Monday, July 27, 2009

We've about come to the end of our Family Fun Fridays. We'll have one more on the 7th when we *hopefully* make it to Sea World. No guarantees....David's job is super crazy right now. But, we want to try to fit it in if possible. And see the SA relatives,'s been too long.

These two cool guys have had a fun summer....and worn mom out.

This past Friday Grandma & Grandpa joined us since they just got back from their "baycation" as Benjamin calls it. We went to lunch at our favorite place (Luby's, of course). They wanted to see Benjamin's last swim lesson and see our favorite new place...

The new Hope Therapy in Temple is OPEN!!! (Formerly known as Camp Hope). Could I be any more excited about this place opening? We were their second client in this new location. And even better? Our two therapists that we have used the last year and a half are coming to the Temple location for Benjamin's therapies. So excited! This is Benjamin with Rachel and Shanna and the canvas he painted for the Temple location. From here on out, Fridays are for Hope Therapy! If any of you have kiddos that are in need of physical, occupational or speech therapy, Hope Therapy in Temple is accepting new clients. Drop me an email and I'll put you in touch.

Last day of swimming lessons....which is a long story in itself. Several of you already know it. We did not end on the best note, but we'll be enrolling for multiple sessions next year. The above photo is B getting the rings off the "bridge".

The last jump in...sort of.

Saturday night, Beth & Max came over to hang out. 
Jonathan ADORES Max, I mean, "Baby Zach" as he calls him. So sweet.

That baby has the prettiest blue eyes I have ever seen.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chili's Chicken Crispers are my absolute guiltiest pleasure. But, at a whopping 47 points, it's just not even close to being a good idea. 
So, I found a little somethin'-somethin' to replace (sigh) the Chicken Crispers in my life. I will say, I wasn't crazy about the sauce. But, I am including the sauce in this recipe in case it just does it for your bunch. I would have preferred more of a honey mustard. Next time, I plan to just use a fat-free bottled dressing instead.
But the chicken fingers are gooooood. 

Pecan Crusted Chicken Fingers with Dijon Maple Sauce
(again, use the sauce at your own discretion) 
from the Weight Watchers Annual Recipes for Success 2005

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders (about 12 pieces)
3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Cooking Spray

Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons country-style Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons light butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and salt. Place 1/2 cup flour and egg substitute in separate shallow dishes. Combine 1/2 cup flour, pecans, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish.
I made my pecan pieces super fine by using a chopper.

The line up.

3. Dredge each chicken tender in flour, shaking off excess flour. Dip each tender in egg substitute; dredge dipped tenders in pecan mixture.
4. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add half of chicken and cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer chicken to a baking sheet lined with foil. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken tenders and oil.

5. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes or until done. 
6. Combine chicken broth and cornstarch; add mixture to pan used for tenders (do not wipe clean). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until thick, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in maple syrup, mustard, butter and lemon juice; cook about a minute. Serve with tenders.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size is about 2 tenders and 2 1/4 tablespoons sauce).
POINTS Value: 6 per serving

Yum. We served it with our favorite (2 points for a serving) french fries:

Oh, and WOOHOO.....I reached the 50 pounds lost mark at my Weight Watchers meeting last night! So excited to reach this milestone. 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer sure is flying by. Since Benjamin had swimming lessons already, we decided to all throw on our suits and head to the mini-waterpark in Temple after our time at UMHB. 
The Temple Lions Junction was the perfect size for our little guys. They loved the kids' play area with the huge bucket of water that spilled every few minutes. That area was my favorite, too...I could just hang out on the beach-entry area and keep an eye on everyone! Benjamin also loved the Lazy River and had fun tubin' around it with mom. 
Our day was cut a bit short when the pool was evacuated...some kid had some "issues" in the actual pool. To prevent the spread of germs, they shut the place down. So, not too many pics were taken.
It was still a fun day.
We are actually awaiting the grand opening of the Killeen mini-waterpark....debuting next Saturday. It was supposed to have opened the weekend of the 4th, so we are getting a little antsy. It is just right around the corner from our neighborhood-- so exciting! 

One bummer-- the park didn't allow outside food to be brought in. 
So, this was the extent of our our car. 

About the only photo I got of the boys.

The kiddie area-- after it had been cleared out. 
Benjamin was so bummed we had to leave early!

The twisty slides Benjamin desperately wanted to ride-- alone! 
Grow a few more inches, kid, and they'll let ya!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Next Michael Phelps...

