Travis and I have been married for 9 years. In that time we have had three sweet, wonderful boys, K, 8, E, 6, and A, almost 3. Travis works as a truck driver for the local oil refinery. I am busy with 3 full time jobs with the Buggy, Stinker, and Monkey(kids), full time daycare, working part-time/full time at the local truck stop as a cashier, helping with the PTO at the kids’ school, and my exciting Bountiful Baskets duties. In our 12 years together we have been through many roller coasters, many towns, many moves, and many jobs; each one bringing us closer together. Travis is a very picky eater so I have adjusted many of my favorite foods to his selective nature. K has PDD-NOS (a sensory delay on the autistic spectrum) and texture sensitivities. E has AD/HD and while we currently have him medicated we hope to have him sleep and diet controlled soon. A is our allergy and asthma kiddo, with varied allergies to Dairy, shellfish, tomatoes, soy, and strawberries. His reactions vary depending on the food and preparation type so I have tried to master the art of trial and error with substitution. We live in a small rural community in Wyoming. While I was born in a bigger town in Wyoming, Travis has always gravitated to the smaller towns and I have always gravitated to big cities (Denver, for example, I love to visit). I was raised as a spoiled rich kid…..so adjusting to a working income and having to stretch every cent and use all we can has been hard. I now love to experiment with food (although my family is not always on board for me to test on them), coupon, learn to garden, learn to can, and learn to live off what we have.
I’m so excited to announce our first round of guest bloggers. We had an amazing number of applications to sort through, and I can tell you that it was really, really difficult to narrow it down to our final group. You all have such amazing stories to tell, and I want you all to know that we will continue to ask for your stories! We ended up with ten amazing people who have much to share with you, and I ask you to join us in welcoming them.
So, without further ado – here are our first round of guests! Click on their names to learn more about them.
Continue reading “Introducing Our Guest Bloggers!”
I was actually at my doctor’s office in between Christmas and New Years. I am currently undergoing treatment for a more serious case of scoliosis with side effects of sciatica and spinal arthritis. I bring this up because all my life I’ve lived with chronic pain. For the past 10 years it’s been very bad and about 3 years ago it was at a point where daily activities became taxing. (I am only 32 yrs old). We got on topic about diet and how eating right would help my condition and I started telling her about Bountiful Baskets and how even though I read labels and cooked from fresh ingredients, since starting participation I actually started feeling better both mentally and physically. She eagerly took down the website information and then asked me why I do it. And so I told her: My family started participating in bountiful baskets back in July 2012. From our first basket we volunteered every time. And then I started training to open a site.
Before all this I felt as if I was kinda dying. Like there was nothing motivating me on a personal level. I lost passion and inspiration. And for whatever reason, Bountiful Baskets reignited much of what I had lost. I started getting more creative in the kitchen. I started canning and preserving. And I started teaching other families in the area the benefits of cooking from fresh ingredients and how to do simple things that seemed complex (like making fresh bread). I found my passion for food all over again. But that was just part of it. I found that even though I was still in pain, it was not nearly as bad as it had been. Most days I could actually keep up with my 4 kids (oh if I had even an ounce of that energy!).
Bountiful Baskets also has become a family activity. Behind the scenes my kids help me prep for pickups on Fridays. My husband helps me load the truck and double checks that I have all my supplies. My 4 year old makes his wish list for basket contents writing in characters unrecognizable to me… grapes and trees with microscopic squirrels (broccoli) are always on his list… (I never tell them what baskets are going to have). The older 2 kids usually come to the site the morning of to help. So it teaches my kids about hard work, about getting out of something what you put into it. About working together and planning ahead… And it makes us feel good to know that we are helping so many people- people who may not otherwise be able to afford healthy food and people with health issues who want to change their habits… wives of deployed husbands who are grateful for a smile and help to their car while taking a small break in that monotonous long wait… it makes a difference to them, to their lives. I have made some new friends whom I adore. We swap recipes and jams and pickles we’ve canned. And talk for hours about food and get giddy when basket day approaches (my husband still does not understand the silly smiley happy dance of Monday and Friday nights).
