Live
Oprah's Lifeclass is streaming live now!
Watch
Live
Today at
Oprah Live Stream
Remind Me
Loading...
Keeping Up with the Joneses
Ethan and Casey Jones
Photo: Courtesy of Ethan and Casey Jones
High school sweethearts Ethan and Casey Jones had a picture-perfect life: They married right after college, built their dream home and had a beautiful daughter named Eliot.

Then, they decided to have one more child using the same fertility treatment they used to conceive Eliot. But, the second time around, the results were a little different. Instead of one baby, they conceived five: Brooklyn, Ryan, Jack, Britton and Lila. Now, the quintuplets are almost 2 years old.

Casey says she never imagined how much her life would change when her family of three grew to a family of eight. "Our life is just so crazy busy from the minute I open my eyes in the morning till the time I go to bed at night," she says. "It's unbelievable."

They're also coming to terms with the fact that raising six children isn't cheap. "We're like a balloon that's blown up, and you can see the side walls of the balloon just stretching and stretching, and you know at any moment it's just going to pop," Ethan says.
PAGE 1 of 4
FROM: Quints by Surprise, Dirty Jobs, DC Cupcakes, Cash Cab! Reality TV's Stars
Published on December 28, 2010

Comment

    0 Comments

    Advertisement

    Quints by Surprise Family Photo Album
    Meet Casey and Ethan Jones, their daughter Eliot and their quints: Brooklyn, Ryan, Jack, Britton and Lila. See how they've grown!
    1 of 15

    FROM: Quints by Surprise, Dirty Jobs, DC Cupcakes, Cash Cab! Reality TV's Stars
    Published on December 28, 2010

    Comment

      0 Comments

      Advertisement

      Postcards from the Edge
      For nearly a decade, women in the eastern Congo have endured unimaginable acts of sexual cruelty, leaving them shamed, abandoned by their families, shunned by their villages, and ignored by the world. Last December we asked readers to write notes of support inviting these women to tell their stories. Here, a few of their responses, encompassing both the horror of their experiences—and the glimmer of hope an extraordinary organization is giving them.
      Village
      Furaha Mirindi, 34, single mother of seven
      I am from Kavumu. I got married when I was 15 years old and he was 18. We did not have an official ceremony, but we lived together as a married coupled. Together we had 6 children. While I had no formal educational training and cannot read and write, I successfully ran a small business selling peanuts and palm oil to feed my family before we were directly affected by the war.

      In 2002, there was a great deal of insecurity in Kavumu. My family left the village for a more secure place nearby. The village chief gave us temporary refuge. The first night we spent in the new house, we were attacked. There were more than six military men that entered the house that night. My mother, my younger sister and my sister-in-law were all raped. I was raped by at least three of them. I cannot remember. I was numb. I tried to stop them, not only because I did not want to be invaded, but I did not want them to rape me in front of my children. In my struggle with them, they hit me on my right eye, which is now damaged. After the incident, I spent six months in the hospital because of my eye and other injuries. In addition to the physical damages of the rape, I got pregnant. I gave birth without even realizing it. At the time I was in so much pain physically and emotionally that I could not distinguish the pain from my eye and the rape from the pain of giving birth. The child had to be forced out of me because I did not have the courage or the energy to push. Ironically, the child is born with a damaged left eye, similar to the damage of my right eye. The doctor says it is because the position I was in during the eight months I was in the hospital. It seems like a curse to me.

      My husband supported me throughout the time I was in the hospital. He sold all of our possessions to pay for my medical bills. But he left sometime after the child was born. He left me because he simply could not deal with the cost of the aftermath. The burdens were too heavy for him to carry. He told me that I had made him poor. The little girl I gave birth to after the rape is always sick. She needs more than we can provide. Although we were not officially married and he had never paid the customary bride fees, before he left me he went to my family and paid the bride fees and told them that he was returning their daughter. He said that he no longer has the means and resources to continue to support me.

      My little girl is now one and a half years old. She cannot walk, crawl or sit up. I came to Bukavu with the hope that the Centre for Handicapped Children would take this child and treat her and provide for her. I am not able to attend to her needs. I love my baby even though she is a product of being brutally raped. I would like for her to have a normal childhood, to be like other children, and to one day walk and play. The Centre did not take my baby they only take handicapped orphans. I hope to find an opportunity to care for my children, all of them. I feel like I have no value. When I see my child crying because she is hungry and there is nothing that I can do about it, it's painful. It hurts at the core of my being. Every day is more and more difficult, especially with this baby. While I am no longer active in a church like I used to be, I continue to put my faith in God. I have to believe that I will one day reconstruct my life and provide for my children and perhaps find a husband again.

      PAGE 1 of 17

      Comment

        0 Comments

        Advertisement

        Amazing Animal Friendships
        Casey Anderson and Brutus the Bear are best friends.
        Imagine if your best friend weighed nearly 1,000 pounds, stood 6 inches taller than basketball star Shaquille O'Neal and wolfed down his own turkey at Thanksgiving. For Casey Anderson, it's a normal part of life with his best bud—Brutus the Grizzly Bear.