Well, maybe not quite Michael Phelps...but swimming lessons have been a major confidence booster for Benjamin. Actually, both gymnastics and swimming have shown us a very confident little boy in our Benjamin Bunny.
Every time I try to sneak into the gym area at gymnastics and take a picture, Benjamin stops whatever he's doing and starts waving at me! But yesterday from the parents' observation room, I had a great view of him swinging on the "Tarzan" rope and dropping into the foam pit all on his own! He also loves to show us all of his new gymnastics moves at home. He does forward rolls, log rolls and his favorite, "helicopters" (which at gymnastics are done on the trampoline, but here at home, the mattress from the disassembled crib really does the job-- sounds super safe, huh?).
But, I did manage to sneak into the pool and grab some photos and videos of swim lessons. Although when I was standing there, he wouldn't jump in on his own, his swim teacher told me that he did it several times on his own in the last couple of days! So excited for him. He has also conquered swimming to the bottom to capture the diving rings. We went a different way than we originally planned with the swimming lesson thing. In Belton, the UMHB campus (this is a college for those not from this area), offers one-on-one swimming lessons all summer long. What a perfect fit for Benjamin. And now, he has a cool college friend named Jordan who we think is an AWESOME swim teacher for Benjamin. These two really get each other and Benjamin adores him. Every morning he wakes up and asks if he gets to go swim with Jordan. 
Although the daily grind is a little wild (I feel like I am carting around a teenager with all the activities he has these two weeks), it is well worth it. 
Here are a couple of short videos from his swimming lessons. I am hoping to catch him jumping in without holding Jordan's hands in the next week. For some reason, he won't do that when I am around! He must just be modest of his swimming talents when mom is around!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Family Fun Friday (Saturday Afternoon Edition)

Well, we didn't get in a Family Fun Friday this week, as Kristi and I were busy making over Jonathan's bedroom. (I'm sure Kristi will post about that one; I can't wait for everyone to see the pictures!)

But, the boys and I ventured out late this afternoon for a little bike-riding and playground climbing. (It was a hot one today, so we didn't stay out long.)

Hope everyone is doing well and keeping cool!

Benjamin thought it was TOO HOT to be out, until we got to the playground, that is...

Jonathan had a blast!

Crossing the Bridge

Baby, you can drive my car...

Climbing High

Just Hangin' Around!

Monday, July 06, 2009

The 2009 West Texas/Eastern New Mexico Tour the numbers:

-1 new friendship struck with the Texas State Trooper who pulled David over in Callahan County...and let us off with just a warning (can I get an Amen?)

-2 meals eaten at the Muleshoe Leal's...we would have gone for a third, but we ran out of time!

-3 times I reminded my husband that composing, proof-reading and sending email while driving was probably not a great idea. (Um, if it's illegal to text and drive in Texas, surely emailing on your phone falls into the same category).

-4 drives by our old house in Muleshoe (hoping the new homeowners didn't think we were stalking them)

-5 years since we first met Mr. Eli Douglas Dominguez. What a great birthday party, dude!

-30 minutes of 21 that David played in the gym at our old church....which led to some sore legs the next day

-33 photos in this post (narrowed down by the 200 we took) must really like us if you make it to the bottom of this post

-700 feet down an elevator to the bottom of Carlsbad Caverns

-1,370 miles driven

-5,000 miles I now need to run on the treadmill to earn all the points I ate while gone.

Two hours down the road to Grandma & Grandpa's and Jonathan was out.

We were able to see cousin Nathan in Abilene. And his mommy & daddy, too.

On Wednesday, we headed over to Carlsbad Caverns with Grandma & Grandpa. We all had a fun time. The last time we went there (five years ago), we went through the "natural entrance" and totally regretted it later. This time, we took the elevator and even got to tour the Great Room at the bottom.

Grandpa and Benjamin in the Great Room

Jonathan having a fun time with Grandma

Playing with Grandma and Grandpa's turtles that live in their backyard.

Great Grandpa, Jonathan and David heading up the street in downtown Monahans to eat at Habanero's. Mmm...tasty. Habanero's was formerly a Leal's and still has a similar menu. So, I suppose you could stretch it and say we Leal-ed it up THREE times. I'll just publicly apologize to my Weight Watchers leader now. I'll be skipping my meeting this week and eating negative points until next week when I face the music.

Eating with Great Grandpa and Great Grandma at Habanero's.

All of the Dominguez cousins with Grandma & Grandpa at Eli's party at Dan & Syndi's in Hobbs. (L-R): Benjamin, Jonathan, Eli, Everet, Fred, Elena, Nyla, Nathan and Ema
We had camera issues on Friday and ended up using the phone for these pics. Great quality, huh? No disrespect to the cell phone, but holy moly these are grainy-wainy.

