This is the blog for Gavin and Carrie Jones and family. We live in Papua New Guinea and are working to see lives transformed by the living Word of God through Bible translation. Gavin is a helicopter pilot. Carrie, who has her degree in Public Health, is the lab supervisor and one of five lab techs at our busy rural clinic. Our son, Isaac, was born in 2004 and our quintuplets, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, and Grace, were born in 2012.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. The you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:3-6

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Seth worse :(

[Picture taken last night when Seth felt better enough to play with a helicopter by spinning the rotors and making it take off. So cute!]
He slept well and has had good oxygenation on high-flow warmed cannula, but he sounds wheezier and more congested and acts quite a bit more miserable. He did eat a couple bites of cereal. He's just one sick baby, but stable, thank God. The nurse said he sounds like he has RSV, but we won't get the test results until late tonight. RSV season is supposed to be over, but Dallas had a late start to spring and summer. Only The Lord knows what's wrong, and as it's some sort of viral infection, only He can strengthen Seth's immune system to fight it off. We've been here before . . . forced to cast ourselves in complete helplessness and dependence on our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. I definitely sense the peace that passes understanding from the Holy Spirit. The knowledge of our Triune sovereign, omnipotent and loving God is a tremendous comfort. Thanks to those who are praying!
This photo is from the day he started with the cough, Wednesday.

URGENT Seth hospitalized with pneumonia or possible RSV

After two days of cold symptoms all the babies had, Seth became lethargic, had obvious extra work breathing and had poor skin color. I took him to the closest ER, from which he then had to be taken by ambulance to the specialty Children's hospital near Fresno. Please pray. Reading about the mortality rate of RSV (a common virus in early childhood) among kids with Seth's history of
Chronic Lung Disease is pretty terrifying. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fabulous pics from last week - thanks, Naomi!

Naomi has a gift for kids and photography, so let me know if you're interested in hiring her for either area of expertise and service! I'll pass her the message. She's going to have some free time once we leave. :(

David in Grandpadad's hat with his ubiquitous cars

Seth's new braces are barely visible above his shoes

Marcie cheering for Aunt Cynthia and Whitney's team
Gracie in her Clemson cheerleading uniform

Lynnette's last day! So sad. We'll miss you but will keep in touch! Thanks for EVERYTHING!!!
Left to right; Gracie, Seth, David on Lynnette's lap, Will, and Marcie
IF Lynnette had a favorite, Will would be it ;)

Hair? Ear?

Mouth (The kids practice pointing to the parts of their face.)

Two other prayer requests

This one is a prayer and a praise: Opalyn ("Ofa"), the other mom of quints who has become a dear friend these past few weeks, made it to 28 weeks pregnant today (Tuesday)!! That's an amazing milestone and so critical for her babies' well-being. The doctors didn't think she'd make it past 26 weeks because she's really tiny. Please keep praying those three girls and two boys stay in even longer, Lord willing, and for Ofa's strength and comfort and protection as this is very hard on her body.

At 27 weeks and 2 days. 

The other request is for my sister and for us. She is three months pregnant but still really, really sick. Her prayer and mine is that she would start feeling significantly better so we can enjoy our final 6 days together in Dallas before we leave for PNG for four years! Right now it's all she can do to get through the essentials of each day (with a lot of vomiting besides). Thanks for praying!

Katie in happier, healthier times, with David and Seth

Love and gratitude,

A disappointing turn of events: illness!

We need prayer as four of the five babies are now sick, with Will having turned the corner to good health and darling, dimpled happiness. I think Will being sick is just about equal to all four of the others being sick at the same time, he's so vocal and clingy in his misery, so that's a mercy he wasn't sick WITH them! I really need to count my blessings right now when I am tempted to throw a pity party. It's also encouraging to see him so much better after a day-and-a-half. It seems to be gastroenteritis rather than just a persistent ear infection as we initially suspected. All the kids are following the same course Will's did (his fever started Saturday afternoon on the airplane; Monday morning he woke up fine). The ones to get it yesterday morning were non-feverish by this afternoon, and Seth who didn't get it until yesterday afternoon is still feverish but is the only one, thank God. Back to counting blessings: vomiting has not been a big deal with this strain of the tummy bug, and they don't seem really nauseated either, just crampy and not interested in food as much as they normally would be.
This photo of the kids watching Old McDonald yesterday pretty much tells the tale of who was feeling better, who was miserable, and who was getting sick. Gracie's eyes just look terrible, and Marcie and David are zoned out. Seth is less smiley than normal, but Will is feeling just fine. :)

