Tag archive for "Eliot"

The Cartwheel We’ll Never Forget


The Cartwheel We’ll Never Forget

10 Comments 02 January 2015


6:00 pm Monday night, December 8th:  I walk into the kitchen as my workday is over and it’s time to figure something out for dinner.  Casey and I are talking about the day’s events and other typical, end of the day chit chat.  The kids are all upstairs doing their thing – playing, annoying each other, watching TV, annoying each other…and probably a little more annoying of each other – it seems to be a favorite pastime for all of them.  Eliot is supposed to be doing her math homework.  Supposed to be………

We hear a scream – short, not too dramatic, and for our household not the least bit out of the ordinary and it is pretty much ignored.  And then we hear it – “I broke my arm.  I broke my arm.”  Notice the lack of punctuation at the end of those two sentences.  Particularly, notice the lack of any exclamation marks.  That was intentional because that’s how it was.  It was Eliot speaking those words and she was walking down the stairs with her left arm held across her body and over her right arm which was crossed over her body as well.  That’s how she said it – curt, matter of fact, no excitement, and maybe only a slight bit of urgency.  I was closest to the stairs and I looked up and could immediately tell, “Oh!  She REALLY broke her arm!”

Here’s how the next 15 seconds played out…

Casey:  “Oh my gosh!!!!!”

Ethan, walking towards Eliot and sort of towards the couch at the same time:  “Come over and sit down, sweetheart.  Casey, what do we do?”


Me:  “Oh, right…I’m going!  Come on, Eliot!”

The thought process during those 15 seconds…

Me:  “Ok, we need to get her sitting down and then Casey and I will figure out what the best plan is.  Do I need to call an ambulance?  Should I just take her to the emergency room?  Hmm…this is kind of a tough one.  Never been in a situation like this…….”


Eliot:  “Am I dreaming?  My arm has never looked like that before and I’m pretty sure that it’s not good for it to so closely resemble a Z.”

This was taken after the arm was set and after lots of pain meds...girl was loopy!

This was taken after the arm was set and after lots of pain meds…girl was loopy!

So I’m in my truck and Eliot gets her first ride in the front passenger seat of my truck and it’s too bad she is in such a dreamy, painful, uncomfortable state at this moment because otherwise she would have really enjoyed the ride – Daddy is driving like he’s never driven before (except for maybe when he was 16…).  Speed limits – ignored.  Red lights – also ignored.  General common sense – yeah, ignored.  The Lakeway hospital is a 20 minute drive from our house and I’m pretty sure we made it in 7.  Eliot is calm – thank God for endorphins and adrenaline! – sitting back, still holding her arms across her body, left arm over the right, sweating a little, and calmly saying, “Ow.” every few seconds and then, “Are we there yet, Daddy?”  No, not there yet, but I’m hurrying as fast as I can, baby girl (not going to mention to her that by the time we get there, I’ll need more help than she does because my heart is literally shattered into a million pieces seeing my little superstar in such bad shape and not being able to do much about it….other than drive fast…that, I can do.)

5 minutes into the drive I get a call from Casey and I answer it – my truck has bluetooth so the call is broadcast over the speakers of the truck.  This is usually a very handy thing to have.  Not this time.


Me, grabbing for the phone, knocking it out of it’s cradle to the truck floor, still driving as described above, lean down to grab the phone……..BLUETOOTH: OFF!!!

Me, urgently, firmly, but as quietly as possible:  “Casey, you’re on bluetooth! Eliot can hear everything!  Get ahold of yourself, woman!!!!!!”


Me, just as urgently, firmly, and as quietly as possible (thanks once again to God for the endorphins and adrenaline giving me the ability to manage this!):  “Casey!  It’s a broken arm – Lakeway can handle it!  It’s a 20 minute drive and there won’t be a wait in the emergency room!  She’ll get right in!  Dell is 45 minutes away and they’ll be super busy!  You’ve got to calm down – she’ll be fine!!”

Casey, not sobbing, but crying still and with a firmness in her voice that wasn’t there before: “Ok, ok….ok….call me when you get her there.  ARE YOU SURE??”

2014-12-08 19.27.55

I was sure and fortunately I was also right.  We got to Lakeway and there was zero wait.  We had her in the doors, into a room, and being cared for in probably two minutes.  The pain killers first took effect probably less than 10 minutes from when we parked the car and the biggest issue during that time was convincing the girl whose forearm was in the shape of a Z to allow the doctor to stick the IV needle into her other arm so she could get her pain medicine…girl doesn’t like needles!

