The New Site is Up and Running!!

As of last night, JonesLife.net is up and running under the new format.  If you frequently visit the site and you do not see a drastic change when you go there next, hit the F5 key on your keyboard and it will refresh/update to the new format.  We are so excited about the new format...hope you like it!!!

God Bless,


The New Look of the JonesLife

*Some folks have reported problems with linking to the site from this page.  It is best to copy and paste the link into your browser window to get to the new site*

Ok, here it is...the much anticipated (at least by me, anyway) new version of JonesLife.net!  This is only a temporary link - eventually the page address will be joneslife.net again, but I wanted to get this out today.  Hope you guys like it!!


God Bless,


Changes Coming and More Updates Coming Soon...Promise!!

Sorry I've been absent from here so much lately!  It is really taking a lot out of me to get the new site done and at the same time, school and work are really busy right now!  I've got much to share, mucho, mucho:  we're taking our first road trip (that's right, all eight of us), Casey is going under the knife, there is a GINORMOUS announcement that is coming soon, got a cool little tool that we are going to start using on the site that will enhance everyone's lives, pictures, pictures, pictures, and oh yeah, the babies are doing awesome so there is plenty to share there, of course!!  Life is good, look for something just before Thanksgiving... :)

God Bless,


Prayers for Reese

If you have a special Bible verse that has helped you through a difficult time, please post it so I can forward to the family.  The surgery went well yesterday, but was long (seven hours) and little Reese and her family have a long battle ahead.  Please continue to pray...

If you'd like to know more about Reese's story, follow the link here.


God Bless,



Prayers Needed, Please!!

I wanted to ask for some prayers for a classmate of mine as he has just found out about a very difficult challenge his family is faced with.  His three year old daughter was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer called Wilm’s Tumor. Here is a link to the condition:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilms%27_tumor. Reece is the daughter’s name.  Her tumor is 14 centimeters and they are removing it and a kidney today. Please lift up her and the family in prayer.  Thank you! 

God Bless,


Change Is In The Air...

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that there are a lot of changes that will be happening with the website and blog in the coming few weeks.  I've been taking advantage of some very, very, very, absolutely ridiculously slow time with my day job, Eliot J Construction, by working on a new design for the website, the blog, and all points in between.  There will be lots of new features, different pages, and different capabilities that will be coming and we are really excited about it!!  Even after the new site is launched, I expect there will be quite a few more changes as we work to make it more functional, more user-friendly, and will even allow for better communication back and forth between us and the "followers" (not sure I like that term...a little too egocentric for my tastes!  Any suggestions?).  So if you come to the site one day and you are directed elsewhere, have no fear, it will lead you to a better place... ;-)

God Bless,


Happy Halloween from the Jones Six Pack!!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Thank you, Kelly, for putting that video together of the Fab Five...hilarious!! Hope everyone has a safe and happy 
Halloween from Tinkerbell, Casper, and the Four Plumpkins!!

God Bless,


Five Healthy Babies and The Fab Five's First Park Trip...oh yeah!!

Here's a quick update on the Fab Five from their nine month visit to the pedi last week...

- Brooklyn Faith:  16 pounds, 4 ounces, 30%; 27 inches, 75%
- Britton Grace:  13 pounds, 8 ounces, 3%; 24 inches, 3%...I told you she was tiny!!
- Jack William:  19 pounds, 8 ounces, 45%; 27 inches, 25%, and oh yeah, 90th percentile for head circumference...he still has some balancing out to do!
- Lila Addison:  16 pounds, 8 ounces, 45%; 26 inches, 25%
- Ryan Elizabeth:  16 pounds, 9 ounces, 45%; 26.5 inches, 50%

All of the babies are as healthy as can be and are developing as well as most full term, 9-month-olds.  The only developmental skill they were lacking was in the ability to pick things up with their fingers, every other milestone was checked off the list!  Thank you all for your prayers that helped to make this a reality!!!

The picture above is a sneak peek of the photos we got from our photo session yesterday at Mayfield Park, close to downtown Austin.  The babies had a great time at the park while completely ignoring the utter chaos swirling around them as we tried to get the perfect picture of the less than blissful moment!  Between me, Casey, Eliot, the photographer and a friend of hers, and our go-to helper, Tricia, I think we managed to make it happen.  Everyone was completely wiped out after an hour and a half of whooping, squeaking, jumping jacks, songs, smiles, and any other trick we could think of to get five 9 month-olds to look at the nice lady with the camera, but it was FUN, and you guessed it, CRAZY!!!

God Bless,


Meet Mr. Giggles

Jack William, aka Big Bad Jack, aka Laid Back Jack, aka Mr. Happy now has a new nickname...Mr. Giggles!  Too dang cute!!


Email Address for Letters to the Troops

If you would like to join me in writing a letter of thanks to the troops, you can email it to:  sigridwgilbert@yahoo.com.  Thank you!!!


Thank You to Our Troops!

A friend of mine asked me to write a short letter of thanks to our troops in support of a letter-writing campaign he was helping with.  Though I've thought of the men and women serving our country often and once had the occasion to thank a service member personally, I have never written them to say thank you.  It was surprisingly difficult to write!  I had a difficult time finding words that could adequately express thanks to a group of men and women whom I will likely never meet, yet have sacrificed so much in their own lives so that you and I may continue to enjoy the freedoms to which we have become accustomed.  Sometimes words just don't do sentiments the justice they deserve, nonetheless, here is my attempt at doing so...

