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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

At the beach!

We're in Madang on the North Coast of PNG enjoying the sand and water with grandparents (both sets) and Aunt Pam. 
But first: the cockatoo and Crown Pigeons. Will, Marcie and David

David hiding in the roots of an ocean-side tree

Seth still loves to go off and do his own thing

Dads Jones and Peterson, Marmi, Gracie and me.

Dad Jones (Papa) has spent a LOT of time with the kids!

So has Aunt Pam - her energy is that of a  20-year-old!!! She's super silly and fun, just like she was when I was a kid.

Isaac is also silly and fun, and he's great snorkeler!

Marmi also being silly and fun pretending with the kids that a wooden crocodile is biting them. The kids have so enjoyed this break from daily life! Gavin and I are pretty exhausted, and I bet some other adults are too. (Sorry Mom P, no pictures of you on Gavin's phone!!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Quint-Mobile

Marmi and Papa's sweet (borrowed) ride is stiff competition for the old blue truck Aunt Pam is driving around:

Actually, the quints just love to go anywhere in anything! Marcie and Will keep wanting to go on an airplane. Marcie raided David's drawers to find these airplane outfits that she then insisted she and Gracie needed to put on. Gracie was all for that idea, and they even posed together for me!

Just a cute picture of Papa and Marcie

Princess Marcie

Marcie is very much into "boo-tiful" dresses now. She loves my dresses and loves to tell me I look beautiful whenever I wear one. She runs up and asks us to look at how pretty she is in her outfit, or with her hairstyle or new ponytail holder, etc. Today she picked a long church dress from her closet, and when she put it on she said, "My not a baby. My a big girl." (patting her dress where her tummy is).

Just then Seth ran in, stopped suddenly in awe and delight, and approached Marcie slowly with a big grin on his face. "Oh, Marcie! You a princess!" he said, gently stroking the material of her dress.

Of course, she grabbed onto that concept right away and said, "My not a big girl, my a princess!"

She wore this dress to bed over her pajamas last Saturday. Thank you, Annika and Maya!
(These are her favorite pajamas right now, Len and Mickey.)

Christmas in June!

It's amazing what large suitcases can hold:

(Thanks in large part to the Blights, as well!)

Balance bike for David (actually they have to all share), thanks to Grandpadad.
David has had roseola, so he's really not been himself the past few days. Thank God, he's a  lot better now! It's not a serious illness, but he sure looked and acted miserable. He still has the rash. The others have just a touch of it.

Strollers for the girls to go with their new Starling dollies!

But really, who needs new toys when you've got a scuffed-up, dirty, old wooden store delivery box to play in? For a while, at least, Will was happy just with that. :) Once the toys came out, the store box was history. 

(Debbie, the kids asked to go to your house today, not Daycare! I need to stop using that top road!)

Grandma, Grandpadad and Aunt Pam have arrived!

(A lot happens when you don't update your blog for more than two weeks. We've been fine, just busy!)

It is so much FUN to have both sets of grandparents and Aunt Pam here now! It's also really nice to have someone share the work of dishes, clean-up, kid-watching and playing. :)

My folks arrived for a two-month visit, and the kids very obviously remembered them!

Seth running full-bore to Grandpadad. Will got to him first by breaking the rules and going through the "no entry" gate!

David is so happy his tongue is hanging out! Marcie was screaming hysterically with delight.
(Aunt Pam got these pics. Grandma got ecstatic hugs, too!)

Gracie "helped" Grandma unpack. Oops. We didn't notice where she was or what she was doing - with Marcie.

Grandma and the kids (minus Will, who came along later)
Seth and Aunt Pam (my favorite person in the whole wide world when I was a kid, and still in the top .00001%!)

Grandma playing farm and tractors with Seth.

Looking at pictures. Jason, Isaac's friend, was interested to see them too. :)
Aunt Pam is always ready and willing for an adventure. We ran an errand to Aunt Kelly's house using this fun old truck. It's pretty jolty in the back. Some of the kids rode up front with her instead. Marcie insisted on it every time. :)

Happy girls and grandparents on Sunday. The girls' outfits made me squeal, they are so cute!!
Thank you, Len, Mickey, CJ and JJ, Megan and Naomi and Aunt Katie for the beautiful/useful/delicious, thoughtful gifts! We are so touched by and thrilled with your selections. (And I'm sure I'm still missing someone!)

