Sunday, December 24, 2006

We hope this Christmas Eve finds you and your family well and enjoying this wonderful season. We had a good, full, busy week and there is much to tell you. Monday was Grandma Smith’s birthday, so we spent most of our day in Ft. Worth. In the middle of the day we went to see the gait specialist at Cooks. We went, not really knowing what to expect. Jonathan was a little nervous but Uncle Timmy went with us and helped to distract him. There was about 5-6 people who came in to talk to us about Jonathan; one was Dr. Marks and several other PT and OT therapists. I began to recount the events of the past two years and we discussed many things about Jonathan. They watched him walk and run and moved his feet around to see how far up and down they could get his feet to go. They told us that the left foot could move to about 90 degrees and he likes to see it at 100 degrees. That should be achievable with some extra exercise on that foot. The right foot, however, will never work properly without surgery to lengthen the muscle or whatever it is in the back of the foot. The reason his foot turns out is because it can’t move forward or upward properly, therefore it pulls it outward in order to function. Although I didn’t know what to expect, I definitely didn’t expect to hear this. He said there was no reason to even consider dealing with that right now because he was much more concerned with his weight gain. Of all the doctors we have seen to date, this guy was more concerned with his weight gain than anyone else has been. He started throwing out all the possible diseases that he could have that would have caused this weight gain – thyroid problems, damaged pituitary glands, cushings disease, and some new disease that I have never heard of called prader willie (?). I told him that we had just had blood drawn to check the thyroid but I had not heard back from the doctors about the results (and I still haven’t heard back from anyone yet). I also told him that I would not be returning to Cook’s endocrinology either because I did not feel Jonathan was getting the individual care he needed to be getting regarding this weight issue. So this doctor wants to do an MRI and have blood work done to check the cushings and this prader willie thing, which means Jonathan will have to have blood drawn again. And then he wants to see us back again in January. I don’t have to tell you how this visit affected me. You all know me well enough from two years worth of journaling to know that I hate doctor visits that end up like this. So many things are thrown at you at one time and I am not able to process things that easily that quickly and it completely overwhelms me. Jonathan’s hopes of an easy solution to his walking issues were completely demolished as we walked out of the room. It was all I could do to keep him from crying. He was so discouraged and very disappointed. I managed not to cry in front of him because I didn’t want to upset him anymore. He has such a strong faith even in the midst of such discouragement. He knew I was upset and probably knew that when I disappeared, I was off crying somewhere. Whenever I returned, he would stop and hug me and tell me things were going to be okay. Oh if I could only believe like Jonathan believes. As I have gone throughout this week, I have been able to process all of this better and I’m not so discouraged by it as I was originally. The MRI is scheduled for Jan. 9 at 4:30. I was very firm with the doctor about our caution in doing anything that would require anesthesia, so he suggested we do it without. He will have to lie still for 20 minutes in order to have it done. We also have a lab sheet to have these other two blood tests done but were told to wait until they heard back about the thyroid. Our return visit to this doctor will be Jan. 17. We are in desperate need of your prayers regarding all of this. First of all, please pray that I will have time to do some research regarding all of this and that I will know whether to keep these appointments or not. Please pray that I will be able to find a new doctor that will be able to help us as we pursue the help that Jonathan needs regarding his weight. Pray that I will not be afraid to go through with all of this but that I will trust God to orchestrate these events just as He has so faithfully done throughout this entire experience. Also, begin to pray now for Jonathan as he has to have blood drawn again. Pray for whomever we will encounter that will do it as well as Jonathan’s peace about having it done. Begin now to pray for him that he will be able to handle this MRI without any problem and that he will be able to lie perfectly still without any trouble. I am asking God and Believing God that each of the diseases that they are testing him for will come back negative and that the MRI films will bear witness to God’s miraculous healing of Jonathan’s brain. And one last thing regarding all of this is to pray that we will trust God to provide for us financially throughout all of this. Remember the Scripture that I shared with you last time?
2 Corinthians 1:9-11- Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers.
This is another crisis of belief that God has brought our way to cause us to rely on Him to deliver us and to gain strength from your prayers for us. The promise is that: Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. I am looking forward to sharing with you how God is going to deliver us and show Himself strong on our behalf through this situation. Please pray and Believe with us!
Well, Tuesday we went caroling at the nursing home with our home school friends. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed ministering to the precious people there. Later on that night, Jonathan had his drum lesson and did very well. On Wednesday, we welcomed home Grandpa Cooper and Uncle Chris from Israel. It is great to have them home. The rest of the day Wednesday and all day Thursday was spent finishing up our Christmas shopping. Friday we wrapped all our presents and Saturday we did our baking. On Saturday evening we visited with all the extended family on the Smith side. This morning we had a wonderful service at church. It was awesome to see the entire church full of people. The rest of our day was spent just hanging out with our family and getting ready for Santa to come tonight. I just love Christmas! We are looking forward to a wonderful day tomorrow with all our family.
We want all of you to know how much we love you and how thankful we are for all of you who have loved us and carried us through these past two years. Without the “prayers of so many” we would not be where we are today. So we want to wish each of you a wonderful Christmas and God’s most wonderful blessings in this New Year. We also want to invite each of you to join us again this year on Saturday, December 30, to celebrate the wonderful things that God has done in our lives throughout 2006. Last year we did this on the anniversary of Jonathan’s illness and it was such a precious time for our family to have so many of you join us in celebrating God’s gift of healing in Jonathan’s life. While this year’s event will also be on the same anniversary, I want it to be a time when we all can look back over the year and share how God has worked miracles in our lives. Miracles are all around us and our God is great and greatly to be praised. So we want to invite you to come fellowship with us and come ready to honor our Lord with testimonies of His love, faithfulness, provision and miracles in your lives. May God bless each of you with a very Merry Christmas!

All our love – The Cooper Family

Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts toward us; There is none to come with Thee; If I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous to count. Psalm 40:5

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Well, this has been an interesting week for us. We finished up our schooling for the most part and are very much looking forward to Christmas break. The girls have a couple of tests to take on Monday/Tuesday but for the most part we are done. I am praying for and anticipating a better start after the first of the year. On Monday, Jonathan had his drum lesson. He continues to do very well and works hard to improve his skills and learn new things that Mr. Brian teaches him. On Tuesday, Jonathan had a follow up visit with the eye doctor. The doctor had just returned from a low vision conference which he attended with Jonathan in mind. He received a lot of information about new technology that is available for people with low vision issues. He seemed very excited about the available possibilities for Jonathan. He did not have time to process all the information and check it all out before our appointment, so he is in the process of doing that now and is suppose to get back with me in a couple of weeks with his recommendations. Right now Jonathan just uses a store bought magnifier to help him read. The doctor said he needs a particular magnification based on his vision and the corrective glasses that he is wearing. He is supposed to be figuring out what that is so that we will know what kind of magnifier he needs. Of course, all this wonderful new technology means that it costs quite a bit. But God made Jonathan’s eyes and He knows his needs better than any of us do, so I have no choice but to trust Him to heal Jonathan’s eyes or to provide the means for us to obtain whatever he needs. On Wednesday, we went to visit Santa in the afternoon. I told you last time that Jonathan and I had been talking about the gift he would wish for that money could not buy. That gift for him would be his healing. In talking about that, I told him that I didn’t think that Santa would be the one who would bring him that, but I also didn’t think that God would mind him telling Santa that this was his wish. Well, as we were approaching Santa, Jonathan asked me if he should tell Santa what we talked about and I told him yes if he wanted to. He had not said anything to his sisters or anyone else about this, so they had no idea what he was going to tell Santa. So after visiting with Santa and taking their pictures with him, I asked Jonathan what he said. He told Santa that he wanted some high top tennis shoes (which is a top item on his Christmas list) but most of all he wanted to be healed. Jonathan said he just looked at him, sat back and said, “Okay.” I’m not sure Santa knew what to say. Jonathan is not bashful when sharing with others about his needs and desires regarding his situation. Nor is he hesitant to share his faith and belief in the only One who can meet those needs and fulfill those desires. This precious boy blesses me, speaks to me, challenges me, and helps me with his love and trust in the Lord. That evening, Jonathan finished up Awanas by completing the third chapter in his book. He worked very hard and was able to pass the 8 sections of this chapter in about 3 weeks; that included about 6 individual verses, the 10 Commandments and saying all the books of the Bible in under 2 minutes. He is doing such a great job. On Thursday, he had his second basketball practice. This is no play time for Jonathan. Coach Ben works him hard. He expects the same hard work and effort from Jonathan as he does from the rest of the team. The boys are very encouraging to Jonathan and they have picked up right where they left off last year. Uncle Timmy and Aunt Keby came to watch some of his practice and that just urges Jonathan to work even harder when there are others there watching him. We spent the day today helping to decorate Grandpa Cooper’s house for Christmas while he is away in Israel. He and Uncle Chris will be returning this coming Wednesday so we are working to get everything finished before they get home. Tomorrow will be a busy day for us at church. If you are at home around 6 pm tomorrow evening you can hear the Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra present “Gloria, the Wonder of Christmas” on KCBI 90.9 fm. We will be presenting it at 3 pm as well but I’m not sure if it will be aired on the radio then or not. This will be my first concert with the choir since returning to First Baptist and I can hardly wait.
I hope you will be in prayer for us on Monday afternoon as Jonathan goes to see the gait specialist at Cooks. I’m not sure what to expect. I just know that it is like a clinic where all the therapists get together and evaluate him at one time. Please pray for wisdom for them and that they will be able to offer the specific help that Jonathan needs to help him improve his walking. Please pray that Jonathan will not be nervous. He seems excited about going because he is expecting them to help him with his walking. He seems ready to do whatever is necessary to improve his walking. Please pray for me that I will have wisdom and discernment as I consider their suggestions and the options available for him. Please continue to pray for his diet and exercise. His blood sugars were better this week so his body must have adjusted to not taking the glucaphauge. Also pray for me as I try to spend some time over the Christmas break researching and seeking the direction that God has for us to take regarding his diabetes. Pray that God will lead me very specifically to the right people/person that we need to help us with his diabetes and his weight loss.
I said at the beginning that this has been an interesting week for us. While things have gone well and have been positive on one hand, we have found ourselves in the midst of another crisis of belief in our family. This time last year we found ourselves praying for God’s financial provision for our family. We watched as He faithfully provided all that we needed to meet our financial commitments for the year. It has been another wonderful stone of remembrance for me throughout this year as I have reflected on God’s faithfulness to us in that particular situation. This year we are back in the same situation, although at a much more sever degree that we have ever been in our family. Worry has been close at hand as I have been praying and crying out to God for His provision and deliverance for us again. I am almost finished with my Believing God Bible Study and this week, God has spoken to me on several occasions regarding this very issue. I don’t know why I’m always so amazed when God does that. I know I have shared these verses with you before; I even have Jonathan’s name written out beside them in my Bible. But this time they spoke to me about this particular situation in our family. I want to share them with you.

