Friday, July 1, 2016

A Perfect Lily

Hello, July... 


Is anyone else in shock that it's July already ?!

I was barely getting used to the fact that it was June and now it's JULY. 



Does time fly by more quickly when we are older? That's what it seems like to me.

When I was school age and summer break began, it felt like the whole looooong summer just stretched out before us. I remember waking up on the first day of summer break each year and always feeling that same sense of relief that the school year was over and I could go back to sleep if I wanted. 

We slept in late and enjoyed the summer-time privilege of eating cereal in the living room on wooden folding TV trays. We watched The Price is Right, Family Feud and Andy Griffith, and by the time Marcus Welby, MD came on we were ready to go outside and play.
 
We rode our bikes (mine was lime green with a "banana" seat and a basket on the front), rode our skateboards (neon yellow plastic and I think my sister's was orange) and roller skates (lace up white leather with squeeeeeky wheels). We had endless fake Olympic skating competitions, pretending we were Dorothy Hammil going for the gold ... I even had my hair cut to look like her one year. (Yikes.)

Some days we walked to Circle K to buy slurpees or Hubba Bubba Bubble gum (grape was my favorite!), and trading cards. My sister and I collected Charlie's Angels cards for several years, but it was always baseball or football cards for my brother ... and if I close my eyes I can still remember the chalky taste of that paper-thin dry rectangle of bubble gum that came in each foil package. 

We swam in our pool, had diving contests, and played umpteen billion games of Marco Polo. We ate lunch and snacks on the back patio most of the time : pb&j's cut into tiny triangles, pretzels, carrot sticks, apple slices, or celery sticks spread with peanut butter. We had watermelon seed spitting contests, ate twinkies and ding dongs and drank kool aid by the gallon. 

(Side note: somehow we exceeded today's quota of gluten and sugar and red dye number five and miraculously lived to tell the story. Gasp.)

We stayed up late (ten o'clock!) and had to be inside by the time the street lights came on. We crawled sleepily under cool sheets, sun-kissed and exhausted, and we woke up the next day ready to do it all over again. 

I loved summer time. 




And I still do ! 




Our oldest child finished his last day of school last month. After working for my husband doing tile for several years, and then working as an EKG tech at our local hospital, Jason decided to go back to school to become a nurse. He juggled a full time job, a growing family, and ministry at church, all while going to college. We were SO very proud to see him graduate a few weeks ago ...



... and we helped Naomi host a fun graduation party at The Rice Ranch to celebrate ... 


Congratulations, Nurse Jason !!


Other summer events have included:


... spontaneous dance parties ...



... lots of Bunny worship ...









... seeing how long Hayden's hair will grow before my brother can't stand it anymore and flies out from the East Coast just so he can cut it ...




... enjoying the great outdoors (right here at home !) .....



 

Speaking of home - I featured our bedroom on my last blogpost, so today I'll post some pictures of the family room. 

And right now I am smirking while I type, because "featured" is a funny term to use for The Rice Ranch. I love to look at pretty rooms on Pinterest and I always fantasize that some day - when I have less than 12 people living under one roof - my house will look like something on my "For The Home" boards. 

But for now my primary goals for the home include a) trying to keep it childproof (outlets covered and sharp objects stored out of reach and b) somewhat tidy. Our furniture and decor might not be the latest and greatest, but they are practical and well-loved. 

In fact, the reason I fell in love with this house when we first walked through it was because of the way it was designed ...we don't need showroom furniture or Pinterest-worthy wall arrangements, because the house itself is so pretty inside. The floor to ceiling windows bring the natural beauty of the outdoors right into our family room: it's like having a sixteen foot mural painted by God hanging right on our wall. 




Whenever we have moved, I always pray specifically for things I hope to find in a new place. An open floor plan was at the top of my wish list this time - I love for all of us to be close to each other, even if we're not all in the same room. Our family room, kitchen, and dining room are all connected, and the upstairs looks over these rooms from the landing above. We made the room directly above the breakfast area into a playroom for our little ones (pictured below in the top right hand corner) so that even when they are playing upstairs they aren't out of sight. 


The dining room (behind the family room) is perfect for our super-sized dining room table and chairs; it opens up (on the right) to the entry way and Sam's office as well. 

    (group hugs and kisses for the Lilybird)


    (Father's Day hugs in Daddy's office)

Well folks, it's way past my bedtime, even by summer standards, so I'll wrap things up with a little announcement ... 



... after much consideration of all your insightful comments on my last blogpost, I've decided I can't bring myself to change the name of my blog. While I do love the name The Rice Ranch, I just can't - at this point anyway - part with A Perfect Lily. Maybe I'm too sentimental, or maybe I just don't like change, but either way feel like keeping the name the same right now. Thank you so much for contributing your thoughts and helping me to make a decision. I always love reading your words and comments just as much as I love sharing my heart here with you! 

If new readers find their way here they will just have to do a little backtracking to figure out where this blog began ... with a beautiful, amazing, and perfect little girl 


named Lily :) 

13 comments:

Pogue Mahone said...

How can you have so many kids yet keep such a clean clutter-free house? We have 11 kids(5 still at home) and our house is always such a mess with crap all over the place!

Stef said...

Beautiful! I love the windows and openness of it all. We bought our small home simply because it's all one giant great room and we wanted, like you, to always be together.

cathy said...

:)

xoxoxoxo

Anne B. said...

Such a beautiful home for your sweet family! Love all of the open space and light! Lily is growing up so much! I'm glad you are being sentimental and keeping A Perfect Lily for your blog name! If your brother shows up to cut Hayden's hair (from the east coast you say?....I might be with him....) I would hide Hayden and say you have sent him off to summer camp!!! Love those blonde curls on that little guy! Madison is so precious....how is her weight coming along? She looks so smiley and happy! Congrats to Jason on his graduation...and when did their kids get so big???? (((HUGS))) to all!

Cindy said...

You have such a beautiful home!

katrynka said...

The open layout is wonderful!!! I have plans for something like this, (but all one floor!) for our retirement home. I'm glad you are keeping the name!

Patti said...

I blogged about it last year, but we do ten minute clean ups throughout the day.. I also keep a basket downstairs to throw random toys etc in and empty it whenever it gets full :)!

Patti said...

I know, can you believe Koa just turned FIVE ?? Seems like he was just a newborn yesterday !

Carol Slater said...

Beautiful home but I really wonder how you keep it so clean. I could use some tips for sure. I am glad you are keeping the name the same. I do like The Rice Ranch, but I believe that Lily is honored with this blog name and I am thankful that you are keeping it.

Leslie said...

Love the house so much! We recently moved and also chose a house with many windows that beautifully "decorate" our home. Like you, I dream of a magazine home one day. One day. :) Also, the picture of Hayden climbing the back of the steps in one of the Bunny worship pictures cracked me up. My kids LOVE to climb our stairs like that. Hayden almost looks like he's in time out standing perfectly still. Crack up! Thanks for sharing your family and your home with the world.

mex said...

I cannot believe that little Madison is sitting in a chair drinking her bottle!! Where did that time go?? Soncute!!

Patti said...

That's actually our grandson, not Madison ;)

Unknown said...

I love your family in special to Lily, god bless your family.