Aaaahhh, a little relief.  My girl is being cared for, the pain meds are starting to work, and she’s going to be alright.  I can relax a little – she’s in good hands.  And that’s when I noticed how freaked out I had been.  All of a sudden I become aware of how fast my heart is pounding in my chest, how dry my mouth is, and how I’ve apparently been on the verge of tears since I first saw Eliot walking down the stairs.  I need to sit down and I need some water.  Baby girl is going to be ok soon…….

Meanwhile, back at the house….

Casey:  “Guys, what happened?? Did any of you see what happened to Eliot?”

Ryan:  “I did!  She was on the couch and was doing a cartwheel and when her hand came down on the floor she hit the guitar and her arm broke!”

Britton, starting to cry…no, sob: “Did she break her arm because I didn’t put my guitar away??”

Brooklyn, Ryan, and Britton:  “Is that why you always tell us to put our toys away so that things like this won’t happen??”  All of them beginning to sob.  “It’s all our fault that she broke her arm!!!”  (Lila and Jack are sort of concerned, but mostly not.)  Keep in mind that Casey is still sobbing at this point.

Casey:  “No, guys, it’s not your fault at all!  These things just happen and Eliot will be alright!!”  (They’re not convinced and continue to sob.)

Jack:  “We’re going to get to draw on her cast and put stickers on it!!!  Yay!!!”


Back at the hospital, Eliot’s pain meds have kicked in and x-rays have been taken – both bones in her right arm are snapped like a twig – and it’s almost time to set them.

Doctor:  “Ok, we’re about to set her arm.  I’m going to give her some medicine for the pain, but it won’t take away all of the pain.  She’ll get really sleepy and she’ll be in and out while we’re doing it.  She’ll be in a lot of pain and there will be some screaming, but when it’s done she won’t remember a thing.

Flashback:  I broke my leg when I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade while playing football in the front yard with my brother and I have this fuzzy memory from that time that I can never fully grasp.  I am in a hospital room with a few doctors and/or nurses and I’m on a table.  They’re doing something to my leg and I keeping slipping in and out of consciousness.  I can tell in the memory that I’m in misery, but I don’t really remember the misery part or why I was so miserable.  I don’t remember the pain, but I now know fully what that strange, fuzzy memory is all about and I know what Eliot is about to go through.

Thoughts:  “Thank you, Father, for giving us this amazing pain medicine that will not allow Eliot to remember what she is about to experience.  I am so thankful that it’s 2014 and not 1914 and the doctor is not giving her a stick to bite on and maybe a little bit of whisky to numb the pain while they set her arm back in place.  I’m so thankful for this emergency room being so close, and yes, having some reputation issues which for us means that there was not a bit of a wait to get her in here and get her taken care of.  Amen.”

Other thoughts:  Ok, she’s going to get through this just like I did when I broke my leg.  She’s going to be alright and this is one of those moments that she’ll never forget.  The cartwheel, the ride to the hospital, the fear, the cast she’s going to have, the attention – she’ll never forget any of it.  Maybe this will be a turning point for her where she begins to realize that she can handle things that she never thought she could handle before.  This is a character builder for sure.

One more thought:  I’m glad Casey isn’t here to see this.

Last one for now: Man, I hate character builders….


Setting the bones was every bit as awful as the doctor described it would be.  They pumped her full of meds which knocked her out, but almost as soon as they started working on the arm she would wake up and start writhing in pain.  The anesthesiologist stayed right by her with a full syringe, ready to pump more meds at the doctor’s orders.  He was a busy man for those 10 minutes.

I learned something that night:  the science of setting a bone in 2014 is much like I’m guessing it was done in the year 2014 B.C.  This is not a good thing.  While the doctor wrenched and pushed and pulled and jerked and all other manner of things you would never, ever, ever do to a person’s broken arm, four of us (I was recruited for the effort) held Eliot down (girl is strong!) while the anesthesiologist kept pumping the meds (and she metabolizes pain medicine fast!).  When they were done, she had given up the fight and was sleeping soundlessly while they put on her splint and took another round of x-rays.  I collapsed into a chair by her bed, got some cold water down my throat, and started to make calls and send texts.  Casey had called a good friend who came over to hang with the Fab Five and was on the road heading our way.

