Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Team Ian Shirts!!!

I am selling NEW TEAM IAN SHIRTS!!! It's been quite awhile since I've done this but we need to raise some money for our conference in June. Actually we need to raise A LOT of money for our conference in June. We have 78 people who are going to be there...WHOA!!! We have 14 Rhizo Kids going to be there. WHOA!! We have never had a conference this big. People are literally flying in from all around the world folks!!! Can you hear the excitement in my voice?!? I am pumped. I think back to that first conference Tracey Thomas and I put on at St.Vincent's hospital. There were just five families there. Now we have a large group. I am amazed where our Rhizo Kids group has grown to. What a blessing. So...let's sell some shirts. If you want to sell shirts for me go right ahead. Just print out a picture of the shirts get the sizes and what they want and get the money ahead of time. The shirts are $15 each and if you get XXL or XXXL they are $17 each. If you want me to ship you a shirt I most definitely will. That cost $5 a shirt. There are four shirts. BUT don't be fooled. Three of them have the EXACT same back. I am repeating myself...three of the shirts have the exact same back. :) The first purple shirt is a "Rhizo Kids" shirt. It says..."RCDP picked the wrong kid" on the back. The black shirt is a "Rhizo Kids" shirt with a hand instead of the rainbow on the front and it says..."RCDP picked the wrong kid" on the back too. It's just black with a hand on the front instead of a rainbow. More manly we thought :) The green shirt is a "Rhizo Kids" shirt. The other purple shirt is....A TEAM IAN SHIRT!!! It says "team ian" on the front and on the back it says the same as the first two "RCDP picked the wrong kid" If you sell these shirts this is how I did mine. I have a sheet for: 1. Purple Rhizo Kid shirt 2. Black Rhizo Kid shirt 3. Green Rhizo Kid shirt 4. PURPLE TEAM IAN SHIRT Thanks in advance for helping us out on this. We need about $20,000 to cover the expenses of this conference :) Every little bit we can contribute helps. I love you guys for continuing to support Ian's fight even though he's with Jesus healed and whole. He may be gone...but he will never be forgotten. Thanks friends.... If you want a shirt please email me at maryellis96@yahoo.com. I won't get your order if you respond to this email or post on here. You need to email me. Thanks!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Asher starting getting sick on Monday. His classic clear snotty nose and coughing which is always accompanied by an ear infection. He didn't sleep at all Monday night so I thought I'd just go ahead and take him to the doctor on Tuesday morning. Well, to my surprise he did not have an ear infection but he did have RSV. I was familiar with RSV because during the fall and spring months of Ian's life we had to get those synagis shots which were $1000 (paid by insurance don't fret) to insure that sweet Ian didn't come down with RSV. If Ian would have gotten RSV it would have meant hospitalization and quite possibly the end of Ian's life. Therefore, Asher having RSV is just not really that big of a deal, right? I think so!

Ok...it's not that big of a deal. It's not life or death but it has been a rough week around the Ellis house. Asher has cried around the clock for 24 hours since Monday. He has pulled at his ears, fought the breathing treatments, spit out his cough medicine, spit out his zyrtec, grabbed the medicine syringe out of my hand and thrown it (LOL), and just been a sick little boy. Friday we went back to the doctor and what do you know...he had an ear infection. I am not going to lie...it has gotten to me. It has worn me down and I have "fretted" over things I "preached" about not fretting over. Wae and I continually say "Ian wasn't like this. He was such a sweet sick baby." :) I get it now though...he couldn't reach up and throw the medicine syringe out of hand because that was impossible for him. I know now that he wanted to though. He couldn't pull at his ears to tell me they hurt...that too was impossible. He didn't spit out his medicine because that poor baby had so much medicine poked into him every couple of hours that he probably thought there was no other way in life. He couldn't cry 24/7 because he felt bad because he physically didn't have the energy for that. Instead he would sleep around the clock when he was sick. So yes...we have experienced something new with a sick baby Asher.

During the middle of this the newest Rhizo Kid (just weeks old) has had some major complications with her intestines. She has had multiple surgeries and the doctors haven't had a good prognosis for this sweet family. Her mom posted some pictures on facebook of her attached to many, many machines with multiple tubes coming from her precious little body. Here I am fretting because I have a fussy baby. I am complaining because he won't take his medicine good and I have the nerve to say "I'm tired!" (insert whiney voice here) How did I so quickly lose my perspective in life that Ian taught me? How did I so quickly slide back into the this mode of thinking that life with Asher is hard. Life with Ian was hard...life for this Rhizo family whose child is living on the ventilator is hard....life with your child on a feeding tube is hard.....life with worrying 24/7 about your child catching an illness that might kill them is hard....life full of therapies for your child is hard.....