2 Corinthians 1:9-11- Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

We have felt this “sentence of death” in our family a number of times over these last couple of years. Death has come to mean many different things to me. Right now, our sentence of death is our desperate financial situation. But the verse says that “this happened so that we would not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” I can’t tell you the number of times I have prayed for God’s provision this week while at the very same time there were thoughts running through my mind of how I can handle this if God happens to not come through. Am I a dork or what? I’ve been there, I’ve done that and God drastically showed me who was in control 2 years ago when Jonathan became ill. We can’t do this on our own; it is God who raises the dead. Verse 10 says that it is God who has delivered us in the past and he will continue to deliver us, therefore our hope is set on Him. And not just that, but we are being helped because there are so many of you praying for us and yet again we will all give thanks for the gracious favor that He will grant us in answer to our prayers. Because of your prayers, you share a significant part of the miracles that God performs in our lives. I have quoted this Scripture over and over again and it gives me courage and strength to stand in faith and Believe God yet again for what we need. You may be at a crisis of belief in your life with a sentence of death in your heart. Take heart – it is God who raises the dead! Set your hope on Him. May God give you a blessed week.

John 15:7-9 7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. 8 "By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

This has been a busy week but a good week for us here. There has been something to do every day or night this week, so it’s been “one of those weeks.” This is a busy time of year, and even though it’s busy, there are many times that I find myself reliving the events in my mind of that Christmas two years ago and I can’t help but stop and realize how blessed we are to be here today, enjoying this season, even with all it’s busyness. God has been so good to us. After the wonderful snow and ice we enjoyed last week, Jonathan had his first Sunday School Christmas party to go to. On Friday night we went to the church and had his Christmas party in the skating rink. After eating hot dogs, most of the kids got out there and just had a great time skating or running around and hanging out with each other. Jonathan wanted to try to skate, so we strapped on some skates and gave it a try. It took us forever to get around the rink just one time! But he never gave up. He kept working at it until he made it all the way around. The kids were all very sweet and I can’t even count the number of kids that skated around him and said hi to him and encouraged him in this. It completely wore me out! He held on to the side and I held on to him. But I’m so glad he made it around the rink. That was all we could handle for the evening, so we just hung out on the side for the rest of the evening. It amazes me how many people know who Jonathan is and always speak to him. The usual conversation goes something like this…Someone will walk by and say, “Hey Jonathan,” and I’ll say to him, “Who was that?” And he says, “I don’t know.” When people see him, adults and children alike, they are just drawn to speak to him. It is such an encouragement to him and makes him feel so special. I have always marveled at that, but I feel so blessed that so many people take the time to love him and speak to him. One of the highlights of the evening was when Santa came by to visit and pass out toys to everyone who was there. Jonathan wasted no time in getting close to him to hug him and tell him what he wanted to for Christmas. Santa came by and talked to him several other times before he left and assured him that those high top tennis shoes he is asking for will be under his tree for Christmas! It was a fun night and a special night for him as this was the first time we went to a party for him instead of for one of our social girls. We slept in on Saturday and hung out together for most of the day until we had to take Sarah to her Sunday School Christmas party. After that, we spent the evening at Grandpa Cooper’s house with the rest of the family. We had dinner together and spent a couple of hours going through Grandma’s jewelry and some other things that were divided up among us. While it was something we never wanted to have to do, it was a pleasant evening looking at all her special things and hearing the stories behind each one. On Monday we started another busy week of school and then spent some time at Grandma and Grandpa Smith’s house celebrating our Cousin Mariah’s 6 th birthday. On Tuesday, we were back in Ft. Worth early in the morning for Jonathan’s regular endocrine appointment. There was some good news and some not so good news. The good news is that his weight gain has slowed significantly compared to the last several visits. Instead of gaining 6-7 pounds each three months, he only gained about 2 this time. So even though it was not a loss, we were still encouraged by that. We saw a new doctor this time. He was very nice but I have decided that we will not return to Cooks again. I left as discouraged and frustrated as I do every time I leave there. We continue to have problems just getting his A1C (average blood sugar) test done and this time we had to go and have blood drawn again. This was to check his thyroid (since he has gained so much weight) and some metabolic profile (I’m not sure what that is). He informed us that we would have to have that checked every three months because he takes glucaphauge which causes liver damage and renal failure. This was the first time I had been informed of that and he has been taking that for almost a year now. That really bothered me. My sweet little boy goes through so much every day that I refuse to put him through any unnecessary stress, and having blood drawn has not been an easy thing for him in the past. We haven’t had it done in a year, but our last experience was not a pleasant one. After we got back to my parent’s house, I sat in my car, fighting back the tears, asking God if we had to do this. I felt like this was something we needed to go ahead and do, so I talked to Jonathan and told him I had prayed about it and felt like God wanted us to go do this. He said okay, although he was very nervous about it. The first time they stuck him, they got nothing. The girl was good enough not to try a second time, but got someone else to try. The second girl worked for quite a while before sticking him and got it on the first try. Jonathan never cried or got upset. He was very calm the whole time. We told both of the girls that since he had such a bad experience the last time, we were praying for them that they would be able to get it quickly. Jonathan’s veins are very hard to find. He told the second girl where his vein was and she agreed with him. But it was very deep and she didn’t want to go that deep so she found another place and did it perfectly. He never even bruised in either place that they stuck him. Tuesday was a difficult day for me. There was a battle between my faith and belief in my God who has done the impossible in Jonathan’s life and the reality that he must struggle with these issues every day of his life. That joy in believing (Rom. 15:13) was overshadowed by the doubt and discouragement of Jonathan’s situation. My eyes of faith were dimmed once again by what my eyes can only see. It is a dangerous place to be. I can’t tell you how many times I turned my face away from Jonathan, swallowed that lump in my throat and blinked back the tears as I asked God, “Why this precious little boy? Why not me?” God was faithful to carry me through that day and to show Himself strong on Jonathan’s behalf as he dealt with all that the day brought, including having his blood taken. Jonathan is such a testimony to me of unwavering faith. Yes, there are time when he comments on how he has prayed for God to heal him but He hasn’t done it yet. Just last night he was talking about believing God for his healing and that he seems to be on a journey to find this moment of healing in his life. When we are in the car sometimes we hear people calling in on KLTY to share the gift they would like to give or receive this Christmas that money cannot buy. Jonathan has commented several times that the gift that he would like to receive that would be the greatest gift ever for him would be his healing. I pray that God will help me Believe Him as much as this 10 year old little boy Believes God. This week Jonathan started Upward basketball practice on Thursday nights. He has been counting down the days for weeks now waiting for this to come. He has the same coaches this year as he did last year and many of the same boys are on his team again this year. He had a great time. His coaches were so encouraging from the very beginning, telling him how much better he was running, how he looked like he had lost some weight, and they got right down to the business of working on their basketball skills. This is such a good thing for Jonathan to be part of. His coaches are very aware of his limitations, and yet they push him to move beyond those limitations and they help him build confidence in himself as he works to be a vital part of their team. We are looking forward to seeing him grow significantly during this basketball season. On Saturday, the kids had rehearsal all morning long for their Christmas program last night. Aunt Keby picked them all up and kept them during the day so that Lamar and I could get some Christmas shopping done. Jonathan did fine and Lamar and I enjoyed some time together. We enjoyed the Sounds of Christmas that all the children’s choirs presented last night at church. It was such a neat thing to watch. All of the choirs from the preschool to the high school filled the stage and the entire choir loft and sang the opening song together. Sarah had a little solo in that song and did a beautiful job. We are so proud of her. Jonathan did a great job of remembering all the words to all his songs. And Elizabeth looked and sounded beautiful with her choir as well. After the music was done, we moved to the plaza and heard the Christmas story read as we watched it unfold in the nativity windows of one of the buildings. Sarah was one of the heavenly hosts of angels in the very top window. It was a beautiful sight and very effective. Afterward, we had some pictures taken in the Sanctuary of our family that hopefully will be on our Christmas card soon and then we had dinner together with our family and some of our friends.
Well, thanks so much for checking on us and for continuing to faithfully pray for our family. There are several things you can pray for Jonathan this week. Pray that we will continue to be diligent on our diet and exercise program. We are thankful for the progress we are seeing, but pray that God will allow us to see some weight loss soon as we continue to work hard toward this goal. Pray for Jonathan’s blood sugars as well. I quit giving him the glucaphauge after learning that it causes liver damage and renal failure. This has caused his blood sugar to run higher than usual. Pray that God will adjust this in his system and that his body will process the insulin effectively as it needs to. Also pray that God will give us wisdom and direction as we seek another doctor for him and that if there is something natural that we can give him that will help his body process the insulin more effectively but will not potentially damage his body, that this information will be made known to us. Pray that we will all continue to walk by faith, believing and trusting God for Jonathan’s life and future instead of focusing on what our eyes can see. Also please pray for our family that we will trust God to provide for the significant needs that we have as we near the end of the year again. God provided so incredibly for us last year and we are looking to Him for His provision again this year. Jonathan also has an eye doctor appointment on Tuesday. Please pray for that as I’m not sure what to expect from this appointment. Thank you for the blessing of your friendship and your prayers throughout this year. You are wonderful and we thank God for each of you.

