Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Whole Year

last year's hospital stay/yesterday's nap

Michael and I have been very excited that it's been a year since we've had any ER trips or hospital stays with William. Unfortunately, it looks like we might be headed that way with this round of pneumonia...
We appreciate your prayers on his behalf.

"Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise." Jeremiah 17:14

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Good News...

William is getting stronger and stronger through PT. Yesterday he stood by himself for a good minute, maybe 90 seconds!

After PT, we all went to AVT. While William was back with Krissa (and Mike and the rest of the children), Abby and I went into the sound booth with Dr. Kasulis and completed Calvin's ABR. His hearing is perfect! Praise be to God!

"I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children." Deuteronomy 4:10b

And the Bad News...

William has had a relapse. He seemed better for a day or two, but the wheezing and rattling in his chest never completely went away. Now he is worse again. We've started the steroid. Hopefully that will get him over the hump and allow him to get over the pneumonia completely.
"Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed." Psalm 6:2

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fixing Hair

This morning as Michael and Sarah were getting ready to take William to PT, Selah decided she wanted to go, too. William patiently watched me brush her hair and put it up in a ponytail. When I was done, he crawled over to me, pointed to his head, and said, "Me?" I put him up on the counter, combed his hair, and put gel in it while he watched in the mirror and laughed! Then he wanted to go show Daddy as he pointed to his hair. Doesn't his hair look nice?

He had a lot of fun at PT. After walking on the treadmill, he got to play basketball!

Then he stood all by himself during his toning exercises!

Another great day at therapy!

"But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee." Psalm 5:11

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nebulizing the Dog

Today is Selah's 4th birthday. We had a good time opening presents and playing together this afternoon. When I was giving William his breathing treatment he was holding a stuffed dog that Sydnee bought for Selah and he said, "Dog turn." Abby snapped the picture as he was giving the dog a breathing treatment. So cute!
His vocabulary is really coming along. Today Michael ran to the store for me and called home while he was gone. William climbed up next to me as I was talking on the phone and said, "My turn," and of course I handed him the phone. Then Elly came over to us and William handed the phone to her and said, "Your turn." He gave her about 5 seconds before he said, "My turn."
Most toddlers go through the stage where they point at something and grunt, "Uh-uh-uh." We have found that baby sign language greatly reduces this, as it gives them an outlet for expressing their needs. However, since we are trying to only use spoken language with William we have been hearing the "Uh-uh-uh" often. I started off telling him, "Say _____." After he repeated what I wanted him to say, I would follow it with, "Good job, use your words." In the last few days I've dropped telling him what I want him to say and I just tell him to use his words. He doesn't always remember what he wants to say, but he is starting to more and more. If he doesn't remember, I'll just remind him, "Say 'help me,'" or whatever else he needs to say, then follow it with, "Good job, use your words." It's really exciting to see how it doesn't take a whole lot of repitition before he gets it!
"Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." Exodus 4:12

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Calvin is 11 days old and has hardly seen anyone but me. We brought him home last Wednesday and the children enjoyed him all afternoon, but that evening William came down with a cold and Wallace came down with croup. Because of our fears of Calvin catching something, I secluded myself with Calvin back in our bedroom. Wallace is doing better, but William has had a rough week. Twice we considered taking him in to the ER, but before I packed his things, Michael went in to pray over him and suddenly his breathing got much better. Thursday we took him to the doctor and learned for sure what we had already suspected: he has pneumonia again. His oxygen levels were low, but came up after a breathing treatment at the doctor's office. We go back early next week to check his levels again. Needless to say, we are not doing a lot of visiting. We've talked about getting a mask and teaching William to wear it in public places during cold season.
On a strange note: William has all of a sudden decided he does like his glasses. Michael took him in Friday for an adjustment, but the glasses seemed fine. I am looking forward to his eye exam to see if his eyes have changed for the better!

2 Kings 20:7 "I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pediatric Treadmill

I have had several emails asking what has been going on with William since I have not been blogging much lately. I'm sorry to be so behind, but I feel like I have been running nonstop for quite some time now. Between running William to all of his therapies, keeping up with school and the house, and simple exhaustion from 3rd trimester pregnancy, I know I let the blogging world fall behind. Instead of trying to catch everything up, I'll just give a small sample of where we are now.
Physical therapy is going very well. Liesa has started William on the pediatric treadmill since he is starting to control his legs so much better (instead of just flopping them out there and letting them land where they may). When he comes off the treadmill, he gets to walk around in the harness and play in the gym. He likes to kick the ball and chase after it.

Between the kinesio tape on his knees and his braces, he has much better control over his legs and does not hyper-extend like he used to. I think the biggest obstacle he faces right now is confidence. There are times Liesa or Laci have him standing all by himself and he doesn't even realize it. When he figures out that he has nothing holding him up, he sits down and generally will not repeat the exercise right away.

Liesa also has him working with the bar, which he does not really like. He doesn't mind it so much when she has both hands on it and it is stable, but when she only has one hand on (and less control) he gets frustrated quickly. Again with the security.
Other therapies are also going well, it's just that we spend the most time in PT. Auditory-Verbal therapy has been a little slow going lately because I have not been traveling that far for several weeks, due to late pregnancy. We've been using Skype, but William doesn't respond as well to Krissa over the computer. We have been really working with him at home though and his speech is really taking off. He repeats just about anything and his understanding is GREAT! He can follow just about any command we give him, no matter how many words we use in the sentence. He knows all of his therapists by name and says each of their names. In fact, the other day we were in the waiting room waiting for his PT appointment. Liesa came out a door down the hallway and we could not see her, but heard her voice. William's eyes got big and he sat up straight and looked at me and said, "Miss LEEEE-sa!" Very exciting stuff!
His jaw strength is also coming along well with Oral-Motor Sensory therapy. I've noticed that he has much better control over his tongue and is now using it to lick things off of his lips. The added benefit to having better tongue and jaw strength is that he is eating much better than he used to!
Low-Vision therapy hasn't really gotten off the ground and we are still pretty unsure of exactly what he can and can't see.
So that is the latest on William. I will try to stay more up-to-date! Thank you for your continued prayers on his behalf.

