Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas - our Christmas Letter.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
First I want to thank you all for sending us your lovely Christmas cards last year. I love getting all the friends and family updates. And seeing your cute pictures. Last Christmas was a crazy time for us and I was not up to sending cards. To be truthful, we were at the beginning of one of our greatest trials/blessings. Dec. 1st last year marks the day we found out that our unborn son had Edwards Syndrome. The doctors told us this condition is “not compatible with life”. I found it too hard to focus on well wishing greetings when the biggest and obvious trial was the only thing I could see in my life. One year later however, I am now excited to send out well wishing greetings.

The Lord has truly blessed us in our trials. Our son Zeke Ellis Stanger was born March 26th, 2010 at 11:13 p.m. He lived a moment. He lived just long enough to take a breath and blink at his daddy. This moment was an answer to many prayers and many fasts. As you can guess I am NOT a fan of the words “not compatible with life” as I have found that there are many children with this condition (also called trisomy 18) that do survive their birth and actually live for quite some time. We have experienced many miracles with our Zeke. We know that his challenges and disabilities were all a part of the Lord’s plan for him.

Our testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His church here on the earth have been deepened through our experiences so far. We know our Savior, that he lives, and he loves us. We are so grateful to have had Zeke Ellis Stanger in our lives. Our lives have been forever changed because of our moment with him.

As for the kids, they are doing great and taking everything in stride. Wesley has just turned 8. He was baptized earlier this month. That was a great occasion, and a special “spiritual payday” for mom and dad. He loves to play basketball and is taking piano lessons. He also had a chance this year to wrestle and really enjoyed it. We got just a peek into the world of wrestling. This is a world which was totally new to us. Lily is 5 and has started kindergarten. She loves school, is learning a lot and loving it. Madi is 3 and spoiled rotten ( in a good way). She loves to sing and dances all around the house with Lily in their pretty dresses.

Kip is still elder’s quorum president, and I’m the secretary in the stake young women’s program. I have to admit that this has been one of my favorite callings. I work with awesome women and get to plan and play at girls camp in the summer. It’s so much fun. This is my third year as PTO president, and I’m definitely learning a lot there. This year because of budget cutbacks our school cut their music program, so a friend, and I have volunteered to teach music once a week in the elementary school. We just had our Christmas concert and all went well, the kids sang and Santa came, yeah!!! Life is full, crazy and definitely an adventure.

May the Lord bless you this Christmas season. Lots of Love from the Stangers. Kip, Leejean, Wesley, Lily, Madi, and Zeke


Jessica said...

What a year you have had!!!!! I love teaching music with you....thanks for your families friendship to ours!!!!!

michelle said...

Merry Christmas Leejean!! Sounds like you had a busy year! You're one very busy mom!! I'm sure your kids enjoy all that you do at school...love ya, Michelle