Monday, October 31, 2011

As spooky as we get

You know what's scary?  A momma that doesn't get regular showers.  
 But you know what else is scary?  How much I love my Zeke.  
 



Friday, October 28, 2011

A good roux

I remember the first time I made a roux.  I was in college (do you remember this, Lisa)?  It took us so many hours to get a good gumbo going.

So many hours.

Nowadays, I can throw the skillet on in the morning and whip up a batch of gumbo in no time flat.

I think living life well is kind of like making a good roux.

As you stand watch over your life and endure the heat that comes with living as a fallen person in a fallen world, you look to your instructions and with great care and intention, you stir and mix and do things on purpose.

Then, at the end, you can present your life as a just-right gumbo of love and truth and service to the One who gave you all the ingredients and the gift of the opportunity to do something at the stove in the first place.

As you persevere until then, you press on in the hope of that great meal with Him.

Yep.  Life's like making a good roux.

You've got to follow directions, you've got to watch, you must have the right ingredients.

As for me, I need to continue to acquaint myself with the recipe as I commune with the master Chef so that my living well becomes as easy as whipping out the next batch on an October morning for some road weary friends.

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love."  I Corinthians 16:13-14

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ode to Karen


I used to throw her on the back of my banana seat bicycle with a blue pom pom atop my head as a wig while pretending to be "Bubba Blue Hair," the absent minded (or maybe intoxicated) bus driver.  Then we'd purposely crash and fall off and laugh.  

And now, my little sister cracks me up.  




Here's to you, KK!

You win "BEST FACES AWARD."

Congratulations.

Second place might go to your hubby, WWD.  I've never seen him make that big of a grin.  I guess being around Jack Chaney just makes you all giddy.

Happens to me all the time.


Honorable mention:  cousin Sarah.

If only I had a blue pom pom and a Huffy, I probably could have joined in the zaniness.

In any case, I enjoyed the laughs.

Thanks, sister.



Let them be little


Seven sweet little girls for a perfectly sweet seven-year-old birthday sleepover graced our home this past Friday night.  I haven't had time to go through all the pictures yet to tell the whole fantastical story, but this week's photo challenge at iheartfaces.com is "let them be little," and even though I don't have time to link and enter, I was still struck by how this picture fits right in

Because it was little girls being little girls at its best.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Honored

my sisters Jennifer and Karen, me, and my brother Jonny

"Children,

my aunt DD, my grandmother, and my uncle Karl, my dad not pictured but with us again one Day

 obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  


Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on earth." Ephesians 6:1-3


My grandmother was honored yesterday with what Jack likes to call "The Best 90th Birthday Party We've Ever Been To."  My aunt and uncle organized a warm and fun and memorable event complete with crazy performances complete with ridiculous-looking costumes, 


a "this-is-my-life" slideshow, 


 a few serenades,


a hymn sing, a BBQ dinner, all kinds of dancing with everything from the Boot Scootin' Boogie to the YMCA (of course), and a fabulous cake made by my talented big sister Jennifer.  


Anita Morris Dent, you are one amazing lady! 

I can only hope I'll be leading the congo line on my 90th birthday.   

Happy Birthday, Memaw!  We love you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baby Mac

Curls and lashes and eleven months of a sweet little boy.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mariposas


Butterflies and balloons are swimming in Anna Grace's Lavender Lake in honor of her seventh birthday. 


How very bittersweet.  Lovely and fun, but bittersweet still.  My baby girl is growing up. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sarah to Stephenson

For all your celebration photography needs in Northwest Louisiana, I HIGHLY recommend Sarah Baker Photography.  Sarah Baker herself is (among other things) talented, funny, a whiz at the computer, and very kind. Like come-over-to-your-house-on-her-lunch-break-to-help-you-download-Photoshop-actions kind.  


Thanks, Sarah, for helping me be all that I can be!  What a great friend you are.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

The helpful Swedish guy and the meth lab

Since Jack brought it up in the comment section of yesterday's post, I thought I would let you the blog reader in on our pre-concert experience.

Long story short, it was getting late and we hadn't eaten dinner.  Our only hope, it seemed, was an unmarked building that seemed to have people inside, but you couldn't really tell because the windows were tinted.  Maybe it was a restaurant?  I thought it could be anything.  What if it was a meth lab, I kept suggesting?  To me, the possibilities were endless and mostly on the spectrum of dangerous to disgusting.

But Jack was determined to get his grumpy wife some sustenance.

So what did he do, but march me right up the door and open it for me as if he always opens the door for me and gestures me in with an up-turned hand and raised eyebrows.

"How could he?"  I thought.  He's escorting me in to the gates of hell- and he's making me go first.

 It turns out that it was a restaurant (lucky for Jack) but since they were completely booked for an hour, the helpful Swedish host directed us down the street with a smile and wished us well.

But I was so mad.  Not only was I still hungry at 8:00 pm (gasp!), but I was treated like a yellow canary in a coal mine!

So I fumed for a little while, but as we stood in line at the Palladium, Jack helped a sister out.

I was mad, he pointed out, because it had been a few hours since I had eaten.  It was such a burden standing in line to be entertained by a great band on a date alone with my husband, right?

Oh yeah.

Not a burden.  Not even close.

Life is full of little trials in little places that probably don't add up to much, but I consider them practice. If you're faithful in the small places, you'll be faithful in the big, right?

I think my biggest fear in life is that I won't measure up- that I won't persevere to the end.  If I get mad when I can't eat right away, what will happen if I can't buy food?  If I can't be patient and kind with my children, how can I be patient and kind with my enemies who Jesus told me I should pray for and love?

And it's true.  On my own, I will fail.  Always.