"Our soul waiteth for the LORD: He is our help and our shield." Psalm 33:20

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

William and Calvin

William is a very happy boy today: he got to come up to the hospital to visit his baby brother, then bring him home!
He loves his baby brother! No matter who is holding him, William wants to sit next to them and watch Calvin. He constantly wants to be touching Calvin and is very gentle with him. It is so sweet to see!

Calvin Valor joined us December 8, 2009 at 10:45am. He weighed in at 8lbs, 15oz and is 20 1/2 inches long. Labor and delivery went very well, but his blood sugar dropped severely afterward, which earned him a long night in the NICU. Praise the Lord, he has done much better today and we were able to bring him home! The girls will post more about Calvin on their blog later tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for all the prayers on his behalf! We are extremely grateful to the LORD for His shelter and protection, mercy and grace, and the many blessings He has bestowed on our family.

"Behold, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward." Psalm 127:3

Sunday, November 29, 2009


"Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." 1 Timothy 2:15

As we await the birth of our new little one, who has decided he doesn't care a thing for expected due dates and time schedules, I found myself pondering this verse this morning. Not being able to travel, I was unable to attend church this morning and my family opted to stay at home with me, "just in case." Everyone is hoping that our new baby will join us at any moment, but there is no sign of things to come.

So what is it that this verse means? Well, we know that it isn't talking about eternal salvation, for Scripture clearly teaches that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone (Romans 3:19, 20). We also know that this doesn't mean that women maintain their salvation by having babies because salvation is sustained forever (Romans 8:31-39). The Greek word used here could also mean "to rescue," "to preserve safe and unharmed," "to heal," or "to deliver from." Mothers have a unique intimacy and bond with their children. They spend great amounts of time together and they have a great influence on the lives of their children, thus giving them a unique responsibility and opportunity for rearing godly children.

I also think that children "rescue" us from ourselves in other ways. Many times I would have been tempted to veer into sin were it not for the little eyes watching me. Because of them, I am more cautious about what I do and say, more thoughtful of the results of my actions.

I find that I am also humbled by their thoughts and that I learn much from them. For example, my oldest daughter, Sarah, wrote letters to some of her pen pals just before Thanksgiving. A custom in our home when the children are young is for them to bring their letters to either Michael or me so we can proofread them for proper spelling and grammar. Even though Sarah and Abby have far outgrown the need for our help in this area, they still bring us their letters to read. As I was reading something that Sarah wrote in one of her letters, I was struck by the faith behind one her statements. She wrote about how she had been diligently praying for William, that he will not lose his eyesight, but that his eyes would be made whole. She wrote that she had been reading in the book of Daniel and remembered how God saved the 3 Hebrew children in the fiery furnace and prevented them from being burned and that God shut the lions' mouths when Daniel was in their den. She commented how amazing God is and that there is nothing He can't do and that if He could do that for them, she knew that He could heal William's eyesight.

This was humbling to me because it made me think how easy it is to get our focus off of God. It is so easy to listen to "experts" who give us a prognosis and just prepare for that fate. Of course I am still hoping and praying that William's eyesight will be healed, but which is stronger: my belief in the doctors' prognosis, or my faith that God will heal? Certainly we must still prepare for the worst. But I am also praying that my faith will be like that of my child's.

"Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17

Friday, November 27, 2009

Congratulations, Krissa and Justin!

Last weekend William's AVT, Krissa, got engaged! We are so excited for the both of them! Congratulations!

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10:9

posted by Sarah

Monday, November 9, 2009



"Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence." Psalm 94:17

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Pay Off

Well, I cried in Auditory-Verbal therapy last week and I did it again this morning in Physical therapy! And, no, I don't think it's the pregnancy hormones! It is absolutely amazing to see the changes in our little boy. Things are really coming together for him. Last week in AVT, he was so expressionative with Krissa and willing to verbalize about everything! Such a change from our silent boy!
This morning in PT was similar with many good changes. First of all, William is pretty reserved and it generally takes him a bit to warm up to people. He actually treated Laci like she wasn't so bad today. And he worked hard for her: standing on his own without hyperextending his knees, standing up and sitting down on his own without using anything to pull up on, and maintaining a squatting position for several minutes. The change is remarkable! Last week, Liesa adjusted his orthotics, making several cuts and changes. He has actually enjoyed wearing them since. I am very excited to see the upcoming changes! It makes all the trips completely worthwhile!

"...and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious." Exodus 22:27b

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Therapy Daze

A look at William's "daze of therapy":

Auditory-Verbal therapy

Physical therapy

Low-Vision therapy

Oral Motor Sensory therapy

Physical therapy

Physical therapy

Occupational therapy

Working on therapy at home:
We have finally worked out a schedule that helps us to balance our time at home with our time at therapy and our new system is working well. We are getting so much accomplished! Yes, I'm still tired, but I really think after the baby is born a lot of that will subside. I'm very excited about all the good that is being done for William and for the other children as well. They are doing a great job staying on task! They are really recognizing the value of ordering their time and "numbering their days."

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalm 90:12

Fall Fun