Anyway, all this to say, please pray for their health, Lord willing, and OUR STAMINA. The nights have been interrupted multiple times. It's a challenge to be adjusting to a new time zone and different sleeping arrangements and dealing with tummy illness concurrently. Please also pray no one else gets this - most especially anyone in the wedding party or even attending the wedding! :}

Maybe most of all I need prayer for my attitude. It's easy to be a "good" Christian when everything is going great; much harder when my loving Heavenly Father doesn't conform to my "personal genii in the sky" desires. I love this post my mom sent me yesterday and found a lot of help from it even though it's dealing with a MUCH weightier trial than ours (and having myself gone through years of infertility, a miscarriage, and an ectopic rupture, I can feel some of this couple's deep pain and their subsequent joy):

The pictures we had up at a get-together with CA family and friends yesterday afternoon - yes, right when the four kids were sick and getting sicker. :( It was very disappointing to us that some people couldn't come due to the risk of exposure, and no one got to see Marcie, David, Seth and Gracie at their best! But perhaps that's just stupid motherly pride; obviously I'm most sad about my kiddos feeling yucky, and everyone who came yesterday loves us anyway and prays for us. :)

Gracie (before she got sick) enjoying Papa and Marmi's CD shelf. They CDs have since been moved. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Oops - forgot the cart photo! (See previous blog post)

Seth "driving" (no keys in ignition) while Marcie summits the back seat for the 32nd time. Their very patient, good-humored Grandma keeps watch in the background. My parents were AMAZING!!!

A new backyard to explore and "hang out" in! (Plus more about the trip here.)

I hope the babies' semi-nakedness doesn't offend anyone, but it was hot here today in the Central Valley. Marmi and Papa's shady backyard was a welcome refuge and play area for the quints and for us all. I feel like it's vacation, honestly, and am really enjoying just playing with the babies and visiting with family and friends here.

Gracie in Papa's swing
Marcie and Will, who is still sick. He just acts miserable most of the time.
Please pray for our big guy! No one else seems affected at all. 

Little Miss Grace and her adoring sister who still calls her "Baby"

Water table fun! Marmi helps Will undress while Seth and a still-clad David enjoy the fun.

All the kiddos: Gracie closest to the camera, Marcie behind Will to the right.
 The kids didn't do great last night. David, Marcie and Will were up at 5:45 screaming. They finally went back to sleep, thankfully. Despite the less-than-perfect day yesterday and night last night, the kids did really well overall at church during a special "meet and greet" time. They were super busy and active (and Will was fussy), but it was WONDERFUL to get to see you CPC'ers who were able to make it. You bless us hugely! Most importantly, Gavin's grandma Murmps finally got to meet all her great-grand-quints. :)

Nap time this afternoon was pretty disastrous/non-existent for Marcie and Will. They are just really thrown off. The other three did better, although not great. Our afternoon visitors were incredibly patient and helpful with them all! Thanks SO much for coming, C&C!

Okay, a couple more flight photos with elaboration on what Gavin already posted:

David playing with the lights on the flight. He, Marcie and Seth went to various people throughout the flight.  Will and Gracie just stayed with me. Will was pretty much just miserable the whole time, crying off and on in my lap, and Gracie played and talked happily and looked at books. She only slept about 15 minutes, and Will only slept about 20. David didn't sleep at all the entire day, Marcie napped a bit, but Seth won the award with a whopping 1.5 hour nap. I couldn't believe they didn't sleep more. They were so exhausted they were stumbling through the terminal before they even boarded the flight! And this was the 2nd airplane we had to board as the first one had to be returned to the gate, checked by maintenance, then removed from service because of a broken water system. After about an hour-and-a-half of sitting there we all filed off again, made our somewhat chaotic way to a different gate, waited around for a while (see the photos of the kids on the carts - thank God those were there!), then boarded a new plane. We're so grateful for understanding passengers all around us. Many were helpful, as were the flight attendants. That's a specific answer to prayer for the kindness of strangers.

A few people have asked me about response to the earplugs/cookies/photo packages we passed out. They seemed to go over well. We didn't actually see anyone use the earplugs, but at least they were there if needed! Really, the kids didn't scream continuously by any means. There was an occasional squawk, and Will definitely let it be known that he was miserable especially on descent with his ears, but their combined fussiness didn't equal some of the crying I've experienced from ONE baby on other flights I've been on. (Those poor parents!)

