Thursday, October 27, 2005

I know that I don’t normally update except for once a week, but I wanted to share what we learned today at Jonathan’s endocrine appointment. This was our first time at the Lewisville Cook’s Specialty Center. Jonathan did very well and we got a pretty good report overall. We seem to be doing everything right and his blood sugar logs show a significant improvement since the last appointment. He weighed in at 111, which is just a couple of pounds above what we have been weighing at home. We usually weigh first thing on Sunday morning, with no clothes on before we eat anything (we take all the help we can get!). So at least we were pretty close to their scale reading. We didn’t see the doctor, but we visited with a diabetes educator and a nurse practioner, both of whom were very nice. The NP said that the amount of insulin he is getting in relation to his weight is pretty high for his age, indicating that his body may not be absorbing the insulin like it should. She suggested we take a medication twice a day that regulates the insulin of a Type 2 diabetic. This causes the body to absorb the insulin more effectively, and hopefully we will be able to decrease the amount of insulin that he gets overall. This will help him not become insulin resistant. So we have a prescription to start taking that twice a day and it should take about 3-6 weeks to begin to work. We also talked about the weight gain issue. The educator told me that we should keep working on it, but try to maintain his weight and let his body grow into it. We looked at his height/weight percentile on the chart. He is about 25% on the height, and over the top on the weight. I asked what he should weigh at this age and was told he should weight 58-65 pounds. We are an awful long way from that. She checked his BMI (body mass index) which should be less than 80%. His is over 95%. The NP added some lab work to the list to check his thyroid and his pituitary gland to see how they are functioning. Because he has had a brain trauma, it is possible that his pituitary glad has been damaged which means the growth hormone is not acting like it should, which can result in the weight gain. Neither of these things is correctable; they can only be replaced with medication. If the thyroid isn’t working right, he will have to take thyroid medicine for the rest of his life. If the pituitary gland in damaged, he will have to get another injection every night before bedtime to help with that. So that is what we found out from our visit. After the office visit, we had to go across the street to get blood taken. Jonathan is such a brave little boy and once again, the Lord gave him the grace to handle the blood work. This time was not as easy as the first time. It took them several tries to find the vein, and then it wouldn’t flow very quickly, so it seemed to take forever to get the viles filled up. He cried once, but then he was able to watch once they found the vein and he didn’t seem bothered by it. I was so very proud of him. He may only be 9 years old, but he is my hero.
Needless to say, I was thankful for the good report, but a little discouraged by the possibilities that are yet to be determined. Several things have been filling my mind that I wanted to share with you. One of the most amazing things, to me, about Jonathan’s experience is how healthy he was throughout his hospital stay. There were no infections, to medication then or now except his insulin, and no holes or scars from anything that they told us was necessary for him to live. That alone is an incredible miracle. On January 30, while we were still at Children’s Medical Center, Lamar and I received a promise from the Lord: Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you." Two days later, Jonathan was anointed with oil and prayed over by our pastor, several godly men in our church, and Jonathan’s grandpas. These were defining moments in this journey that changed our lives. We prayed for a complete healing for Jonathan. We began to live, and think, and talk, and believe that God had healed Jonathan, although we had no idea when that healing would actually happen. Each day we see God’s promise fulfilled as He manifests His healing in Jonathan a little at a time. Although the journey is not complete, and there is much healing that remains, we continue to stand on the promise God gave to us. I am ashamed to admit that already I have had to fight the urge to worry about the results of the additional lab tests being done. And I know myself well enough to know that I will battle this many times over the next week.