About the time Casey got to the hospital, Eliot was waking up and as soon as her eyes were open she became Miss Chatty.  She was hopped up on silly pills apparently and was ready to tell all about her experience.  The drive – Mom, dad ran through 3 red lights! – putting in the IV, what were the 5 doing? Who was with them? Am I going to school tomorrow? What color will my cast be? Do I get ice cream?

And guess what? She didn’t mention the pain. She didn’t remember it or anything else at all about setting the bones back in place….(thank you for that one above all, God, but I’ll never forget it.)

By the way, I kept mentioning that Eliot was holding her left arm over her right – she did it from the moment she broke the arm to when they were putting in her IV.  But she broke her right arm and after it was all over I realized that she hadn’t been holding up her broken arm with her good arm; she had been holding her good arm over her broken arm.  Casey asked her why she was doing that and she said it was because she didn’t want to see her broken arm because it scared her.  I mentioned that her forearm was in the shape of a Z and I wasn’t kidding. She said she felt like she was in a dream and didn’t think that her arm really looked like that.  Out of respect to Eliot’s wishes and to the potential of freaking y’all out there will not be a picture of her broken arm posted anywhere on this site or anywhere else online.

Since that night, Eliot has been her usual self – an absolute superstar.  She’s been patient with her immobility, obedient with the doctor’s instructions, hasn’t complained a bit and has been quick with a smile…other than the smile part, we have no idea who this child is!  She will not require surgery, thank God, and will be in a cast a total of about 8 weeks.  So far she says she misses being able to play and be active the most and she really misses her jiu-jitsu and dance classes.  I miss being able to rough house with her, but I do like the child who has emerged from this experience.  Before this happened, Casey and I had noticed that Eliot has been subtly different from the little girl we’ve always known and loved.  She’s still very much our baby girl, but she has matured a bit.  She seems to have a slightly better understanding of the bigger picture of life and her responsibilities and role within that picture. This experience with her arm has caused another leap in the direction of further maturity which has been really interesting and wonderful for us to experience along with her.  Eliot has always been a little fireball of energy and light from the day she was born which has been fun and challenging all at the same time.  Casey and I have felt from the beginning that if we could just get all of Eliot’s energy focused in the right direction she’d be a force to be reckoned with in any pursuit in which she chose to engage herself.  Lord willing, the Eliot we’ve come to know this year and the little girl we have walked with through this experience represents a sign of things to come for her……Lord willing.

Look out world, here comes Eliot McKenna!!

God bless,


*Ok, so maybe I used a bit of hyperbole when writing this post and it’s possible, I suppose, that Casey didn’t quite react as I’ve described.  I suppose it might be within the realm of possibilities that she didn’t call out for Jesus and Jesus only to care for Eliot’s arm.  I suppose it could have happened some other way, but I stand by my story….. :)

The Jones Taxi Service

Good Times

The Jones Taxi Service

7 Comments 04 November 2014


As  you can see from the pics above – it has begun.  We knew this day would come, but the good Lord only knows why we chose to do it now.  Yeah, that’s right – it was a choice we made, not something we were forced into.  Sure, our arms were twisted a little, but we could have easily put this off.  It just felt like now was the time.  And besides, we only know how to do things one way – all or nothing!  So yes, with the beginning of kindergarten also came the beginning of something else – extracurricular activities…to the power of 5+1!

You all probably already know about the +1, Eliot McKenna, the lead dog in this pack of wild animals has been keeping us busy with her activities for the past 5 or 6 years.  She started out as the internationally known soccer superstar then moved on to cheerleading when the soccer fire burned low.  Cheerleading squads in Texas are crazy y’all, and thankfully Eliot figured that out pretty quickly as well and packed up the pom-poms and busted out her dancing shoes.  She also gave gymnastics a go at the same time.  She was an awesome little dancer, but again the pace was too slow for her liking so that got the boot while gymnastics continued.  Alas, the gymnastics gave way to Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and that is where she is currently.  And dance is back in the mix, but this time it’s hip-hop.  Tired yet??  She’s been doing jiu-jitsu (which according to Wikipedia is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting…yes, I had to look it up!) for about 6 months now and so far has not shown any signs of throwing in the towel.  I love that she is learning this skill, especially the self defense part, and I really hope she sticks with it (even though I miss watching her on the soccer field)!

