Saturday, March 31, 2007

Well, I seem to remember ending my last post by saying that I would not wait until the end of the month before writing again. Apparently I did not do what I said. But the wait was not intentional. We have been very busy here for the last couple of week. There are so many great things that I have to share with you and many of them happened just this week. So let me see if I can remember what’s been happening here and share what God has been doing in Jonathan’s life. We have been working hard to stay up with our schooling. Everyone is doing well and even though we have been busy and there have been things to work around, everyone has stayed on schedule with their school work. We are quickly approaching the end of school, so we are seeing the light at the end of this difficult and trying year. The biggest thing we have been working around these last couple of weeks is The World’s Biggest Garage Sale that the Chapel Choir at First Baptist Dallas (Elizabeth’s choir) holds each year to raise money for their choir tour. She has been participating in work days since September, collecting hours that will help pay for her tour. Since March 15, they have been sorting the things they have collected and getting everything ready for the actual garage sale which is this weekend. Elizabeth has worked hard to get her school work done so she could go work each Friday afternoon through Saturday evening to work as many hours as she is allowed. So this has kept us busy getting her back and forth to Dallas and helping out when we can. We also got to celebrate Grandpa Smith’s birthday last week. We were able to spend most of the day with him and we enjoyed our time with our family. In the midst of all of this, Jonathan continues to take drum lessons. He is doing very well and loves learning to play the drums. Mr. Brian is teaching him how to play the Bosinova, and even though I’m not real sure what that is, it sounds impressive! We are so thankful for Mr. Brian and his willingness to teach Jonathan how to play the drums. Someday he is going to follow in Mr. Brian and his Uncle Timmy’s footsteps and serve the Lord with this talent that he has been so graciously given. We had to cancel horse therapy for Grandpa’s Smith’s birthday, but we were back at it this week. We look forward to horse therapy every week. Because it had rained so much on Monday this week, things were pretty muddy out there. But that didn’t seem to bother anyone. Jonathan did great as usual. He is getting better and better about balancing in his feet and legs instead of just using his upper body. One of the best things about Jonathan’s riding is his posture. He always sits up very straight and tall when he rides. He was also able to stand up in his “two point” without holding on for 12 seconds this week. He is always ready to trot, so he was able to do some of that on the trail and in the round pen. Mrs. Julie also worked with him on just riding Gracie in a relaxed position with his hands resting on his legs. Overall, he did really very well. He improves every time he rides. Mrs. Julie is the absolute best teacher and Gracie is the most awesome horse. Elizabeth and Sarah spend quite a lot of time combing Gracie and making her beautiful each week. They also have a great time playing with all the sweet dogs that are out there. It’s just a great time for all of us.
Well, Wednesday was a record awesome day for Jonathan. For the last two weeks, we have been riding bikes for our exercise each morning. We have moved from the scooter to riding bikes, which is great. Jonathan does a great job once he gets started riding his bike. So our routine has been that Sarah goes with us and rides up front so she can warn us of cars and things we might need to know. I help Jonathan get started on his bike then I go get on my bike and catch up with him and follow him so I can keep an eye on him. Well, Wednesday we were out for our bike ride as usual. We had to stop at one point to wait for a car and as we were getting ready to go again, Jonathan said he was going to try something. So I watched as he worked to get started by himself. His biggest problem is being able to get up enough speed to keep going while he tries to lift his leg high enough to get it on the peddle and start peddling before he loses his balance. Up to this point, he has usually had to pull his leg up with his hand in order to get it on top of the peddle, but yesterday after a couple of tries, he actually got started all by himself! Oh we were so excited! He had to stop and started a couple more times before we got home and he was able to do it all by himself. Jonathan was so thrilled that he called his Daddy as soon as he got home to tell him. Then we decided to video tape him and Elizabeth came out and watched him ride. This time he started in the garage and rode up the alley and down our street all by himself while I video tape and waited for him to get down the street. I will tell you that stepping back and letting him do things like this on his own makes me a nervous wreck. I’m so use to being right beside him to protect him from any possible hurt he might encounter. So this is not easy for me, although it is thrilling for me to witness and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Not only did he start and stop on his own, but while I was video taping him, he decided to show me how he could stand up and peddle while he was riding! Another wonderful miracle! What a wonderful day of miracles March 28, 2007 was. We will definitely put this video up for you to see. It will make you praise the Lord right