Saturday, June 27, 2009

Two posts in one day. We're getting a little WILD over here.

The exact same thing happened to us last year when we decided to bowl for Family Fun just wasn't all that FUN. The kiddos are still too young. Benjamin enjoyed it a little more than last year. But, I for one was too worried about the two year old putting his hands in the ball return that I barely bowled a round. Is that what it's called...a round? Sheesh...I am no bowler by any stretch. 
David loves bowling, so I think these Family Fun Day Flops must be pretty disappointing to him. 
We did enjoy a yummy lunch over at Chipotle before our bowling. That was the best part of the day! 
We're looking forward to next weeks' Family Fun Friday when we will be in Hobbs, NM for our nephew, Eli's fifth birthday! 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Saturday Edition....

Kids in the Kitchen...Weight Watchers' Style

One of my favorite ways to spend time with the boys is in the kitchen. Benjamin and I have been cooking it up for a couple of years now. Jonathan is now joining us more and more and loves to pitch in. Here's a couple of our favorites that you and your kiddos might enjoy, too:

Lazy Day Lasagna (there's now a check mark on Benjamin's summer list)
From the Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
This is a pretty basic recipe as far as lasagna goes, that's why I thought it would be perfect to make with kiddos. No frills. No fuss. But pretty tasty.

1 pound ground round
1 (26-ounce) bottle low-fat pasta sauce
1/2 cup water
2 cups fat free cottage cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Cooking Spray
1 (8-ounce) package precooked lasagna noodles
1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat mild cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain; wipe drippings from pan with paper towels. Return beef to pan. Stir in pasta sauce and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Combine cottage and Parmesan cheeses in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Spread 1/2 cup beef mixture in bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over beef mixture; top with half of cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup beef mixture, and 1/3 cup cheddar cheese. Repeat layers once, ending with noodles. Spread remaining beef mixture over noodles. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, and bake 5 additional minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Yield: 9 servings.

POINTS value: 6 points per serving.

Benjamin loves to help with putting salad together. It's the perfect time-filler while the lasagna is in the oven.

Chocolate Sheet Cake
from Weight Watchers online eTools

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup fat-free skim milk
3 large egg whites
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1 tbsp. powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well with a fork to combine.
3. In another large mixing bowl, combine milk, egg whites, melted butter and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, mix on low speed until blended; gradually beat in boiling water.

4. Gradually add flour mixture to milk mixture and mix on low speed until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan, on a wire rack.
5. Sift powdered sugar over cooled cake before cutting into 12 pieces. Yield: 1 piece per serving (the pieces are HUGE).

POINTS Value: 4 per serving

Happy Father's Day...a little late!

The biggest reason we don't keep Donettes around on a regular basis.

Hope everyone enjoyed a great Father's Day with their favorite dad! We had a fun weekend with David. Since his favorite breakfast is powdered doughnuts and Dr. Pepper, we piled it on! We went out to a fun lunch on Saturday, grilled out on Sunday with Beth & Max, and gave our favorite guy some fun goodies...including his new phone that he went and picked out a little while back.
Love you, David!

Friday, June 19, 2009

We had never been to the BLORA and thought today would be a great chance. We rode the paddleboats, hung out at the beach and braved the rocky waters to swim for a bit. Fun day. Can't wait to go back for the Christmas light display they're so famous for.

Daddy steering our paddleboat.

Benjamin trying to reach the pedals.

Notice the death-grip I had on Jonathan. There were no buckles or restraints of any kind in the boats. And the sides were very low! I held onto that kid like this the whole time.

Pointing to where he wanted to swim to.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I {heart} guacamole so much. My friend, Jennifer, always makes it when they host Life Group and hers is to die for! She serves it in the prettiest green dish and piles it up to where you can't resist it. It is the epitome of summer taste.
Although guacamole isn't all that terribly unhealthy, it does pack in the fat. A quarter of a cup contains 3 POINTS-- yikes, that can add up fast. For years, I have heard of the classic "Mock Guac" which adds frozen peas to the mix to lighten it up. I wasn't sure if I was okay with that. It turns out, I totally am. So delicious! And almost prettier than regular guacamole with the extra green from the peas. There are several versions of this around, but this one was so easy. Ole!


1 1/4 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium avocado, peeled and quartered
1/2 medium jalapeno, seeded and quartered
2 garlic cloves, minced

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and process 2 minutes or until smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Spoon guacamole into a bowl. Serve immediately, or press plastic wrap onto surface of guacamole, and chill up to one hour before serving.