Hebrews 6:17-20 17 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18 in order that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Friday, December 1, 2006

You are warmly invited to join our family again, at the close of this year, as we celebrated the goodness and faithfulness of God in our lives throughout 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
6 pm – 8 pm
The Cooper’s House
1665 Niagara Blvd.
Lewisville , TX 75077
Bring your family and join us for food, fellowship and a special time to share and praise God for His miraculous works in our lives during this past year.
We hope you will come and join us!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wow! What an awesome day! We absolutely loved the snow and ice! We love it because we hardly ever get any so it’s always exciting when it comes. I love it because it forces us to stay in and we get to spend the whole day together as a family just hanging out and enjoying each other. This morning the kids and I actually got out and ran to the grocery store to get some stuff to make chicken gumbo for dinner. It was snowing when we went into the store and sleeting when we came out. It was kind of fun being out in it since the roads were not frozen, but we quickly made our way home to stay for the rest of the day. Lamar had to go into work for the morning but was able to come home for the rest of the day. The kids played outside for a while this afternoon until they were frozen. Then after dinner we all watched a movie together. It was a perfect day. When my heart is content like this, I can’t tell you how many times I send up a thank you to my Heavenly Father for the fact that my family is all together and we are home and not in the hospital. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feelings of those 3 ½ months that our family was apart and away from home while Jonathan was in the hospital. The first month that Jonathan was in the hospital we had a friend who stayed at our house while we were staying near the hospital in a hotel. She told me how much she loved staying at our house because it was so peaceful. I will say that I had never thought of my house as peaceful before but it caused me to stop and think. We may be in the midst of chaos and stress and trials and even sadness and discouragement, but there is peace and contentment in my home, especially when we are there together. How much I have to be thankful for! Well, we have had a great week this week. Let me back up to Thanksgiving. We had a good day overall on Thanksgiving. We had lunch and spent some time with my side of the family at my cousin David and Allison’s house in Ft. Worth. It was kind of nice for me not to have to have my house all clean for everyone although I always enjoy having everyone over. Lamar actually had our Christmas tree put together on Wednesday and it was waiting to be decorated. After visiting with my family, we left and went to Grandpa Cooper’s house for dinner. We got there late in the afternoon and stayed for a little while. We enjoyed our dinner with him but it was definitely not the same holiday it would have been with Mom there. Unfortunately, Aunt Ruth got sick and could not come, so the family was not complete. Dad did a wonderful job of making Mom’s dressing and having a meal like we would always have. It made me cry to hear him pray and thank God for His blessings and to tell Mom that we loved her and we were missing her. I can’t think of any other way to say it than there was an air of sadness that filled the place. We didn’t dwell on that sadness or wallow in it, but you could sense its presence there. But God was also there and He faithfully carried us through another “first” in this process. As it has been the custom for us these past few years, the girls end up spending the night with my cousin’s kids on Thanksgiving night. We don’t get to see them often, so this has become a special thing for them. This year was no different, so after leaving Grandpa Cooper’s house, we took them to spend the night at their house. Lamar, Jonathan and I spent the rest of the evening together and spent our Friday morning decorating the house for Christmas. After picking the girls up at lunch, we decorated our Christmas tree (which looks absolutely beautiful!) and finished most of the decorating before one of Sarah’s friends came to spend the night Friday night. After she arrived we went back to Grandpa Cooper’s house for Thanksgiving leftovers. Aunt Ruth was feeling much been and was able to be there, so we were all there together on Friday evening. The sadness was gone and we all enjoyed our time together there. The kids, both young and old, spent most of the evening playing the new Nintendo Wii game that Uncle Christ just got. They had a blast and I enjoyed sitting there watching them. We spent Saturday doing random things and Sunday was a typical, busy Sunday for us. We ended the weekend watching our favorite Christmas movie, White Christmas. We were able to take a break from school Wednesday through Sunday, so that gave me a little time to regroup and make plans for the next 3 weeks of school before we break for Christmas. This has been the first “good” week of school we have had so far this year! Not everything has gone as planned, but I feel good about this week of school. I have not had many of those feelings so far this year so I have been thanking God for being able to handle my life fairly adequately this week. It has been a busy week. On Monday we had dentist appointments in the morning and a drum lesson in the evening. Jonathan continues to progress well in his drumming and he absolutely loves it. On Tuesday evening, while I was in choir rehearsal, the kids were with Uncle Timmy watching a rehearsal of the Gift of the Magi that a group from our church is doing. Uncle Timmy is playing percussion and Jonathan’s choir teacher is one of the characters in the play. While the girls were completely engrossed in the play, Jonathan was helping Uncle Timmy play his instruments. Tim let Jonathan help him play the tympani drums. Jonathan was so proud he could hardly stand it. On Wednesday night after Awana, the kids went to watch the rehearsal again, and of course, Jonathan was right in Uncle Timmy’s shadow eager to help play some more. My brother is just wonderful with Jonathan and he very calmly and coolly lets Jonathan step in and play, never worried about what it will sound like. Jonathan is pretty good and picks things up fairly easily, so he usually doesn’t sound too bad. The best thing is that Jonathan learns so much about drumming when Tim lets him play and his admiration for his special uncle grows with each experience. I got to stand back and watch Jonathan play for a few minutes before we left. He did so well and I’m as proud of him as he is to get to play. Before we left Jonathan told Tim several times that if he ever needed any help to just call him and he would be happy to assist him. He made me laugh. What a special child this little boy of mine is! We are still working on our diet and exercise. Jonathan and I have walked every day this week, except today. You should go on a walk with us sometime. Jonathan talks to me the whole time about whatever happens to be on his mind at the time. I usually just walk and listen. One day he told me about all his favorite parts of his favorite TV shows and movies. But my favorite was listening to him share with me his thoughts about God healing him. He fully believes with his whole heart that God is going to heal him. He is willing to keep working on things and keep waiting on God, but he is sure that God will heal him one day. He told me that every night when he prays he asks God for healing for me and his Daddy as well. I know he is thinking about our weight loss since we are all working on this together, but his words had a deeper meaning for me than he realizes. This journey has been very difficult for us as well as Jonathan. There are many struggles and difficulties that we still to face, there are many things we are still learning and many changes and miracles that we are still experiencing in our own lives almost two years later. We need God’s healing as well and God has prompted Jonathan to pray for us just as we pray for him. What a wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord!
Thank you for checking on us. You are such a precious blessing to us. We hope you will continue to pray for Jonathan and our family. Pray for his continued healing of his brain, his vision and his diabetes. Pray for understanding in his schooling. Pray for his continued diligence in our diet and exercise. Pray that God will grant us the weight loss that we desire for all of us. Please pray for Jonathan’s endocrine appointment on Tuesday morning. I hate going to these appointments as I feel we really don’t get the kind of individualized help I think we need. Pray that God will make it clear to me whether or not to remain with these doctors or to seek another. Pray that we will be faithful to wait on God for Jonathan’s healing and fully trust Him and Believe God for the miracles we are asking for. Thank you all for your faithful prayers. You are wonderful!