John 14:13-14 which says "And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." So I am writing to ask you to pray specifically with us over this next week about Jonathan’s thyroid and pituitary gland. Please pray specifically, in Jesus name, that both of those issues are healed and working as they should be. Pray specifically, in Jesus name, that whatever is causing the weight gain will be healed and that we will have wisdom and all the information to help Jonathan through this process. Please pray specifically, in Jesus name, that Jonathan will be healed of his diabetes. When we asked for a complete healing, we asked for everything. I don’t know that I have ever heard of anyone being healed of diabetes, nor do I have any idea how it can happen. What I do know and stand firmly upon is this promise: Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Finally, I ask that you pray for our family – me especially – that we continue to stand firm, believing in the faithful promises of God and in His power to heal and deliver Jonathan. Thank you for letting me share. It strengthens my faith to share with you, knowing that you will lift us up in prayer, just as you have so faithfully done this entire journey. I know we have shared these promises with you before, but I want to share it again: "These things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day." says the Lord. ~ Habakkuk 2:3 May God abundantly bless each of you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I am so excited to share with you the great things that happened over this past week! I’m still so thankful for the blessing of making it through Awana last Wednesday night without any crying. We spent the day Thursday getting ready for our garage sale, which we had on Friday morning. Even at the garage sale, I had the opportunity to share with one of our neighbors about Jonathan, what has happened to him, and what God has done in his life this year. We always take every opportunity to bear witness to anyone who will listen of God’s amazing power and love. On Saturday, we spent the day in Ft. Worth with our family, celebrating Uncle Tim’s birthday. Uncle Tim was one of our family members who faithfully spent the night with Jonathan once a week while he was in the hospital. We are grateful for our Uncle Timmy and it was a blessing to be able to celebrate his birthday with him. During the afternoon, we went to play Putt-Putt. It was a beautiful afternoon and we had a great time. Jonathan was able to play the entire course without getting too tired. He very much enjoyed it and did very well squatting down to put his ball down, pushing back up, swinging his club and walking through the course. It was great exercise, plus it was a lot of fun. Sunday was full of wonderful new accomplishments for Jonathan. First of all, we weighed again on Sunday morning. We did not lose any weight, but we also did not gain any weight. So we will continue to work towards our goal of eating better and losing some weight. After church, Jonathan’s Sunday school class had a party in the gym. They ate pizza and played a bunch of games. Mr. Jim and Mrs. Shirley are his wonderful teachers, and they planned a great party for the kids, making sure that Jonathan had sugar free things to eat and drink, which I appreciate so very much. When it came time to play games, Jonathan wanted to play them all. Not once did I have to encourage him to play the games. He took the initiative to play each one on his own. One of the games was riding a scooter between red cones, picking up a straw hat, putting it on and getting back to the next person on the team. After the scooter, they pushed a beach ball between the cones with a plastic rake, doing the same kind of game. Jonathan’s team lost both times and he knew it was because he was too slow. But that didn’t seem to matter much to the other kids or to Jonathan. After that, they got in a circle and pretty much played dodge ball – if you got hit with the beach ball, you had to get out. Jonathan was a pretty easy target for that game, and he got out both times pretty quickly. The first time he got hit, it totally knocked him down to the ground. But he didn’t hurt himself; he just got up wanted to play again. Seth, One of the other boys decided it was his job to block Jonathan from getting hit the second time, which I thought was very sweet. After that game, they played a game with flag football flags and hats. Once your flags and hat were taken away or knocked off, you were out. Jonathan managed to make it to the end (with a little help from Mom maybe!). He and another girl, Lauren, both had one flag left. All the kids were cheering for him and she was so sweet to let him take her flag so that he won the game. It was such a neat moment for him and for me. I can’t tell you what a blessing it has been to be around these children. There’s not one of them who ever hesitates to help Jonathan with anything, or encourage him, or talk to him, or be his friend. Jonathan has been blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful children. We are so thankful for all of them. The last game they played was beach volleyball which they played sitting down. Needless to say, Jonathan was pretty worn out by the end of the party. I was so proud of him and how well he did playing all the games. After about an hour at home resting his feet, Jonathan went back to church for handbells and choir. I usually go pick him up from choir and bring him back to the sanctuary for a snack before church. This night, I was practicing some music for the service, and when the time came for me to go get him, I looked