Tag archive for "giving thanks"

The Pregnancy

It Comes in Waves…

6 Comments 19 December 2008

After a fairly quiet week, we had a lot of activity today which seems to be the way things go these days…really quiet for a few days, then a wave of activity before things quiet down again. So, here is a quick recap of the daily happenings in the Jones Life:

– Today, we passed another milestone – week 26!! The next two weeks are the most critical two weeks we’ve had to date…statistically, the survival rate skyrockets and the defect rate plummets during these next two weeks…say your prayers, please!

– The producer for A Baby Story called today and said that it looked like they were going to get the green light and that she was planning on flying in on Monday with a film crew to do two days of interviews and filming for “Act 1” of the story they were going to do on us. Very exciting!! However, at the end of the day, she called back and said that a last minute legal glitch has put everything on hold for about a week. She still thinks everything will work out fine, but can’t risk spending the money on flights, etc. until she knows for sure. Bummer, big time, but we think it will happen. Hopefully they’ll get it worked out and get a crew down here before Casey goes to the hospital!!

– We were surprised today by a friend of ours who has been collecting baby stuff for us through her work, the good folks at Humana! She brought tons of diapers, wipes, and other cool stuff! Not only has she been collecting from her co-workers, but she also sent out an email to one of their vendors who were hosting an office party at Humana’s headquarters, Austin Radiological Association, and asked them to donate. Apparently, someone at Austin Radiological knows Casey and rallied up three huge baskets of clothes, blankets, bibs, burp rags, etc…so awesome! Unfortunately, however we do not know who it is so if you happen to be reading this and you know who this incredible person is, please let them know how grateful we are! Thank you also, Ginger, for organizing this and bringing everything out to the house!!

– I had my paint crews start today on the nursery. They got the first coat of paint on everything and will be back on Monday to finish up.

– Another friend of ours called today to say she was headed our way with a high chair for us. That makes four high chairs…only one more to go!
– This weekend, my honey-do list includes cleaning and organizing the garage and a trip to Babies’R’Us to buy the cribs and bedding so we can start putting them together…yippy ;-)

– Eliot has had a great week topped off by two sleepovers at her friend Maddy Brown’s. Our friends, Stacy and Mike Brown have been so incredible and have taken care of Eliot several nights in the last month when I had class. They picked her up Thursday after school and will be bringing her back tomorrow morning. Lots of fun with the little girls, but I’m guessing the Brown family is worn out!!
I hope everyone had a great week and is looking forward to a relaxing weekend!!
God Bless,

Giving Thanks

Ready or Not, Part 2

Comments Off on Ready or Not, Part 2 13 December 2008

A few of our everyday heroes and angels came by today to organize the stuff in the gameroom. They got here around 9:30 and didn’t leave until every last onesie, burp rag, diaper, bouncy seat, and all of those clothes were put in their proper place. They organized, they folded, the labeled, and they did it all with a smile on their hearts! Thank you, guys, for all of your help – my sanity is safe thanks to you…at least for now!


Ready or Not

3 Comments 13 December 2008

Lately, the only time I’ve felt overwhelmed by what is happening in our lives is when I go up to the gameroom. This used to be where Casey and I would work out every morning (something she and I used to do before news of the quints arrived and before school began). Now, it is where all of the baby stuff that we have begun to accumulate has been placed temporarily until everything can be organized and some sort of system can be figured out to handle all “Quint Care Operations.”

I’m not sure what it is about the gameroom that kickstarts my heart into panic mode, but it does it every single time I walk up there. Maybe it’s because I’m a guy and being a guy means that I respond to visuals more than anything. The gameroom, more so than Casey’s expanding belly (remember, to this point, I’ve seen her this big before with Eliot’s pregnancy), has become a visual reminder of just how crazy our life is going to be. There are piles and piles of clothes, eight or nine bouncy seats, diapers, diapers, and more diapers, blankets, bedding, bibs, burp rags, more blankets, three pack’n’plays – 90% of all of this stuff has been donated or gifted – and other stuff absolutely necessary (at least that’s what I’m told) to surviving life with five newborns.

It could also be the fact that I’m a “everything has its place and everything should be in its place” kind of guy and these randomly placed piles of stuff simply freaks me out! Actually, I know that’s part of the problem!

The other thing it could be is that the piles of stuff are a clear reminder of just how much life is going to change, and more to the point, how much of our old life Casey and I are going to have to give up in order to embrace this new life. Seeing all of this stuff piled all over my weights, crowding out my space is just too much for me to handle at the moment without having to talk myself down for a few moments.

We never planned on having a big family and we never would have written this script for ourselves so seeing the baby making operation begin to exert its will on our home is a not so subtle reminder of the force it will exert on every aspect of our lives. To be sure, there is a lot to be excited about and we are thankful for this amazing time in our lives, but also to be sure, we have had our share of “why?, how?, and are you kidding me?” moments as this journey has progressed.

