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

Friday, May 31, 2013

Let's ride!

 This was Isaac's Harley-Davidson do rag, and my favorite baby picture of him is of him wearing it. (Although I can't find that picture now! So sad. Others substitute; see below.) His siblings are pretty darn cute in the do rag, too! No surprise. :)


Gracie

Marcie

Will
David

Seth (with an overabundance of tape on his cannula because he kept pulling it out) He has the BIGGEST head!


David trying to climb over the stool




David pulling up on a stool
Isaac at a year-plus looking like Will
Isaac at the babies' current ages (approx. 7 months adjusted)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Miscellaneous cute pictures from the last few days

Gavin comes home tonight!!! Hooray! Thanks for praying for us here back home; it's been really good and we've been well provided for with help, thank God.

Gracie just started babbling a couple of days ago. SO CUTE!! She just started saying, "gee-gee-gee-gee" and then laughing at herself, like she was totally cracking herself up. Marcie is the last hold-out in the babbling department, which is funny since she was the first to vocalize. She really had it down while still in the NICU.

David is going nuts pulling himself up on everything! Seth continues to sit better and better (see below).

Will

Seth and the puppy

Seth, Grace and the puppy

Marcie and Gracie in their new party dresses from Aunt Lynnette. They went to a tea party in them today!

Gracie complemented by accessories from Diana and Aunt Lisa

Monday, May 27, 2013

We're all sitting pretty now!

ALL the kids are now sitting, some better than others. :) Seth is still the most wobbly, although he corrects for backward tipping better than some of the other kids. He continues to roll like a champ and won't stay in tummy time even on a Boppy - he just pushes himself up over it! He thinks he's big stuff and loves to let us know with incessant babbling of varying volumes and intonations. It's SO cute! Will and David are really babbling now, too, and Will does his funny tongue trill when he's frustrated. He'll never have a problem rolling his r's in Spanish class!

By the way, Will weighs over 19 pounds - can you believe it?! And Seth is 17.5 lb. Gracie is 14.5, still the smallest. She loves to laugh with delight at life, and Marcie loves to engage EVERYONE with her gigantic grin and attention-grabbing whimper.

David is just crazy, in a really good way. He's like a roly-poly all over EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, vocalizing the whole time with a whole range of goofy sounds. He's already cruising along furniture in a standing position and is crawling even though he doesn't realize it. He'll take a crawl forward, then crumple onto the floor in frustration because he didn't go as far as he apparently thought he should.

We've started officially leaving the oxygen off of Seth for a few hours a day and he's doing brilliantly, praise God!

We here at home are doing great even with Gavin gone, thanks to your prayers and God's provision of the help we need each day.

Today, Gavin got to be at the Jersey Shore for its grand re-opening following the devastation of Super Storm Sandy. He also (more importantly to us) got to visit with our family in Christ at Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel!

Very late; signing off.

Love,
Carrie

Thanks for these adorable clothes, Shauna! I love the rosebuds and frills on the girls' outfits. 
David looks like he's saying, "And furthermore . . . " during some pompous speech


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Thank you!!

1) For the extra help, extra food, extra treats, and especially extra prayers . . . our community here and prayer network around the world is truly amazing! It's such a humbling experience to be so needy, and I've certainly seen the Lord provide over and over again for exactly what we need, and often more: heaped up, shaken together, and running over!

2) For the baby shower Central Presbyterian Church had for us! What a BLESSING those gifts and cards are and will be! We feel so loved, unworthy, and grateful beyond words. I MISS YOU! I know Gavin does too!

3) For praying for Seth. He's doing more and more, activity-wise, and I've had time to work with him. Wonderful volunteers have taken it upon themselves to work with him too!

In addition, his pulmonology appointment yesterday was EXCELLENT. His lungs were clear, he had 100% oxygen saturation on only 1/16th of a liter of oxygen (the lowest possible setting on the home concentrator), and he's growing almost straight up onto the growth chart (10th percentile for a 9 month old now, even though he's only 6.5 months adjusting for his prematurity!). We've been given the go-ahead to start officially leaving the oxygen off for an hour morning and afternoon, increasing an hour every couple of days in hopes he'll be off altogether during the day within 2 to 3 weeks. After his hour off yesterday he was satting in the high nineties and pink and perky and so, so cute rolling around on the floor talking loudly to anyone and everyone. He's doing so right now while he practices sitting. It mostly sounds like he's talking to "Dada." :)

Over and over again in this crazy but ultra-blessed quint journey I've been reminded of the power of prayer. God uses our prayers and He answers! It's so convicting to me to be faithful in my prayers for others. I especially continue to pray for my friend Gina and family whose 3-year-old son died months ago in a horrible accident. If  you think of it, thank you for praying for them too. They need healing and protection and tender mercy as a family.

