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.

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