Thursday night we had our Bible study group over for dinner and after dinner was over, they helped us rearrange some furniture in preparation for the babies. What I wasn’t prepared to do was clear my weights out of the gameroom, but they just started grabbing everything and moving it to the garage. To say the least, I was a bit pouty while this was happening and I’m not so sure I’m not still pouty.

It’s so strange how little things like that can hit so hard sometimes, but it did. I guess my reaction to all of this is a strong indication that I’m not quite ready for what’s coming, but can you ever truly be ready for five babies at one time?? No, I don’t think you can, but that’s life, right? The lessons learned the best are sometimes the lessons that force themselves on you when you least expect it.

But here’s the deal, we have a lot coming our way and there will certainly be some heartache that accompanies this change, but how can we be anything but grateful and humbled by it all? How many have lost loved ones in the blink of an eye or had to stand helplessly as their house burns to the ground in the middle of night or found out that their baby has a disability that will be with them throughout life? The list could go on forever of all of the calamities and heartaches that strike in an instant, without warning, without mercy and turn people’s lives upside down forever. How on earth do you deal with something like that? I won’t even attempt to get into the “why?, how?, and are you kidding me?” of that…

Not only are we not dealing with calamity or heartache, we have five precious little lives coming into our world, but we’ve had a chance to prepare (as best we can at least). We’ve had a chance to say a prayer (actually, lots of prayers) to ask for guidance, to seek acceptance, and to get the help we need in coming to grips with everything – something a lot of people don’t have the luxury of doing when their life is rapidly unraveling. We’ve had the incredible experience of watching family, friends, and strangers rally around us in support, prayer, and love not only for us, but also for five lives unborn. And amidst all of the preparation and the worry and the how of it all, we’ve had the joy of dreaming of what amazing gifts are being prepared for us by our Father in Heaven.

So, yeah, I get overwhelmed and we worry and sometimes we complain a little bit. But at the end of the day, it all comes back around and we remember just how good we’ve got it…and just how good it’s going to be. As for my weight room, it’s a thing of the past as are many other parts of what I used to call normal life. But as for today, excited anticipation (and the occasional hyperventlation) is here to stay. And our future, well, ready or not here it comes!!
God bless,

Giving Thanks

Everyday Heroes and Angels

4 Comments 05 December 2008

One of the most rewarding, exciting, and often times entertaining aspects of the adventure we are on has been the response we’ve gotten from people when they find out we’re having quints. From family and good friends to casual acquaintances and complete strangers, the reactions are as varied as the life experiences that foster them and they always provide Casey and I with something to talk about at the end of the day.

Once the initial shock wears off, the obligatory “wows!” and “oh my gods!!” have been exclaimed, and the inevitable question has been asked, “Have you seen that show, ‘John and Kate Plus Eight’?,” a person’s heart really shines through and that’s when you get to the good stuff. We get a lot of pep talks, “you know, God only gives a person what he can handle.” We get a lot of compliments, “if anyone can handle this, it’s you two.” And truthfully we get a lot of dumbfounded, blank stares. The best part of it all is that you never know what you’re going to get from the person, even if it’s a good friend or family member! All of these little reactions and everyday encounters have been incredibly uplifting and have served our hearts well!

The one reaction that has taken some getting used to, but is the most rewarding of all is the reaction of those who immediately roll up their sleeves and go to work and that is what this blog is really about. There is a small group of folks who mobilized and started the planning process the instant they heard the news. As Casey and I were dealing with the initial tidal wave of emotions and trying to make just a tiny bit of sense of it all, they were meeting, strategizing, appointing tasks, praying, rallying volunteers, praying some more, and loving on us every step of the way. As things have progressed, other sleeve-roller-uppers have jumped in the ring with the initial group and have truly become our everyday heroes and angels.

Do you know what it feels like to have a friend call to tell you that several folks got together the night before to plan your life and to organize a team to meet all of your current and future needs? Have you ever been cc’d on 30 or 40 emails that go around in a day between all of the people involved in putting together a care calendar for you to ensure that meals and other basic necessities are provided for you? Have you ever been the focus of an organized, focused contribution campaign? Have you ever had complete strangers cook a meal for you? Have you ever had people from across the nation send you baby clothes? Have you ever been told that you are the subject of a prayer meeting that reaches across the globe?

Well, Casey and I can answer “yes” to all of the above and let me just tell you that it is an amazing and amazingly humbling experience. Though I don’t know if we’ll ever get used to this sort of treatment, it has helped to realize that we actually have a responsibility to allow these folks to help out. The need is absolutely there, but even when it’s been there in the past, human nature tells us to kindly pass on these offers and get through it on our own. The enormity of this situation has forced us to accept the help and at the same time has forced us to learn that denying the offer of help is denying God’s ability to work in your life.

