Another Moment…Another Memory…Another Milestone…

Another Moment…Another Memory…Another Milestone…Noah found out when we got to my parents house on Saturday that Harmony had learned to ride her bike without training wheels! He then told Steve he wanted to try it. Noah has had a balance bike and been very good on it since he was 2. Steve and I bought it for him for his 2nd birthday. I remember thinking Steve was crazy when he suggested it. I sat and watched MANY youtube videos trying to validate Steve’s point. Lol. Well, I think the balance bike paid off! This was his first try…our 4-year-old can ride a bike!!! This morning, he is riding a big bike all over the place and starting and stopping with no falls yet. Proud mommy and daddy here! Steve can’t wait to take him on the mountain bike trails! Soon enough! Don’t mind me cheerleading him on…I always will be!! If your parents won’t encourage you and be your cheerleaders as you go through life; who will? My parents always did and I know that is why I have the confidence I do today. How do children grow so fast?! This is a pretty big deal and another big step for our little guy in his little world. We will always celebrate what seems like a small moment in a very BIG way! Watch here! I am so glad I didn’t miss this!

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Snowball Update

Noah is really loving his bunny so much! I am so thankful we decided to get the bunny when getting a dog was on our mind! Tonight I asked him if he was glad we found that little guy the day we did and he said, “Yeah. I wish we could have brought 3 bunnies home though.” I asked him why – thinking a little chat about being thankful for what we had may be in order – and then he said, “I really wanted a whole family of bunnies.” Melt my heart! I really adore the simple complexity of his thoughts! In his mind, a family is 3 people. The family across the street has two little girls and he always asks the one that he sees the most often why her cousin is always there. Ha! The bunny is so tolerant and gentle with the kids. He follows Noah around, lets him handle him, snuggle him and even READ TO HIM! The bunny sits and listens. Noah thinks it is because he has big ears. 🙂 A day in the life…

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Thank You! Thank You!

Tonight I had tea with some friends at Chocolatea (and I had A LOT of tea, so this post will probably be wordy, lengthy, and full of heart – beacuse that is what TEA does to me). It was so nice to get out of the house and talk to some great women. Since Steve took a 2nd shift position, I will say that one thing I miss is the frequent mommy evenings out. Although, I cannot complain because I think I was spoiled with how many I was able to sneak off to before. 🙂 Either way, tonight was a blessing in more way than one. Here is another “glass half full” post, so if you don’t enjoy those, you may want to push the little ‘x’ in the upper right-hand corner now. Just sayin’. Why was this evening a blessing? Read on…

I got to the tea shop at about 6:30, knowing my friends wouldn’t be there until around 8:30. I wanted a little quiet time to read, journal, and stare at the Portage Creek and the peace it brings my soul. After I got my tea, I walked past a HUGE (like 4 inch) binder sitting on one of the customer tables called “COMMUN-A-TEA” (community). I was intrigued already. Obviously. As I sat flipping through this book, I was blown away. I figured out quickly why I love Chocolatea and the Kragt family. This binder was packed full of letters and hand-written cards expressing all sorts of gratitude to the owner and her beautiful, unique and super-generous local business. I was so inspired, overwhelmed and thankful. I love that I regularly support a business that so generously supports our community in so many ways! WOW! Mind-blown!

In addition, I cannot even express my gratitude to the Kalamazoo Moms Group with words. You all have become such a big part of my life and have impacted and inspired me in more ways than you all know. Yesterday, I lost my cell phone. Tonight at Chocolatea, Holly and Michelle presented me with the sweetest card I have ever received expressing their thanks and admiration; a beautiful card that makes me cry when I read it. In the card was a gift card to replace my phone that I lost yesterday in a moment of total scatter (I am a scatter-brain, in case you haven’t noticed). How absolutely incredible you women are for caring enough to do this for me. You all have hearts of gold and I am so blessed to have all of you in my life. Thank you so much!

Today was a great day. Steve and Noah are enjoying their time camping with Steve’s dad. I got to go to the new Hobby Lobby (although I refrained from buying anything, I literally wanted to squeal when I walked in…), I went to many garage sales looking for fall/winter clothes for Noah, stopped at my favorite antique shops in town, and had a peaceful dinner at Noodles and Co. I ended up buying a rug for the kitchen and a cracked canoe for $10 that I plan to paint and plant flowers in our yard. The picture below might give you an idea of what I have planned. Yes, another project is underway at the Rice household. Nothing new there.

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The point of my blog (sometimes) is to journal and note what is on my heart. I blog about the moments I want to store away…and the details of the work of Jesus in our family that I want recorded for my child one day. I like sharing (and getting) ideas with (from) other moms. My life is generally pretty great and I have nothing to complain about. I have a great life: a God that blesses and loves us unconditionally; a stellar son who makes everyday an interesting adventure; a husband who is fabulous and supportive beyond words; the best parents a girl could ever ask for; in-laws that I love (and I feel lucky to be able to say that, because many people hate their in-laws); a great church; an awesome, family-friendly community; and family and friends that are irreplaceable. I tend to reflect on a happy heart and not dwell on a sad one. I do have bad days and I suck at a lot of things (cooking and baking to name a few). Oh, and I love buttons.

