Sunday, August 19, 2007

Oh my goodness! Where has the time gone? I have never waited this long to post an update! It’s been an entire month and I can’t believe it! This has been the busiest month for me. You should see my August calendar; there are only a couple of squares that don’t have something written in them. Our entire summer has not been exceptionally busy, but that could be because I waited until August, just before school starts, to get my life organized and my home cleaned up. On top of all of that, we have had an unusual amount of doctor appointments this month. Jonathan has had his doctor appointments, Elizabeth and Sarah have had their physicals as well as one has been seen for glasses/contacts and one is being seen for orthodontics, and I have had my yearly doctor appointments. That’s what happens when your insurance kicks in! So needless to say, we have been extremely busy over these last four weeks. On the whole, our family is doing great. It feels good to get things straightened up and organized. There are some things that will not be done before school, but those projects are neatly stacked around my house to be done a little at a time over the next few months. The big things will be finished up this week after we have our garage sale and get all the remaining things out that need to go. I spent the weekend organizing and getting things prepared for school to begin on the 27th. I am finally getting ready for that to happen. At one point, earlier in the month, I remember hearing myself say that just the thought of school made me want to cry because I was not ready for that to happen. As it usually does, the closer it gets, the more I find myself ready to begin. I’m glad the Lord does that for me. Being a home school Mom, there is not much else that happens during the school year for me except for school. It consumes almost all of my time. But I don’t mind. As a matter of fact, I love being able to do it. This year I am praying specifically that nothing major will happen as we begin this new year of school. If you remember, last year we started school and after two days, Lamar’s Mom left us to go live with Jesus. This, coupled with the fact that we were in a new year with Elizabeth starting high school, made for one of the most difficult years we have ever had in our home schooling experience. So we are praying for a smooth start to the school year and that the Lord will allow it to be uneventful.
Well, let me see if I can back up a month and let you know how Jonathan has been doing and what has been going on. I believe the last time I wrote was the day before the girls left for youth camp. They did indeed go to camp and they had a wonderful time. We had to have them at the church by 5:30 am, which we did, and Jonathan went with us. He wanted to be able to tell the girls good-bye and was willing to get up and come with us to do that. He did really well that week without them. We had several things planned that week and we had a good week while they were gone. On Monday, we went to visit a couple of my good friends who live out of town. They both have young children that we had not seen much of, so we went and had a great visit with them. Jonathan loves little children, especially babies, and he had a great time playing with the kids. After that we went to have lunch with Dad and see his office and meet the guys he works with. We also spent some time that week working on cleaning and rearranging Jonathan’s room. We cleaned it all out and moved his furniture around to make it new and different for him. We would work for a couple of hours in the morning and then go swimming or to see a movie during the afternoon. We finished the week by painting the dresser in his room and hanging up some special stuff on his walls. On Tuesday, we spent the morning going through his Diabetes class. We were mostly reminded of things that we have heard before or already know, but there were a few things that we learned that will be helpful as we continue to manage his diabetes to the best of our ability. We found out that we had to sign up for another class, an intensive insulin class, in order to find out about using the pump, so we really didn’t find out anything that day about that. When I called to schedule that class, they were full until the end of August, so that is something we will be attending on Monday, Aug. 27. So hopefully, we will find out more about using the pump at this upcoming class. On Friday, Jonathan had a special event to go to. There are some precious people in our Sunday School class who are members of the Founders Club with the Frisco Roughriders Baseball team. They graciously gave us tickets to go to one of the games, so we went on this particular Friday evening. We got there about 45 minutes before the game began and one of the young men who works there, took Jonathan and us on a tour of the complex. First off, he gave Jonathan a baseball cap signed by one of the players and they Jonathan got to meet him and have his picture taken with him. After that he took us around and shared some things about the complex. He took us to the dugout and let Jonathan check out the practice bat, listen on the phone that they use in the dugout, stand on the practice mound, and walk around in the pitcher’s warm up area. We got to go out on the field and have a picture taken and then went back up to where our seats were, just in time for the game to start. We had such a great time learning about what goes on at a baseball game. We had incredibly awesome seats, about 8 rows from the field, right between home plate and the Rider’s dugout. Jonathan had his binoculars held to his face almost the entire time and he followed just about every detail of the game. I have never seen him so interested in a game before as he was that night. After that game was finished, which the Roughriders won, we got to watch some very cool fireworks, right above our heads. It beat the July 4th fireworks that we saw, hands down. The entire evening was a wonderful experience for all of us and we are grateful to the Leeds for blessing us with this opportunity. Even though