But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him and his righteousness with their children's children . . . Psalm 103:17

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Happy, cute quints

Getting dressed for church in beautiful new clothes from Aunt Mickey and shoes from Aunt Carlene
Marcie's skin reacted to a bandaid on her forehead. Oops! But she's still super cute. ;)
Seth and David were sharing a chair (and cereal) and hugging and laughing, so I grabbed some photos of the moment. I don't know why David didn't have a shirt on; sorry!

Gavin and Will on an ice cream outing to our store

Marcie "helping" Daddy in the workshop

David loves these play protective glasses
Marcie with her bag on her head like PNG ladies

Seth and David on the tree swing platform


Hellos and Goodbyes

Life on the mission field sometimes feels like a revolving door of people leaving and people coming. There is joy and grief, usually mixed. These past few months we've had great joy in welcoming back the Leedahls, but also reluctantly said farewell to our friends Ryan and Crystal Pennington. They did 10 years of GREAT work with the Ma Manda people in Saut in the province of Morobe. (Ryan did his doctoral dissertation on the language.) We're sad to see them go but excited to see what God has for them! They will be a blessing wherever they go and whatever they do, they are so fun and genuine and gifted and eager to be used by God for His glory and the good of others.

The Penningtons and Leedahls after supper at our house a couple of weeks ago
Crystal took this photo on the road with David and Marcie.
David likes to hold my skirt sometimes when we're out and about - it's a security thing, I think. 

Gavin took Ryan and Crystal to Saut to say goodbye. He has LOVED flying them in and out of there over the years!

Our nighttime couples' Bible study ladies, minus a sick Mandy

To illustrate the revolving door: Of all the people who went through orientation with us, these are the only two families left. Ian (center) is a pastor and church-planter in the port city of Lae, and Larry is a translator and linguist with us here. Disclaimer: Some people come here only for a year or two, so it's completely to be expected that they will leave and others will come! Also, the average amount of time on the mission field between furloughs is 3 years, so approximately 1/3 of our population rotates in and out each year. We miss friends who leave, but we love new people! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

PNG city life

This video gives a good glimpse into a day in a PNG town, in this case, Goroka, a few hours' drive from here.  The man in the video, Ryan, is a pilot with New Tribes Mission.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kids holding Seslyn's baby; Isaac and Aunt Cynthia

Our part-time cleaning lady and babysitter Seslyn had a baby, and while we miss having Seslyn here we're so happy to have met her gorgeous daughter! The kids LOVE babies and all wanted to hold her. 

David took it VERY seriously. Gracie anxiously awaited her turn.

Marcie is such a little mommy to everything small!
She still calls the quints and her little friend Noah "Honey"

I couldn't get a good one of Will, but the baby's expression is hilarious in this picture! "WHAT is going on??"

Seth was the most absolutely delighted to have his turn.

Isaac is now taller than Aunt Cynthia! He's grown another 1/2 inch in the past month. The Guest House here is "Aunt Cynthia's house" and a much-appreciated fun break for the kids. The girls and I had lunch there one day after church. Fun! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Visiting the Leedahls and Daddy's helicopter

We had a fun, crazy trip to Goroka to see the Leedahls. (Google "Jon and Adie  Leedahl" if you want to read/see/hear their INCREDIBLE story!) It was supposed to be a day trip only, but we decided to stay overnight - hence the "crazy!"The kids don't know how to sleep in the same room; they were too excited to sleep and kept trying to interact. Gracie complained about Seth stroking her head, to which he replied, "But Gracie! I LIKE you! I like you, Gracie!" So cute (although it was 4 a.m. at the time)! We don't plan to take the kids overnight anywhere again for the next two years! We're not scheduled to furlough until more than two years from now anyway, Lord willing.

It was wonderful to get to visit with Jon and Adie. It's strange to have such famous friends, but significantly less strange because we were friends before Jon's accident, and they're still normal people, albeit slightly bionic. ;) They took care of all six of our kids the weekend we were medevac'ed for Gavin's esophageal impaction (October 2013), then Gavin and I got to take turns being with them at our Clinic the night of the accident before Jon was medevac'ed in the morning less than two weeks later. We also got to visit them in Australia when Gavin had follow-up surgery for his esophageal impaction (February 2014). It's been an amazing privilege to walk part of this road with them and to see them now on the other side, including Jon functioning unbelievably well as a pilot of both airplanes and helicopters. His survival alone is completely miraculous, and his doctors said they have no explanation for how he's able to use his remaining muscle so effectively. 