So when it came time for the kids to decide their activity of choice, we gave them a few options – soccer, gymnastics, or dance.  Jack chose dance right away.  No, no he didn’t.  I would 100% support him if he did (after a few good cries), but I’m completely making that up.  We actually started Jack in soccer a year ago because there were several boys on his street that were putting a team together.  And actually we had the girls in dance in the spring, but we didn’t really give them a choice on that one and oh yeah, we didn’t have kindergarten to deal with at the same time so the craziness factor was about a 2 on a scale of 1 to brain lobotomy.  Now that school has started and we gave them choices and we have three separate activities among the 5 plus Eliot’s 2 we’re edging pretty close to that hole drilled in the head thing…

Ok, so for real this time.  Jack stayed with soccer and we’ve got two new little internationally known soccer superstars to add to the roster – Lila and Ryan.  Love it!  Jack’s team was already established so putting the girls on his team was not an option which means we’ve got two soccer practices every week and two games.  The soccer gods were smiling on us though because the two teams practice at the same time, same day, and right next to each other on the same field…score one for the parental unit!  And for a bonus, the soccer field is next to a playground so while Jack, Lila, and Ryan are getting their soccer on, the two B’s are happily swinging, monkey barring, and sliding the hour away.  Both teams are doing great and the kids are having a lot of fun though it’s not without the usual drama that comes with kids and sports…I really wish the cameras were here to catch all of this!

Brooklyn chose gymnastics and she loves it!  It’s more of a tumbling class to get them used to flipping and twisting and twirling.  She really loves it…it’s Brooklyn, she loves just about everything and she gets to wear a pink leotard so yeah, she really, really loves it!  Britton, fittingly, has chosen to take after her hero, Eliot McKenna, and is doing jui-jitsu.  That’s right, Little Mighty is learning how to turn her hands and feet into lethal weapons…it’s super cute for now, but something tells me we may regret this someday….

So it’s official – we run a taxi service out of our house every weekday from 4:00-7:00, Saturday mornings from 9:00-1:00, and sometimes on Sundays.  It’s nuts and definitely adds another layer of crazy to our lives, but it’s our kind of nuts – active, creative, enriching, family fun kind of nuts…bring it on!

God Bless…


These Days

Good Times

These Days

35 Comments 23 September 2012

As of this moment, not the one in which you are reading these words, but the one in which I am typing the words into my computer, it has been nearly 313 days since our family was last in front of the cameras filming a new episode of “Quints by Surprise.”  I know that it probably seems like it has been forever since we’ve been on your TV screen, but really, can you believe it has been nearly a year??  We miss filming the show – we miss the crew and we miss the energy that percolates through the atmosphere on filming days.  We miss having a soundtrack playing in the background of our lives and we miss being a front row spectator to the creative process that transforms our daily routines, challenges, victories, and frustrations into something that is at times fun, funny, and faith-filled, heartwarming, uplifting, and hopefully, always very, very real about the very real ups and downs of life with quints plus one…

When we last filmed, Eliot was keeping us all busy with another soccer season and getting settled in to her new school year (2nd grade) as her super-infatuation with all things Taylor Swift was beginning to overtake her life (that’s her in the picture below, head on my shoulder, Taylor’ed out – before the concert was over!).  This time last year, Eliot was ready to rock it in her vampire costume for Halloween, the seeds were being planted for a cheerleading future when she got to hang out on the field with the Baylor Bear Cheerleaders, and she was wearing the “missing my two front teeth” look with pride and warming up to sing about it at Christmas time!

The Fab Five, meanwhile, had Casey and me neck deep in potty training (and life training!) – the grip of the terrible two’s clinched oh so tightly around our lives!  When they weren’t scheming new ways to keep us on our toes, they were enthusiastically taking on every new experience we could think to throw their way – learning how to ride their bikes and how to dance ballet like Eliot, getting their first real taste of football season in Texas and what it means to be a Baylor Bear football fan, and preparing for the ultimate experience of their 2-1/2 year old lives – dressing up as the Wizard of Oz characters for Halloween!

