assurance of Prayers... Mrs. Paul Dye in AZ.


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