        Get to know Brutus and Casey.  Watch

        In 2002, Casey rescued the 5-month-old cub, who was born into captivity. From that day, an unbreakable bond was formed. "When he was a little baby, I was bottle feeding him, and I looked down in his eyes and he had a little tear in his eye. I just kind of chalked it up for he was straining from sucking on the bottle," Casey says. "Then, several years later, Brutus got a bit of a bellyache, and I was rubbing his belly. And in his eye, he had the same tears. And at that moment I realized that grizzly bears can feel the same emotions we do."

        PAGE 1 of 11
        FROM: Amazing Animals
        Published on May 06, 2009
        Please note that Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities have no affiliation with and do not endorse those entities or websites referenced above, which are provided solely as a courtesy. Please conduct your own independent investigation (including an investigation as to whether any contributions are tax deductible) before donating to any charity, project or organization. This information is provided for your reference only.

        Comment

          0 Comments

          Advertisement

          Charmed Circles: Becoming a Believer

          Washington journalist, hostess, and all-around power player Sally Quinn wasn't what you'd call a believer...until a family crisis led her to create a sacred structure that's brought her faith, hope, and clarity.
          Journalist Sally Quinn at home
          Photo: Juliana Sohn
          I am lying at the center of my labyrinth, my arms and legs spread out. I'm breathing quietly, taking deep breaths, letting them out slowly, at first consciously, then naturally, without thinking.

          I don't want to think. I want to be still. I want to be at peace.

          My labyrinth is at the top of a wooded slope overlooking St. Mary's River in southern Maryland. It is flat, 50 feet in diameter, constructed of pale gray concrete with a darker gray design etched into it. The circle itself is surrounded by a collection of gray stones from the river, which in turn is enclosed in a square of gray slate. The pattern of the labyrinth is a circuitous path that ends at the center in a rose pattern, symbol of the feminine, of beauty, love, and the divine.

          Walking the labyrinth is different for everyone. For me it is a form of meditation. It is also a path to the sacred.

          On this warm, cloudless day in mid-September, I lie with my eyes closed. I absorb the sounds of the birds in the nearby trees, the rustling of leaves, and the rhythm of the waves lapping along the shore. I take another breath. And another. I wait for the tears but they don't come. I have an odd sensation of being totally embraced, totally filled with love.

          I have just buried a vial of my mother's ashes beneath the river stones at the entrance to the labyrinth. My mother died only a few days ago. Now that the funeral is over, I am here alone, grieving for her in my own way. I loved her more than anything in the world. I don't know any mother and daughter closer than we were. I could never imagine being without her. Now I am.

          This labyrinth has sustained me through many crises. Around the circle are buried cherished mementos: My late father's Buffalo nickel from the Korean War; a crystal rose from my son, Quinn; a small replica of the Indian god Ganesh; a crystal with healing energy; chunks of stone from the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral from which this one was copied.

          And now my mother's ashes. I kiss my fingers and touch the spot where I buried the ashes.



          PAGE 1 of 7

          Comment

            0 Comments

            Advertisement

            Balancing Your Career and Family
            Balance your work and home life.
            Feeling like your life is out of balance? Too much work on your plate? Too many demands from your family? No time to do it all—let alone do it well or steal an hour of "you time"?

            If you've answered yes to any of those questions, then the latest data won't surprise you. According to a recent survey from the Work and Family Institute, 60 percent of working parents feel considerable conflict between work responsibilities and time spent at home. And a recent survey by the Pew Research Center found the majority of full-time working moms would like to trade in their current situation for a part-time position. What's more, the same number of stay-at-home moms said they'd like to give up a bit of the carpooling and PTA for a part-time job as well. And, of course, plenty of new moms or moms-to-be are searching for ways to stay home full-time with their babies.

            If you listen to me on Oprah Radio XM Satellite Radio then you know my feelings on this: I'm right in there with you. I don't believe balanced days are actually possible. There are some days when I'm good at work and others when I'm good at home, and if I can find balance over the week or the month, I consider that a success.

            Whether getting in balance for you means scaling back on work outside the home or ramping it back up, there's one unfortunate fact of life involved: What we want to do to achieve more balance and what we can afford to do may not totally be in sync. After all, kids are expensive. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates it costs the average middle class family $184,000 to raise a baby from birth to age 17. And that's all money spent before college tuition bills are due. Yikes! On the other hand, working outside the home has its costs, too. Child care is the biggie, but you have to factor in transportation, dry cleaning and more takeout food, too.

            Whatever your situation, it's important to take a hard look at your financial picture before you make any big changes. With this guide you and your Money Group members can start to ask the important questions that will help make it possible to add more balance in your life. Then complete our three tasks that will get you even closer to achieving your balance goals.

            While you're considering your options, keep this vital fact in mind from Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the Families and Work Institute: There is no evidence that shows children of full-time, part-time or stay-at-home moms turn out any different. "The kind of parent you are makes the biggest difference, not simply whether you are employed or not."
            PAGE 1 of 4
            Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.

            Comment

              0 Comments

              Advertisement