Thursday, March 31, 2005

Today was a day of firsts for Jonathan. During PT he walked to therapy instead of riding in his wheelchair (a first), he also got to walk outside today and walked down a steep ramp (another first). After resting a little bit, he walked half way back and into the building lobby before sitting down. This was the first time he has walked outside and he did great. During OT he was on his knees for about 25 minutes playing Connect 4 with his therapist. Being up on his knees has been difficult for him but today he had no problem with it, another first. During his group time today he got to go on an outing to Braums. He had Carb Control Chocolate ice cream and did some walking and even walked up the steps to get back in the bus to come back to the hospital. Later on this evening he received his new ankle braces to help with his walking. He tried them on and did not like them too much but it will get better after he breaks them in. He will begin using them tomorrow during therapy, this is something new for him, pray that it will not cause him agitation as he tries to use them. This evening he seemed a little run down and tired and started sneezing a lot. We are not sure if he is trying to catch a cold or something. Pray that God would protect him from this and would not allow anything to cause him to have a set back this close to going home.
Pray for continued good health and that he would not get sick. Pray for continued strength and endurance in his walking. Pray that he will adjust to his new braces and that they will not hinder his walking progress. Pray for God's complete healing of his diabetes, vision and brain. Praise God for all He has done and all He is doing!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Today was a good day for Jonathan. Dad went in for breakfast and therapy today while Mom went to a Diabetes 101 class at Children's Medical Center. Jonathan did well in all his therapy today. He walked a lot and climbed stairs from the 1st to the 2nd floor. He also got fitted for the braces he will wear on his feet to aid in his walking. During OT he played a game of Chutes and Ladders and "I Spy", all of which he did well. During his ST he remembered what he had for lunch, the day of the week, month and year the first time she asked. He looked at some cards and the therapist asked him to tell her what was the same and what was different about the pictures on the card. He also had a group time today and made a picture frame from a piece of leather and a back that he had to stitch together. The OT said he did very well with it. He also had lunch with his friends, they call it "Lunch Bunch", and did well with that also. The afternoon was restful and we took a walk. During the evening, Jonathan and Mom took a walk with the walker from the room, downstairs, through the gym and back up to his room, all with one sit break. We can see improvement and strength in his legs with each passing day.
God continues to hear and answer our prayers. Pray for continued strength and progress in his arms and with his walking. Continue to pray for peace of mind and a feeling of security while he finishes out his time there. He has a tendency to worry about Dad and Mom not being there at all times. Pray for continued healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. As Jonathan and I read this evening in his Awana book about people in Jesus day knowing He was the Son of God by the miracles he did, pray that people today will know that Jesus is the Son of God as they see this miracle of healing in Jonathan's life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Jonathan had a really good day today. This morning he walked through the gym and visited with a new therapy dog named Winston. He pet Winston, gave him a treat and asked lots of questions about him, all while he was standing. After that he walked up the 24 stairs again to the second floor and did a great job with it. During OT, he played volleyball with weights on his arms, leaned down on his arms and reached to pick up some toys, and played a fishing game while standing with his walker. During Speech, he was able to remember the month and the day of the week without any prompting. He is working on concentrating while listening to stories and being able to answer questions about the stories. He is doing a great job of speaking, thinking and concentrating. Later on, he made cinnamon cookies during Snack Attack and he sat in a regular chair without arms for about 1 1/2 hours. This evening, Jonathan did even better by walking from his bed all the way down to the dining room on the first floor with only one small break. Before the night was over, he walked from the dining room back up to his bed without any breaks. Each time we watch him walk, he gets stronger and more sure in his steps.
Continue to pray for Jonathan's walking progress. He amazes us every day and everyone loves to see him up and walking around. It is truly an awesome sight. Pray for continued strength in his arms. Pray for the potty training process. Continue to pray that he will be able to handle all that he is asked to do without crying and falling into that stubborn, uncooperative attitude. Pray believing that God has already healed his brain, vision and diabetes. God continues to faithfully show Himself strong on our behalf and we will be faithful to give Him all the praise for He alone is worthy!

