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Being a mom is one of the hardest but most rewarding job I have ever had. It can also be one of the jobs that has made me the most tired during the day. From pregnancy to nursing, to sleepless nights and chasing toddles (all the same time) my physical body and mind can get TIRED!

Well I have newly discovered a “energy drink” – PRAYER. (Hear me out)

Psalm 103:5 – He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

ASK and you share RECEIVE. See I thought that I didn’t have time to stop and pray because I was TOO busy, but the truth is when I stop, breathe, refocus I regain energy! It is a divine energy because I am not be physically awake (more like a walking zombie) BUT it is a energy of peace. The energy of peace allows me to correct with patience, breathe through frustrations, apologize in outbursts, and ENJOY the ride!



God, renew my every when I am tired. Remind me to stop and pray during the day. Allow me to receive your divine energy. Create in me a peaceful and joyful spirit. Thank you for your provisions in my life and for the blessings you have given!

Join me in remember to pray for ourselves, to stop and reach out to God in our tired moments.




Prayer is such a powerful thing that I for one have not been utilizing enough in my family, especially when it comes to my children.

I am really good at “surface” prayers but I am ready to dive deeper into and go to battle for the specific needs of my family.

Join me as I pray for my family and for yours as well.

Today’s battle plan is: PROTECTION!


“Father, protect my children from influences that are not good.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 – Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Lord you are good and love my children beyond measure, I pray that you will help guide them away from influences that are not good. Speak truth to them so loud they will walk in that truth, towards the light, and away from evil. 

Join me in prayer, as I specifically, desperately, and continually pray for the protection of my children and yours.


Pregnancy Announcements


Memory lane continues:

I have had the opportunity to announce that Darren and I are expecting 4 times! Here is how we did it.

Baby #1:

We hosted a family dinner and their “appetizer” was in a little Chinese take out box on their plates. When they opened it this is what they found:


White oneies with sayings like: I can’t wait to bake with auntie, I can’t wait to garden with Papa, I cant wait to play basketball with uncle etc.


Baby #2

During Fathers Days we handed out cards to the dads and they had these pictures in them (thank you velvet for your photos):

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Darren LOVES to play the guitar so we were creating our family band 😉

Note: It took my mom to lean over and see the pictures in my dads card to say “OH MY GOODNESS YOU ARE PREGNANT!” Thanks mom for helping dad out haha!


Baby #3

We had our one boy and one girl so for this next announcement we announced we were having a “tie breaker.” During Thanksgiving 2015 we told our family with this goofy pictures (we have one dog which is a male and one that is a female so of course we had to include them. Thank you Thomas for taking our photo)



Baby #4

With our most recent baby we found out we were pregnant right before Christmas so when we were with our family we gave them each one of these in their Christmas present:

(Sorry for the screen shot of my computer ;))

But after we told our family we decided to share this photo to announce with our friends (Thank you Mary again for taking the photo):



Maybe …….



Gender Reveals

Yes I am one of those fun, crazy people who LOVE gender reveals! And I have had the opportunity to do 4 of them so far! 🙂

Here are our reveals that we got to do:

Baby Number #1:

We had a gender reveal inside our house (it was spring in Oregon and wet lol). We asked our guest to wear the color of gender they think it will be. And the best part was my sister-in-law and mom were the only ones that knew the gender. During the ultrasound the tech wrote it on a piece of paper and my sister-in-law and her great cake skills made the reveal cake for us! 🙂


Yes! Madeline was a girl! 🙂


Baby #2

Boy or Girl Silly String


We went to dollar tree and bought a bunch of pink and blue silly string and a friend (Lauren) helped cover them all and discarded the lids, and set it up for BLUE BOY!

Darren and I were silly stringed in our back yard by 30 of our friends and family! We have a wonderful video of it 🙂 (but sadly this wordpress won’t let me upload it in my current setting so here are screen shots of the event.)



Baby #3

We had another gathering of friends and family together to reveal if it would be blue balloons or pinks balloons. When we asked Madeline if she wants a boy or girl, she responded “BOY”

WELL Madeline got her wish! Another brother 🙂 This one we found out and surprised our family 🙂 So we revealed to everyone through the balloons.


Baby #4

This pregnancy I had the opportunity to be pregnant with my Sister in Law Shannon. We ended up having our baby 12 days apart! So this reveal we had the opportunity to reveal our genders together 🙂

HOWEVER my parents would be out of town on the weekend we were going to reveal to the family so we did a special reveal before and Darren and I found out along side my parents and brother with his wife. Again we had the ultrasound tech write on a piece of paper the gender and I gave it to my friend Janelle who purchased white straws that change color (either pink or blue) when you drank cold water through them.

