Wednesday, November 30, 2005

This past week was probably the most precious Thanksgiving week we have ever share together as a family. There were many times that we were overwhelmed with gratefulness at what the Lord has graciously done in our lives this year. We hope that your Thanksgiving was as precious as ours was. Life itself is incredibly precious, as we have been reminded this year. We spent the day Wednesday getting ready for Thanksgiving Day. There was no church or Awana, so we spent the evening at home together as well. Thursday morning we woke up, started cooking and spent the morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Mom’s side of the family came over to our house for lunch. Some of our family has not seen Jonathan since May, so it was nice to be able to share with them how great Jonathan has done these last few months. After having a nice dinner and visit with them, we made our way to Dad’s family for our second Thanksgiving Dinner of the day. Elizabeth, Sarah and Jonathan’s great-grandma, Mamaw, was here from Mississippi, and this was the first time she had seen Jonathan since Christmas last year, just days before Jonathan became ill. Needless to say, she didn’t even recognize him. Overall, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. On Friday, we got out our Christmas decorations which is a tradition for our family. We put up our beautiful Christmas tree and other Christmas decorations. It seems like just yesterday that we had our Christmas tree up. It was the only thing from Christmas last year that was still up when Jonathan came home from the hospital in April. But we are glad to have it up again. On Friday evening, Elizabeth, Sarah and Jonathan got to go with their Aunt Keby to the Texas Tornadoes Hockey game in Frisco. They all had a wonderful time, and they were able to stay for the entire game. Jonathan called us when it was over, very excited because the Texas Tornadoes won 4 to 1! He seemed to do very well away from us that evening. Lamar and I went and did some Christmas shopping. It’s not often that we have time alone, just the two of us, so it was a nice time for us. On Saturday, Jonathan and Dad spent several hours at Grandpa and Grandma Cooper’s house visiting with Mamaw. Later in the afternoon, Aunt Keby took the kids to see a movie, and Lamar and I got to do some more shopping and spend some more time, just the two of us. Wow! Two days in a row! That’s a record this year. We went to church on Sunday, but since it was a holiday weekend, there were no hand bells or choir. Jonathan went with Sarah to their class on Sunday evening, so I was able to go to church and hear about God’s provision in our lives, which we have witnessed in an unusual way this year. On Monday, we started back to school and we are working hard for these three weeks to stay on schedule so we can finish strong before Christmas break. All the kids are doing so well in school. I am so proud of them all. I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to be back to schooling at home, since we missed it earlier this year. I love and treasure the time I get to spend with my kids, even if it is doing school work. As soon as we finished our schoolwork, we got to go shopping with Grandma Cooper and Mamaw for the rest of the afternoon. It is always fun to go shopping with Grandmas! We had a great time spending time with them. To finish off the day, we got to have dinner at their house with them. Today, Jonathan did a great job at therapy. Mamaw was his special guest today. She got to come watch Jonathan work out and see what all he has done and learned to do over these last few months. Instead of going straight down to the gym, Jonathan worked up in the office first. He stood on the balance disc while we played the alphabet game again as he worked on his balance. After that he did several types of jumps on the mini trampoline. Then he got to swing on one of the therapy swings. He laid down on his stomach on the swing and Mrs. Dana threw him a long cloth. He climbed up the cloth with his hands and then she would tell him to let go and he would swing back and forth on the swing. Not only does it work the muscles in the arms, but it works all the muscles in his back and shoulders also. He seemed to enjoy this. He was pretty tired when we headed downstairs to the treadmill at the very end of his therapy, and he was not real sure he wanted to do any running today. But we encouraged him to do some so Mamaw could see how well he was doing. He ran a minute and a half at 4.0 today which was pretty good considering how tired he was by that time. We were proud of him for trying.
