May 29, 2013


Did I ever think I'd be sitting in class for six hours a week, pouring over a language that dates back to the tower of Babel (or thereabouts, according to one source I read)? 


But I'll tell ya, it feels great to be learning this language after almost five years of spewing memorized phrases just to get me by.  It comes in really handy in situations when communication is imperative.  Take the other day, for example, when I'd been grocery shopping with my little girl.

I came out of the store with four large totes full of vegetables, eggs, cleaning solutions, jugs of varying beverages, rice, cheese, and more.  It was a lot of stuff, and very heavy, so I was thrilled to see my neighbor, Sheila, coming out of the store at the same time.  She offered to take one of my bags.  Whew, what a relief!  With the rest of my totes, Jubilee and I made our way to the corner to catch a ride; me loaded down like a caravan camel and Jubilee following close to my hip to avoid traffic.

When we had hailed a covered three-wheeler and loaded my totes into it, I realized to my horror that one of my totes was missing!  There should have been three and there were only two!  It was time to practice what I'd been learning in class.

"Please wait here," I told my driver, though not in English of course.  "I don't have one of my bags.  I must go back into the store.  When I come back, I will give you lots of money."  (Not the most eloquent speech, I admit, but he caught my meaning).

Into the store I raced with Jubilee in my arms, where I quickly overtook a store manager and practiced my language again.

"I am missing one of my bags," I said.  "I was just here and I bought many items.  If someone were to find a bag in this store, where would they put it?"  (Again, my words were rough, but he also caught my meaning.  I was two for two!  I was talking...and being understood!)

The manager got on his radio, and I got on my phone, thinking to call Sheila, just to make sure she hadn't taken two of my bags with her and not just one.  Low and behold, that is exactly what had happened!  Whew, problem solved.


Now I needed to communicate to my driver, who was still waiting on me, and the manager, who was summoning his employees, that all was well and I no longer needed their help.

I took a deep breath, and tried for a third time to talk.

"I am so embarrassed," I said.  "My friend took my bag, and she didn't tell me.  Now there is no problem.  Thank you for your help!"

Each of them smiled, even laughed a little, and said, "No problem."  They caught my meaning again!  Three for three!  Yippee!

I did get a stress headache because of the ordeal, but I was at least able to navigate my way through the choppy waters of cross-cultural living with no help from anybody else.  And my little sweetheart was a huge comfort to me the whole time, kissing up and down my arm, staying quiet and obedient.  She is such a gift to me.  Look at her in this picture, wiping down the table after dinner!  Ordinarily I do not let the children on top of the dining room table, but she was being so helpful and cute that I held my tongue. 

May 26, 2013

just getting started

My mentor and dear friend, Allison, (whose youngest just graduated from high school) sent a "Happy Anniversary" greeting our way this week.  In it she wrote that 11 years is really something, yet in so many sweet ways, Daniel and I are just getting started.  How true!

I feel it has taken us 11 years to learn to argue well, to pray well, to trust well, to fail well, to overcome well: to love well.  It has taken us 11 years to realize that which needs our attention, and that which does not.  We are just starting to live the way we would like our kids to live one day, and we are each just beginning to discover our individual callings and dreams.

I am excited for the decade laid out before us!  This is the decade in which all the kids are kids (no more babies, and no teens yet), and in which we still look and feel young (as long as you don't zoom in too far;), and in which anything is still possible.

I love you, Daniel Rupp.  In the words of Sarah Kelly, "I asked [God] for silver, and [He] gave me gold!"

You, Babe, are my gold.  Happy 11th anniversary.

And here is what we did to celebrate!  My handsome guy took me to Mooney's Pub at the ShangriLa Hotel for my FAVORITE steak, a ribeye, cooked medium and slathered in butter.  After that we went to the movies to see "Oblivion" with Tom Cruise (good movie), and the best part about that was Daniel reserved us VIP seats.  We sat in leather recliners while a theater attendant brought around popcorn, coke, beef jerky, and nachos.  It was a wonderful celebration of the wonderful gift that is our marriage.

May 24, 2013

A Tae Kwon Do Birthday!

Of course the electricity was cut off to our entire city block for twelve hours on the day of Zion's rooftop birthday party.

Of course.

And of course, I found out about the scheduled blackout at 11:30 the night before, when it was too late to bake his cake, and too late to call and order one from Leanna's bakery.  Yes, I admit, I cried.  But then, I wiped my tears and set my alarm for 6 a.m., because the birthday boy needs a chocolate cake!  (especially since he was content to drink rootbeer floats on his actual birthday).

Electrically challenged as we were, the birthday party was a success!
Moose, the kids' tae kwon do instructor, came to the party toting this enormous gift!

May 19, 2013

The Rupp Rollover

It's that time of year again.  Birthday season.  Daniel has coined the phrase "Rupp Rollover."  Right now we are in the middle of the rollover, and so we now have an 8-year-old, a 6-year-old, and two very-soon-to-be 4-year-olds (that's a lot of dashes in one sentence).

