Monday, October 29, 2012

On Ann Coulter and the R word

I know this is not going to sit well with everyone. I just feel the need to address this issue in light of the recent use of the word retard by Ann Coulter.

I'm going to make a confession here...until I had Lily, retarded was one of my favorite words. I know- that sounds incredibly insensitive. I used it not to describe people, but situations- for example- I can't believe my dog just ran under the deck to chase the cats, and she is now covered in mud. For the fifth time today. That is so retarded!

I never - EVER - thought I was taking a swipe at someone with disabilities. I never in my mind had an image of a person with Down syndrome when I used that word. Never. It was a word we grew up using - and my mom taught children with special needs for many years while I was a child. I have friends with children with special needs - I never once thought of those friends or their children when I used the word retarded. In my mind it was a synonym for stupid or inconvenient or lame. It was not a word I ever used to describe a person with disabilities.

Sooo... fast forward to today. Today I have an almost three year old with Down syndrome. There are times on medical forms when I have to check a box that says "mental retardation" in regards to my daughter. It's uncomfortable, because I don't ever think of Lily as retarded. Bright, funny, charming, engaging- those are words I would describe Lily with. Not retarded.

I am not a huge fan of political correctness. I think if we banish certain words, people are going to come up with new ones to replace them. Because that is the nature of cruel people- you might change a word, but you are not necessarily changing their hearts. If someone uses the word retard to describe Lily- if they use it on purpose in a derogatory way - I am not changing their attitude towards her by asking them to refrain from using the word retard. Because IF they called her that with malice in their heart...IF they thought of her as less-than-human and thus called her "retard" - they did so with intent. And asking them to never use that word again did not change their intention, it changed their word.

On the flip side- and this is the part that I know people do not agree with me on - if they used that word as I have in the past, to refer to a situation, but in their heart they never, ever thought of the use of that word as disparaging a person with Down syndrome - then I did not change their intent if I asked them to change the word. I changed their word.

So which is more important ? Persuading people to change a word - or persuading people that individuals with special needs have intrinsic value and worth ? Showing the world that our kids, despite whatever challenges they face, are people worthy of respect ? That they are not "less-than-human". They are beautiful, capable, and full of potential. That's the aim of my blog. To show the world who Lily is.

So where do I stand on the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign?

As a family we have stopped using the word retard or retarded since the birth of our tenth child. Not because we used it previously with the intent of disparaging people with special needs. But because we know others find it offensive, and we strive to be kind and thoughtful and above reproof in the Rice family. Do I cringe when I hear my relatives or friends use the word retarded? (Because they do.) Just being honest here - I don't. Because I know their hearts, and I know their intentions, and I don't for one second believe they are using a word they would ever describe my Lily with.

However...I'm writing this post to those who use the word without meaning to hurt - you are hurting people. Because I have many, many, MANY friends who do cringe at that word. I've read their blogposts the past three years and I don't believe they are all just on a bandwagon. I believe that when they hear that word used, they struggle to believe that their children aren't viewed as less-than-human by many in our society. And in spite of knowing that word is thrown around by uninformed or unintentionally-cruel-people, they still have a hard time hearing it. It doesn't - I'm sorry, but it really doesn't - make me cringe. But I know it does have that effect on others. And that's why we don't use it anymore.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

And one more word about the R word. I can have grace for people who use it like I used to use it. Because I know their hearts. But Ann Coulter ? You really need to consider the effect of your words. And as much as I disagree with our current president on many issues, I have a very hard time seeing Jesus calling him a retard.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14


Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Big Fat Pumpkin Patch Post Part One

This is part one of My Big Fat Pumpkin Patch Post. Because I didn't think anyone could handle viewing 60 photos in one post.

Be prepared for an overdose of pumpkins, produce, and posed pictures.

You've been warned.

Last Thursday we made our annual trek to the pumpkin patch. We had big plans to return to the Roloff Farms this year, because last year Sam was working and couldn't go with us. But since we didn't miraculously win the lottery (you can't win if you don't play?) he was not able to take a full day off work this year either. So instead we opted for Lone Pine Farms - a lovely farm just an hour away from us. We knew from having gone there two years ago that it was a great place to go, and we were excited to share the fun this year with Josiah and his wife, Monique.

I wish I could say that all things went according to plan...somehow I thought I told Mackenzie that even though we couldn't go to the Roloff's, we could still go to Lone Pine Farms on Thursday. We waited for her to come home from work for an hour and a half...she saw a picture of Lily dressed and ready "for our day at the pumpkin patch" on Instagram and immediately called me, heartbroken. She had a nanny interview and couldn't go with us- thankfully she got the job, so I think she's forgiven me. If not, I'll make it up to her by doing all her laundry for a week.

Oh wait, I do that anyway.

Moving on....

We missed Mackenzie greatly, but appreciated the use of her camera.

Welcome to Gourd Heaven....

I love gourds. Josiah had to restrain me from running up to this display and throwing myself on it.


Clearly my family wasn't as impressed as I was.

My love for gourds is second only to my love for fresh produce. Shiny, delicious looking, colorful fresh produce.

I die.