Gotta run - David is falling apart!

Love,
Carrie

Friday, May 24, 2013

In support of Dad!

Love the helicopter onesies from Aunt Lisa! Thinking of Dad/Gavin today as he gives helicopter rides and shares the need for Bible translation and aviation around the world. People need to read/hear God's Word in their own language.

Isaac wanted to get in on the photo shoot, much to the amusement of Seth.
We love you, Dad/Daddy/Gavin!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

SETH ROLLED OVER!!!!

I AM SO EXCITED!!! This, after the therapist yesterday expressed real concern about his lack of progress, saying that his weak head and neck control were preventing him from rolling over and would continue to prevent him from learning to crawl and achieve his other milestones. Thank you, Lord!!!! Thank you all for praying!!


Seth rocks AND ROLLS!

"Thank you, thank you very much."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Photos that should have accompanied the last post

Will at the big stuffed puppy from Uncle Kenneth and Aunt Courtney.
This is a great help to learning to sit, climb, do tummy time (over the paws), and much more!

Gracie also practices her sitting with the puppy to catch her falls. The kids LOVE this huge addition to our home!

David pulled to standing and is busy finding just the right toys to entertain himself.
Note the ever-present laundry in the background. :)

S.O.S.: Help needed!

There is no longer any immunization/vaccination requirement - not even chicken pox - to volunteer in our home, and we desperately need some extra helping and holding hands, especially during the daytime hours (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Please email jonesquints@yahoo.com if there are even two hours during the week that you can help out.

Also, if you know any lovely people who might be interested in working with five adorable, active, endearing babies, we're happy to consider them!

Without two morning and two afternoon volunteers, there just isn't enough time for me to keep up with the necessary day-to-day house/bills/paperwork/email/Isaac responsibilities, doctor appointments, and working with Seth, much less taking care of the other four, even when Samantha is working with the babies too. Since we're down to only one overnight and one early morning volunteer I am finding it difficult to get the sleep I need to have the energy for the "constantness" of each new day. It's lovely when we have two morning volunteers allowing me to go back to bed! The babies cry to be held when they see me, so it really helps me to leave the house to get things done and preserve my mental health.

Seth's feeding and physical therapy requirements are becoming more obviously critical. He is falling further and further behind the other kiddos (largely in core muscle and arm strength), and Grace also needs therapy to help her learn to sit. [The other three are sitting now, and David is even managing to "creep" and is pulling to standing so he can root around in his toy bin!]

Gavin is currently away, flying for our organization. He will be gone other times this summer and fall as well, a GOOD thing which I wholeheartedly support! I'm so glad he's back in the helicopter doing what he loves. I am also doing what I love, only I'm not able to do it by myself or even with the presently scheduled volunteers (who also get sick, have last-minute emergencies, and their own pressing family and work responsibilities, further diminishing the workforce). Thanks to those who already help make sanity and sleep possible, and thank you to those who think you might be able to join the Quintessential Team. :) If you have been thinking of coming aboard, now is a great time!

Love in Christ,
Carrie

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Update and new/updated slideshow and videos

Hi everyone!

Gavin has been gone less than 24 hours, and we're doing fine despite a few rough hours from midnight to 5:30 (Grace woke up soaked and hungry at 5:15 a.m. after I hadn't finished baby care/medication until nearly 2 a.m.) Thanks for praying for us while he's gone! I would be dead tired if it weren't for the wonderful help I'm getting, thank God.

We made a new version of our previous slideshow from mid-October, when all the babies were still in NICU, for Gavin's home church. This one has all the latest and greatest quint pics and even a couple of videos.


Thanks also for praying about the following; I think I need to update:

Seth's vomiting/weight gain: both better, thanks! But he really needs a lot of work on tummy time, rolling over and other large motor skills. This is all vastly complicated by his g-button as it's so sensitive. He hates being on his tummy because it's uncomfortable to be on the button (we try to prop his chest enough that he doesn't have to have the button touch the ground), and he doesn't want to roll onto his tummy, of course, for the same reason. His fine motor skills seem normal, praise God.