up to see that he had come to the sanctuary already. I looked around to find Sarah, but Jonathan was by himself, talking to his Daddy. The next thing I know, he is walking up the stairs in the balcony to go to the bathroom – By Himself! He came back and walked back down the stairs, back to his Daddy – By Himself! During the service, he sat with his Daddy while I sang in the Praise Team, then he met me downstairs in the lobby to go to service with me – By Himself! I can’t tell you how thrilling it was to see him take such initiative to do all of this on his own, without waiting for someone to help him do it. It was wonderful! What a Lord’s Day this was for us! Jonathan continues to do very well in school. He is adding and subtracting three digit numbers, reading a chapter book, working on contractions and learning new verses in Awana every week. Today was a great day at therapy. True to her word, Mrs. Dana took him right downstairs to the gym to start running on the treadmill. He was so excited about doing it, but got just a little nervous when he actually got to the treadmill. But Mrs. Dana handled him very well. After warming up on the treadmill for a few minutes, she stood behind him, held on to his gate belt, and turned up the speed. After telling him what to do, Jonathan ran for about 15-20 seconds at 3.5-3.7mph. It was his first time to run since last December. He ran three different times, about the same length of time, and stayed on the treadmill a total of 10 minutes. It almost totally wore him out, but he was proud and so were we. Back up in the office, Jonathan balanced on the balance board while throwing balls to Walker. After that, he practiced walking on the tape line on the floor. Overall, he did great, worked hard and accomplished something great today in therapy. God is truly good. God continues to manifest His healing power in Jonathan with each passing day. We are so thankful for the blessings this past week has brought us. I hope you will praise our gracious Lord for these blessings with us, as well as continue to lift Jonathan up in your prayers. Continue to pray, in Jesus name, for the complete healing of his body, his brain, his vision and his diabetes. Continue to pray, in Jesus name, for complete healing of his emotions and his memory. Please pray for him specifically on Thursday, 10-27-05 at 1:30 pm as he goes to the endocrinologist here in Lewisville. Once again, we will be seeing someone new, as well as having blood taken again. Pray for calmness for Jonathan, for a good relationship with a new doctor, for a good A1C (average blood sugar) and that he will have a good report all the way around. I am overwhelmed at God’s goodness to us and His faithfulness to see us through each step of this journey that we have been on this year. Thank you for holding us up in prayer and for all the words of encouragement that you faithfully send us. I stood with the Praise Team on Sunday evening, feeding on the faithfulness of God to our family as I sang the words of this hymn of praise that I leave you with tonight – “Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art!” The Lord bless each of you dear friends.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

There is much to update you on this week, so let me jump right in and share with you what has been going on in Jonathan’s life in the last few days. Last Wednesday was an extremely up and down day for us. We spent the day taking care of our little friend Juliana. Jonathan loves babies and has a very special love for little Juliana, so it was a lot of fun to have her here. Jonathan got to help take her on a couple of walks and he pushed her around in the wheelchair we were borrowing since we didn’t have a stroller. But by the time dinner came around, Jonathan began to start fretting about going to Awana. He barely got his dinner down before he started crying about it. We all tried our hardest to help him deal with it, but nothing seemed to sink in. He was so distraught about it that he couldn’t even tell us he knew God was always with him so that he is never alone. He cried hard for a solid hour and nothing we could say would make him stop. We were at a complete loss as to how to handle him with this situation. I think he finally just cried himself out because by the time we went to his class, he had at least stopped crying. I stayed with him during his verse time and helped him study his verses before he said them. After that, he seemed to be fine, so I left him and picked him up an hour later. Our wonderful friend Mr. Terry was there to hang out with him again, and when I picked Jonathan up, he was beaming. He and Mr. Terry had worked on shooting baskets during game time. Mr. Terry even guarded him and he was able to make 3 baskets even then. Jonathan was so proud of himself. It was such a great ending to a very discouraging beginning of the evening. While I finished up choir and Dad finished up his responsibilities, Jonathan sat out in the lobby with his sisters and visited with the others who were out there. He seemed very confident and very much at ease with being away from me and hanging out with the other kids. So we ended this situation on a positive note. We had another uneventful weekend, just working on things around the house and trying to get ready for a garage sale that we are having at the end of this week. Jonathan did very well on Sunday morning, and never hesitated or got upset about going to Sunday School. He seemed quite confident and at ease, even before we got there which is usually when he begins to get worked up about it. Not today. We also weighed on Sunday morning