Jeremiah 29:11-14a - For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 'And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 'And I will be found by you,' declares the LORD.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Well, it’s early on this Thanksgiving morning. I was going to have this done by now, but we got too busy cooking and preparing for this wonderful holiday that time just escaped me. The Lord has woken me up early to share His blessings in our lives with you and to start my day doing what we should find ourselves doing every day, but what this day is especially set aside for – giving thanks. Let me share the events of our week with you first. Last Wednesday, we had our last Awana until after Thanksgiving. Jonathan finished his second chapter in his book. We are working hard to get some things memorized to try and finish another chapter before we break for Christmas. On Thursday, we had the opportunity to go see Monsters Inc. on Ice through the Starlight Foundation. Someone had donated several tickets and we were able to go together as a family. It has been a long time since we have gone to a Disney on Ice, although the kids have gone with other Aunts and Uncles over the years. We had good seats and enjoyed our time together as a family. We are so thankful for the Starlight Foundations and the people who donate to this organization to allow us these opportunities to do things that we might not normally have the money or ability to do. They have been such a blessing and brought some very special memories for our family. On Friday, Elizabeth and Sarah had a birthday party to attend, so Daddy, Jonathan and I spent a couple of hours hanging out together as we all spent the entire evening in Dallas. On Saturday morning, we were up early because Elizabeth left for a weekend mini tour with the Chapel Choir to Austin/San Antonio. This was her first taste of what choir tour will be like and she had a great time. Although this kept us from our usual ritual of sleeping in on Saturday morning, it did allow us to get a lot of things done around the house. We spent most of our day doing yard work and cleaning out the storage house. Jonathan and Sarah were right there in the middle helping us rake up a million acorns that have fallen in our yard, and Jonathan helped us as we cleaned out and reorganized our storage house. After that we all crashed for the evening and watched a movie together. We had our usual day on Sunday as well as getting Elizabeth back from her mini trip. The kids are all preparing for their Christmas program which will be on Sunday, December 10. We are excited that Sarah will be getting to sing a solo for her choir on that evening. If you happen to be home on that Sunday evening, you can listen to it on the radio at 6 p.m. on KCBI (90.0 fm). Since Elizabeth’s choir was just getting back from their trip, Sarah’s choir sang in their place for the evening service. Sarah is also part of her choir’s ensemble and they sang a special song as well. This was the first time that Sarah experienced being in the choir loft as the worship choir for a service. She did a beautiful job, as she always does. The Lord has truly gifted all our children with the gift of music and we are so thankful for the opportunities He gives them to serve Him with those gifts. Jonathan had his drum practice on Monday night. He is very excited to have a whole page of new exercises to work on. Mr. Brian spent some time writing out some new rhythms for him and he is anxious to get to work on them. We are so pleased with his progress on his drums. On Tuesday Jonathan went to his last horse therapy for this session. This was another bittersweet time for us. Horse therapy has been such a blessing and an inspiring thing for Jonathan this year. There are two things that Jonathan hates to miss in his week – drum practice and horse therapy. He loves both of these things very much and they do so much to encourage him, challenge him and bless him. On Tuesday, Grandpa Cooper came to watch Jonathan ride. This was his first time to ever see him ride. Grandma Cooper was going to come see him at the very end of the spring session earlier this year, but because of the heat the session ended a week early and she was never able to see him ride. We are certain she was watching from heaven, cheering him and praising God for the incredible work He has done in Jonathan’s life. Jonathan was so proud to have Grandpa Cooper there. He can pretty much get Gracie ready to ride all by himself. The only thing he needs help with is the saddle. It’s a little heavy and hard for him to get it on top of her back. Other than that, he knows exactly how to do everything by himself. At this time of year, Spirithorse is training some of their riders to compete in the Ft. Worth Stockshow which happens in January. Our friend Chad Jones got to compete last year, on Gracie, and he won first place in both his events. There is an area set up where the kids practice the routine they will do for competition. Mrs. Julie let Jonathan work the course this week. She walked him through each part of it. There were orange cones for him to stop at, poles to steer Gracie through, boxes to turn her around in, poles to step over, bridges to stop on, and the newest thing for Jonathan was learning to back the horse up. He has never made the horse walk backward before. That’s a trick. She walked him through the whole course one time, showing him how to back Gracie up because he had to do it twice. The second time around, she unhooked the guide rope and let Jonathan go by himself. We had to remind him of a few things to do, but otherwise, he did the entire course on his own, even backing her up with very little assistance. With just a little more practice, I am confident Jonathan would be able to compete. Mrs. Julie told him that she would recommend him for the competition next year. I can’t tell you how proud and impressed I was with his confidence and his growth as I watched him ride. After doing the course, he showed Grandpa how he could trot on the trail. After a time or two, he was able to trot without Mrs. Julie or I holding on to his legs. After that, Mrs. Julie unhooked him and he took Grandpa on a walk on the trail on his own. He is so proud of the fact that he can walk his horse on his own. I told him to take Grandpa with him as he rode and when he rode up next to Grandpa, he said, “Grandpa, you walk with me.” That made me smile. Grandpa took lots of pictures and I hope to get some of them up for you to see soon. It was hard to say good-bye to Gracie and Mrs. Julie. There were many weeks of change for Jonathan this session, but as always, God was in complete control of every detail and He worked it all for Jonathan’s good and His glory. We hugged our sweet horse, Gracie and our awesome instructor, Mrs. Julie good-bye and we are praying that God will let us work together again next session. But knowing that God will orchestrate what is best for Jonathan. A couple of hours after we got home from horse therapy, I found Jonathan asleep in his bed. When he woke up, he had a sore throat and the beginnings of a cold. Yesterday he was pretty miserable as he has a pretty major one. Even though he felt terrible, he tried to help us as we cooked and prepared for Thanksgiving today. He slept pretty well last night but each time he woke up he sounded awful. Elizabeth, Sarah and Jonathan are all struggling with colds right now. Once again, we seem to be passing around the germs that must have been hiding in our house for 3 months now. Please pray that all of them will get well soon and that they will all be able to enjoy our holiday weekend together, especially Jonathan.
Well, there is so much to be thankful for this year. I have always loved this holiday season. I love the time we get to share with our extended families, but I love spending time with my own precious family the most. As each year passes, this time together becomes increasingly more precious to me. Thanksgiving takes on a whole new meaning for me now. After having almost lost Jonathan, the depth of my gratitude to God for His blessings and His miracles grows deeper with each passing day. I can feel it in my heart. Today I think about many of the sweet people we know who will spend today being thankful no doubt, but missing the very special loved one that God has so graciously given back to us in Jonathan. We too will celebrate this day without our own precious Grandma. What a wide range of emotions tugs at my heart. So what are we thankful for this Thanksgiving? We are thankful for life and the chance to spend one more day with the ones we love so much. We are thankful for the healing that God has touched Jonathan with. We are thankful for the beautiful sound of laughter and love that we listen to between Elizabeth, Sarah and Jonathan. We are thankful for our incredible families who have walked alongside us, held us up, loved us and supported us through every step of this journey. We are thankful for salvation and for heaven, for without either there would be no hope for our hurting hearts and for all those who are missing a very special person at their table this year. We are thankful for Jesus and His love for us and that He is intimately involved in every part of our lives. And we are thankful for each of you who have loved us and prayed us and blessed us so much over these past two years. It is our prayer that this will be your most meaningful Thanksgiving ever. We are so thankful for your continual prayers for us and ask that you keep praying for Jonathan and for our family. Pray for our health, especially the kids, for Jonathan’s continued healing, for his diet and weight loss, and for his upcoming appointments in December. Know that we love each one of you so very much. May God abundantly bless you and your families on this wonderful Thanksgiving Day, 2006. All our love, The Cooper Family.

Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I’m doing good this week and I’m going to get my update posted in one week instead of two! There is not much to share with you but I’ll let you know what’s been going on anyway. Jonathan had a good drum lesson last Monday night. He is learning some pretty tough things but he is doing very well overall. On Tuesday we went to horse therapy. Uncle Timmy came with us to watch Jonathan. It looks like Gracie is Jonathan’s new permanent riding companion. She is such an awesome horse. Hopefully we can get some pictures posted of them together soon, but you can always go to their website and see her. ( She is beautiful and she is so good with Jonathan. He has improved so much this session on his riding. He showed Uncle Timmy all the things he has been working on. He is doing real well at keeping his feet in place and keeping his balance by using his feet. He is trotting well with Gracie and he is doing much better at steering her than he has ever done. It seems as though understanding has dawned on him and he is able to control her pretty well on his own. After walking and leading some on the trail, Mrs. Julie took off her guide rope and let Jonathan take us on the trail all by himself. After working in the pin for a little while, Mrs. Julie said she had a surprise for Jonathan. She told Jonathan that he was going to get to ride Gracie on the trail all by himself. He has never gone anywhere with the horse by himself. There is a trail that makes a circle around the pins that they work in. Mrs. Julie and I stood at the main gate and watched as Jonathan and Gracie took Uncle Timmy on a stroll all by themselves. This is such a huge accomplishment for Jonathan and I can’t tell you how proud of him I was. What a blessing to see him come so far. God is so good. After horse therapy, we went to Grandpa and Grandma Smith’s house to celebrate our cousins Marissa and Emily’s birthdays. We all went and played putt-putt, ate dinner, opened presents and visited with them for a while before coming home. It was a very full but fun day. Jonathan continues to do well in Awana and in school. He is about to finish his second section in Awana. His verses this year are long and hard, but he is working very hard to learn them. He is also doing pretty well in school. We have spent a good while mastering long multiplication, but the longer we work the better he gets at it. We should be able to finish that chapter and move on right after Thanksgiving. On Thursday, we made a trip down to Criswell College to visit Grandpa Cooper and we had lunch with him. On Friday, Elizabeth and Sarah hosted a costume party for about 20 of their friends. The house was loud and crazy, but everyone had a wonderful time. Jonathan even got in the middle and played games with and seemed to really enjoy himself. Jonathan got to spend most of the day on Saturday with his dad while Elizabeth, Sarah and I were away doing things. It was a long, busy day for us, but a good one overall. On Sunday, we attended a service of remembrance that our church held for those who have lost a loved one during the year. It was a beautiful service as we remembered our precious Mom and Grandma Cooper. I can’t even begin to tell you how much we miss her. It seems odd without her. That pain is still very fresh and the sadness can creep up on us at the thought or site of anything that reminds us of her. I know that God knows our pain and is acquainted with our grief and sadness. I am thankful that we can trust Him. I hope you will remember to pray for our family as the holidays draw near. This will be another first that we experience and it will be difficult for all of us. But God’s grace is sufficient and He will see us through. Today, Jonathan went to horse therapy again. He worked hard again all his balance exercises and his trotting. Today just before he ended his lesson, Mrs. Julie let him take Gracie on a ride by himself on the trail again. This time he went completely alone. It was just him and Gracie on the trail while we stood by the gate and watched. I will say that I get a slightly nervous feeling in my stomach when he goes off and does things like this by himself. I could have walked with him but there is something powerful and confident about his doing this by himself. I wanted him to have that. He handled his wonderful horse beautifully. It was an awesome site. Next week will be his last lesson for this session. The time has gone by quickly and we are going to hate to give this up again. Hopefully the next session will come soon. We are so thankful for Spirit Horse and the important place they have held in Jonathan’s life. We are still working hard on our diet. We are still eating low carb and Jonathan is exercising some every day. We are trying to walk at least 20 minutes or ride his bike almost every day and he is doing sit up crunches on his own each day. He did not lose any weight this week, but we are continuing to work at it diligently. I am praying that God will bless Jonathan with some weight loss because I think it is just what he needs to encourage him and spur him on to continue working hard on this. Please keep praying.
Well, that’s it for this week. Thank you for your faithful prayers for Jonathan and our family. Please continue to pray for our weight loss and diet. Pray that Jonathan will see some significant results very soon. Continue to pray for his schooling that he will understand the skills that he is learning and will be able to process them and grasp them quickly. Continue to pray for his walking and balance. Pray for his complete healing of his diabetes, his brain and his vision. Pray for the upcoming doctor visits we have within the next month. He will be seeing the endocrinologist, the eye doctor and the gait specialist all before the end of the year. We are so thankful for your prayers and for your love and support for us. You mean so much to us and we thank God for all of you. Love and blessings to all of you this week.

Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Okay, I did it again – it’s been two weeks and I’m just now updating! I don’t mean to be making a habit of this, but it just seems to be the way it is right now. Well, I have so much to tell you that I better get started. Let’s see, a couple of Monday’s ago, Jonathan got to have his drum practice and we got to see Mr. Brian and Mrs. Debbie’s new house. We are so excited for them and continue to thank God for their willingness to teach Jonathan how to play the drums. He is doing very well. As a matter of fact, Jonathan is helping teach Sarah some of the things he knows on the drums. After his practice on Monday night and the following few days, we would see him showing Sarah how to play some of the things he has learned. After she would get finished, I would hear him tell her how good she was doing. It was so very sweet. On Tuesday, we had a most interesting experience at horse therapy. As soon as we arrived, Mrs. Julie met us and told us she had a surprise for Jonathan. She told us that Daisy had been sold and was now living somewhere else and so Jonathan was getting a new horse named Strawberry. Strawberry is a boy horse with reddish brown hair and a strawberry-blonde mane. While we were missing Daisy, Jonathan was pretty excited about getting to know Strawberry. Strawberry is a show horse so he is very well trained, unlike Daisy was. He is also not quite as big a horse as Daisy was. After riding around the trail and working on some balance exercises, Jonathan worked on trotting with Strawberry while they were in the pin. Sarah and I were watching from the side while Mrs. Julie, Jonathan and Strawberry were trotting. While they were trotting, Jonathan began to lose his balance and lean toward the left side of the horse. Apparently Strawberry knew something was wrong and he stopped trotting. Mrs. Julie was trying to figure out why Strawberry was acting weird and as soon as he stopped she looked to see Jonathan falling off the horse and she caught him on his way to the ground. Needless to say, everyone was a little unnerved by that. Jonathan was not hurt, even though he cried. He was pretty scared though. Mrs. Julie handled everything very well and encouraged him to get back on the horse, which he willingly did. He finished out his lesson without any problem. We are so thankful for Strawberry’s training which helped him take care of Jonathan in this situation, but he is a different horse from Daisy and Jonathan was just not use to the feel of him yet. Jonathan is such a trooper. He has gone through so many difficult experiences and yet he never gives up and continues to press on. On Thursday we went camping for the weekend. This is probably our last open weekend to be able to go camping before the end of the year with the holidays coming up, so we decided to go. It was just our family this time and we had a wonderful relaxing weekend. It was just the get away that we needed for our family. We stayed out there Thursday night and it got pretty chilly during the night. While Lamar was at work, the kids and I did schoolwork and hung out together. After Lamar got home, we had dinner and then he took Elizabeth and Jonathan and they went home for the night so Sarah and I could spend some time together. Elizabeth and I got to do this several years ago and I was planning on doing it with Sarah when Jonathan got sick and so it never happened. So we rented a movie, picked up Starbucks and camped out in the camper together until lunch time on Saturday. We had a great time together and Jonathan did just fine without me for the night. We were back together again Saturday and we got to build our first campfire ever on Saturday night. We just hung out around the campfire, made smores and talked for the evening. We listened to Sunday school and church on the radio before we packed up and came home early afternoon on Sunday. I’m so thankful for the time we had together. I should have updated last weekend, but from the time we got home, it was non-stop all week last week. Monday, Jonathan had a follow up visit with the neurologist. He wants us to continue giving Jonathan the sleeping medicine for about 6 months and he gave us a new prescription for a 1 mg pill so he won’t have to take two. He told us at 6 months to begin backing off and giving him the ½ mg pills and see how he does until we can take him off altogether. He seemed pleased with his progress and we don’t have to see him again for 6 months. We do have an appointment though with his partner who is a gait specialist so that he can evaluate his walking. We will see him in December. When we saw the neurologist back in Aug. Jonathan weighed in at 126. On Monday he was 132. We were a little disappointed, but we talked about what we were doing with his diet and adding in the exercise. We are doing very well with our low carb diet so far. We have found lots of great new recipes and we are sticking to it pretty strictly. So far we have been pleased with what we are doing. I am trying to journal again since we have dropped our carb intake to 20 carbs per day. I’m still not seeing the lower insulin results I keep hoping for and I’m not sure that I am seeing the weight loss that I’m hoping for, but I think we are making progress and we are determined to stay with it. Keep praying for us in this process and I’ll keep you updated on our progress. Tuesday, of course, was Halloween. We started out the day with horse therapy and another unusual experience there. Jonathan got another new horse this week. Even though Strawberry was a wonderfully trained horse, he was too much for Jonathan. He has a big trot which is probably what caused Jonathan to lose his balance. So they really try to fit each child with the right horse, and Strawberry was not a good fit for Jonathan. So this week we got to meet Gracie. She is a much older horse (in her twenties) and she also is a very well trained show horse. As a matter of fact, we were told she was worth a quarter of a million dollars in her day and her name (which is officially Grace Kelly) is on a plaque in some horse stadium in Kentucky. (Sorry, I don’t remember the exact details) Needless to say, she is a pretty awesome horse, not to mention the fact that she is beautiful, she is white and she is one of the softest horses I have ever touched. Even though she is a girl and not a boy horse, Jonathan seemed okay with the change again. The longer he rode her the more he loved her. She has the smoothest trot. She glides when she trots and he felt so much more secure with her. Mrs. Julie worked with Jonathan on the trail the whole time. We went back and forth on the trail and she let Jonathan do all the steering on his own. He has finally learned how to give the go signal with his feet as well as speaking it. Plus he combines all of that with a kiss sound and she walks right on for him. So even though it was another change, we were pleased with the outcome. Other than a little bit of school and horse therapy, we spent the rest of the day getting ready for the Halloween activities of the evening.
At our house we had two beautiful princesses and a military escort. Between Grandma Smith and me, we managed to make Elizabeth and Sarah’s dresses. Jonathan made it easy on me and I only had to buy him a camouflage shirt to complete his outfit. This year we didn’t even take the wheelchair with us. Jonathan did a pretty good job of walking around while we trick or treated. We passed up a few house at the very end, but overall he did a terrific job. He was probably the most unique trick or treater. When he approached someone, he would stop and salute and say, “ Jonathan Cooper, US Army, reporting for duty.” Then after he got his candy, he would salute again and say “Happy Halloween” or “ Jonathan Cooper, signing off.” He got lots of salutes and tons of laughter out of the people he spoke to. He had such a great time doing that. And can I also just say that he never once complained about the fact that he can’t even eat any of the candy that he did all of that for. By the end of the week, he had split up his candy with his sisters, only keeping a few things for himself for some special time in the future. I’m so proud of him and he blesses me so much. After trick or treating, we went to the Fall Festival at Lakeland. It was such a blessing to see, visit with and hug so many of our friends there. After staying there for a little while, we then made our way to Grandpa Cooper’s house to celebrate Uncle Chris’s birthday. It was a very full day to say the least. We spent this weekend celebrating my birthday and our 17 th anniversary. My family made me feel very special. I am so thankful for my precious family and especially my wonderful, faithful husband. They are all my most treasured earthly possessions. In the last update I was still struggling quite a bit with my health. I finally had to break down and go to the doctor about a week and a half ago. I was able to get an antibiotic which instantly made me feel so much better. I even had a mono test done and fortunately it came back negative. I am finally feeling good again. Elizabeth however, came down with a cold again today, so please pray for her quick recovery and that the rest of us can stay well.
Well, there is the past two weeks of our lives. Thanks again for waiting on me. I can’t tell you how much it means to us to know that you continue to pray for us and watch our progress. Thank you for your faithful prayers for our family and especially for Jonathan. Continue to pray especially for our low carb diet and our weight loss. I believe that Jonathan is making progress. We were given a couple of pieces of exercise equipment and they are things that he can do on his own. The night we got them he did about 100 sit up crunches and he seems to be very excited about being able to exercise on his own. One day last week we took a walk. When we started out he was unhappy with me, so we walked in silence and he took the lead. At one point after we had walked up and down a couple of blocks, I pointed in the direction of home and he wanted to go the other way. So I told him I would follow him. After it was all said and done, we walked about 35-40 minutes. That is the longest walk he has ever taken. Although I was not too excited that he was unhappy with me, it sure helped us get in some good exercise! Whatever works! I finally got some batteries in our scale and this morning when he weighed in, Jonathan weigh 128. So that is our starting point. I’ll keep you updated on our progress. Please pray that God will grant us the weight loss we desire. Please continue to pray for his insulin intake and that his body will process it as it needs to, that none of it will be stored as fat and that his body will begin to use up the stored fat that he already has. Continue to pray for our health. Please begin to pray now for the appointment in December with the gait specialist. He definitely needs some help with his walking, however I have no idea what to expect. God has been gracious to orchestra each part of this process in Jonathan’s life and I know he will take care of this as well for Jonathan’s good and His glory. Just recently I have been talking to the Lord about Jonathan and what we have been through these past two years. He led me to this story of Lazarus. I found myself being able to relate to this story, although our circumstances were different than this family. I pray that whatever impossible circumstance you may be facing, that you will be able to join us as we join Martha in proclaiming, “Yes, Lord, I Believe.” Our love and blessings to you all.