Eli's #5 cake

Eli's cool "Hamburger Cupcakes & Cookie French Fries" that Grandma, Aunt Arly and Uncle Dan put together. Aren't they cute? Uncle Daniel found the recipe on Bakerella if you ever want to give them a whirl.

After leaving Eli's par-tay, we headed over to Muleshoe to celebrate the fourth. It was great to see so many friends and spend time catching up with everyone.

Kyle, Jonathan, Addyson and Benjamin enjoying the Muleshoe parade.

The Boy Scout's float! Hooray for our favorite Muleshoe Boy Scouts, Jacob, Riley, Kamron and Tyler who really rocked it! And our good friend Todd who was Uncle Sam there on the back.

The motorcycles are always my favorite part of the parade....loud & proud, they can't be beat.

Benjamin got to hang out with some of his favorite Muleshoe cheerleaders.
Here he is with Miss Adrienne.

And Miss Alyssa who was one of our babysitters when we lived in Muleshoe.

Benjamin attempted to climb the rockwall down at the baseball fields after the parade.

We met up with some of our favorite people, Gary & Hollye, later the afternoon of the 4th to hang out and have fun! We toured their new house that is coming along beautifully. I can't wait to see it when it's done! Benjamin needed to know where the vacuum closet was.

After touring the house, we headed up to the church building for the annual cookout. Here is Benjamin with adorable Miss Abbye, Gary's & Hollye's grandaughter. It was fun to see Abbye and her mommy & daddy, too!

David & the boys playing 21 in the church gym. Benjamin playing with....a trash can?
Why did I not notice this when I was taking the photo?

This was the first location that we tried to watch the fireworks...the traditional place left of left field. We didn't last too long here....

...before we got soaked. We packed it up and headed to the Rasco's house where we waited for the fireworks and then ended up.... their garage when it downright poured! Pretty funny, huh? We decided that the fireworks probably weren't going to happen since it was 10 minutes after their start time. So, we packed up to head back to the Kettner's where we were staying. Lo and behold, we watched the fireworks from the car when they started going off a few minutes after we started down the road. Ironically, we watched them right on West Ave J...a few hundred feet from our old house.

Good morning, sleepyheads! Jacob, Riley & Kyle Kettner Sunday morning.

Benjamin always loved to look at the water in the baptistry at our church in Muleshoe when he was a little guy. When Hollye drove us into the church parking lot the afternoon before, the first thing that kid asked was to see the water. What a memory he has. Here he is with Hollye Sunday morning looking at "the water".

Can you guess what restaurant we were at?
Gary & Jonathan hanging out at Leal's after church.

Drive-by #4...our former El Rancho Dominguez. I really miss this house. We had painted every square inch of the inside. I was excited to see some of my old window mistreatments still hanging in the windows (from the car, we weren't that bad). Miss you, 334 West Ave J. We brought our babies home here. I spent at least 1000 hours painting a harlequin diamond pattern in the nursery. We planted all 14 of those boxwoods (that don't look so hot anymore....kind of disappointing). Just miss this little old home. But, it has inspired me to pick up my paintbrush here in the new El Rancho. We'll be slapping on some color later this week in Jonathan's room.

Miss this girl like crazy. Ladies and gents, Mrs. Deborah Kettner. We tore it up when I lived in Muleshoe. It was great to catch up with her. Thanks for your AWESOME hospitality, Kettners! Oh, and I need your breakfast casserole recipe, Deb. So yummy.

We packed it in after lunch on Sunday and headed home. We were so blessed to spend some time in Sweetwater catching up with two dear friends who I have missed so much, Ginger and Koti. Here are Koti's boys, Sully and Sutton, along with those Dominguez boys. Sully and Benjamin used to hang together back in our Muleshoe days.

So fun catching up with these two. Not nearly enough time to solve all the problems of the world, but we at least put a dent in them. Ginger is actually the one who put me in touch with Koti when she moved to our area. Koti and her family have since left the Muleshoe area as well and are now in Roscoe. Ginger and I have been good friends since our ACU days when we lived together (along with Lori Loo and Erin) in what we refer to as the Ruswood house. Those were some FUN times! Thanks for meeting us, girls! LOVED seeing you both.

And the last hoorah of the trip...David's little run-in with the law. He's got a lead foot, people.

What a fun trip! I have now spent so much time uploading 33 photos that I haven't started the heaps of laundry and unpacking that are calling to me. Seriously, you're a trooper if you stuck with this entire post.

Miss you already, friends and family.