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Twisters

Two nights ago was the second night in two weeks that our family of five camped out in the closet. We live in a double wide, not really tornado ready.

It came suddenly too. I should say they since two tornadoes were confirmed on the ground at either side of our area. Both were EF-0s.

It was a blessing that GamerDad let the boys stay up and that I took a different route home from volunteering at church. If he hadn’t let them stay up, we would have had to drag sleeping boys into our closet. As for my route, I could have been in the throws of the storm with Lil Miss and Cherry, our SUV.

Twice I heard dead silence and then the train sound that is the tell take sign. Right before the silence, Lil Miss freaked out. The rest of us were chilling/praying (our house was shaking quite a bit).

The aftermath was just stuff blown away, trees down/torn apart, and our power being out. Our power was out for 9 hours! Most of our town had it back in 2-4 hours. We had to toss most of our food in the fridge. Why? Fridge food can be ok if an outage is 4-6 hours. A half full freezer is good for 24 hours, if it is full, 48 hours.

Thankfully, our renter’s insurance is amazing. I called them to see if they would reimburse us. Had I not just shopped on Monday, I wouldn’t have worried about it. They went above and beyond. I was asked to estimate the cost and they factored in the local tax.

Our family went out to lunch at Olive Garden since our main staples (meat and cheese) were in the trash. The boys still had some energy about the storm and spoke loudly about it. I apologized to the server and explained why we were even there to begin with. As we finish our meal, the manager clears the table and our server comes behind him with a huge smile on her face. They comped the adult meals!

On the way home, we paid it forward. I heard of a mom who lost her cloth diapers and reuse-able breast pads. She had them drying outside when the twister hit her neighborhood. Being that I don’t leak anymore and we have cloth diapers to spare, I gave her some of each.

Life can sometimes eat you up, spin you around, and toss you far from where you want to be. Dust yourself off, turn around, and count your blessings.

We are so thankful that all we lost was stuff. We have each other and we have our faith.

Our oldest had Bible study at the base chapel last night. The theme, “trust in God.” I asked him if he trusted God the other night. He was honest and said no, but that he does now.

God bless!

Homeschool Conference trip

This past weekend we headed down to San Antonio for a homeschool conference. It was small but the message was big! Many of the speakers were homeschool moms of four or more kids. Some also ran home businesses or had time to write a book (seriously?!). It was much needed for our home. GamerDad was suggesting before the conference that when we move again, we put our oldest in public school so i can have a break, he can be in a real class, etc. none of what I want or need. These speakers expressed that their desired changed, mine have too. I once wanted to get back to work. Having kids and schooling them have put me on a different path. Home with my kids is where I belong. We learn about things together.
Fr Felix was my favorite speaker and I know he resonated strongly with my husband. He is a really funny guy with a lot of energy. Prayer was his main message. We teach our children the memorization prayers but many of us fail to teach our kids how to have conversations with God. GamerDad now starts off meal prayers ad-libbing and then does the “Bless us oh God, for these thy gifts…” I love seeing that change in him.

We also took time for fun: the Riverwalk boat tour, firehouse museum, the Alamo, Sea World, the zoo, and we attended the vigil mass at The Basilica of The Little Flower. I had to pay tribute to St Therese. After all, the morning of the anatomy scan of Little Miss, only my pink roses were in bloom, giving me a heads up on what to expect.

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Now we are home, our school books in the mail, and are starting the school year by writing to our first pen pal from Japan! How exciting! We are thrilled to get started!

God bless!!

Pale me+TX sun= sunburn

This weekend has been gorgeous! We took the kids to the park yesterday and I slathered us all in homemade sunscreen . Click the blue for the recipe.

20140601-071817-26297801.jpg I doubled the recipe and got slightly more than what two of these jars can fill.
Being that Lil Miss loves to shove her fingers in her mouth and that she is as pale as I am, I wanted to make sure we had a non-toxic option. It rubs in great and leaves your skin silky smooth, much needed in our arid environment! Added bonus, you need to store it in the fridge, so it goes on cool and feels amazing on those hot, summer (sprummer?) days.

I missed a few spots on myself.

20140601-072010-26410751.jpg Ow! And itchy. For some reason, sunburn always makes me itch.

Usually I just put on aloe lotion and call it good. A friend told me last time to use lavender oil too, it takes the burn out. A double punch to the burn, I will take it!

20140601-072132-26492850.jpg I put on the aloe first and then rubbed in a drop of lavender oil before bed. Here is what the same spot looked like this morning, no more red!

20140601-072225-26545604.jpg No burn or itch this morning either.

Did the sunscreen work? Well, I covered the kids and GamerDad covered himself. None of them are burned. I am either extra burnable or I missed some spots. I’d say it works!

God bless!

Baby Led Weaning

After two kiddos who did mushy food and gagged at textured food, we opted for BLW for this one. What is it? You simply give your baby whatever it is that you are eating in small pieces minus the usual no-nos (salt, honey, peanut butter, etc). Yes, this works with babies who have no teeth to speak of. Lil Miss will be 9mo soon and is just now getting her first tooth at the service. We have done BLW with her for about 3mo now.
She first attacked strawberries. Now she goes after watermelon, like this:

20140527-201311-72791199.jpg.