So we got a two for one with this baby gender reveal:

With my parents:

And here is the joined reveal:

Darren and his brother in law Chris are big shooting buddies so this reveal was perfect for them!



So here is the big question: will there be more gender reveals in the future? Maybe? We will see 🙂

Jesse’s Birth Story


Number 4! My sweetie pie!!! He is my brown hair boy!! He has been her 3 months and I am IN LOVE!!!! Couldn’t picture my life without him! What a joy he has brought to my family!

The last birth story in memory lane! Enjoy! And again here is the story the day after the big event:

Jesse’s Birth Story:

It all started on July 17th of 2017, Marissa was meeting some friends at Edgefield (to eat Cajun tots) to try to induce labor. This was around 7:00 pm, she started having mild contractions/pre-labor every 20 min or so, these were still easy to talk through so she carried on with her friends and walking around Edgefield. After about three hours she got home and continued to have pre-labor until around 11:00pm. Darren at this time didn’t feel that things were going to progress quickly so he suggested trying to sleep. Contractions were about 30 min apart all night so some decent rest was obtained. In the morning David and Donna as well as Kathy came between 6:00 and 6:30 am, in order to play with and take care of the older kids. We hung out in our bedroom waiting for contractions to speed up and get more intense. During these morning hours the contractions were about 10-20 min apart and lasting 50-70 seconds. We hung out and watched a movie as well as several cooking shows, ate some food and Marissa spent some time reading. Waiting and waiting for things to pick up and become more serious, these contractions were rarely intense enough that Marissa had to focus on relaxing through them. Darren maintained contact with the midwife team and they planned to stop by between 2:30 and 3:00pm to see how things were progressing. Katherine showed up around 3:00 pm and when she arrived contractions started to come together much nicer, with average length in-between contractions coming down to 4 min or so. We felt at this time that the labor was maybe starting to pick up and progress. She checked Marissa at this time and said that she was about 4cm dilated and 70% effaced or so. This was great as it meant that all the pre-labor had been working without being too intense. The midwife team set up the birthing tub and their supplies since they knew that one Marissa really started getting serious Jesse had the potential to come very quickly. Labor progressed steadily through the next 2.5 hours with times in and out of the tub and bed, it was intense but Marissa never felt that contractions were stacking on top of each other or unbearable. The grandparents took the kids over to play at their house to play in the kiddie pool around 3:30 so the house became much quieter and more focused around this time. Shannon came by around 5:00pm and stood by to help with any things needed. She also took some pictures during this stage of labor. Around 5:45 we asked that Katherine check Marissa again as we were trying to decide if the kids should come home for dinner and bed or if that would slow things down to much. Katherine said Marissa was 9cm dilated and 90% effaced, she suggested doing a few contractions standing with Marissa’s left leg up on a stool in order to help Jesse turn slightly to align with the pelvis. We decided to have the kids stay and David and Donna’s house until after Jesse was born since it would be soon, and we also said the moms could come over soon if they wanted to be there for the birth. Trisha Jones was also on her way in order to take over for the grandparents and help with bedtime. Shannon then called the moms again and suggested they come quickly because she really thought the baby would come soon. After the first contraction with a leg up on the stool Marissa commented, “I wish there was just a number, so I knew how many contractions left before he comes”. During the second contraction with her leg up on the stool Marissa’s water broke, it scared her and all she could think or say was “What do I do now?” This was the first time that her water had broke outside of a pool or the midwifes breaking it for her during labor. She kept asking what to do and of course Katherine said as always, “do whatever you want to do.” J So Marissa wanted to lay down on the bed, but when she got there she couldn’t lay down and decided she wanted to sit on the birthing stool. Both Donna and Kathy walked in about this time with Trisha right behind them. We got situated and there was some joking conversation about the white chair in our room as well as the birthing stool both being used in all the births. Katherine stepped into the other room to see how long Marissa had taken to push the last babies out in the chart, and as soon as she walked out Lauren the Student yelled to Katherine during Marissa’s first push “I see his head” this was at 6:05 Katherine rushed over putting on gloves quickly just in time to catch him as he came out with his left hand up by his head (He arrived a minute later: 6:06pm). He let out a cry immediately and was brought up for Marissa and Darren to hold him, he had one of the most remarkable umbilical cords the midwives had ever seen. After the time was spent nursing and snuggling sweet Jesse, the team weighed and measured him. He was 9lbs, 21 inches long, head was 35.25cm around, and chest was 38cm. Born at 6:06 pm 7/18/17.