Monday, March 28, 2005

We started off the week on a good note today. Jonathan had the opportunity to tell his doctors and his therapist about his special day yesterday. Everyone seemed pleased with his report. He started out by doing some new things in PT. He worked on getting down on the floor and then getting back up again. He practiced this once and then moved on to work on walking up stairs. His therapist took him to the stairs that lead up to the second floor and he walked up all 24 stairs. He can lift his foot to the top of the stair, but can't quite make it on top. That is something we can work on with him. He worked really hard and did such a good job with it. In OT we played a game where he hit the beach ball with a racket, both sitting and standing, and with a weight on his right arm. He also hit the ball with an extra weight attached to the pole he uses for his arm exercises. After that he got up on his hands and knees and held himself up without a support under his stomach for a count of 50, then walked his hands back and sat down on his heels. To date, he has not done hands and knees very well, but he did not seem to have a problem with it today. These are all very difficult things and new things that he had to do today and did them all very well. But this afternoon, he spent 45 minutes crying and stubbornly refusing to button his shirt, which is a task he has done already. So unfortunately, he got nothing accomplished this afternoon. The only thing this stubbornness accomplished was that he took his shoes off by himself for the first time, with only a little help from Mom, after the therapist left. Later in the afternoon, a couple of firemen from the Lewisville Fire Department came to visit Jonathan. He enjoyed visiting with them, showing them around, taking them on a walk and showing them how he can walk. Jonathan is looking forward to going to the station to visit after he comes home. They made Jonathan feel very special.
Continue to pray for Jonathan. He is doing so very well and gaining strength every day. Pray for him as he continues to increase his walking. Pray that he will have the desire to walk instead of ride in his wheelchair. Pray that his short term memory will return. Continue to pray for our potty training process. Most of all, pray for this issue of refusing to do the things he is asked to do that seems to pop up from time to time. I know this stubbornness can be good at times because it causes him to be determined to get something particular done. But when it happens like it did today where he refuses to do a task that we know he is very capable of doing, it temporarily hurts his progress and accomplishes nothing. It is these times that are the hardest to deal with, especially for Mom. Pray that we will have wisdom to know how to handle these times, as we know there are probably many more to come. Continue to pray believing that God is going to completely heal his brain, vision and diabetes. We wait expectantly for the miracles that God is going to accomplish in Jonathan's life this week. Nothing is impossible with God!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Wow! What a blessed Easter this has been for our family. Not only do we celebrate our Risen Lord and the new life that we have in Christ, but this Easter we celebrate the new life that God has given Jonathan. Today we experienced another one of God's awesome miracles. Jonathan left the hospital, for the first time in almost 3 months, for 4 hours. Since we learned last Wednesday that we were going to get to take him out, Jonathan has talked about going to church. We brought up his suit, bought him a new time, tried everything on a couple of times and he asked every day since last Wednesday, "Do I get to go to church tomorrow?" Despite the rain and cold winds, Jonathan made his way to church with his family. It was such a blessing just to ride in the car together as a family to church. When we got there, Jonathan was able to walk with his walker across the stage and stand before our church family who has so faithfully prayed for us, loved us and supported us as though Jonathan were their own child. He spoke with a clear voice, "Thank you for praying for me. I know God is healing me. Again, thank you for praying for me. I will see you in a few weeks." While Jonathan stands as a living testimony of the power of prayer and the power of God who hears and answers prayers, Lakeland Baptist Church has stood as a testimony to many people of what being part of a church family is all about. We are humbled by their love and support and we are thankful for our church family. After that, we stayed for most of the Easter service and then took Jonathan to lunch - Easter lunch at McDonalds! After lunch, we went back to Dad's office at the church and then walked around to visit Jonathan's Sunday School classroom and some of the other familiar places he knows at church. Four hours goes by very quickly, and it was tough to fight the sadness that tried to crowd in on the trip back to the hospital. But we spent the rest of the day together as a family and Jonathan enjoyed an afternoon of game boy games, movies, card games, snacks, dinner and walks with his sisters and Dad and Mom. The Easter Bunny visited Jonathan at his hospital room and at his house, and before the day was over, he had 3 Easter baskets and a ton of stuff. This truly is an Easter Sunday that we will never forget.
Please continue to pray for Jonathan and our family. We need your faithful prayers now more than ever. Pray that Jonathan will improve every day as he continues to work toward the goal of going home. Pray that he will be able to focus during his PT and OT and that he will be able to do all that he is asked to do. He is getting stronger every day and we see evidences of that in his walking and using his arms. We desperately want to go home. Pray that we will be patient and let God's perfect will be done. Pray that we will encourage Jonathan that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. Pray for a positive attitude and good spirits. Continue to pray believing for complete healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. We are grateful for your love and prayers. Praise to our Risen Saviour and Lord!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Saturday's and Sunday's are always very long, slow days for Jonathan because there is not much to do. They are our days of rest from therapy, but unfortunately that means nothing to do. There are not too many places you can go around this small facility and on a rainy day, that eliminates the chance to go outside for walks. Jonathan did have PT and OT this morning and did fine with both, especially with PT. He practiced his walking, used the parallel bars to work on knee bends and then practiced walking up and down some wooden stairs. After that we spent the rest of the day watching a movie and talking about when we get to go home. Jonathan is so positive and has such a good attitude. He desperately wants to go home and asks about it frequently, but he continues to work hard and anticipates that day soon to come. Jonathan is looking forward to spending Easter with his family. We have so much to be thankful for this Easter. Last Easter, Jonathan accepted Christ as his Saviour and was baptized. Now our entire family belongs to Christ. We would never have had any hope except what the doctors had to offer us, were it not for the gift of Salvation that Christ so willing gave to us when He died on the cross and rose again. Because He lives, we can face tomorrow, because He lives, all fear is gone. Because we know who holds the future, life is worth living, just because He lives.
If you do not know the God we serve, it is our prayer that you will come to know Him as your Saviour and Lord. He willing laid down His life to pay the price for your sins and He offers you the gift of eternal life that you will only find in Him. We are a living testimony of the power of God to save, heal and deliver. If just one person comes to know Christ because of what our family has experienced, it will be worth it all. If you already know Him as Lord and Saviour, we pray that you will join us in committing our lives anew to serve Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Worthy is the Lamb!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Today was an awesome day for Jonathan. We started our day with OT and Dad and Jonathan played a game of toss with a big orange ball. After that he sat on a pad and shot some baskets with a smaller rubber ball and then at the end he stood up and with a beach ball we played another game of toss and some volleyball. He did well and only cried a little while using his left arm. He also did some push ups and his therapist asked him to do 5 and he decided to do 8. He did really well overall. After that we went outside for an Easter egg hunt. He started in his wheel chair with his speech therapist and then the physical therapist came and brought his walker. After collecting some eggs in the chair she had him stand up and walk in the grass over to some eggs. She had him bend all the way to the ground and pick up about 8 eggs off the ground (with some assistance of course). He did this very well and only cried toward the end. The therapist was pleased that he was able to walk in the grass without much trouble. All in all he collected 25 eggs. A little later in the day the PT came back and we walked on the walker another 65 feet and he did it without crying or getting upset. He asked to sit down for a Sit Break and then when he was ready, got back up and walked back to his room. Dad was there today and was released to work with him on the silver walker. His PT has officially graduated him from the walking device that we were using, to the silver walker. This was going to happen next week but he is doing so good that she went ahead and signed off on it. We spent the rest of the day just lounging and eating and taking walks (3 of our favorite pass times). He walked another 65 feet for mom as soon as she arrived today and then did another 65 feet around 8:30 pm. All of these he did without a hint of crying or agitation. He also told Dad 2 times today that he needed to go to the potty, held it until we got there and went. Mom and Dad were so excited and proud! He even changed his own shirt about 4 or 5 times today. Jonathan is very much into clothes and today we saw that come back. He had some visitors from Awana today and they gave him a shirt. He could not wait to get back to the room and try it on. He ended up wearing it the rest of the day. All I can say is that's our Jonathan. All in all we ended this week with many miracles. God has been so gracious to us and we cannot even begin to thank Him or praise Him enough for what He has done for our family. Even though the road has been hard and the way tough, God has been more than faithful and continues to be.
Pray that Jonathan will continue to progress and that we will be able to go home on April 13. Pray that Jonathan's strength will continue to increase and that he will be able to do all the things that he is doing now longer and better with each passing day. Pray for our family that we would find rest and peace. Pray that we would be content and wait until the day that the Lord allows us to come home. Praise the Lord from whom all blessing flow, Praise Him all creatures here below.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Jonathan continues to improve with each passing day. During OT he did a few new things. He took his shirt off and put it on all by himself while sitting on the side of the mat. He also played a game with the therapist that involved wide range of moving his arms, while he was standing up. He walked 90 feet with the silver walker. He still gets tired and frustrated very easily which causes him to cry. We are expecting in the next few days to get fitted for braces on his feet and that should hopefully help to correct some issues he is having with walking. He is working on his short term memory and doing well listening to stories and answering questions correctly about the details. He continues to work on school work and memorize Scriptures in his Awana book. He continues to ask regularly when he gets to go home. We have made a Go Home Calendar and are marking off the days as they pass. We have 19 days left until we come home!
Continue to pray for Jonathan. Pray that each day he will grow stronger and stronger, especially in his legs. Pray for endurance, understanding and peace until he gets to go home. Pray that we will not push him too much or try to control this issue of coming home. God is in control - He has been from the very beginning. Pray that we will let Him orchestrate Jonathan's healing and that His will would be done. Pray for continued healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Pray that God is glorified and that we would reflect the life of our Risen Lord and Saviour. Praise the Lord for the incredible sacrifice He made so long ago that has provided our salvation and the faith, hope and healing that has carried our family through this journey. He alone is worthy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Today was another good day for Jonathan. He cried a little more with his therapy today, but still did a very good job with both. During PT he walked on the parallel bars again and also did some knee bends. There was a distinct difference between walking on the parallel bars today from last week. He walked across them several times and did two sets of knee bends. After that he walked across the gym floor and up and down about 3 wooden steps and back to his chair. During OT he did some different things to strengthen his hands, arms and standing. At lunch time he went into a class called Lunch Bunch. It is where a bunch of the kids get together and eat their lunch. He did very well. His short term memory is improving every day. He also went to OT group this afternoon and made a bunny windsock for Easter. We also had our cares conference today. The word is that we are still on track for an April 13 discharge and the doctor is very encouraged about Jonathan's progress. He said that he knows that it seems like we have been here forever but Jonathan has made incredible progress in the 7 weeks that he has been at Our Children's House (OCH). The doctor has ordered braces for his feet that will help keep his toes from dragging when he walks. We got the go ahead to take Jonathan on a therapeutic trial outing this weekend. We are still discussing what that will be, but are so glad to finally be going. Everyday his conversation and response gets better and he is better able to adapt to his environment. The doctor even mentioned this in our cares conference.
Pray that Jonathan will continue to do good and will not get sick. Pray for continued strength in his arms and legs and progress in his walking. Pray for complete healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Pray that Jonathan will be able to handle his therapy and learn to deal with the frustration and exhaustion that comes with this process. Pray for us and the girls for strength and rest. Pray that we will all be able to hold on until we get to come home. God has been so good to us. We have been blessed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Jonathan did AWESOME today! We had such a great day! He started out with PT where he walked with the silver walker 85 feet! That is the most he has walked so far. He worked at it so hard and managed to make it until the last couple of steps before beginning to cry. We were very proud. During OT he sat on the mat, threw bean bag animals through the basketball hoop with both of his hands and an arm weight on his right hand, took off his shoes and socks, turned over on his stomach, did 8 pushups and held himself up on his elbows while putting rings on a stick with each hand. There was not even a hint of crying in him today and these were very difficult things for him to do. He did all of it so well. He had a great Speech therapy and also got to make Coke floats for Snack Attack today. He even made a Root Beer float for his Daddy too. He went to the play room this evening and made a bunny puppet and later on, he walked 93 feet on the walker with Mom and Dad. He even did that without crying! Jonathan is setting new records every time he walks. We are continuing to do school work and Jonathan remembered the verses we worked on in his Awana book yesterday. He may not be able to remember the day of the week, the month or the year, but he can remember his Scripture verses.
God has been so good to us. We just praise His name for the mighty miracles He continues to perform in Jonathan's life each day. Please continue to pray for strength and endurance as he continues to try to walk. Pray for a continued determination and good attitude as he works toward the goal of going home. He is beginning to ask more and more when he gets to go home. Today we made a "Go Home Calendar" and will begin tomorrow to mark off days until April 13. Pray that he will not get discouraged and that he will stay healthy and focused on what he needs to accomplish before that day arrives. May God bless each of you for your faithful prayers for us. Knowing that you are praying makes it easier to meet the challenges we face each day. We thank God for each of you.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Today was a very busy day for Jonathan. Because PT was rescheduled for the afternoon today, we had an extra hour before we started therapy for today. So Jonathan started to work on school work again with Mom for the first time since last semester. We have started with some basic 1st grade stuff like simple addition/subtraction, counting money, printing capital/small letters and adding the missing letter to some spelling words. He did about 5 worksheet pages and did everything perfectly on all of them. He seemed to enjoy it as well. After that we began working in our Awana book memorizing Scripture again. He did very well in all of his therapy classes, especially PT. It was rescheduled for the afternoon, so Dad got to come watch and help. Jonathan walked with both of the walkers he has been working on and he did it all without crying! He did such a great job. We are really trying to work with him on talking to his therapist instead of crying and trying to understand that we must work during those 30 minutes, even if it is very hard. He did very well with that today. We have been approved to work with Jonathan in the evenings on one of the walkers. We worked about 15 minutes with him this evening. We are going to have to take it slower than we want to and not be too aggressive with him. We want this to help him, not hinder him in any way. Jonathan went to a new group today with Speech Therapy and his two friends, Chucky and Jared. It is a memory group where he listens to stories and watches videos and has to remember things that happened and answer questions. His therapist said he did an excellent job answering the questions and even remembered to raise his hand to answer. We are continuing to work on using the bathroom as well. Overall we had a good, positive day.
Thanks so much for praying for our therapy today. Continue to pray for Jonathan's understanding and determination to work hard during those 30 minute classes he has. Pray for continued strength and endurance to make it through his PT and OT classes. Pray for his short term memory to return to normal. Pray for his ability to relearn to use the bathroom. Pray for rest and strength for us. Pray that we would not push too hard, but that we would gently and patiently work with him to add to the progress that he is making every day. To God be the glory for the great things He has done!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

