Monday, June 30, 2014


I'm on a three day Instagram break. 

I may be having some withdrawals.

I mean what do I do with great moments like these ? Keep them to myself ???

Someone help a sister out. Please leave a comment saying you like my picture and make sure to use a hashtag , okay ?

I'm kidding. 

Sort of. 

No really ...

I can quit any time I want to. 

Here's another pic... Feel free to "like" it as well. 

On a side note - THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to Jen Baker, Anne B., Linda Koba and Laura Womack for saving my bacon and placing a Scentsy order !!! I have 8 hours left and I need a $6 order to stay on as a Scentsy consultant - whoop whoop ! Sam has generously promised to buy something if it's 11:50 and nobody else has ordered . What a #hero.  

Oops, this isn't Instagram, is it ? #lololol 

No really, I'm not #addicted or anything. 

#pinterestanyone ??

Friday, June 27, 2014

Life at The Rice Ranch : the Cliff Notes version

Before I share my little novella here on the blog ... are you one of the few people in the world who haven't tried Scentsy warmers and fragrance bars ?

Actually, I have no idea if the vast majority of humanity has tried Scentsy or not, but I'm going for the dramatic here.

I have three days left to meet Scentsy's quota for sales reps, or they are giving me the axe. For reals. I dearly love my Scentsy consultant status, so if you haven't tried Scentsy... you should. Do it for the children. My children, at least. They love a nice smelling house, and continuing on as a consultant for Scentsy allows me to give them one. It also allows me to support my Scentsy addiction ...which includes refilling all five warmers in our house with fresh fragrances on a regular basis. Fabulous scents like Luna and Welcome Home and Sweet Pea and Vanilla. Ask anyone who has visited the Rice Ranch - it smells nice here. You can SHOP HERE for all your Scentsy needs, and email me if you have any questions. Make sure to shop from Lily's Basket Party, and I will be forever grateful.


Okay, now for some catching up on photos. I uploaded these from my iPhone a few weeks ago, and I finally got around to moving them here. I have a baby in my arms as I type, and he is getting heavier by the minute. So please excuse the lack of words in this post, and enjoy the pictures.

Or, pretend you're back in high school, and this is the Cliff Notes version of Life At The Rice Ranch.

Chapter one : We make cute kids around these parts

note the onions growing in our garden. told ja we lived on a ranch.

that's a flying football in the background. not a blimp. in case you were wondering.

Chapter Two : My eleventh child is a terrorist

189th time retrieving him from the top of the stairs in one hour

we believe in a strictly paleo diet around here. we grew that whipped cream right in our own vitamix.

Chapter Three : Naptimes are gifts sent from heaven ... and so was this hammock

...actually the hammock was a gift from Mackenzie 

Chapter Four : It's official - we live on a ranch

thank you , dear brother ! we love our gift !

Chapter Five:   I still need to blog about our anniversary getaway 

Chapter Six :  Grandbabies are even more fun than your own babies ... don't tell my kids

Macie Blair

And Finally ...

Chapter Seven :   These two bless my socks off

The End. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kamping at the KOA ...and save my bacon part two

We just got home from three days of Kamping at the KOA. Normally I would post a nice juicy blogpost about our stay, but I'm deep in the throes of unpacking and getting us all ready for church tonight. Therefore, you get a lovely photo dump of a post. For free !

Here we go....

photos courtesy @moriceeee on Instagram 

photo courtesy @kenzieeerice on Instagram 

photo courtesy @kenzieeerice on Instagram 

photo courtesy @omigrace24 on Instagram

(iphone pics in dark cabins make for grainy photos !)

the lovely Norah Rice 

photo courtesy @omigrace24 on Instagram 

We had a wonderful time - lots of golf, pool time, s'mores, campfires, capture the flag, basketball, snacks, pizza, homemade bacon-egg-and-cheese-biscuits, and dirt eating (by Hayden.) 

Just one more tidbit before I tackle those piles of wet towels and blankets... it's that time again.

This is my Save My Bacon post, reduced to a p.s. at the end of a blogpost. 

If you love Scentsy like I do (and believe me, I DO love Scentsy, I'm just not much of a salesperson), please visit my Scentsy Store today and shop from Lily's Basket Party. You'll not only enjoy great products like these ....

... but you'll also help me stay on the Scentsy team. Which I would dearly love to do :)


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Merit Badges

I just looked at the weather app on my phone, and guess what ??

... summer's here !

