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."