As we begin another week of this journey of healing, we are praising God for the miracles He performed this past week and facing the challenges which lay ahead of us with prayer and belief in the God who holds our future. Each day we continue to see strength his Jonathan's speech, in the use of his left hand and in both of his legs. Today Jonathan went to the playroom and made a frog puppet which he gave to his Grandpa Smith later this evening for his birthday. He went in by himself and worked for about 20 minutes while I talked with someone outside the room. When I came in, he had finished his puppet and was happy to stay and just watch what was going on. We spent time with our extended family as we celebrated Grandpa's birthday and Jonathan enjoyed the time with everyone and handled it all very well. He is sitting on the potty each time he is asked and doing it with a great attitude and no complaining. He still has not reached the point at which he can say he needs to go before he goes, so we are still relying heavily on the "hospital pants."
Although there are many things we could ask you to pray for this week, we are asking for your fervent prayers for one specific thing this week. Pray for Jonathan during his therapy times: PT - 9:30, OT - 10:30, Neuropsycology - 11:30, Speech - 1:00. He will also have group activities between 2:00-3:00 that he will go to by himself. Pray that he will be able to handle each of these therapies without agitation and crying. Pray that the light of understanding his situation will break forth in his little mind and that he will understand how important it is to try hard and work during his therapy times. Pray that he will not be discouraged about not getting to go home, but that he will be determined to do his best until that happens. It is God who will cause Jonathan to walk again. Pray that we will remember that and allow Him to do that when He desires. Pray that we will have wisdom to know what to say to Jonathan, how to respond to him and what to do for him. We know that God will cause all of this to work together for our good, in His time. Our God is the God who heals and restores. Pray that this healing will come quickly and that we will accept the grace that He offers us each day to wait upon Him. We covet all your prayers.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Today was both good and bad. For the most part Jonathan had a good day, but did not do well during his therapy sessions. He cried and at one point would not do what he was asked to do. I asked him later why he was doing that and he said that he wanted Mom and Dad to help him not his teachers. We have tried to explain to him that we cannot always help him and that we are learning just like he is, but he does not understand that. Pray that he will understand what he needs to do for the therapist and that he will have the strength and determination to do it. Other than that he did well today. We took walks, had snacks and basically just hung out together. We took him down tonight and did the standing frame which he did with no problem and without any agitation. Pray that the therapist might feel at ease with our ability to help our son and let us have more freedom to work with him on our own. He continues to grow stronger each day and we are seeing definite increases in his ability to use his legs and arms. We praise God for all that He has done and look forward to what He is going to do.
Pray that we would have wisdom. We are going to need to make some decisions in the not to distant future and we really need God's wisdom to do the right thing for Jonathan. Pray that Jonathan would continue to grow stronger and that he would be able to understand his situation and what he needs to do. Pray that we would know when to push him and when to back off. Your continued intercession on behalf of our family has been a blessing and I know that God will richly bless each and every one of you for your faithfulness. May God get all the glory!