Maybe it's the raging pregnancy hormones, but I wanted to take three of these bad boys and sink my teeth into them right then and there. Don't they look DIVINE???

And this next picture just begs the question --

WHY can't my pantry look like this every day, WHY ??

Because I would weigh 400 pounds if it did, that's why. Because I could not resist spreading multiple pieces of toast with insane amounts of homemade preserves each morning, and poor Sam would have to roll me away from the breakfast table when I was done.

That's why.

See that sign above? The one that says Carmel Apples $5.00 ? If you saw that thing you would know why. I have never seen such a gigantic apple in all my life. It would have fed our whole family. I'm going back to get one next week. To share, promise !

I could have stayed in the market at the pumpkin patch the entire afternoon and been as happy as a clam.

me, getting high on Indian corn. I shoulda been a pilgrim, dangit !

My kids however, wanted to experience the rest of the wonders of Lone Pine Farms.

Jack. no further explanation neededed.

Jonathan and his tractor.

A note about the above picture. Josiah laughed so hard at Caleb and his "trick photography" I thought he was gonna pee his pants. We had to tell Caleb that this pose only works when you're facing forward.

What can I say, he's homeschooled.

Lily's favorite part of the day - the petting zoo !!!


Oh wait, that was two years ago.

There we go.

Talk about deja vu!

Noah so wanted to take this kid home with him.

Get it?  Kid??

She needs one !!!

Only when I edited this photo did I notice his pants. But I'm going to pretend we meant to send Caleb in holey pants. Because they look just like what real farmer's kids look like. Just wanted him to fit right in with y'all. 

Dang that guy is cute. I think I need to have his babies !

(This may or may not have been the first thing I said when I met him 28 years ago this month !!)

Jack.    Again, no further explanation needed.

Josiah and his lovely bride. Aren't they cuuuuuuuuuuute????

Even their shoes are cute !!!

And speaking of cuteness overload.....

Do you follow us on IG ?? That's Instagram for all you flip-phone users. I was like you too last month. You so need to get an iPhone. You don't know what you're missing. Namely these:

follow Lily on IG --  aperfectlily  

Stay tuned for part two !!!


I fell off the 31 for 21 bandwagon.


Baby number eleven is determined to prove to the world that he/she is growing healthily (is that a word? I hope so) by triggering multiplied thousands of pregnancy hormones to inflict their side effects on my happy and willing self. I threw in the white flag...or towel...or something...earlier this week and decided to focus my efforts on keeping small amounts of food down and taking care of our family as best as I could from the couch, rather than blogging every day on top of everything.

I hope you understand. Pretty please???

Meanwhile, I have over 60 photos from a day at the pumpkin patch to upload and re-size...miraculously I was only mildly dizzy/sick on Thursday and we had a FANTABULOUS day at Lone Pine Farms picking pumpkins.

More goodness to come, AND the winner of the Nikon camera from our Saving Celine Giveaway.

Happy weekend !!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Goal met for Celine !!

Thank you to ALL who donated to Celine - she not only met her goal, she went a hundred dollars over :) her $5,000 check is on the way to Reece's Rainbow and she will have OVER TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS in her grant fund. Somebody go rescue this beautiful girl !!!

Update on Celine

$66 needed to complete Celine's matching grant of $5,000 !!! Who will get her to her goal ?!?

Monday, October 22, 2012

the power of prayer

Do I have a story to tell you....

As many of you already know, we've been hosting a matching grant campaign for a little girl on Reece's Rainbow named Celine.

At the beginning of October an anonymous family pledged to match dollar for dollar donations up to $5,000 for donations coming into Celine's grant fund on Reece's Rainbow. In addition, this family donated a Nikon camera valued at $500 as a prize. One random commenter will receive this camera when our match campaign is over.

In all honestly, this has been one of the slowest giveaways I've run on A Perfect Lily. I have no explanation, other than the fact that so many people in our community are giving to so many orphans...we're all spread pretty thin.

So on Saturday, I was staring at Celine's sweet face and looking with dismay at her grant fund...which had grown by less than $1700 this month. And our goal is $5,000. I sat there looking at Celine's face on my computer monitor, and asking God what it would take to get her to her goal.

And instantly a little (1) popped up on my gmail tab, alerting me to a new email that had just come in. I clicked on the tab, and there sat the most amazing email from a reader...she had just received an unexpected blessing and wanted to give a very large amount to Celine's grant. An amount that would get her very close to her goal.

I could not believe the timing of that email. I had literally just been staring at Celine's picture and praying !

But wait, there's more :)

Sunday morning I woke up to an email on my phone - another reader had just donated a very large sum as well. I could not believe my eyes- in less than 24 hours Celine was just a few hundred dollars away from our goal, versus thousands of dollars away.

I rushed to the computer to share the news with the faithful advocate who has been fundraising and praying and shouting for Celine for over two years- Leah Hardwick.

And that's when I remembered.

Last week Leah told me about a 24 hour prayer vigil she was starting for Celine on Friday night. She asked friends and family to join her in round the clock prayer for Celine - she asked people to take slots of time to fill that 24 hour period.

You know when those two women emailed me? In that 24 hour time period.


I think not.

