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.

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