It should now go without saying (though I’ll say it anyway) – the show has been a positive force in our lives and hopefully in yours, too.  It has helped us to create and of course document amazing memories for our family; it has opened our world up to interactions with people all over the world – some who check in just to say they love the show and appreciate our family, others who are looking for advice or encouragement, and still others who simply want to share their story, their struggle, and their joy, and  want to thank us for inspiring them in some small way to keep smiling and to keep the faith.  Judging by these messages and the many others we have received through Facebook and Twitter, the show has had a positive impact on the lives of many others outside of our little clan…truly an answer to our prayers!

Also judging by the many, many messages we get on the subject, I can tell you that there are many out there wondering the same thing you may be – will the show ever be back??!  Well, the honest answer is that we don’t know for sure, that we hope that it does, and that with each day that passes without a call from TLC, the prospects of the show returning grow weaker and weaker.  There are times when it absolutely kills us to not have the cameras around, to know that what we are experiencing at that moment with the kids is not being captured for the show.  The quints’ 3rd birthday party, our attempts at teaching them how to swim, our first family trip to the beach, funny little games the kids make up, Eliot’s development as the best big sister on the planet – Facebook and Twitter are great, but we would really love to share these experiences with you in living color!!

But the choice is not ours to make…it’s not in our hands.  And those whose job it is to make decisions such as these aren’t committing and they aren’t saying exactly why.  Nonetheless, no matter what happens with the show, we are incredibly grateful to have had this experience and we are incredibly grateful to all of you who have watched and followed along with our little adventures…

So since you won’t be seeing us on your TV screens anytime soon, I thought I would fill you in on what defines “these days” for the Jones family…

These days, those “cheer” seeds that were planted at the Baylor football game a year ago have produced a Four Points Pop Warner Mighty Mite Viper Cheerleader!  Eliot’s soccer days are behind her and it’s nothing but pom-poms and high kicks for now…she loves the cheering, hates the Texas heat she has to endure while she’s cheering on her team!  Eliot has also just started her new school year (she’s a 3rd grader!) and in spite of some struggles getting to know all of the new faces in her class, she is completely in love with her new teacher and is off to another great start!  And how about this – only in our family does a cheerleader have her very own cheer section…

These days, we are still struggling to get all five 100% potty trained…grrr!!!  We made a huge push a year ago to get this done and we had pretty good and pretty immediate success, getting all five completely trained has proven to be really, really difficult…and frustrating!  We’re trying to be very, very patient and not push them too hard, but oh my gosh we are tired of cleaning up pee off the floor!!!!

These days, The Wizard of Oz is still one of the faves in our home, but it has serious competition from Peppa Pig, Max & Ruby, and The Fresh Beat Band.

These days, Eliot is still a superstar big sister – both in our eyes as parents and in the quints’ eyes as adoring little super fans!  Eliot loves to take the kids into her room, one at a time, to have special little play dates with each of them which they all absolutely love.  She has also started to join me at bedtime so that she can read to them, help tuck them in, and give them a giggle before she bolts downstairs.  And her maternal instincts have kicked in – she’ll often jump in to help settle disputes, soothe hurt feelings, and correct the kids when they are going astray…Eliot, the caretaker – who would have ever guessed?!

These just-ending summer days, the kids got more than their fill of sun, sand, swimming pools, ice cream treats, trips to the zoo, sprinkler fun in the backyard, kite flying, and all of the other summertime fun you can think of!  The 5 got their first trip to the beach when we made the trek with both sets of grandparents to the Texas coast…they loved it, they wore us out, and now they wear us out everyday asking when we can go back!!

These days we have finally managed to get the whole family to church and Sunday school on a regular basis…hallelujah!!  The quints love going to church and get excited every week to get to see Miss Kelly and Miss Allie who shower them with good love every week!  Eliot thinks the youth pastor, Todd, is as cool as they come and Casey and I are just plain happy to be back to the church we love so much.  We really can’t say enough good things about the warm, loving, and Christ-focused environment that greets us every time we get the opportunity to be on the Riverbend campus…God has been so good to us through our church home!

These days, there is nothing better for me than to watch Eliot and Jack play together…it is endlessly fun to watch these two go at it!  Jack will come out of nowhere to tackle his big sister, catching her completely off guard!  But you know our little spark plug isn’t going to let him get away with it so the chase is on!  They laugh and giggle and tackle and  chase and poke and punch and then do it all again…it’s awesome and it is totally unique to these two!  None of the girls gets after Eliot the way Jack does and though I know Eliot loves it, I really think part of her doesn’t know exactly how to handle this rambunctious little brat that won’t give up, won’t stop messing with her, and won’t stop giggling is curly little head off when he does is coming after her…so so so cute!