When we went into town with the quints AND a man with a robotic leg we got a lot of attention! ;) 

Sadly, I didn't get any photos of Jon and Adie and their boys (Isaac's good buddies). I just wasn't thinking!

Isaac is the best big bro ever. He is so patient with small children all over him!
[Gracie is buckled with an extension added to Isaac's buckle. Our car can't fit more than two car seats.]
Delightedly holding the kitty: Our little ragamuffin Marcie
(whose hair is perpetually in her eyes due to hatred of ponytails and bows)
 Speaking of Marcie, we had a really close call at the pool, totally my fault. I keep thanking God she is alive! I was putting sunscreen on her after using the potty, then walked back to the table to put the sunscreen down. I saw her walking carefully down the steps into the pool. Will and David were playing on the steps and I assumed she was going to play with them too. I didn’t even think about her not having her life-jacket on, and I was preoccupied with trying to locate Seth and Gracie (who was semi-hidden from view because she was sitting in a big chair by the pool side with its back to us). When I counted five (having started with Marcie, and feeling relief at finding Gracie), I turned to say something to Adie, who Gavin was also talking to. Just then Isaac yelled, “Marcie, no, no!!” I thought he was yelling at her not to come in over her head, but he was yelling “no!!” out of horror of seeing his little sister under water, silently flailing with her arms and legs but only managing to get her terrified eyes above water. Gavin ran to her, but Isaac got there first and lifted her up to Gavin. 

Her close call was so horrifyingly silent and so potentially deadly. I remember Isaac falling into a pool when he was little, but that was a big splash. Marcie just stepped off the step, in over her head, and couldn’t even make a splash on the surface despite desperately trying to get above water.

Isaac is still pretty traumatized about it. He says he keeps thinking about how she would have died if he hadn’t just happened to see her right then (he was playing with a water noodle nearby). He also says seeing David and Will playing happily in the background, completely oblivious to their sister drowning nearby, really haunts him because, as he said, “Seeing Marcie drown and die would have completely destroyed them and affected the rest of their lives.”

He asked me to pray last night for the Lord to protect the kids. He says he’s really nervous about heights and water with the quints because he realizes they could fall and die in a heartbeat. I pointed out that the Lord WAS protecting Marcie in causing Isaac to see her! She wasn’t very bothered at all - it was amazing how calm she was about it, although she didn’t want to swim anymore; but Will and Isaac were really distressed. Will kept retelling the story and saying he didn’t want to swim because he would get hurt in the water too.

So that’s our big praise from this weekend, or rather from our whole lives! God is so gracious. I'm horrified that I forgot to put her life jacket back on. I hope/trust that’s a mistake I will never make again. She has discovered how to swim with it on, so I think that’s what she was trying to do, not realizing we had forgotten to put it back on!
The kids finally fell asleep! Seth and Will were in another bed.

A couple weeks ago the kids asked to visit Daddy at Aviation at the end of the workday. Here they are exploring "his" helicopters:

 Playing around the house:

Gracie, David and Seth are playing IN the dollhouse! Someone can fit in the attic, too, but we didn't get a photo of that. :)

David. We have three tricycles that the kids ride around and around our large living room and long hallway.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

More playdate and potty training weekend photos

Isaac and me in Goroka (visiting the Leedahls)

Finger puppets (Grace and David)
Seth and the kitty

Dancing girls and funny David

Figuring out the washing machine

Playdate pictures

I should clarify that "playdate" means wonderful adults and teenagers have our kids over to their house and play with them. Our kids are ecstatic whenever it's time for a playdate with the Weavers!
During snack time: Seth, Marcie, David, Will and Gracie

Painting with Jasmine

Deliberate David intent on his work

Delighted David

David looking impish and very happy
Sweet, silly Seth

What was this face about??

So happy!

Catching bubbles with Ellie and Amanda

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones