Tuesday, December 28, 2010

reflections on good lessons...

Hi Friends!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, ours was unbelievably fun. One of our pastors did a sermon a few weeks before Christmas, and shared the story of Mary and Martha. Mary sits at Jesus' feet and soaks up his every word, while Martha runs around cleaning, cooking, and fretting about what needs to be done. When Martha asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her he replies that Mary is doing what is right. The main thing I got out of the sermon was that on December 26th I didn't want to feel like I missed the mark. Like we rushed through Christmas focused on presents, parties, and family, and missed out on Jesus. What a great reminder going into Christmas weekend!

So we spent a lot of extra time praying this Christmas weekend, thanking God for all he has done, and for sending his son. At Christmas Eve service I thought one interesting point was that "God sent God." Repeatedly in the Bible it says that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one... but somehow it seems easier to believe that God would send his 'son' not 'himself'... but essentially he did. He endured the joys, pains, and sufferings that come from being human. He has "been here."

The second point I thought was really interesting was the thought that Jesus could have come with fireworks, an army of Angels, and trumpets playing, but instead he was born as a baby. Can you imagine being GOD stuck in a baby body!? I know is that we have a mighty Savior, who truly did humble himself to save us. I really think we hit the mark this Christmas season, celebrating Jesus.

On Christmas Eve this year we went to my grandparents lakehouse with the extended fam, and spent Christmas day with some of John's fam. It is a blessing for us to get to spend time with both sides and still have time for our little family to spend together. Christmas night we let Lyla fall asleep in our bed, and John read the story of Jesus' birth from the book of Luke. He got to the part where the Angel comes to the shepherds and Lyla interjected "Do not be afraid! I bring you good news!" I was one proud mama at that moment, although I have no idea how she knew that! Thank you sunday school teachers or preschool teachers, Lyla is listening! (:

I have also had a heavy heart the past few days for some friends who are hospitalized. Aria, who I have mentioned before, has been in and out of the hospital for the past few weeks with respiratory concerns, and headaches. They just can't figure out what's wrong, and her parents are exhausted.
There is also a little boy named Gideon up in Canada whose grandmother has emailed me a few times. She sent me a link to his caring bridge site a few days ago. He has hypophosphatasia like Evie, and has been on a ventilator since birth. His birth didn't go as smoothly as hers did, and they are dealing with complications. Evie was on a vent for 8 days during RSV, and I have to say, it was torture. Not being able to hold her, and just the sheer fear of the look of that big machine breathing for my baby was so incredibly hard. I can't imagine doing it for months.

I was reading Gideon's mom's post on his site a few days ago, and she concluded with this verse:
Romans 8:35-38 (i'm going to post 37-38)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And that is the story of Christmas, friends. Nothing can separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Amen!

... Oh did I mention Evie's doing great? (this is HER website isn't it!) We have three doctor's appointments next week, orthopedic (bone) surgeon, eye doc, and pediatrician, so I should have some updates. Other than that we are hanging out at home, enjoying the holiday break.

Love you friends. Thanks for loving us.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Elsaessers! Update coming soon (:
Love you!!!
(oh and yes, evie's still on oxygen, just took it off for pics!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oxygen Anniversary & Merry Christmas!

Hi Friends (:

Where have we been!? Honestly, I have no idea. This time of year just FLIES by! It has been so much fun buying gifts with the girls, and talking to them about Jesus' birth. Lyla is slowly getting it... like I'll say "Lyla what is Christmas?"
Lyla - "Jesus Birthday!"
me - "Why did Jesus come to live on earth?"
Lyla - "to sleep in the hay!"
me - "and he came to save us so we can go to heaven!"
Lyla - "now?"
me - "no, when we die"
Lyla - "when?"
me - "probably when we get old"
Lyla - "Is Santa dying? He's old"
me - "I don't think so."
Lyla - "okay." (:

In the spirit of Christmas my dad and I went to Lincoln this past weekend to sing in a Flash Mob! It was super fun to get together with people from Lincoln, Omaha, and surrounding areas to sing Praises to God and celebrate the Reason for the Season. I will post a link below if you want to watch the video... There's a little footage of us at the very beginning eating lunch and pretending like we're not going to bust out in song (: The echo is pretty bad on the video but it sounded marvelous in person! Super fun!

And tomorrow is the one year anniversary of our hospitalization to put Evie on oxygen. On one hand, WOW that went fast! On the other... SHEESH it feels like she's been on oxygen forever! Just a blessed reminder of how much we were hospitalized last year, and how blessed we are that she has been stable for a few months, and so close to being off O2 (: Merry Christmas to us!

