May 20, 2018

Back on the homestead

We are on furlough! For four months now we will meet with the people who have joined us in what we do, update them with pictures and stories, meet more people who like what we do, and eat a lot of Chick-Fil-A. And drink a lot of Sonic cherry limeades.

And do lots of other American stuff we've been missing out on.

Because we're back.

Back at Heritage Church.

Back with cousin Eliana! Can you believe she's only six weeks older than Zion?!

Back with Pastor Wes. Look at these two men of God and their platters of meat.

Back with Momo.

Back with KK.

Back with Uncle Philip.

I'm back in the kitchen with my sister-in-law, whipping up some yellow curry paste.

Daniel has been reunited with American food.

He was also reunited with his high school graduating class, 20 years on!

Tyler Wood, Joseph Hurst, and Daniel Rupp. Friends since they had cartoons on their underwear.
I, on the other hand, haven't been around as long (though almost). but I still got to be in the pics.

He was the handsomest guy there, that's for sure.

The kids have been reunited with Arkansas wildlife.

BB guns are back in their hands.

As are blow guns (real blow guns with darts, handmade by Cherokee people).

Daniel's hands are back on his bow.

Man and boy alike have had their hands on the hatchet.

And I've had my hand on the salad tongs at Olive Garden!

And in the soil of our own little garden. Look at those cute Arugula sprouts!

Yes, we are back. Back in the land of the free. Back in the land of our forefathers.

Daniel, in particular, is back on the land that his forefathers homesteaded in 1872, whose graves still dot the meadows, and whose fieldstone house foundations still hold shape deep in the woods.

May 19, 2018

And we have a Gene-ager

He was born among friends and family in a birthing room in Kentucky, on a sunny spring day in 2005. They placed him in my arms and we gave him the name Bright Eugene Rupp. Happy tears spilled from my eyes. He was so solid and warm, breathing in and out, so complete. Another life, another person in this world, and this person was mine. I was now a mother.

Before he was out of diapers he was memorizing the countries on the world map. Before he was five he was addressing adults like equals. Before he was nine he had dropped his first name and embraced his "more sensible" middle name, Eugene. We've joked that he is a grown up trapped in a little boy's body.

And now he's no longer a little boy. Now he is 13. It's as if he was meant to be this age all along. The calendar is finally catching up to his personality and his heart. This young man of ours is the genuine article, a fine leader in the making. Did we ever think he'd be anything but? We're very proud of our son, our smart and witty, pragmatic, sincere, and staunchly independent Gene.

Happy Birthday, Eugenius! I love you with all my heart. - Mama