To the Men and Women Serving Our Country,

Because the fights are always “over there,” it is difficult to fully comprehend what you guys do day in and day out in defense of our Constitution and our liberties.  To be certain, your efforts do not receive the attention that they deserve.  However, know that there are many Americans who think of you daily, pray for you continually, and hope without ceasing for your safety, success, and quick return from the battlefield.  Your sacrifice to country and in service to the lives of millions of Americans as well as hundreds of millions of the world’s citizens are a shining example of the finest of that which is found only within the human spirit.

God Bless,
Ethan Jones
Austin, Texas, USA

If you have ever considered writing a letter to the troops, I encourage you to do so.  I can't even begin to imagine what they experience on a daily basis and how difficult their sacrifice has become.  One of the best things we can do to give back is to simply say thank you.

God Bless,


A Special Bond

A friend of ours did this side-by-side comparison after Casey posted some new pics of the babies on Facebook and I had to share.  The picture on the left is Eliot when she was somewhere between 6 and 9 months old.  The picture on the left is Lila on her 9 month birthday.  The similarities are striking!  Not only is it cool to see the two girls look so similar, it's also adds another piece to the Eliot/Lila bond that began before the babies were born.  Here's a run-down of some of the events that have us very excited to watch how the relationship between the two girls develops over the years:

- When Casey was pregnant, one of the babies always got up underneath her ribs on her right side and caused her considerable pain.  Every time this happened, Eliot said that it was Lila who was being the trouble-maker.

- When I took Eliot up to the NICU to see the babies for the first time, we had not assigned any of their names yet.  At that time, they were just babies A, B, C, D, and E.  As I was holding Eliot in my arms and walking around to each of their cribs she didn't have much to say, seemingly overwhelmed by the experience and trying to reconcile the images in her head of a newborn baby with these heavily wired, hooded, sunglass wearing little alien creatures that she was now being told were her new sisters and brother.  When we got to Baby D, she immediately pointed to her and said, "This one is Lila!"  We had no idea at the time how we were going to assign the names we had picked out, but clearly this one had to be Lila!

- To date, Eliot has given one baby a nickname and she gave it to Lila the day she came home from the hospital, christening her "Lila Bear" the moment she saw her that day.

- Both Eliot and Lila were born with umbilical hernias that went away on their own after about six months.  None of the other babies had one of these.

- Everyone who sees Lila (and there have been many, many people!) has said that Lila looks just like Eliot from the very beginning.  Even people who have only seen the two girls in pictures from the blog have commented that they look exactly alike.  I guess the picture above is the final verdict!

Who knows what all of these connections mean, but Casey and I can't help but feel that there is a special bond between these two little beauties...can't wait to see what's next as the relationship grows!

Here are some other pics that were taken the day before the annual Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma.  Texas took the title once again!!

God Bless,


The picture on this video isn't great, but if you like the sound of baby belly laughs then this is for you! Ryan and Brooklyn were having a blast...doing what, no one will ever know!!

Eliot and Ryan had some fun together the other day...very cute!

Y'all enjoy!!


Surprises - The Good, The Bad, The Red

As you might imagine, there have been many surprises that have come along with life since receiving the big surprise last August when we found out that the Quint Invasion was headed our way.  Not all of the surprises have been good, not all have been bad, and certainly some that seemed one way or the other at first, turned out to be quite the opposite after the dust had settled.  The fact that I am still enrolled in Baylor's EMBA program is a huge surprise that would not have been possible without the unbelievable support we received from the Baylor community.  The excitement we felt when we heard we were the topic of conversation on 590 KLBJ's morning show a few days before the babies' birth will not be forgotten.  Nor will the punch in the gut feeling that quickly followed when we heard all of the awful things that were being said about us by both the callers and the show's DJ's...not a good surprise to say the least!  With the diaper drive held on our behalf along with their sizable gift card donation, HEB's incredible generosity clearly stands out as one of the highlights in the long list of godsends that have helped to turn our response to this adventure from overwhelmed to overjoyed...the list could go on...

But clearly the most gratifying and rewarding "surprises" that have come our way have been the individual acts of love, support, and selflessness that we have experienced from the big hearts of our volunteers and other helpers.  I put the word "surprises" in quotes above because there was a certain level of expectation of this sort of attention when we decided to go public with our story.  We knew that people would rally around us and around these babies in some form or fashion.  We believe in the goodness of people, in the strength of God's love in the hearts of the faithful, and we knew that our journey would inspire some to get involved.  But the thought, the extent, and the care to which people have gone to ensure that our babies are taken care of, to help us involve our older daughter in the amazing transition for a family of three to a family of eight, and even to give Casey and I some time to each other has been a source of constant amazement, humility, and yes, surprise.  We can never thank these folks enough for the indelible mark they have left on our family's hearts!

My primary reason for writing this blog is to recognize two of these folks, two of these surprises, two very special ladies who have not only left their mark on our family, they have become family in every sense of the word (we've managed to get past the fact that both of them are red-heads...somehow).  The two women pictured below, Tricia Harrison and Jennifer Ericson, are as much a part of this story as anything else.