These very recent days, The Fab Five have started attending a “Mom’s Day Out” program two days a week…YAY FOR CASEY!!!!!  The program is held at a local gym, 3F Fitness, and the kids learn tumbling and stretching as well as their abc’s and 1-2-3’s…and I’m sure you guessed this part – they LOVE it!!  Thank you so much to the owners, William and Haley, for putting this program together and inviting our family to join!

These days, sleep is much less difficult to come by though we had to go through fire to reclaim the blissful treasure that comes with a full night’s sleep!  Earlier in the year, the quints put us through every trial you could imagine – Britton waking up at all hours of the night in a screaming fit, Lila waking up at 5:00 or 6:00 am day after day after day, Jack waking up everyone in the room at 3:00 am to tell them all that he has to go potty, Ryan waking up at 5 am so she could wake Lila up who would then make sure Britton, Brooklyn, and Jack got the memo that it was 5:00 am and time to torment mommy and daddy….it was BRUTAL!!!

And because sleep is more consistently available now, these days, life has become almost routine in our usual chaotic sort of way.  Casey’s and my morning workouts have become pretty regular and the kids usually don’t get up until about 6:30 which is a godsend to us…though we long for the days that it will be 7:00 or 7:30.  And since we got rid of nap time, bedtime has become much more consistent (and much less intensely chaotic and stressful!) – the kids are in bed, lights out by 7:30 every night and they’re usually all fast asleep by 8:00.

These days, we still have a handful of committed, loving, and totally awesome volunteers who have been with us from the beginning and who continue to provide loving care to our little ones, giving Casey and I much needed breaks from the perpetual craziness that defines our life.  To our volunteers, past and present:  thank you, thank you, thank you….THANK YOU!!!!


To answer the question we get quite often – no, these days are not any easier than the days that have gone before…though we’re hoping that the 5’s 5th year of life will bring some relief to our weary souls!  I’ll repeat:  no, it hasn’t gotten any easier; rather, the challenges have changed.  Gone are the sleepless nights, hello mega-attitude and meltdowns from 5 hyper-sensitive little beings trying to find their place in the world.  Gone is the endless parade of dirty diapers, hello pee accidents by the handful and the joys of taking 5 tots to the bathroom 5 times when we dare venture out of the house.  Gone are the days of bottle feeding and burping, hello knocked over milk cups, protests over what has been provided for a meal, food thrown across the table, and ginormous messes left at the dinner table…and the dinner floor…and the dinner clothes…and the dinner hands and faces…and so on and so forth.  No, things are definitely not easier by any barometer we can measure by…just different.

But as I write these words, I am reminded that in many ways life these days is no different than those that are past.  We are blessed, abundantly so, and that is no different than before; we are challenged, abundantly so, and that is no different than before.  It has been said that to whom much is given, much is expected.  Well, to put it simply:  we have been given much!  This is something that has not changed and will not change – life with quints plus one is a rare and awesome blessing in every sense of the word.  And no doubt, we will continue to be given much as we face the challenges of raising these 6 to be 6 happy, healthy, respectful, caring, well-adjusted, and God-loving tweens, teens, and beyond.  Let the blessings flow down!!

God bless,




Eliot McKenna


Eliot McKenna

7 Comments 20 February 2012

I never knew love at first sight was real until the day my eyes first settled on this squirming, squealing, slimy, red-faced infant named Eliot McKenna…and for a guy who for many years never wanted anything to do with kids, that is saying a lot!  She came into this world in a flash – three weeks early and after a blinding-fast 5 hour labor and delivery – and she hasn’t slowed down since that day, July 14, 2004.

Since  you are reading this blog, by now you probably know our oldest daughter quite well.  And by now you probably know that Eliot, aka Little Miss Sunshine, aka quint big sis, aka the little spark plug has a little bit of sass and a whole lotta spirit inside of her and that would be putting it lightly!  She has been a fireball from the day she was born and these last 7+ years have done little to temper the flame that burns inside of her!  Eliot loves to have fun, she loves to be the center of attention, she loves to be a total nut, and she sometimes loves to put on a little drama to get even more of that attention she adores so much!

