Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Skinny Little Pumpkin Patch Post

You know that moment when you're talking to a friend, and suddenly they start telling you - in detail - the exact story they've told you before ? And you start to interrupt the story to remind them, but then you stop yourself, just in case it's a different story with the same beginning ... and also you don't want to embarrass them ?

I think I've experienced that a hundred times - only it's me telling the story. And then halfway through telling my story, I see the person I'm talking to half-smiling like I have food stuck in my teeth. So I self-consciously run my tongue over the front of my mouth, to make sure there's not a big piece of spinach there, when suddenly the lights come on and I realize - it's not the spinach, it's my story. I've told it before, and now I look like my old neighbor, Mrs. Krebbs, who would tell the same story to me and my brother and sister probably two or three times in the same week and never even realize she did it. (She also had a large piece of corn stuck between her two front teeth at our dinner table one night, while she was re-telling a story - I remember my siblings and I trying so hard not to look at each other during dinner, lest we spit out our chicken in a fit of spontaneous laughter. But that's a different story for a different blogpost. Unless I've told you that one already ??)

ANYHOOO.......

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure every October on my blog there's a post entitled "My Big Fat Pumpkin Patch Post". And although the pictures might be different, and the children in the pictures are a little bit younger, the story is probably very similar in each post ...

"It was the perfect weather for the pumpkin patch" ... "My kids made crude jokes about odd-shaped pumpkins resembling different body parts" .... "Sam wheeled and dealed with the owner of the pumpkin patch, convincing her that because we have so many kids, we should be getting the group discount normally reserved for school field trips" ... and finally - "Lily plus boots plus pumpkins equals the cutest pictures on the planet."

Or something like that.

So instead of retelling the same story today, I'm just going to post my pictures with a few corny captions, and you won't have to read along pretending it's the first time you've ever heard me talk about how much I love pumpkin patches. And thankfully, you won't be able to tell if I have food stuck in between my teeth while I do it. (Because I'm not joining the Vlogging craze any time soon, for that precise reason ... among a host of others.)

And also - in case you didn't notice - I changed the title of my blogpost, just so you know it really IS a different post than the previous five years.


Here we go ....



Noah Stephen


The Lilybird



my two cuties



lily, hayden, and unnamed child that Kenzie babysits



kenzie and her new friend




Sorry, but all I see here is BACON !!! Times two.


this is a turkey. not to be confused with a rooster. see my instagram for details.


I love pumpkin patches !!! and cool barns.

hayden loves caprisuns





^^^^ favorite picture of my husband ever.




The Rebel Rice kid  ^^^





Caleb's pick




^^^^ He picked it out himself :)




SEE WHAT I MEAN ???? Lily plus boots plus pumpkins. Swoon.





Kenzie took this picture, and Tyler was at the post office getting his passport. He's going to Israel next month with a tour group from our church, and we won't discuss my anxieties about that or we will ruin my Skinny Little Pumpkin Patch Post. Jason and Josiah and their beautiful families made their own trips to the pumpkin patch, and we won't talk about how kids have to go and ruin my family pictures by growing up and making their own fun memories .... for the same reason we won't talk about Tyler's impending trip to the land of suicide bombers and headline-worthy events like that.

No, we are not going to talk about that here on my happy little Pumpkin Patch Post, okay ??? Don't even try to make me do it. This post is like Disneyland - leave all your troubles at the gates, just come on in and have fun and smile and eat an overpriced candied apple or two.

Whew.

Moving on ....




Here are just a few of my favorite pictures from last week. Most of these were on Instagram - if you missed the post a few pages back, I explain there why I went private on IG and reduced my audience to a fraction of what it was. I was overwhelmed by the kind response there and requests to follow... if you would like to follow there again, read THIS POST, because I'm not retelling that same story twice either. But THANK YOU to all those who left the kindest comments on that post ... you all bless our socks off !



















seriously - she is cuteness on steroids !!


And now for the two blog features I promised to add (you thought I forgot, didn't you ??)



PATTI'S PICKS :





If you've been reading here for any length of time, you know my addiction to Jude & Fi clips on Etsy.

These clips are not only darling and unique, but they actually stay in Lily's fine hair better than any other clips we have used. That's because they are made with wig clips that grab onto the hair without causing any damage, and secure the clip tightly. They come in a huge variety of colors and styles, and if I could, I would purchase every single one of them.




The creator of Jude & Fi clips is a sweet mama named Shannon - I met her via blogging when our girls were just babies, and her Fiona shares Lily's extra chromosome. I love supporting moms who work from home, and I love that every clip I purchase helps Shannon's business venture ... check out Jude & Fi today for these adorable hair clips.


