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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Missionary Moms" video

The kids and I are in this video a few times. My friend Kelly, who was my next door neighbor when we were missionary kids growing up together in Lomalinda, Colombia, wrote the "rap" on a whim and teamed up with some seriously funny and talented people to film, edit and publish it to YouTube. I'm in it with our ladies' Bible study group (again, I'm the one in the pink), and there are a couple of clips of the kids and me "dancing" (not really) - first Will, then Grace; the others just stood there. In one of the final shots Will and I are on the far side of the screen. [All this excruciating minutiae is for the three of you who want to know when to look for us.] ;)


Watch first, then read this if you're interested in the details:

The mouse story? I was here when that happened. Paul, Kelly's husband, wanted to SAVE THE TOASTER. Kelly held firm on the "toss the toaster" line, so the toaster in the video is not the one that actually had the mouse in it. Thank goodness.

And for those who are asking, "for real??": All the details in that video, minus the grass in the bath water and the too-many strains of hepatitis, are actually true to life!

We not infrequently have very brown water in our toilets and bathtubs when the creek we pull water from gets muddied with too much rain. Thankfully, we drink filtered rain water off our roofs. (Watch "Our Video," tab at the top of our blog, to see more about rain water tanks and life here - pre-quints, that is.)

Our matches do not light easily here. I love that scene with Kelly struggling to get her bath candle lit.

We are exposed to all those nasty illnesses, as are all the people of PNG, obviously, which is why I came here with a degree in public health/epidemiology and focused initially on immunization. Several children in our valley died of measles last year. One of our high schoolers currently has dengue, I'm told. It's past time for me to de-worm my kids. Every six months, my friends. :)

That box of cereal really, truly costs $20 US. Needless to say, the quints and Isaac have never tasted that kind of cereal.

The "auxiliary" referred to is the backup hot water heating system. Most of us have solar water heaters, but on rainy days there often isn't enough hot water to run a bath.

The smoke that was threatening Kelly's diapers on the line is a shot taken from near our house, looking into the charming little valley below us.

I want to clarify that despite the little details that sound so nasty and are really funny in a "rap" about missionary life, we LOVE it here! We're grateful for all we have, especially our friends and community, both expat missionaries and Papua New Guineans.


*Some of you will remember our friend Jon who was in a motorbike accident here back in October, was medevaced to Cairns, and had his leg amputated. He and his family traveled to the US just last week. Please pray for them as the doctors at Mayo Clinic have had to remove 50% of his remaining thigh muscle.

Model children?

No, our kids are not perfect, but they sure are cute! Some days certain kids "pose" more for pictures than the others. This post features Marcie and David.

Goodbye Aunt Cynthia! Plus Monday photos

These pictures (with the exception of the Aunt Cynthia ones) were all taken on a Monday during the kids' weekly play date with the Weavers.

But first, Aunt Cynthia's farewell photos: As soon as the kids saw it today they all yelled, "Cynthia!" without me saying anything, so clearly her visit made a very favorable impression on their little minds. How could it not? A loving auntie to play with and read to them and bring them gifts = joy! Thanks for coming, Aunt Cyn! We miss you.

David, Marcie, Will, Gracie, Seth

Switched places: David, Marcie, Seth, Gracie, Will
Gracie and Will with their friend Jadia and a bowl full of cherry guavas. Yum!

David contributing to the stash of little red fruits

Will and his friend Gwennie

Will goofing off for Gwennie and Marcie

Sharing crackers with a new little PNG friend



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Usual Friday morning activities

Marcie with the sidewalk chalk
Marcie and play dough

Very focused David and Will (helping himself to David's play dough - he helps himself to other's food and toys a lot!)

Seth looks so proud of himself!
Gracie - very hard at work cutting




Kids on a couch - again

I love it when Debbie gets the kids to sit for a picture on the couch! They clearly know the drill, because when I wanted to get a goodbye photo with Aunt Cynthia they all came running, hopped right up next to her on the couch and looked at the camera (photo to follow in another post).

