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, April 26, 2016

Visiting the Leedahls and Daddy's helicopter

We had a fun, crazy trip to Goroka to see the Leedahls. (Google "Jon and Adie  Leedahl" if you want to read/see/hear their INCREDIBLE story!) It was supposed to be a day trip only, but we decided to stay overnight - hence the "crazy!"The kids don't know how to sleep in the same room; they were too excited to sleep and kept trying to interact. Gracie complained about Seth stroking her head, to which he replied, "But Gracie! I LIKE you! I like you, Gracie!" So cute (although it was 4 a.m. at the time)! We don't plan to take the kids overnight anywhere again for the next two years! We're not scheduled to furlough until more than two years from now anyway, Lord willing.

It was wonderful to get to visit with Jon and Adie. It's strange to have such famous friends, but significantly less strange because we were friends before Jon's accident, and they're still normal people, albeit slightly bionic. ;) They took care of all six of our kids the weekend we were medevac'ed for Gavin's esophageal impaction (October 2013), then Gavin and I got to take turns being with them at our Clinic the night of the accident before Jon was medevac'ed in the morning less than two weeks later. We also got to visit them in Australia when Gavin had follow-up surgery for his esophageal impaction (February 2014). It's been an amazing privilege to walk part of this road with them and to see them now on the other side, including Jon functioning unbelievably well as a pilot of both airplanes and helicopters. His survival alone is completely miraculous, and his doctors said they have no explanation for how he's able to use his remaining muscle so effectively. 

When we went into town with the quints AND a man with a robotic leg we got a lot of attention! ;) 

Sadly, I didn't get any photos of Jon and Adie and their boys (Isaac's good buddies). I just wasn't thinking!

Isaac is the best big bro ever. He is so patient with small children all over him!
[Gracie is buckled with an extension added to Isaac's buckle. Our car can't fit more than two car seats.]
Delightedly holding the kitty: Our little ragamuffin Marcie
(whose hair is perpetually in her eyes due to hatred of ponytails and bows)
 Speaking of Marcie, we had a really close call at the pool, totally my fault. I keep thanking God she is alive! I was putting sunscreen on her after using the potty, then walked back to the table to put the sunscreen down. I saw her walking carefully down the steps into the pool. Will and David were playing on the steps and I assumed she was going to play with them too. I didn’t even think about her not having her life-jacket on, and I was preoccupied with trying to locate Seth and Gracie (who was semi-hidden from view because she was sitting in a big chair by the pool side with its back to us). When I counted five (having started with Marcie, and feeling relief at finding Gracie), I turned to say something to Adie, who Gavin was also talking to. Just then Isaac yelled, “Marcie, no, no!!” I thought he was yelling at her not to come in over her head, but he was yelling “no!!” out of horror of seeing his little sister under water, silently flailing with her arms and legs but only managing to get her terrified eyes above water. Gavin ran to her, but Isaac got there first and lifted her up to Gavin. 

Her close call was so horrifyingly silent and so potentially deadly. I remember Isaac falling into a pool when he was little, but that was a big splash. Marcie just stepped off the step, in over her head, and couldn’t even make a splash on the surface despite desperately trying to get above water.

Isaac is still pretty traumatized about it. He says he keeps thinking about how she would have died if he hadn’t just happened to see her right then (he was playing with a water noodle nearby). He also says seeing David and Will playing happily in the background, completely oblivious to their sister drowning nearby, really haunts him because, as he said, “Seeing Marcie drown and die would have completely destroyed them and affected the rest of their lives.”

He asked me to pray last night for the Lord to protect the kids. He says he’s really nervous about heights and water with the quints because he realizes they could fall and die in a heartbeat. I pointed out that the Lord WAS protecting Marcie in causing Isaac to see her! She wasn’t very bothered at all - it was amazing how calm she was about it, although she didn’t want to swim anymore; but Will and Isaac were really distressed. Will kept retelling the story and saying he didn’t want to swim because he would get hurt in the water too.

So that’s our big praise from this weekend, or rather from our whole lives! God is so gracious. I'm horrified that I forgot to put her life jacket back on. I hope/trust that’s a mistake I will never make again. She has discovered how to swim with it on, so I think that’s what she was trying to do, not realizing we had forgotten to put it back on!
The kids finally fell asleep! Seth and Will were in another bed.

A couple weeks ago the kids asked to visit Daddy at Aviation at the end of the workday. Here they are exploring "his" helicopters:

 Playing around the house:

Gracie, David and Seth are playing IN the dollhouse! Someone can fit in the attic, too, but we didn't get a photo of that. :)

David. We have three tricycles that the kids ride around and around our large living room and long hallway.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

More playdate and potty training weekend photos

Isaac and me in Goroka (visiting the Leedahls)

Finger puppets (Grace and David)
Seth and the kitty

Dancing girls and funny David

Figuring out the washing machine

Playdate pictures

I should clarify that "playdate" means wonderful adults and teenagers have our kids over to their house and play with them. Our kids are ecstatic whenever it's time for a playdate with the Weavers!
During snack time: Seth, Marcie, David, Will and Gracie

Painting with Jasmine

Deliberate David intent on his work

Delighted David

David looking impish and very happy
Sweet, silly Seth

What was this face about??

So happy!

Catching bubbles with Ellie and Amanda

Loving books together; Isaac's RC airplane flying

I love hearing the kids "read" to each other. It's especially cute and funny when they have memorized portions of the books, for example: "And the bear snores on!"

The girls reading together on the window seat with David
(Marcie mixing Easter dress with plaid boy pajama pants, a girl pajama shirt underneath, and church shoes. Neither she nor Gracie wanted to take off their beautiful dresses and "slippers," as they call them.)

David "reading" to Gracie and Seth. David is definitely the leader of the group, a very responsible and caring one too!

I'm pretty sure David righted this book right after we snapped the photo

I'm not sure what they were looking at, but it's such an endearing photo of Isaac with the kids!

Isaac is getting really good at flying RC airplanes! It was his dad's passion at this age (or maybe a bit older?)
A pretty picture of Marcie in her Easter dress, just because :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Potty training joy!

HUGE thanks to "Aunt" Karen Weaver for taking Will and Gracie all weekend for a fun potty training boot camp!! Four of the five quints are now at least well on their way to completely toilet-trained. Seth has had mumps, believe it or not, and has naturally been pretty miserable (although he certainly had a lighter case than I did as a kid), so we haven't pushed him to do anything but eat and heal. We pray no one else gets it! By the way, he was satting 100% here at 5000 ft altitude, something I could never have imagined when he was so sick in the NICU and we didn't know if he would even make it despite being on the gentle oscillating ventilator. Thank you God! Thanks to those of you who prayed for so long, too!

I have heaps of beautiful photos of the kids, most taken by Karen, but I have been too busy or tired to sit down and load them. I WILL get to it soon, I hope!

Aunt Cynthia is also here, so hopefully we'll have some pics of her with the kids too. Fun times! The girls especially were so excited to see her again.

Speaking of the girls, Marcia hair was a mess as usual yesterday, and when she came up to talk to me David noticed and said with the calm maturity of a grown man, "Marcie, your hair is in your eyes. You better blow it away." She said okay and did it! Such funny little people taking care of each other. They love to help with one another's needs. Yesterday while I was holding sick Seth David brought me a snack for Seth as well as some water, and he asked Seth, "Is this enough water, Sethers?" So cute and endearing, and he said it so lovingly with real concern in his voice! They all talk like that to each other and to us if they sense someone is sad or hurting or sick.

One potty photo before I sign off: 

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

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

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