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, July 6, 2014

Sorry so silent for so long

The days keep coming to a close without my ever remembering to post something; forgive me! I left it that both Seth and Grace were still possibly needing some oxygen. Thank God, they got off and stayed off since I posted that! All five babies are doing very well. Isaac is too, loving life in PNG and saying how happy he is to be here although he misses Peter and Megan from his Dallas life very, very much. It's bittersweet when he tells us things that he remembers about them. Happy memories make us miss loved ones more, don't they? But we're so glad to have them!

Never mind Seth is on a play date with oxygen attached, he's happy! (Taken last Monday, the last day on full-time oxygen)
Speaking of loved ones and happy memories, we just learned that Gavin's grandma, our beloved "Murmps," has terminal cancer. We are indescribably grateful that we got to introduce her to all the quints before we left the U.S. We said our goodbyes then, as she is 92 years old - although she doesn't act or look anywhere near that age! We'd love to be home in CA with the rest of the family during this difficult but special time of home-going. Missing times like this is definitely one of the hardest things about missionary life. Murmps knows she is heading for an eternity of bliss with her Savior and is very ready to be with Him. Her peace and joy are a great encouragement and testimony to me. God gives grace for the race He marks out for us. It's sweet to realize that Murmps will be reunited with Gavin's grandpa, Popsy, her dear sister Kitty, and many other loved ones and family members who have gone before. That doesn't change the fact that her children, her grandchildren, her great grandchildren, her sister Bev and her other family and friends will miss her terribly. Gavin's mom is Murmpsy's eldest daughter, so we appreciate your prayers for Marcia/Marmi in particular.

In other much less weighty news . . . (Murmpsy likes to read these details and see pictures too!)

The kids have all discovered the word "no," (I'm surprised it took them this long!), and they love saying it to each other in a long string of "no-no-no-no's," complete with wagging index fingers near their mouths and, in Marcie's and Will's cases, exaggeratedly protruded lips. It's pretty hilarious. They know when they themselves or a sibling is doing something that's forbidden (climbing on the table, pulling the doggy's tail) or annoying (stealing toys or pacifiers).

Marcie, Will and Gracie are very much into shoes, wearing their own and trying on others'. Will got quite upset when he realized he didn't have his shoes on although three of the other babies had theirs this afternoon at the Frisbee field. He had to go back to the house to get his RIGHT away. Thankfully, the Frisbee field is just in front of our house.
Will sliding at the Weavers' - with shoes on!

The kids played in a big mud puddle today after it poured all morning and part of the afternoon. I wish I'd had a camera!

David's very favorite activity is throwing items down our laundry shoot. I have found many shoes, pacifiers, trucks, cups of milk, clean kitchen towels and even Seth's pulse oximeter and inhaler/spacer in the laundry room. When Seth's oximeter went missing, we knew to go check for it downstairs. Twice. (Thanks, Sarah.) I caught him trying to chuck bread pans and glass lids down there, too, but actually stopped him in time. He's funny, because when told "no," he usually obeys. He does it when no one is looking to tell him no. It makes for some funny discoveries in the mornings when I go to start the laundry!

David, Will and Marcie playing in the laundry basket. That's our shoe shelf and very black dog, Velvet, behind.

Marcie is talking tons now! She has words for many items in her world: juice, milk, binky, paci (both names for her pacifier), blanky, Mommy, Daddy, more, please, food, cracker, cookie, bread, hot, shoe, banana, apple (anything that is round and edible - passion fruit is "apple," as is tomato), up (uppy), down, all done, open, and on and on.

Marcie wanted her arm out of her sleeve for some reason. Gracie wanted one boy shoe and one girl shoe on. Both are on the wrong feet. (See below photo as well.)

The boys definitely know car, airplane and helicopter (or a version of it that sounds like a Spanish swear word). They also know how to make the car, airplane and helicopter sounds. Perhaps cutest of all is the intensity with which they growl when a lion or tiger comes on the TV screen. Will is pretty terrifying-sounding!

Gracie still has her adorable babble. I almost don't want her to learn more words too soon because it might hinder some of her babble-talk! She knows enough to communicate, though, and is a darling little charmer with a huge infectious grin.

