Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Back for good !

First of all, what a TREAT to find that so many faithful readers checked in… Hello and welcome back to all of you :) It felt like a small family reunion reading the comments that came in!

I have missed the connections I made here - I wish I had a better excuse for not blogging for so long, but the truth is my life just got so busy with Madison being so sick for SO long and some things had to take a back burner. As much as I loved blogging and writing and connecting with people, I just couldn’t keep up with life online (other than Instagram, which is like a quick post card rather than a nice long hand written letter - much easier to send off in between hospital stays!)

When I last blogged, Madison had just gotten an ng tube for all of her nutrition. This was because it was (finally!) discovered that she was silently aspirating on all of her liquids, which was what contributed to a year of trips back and forth to ER and multiple hospital stays. Her little lungs were absolutely filled with gunk, and ongoing pneumonia was the result. 

Consequently, she went off all food and liquid for four months and was fed through a tube down her nose. I can’t even tell you how difficult those months were- not just for us (it’s time consuming, it’s messy, and it’s just plain gross in my opinion) but for our Bunny.

It was HARD. 

Especially because Madison has always loved to eat. Despite all of her many illnesses, food has always been a source of joy for her. Imagine going from eating everything you loved to being told you could have nothing to eat for four months? Even though she was being fed through the ng tube, she was extremely irritable whenever she saw food. We tried to keep her tummy filled before we ate, but that didn’t stop her from eyeing our plates and wanting to swipe a bite. I am sooo glad those days are behind us. And if you’re a parent who has fed your child this way for longer than four months - my heart goes out to you. I have a whole new level of respect for moms who have dealt with these issues long term. 

At the end of those four months Madison’s ng tube was replaced with a Gtube that was placed through surgery. For those who don’t know, that’s a little button placed in her tummy where she now receives all of her liquids. Some kids need ALL of their nutrition through the Gtube; in the beginning Madison was not allowed to eat any food. We gave her formula through the Gtube for several more months while we slooooowly introduced food. After she tolerated food and did not develop pneumonia again, she was able to eat anything solid.

Bunny got reading glasses after cataract surgery - more on THAT in a future post !

She still has the Gtube and since last July has gotten all of her liquids through that. She will have a swallow study done again soon to determine if she is still aspirating ... we are praying that she has outgrown that, and that soon she can start drinking again. Will you pray with us for that ? I’m so happy that she has been healthy for over a year, and I am so grateful that we finally got answers to why she was so sick. But I really can’t wait til she can drink normally again and we can be done with the Gtube.

As far as the rest of our family is doing, there is never a dull moment at The Rice Ranch. Since I last posted, we had a wedding ...

Shalanda Rice

Abigail and Kenzie

Hayden the ringbearer

Lily the flower girl 

favorite pic 

Tyler married a beautiful young woman named Shalanda and just like my other DILs, she has become one of my very best friends.

We also launched our first baby church !!!...

(Jason, Naomi, Koa, Norah and Clark - and the foster twins they raised for the first year of their lives... they have since gone home to their Mommy and we miss them so much !) 

In our fellowship, we believe in church planting. This means that there are couples in our church who feel called by God to start a church in another city - just like we did 21 years ago when we came to Corvallis. That couple prays for direction as far as what city they feel God wants them to go to, and they work with their pastor to get ready to do that some day. Last April we had the privilege of launching our son Jason and his beautiful wife Naomi and their children into Portland, Oregon to start a brand new church. This has been the goal of our church since we started it - to reproduce a baby church. We are so proud of Jason and Naomi, and although it was difficult to see them go (and is still hard!!) we know they are doing the will of God in Portland. Please pray for God to build a wonderful church in that city.

somber boys lol

Meanwhile, we are still homeschooling... five of our children are school age, and we have found an amazing resource to help us with that. If you live in Oregon and homeschool, I highly recommend Baker Charter School. I wish I had known about this school years ago. We receive all of our curriculum FREE through the school, and we choose which curriculum we want for each child. We have a teacher who comes to our house every other week to oversee what the kids are doing and help keep us on track. They do state testing and provide tutors if needed as well. They have amazing resources for homeschooling families - which leads me to Lily.

birdie and bunny

backyard fun at The Rice Ranch

summer vacation at the lake

spring break at the beach

last year at the oregon coast aquarium 

with big sissy Abbi

For several years I have been teaching Lily using curriculum I've pieced together through various sources. A few weeks ago, I found out that by enrolling Lily in Baker Charter, she can have access to speech and occupational therapy in our home, as well as whatever curriculum pieces I choose through their online site. I chose Timberdoodle for her, and I was able to put together a kit - with an $800 limit. FOR FREE. Now Lily will have so many hands on educational materials, as well as therapists, and we will have a team of experts helping with ideas for her to learn.

At nine and a half years old she is really loving being at home and learning daily. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to teach her at home, as this is where Lily thrives. She loves being surrounded by her siblings, learning and developing right alongside of them. Home is where her heart is :)

best friends

home sweet home

This blogpost is getting a little lengthy, but I will be back again with more updates. I've really missed blogging and connecting, and it was such a joy to see that there are people who still read blogs and who missed us too !

For now I'll leave you with some questions - please do comment, as it feels like I'm reconnecting with old friends when your comments come in :)

What have you been up to for the past year ? What blogs do you still read, and do you blog ? Do you homeschool your children and how is that going... and if you don't, how is public or private school going this year ?

Do you have any questions for us ? What do you love about this blog and what do you hope to hear about ?

I'll be back soon !

xo Patti


JC said...

You blogged!!! I was so excited to see this post this morning :) I miss the blogging days and all the connections we made with each other almost TEN years ago!! Loved reading this update...Love hearing about your family, homeschooling, and your faith. Glad you're back!

Rose said...

Patti, SO GLAD you posted... Yes, I do still read blogs, although most people blog on instagram now. And I couldn't even get on your instagram! I couldn't find it.

Love to hear your updates. Prayers for you and Bunny. Please keep bloggin!

me said...

What a lovely family you have! I'd love to hear more about how you live and manage your tribe.
I love blogs, but have found so many I used to read don't post or have moved to Instagram. (I don't want to get sucked down the Instagram rabbit hole.) I like Confessions of the Chromosomally Enhanced, Martin Family Moments, and This Aint the Lyceum. I tend to read Catholic mom blogs and some special needs blogs.
I have kids in Catholic school, high schoolers in public school, one kid at a state school for STEM, and my daughter with DS goes to public elementary school.(she needs the services they offer.) School goes well enough if we keep their schedules straight. One kid might like homeschooling but he needs to be out among other people.
I'll be happy to see future updates!

Natasha said...

so lovely to have this post to read today!

Anne B. said...

YIPPEEE!!! One day I got a message that your blog had gone private. I was so sad....that was a very long time ago. Today I was doing some housekeeping on my computer and saw "A Perfect Lily" in my bookmarks and after sending up a quick prayer for you I clicked on it! I am thrilled to read this but now wondering if all is still good on the ranch since it's been a while again. So much fun to see your growing family, literally, how DID Lily become 9 and 1/2??? And sweet Madison is precious! So yes, I have missed you, I still read blogs and mourn the disappearance of some of my favorites! Hope to see you here again some day soon! XOXOXO

The Graham Family said...

Please come back!!! Would love to see how you are doing! :)

Mrs. G said...

I just requested to follow you on instagram, I'm overbaysmountain on there. I don't post at all, I just use it to follow some people. I hope you blog more soon, I love reading about other big families!