Jennifer, wow, what a cool story!  She saw us on the news, found us on the web, signed up through the care calendar, and has been here at least five days of every week for the past three or four months...and we have no intention of letting her go anytime soon!  I'm not sure what compelled her to jump into the lives of complete strangers - she's a little on the shy side, though I'm certain there is a dark side lurking underneath that red hair of hers!  But now she is our total, on-call girl...Miss Go-With-The-Flow!  Casey emails her every day to let her know what time we'll need her help, depending on how much help has signed up on the care calendar, and that is when she arrives ready to love on babies!  She has even recruited her mom and one of her high school friends for the cause!  Her calm, happy, loving spirit is the perfect antidote for crazy babies and knows a thing or two about quieting an inconsolable infant...which is usually Britton :-).  She loves the Fab Five like nobody else and the Fab Five loves her back!!  Thank you, Jennifer, you are AWESOME!!

We knew Tricia and her husband, Dusten, sort of, through our church group at Riverbend.  And because of her, we are alive today...I'm only barely kidding!  Tricia jumped in red-head first from the beginning, organizing the care calendar, running background checks, cooking meals, and just generally being AWESOME!!  Then, she took it about 1000 steps forward...she started picking up shifts - day shifts, night shifts, weekend shifts, vacation day shifts, back-to-back shifts - you name it, she did it and did it with a smile (a slightly mischievous smile, but a smile nonetheless)!  During the toughest time of this experience, the time when the babies gave Casey and I less than three hours of sleep each night, Tricia was there, every other night, four nights a week, for three months straight to allow Casey and I to sleep, uninterrupted for at least six hours.  Now do you think I'm kidding when I say that we are alive today because of her??!  She even dragged her husband and two high schoolers into the fun, bringing them along to help with all of the above.  They are an amazing family!  Now that calmer nights have arrived and the focus has shifted more to the days, Tricia is still with us, arriving every day before 7:00 so that Casey and I can get ready for our day ahead, walk Eliot to school, and allow us to get other stuff done around the house.  Spirited, fun, giving, selfless, loving...thank you, Tricia, you are all of these and more!!

So we're getting used to surprises these days in whichever form they choose to present themselves.  They've come fast and furious and in the most interesting ways.  And, God willing, they'll keep coming...red-headed or not!

God Bless,


Six Teeth, Hello to Sparkle, Goodbye to Laid Back Jack, and Other Jones Family News

It's been an eventful month for the Jones Clan as we have celebrated quite a few firsts with the babies!  We have teeth!  Six to be exact - two each on Jack, Brooklyn, and as of today, Miss Ryan Elizabeth.  All three babies have the bottom two front teeth...so cute!  Jack likes to show his off as he giggles which happens quite a bit these days.  Another first - Ryan can now move from her belly to the sitting up position on her own.  It's pretty cool that she can do that and I hope the rest catch on quick - along with the greater mobility she seems to be able to entertain herself for longer periods of time.  All of the babies are starting to pull up on chairs and tables and I think it's possible that Ryan will go from the army crawl to walking without ever doing a real crawl.  She is constantly pushing up on her hands and her toes...really funny!  It's been busy keeping up with all of the changes, but we're really having fun with them all now that survival mode is a thing of the past!

The babies have been doing great with their cereal and veggies and have been packing on the pounds.  Here are the latest not-so-scientific weights:  Brooklyn, Lila, and Ryan are all 15 pounds which is surprising to us because Brooklyn is quite a bit longer than the other two girls.  Big Bad Jack is tipping the scales at 19 pounds and Little Baby B, Britton Grace, is still a featherweight at a mere 13 pounds.  We'll get an accurate count on all of the stats next month when we take them in for their nine month checkup.

It's official - Laid Back Jack is gone and we have welcomed Mr. Adventure into our home!  He still isn't crawling, but he's mastered the army crawl with great speed...and, boy does he love to be on the move!  That kid is everywhere - crawling under the bouncey seats, wiggling his way down the hall, diving into the stacks of wipes, sneaking around behind the rocking chairs, and all points in between!  And, oh yeah, don't get in his way 'cuz he's not changing course...several of the girls have had to learn this the hard way... :)  Check out the videos for Action Jack on the move!  And I have to mention one more of my boy's new activities - every time I come upstairs to see the babies, Jack wastes no time crawling over to me, climbing up my leg, and giving me a huge, pick-me-up-daddy smile...as you might imagine, I love it!!  There is more to read below the videos...

We have another new addition to announce - we have welcomed Sparkle the Crown Tail Betta to our world!  In the picture above, where Eliot is in a yellow shirt standing next to what could pass as an empty vase, you will see Sparkle if you turn your head slightly right, close one eye, and stand very, very still...
Eliot has been very excited about her new little buddy and is doing a great job of taking care of her (and has held her off from begging for a dog for at least a little while longer)!!

