About Me

I am a Catholic homeschooling mom to three wonderful boys (Our last two graduated high school tis year 2016). I started this blog because I have a passion for food, cooking and eating! This is a place where I share my favorite cooking tips, recipes and more. I can go on for hours about the different types of flour or the different types of vanilla. Don't get me started on spices like cinnamon. I have run of the mill cinnamon and Vietnamese cinnamon, which is sweeter, stronger and more aromatic than the run of the mill cinnamon at the grocery. Then there's cocoa, lemon, sugars....... but that is for me to explain another day!   Here is a bit about me:

My two youngest have been diagnosed with clinical Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome and also have Mitochondrial Disease. Over the years, we have spent a lot of time in the hospital!  Because of the diseases the boys have, I have always cooked all natural foods.  My middle son has migraines and food additives are triggers, especially MSG.  I have been using Wildtree products for a long time.  I believe in the products enough to use them in my kitchen and I love them so much, that I decided to become a Wildtree consultant.  I am an avid blogger and decided it would be fun to share my recipes with the world!  I have a passion for cooking and I am a food snob!  Food MUST taste good!  Cooking great tasting food from scratch is easy!  I'm excited to share my recipes and tips with you!  Over the summer we will take camping trips where I will be cooking on my Coleman stove.  I'm going to share these tasty camping recipes, too!  Just because we are camping doesn't mean we won't be eating tasty food!

Prior to the married life, I was in the Louisiana Army National Guard. I spent many years as an enlisted member of the ARNG before going through Officer Candidate School. While in the Army, I received several awards, including the National Defense Service Medal and The Army Achievement Medal. I received The Army Achievement Medal for meritorious service achievement while serving as Executive Officer of the HHD 165th Transportation Battalion. The Army prepared me for motherhood. It REALLY prepared me to handle life with children with rare diseases. It certainly prepared me for homeschooling three boys, too! ~laughter~ I resigned my commission when my oldest was a toddler. The Army will always be a part of who I am!

My first two years of college, I spent at NSU in the northern part of Louisiana. I received an academic and athletic scholarship (track and X-country)to NSU while the LARNG paid for my tuition. Later, I transferred to LSU, because I wanted a B.S. in psychology, which NSU did not offer at the time. The LARNG still paid my tuition and I worked to cover my other expenses. I graduated from LSU with a BS in Psychology and a degree in Religious Studies in 1991. I worked as a social worker before getting married and moving to San Antonio, TX. All three of my boys were born in Texas. I love Texas! Once a Texan, always a Texan.

In 2001, I helped to found Shwachman-Diamond America and I am proud of all we have accomplished through SDA. Over the years, SDA has supported critical Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome research, the North American Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome Registry and worked to get successful bone marrow transplant protocols in the hands of doctors and families. Shwachman-Diamond America also pays for Dr. Harris to present grand rounds to physicians across the country. 

But, what defines me as a person? I would hope that people who know me would say that I live for Christ. I would hope that, if I were to be defined by anything, it would be my love of God first. I love my Catholic faith as much as I love my boys and my family. My first prayer for my children, before I pray for healing, is that they love God above all else. I know if they love God above all else, the rest falls into place. I want that for myself, as well. I want to love God above all things. So, while I am proud of all I have accomplished in life, I give all the credit to God. Without Him, I would be nothing and would never succeed at anything. God has been with me from the very beginning of my existence. I was supposed to die when I was born, yet here I am.

Growing up, my family was not religious, did not practice the Catholic faith. God found me on those scared and lonely nights. God protected me. I grew up in a home where my brothers were in and out of jail, kicked out of public school, sent to boarding homes, and where violence abounded. They were addicted to drugs and alcohol. This was normal life for me. Some neighborhood children were not allowed to associate with me because of my brothers' behavior. My youngest brother committed suicide when he was 20. I was a sophomore in high school when this happened and it had a great impact on my life. My oldest brother died of a drug overdose when he was 33 years old, and my middle brother has been in and out of the state penitentiary 3 times.  last I heard he was out again, but I have not seen him in 28 years.  I saw him at my youngest brother's funeral and he was unable to attend the funeral of my oldest brother because he was locked up in the pen.

My husband and I have lost 18 pregnancies, a total of 19 souls (we lost a set of twins that are buried here in North Carolina).  We lost our first pregnancy after our three boys were born, back in 1998. Thomas is buried in San Antonio, TX.  These losses have caused us to grow closer together and grow closer to God. 

I love to write (I wouldn't be a blogger if I didn't love to write, would I?) -- I hope that my articles on my family blog on coping with chronic illness and helping children cope with their illnesses can be helpful to other parents out there. I also love to work on Cards for a Cure, just a small way that I can help raise money for Shwachman-Diamond America.

There are blessings to be had in having kids with chronic illnesses, I still experience them each and every day. Our God is a merciful God! I have been abundantly blessed with a loving family and many friends. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the recipes and stories I share on Pattie's Wildtree Blog!  Happy Eating!