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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Video of kids dancing and Will "reading"

This is funny at the end when Will says "kaikai!" ("food" in Pidgin) and pretends to eat the food on the pages of his book. You can also hear him saying "Mynana!" which is how the kids say banana.

Increasingly amazing big boy

I can't forget Isaac, especially since this very evening I was telling Gavin what an incredible help he's been with the toddlers. He's like a 3rd parent, and he really steps up when Dad isn't around to help me out. He's so willing and happy to jump in and do what needs to be done, especially if it involves caring for or entertaining the babies. He's super loving (yet firm) and he makes so many things fun for them! Even taking off their clothes so they can get their diaper changed and their jammies on becomes a laughing "battle." No wonder David wouldn't let Isaac leave the church nursery on Sunday, and when we were gone to our Aviation Department Christmas party Will would only stop crying when Isaac was holding him! [The poor babysitters, I feel so sorry for them!]

Besides being Big Brother Extraordinaire, he's also a sweet, thoughtful, bright, creative, imaginative and all-around delightful oldest son. He loves his Savior, Heavenly Father, and is sensitive to the Holy Spirit working in him. I really enjoy reading to him in the evenings before his bedtime and hearing what he's got to say about God's Word, his life, and his day. He is funny and clever, and his insights into God's character and/or Scripture and its application to his life bless me!

He's doing well in school, loves his friends and his teacher, and still misses Peter and Megan. There are lots of blessings about being a missionary kid - for one, his friend group here is huge, with lots of families living right near us - but there are definite sacrifices as well, and Peter and Megan are his two biggest.

Today a very large group of kids met on the playing field outside our house and played a massive version of tag, kind of like sardines and capture-the-flag mixed together. I forget what it's called - "Aunt Nelly" or something. It's the latest thing here and he LOVES it!

Isaac eats voraciously. He keeps reminding me that he's going through a growth spurt, and judging by how small his clothes are getting I'd say he's right! He also reads voraciously, and one of his favorite things is to sit down with a bowl of cereal or cheesy tortilla and read while he chows down. He's also a very gifted and prolific (at least for 4th grade) writer. He writes just for the fun of it, and his loooong stories and essays are great! Some of the words he uses are really surprising for his age, as are some of the phrases and ways of expressing himself. I'll have to see if he'll let me post some of his writing.

Anyway, that's our boy and we're nuts about him! His favorite things, besides food, reading, writing, and playing games with friends, are Nerf guns (still!), Star Wars, Calvin and Hobbes, and Foxtrot comics. (Sorry, Peter; we accidentally packed some of your books!) Of all the candy in the US, he most misses Nerds and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups - but I can make a pretty good knock-off version of chocolate-covered peanut butter balls, thank goodness!

To God be the glory for each of our kids, for all He has done in our lives - stretching into eternity with Him, and most of all for Who He is!


Psalm 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

Okay, this is kind of funny. I thought this was a picture of him reading, but no, he's playing on the iPad. Oh well, he's a normal kid! :) 

Increasingly amazing tots (at least WE think so)

We figure genetically David must be the result of Medefind genes (Gavin's mom's side). Otherwise we'd be saying, "Where did this kid come from?!" He is almost scarily neat and clean, with a sense of things needing to be put in their right place. He cleans up without being told to, even after building a long train and dumping the entire box of tracks to find just what he needs. When he's done, back it ALL goes into the right box, along with anything else that's "messy" on his floor. When we asked him to clean some dead flower petals off the floor he cleaned up EVERYTHING on the floor. It is very surprising to us, two not-quite-so-neat-nicks who would really appreciate the extra help as he grows up! He throws all trash over the kitchen gate since he knows that's where we throw out the majority of our trash (and we can't keep a trash can accessible to the kids). He'll clean up anything we ask him to and he knows where most everything goes. - although today he put the dirty socks with the shoes rather than in the laundry pile. Pretty close, David! :)

These Duplo blocks were ALL over Seth's room. Not anymore! Not only did David put them all in the box to which they belonged, he also set up a lovely little train scene in front. When he left the room and spotted some more blocks in the hallway he had to go back and put them in the green bucket too. Far be it from him to leave something untidied! (I think of "Aunt" Deb Martin a lot, too. She used to call our kids home-wreckers, they were so destructive of her cleanup work! David clearly broke that mold!)
Will, on the other hand, thinks in order to find the best book one really must empty the bookshelves of all the books and sit on the pile to make his selection. Hence the mess in the book-reading video I just posted. Will has an incredibly sweet, friendly spirit, however, saying "hi," "bye" or "apinun" (good afternoon) and now even "morning!" to just about everyone who passes. He's so winsome! Especially with his dimples and grin. And he's biting a LOT less, praise God! He loves to give kisses now instead (even when they're not wanted sometimes by Seth in particular). He makes a smiling tongue click instead of a lip smack, so it both looks and sounds particularly cute.

Gracie is small, sweet and spunky. She loves her blankies, her stuffed animals, cuddling and dancing and can really push back when she is imposed upon by her larger siblings. She still has that tiny little voice with its adorable inflections, but she says so many words and sentences so clearly now! When she sees her "Aunt" Sarah or "Aunt" Kelly, she leans out to them or walks up to them with arms outstretched and whimpers until they pick her up. She's a little love.