This has been our best month so far since the babies arrived...it's amazing what a regular sleep pattern can do for your state of mind!  The babies go down no later than 7:30 these days and Eliot is out an hour later, finally giving Casey and I some time together away from all of the demands that come with our new lives.  The babies are much happier and easier to manage during the days, Eliot is absolutely loving kindergarten and doing great, school is definitely working me over, but no more so than I'm used to by now, and Casey has been able to get a pretty good workout routine going (until she fell and hurt herself...bummer!).  Oh yeah, and another cool thing - we get to walk Eliot to school every day and most days we get to take a couple of babies along for the ride...they love their morning walks!  But of course, most importantly of all - college football is in full swing...oh yeah!!!!!  All in all, life is just a little bit easier as a tiny fraction of normalcy has begun to sneak its way back into the Jones home.  Hallelujah!!  October is just around the bend, hopefully along with some cooler weather...exciting times ahead!


Quick Update and a Few Good Laughs from the Babes

Here are a couple of funny videos of the babies just before bedtime...they always seem to be in a great mood during Boot Camp! In one of the videos, Ryan and Jack seem to have their own little inside joke as they continue to crack each other up with nothing more than a look in each others' direction. In the other one, Jack does his best serenade of the ladies as he slowly drifts off to sleep. This has become a common scene as Jack apparently has some things he'd like to say before he is done for the day!

Boot Camp, by the way, has been a fantastic success! I can officially say that our days of barely surviving the days because we were on two or three hours of sleep are behind us...yay!!! Survival mode no more! All in all, the babies are much more manageable and are really fun! Their personalities are coming through more and more, they are able to entertain themselves for longer periods of time, they are starting to interact with each other a bit, and even their limited mobility seems to be helping their moods as well. Next up - full on crawling - probably from either Jack or Ryan, but Little Britton has shown she has some moves of her own so who knows which one will be first?! Anyone up for another horse race...?

God Bless,


Eliot's First Week of Kinder, The First Walk, Boot Camp Update and Other Random Notes

I just wanted to give a quick little update on all of the happenings of last week since, as we have become accustomed, everything has changed about our days and once again we have a "new normal."

Eliot Begins Kindergarten...The biggest change this week involves the little princess, Eliot McKenna, who started Kindergarten on Monday, which, with this being our first experience with having a child in public school, apparently changes just about everything in the rest of a family's life! Here are the highlights:

- Eliot LOVES just about everything to do with going to big girl school...except getting out of bed at "night"! She is not used to getting out of bed before the sun comes up and on the first day of school as we were preparing her breakfast and getting her ready to go, she asked, "why are we doing morning stuff at night?!" Hilarious!
- Talk about loving the whole experience: as she crossed the street with the help of a crossing guard for the first time, she exclaimed, "That was totally awesome!"
- She loves PE, but is really looking forward to going to the library, which didn't happen last week for some reason. Hopefully this week she'll get to go!
- She is also not a fan of the 30 count rule at the swingset...each kid on the swings has to count to 30, then let the next kid go after that. Obviously, that is not a popular rule!
- She is all about riding her Razor (scooter) to and from school every day like all of the other big kids...too cute!
- On Tuesday, before she discovered the Razor phenomenon, she wore her new tennis shoes which, according to her, make her run really, really fast. I'm not kidding when I tell you that little girl sprinted the entire way to and from school that day to show how fast she was!!

The First Walk...We finally took our first walk today with the whole gang, something we've been looking forward to for quite awhile now. Casey, Eliot, and I used to take pretty regular walks around the neighborhood, but have had to put those on hold since Casey went on bedrest nearly a year ago. For whatever reason, we decided today was finally the day to get the babies out on the road for a little stroll. I don't know if it was the heat or the newness of being in a stroller or if that little demon that shows up in our house from time to time to torment us, but the babies did not enjoy the experience one bit! You'll notice in the picture above that four out of five are very eagerly expressing their displeasure with this whole walk idea! There was at least one baby crying...no, check that...screaming is a better word for it...the entire time we were out there and usually it was two or three that were...uh, yeah, SCREAMING!! Regardless of that, I'm glad we got them out there and knocked another first off of the list...maybe we'll wait for cooler weather before we try that one again!

Boot Camp Update...I am very happy to report that we have logged significant victories in the battle for house control! The babies are just no match for the classical music, the soft, cuddly sleep sacks, the warm, frothy goodness of a bottle of formula, many talented baby-helpers, and two very determined parents!! For much of the month of August, we have managed to get them all down no later than 9:30, with at least two of the babies (one of them is always Britton, Baby Bright Eyes) getting up in the middle of the night for a little snack bottle. But for the last three days it's been closer to 8:30 with only Britton getting up. It may be too early to stake this claim, but, what the heck, VICTORY IS SWEET!!!

And finally, a couple of random notes. Britton is the first to be able to sit up without any help...see the picture! She's awesome...doesn't even do the baby-forward-lean to do it! We now feed them all cereal two times a day, mixed with green beans for dinner...hmmm, yummy! Jack and Ryan are not fans of the cereal, but Lila loves it and the two B's, Brooklyn and Britton are pretty ok with it all. Actually, Ryan the Lion pretty much screams her entire way through her bowl of cereal!! Ryan seems to have all of the necessary skills for doing a real crawl, but hasn't figured out how to coordinate it all just yet. She's soooooo close!! Last note: I begin school again tomorrow so say your prayers that I'll somehow remember how to juggle this madness once again!!!

God Bless,


Yes, Absolutely...It's a Time to Celebrate!!