I might add that right before this she was screaming and doing a weird demon voiced “dada” call. GamerDad was freaked by her deep voice calling out to him as he did the dishes (yep, I cook, he cleans up my mess. He’s all mine, sorry ladies!). Then I saw her reach for my watermelon since I obviously was not shoving homemade fries over to her tray fast enough. The picture soon came after I gave up my sweet slice of watermelon. In minutes she looked like she was in a blood bath and the watermelon was pulverized.
Yep, she knows how to bite, chew, and swallow. Textures do not throw her off thanks to BLW. It also makes my life so much easier, no cleaning out baby food jars or trying to find a place to store them or make room in the freezer for homemade baby food. No hours wasted prepping it all because she eats what I eat. Another perk, it is called the mommy diet. You only really get to eat about half your plate because baby claims the rest. By the time you get to eat a few bites and baby has had more than you, you decide you are full. :P

God bless!

Read the directions!

Yesterday evening things were chaotic. I had dinner going, was working on a French Apple Tart, the boys were acting nutso, hubby was getting things ready for his next shift of work, and I started load one of 3 of laundry. Multi-tasking hard core! Oh, and Lil Miss was kinda all over the place and I did have to pull an apple peel from her mouth. Fun times.
I wanted to do this tart for a playgroup we have today. About 15 years ago I was at church camp and we learned to make this very artistic dessert. Concentric circles of thinly sliced apples. It just looks elegant! I had to make it again once I saw the Granny Smith’s in the lunchbox package from Bountiful Baskets. The top apples are supposed to be sautéed but I nixed that out because I didn’t want them too soft as they are cut thin. Mainly, I didn’t want them to squish or tear up as I laid them in the pan. I did have to reposition the apples because GamerDad thought that while I was carefully placing the slices it would be prime time to playfully smack my bottom. Not cool, I was almost done and had to re-do half my work.

After it baked and cooled, I knew it needed the glaze of apricot preserves and water (booze could be used too, but I opted to not. Now I wish I had!). I whipped that together and brushed it on, frustrated that my tart looked nothing like the photo. My artistic apples ruined by clumps of apricot.

This morning, I looked at my pie/tart (I do not have a tart pan, must fix this)

20140521-070420-25460207.jpg. Then I looked at the directions: heat preserves in a small sauce pain, boil, then add water or booze, strain. D’oh! Not only did I not hear up the preserves, but I didn’t strain them either.

Lesson learned, never try to do too much at once when it comes to baking and always triple check the directions.
It should still taste delicious, I just wish it looked like food art.

God Bless!

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That is what I got from my pick up site last Friday. I know some things are hard to see. That was the basic basket at $15.

Here is the list of items I got with the prices I could find in the local circular of HEB since that is where we shop 95% of the time.

Grape tomatoes: $2.22
Apricots: $2.48
Limes: $2
Nectarines: $5.26
Romaine: $1.28
Onion: $2.36
Pineapple: $1.50
Cantaloupe: $0.98
Watermelon: 4.98
Carrots: $0.78
Daikon: $0.98
Total cost of items: $24.82

With one item with a price not readily known and the real price at our usual store already hitting close to $25, I think Bountiful Baskets is totally worth it.

Keep in mind, it isn’t just the price that I love. Why do I love BB?

1. Price
2. Quality
3. Freshness
4. Supports local farmers
5. There is always something I have never tried before. Daikon was our new thing and it was delicious grated in a salad today. It will be in stir fry at dinner.
6. Pick up sites here are by playgrounds. My kids love that part.
7. There is more than just the basic basket. We got the “lunch box” and a crate of blueberries this time around. Sure, it had extra nectarines and apricots, but I got creative and made new stuff or cut and froze the rest for future use.
8. The price is kept down because they focus on providing in season produce.

Want to know if your area has BB? Please go visit them at: Bountiful Baskets

God Bless!

*edit* Prices were re-evaluated at a store trip. I could not find a daikon, so I have no clue what they cost.
**edit**I found a Daikon for 98 cents yesterday! I adjusted this post accordingly. Roughly, I saved $10, not counting tax.

I went on a blog vacay

Yes, it has been a while since I have out anything in this lil corner of the web. I’m sorry!
I have excuses, plenty of them:
1. Lil Miss is mobile, crawling all over the place and trying to stand on her own. Nix that, she can stand 5 seconds without assistance.
2. I dove head first into some books that I have read before but never in order.
3. Hubby was away for a while and juggling the house, three active kids, and volunteering kinda hit me in the face.
4. Hubs returned and went on a blah schedule and we needed to find our new norm.
5. Actual trips were planned but are now being rescheduled for various reasons.
6. I had to strip the cloth diapers. The first way I tried didn’t work so I did it a second way. Two day process, glad it is done!
7. I began participating in Bountiful Baskets. Sure, I pay my money and go stand in line. However, I like to create new stuff with my goodies. For instance:

20140519-194120-70880248.jpg Apricot Coffee Cake! Yum! It lasted 36 hours. I still have a French Apple Tart and French Toast Cupcakes to make this week as well as something that used daikon. It makes me feel like I got the mystery basket in Chopped sometimes. It gives the whole family a chance to learn about a new veggie or fruit and how to prepare it. Homeschool win even though we are off until next month!
8. We are also doing DDP Yoga now to get fit. I admit, I am dragging my feet as if they are filled with lead. Downward Dog is the only pose with the proper name. The rest are odd wrestler variations. I also like my relaxed version…adding dynamic resistance is weird. It is in the name of losing some flab and being with the hubs, so I will do it even if I want to growl at the perky chested, flat bellied, midriff showing chick demonstrating Child’s Pose at the end (I forgot the silly name DDP uses for it).

Hopefully, I will be back on a more regular basis!

God bless!

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