December 29, 2016

Every year

I remember so clearly our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Rupp.

That was the Christmas he presented me with the handmade cedar bed he'd been working on behind my back. That was the Christmas I gave him the crude quilt I'd made for him.

That was when the farmhouse on Doe Run Trail still teemed with life, it's blue-painted kitchen brimming with baskets of tea cookies and tins of thins. Vintage lights blinked on-and-off. Flour fairly flew from the shortening-smeared fingers of my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law, as Turner Classic Movies played "It's a Wonderful Life" and Daniel and Philip stuffed their faces with nutballs, sausage balls, and fudge.

That kitchen is dark now. The house is quiet. The land is overgrown.

How time has flown.

Which brings us to this Christmas, our 15th together. Much has changed - and much hasn't. I still love him every bit as much as I did when I made that quilt. More in fact. And he still stuffs his face with sausage balls. Christmas comes around every year, generation after generation, reminding us that a child was born.

A child who lived, died, and came back to life. To give us life. Forever.

Here we are decorating the tree. Another potted number, but this time an ACTUAL evergreen. The old paper chain finally had to be replaced this year. The paper cutter was put to good use on red, green, and white card stock (and my hand - ouch!)

My three younger kids were in a home school choir this Christmas. They learned how to use their voices for something other than giggling, squealing, and making engine sounds.

All four kids were in a little pageant with the rest of their Proverbs Club. Jubilee, being the only girl in the club, was obviously the virgin mother. Her brothers would not let her use one of her baby dolls, since all of her dolls are girls. Zion provided a (male) puppet to wear the swaddling clothes.

Daniel had two huge papers due this Christmas, so he spent a lot of time writing by the Christmas tree while wearing these ridiculous noise-canceling headphones from his toolbox (in order to drown out those giggling and squealing sounds I mentioned earlier).

Advent is a huge part of our Christmas. The kids love advent. I mean, it's just candles and the real story of Christmas, which they knew by heart before they could read, but still they get so excited about it. It just goes to show that our craving for a perfect king is greater than our craving for stuff.

But of course we do get stuff. And give stuff.

Jubi spent almost all her "Lady and the Panda" money on gifts for other people. Hashtag generous.

Gene wanted an Ollie more than anything else in the world, so an Ollie is what he got.

He also got a sweet deck of playing cards from Uncle Kody and Aunt Carrie in Indiana. The cards are made of high quality plastic so they won't rip (nor get soggy with mud on Scout campouts).

Zion was thrilled about his first pocketknife (inscribed with the words Z.D. Rupp).

I am in love with my new 9-person waterproof tent from America.

Speaking of being in love...

The day after Christmas we were exhausted. I couldn't even lift a knife to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So we went downstairs to the dumpling joint just outside our gate. Everybody's favorite.

Another wonderful Christmas gone by.