At The Beach

James and Jerard had their first day at the beach yesterday.
It's been my desire to take the babies to the beach for quite a while, but with all Jerard's surgeries and sickness it wasn't possible.
Thankfully, gratefully, Jerard is healthy and doing well now.
We enjoyed a wonderful time at the beach!

The boys ready to go to the beach

James in the water with Kirsten. Kirsten is a very good 'ate' (older sister) to her brothers (all three of them!)

Jerard in the water with Ben and I.

Jerard and Ben. Friends were at the beach who had a baby floaty for us to use while they were there. Both boys enjoyed floating in that baby seat. Jerard seemed to really relax floating in the water. He smiled and looked very content floating in that seat.

James and Kirsten.

Playing with friends. Several families we knew were at the beach yesterday.

Playing with friends.

Kirsten relaxing with a book.

James says a day at the beach is tiring!

Making a sand water tunnel.


_On the boat ride home. Malapoyong si James! (James is happy). _

Ben and Jerard are tired from the day at the beach.

Family Fun Day at Church

Some friends of Kirsten's during Family Fun Day at church.

The church that we are attending here in the Philippines, Christ Fellowship Church, had a wonderful family fun day today on the day of Philippine Independence. The day was all about sports and games. All families of the church were assigned to one of four teams, red, blue, yellow, or green. Tee shirts were printed for each of the teams -- we were on the red team.

The day opened at 6:30 AM with opening ceremonies consisting of a prayer, short message from the pastor, the Philippine national anthem, and the lighting of the torch ceremony. Competition proceeded right away with a banner raising race immediately followed by the cheer-leading competition.

Speaking of cheer-leading, we were astounded with the energy and aptitude that each team had in putting together their own dance/cheer-leading routines. You can download a movie of our team's performance here (42 MB, 7 minutes). If you look closely, you will see Mikayla -- she is the girl with the blonde hair and the white skin . Note this: that this whole routine was put together from scratch yesterday in about 4 hours by the group. There is a completely different attitude toward public performance here as compared to the US -- nearly everyone loves to get involved and perform.

Basketball tournament

Beth playing Boogle at a game table.

Badminton tournament.

Mikayla helping in a Scrabble game.

Chess for the thinkers ...

Dart competition

A partial team picture (Mikayla is on the right).

Images from the week June 1 - 7

Thought I'd share a photo diary of some events from our week with you all!

Our good friends left Davao this week to move to Nepal.

Kids at our friends' gate.

Kirsten with two friends celebrating her birthday early before they go visit relatives in Korea for the summer break.

James pulls himself up to standing now and is starting to crawl well.

Mikayla and Bear. Mikayla is enjoying the slower pace of summer life. She's finding time to knit, read what she wants to, and play more with Bear. She's also helping me get back in shape with morning workouts!

Ben has inherited 3 box turtles from two families who've left Davao. He and 'Gardner Mike' are building a turtle corral in the yard with bamboo.

Arlene arranging flowers for a group meeting and dinner.

Mom and Jerard. Jerard rolled over by himself on Friday! He is making much progress and now weighs almost as much as his brother, James.

Dear friends from church, Rosario and Michael. It was Rosario's birthday today and they hosted a Thanksgiving Celebration in her honor.

The party was no small gathering! Michael and Rosario held it on the grounds of one of the companies they own and operate. It was very festive. Lunch included traditional birthday foods of lechon (roast pig), lechon manok (roast chicken), spaghetti and pancit. You'll notice many people are wearing red shirts; red is the Chinese color for happiness and is worn for parties, Chinese New Year, and other celebrations!.

A view of the ocean and beach from the birthday party area.

Culture Adaptation!!!

The other day we were watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

One of the opening shots is of the dad and grown daughter sitting in a car at 5 a.m. They are stopped at a red light waiting for it to turn green. There is no other traffic around.

I thought to myself "Why aren't they going?"
Then I had to tell myself it's a US film!

Here, you'd never see anyone wait for a light unless a traffic cop is around!!!!!

Jerard's Eye Sight

Jerard saw an ophthalmologist today.
The doctor dilated Jerard's eyes so he could view the optical nerve. Jerard's optical nerve is pale which indicates that it is not working well. Optic nerve atrophy is the term he used.

He seems to see light and shadows, but he does not fix his gaze on objects or track with his eyes.

There is a test that could be done to clarify the extent to which the optical nerve is working but it would involve flying up to Manila to have it done.

And in the doctor's words, it wouldn't tell us a whole lot more than what he has told us and my motherly instinct has felt....Jerard sees light and shadows and responds more to touch and sound than any visual stimuli.

At this point, we will not pursue that test.

We will just keep on loving him, praying for him, touching him, singing to him, talking to him....he is a blessing and I thank God for bringing this special 'special needs' little boy into our lives.