Make way for ducklings! This was on the way back to the terminal to change planes when our first one was grounded. Grandpadad has Gracie on a leash, Will walks ahead, Marcie is next to her sister, and Seth is proudly and very deliberately carrying his own leash. David was way ahead with Gavin. Their little backpacks are a comfort to them, too, as well as carrying a few prized items. 

We made it!

We'll write more tomorrow.  But just know we're safely here and all the kids are finally asleep at midnight Central time.  It was a grueling trip, due to a 3 hour delay with a maintenance problem and having to change planes and gates, but the kids did well despite the fact that Will and Grace both got sick on the flight.  The passengers were wonderful and understanding as were the flight attendants.  We were all more than done by the time we finished the two hour drive home.  More details will come when our brains are less mushy.  Thank you so much for your prayers!


Friday, May 23, 2014

Off to California tomorrow!

Tomorrow at 12:40 Central time we are scheduled to depart for Sacramento.  All of us.  Carrie's parents, Neal and Jane are coming along to help us herd the kids.  It is almost a three and a half hour flight, so it will likely be interesting, to say the least.  Though that amount of time is a fraction of the flight we'll be taking over the Pacific in a few weeks, it's still plenty of time to "affect" other passengers.  If you want to track our flight progress, click here.

Though we expect it will be a trying time in some ways, we pray the Lord will calm all the kids and allow them to get through it with good sleep and quiet play.  Thankfully, the flight is more or less during their nap time, but an airliner is a far cry from a crib, no pun intended.  Please pray that we and the kids will all handle the trip well.

As a peace offering, we've put together some goodie bags for our fellow passengers.  We printed up a bunch of "explanation" sheets telling people about the quints, our family photo, a pair of earplugs, and two homemade chocolate chip cookies.  If Carrie's cookies don't win them over then they are a hard case indeed. :)  (She is literally known internationally for her amazing chocolate chip cookies!)

Megan was a big help in wrapping all the goodie bags for the passengers.

When we arrive in California, it's a two hour drive to my parents' house where we'll settle in for the week.  This will be the first chance for many of my family members and friends to meet the quints.  Some of them met Grace and Seth when we were out there last summer, but Will, David, and Marcie are newbies to the West Coast.

It is sure to be a fun and busy week, and it all comes to a smashing end with my cousin and best friend's wedding!  Carrie has not met the bride-to-be, so that will be fun as well.  The logistics with the babies have been many with the ceremony a few hours away, but we hope we have things covered.

Now for some pictures from today.

It started out with Seth reading the morning news in his easy swing:

While Will and Marcie washed dishes (and had a bath at the same time, more or less):

Grace, meanwhile, needed some comfort from her daddy after a hard fall:

Later on, they all piled in to the car for a play date with some friends:

It was a good day.

Our next post should be from California!  Thanks for praying for the trip!

The Quintuplets are graduating!

How time flies!  Actually, it's a different set of quints that we met when our quints were still in the hospital.  We saw this on the news a few nights ago and thought it was really a neat picture into what our quints may have in store as they grow up.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Marcie and the goats at Fossil Rim

The kids clearly have a "thing" for goats wherever they are to be found, the Dallas Zoo or Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. This series of photos of Marcie deserved its own blog post, I thought. Yet again, a huge thank you to Naomi and her passionate gift for photography and our kids!

Could she get any closer?!

She looks like I did at her age in this photo.

My new favorite photo of her?

Having quite the conversation, looking a little reminiscent of Shirley Temple to me.

She has no hesitation or fear about touching animals.

I think she might be pointing at another goat and laughing. :)

If in future years the other four quints read this post and wonder why they didn't get their own photo shoot with the goats, it's because you were running off in other directions exploring. You have to sit still to get the most photos. ;)

Fossil Rim photos

Isaac with two of the friends he's scared to leave, Megan and Peter. 

I'm glad Naomi caught this funny moment on camera. Will is staying off the display, but he's chewing on the rope. :}

"Wow, you're a lot bigger than I am!" Gracie

David with a deer during the drive-through "safari"

Seth was VERY interested and happy as long as the animals didn't push their heads into the windows.

Mommy's turn to pet one!

Excited Will!!
David pointing out something

Grandpadad, as always, was along for the ride and quint-wrangling and hugs and kisses. Grandmommy works on Saturdays.

Seth and Mommy
Will is rapt

Will and Daddy with the emu

Happy little Gracie. The girls' dresses are from Cathe, and the boys' shirts are from Aunt Krista and Uncle Todd.
(Megan picked out their outfits and did a great job! I'm going to miss her help in PNG, that's for sure!)

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

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

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