Friday, March 18, 2005

We are nearing the end of another week of miracles. God has been good to show Himself strong on our behalf. Jonathan tried out two walkers today in PT and we have decided to try to start working with him on the silver, regular walker. He started out walking today with much determination. You can see that his legs are getting stronger every day. His knees are not buckling as easily and when he is determined, he does a great job. Unfortunately, he tires very easily and quickly which causes frustration, agitation and crying. At that point we have to fight to get him to do anything. He only has 30 minute therapy sessions so they have to push him to keep going, but it is so hard for him and very difficult on us. In order to use this particular walker, he really has to do most of the work himself, otherwise, he will fall, or someone will have to support most of his weight. We are going to continue working with this walker and as he gets better, hopefully we will be able to work with him in the evenings with this just as we are working with the standing frame. Jonathan continues to gain strength in his arms, but still struggles with the left side. He sat on the potty for me every time I asked him to without any complaining today. Although he did not do anything, he obeyed and had a great attitude about it. We were hoping to be able to take him on an outing this weekend but it doesn't look like that is going to be a reality. We have not been cleared by everyone yet and the orders have not been written for us to do that. We are disappointed to say the least. Hopefully we will be able to do that next weekend.
Please pray for continued miracles in Jonathan's life. Pray for strength and endurance for him as he continues to try to walk on his own. Pray for his agitation level, and that even when he is crying, he will be able to continue to work and persevere. Pray for patience for us as we wait for God to allow us to go home. This has been a very long week and it is very difficult to think of being here another 4 weeks. Pray that God will complete what needs to be done in this time so that on April 13, we will be able to come home instead of having to extend the stay. God's timing is never our timing, but it is always perfect. He will be faithful to carry us through. Thanks for the continued prayers.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Today was an exciting day for us. Jonathan had his first outing today and did a great job. We rode on the bus to a fire station nearby. All the firemen were very nice and showed us all their trucks, equipment and their home at the fire station. Jared and Chucky went with us as well as the Child Life Specialist and the Physical Therapist. The Physical Therapist brought along 2 walkers. All of the boys are working on walking, so she had each one do some walking while the others rode in their wheelchairs. Jonathan has only worked with one walker and there was more to it than just the basic walker she brought along. We got Jonathan to get up and try to walk on it. With the therapist's assistance, Jonathan pushed the walker and walked about 10-12 steps across the floor. We were very proud of him. He even did it without crying! He managed to tolerate the trip without getting agitated. We are hoping to get to take Jonathan for an outing on Saturday but we have not gotten an official okay to do that yet. The other big accomplishment today was that Jonathan was able to use the bathroom in the potty chair by his bed two times today! Mom was quite excited to say the least.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers. As you can see, God hears and answers them every day. Continue to pray for strength and determination for Jonathan to be able to reach his goals. Pray for continued healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Pray for our possible outing this weekend. Continue to pray for Jonathan's ability to cope with his surroundings and situation and that the agitation will go away completely. Pray for continued progress in walking and using the bathroom. Pray that we will be patient and positive in helping him accomplish these things. Praise God for His faithful answers to our prayers!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