and although we didn’t lose any weight, we did not gain any weight either. We had a restful afternoon and went back just to choir that evening. Sarah was off on a scavenger hunt and actually didn’t make it to choir until the very end. Jonathan was able to spend all of that time in choir by himself without Sarah and without crying. Another positive accomplishment! This week we had therapy on Monday because we went to the State Fair of Texas on Tuesday. On Monday at therapy, Jonathan got to work with Walker, the new therapy dog, who was also there that day. So they went out in the hall and Jonathan helped Walker work on his fetching while he worked on balancing different ways. First he had to balance with his feet in front of each other while throwing the ball. Then he stood on a round disk that is kind of puffy, so that when you stand on it with both feet, it makes it very difficult to balance. It uses lots of muscles in the calves and it was quite difficult. (I tried it myself!) He also balanced on one leg while throwing the ball. Then he walked with Walker all the way down the hall like he was walking on a balance beam. On the way back, he walked sideways, and then he went back into the office to finish his therapy. Jonathan really enjoyed working with Walker and he will get to do it again next week, because Walker will be there on Tuesday when Jonathan is there as well. So we will try to get a picture with Walker next week. Back in the office, Jonathan did several different exercises while wearing the moon shoes. Mrs. Dana also asked what we wanted to work on during these last few weeks of therapy. I asked her about running and she said she would work with Jonathan next week on the treadmill. On the treadmill, he can hold on and she can have better control of him with his gate belt on than she would if they just tried running down the hall. So he will be working on running as well as continuing to work on the balance beam, which is what Jonathan told her he wanted to keep working on. He had a good therapy session with Mrs. Dana and he continues to make positive improvements each week. On Tuesday afternoon, we went to the State Fair of Texas. This is one of the things our family loves to do each year. It has become a tradition for us. We went with out Aunt Sherri and Cousin Emily. There were thoughts of our trip last year that we reminisced about and then many humbling, grateful thoughts about how gracious God has been to us this year to allow us the chance to be here again with our whole family together. I can’t even express how precious these little experiences have become to us. We are so very blessed. Jonathan did very well. We borrowed a wheelchair to make it easier for Jonathan to get around. While he walked some of the time, it is amazing how much of a crutch that becomes for him when it is available to him. But his endurance level at this time was no match for the endurance needed for a trip to the State Fair, so we were glad to have it. The biggest thing for Jonathan was riding some of the rides on the Midway. The first thing he did was walked up a very long stairway to get to the top of a very tall slide. With his sisters on either side, they all slide down together, and Jonathan got to the end first. He got off laughing and very proud of himself. Jonathan also went through a fun house with his Daddy helping him. It was pretty tricky because the floors moved and there were many uneven surfaces to get through, but he did it very well and loved it. He also went on a 3D car ride with Elizabeth. The last ride he did was another fun house that we thought would be pretty easy. Right before the kids went in, some friends of ours came by and Mr. Steve and his daughter went in this fun house with Jonathan and the girls. Jonathan actually started to cry before he went in because he wanted me to go with him, but he went on and did it without me. This fun house turned out to be much harder for Jonathan than I thought. Once he was in there and I saw the first hurdle he had to get through, I couldn’t believe I had let him go in there without me. Thankfully, Mr. Steve was there to help him get through. At one point, Jonathan was going to come out and not finish going through it. As they were standing there waiting for all the other kids to go by so he could come out, he turned to Mr. Steve and told him he didn’t want to leave, he wanted to finish going through it. And that’s exactly what he did, crying most of the way through. I was so very proud of him. He had the chance to quit but he stuck it out and finished the course. What a blessing that was to see in him. The last thing he did was play one of the games so he could win a stuffed animal to take home. We were all quite exhausted, but it was a great day overall. Let me end by sharing a praise from today. After such a discouraging start to Awana last week, I was prepared for almost anything today. But tonight, Jonathan never shed a single tear about going to Awana. Praise the Lord! We talked about it off and on during the day and I agreed to come with him during verse time and leave like I did last week. He never once got apprehensive or upset about any of it and I was able to leave exactly like I did last week and he was perfectly fine. He and Mr. Terry worked on some passing/catching skills during game time and Mr. Terry told me he never even whimpered once during the evening. What a blessing! He said 4 verses and passed 2 more sections in his book, and afterward while I was finishing choir, he chose to stay out in the lobby with the girls and hang out with the others out there. We are so proud of Jonathan!
