Saturday, January 27, 2007

Well, I hope this post finds you all well and enjoying your new year. I also hope you are enjoying our new website. Dad did a wonderful job of updating it and we love it. You can get to the website both from and Thank you for continuing to check on us and for praying for us so faithfully. I hope that when we reach eternity, the Lord will allow me to throw a big thank you party for all of you so that I can personally hug each of you and tell you how much your prayers have meant to me and my family. Your prayers of faith and Believing God on our behalf have been counted to you as righteousness (Rom 4:20-22) and your reward will be great in heaven.
Our month of January has been a wonderful start to this new year. We have struggled with passing around a cold, but it has not been too severe. We have a pretty steady schedule that keeps us busy 2-3 nights a week, but allows us to spend the other nights at home together as a family. Thanks to the weather, we have had the chance to spend a number of days together as well. I know that I have shared this before, but when I think back to Jonathan’s illness and those months that he was in the hospital, the greatest sadness that I struggled with was having my family torn apart. We are a close knit family and have spent most of our lives together at home. If you give me the option of going out and doing something or staying at home with my family, don’t take it personally, but I will usually opt for home with my family. My girls, on the other hand, are always looking for someone to do something with! But home is where I love to be, surrounded by those precious people that God has graciously given me to share it with. Right now I am keeping up with and praying for a family who has a little daughter going through some significant medical issues. Not only is this mother away from her husband and other children, but she is in a completely different state, alone, handling days in the hospital with this sick baby by herself. Each time I read her posts I hear the struggle and ache in her heart about this very same thing. I understand to a certain extent just how she feels but she is enduring this to a much greater extent than I had to. I have witnessed God’s faithfulness to us over this last year in that He has repaid our family a hundred fold for those almost 100 days we spent away from each other during those difficult months. (Joel 2:25a) I am so much more aware of this blessing now that I ever was before. There are times when I will stop and think of what I would be doing right then if we had not gone through this experience. We would still be a family but we would all be doing our own thing, going in all different directions. Life is precious and each day is a gift from God. Don’t waste it on things that are fleeting and will quickly pass away. The Lord continues to teach me so much that it is easy to find myself preaching! I thank you for your graciousness in letting me share this with you. But I will stop preaching now and share with you how Jonathan is doing.
We are so very pleased with the diet and exercise plan that we are currently on. The weight is very slow in coming off, but that’s okay. Lamar has lost about 15 pounds and Jonathan and I have lost 3 pounds so far. I’m not sure how it all works, but even though he has only lost 3 pounds, he definitely looks thinner in the midsection. It has been so wonderful to hear people encourage him and share with him how good he is looking. We are still drinking our shakes at breakfast and lunch and we have a low carb, low calorie snack late in the afternoon if we get really hungry. Then we have a healthy, low carb, low calorie meal for dinner. We are still eating around 20-30 carbs and 1000 calories or less a day. We try to do some kind of exercise each day. The biggest blessing is that Jonathan’s blood sugar levels have been better since we started this program than they have ever been. He continues to wake up with a low blood sugar (50-80), which means that we have been able to steadily go down on his lantus several times. We are now down to 32 units which is 10 units less than we started the year at. Praise the Lord! I have looked and looked for ways to go down on his insulin for over a year now and the Lord has blessed our efforts and we are seeing that very thing happen right now. His new trend right now is that he is low at breakfast and bedtime, but high (over 200) at lunch and dinner. Not sure what that means, but I keep praying that the Lord will give me insight regarding it and what to do about it. Minus the colds we have had, we all seem to feel better and we are getting around much better. Jonathan especially seems to be moving much better. I hope the exercise is increasing the strength in his legs and allowing him more flexibility. He is doing great in basketball! He has improved so much since last year. His stamina is greatly improved and he is able to practice an entire hour without extra rest. His biggest challenge right now is being able to hear plays called out, process them and act accordingly in order to help his team and participate in the game. Sarah and I worked with him on the specific plays that their team does to help him remember what he is supposed to do. Today is his second game and will be played at an athletic center in Flower Mound. The difference between playing at Lakeland and this athletic center is that at the athletic center they will