We continue to progress with each passing day. Jonathan went to two group sessions today on his own and did very well. He did Lunch Bunch in the play room with some of the other kids for 30 minutes, and an OT group for 1 hour with his two friends where he made a St. Patrick's Day craft. He worked on a lot of fine motor skills and did very well. He did well for speech and OT, but he did not do well during PT. We need you to really pray for Jonathan and us as we work through this agitation issue. It is difficult for us because he has never reacted in this way and Mom wants to see it and deal with it as a discipline issue. Pray specifically that Jonathan will have the desire and determination to want to walk and work to get strong enough to meet the goals they have set for him to be able to go home. Pray specifically for us that we will get wise counsel as to how to deal with this and that we will trust God to give us the grace and patience we need to deal with this positively. Jonathan continues to change each day. His words are very clear and his responses are much quicker. He carrys on great conversation, initiating and creating conversation regularly. He loves to have people visit and always asks who is coming to see him next. He is very loving and extremely generous with hugs and kisses, which we are thoroughly enjoying. Tomorrow at 10 am, we will go on our first outing to visit a fire station with Jonathan's two group friends, Jared and Chucky. Pray that this will be a great time for all of them.
Praise God for the miracle of Jonathan doing so well in his group time on his own. Praise Him for all the beautiful smiles, laughter, love, hugs and kisses we get to enjoy each day. They are such a blessing. Pray for continued strength and coordination in using his legs and making them work like they are suppose to. We see them getting stronger every day. Please pray that Jonathan will be able to fight and work toward the goals he needs to meet to go home. Pray that we don't rush him to do the things we want him to do now. Pray for wisdom and understanding for us. Pray for continued healing in his brain, vision and diabetes. Pray for added strength to his upper body to be able to support his walking. We look forward to more miracles and answers to pray each day. Pray without ceasing!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

We made great progress today! Jonathan did pretty well in his therapy today, but he seemed to be more agitated with it. Typically we have a 30 minute break between each therapy, but this week we are having 3 therapy sessions back to back. I don't know if this has anything to do with it or not. We worked a little on using a new walker today. I think we will be working with it more tomorrow. Jonathan did Snack Attack this afternoon. He went to this without me, which was probably harder on me than it was on him. He did a wonderful job. He was with 2 other boys around his age and 2 therapists. He was in there for 45 minutes and did great. He even made me some pudding too! One of the therapist asked if he did a lot of classes at church. When I told her yes, she said it showed because Jonathan was introducing himself to the other boys and talking to them a lot. Praise the Lord! What a blessing! Because he did so well with this, they are going to put him in more group activities. He has an OT group tomorrow from 2-3 pm, so you can be in prayer for that. He will also get to go on an outing on Thursday to visit a fire station, which will be our first outing with a group. Please begin to pray now that this will be a good experience for him as well.
Please continue to pray for Jonathan's agitation during therapy. This can be a very difficult thing for everyone when he starts crying before he even starts his therapy. Pray for endurance, not only for the physical therapy, but also that he will be able to tolerate longer periods of therapy at a time. Pray for his group activities and his outings that are coming up. Pray for continued good health, continued strength and continued healing. Please pray for health, strength and rest for us. Thank you so much for your constant intercession for our family. We are blessed to have so many of you praying for us. We pray God's richest blessings on all of you for your faithfulness to pray.