I am ashamed of myself! God blessed us...he showed mercy on us. We had such a great life with Ian. He wasn't a sick Rhizo Kid and he didn't require a feeding tube. God granted us the best of that situation. Then HE decided to continue to bless us. He gave us our genetic miracle which meant we could have healthy children. He then blessed us with Asher. He not only blessed us with Asher He blessed us with Wae an amazing job that provides for our family so I could stay home with Asher. (My all time dream of a lifetime was to be a stay at home mom) And what have I done?!? I have complained because my baby is sick and fussy...he has a stinking cold!!!! Don't you know God is watching me saying "She has already forgotten the lessons you taught her Ian." Not only is God ashamed of me but Ian would be as well. Forgive me God...I lost my perspective and I am ashamed. You have blessed our family. Yes..it's 4:00 in the morning and I am up but this will all be over next week. The life of a Rhizo mom is like this as long as her child is alive. And I have complained?!?

Please pray for the Guenther family in Canada. Their daughter is Megan and she is really very sick. We consider this family friends. They come to our conference every year and they are such an amazing family with an amazing faith in God. I know He has a plan here and I know they believe in His plan. I pray they feel God carrying them during these unbelievably hard times.

Perspective...I sure hope this doesn't happen again but the reality is that I know it will. I will get bogged down in the things that don't matter and I will let them stress me out. Whew...hard life lesson!!!

Asher is starting to feel better tonight I think. He is actually sleeping but I'm not. Go figure :) He and Wae are all snuggled up in the bed together and I'm on the couch watching "Three's Company." As I laid there for the past two hours looking at them I couldn't help but to think about how blessed I am. I have a wonderful husband and a precious 7 month old baby boy all snuggled up together. Life is good and God has blessed us far beyond our dreams. Now I'm going to join them and at least cuddle for the rest of the night if I sleep or not. This is my favorite time of the day.

I included some pics from Easter. It was a perfect day!!!!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gratitude journal full of happy moments...

When I used to update caringbridge for Ian I talked one day about happy moments and a gratitude journal. I have read through my CB book and found that entry because recently I stumbled upon my gratitude journal and was so happy to remember these happy moments I had recorded. I wanted to read what my thoughts were then on recording "happy moments." I said that day..." Now I realize that if I write down my daily "happy moments" it is refreshing to read back over them. It helps me to focus on the good in each day instead of the bad moments of each day. It makes me appreciate life and all of my blessings each day." Wow...I can't believe this was my focus as I was watching Ian suffer. If you don't believe in God right there is evidence to me that He is real. He was living through me and showing me how to be positive and as I read back over these happy moments it is clear that He was at the center of it all!!!

Some happy moments I recorded during Ian's life...
1. "Feeling" Ian say I love you today
2. The mommy Ian has taught me to be
3. My happy moment today was Ian's sweet cheeks, his crazy hair, his two snaggle teeth, his crossed legs b/c that's just Ian, his glare at me, his love for swinging outside
4. I am happy Ian let me have a quiet time with God today and he let me exercise :)
5. I am happy today because Wae got Ian a puppy Miley (ummm...this may have turned into a nightmare LOL)
6. My happy moments today is the best in forever...Wae and I got our genetic testing results back. We don't both carry RCDP and we can have healthy children!!!
7. My happy moment today was BIG...Ian's superman party. (this turned out to be his last big birthday party)
8. My happy moment tonight is that Ian is breathing right now in his bed beside our bed.
9. Almost every day a happy moment was to be thankful for both sets of grandparents who loved Ian and helped all they could. Couldn't have asked for two better sets of grandparents.

And then I read on through the days after Ian passed away. I was still recording happy moments. How could that be?!? Because God never let me fall out of the palm of His hand. He carried me the whole way through the grieving process and still helped me to find happy moments in the midst of the storm.
Some happy moments I recorded after Ian's life...
1. I am happy today because Amanda and Deanna asked me to help with pottery. I have something to do now!!!
2. Happiness today came in the form of Ella Kathryn. I got to get her from daycare and come home and play.
3. A smile came to my face today when I understood that Ian is really healed now and is in his Heavenly Father's arms.

And happy moments now?!? There are so many I don't think my gratitude journal could hold them all. God's grace is so abundant in our lives. He chose to bless us beyond all our wildest dreams. We aren't worthy...we questioned Him at times, we ran from Him at times, we chose to turn our backs on somedays. But do you know what he did. He held us tighter and He never gave up on us. He showed mercy on us and blessed us beyond belief.