God is so good. Each time we run into an obstacle, God is faithful to see us through it and to bring us encouragement and positive improvement as we continue to press on. Thank you so much for your prayers. Knowing that you are praying makes those difficult days so much easier to get through. Continue to pray for Jonathan’s healing process. Pray for continued strength in his legs, hips and ankles. Pray that his stamina and endurance will continue to increase. Pray that he will continue to improve in his emotions and ability to handle situations without crying. Pray for continued healing of his vision and diabetes as well. Pray that his memory will improve and that he will continue to progress in his school work. Our God is great and greatly to be praised. Tonight we praise Him for all the wonderful works that He has done. Thank you for sharing this miracle with us. We love and appreciate you all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

We have enjoyed another good week this past week. It was very busy, but good. We spent most of last week celebrating Sarah’s 12 th birthday. Her birthday was Wednesday, so after school and before we went to church, we spent some time shopping, making brownies and going to Chuck E. Cheese for dinner. It was a fun day. Jonathan did well at Chuck E. Cheese, getting up and playing games and using up all his tokens. After that, we went to Awana. Jonathan is still having a difficult time leaving Mom to go to his classes. He does just fine until we drive up to the church, and then you can just see his countenance change to worry, and then come the tears. He will try to keep from crying, but no matter how much I try to take his mind off of it, he eventually starts to cry. We are so blessed, though, to have several people who walk with him, sit with him and work with him to help him successfully make it through the evening. We are so grateful for Mrs. Rhonda, Mr. Terry and Mrs. Lori. They show him so much love and care while he is with them. I know I can leave him with them and he will be well taken care of. I know it is good for him to be away from me and I want him to build up his confidence again to know that he can do things on his own, but it is always difficult to leave him crying – it always has been. But other than that, he is doing exceptionally well in Awana. He is saying verses every week and is about to finish the first full section in his book. He is also doing very well in school. His writing, reading and math are getting better every day. He is also remembering the things we are working on pretty well. On Friday, we spent most of the day getting ready for the sleep over that Sarah was going to have with her friends. Jonathan helped us all clean house and get the camper ready for the girls to sleep in. Even though they were all girls, Jonathan was thrilled to hang out with them while they were listening to music, singing and dancing around. We built a fire in the fire pit in our back yard and sat out there with Aunt Keby who was there to help with the party. It was a fun evening, and all the girls were so sweet to talk with Jonathan and include him in what they were doing. On Saturday, after all the girlfriends left, we cleaned up and got ready to have all of our family over to celebrate Sarah’s birthday. Not a bad deal getting to party for 3 days just for one birthday! But we always love having all our family over, even though it is nothing more than complete chaos. We went to church on Sunday as usual, and even though Jonathan started to get upset just before going to Sunday School, he stopped as soon as he got into class and was just fine. God has been gracious to give Jonathan Mr. Jim and Mrs. Shirley as his teachers. He has looked forward to having them as teachers for several years. He loves them and feels completely secure with them. What a blessing it is to have people like them at this exact time in Jonathan’s life. He continues to go to handbells and choir each week and is doing pretty well in them. We spent all last week trying to make a conscious effort to work on eating better in hopes of losing some weight. We decided to make Sunday our day to weigh in, so on Sunday morning, Jonathan got on the scales. We were a little disappointed to find out that he gained about 4 pounds in the last couple of weeks instead of losing any. But we will not be discouraged, we will just continue to work towards our goal and pray, believing, that God will help us accomplish this goal as well. We have had a very good week as far as blood sugars go. We are really working on trying to move around on the sites where we give him his shots, so that his body will absorb the insulin better. It has had a significant impact on his blood sugar levels, so we are glad to have made this discovery. He has consistently stayed much closer to normal than he has ever been before, so we are thankful for that. We continue to do therapy time at home each afternoon. Jonathan continues to work hard and improve on his balance and strength each day. We are trying to take a walk as a family in the evenings while the weather is nice enough to do so. We took a walk Monday evening, and Jonathan worked hard at keeping up a steady, quick pace. He pushed really hard at the end and walked his fastest pace back to our house. He did great. Today was our first day at therapy with Mrs. Dana back. She took him downstairs to see how he was doing on the treadmill. She started it at 2.0 mph which I think is faster than he was doing when she left. After a couple of minutes, he told her he could go faster so she took it up to 2.3 mph. After