In many ways, raising Eliot has been an incredible challenge – channeling all of her energy and attitude into something positive, slowing her down long enough to get her to eat a good meal or get a good night’s sleep or give us a dang hug every once in awhile has at times been more than we believed we could handle.  No kidding about this – there were times before the quints were born that Casey and I were pulling our hair out because Eliot’s demands were driving us to do so…haha – little did we know!!  But truth be told, in many ways, raising Eliot has been rather, dare I say, easy…?  She is a smart girl and is often very eager to please which means keeping her out of trouble has been much easier for us than it likely will be for Lila…or Ryan…or Britton.  She has done great in school, is super social so making friends is never an issue, and is generally a happy-go-lucky girl with a ready-for-life attitude that can be extremely infectious at times!

Without question, one of our first and most perplexing concerns when we learned that the quints were about to invade our little world was how Eliot would be impacted by the dramatic changes that were coming to her.  How would we have time to commit to her like we had before?  Would she get overshadowed by all the attention the quints were sure to get?  Big sisters and brothers always have trouble with just one new sibling, how could she be expected to welcome 5 of them into her life?

We had our moments, no doubt about it, where our fears were realized.  “Daddy, why did God have to give us 5 babies?  Why didn’t he give us just one?”  I remember Eliot asking me that question as I was tucking her into bed without story time one night, the quints having exhausted the energy I usually reserved to read to her before we turned out the lights.  If you’ve been a parent long enough, you’ve been asked one of these types of questions from your little ones and you know the pain, guilt, frustration, and sadness that results from having to answer as best you can.  “I don’t know sweetheart.  God chooses different challenges for different people and this is ours.  It doesn’t change his love for us or our love for you.  It will all work out, I promise.”  Nothing in this world is more difficult than saying those words to your sweet little one!!

But ask her about that today…about having 5 babies instead of one…I think the question would confuse her.  God has resoundingly answered our prayers and helped us find ways to keep Eliot from getting lost in the shuffle of the quint craziness – she is 100% hooked on being an awesome big sister!  These days the questions are more like this:  “Daddy, can we wrestle with the babies tonight?” and “Mama, can I have spa day with the babies in my room?”  And she absolutely can’t wait for the kids to get fully potty-trained so she can have sleep overs in her room with them on the weekends!  And she really made us proud when she went through her stuff and found special gifts for each of the 5 to give to them for their birthday…sweetest thing ever!  Yeah, I’d say she’s over it, the 5 at a time thing, and actually I think it is safe to say she’s actually loving it!

Life with Eliot has never been dull and as the teenage years slowly creep up on us, the challenges we have faced with her promise to be mere training exercises for what is to come!  Whether we like it or not, our baby girl has started to make the transition to young lady-hood which has been both exciting and frightening at the same time!  But Eliot has been given a great life and we have been given great times in our life because of that and somehow, some way I think things will work out just fine…God willing!!! :)





Here We Go – ‘TMB?’ Makes its Return!

Good Times

Here We Go – ‘TMB?’ Makes its Return!

12 Comments 06 July 2010

And it is finally official…part of it at least – “Too Many Babies?” returns July 14th with a brand new one hour special!!    The show airs as part of Baby Week on Discovery Health on Wednesday, July 14th at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central (double check your local listings to be sure of the time).  There is a link to the show schedule and a separate link to the Baby Week website and video in the right hand column of this page under “News Wire.”  This time around, the show is being called “Too Many Babies?  The First 16 Months” and you may also see it as “Too Many Babies?  How They Do It.”

We just got a sneak peek viewing of the show and I can confidently say that if you loved the first show, you are going to love this one as well!!  This episode has a totally different feel from the first one.  It is comprised almost entirely of footage that was shot the first year along with some newer video and interviews.  Consider it a behind the scenes show that goes more in-depth into how we were able to manage to make it through the first year+ without losing our sanity!! :)

As far as the other shows that are coming up on TLC, here is what I know (which isn’t a whole heck of a lot!).  The show that is about to air on Discovery Health has also been picked up on TLC and will air on that channel closer to the time that the newly filmed episodes will begin airing.  We began filming for the new episodes a few months ago and will wrap on those in the next few weeks.  I believe that TLC is working on another name for the series, but nothing is official on that for now.  These new episodes will begin airing later this summer and as far as we know they will only be on TLC.  We have only seen little bits and pieces of the new footage, but I can assure you that the shows are going to be super fun!!  We have been having an awesome time with the filming and all of the events that we have had going on in our lives lately…we can’t wait to update everybody on all of the happenings lately!!  Of course, we will make an announcement here on the blog as soon as we know more about the TLC air dates!