be playing full court instead of half court. So we worked on running this week with Jonathan. Running is very difficult for him and he tires very, very quickly. His coaches are so good and are working to determine the best way to allow Jonathan to play without wearing him out. So we will be praying about this game today. Jonathan is doing very well with his drumming and Awana. He is also doing well in school. He struggles with remembering things and understanding some concepts, especially division. But he is a very diligent worker and tries very hard. This past week in Awana, since we were unable to go the week before because of the weather, Jonathan said 8 verses and finished up his 4th chapter. Daddy came to church with him and got to help him make his wooden car for the Grand Prix race that they will have in a couple of weeks. His car is red, white and blue and he is pretty excited about it. We had the opportunity to go back to Lakeland last Sunday to celebrate Bro. Ben’s retirement. It was great to be back at Lakeland and see so many of you whom we love and miss seeing each week. We are thankful for the privilege of knowing Bro. Ben and for the way God used him in our lives during our years at Lakeland. We went through several journeys of faith during our years there and Bro. Ben was there to pray us through, support and encourage us along the way. We are praying that God will bless him, lead him and use him in a special way in this new phase of his life and ministry. We love you Bro. Ben! We also got to come back on Wednesday night and share in the 19th anniversary party for Thom Wilder. Thom and the worship ministry at Lakeland have a very special place in our family’s heart as we all love music and have been blessed to serve the Lord in that capacity. While we were there, visiting with our friends, we were blessed once again to hear of God’s work in the lives of our special friends Ken and Anita Hale. A little over a year before Jonathan had his stroke, our sweet friend Ken had a stroke of his own. We watched and prayed and encouraged Ken throughout his recovery. Elizabeth, Sarah and Jonathan are 3 of his biggest fans! As we look back now, it is amazing to see God’s hand and work preparing all of us for what lie ahead for Jonathan. Ken and Anita have been Jonathan’s biggest fans throughout his journey as well. On Wednesday night, Anita shared how the Lord has provided a device that will allow Ken to walk again which is a desire of his heart that we have prayed for since the beginning of 2006. As we listened to Anita share the details of this story, we had goose bumps all over us and we were laughing, crying and praising God all at the same time. There is some significant faith that will be required of them to see the fulfillment of this prayer, but I know that God will show Himself strong on their behalf and will restore this to them a hundred fold, just as we have seen Him do in Jonathan’s life. And it will be because of the prayers of many and to bring honor and glory to the Father. (2 Cor. 1:11).
Well, I’ve got to go get ready for our day. We love each of you more than we can ever tell you. Please continue to pray for Jonathan and our family. God is at work in our lives! Please pray that we will continue to see success on our diet and exercise program. Pray that Jonathan will continue to lose weight and that he will continue to have good blood sugars. Pray that we will be able to continue to go down on his insulin until he no longer needs it! Also, pray for him over the next couple of weeks. Tonight is the last night that Jonathan will get his sleeping medicine. He has done very well on half a pill for the last two weeks and tomorrow we will try sleeping without any medication. He has been on it for 5 months and it will take a couple of weeks to get out of his system. Pray that the Lord will give us success and that this issue will be far behind us. We are Believing God for this miracle in Jonathan’s life. Please pray for Jonathan’s ability to grasp the concepts in school. Pray that his memory will be sharp and that he will understand what he is learning. Thank you for your prayers for our family. God has been faithful to provide for our financial needs and we continue to trust Him daily for His provision. There is always something to pray for in our families, as you all know very well, so we covet your continued prayers for our family as well. God is at work all around us. Look for Him, watch diligently for Him at work in people’s lives around you – in your own life. God has called us to be His witnesses. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to know God in a deeper, more incredible way. You will not be disappointed! Have a wonderful week!

Isaiah 43:10-11 - 10 "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me. 11 I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from Me there is no Savior.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Wow! Can you believe it’s already 2007? It’s truly amazing. First of all, let me apologize for the problems with the website. Because I was being a delinquent updater, we did not realize that the website had been down for so long. We are trying to correct the issue and hopefully will have it up and running again soon. Some changes may have to be made to it but hopefully they will be good changes. Thanks for checking on us and for always keeping us in your prayers. Please forgive me for not updating sooner.