YIELD: 6 servings (serving size is 1/4 a cup)
POINTS Value per serving: 1

This is great on a Baked Tostito chip (14 chips for 2 points):

Or on chicken tacos-- this is only one points' worth divided between the two tacos... Holy Guacamole, that's a lot of dip!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fun Stuff

The week is just starting and we are already having a fun time just playing and hanging out with our pals. 

Earlier this week, you may have heard something about some basketball team winning a little game. Daddy was, of course, thrilled with the outcome. Go Lakers!

Jonathan getting in on the Kobe action.

Monday we went to Waco for Playgroup. Now that we have adjusted our Camp Hope schedule, we have had so much fun playing with our church play group again. We were excited to see the Mayborn Museum and hang out in the children's wing.

Benjamin and his pal, Cade, giving their car a fill-up in the "Neighborhood" section.

Scoping out the turtle.

I spy a Jonathan.

Raising the bubble wall.

Everyone loved the walk-on piano.

"Yeehaw" is Jonathan's new catch phrase. 

Cooking in pioneer-land.


Last night we were so excited to see our friends Beth & Max that I totally forgot to take any photos of little Max! He has grown so much since we saw them over a month ago! So glad to have them home.

Today we hung out with our buddies again at the pool. The boys had a great time and are now worn out!

Fun stuff.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Asperger's Syndrome Blog?

Whether you know us in real life or maybe just in blog form, you probably are aware that our oldest son, Benjamin, was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome a little over a year ago. We had thought for quite some time, before his actual diagnosis, that this was a possibility and have pretty much consumed ourselves with research, therapy and doctor's appointments in the last year and a half. 
Within the past few months, we have had people come to us who speculate the same situation with their own child. I know a few of my blog readers have landed here because they, too, have a special needs child. And I have received emails from a few of you who were sent here from friends of ours. We are humbled and thankful for your openness. While we, by no means, feel qualified to give advice, (every situation is indeed different), we're more than happy to share what has worked for us and what hasn't. From insurance issues, to state grants, school district help, the huge bills that come from therapists that can consume and overwhelm you...we're happy to share any experience with you. I have also worked closely with Benjamin's KISD therapist to create sight-based schedule charts, behavior charts and learning tools that I will be happy to share with you (templates and all).
I know there are hundreds of sites out there with an overwhelming amount of information. We are a part of a few group sites and discussion boards, as well. After chatting with so many of you about this, I am toying with the idea of including an Asperger's section here on our family blog, or starting a group blog for Asperger's that is more of a "friendly" blog (as in you can feel as though you are sharing amongst friends, instead of a large group). If you are interested in this, or know someone who might be, please email me privately at mrsdaviddominguez[at]gmail[dot]com. 
If you are just starting out on this road, it can be quite over-whelming and a little scary. Even in the middle of it all, it is still over-whelming and scary! Sharing experiences is a great tool to help us learn through the process.
We'd love to hear from you.

Friday, June 12, 2009

We had a great week of firsts...first gymnastics lesson, first summer preschool (and first preschool day off for mom who got soooo much done), first time back at play group in months, and first Family Fun Friday of 2009!
We LOVE the Andy Wells Hike & Bike Trail and adjacent play area here in Killeen. It is a really nice park located right alongside Nolan Creek. It's a hidden gem and very well maintained. The boys and I have walked and played there before, but this time we brought Daddy, a picnic and Benjamin's bike. It turned into a great time!

The start of the trail...under the W.S. Young Bridge. 
You can look up under the bridge and see dozens of bird nests.

This is the view we had of Benjamin most of the trail-- he left us in the dust!

Stopping for a quick picture next to some small falls of the creek.

And of course, time for play.

Tonight we headed over to the Killeen Community Center's outdoor amphitheater for a "Movies in Your Park" night where they showed Kung Fu Panda, one of Benjamin's favorites. We had never been to one of these, but plan to go as often as we can. So fun! The amphitheater is on a huge area of grassy stairs. We just brought snacks since it didn't start until 8 p.m., but next time we plan to bring a big supper picnic, like most of the families tonight did. The boys thought it was too cool watching a movie outside. 

Ready for the flick.

I just thought the cool inflatable movie screen was pretty nifty, so I took a picture of it. 

Love, love, lovin' Family Fun Fridays...volume II! David is off most Fridays again for the summer....yeehaw! We hope to make it a summer of great Fridays and wonderful times together.