Here are some new photos of what has been going on around here in the last few months on our days away from the cameras…..

This one was taken today!  Lila Bear is wearing some pajamas that were handed down from Big Sister Eliot…

One of the more exciting events for us this summer was being on stage at Riverbend as part of Dr. Dave’s series, Men of Honor!  This time just Jack and I made an appearance, but we had a couple of beauties in the audience cheering us on…..

For our first chapter of “The Adventures of Being Eliot,” we see our little hero knee boarding for the first time…she loved it and did great!!

Chapter 2:  horse back riding – thank you, Ann Marie and the granddaughters!

Chapter 3:  camera girl and big-time TV producer!  She was totally in charge on this day – she told the guy under the umbrella that all he had been doing all day was sitting around…hilarious!

And now for some fun in the sun with The Fab Five….

So, do you think Jack likes the pool? :)

And finally, the sweetest little thing you ever did see…Brooklyn Faith…..

That’s all I have for now!  I hope y’all are enjoying your summer as much as the Jones Family is enjoying ours!!  Y’all take care…..


Christmas Pics, DOC Bands, and A Cool Thanksgiving Follow Up

Good Times

Christmas Pics, DOC Bands, and A Cool Thanksgiving Follow Up

6 Comments 31 December 2009



Ryan and Britton Opening Gifts
Summer, Angel, and EliotSnuggie

As you might imagine and as the pictures can attest, Christmas at our house this year was…what else…chaos!  Five not-yet-one-year-olds, three others under age seven, and seven adults made for some interesting yuletide times!  I believe we (meaning Casey and I) hit every one of the major Christmas emotions several times each – joy, contentment, excitement, and of course the lesser celebrated, but ever present buzzkills – stress, frustration, and irritation (fortunately those didn’t stick around long!).  All in all, the day was very different, very chaotic (the adults didn’t open any presents until 5:00 that afternoon because of everything that was going on with the kids!), and in the end, very fun and memorable!

Jack DOCLila DOC

In other news, Jack and Lila got fitted for their DOC Bands on Monday and we are scheduled to get them in early January.  What you see in the pictures is a pair of pantyhose stretched over their heads which smooths out the features of their scalps so that a very accurate 3-D picture can be taken.  The picture is then used to create the shape of the band. Once we get the bands, they will be worn 23 hours a day for 3-4 months (Jack is likely to get a new band at that time and have to go for another 3-4 months with that one).  We will take them into the office every two weeks to have the bands adjusted to the babies’ changing scalps and we will also be doing some stretching exercises with both babies to help loosen up their neck muscles.  It will be a little bit of a hassle, but we are happy to do it so that we can avoid all of the problems that could pop up later in life if we did not go through this.  Plus, we’re really excited to decorate the bands!! :)


And finally, a cool little follow up story from our Thanksgiving trek to Denton.  When we stopped for lunch in Waco, a lady came over because she, “just had to see the triplets!”  Imagine her surprise when she discovered that there were two more babies in the bunch!  Well, her husband came over to see the babies as well and we chatted a bit with them, making a fast friendship there in the tiniest restaurant in Texas.  They were a really sweet couple…they even helped Eliot wash up after her meal as Casey and I had our hands quite full!  On our way out the door, they asked for our address and said they would like to send us some gifts for the babies and, sure enough, when we got home five days later, there was a package on our porch.  As it turns out, these folks own a small manufacturing company in Waco that produces Critter Pillers Neck Pillows and other travel cozies of all types.  What they sent us was one of each of the different animals in their collection of Critter Pillers…I think there were eight in all, of which Eliot quickly claimed six or seven of them! Anyway, I just had to pass on the story because they are such cool people and hopefully they can receive a little business in return for their kindness (they did not know about our website or ask for any type of publicity when they offered to send us a gift).  So if you like doing business with good people and need a cool gift for the travelling kid crazies in your world, check out their website at www.wolfmfg.com!

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