When we got home from the babies' church dedication last week and before we had changed clothes and settled into a Sunday afternoon feast, a little spontaneous moment of celebration broke out between me and Casey. I had gone to the garage fridge in search of a casserole to warm up for the meal. What I discovered, along with the casserole, was a bottle of champagne that a client of mine had given me a few months back; a bottle which I figured due to our hectic life would not be dusted off for many months from now, perhaps on our 11th wedding anniversary next June. Popping the top on a bottle of champagne means only one thing in my mind - a celebration has ensued - and I was immediately struck with the realization that in the midst of all of the chaos and craziness that this day had brought to our family, we had not taken pause to celebrate the day for all that it meant to us. Needless to say, I came back from the garage with more than a casserole in my hands.

It was Thursday, August 14th, 2008 when we got the news that would change our lives... immediately and indelibly. At the time, it was six babies, labeled by our fertility doctor as A, B, C, D, E, and F on the sonographer's screen. And as you know, the final head count ended at five, labeled six months later by their still-in-shock parents as Brooklyn, Britton, Jack, Lila, and Ryan. And now here we were, seven months to the day after their birth, committing our little tribe to the care of Christ's church. On that day it was never more apparent that these five babies - five blips on a sonographer's monitor 12 months ago, five little newsmakers on Austin's TV screens just seven short months ago - had grown into five precious, beautiful, little miracles, whose very lives speak volumes about the glory of our creator and now continue to change our lives...immediately and indelibly...every day. Yes, we had reason to celebrate!

Maybe it was the busy-ness of the preparations for the day or the fact that we went on our mini-vacation the two days leading up to the dedication that directed our thoughts elsewhere. And though I had had some thought that the day was every bit as much a celebration as it was a dedication, it never really occurred to me actually take time to, well...celebrate. Judging by the look on Casey's face when I walked in from the garage with a casserole in one hand and champagne in another, the thought hadn't occurred to her either. But as the cork was popped on that pink, bubbly bottle and we shared our first toast, there was no doubt that a celebration was called for...and maybe even longed for.

When the first toast was being poured out, a friend commented to us that he sensed that the day had been a bit of a celebration - honestly, I think that is the first time the word had been uttered in reference to the babies' dedication. Of course, our immediate thoughts and response were in reference to the babies: we've got five healthy, happy, growing, smiling, beautiful babies that were dedicated to the church today...heck yeah, this is a day to celebrate! We're still alive, still mentally competent, still married, and still happy with life after seven, wait make that twelve, of the most difficult months anyone we have ever known has ever had to endure...you better believe we're celebrating!! That day, and most especially that moment, will forever serve as one of the more captivating memories in my overstuffed inbox of memorable times thanks to the course of life our Father has put us on!

In the few days following the dedication, once the glow of recent memories began to fade like the embers of a campfire as do the stories that are passed around it, my thoughts began to trail to a different reason for celebration on that day, in that moment, because of these times. No question, the day was reserved and celebrated for the babies and God's goodness and that was reason enough. But another reason began to emerge, unknown and unspoken to most, but equally important to our family, if only in our little world with only quiet recognition.

Casey and I have been married for ten years and dated for six years prior to that and had enjoyed a pretty decent relationship for much of that time. But never had our marriage been on more solid ground than the day we got a glimpse at what lay ahead for our marriage and for our family. We had just come off a year of heavy focus on what was most important in our lives – faith and family – and we had found a really good place for both. To find ourselves in that place, where our marriage was never more alive was an achievement we were proud of and as we went through the process of trying to bring another baby into the world, we were looking to the future with more excitement than at any time since we said our "I do's."

And that is why, as the doctor dutifully identified the six little blips on that screen as our future brood, behind the excitement was a whole lot of fear in both our hearts. How would our relationship survive, let alone thrive, with all that the changes that these blips would someday bring to our lives? We had worked so hard to bring our relationship to a place that God had intended when he created the institution, why would he now drop this bomb on our hopes, plans, and dreams? How would we have enough time to ever focus on each other, something that had been so vital to our lives together? I don't know how to accurately rank our fears following the news we received on that day little more than a year ago, but I can say for certain that the future health of our marriage, our relationship, and our love for one another was at the top.

So after a bit of reflection on just what it is that we were celebrating on Baby Dedication Sunday, my answer to that question may not be as obvious as once thought. The way I see it, the babies' health, well-being, and miraculous lives are reason alone to celebrate on that day, but honestly, those things were never in question in our minds. God did the heavy lifting on that part, with little input from us. He created them, protected them in the womb, allowed for the amazing medical advances that ensured their health beyond the womb, and stirred a tremendous amount of love in people's hearts to help care for them in the months since. You've heard me say this before, but truly, God did this.

I believe that there are times in life where God takes complete control as I believe he did with the babies' health. But I also believe in free will. And somewhere between these two polar opposites, I believe there are times in life where he simply presents us with options and gives us a choice to make and decisions to be made around that choice. And this is what I believe was presented to me and to Casey, as individuals and as a couple, in the days following that fateful appointment in our doctor's office. We were presented with options and were forced to make decisions that would impact our lives forever...immediately and indelibly.

