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!

Holding a Hummer!

I took my ladies group to the Hummer House (click and explore) yesterday afternoon. We first thought it might not even happen because the morning had a bite to it with a chilly wind and some much needed rain. In fact, I had gotten calls asking if we were still going. I was determined to make it happen!

We got there a little ahead of our scheduled time and the slide presentation started right off. Many things were learned: 1. It takes about 7 hummers to equal 1oz. 2. A female always has two eggs that make up 20% of her weight. 3. Her skin is so tight when pregnant that you can see the eggs through her skin when you blow on her feathers. 4. Despite how hyper they appear, they are quite calm once captured. More was learned, but you’ll have to go and see for yourself!

Hummer House is known as a mega feeding station for the hummers. They have no less than 25 feeders out and plenty of pecan trees around with swarms of gnats (the protein rich food hummers love most). They call in banders to band new hummers and check the numbers on banded ones to track their journey and other data.

During the presentation, we saw a rare fellow, most likely an Allen’s Hummingbird. As a result, the banders were called in so we got to witness the whole process.

20140406-124147.jpg Allen’s Hummingbird

20140406-124405.jpgbander capturing hummers

Then we got to feel the heartbeat of a hummer. My goodness! If you thought their wings hummed, their heart seems to do it too! Finally, the real treat, holding a hummer! We all got to hold one, very briefly. See how calm they are?


It was an amazing experience! While there, they caught two older hummers, known by the number sequence on the bands. Right now, they are tracking down the 12 year old hummer. Yes, old for a hummer!

Most of the hummers this direction are black chinned humming birds. They have a black head and chin with a tiny bit of the most vibrant purple under their chins. These feathers are actually clear! Most of the vivid colors on hummingbirds are iridescent and clear.

If any of my dear readers get the chance to go to Christoval, TX, go to the Hummer House. They are open every Saturday from April-September. There are also cabins to rent so you can stay nestled up in a cabin in the pecan Forrest to watch the birds for a weekend. In a few weeks, I plan to take my boys there for a homeschool unit study.

God Bless!


Alms giving

One of the pillars of Lent is alms giving. Today, our local paper featured an article about some friars in Rome using Kickstarter to fund the restoration of the cell of St Francis that he frequently visited. Their goal is to raise $125,000. Last I saw, they were close to $4k into their goal. If you see it in your heart to help their cause, please visit Kickstarter and donate to their cause. Any funds that go over will be used to restore the rest of the building. I think it is really cool that they are using technology to boost their signal.

God bless!!

*EDIT* They have $50k of the $125k needed. Only 9 days left!

Happy Pi Day!

Last night I knew I was going to bake a blueberry pie for Pi Day (3.1415…). I brought it up to GamerDad and he said he would prefer a cake. I’m doing both.

At first I wanted to do Pi 3D. Once I printed out the template, I thought it would be crazy flimsy to try and do a two-layer cake. Thanks to a friend, I modified the idea and stuck with a 9on round on the bottom. She suggested just the rounds and making Pi out of fruit. Well, I cut out Pi from the second cake while front carrying Lil Miss in our Ergo carrier. Not an easy task.



The top photo is what I am dubbing “cake surgery.” The bottom is the successful transfer of Pi onto the round. I used two spatulas and a lot of slow determination.

The frosting is a simple cream cheese frosting: 1 brick of cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, a pour of vanilla, and about 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar. The first two ingredients I beat the heck out of. The sifting is the key to any frosting with powdered sugar unless you dig the lumpy look.

Next, I took Lil Miss’ favorite food (I know, I know BLW at 1 year, but she seriously screams for these), strawberries, and sliced them. Tada! Mosaic strawberry Pi!



Here is from earlier in the day when we all had lunch and there was screaming for food:


God Bless!!

*Edit* For those who have been waiting, Pi Pie! It is blueberry and smells delish!



It exploded a bit, which is why I included the pre-baked photo.