While June 21st may officially be the first day of summer, the season has been in full swing here in Oregon for the past several weeks.

We drove past our local aquatic center a week ago, and despite the temperature (a breezy 65 degrees!) the place was packed with brave swimmers. My kids began a spontaneous chorus of "when-are-we-going-to-the-aquatic-center??" - if you've never heard a van-full of children unanimously declaring their passion for something ... well, you haven't lived. It's pretty persuasive. 

So on Thursday, when my weather app showed a bright ball of sun with no clouds peeking out behind it and a mommy-approved temperature of 79  -  we packed up sunscreen, towels and flip flops and headed to the beach.

Otter Beach, that is.

I wish I had a video to demonstrate for you what Otter Beach is to this girl. I am not kidding- if I didn't believe in reincarnation, and if I did believe in swearing and mermaids... I would swear to you that Lily was one in a previous life.

But as I don't believe in any of those things, I'll just tell you this: this girl loves to swim. I mean loves.

I'm talking, get her in the water as fast as you can, arms flailing and legs kicking and peels of laughter and DON'T HOLD HER HAND because she is a big girl, and she knows exaaaaactly what to do here, and do not even try to convince her that water and open mouthed smiles don't mix well, because you cannot even contain that level of happiness if you try. And yes, she wore a lifejacket the entire time, if you were wondering. (<< Grammi, that sentence was just for you.

We spent several happy hours at Otter Beach before we piled everything back up and headed home for dinner. I asked the kids on the way home what some of their happiest summer memories have been ... because I'm sappy like that. Ask my kids- just about every family trip, whether it's a three hour trek to the pool, or a three day vacation at the KOA - the drive home will involve a discussion of what our favorite moments were. Maybe because I love to view the world through my kids' version of it, and maybe because I'm just a big kid myself... this is my little drive-home ritual.

Or maybe it's the old Girl Scout in me, pinning new memories onto my vest like merit badges ... one that has a cabin and a pine tree on it for our camping trip to Fort Stevens, another one with big Mickey ears for a vacation at the happiest place on earth, still another one with a pool umbrella and bottle of sunscreen on it for all those relaxing hours spent at the aquatic center ... I like savoring the memories behind those badges just as much as experiencing the actual events themselves.

So yesterday we made another summer memory, and if there were a badge to score with this one, it would probably be embroidered with two tiny symbols representing the fruit of our labors : 

...helloooo, cherry pies. 

Mackenzie and I went for a morning walk yesterday, and just as we were about to walk in our front door, our neighbor called us over to their backyard... actually it was our neighbor's son's girlfriend, and she was house sitting. Two giant cherry trees were ripe for the picking, and she needed help in clearing them out before our neighbors got back ...would we be willing to come back with the kids and help her out ?

I told her we had important things to do first ...

... like run home and scream to the others that a Summer Merit Badge was waiting, so grab some shoes and buckets STAT !!

Behold, The Cherry Picking Party that ensued ...

They even had a maraschino cherry tree ! Shirley Temples, here we come ;)

(Five gold stars to whoever knows what a Shirley Temple is.) (And yes, I know maraschino cherries are made and not grown.)

Life is just a bowl of cherries... or miniature balls, if you're Hayden.

After picking several gallons of cherries, and eating about the same amount, the kids spent some time on the giant trampoline in the neighbor's backyard .

I nursed Hayden and chatted with the neighbor's sweet girlfriend... turns out she has a great aunt with Down syndrome, and get this - she's seventy-three ! She was born in an era when institutionalizing children with Down syndrome was common, but her mama said the words that would have been my words, had I lived back then : not my baby. She raised her daughter at home, the seventh child out of nine, and she lived a full and beautiful life. She now spends her days living with her two older sisters and enjoys telling everyone she meets the lineage of her family tree. That's no small task given the amount of nieces and nephews she has - 115.  And Vanessa (the neighbor's girlfriend) said her aunt can tell you exactly who belongs to who. 

I was so blessed to hear this family's story of courage and love and grace, while sitting under the cherry trees on a beautiful Oregon afternoon, watching my girl play happily with her siblings, without a care in the world.

How far we've come ...

Finally we packed up our blankets and buckets, said thank you to our gracious host, and headed home. Our hearts and tummies full, we silently added another precious badge to our vests, one that we'll treasure for years to come.

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”  ~Henry James

It's your turn now... share a summer memory in the comment section, just for fun?

Happy summer !!!