I tell you today that the evidence is on display and our verdict is in: we made the right choices. We chose to not allow this pregnancy and these births to destroy what we had worked so hard to build. We chose not to accept survival; rather we chose to maintain our focus, sharpening it where necessary. Simply, we refused to believe that God would allow his creation to destroy his blessing…as long as we did our part – make the right choice. And somehow, through all of the craziness that has swirled around our lives lately, our marriage has found an even better place than it had a year ago. Somehow, in spite of all of the stress and the worry for what lies ahead for our little band of misfits, we are even more excited about the future than we ever could have imagined!

So yes, absolutely - it's a celebration! It's a celebration of all that is good and pure and miraculous about life, as any baby's life can attest. Can there be any more striking example of God's goodness than the life of an infant, let alone five at one time? I think not! But it's also a quiet celebration for Casey and me, a small victory dance between the two of us, whether the world is watching or not. We have survived, we have thrived, and we continue to fight alongside our Father - for our marriage and for each other and for our family - as we look confidently towards the future. And yes, every once in a while, we celebrate...

God Bless,

New Videos Uploaded

Check them out here:

Britton and Her Jumperoo Naps:

Baby Boot Camp - Five Happy Babies:

Lila and Ryan - Morning Sweetness:

God Bless,


Baby Dedication...Pics and More!

Wow, the baby dedication was AWESOME!! We had a great time finally getting our whole clan out in public and introducing them to the Riverbend family! The babies were out of the house for about four hours and did absolutely wonderfully! No fussiness, no blowouts or blow-ups, no spit-ups on their beautiful outfits, and no drama...excellent! All five of them even took a little nap between the two services! My lady was looking AMAZING as the pictures can attest and Eliot, aside from hiding behind me the entire time we were on stage during the second service, was a perfect little angel! It was a great day with lots and lots of family, loads of friends, and tons of well wishers and good vibes from our church family!!

I also have to mention that the entire weekend was made so amazing by several of our baby helpers who pitched in extra time to allow us to take Eliot to Fiesta Texas and also to take much of the burden of entertaining family off of our shoulders. We had several folks who helped out with the babies while we were out of town, one fine lady named Farrah, aka Rah-Rah!, who rallied up several of her friends to cover the whole day on Saturday, and two tireless helpers, Renee and Pam, who cooked a Saturday night dinner and a late Sunday brunch for our entire family!! Additionally, Riverbend went out of their way to put together a slide show for the services and sing a special song - "Let Them Be Little" - as the slideshow played. I'm trying to find some good video to upload so I'll let you know if I'm able to do that. Thank you to everyone who helped make it such a special day!!
You can also follow this link to see some pictures from Grandpa's camera:

God Bless,
Ok, I decided after I posted this that I needed to add a few more details about the trip to San Antonio. So we walked every square inch of the Riverwalk, literally, and did our fair share of sweating. We actually did a pretty horrible job of doing the Riverwalk thing...we walked from one end to the other and decided it was time to eat after we were way too far from the good restaurants to walk back. Then we decided to go grab the car and drive around and find a restaurant. After driving around awhile and not finding any restaurants we parked again and walked a whole lot more before realizing we were exactly where we had started - on the Riverwalk, a long way from good restaurants...long walk, decent food, bad margaritas (we sent them back - who has ever heard of doing that on the Riverwalk?!), but still a great night!
Six Flags Fiesta Texas was totally awesome! That place is really, really cool! We did all of the rides that Eliot was allowed to do, saw a couple of shows, played some games (she won the Supergirl cape she's wearing in her tough-girl pose above), then hit the water park to cool off. Excuse me, did I say Eliot? I meant, Little Miss Fearless! There was not an ounce of fear in her body as we hit the roller coasters - flips, turns, twists, and loops - she loved it all! I swear, if you've never experienced Six Flags in that way, do yourself a favor - go out and grab the first five-year-old that you can find, hit the park with no agenda, and put the little one in charge of the day's activities...you'll have the time of your life!! At least, that is, until the little one has a meltdown because she is over-tired, over-stimulated, and a little over-heated, which for Eliot hit around 6 pm. After about a ten minute nap, she was ready to go again so we left the park, hit the restaurant for some refueling, then stopped by the ice cream shop before heading back to the hotel for the night. Good, good, good times!!!


Baby Dedication This Sunday...(after our mini-vacation to Six Flags)!!!

Alright, the original three are headed south again for another mini-vacation. Casey, Little Miss Sunshine, and I are headed to San Antonio in about one hour to begin our trip!! We are headed to the Riverwalk tonight for some good mexican food, a couple margaritas, and a good amount of sweating in the August heat. Tomorrow, Six Flags Fiesta Texas is the destination for some roller-coaster riding, water parking, and more sweating in that danged ol' August heat!!! We come back Saturday to a house full of babies, volunteers, and grandmas and grandpas (and hopefully escape that crazy Texas heat)!! Thank you to Tricia and the Harrison family along with all of the incredible "helpers" (that's what Eliot calls the baby volunteers) who are making this trip possible!!!!

And then the big event, the moment we've been waiting for since it was scheduled in early June - the babies' dedication to the church happens this Sunday! I cannot begin to express how excited we are about this day!! Not only will it be our first real venture out into public with the entire family, it will be the Fab Five's first appearance at Riverbend Church which has been such a strong supporter of our family during this incredible time. We will all be up onstage for both services, 9:45 and 11:15, along with our superstar volunteer, Tricia Harrison, to introduce the family. The service will also include a couple of cool little extras prepared by the Riverbend staff...very exciting!!!!!

