Sunday, April 24, 2016

10 years, 5 kids, and a few mortgages later

We had the entire restaurant part of the bar to ourselves. In the room next door, the music blared, voices roared, smoke rings rose to the ceiling. You'd think our quiet side was the lonely one, just the two of us in a booth made for 6, but alas... something told me theirs was way more the lonlier indeed.

I sat studying his face in the most recent photo taken of us, just earlier that evening. "Sometimes I wonder," a lump formed in my throat, "if that sparkle in your eye is gone."

"What do you mean?" he asked curiously.

"I mean, I look at this picture and I wonder if that's a proud and smug look on your face, or if it says 'Holy hell, what have I done? I have 5 kids and this lady still standing next to me. Where did my life go?' "

He laughed and made a joke. And we moved on to something else. Soon it was time to go. I started to excuse myself to the ladies room, and something in his voice prompted me to pause when I arose.

"I will say this...." He stared ahead, nodding ever so slightly. "I've been to war a couple of times..... I've helped bring 4 of my kids into this world.....There's just not much that really excites me anymore..." He narrowed his eyes thoughtfully at me.

I nodded. I knew what he meant. What does one do for excitement once he's been to the moon and back?

"...But YOU excite me. You still do."

He took the breath right out of my chest.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Grace is no accident

I write only because so much grace has been extended to me, I can't keep silent, even though I don't want to relive it or even really talk about it. Praise the Lord everyone is ok, but I'm pretty sure my car is totaled. I was taking JJ to a birthday party. The babies were with me, but the 2 middles were at home thank God. It was my fault. I didn't see her until it was too late. I was turning left into a neighborhood. I don't know how I didn't see her, but I just didn't. I think maybe the hill cast a shadow and the position of the sun had a part. I had sunglasses on, her car was black.  I think I was looking ahead of her at the top of the hill for oncoming cars. I don't know. When I saw her I knew she was going to hit me so I punched the gas to avoid JJ and Dawson getting hit head on, which worked but the impact was still hard and scary. She had no time to react, so she hit with full force going maybe 45-50 mph.
When the accident happened, Jesus made His presence known immediately and in so many ways. My JJ. If ever you have an emergency, I'm sorry for him, but I hope he is with you. He is a calm, soothing, rational, clear-headed, and strong person in an emergency situation. He immediately starts thinking about what needs to be done. My Vannah. After she calmed down and we were waiting for the police, I held her in my lap. All of a sudden, a heavy cloud of guilt fell over me and I broke into tears. Fire trucks, sirens, lights, crying mommy, strangers, a blaring horn from the other vehicle .... she had every reason to be afraid, nervous, confused, hysterical. But God put a song in her heart and she sang softly instead. "Jesus loves me, this I know ...." My Trinity family. One phone call to a friend and she was on switchboard duty, contacting 2 others nearby who showed up promptly to help wrangle my kids and clean out the car and take us home. Our pastor and friend came to our house after a full day of driving to and from Texas, just to see us face to face and pray with us and over us. The lady in the other vehicle. She came and held my hand and talked sweetly to my kids as we waited for police and fire. Highway patrol, Owasso Fire, Wrecker Service. All empathic. Our insurance company. USAA is so good to us. Period. I'm sure they have every reason to be callused and business-like, but they seem genuinely concerned and eager to help. I wonder if "servant's heart" is a requirement for a job there? My husband. I keep asking him to chew me out, but he just won't do it. He is the most gracious person I know. He just heaps grace upon grace on me. He takes care of all the details, he was on the phone with the insurance company as soon as we got home. He arranged the rental. He drove me to pick it up. Wouldn't it be so easy for him to say, "You were the one responsible, you get on the phone and handle it." But no. He takes care of me. I'm so thankful. Sick to my stomach about what happened and especially the what if's. But I thank God for all the ways that he showed up and ministered to me in the last 24 hours through people. He's real and He's here and He's willing and able to give grace in our time of need.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Get a toy for Dawson to play with

This morning I took Dawson into Savannah's room with me to get her out of bed. He crawled around exploring the space and the toys as I got her dressed. From where she was laying, she monitored and bossed his every move. Once finished, she stayed one step ahead of him, taking everything taking everything he reached for out of reach.

"No. No. No." She'd scold.

Me: Savannah, why don't you give him something he CAN play with.

Savannah: (blank stare )

Me: Go get Dawson a toy.

Savannah: (Blank stare)

Me: Can Dawson play with something?

Savannah: (Nods sweetly)

Me: What can he play with?

Savannah: (points to me ) Your lap.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Up and Down

Over the last few days, we've noticed  Savannah raising her arms in a little dance at random times and singing, "UP and down. UP and down." I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what song she is singing. It's obviously a song about opposites. She sings "up" in a high pitch and "down" in a low pitch. Do I sing a song to her about opposites? Is she hearing it on Sesame Street? On an app on my phone? In the nursery at church? I want to be invited to her little party, but I don't know the rest of the words! So last night watching music videos on You Tube, it dawned on me. She's not singing UP and down. She's singing UPTOWN! (Or maybe she IS, and it's her very first Ruttman Family Misheard Lyric... gasp! Sniff, sniff, tear... special moment... so proud.)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Super Bowl 2015: Just Another Excuse To Hang Out With Family

Super Bowl Sunday. Packed house. Excellent food and pretty good beer. My hands were free and I had just finished a most delicious hot bowl of beer chili. How on earth did this mother of five just manage to do that, I wondered? The conversations and laughter and children’s squealing melted together and faded into the background as I took a moment to soak it all in. The baby was being entertained by a couple of the teenagers nearby. The one who held him made cheerful eye contact with him and responded tenderly to all of his cues. I became curious and looked around. Sure enough, none of the babies were being held by their own parent, except one who was still pretty new. All the others were being tended to by somebody else. One mother instinctively grabbed a tissue just in time to wipe the nose of another mother’s toddler as he strode by. My toddler weaved through the crowd, going from one person to the next, pointing to whatever appetizing thing she discovered on each person’s plate, dazzling them with her cheesy grin and signs for “please”. Someone picked her up and took her to fill a plate of her own without so much as a glance my way. My two middle boys, along with several others around their age, found plenty to keep themselves busy upstairs: toys, costumes, you name it. But mostly they just wanted to play together. They chased each other in and out of rooms, thundered down the stairs, out the door, back in. Someone warned them all to slow down and be careful around the babies. My oldest bounced around, equally as engaged in conversation by the adults as he was in wrestling with the children and brain games with the other kids his age. Those who cared about the game kicked back in the living room, shouting at the tv from time to time and swapping sports stories that morphed into stories about life. Those who didn’t care about the game gathered in the kitchen, connecting lives, sharing experiences, and building community, one conversation at a time.

People often ask why we chose Trinity. Here is just one reason among many, and it’s not even the most important one: our pastor and his wife opened their home on Super Bowl Sunday, and it felt just like going home to hang out with family. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Savannah and mascara

Grinning from ear to ear, she stumbled into the living room and handed me my mascara saying, "Oh! Eye!" Sadly, it looks as if she got her aim from her mother... as well as her coordination. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

On Ped Egg

JJ, picking up my ped egg and rubbing his foot with it: What's this for?

Me: If you don't know what is for, how do you know what to do with it?

JJ: Well, I saw "ped" written on the side, and ped means foot, so I just assumed...

Me: Look at you! I didn't know you knew what "ped" meant!

JJ: It's common knowledge, Mom. Everyone knows that.

Mom: Oh yeah? Vannah! What does "ped" mean?

Vannah (like, duh): My bobo!!