What makes your heart sing? I’d love to see some responses! Love you all! And when I say love, I mean it! With my whole heart!

Joy. Filled.

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This photo inspires creativity for me in so many ways. First of all, I love tea. Love, love, LOVE, tea. There are so many elements about a single pot and cup of tea that “get me going”. It is almost like putting on a thinking cap. Tonight, my cup of tea and I had a few thoughts…

This evening, I reflected a lot on our trip to Pennsylvania last week. It was amazing in so many ways, but I can say that what I will remember is what I saw and how I felt. I love mountains. “There is, indeed, something inexpressibly pleasing in the annual renovation of the world, and the display of the treasures of nature.” -Samuel Johnson I believe this to be true. Anyway, a short recap:

Traveling through Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and onto our final destination, Pennsylvania, was so much fun with my guys! Noah kept busy with all the activities we had packed and he enjoyed tracking our progress exit by exit on the Ohio Turnpike map. This was the longest car trip Noah has been on and it went GREAT! On our way, we saw 28 different state license plates (including DC!)! We visited our 4th Jellystone (we have been to 2 in MI, one in IN and one now in PA), went to the 70th Annual Mizikar Family Reunion (it was really interesting hearing about my MIL’s family history and talking about polish food, specifically perogis) and were introduced to the famous “wax paper slide”, visited Pittsburg on Monday (which was Noah’s first time in a “big” city), went to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, viewed the city from the The Duquesne Incline, and went through a street tunnel Noah will never forget. ♥ We did a lot of swimming, water park play, laughing, snowless snow tubing, mining, riding the “Picnic Basket Express”, and catching a ride on the train, and, possibly most notably, bat watching (and shining) while camping at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort Mill Run Pa. Not forgetting to mention watching Steve’s dad light a metal broom handle on fire. A great late night science lesson for all! Classic! We concluded our trip with a little cave crawling at Laurel Caverns. Noah was amazed by this…especially when the tour guide turned off all the lights in the cave (good thing he had his handy mining hat with an attached light)! The mountains in PA are beautiful and we cannot wait to go back to check white-water rafting off our list! Until next time, PA! (I will share only a few of my 500-some pictures…)

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I also spent some time thinking about my mom and dad. I talked to my mom tonight on the phone for over 3 hours. I love the relationship we have and I thank God for it everyday. After talking to my mom this evening and hearing the excitement in her voice, I just know there is light at the end of this tunnel. I see it. I hear it. I feel it. Their “happily ever after” is on the way if I have to hand deliver it!! My parents are moving into a new season of life and I could not possibly be more excited for them. It has been a process for me to convince them that this is THEIR TIME in their lives and it was time to step away from continuing to “raise” their kids. In the most recent months, they have been slowly but surely moving towards moving closer to where my dad works so he can have less a commute everyday to work (which adds an extra perk of being closer to Kalamazoo..only a 45 minute drive to see granny now!). They are looking to “simplify“. I told them to pick one word to work towards and simplify is certainly the right word. I am so excited and proud of the season of life they are moving into. My parents are very simple people. They understand and believe that material possessions are not something you leave this world with when you die. I am so thankful to have been taught that. They don’t go shopping. They, in fact, are the most selfless people in the world. They have consistently given every bit of themselves for as long as I can remember. My dad is a very hard worker and has significant value to his employer. He has been there 15 years this year and has the entire month of October off paid as a reward for that. He deserves every minute of it. He is the definition of what work ethic should look like everywhere. My mom has put everything she has into mothering 4 children. Her and my dad both always went without so us kids could have what we needed. I recognize that today more than ever. My mom would give everything she had to a stranger in need. She has been a Jesus follower and I love her for that. Being the oldest child, I feel that every challenge and burden they face sits heavily on my heart too. In the future when I look back on their lives, I want to remember their latest years being joy-filled and stress-free. I want to remember them sitting in the sand and gazing and the water. Taking walks on the beach and appreciating everything simple and beautiful in this world that is so easily taken for granted. I want to see my mom knitting. I want to see them making jam together, canning together and trying new recipes in the kitchen together. I want to remember then visiting antique shops and be able to hear my mom calling me with excitement to tell me about her treasured finds. I want to look back on my mom writing poetry from her heart and soul. I want to see my dad laugh, grill and tinker around the yard. That is what I want to see and remember. I could give a shit less about material possessions and money. The legacy that they leave is going to be immense. They have planted 4 of the strongest, boldest and kindest hearts into their 4 children.

We went to pick peaches with them on my moms birthday (which was August 10th). I do not remember the last time I saw them so care-free, easy-going and joy-filled. Laughing. Joking around. Fiddling with the idea of trying to make peach jam when they got home. And they did! It turned out great. I love what I am seeing and it bring so much peace and joy to my soul. I love you so much, Mom and Dad! I thank God everyday for parents who loved each other more than anything…through everything.

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I also received news today that is going to certainly prevent me from sleeping tonight (and no, I am not pregnant). I pray to someday share that glory!

With a heart full of love, I need to lay down.