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

Friday, October 23, 2015

Happy Birthday

My friend Susan (the same one who took the quints' 3-year-old photo portraits) took these group pictures for me as a gift for my dad, whose birthday it is today. Sadly, Isaac was in school and Gavin was at work and so they missed out again. I did it on the spur of the moment when the kids were amenable to wearing coordinating/matching outfits (thanks JJ and CJ and Mickey(?) or whoever it was who sent me the girls' outfits). This was at Monday morning playgroup this week. They are so silly!








It's harder to smile for the camera when your mom is with you in the photo. I was the one making them smile. :)
All of us are healthy and happy. Gavin has been flying a lot. The kids are talking a LOT. It's so funny to hear their conversations. (I can't reproduce one for you, unfortunately, because I usually don't have time to take notes.)

Isaac is also doing great, and we are so proud of the young man he's become! He asked me this week why ANYONE would resent their mom having another baby. (He was watching Veggie Tales with the kids, and one of the letters Bob and Larry were reading was from a kid who didn't want their new sibling.) He was genuinely baffled, even though he acknowledged it means having to share your parents' attention. Apparently he thinks his brothers and sisters are well worth it!

My big announcement this week is that after four years of being a stay-at-home mom I returned to work very part time this week. I was SO ready to get out of the house and re-enter an office/medical environment. So now I am working at our clinic as a receptionist, which in addition to usual receptionist duties also includes preparing and filing charts and doing whatever else needs to be done. Our few nurses are extremely overworked, poor ladies. (While I'm officially an epidemiologist, I really don't feel ready or willing to re-enter that world right now. It's too consuming and involves lots of out-of-office time. People always come to my door when I work in health outreach and education. It's unavoidable, no matter how much I try to set boundaries.)  

I'm finding my new job actually increases my productivity at home (since, as I said, I'm only very part-time) as well as my enjoyment of the kids. They go to daycare regularly now and love it and are staying healthy, praise God! The PNG ladies who run the Daycare are beautiful, kind, loving women. One of them was Isaac's babysitter the whole time he was little. She even potty-trained him for us in just a couple of weeks at Daycare! I wish she'd do the same for these kids . . .  ;)

Love and gratitude!
Carrie


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Happy, happy home (usually)

When I was little bitty my mom used to sing a song that went, “With Carrie in the family, happy, happy home!” (repeated multiple times to a really cute tune). I used to sing it to Isaac and I’ve done so a few times with the quints (who love their names in songs, of course). Looking at these pictures of the bright side of life just makes me grateful and happy. We have super-stressful, insane moments, of course, and there are times we feel like we’re going to lose it, but I think on the whole we are enjoying age 3 more than any other age, and it is gradually getting easier.

Gavin in (unstaffed) church nursery with the kids:

Climbing trees - not really. Gavin just put them up there and took the pictures.
David and his silly smile

Will drew on himself with a marker, lest you wonder what those green marks are on his thigh. :)
Will and Marcie

Me reading to the kids last night (Wow! A timely picture for the first time in a long time!)


Tonight David saw a photo of the quints lined up as babies on the swing in my parents’ backyard and he said, “Mom, those are your kids! There’s Sethers, Will, Gracie, and Marcie and Sethers!” I prompted him to say who else, and he realized he’d forgotten himself, so he did the whole list again, with “David” this time too. (For some reason Seth got mentioned twice both times through.) Then Isaac said from his bedroom, “Those aren’t ALL of Mom’s kids!” David then remembered Isaac, the original Mommy’s kid and the only one for 8.5 years! :)

Isaac and friends frying giant June bugs to eat. They taste like really fatty, nasty bacon with a too-crunchy outside. I can’t stand them.

Will looking sweet and docile. Looks are deceiving: although he certainly can be VERY sweet, he usually isn’t docile. He loves, loves, loves to be kissed and told that he is LOVED. He always repeats back, “I love you” with his dimpled full-face grin. Thanks to those of you who prayed for his illness. It took a LONG time, but I think he’s finally completely over it! We’re so thankful that it didn’t affect the other kids nearly so much, if at all. Gracie and Gavin were the only ones truly sick as well.

And finally, our happy, happy home (the grass is much drier now than it appears in this photo):

Please Pray for PNG

This country is hurting for rain. It’s so dry, so brown (comparatively - this is a very naturally verdant land) and whole lakes are gone. Unconfirmed reports say there are already deaths due to starvation and disease from impure water.

This used to be a large lake in the Sepik region of the country. Now it’s dry.


This is our reservoir and source of power. Gavin is parked where there used to be lake, not bare dirt.


