A Day Of Firsts for our Boys

Ben started karate lessons today.
He has lessons twice a week now and really enjoyed his first
lesson. He will get his karate outfit in a couple weeks.

James has a tricycle to ride now!
This tricycle also has a surround seat that we can use for
Jerard to sit in.

Jerard got his braces today for his lower legs and feet.

Already we are noticing him standing straighter. He doesn't
mind the braces. He has to wear them all the time except during
bath time and meal time. He gets pretty messy when he eats
and we don't want the braces to get all messy, too!
Please pray with us that he will learn to keep his balance so he
can work on walking!

Cardboard and Tape

O, the things you can do with cardboard and tape!

Today I made Jerard a 'standing box' out of an empty Forex box and another box that was the perfect size for his standing box.

So he now has a 4-ply cardboard standing box that I fit to be the same height as a side table we have. It has a wedge in the bottom to keep his feet apart.

He can stand, play with toys, fuss at me for making him exercise:)!

Now, I need to figure out how to build a wheeled standing table so he can participate in mixing up cookies in the kitchen and other things!!!!

Corregidor Island

February 4th finds the Faith Academy Middle Schoolers heading up to Manila for 9 days of adventure!

Kirsten is really looking forward to the trip.

They will participate in a band festival with Faith Academy Manila Middle Schoolers, explore historic landmarks in Manila, and then go on the yearly Outdoor Education trip with the combined middle schoolers from both Faith Academies.

This year's trip is to Corrigador Island.

Corregidor is a small rocky island in the Philippines about 48 kilometers west of Manila which is stragetically located at the entrance of Manila Bay.

Also known as "the Rock," it was a key bastion of the Allies during the war. (WWII)

Although Bataan fell on April 9, 1942, the Philippine and American forces held out at Corregidor for 27 days against great odds. On May 6, 1942, their rations depleted, the Allied forces were forced to surrender Corregidor....It was only two years and ten months later in March 1945 when the Allied forces under the command of General MacArthur recaptured Corregidor...

The big guns of Corregidor are now silent and the ruins of buildings, structures, and tunnels in the island tell a very moving story of a war that has claimed so many lives. A visit to this former battleground is a memorable experience especially for those who cherish and value peace and freedom.

(Read more about this island at http://corregidorisland.com/)

I thank God for the wonderful opportunities our kids have through Faith Academy.

Keeper Of The Tales - 2nd night

Getting make up applied

Selling her wares at the Bazar

Part of the cast after the production ended

Jerard's Therapy Progress

Well, Jerard is crawling in his own unique way! He moves his hands forward and drags his feet after him - but at least he is on his knees!

I took him to see an orthopaedic rehabilitation doctor recently. She was most helpful. She strongly encouraged getting several therapy aids for him. She also recommended braces for his lower leg to help stretch his achilles tendon, as his feet tend to point down and are very hard to position into a 'normal' flat-foot position. We had the casts made for those and should have those braces by Friday of this week for him to start wearing at least 8 hours a day.

His big challenge now is to learn to sit up on his own, maintaining his own balance before he is age 4. Pray that he will be able to do that. Being blind is making it much, much harder for him to learn balance.

We sit him up often to play. Even this passive sitting up helps him learn balance.

These are two samples of therapy aids the doctor would like us to get for him. We will probably have something made, or make something like these items ourselves.

This is a 'standing table' to help gain balance and be able to
participate in normal activities of daily living. I would love to be
able to have Jerard help James and I in the kitchen when we bake cookies and bread. That sensory stimulation would be good for him.

This is a gait trainer that would help him learn walking.
This item we would not be needing until he is able to keep his
own balance.

We also hope to get him a ride-on bike with surround-seat and a large exercise ball for balance exercises.

Keep praying for Jerard. He is a blessing to us.

When the doctor was explaining his long-term needs/prognosis for walking she stopped and said to me, "Are you sure you want to adopt him?" I laughed and said, "Yes, I am sure. He is my son even if not legally yet."
And I was thinking to myself, "whatever it takes to help him progress as far as he can, that is what I am willing to do. How could I do any less for him when Jesus loved me so much as to go to the cross for me? And not just for me, but for all those He has called to Him. Yes, Jerard will need a lot of care and therapy but that's ok."