I have been reminded daily in my devotions this week of the goodness and faithfulness of God to us as we have walked this difficult road this year. We have so much to be grateful for. Our praise will never be enough for all that God has done for us. We continue to face some challenges and we continue to ask you to pray for Jonathan as you have so faithfully done. Please continue to pray for healing of his diabetes, his vision and his brain. Pray specifically for healing and progress in controlling his eating and his weight. Pray for continued strength and endurance in his legs, feet and ankles. Pray specifically that his balance will improve as he continues to work on it. Pray that his activity level will increase and that he will learn again how to initiate activity on his own. Also, please earnestly pray for healing of his mind and peace and rest in his thoughts and dreams as he sleeps. He continues to wake up crying many times during the night. Pray that he will find deliverance from this soon. Thank you, from our hearts, for always checking in and following Jonathan’s progress and for your constant prayers on our behalf. We will never be able to adequately express how grateful we are for each of you. It is true that your prayers are the wings that have carried us through each phase of this journey. You are an incredible blessing to our family. I want to leave you with some Scriptures from Psalm 66 that I read this week. May God abundantly bless each of you. Come and see the works of God, Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men. (v.5) Bless our God, O peoples, And sound His praise abroad, Who keeps us in life, And does not allow our feet to slip. For Thou hast tried us, O God; Thou hast refined us as silver is refined. Thou didst bring us into the net; Thou didst lay an oppressive burden upon our loins. Thou didst make men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; Yet Thou didst bring us out into a place of abundance. (v.8-12) Come and hear, all who fear God, And I will tell of what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; But certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His lovingkindness from me.(v.16-20)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

God continues to bless, and we have so much to be thankful for as we head into this Thanksgiving season. Jonathan is still doing so very well in every way. Last Wednesday, we went to Awana again, and Jonathan said more verses and passed a couple more sections. This was the last week Jonathan had Mr. Terry to hang out with and help him. We will miss Mr. Terry, but we know that he will be back before the year is out. We spent Thursday and Friday working hard to finish up schoolwork so we could have Thanksgiving break this week. Friday night and Saturday morning, both the girls spent time with some friends, so Jonathan, Dad and Mom just hung out together. On Saturday morning, Jonathan wanted to go to the school park that is at the end of our neighborhood. We haven’t been there in quite a while. It’s probably a good quarter of a mile to walk to, but Jonathan was determined to go and very sure that he could handle the walk. We made it there and then sat down for a rest. There was a handicap swing that Jonathan swung on. There are several slides on the playground, and Jonathan climbed up the stairs and slid down several of them. Some of them he came down faster than others! Jonathan played on the toys and even tried to hang on the monkey bars. That was pretty tough, but he tried more than once. After playing for a while and then resting for a little bit, we made the walk back home. The walk home was a bit tougher than the walk there, and his ankles were hurting quite a bit. But it was such a neat thing for us to do something familiar that we haven’t done in a very long time. We had a good day on Sunday. Jonathan went to Sunday School, choir, and hand bells, and we had a church- wide Thanksgiving dinner in the evening. On Monday, we took the girls with us and walked to the school park again to play. Jonathan wanted to go again, so we did. It was just a tough walking there and back, and his feet and ankles hurt just as much, but he wanted to go again. He did just as good a job this time as he did the first time, plus he had a great time with his sisters with him. We are spending some time getting things ready to have family over for Thanksgiving. Jonathan is getting better at helping with things around the house. I try to give him easy jobs that I know he can do so that he doesn’t get lazy and think that everyone else has to do all the work. Today was a special therapy because Dad got to come watch Jonathan run for the first time. He ran three times, each 1 minute at 4.0 mph. Last week he only made it 2 min. and 45 sec., so he was able to beat his record again today. Back in the office, he balanced on the bubble disc that is hard to balance on while we threw the ball and played the alphabet game. He worked on stepping up and down on a step and then walking on the balance line. All of this, he did without his shoes on. She also watched him walk and said there is no sign of hyper-extension in the knees. Next week we will meet with the lady who did his new braces and see what she might suggest the next step to be, but he is not ready to be out of these just yet. Maybe next year sometime. Jonathan is still struggling walking the balance line. That is such a tough thing for him. But we will continue to pray and work on it at home and during therapy.
