Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Well, I’m finally here with an update! Thank you for continuing to check on us and for patiently waiting on me to write. The Lord has been good to us and we are doing well here. We have just been busy living life; nothing out of the ordinary, just doing what we are supposed to be doing right now. I have learned since Jonathan’s illness that our lives don’t have to be extraordinary to be thankful for them. God is in the everyday; He gives us our everyday. It is a precious gift from Him. Sometimes we fail to realize how precious those ordinary, everyday lives are until they are taken away from us for a while. I find myself constantly aware of that fact now. I pray that God never again has to remind me to treasure the gift of life that He gives us each day. Life takes on a different outlook after a lesson like that. God is so very good. Well, let me see if I can back track a couple of weeks and share with you what has been going on. We had a wonderful Easter Sunday. Everyone looked very nice in their beautiful Easter clothes. You will see pictures one of these days. We had lunch at Grandpa Cooper’s house with all of the family and enjoyed a nice afternoon with all of them. That night we went and shared in the Lord’s Supper with our Lakeland friends and family. It’s always a blessing to return to Lakeland and worship with them. We are blessed to have two church families to belong to. The day after Easter, Elizabeth and Sarah both had friends off of school, so we took the day off of school as well and just hung out with friends and went to see a movie. It was a fun, relaxing day. We have spent the last couple of weeks just having normal school days at our house. We are looking at the last 4 weeks or so of school. I am so thankful that this year is almost over. This has been one of the hardest school years for our family, but God has faithfully brought us through it and we are anxiously waiting to finish and start our summer. Everyone is doing great on schoolwork. Elizabeth has the most work to do and has been diligently working on her first year of high school. She has had a difficult work load and overcome many obstacles to finish this year. I am so proud of her. Sarah has also done a great job this year and been able to accomplish most of her work on her own this year. Jonathan has definitely improved from last year. We have gone farther this year than we did last year, although we will not finish all of his math book again this year. He has improved significantly on his spelling. Everyday he begins by writing out his spelling words and then studies them on his own and takes a test at the end of each week. He finished his spelling tests for the year this week and has done a great job. I have been able to give him grammar assignments that he has been able to complete on his own. This is a definite change from last year. He continues to improve in his reading and writing so that he can do more things on his own. We will finish more than half of his math book this year, which is much more than we did last year. He is understanding more and more each time we work on his math. I anticipate this to continue to improve each year. Jonathan has also done a phenomenal job on his Awana verses. He will complete his Awana book tonight with 3 weeks to spare. He has said an average of 3 verses in each section which means that throughout this book, he will have learned and recited somewhere between 150-200 verses this year. I have seen him grow in this since the beginning of the year. He struggled some during the first half of the year, but he has really improved in this second half. I am so proud of him. Jonathan continues to make great progress in his drumming. Mr. Brian does such a great job with him and he absolutely loves learning to play the drums. He is learning new things all the time and I can hear the changes in his playing when he practices. Since I wrote last, Jonathan has only been able to have horse therapy 1 time because of the weather. We have been rained out the last couple of week. We always love it when it rains but not when it interferes with horse therapy. When we did go a couple of weeks ago, Aunt Keby got to come and go with us. This was the first time that Jonathan rode Lollypop. Lolly is a wonderful horse and Mrs. Julie is the most wonderful therapist we could ever ask for. We have really seen Jonathan improve just in the short time he has been riding this session. He is learning to balance better in his legs and feet. He is getting stronger and stronger each time he rides. He always has beautiful posture when he rides and he looks so professional. Each week he improves in his two-point and standing in the stirrups while Lolly walks without losing his balance. He is able to get on the horse now without help but he usually needs a little bit of help getting off. This week he mounted and dismounted all on his own. It’s just a wonderfully encouraging experience for Jonathan each week and we are so thankful for this blessing in his life. We are praying that if it rains next week, it will come on another day besides Tuesday. Jonathan continues to work hard on his exercise. We are all still working on our weight loss, exercise and dieting. God has been gracious to allow us to see some significant results but we are all still working towards reaching our individual goals. It’s so great to see progress. It helps us to continue to be diligent and not give up. Jonathan is hovering around 117-118. He continues to diligently exercise each day. I was thinking just yesterday about how Jonathan has changed in this area since we began this in January. For the first two months, I would have to tell him that we were going to go walk each day. It would probably be accurate to say that this was not his favorite thing to hear. Most of the time he would say, “Oh, we are going to go walk today?” But now, everyday I hear him say, “Mom, when are we going to go on our walk?” Even if I thought we might skip our walk on a day, he reminds me that we are going. He is doing so well riding his bike now. So, since he can ride his bike, ride his scooter and walk, we split it up and do a different one each day. Truth be known, he would ride his bike everyday. The last couple of times he has ridden his bike and his scooter, he has done it without stopping. This alone is a great accomplishment. He pushes himself so hard when he rides his bike, especially on those uphill streets. Sometimes he goes so slow and pushes so hard, but he is so very determined and he never complains about how hard it is. He is one awesome kid! Jonathan spent the afternoon at church this past Sunday practicing for the spring musical that the Children’s Choir will be presenting this Sunday evening. He is really looking forward to his first acting role since his illness. He is the Big Bad Wolf in the musical “Once Upon a Time.” He loves his choir and is doing such a great job.
Well, as you can see, there is nothing extra spectacular to update, but so much to be thankful for in the everyday. God continues to work in our family and to show Himself strong on our behalf each and every day. Thank you for your constant prayers and for regularly checking on us. Please continue to pray for Jonathan. Pray that he will continue to lose weight. I don’t know if he will make his goal of 110 by his birthday or not, but we will be thankful for whatever God gives us by that time. Pray that he will continue to see results because of his faithfulness to work hard at his diet and exercise. Pray that he will be able to finish school well over these next few weeks. Please continue to pray for his appointment with Scottish Rite. They responded again with another request for more information, so we patiently wait to hear back from them again. Also pray that God will show us where we need to go for his endocrine care. I can’t tell you how much I would just love to see Jonathan’s healing and not have to worry about an endocrine doctor, but I know that God’s timing is perfect and that He will be faithful to show us who we need to see until His healing comes. Pray that his blood sugars will remain good. We have struggled with some slightly higher levels lately, so pray that we will know whatever changes we need to make in order to help keep them within normal range. Also pray for our family as we will be leaving Thursday morning to go out of town and will return late in the day on Saturday. I’ll share more about that next time. Just thank God with us for His blessings in our everyday lives. God is faithful and His love endures forever. Thanks again for checking on us, dear friends. We love and cherish each one of you dearly. Until next time…

Psalm 34:8-10 8 O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! 9 O fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him, there is no want. 10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.

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