Sadly, I’ve done very little volunteer work in my life, but the few times I have I learned about a little known twist of reality that I wish everyone could experience for themselves. Our God designed our hearts in such a way that the volunteer, the giver, the one bringing help to the needy is equally if not more blessed than the one receiving the love. It’s the craziest thing – it turns out that the old saying that it’s better to give than receive is true!

I know they won’t necessarily like this, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of these everyday heroes and angels by name so here goes: Dean and Emily Yeck – the driving force, publicists, contributions coordinators, moral supporters, reality checkers, whip crackers, baby namers, calorie coaches, and the list goes on…; Rick Landwehr – best webmaster in the universe; Wendi Landwehr – project manager extraordinaire who has helped organize the effort, has also cooked a lot of meals and helped out with Eliot and has provided lots of reality laughter along the way; Mark and Payton Merriman – gooooood cookin’ and lots of love for Eliot; Dusten and Tricia Harrison – more gooooood cookin’, principal agents of Salon Jones, and chauffer to the stars (the stars being Casey and the quints, of course!), Laurie Garrant – moral supporter, good laugh giver, and food calendar organizer.

I could go on for days listing all of the other folks who have chipped in to bring us meals, take care of Eliot, donate clothes and other stuff, do our dishes, bring Casey vanilla decaf lattes and gossip magazines, and on and on and on! And every ounce of effort by these folks has been done with a smile…you can literally feel the love pouring out of them!! I don’t know how we’ll ever repay a fraction of the attention we have received, but please know that we would not be where we are today without all of the helping hands and shining hearts of our everyday heroes and angels to carry us through. For this we are eternally grateful!!!!

Giving Thanks

Born to Serve

1 Comment 15 November 2008

I have to take a moment here to recognize the extraordinary efforts of my mother-in-law, Stevie Krueger. One of the toughest things to deal with lately is just keeping up with the day-to-day house work…dishes, laundry, etc. When Casey was still going to work every day, it was a major struggle just for her to get through the day and she would come home completely wiped out. Now that she’s home, she’s on bed rest and it’s for a good reason. Casey isn’t able to do much around the house because she can’t stay on her feet for more than a few minutes at a time. I know it’s got to be incredibly frustrating for her to have to just lay there and watch the world swirl around her, but that is her charge right now – get rest, take it easy, and cook up babies!

No complaints on my end because I’ve clearly got the easier job here, but it’s not easy to find time to do the dishes after getting Eliot fed, helping Casey with whatever she needs, getting Eliot ready for bed and reading her books before bedtime, and oh yeah, studying for my grad school classes. So imagine my relief and gratitude when Stevie showed up one weekend in early October and just went to work! Sure, she came to visit her daughter and family, but her visit had a purpose to it. She cleaned, she laundered, she folded, she swept, she cleaned some more, she loaded, she unloaded, and she cleaned some more. It was AWESOME!! And even better than that – she came back to do it again two weeks later! And even better than that – she’s here this weekend to do it again!!

Some people were born to lead, some were born to follow, some were born to sing, and some were born to ride…ok, sorry, had to put that in there, couldn’t pass it up. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Stevie was born to serve. She’s been a nurse for nearly 20 years and before that she was a flight attendant, two jobs not made for the faint server of heart. And before that I’m pretty certain she was born not with a silver spoon in her mouth, but with a silver tray in her hand.

Since I have known her (nearly 15 years), at every holiday event, family get together, the Krueger’s annual Memorial Day party, or any other sort of event, Stevie could almost always be found in the kitchen. When my parents host Thanksgiving, Stevie doesn’t leave until every last dish has been cleaned and put away. When we stay at Casey’s parents’ house, we’re constantly yelling at her to sit down and relax, but she just keeps on serving…and serving…and serving. The world needs more Stevie Kruegers, but I’m afraid it is going to be left wanting. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many “Stevie’s” who get their 15 minutes of fame in our serve me first and serve me now society. Thank God for the few he did give us!

Giving Thanks

Baylor Rocks!!

5 Comments 08 November 2008

This is kinda long-winded, but it’s a great story and worth the read…promise!! Enjoy…

Most of you know that I started grad school this August through Baylor’s Executive MBA Program. I actually started four days after finding out about the quints (at that time, it was actually sextuplets!). Going to grad school and getting my MBA is something that I have had in the back of my mind for years, but never put any serious thought into. My industry (residential construction) doesn’t quite value MBA’s as other industries do so it was never something that seemed relevant to my world, though I never let go of the dream of going back to school. I’m not even sure how the conversation about going back came up this time around, but when it did it seemed to weigh more heavily on my mind than it had in the past.

