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.