Seth's eating is MUCH better! He's even been interested in his bottle, although he chews, doesn't suck. But he does swallow the soy milk!

I also asked you to pray for extra help the last couple of weeks. We did get some much-appreciated extra "shifts" from regular volunteers so there were only a couple of really challenging days. Again, I was thrown back on Christ, my solid rock, and reminded not to lean on my own strength or understanding.

I believe we also asked you to pray for stamina and joy during baby care: We are definitely feeling the prayers and always needing continued prayers on this front, thanks! The babies are so adorable and lovable and FUN!!!, but the sheer volume of them (both spatial and auditory) can be very overwhelming and cumulatively stressful. I don't think it's any accident that we lost a number of volunteers once the babies left the sweet newborn phase. It takes a certain personality to deal with the loud chaos that not infrequently reigns. A quint mom warned me about this: She said, "It's VERY loud. There will be a LOT of crying," to which I wanted to reply, "And I bet the babies cry a lot, too!" (Hardy har-har, I crack myself up.) During "low staff" times I repeatedly have to stop and pray during the day, or rather keep going and PRAY while I put out the next fire and meet the next need and try to prioritize and let the ones who are having to wait know somehow that I love them and recognize their felt needs too. :}

My sleep: as long as I remember to take my nighttime pill and if I can sleep through the monitor "false alarms," e.g. babies making noises in their sleep, I am fine - no insomnia! Sam has richly blessed me by taking it many a night so I don't have to listen to the babies' noisy dreams. Sleep is such a gift, and I treasure the volunteers who grant me that gift two nights/mornings a week. I realize such luxury isn't part of a "normal" singleton mom's experience, and I do not take it for granted! I count the days until Mondays and Wednesdays each week. :)

 I appreciate each and every person who helps out and loves on our babies, even the older ladies who "just" come to hold them! :) THANK YOU to the new volunteers who have joined the quint care team recently! What an enormous blessing you are!!

David and Marcie are sitting up well now, Will, Grace and Seth are getting there, and David is very nearly crawling, which is crazy! They really are a ton of fun to watch. :)

By the way, for those who haven't seen it on Facebook, never mind about voting for our James Avery picture. There are people with thousands and thousands of votes! :) Oh well, it was fun!

Love to you all,
Carrie


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Back in the air again!

Yes, Gavin is getting his wings back!  Rotors, more specifically.  I just arrived at the JAARS Center in Waxhaw, NC, where I plan to do some recurrent flight training after almost a year out of the pilot's seat.  A bit later this week, we plan to fly the helicopter up to Maryland where we will land at a Christian school and share with the students about mission aviation and Bible translation.  After that, we plan to continue on to New Jersey where we will be sharing and giving rides at a Christian camp/Rehabilitation Center over the Memorial Day weekend.

Needless to say, I'm very excited to be getting back into flying.  Please first of all pray for Carrie and the kids back at "the ranch" without me.  This is our first longer term separation (10 days) since the quints were born and I'm sure there are going to be a lot of challenges for Carrie.  Again, we are so thankful for the helpers we have.  We are also very thankful that the babies are getting to bed pretty consistently at around 8 PM and staying asleep (for the most part) until around 6 or 7.

I would also appreciate prayers for myself as I refresh my flying skills, speak with people of all ages about our organization/Bible translation/Christ, and for wisdom and safety as I fly many people in the helicopter.

Thank you all!

Gavin

Thursday, May 16, 2013

James Avery contest update

Hi all Facebooking friends,

Just an FYI/reminder: You can vote once each day until the end of May for our picture; I was wrong when I thought it was a "once and done" type thing (which would have been nice!). So if you are willing to take 30 seconds a day to vote for the quints and me, there are a couple of special women in my life who would appreciate our winning. :) Plus it would be neat to tell/show the quints someday!

Here's the link again, which will take you right to the picture (although you have to "like" James Avery Craftsman first if you haven't already):

   A mother's love is multiplied, never divided. 

Thank you SO much!

Love,
Carrie

Bonus pictures for reading this post: (Sorry, none of Seth for some reason!! But his last check-up was WONDERFUL and he's growing awesome - already on the chart for a normal 9-month-old; his procedure site looked great, and he's been vomiting less, I think. He's also been eating a lot more and enjoying his bottle, wonder of wonders! Thank you all for praying! Please keep praying for his eating and also for his complete wean off of oxygen, cessation of the vomiting/gagging, and for increased upper-body strength. He still can't hold his head or chest off the ground for long or roll over. He's sitting fairly well, though.)