Marcie, our charming, engaging "little mother," sometimes has ideas for what the other kids should be doing or wearing that are contrary to the kids' ideas for themselves. Gracie usually tolerates it remarkably well, even with a grin. David tends to laugh at her, but the other boys usually yell "no!" and push her away. Just now she decided that Gracie's pacifier/"binky" needed to go "nigh-night" and ran it back to the crib, in keeping with our rule that they not have pacifiers outside of their cribs. The funny thing is, Marcie kept her OWN pacifier. She also relented when Gracie started fussing and brought back Gracie's pacifier. So I'd say she's a pretty typical mother. I'm tempted to let them have their pacifiers today when they're not feeling well. ;)

Seth is definitely getting a mind of his own. If he sees kids coming to the kitchen gate when I'm preparing what he thinks is his milk, he doesn't hesitate to shove them away and tell them no! He's a little fighter and he tackles any challenges he can spot. I think he's trying to take up parcour*, finding the most creative way from point A to point B. He frequently ends up in a very tenuous, desperate situation, needing Gavin or Isaac or me to come rescue him! Anything the other kids do, he has to do too. He surprises us with how well he does them, too! (This from the kid who was in physical therapy due to flat feet. He still has a natural, normal clumsiness that aggravates him and us sometimes!) He continues to be our biggest reader and animal-lover. He also loves people still but is becoming more clingy, usually preferring his own family. We are honored. :) He especially asks about Gracie throughout the day if she's not around at the moment. Usually she's still in bed as Seth is our early riser. It's precious how much he adores her!
  1. *Parcour: the activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing.

Doesn't Seth seem to being saying, "What??!" in this photo, as though turning one's bowl upside down over one's head instead of eating the requested cereal inside is a perfectly normal option?

Marcie just kissed Gracie's binky "nigh-night" while the binky was still in Gracie's mouth. Gracie shrieked to prevent her from actually taking the binky nigh-night.

I'd better run and change Will's diaper. The kids have diarrhea. Yuck. :( Thanks for your prayers!

Love and gratitude,
Carrie (finally finishing a post I started late this morning!)

The messy reality: On the same day David dazzled us with his clean-up skills in Seth's room, he came into the kitchen, rummaged through the cupboards, found the [expensive] powdered coffee creamer and dumped it all over. Maybe he was trying to clean it up with his hands - you can see the finger smears. I could have screamed. (But aren't the footprints on the top-righthand-side cute?!)

Play dough!

We knew it was only a matter of time before they were ready to play with rather than eat the play dough. Finally that day arrived last week. It's a huge hit with Marcie in particular. I think partly because it allows her to feel like a little mother making things with her hands and a mini rolling pin and cookie cutters. Those are her favorite implements.

Thankfully, Aunt Debbie M. has a great recipe for homemade play dough and was daring enough to try it with our kids! :)

Video of the kids' tickle game

Be forewarned that videos in our house usually include children getting hurt or hurting each other or otherwise crying. It's the sad reality (I've watched Jon and Katie Plus 8 back in their early days when their kids were two, too!). Helps you know how to pray, right?! ;)

In this video Seth was very tired, so when he had a minor trip onto a soft rug he nonetheless couldn't cope.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Video of Seth and Will reading

3 a.m. illnesses and other exciting happenings

We're excited that Seth is eating like a trencherman, as evidenced by this picture! Thank you for praying; we praise God for what He's done! Seth has gained about a pound since I first posted a couple weeks ago. Turns out he LOVES chicken on the bone! All the kids do. Too bad it's not cheap like rice and beans. ;) 
The kids after church last Sunday. I love how Marcie (with Aunt Natalie's beautiful handmade headband) is checking on Seth. Always the little mother, that Marcie. She and Gracie were sitting together on the couch today reading books (and wearing the same dress as in this picture, incidentally - they are VERY insistent on wearing "pretty clothes" every day now). Gracie started humming/singing, and Marcie started imitating her, tone for tone. That made Gracie laugh, so she kept singing and Marcie kept mimicking her, which made both of them laugh and was very sweet to watch. I missed the photo op, however, because I was changing Will's diaper. 

Speaking of which, Will was the "exciting" 3 a.m. illness (and 10 p.m., and 10:30 p.m., and 11:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. and finally 6 a.m. illness). That poor child kept throwing up even when there was nothing left to throw up. It reminded me of poor Gavin's experience during our medevac last month due to the piece of meat stuck in his esophagus. :( Miserable. So please pray no one else gets it, especially since Gavin is now gone until tomorrow late afternoon/evening. He's flying Bible translators around, so that's exciting for him! I'm always happy when he can do what he loves. I just hope and pray I don't have a night like last night. Too "exciting" (and exhausting) for my taste! :)

My beautiful sister and her beautiful son
A new baby is so exciting! (and exhausting)

Yet another group picture thanks to Aunt Debbie, with most of the kids'  clothes thanks to the Starlings!

Marcie, Will, Gracie. These kids have definitely learned how to pose, haven't they??
Will was obviously feeling fine when this picture was taken. 

Gracie wearing her traveling harness/backpack. The kids are really into them again right now.
She's wearing it again as I type this, sitting on my lap.

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

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