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

Friday, July 31, 2015

Disconcerting symptoms and rough week for Seth

Hi all,

Gavin was gone Tuesday-Friday this week, so it was more of a blessing than ever that my parents are still here! This is especially because Seth started having a really high fever Tuesday, with lethargy, panting and consequent lower oxygen saturations [using only the top ⅓ of the lungs causes that]. He was fine the following morning, with diarrhea only, but then his fever soared again - 105.3 F! He was super lethargic then. He's got swollen lymph nodes in his groin area; he's lost more than two pounds off his already less-than-5th-percentile frame; some pin-prick marks up his right arm turned into much larger raised patches of sub-dermal bleeding, like some strange rash; and when I took him into the clinic he had a positive strep test, a deep red completely disfigured ear drum and an ear infection in the other ear as well. He vomited five times last evening (four times on Marmi - lucky grandma!), and then today he broke out in a rash reacting to the amoxicillin that was treating his strep throat and ear infections. To top it all off, he has a run-of-the-mill cold that all the kids have, so he's coughing and sneezing and congested too. Life is just not fun for Seth right now.

The doctor ran several blood tests. Everything came back normal, thank God. The doc also switched Seth to the Z-pack (azithromycin) which is nice since it requires only one dose daily!

Seth's complete unwillingness to eat or drink anything REALLY concerns me. He's starting to look wasted. Looking at pictures taken just this past weekend shows a huge difference in this short amount of time. I was so encouraged by how he was eating and gaining the past several weeks, and now we've had this major setback. However, I realize the Lord was perhaps ordaining that big appetite to make him more resilient during this hard bout of illness. I know I can trust God no matter what, and that He loves Seth more than we do. We sure appreciate your prayers with us for health, for wisdom for the medical staff, and for renewed strength and appetite for Seth, Lord willing.

This two pictures were taken 8 days ago. He looks so healthy and happy to me!

Seth's strange arm spots

The other kids (except Gracie) have the normal cold stuff. Marcie is complaining of pain in her cheeks (maxillary sinuses), so that may be another doctor appointment. Will complained about his ear today. We'll see . . .

Gavin is home, so we're all happier tonight. Maybe not healthier, maybe not unconcerned, but happier. :)

A couple of cute things: David was talking to Gavin on the phone and kept trying to show him things (including his toothbrush). Will was also talking to Daddy and just kept yelling "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy's in the phone!" David chimed in, "That's Daddy. This is my mommy [pointing at me] and this is my Will brother [touching Will]."

Today Marcie was running errands alone with me. She started talking about, "my brothers," and said, "I want to go get my boys!" She said she wanted to go get her "Gracie brother" too. I explained that Gracie is her sister. She said, "Yeah, Gracie is my sister brother." It's really cute that they are learning their relationship to one another. They are also congregating together more in public situations rather than splitting up and going in different directions. They like to talk to one another about what they are seeing or what toys they are playing with. They are doing a remarkably good job of sharing! Of course, they're not three yet, so it may be premature to do any sort of bragging. I'm just grateful that they seem to be learning cooperation and seem to genuinely care for and look after one another. When I bought David a small lollipop he said, "Where's Will's candy?!" We had to get one for all the quints and Isaac.

The kids are really into dancing, alone and together, and I got a series of blurring phone photos of their cuteness on Monday. It started with David and Marcie; then Will got excited and joined in, dancing with David; then Marcie inserted herself so it became an embracing trio; then David had enough and dropped out so Marcie and Will could dance alone.

The boys in their cute shirts from CJ and Jonathan! Thanks - we love them! We got a lot of compliments that day. ;) Each boy picked his favorite color, and they each chose a different one. Nice! (This was Tuesday, the first day of Seth's illness. He doesn't look like he feels great, does he?)

David and Marcie in princess dresses (from the movie Brave). David lost interest in his dress much sooner than Marcie did - which is a good thing since it's actually Gracie's dress! Marcie wears a princess dress at least part of every day. She's been given four now. :) She always wears a tutu under them, and today wore bright pink socks, pink Disney princess shows, pink pearl beads, and pink fairy wings. Anything pink appeals to her. She likes matching her Brave dolly, though, in her beautiful new green and plaid princess dress.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Random happy pictures from the past week

I am going to be so sad when my parents leave. We have a wonderful - albeit ofttimes challenging - life here, and it's super extra special to share that life - and the burdens! - with them. Thankfully Gavin's parents will still be here!! If you ever wonder how to bless a missionary, send their family to them [assuming the missionaries have a great relationship with their families, which, thank God, we do]. ;) THANK YOU to those who are standing behind my parents as they love and serve us here, and thanks also to those who sent so many beautiful, thoughtful gifts along with them!