I feel a little bit out of place (in other words, a little girly) commenting on this next aspect of the day, but I have to mention what the babies will be wearing for the big show. A high school friend of Granda Bill's, Beth Lewallen, made dresses for the girls and a suit for Jack out of Casey's wedding dress...seriously, that is really cool!! The dresses are absolutely adoreable, Jack will be looking totally dapper, and I am pumped because I no longer have to lug that silly dress around every time we move!! Ok, really, what a great idea! On top of that, she included a monogrammed handkerchief for all of the babies - and one for Eliot, too - to be worn in their own weddings...like 40 years from now! And then on top of that she also made a pillow out of the gown's bodice to be used to by the ring bearers in each of their weddings...which will all happen at least a year or two after I am dead and gone!! Huge, GINORMOUS thank yous to Beth for doing this for us!!!!!

So come on out for a wonderful, happy time in celebration of these five little miracles as we dedicate them to the care of the church and as we dedicate ourselves to raising them up in a Christian home! We loved the experience of doing this for Eliot when she was a baby and really value the symbolism and importance that this event will hold in our lives as a family!!

God Bless,


On the News Again... :)

Sorry, I totally flaked this morning/last night and forgot to update everyone to let y'all know we were going to be on the news again. KXAN came by on Thursday and interviewed us for the story linked below...enjoy!


God Bless,


Baby Boot Camp

August is officially Baby Boot Camp month in the Jones house as we launch an assault on the Fab Five and begin the reclamation project...at least that's the plan any way! Maybe we've completely lost our minds or maybe we've been sipping from a few bottles of our own as the babies gently nipple their daily nourishment, but we have decided that this quintet of crazies can no longer have control of our lives...at least not total control!!!! And so it begins...
There are three goals for the months: get all five sleeping through the nights, get them into a night-time routine and down by 9:00, and get them all eating cereal with ease (ok, relative ease)...stretch goal - naptime routine. It's ambitious, we know, but something must be done! Well, it's August 5th and I can tell you that we have opened all three fronts of this baby battle with some early success to report! Four out of five slept through the night for two nights in a row, but then the babies launched a counter-attack on night three, waking us up SEVEN times in one night...aaaaaggggggggghhh!!! We've actually had them all down between 8:30 and 9:30 on all four nights (it's 9:55 as I type this...yeah!!). And as you can see from the pictures, the cereal feeds have begun. As you can also see, Jack and Brooklyn just LOVED it... I'm pretty sure that if Brooklyn could speak, she would have been saying something along the lines of, "Just what the..........do you think you're putting in my mouth????!!" :)
So here's the battle plan for the night time routine, with a huge thank you to the Wilkinson's, victorious veterans of their own quintuplet home dominance battle, for lending us their expertise! First, we hit them hard with the ultimate baby killer - low lights and classical music! Ruthless, I know...we mean business here! Next, a new diaper, a change of clothes, maybe a little lavender lotion and then we hit 'em wear it hurts - right in the belly with a big, warm bottle of the good stuff! After that, we continue the assault with story time while their food settles and the classical riffs softly lead them to lullaby land. Finally, we go in for the knockout blow by zipping them up in their sleep sacks and topping 'em off with another couple ounces of the frothy goodness. It's a combination they can't resist...well, almost...but it is working pretty well so far!! I mean, why wouldn't it...who wouldn't be ready for a long night's sleep after that kind of treatment??
Seriously, Jack and Ryan LOVE the new routine! Jack goes into smiley, happy chill mode while Ryan thinks it's party time and she's the star of the show...it is the cutest thing ever! She smiles, she gurgles, she laughs, she screams a little bit, then does it all over again...hilarious!! Britton is the biggest fighter of them all and doesn't go down without a scrap-fight every time. Generally, that's how Britton is all of the time these days...never sleeping unless she's being held, never happy unless she's held, never content unless she's...yeah you guessed it, being held and walked and bounced...for hours on end...not fun!
Brooklyn and Lila are battling it out for the sweetest of the bunch. We thought all along that Brooklyn had it, hands down, but Lila has shown a sensitivity in the last few weeks that we didn't know was there. She got so upset with me two times, I thought her little heart had broken right into a million pieces. Once, I was tickling Eliot and Lila did not like it one bit! The other time, she and Ryan were in side-by-side bouncies and both were fussing. Since Ryan was making more noise (no surprise there), I picked her up to calm her down...bad move! Lila was crushed and she let me know about it!! Really sweet, but broke my heart as well! Don't get me wrong, Brooklyn is still our little sweetheart, but Lila is positioning herself right alongside her in the sweetness department.
One other quick note - Jack loves the bouncey seat these days and all of them love their activity tables. Jack will bounce and laugh for the longest time, happy as can be. I loaded up a short video of him getting a good laugh at some of my antics and you can see it here:
So there you have it...the battle has begun! Pray for us, my friends, we may not make it out of this in one piece, but we must prevail...no matter the cost!!!!!! ;-)
God Bless,