John 11:21-27 - Then Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 "But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." 23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" 27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wow! It’s almost been 2 weeks since I updated! I can’t believe it. I apologize for taking so long to update, but thanks so much for waiting on me and continuing to check on Jonathan and our family. Our days are full and there is much to do around here. However, I guess the reality of being back in school has just now hit. There is little time left after doing school and just keeping up with everyday work around the house. It is true that during the school year, there is no time for anything extra. I seem to find it difficult to adequately handle everything; hence the reason why it has been two weeks since I have updated! I am still struggling with my health and praying that God will restore us all completely to good health very soon. Everyone else seems to be in pretty good health. Jonathan is staying very healthy for which we are very thankful. A couple of Tuesdays ago, we were planning to go to the State Fair. Unfortunately it rained that morning so we ended up not going that day. Everyone was pretty bummed about it, so we made it a special day anyway. First we went to horse therapy. Jonathan continues to excel as he learns to ride Daisy. Mrs. Julie is a wonderful therapist and works hard to teach Jonathan how to ride his horse. This week she worked with him on standing up in the saddle while Daisy walked around. She even had him try to stand up without holding on to anything! That was a little scary for him and he was only able to do it for a couple of seconds. She said it won’t be long and he will be able to do it without any trouble. He had a much better week keeping his feet in good position in the stirrups. He is doing very well and he absolutely loves to ride Daisy. This has been such a blessing for us. After horse therapy, the kids and I went to see a movie. After Dad came home, we went to Chuck E. Cheese for dinner. After dinner, Jonathan had his drum lesson with Mr. Brian and then we called it a day. Jonathan passed his first chapter in his Awana book on Wednesday and got his badge and his first seal. Last Sunday Jonathan’s choir sang in the evening service. They did a great job. Jonathan knew his song real well and sang with all his heart. Jonathan loves his choir. Once again, I am so grateful to God for the special boys that are in Jonathan’s class. They are all so kind to him. They always say hi, talk to him and include him in whatever they are doing. When the choir sang in church, Jonathan’s class stood on the second step. Jonathan usually stands on the end and usually on the floor or on an oversized step so he has more room and doesn’t have to worry about the steps. This time he stood on the step with the rest of his class. He stood next to his friend, Graham. Graham has been in Jonathan’s classes since we first got there. He is the first person that Jonathan named when I asked him who his friends were in his class. Graham was right there next to Jonathan and he helped him get up and down the step when the choir was singing. We are so grateful for all the boys who are so cool with Jonathan, but especially for Graham and his willingness to be Jonathan’s friend and helper. We continue to pray that God will give Jonathan a kindred spirit friend, just like David and Jonathan in the Bible. Well, we may not have made it to the State Fair on the first try, but we definitely made it there last week. We had a great time at the Fair this year, just like we always do. We had lots of good things to eat, rode some fun and some freaky rides, saw lots of neat things and played at the Science Museum. There was only one thing missing this year at the Fair and that was Grandma Cooper. Every year we meet Grandpa and Grandma Cooper and Uncle Chris for some part of the day. The last few years, Grandma Cooper would get one of those motorized chairs and ride around in it. Most of the time she rode with one of the kids standing on the back. We have some wonderfully fond memories of our years at the State Fair with her. We did meet Grandpa Cooper and Chris for a little while, but most of the day it was just our little family. We got to spend the day with Uncle Timmy on Friday to celebrate his birthday. We are thankful for all that Uncle Timmy means to us and does to help Jonathan. He is a blessing to our family. We are still working on Jonathan’s diet. This week we have made some changes to his diet. At the last doctor visit we were told to treat him like a Type 2 which is 40 carbs per meal only. We have been doing a pretty consistent job of that, although my food journal does not reflect my discipline in recording his food intake. This week we began eating more low carb. We started out by cutting out the cereal and milk which he loves so much and replacing it with eggs, bacon and sausage. So far he has done well with that. Occasionally we will have some low carb/low sugar yogurt, but for the most part, we have stuck strictly to the eggs, bacon and sausage. So we have at least reduced his daily carb intake from 120 to 80. We are trying to eat as much low carb at lunch and dinner as we can. I told Jonathan that meant we would not be able to eat Uncle Timmy’s birthday cake, but we were able to find a chocolate mouse recipe with only 2 carbs per serving that I fixed for us to eat instead. We are continuing to make changes and are progressing pretty well I think. He has had normal blood sugars almost every reading, but we have still not been able to reduce his Lantus any more yet. While I don’t think he has lost any weight, I don’t know that for sure. Please keep praying for good results and that we will be able to see some weight loss soon. He is still sleeping very well which is also a wonderful blessing. Jonathan is studying some harder things in school like 2 digit multiplication and bigger, longer spelling words. So far he has been doing pretty well in school, but we are struggling with some of these new things. His reading is getting better each day and he is doing well in his handwriting and his grammar.
As always, we are so grateful for your faithfulness to check on us and to pray for us. Please continue to pray for Jonathan. Pray especially for his weight loss, his new diet and his blood sugar. Pray that God will bless our efforts by allowing us to see the results that we desire. Pray that we will be disciplined and diligent in staying with our eating program. Continue to pray for his complete healing of his brain, his vision and his diabetes. Pray that he will gain understanding of the concepts he is working on in school and that he will not get discouraged when he encounters difficulties in learning. Please continue to pray for God’s healing in our family. Pray that he will restore our strength, give us rest and give us stability in our daily schedule. Not only am I still struggling with my health, but I am also struggling with this entire school year. Pray that I will not feel overwhelmed and discouraged by the demands on my time and energy right now. I love home schooling and I know that God has placed me in this ministry and I am content with my calling. But even knowing that doesn’t always make the struggles any easier. So I would appreciate your prayers for me this week. You all are so precious to us and we are blessed to have you praying for us. I pray that God will abundantly bless you this week. We love you all.

1 Peter 5:7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Monday, October 9, 2006

This has been a very busy but very fun week, and a good and not so great week all wrapped up in one. Let me see if I can wrap it all up for you. Last Sunday afternoon, we inherited another daughter for the week; another Sarah to be exact. Sarah Lovelady belongs to Brian and Debbie Lovelady, our friends from Lakeland and Jonathan’s drum teacher. Brian and Debbie just moved to Little Elm and since Sarah made the All District Orchestra playing her violin, she needed to stay in Lewisville one more week, so we kept her with us all week. Sarah is a sweet girl and we enjoyed having her stay with us. Last Sunday night, she got to come with us to First Baptist and hear our orchestra play their 45 th anniversary concert. Uncle Timmy played the drums (among many other things) and it was a wonderful concert. Jonathan took his sparkly blue drum sticks with him to choir again so he got to play for a few minutes after the service. Jonathan didn’t have his drum lesson again this week because we are trying to let Brian and Debbie get settled in their new house. But Jonathan faithfully practices and is sounding better and better each day. Jonathan had his horse therapy again on Tuesday. He seemed to struggle a little more this week. He complained of some lower back pain from time to time and his foot seemed to keep slipping around in the stirrup. To help him push down and keep his foot positioned correctly in the stirrup, Mrs. Julie put a dollar bill under his foot and told him he could keep it if it didn’t fall out. He was able to keep it in there then! Jonathan still did very well, even though he seemed to struggle with some things. It was a little warmer than usual last week as well. Besides those things and just getting school done Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the rest of the time was spent trying to get ready for the other big event of the week – Sarah’s 13 th birthday. As usual, I was not as prepared as I hoped to be so I ended up spending every free moment trying to get around and get things done for her birthday. On Wednesday, in the middle of all errands, Jonathan and I stopped off at Lakeland to turn in his Upward registration form. While we were there we got to visit with some of our wonderful friends that we haven’t seen since we left back in August. It was great fun to see everyone and to take the time to visit with the special people on staff there. Jonathan did well in Awana on Wednesday evening. He is about to pass his first chapter in his book. We have a big verse to learn this week and then he will get his badge and his first seal. I usually stay and help him study, then after he says his verse, I leave and don’t see him again until 9 pm. While this is similar to what we did last year, I’m not staying quite as long with him this year, so it is a little bit of an improvement. Unfortunately as Wednesday wore on, Elizabeth and I both came down with terrible sore throats. I’m pretty sure we were both running fever off and on as well. Thursday was Sarah’s birthday and thanks to Excedrin, I was able to stay up pretty well for the day. Elizabeth didn’t do as well and spent the day in and out of fever, and in and out of bed. Everyone came over for cake, ice cream and presents and then most of us went to watch Sarah play her basketball game before the evening was over. This was the first grandkid birthday without Grandma Cooper. Turning 13 was a special thing as far as Grandma Cooper was concerned. When Elizabeth turned 13, she was presented with 13 presents that she got to open. Sarah was looking forward to getting this same blessing and had even talked about it with Grandma sometime earlier this year. Grandpa Cooper was determined to keep this little tradition with Sarah, so on Monday evening, he took Sarah shopping. I know this was not an easy thing for him to do, but he was such a wonderful trooper and he blessed her with some really nice clothes for her birthday. By the time Thursday came, she had her 13 presents. I know that Grandma Cooper was proud of him and so was his precious 13 year old granddaughter. Oh how we still miss our Grandma. Even though Sarah’s birthday was on Thursday, that was not the end of the party. Sarah had her friends over on Friday evening for a glamour shot sleep over party. Thank goodness for Aunt Keby! I don’t know what we would do without her! She is wonderful at doing hair and makeup and nails, and this is the second glamour beauty birthday party she has done for us. She spent hours making 9 girls beautiful enough for pictures. And before they all left on Saturday morning, she had everyone’s toenails painted and decorated with flowers. It was great fun despite the fact that Elizabeth and I were both still fighting the colds. We have both been in and out of bed since last Thursday. Each day we get up thinking it is going to be better and it just won’t seem to go away. I finally took Elizabeth to the doctor today. The strep test came back negative and he just gave her some medicine to help with the symptoms. To be honest, I think we have all been sick since Mom’s death back in August. I’m not sure any of us have recovered from that physically. We have been sick very little since Jonathan came home from the hospital so this is very unusual for us. School continues to be such a struggle and exhaustion seems to follow us around. I find myself easily discouraged when I am physically down. I hope you will lift us up and pray that God will renew our strength and our health soon. Jonathan seems to be the healthiest of all of us, which is a great praise. He is doing well with his eating but his blood sugar has been up and down over the past week. We are still at 41 units of Lantus. I am contemplating some more changes in his diet that I hope will bring added benefits to his weight loss and lower blood sugars. He continues to sleep very well also. I had to call and get a new prescription since he is taking two pills each night. I was suppose to go pick it up on Friday because we ran out, and with all the excitement of the party, I forgot to go get them. So he had to go to bed Friday night without any medicine. Believe it or not, he slept all night long, once he fell asleep. He talked in his sleep some, but he never cried or woke up, even without the medicine. We have not tried that again, but that was encouragement to us that hopefully he will not have to take this forever. He was pretty excited about it as well. We are thankful for God’s continued work in Jonathan’s life.
I have been learning so much in my Believing God Bible Study this week about miracles and about Believing that God can do all things. There were some incredible miracle stories that I read that I was able to share with Jonathan. It encouraged our faith to continue to believe in the miracle that we await in Jonathan’s life. He is a firm believer that God is going to heal him. It is a precious thing to hear him talk about it. I wanted to share so much with you that I am learning, but I am too wiped out to do it tonight. I hope you will forgive me. Please pray for our family. We need God’s hand of healing on our whole family in many ways, but especially in our physical health. Even though we seem to be doing fine since Mom’s death, that is the only thing I can trace this back to. I know there is much that I don’t know or understand about the effects of a death in your life, but God knows and He can take care of us, especially when we don’t know how to take care of ourselves. Continue to pray for Jonathan that he will stay healthy and that God will continue to reveal healing and miraculous wonders in his life. Pray for his eating, his insulin levels, his blood sugar levels and that his body will process it all without storing fat. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers for us. Thank you also to those of you who encourage us with your notes and words of love and blessing. You bring great joy each time you write. I pray that God will bless each of you abundantly this week. We love you all.