Those two readers had no idea about Leah Hardwick's prayer vigil.

But GOD did.

He heard Leah's faithful prayers, and the prayers of others who joined her. He moved on the hearts of these readers- one in RUSSIA - and they donated to Celine.

I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. But moments like these just solidify my conviction that God truly moves in response to our hearts' cries...

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

Little Celine is now just over $500 short of our goal. I do believe we will reach that goal by the end of the month. PLEASE spread the word that she is almost to her goal, and when she reaches it, she will have a whopping TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS added to her grant fund on Reece's Rainbow. You can go HERE to read contest details.

And now I have a personal request for my readers.

Due to confidentiality regarding foster care, I won't post a picture or a name here...but we need a miracle regarding our grandbaby K. My son and his wife have been parenting him since he was born- they brought him home from the hospital. He's 15 months old, and they are the only parents he's ever known. He is as much a part of our family as any baby could be, and he is the love of our lives. And we're facing losing him. Again, I can't go into details of why we don't feel that is in baby K's best interest here...but we need a miracle.

And if you have ever been involved in the foster care system, you know that as hard as many people work to do a good job of keeping kids safe, it is a flawed system. And no matter how much persuading good people do, and sometimes despite the efforts of some very concerned case workers- there is a "system" to deal with. One that lets innocent babies be returned to bad families, or in this case handed over to a stranger.

This weekend God showed me - again - that He can intervene in the affairs of men. He can move on hearts and move mountains. We need a mountain moved for baby K. We're holding a 24 hour prayer vigil starting tomorrow, Tuesday, at 6 p.m. We have family and friends who have each signed up for an hour of prayer all the way up to Wednesday at 6 p.m. If you are familiar with this situation- or even if you're a new reader- will you join us in prayer for a miracle? It's our hearts' desires to see baby K stay with the parents he knows and loves, the ones who have raised him since birth and who want to keep him in a safe and loving environment. If you can join us in prayer, we would so appreciate it.

Meanwhile, please continue to pray for Celine and if possible, help us reach our goal of $5,000 by the end of this month.

Much love,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

update on Celine

Please forgive my lack of posting...morning noon and night sickness has hit with a vengeance. I'm so grateful for those raging pregnancy hormones, but it is hindering me from getting much done lately :/

Meanwhile, there's a very deserving little girl who has a matching grant of $5,000 that I would love to direct your attention to...

An anonymous donor has pledged dollar for dollar donations for Celine up to $5,000 for the month of October. This means that if you donate $25 to Celine's grant fund, she will receive $50. If you donate $100, she will receive $200. This sweet little girl has been waiting seven years for a family to adopt her. Unfortunately, the older she gets, the less her chances of receiving the gift of a family. I wish it weren't so. But the truth is that so many older children are passed over when it comes to adoption. A full grant is Celine's ticket to finding a family, because money is the main obstacle for so many parents seeking an older child to adopt.

Dozens of people have donated to Celine already ~ her grant has grown by over $1,400 in the past week and a half. But we're still $3,600 away from our goal for October. Will you help spread the word about her matching grant offer?

One of my adopting friends emailed me recently about Celine- she had the pleasure of meeting her last summer. Here's what she shared:

"In July we traveled to meet our daughter for the first time. While we were there we were able to meet Celine. She came up to us and gave me a hug and stroked the side of my face. She had 2 braids with big bows on the ends and she looks to have thinned out some. She looked very cute and healthy. When we were leaving she blew us kisses goodbye. The institution she is in is a very good one but the orphanage director is very excited to have children adopted from his orphanage. He has said that even though he loves the children he knows they would do so much better with a family."
For every ten dollars you donate to Celine's grant fund on Reece's Rainbow, you will receive one entry in our Saving Celine Giveaway. 

Nikon D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens

This fabulous prize, valued at $500 has been donated to our giveaway. You can read about the details HERE.

Happy Wednesday !!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


This will be a verrrry quick post because a)it's late b)I'm tired and c)I'm pregnant.

It's my all-purpose excuse for everything these days. As in..."I can't make dinner tonight kids, I'm pregnant." Or "Can someone please change Lily, I'm pregnant." Or "I need Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey QUICK, I'm pregnant."

Can you tell I'm happy that I'm pregnant again ?? Sometimes I say it over and over just so it seems real...I'mpregnantI'mpregnantI'mpregnant.

Anyhoo...this will be quick.

I've fallen in love with a little guy on Instagram. I mean in love. Every time I see his picture I melt.

Did you know that my odds for having a baby with Down syndrome at age 45 (when I deliver I'll be 45) are 1 in 30?? And having had a child with Down syndrome, they go up a percentage.

Meaning I am extremely "at risk" for having a baby with Down syndrome.

Guess what?

It doesn't bother me a bit !!!

That little guy above is the one I just mentioned...the one whom I drool over every day on IG. Isn't he adorable? (I freely admit- I am DRAWN to babies with Down syndrome.) If you want to go see more heart-melting pictures like the one above, go to mummalove. Be prepared to swoon !

Happy Weekend :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

week in photos

yes, daddy is smiling in his sleep ;)

Follow us on Instagram at aperfectlily !