Six Month Doc Visit and Ryan's Wounded Army Crawl Video

Updates, updates! I have updates! We took the amazingly unintelligent decision to take the babies to the doctor last week...all five at the same time!! It was chaotic, stressful, crazy, but totally fun and something we'll remember forever...though we probably won't be pulling that stunt again any time soon! Imagine five babies and five adults in a room about the size of a master closet...for two hours, complete with two shots for each baby...aaaaggggggghhhh!!!! Imagine five little wigglers all wearing nothing but their diapers on an examination table at the same time, then imagine Ryan trying to crawl over the other four to get to who knows where while Jack keeps rolling to his tummy, steam-rolling Britton in the process! Then imagine giving them all two shots!!! At one point, they all decided it was time to eat so we had two nurses plus Dr. Ma each feeding a baby while Casey and I handled the other two...too funny! Though it was relatively normal for Casey and I, I think it was a bit stressful for the doctor and her staff. As we were leaving, she said, "I think I liked it better when you brought them three and two." I think we'll take that as a not-so-subtle hint as to how she would like the next visit to be structured... :)

The babies are all doing very, very well and are mostly ahead of where they should be developmentally. They are officially six months and a few days old, but their adjusted age (based on their actual due date) puts them around three months developmentally. Here are the new stats (% based on adjusted age):

- Brooklyn Faith - 24" tall (50%), 12 pounds, 7 ounces (25%), 41 cm head circ. (50%)
- Britton Grace - 22" tall (8%), 10 pounds, 0 ounces (3%), 41 cm head circ. (50%)
- Jack William - 24" tall (50%), 15 pounds, 5 ounces (55%), 43-1/2 cmm head circ. (90%)
- Lila Addison - 23" tall (25%), 11 pounds, 12 ounces (20%), 41 cm head circ. (50%)
- Ryan Elizabeth - 24" tall (50%), 12 pounds, o ounces (25%), 39 cm head circ. (10%)
They are definitely hybrid babies - doing some of the things six monthers do (crawling, for example) and doing some of the things three monthers do (like not sleeping through the night!!!). Ryan is the most striking example of this mix as she is fully mobile now...just put a toy a few feet in front of her and watch her go! This is definitely not something most three monthers are doing by this age! Here is the link to the video of her making her way across the three activity gyms to get to some toys:

None of the babies made a peep on the drive to and from the doctor's office so I guess they enjoyed it - it was the first time The Fab Five was all together in the car at once. And since we dropped Eliot off at school on the way, it was also the first time all eight of us together in the car. And let me tell you, we were CRAMPED!! Thank goodness none of them fussed because there would have been no getting to them!

Our next venture out as a family is on the schedule for August 16th. We are very excited for this day as it is the day we dedicate the babies to the church at Riverbend. We'll be on stage (yes, all of us!) for both the 9:45 and 11:15 services to introduce the clan to the congregation that has been so supportive of our family since before the babies were born. What a day that will be!

I want to take a quick moment to thank Jan (one of Grandma Stevie's good friends) for making her third trip from the Dallas area to our home for the weekend to help take care of the babies. She has been so awesome to help out and really works hard to give us a break when she comes! Because of her and Grandma Stevie taking care of the Six Pack last night, Casey and I actually got to go out on a date!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Thank you also to all of the volunteers for their continued support and to everyone out there praying for our family! Life continues to be in a constant state of change and mostly entrenched in chaos, but you all have helped to make it a very rewarding time for our family!!

God Bless,


Not quite done with our 15 minutes!

We had a visit yesterday from two local TV stations who wanted to do a story on the quints' 6 month birthday. It has always been kind of hectic to do these interviews, but it is always so worth it when you get to see your babies on TV, showing off their super-cuteness! Here is the link to one of the stories that ran (the other station hasn't posted their story).


God Bless,


Happy Birthday, Eliot McKenna!!

Eliot turned 5 years old today...we can't believe our baby girl is all grown up now!!! Well, I guess "all grown up" is a relative term - I guess grown ups don't put on singing shows for their parents while wearing a princess night grown and singing to "A Whole New World" from Aladdin like Eliot did last night. And I guess most grown ups don't request pumpkin pie for their birthday treat or pout for half an hour because one of their party balloons floated away while unpacking the car. And I would have to say most grown ups do not spend their evenings drawing pictures of their family, complete with rainbows, sunshines, smiley faces, and Daddy's spikey hair.

But she's definitely not the tiny six pounder who came into our lives five years ago today and instantly turned our lives upside down for the first of many times to come! She's not the little one-year-old that I used to call "Two-Toofers" because of the two front bottom teeth that she flashed with every smile. She's also not the toddler who used to run around the house on her tiptoes, used to use my stomach as a trampoline, once spread diaper rash cream all over her face and her stuffed tigers face because they had a rash, and each night at bedtime was never satisfied with just one book. And she's not the four-going-on-thirteen-year-old who developed a taste for independence early on in life and made sure everyone around her respected that freedom. Nope, as all who have kids know, the changes come fast in the first years and with them new joys and an almost equal amount of headaches - headaches that only appear when you forget to laugh first! We've loved every minute of it, Little Miss Sunshine, and can't wait to see what the next chapter in our lives brings!!

Happy Birthday, Eliot! We love you!

God Bless,

Lifesaving Products and Other Cool Stuff