Although there is not much that happened this past week to share, we are thankful for the good things that did happen. Just being able to live our lives outside of the hospital is a tremendous blessing that we are mindful of each and every day. Please continue to pray for Jonathan. We still face many challenges and struggles each day and night. Please continue to pray for his complete healing in his brain, his vision and his diabetes. Pray that he will continue to gain strength and stamina in his ankles, hips and knees. Pray that whatever is causing him to be off balance would be healed and we would begin to see improvement in walking the balance line. Please continue to pray for his weight, his eating, and whatever part of his brain controls those issues to be perfectly healed. Please pray for his mind to be at rest as he sleeps each night and that whatever is causing the continued crying so frequently at night will go away. Also, please pray for good health. So far we have stayed well, but I think he is showing signs of a cold this evening, so pray that it won’t be too bad. We have so much to be thankful for each year, but especially this Thanksgiving. As we approach the year anniversary of Jonathan’s illness in just a few weeks, I hope you will join us in praising God for the awesome miracles He has done in Jonathan, and for the blessing of life. I hope you will pray for our family as well, as I know it will be a blessed, but emotional milestone for all of us. Not only are we thankful for Jonathan’s life and the miracle of healing that God has done, but we are so very thankful for each one of you who have walked this journey with us. We are so thankful for each of your prayers that have carried us through and that have moved the hand of God on our behalf. We really are a most blessed family and we are humbled by it all. We pray God’s most precious blessings on each of you and your family this holiday season. Psalm 100: Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. 3 Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, And His faithfulness to all generations.

Happy Thanksgiving With Love from the Cooper Family.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Lord has blessed us with yet another good week. It is such a blessing to be able to live our lives each day – a blessing not to be taken for granted. Jonathan is still doing very well. He is doing such a great job in school. Every day, he reads better, writes better, and continues to tackle each skill he is working on without much trouble. He is adding and subtracting large numbers and he is working on the past tense of regular and irregular verbs. He is on the third chapter of a chapter book that he is reading and we are working on comprehending what he reads and being able to retell what he has just read. Because his reading is rather choppy, sometimes it is very difficult to remember the details of what he just read. But we work on it every day and each day it gets a little better. He is doing a phenomenal job memorizing his verses in Awana. He is on the third section of his book and he learns at least 2-3 new verses each week. While he is doing very well with the routine that we have established for Awana, I caught a glimpse of how much he relies on that routine and how fearful he gets if it appears to change in any way. Last Wednesday, he began to get upset and start to cry because I was standing outside the door of his classroom talking with someone while he was sitting in a chair, just feet from the door where I was standing. After verse time, when I was about to leave, he began to get upset again because Mr. Terry was not there. But by the time we got down to the gym, he had calmed down and I was able to leave him in the gym until Mr. Terry got there. So even the smallest change is difficult for him to handle. We probably still have a long way to go on this issue, but we’ll keep working on it. Mr. Terry had to tell Jonathan that he is going to be gone for a couple of months because of his work. Jonathan has come to love and rely on Mr. Terry very much, so he is a little concerned that he is going to be gone. However, his wife, Mrs. Lori has promised to take his place and help Jonathan work on his basketball skills during game time, which is what Mr. Terry does. It’s amazing how much Mr. Terry has been able to encourage Jonathan to get up and do things. He even got him to walk up the stairs to devotion time instead of ride the elevator. We are going to miss Mr. Terry terribly, and we will be looking forward to his return. Speaking of basketball, the new Upward Basketball year is just around the corner. On Friday evening, Jonathan and Sarah went to the evaluation