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

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

LONG post: descriptions and stories of the kids

Gavin wanted me to title these two pictures "Slow down, Daddy!" but I think it looks like they are asking him to speed up! They always ask to go faster in the car, but that's hard to do on these rutted, small dirt roads with pedestrians around every corner. And no, the car isn't even moving in this picture. Gavin had parked it down by the horse paddocks. The kids love standing on the bull bar.

The kids are changing so fast. Will is a RIOT. He is the funniest kid ever, I think. Happiness just overwhelms him sometimes - usually when we're somewhere he thinks is really fun outside of the house - so he has to squeal and race around with an enormous dimpled grin until he can run off some of his joy. Yesterday he decided the other kids needed to tone it down a bit, so he yelled, "Be quiet, guys! You're too loud!" (Will is almost invariably the loudest quint.) When he kindly shared some food with a hungry sibling a couple of days ago and I praised him for it, he said, "Give me a hug!" like he was thinking, "you know you want to . . . " He's very free with his very sloppy kisses. As my girl friend says, they're worth it!

Will SHOVELS food into his mouth. The others ask for spoons, but Will is always so hungry he can't be bothered. He finishes a large amount of food in no time flat and asks for more . . . continuously, until we give it to him. He's very persistent and loud, thankfully saying please and thank you as well. Eventually we'll have to insist on a spoon, at least before we start traveling to visit friends and supporters next furlough! But he'll be nearly 5 by then. 

Gracie talks incredibly fluently, which is so cute in her tiny, insistent voice. She's got quite a strong, outspoken will right now and takes on any sibling with vigor in a disagreement over toys, food, book. "No, it's MY _______!" When in a combative mood she even yells, "NO THANK YOU!!!" when someone tries to give her something she doesn't want. I think she missed the point of my coaching her to be more polite in those moments. :o} She fights for her turf, tough little cookie! It feels like she and Marcie have changed places. Yesterday she asked to watch "Guppy Guppies" which is Bubble Guppies, a new DVD Marmi and Papa brought us. The kids adore it and ask for it multiple times a day. Gracie kept asking, and I didn't answer her because I was debating yes or no. Finally she said, "Carrie! I need to watch the Guppy Guppies!" Apparently she thought "Mommy" wasn't getting her the answer she wanted, so she pulled out my first name.

Marcie charms and "mothers" nearly constantly with a very winsome smile and perfect intonation imitation of me. (Not that I always have a winsome smile in my parenting.) My personal favorite Marcie-ism right now is her, "Oh, SANK you! [thank you], [Mommy/Daddy/Gracie/David/whoever]!" She can say her th's (as in bath), but that "Oh, sank you ______!" is SO cute and so frequent, like she's surprised and highly pleased every time we give her something, even if it's just her plate of food, drink or toy. She and Gracie continue to be best of friends, chit-chatting and discussing and loving each other the vast majority of the time. It's SO cute to overhear them! Especially because Gracie bosses and Marcie mothers. "Okay? Alright? Oh, sank you, Gracie!"

David is our quiet thinker and problem-solver, very orderly and [generally] the gentlest of the quints. He tends to be the most serious, but Isaac can get him to make really funny faces. David also does goofy things like lie down on the floor and put a clear storage box on top of himself and say, "Mommy, look!" He also tells us to "Come get me!" which means he wants to wrestle and be tickled, and he just lies on the floor until we can break away from whatever we're doing to oblige him. He never fails to tell me if he doesn't want me to sing, dance, jiggle my leg while holding him, whatever. "Mommy, no dance! Mommy, no singing! Mommy, don't!" He wants to be held, but in HIS way, not mine. He's very particular, and he likes to put things "back." Thank goodness we have at least one cleaner-upper!! :) He just wandered by asking, "Where Isaac go?" (to school). All the kids LOVE Isaac. He's super fun and loving, a HUGE help. David loves Isaac's new magnet-driven car and repeatedly asks Isaac to "Make it go!" and yells "Awesome!!" over and over again when it does go. He also yells "Awesome" when Isaac plays his racing games on the Wii. The other night he saw me grating cheese in the kitchen and told me, "Mommy, leave that alone. [with a little waving put-it-down hand motion.] Hold on the lap!" 

Seth is sweet Seth still, animal and book lover, goofy and affectionate, but he can win a fight with David because he is STUBBORN. Will can beat anyone, though, when it comes to who gets what toy or book or food, thanks to his sheer strength and size. However, once he's won he's much more likely to obey us and give back whatever he's taken, especially if he sees that he's made his sibling cry. Seth, on the other hand, tenaciously clings to whatever he's "rightfully stolen." Seth is also our wanderer. We've found him way down the road from where we are (thinking he was playing in a friends' room with the other kids), over at the basketball court across the road from our house, and other places he's not supposed to be. He just heads off, happy and oblivious. The funny thing is that we'll be getting the kids ready for bed, assuming Seth is playing quietly in a bedroom, as he frequently does, and the phone will ring . . . Thankfully that's only happened a couple of times, and only when someone has left the gate open. (The gate is toddler-proofed.) The times Seth escaped under our fence he scraped his tummy and came crying back to the house, waiting at the gate for me to come comfort him. So that's a relief. 

Speaking of relief, we found David on the roof of our SUV yesterday! Thank God Gavin was able to get him down without incident. So please pray for continued safety of the quints. We physically cannot keep an eye on all of them all the time, so we need guardian angels in spades!

Isaac had a really fun birthday party - 2 weeks after his actual birthday, but at least it was worth the wait. He's also started piano lessons with Marmi and is doing a great job! I'm glad we waited until he was a bit older. It's easier on this ol' mom, I'll say that! I remember my poor parents trying to get me to practice as a recalcitrant 7-year-old. . .
Isaac's Nerf and water-war party. Isaac is the kid in the red shirt, middle of the crowd. His Mega Thunderbow is partially hiding his face, but that was no doubt intentional.

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

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

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