Monday, March 14, 2005

We had an awesome day today! Jonathan did such a great job all day long. First of all, he stood up at a table with his therapist and worked a puzzle, then he walked all the way down the parallel bars and back to his wheelchair (with his therapist's support of course). That was 20 feet! He did it all with very little crying too. He also did well in speech and OT. He is doing much better at sitting up and balancing. His speech and conversation is much stronger and clearer. Our week is filling up with new things for Jonathan to do. Tomorrow is the Snack Attack where he will be making pudding. It will be his first group activity with other kids. Wednesday he will have another group OT session, but I am not sure what that involves. Thursday, there is the potential for going on an outing with his little group and if he does okay with all of this, we will hopefully get to take him on an outing by the weekend, if approved by the doctor. Lamar came up this afternoon so that we could get approved on car transfers and learning how to use the standing frame. After we finished this, the physical therapist helped Jonathan walk on the parallel bars again, another 20 feet, for his Dad to see. We got this one on video! So Jonathan walked a total of 40 feet today! I can't express the joy that we feel seeing him standing and walking. What a miracle! Later on this evening, we had Jonathan stand in the standing frame for 45 minutes while his sisters and cousin entertained him with some gymnastics routines they have been learning.
We are so grateful for all of your prayers, but we need them now more than ever. Pray for continued strength and mobility for Jonathan. Pray for his frame of mind and attitude. Pray for continued healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Pray that he will be motivated to work hard so that he can go home and not get discouraged because he can't. He will begin to cry at any moment just talking about wanting to go home. We are so excited about the possibility of being able to take him on an outing, but we need your prayers regarding this specifically. We need wisdom to know whether to take him home or not. We would love to take him home, but are afraid that it may do more harm than good for him to go home and not be able to stay. Pray that we will have wisdom and that God will send wise counsel to us so that we know what will be best for Jonathan. Continue to pray for our potty training. We are going to need patience and determination with this as well. God is so good!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Jonathan had another good day for the most part. Kristi and I both went to church today to give a testimony about Jonathan and his progress. This left Jonathan at the hospital with a friend for about 2 hours. During his waking hours, one of us is usually there. Well today we were not and I think Jonathan took it pretty hard. Although he was kept busy during that time, he continually asked for mom and dad. Dad returned first and his face just lit up when he came into the room, which gave dad a very proud moment. After that we had a quiet day. He is so interactive and talks a lot. He continues to smile, especially when thinking and talking about food. He loves to eat. He still asks about going home but seems okay when we answer him with a not yet. He is also trying to get out of bed some. He wants to move his legs to the edge of the bed and he sits up by himself. He can turn over and position himself some on his own but still needs assistance for any big move. Our hearts are over-flowing with gratitude to God for what He is doing in our family and for the many faithful prayer warriors that intercede for us.
This week will be one of many new things and new miracles. Please pray for Jonathan as he continues through the stages of rehab. This week he will participate in what they call "Snack Attack". He along with 2 other boys will meet and make pudding, sugar free of course, and then eat it. This is the first stage of him participating in group activities and will hopefully lead to going on outings with the Childlife group soon. Pray that he can participate and not get agitated or tired. This is about a 1 hour process and will happen on Wednesday after about 2 pm. Pray that Jonathan will continue to grow stronger and that he will be able to walk soon. Also, pray for strength as we wait on the Lord to complete His work in Jonathan. Another area that we are going to work on this week is going to the bathroom. Right now he is wearing "hospital pants" and we are going to work to get back to regular big boy undies. Thank you for your faithful intercession on our behalf.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Jonathan had a good day today. We started early with OT at 8:30 and PT at 9:30. Both therapies he did without crying. He is getting stronger with each passing day and is becoming much more conversational. He loves to go to the Lunch room and on walks. He also enjoyed a birthday party for one of his aunts and even sang "Happy Birthday" along with everyone else. He is able to last longer with larger groups and does not get agitated. He is also enjoying his new wheelchair and the new found ability to move himself. He is doing really well with it. We continue to get big smiles and laughs from him and it is such a blessing to hear and see him. Tonight I think we got the biggest laugh yet, it was so good to hear. He still continues to ask when can I go home and how many days till I get to go home. Please pray that God would give us strength until He allows us to leave. We are still having some issues with his blood sugar but it is to be expected.
Pray that Jonathan would continue to gain strength and stamina during his therapy. Pray that God would allow him to go home soon and give him peace and us rest until that day. Pray that God would get the glory for all that He has done in Jonathan's life. Thank you for faithfully praying for Jonathan and our family.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Today was a good day. We started our therapy earlier and had both PT and OT back to back. That typically doesn't work well for Jonathan, but he did a great job handling it today. He started out by sitting on the mat and balancing himself on his own. He threw some bean bag toys through a basketball hoop and did arm stretches during OT. Next in PT, he stood on the standing frame for most of the 30 minutes, but at the end, his therapist took him to the parallel bars and he took about 12-13 steps from one end of the bars to meet me at the other end. His therapist said he was doing better moving his legs today than he did earlier this week. It was so good to see him up and walking. The rest of the day we spent taking walks outside and just hanging out together. We are getting to enjoy lots of smiles and lots of words from Jonathan. Each one is such a blessing.
Continue to pray that Jonathan will be at peace in his mind and that he will not be afraid or worry when his Dad or Mom is not there. Pray that his short term memory will return. Pray that he will have a restful weekend so that we can tackle some new things next week. Continue to pray for complete healing of his brain, vision and diabetes. Pray for continued strength in his arms and legs and coordination in being able to sit and stand on his own and to walk. Pray that we will be able to find some rest this weekend as well. God continues to show Himself strong on our behalf. Thank you so much for all of your prayers. He is faithfully hearing and answering each day. Praise His Holy Name!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Although not much new happened today, we had a good day anyway. Therapy went pretty well all day. Jonathan stood up on the standing frame and did well. He did very well sitting up, being on his hands and knees and exercising his arms during OT. He did well during speech and with the neuropsycologist as well. One of his therapist introduced him to a device called a monocle (spelling?) which is kind of like binoculars for one eye. He did pretty well with it. She will be working with Jonathan to find things that will help him see better. Jonathan is doing very well with his new wheelchair. He does not use his left hand as well as his right hand, but he is trying to move it on his own. Jonathan weighed in today at 56 pounds! The doctors are still working on finding that perfect dose of insulin for him, but he is doing fine.
Please continue to pray for complete healing. Pray for healing of his brain, his vision and his diabetes. Pray that Jonathan will walk soon. Pray for him during his therapy times. Pray for peace and contentment until God allows us to go home. Please pray for us. We are so tired and 5 more weeks seems like an eternity. Pray that we will remember what God has done and meditate on His faithfulness. The LORD's loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Well, we received lots of information today about Jonathan. First of all, we went to the vision screening. Jonathan did very well and lasted almost an hour before getting agitated with the situation. It was probably the longest session he has endured and he did a great job. Jonathan has ocular albinism (lack of pigmentation/red eyes) which is what causes the nastagmas (constant movement/scanning of his eyes), which he has had since he was born. He sees better out of his left eye because the optic nerve in his right eye is basically not developed. He is legally blind which does not mean totally blind just what they call "low vision". The doctor said that most of the things that are normally a problem, resulting from a brain injury, were okay, which leads her to believe that these vision issues were pre-existing. The therapist are going to work on getting Jonathan the tools he needs to be able to see better and we will proceed with seeing a low vision specialist at a later date. We had our Cares Conference today. Everyone was very positive and encouraged by Jonathan's rapid progress. Because he is doing so well, our new goal date to be released is April 13. This will be re-evaluated at our next Cares Conference in 2 weeks. Jonathan stood up again today without the standing frame and took more steps to get back into his chair. His therapist is talking about having him walk with the parallel bars soon. Jonathan got a new wheelchair today. It is one that he can move on his own. Our goal right now is for him to go from the bed to the door and back on his own. We also asked about taking Jonathan on an outing. Jonathan must go on a group outing with the Child Life Specialists and handle it adequately before they will allow us to take him out on our own. The goal is to try that with him in the next couple of weeks. While our Cares Conference was very positive, it was pretty tough to hear that we would be here another month. It makes it even more difficult when Jonathan looks so hopefully at us and asks, "Do I get to go home tomorrow?" Pray for us as we help him deal with this.
Praise the Lord for all the positive progress Jonathan has made over these last 5 weeks. He alone deserves the credit. Pray for Jonathan's continued progress. Pray for continued strengthening of his body to be able to walk and support himself. Pray for his agitation level, which is still present at times. Begin to pray for healing for his vision and continue to pray for healing of the diabetes. Pray that we will all trust God's perfect timing.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Although we had a few rough moments today, overall the day was good. Jonathan spent 30 minutes standing on the standing frame and did an awesome job. At his next therapy, he cried the entire 30 minutes. After that he spent a perfect 30 minutes with the neuropsycologist answering lots of questions without any agitation. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for this agitation. Just when you think you have moved beyond it, it shows up again. This is hard for me to deal with because I don't know how to handle it and I can't make it stop. The rest of the day was pretty good. Jonathan is talking so much now. He asks questions and makes statements on his own. When one of us is gone, he continually asks when we are coming. He is asking many times a day when he can go home, or stating often that he wants to go home. This breaks our hearts and there is no way to stop the tears. While he is old enough to know he is in the hospital because he is sick, I don't think his little mind can understand why he is in this place. Tomorrow at 10:30, we will go to Baylor Institute of Rehab (around the corner from our building) for a vision screening. Jonathan has had vision issues since he was born. When he was a baby, we thought he was blind. God was faithful to take care of us then and He will do so again. We are believing He will completely heal Jonathan - that includes everything. We also have our Cares Conference tomorrow morning. We will find out then where we go from here. Pray for wisdom and discernment for us.
Please pray for Jonathan's brain to heal completely. Pray that confusion, agitation and fear would flee from his mind and that peace, calmness and understanding would reign. Pray that Jonathan will trust in his God and wait for His healing, even though he is only 8 years old. Pray that he will be able to handle each therapy and be able to listen and do all that he is asked to do. Pray for this vision screening tomorrow. Pray that God will show Himself strong on Jonathan's behalf, that the Lord would be glorified yet again. Pray for physical and emotional strength for us during these days. Pray Believing - Our God Reigns!

