October 31, 2007

Empty handed

Yesterday I had promised Bright that we could paint the extra pumpkins. On went the paint clothes, bundled was the baby, and everything was ready to go outside and commence the pumpkin painting. One problem: I couldn't get to the paints. They were pinned under the bed in such a way that I would have had to disassemble the bed frame to remove the box that held them. (As you can see, we are not the most artistic family). In my disappointment I said to Bright, "We can't paint today. Mama can't get to the paints," and I walked out of the room.

A second later, I heard Bright running through the apartment yelling with glee, "I found em. I found the paints, the FOUND em!!!" I was curious and a little hopeful, so I met up with him in the kitchen. He turned around to face me and in his little outstretched hands was...nothing. Absolutely nothing. And he said, "HERE are the paints. I found em."

Imagination. Positive thinking. Joy. Making due. Dad, I pray that today, in the midst of my discouragement, you would teach me to reach out my empty hands and rejoice about what I have. Amen.

October 28, 2007

October 27, 2007

Beef and Honey

Grandma and Grandpa were here all week, camping down at Overland RV park here in Van Buren. Every couple of months they fill up their gas-guzzling wonder mobile and head south to see us. They are the world's best grandparents, as you can see from the pictures. The fun never stops when they're in town.

When my brothers and I were kids, and Dad's beard was brown instead of gray, he used to bury his face in our necks and say he was eating honey. He would then blow on our bellies and say he was eating beef. Today, after Mom and Dad pulled out of town, Bright turned to me and said, "Grandpa eats honey from here," (pointing to his neck) "and beef from here" (pointing to his belly). I smiled as a lump rose in my throat. It's been years, but beef and honey are back on the menu.

Role Call

Lately I've been trying to define, in my own mind, my role in life. I know I'm Daniel's wife, and though it has taken me five years, I think I've figured out what he needs from me. The baby, Zion, is pretty cut and dry. Love him and nurse him. But then there's this 2 1/2 year old running around who thinks he's a man. What does he need from me? A few years back, Daniel and I read the book, "Wild at Heart," and it in the author states that the only thing that can affirm manhood is manhood. That is evident even in our toddler. Daniel's presence brings Bright to life. I suppose speeding around the neighborhood on a four-wheeler is more fun than rolling play-dough with mom at the kitchen table. But Bright is particulary uninterested in his mom. Don't get me wrong, it is a joy for me to watch my son and husband do their thing. I wouldn't want Bright to be any less self-assured or fearless, or boyish by any means. But it does leave me wondering...what does he need from me? I can only assume he will eventually fall down hard enough that Daddy's, "You're OK son," won't quite cut it and he'll need to curl up in my arms for a minute or two. But you know, if he never does, I'll be OK with that, too. Because at the end of the day, I know in my heart of hearts that it was my cooking that gave him the energy, and my home that gave him the security to go out and be himself that day. I know he would be - I know all three of them would be - lost without me. And I'll hang on to that.

October 18, 2007

Deep Reflections and Deep Traditions.

As I reflect on the passing of my 28th birthday, it becomes clear to me that there are some wonderful perks to being in this stage of life. Allow me to mention two:

Kayla has brought a wonderful tradition to our home. Everytime its your birthday in our family, you choose what's for dinner and the kind of cake you get. You only get that dinner once a year, so its really special. I always have her special Cajun chicken pasta and her phenominal carrot cake.

Another thing that brings great joy to my heart is the fact that Bright has recently mastered the art of pulling my finger. Often, he would like it to work a little more than humanly possible. I'll make a toot sound with my mouth, but it's just not quite as funny as the real thing. Even at 2, he instinctively and sincerely appreciates the true humor of gas.

As many of you know, he has his pronouns totally confused. He says "I" or "my" and is really talking about you. He says "you" and is talking about himself. The other day he said, "Want you to pull my finger, and I will toot out of my belly and not out of my mouth."

October 12, 2007

The Rev Bright Rupp

Every boy wants to be like a his dad. Bright is no exception. Here he is on his pulpit, his text open, teaching about...Jonah, I believe it was. Some days its Joseph, and some days John the "Bap-nist."

October 08, 2007

Happy Birthday to Kayla!

I (Kayla) turned 27 on Saturday. Some folks don't think much of their birthdays, but I do. I wake up on the 6th of October every year excited, even if nothing is planned. It just feels good to have a day that is just for me. In Daniel's Radical Devotion class we are learning about how much He loves us. He loves ME. Little, insignificant, sinful me. His heart is ravaged for me, in fact. He wants to marry me. Sometimes I think we, as a corporate bride, get so focused on disappearing behind the cross and laying ourselves down, that we forget to celebrate the beauty and value of what He created on the sixth day (people). So, it really is OK to go to the theater and watch 3:10 to Yuma and then head to Fayetteville for the world's best dish, panang curry at the Taste of Thai. It really is OK for your wonderful new friend, Darci Long, to get your mom's birthday cake recipe and spend all day coloring little picture books with her kids that compare you to the flowers of the fields. It is OK to cry when you open them. Thank you for making me, God. I sure am enjoying myself down here.

p.s. Here is a picture of Daniel and me on my birthday date. The shirt and earrings were a gift from my mom. Thanks mom!

October 03, 2007

The Big Z

Still weighing in at the "10th percentile," our 4-month-old is a petite, chubby, loving, happy, and delightful baby. He would rather search my face for a smile than nurse. A perfect day for him is two big naps, an evening stroll, and early to bed. He sleeps from 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m., waking to nurse, and then its back to bed until 8 or 9 a.m. (These lovely patterns have just developed, and mamma and daddy are very happy about it). He is laughing and grabbing and rolling from his belly to his back. He sleeps on his tummy (don't tell my pediatrician), and his bed partner is a pale elephant that Bright has named, "DeeDee." He takes a pacifier like a champ, and cries very little for any reason. We love you, "Big Z." Don't grow up as fast as your brother has, OK?

October 01, 2007

Turn around, Bright Eyes

We named Bright after his great-great-grandfather, Bright Eyes Haggard. We did not, however, give him the middle name "Eyes." We considered it, but then decided against it. As it turns out, Bright Eugene Rupp has very bright eyes. They are the color of chocolate frosting and when he smiles, they almost seem to dance. His grandma says, "He smiles with his eyes."

Lately, our little Bright Eyes has been struggling. He is jealous of his little brother. Zion's baby blues have been stealing the show. It breaks my heart. Last week he didn't take a single nap, and he started waking up in the middle of the night, afraid of animals coming into his room. He even tried to nurse. It has been a tough month for us, especially since he does not respond well to physical affection or words of affirmation. Those things just make him pull away. I haven't known how to reach him. Until...

Last week our teacher spoke about what a man needs from his wife. After respect, and "you-know-what", the greatest need a man has is for companionship. That means he wants his wife to sit next to him on the couch and watch a ball game with him, or come into the garage while he's working on his car, and not say a word. So...I got to thinking, maybe that's what my two-and-a-half-year-old man needs, too. So the next day, we stayed in our pjs all day and played. We stopped only for spaghetti-Os. We made pillow houses, jumped around like frogs, built towers, and formed dozens of matchbox car parking lots. And as the day unfolded, so did my son. It was beautiful.

Since that day, I've stopped showering him with unwanted kisses, and started pushing bulldozers by his side. And I think he is making a turn around.