Monday, February 19, 2007

Our family is finally well! We are all back to good health and our normal schedule. It took us until about Valentine’s Day before we were all feeling good. Lamar stayed home Monday but went back to work the rest of the week. Jonathan took longer to perk up and finally started showing improvement on Tuesday evening. I finally got the house all cleaned and disinfected and we managed to get back to school on Thursday. We had to cancel drum practice last Monday but we are hoping to make it there tonight. Jonathan has missed his drum lessons these past couple of weeks. We had a great Valentine’s Day. The kids and I took the day off school (not like we hadn’t been off for a week already!) and went shopping so the girls could spend their Valentine money. We just had a great time hanging out together. Then we all went to dinner before going to church for the evening. Thursday Jonathan was back at basketball practice which he missed terribly the week before. On Friday, all the kids went to spend the night at a hotel with Aunt Keby which allowed Lamar and me to actually have a date for the first time in who knows when! Wow! We almost didn’t know what to do with ourselves. The kids always have such a great time with their Aunt Keby. She always does so much for them and for our family and we appreciate her more than we could ever express. Their hotel had an indoor pool, so they stayed in the pool quite a bit. Lamar and I got to have dinner together and go see a movie. It was such a nice time for us and it went by all too quickly. Jonathan had a basketball game on Saturday, so we all met up at his basketball game. I wish all of you could have been there for this particular game. It was the most awesome game yet! Jonathan was ever so ready to play as he had to miss the last week’s game. He had on his new blue sweat band that his Grandma Smith got him for Valentine’s Day. During the first half, Jonathan played in one of the periods. His whole team really played well, but Jonathan stayed very much in the middle of the game – guarding his man on defense and making sure he was in his place on offense. Jonathan’s place is usually on the right side of the basket. His team had the ball and one of his teammates took a shot from the left side of the basket. He over shot the basket and the ball fell right into Jonathan’s arms. Jonathan immediately took the ball and shot it back up for 2 points! We all jumped up and screamed! This was the second time this season that he has had the opportunity to shoot the ball as part of the game instead of just during a “J play.” It was beautiful! And we were beside ourselves with excitement. Jonathan was so proud that he came running back down the court with his hands out giving us all a high five. It was a priceless moment for all of us. There were several times when they ran the “J play” that Jonathan was not able to get the basket and he really had to fight for those plays. That’s okay. It’s good for him to have to fight for his points just like everyone else does. This game was a perfect example of what Upward is all about. There were a couple of guys on our team that had not scored yet and we watched as the coaches and the other guys on the team made it possible for these boys to make their baskets and feel like a vital part of the team. Upward is such a wonderful program that has made such an impact in Jonathan’s life and in our family’s life. Coach Ben, Coach Kevin and this team of boys are absolutely phenomenal. I wish you could watch them in action. They are keenly aware of the other kids on the team, especially those who need a little extra help. They help each other and encourage each other as they play. I have never hear or seen any one of them be unkind to any of their teammates. They are all awesome and we have been tremendously blessed by them. Before the game was over, Jonathan got bumped from behind and was knocked down as he was running down the court. I saw it happen and I screamed but I knew his face didn’t hit the ground. He, of course, started to cry and his coaches were right there within seconds. I made it to half court, stood back, and watched Coach Ben talk him into getting back up and finishing the game. He didn’t get hurt, just a little scared I think. He responds to Coach Ben so well and I knew he would not want to leave the game. He loves to play too much. Coach Ben has the perfect combination of caring and coaching – he takes great care of Jonathan but he never babies him. He makes him work hard for everything he accomplishes and yet it is down with a tremendous amount of encouragement. Once again, God faithfully hand picked this man for this particular time in my son’s life. God is truly good. Well, we were back at church again yesterday. Jonathan got to audition for a part in the spring musical that his choir is going to be working on. We’ll see what happens. He seemed eager to try out this time and his teacher, Mrs. Noelle helped him audition, even though he was completely unprepared. He was pretty proud of his audition though.
Well, because we spent so much time getting over all our illness last week, there’s not much else to tell you. We are back on our school, diet, exercise, schedule this week and hopefully we will be able to stay there without any set backs or interruptions. As I spent time with the Lord this morning, I focused on some specific requests for Jonathan for this week that I will share with you. We are so thankful that even though we were all sick, we all were able to still lose a little weight. Jonathan is down to 122 now. Our goal for February was to lose another 5 pounds. We have 1 ½ weeks to lose 2 pounds in order to reach our goal. Please pray with us that God will be gracious and allow him to meet that goal. He is very thrilled with his progress. He was able to wear a pair of pants to church yesterday that button that he has not been able to get into recently. He has been able to tighten his belt tighter and has to wear a belt with some of his pants. He is tucking his shirts in and is excited about how much slimmer he is looking. Please pray that this will continue. We also wanted to lower his insulin some more this month, but that may not happen. We have been at 32 units at night for some time now. During the week that he was sick, his blood sugars were pretty high most of the time. He was also on medication for 10 days and I think that had something to do with it. We finished the medicine last night, so I am praying that God will specifically give us some of those wonderful low blood sugars again this week. He was down this morning but he seems to jump up quite a bit between breakfast and lunch. I’m not sure why this happens. If any of our diabetic friends out there could shed some light on that for me, I would greatly appreciate it. We are still drinking our protein shakes for breakfast and lunch. So please pray specifically that his blood sugars will drop back down to normal and that if God would bless us, that we might be able to drop the insulin down some more. That would be awesome. One other specific thing for you to pray about is his sleeping. Jonathan is doing “okay” without his medication. Some nights he will only wake up once or twice, other nights he will wake up a number of times. Each time is very brief and nothing too major, but he is still getting up. Please pray that God will heal him of this. I still have not started him back on the medicine yet. I just keep giving it one more night to see if it starts to get better. Please pray that I will be wise with this and know if and when to start him on the medicine again or if I need to just wait it out a little longer. Thank you so much for your precious friendship and for your wonderful faithful prayers for our sweet boy and our family. Thank you for praying with us and Believing God with us for these great things in Jonathan’s life. May God richly bless you this week. We love you all!

