Thursday, December 26, 2013


…Rice Ranch….

…hello, Rice Lodge…

We're moving TOMORROW. Eeeeek !!! I'll post more pics later, as we are in a state of chaos at the moment. For now, here is a sneak peek….

…so excited !!

Merry day after Christmas :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

warning: graphic videos posted

Can you believe it's two days until CHRISTMAS ???! I'm soooooo excited !!

Jason and Naomi hosted an Ugly Sweater Party on Saturday.

We all "walked the runway" to music and voted on who had the ugliest sweater. Things may have digressed into a dance competition….

I'm posting the videos, but be warned: they are a bit graphic.

You may never view our family the same again.

Cast your vote !!

Friday, December 20, 2013

peppermint bark and other stuff

We are currently in the middle of a baking frenzy. I'm elbow deep in peanut butter kiss cookies and peppermint bark, but I took a break to give you another Christmas present.

Did you miss your other ones ? See the past two posts if you did. 

And a HUGE thank you for all the Christmas cookie and candy ideas in the comment section a few posts back - we're using a bunch of them ! 

Ready for your gifts? Here we go...

Here's Mister Hayden Patrick...

And the Lilybird, doing her classic "hmmmm" face…

We went to The Nutcracker here in town last Saturday. Monique and Naomi and Norah attended with Kenz, Abbi and Lily and me…it was divine !!

And here is a sweet little video of Hayden…completely entertained by a ball bouncing off his head.

Merry Almost Christmas !!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

flu shots, cookies, and dan fogelberg - oh my !

Day two of a-gift-a-day-until-Christmas here on A Perfect Lily. If you missed your first gift, see the previous post. It was a good one.

Just a quick update on life at the Rice Ranch before I give you your gifts.

We won't know til December 27th about our house…are you still praying for us ? Please keep it up !

My kids all got flu shots today. Actually, they all got nasal spray (big sigh of relief from lots of children here) and Lily got a shot. Do you do flu shots/nasal spray in your family ? They seem to have helped us the past few years…  although last year this time we got THE worst stomach flu known to mankind while Sam was away having a blast in Thailand. I took care of 8 puking kids while pregnant and puking myself, while he went galavanting around Thailand riding elephants or something.  Not that I'm bitter or anything…

Anyhoot, this was before the nasal spray and shots…

Lily kept peeking in the lab at each child to see what was going on. As soon as it was her turn she lost it. And if you've ever tried to pin an almost-four year old down while she is screaming MAMA PLEEEEEASE up at you and thrashing frantically on an exam table…you know it is right up there with root canals on your list of how not to spend your holidays. 

We did all survive the ordeal, however... I promised Lily and the kids a cookie at Coffee Culture where big sissy works after the doctor visit, so as soon as Lily's band-aid was on, she starting yelling "ALL DONE !!!! COOKIE !!!!" Then she waved and told the nurse bye-bye a hundred times. We took the kids to visit our favorite nurse on the other side of the lab, and as soon as Lily saw her she started yelling "GO !! GO!!" and pointing out the door. Those poor nurses, they have such a reputation for pain with my kids. But if this saves us a bout with the flu for a household of eleven, it is worth it. Trust me on this one.

As promised, a trip to Coffee Culture…

…Lily acts like she owns the place every time we go there. And she must have her giant cookie in a bag every time. Not on a plate, not handed to her in a napkin- it must be in a bag. Girlfriend is all about routine.

So now we're back home, and I am about to hot glue a dozen gingerbread houses together for decorating tonight. This is a yearly tradition, and one of our favorites….and this year my grandbabies are coming too, which makes things twice as fun. Pictures of that tomorrow, but for now here are a few from Instagram….

me with Norah…my granddaughter. I wuv her.

Norah Jane

L is for Lily

And now, for your Christmas presents…are you ready ? Two of them today….

Here is Jason, my oldest son. This is goin' viral folks - remember, you saw it here first.

And here is the Lilybird doing her thang.

Merry Christmas !!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

my Christmas gift to you


I did not know there were so many readers who don't follow us on Instagram.

Thank you for letting me know !

My little survey led me to a really big decision…I need to get you all something for Christmas. I mean- you have been missing out on some spectacular daily cuteness going on, and I just need to do something nice for you.

Sooo…from now until Christmas I'll be posting daily videos of Lily (and a few others) plus some of the photos from Instagram that you've missed. Merry Christmas !!

Oh yes, and speaking of Christmas gifts, the winner of the iPad that was donated for our Lost Boys Giveaway is….drumroll, please…..

naughty and nice

...Luba B.

Congratulations, Luba - please email me your address so we can give it to the donor of the iPad... and she can get it shipped to you for Christmas !!

And for the rest of you, here is one of your Christmas gifts….

…you're welcome !!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

just curious..