Jonah’s Birth Story


Jonah is my big guy! He is a bundle of joy and when I say bundle I mean bundle! Currently Jonah is 1 and 1/2 and is bigger then his brother who is almost 3! He is my chunk who I can’t get enough of! He is strong, determined, independent and loves his daddy!

As we walk through memory lane and read through Jonah’s birth story, Jonah was my most difficult labor and my shortest story that I wrote the day after (I was probably exhausted but he is completely worth it!)

Here is the story of Jonah:

Jonah James Rice was born today April 15th 2016 🙂 tax day haha. He was 10 pounds!!! 36 cm head, 38.5cm chest, stomach 38.5cm, length 22.5 inches. And came out looking like a twin to Noah 🙂

Labor was different which made it confusing to me but thanks to my AMAZING husband Darren Rice, Jonah was born heathy and strong!

I started “pre” labor around 11:00 pm Thursday night, about ten mins apart, back and front labor (close but not exactly like Madeline and Noah … This should have been my first clue). We called the team around 2:00 am because we didn’t want them to be late like we did with Madeline lol. They arrived around 3:00 and thought we were on track. Contractions where strong and 3-4 mins apart. The team set up and got everything ready in case Jonah came like Noah and Madeline. But nope this third baby had different plans, I continued to labor the same (no closer or farther apart) until 10:00 am and the team and I decided we should either prepare for a few more hours or check to see what was going on. The last we checked I was 9.5 cm dilated but Jonah was still working his way down (when they felt they discovered he had his hand by his head and later we learned how big he was and needed the room). We decided to break my water to make more room for my chunky monkey and he moved quickly down once that happened. We got ready to push at 11:00 and he was out (by Gods grace) by 11:09 am. Jonah’s head came out like the others but his football size shoulders gave me a run for my money (similar to Noah but even bigger lol). Had to get into a new pushing position to help with the shoulders and my wonderful team helped my sweet boy get out! (Looking forward to having Dr. Larry Hanberg and Tara do a check on him :)). After he was out I was an emotional wreck lol another thing that never happened before (I cried for like an hour … Crazy …. I don’t know if it was lack of sleep or a taste of the future lol). My mom Donna Brown got to attend the birth (first one of my births since I “thought” by now I knew what was happening hahaha) and she got to cut the cord. My sweet mother in law was also in attendance and helping with my kiddos as well as my dad David Brown 🙂 and I didn’t worry about them once 🙂

What an amazing roller coaster ride and spiritual growth for Darren and I. We prayed together so much during those 3 mins of waiting 🙂 at the time seemed like forever but looking back I LOVED that instead of being upset we turned to God together and He has blessed this family in so many ways!

Praise God, thank you to our team and our FAMILY!

Jonah James 🙂

My 10 Pound Lovey
My sister and little brother
Daddy and Jonah
Daddy, Mommy and Jonah
Mommy and Jonah
“Little” Jonah


Noah’s Birth Story


My sweet Noah is my baby number 2 and my first boy. He is still today the biggest sweetheart you will every meet!

As we continue my memory lane week, I hope you enjoy this quick recap of his birth story, again written in my sleep deprived, falling in love with my little man state:

Noah’s Birth Story

On Tuesday, January 20th Marissa had a doctors appointment that morning to check in on Noah’s progress. Everything was looking great. Katherine our midwife said she thought I looked like Marissa was ready to have a baby and she would be surprised if she didn’t get a call that day saying labor has started. Marissa then headed to see Dr. Larry to get an adjustment. On the way from Katherine’s to Larry’s Marissa thought she felt some back pain similar to what she felt during pre-labor with Madeline. After Dr. Larry’s adjustment the time was 11:30 am. During the drive home Marissa felt some more back pain and by watching the clock they seemed to be 30 minutes apart and lasting only 30 seconds. After Marissa got home she texted Darren at work. Darren and Marissa watched as the back pain grew to 45-60 seconds in length and became 15-20 minutes apart. Darren decided to come home around 2:00 pm. Donna (Nana) came to get Madeline around 4:00 pm. The back pain started growing closer together and growing in length of time. Darren called Katherine to update her. After Nana came and picked up Madeline, Marissa’s back pain got closer to 5-8 minutes apart and 60-90 seconds. Marissa and Darren worked through the pain using the Bradley Method coaching strategies. Darren stayed in contact with Katherine and her team. They decided to come to the home around 9:00 pm. Right before the team arrived Marissa decided to get into the birthing tub. When the team arrived at 9:00 they checked on Marissa and Noah. The team decided the tub needed to be warmer in case Noah was to be delivered in the tub. Marissa labored in the birth tub from 9:00 to 11:45. During that time Darren did a wonderful job coaching, the team checked on Marissa and Noah, and Marissa’s water broke. At 11:45 Marissa decided she wanted to sit on the toilet since she was feeling like she needed to used the restroom. Marissa had 2 contractions on the toilet then Katherine asked where we would like to have to baby since he was coming and she felt the contractions moved to pushing contractions. Marissa decided she was too warm to return to the birthing pool and moved to the stool. With Darren behind her she pushed for 14 minutes before Noah arrived. On the way out Noah’s shoulders got struck and didn’t turn fully for him to come out but with two more pushes he corrected himself. Noah entered to the world and laid right on Marissa. He was happy and so comfortable he decided to pee on Marissa ;). (He claimed her as his own right from the beginning J) Noah was born at 12:05 am on Wednesday, January 21st (which was he official due date.)