Monday, March 7, 2005

We are off to a great start this week. To begin the day, Jonathan stood on his legs, not in the standing frame, but with the assistance of his therapist and his Mom. He stood behind a table and played with his cars for part of his PT time today. He handled it beautifully with just a little bit of crying. When it was time to get back in his chair, Jonathan chose to walk from the mat to get in his chair. With his therapist behind him holding him and helping him move his feet, Jonathan took about 3 steps to get back in his chair. It was pretty neat. In PT and OT he spent some time on his hands and knees to help strengthen his arms and help him push himself up. He worked hard this morning. One of his therapist talked about getting him a new chair; one that he can push himself. Jonathan is still working on sitting by himself, taking off and putting on his shoes and pushing himself back with his hands. He did not have a good concentration day with the neuropsycologist. He also had some issues with high blood sugars again today. The doctors have adjusted his insulin and food intake to try and stabilize it again. We ended the day getting to visit with the pet therapist and their dogs. That was fun too.
Continue to pray for Jonathan this week as he begins to work on walking. Pray that he will be able to do what the therapist asks of him and that his agitation level will be minimal. Even though we have made great progress with the agitation levels, that phase is not over yet. Please continue to pray that Jonathan will be able to handle his environment better each day and that his concentration time will continue to increase. Pray that he will be able to walk soon. Continue to pray and believe in his complete healing. Pray that all of us, but most especially Jonathan, will wait on the Lord, and that He will renew our strength so that we will run and not grow weary; that we will walk and not faint.

Sunday, March 6, 2005

Today was a quiet day. Jonathan seems to be more aware of his situation and is starting to ask if he can go home. We do not have any therapy on Sunday but the doctor does come by. One of the first things he says is "Good Morning", and waits for Jonathan to respond, Jonathan did tell the doctor "Good Morning" after some cueing. We are working with him to get him to use more words than gestures. He usually asks Jonathan to lift his left hand and give him 5 and touch his nose, all of which he does. He has him lift his legs and touch his toes to the doctor's hand and he can almost get his leg completely off the bed to do that. The doctor said that he has made some good progress this week and is encouraged by what he can see. We went on a number of walks around the block today and he even ate his lunch in the dining room area for the first time. He seems to be able to tolerate longer periods of time in his wheel chair and outside of his room. He is also responding more with words than with his head. We are really encouraged by what we see in him and are also torn by the fact that he, as well as us, want him to come home. Pray that God will give Jonathan a peace about the hospital until He allows him to come home.
Pray that God would strengthen his body and allow him to walk soon and that Jonathan would have a conscience awareness of God's presense. Pray that we could find rest and be able to help Jonathan, even if it is small, through this time. Pray that Satan would not be allowed to attack our family and that the Lord would protect us. It is only by the prayers of each of you and God's grace that we have made it this far and we know that it will only be by the sustaining grace of God that we persevere to the end.