Matthew 9:27-30 - As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" "Yes, Lord," they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will it be done to you"; and their sight was restored.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Well, we made it again to the start of a new week. Since the last time I posted, there have been two entirely different weeks here at our house. The first week was great! The second week was awful! It’s amazing how drastically things can change from one week to another. I guess I’ll write in reverse order because I want to thank you so much for your prayers for our family over the last few days. I think we are on the mend…most of us anyway. I started feeling like I was coming down with something last Monday evening. I felt terrible on Tuesday although I kept things going as usual for the day. I felt worse on Wednesday and made it through the morning before I crashed. Lamar was also coming down with something as well, but he took the kids to church on Wednesday because I just couldn’t do it. I had to miss Jonathan’s Grand Prix race, but they took the video camera so I could watch it when they got home. The “Mini Cooper 10” won a second place trophy! It was great. Jonathan was so excited about winning second place. It seemed like a lot of fun for him. His fun and excitement was short lived unfortunately because by the time he went to bed, I could tell he was coming down with something as well. We spent most of the day in bed or on the couch watching movies on Thursday and Lamar and Jonathan both went to the doctor on Friday…strep throat for both of them. Needless to say, not much happened over the weekend. This is the first time either of them have ever had strep throat. Both of them got antibiotics. Sarah had a cold over the weekend as well so she stayed in with the rest of us. Poor Elizabeth is praying and disinfecting as she tries not to get sick. So far she is doing well. She got out and went to church yesterday and I went yesterday evening because she got to sing on the praise team in the service for the very first time. I just couldn’t let her sing without one of us being there to support her. I’m glad I went. She did a great job. Although I still have a residual cough and some sinus drainage, I feel much better today and have spent the day cleaning, disinfecting and catching up from a week of doing nothing. Lamar is feeling better today although he stayed home from work again. His medicine is obviously working. Jonathan is struggling a bit more and his medicine doesn’t seem to be helping as much. I thought the medicine would help with the cold as well, but I was wrong. So I’m trying to stay on top of his cold and hopefully he will be better in a couple of days. He still seems pretty puney today, so please continue to pray for him. We had to deviate from our protein shakes over the last few days because of the illnesses, but it didn’t seem to bother our weight at all. Lamar and I have maintained our weight but Jonathan lost a couple of pounds. He was thrilled! He is now down to 123 pounds. As soon as he regains his strength, we will start him back on the routine. Obviously, exercise has gone by the wayside as well, but we’ll get back to that soon also. His blood sugars have been up also. We seem to have hit a plateau and have not been able to drop his insulin anymore. He is still at 32 units. There are times when I want to get discouraged about that because I’m not ready to stop seeing those awesome results. But I’m praying that the Lord will continue to give me insight and information that will help me know how to proceed. I hope you will continue to pray for us as we continue to progress toward our goal in this area. So that’s where we are as we start this week.
Now, let me go back and pick up the week before. We had such a good week that week. We had a great week of school. Everyone was on a great schedule and it was one of those rare weeks when we accomplished everything that we had planned to do for that week. I should know when we have a great week like that, that we are going to have a crummy week soon to follow. It seems to always happen that way. Oh well, I learn to be thankful for that one great week. Let me back way up to Saturday, Jan. 27. Jonathan played his first full court Upward game at the new athletic center. He did a great job! He got to play several times and even did a “J play” a couple of times. There was one time when someone threw Jonathan the ball after rebounding it and Jonathan got to shoot for a basket without it being a “J play”. It was such a cool moment to see him playing as part of the game without it being his special part. He did great and loved every minute of it. Grandpa and Grandma Smith came to watch him play. After his game, we went to their house for a while before going to see the Ft. Worth Flyers play a basketball game. It was another Starlight Foundation outing that we got to do together. Before the game, the kids got to play in the Kid Zone which is where they have some of the inflatable basketball hoops and obstacle courses set up for the kids to play in. Jonathan wanted to try to do one of the obstacle courses, so Elizabeth went in front and Sarah went behind and even though it was extremely difficult for him to get through, he made it through with the help of his sisters and his Dad. This was the first time he has attempted to get in one of these inflatable things since his illness. I was really proud of him. Before the game started, they let the kids shoot baskets on the court for a little bit. They all had a great time doing that as well. If any of you would like to see pictures that were taken from that evening, you can look at the photo album at: We had such a fun time together that evening and we are very grateful to all those who makes these events possible for our family. Jonathan had his drum practice on Monday that week. On our way to practice, we had the chance to stop by and visit some new friends that we have made over the past few