Marcie, Will, Seth, David and Gracie. 

Sweet little Grace put up with Seth's embrace for these photos. She was trying to put her arm behind Will, but Seth had her in such a stranglehold she couldn't reach! Tonight Seth had his arm around her while they sat in the recliner together. Cute!

Gracie, Seth, Will, David, and Marcie (barely visible)
Will and Seth just hanging out together with slightly goofy expressions (but they're still handsome, right?!)

David the Goofball

He is SUCH a silly, charming little boy with a very creative yet analytical and focused mind. Cars and trucks and helicopters and airplanes and trains are all his favorite things.

 He loaded the back of this pickup truck (thanks Len and Mickey!) with stones. He clearly believes trucks are made to work. He was born in Texas, after all. ;)

This is David's new funny face, screwing his eyes up tight for the camera
But he can still appreciate a posh, upscale car. Hope he doesn't plan to ride very often in one of those as a missionary kid! The policeman is driving. A nod to his Uncle Kenneth? I think so.

Up a tree

A very, very low tree. Marcie could climb into the crook of it by herself. (Again, activities and pictures thanks to Debbie from last Friday!)



And upside down:

Inverted Will

On the ropes

Don't be alarmed, this post's title is not a reference to our mental or physical health. :) We're all happy and well, enjoying sunny days (mostly) and an extended school break for our mission organization's biennial conference. I love having somewhere to go each day with other adults! The kids are loving their daycare program. Isaac keeps telling me stories from his Vacation Bible School. His leaders are a fun bunch with some funny material to share. What a blessing!

These were taken by Debbie last Friday. I love them! I guess only Gracie, David and Will really participated.

What the "big people" in our family are up to

A passenger took this great photo of Gavin with that cool peak in the background. Thanks, Heather!

Gavin got to take Isaac with him on a short flight to pick up translators from their village earlier this week.
Welcome back, David, Shelly and Cadi!

Our Bible study group with our wonderful leader Betsy on crutches with a broken leg. I love these ladies! I grew up next door to the pretty young thing kneeling next to me, the quints' "Aunt Kelly." The kids always ask to go to Kelly's house.
(Hi, Esther's mom! Hi, Jeannette and Dale - you no doubt recognize the house in which this photo was taken!) 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Reading with a few of our favorite people!

In addition to the amazing blessing of having Marmi and Papa (Gavin's parents) here for a full year, we also get to have my "Aunt" Cynthia here for a little over a week! It's so nice to have her drop by and help out, and she's always happy to read to the kids. Marmi and Papa love doing that too when they come around bedtime. It's a huge help!
Aunt Cynthia, Gracie and Seth
Marcie joins in (far left)

Papa reading Thomas the Tank Engine to Marcie and David

Marmi reading the Toddler Bible to Seth

Mommy's turn to read "Bob Builder" to Gracie. She is the biggest fan!

The kids enjoying Grandpadad's Pepperidge Farm goldfish brought by Aunt Cynthia. YUM! Clockwise from top: Gracie, Seth, David and Marcie. Sorry you can't see them very well. 

A silly picture of David and Will enjoying the toy storage box and laundry hamper. "Mommy, look at me!"
Tonight Will asked David in the bath, "Do you like this?" while he poured water over David's leg. David said, "Yeah, I like it!" Will replied, "Okay!" I love it when they are kind to each other, look out for each other in sharing food and drinks and toys, and say thank you and please to each other. They're all pretty nuts about one another and Isaac! Isaac saves our sanity on a regular basis. It got so loud and hectic tonight Gavin and I were desperate for some relief, and Isaac just seemed to sense we needed help, so he whisked them all off to Will's room (farthest one away, with lots of cool cars and trucks and planes and helicopters to play with). That resulted in blessedly quiet conversation for Gavin and me. We love that big boy of ours!

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

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

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