Weight: 9 lbs 8 oz

Length: 55 cm

Head: 36 cm

Chest: 37 cm

Length of labor: 5hrs

Pushing length: 14 minutes

Born 12:05 am on Jan 21st

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Sweet Noah
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Long Blonde Hair

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Mommy and Noah
Sissy and Brother
Happy Boy



Madeline’s Birth Story


Feeling reflective this week, maybe it is because my baby is 3 months, maybe it is because I am uber emotional this week, and maybe just because I always enjoy remembering the birth of all my babies.

This week we are going to do a walk down memory lane with my birth stories of each kid. Starting with Madeline. As some of you might know Darren and I decided to have home births for each of our kiddos so far. We have immensely enjoyed them! While each one had it own story and uniqueness they all had been a joy!

With no further interruption I give you Madeline’s birth story: (Unedited, straight from my sleep deprived day after account) (Katherine is our Midwife :))

Madeline’s Birth Story

Madeline was due August 18th 2013. However, Marissa did not start having labor signs until August 21st. On Wednesday August 21st in the morning Marissa started having some back pain. Marissa and her mom went to water aerobics that morning at 9:30am, yet when they got there Marissa noticed some bleeding so they called the midwife, Katherine Zeiman, to check and see if everything was ok. Katherine had Marissa come into the office at 10:00am to get checked. During the check Katherine said Marissa was almost 3cm dilated, the cervix was soft and ready, the baby was effaced and the blood was ok. Marissa then went to nanny for the Hanbergs, and at 1230 started having time-able back pain. They started out 40 min apart and each lasted between 60-90 seconds. By 2:00pm the back pain was 30 min apart and still 60-90 seconds long. Darren came at 3:30pm to relieve Marissa so she could go home and take a nap. By the time Marissa got home the back pain was between 20-25min apart and still the same length. Marissa was able to nap for about an hour. About 7:30pm the back pain was advancing and was now 15 min apart still lasting 60-90 seconds. Marissa decided it was important for Darren to stop by and get food before coming home, so when Darren got off he stopped by and got food and arrived home about nine. When Darren got home, he noticed that even though Marissa was doing fine the back pain was more intense than he had thought. Marissa tried to eat some pad thai but immediately felt nauseous. By 9:30pm Marissa was feeling the contractions in her abdomen, Darren went into coaching mode to help Marissa relax through the contractions. By 10:30 the contractions were between 5-7 min apart lasting between 55-75 seconds. Shortly after at 11:00pm Marissa and Darren went down stairs to prepare the pool for relaxation. Marissa’s contractions at the point increased in frequency to 4-5 min apart. Between contractions Darren was setting up the pool, filling up water glasses, giving Marissa water and wiping her head with cool cloths, and trying to time contractions to see where we were at. By 12:45am Darren decided to call the Angela who we had hired to be the Doula. Angela arrived at 1:30am to be an extra set of hands and knowledge during the laboring process. When Angela arrived it seemed like Marissa’s contractions had changed in intensity and timing. The contractions were now 2-3 min apart and more intense than before. At 1:55am Angela called Katherine to let her know the progress and have her come to the house. Katherine’s assistant Jessica arrived first around 2:45am, when she got there she immediately noticed that Marissa was having a urge to push and called Katherine to give her a heads up Jessica immediately started organizing supplies to be ready for the birth. When Katherine arrived about 3:00am she check in with Marissa to see if she was really having an urge to push and then checked Marissa cervix to see if it was ok to push. Marissa, Darren and Angela continued coaching through contractions while the team finished setting up. She gave Marissa the green light and we got into a good pushing position on a birthing stool by 3:20am. Katherine’s midwife partner Jill arrived about that time as well. Marissa pushed at this point for about 30 min and Madeline was born at 3:54am. She was put immediately on Marissa’s chest and the birthing team dried her with warm cloths while Marissa was holding her. Madeline found her way to the breast at this peaceful time. Katherine waited until the chord had stopped pulsing to clamp it, Darren then got to cut the chord. The birthing team had Marissa give a few more pushes, then stand up and push one more time and the placenta was born. After some good bonding time and moving to a more comfortable position Madeline was weighed and measured. Madeline weighed 7lbs 12oz and was 20 inches long, her head was 34cm in circumference. Total active labor time 6hrs, 30min of pushing, followed by a beautiful home birth. Marissa tore a little and had 13 stitches however the thought of the stitches was way worse than the stitches them selves, she is way too visual haha