But the good news is that "He will keep [me] strong to the end, so that [I] will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God, who has called [me] into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful."  I Corinthians 1:8-9

Apart from Him, I can do nothing, but with Him, all things are possible.

Hallelujah.

If you've been blessed in any way by me, you've really been blessed by Him.

If you've seen me in a yellow-canary-in-the-meth-lab kind of moment, well... that's just me trying to be my old self again.  Forgetting that I'm a new me.

Turns out, Jack bought me a delicious chicken wrap inside the venue.  We had a blast that night and the Lord truly blessed our night together.

Let's just hope that next time, I'll remember how much I don't even deserve the breath in my lungs and that I'll pull through the empty stomach with a smile and a thankful heart.

And for poor Jack's sake, let's hope that next time I don't become the drama canary of the century.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Play on


The Avett Brothers * Palladium in Dallas, Texas * heart broken over not being able to bring my camera * shuffled in a crowd of men with glasses and plaid shirts and girls in cowboy boots * basking in the blue glow of the lights, laughing with Jack before things got started * moved to tears with opening song * concerned Texans that Jack was wearing a Detroit Tigers hat (LSU? Oh... that's ok.  You're cool.) * "I wish you'd see yourself as beautiful as I see you" * Jack's whoop at a certain lyric, then winking at me citing the eternal perspective of the song * "my, my heart like a kick drum.  my, my love like a voice" * happy happy dancing with my eyes closed * wild Asian man with long silky black hair playing the cello, breaking a string and frantically repairing, then back to swinging his cello and his hair * nod to Merle Haggard * "say love, say for me love" *  smoked gouda popcorn and an amazing night with my favorite person


"If music be the food of love, play on."  
William Shakespeare

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Holidays - Repelican edition


Christmas came early for Jack this year.  We are now the proud new owners of a Repelican (here's where I wish I could link you to our artist friend but can't because the Repelican has not yet created its own website but if you go to the men's bathroom at Wine Country on Line Avenue, you might just see a Repelican or two).

I can't begin to describe what this gem means to us on this kind of forum, but if you come over for dinner sometime, we can stand and stare and admire and smile as I explain all the ins and outs.

Merry Christmas to us!  

Flashback Friday: 2007



Oh my word.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October

 It's October.  And even though the leaves haven't changed and I still sweat walking the half mile to St. Marks and back, October is glorious, is it not?  

I'm with Anne (of Green Gables):  "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.   It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it?"

Now, Shreveport is no Prince Edward Island in the fall, but while Anne has her royal crimson maple branches and dark red and bronzy green wild cherry trees, I have a list of my October loves myself.  
 First up is the Red River Revel. This year, Anna Grace and I enjoyed her first ferris wheel ride together.  It was all dark except for the blinking carnival lights and the air was cool, especially as we rounded the top and got the wind in our hair and the butterflies in our stomachs.  It was so dreamy.  

Secondly, October is birthday central at our house.  (BTW- the birthday party at Bistro Byronz was a great success- I am SO THANKFUL for those of you who could make it and even those who couldn't but still donated).  Come to think of it, some of my favorite people were born in October:  Anna Grace, my Memaw, my Aunt DD, both grown up Rupps, and of course... Nora aka NTG born six days before me.  Birthday fun.
  I love the hope you get from that early morning coolness.  After a scorching Louisiana summer, any hint of change makes me a little giddy I must admit.  Oh, and then there are the mums of course.  Chrysanthemums.  
 And this year, which may be a little different from other years, I am really thankful this October for my children's backyard sanctuary.  August and September's temperature and bugs keep us out of it, but my kids have discovered its wonders with the cooler weather.  Sure, I may have to give them more than one bath a day.  And yes, Asher and Zoe may very well be working on digging a rather large hole in the dirt.  Of course it adds to my laundry load.  So what?  They piddle and tootle and are mostly content in their little backyard paradise and I am CRAZY grateful for that.  


And then, of course, there's all things pumpkin flavored, but that goes without saying, right?  

I'm so with you, Anne with an "e."  

I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Worshipful wagging


"For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he's a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon."
from Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart regarding his cat Jeoffry

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
St. Francis of Assisi
Zoe received a blessing this past week at Anna Grace's school among all the other dogs and lizards and turtles and hamsters and even some animals of the stuffed variety on Blessing of the Animals Day.    

She's such a good little puppy and I often think about how she praises God by just wagging her tail and pouncing and doing all the things she was made to do.

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord."  Psalm 150:6


Good dog.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lots of life


These past couple of days, I've spent a lot of time celebrating life.  

Baby shower number one honored my dear and old friend Lesley (we've known each other since preschool). She's the pregnant beauty pictured above.  She is beautiful and joyful and graceful and always smiling. 


And before I crossed the river for Saturday's baby shower, I snapped a few hundred shots of this sweet baby girl and her momma and daddy who, as a side note, are absolutely hilarious people. And as my friend Heather would say, this baby is so sweet you just want to eat her up.  She has this little mouth and perfect smile that is just contagious.

And then there was a shower on Sunday for one of our Sunday school class members.  And just so you know, my friend Jennifer did these little bags as favors filled with PINK POPCORN.  "About to pop!"  So clever, right?  She's a crafty genius.
Speaking of genius, my other friend whose house we invaded had all kinds of baby pewter hanging from her chandelier.  No, this picture is not out of a magazine.  This is just how my crew rolls, I guess.  They are some pretty talented ladies, I tell you.

Thus ends my weekend full of birth day celebrations and tomorrow begins my Monday full of birthday celebrations!

And don't forget if you're local to come on by Bistro Byronz tomorrow to our jubilation to celebrate even more life by supporting the Rupp family!

Yay for life!