ABBI'S EATS:


Abigail made these amazing Princess Vanilla Cupcakes with Decadent Chocolate Frosting last week and they were TO DIE FOR. Literally, I think three of my kids killed each other fighting over the last one. 

CUPCAKE RECIPE :


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper cupcake liners. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat the butter and milk in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter has melted. Beat the sugar, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla with an electric mixer in a large bowl until it has thickened slightly and is lighter in color. Gradually beat in the flour mixture on low speed until just incorporated. Slowly pour in the hot milk, beating until just combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.

FROSTING RECIPE :


  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.

*Note : Before passing them out to your family, make sure they are evenly distributed, without any leftovers. We cannot be held responsible for any deaths that result from sibling cupcake wars. You've been warned.

A few more pictures before I sign off - it's Sunday night and I hear my pillow calling me LOUD AND CLEAR. 







Tomorrow is another level two ultrasound out of town . This one is the big echocardiogram that will determine if our Baby Bunny has any heart defects. Please be praying that all goes well ... we are so excited to have a chance to see Madison again, and I will post an update as soon as time allows.

Here is my 24 week picture ...




Thank you again for all the love and prayers.

xoxo Patti

Monday, October 12, 2015

it was a beautiful day

 It's Monday night and fifteen minutes til my (self-imposed) bedtime.

I'm fading fast, and my brain cells for the day are all depleted ... I have just enough words left in my head to last through this post and then bedtime prayers, before the only sound I will be able to utter is zzzzzzz.

So I'll keep it short.

Caleb and I took Hayden on a walk through the trails in our neighborhood today.

We saw every color of the rainbow ... it was spectacular.




Rasberry Red ...


Opulant orange ...



Yummalicious yellow ...



...and her cousin, mellow yellow ...



Gorgeous gold ...



Marvelous moss green ...


 


Baby blue ....





Perfectly pink and eye-popping purple ...



... and wrinkly gray. (me, not Caleb.)




It was a beautiful day.


The End.


Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Gummy Frogs, Toddler Weaning, and Venison, Oh My !

 Hello blog friends - happy October !



Fall is in full swing here. In spite of the warm weather (still hitting the 80's every week !) the trees have made note of the calendar change and have begun turning their leaves. Vibrant greens are slowly being replaced with rich warm hues - pale yellow, dazzling gold, subtle purple and cheery red are on display for our neighborhood walks, and we are LOVING the beauty of it all.








Pay no attention to that little imp pictured above - his mother apparently didn't ever teach him the one about "don't run with sticks in your hands."





Our summer garden is gone, but that doesn't stop Bambi and friends from coming back to eat all the pears that have fallen off our trees. They've become such a familiar site in our backyard, that we've given up chasing them out. Next week we might have them over for dinner ... mwuahahahahaha ;)




Lily : Don't worry, Hayden. Mommy was just teasing when she said we were having Bambi and his friend for dinner.


 In all seriousness, we don't really care for venison here at The Rice Ranch. Strictly beef and chicken for us ....




... and bears. And worms. And fish (Swedish preferred.) And frogs - the bluer and juicier, the better.

Mmmmmmm.






A little bit of belated September news : Miss Abigail Joy became a teenager last month !!




opening a recipe book from Aunt Lori and Uncle Chris !


My little girl has blossomed into a beautiful young woman of God, and we are so incredibly proud of her for so many reasons. She has a passion for baking, and we are blessed DAILY with her creations in the kitchen... I do believe she is going to fulfill her dream of owning her own bakery some day.

Because of that, I decided to feature her on a regular basis on the blog from now on, because her gourmet goodness is just too good not to share. This section will be called Abbi's Eats - I will be posting pictures of her goodies along with the recipes for them - she mainly gets ideas off Pinterest, but she uses other recipe sites online for inspiration as well.

Yesterday she treated us to The Best Ever Apple Crisp - Sam and I promptly informed her that she will be making this weekly for the entire season of Fall. She actually got this recipe off my Pinterest boards, but the original recipe came from HERE.

My kitchen smelled divine when she was done baking - and dessert tasted as good as this picture looks !




THE BEST EVER APPLE CRISP :

Ingredients
    For the crumb topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, diced into small chunks
  • For the Apple filling:
  • 3-4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash of salt 

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine the crumb topping ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles small crumbs. Refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling.
  3. For the Apple Filling: In a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour until well blended. Add lemon juice, milk and vanilla and stir well. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour butter mixture over apples and toss to coat. Pour apple mixture into an 8x8-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and top is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream 


Another little blog regular I'd like to add is Patti's Picks.

I'm always excited when I find new products I love ... or books ... or songs ... and this is how weird I am : I always think "everyone needs to know about this !" I will routinely tell my family - "Seriously, you guys - I could do a commercial for this stuff " - when I really like something.


