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

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bubu's, Birthdays, and Baby Trains

"Bubu" is the Pidgin word for grandparent. Here are a couple more pictures from Larry and Marcia's arrival:
With Seth, Marcie and Gracie


Caught Marmi in the middle of  kissing Gracie! The kids LOVE "MarmiPapa!" Gracie says their names together.

 Marmi and Papa brought some FUN and delicious gifts! This was a photo book made by our babysitter and photographer Naomi:
Gracie thinks, "What could be more interesting than pictures of me with my best friend Megan??"

Seth CRIED when I finally had to take the book away from him. He is our book baby for sure!


Seth missed this book-reading session with Marmi for some reason. He might have been asleep already for nap; I forget! The kids are always so excited when Marmi or Papa show up unexpectedly (or planned, for that matter). They run screaming and grinning for hugs and to be held.

Isaac's 11th birthday was Thursday, and Marmi's was today! Happy Birthday to them both! Isaac is 11 now, and Marmi is I'm-not-telling (but doesn't she look beautiful as always?!). This was Isaac's small family party. His friend Jono is the boy in the sleeveless shirt caught in mid-chew.

David

Baby train! I love Gracie's grin in this one

This is the best baby train picture, I think. Thanks, Debbie, for setting up and taking this!!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Adventures in the PNG bush

Gavin's recent motorbike trip way back into the bush. The people were so thrilled to be visited by anyone, they waved small branches to greet them!
Here in Ukarumpa we live right up against the breathtakingly beautiful forests and mountains of PNG. Our cleaning lady and babysitter (her daughter) live in a village about 30 minutes from us, and yesterday I drove them home with the quints in tow as Gavin was still at work. The quints are such a hit out there, it's hilarious! Little and big kids along the road know our car and our kids, and they make all kinds of flower arrangements, leis, garlands, and even gather petals to throw on our hood. We come home with our dashboard and floor just covered with beautiful tropical flowers. It's so sweet!
Gavin took this photo a few weeks ago. This was a paltry amount of flowers compared with yesterday's gifts! Seth is sitting in the other front seat. The dirt roads are really rutted and slow-going here, so it's very different to driving in the First World. It's more like four-wheeling, but slow and without the danger of tipping over, thankfully!

The people of PNG think the quints and I are such a miracle. They can't imagine how a woman can carry five babies; I have to explain that they were born three months early and would have almost surely all died if born in PNG, and that Seth nearly did die! Many have asked if this is the first set of quints in the world. We explain it's really not that rare in the U.S. because of fertility medication [Aside: I was told there was a slight possibility I could conceive triplets, at most, so imagine the absolute SHOCK of quints!!! Statistically, I had only a 33% chance of conceiving at all!] The most they have heard of here in PNG is triplets. A couple of decades ago my cleaning lady actually had triplet girls born at 5 months, tinier even than Gracie. They were born dead. She went on to have many more thrivingly healthy children, thank God!

People in these villages and many others surrounding our mission center have prayed for our babies since we first announced I was pregnant with five. My cleaning lady, who is like family and has been since Isaac was younger than the quints, distributed photos all around the mountain after the kids were born, showing how God had answered the prayers of SO MANY. I was already well known up there because of having gone along with our clinic van on their monthly mother and child health outreach trips for several years. I have weighed most of the kids on that mountain at one time or another! It's fun to see them growing up, and it's especially fun to see the joy my kids give them and vice versa. The quints love the attention! They think Papua New Guineans are the best! :)

The kids always ask to see pigs when I take them to the village. The pigs are not impressed, but the quints are! Marcie with a balloon in her mouth. She loves to "blow them up" (not really), over and over again. Balloons are definitely one of her favorite things. (Once they burst we remove all the pieces.)


I have been waiting . . .

. . . nearly two years or more to put these adorable Gymboree outfits on our kids! Someone sent them to us (I hate to confess I don't remember who!) when the kids were still newborns, I think! Thanks again, Debbie, for taking pictures for me on Friday morning during play date!


Gracie
Will and David love Mac the Truck from the movie Cars:




Seth in a candid photo taken by their young son

So silly! Seth, Will, Gracie, Marcie, David (left to right)

Not so silly, but really cute

Marmi and Papa are here!

Gavin's parents made it safely and sanely here! The kids remembered them and went right to them! It's so fun to have grandparents right up the road, literally. Thanks for your prayers for their travels and adjustment. I'm sure they'd really appreciate continued prayers as they settle in. It can take a while, especially since the community here has changed greatly in the three years since they were last here. We love you, Marmi and Papa!



Sorry, this is a silly view of Isaac, and I have no pictures of the kids with their grandparents yet (the ones on our camera did NOT turn out!).  But you get the idea. We were/are excited!

The best laid plans . . .

So, I decided I could do it finally: Make a meal from scratch (albeit a very simple one with very few dishes) and have a new couple and their kids over. It would be the FIRST time I cooked everything and had a whole family over. I was left with one kid, David, while Gavin took the others away so I could focus on getting ready. David was still proving a little bit needy, so I put a show on for him in Isaac's room, on Isaac's bed. He couldn't get into much trouble there, right?

This is what Gavin found when he got back:


Oh my. David found the kids' toothpaste in Isaac's room (because Isaac left it there when brushing his teeth the night before). He managed to get toothpaste all over the tablet he was watching the show on, all over the bed, and all over himself. Thankfully, little to no toothpaste actually make it INTO his mouth, although he was clearly flirting with the idea. We caught him with it raised to his lips, and you can see the proof on his chin!

We laughed it off and cleaned it up later. We also had a great time with our company, even though the kids seemed to be in rare form like they were showing off how crazy they could get! It was fun nevertheless. The family has a great sense of humor and just watched, laughed, and helped out as needed. Their six-year-old son was obviously overwhelmed, however. :o]


Three silly boys on the changing table

Seth and David though this was a fun place to read their new Christmas books.



Will decided to join in the fun, too!


As always, it turned a bit physical and goofy.

Will getting pushed around

Will pushes back!

Add caption

Boys and their books

Will and David are completely taken by any kind of automobile or  "craft," be it boats, planes,  etc.
Seth, on the other hand, prefers animals!

(Marcie in the background with the pink tent)



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

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