Psalm 3:1-5 LORD, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. 2 Many are they who say of me, " There is no help for him in God." Selah 3 But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. 4 I cried to the LORD with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah 5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.

Friday, September 29, 2006

We have had such an uplifting, blessing-filled week, that I can hardly wait to tell you all the wonderful things that God has done in Jonathan’s life. Last week I told you that Jonathan wanted to try to skate while they were in the skating rink after Awana on Wednesday night. Well, he tried it and Elizabeth was there to help. There are rails that he can hold on to that help him get around. I think it turned out to be a little more difficult that he thought (which is usually the case when he tries something new), but at least he tried it. Believe it or not, he tried to tackle another big thing the next day. On Thursday afternoon, he asked me if I knew where the pliers were. I asked him why he needed them and he told me he wanted to take the training wheels off his bike. Well I knew what that meant. We put the training wheels on his bike at the beginning of the year so he could ride his bike again. He has always loved to ride his bike, but we thought that because of his poor balance, he would need the training wheels. After trying it a few times, it was so difficult to keep the training wheels in place, and it was almost more work that it was worth. So he really has not ridden his bike much in the last 6 months or so. Well, I helped him take the training wheels off and after airing up his tires we took it outside to give it a try. After going up and down the street a couple of times with me holding on to him he said, “Okay, now let go of me.” So I let go and ran beside him as he rode his bike all by himself! His balance was perfect as he rode and he was able to put his foot down and stop perfectly. I was cheering! I can’t tell you what an awesome site it was to see this precious boy riding his bike again. Praise God who continues to send us His blessings! We got the girls to come out and watch and told Dad about it as soon as he got home. We practiced riding again on Friday as well. The only thing he can’t do on his own is get started. He has to work to get both his legs up high enough to get his feet on the peddles but just as soon as he starts to peddle, he can go on his own. We spent most of the afternoon/evening on Friday shopping for Dad’s birthday. We had a party with the family on Saturday afternoon and his birthday was actually on Sunday. While everyone was over and once Dad finished opening his presents, we asked everyone to go out front to see the last present we had for Dad. Once everyone was outside, Jonathan rode down the street on his bike with a “Happy Birthday Dad” balloon attached to the back as his own gift to his Daddy. It was a blessed moment for everyone. Unfortunately, this was the first and only time he fell when he stopped himself, but otherwise, he has ridden each time perfectly. I’m still too nervous to let him get too far away from me, so I end up running with him while he rides. It wears me out! But I’m determined to do it because it is such an incredible accomplishment and encouragement to him. He has ridden several times this week as well. One day, Sarah rode her bike with him and we rode around a couple of blocks before heading back home. I’m sure it won’t be long before he is able to ride without me running beside him. I just can’t even express to you what joy this has brought me this week. On Saturday afternoon, Uncle Timmy took Jonathan to the music stores to look around. Jonathan came back home with some sparkly blue drum sticks! He is pretty proud of them. When Uncle Timmy is over, he will get in there and work with Jonathan on his drumming. We have been blessed to have two great guys who are willing to give their time to help Jonathan succeed in playing the drums. I thank God for Brian and Tim. We are doing really well with Jonathan’s eating. We are keeping it very strictly to 45 carbs or less per meal. I have started keeping a food journal this week. A couple of mornings last week, Jonathan had blood sugars between 60 and 70, which is pretty low for him (80-150 is his range). His overall readings have been very good. After a couple of days of getting these low readings in the morning, I decided to take a step of faith and lower his Lantus (24 hour insulin) back down to 41. We have never gotten to lower his insulin. It always goes up, never down. It usually takes a couple of days to see any change when you make a change in the amount of insulin you give, and for the first few days it was up more than down. Of course, my first reaction was discouragement because I figured it wasn’t going to work. I have been praying daily that Jonathan’s body will use up the insulin effectively, that he will consistently have normal blood sugars, and that none of the unused insulin will be stored as fat. As I thought about the change that I made, I had to ask myself why I was so worried about it not working. Is my God not able to do this thing for which I have asked Him? Yes He is! And I’m Believing God for this, just as I’m Believing Him for the ultimate miracle of Jonathan’s complete healing. Jonathan has had normal blood sugars all week long. One morning he was at 70 at breakfast and stayed in the low 100s or below all day long. I can hardly wait to tell that we are going down again – this time below 40 for the first time since May. I hope you will pray, Believing with us that it will be soon. I have no idea if Jonathan has lost any weight or not. He is definitely eating smaller amounts now with very few snacks, if any. I am praying that God will allow this to happen, even without our knowing it. I am pleased with how we are doing things at this point and hope to be able to make more significant changes as time goes on. Another incredible blessing is that Jonathan is sleeping all night long almost every night now. If he wakes up at all, it is usually only once and he turns right over and goes right back to sleep. I praise God for this incredible blessing. When I think back over the earlier months of this year and how we struggled through so many months of difficult, discouraging nights, I am so thankful that we have found something that will help him sleep. Jonathan is doing well in his school work, as well as in Awana and in his drumming. He continues to struggle with his vision issues, even with the new expensive glasses. They are definitely an improvement, but he still struggles with seeing numbers and letters correctly without extra magnification. It can be frustrating at times, but we are trusting God to take care of this as well, and we are thankful for the sight that he has. On Tuesday, Jonathan went to ride his horse again. He is doing so very well this session. We are thrilled to have Mrs. Julie as his teacher. She is wonderful! She is very encouraging and handles Jonathan very well. He has shown significant improvement in his skills in just two weeks! She is a very aggressive teacher with him and really pushes him beyond what he has already learned. She accomplishes an incredible amount of work with him in the hour that he is there. She worked a lot on his balance with him in the riding pin this week. She pulled his feet out of the stirrups and had him ride without holding on, putting his hands in all different places, turning from side to side, etc. and he had to balance without the assistance of the stirrups. He is able to stand up taller in the saddle for longer periods of time, even when the horse is walking. She let him lead Daisy without her holding on with her strap. He got to trot on his own as well. She is working on his reigning and helping him command the horse on his own. He his getting better each week at getting on and off the horse without any help. It is such an amazing thing to watch him pull his leg over the horse on his own. That is such a huge accomplishment for him! He is also able to do that with his bike. Not only did the Lord allow Jonathan to accomplish that, but He has also blessed our sweet little friend Lyndsey Jones with ability to do that as well. Just this week, Lyndsey was able to get on her horse all by herself for the first time. God is so good!
I am going through Beth Moore’s Bible Study, Believing God. God has been teaching me so much about Believing Him, about His ability to do everything, about faith and hope and why I can trust Him even when He doesn’t do what I am Believing Him to do. There have been many moments of understand and truth which have set me free in this journey of faith in God for these impossible situations. God has been so faithful and loving to our family and to all of you who have walked this road with us to give us these outward expressions of His supernatural power in our lifetime. Many of you are also witnessing with us the miracles and wonders He is doing in the life of Lyndsey Jones’s ( and in Caroline Beauchamp’s little life. ( There are many people who say that God doesn’t do miracles today like He did in the Bible. I praise God that we can stand and testify that that belief is 100% wrong! We are recipients of the signs and wonders of God and we will continue to be witnesses, along with many of you to an unbelieving, watching world.
Thank you for waiting again for this update. Thank you for your faithfulness to check on us and to continue to pray for us. I hope you will join us as we thank God for these awesome miracles in Jonathan’s life that God has so graciously performed. Pray that Jonathan will continue to ride his bike and will gain more flexibility in his hips and strength in the muscles in his legs to be able to move more easily, get his legs and feet up on his peddles and start riding his bike on his own. Pray that he will continue to excel in his horse riding, his drumming and in his school work. Pray for God to do something supernatural with his vision. Everything is possible with God! Continue to pray especially for Jonathan’s eating, his weight loss and his blood sugar levels. Pray that we will continue to go down on his insulin. Pray that we will continue to be diligent in eating 45 carbs or less per meal and that God will reward us by allowing him to lose some much needed weight. Pray that his body will process the insulin properly and that there will be no insulin that is stored as fat. Pray that his body will begin to use up the stored fat and that we would see a decrease in his weight, his insulin intake and blood sugars within normal range. Most of all continue to Believe God with us for Jonathan’s complete healing. Also pray for our sweet little friends Lyndsey and Caroline as they are both recovering from surgery and need God’s hand of miraculous healing in their lives as well. You can read all about them at their websites above. God bless each of you for your faithfulness to pray for our family. All of you are wonderful and precious to us. We are so blessed to have you in our lives. Have a blessed week. To God Be The Glory!

