June 24, 2017

Another year over

We enjoyed another school year here at Rupp Academy. Rich with activity and sprinkled with small victories. Not lacking in challenges. Just like any good school year should be.

Now we're glad to have a short break before we dive back in this coming fall.

She chose a Rice Krispies Treat for her reward.
He chose an Oreo cupcake.
He chose a Dr. Pepper cream soda.
So did he.
And for the teacher? Iced Espresso with coconut milk, of course.

June 23, 2017

Friend of the groom

My read-through-the-B1BLE-in-a-year plan turned into a read-through-the-B1BLE-in-10-years plan. I'm not even joking! I started it when Zion was born. But last week I did it! I came to the last chapter of Revelation and I read it slowly, sentimentally. It was a dear thing, reading "The grace of the L0RD Jesu§ be with G0D's people. Amen" and then closing the worn leather cover, and knowing that every word of the holy book has now passed before my eyes.

So now I am on to the popular youversion app, where I have started a 30 day reading plan (let's hope it doesn't take me 30 years) reading through the books of John and Acts.

Today I read from the book of John, chapters 3 and 4. In verses 29-30 of chapter 3 I read, "The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater, I must become less."

The speaker in these verses is John the Baptist. He means that the hearts of the people are not his to keep. Now that Jesu§ has come, he John can rejoice to watch the people turn away from him and toward Jesu§. He John can rejoice in this because he is a friend of the groom, so his heart yearns for his friend to have his bride. His heart does not yearn to have the bride for himself.

I pondered this. I knew there was something in these verses for me. 

Then it came to me, a question from G0D, asking, "Kayla, as a mother, is your heart yearning to have the kids for yourself, or is your heart yearning for me to have them?"

What difference does it make? I think it makes all the difference in the world. If the friend of the bridegroom cared more for the bride than for the groom, he would be a terrible friend to both. The bride and groom were meant to be together. The friend attending the groom should yearn for that to happen. 

So if my children grow up to die on some battlefield somewhere, can I live with that? Or if they move to a jungle and die of dysentery - or at the end of a militant's gun - can I live with that? Would I rather keep them for myself? If I did, whose friend would that make me? Certainly not theirs (who wants a clingy mother, sniffling and wringing her apron in distress?) and certainly not His (what groom wants a friend who grips the hem of the bride's dress?).

What then is my job? 

I think my job is to love Him with all my heart, and all my mind, and all my soul. With regards to my children, my job is to point them in the direction of their groom. When I hear the groom's voice, coming for his bride, my job is to rejoice.


June 21, 2017

Too cute

A few pics to make you say, "Awww."
Our besties' youngest, Addie, and her "Kah-Kah" (that's me).

Our oldest pet, Winnifred, sitting pretty in her box. 
Joseph down at the pool, going swimming for the first time.
At almost 8 years old, Jubilee finally lost her first top tooth! Also she picked out this outfit by herself at H&M. The girl knows what she likes.

June 18, 2017

Shout it from the mountaintop!

In a scene from Wonder Woman, Diana (aka Wonder Woman) asks Steve to explain to her the human concept of marriage. He responds with something like, Two people go before a judge and promise to love each other until they die. Diana asks if they do love each other until they die. Steve shakes his head and says, Not very often.

Which is why we celebrated our 15 years of marriage with gusto. Up the mountain we went, with our offspring in tow. Because it's no small potatoes, being married this long.




This is the town we came to, before heading up those mountains.


This is the hostel we stayed in, before heading up into the mountains.
This is Lucy, the Tibetan cattle dog at the hostel. 
I just love Tibetan decor. That red color is found growing wild on the rocks; some kind of moss or fungus. We think that's why they use the color so much in their cloth.
The next morning we headed up. The road went only this far, where we then left the car and humped our stuff the rest of the way.
We found this valley and decided to stay. The only other person there was this white horse. He was nice enough to share.
Daniel and Gene set up the tent. It was our maiden voyage with the tent, which had been a gift from Momo at Christmas. It's a great little stay!
The others helped me set up the kitchen.

We went for a trek around the valley. It was breath-stealing (in more ways than one). We have nicknamed this valley "Middle Earth" and we plan to return!



We made a fire from wood we dragged out from the underbrush.
Our Chinese medicine for altitude sickness ran out in the the night (next time we'll bring more), so we all felt pretty iffy in the morn.
But Gene's Boy Scout hash browns helped! Hot, crispy, and licked with salt. Just the thing for a queasy stomach.

Thank you, Middle Earth, for a wonderful anniversary celebration!

June 11, 2017

The show must go on!

I couldn't have stood by God's side while he created Daniel and handpicked features and characteristics any better myself.

But even the best of husbands and the best of dads are busy, and in high demand, and devoted to causes other than birthday parties.

And so Zion's 10th birthday party came along and it was up to Zion and me - and Jubilee, who is always ready to lend a hand - to throw a cupcake decorating party on our rooftop.

Zion loves two things very much 1.) working with his hands 2.) having the floor. So nothing brought him more joy than teaching his friends how to turn a cupcake into...emoji poop.



For those with weaker stomachs, we demonstrated octopus cupcakes and daisy cupcakes, too.


The kids seemed to enjoy themselves. To speak nothing of the sugar buzz making a deafening roar across the surface of our roof.





Zion loves his friends. He read every word in every card, and it was evident he was truly touched.


Mr. Moose stood at the deep fryer and made basketful after basketful of fresh fries, which ended up being a party SAVER since the pizza took 1 1/2 hours to arrive. When it finally did arrive, the kids were so stuffed full of French fries and gummy worms that they hardly touched the pizza. That is why I have six pizzas in my deep freeze this summer. Dates night dinners are covered until September!


Ms. Jessie and baby Jospeh made an appearance, too!


Daddy was missed, but I have to clarify, he was there for Zion's actual birthday. We had a family sleepover in the living room that night, of course.


And there was something sweet about throwing a party just me and my little man. It was a bonding experience.


We went from baby ZiZi to double digits in no time flat!




Happy 10th Birthday, Zion Daniel. Sheesh, you are amazing.

XOXOXO

May 18, 2017

It is an honor

I stood at the front of the congregation last Sunday. Mothers were lined up to my left, and mothers were lined up to my right. Shoulder-to-shoulder we stood, the front line of an army, a chorus of heralds, a chain, a wall. Our deft fingers held long stemmed roses, thorny in places, smooth in others, blooming at the end. Our collective stories would fill a library of volumes. Our tears from over the years would fill a swimming pool or two.


The woman to my left? A mother from India, her children now grown. I didn't know her name (lots of turnover in our all-expat congregation) but I didn't need to. She looked at me. I looked at her. We smiled at each other, and in that moment, as the preacher thanked G0D for mothers, she and I shared so much. In her eyes I saw, "Well done, my younger sister. You are doing the hardest job of all. You are seen. You are understood. You are loved." I can only hope that she saw, in my eyes, "Thank you, older sister, for blazing the trail for the rest of us. You are honored. You are beautiful. Be at peace."

Sunday School craft

Small kitchen + I love cooking = spending Mother's Day afternoon making pretzels with the kids..on the floor.




My momma: all that I hope to be and more.