Marcie

Sleepy Grace cuddled into Aunt Donna's cozy shoulder
(You know you've got a loving, committed volunteer when she buys kid-friendly scrubs to wear with the quints!)

Wrestling match

David psyching himself up for the wrestling match?
(He can stand amazingly well holding onto things.)

Gracie and Marcie in Emily Fox's beautiful outfits. Thanks, Emily! We love you and pray for you, too!

Grandmommy's long walk wore us out!

This handsome young man appeared at the drive-thru pick-up spot at church on Sunday. 

Blog Comment setting changes

You may have noticed that the comment section of our blog has been all but taken over by SPAMmers in recent months.  In order to try to filter all such unwanted comments out, I have changed the settings on the blog so that only registered blog members are able to leave comments.  If you are not currently signed up on our blog and want to be able to leave comments, you can click on "Follow this site" on the left side of the blog below the "Followers" title.  Sorry it had to come to this, but the spam is getting a bit excessive.  I might miss the occasional hilarious comment with no grammatical structure whatsoever commenting on what a "fastidious" site we have, but probably not too badly.

Gavin

When magical turns crazy

I am enjoying some early morning playtime with David and Will. I hear the girls waking up, but these last few minutes have been just delightful. The boys immediately went for the toys and each other, David reaching over Will to get a set of rings with which he proceeded to pound the side of Will's head (which Will actually bore with surprising equanimity). It's so adorable when the babies are thrilled to see each other, less adorable when the thrilled feeling expresses itself with grabbing the closest limb and biting down. So THAT'S the moment magical becomes crazy. :) Girls and Seth awake - gotta run! Carrie

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day gift!

Thought you all would like seeing it, too. It's hanging above out gorgeous new dresser (also made by Gavin).

Thanks for continuing to pray for us. There are moments of magic and unbearable cuteness each day, but also moments of absolute drudgery and thoughts of "I'm going to go crazy now . . . " because of all the noise, chaos, crying, beeping machines, tangled cords, vomiting, blow-out diapers, laundry, bottles, clutter, dirtiness, constant (sometimes dangerous) distractions, and general "neediness" times 5 or 6, depending on Isaac's whereabouts and activities. Sometimes I feel like I am trying to move through quicksand and not really getting anywhere, crawling up a shale-covered slope and just wanting to lie down and go to sleep. (I know no other new mothers feel that way, ha!) I handled all five babies by myself for just 15 minutes today and 4 of the 5 cried pretty much the whole time; Seth was the exception. The house was a DISASTER by the end of the morning with just my dad and me working; clearly we are not able to do this yet without additional help. I'm just so grateful Sam took the afternoon shift with Aunt Edna and I could escape to the quiet of my mom and dad's, albeit with a somewhat noisy Marcie. :) I am so grateful for these precious little lives, but the Lord sure is using them to remind me of my absolute dependence on His strength and His wisdom, not my own pathetic supply of each!

Thanks and love to you all,
Carrie

Bottom left close-ups: Marcie, David
Top right close ups: Isaac, Grace, Will and Seth


Upended

This is a follow-up to my last post.  If you would like to know a bit more about the Christian Alliance For Orphans (CAFO), the following video gives you a good glimpse into the heart of the organization.  Jedd Medefind, the president of the CAFO, is interviewed about the Alliance as well as about his book, Upended: How following Jesus Remakes Your Words and World.



I highly recommend Upended.  Not just because Jedd is a close relative of mine, but because it is a potentially life-changing book.  It is an extremely practical, contemporary,  and moving book on what it means to truly follow Christ and be an "apprentice" to Him for the glory of God.  It delves into the ins and outs of how our communication with one another and with God shapes not only ourselves, but deeply affects others, and potentially their relationship with God.  Presence, attentiveness, incarnation, authenticity, and concreteness in our relationships are all addressed.  The topics are examined with clarity and depth and brought to life through many stories and personal anecdotes.  It is available in hard copy or digital (Kindle or Nook) versions through the Upended website or Amazon and a few others.
9781616386054_p0_v1_s260x420.JPG.jpg


An ironic post.