If you are a blog reader who does NOT follow us on IG, can you leave a comment ? Because I have so many cute videos of Lily to post here, but if most of her readers have already seen them on IG … it probably isn't necessary to post them here as well :)

Also… what's your favorite cookie recipe ? I'm looking for some fun new ones this year.

And one more thing…

…is that the cutest face, or what ?!?!?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

what to do when you're snowbound

Dear Mama V,

No, my blogger header does not keep changing…

…why do you ask ??

xo Patti


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December happenings

SO much to say, too little time to say it.

Isn't that how it always goes for blogging moms ?

The kids are at Christmas play practice, and I am supposed to be cooking a yummy dinner for them to come home to.

My baby just woke up, and Lily is disabling my iPad for the 57th time today … and I have no big kids in the house to help. As a result this post will be a photo dump with a few sentences thrown in for good measure. So sorry.

Hayden has been crawling since last month…did I tell you that ? Also : pulling himself to a stand, crawling up the stairs, you name it. Someone tell my baby to stay a baby for a little bit longer !

jonathan and hayden

Also… we got hit with almost a foot of snow last Friday. Unheard of practically, for our little town. And it's still here  !

view from my kitchen window

It's two weeks until Christmas and I have somehow avoided the stress of it all…two words : online shopping. Saved on gas, time, energy, babysitters… and no long lines. Woot !!

Consequently, I have been spending lots of holiday time doing the things I love- baking, decorating, singing carols with my family (okay, that was on Thanksgiving, but still) and reading by the fire.

That is not me next to the fire, in case you wondered. It's my gorgeous hunk of a husband. And a little girl who worships him.

And just in case you don't follow on Instagram, here are a few favorite photos posted there on aperfectlily:

One last thing: I totally spaced announcing the winner to our Lost Boys Giveaway. The donor of the iPad is out of the country right now (praying for you, Elizabeth !!) so when she gets back, we will announce the winner.

Hope y'all are enjoying December…

xoxo Patti

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

guest blogger: Linda Koba

Last week, as I was putting together the slideshow for Thanksgiving, I received a beautiful photo of a young woman named Stacey, and her boyfriend Miles. There was a brief description of Stacey, and it peaked my curiosity. I emailed Stacey's mom Linda, and she told me her amazing story…one of a young single woman, who fell in love with a baby with Down syndrome. And she chose to raise her in a time when babies with special needs were being placed in institutions. I asked LInda to guest blog for me today, because I so wanted you to read for yourselves her incredible story.

Please welcome Linda and Stacey...

by Linda Koba

  I was so honored when Patti asked me to share Stacey's story.  I've been reading Patti's blog for a few years now and I think she is amazing.  Lily is just beautiful! 

 So, I first heard about Stacey when I was 21 and living at home with my parents.  I had tried college and it wasn't for me. I was engaged to a guy I'd been dating for a few years but I really wasn't sure if that was right either.  I felt like I was at a crossroads of sorts. 

 Stacey was 7 months old and living with a woman named Irma.  Irma had run a home for children with Down syndrome.  The babies would stay with her until they were old enough for a boarding school type placement.  I know this sounds awful, but remember it was 38 years ago.  Thank God we've come a long way since then. 

 Irma had retired and moved to a senior citizen development and Stacey was still with her but needed a home.  My grandmother told us about her and I felt this immediate pull toward her.  We met her and my whole family just fell in love with her.  My parents had raised 5 children at this point and didn't want to start over.  They told me if this was something I wanted to do they would help me but it was my responsibility.  The guy I was engaged to wasn't happy about it....and we broke up.  He wasn't the kind of man I wanted to be with.

 So.....Stacey came to live with us.....her crib was in my room, and I continued to work.  Stacey would sometimes go to a babysitter where she would play with other children.  It was hard but so worth it.  She started Early Intervention and she just bloomed.  Speech was always her greatest strength.  She is a real chatterbox! 

 When she was 2, I met a wonderful guy named Stan.  He accepted Stacey from the start and we were married a year later.  

We have had 3 more children..Lauren is 32, Nancy is 28 and a special education teacher and Matthew is 19.   Stacey is a our first daughter.  

Every one of our kids would tell you how having her for a sister has enriched their lives.  She is truly a beautiful soul and we love her so much. 

 Stacey started public school at 5 and learned to read that year.  She amazed everyone.

After graduation from high school she started working at Home Depot as a greeter.  She loves her job and they are wonderful to her.  

She met Myles about 8 years ago and they've been dating ever since.  They are so much in love!   She talks about him constantly.  She wants to marry him but I don't think that will ever happen.  For now she is happy planning for it. 

 Life with Stacey certainly has had some challenges but I wouldn't trade a moment of it away.  She is a tremendous blessing to our family.

  I wish you could all meet her...she is pure goodness, she doesn't know how to lie or be mean.  I cannot imagine a life without her.