Sept 1, 2004

The past few days have been wonderful as Jenny and I have had more time alone and with the kids. I am impressed that she has been able to support herself in a sitting position (legs crossed and arms supporting her upper body) while on the floor. Like many other things, she could not do it this well just a short while ago. Jenny has enjoyed being able to go to the back to school nights for Zach and Jessie, but it is with mixed emotions. She has always enjoyed being a parent volunteer at school (when not a teacher herself) and it is hard to not be as involved as she would like to be. She also struggles with the fact that she has little control of her emotions, so she will either laugh or cry without the ability to control it. I know she is self conscious about it and I will see her laugh at something (that most people would chuckle about in their head) and then she will turn to tears because she knows it is not a situationally appropriate emotion.

We had a visit by my Aunt Janice and Uncle Ron, from Utah. It was great to see them and these visits are always a positive thing for Jenny’s morale. Anyhow, I guess the kids have been surrounded with so many relatives in the past few months that are new to them, or have not seen in a while that they simply just catigorize them in three groups. Children are in the cousin group. Adults in our age range are aunts and uncles, and those who are my parents age are grandparents. Ron and Janice were called grandma and grampa. Every now and then, children of our friends from out of town end up being lumped into the cousin category as well. Either way, the kids love their big family.

For the first time, Jenny may have had a good day that she admitted to. Usually, I need to be careful how I ask her things. If I ask if she feels good today, she will reply, “No”. If I ask if she is having a normal day she will usually say yes. I am not sure what a good day would be defined as, but I think it would involve speech and more voluntary movement. As for her good day, she spelled out, “Thanks for today” which the day was a good day. We had a great family night activity playing our favorite “bowling” game and Jenny ate a bunch of good foods like pizza, root beer and brownies. Obvioulsy, the food was cut small for her, but it tasted good. I also did not make her work too hard in therapies, and she had new movements in her left leg. We snuggled on the couch for a while and just enjoyed being together as a family. I’ll take “thanks for today” as a good sign.


  1. I continue to be amazed and touched by your entries. Everyone who knows of Jenny, either by her childhood and our family does or personal friendships with you now look forward to our daily (or whenever) doses of information. Someday you will be able to put all of these efforts into a book that can and will help someone else struggling with what your family is right now. We continue to be thrilled to hear of Jenny’s progress. Keep up the good work all of you! May god bless your family with continuous blessings in Jenny’s progress. What a wonderful family!

    Our best,
    Lacy and Paula Croft and family

  2. This entry brought tears to my eyes. I love and care about you all so much and while all progress is great, it’s even greater to see joy and happiness even in the face of adversity. I doubt you know how far reaching and what hearts are touched by your efforts but I can assure you, many are benefitting from what you have done.

  3. Hi, Just a short note to let you know that you bring happiness to my life every time that I see improvement from Jenny and all the wonderful support that you give to Jenny. I am so happy for you and your family. Prayers have been answered and are being answered in your everyday things that are being done. May God bless you and your family. Love Rita

  4. Jenny, Mark, and family,
    Thanks for the constant updates. It makes me so happy that you are progressing Jenny and getting to enjoy some of the “normal” family things you love to do. I know this time with the kids starting school is probably hard for you – but I bet you will find a way to still help in their classrooms somehow – if not, you help just by being there when they walk through the door. I take so much of my life for granted and each time I read Mark’s entries, I’m reminded to stop and focus on the essential, truly important things like driving carpool or eating pizza with my family!! I love you all and hope that each day can bring enough joy to somehow balance the pain and difficulty that comes.
    Lots of Love,

  5. I am so glad that Mrs. Mendenhall told me about this website! It was wonderful to see both of Zach’s parents at Back to School Night. Zach is a very special boy, and that is a direct reflection of the love he receives from his parents. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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