that is held before the teams are formed. They had to dribble with each hand, do the side shuffle, and shoot baskets from three different angles. Jonathan did pretty well on the shuffle and dribbling with the right hand. The left hand was much more difficult. But he made at least 1-2 baskets on each angle. Although he is a little apprehensive about basketball, I think he is excited about the upcoming season. At least he is very open about the fact that he can’t wait to get the uniform! Not much happened over the weekend. After being gone so much the last weekend, it was nice to stay home this weekend. Jonathan weighed in at 110 on Sunday. We actually went down a pound! Sunday also marked 1 week that we have been taking the oral medication to help with his insulin. We were told that it would take about 6 weeks before we would start seeing some results, but we have already started seeing much lower blood sugars, and have actually begun to back down a little on his insulin. Another interesting thing about this medicine is that even though he hates the way it tastes, he always remembers to tell me that he needs to take it, because I always seem to forget. There are many things that he can’t remember, but this is one thing he always seems to remember. On Monday, I got a call from Cooks with the results of his blood work. Jonathan’s A1C was 8.6 which is around what it was the last time (8.4). We expected it to be lower this time, so I’m not real sure why it wasn’t. It is suppose to be between 5-6, I think. They didn’t really have any comment about it one way or the other. As far as his thyroid and pituitary gland, both of those are functioning normally. Praise The Lord! After my initial instinct to worry about that, I remembered the promise that we received from the Lord for Jonathan’s complete healing, and I realized that in order for that promise to be true, those glands had to be functioning properly. So while I continued to pray for the results, I was able to confidently say that I knew they were just fine. Praise God for His faithfulness to fulfill His promises! Jonathan did such a great job today at therapy. He ran for a total of 2 minutes and 45 seconds! He ran for 1 minute two times and made it 45 seconds the third time at 4.0 mph. He said his knee was hurting him and I think he just got wore out that last time around. Back up in the office, he worked on balancing on one foot while throwing some colored rings, then he stood on a disc that is very difficult to balance on while throwing the discs. He also did some squats. The last thing he did was work walking on the tape line. He is still struggling with his balance on this. Mrs. Dana said it is not from weakness, but that it is probably because of the brain injury, with possibly some help from the vision issues. She kind of indicated that it may just always be like that. But we plan to continue working with him on that.
God is so very good. Each of you who pray regularly for Jonathan and for us, are so very important to us. I can’t tell you how much it encourages me to talk to you and know that you are still praying and keeping up with Jonathan. We rely so heavily on your prayers. Please continue to pray for Jonathan. Pray for continued healing of his brain, his vision and his diabetes. Pray that he will continue to excel in school and in understanding what he is learning. Pray that his memory will continue to improve. Please pray for strength in his ankles, knees, legs and hips. Pray specifically that his balance will improve, and whatever is causing it to be off will be healed. Continue to pray for his weight, his eating, and his blood sugar. Please pray specifically for his self confidence and his ability to do things on his own again. Also, please specifically pray for his sleeping. While he sleeps all night in his own bed, he wakes up crying many times each night. I don’t think he is always awake, and he always lays right back down and goes sound asleep again instantly, but something is causing him to cry. I don’t mean just a whine, but he cries hard many times. Consequently, that means that it has been a long while since I have had a night of uninterrupted sleep. Sometimes I will be up with him 4-5 times in an hour. So please pray for his sleeping to improve and whatever is causing him to cry would stop. Join us also in praising the Lord for the positive results we are seeing in the medication he is taking and in the results of the blood work that we received. We continue to trust God and believe in the healing that we have asked for, and we wait to see God reveal a little more each day. Joshua 21:45 Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass. Great is Thy faithfulness!