In our efforts over the years to have "another" child, Carrie and I often wondered about adoption.  For me in years past, the whole idea of adoption has been a scary prospect on multiple levels, most of them selfish-- "We don't have the money to adopt.  We don't know the kid's background!  What if we don't bond?  What if they have problems that we won't know about until years down the road?  What if . . .?"  In the midst of those "What ifs?," we have been open to the possibility were the Lord to really lay it on our hearts.

That is where I struggle so often-- how can I clear my emotions and personal, selfish desires out of the way and let the Holy Spirit's call be clear?  Is that really, truly possible?  Am I not actually supposed to have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16b) so that there is no question as to which road ahead to choose?  Does not Romans 12:2 tell me to "let God transform [me] into a new person by changing the way [I] think. Then [I] will learn to know Gods will for [me], which is good and pleasing and perfect."?  

Those scriptures and many others are truths I cling to as I struggle with my sinfulness getting in the way of God's call on my life, my decisions, my thoughts, my actions.  Probably my biggest encouragement from it all is that the responsibility is placed on God!  HE gives us the faith we need to trust Him (Ephesians 2:8).  HE gives us the mind of Christ dwell in me.  HE will transform me into a new person!  He's a smart guy-- He knows I can't (or won't) do it on my own.  To accomplish that great work which He has planned for my life, HE has to do it through His own power.  (Ephesians 3:20)  Can you imagine what our lives would look like if God left it up to us to have the faith we need to trust Him, the thoughts we need to get through a day, on our own to accomplish great works for His glory?

Should we have chosen to adopt instead of going ahead with minor fertility treatments that ended up giving me five more children?  There are thousands of kids out there we could have chosen to give a loving home and family, yet that is not what happened.  How much weight do you give to the innate desire to have children from your own flesh and bone when there are so many others out there that are fatherless and love-less?  

I have written a lot of questions and don't have most of the answers.  But I do know and claim the promise of Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  What a promise and comfort!

18 months ago, I was very happy with our family size.  I was able to do a lot of what I wanted to do.  I had a lot of time for myself.  I wanted that to continue.  The thought of having another child and re-entering the realm of baby care was not at all appealing to me.  What would I have thought had the Lord revealed His family planning blueprint to me?  

I know how I responded when we first found out about those five little babies.  I was kicking and screaming (mostly figuratively), asking God why, what for, how, and many other questions.  What surprised me was how quickly He changed my heart and mind.  I went from anger and frustration
as I saw MY life being robbed from me to seeing how myopic I had been and eager for what the Lord has planned for our family.   

While in California last July, I had lunch with my cousin, Jedd Medefind.  It was less than a month until the babies would come and I was still wrapping my mind around the prospect of going from the father of one to the caretaker and protector of six children.   I don't know why I had not thought about it before, but Jedd mentioned how awesome and wonderful it will be in the years to come to be surrounded so much family; so many children and, eventually, their children, and so on.  We discussed how our best and greatest memories are of our times together as nuclear or extended families.  God has given Carrie and me an incredible gift of family!  We will watch with awe and wonder as He works in and through us and our children to accomplish His purposes.  

I am not so naive to think that it is all going to be fun and laughter.  The last several months (and evenings) have been evidence of that.  It has not been fun AT ALL sometimes, but in the midst of it I can say that most of the time the joy of the Lord has been my strength (Nehemiah 8:10).  And that is only His doing.  

A life of God-given JOY will be filled with laughter, pain, sorrow, easy times, fun times, suffering, all intermingled to create a tapestry that only God can come up with in His infinite wisdom-- something we could never think or imagine.  

I find it quite ironic to be a father of six of my own children, yet to be promoting adoption.  What surprises me is the fact that, though I never wanted more than three children, now that I have six, I can much more easily conceive of adopting (some years down the road!)  

I mentioned my cousin Jedd Medefind.  He is the President of the Christian Alliance For Orphans, an organization that seeks to bring the people and resources of the church community around the world together to care for the fatherless.  They have made great strides in raising the awareness of the plight of orphans in the world.  I know he and all those involved would greatly appreciate your prayers for wisdom and clarity as they seek to bring churches and communities together.  