Some happy moments from life now...
1. My salvation....tomorrow is Easter and all I can think about is that Christ willingly suffered and died on the cross for me. My sins are forgiven and I have been set free. Thank you Jesus for saving me, for loving me, and for not giving up on me!!!
2. ASHER!!!!!!!!! He can sit up, he can smile, he can laugh, he can see a puff on the table pick that puff up and feed himself that puff!!!! He dances when I walk into the room. He reaches for me to hold him. He loves his daddy!!! He can hold a sippy cup. He's smart as a whip. His legs aren't crossed because of RCDP. He can hear me, see me, touch me. He wraps his arms around my neck. He has a fake laugh...hilarious. He squinches up his nose...precious! He fiddles with my hair to go to sleep sometimes. He sleeps snuggled with me because he loves me so. He can sit up in the bathtub. He plays in the bathtub. We HAVE to buy bath toys. We HAVE to babyproof the house. He loves to shop. He loves the nursery at church. He loves everybody (except some men LOL) He watches me walk through a room then cries when he can't see me (hehehehe) He rolls everywhere. He won't be still enough for me to change his diaper. The list goes on and on and on.
3. I am thankful for Wae. He works so hard so I can stay home with Asher. He is such a good daddy and Asher is obsessed with him.
4. I am happy all day every day because I'm not having to go to work at 6:30 am. I am able to be home with Asher and I know that's where I'm supposed to be.

There's just so much y'all. We have the best families you could ever imagine. Grandparents who love Asher with all their hearts. They beg to keep him and always want me to have something to do so they can see him. Aunts and uncles and cousins galore with love oozing out of the seams. Friends...they've watched us hurt as their kids grew up without Asher. They didn't leave us as friends when it would have been easier than seeing heartbreak on our faces. They stuck around and loved us and now they too are obsessed with Asher. It's wonderful. This REALLY is a wonderful life!!!!
So today my challenge to you is to stop...take a look around....and find your happy moments. I know your life is full of them too. Let's quit focusing on what's not so happy and try to focus on what is so happy. Try writing it down every day. I promise it will be a blessing to you when you go back through the different stages of your life and see what you were happy for. It does my heart good that even during the tough times God saw fit to help me find some happy moments each day.

If you don't have a church to attend tomorrow for Easter please come visit First Baptist Church in Centre. We would love to have you...I promise!!! We have an early service at 8:30 and regular service at 11:00. We have great Sunday School classes and I"m sure there is one there for you. I hope to see you there!!!!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

A day in the life of Asher...

I tell y'all all the time how happy I am. I tell y'all all the time how precious we think Asher is and about all the fun we have. I thought I'd just share some of our fun with you. :)

This picture is from Asher's first trip away from home. We went with Wae to Memphis and Asher was an angel. He's so good about going places and isn't fussy at all. One of the many reasons I love him :)

This picture is Asher's first time to eat off the table. Wae's sister Andrea has been so mad at me (sorry Andrea ) because I haven't fed Asher from the table. So...I made him some mashed potatoes and he was not really impressed. This is what he did the entire time. We were laughing so hard we almost cried. Another reason we love him so...his personality is to die for.

This picture is from the first time we took Asher to the lake. He played on his beach towel, in his baby pool, and even took naps in his stroller. He was so versatile and never fussed. Was just happy to be with his mommy and daddy. Yet another reason we think he's perfect. :)

There just really aren't any words to describe the happiness from this day. Our family had such a good time being truly happy. I told Wae I never knew life could be this good.

This is how Asher sleeps. In the bed with us. Last night he melted my heart into a big ole' puddle. He likes to spoon to cuddle. We are snuggled as tight as possible. He rolled over onto his belly about 2 am. I felt him roll over so I woke up. I was looking at him and he then put his arm around me and slept with his arm on my back. Could there be anything more precious in this life?!? I think not!!! This boy loves his momma and this momma loves her boy!!!

Wae's parents bought Asher his first playset for his 6th month birthday. He loves to go outside and swing on it. He is obsessed with being outside. If he ever is fussy I just take him outside and play and he gets as happy as can be. You guessed it...another reason I am completely in love with him. Could he be any more perfect?!? I think not :) So happy for God's blessings.

I'm sorry if I'm obnoxiously happy. I just remember where I was 4 1/2 years ago. I remember watching my little boy who couldn't grow, who couldn't move, and who couldn't enjoy the life I had planned. I enjoyed him. Every second of him and I tried my hardest to learn what God wanted to teach me. I think we learned and now we are able to enjoy His blessings of Asher because of Ian. I thank God every day for my blessing of Ian because without him I'd be that mom who didn't know to appreciate the fact that my baby can roll away EVERY time I try to change his diaper. I'd be that mom who was annoyed because her little boy had all his toys out in the living room. I'd be that mom who was too busy cleaning my house on Sunday to go spend the day at the lake with Wae and Asher. Ian Ellis taught me so many lessons I needed to learn and I'm so grateful God chose me to be his mommy.