another couple of minutes, he told her he could go even faster, so she took it up to 2.5 mph and he walked at least 7 minutes at that pace without stopping. That was the best he has ever done on the treadmill. Mrs. Dana said she was very confident in watching him walk around on his own. She said she was not fearful anymore watching him walk. She said his greatest need right now is balance and she really wants to focus on that. She asked me what kind of plan we had in mind, so I shared with her that our goal has been to be finished with therapy by Christmas. She said that was a good plan, so that gives us about 8-9 more weeks of work with the therapist. I pray that we can accomplish a great deal in those weeks. It’s kind of neat, though, to actually think of seeing the end of this part of his journey in the near future. After working in the gym, we went back upstairs and Mrs. Dana worked with Jonathan on his balance. Jonathan always tells me that he will never get out of therapy because he will never be able to walk on the balance beam by himself. That is one of the goals Mrs. Dana has for him. After telling her that today, she watched him walk across the tape on the floor, then she got out the balance beam and began to instruct him on how to shift his weight on the right leg to keep his balance and not fall off. This was the first time that anyone has told him how to actually do this exercise, so that was a real positive thing. Now we can work on that at home as well. He also got to ride a scooter that someone had donated, up and down the hall. It was a bigger, fatter scooter, but he was able to do it pretty well. He had to do it on both legs, one of which is harder than the other. And, of course, all during his therapy, Jonathan served as a welcome distraction for little Jenna who was trying to eat again, and was not real happy about it. He and Mrs. Dana even sang for her to help her not cry. Everyone in the entire office heard it too! Mrs. Dana told Jonathan that she had missed him and she was very proud of how well he was doing.
We are so proud of Jonathan. God continues to hear our prayers, answer them and bless us with so many good things. Please continue to pray for Jonathan. Please pray for continued strength in his legs, hips, and ankles. Pray that his endurance will continue to increase. Pray that his feet will straighten out and that he will be able to walk on them correctly. Pray that his learning will increase and his memory will continue to improve. Pray for healing of his vision and his diabetes. Please pray specifically that Jonathan will be able to lose some weight. Our goal is 5 pounds this month. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but most of us know how tough just 5 pounds can be. Pray that we will be diligent and disciplined as we help him try to accomplish this goal. Please continue to pray specifically for his emotional healing. Pray that he will be able to think of ways to handle situations before crying, and that he will be able to leave Mom and do things without having to have his family with him. Pray that he will grow more confident in his ability to do things on his own. Also pray that we will be able to see significant improvement and accomplishment during these last weeks of therapy. Thank you so much for your continued prayer support for us. We are grateful for each of you who hold us up with your prayers. We continue to trust in the Lord, stand on His promises, and pray believing that we will see Jonathan’s complete healing revealed. Thank you for believing with us. Isaiah 40:28-31 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

After a very busy beginning of the week last week, we have been able to slow down a bit since I last wrote. The weekend was very low key. We just stayed home pretty much most of the weekend and got some things done around our house. Jonathan did very well playing on his own or with his sisters while Mom and Dad worked in the yard most of the afternoon on Friday. One of our Aunts came over and Jonathan and the girls went with her to help wash our cars. Jonathan usually doesn’t go too many places unless Mom goes with him, but he went two different times to wash cars without Mom coming along. That was a nice change. On Saturday, we enjoyed watching Jonathan joke around and goof off more than we have in a long time. It was refreshing to see some of that goofy little boy in him that we used to enjoy a lot. We had much better, less emotional days over the weekend which was also nice. I guess maybe his extreme emotional days, and his unsteadiness last week may have been a result of our busy schedule. It is easy to forget that we must continue to take things at a slower pace than we use to, until he gets a little more strength and confidence. On Sunday, we went to our church in the morning and to First Baptist Dallas in the evening for a concert of hymns. Some of our Aunts and Uncles are in the choir and orchestra, and we always enjoy going to hear them sing and play. Jonathan has a strong desire to play the drums. This is not new, but he seems to talk about it an awful lot these days. Uncle Tim plays the drums, and after the concert, he let Jonathan play on the drums for a few minutes. He helped him out some, but Jonathan really sounded great! He is more determined than ever to have a drum set, so I’m sure we’ll be keeping that in mind. Over the weekend, we talked with Jonathan about working on losing some weight. We feel like if he can lose some of the weight he has put on, it will help bring his blood sugar down more regularly and help him in his therapy. He is very