out loud! After saying his Awana verses last night, Jonathan has now made it to the last chapter of his book and he still has about 6 weeks of Awana left. There were a few times at the beginning of the year that I was afraid he was not going to be able to finish the book, but he has really done well since the beginning of the year and I am so very proud of him. Wednesday night was dress rehearsal for our Easter musical that we are presenting this Sunday evening. So towards the end of the rehearsal, the kids came in and Jonathan made his way to his Uncle Timmy to watch him play the drums. Tim was playing the tympani on the last couple of songs and as usual, he let Jonathan grab some sticks and join him. That always makes me nervous because I don’t want Jonathan to mess anything up. But Tim handles him so well and never hesitates to let him get his sticks in there and play. Jonathan is always so proud to be able to assist his Uncle Timmy on the drums. There were many of the choir members who noticed Jonathan playing and told him he was doing a good job. It brings me so much joy to see this sweet boy being given so much love and so many opportunities to do great things because of people like my wonderful brother and so many of you who are such a constant encouragement to him. We are truly so very blessed. Well, we all continue to diligently pursue our diet and exercise program. Last month, Jonathan was able to lose weight, but we were not able to lower his insulin any. This month, we have been able to lower the insulin 3 times, down to 24 units of Lantus each night, but we have not lost any weight. Jonathan is maintaining his weight at 120, so at least he is not gaining. I am praying that God will allow him to lose another 10 pounds by his birthday which is May 24. That gives us two months to accomplish that. I hope you will continue to pray with us regarding that goal.
Well, God has been so good to us. I have been reflecting on God’s miraculous hand in Jonathan’s life over these past few days. Sometimes it’s easy to look for and only notice the big things that happen. But I want to share with you some wonderful miracles that have caught my attention since the beginning of the year. Jonathan has changed and improved so much in so many little ways. I’ve noticed lately that he doesn’t hold my hand as often when we are out as he use to. Every time we go somewhere, as soon as I get out of the car and he walks up next to me, my hand instantly goes out to take his hand. It’s a habit that I have had over these last two years. The only time he would not take my hand is when he is unhappy with me for some reason. But lately I see a confidence in him that allows him to handle walking on his own, without my help. I smile each time I notice it. Another thing I’ve noticed is that he is able to tie his shoes all by himself now. There are times when he asks me to tie them tighter for him, but he always ties them on his own now. Over these last few weeks, Jonathan has been able to do some of his school work on his own. I have been able to give him some grammar work to do and he has been able to do it on his own. One of the hardest things to overcome and the one that has taken us the longest to get through is Jonathan’s ability to use the bathroom on his own without help. While it has never bothered me to help him with this, it has limited his independence to be without someone who would be willing to assist him with this. It is one thing to change diapers, potty train and teach a child how to handle this part of their life when they are very young. But it’s an entirely different thing to do it when they are 8, 9, 10, or even older than that. I know that many of you understand what I am talking about. God has been faithful to give us the grace to deal with this with Jonathan and now, we have been blessed to see Jonathan handling this all on his own. This is indeed one of the biggest blessings we have witnessed this year. So we are praising God this week for all these wonderful miracles and blessings that He so faithfully continues to reveal in Jonathan’s life. No matter how small they may see, they are huge testimonies of God’s continued miraculous work in our lives.
We hope you will continue to pray for Jonathan and our family. Thank God with us for these improvements and accomplishments in Jonathan’s life. Continue to pray for his weight loss and exercise. Pray that we will be able to reach our goal of another 5 pounds during the month of April. Pray that we will continue to be able to drop his insulin and more and that his body will really process the insulin in the most effective way. Pray that he will continue to take the initiative to do things on his own now that he is able to do more things independently. Pray that his legs will become stronger as he continues to exercise them. We have not heard back from either the endocrinologist or Scottish Rite about his upcoming appointments. Our very expensive, very poor insurance just got worse so Jonathan’s medical supplies each month are costing us more and more. Pray that we will continue to Believe God for the miracle of Jonathan’s healing of diabetes and until His will brings this to pass, that we will trust His faithful provision for these needs. We hope you enjoyed the pictures we put out there. Thank you for being our faithful friends and prayer warriors and for continuing to make this journey with our family. You mean more to us that you will ever know. God bless you all.

John 11:40 - Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"

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