Specifically you could pray for him as he is interviewed by National Public Radio (NPR) tomorrow, Thursday, March 16th.  The author of the book referenced below will also be interviewed separately.  Then NPR will edit and combine their interviews for airing on the radio.  Here is his request:


A new book purporting to be about the movement, The Child Catchers, paints a very distorted picture about what it's all about.  From NPR to al Jazeera, media gatekeepers (that up till now have almost entirely ignored the growing engagement of Christians in adoption and orphan care) are now eager to highlight the movement through the lens of this book.   Some of the critiques and criticisms include very important and complex issues that I feel do require serious thought and ongoing maturation within the movement.  But many other aspects of the book represent well-crafted distortions of the motives of Christians in caring for orphans, the reality of the work being done, and more.  Please pray that I and others will respond with grace and wisdom, and that God will ultimately bring much good through it all.  
Just as we are so thankful for all of you out there praying for us in so many ways on so many days, I know Jedd and the Alliance will highly appreciate your prayers as well.  

Many thoughts.  Little time.  All this leads to a post full of rabbit trails and strings of thought.  I hope you hear my heart and that maybe some of you are encouraged wherever you are in life.  

In Christ,

Gavin 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My happiest Mothers' Day ever

Dear friends, family and "strangers" who have embraced our family like their own, 

I bet a lot of you think I'm going to say my happiest Mothers' Day ever will be tomorrow, but I think I can guarantee that I've already had the happiest Mothers' Day I'll ever have . . . 


. . . , and that was 10 years ago, May 11th, 2003, the day I found out a precious little life was growing inside me for the first time. I often post pictures of the quints, less so of Isaac. This one is my new all-time favorite picture because it includes the little big boy who filled me with such wonder and love a decade ago today. He continues to add his own special brand of wonder and absolutely delightful love to each and every day of my life. He is the best big brother, playing with and comforting and caring for the babies with joy and tenderness. I love you, Isaac! I am SO proud of you, and fervently pray that the Lord will draw each of our babies to Himself as He has drawn you and made you His child forever and ever, something that is obvious to me each day as I watch you grow. I am overwhelmed by the blessing of YOU and by the blessing of you being in Christ and Christ being in you, filling you with His Spirit and guiding you always. You shine for Him!

Love always and forever in Christ,
Mom





This and that

Enjoying our new table, thanks to Lynn and First Baptist Dallas and Aunt Karen (clearly very entertaining!). Even Seth did well with his soy milk thinned rice cereal. :) Please keep praying for him. He seems to hate the bottle. The babies are, seated left to right or clockwise, Will, David, Gracie, Seth and Marcie. I want to point out that Will is staring at the ceiling fan, as per normal.  If you've seen the movie Up he's like the dog that fixates on every squirrel, only his squirrels are ceiling fans. 

Seth has gone up to 9 hours without oxygen and is still satting great, praise God! He's looking more like a Peterson than ever. You can see his cute little stomach button, like the valve on a beach ball. It's GREAT!!

Marcie is our most eager and adventurous eater. I won't tell you everything she was eating when I took this. :}

Isaac and the quints (Seth, Grace, Marcie, David, Will) at the Dallas Baptist University baseball stadium last night. Lynnette gave them all matching outfits, and the girls had matching hair bows as usual from Jan. They made quite a stir and caused quite a few cell phones to be whipped out of purses and pockets. It was really fun. :) My dad is an adjunct professor at DBU and we were there to celebrate him and the other adjunct faculty with a family barbecue field-side until lightning cancelled the game. We still had a great time, though!

Isaac and David playing in the grass

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Home again.

Seth went through the surgery just fine.  Now instead of an 18 inch tube sticking out of his stomach, he's just got a small "button" to which we can attach the feeding tube.  When the tube is snapped out of the port, you really can't tell it's there under his clothes.  It is kind of like the valve on an air mattress.  It sure makes him much more portable, since we don't have to worry any more about his tube getting yanked or pulled out.  It was painful for him, but now it should be much better.  Having him more mobile and off oxygen in the not-too-distant future should make it much easier for him to catch up to the others developmentally.

Feeding-wise, we have realized that we need to redouble our efforts in helping him get used to taking food by mouth.  Having the other four to feed and take care of makes it a challenge to focus on Seth, but we need to make him a priority more than we have.  Please pray that we can do so faithfully and successfully.

Seth is asleep now, but we'll get a picture of him with the "Mic-Key button" in due time.

Gavin

No overnight!

Hurray, he can go home today! We haven't gone back into surgery yet, though.

A couple more pictures while we wait:

Marcie and Gracie were squealing with laughter and delight as they "talked" on the porch Monday. They kept holding on to each other's Johnny-Jump-Up straps. It was ADORABLE!!! All the kids are thrilled to see each other and talk.