Seth in Grandpadad's hat eating Grandma's
fabulous peanut-butter cookies!
David LOVES little LEGO cars and trucks.
Three gorgeous pictures of a very happy Gracie (while I drew a snowman for her and Marcie ate a banana in the background):

My darling nephew, who looks SO pleased with himself in his big boy chair at Panera!
He also looks like an adorable Smurf, something we once thought about David. Foster is the single biggest reason it's hard to be here in PNG and not in the U.S. It's sad to miss seeing him grow up! Plus, I'm missing seeing and knowing my sister as a mom. From what I hear she's the BEST, most loving, most self-sacrificing mom I could imagine! I'm so proud and grateful to God for the precious gift of Foster and his wonderful mommy and daddy, even though I can't squeeze and love on them physically right now. Prayers instead!

I love the kids of PNG. Apparently, so does Gavin. :) He took and highlighted this photo as one of his favorites from a recent four-day trip sling-loading building materials into a village up on the mountain. Two missionary couples and their families are moving there to share the love of Christ and the good news of salvation in Him. The people are very excited to have them come! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

T-shirt pictures

It's really hard to get them to pose for pictures, especially when we're at play group and they know it's time to play. ☺

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Shall we gather at the river?

Yes, we shall, and we did, for something to do on an empty Saturday. (Thanks for meeting us, Careys! You all - and your raft - made it a LOT more fun!)

Left to right: Gracie with Annika, Gavin, Marcie, Will, Seth, David, Josiah. Isaac is in the far background, far right.

Gavin, Will, Gracie, Marcie manning the oar with Will, Seth, David and Josiah
(Maya and Scott in the background)

Gavin pulling Gracie and Seth, Marcie approaching for a ride
(You can see how shallow the river is - we desperately need rain to fill our empty water tanks!)

Isaac taking a break

Seth was very possessive of the oars (we had to take them out of the water because the kids kept letting them  float downstream).

Will and Seth on top of the rock pile. It's really a great place to play!

Random photos

The view from my parents' bedroom window

Our house as seen from my parents' house

Uncle James and Seth bonding
(Uncle James and Aunt Natalie, though not blood relatives, are part of our family, and the kids adore them.
What's more fun is that James stayed with my parents when he was getting training in Dallas-Fort Worth.)

Catching up #3

Some more older pictures:

Sunday morning with Marcie (The others were in the nursery. She wanted to sit with us.)
Marcie and Seth
Gracie and Mom on Sunday morning
(I hadn't changed into church clothes yet.)

On the beach in Madang (nearing dusk)

The three boys


Grandpadad, Grandma and Isaac at breakfast in Madang
Aunt Pam (We miss you!!)

We miss Walter!! (and the rest!)

Walter reading some of the favorite books from his own childhood to Gracie and Seth (our two biggest readers still)
I can't tell you how much I miss the Weavers and McEvoys for the kids' Monday and Friday playdates, respectively. Those special times made our kids so HAPPY and enriched their toddler experience with crafts, songs, new toys, different people and books, a variety of outside playthings, etc. I still try to sing to and read to them, but I am in no way a crafty person. Paint-with-water is probably as daring as I'll be for a while yet. (A few of them still eat crayons unless watched constantly.)

Now David has replaced Seth on the couch (all the kids enjoy books - including Berenstain Bears, as I did!) 

The Weavers gave us all their Five Little Monkey books as a farewell! What fun for our five little monkeys!

David playing peekaboo with a fun hat
Will approaches. What's going on?

Will is very interested in this new game
Enjoying David's "surprise" appearance. When Will is in a good mood he's such a jolly fellow! David is very playful, and most often the one engaged in crazy games with Isaac. He loves to be chased, saying "Get me!" and either running or just lying on the ground to be tickled and wrestled.

Catching up, part 2

Star Wars fans will understand why I think these photos make our darling kids look like Storm Troopers. That helmet (Gavin's) is HUGE!! We still need to get shots of Will and David in them. We have one of Isaac at their age, but it will take me a while to track that photo down.

Marcie at the helm with Seth behind

Seth's turn, with Marcie's darling profile (reminds me of an ultrasound)

Gracie (I think the helmet weighs nearly as much as she does)

The girls love to hug

Marcie enjoying her new Princess plate with cereal on it. Why she's on the floor, I don't know.
My daughter, the princess. With the dog's water bowl on her head. Dunno why. Again.

Our handsome David happy with his new little bike and his Grandma. The roof of the house my folks have been staying in is visible in the background, right.

A Lomalinda reunion (the town we grew up in): Joneses (elder and younger), Metzgers (younger), Petersons, Wulffs, Stewarts (younger Wulffs), Hansens, and Brewers (younger). Our rad green shirts say "Keep Calm and Hover On," but those were only for the Jones/Peterson clan. My dad designed them. :) The quints are extra cute in their tiny ones, but we lost the SD card from the camera that had those photos on it! Thankfully the elder Joneses also have some photos on their camera. Stay tuned.

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

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

Blog Archive