At the time, I was working for a small custom home builder (a job that was going nowhere fast) and was looking for a career move. I was working with a career counselor and also contemplating starting my own business, but nothing had yet materialized. A good friend of mine, Dean Yeck, had gone through Baylor’s program a few years back and was talking it up quite a bit and I started to investigate the different programs available. Though I have been a Texas fan my entire life and always knew that if I went back to school I would be a Longhorn, something kept tugging me in the direction of Baylor. Though I wasn’t committed, I started the application process and committed it heavily to prayer and contemplation. When the time came to make a decision, I knew which direction I was headed!

Fast forward three months to August 14th. Casey and I are sitting in our fertility doctor’s office at our first sonogram. As we watched Dr. Silverberg label the babies – baby A, baby B (awesome – twins!), baby C (whoa – triplets!!), baby D (hold on a minute…quads!?), baby E (time out, I need to sit down…), baby F (six babies!!! Is this a joke??!!) – the excitement, drama, and tension mounted as the thought of bringing six babies into the world had our heads swirling and our hearts pounding out of our chests. What does this mean? What are the odds? How can we possibly do this?

To be honest, one of my first thoughts was of grad school and how I was going to be able to handle both the time and the financial commitment with six babies on the way. I was supposed to start in four days! What do I do now??

Well, I called the director of the program the next day. “Stick with us,” he said, at least until we know how many babies remain (the viability of the babies at that time was at great risk because there were so many). “We would love to be involved and help out in any way we can,” he said, but he didn’t see how it would be possible for me to continue. I called my dad. “I don’t know how it’d be possible, son,” he said. I called Dean, a man who bleeds green on odd numbered days and gold on even numbered days. He found out his wife was pregnant the day he found out he was accepted to the program; surely he would tell me I could do it. Well, he didn’t. He said beyond having twins, he could not have done it. I prayed. Why, God, would you lead me to go through this program knowing what was to come, knowing that I would never be able to complete it? Why, why, why? And while we’re at it, why am I so selfish?! Why am I so concerned about this when my priorities should be focused elsewhere? Frustrated, confused, and frustrated again…

I decided to continue on for about a month or so, at least until I found out how many babies survived the critical 12 weeks at the beginning of the pregnancy. I went to orientation week in Waco and loved it! I met the Dean of the Business School, Gary Carini. “Stick with us,” he said, “we’ll work with you. We’ll make it work somehow. Just stick with us.” A glimmer of hope – that was a godsend! I kept going to class for the next six weeks as we kept going to weekly sonograms. We lost one of the babies early on, but it looked like our course was set…five babies on the way, getting close to decision time.

Then I got a call from a friend (identity withheld to protect the not-so-innocent). “Hey, stick with the program. Some conversations are taking place and that’s all you need to know. Keep going to class.” Then I had a conversation with Phil Sanchez, the director of the program. “We’re working on something to help out,” he said, “stick with us.” That was all I needed to hear. Keep going to class and let the rest take care of itself. Keep going to class and keep praying…lots to pray for these days!

A couple of weeks later, Dr. Carini pulled me aside before class and told me that Baylor had decided to grant me a scholarship for the entire cost of the program. The ENTIRE cost!! Are you kidding me? That’s almost $70,000!! WOW! That’s all I could say. And, “THANK YOU!!” Decision made – I’m sticking with the program! Sure, the time commitment is still there and it’s a huge one, but how could I ever turn down such incredible generosity? How could I ever pass up on a full scholarship on a world class education, no matter the time commitment? No way, no how…I’m in for the long haul! What an amazing turn of events! God is great!!

One of the main reasons I was drawn to the Baylor program is that everyone I talked to who was involved with the program told me that Baylor was concerned with developing the character of its students along with their business acumen. They told me that Baylor is a family and is committed to each of its family members as you would your brothers and sisters. “They are a Christian organization, founded on Christian principles and it shows in how they approach the program,” they said. They were right. I didn’t ask for Baylor to help us out and I didn’t expect that they would. Baylor saw an opportunity to live their ideals and they jumped on it. They stepped up, big time! To put it simply – BAYLOR ROCKS!!

I believe that God has been hard at work in my life for a long, long time. I believe he led me to enter grad school and that he specifically led me to Baylor’s door. I believe that he has great things in store for my family and that my relationship with Baylor is somehow integrated into His plan for us. I believe that He has similar plans for everyone who allows Him to work in their lives. I don’t know how it’s going to be possible to raise quintuplets, earn an MBA, grow my business, carve out some time to keep my marriage vibrant, and keep my sanity all at the same time, but I believe that God is going to help me figure that out. One day at a time. I don’t know how our story is going to unfold from one day to the next, but I know that we’re in good hands and that life is good…very good!

© 2013 JonesLife. Powered by Wordpress.

Daily Edition Theme by WooThemes - Premium Wordpress Themes