Happy little Gracie with her mismatched shoes on the wrong feet and her "new" doggy!
Marcie is currently the most clingy of the babies. She wants Mommy most of the time and will call throughout the house, looking for me. While at times I'd like her to be a bit more independent I do love hearing her call me. :)

Marcie has to close every door or gate she goes through. I am not "allowed" to leave the yard gate open for our dog Velvet to follow us. Poor Velvet has to make up her mind and get through the gate quickly before Marcie closes it. 

Marcie and David very much like to organize, arrange and put things places. Sometimes they put things back where they belong. Sometimes they substitute other interesting items. Both will put shoes on the shoe shelf by our front door if I ask them to. All the kids will take something to someone if asked (and if it's not something they themselves would like). I can ask Marcie to take Seth his shoes and she will. Seth might not be interested in putting his shoes on, which will then concern Marcie until I step in and help him focus on the task at hand.

One thing we wondered/worried about was if the kids would whine to go places in the car like they did in the U.S. The boys especially really asked to go bye-bye, meaning to Costco or ALDI (with Grandpadad) or a park. However, they have all adapted to the fact that we live in a mile-square area, and any car ride takes only a couple of minutes, and that's if we drive at all. They only go somewhere in the car every other day or so, but they seem fine with life in the wide open outdoors instead.

We now have a cat for a year. She's very pretty (and spayed, which is even better). We hope she keeps the rats on the run. Our old house had a lot of rats. They would hold soccer matches in the attic while we were trying to watch a movie or sleep. They used the rat poison, among other things, to "kick" around.

Gavin is keeping super busy between work - he went back full-time last week, all week, hooray! - and projects around the house. The laundry room is being converted to an extension of his woodworking shop, and the washer and dryer (which we have for rainy days) are being moved upstairs. David will lose his favorite pastime when Gavin screws the laundry shoot permanently shut! Gavin thankfully can do a bit of plumbing in addition to woodworking. He built us a lovely front gate, and the fence is working out perfectly for keeping kids and our dog in! It's not working for keeping complete strangers from coming up and "giving five" to each of the babies in turn. The kids love giving five, but I have a hard time with it, knowing all the germs they are coming into contact with! This is a very hand-shaking culture, but hand-washing is not a cultural norm in the villages around us. There isn't running water, to begin with, so you can't blame them! While I am grateful that my kids are so friendly to others, it's hard for this ol' mom, who doesn't want another respiratory illness to sweep through the family and land Seth and/or Grace on oxygen. The sign I put up asking people to wash their hands first might as well be in Dutch. :} I just pray, keep applying the hand sanitizer and wiping their hands, and commit our family to God's care!

Hyper-vigilant hand-washing aside, I stay busy just trying to keep an eye on the kids and keep up with laundry and cooking/baking and putting stuff where it belongs. We still aren't fully unpacked, but the essentials (including my beautiful tea set collection, complete with the Shelly tea cup and saucer Murmps gave me when I married Gavin) are in place, more or less. It feels like home, which is the most important thing!
Gracie using the toy basket as her seat this evening. Seth has a full tummy but scrawny legs still! He's eating great, I just pray he gains weight. The pediatrician keeps telling me not to worry about it, he'll be the size he should be. :}

My favorite part of living here is having friends drop in to visit. It's lovely to have a cup of tea with them or even just keep cooking while they chat and lend a helping hand. Sometimes it's pretty much just bedlam if the kids are tired and hungry and scrambling for attention. Oh well! :)

It's past bedtime now. Gavin turned in the for the night quite a while ago. We go to bed and get up early here! The kids are in bed by 6:45 most nights, up at the same time in the morning. We're grateful they sleep 12 solid hours most nights! Thank God for good health. Please keep praying they stay healthy, Lord willing. We landed in the PNG Highlands in the middle of winter, so it's cold and flu season here, alas.

Love and gratitude,

P.S. I am about six weeks behind on email and thank-you's, so please forgive me if something from you has fallen through the cracks! I don't know if I'll ever catch up! We are SO grateful for all the prayers, notes of encouragement, gifts, support, etc., etc., etc. We can't say so enough!

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

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

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