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

We have had a wonderful week! There are many things to share with you. Last Wednesday, after finishing school, we gathered up our things and went camping for the rest of the week. This is something our family has just recently started doing, but I can’t tell you how much we all love to go camping. It is just such a fun family time together and we treasure each of these memories our family is blessed to make. After getting everything set up, we came back to go to Awana. Jonathan is still doing a great job memorizing his verses. I think we have found a good routine that helps him get through the evening without any emotional issues. Just having me stay with him during the first 30 minutes seems to do the trick and he is able to finish out the hour without me just fine. Mr. Terry is always there for him and he and Jonathan grow to be better friends each week. Mr. Terry is such a blessing and we thank God for his love and care for Jonathan. After Awana, we went back out to the camp where we spent our first very cold night of camping. It was great! Thursday was Mom’s birthday. After we had breakfast and Daddy went to work, we all sat at the picnic table and did school work. It was a beautiful, cool morning and we had a great time together. After school, we met Daddy and went out to lunch. As we were walking to our table to be seated, Lamar and I were walking behind Jonathan. As we watched him walk, we noticed how smoothly and normally he is walking. There is a small catch in his walk, but otherwise, he looks very normal when he walks. We are in awe of how far Jonathan has come since he began to walk again. God is so good and we are humbled at His goodness to Jonathan and our family. I can’t tell you what a blessing it was for me to spend my birthday with my family. There are still many times when I thank God for the blessing of being out of the hospital. That is a gift that should never be taken for granted. Later on that evening, some of my family came and grilled out with us at the camp. We had a very nice evening together. Before everyone got there and before it got dark, Jonathan was riding his scream machine while his Uncle Tim and Grandpa Smith were watching. He was going to show everyone how he could do a U-turn on his scream machine. He headed down hill and instead of doing a U-turn, he spun out and almost turned himself over. We all pretty much nearly freaked out. He decided after that, that he was done riding for a while. As we listened to him tell the story over and over again to different people, he always said, “I spun out and almost turned over, but I felt the hand of God holding me on there and keeping me from falling off.” Those words always brought a smile to our face. We are thankful for the Lord’s watch care over Jonathan. Uncle Timmy and Aunt Keby pitched a tent and camped out with us that night. We had a great time having them with us. After breakfast on Friday, we went for a walk down a trail that the girl’s found while riding their bikes. It took us to Lake Lewisville. Jonathan walked all the way down to the lake and we sat and threw rocks in the water for about an hour. It was beautiful and the breeze was cool around the water. Friday was our 16 th anniversary. Normally, the kids would have been somewhere and Lamar and I would have spent some time by ourselves. This year was different. While I would have enjoyed the time alone, we were so grateful for the time together as a family. We spent more time away from each other this year than we have in 16 years, so we treasure every opportunity we have to be together, as each opportunity is a great gift from God. After hanging out at the water for a while, we headed back down the trail to our camper. Jonathan decided he would walk through the pebbles, the grass and all the way back to the camper without holding anyone’s hand. This is pretty good since he is hesitant to walk on his own on uneven surfaces. But he did a great job with it. Once we got back to the concrete trail, he started walking at a faster pace than the rest of us. As we were all lagging behind him, he just took off running by himself! We all almost had a heart attack! He didn’t run far, but it was the coolest thing to see him running on his own. Technically, he is not suppose to do that on his own until he is released by his therapist, but I don’t think he knew that or thought of that when he started to run. Nevertheless, it was a neat thing to watch. Later on that evening, we made a big pot of chili and Grandpa and Grandma Cooper came out and ate with us. Overall, our 16 th anniversary was a wonderful day. We had to pack up and go home on Saturday, much to everyone’s dismay. It’s so nice to get away, even if it’s only up the freeway and few miles from home. After getting back home, we showered and went to Ft. Worth for Cousin Emily and Cousin Marissa’s birthday party. We spent a few hours there and came home to get ready for Sunday. We had a good day on Sunday. Jonathan continues to do well in Sunday School, hand bells and choir. He is still getting around very well, and he decides when he wants to do things on his own or when he wants me to come with him. We finally started taking the oral medication he was prescribed on Sunday. It will be a while before we see any results from it, but we are hoping it will help to decrease his insulin intake. He is doing very well with his blood sugars. They are staying within normal range much more regularly than they ever have. We weighed in at 111 this week. Aunt Keby gave me all her Weight Watchers info so hopefully planning and keeping up with the calorie intake will be a little easier with her equipment. I