SOoooo.... here is the first installment of Patti's Picks. Drumroll pleeeeze ....


 


My sister-in-law sent me these goodies two months ago, "just because." Don't you just love when people send you things "just because" ?  Not because it's your birthday, or Christmas, or any other holiday - but just because they wanted to bless you ? I love when that happens ! Makes me feel so special :)

SO anyhoot, these products are AH-MAY-ZA-ZING. I use them almost every day when I get out of the shower- I forgot to include the bottle that is sitting in my shower, but it is just as good- it's an exfoliating gel for your feet, and it smells soooo yummy, and is so so wonderful. I use it on my feet at the end of every shower, then I dry off, step out, and immediately use these other products. My legs and feet feel like I just had a professional pedicure, and the feeling lasts for hours. And the fragrance in all these lotions is HEAVENLY. Very subtle and natural smelling, like you just walked out of a spa.

And for the record, I'm not getting paid to do this little blog commercial, I just really really love these products, and wanted to share them ... they would make great stocking stuffers for Christmas (hint hint if you are reading, Rice children) and even though I have no idea how much they cost, I can tell you they are worth every penny. The End.


Okay, moving on .... Kenzie and I treated Abigail to a night at the coast for her birthday. Well, we actually went a few days after her birthday, but still ... it was a Girls' Night Out at The Coast in honor of Abbi turning thirteen. As you can see from the pic, we had a little stow-away along. If anyone would like to know how The Great Weaning Project of 2015 is going ... here's the answer.

just look at the cute widdle look on him's face - "MAMA, THANK YOU FOR BRINGING ME ! I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT MY NYE NYE EVERY NIGHT".       

We went to fish and chips for dinner, and then stayed at the vacation home in Depoe Bay that we always stay at (gracious friends own it, and we are forever indebted to them for letting us stay there.)

It was just a quick trip, but I had so much fun with my three girlies - I can't believe that I'm going to have FOUR daughters next year !!! Quadruply blessed, that's what I am.




And even though he will probably have to have his lips cut off before he allows me to wean him, this little cutie has me wrapped around his finger as well ....


"Mama !!! I'm like a SHARK !!"

Just a few more pics from the past few weeks before I close ...



Trader Joe flowers- I guess you could also consider this Patti's Picks Part Two. They have the nicest varieties, and they are so affordable. Flowers just make everything happier, in my humble opinion.


And so do these little people ...


... my baby and my grandbabies, Norah Jane and Macie Blair. aren't they CUUUUUUTE ???




JUST LOOK AT THAT CUTENESS.  Tell me you could resist him putting those little chubby hands on each side of your face before bed each night while he smiles into your eyes and whispers, "Mama. Let's go nye nye now !" I should probably have weaned him when he was able to ask for cookies with his milk, but I told myself he was my last. Heheheheheh. Oops.

And speaking of my LAST. (And yes, I mean it this time- I'll be a month away from 48 when I deliver our little Bunny, I'm quite sure my baby making days are over after this pregnancy !




I posted this on Instagram* this week, and I wanted to repost it here.

(*Several of you have asked about my IG account, so I'll explain . In a nutshell, I had almost 10,000 followers there. Here on the blog you can moderate comments, but on IG you are unable to do so - you can delete afterwards if comments are rude or inappropriate, but the damage has been done. That's a lot of potential for haters to hate and for feelings to be hurt, etc. On top of that, I heard a reallllly good sermon on social media, and I felt like the best decision for me was to reduce my account to people whom I was familiar with, either through real life, or through comments over the years... so I deleted about 9,400 followers and made my IG account private. I realize I may have deleted a lot of people who have followed our family for years - I let people know ahead of time that they could come follow us here on the blog if they so chose. I have recently been accepting requests from people whose user ID I recognize there, or from people who email me explaining that they have followed for a long time and would love to continue to do so. Soooo, all that to say - if you are on IG and you were one of the ones I blocked, and you still want to follow ... just leave a comment here telling me who you are, and stating your credentials - haha, kidding, but just tell me who you are, and if I remember you from previous nice comments, etc. I'll accept your request there. I know I can't weed out every weirdo or not-nice person, but at least this gives me the ability to say yes or no to an account there. My new user name is psalm127.5  - feel free to email me if you can't find me, as it may be that you are blocked.)


Okay, so here's what I posted with the above picture - it seemed to encourage a lot of people, thus my desire to repost it here . (The comment went with the photo above, of my journal :))





So my question for all of you is this - what are you believing God for ? Whether it is big or little - ANYTHING is possible with Him. Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section with your answer- I'd love to join with you in prayer for whatever is on your heart.

Lots of love,

Patti xoxo