Gracie, Marcie and Seth on the way to church Sunday.

Hanging around, waiting for surgery

I am holding a sleepy Seth in one arm and typing with one hand, so this will be brief. :)

He is scheduled to go in at 3:00, so supposedly just 40 more minutes! That's good because he's HUNGRY - no soy formula since 5 a.m. (We had to discontinue the goat's milk because of high potassium and chloride; he's doing just as well on soy, thank God.) We hope and pray he doesn't have to be in overnight. Thanks for praying!

Just changed my cover picture on Facebook and wanted to post it here. My mom is among the many of you not on FB. :)

David, Gracie, Will, Marcie, Seth
You can tell David is really sitting up now! The others can for a few seconds only.



Monday, May 6, 2013

Seth's surgery now on Wednesday

A quick note to let you know that Seth's surgery has been moved to Wednesday instead of tomorrow.  It should work out much better for us on that day for several reasons.  Thank you all for your prayers for our little man.

Gavin 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Prayer requests for this week and ongoing

Hi again everyone,

It's been a little while since I actually wrote much on here, so I guess it's time. We need some help in the Heavenly Realms. :)

Seth is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday at 3:30 to have his g-peg stomach tube removed and a little "button" put in instead for his tube feedings (still 100% of his nutrition, alas - please pray he will learn to eat by mouth!). That will make it much easier on him, not having a tube hanging out and getting caught on things and pulled by himself or others. We're really looking forward to having that button in. Unfortunately, it involves an overnight stay in the hospital. Sam, who I love more each day, is going to be the one to stay the night while Gavin and I are back home with the other four. She has lots and lots of experience with hospitals and is a TROOPER!! Gavin and I will be with/near Seth for the actual procedure and the admittance and make sure all is well, of course.

A related prayer request: Our 35 hours/week volunteer (thank you, Deb!!!) is going to be gone for 10 days. That is equal to almost two of her work weeks (Tuesday-Friday) starting the day after Seth's surgery, so we're extremely short of help even with Sam working full time. Sam does nearly every late evening feeding so can't do the mornings when Deb is normally scheduled. We know God will provide all we need - He always has. Thanks for praying!  

Another big need around here is sleep! As of this week we will have lost almost all our overnight help (saints who have stuck it out for 6 months!), including Seth's nurse from 12:00 to 4:00 a.m. Whereas before Seth was sleeping through the night, he has woken up screaming between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m. the past couple of nights. The other babies aren't sleeping through the night either. Usually by 5:15 they are starving again, even after being fed around 11:00 pm or midnight, and by the time I get through feeding them all in the morning David is ready for the day. He's the one who is early to bed and early to rise. :}

All of this listening for five babies has resulted in some pretty significant insomnia for me; it's like my brain can't shut down. Despite being REALLY tired when I go to bed, it is taking me an hour to fall asleep or fall back to sleep once woken up. Last night my grand total was only 4.5 hours, and that in two different smaller chunks. Gavin is also running on much less sleep than he needs, and he can't really nap through all the baby noise around here. :} (Four of the five have now discovered the shriek/scream - Gracie demonstrated her new skill this morning. Seth is the last hold-out!) I developed bad, bad, bad insomnia when Isaac was nearly five months old and really don't want to repeat that. I know what to do to address the insomnia but I can't really do it well with five babies - I will be too groggy and/or the hours are too short!

Gotta run - four babies crying!

Love and gratitude!!!!
Carrie






Saturday, May 4, 2013

What have we been up to this week?

Handsome big brother Isaac and his new braces!

Attending "a baby shower for a shower of babies" at the Duncanville Senior Center - what a blessed time! (Grace)


Marcie and Gracie wore matching outfits from Caren and matching light green and light pink be-ribboned booties. 





Visiting with Aunt Betty (left to right: Marcie, David and Gracie), wearing outfits from Lynnette and head bands from Shauna, Sharon, Jan and Diana. David clearly escaped the dressing-up and was quite happy that way. :)

Gracie and Marcie doing their best "Candy and Mimi" impressions from Guys and Dolls, in honor of Lynnette and Whitney and their excellent dancing and acting last night! 
Entering a photo contest
Hanging out with Aunt Sam, watching baseball games (fascinating!) - Will and Grace
Holding his own bottle (David with Aunt Deb, who will be gone for 10 days - sad!!)














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

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

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