was not able to get the results of his blood work yet because the doctors have to look at it first before they call us with the results and they won’t be in until Wednesday/Thursday of this week. Hopefully we will hear something then. Until then, please continue to pray about them. On Monday, we worked with the stretchy band that we got last week at therapy. He is getting use to balancing on one leg while exercising the other. He is doing better on his balance on the board and walking on the tape line. Later that evening, we went to a fund raiser to support Jonathan’s Sunday School teacher, Judge Jim Crouch. Mr. Jim and Mrs. Shirley are very special people in Jonathan’s life and very good friends to our family. We are proud to support the Crouch family and thankful for their friendship. Today, he did an awesome job in therapy. The first thing he did was go down to the gym to run on the treadmill. He was ready to beat his record, so he ran at 4.0 mph for 45 seconds, three different times. He did great! It really wears him out, but he was very proud to beat his record again. Up in the office, he jumped forward with both feet on the colored circles. Then she reset the circles and he did a hopscotch jump – jump with two feet, then jump on one foot, back to two feet, then to one, etc. That was pretty tough, but he did really well with it. She also worked balancing on the board, which he did extremely well on. Then she worked on walking on the tape line. He is still trying to learn how to shift his balance when he takes each step, but he is getting better and better each time he tries. Mrs. Dana said she has lots of things she could work on with Jonathan, so we may continue to go once a month after the first of the year. But our goal is to be finished with therapy once a week by Christmas. God has been so very good to us. We continue to see progress and accomplishments in Jonathan each and every day. There are still many things left to accomplish, but we are so encouraged by the healing that we see each day. Thank you so much for your prayers for Jonathan and for our family. Please continue to pray for his complete healing. Pray that his legs, hips and ankles will continue to get stronger. It doesn’t take much for those ankles to really start to hurt, so pray especially for strength in his ankles. Continue to pray for positive results from his blood test. Please continue to pray for his weight and for us as we try to help him achieve a healthy weight and lifestyle. Pray that he will gain more and more confidence in himself and continue to take the initiative to do things on his own. Pray that his activity level will increase. Pray that we will be patient to wait for God’s timing to know the full healing that God has in store for Jonathan. Your prayers, your love and your encouragement carry us on each and every day. We thank God for each and every one of you. We pray that as you watch God’s work in Jonathan’s life, that your faith will be strengthened and that you will always remember, no matter what you may face, that nothing is too difficult for Jehovah (Gen. 18:14a). God bless you all.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

There has been a wide variety of experiences throughout this last week to share with you. Last Wednesday, after finishing school, Jonathan got in his room and pulled out his cars and his car mat and asked me to play cars with him. Before his illness, Jonathan’s favorite thing in the whole wide world was to play cars. While he was in the hospital, every time the gift cart would come by, we would pick out a new car for him. Since he has been home from the hospital, playing cars is one of the things he has done very little of. I have longed to see him play with his cars again. I’m sure part of the reason he doesn’t play with them much is because it is so hard for him to get up and down on the floor. So it was a welcome surprise for him to want to play cars that day. Later on in the evening, we went to Awana. Each time the kids pass a page in their books, they get Awana shares that they can spend at the Awana store two or three times during the year. Jonathan had 126 shares to spend that night! Jonathan has a wonderful friend name John who comes to say hi each week and usually gives him a stack of his own shares. That’s part of the reason why Jonathan had so many shares to spend. His friend John is one of the most giving boys we have ever met and he encourages Jonathan every time he sees him. He is a true blessing. Jonathan said all the verses he planned to say, and then studied on a couple more and was able to say those to finish his next section. Very cool! He did great again, once I left him. No crying. He and Mr. Terry have become great pals, and Mr. Terry is there for him every week. They practiced some more basketball stuff during game time as well. I thank God for Mr. Terry. I already shared everything that happened at the endocrinologist on Thursday. We are still waiting for the results of the test and should be able to find out on Thursday. On Friday, we went to home school party where the kids made Thanksgiving place mats for a city wide Thanksgiving dinner for the less fortunate. After making the place mats, the kids got to share what they were thankful for. Jonathan was very thankful to be out of the hospital. He said he would forever be thankful for that! After that party, we went to a birthday party for one of our cousins. So we spent the rest of the afternoon in Ft. Worth with our family. On our way home, we were finally able to find a Halloween costume that fit Jonathan. After we got home, he tried it on and loved it. There was a little belt that went with it and Jonathan asked me if