Psalm 77:11-14 - I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. 13 Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God? 14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.

Habakkuk 3:2 - LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Well, the story of my life these days seems to be that I’m always late with everything and always trying to catch up. I made the mistake Saturday morning of working on other things I wanted to try to get done instead of updating and I never had another chance to sit down at the computer the rest of the weekend. I’m always exhausted at the end of the day and tonight is no different. But I am determined to post something tonight. So please forgive me for taking so long to update again. We had a good week last week, made some significant progress and have seen God do some more “firsts” in Jonathan’s life. I finally took Jonathan and Sarah to the doctor on Monday because the coughs continued to exist. Sarah had a bronchial infection and got a couple of prescriptions. Jonathan’s lungs were clear and so we are just waiting for the dry coughs to go away. Lamar and Elizabeth both came down with it pretty bad last week so we have all been fighting this respiratory whatever that seems to be hanging around our house. Everyone seems to be doing better, but we are all still coughing and sneezing off and on. Jonathan had his regular endocrine appointment on Tuesday. We went to the Hurst clinic which is close by Grandpa and Grandma Smith’s house. We went there because we were told they had a device to check his A1C (average blood sugar). The Lewisville clinic does not have one so he has to have blood drawn when all he really needs is a drop of blood from a finger poke. I have put my foot down and refused to put Jonathan through any more than is absolutely necessary, so we made the appointment to go to this clinic because we were told they had this device. Come to find out, they don’t have it yet. While we were there, Jonathan weighed in at 131 pounds. At the last visit he was 119. So obviously, he is continuing to gain weight despite the changes we made over the summer. The nurse we talked to is a Type 1 diabetic herself. She explained to me again (I’m sure I have heard this before but it did not sink in at the time) the way the insulin works in the body. There are receptors on the outside of the cells that catch the insulin and allow the sugar in the body to go through them and process them. The only cells that do not have these receptors are fat cells. So when there is an over abundance of fat cells, it crowds the good cells and keeps them from getting the insulin and using it up, thus resulting in higher blood sugar levels. Reduce the fat cells and the other cells can grab more of the insulin and use it more efficiently, thus resulting in more normal, lower blood sugar levels. So I asked, what happens to all the insulin that does not get grabbed by these receptors? It is stored up as fat. Apparently another reason why most people I have talked to have gained weight using insulin. She gave me a few ideas of things to do as far as his eating goes, but when the nurse practioner came in, she pretty much contradicted what the nurse told me. So here I am again at this delima of how to help Jonathan lose this weight. Do you realize that with just 14 more pounds, he will have gained 100 pounds over the last two years? That bothers me immensely. The NP talked about putting him on another medicine that some of the people in their office have tried that helps you lose weight. The only problem is that it is another shot, three times a day. She also talked about treating him like a Type 2 diabetic and only allowing him 45 carbs per meal, period. She gave me the example of the plate: ½ is vegetables, ¼ is meat, and ¼ is starch and each of the portions is ½ cup, which is what will fit in the palm of his hand. So I told her to give me another chance to work with him before deciding to do the other shot. So we have been diligently working on only eating 45 carbs per meal, no snacks. His blood sugar levels have been very consistently within normal range for the past week. He has such a good attitude and is very willing to work at this. But it is so hard because he thinks he is hungry and is always asking for something to eat. It’s hard for me as well to have to tell him no and keep him from eating things he really wants but really doesn’t need. But I am determined to consistently keep track of what he is eating and how much he is eating until our next visit. I want to find out how much of his weight gain is from food and how much is from the insulin. The other thing that bothered me is that the NP wanted me to go up again on one of his insulins, not just a couple of units, but 5-7 units. So I’m wondering how this is going to help this process to continue giving him more insulin when what he is getting now is not getting used up, which allows more to get stored as fat, which means more pounds. Needless to say, I’m struggling to understand and to figure out how to help reverse this process for Jonathan. Please pray for wisdom and guidance, for someone with the knowledge that can help us in this process, or for us to find the information we need to know what to do. On Wednesday, Jonathan went to AWANA mostly by himself. I stayed with him while he said his verses, which I will probably do for a while, and then he did the rest on his own. I peeked in the gym during game time, on my way to choir practice, and saw him playing dodge ball again with everyone. I’m so proud of him and how well he is doing things on his own. After AWANA, the girls go pick him up and they hang out in the skating rink while I finish choir. I asked Jonathan what he did and he told me he met a new guy who wanted to hear all about his story, so he shared it with him. He also told me he wants to take his roller blades and practice skating. Elizabeth said she would help him. I’m not sure I’m real comfortable with that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that becomes a reality in the next few weeks. On Thursday, Jonathan had his follow up appointment with the eye doctor. He wanted to check and make sure no changes needed to be made on his glasses. He seemed pleased with Jonathan’s progress and wants to see him back in November to begin working on some vision therapy (I think that’s what he said). He is meeting with another doctor friend of his and discussing Jonathan’s case with him to get some input on what kind of low vision help we can get for him. Jonathan seems to be able to read things from a farther distance rather than having to hold things up close to his face. He still has a lot of difficulty with smaller print, but overall his is doing pretty well. We have experienced a couple of great praises this week as well. On Wednesday, we heard from the neurologist about his sleeping medicine. We had been giving him 1 whole pill and he was doing better, but still waking up about 3-5 times a night. He might just wake up crying or coughing, but would lay right back down and go right back to sleep. The doctor wanted us to try giving him 2 pills (which is really only 1 mg). So Wednesday night, we started giving him 2 pills. This has allowed him to sleep almost all night long, with maybe 1 very brief time of waking up. He no longer gets up to use the bathroom and he has been sleeping at least 10 hours every night since last Wednesday. Praise the Lord! He has made such significant progress and we are so thankful for this. The other praise is that for the first time in his entire life, he has been sleeping all night in his bed in his bedroom for 10 days now. We have been able to put away the mattress on the side of our bed and he is going to sleep in his bed every night and waking up to his alarm every morning. This has been such a long awaited blessing for us. It is just awesome to see him at this place after so many long, difficult months of dealing with this. We are praising God for this miracle. And another miracle to praise God for - We actually successfully made it through one whole week of school last week! I can’t tell you how hard I prayed that God would spare us any major issues or distractions so that we could at least get started with school. Everyone is doing well so far. We are trying to settle into a new routine for this year and so far we are making progress. One last thing to share with you is that the fall session of horse therapy began last week. Jonathan’s lesson is at the same time this session as it was last session on Tuesdays at 1 pm. Unfortunately, he had his scheduled endocrine appointment during that time last week, so we were unable to go. But we were able to go today. When we got there, we were expecting to see Mrs. Tammy again, but we found out that we have a new therapist, Mrs. Julie. She was wonderful! She did everything with Jonathan during his lesson today that Mrs. Tammy did with him all during the spring session and then some. He worked on his balance, his riding skills, standing in the saddle, trotting (which seems to be his favorite part!) and he even got to ride Daisy by himself in the riding pen. He also got to give Daisy a wet down before she went back to her pen, which is something that we have never done before. He did so good! He remembered almost everything from the spring session and he was so excited to see his beautiful horse again. He was even able to get on and off his horse without any help getting his leg over the saddle. As we were leaving I thought of the many times we have gone to something expecting it to be one way and finding out that something had changed. God is so faithful and I’m so grateful that He is never surprised by those changes, even though we are. He is so gracious to always make those changes for our good. It always ends up better than we were expecting. So we give Him glory.
Thank you for checking on us and for patiently waiting for these updates. We treasure your friendship and your love and care for our family. Please continue to pray for us that we will be able to keep up the progress we are making with schooling. Pray that we will find our good health again soon. Pray especially for Jonathan and his weight loss. I can’t tell you how easily discouraged I get when I look at this situation. I get frustrated because I can’t seem to make it go down and I don’t know what to do. It seems to continue to go up no matter what I do. And then I stop and pray and give it to my Lord who alone can make it right. I want to Believe God for this miracle as well. Pray that we will Believe, that God will help us overcome our unbelief and that we will expect great things from God in regards to this particular issue in Jonathan’s life. Pray that God will bring someone into our path that He will use to help us with this process, or that He will direct us to the right information that we need to help us. Pray that God will reward our commitment and diligence by allowing us to see Jonathan lose the weight we so desire to see him lose. Pray that his body will process the insulin effectively so that none of it is stored up as fat. Pray that we will begin to be able to reduce the amount of insulin he needs to keep his blood sugars normal and that we will continue to see good blood sugars within normal range. Most of all, continue to pray that we will stand firm in our faith, Believing God for the miracle of complete healing of the diabetes and expecting God to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think. Continue to pray for Grandpa Cooper and the rest of the family. Everyone seems to be doing pretty well, but we could all use the extra prayers. Pray especially for us this weekend as we celebrate Lamar’s birthday. It will be the first family get together without Mom and I know it will be tough. We love all of you so much. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts for your faithful prayers. May God bless you all.

Psalm 138:7-8 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou wilt stretch forth Thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Thy right hand will save me. 8 The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Thy hands.