Saturday, March 5, 2005

Today was a usual low key Saturday for Jonathan. He spent most of the day with Dad and is also spending the night with Dad tonight. Jonathan had PT and OT today and did pretty well with both. He was able to lift his legs for the doctor and do whatever the doctor asked him to do with his left hand. These are things that Jonathan wasn't able to do for the doctor last weekend, so we have made significant progress this week. Jonathan asked a couple of times today when he was going to get to go home. While we talk about going home with him sometimes, this is the first time that he has asked that question on his own. The doctor told us that he wants to see him walking before we go home. They originally put us on a 6 week plan for Jonathan and that 6 week time frame ends March 16. We will have another Cares Conference this week to discuss this and find out what the future holds for us.
Only God knows the real plan for Jonathan. Pray that we will all trust God and His timing for Jonathan's release. Pray that God will allow Jonathan to walk soon. Pray for continued strength in his body to be able to accomplish this. Pray for healing in his brain, his vision and his diabetes. We want God's will to be done, but we are asking God to heal Jonathan and allow us to go home soon. The Scripture we have open in Jonathan's room at home and one of the Scriptures on the wall in his hospital room is Isaiah 58:8 "Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard." We are claiming this Scripture for Jonathan. Thank you for faithfully praying with us.

Friday, March 4, 2005

Tonight we are praising God for another awesome week of miracles done in Jonathan's life. We see changes in Jonathan every day. We have seen his agitation level decrease, his concentration time increase, his left arm strengthened and his legs begin to move. We have seen his smile, heard his laughter, enjoyed his hugs and kisses. Day by day we praise God for the miracle of life and breath and eating. We continue to believe that Jonathan has been completely healed and we anxiously wait to see how God is going to reveal each part of that healing. We stand each day in God's strength because we have no strength of our own that remains. God has been faithful to provide all that we need and we trust Him to carry us through to the end. Thank you for your constant intercession on behalf of Jonathan and our entire family. God's Word is true - He hears the prayers of His children and He answers them.
Continue to pray for Jonathan's complete healing. Pray specifically for his vision as he is scheduled to have a vision test done next Wed. Pray for continued strength in his arms and legs. Pray that he can sit on his own and balance properly. Pray that he will be able to walk soon. Pray for complete healing in his brain. Pray a hedge of protection around our family. Above all, pray that the Lord will be glorified through our lives and that people will come to know this incredible God that we call Our Father.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

We had another very positive day today. Jonathan made it through all of our therapy today with minimal crying. He stood on the standing frame for 25 minutes and did great. He layed on a mat and exercised his left arm and did great. He is talking well and eating well and is able to concentrate better each day when asked questions or to do a task. He is really working on using his legs. He tries to pull them up, take off his shoes and today he told me he wanted to get out of the bed.
Continue to pray that Jonathan will completely move beyond this stage of frustration and agitation. We are seeing less and less with each passing day. Continue to pray for strength and mobility in his arms and legs. Pray for healing of his vision and his diabetes. Also pray for the rest of our family. Pray that our weariness and fatigue will not get in the way of our faith and trust in God's will and timing in this situation. Pray that we will remember that His strength is perfect and that God will faithfully carry us through.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

We witnessed another miraculous answer to prayer today - Jonathan stood up on the standing frame for 25 minutes and never cried one time! That is the very first time we have had a therapy downstairs in the gym that he did not cry at all. It was wonderful! Elizabeth and Sarah were there to cheer him on and watch him stand up. Then Jonathan and I spent the rest of the time playing with some matchbox cars on the table attached to the frame. We were all very proud. Jonathan sat up and balanced himself a little on his own during OT. He also was able to concentrate again for 25 minutes without any agitation for the neuropsycologist today. We went downstairs for about 10 minutes and listened to a couple of guys play guitar and sing. We also got to participate by singing along and using an egg shaker. Jonathan also quoted John 3:16 for us today just before the girls left to go to Awanas. He initiated some use in his left hand and continued to move his legs for us as well. Overall, we had a great day today.
Thank you so much for praying for Jonathan's agitation during therapy. Pray that his brain will continue to heal and this agitation will go away completely. Pray that we can continue to do therapy without crying. Pray that he will be able to balance and sit up on his own. Continue to pray for strength and movement in his left arm and legs and for healing of his vision and diabetes. Each day we are blessed to see God answer yet another prayer as we witness His awesome power in our lives. Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

We had a very good day today. Jonathan is continuing to sleep well. He is still having trouble with crying during his therapy, but he is still able to do things they ask him to do. He is getting more strength in his left arm and is moving his legs more today. He tried to roll over on his own today and was able to do it with some help from his therapist. We had a very good visit with the neuropsycologist today. Usually he can only concentrate about 15 minutes and then gets agitated and has to stop. She told me yesterday that while the length of concentration time has not increased, the level of difficulty of the tasks has increased. So while he is able to concentrate during that 15 minutes, he is able to do the more difficult things she asks him to do. Today he was able to sit and concentrate and answer her questions for 25 minutes with minimal agitation. We were very proud. His occupational therapist said that she has to revise his goals every day because he is doing things so well. He remains content and talks better and better each day.
Please continue to pray for his agitation during his therapy. Pray for healing and peace in his mind and that he will be able to deal with his frustrations without getting severely agitated. Pray that he will remember to use his left arm and that he will continue to gain strength and mobility in that arm and his legs. It is awesome to see him move his legs. Pray that he will be able to concentrate when he needs to and will be able to work hard and do all that the therapist ask him to do. Also pray for his vision and his diabetes, that God will make both of those perfectly whole again as well. God is so good...He answers prayer...We praise His Name!