we had a great week, we were thrilled to have Elizabeth and Sarah back home from camp on Saturday. I love to listen to people talk to Jonathan about his sisters being gone. He usually tells people that he has a good time without them, but he is always so glad to have them home. He will usually tell people that he is glad he is not an only child. He loves his sisters and misses them when they are not here. We took them to dinner and just listened to them tell their stories and talk about their experiences of the week. We were blessed to see that the Lord had spoken to them in specific ways and to hear the things they talked about and learned about during the week. On Sunday night after the camp service, we went to dinner with several hundred other people from camp. It was chaotic but fun…just like it was when we were their age. Watching them go through their youth experience at First Baptist is like reliving our own experiences for Lamar and me. God is so good to have brought us to this place. Well, as I said earlier, much of the days and weeks that have followed the kid’s week of fun have been spent working on cleaning out and reorganizing things in our home. In the midst of all of that work, we have had some special friends over for dinner a couple of time, the girls have taken turns spending some time with Grandpa and Grandma Smith, and we attended a stage play of Little Women done at our church. The lead role of Jo March was played by Jonathan’s choir teacher, Mrs. Noelle Stanley. Uncle Timmy also played the drums and percussion for the play. They did a wonderful job and it was an enjoyable evening. Jonathan spent the first half sitting with Uncle Tim and watching him play all the parts he had to play. He has watched Uncle Tim do this several other times and always takes advantage of these opportunities. As a matter of fact, Jonathan has started coming to choir with me so he can go hang out with Uncle Timmy in orchestra practice. Most of the time he loves to just watch, but Uncle Timmy is good about letting him play something somewhere along the way, which always thrills Jonathan. He always feels so special when he gets to play. Back to the play, during the second half, Jonathan sat with us and watched his choir teacher, whom he absolutely adores, play her role as Jo March. He was thrilled with what he saw. He stood outside after the play was over until she came out and he had a chance to tell her how wonderful she did. He was very proud of her. This past weekend, Elizabeth had her friends over for a party to celebrate her birthday (which was actually back in July) and to watch the premier of High School Musical 2. There was a house full of giggly girls, screaming and having a great time and Jonathan was right in the middle of it most of the time. He might act like it’s a bother to have all those girls around, but the truth is that he really doesn’t mind too much. This week Jonathan will have his last drum practice with Mr. Brian. The Lord has brought us to this point and it is time for us to make a change in this part of Jonathan drum training. God has used Mr. Brian in a significant way in Jonathan’s life in helping prepare him to use this talent that He has given him. Before Jonathan ever even thought of playing the drums, Mr. Brian would show him how to play some things when he was over at his house. I’ll never forget the day that I walked into the ICU waiting room just a couple of days after Jonathan suffered his stroke to see Mr. Brian and Mrs. Debbie standing there holding Jonathan’s first pair of drum sticks and hearing Mr. Brian say to me, “Jonathan is going to need these when he gets out of the hospital.” We kept those drum sticks in his room to remind us of the faith of those precious friends who we knew were praying and Believing God with us for Jonathan’s healing. We have been incredibly blessed by this family’s love for us. Change is never easy to make, but it is a good thing, especially when you know that it continues to keep you in the center of God’s will. So while we will miss Mr. Brian, we are so thankful for the sacrifices he and his family have made to teach Jonathan how to play the drums, and we pray God’s richest blessings on his life and the life of his family.
Well, I think we are up to date on our life now. Thank you so much for waiting on me to update. I hope things will begin to settle down once my house is in order and we get into our routine of school. Thank you for continuing to pray for Jonathan. He is doing very well. He is still weighing in at 112 which is good. Please pray that he will continue to lose those last 12 pounds before the end of the year. Pray that we will continue to be diligent in our exercise and that his legs, especially, will continue to gain strength. Pray for our upcoming insulin class as we begin to pursue using the pump. Pray that God will work out all the details and that we will know exactly what we need to do. Jonathan is still doing great sleeping without his medicine. Praise God for such a wonderful answer to prayer. There are some new changes on the horizon for Jonathan and some old things that will begin again in the next couple of weeks. We anticipate God’s continued work in Jonathan’s life in the days ahead and look forward to seeing what He has in store for him. I have been given two Scriptures in the last week that I wanted to share with you. The first is from my precious friend and mentor for many years. She emailed me and told me she was reading her Bible and came across this Scripture: Lametations 3:31-32. “For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness.” She had written beside that verse: Jonathan Cooper – 1/3/05. Our God is faithful to His promises. The second Scripture is another promise that our pastor spoke on last night in church. I pray that this week, God will remind you of His special promises to you. Thank you for your love and prayers for us. We love you all!

Psalm 138:8 – The Lord will accomplish (perfect) that which concerns me; Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your own hands.

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