months. I am part of a Mom’s In Touch prayer group that meets every Tuesday afternoon at my house. We spend an hour praying for our children and their specific needs. Some of the Moms that come bring their kids with them. One of our new friends is Luke Calloway. He comes each week and hangs out with my kids while we pray downstairs. Luke is also a drummer and so is his Dad. So Luke invited us to come by so Jonathan and he could hang out and play drums together. They live on the way to Mr. Brian’s house, so we stopped for about an hour to meet Mr. Calloway and to check out their drums and hear them play. Luke and Jonathan are the same age and he has been such a wonderful friend to Jonathan. We are fortunate to know this wonderful family and look forward to knowing them better in the days to come. Jonathan is doing well with his drumming. We had to cancel his lesson last week because Mr. Brian was not feeling well, and we have canceled it tonight as well. But the two things that Jonathan loves to do most during his week are his drum practice and his basketball practice. We made it to basketball practice the first week, missed it last week and hope to be back at it this week. We had the opportunity to have dinner with some of our good friends from Lakeland on that Friday night. On Saturday, Jonathan played basketball again and did a great job again. This was a tough game for the Bulls (Jonathan’s team) but they all worked hard and stayed in there until the end. After their game they had team pictures made and then we went home and visited with Uncle Timmy and Aunt Keby for a while. This weekend was a busy weekend for our family. On Sunday, February 4, we celebrated Grandma Cooper’s first birthday in heaven. The library at First Baptist Dallas dedicated one of the reading rooms in her honor and memory on her birthday. We had the privilege of gathering some photos of her and over that weekend, we worked to make a small scrapbook for people to enjoy. This was another first in our grieving process. This one was the hardest one yet for us. I had no idea it was going to be so difficult. After church and having lunch together at one of Mom’s favorite restaurants, the whole family went to the graveside for a little bit. This was the first time that our family had been out there since she was buried. The sadness was so strong that it was as if were there again, the day of her death, when we first were there to make the arrangements. We prayed together and we cried… the kids cried more that day than they did when we were out there for her burial. I can’t remember missing anyone as much as I miss her. Oh how grateful I am for the promise of heaven. I’m so thankful that she is there and I can’t wait until we get to be there with her. Well, it wasn’t 48 hours after that day before we found ourselves sick again for the entire week last week. I don’t know if this grieving process has had anything to do with our illnesses, but we have been sick more in the last 6 months that we have been since Jonathan got sick 2 years ago. I hope you will continue to pray for our family as we work through this grieving process and the changes that we will walk through over the next months.
Well, I know that all of this is very random and I hope you will forgive me for it. Thank you for your faithful friendship and for continuing to check on us and pray for us. Please pray for our family that we will find physical healing for our sick bodies this week. Pray especially for Jonathan’s healing as he seems to be having the most difficult time getting over his stuff. Pray for us that we will be able to stay on our diet and exercise program and that we will continue to see weight loss and results from our efforts. Pray especially that we will begin to see results in Jonathan’s blood sugars again and that the Lord will allow us to continue to adjust his insulin levels. Please pray that we will get back to good health and that we will be able to get back to our normal routine. Continue to pray for Jonathan’s sleeping. We have made it through the two weeks of no medication. Overall he is doing okay. He is waking up from time to time during the night, but so far it has not been anything major. He does, however, cry when he wakes up which reminds me of how things began originally. I don’t know if his being sick and uncomfortable is having anything to do with it or not. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I want him to be able to sleep without medication and to have this behind us. Pray that he will be able to handle sleeping through the night without medication. And pray that I will not get discouraged and that I will trust the Lord to take care of this in His perfect time and His perfect way…even if that means I have to put him back on the medication again. As always, thank you for loving us, caring for us, praying for us, and encouraging us. Know that on this Valentine’s Day, we are thanking God for the gift of so many precious friends who have faithfully shown the love of God to our family. We love you all.

Ephesians 1:15-19 - For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

Friday, February 9, 2007

I have been trying to post an update for several days but I have just been unable to do it. For now, I would ask you to pray for our family. I have been sick with the flu since Tuesday, Jonathan is also sick with the flu and Lamar has strep throat. Elizabeth just got over a cold last week and is okay at this time, but I am keeping an eye on Sarah as she is not feeling well today either. This has been a miserable week for us. Please pray for God’s healing for our family. As we will probably be at home for the next several days, I’ll try to update as I begin to feel better and have the energy to sit up and type. Thank you for checking on us and as always for your faithful prayers. We know that we can count on you for that. God bless you all.

Psalm 103:2-5 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-- 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.