Have a great Easter. Don't clean...don't rush...just enjoy the day. Remember the reason!!!! Celebrate Christ...go to church...appreciate the fact that He died and rose again for us. He died on the cross for our sins!!! Try thanking Him for what He did for us. It's really pretty amazing if you just think about it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Don't ask why but for what purpose...

Recently I have been reliving the first days with Ian. I have been emailing back and forth with a family who has a new baby with RCDP. The reason I started Rhizo Kids was so that no other family would ever have to face the diagnosis alone again. I try to remember the emotions I had those first days, weeks, and months. I want to only encourage and be a positive friend when in the midst of your diagnosis you are being given such negative perceptions about your new baby.

While doing this today I have dug out some of my favorite books. My number one book through Ian's life was "Holding on to Hope" This mother lived a story much like ours. It's been awhile since I read the entire book but I'm pretty sure she lost two children. It's very touching and about the story of Job in the bible.

I read this book over and over and over when Ian was alive. When I opened the book today I had written in the front cover "Your question should not be why but for what purpose?" I wrote that simple statement when I was a young mother at the age of 24 years old knowing I was going to inevitably lose my first born child. Now that I have Asher and I look back at the things I wrote in this book I am amazed. It's like another lifetime ago...I am sitting in the bed tonight with my perfectly healthy Asher laying beside me asleep. As I watch his chest rise and fall as he breathes I am once again brought to tears at the thought of God's greatness and mercy. This baby beside me is asleep with his hands raised above his head and all I can do is cry out of thankfulness for their precious arms. Thank you God!!!

Isn't the grace of God so much bigger than our simple human minds can grasp?!? Wow...he gave me such peace, love, joy, understanding, and happiness through such a hard time. Yes some days I was down right miserable. Yes some days the devil snuck in and stole my joy. BUT...for the most part I was being held in the palm of my Father's hand and he led me through the greatest days of my life that some people can only view as the hardest days of my life. Ian was one of my greatest blessings in life and I will forever be grateful that I am his mommy.

I did ask why and I asked it a lot. However, I strongly feel that I focused more on "for what purpose" than why??? For what purpose God does my first and only child have a fatal disorder? What do you want of me? All I have ever wanted is to honor God through the life and death of my precious child. I want people to see that yes God has blessed me in this life on earth. Through the blessings I have praised God. BUT...I have also experienced trials that were so hard I could barely crawl out of the bed some days. And through those hard days I have praised God.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."
"Holding on to Hope" says "You and I, like Job, know that God gives and God takes away. And when he takes away, if we're able to focus on the joy of what was given, if only for a time, we take another step down the pathway toward the heart of God. "

You see God gave our family a miracle in Ian. A miracle who was a life changer. I can't tell you how many people have told me they were saved because of Ian's life. Or how many people told me they were better parents because of Ian Ellis. I know I personally leave my house a wreck and do what Asher and Wae want me to do because Ian taught me that family matters...the here and now matters because we aren't promised tomorrow. This was the purpose for our trial...to be a willing vessel for God to use. I want to glorify God and I want to make him proud!!! Have you ever thought about that?!? Are you making God proud? Whoa...that one scares me!!!!

Asher...IS A MESS!!! He's a handsome and lovable mess but he's a big ole' mess. He can sit up like a pro now and he is trying his best to crawl. He reaches for me non-stop and it melts my heart. He dances up and down when someone comes in he knows. If he's just sitting by you playing he'll reach over and hug you for no reason. Agh...that melts me!!! He smiles all day long. He loves it outside. He can sit up in his bathtub by himself now and play with rubber duckies. Yes...I cried the first time he did it. It amazes me. He sees the rubber duck he wants, he reaches and gets it, and puts that duck in his mouth. Amazes me every time!!! What a blessing! He sleeps in the bed with us. (Remember...the Bible says not to judge) Bahahaha...I know you're judging us right now :) He cuddles to go to sleep and he cuddles with me all night long. He loves to hold onto my face to sleep. He's a mama's boy and I'm an Asher girl. He has my heart in the palm of his hand and I am totally and completely in love with this little boy. There is nothing else in this whole wide world I could want. He looks at me and smiles that smile and I know that all is right in this world. I am amazed by God every day as I watch this baby boy grow up. He is our blessing and miracle from God and for that I will forever be grateful.