Some pictures Gavin has taken recently and I decided to include just because they are cool or beautiful:


How cool is this cloud-covered line of mountain cliffs??


People in their native dress welcoming dignitaries to a public school event:

Quints pics from the past week-and-a-half

Marcie doctoring her daddy

Marcie and David holding hands on their way to church. Marcie’s in a phase where all the other quints (except Will) are her “babies” and she’s the mom. They’re not really keen on being her babies. She says Gracie is “my favorite Gracie!” and “my baby Gracie, because she’s so cute!” When I told Marcie today that she was a little crazy, she insisted she was Marcie, not Gracie. The words are too similar, apparently. :)

Sorry these next three are blurry, but they’re so cute I had to include them. This is a store about 15 minutes from us in the nearest town of any size. It’s the first time we’ve taken all five quints with us on a shopping trip. The store has these tiny little carts, and all five immediately went for them. Seth took it VERY seriously, loading up his cart with things he liked, including rice and sodas and cheese. :) We missed getting a picture of him, unfortunately.

I HAD to cut Marcie’s hair, it was such a chronic mess and she despises having it combed. Gavin said she looked like Gollum from The Hobbit, so he was happy I cut it. I think it turned out pretty cute, just like our silly girl!

Isaac said last night that the quints are his best friends. Tonight David said that Isaac is his best friend, and Marcie said that Isaac is also her best friend (granted, she’s said the same thing about Gracie and David too). Bottom line: Our kids really love each other and it’s SUCH a blessing!

Tonight I overheard Isaac coaching Will on how to ask for something politely. He said, “That’s the respectful way to talk,” as he then gave Will the requested drink. Hooray, my pre-teen is coaching his siblings on how to speak respectfully! May it last on into his teen years . . .

The Playhouse is Done! (for now)


David enjoying the main deck, just above the big slide:


Will and David “helping” Daddy. They like to help Daddy a lot. Daddy is very patient and Mommy is very glad to have them out of the house and busy!


The (for now) finished product:


You can see that we re-purposed our sea freight shipping crates!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Some heavy stuff

Hi all,


First, the blessings: we got to go to Aviation to pick up Matthew with his mom and siblings! He made it back a day earlier than anticipated. It was SO good to see him totally back to normal! I'm pretty sure my hug embarrassed him, but oh well. :) He came over Friday night for supper and a movie with his brother and another friend. Isaac was elated. Hearing them all laughing and seeing Matthew sitting at our table eating his food made me overflow with thanksgiving. It was surreal. GOD IS GOOD.

And I write that above line because it's what I keep remembering (thanks to the Holy Spirit) as we face two other pretty heavy issues in our area and one minor "spot of bother" here at home.

Starting on the home front, Will is sick with vomiting and diarrhea and fever. He's a miserable little dude. Please pray the other kids don't get it. It sure adds to the laundry pile!

. . . Which brings me to the first big issue we're facing as a town/country: (1) Rain - or rather, lack thereof.

We actually had no water to flush our toilets yesterday (when they direly needed it!). I don't want to give too much information for those who have weak stomachs, but we don't flush our toilets until absolutely necessary, and we only wash clothes that are well and truly dirty/stinky. But with 6 very active kids, that adds up to a lot of laundry quickly. We might look into digging an outhouse - we had one at our old house and using it was no big deal, but we need a GOOD lock on this one! It's also tricky given potty-training right now. (Marcie's the only one really doing it, though. The others give an occasional try.) Bottom line (ha, ha, no pun intended!): WE NEED RAIN. The whole country needs rain, desperately. Our "lawn" has dried to the point that it has several deep fissures in it (not big enough to lose a quint, don't worry). While ugly and annoying, we don't have to depend on our lawn for our livelihood.


(2) Our Finance Department situation is also dire. Here's the public statement:

Finance Team Shortage

The PNG finance team is already critically short-staffed, but things have gotten more difficult this October as one coworker leaves for home assignment and another retires. Currently there are no accountants or finance people in the pipeline to come.

A task force is discussing how to ensure sufficient accounting resources to keep Bible translation going in PNG. Our first step in June was to pray and to ask others to pray. Will you join us?  Contact our recruiting team (hr-recruiting@sil.org.pg) to learn more how you can serve in a vital role here in PNG.

For a video about our finance team, you can view it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtbUKtKJXTY

So, here's your invitation to come live near the quints and Isaac! :) Seriously, please pass this on to anyone who think might be interested. We need help!

Gotta run minister to Will,
Carrie

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

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

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