Our Lady of Grace Monastery

Today’s visit to the monastery almost did not happen. I did not want to tempt fate with all three kiddos at a mass specially arranged for my church group. GamerDad is on his way back home or he could have corralled the boys. Last night I got a call that one of the ladies was ill and the other twisted her ankle. Then another call saying she didn’t want to drive on her own so she was ducking out.
I said a few quiet prayers as I spoke to these women. The lady with the bum ankle came because she had food for the nuns and wanted to help me get there. Then I got a text from another lady who was going to go but did not want to try and manage her kiddos on her own either. Instead of us both being grounded at home with kids, she volunteered to watch my boys. What a blessings that was!
Then, my boys, who never sleep in, slept in. They are my alarm clocks! At 7am I flew out of bed and shoved the butternut squash lasagna in the oven. I promised the nuns lunch for after mass and it needed cooked before the hour and a half drive out there. Sleeping in was another welcomed blessing as we are in the throws of the 6 month growth spurt over here.
At 8:30, I gave the lady who didn’t want to drive on her own a call and told her I had room in my 8 seater. Once I got to the meeting place, I was pleased to see both ladies (M&T we shall call them). If it wasn’t for T, I would have gotten terribly lost!

Our Lady of Grace is tucked way, way, way back in ranch land. Dirt roads folks. I haven’t been on a dirt road like that since I lived in PA.

Cows were lined up beside the road, a llama was there too! Trees were all over the place! Loved it!

Then, when you think you cannot drive any more, you see the bell tower. This particular chapel was dedicated in 2001 but they have been there for 20 years as of last month.

Here is the main doorway into the chapel:

20140301-202948.jpg The bell tower is just above this door. I was in a hurry because mass was about to begin and we had chatted with two of the nuns for a good while beforehand. They got a kick out of Lil Miss and Mother Superior Mary Grace praised me for nursing and said Pope Francis would be so glad I was doing that!

Once inside, I totally fell in love with the small details, like this:


And there are these lovely shots from inside as well:




Fr Michael had a powerful message on prayer. That we often get distracted when we say the rosary or another long prayer. What is important is to stay focused and send out little prayers to get back on track.

Immediately, I thought of when I get frustrated homeschooling. I will sit there and scribble JMJ on the planner to allow The Holy Family to help me. It brings such peace. “The little prayers are like javelins we cast out into the evil.” Indeed!

After mass he spoke with us and grief came up. His words teared me up. M has lost too many children, my heart broke for her. He said it brings us closer to God, sometimes we need a firm shaking to get us on our knees. Then I brought up my miscarriages and how after that and our first successful pregnancy my husband returned to the faith and took me to my first mass. I shared that I converted after that and we have only gotten more active as a family with our faith. He was glad to see some of us younger folk returning because he has seen that my generation is slipping away. It’s that entitlement thing my generation has, “me, me, me, mine, mine, mine.” Nope, God should be the center.

It was a much needed trip and I look forward to visiting them again. I feel spiritually recharged!

In case you want to learn more of the sweet Carmelite sisters, here is their link

God bless!

Simple pleasures

It has been a day full of stress. Today started on a great high note (paid off my car), and progressively got worse (stuff I just really do not want to get into).

The itch to be arty struck big time. It has built up over the past few days, actually. I initially resorted to mindless doodles in the homeschool planner…with twist crayons. That didn’t cut it.

I’d been eyeing the Color Me Your Way books and settled on a relaxing seascape in Color Me Your Way 2. Just looking at it uncolored chilled me out.

The boys actually behaved and played on their own while Lil Miss napped, allowing me to get out the colored pencils and color the stress away. Man, it was very therapeutic and I will revisit it again because I can tell I am still frazzled.

Here is what I colored:

Blah on it being sideways.

Here is where you can get the Color Me Your Way series: Color Me Your Way
Every page is filled with enchanting nature scenes. There are hidden images within the main scenes which adds to the fun in coloring it. Their Facebook page features finished color pages from different folks who all approached coloring the same scene in different ways. I love it!

God Bless!