July 06, 2017

The twelve year old boy

Gene: "What I hate most are weddings, haircuts, and art."

His siblings: "What do you love most, then?"

Gene: "Video games, soft drinks, and camping."

He had a little run-in with a mountain.

July 03, 2017

Why was 6 afraid of 7?

Because 7 ate 9.

Get it? 7,8,9

Brave turned 8 in June, and boy did his birthday go out with a bang!

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Let me start from the beginning.

He woke up on June 13 to a traditional Daniel Rupp decorating job.

Pardon the clean laundry chair. Does anyone not have a clean laundry chair?

Brave's nickname, from Daniel. Sing it to the tune of Caterpillar, Caterpillar.
He got a remote control boat!
We grabbed some of his friends and went to the park to try it out.
It works great!

Then we rode the trike to Peter's Tex-Mex for dinner, per Brave's request. We brought Zeb along, of course.

Gene and I are in the front-facing bench seat, behind the camera.

That night we watched Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark on the projector in our roof room.

Then a few days later we had his party. He requested laser tag. He and his friends (and his siblings) had a TON of fun.

Not to mention the dads.

Daniel and Moose, bonding in combat.

Brave was a little shy at first.

But Zeb's enthusiasm made up for it.

When everybody started suiting up, Brave got more and more excited!

Even little sister got into it! Look at those pink nails.

Oh yeah, the game is on!

Smoke bombs were just an extra 20 kuai.
Worth every jiao.

The womenfolk enjoyed ourselves, too.

But not as much as the menfolk.

And definitely not as much as the kids.

Jubilee is at Brave's right hand. Always. 

Here's to 8 years of Brave Ransom. What a boy he is! The spitting image of his father. The brother favored to grow the biggest (we shall see about that). He's our easy going, cuddly, good lookin' tough guy who makes a friend wherever he goes. And we are proud to call him ours. Happy Birthday, Berv Derv.

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!