Grandpadad in one of the silly hats Aunt Pam brought the boys.
Gracie loved being on his lap. (He's still teaching online classes for NorthStar Academy, so he needs that computer.)

Grandpadad reading to the boys. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The past week's happenings

Isaac at Sports Day. (The scarlet letter A on his forehead stands for Alpha, the team he was rooting for.)
Isaac at his recorder recital. He did great! He also plays piano.

Anything can become a toy around here! This is Gavin's ladder, which very handily has five enclosed segments.
Left to right: Seth, David, Marcie, Will, Gracie

Little imp David

Seth and Will enjoying the platform Daddy built for our new rope swing.
Life is GOOD! All are doing well, thank God. The quints make us laugh throughout the day with their words, mannerisms, and antics. Their relationships crack us up, too. Will is definitely the self-designated "enforcer" of all rules and commands, but he's the biggest encourager too. "Day-ded, go back to the table! . . . Very good!"

When Gavin built a roof for his motorbike last week, Will kept saying, "You did it, Daddy! Good job!"

Will and the two girls are singing several whole songs now. Will can sing parts of the Veggie Tales, Bubble Guppies, Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine theme songs, too. David and Seth aren't so much into the singing, but they do love to dance!

Marcie will tell me, "No, Mommy, I don't sink so," if she's not interested in doing what I ask her to do. Her earnestness and tone of voice is so cute, it's hard not to laugh, but she DOES have to obey whether or not she "sinks" [thinks] so!

Gracie is also trying to be the big boss right now. She yells and points and commands a lot. No one takes her seriously. They all ignore each other's commands. They know who the bosses really are!

Seth is combining sentences and making them increasingly complex, so that's fun to hear. He's very much "with it!" He's definitely smart enough to try to manipulate us, too. He'll ask for food right before bed because he knows we feed him whenever possible. Or he'll say he needs his diaper changed, or that he needs to go in the potty, just to try to convince me to get him out of his crib for a little quality one-on-one. (I don't fall for it, but he gets points for trying!) He loves all people and thinks they exist for his pleasure. He and David are very much into pointing out things and identifying them, or describing what others are doing, and also explaining what it is they themselves are doing with toys or objects or siblings.

Sometimes when David talks it feels like I'm talking to a 20-something-year-old in a two-year-old body. He's just SO aware  of the world and in touch with his feelings, and his vocabulary astounds me! His way of thinking about things is very analytical, but he also feels things deeply and expresses his needs very articulately.

Marcie and Gracie have substituted "Stop it!" for "I don't like it!" and say, "Excuse me, please," when they need to pass by or sneeze or cough. Such little ladies. . . sometimes.

All the kids say, "Look at me!" when they think their newest skill or cute pose is worth our attention. I couldn't figure out what Marcie wanted me to look at in particular a few days ago. It seemed like she was standing a little strangely, but I wasn't sure. Finally, seeing that I had no idea what to praise, she said, "I look so beautiful!" (She had on new clothes - thanks to the Starlings!)

Marcie has decided to do her business in the potty, but only when she feels like it. I certainly don't have the time to be taking her to the bathroom every 15 minutes, so I'm happy for her to tell me when she wants to go and wait for her to reach the point where she decides she no longer wants to use diapers at all.

David is also perfectly capable of using the potty, but he doesn't care to. Seth and Grace occasionally like to try, and sometimes they succeed, but they're not particularly interested. We are definitely letting these kids set their own timetable! As long as they are trained by age 4 we'll be happy. :) (That's when they start preschool with the famous and beloved Debbie as their teacher, Lord willing!)

Our babysitters last night said that Isaac deserves the Brother of the Year award, he's so amazing with the little kids! He plays with them like crazy, loves them fiercely, and protects/corrects them like a parent. He's gotten quite good at putting them in time-out when they aren't being kind to a sibling.

I so appreciate Isaac's help around the house and the effort he's putting into school and other responsibilities. He has good friends right next door, so there's plenty of fun to be had as well! I love hearing them laugh and play. What a great place to live!

With love and gratitude,

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wonderful Walter

The kids really used Walter, who they ADORE, very hard on Monday! Piggyback rides were followed by story time (much to Walter's relief). It was a hot day!

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

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