Thursday, August 21, 2014

house rules and wrapping things up

Thursday morning at The Rice Ranch, and lots going on.

So much to say, so little time.

We start school in less than two weeks, which for us doesn't involve a whole lot of preparation as far as clothes shopping, new lunch boxes (do people even buy those anymore ??) or school supplies ...which I consider some of the perks of homeschooling.

 Aside from ordering some new workbooks and hitting the Dollar Tree up for a few new pencils, we're pretty much good to go as far as our curriculum goes. We are still going to be using Time4Learning this year and supplementing with ACE Word Building and Bible Reading, as well as using some new writing curriculum I found through Amazon. And as always, lots and lots of reading. Yay for the public library ! Oh and my SIL sent me a link to free history videos by Michael Medved yesterday, and we registered in the nick of time. We're set.

Not so "perky", however : we will start being a little more strict about bedtimes. I am a total night owl, and I can happily indulge that habit during our long summer break ... but all good things must come to an end, at least for nine months of the year here. Back to "early to bed and early to rise" and all that stuff, come September 1st.

 Boo, hiss.

Meanwhile, summer is racing to an end, and we are cramming as much fun into August as is humanly possible. Trips to the city pool, library visits, late nights with our adult kids and grandkids, pear picking and jam making, and everything in between... lots of fun as the count down to school begins.

Oh, and that happy little baby right there ? I am thrilled to announce that Hayden has completely outgrown his needy stage, and has magically transformed into the most contented, go-with-the-flow child on the planet, world without end, amen.

No, really.

It's all unicorn and rainbows at the Rice Ranch.

... until you refuse to give him your ice cream ...

Other important events ....

... our grapes are turning red. Actually, purple. I was truly worried that they were going to be green grapes, and I do not like green grapes. I ate about 127 of them as a child in one sitting and had violent stomach palpitations afterwards for days. (I'm trying to use medical terms here, however inaccurate, because it sounds nicer than "I barfed for days.")

Anyhoot - I'm glad my grapes are purple.

We have about 4 billion of them on our arbor right now ... or is it trellis ? ...

...(that wooden thing with vines all over it under the window there) .... so we will attempt grape jelly in the fall.  (And no, there will not be any wine tasting parties in the backyard - we're teetotalers y'all.)

More exciting news ...

...we got a bed.

About two years ago we finally took the plunge and switched from a queen sized mattress to a king. Best decision of our lives. Well, next to giving our lives to Jesus twenty-nine years ago. But it's a close second.

When you have nine children living at home, and half of them like to sleep in your bed, a king sized bed is truly a worthy investment.

Okay, I jest - maybe only one or two children still call our bed "theirs", but that's enough to warrant an extra foot or so of mattress, wouldn't you agree ? (And all the co-sleeping families screamed a hearty AMEN.)

SO almost two years ago we switched mattresses to a king but could not afford at the time to get an actual bed. Well, not the one I wanted, anyway.

I have been praying for allllllllll these months for a Cherry Wood King Sleigh Bed.

I just typed those words in two seconds flat, because my fingers know exactly where to go ... having typed them into Craigslist's search bar approximately 565 days in a row.

Two weeks ago, I typed them again, hit "search", prayed for the umpteenth billion time and !!! There was a gorgeous, reasonably priced Cherry Wood King Sleigh Bed, waiting just for me.

And there was a lovely little table that matched - EXACTLY the size and style I had written down on my prayer/want list - in the ad as well.

Sam-the-man (he should have been named Jacob for his bargaining skills) made a phone call and negotiated a bit, and today we are the proud owners of a bedroom set. Praise God !!! And  praise Craig, for having the genius to start an online list for cheapskates bargain hunters like me.

A few more photos, and then I have laundry to attack. Story of my life, but hey, the people in my house insist on wearing clothes, so ...

... Lily was selected to be a brand rep for Jude & Fi on Instagram .... check out their sweet hair clips on Etsy if you don't do Instagram - we LOVE how well they stay in !! And they are cute to boot.

And speaking of cute - and totally wonderful ...

... Miss Abigail Joy got baptized last Sunday night.

 She gave the sweetest testimony, and she made this decision all on her own. We are SO proud of our girl, and her desire to live for Jesus.

In case you are wondering what we believe in regards to baptism, it's very simple : it's an outward demonstration of an inward decision to live for the Lord. We don't believe baptism "saves" you, but we do it as a public profession of our faith ... and we let our kids make that decision themselves, so that it is truly their decision, and not ours. We believe in dedicating them as infants to the Lord, and we do that in a special ceremony during a church service. But that just means the responsibility is on us as parents, to raise our kids with Biblical standards and instill in them a heart for God. Whereas baptism is a decision they each make to personally surrender their lives to Jesus. I think it's important for kids to come to these decisions on their own, so that they really own them.

This probably deserves a blogpost all to itself, but just a little mention here : if you grow up in the Rice home, you abide by our rules. Which means, you attend church when we do, you participate in church services like we do (Sunday School, singing, listening to sermons, etc.) and you go with the flow.

I've heard people refer to their childhood as "having religion crammed down their throats", and I think that's a sad way to view things. If you ask any one of my kids, they will tell you that they do what we do because they love it.

We don't cram - we fill.

We fill our home with the word of God, with lots of rules and lots of love and lots of church and lots of Jesus - and when they leave here and venture out on their own, they have their own decisions to make in life. We can't choose their paths for them in life, but for the 18 or so years we have them, we absolutely will fill them with everything we have as far as the things of God go.

And it is a beautiful thing to me that my almost-twelve year old asked us to be dunked for Jesus :)

So there you have it - thoughts on bargain hunting, co-sleeping, homeschooling and theology, all wrapped up into one little blogpost. Because I'm random like that.

And now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with my laundry room to keep ...

Happy End of Summer, peeps !!


Danielle said...

Love you Patti! And love this post! And love the sign! Where'd you get it???

Patti said...

Michael's on clearance !

Joy said...

Love this!!! We are them same with regards to baptism, dedication and (hopefully) filling versus cramming.

Also, I have only four kids (want more, hubby doesn't... yet... still praying...), but last fall we made the switch to a king-size bed, and wow, has it made a difference!! It's simply marvelous!! :-)

crystalkupper said...

We have that exact same bed! It was a wedding present from my inlaws a decade ago and we still love it!

Grammi Faith said...

All I want for Christmas is a jar of pear jam. I'm just saying....

As usual I love the pictures and reading your words of wisdom.

Love you, cannot wait till Thanksgiving.

Rochelle said...

YAY Abigail! Awesome!

Annabell said...

Wow.. Congratulations Abigail! How old are u? I gave my life to Jesus Christ when I was 1o years old and got baptized at the age of 11! I did backslide and one point... But I went to a botcamp in Las Vegas and God saved me a true conviction upon my life! I have now been saved for a solid year.!! Don't ever turn away from God Abigail! God has a really big plan for your life!! Do yall go to the Prescott Conference? I am going to conference in July! Maybe I will get to meet you there!! That would be awesome!!

Shauna said...

yay for girls choosing baptism! My oldest Clarisse just chose to be baptized a few weeks ago all of her own accord. She is only 7 but she was very clear on what she was choosing and why. So proud of these girls! And for parents sharing the love of Christ! xoxo

Stef said...

I cried so many happy tears reading this post, for various reasons! You are truly a God-send to my social media world and I hope to meet you someday :)