he had any pants that had belt loops on them because he wanted to wear a belt. Right now, the best thing for him is elastic waist pants because they fit better around his waist. The more he talked to me about that very simple little wish, the more discouraged he became, until he finally had a complete melt down and cried for an hour. He told me he’s not like everyone else and he’s not like he use to be and he can’t do things like everyone else can, and he cried hard for a long while. I can’t even express to you how severely that broke my heart. We all just loved on him and tried to encourage him and help him to know that God was going to help him get through this difficult part of his healing process and that he can do all things through Christ who gives him strength. He was finally able to stop crying and settle down before going to bed. That night I made a chart to just keep track of how many calories he is eating each day for the next few days. According to my research on the internet, he should have 1800 calories a day. On Saturday, I wrote down everything he ate and how many calories it contained. He ate 1600 calories as far as I can estimate. That is less than he is suppose to have, but according to the information I read, he needs to eat 500 less each day in order to lose weight. That 1600 calories really didn’t amount to a whole lot of food and I realized how very difficult this is going to be for us to accomplish. But we are determined to keep trying. On Saturday, Jonathan told me I didn’t have to come pick him up from Sunday School on Sunday, because he was going to come by himself. That was an exciting new declaration! I checked with him again Sunday morning and asked him if he was really going to do that and he said yes. So I told his teachers what he was going to do and he did exactly what he said he could do. He even stopped by the bathroom before coming to meet his Daddy in the Sanctuary. He also came from choir again on his own. We are making great progress with things at church. Monday was Halloween and we had a great time. We went Trick or Treating for about an hour before going to the Fall Festival at our church. Jonathan was a Ninja Turtle (Raphael to be exact), Sarah was a Candy Corn girl and Elizabeth was a prom queen. Aunt Sherri and Cousin Emily came over and went with us. Jonathan walked to some of the houses and rode in the wheelchair the rest of the way. Most of the time he was up and walking, he was going up and down steps, so it wore him out pretty quickly. But he hung in there and got a pretty good amount of candy – none of which was sugar free. He didn’t seem to mind; he just had a good time trick or treating. We took the wheelchair to the church and he rode around for a little while. Then he got up and walked through the gym playing games and talking to people. He was a pretty tired Turtle by the time we left. Before we went home, we went to Trick or Treat at Grandpa and Grandma Cooper’s house and to wish Uncle Chris a happy birthday. We had some birthday cake and ice cream and Grandma and Grandpa made sure he got some sugar free candy. Overall, it was a great Halloween holiday. Jonathan did such an awesome job at therapy today. He went down to the gym to run on the treadmill right off the bat. Today, he ran for 30 seconds at a time, 3 different times at 4.0 mph. Mrs. Dana stands behind him and holds his gait belt. She said he felt much better today. She said he was doing all the work and she was barely holding him up at all. I think he thought he was going to die on that last try, but he pushed through and ran a whole minute and a half today. It was great and he was very proud. Up in the office, he worked on his balance on the balance board. Then she worked on something new with him. She tied a flexible band around his ankle and had him pull his leg out sideways, backward, and forward while balancing on his other leg. This not only strengthens the leg he is moving, but also strengthens the leg he is balancing on in the hip area. She gave us a piece of this green band to take home and work on. So we have something new to work on in our therapy time each afternoon at home. Jonathan continues to make such wonderful progress each and every day. We are so grateful for the continued healing that the Lord gives us each day and we praise Him for all the wonderful works that He has done. Sometimes it is easy to get overwhelmed when we look at the size of the mountains that we still have left to climb. I have been overcome with emotion as I have prayed for Jonathan each day since he cried about a his weight the other night. Some of these things seem impossible to overcome. I know we can’t do it without God’s help. And I also know that He will do just that. I am reminded of a song that says: “Got any mountains you think are impossible? Got any rivers you can tunnel through? God specializes in things thought impossible and He will do what no other power can do.” So we continue to rest on His promises and feed on His faithfulness to continue to bring healing to every part of Jonathan that needs it. Please continue to pray for his strength, his balance, his weight, his diabetes, his vision, his brain, his emotions, his thyroid, his pituitary gland, his memory, and his schooling. Pray that we will run with patience as we continue to journey down this road that God has taken us on. On Sunday as I stood in the service praying for Jonathan, we were singing: “Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.” We praise the Lord for His unfailing love and faithfulness to us. We praise Him for all of you whose faithfulness to lift us up in prayer has brought us through this incredible experience. We love you all.