Funny moments:

Pool volume > hot water heater volume = cold pool

Birthing moms favorite word being “sorry!” followed by “sorry sorry sorry!”

Turns out that at 1:00am during labor Marissa actually can squeeze your fingers pretty tight.

No matter how many times people say its ok to call them in the middle of the night you still feel bad when you call them at 1:00am

Katherine arrives and checks Marissa, her reaction goes something like this “oh wow! Look at how far you have come! I don’t know how you are doing this”

Right after birth, Marissa “she is so slippery someone help me!! I need hands, I need hands!”

Marissa tore a little and had 13 stitches however the thought of the stitches was way worse than the stitches themselves, she is way too visual!

Madeline was the most silent little content baby when she came out, breathing just great but not a peep.

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Hours Before Starting Labor
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The Pumpkin
Minutes After Birth
Mommy and Baby
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Look at Her Hair



Book Break Up


Every start of new seasons, I get this itch to buy some new books. Especially every fall! I just love starting the season curled up with a blanket and a good Historical Fiction Christian Romance Novel. Yes, it is true this books are my bread and butter.

Don’t get me wrong I love books that help me better myself as a person, parent, and educator but the books I want to curl up and read in the evening are books that bring me into a different world.

I have several favorite authors who I devour their books, and one of them is Julie Klassen.

Here are a few of the books of hers I have read:


However, I just finished finished The Painters Daughter:


And it has been exactly 48 hours, 26 mins and 3 seconds since The Painter’s Daughter and I experienced our book break-up. I mean I was invested, I got to know the characters, fell in love with the story, the location and the art. Then all of a sudden I look and only have 10 pages until the end of the story and I start to see the enviable breakup that is about to transpire. 9 pages, 8 pages, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 pages I think to myself self ‘just stop now, you won’t be able to say good bye,’ 2 pages ‘but I NEED to know everyone is happily ever after’, 1 page and DONE! FINISHED! And suddenly I feel sad that this enjoyment is over, so I tell myself it is ok just go grab another book to read.  I get up and grab a book, start to read, but all I can think about is The Painter’s Daughter. See I haven’t healed from my book breakup. I can’t begin a new relationship with a new book, and new characters! I am just not ready!

Book break ups are hard, and I know one day I will move on and find someone else! SO until then I will continue to day dream about painting on the edge of a cliff 😉



The Pioneer Woman


Ok since this is a blog about my family and my children, I believe it is time to confess something:

When I get sick, and feel like death is upon me: I let my kids watch the TV with me.

There I said it. It is true. And I have created some funny obsessions as you will see.

We don’t watch TV in our household with our kids on the regular. Darren and I try as hard as we can to have limited amounts of electronics in our day-to-day lives with the kids. However, when I can barely move and all I want to do is lay on the couch, I can only read through so many books without wanting to cry out in sick pain. SO I did it, I turned on the TV and now Madeline has a FAVORITE, FAVORITE, FAVORITE show:



YUP! The Pioneer Woman! We watch the Food Network when I am sick. I confess it is true!

They say confession is good for the soul.

My favorite phrases I want to remember while watching The Pioneer Woman, is Madeline will ALWAYS say, “Momma you got to watch this so we can make it!” And if I turn away for one second, “Momma you will miss it!” And if she thinks I am not paying attention, “1 cup of broth, 1 tablespoon of salt,” yes she will make sure I am learning how to make this recipe. My favorite is when we are watching and she will ask me each time an ingredient is mentioned, “Do we have that?” and if we don’t she says, “put it on the list.” I have created a lil mini me cute monster!

“Welcome to my frontier!”