Here are some pictures from our Zion's 6th birthday, which was Saturday, even though his much-anticipated Tae Kwon Do birthday party isn't until Thursday.

At our house, Daniel is the balloons-and-streamers guy (there I go again with the dashes).  So after the kids are in bed, their daddy retrieves the decorations from the hutch and grabs the tape and scissors and gets to work.  That way, the birthday kid can wake up to a festive house for his or her special day!  For Zion, Daddy built the Hoth snow cave (Star Wars Episode V), complete with a balloon snow monster at the back of the cave. Notice those beveled ends?  I'm telling you, he's the streamer guy.
Also at our house, we eat cereal on birthday mornings!  Real cereal!  For Zion's birthday breakfast it was cocoa corn flakes.
After breakfast, the birthday kid gets to open one present, saving the rest of the gifts for birthday supper.  Fortunately for Zion, his birthday fell on a Saturday this year, so his requested spaghetti and meatballs could be served at noon (followed directly by presents, of course).
 It was a Star Wars birthday, that's for sure.
But he certainly enjoyed his other toys, as well.
And for dessert?  The request was for rootbeer floats.  My measuring cups were happy to have the birthday off;)

Dear Zion Daniel,
We are thrilled to celebrate six years of your kisses, your hugs, your silly sounds, your perceptiveness, your enormous heart, your fast punches, your raspy voice, your thick coat of blond hair, your deep trailing dimples, your icy blue eyes, and all that makes you who G0D made you.  We love you with all our hearts and we wish you a happy, happy year to come!

Love Always,
Mama and Daddy

P.S.  Flashback pic to 2007.  Awww...

May 18, 2013

My four blessings


May 14, 2013

the language of little boys

I've had fair exposure in the last 8 years to the ways and words of little boys.

But this Mother's Day I received what could be the sweetest little dose of testosterone yet.

My dimpled, energetic, almost-four-year-old son, Brave, (who is incidentally built like a tank) dictated the following verses to be written on his Mother's Day card:

2013 The United States of Our Flag in trouble.
But the army was in tank.
He won the war.
             - Brave Rupp

Not exactly, "Happy Mother's Day," but I'll take it.  I love you, Handsome Brave Ransom.

May 11, 2013

out came the sun

When the sun shines in our city, we all feel better.  Heck, when there's a momentary break in the cloud cover we all feel better.  Lately we've had days of true sunshine, strung together even, so that we've seen jet streams against the blue sky, and stars at night!

Getting outside when it is sunny is a must.  So this weekend we hit the fish market to purchase larger fish for our newly restored rooftop pond.

And here is a random picture of Zion dressed as an explorer.  He was planning for a two-month trip to Mt. Everest, he said.  This is a great visual of our home, and our spunky kids.  xxoo

May 07, 2013


I am in the middle of 7-day fruit flush.

According to DiagnosTechs Lab in Washington State (to which I shipped samples of my own saliva all the way from East Asia last month), my hormone levels are way off.  My chiropractor and friend, Dr. P, in Holland, MI took the time to analyze the test results and put together a treatment plan.  Yesterday we received a large box from my parents which included such gems as reusable totes from Meijer, birthday gifts for our kids, a knit afghan in brilliant orange that was lovingly handmade by my wonderful mom, and the bottles of supplements from Dr. P that will hopefully restore my gimpy pituitary gland.

In the mean time, I'm flushing.  I figured a good cleanse couldn't hurt.  The first two days of eating only fruit I felt terrible.  I had a massive headache, felt nauseous, had zero energy, and wanted to stay in bed all day (which of course I couldn't do).  The second day I felt the same, until evening.  This morning, day three, I feel great!  I have tons of energy and my mind feels clear for the first time in weeks.  When I'm hungry, I just make another smoothie.  I did, however, discover that coconut milk wreaks major havoc in my system.  Who knows what that's about.

That's the scoop to date.  Hoping I'll feel like myself very, very soon!  My family hopes so too.

p.s.  If I ever figure out what caused all this, I'll divulge.  The suspects right now are birth control pills and diet drinks, both of which I have consumed in large quantities in recent years.  I suggest staying away from both.

May 06, 2013

hear me roar

One day this week during a breakfast of these muffins, boiled eggs, and chopped melon, the six of us discussed male and female roles in lion prides. Typical breakfast conversation.

Bright wanted to know why lionesses do all the hunting while the male lion stays behind to guard the cubs.  The roles seemed somewhat reversed to him.

Zion suggested that the daddy lion, being the strongest adult in the pride, needs to stay at home to protect the children from hyenas and other such dangers.

Daniel suggested that the ladies do the hunting because the males can't be bothered with it. You have my permission to roll your eyes.  I did.

I said, "I'll tell you how it is. Female lions are the ones who think, 'Hmm, meal time will be here before we know it, and all of these romping offspring of ours will be hungry.  I better put some ground beef on the counter to thaw, or start simmering some sauce, or go grab an antelope by the neck.'  Whereas male lions lay around napping in the tall grass until their growling bellies wake them and they grunt, 'What's for dinner?'  That's how it is."

Roar ;)