positive about it and has spent the last couple of days really trying to eat some different, healthier things in place of the things he usually eats. Our goal is to lose 5 pounds this month. Mom and Dad have decided that if Jonathan can do it, they will do it with him. So we are diligently working on reaching that goal. On Monday, we had lunch and visited with a friend of ours and her baby boy. It was nice to get out for a few hours and hang out with some of our friends. Plus, her husband plays the drums and they have a set at their house! So needless to say, there was much drum noise in the house that afternoon! Jonathan is still doing a very good job in school. He works very hard and never complains. There are times when we have to just put things down and pick them up the next day, because he just doesn’t get it. But when we pick it up the next day, he tries again and usually does fine. Today, he spent some time reading some books on his own. That was a first too. He usually doesn’t try any reading or writing without being asked to do it, since neither come very easy for him because of his vision. But he asked to spend time reading on his own twice today. So we are very pleased with his progress in school thus far. Monday night we decided to have Jonathan start sleeping again in his own bed in his room instead of in the bed that we have had in our room. He did fine, of course, so we plan to get rid of the bed in our room this weekend. He has also made it more than a week without any accidents at night. We are so thankful for these successes. Today was a big day in many ways for Jonathan at therapy. Mrs. Dana was back from maternity leave and today was our last day with Mrs. Heather. Jonathan has been very excited to have Mrs. Dana back, but we are going to miss Mrs. Heather a lot. Jonathan had Mrs. Heather for a couple of weeks right before we left the OCH in Dallas, so it has been great to have her again later on in the process. She has worked very diligently with Jonathan and we have seen great improvement in him during these last 2 months. God has faithfully hand picked all of our therapists to be just the right people that Jonathan needed for this process. Jonathan walked right in and walked several laps across the exercise mats in the gym. He was much stronger and much more stable this week than last week. He got to work on the platform swing again as well as jump on the mini trampoline, which he did last week but I think I forgot to share. Our friend that we visited on Monday has a mini trampoline that she is going to let us use to work with at home. Jonathan is able to jump very well on it on both feet as well as one foot at a time. He can practice running on it too. After that he did his exercises on the ball, did some squats while picking up things, walked on the balance line and balanced on both feet and one foot at a time. Another special thing at therapy today was that the speech therapist, Ms. Sarah, brought her dog Walker up to the office. This was his first day in the office as a therapy dog. So she let Jonathan work with Walker during his therapy today. Ms. Sarah would set a toy down in front of Jonathan, he would squat down to pick it up, throw it down the hall and Walker would go retrieve it and bring it back to Jonathan. Walker got to work on his skills while Jonathan worked on his too. Mrs. Heather has faithfully worked with Jonathan on getting up off the floor without holding on to anything. Today she worked with him on putting one leg up and pushing up on that knee to get up. We are so thankful for Mrs. Heather. Mrs. Dana will be back working with Jonathan next week. After dinner tonight, Jonathan got his scooter and we rode up and down our street once. He did a great job with it! He only fell twice, and they weren’t real bad falls either. But he was able to put both feet on the scooter and coast and he got pretty good speed both down and up hill. That will be very good exercise for him now that the weather is a little nicer to be out in. God has been good to us again this week and we are humbled and so very grateful for all that He helps Jonathan accomplish each week. I hope you will continue to lift him up in prayer. Please pray for our diligence and his determination to eat healthy and that God would bless us by allowing us to lose the 5 pounds we have set as a goal for this month. Pray that his blood sugar will be within normal range and that it will continue to improve as we work on his eating and activity level. Pray that he will continue to improve in school and will continue to initiate activities on his own. Pray that he will not resist doing things that he is asked to do because he thinks he can’t, but that he will approach things with a positive attitude and try, knowing that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. Continue to pray for his emotional healing. It has been evident that you have prayed for that this week because we have seen it get better with each passing day. There are still times when we have to deal with it, but they have not been as frequent and we are seeing more positive responses to situations instead of crying. Continue to pray for increased strength in his hips, legs and ankles. Pray for healing of his vision and his diabetes. We are so grateful for your continued prayers. We could not make it each week without your faithful intercession for us. Jonathan will recite this verse at Awana tomorrow and I leave you with it tonight.

Psalm 78:4 - We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength, and His wonderful works that He hath done. We praise the name of the Lord!