I grew up on the gang-infested north side of Chicago. You just don’t see this type of community togetherness where I come from… so even to witness the teamwork is special to me.
I feel it’s an honor to volunteer and work with everyone. And there have been some not so great experiences at times… but if everything were always rainbows and sunshine we wouldn’t know where to improve and we wouldn’t grow. I appreciate the hard work and efforts that Sally and Tanya and DianaLyn and Rachel (who I bug a great deal with my questions) put forth. Bountiful Baskets is truly an amazing organization and I hope in the future even more communities have the great fortune of benefiting from its awesomeness.
(Sorry for the novel. Just wanted to share).
Shared by Joan J in North Dakota. 🙂
Continue reading “A Pomegranate Day”
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My son, E., was born with a rare genetic disorder called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Basically, this disorder causes tumors to grow on every organ in the body: eyes, heart, liver, brain, skin, teeth, lungs, etc. Currently, he has dozens of tumors in his brain and two on his heart. The tumors in his brain cause developmental delay and seizures.
I remember the first time I held him in my arms: I looked upon this beautiful baby boy with all the hope a new mother has, felt his delicate skin and kissed his tiny forehead. It was at that time he had his first seizure. That was over four years ago.
Continue reading “Sarah T’s Seizure-Free Story”
I contributed for my first basket about a year-and-a-half ago while living in Renton, Washington. A friend of mine, Erin, pestered me about contributing for a basket for several months before I finally give her the $15 for a basket. My thought: “Is it really worth it to drive 20 minutes for $15 worth of produce? Really, how much produce will I get? What quality will it be in? Will it be anything my family will eat?”
It was a busy Saturday for my family: our second child was just a few weeks old – that Saturday was her blessing day, both sets of grandparents an uncle and an aunt were in town, our first child’s fourth-birthday party was that afternoon. Truly, I hadn’t given much thought to our produce basket until late afternoon when Erin dropped it by our house. My first thought: “All this for 15 bucks?”
Continue reading “Sarah T – A Bountiful Baskets Family”
We are Kyle and Kisha R. We are currently living in Monahans (middle of nowhere), Texas and are both employed as nurses at the local hospital. We have three girls in the picture: from left to right are Lindsey, who is 9 and was born blind (her favorite activity is anything with music); Charlotte, who is 3 and loves dance; and Holly who is 4 and loves playing T-ball and dancing ballet.
Continue reading “Kisha R’s Story”
Bountiful Baskets has been an AWESOME experience for us. “Us” being a young family of four – Lauren (me), Jason (the husband), and our two-year-old daughters. I started my “Healthy Eating” journey when my girls started eating solids. I soon realized that if I wanted my girls to eat healthy, I was setting a bad example! I knew what healthy looked like, but my food focus was on saving money by couponing (which often encouraged me to buy unhealthy foods – a box of cookies for 47 cents is still an unhealthy box of cookies!) and only buying produce when it was on sale (which limited the variety – and thus the appeal – of eating fruits and veggies).
Continue reading “Lauren A’s Story”
Suzy Homemaker I’m not. In fact, who has time to be “her” these days? With a 40-hour work week, and all the quick-fix micro meals and the mass of merchandise available in big box stores, the domestic arts are going the way of the dinosaur.
But not if I have anything to say about it.
I have a passion. One I share with a number of women—fictional characters and real people—who can easily whip up a pot roast supper from scratch, create a dazzling desert in 30 minutes or less and decorate the dinner table with garden clippings and tin cans. June Cleaver. Betty Crocker. Martha Stewart. My Grandmother.
Now I want to share my passion with you.
While I won’t profess to be an expert at everything you need to know in your kitchen or home, I will help to nurture the Suzy Homemaker that lives inside of you.