I've also been thinking a lot about how many comments I get from people who say things along the lines of 'you know, I have given my life to Jesus, but I have such a hard time letting go of my kids, and giving them to Him also' or 'I just can't seem to put my worry for my kid's in God's hands, I don't know how you do it.' Friends, I know you genuinely love your kids, just like we genuinely love ours... and the past few weeks I have been overwhelmed with reminders of how many times God has healed Evie.... birth, seizures, oxygen needs, stopping breathing, RSV, brain surgery, and more seizures here there and everywhere. Things that I, as a mom, couldn't have fixed on my own.
What I have learned in this past year is that I shouldn't only trust in God's will for the lives of my kids, but hand them over willingly to the only One who can knit a body together in the womb of her mother. Who can keep her breathing when she's struggling, and to keep ME breathing when she's struggling. I know there were times when God alone was keeping Evie alive. I have watched her oxygen level drop to 7%. Yes 7 out of 100... and she, with God's help, got back into the 90s and made it.

I have been blessed this year and a half by the most amazing parent of them all, God himself, as he looks over all four of us. I am so humbled and eager to go into this Christmas season full of thankfulness and joy, to celebrate the birth of God's son, who he sent to LOVE us, and pay the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, death... so that we can live with him forever. Is life hard sometimes? Yes. But we can have the ultimate JOY of knowing Jesus himself has been here... and now, unseen, still is. Thank you Lord!

Merry Christmas Everyone! Praying God's many blessings for all YOU! May all Glory be to Him this coming week and beyond (:

Love you friends!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Santa!! (: ..... or should I say Santa ):

Santa was on "break" when we arrived at the shopping center, so we played in the surroundings for a while (:
Lyla insisted on touching each fragile fake animal... climbing over rocks to get there... promising she wouldn't fall in the fountain...
Evie all ready to go!

I know this pic is blurry, but doesn't Evie's face just say it all!?

Lyla telling Santa what she wants for Christmas... she keeps flip flopping between a pink barbie and a new puppy... She's getting the barbie!!!
really pretty scene around Santa
Well our picture didn't transfer to the computer the first time so we told Lyla she was the "winner" and got to cut in line to see Santa again! We had to put Evie's oxygen back on the second time she was still so upset from the first go-round...
Gingerbread house making! Usually when Lyla smiles like this it's because she's being bribed to smile (:
say "bribery!"
"Go Mommy and Lyla!"
Evie cheesing it up for the camera while we're hard at work
Eve is playing "peek-a-boo" in this picture, how funny is that!?
and finished!
Horray! The House is done!!!

when i was uploading pics from my camera it went straight from the picture above to this one (the first saved on my cam). Isn't it amazing how far we have come in the past 15 months!? Praise God!

Love you friends! Sorry it's taking me so long to get back to posting these days... still not feeling great, and John and I have both had the stomach flu... we need to kick this winter sickness! (:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

quick update!

hi friends!

well i have a lot on my mind to post about, but wanted to give you a quick update since i need some sleep. we had a good week last week, Evie had a neurology appointment on Wednesday, and she weighed in at 16.2 pounds!!! i can't even believe she has grown that much!

wednesday morning i woke up pretty dizzy and the room was doing some spinning. i was pretty scared but evie's neurologist told me to wait a few days until i called the doc. i finally called yesterday and he said i probably have some sort of inner ear virus. i feel really awful in the morning (dizzy and nauseous) but it progressively gets better through the day. i'm supposed to drink lots, and get rid of caffeine and salt... no wonder i feel awful!!!!! evie and lyla both have colds, so we are patiently waiting those out although the seem to get better every day.

on Friday we went to see Santa at the mall, it was really fun. we paid our horrendous fee to sit on his lap and get a 4x6 photo, and since our picture somehow didn't make it from the camera to the computer to be printed we got to cut in line and go again (Lyla thought she was the "winner" since she got to see Santa twice - ha ha). evie thought santa was worse than the hospital, especially since we sat her back on his lap after a first go-round of tears, but Lyla thought he was pretty cool. she wants a pink barbie (news to us!) for Christmas, and thinks Evie needs a new sweater. i will post pics when i have a little more time. we made our annual gingerbread house this afternoon and i tried my baking skills by making some bread my mom made us when we were kids. it shockingly turned out great! (: maybe i'm not such a bad cook after all.

if you could pray that we would all feel better that would be great. i get sick of being sick pretty quickly (:

thanks friends, love you and be back soon with photos!