We enjoyed our Christmas holiday so much that we were not ready for it to be over. There is much to share with you as we ended one year and began another. We had a wonderful Christmas! We spent some time with both our families and just spent the rest of the time hanging out together. This Christmas was not without its stresses, but there seemed, to me, to be such an incredible peace that surrounded us and overpowered the stresses that were present. It was such a blessing. During the last week of the year, we had dinner with some special family friends and prepared for our Dec. 30th get together at our house. The night before when I was putting Jonathan to bed, he seemed a little somber. He asked me when the exact date was that he got sick. I told him it would be two years ago the next day. I asked him if he was okay and he began to cry. He had started getting a cold during the day, so I don’t think he felt real good, but I also think that he was a little overwhelmed thinking about that. We talked and I told him that he didn’t need to be afraid, that God had been with us then and He would continue to be with us on our journey, so there was no need to fear. We prayed for a little bit and talked a little and then I let him sleep on the mat beside my bed. I stayed in the room reading a book while he was going to sleep. He usually goes to sleep pretty quickly and I expected him to do the same this night. While I was reading, I heard some quiet whispering coming from him so I stopped to listen and realized that he was praying for God to heal him. This is something he does very often but this was the first time I had the privilege of witnessing it. I was so touched and moved by his unending trust in the Lord, even though he is so young and he has gone through so much. Jonathan remains a strong testimony and example to me – he remains my hero. We had several families join us at our house on the 30th. We had a nice time visiting and sharing about the things that God has done in our lives over the last year. New Year’s Eve was busy for us. After going to church in the morning, we all participated in the New Year’s Parade. It’s been a number of years since they have had this parade and they were trying to bring it back. First Baptist Dallas had two floats in the parade and Jonathan and I got to ride on one of them. Elizabeth and Sarah carried banners for the floats with their friends and Lamar shuttled people back and forth from the church to the parade. It turned out to be a lot of fun even though it was quite chilly that day. That took up most of our day, but we spent the rest of the year at home. Jonathan rolled in the New Year with a very nice drum roll on his drums. He’s getting really good at that. We spent the first week of 2007 just getting some things done and preparing to get back to our regular schedule this week. We made some more changes in our diet and exercise starting on Jan. 2. Lamar, Jonathan and I began drinking protein shakes for breakfast and lunch and eating a low carb, low calorie meal at dinner. In addition to watching our carbs, we have decreased our calorie intake significantly. It has not been too bad, although we really have to concentrate and work hard at making it through our day until we get to eat dinner. Jonathan and I have been walking or bike riding every day (except Sunday) for almost 2 weeks now. We were a little disappointed that we didn’t lose any weight after the first week, but we did have some positive things happen because of what we were doing. Jonathan’s blood sugars have been very, very good. I have been able to lower his lantus from 42 to 38 so far because he has been waking up in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s almost every morning. Because he is not eating any carbs at breakfast and lunch, if he is within normal blood sugar range (80-150) then he doesn’t get a shot at that meal. So over the last 2 weeks he has gone from getting 4-5 shots a day down to 2-3 shots a day. These have been great blessings that we have been so thankful for. We are hoping that as we continue to eat low carb and low calorie, as we exercise regularly, and as we hopefully can continue to lower his insulin intake, that all of this together will help us lose some of the weight that we have gained. This morning when we got on the scales, Jonathan had lost 3 pounds, I had lost 3 pounds and Lamar had lost 7 pounds! Praise The Lord! What an encouragement! Jonathan also woke up with a blood sugar in the 50s so I will be dropping his lantus again tonight to 36. Please pray for us that we can continue to see results from our diligence and discipline in this area. I ended up calling about his blood work results because I never heard from the doctor. The thyroid and metabolic profile tests that he had done all came back looking good. I did spend some time doing some research on this prader willie syndrome that he wanted to have him tested for. As I have had some time to ponder on the things that this gait specialist had to say, I feel as though none of these diseases that they are looking for are the problem. I have always felt like that but because I am not a medical personnel, my opinion doesn’t hold much weight. But God has placed us as Jonathan’s parents and I feel that God’s direction to me about this is that this is not where the problem lies. So after getting the results of his blood work, I canceled the MRI that was to be done last week and I am not having him tested for these other diseases. I still must decide about who he is going to see for an endocrinologist. We will either call Children’s and go back and see the doctor he saw originally, or we will try to find an independent doctor to work with Jonathan. As far as his foot goes, I plan to call Scottish Rite this week to get an application and find out if there are any other possibilities available for Jonathan’s foot. Another change that we have made with Jonathan is that we are slowing backing off on his sleeping medicine. On Jan. 1, we began taking 1 pill (0.5 mg.) instead of 2 (1 mg). The doctor told us to wait about 2 weeks between each change, so for the last two weeks he has been sleeping well with only 1 sleeping pill. Last night we took the 1 pill and broke it in half and will continue to take this for the next two weeks. So far so good. We are pleased with his progress in this area as well. If he sleeps well without any medication, we will be able to cancel our follow up appointment with the neurologist and we will have made it through another significant hurdle. God has been so good to us. Please pray that Jonathan will continue to handle sleeping normally without medication. So this is where we are with Jonathan at this point. We started back to school this week. Everyone is doing well so far and we had a good, productive week this week. On Tuesday we attended the open house of the new wing of Our Children’s House at Baylor downtown. We got to see most of the doctors, nurses and therapists that he had while he was there. Everyone remembered him and was thrilled to see him. Our Children’s House has a beautiful new wing with more rooms, offices, therapy rooms and a beautiful new gym. We told them we were not going to come stay but we were glad to be able to see the new facility. There was a baby in a baby bed in room 209 where Jonathan stayed. We are thankful for the way God worked in Jonathan’s life while he was there, but we are even more thankful that he no longer has to be there. It is a bittersweet feeling to be down there. We have much to be thankful for. We enjoyed the cold weather over the weekend, but wished we had seen more snow that we got to see. We were able to make it church on Sunday morning, but otherwise we spent the weekend together at home. Saturday was Jonathan’s first basketball game with Upward this year. It was a tough game and even though his team lost, they all played a great game. Jonathan did really well. He got to make two baskets with the “J play” and worked hard while he was in the game. Jonathan’s level of processing is extremely slow therefore it takes him a while (if at all) for him to hear what someone is saying to him and to do it. Hopefully we can work on this and help him to improve as the weeks go by. On the other hand, this time he didn’t just stand in his spot and wait for everything to come to him. He was in the middle of the game, yelling at his teammates, ready for them to throw him the ball so he could help out. When he was not playing, he was cheering on his team from the side. I couldn’t help but think of how far Jonathan has come since last year’s first Upward game. Jonathan was still crying every time he would get fatigued and need to sit down. Now he can make it through an entire practice without sitting down. Last year, he started to cry when I left him with his team as they lined up for the first game. This year, he never looked back. Once he was with his team, his focus was on his coach and what he had to say. One thing that is the same as last year is that his coaches and teammates love him, encourage him and cheer him on at every turn; even the new guys. How great is our God!
Well, again I apologize for being so late with this post. To be honest, I was just enjoying our time off and then we got busy. But as always, thank you for thinking of us and for checking on us. You all are our wonderful, precious friends and we are so humbled and so grateful for each of you. Please keep us in your prayers. Pray that we will continue to see progress with our weight loss and diet. Pray that Jonathan’s blood sugars will continue to improve and that we will be able to lower his insulin intake even more. Pray for his flexibility, strength and stamina as we continue to exercise. Pray for us as we determine what God wants us to do regarding Jonathan’s doctors. Pray that God will direct us regarding the correction of his foot. Pray that Jonathan will be able to improve in his focus and processing skills. And continue to pray for progress with his sleeping and that we will be able to successfully get off of the sleeping medicine very soon. You can pray for our family as well as we are facing some significant financial issues. Pray that God will guide us in what we need to do and that He will help us to trust Him for what we cannot do. We love you all. You mean so very much to us. We pray that God will abundantly bless you with His most incredible blessings in this Blessed New Year.

Psalm 37:3-5 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.