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Pie Crust Decor

I went to Hobby Lobby in search of something to use to make cute cut outs for dough. I found fondant cutters in pretty flowers, leaves, hearts, dots, etc..

They are great for creating beautiful pie crusts!!

I can’t wait to experiment with more!

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Mexican Rice

I tried The Pioneer Women Mexican Rice recipe and loved it. I did have to make some changes to it because the recipe made way too much for us and it was a little too spicy for my kids. Here is the recipe that I tried and it came out great.

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 white onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cup of rice
  • 1 can of mild Rotel diced tomatoes w/ green chilies
  • 3/4 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1tsp cumin
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • A dash of salt
  • 2cups of low sodium chicken broth

Sauté the oil, garlic, and onion for about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is done. You may need to add a little more broth so keep some close. It’s a great side dish with tacos and my kids love it!

Lemon Whippersnaps

This week I have been on this lemon kick. I searched Pinterest and found this yummy recipe for Lemon Whippersnaps. I had absolutely no idea what a whippersnap was but the recipe looked pretty easy.

  • 1 box of Lemon cake mix
  • 2 cups of Cool Whip
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of powered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine and mix all ingredients. The dough is a very gooey consistency so make sure you have a towel on hand. You can use a cookie scoop(or your hands like I did) to scoop out the dough and roll it into the powered sugar until it is fully coated. Place the dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let them cool before eating.

I will say that the cookies are pretty gooey but they sure do taste good!!

 

 

Buddy Sports

Buddy Sports is a special needs athletic program hosted by the YMCA in Flower Mound, TX. The program started about 10 years ago when Mr. Keny McClurg moved to the area looking for a sports program for his son. At that time, the YMCA only offered a baseball program. They came together and started the Buddy Sports program. Mr. McClurg has now “retired” from the program but still comes to visit.

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The Buddy Sports program meets on Sundays throughout the year, with the elementary age group playing from 2-3 and the high school age group playing from 3-4. They rotate through various sports, with each session lasting 8 weeks. Each season ends with a trophy for every participant and a pizza party, all provided by the YMCA.

The program is now run by James Huseby and Rob Young. Both have special needs boys that participate with their buddy brothers. They have been a part of the program for years.

A membership to the YMCA is not required to be a part of the program, nor a buddy. I did see some parents assisting their children and some sibling participation. Individuals at all abilities are invited to participate in the program.

This 8 week rotation is floor hockey. The coaches, Mr. Huseby and Mr. Young, made sure everyone was able to hit the puck and score a goal (even though they weren’t keeping score). The program is great for social skills, exercise, and having fun!!

For contact information please visit the Buddy Sports Facebook page HERE.

For more community resources in the area please follow my Facebook page HERE.

 

Movies + 2 1/2 Year Old = Nope!

My husband and I are finally almost to the point where we can take the kids out to eat and have a peaceful meal. I have actually had a couple of pleasant meals out in public with them in the last couple of months that didn’t involve screaming, spilling, crying, not eating, crawling under the table, oh, and did I mention screaming. Finally!

The movies, on the other hand, is a different story (for Kenneth at least). Lynden and I love going to the movies. We don’t get to go much these days but we still try to make some time for it. The kids were sick last week and we really wanted to get out of the house, so we decided to go see Coco at the theater on Saturday night. The kids were excited all day, especially for popcorn and candy!

We get our seats and start with the popcorn, which my kids love, and make it through the thousands of previews without anything crazy happening. The kids are chomping on their popcorn and drinking their massive drinks. We get through a little bit of the movie and the kids have to go to the bathroom. Kenneth knows how to whisper but doesn’t realize the movie theater etiquette yet. He very loudly says that he has to poo poo, which means he has to pee pee. I wish he would tell me when he has to poop in the potty but we’re not there yet. I take them both to the family bathroom, they did their thing, and we were back to the movie. I would say we were about half way through the movie when Kenneth (really loudly) said that he had to go poo poo again. Lynden took him and when they got back Kenneth didn’t want to sit in the seat. I whipped out the candy and put some in little cups that I brought from the house for both kids. That worked for awhile. Evelyn was great, but I did have to take her to the bathroom one more time. When the candy was gone Kenneth started at it again. He didn’t want to sit and was being very loud. Lynden took him into the hallway but I could still hear Kenneth. They came back to their seats and guess what, I need to go poo poo was said…..again. Lynden took him to the bathroom again and they were only back in their seats a couple of minutes before going into the hallway again.

Lynden brought him back, and now it was my turn. Mind you, I was really into the movie and didn’t want to miss any of it. I tried to get him to be quiet and sit in my lap but it wasn’t happening. I took him into the hallway and he wanted to go into the main part of the theater. I told him there were monsters out there. Okay, before you judge, he knows I am being silly and it kept him from screaming to go out there. Again, I was really into the movie. I got down on my knee and told him he had to whisper. He started to whisper, but he also laid down and started to roll on the floor back into the theater.  I picked him up and we walked to the very top to sit. Evelyn followed us because she “had” to sit by mommy. He sat there for a good five minutes before going down the steps to his Daddy. He told his Daddy in a very loud stern voice, “I can’t whisper”, and proceeded to say that about five more times. Lynden finally took him out the remaining 20 minutes of the movie and Evelyn and I finished it in the top seats of the theater.

Needless to say, after 3 trips to the hallway and 4 trips to the bathroom, we were able to get out of the house, eat popcorn and candy, and see (most of) a really cool movie.

We may wait another few months before our next family venture to the movie theater.

 

Do You Have A Plan?

I do cooking lessons with my students that involves the use of a stove and oven. The goal is for my students to learn simple recipes that they will be able to do independently at home. I wanted to make sure they would know what to do if something caught on fire while they are in the kitchen so I e-mailed the local Fire Department. We were able to set up a lesson on how to use a fire extinguisher. The fire inspector was able to come to my school and my students were able to practice on a fire extinguisher that sprayed out water. The fire inspector taught us an important word to remember,PASS.

P- Pull -Pull out the pin

A- Aim -Am at the base of the fire

S- Squeeze -Squeeze the handle

S- Sweep from side to side

My students had a blast learning when and how to use a fire extinguisher. (I had a lot of fun too)

Contact your local fire department for any questions concerning fire safety.

One thing I realized after these fire safety lessons with my students  is that we don’t have a plan at my home if our house catches on fire.  If you are like me and don’t have a plan either make sure you sit down with your family and come up with a plan of action. The American Red Cross has some tips for fire safety:

  1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  2. Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
  3. Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
  4. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

We will be coming up with our plan ASAP!

Texas Cheer Allstars

Texas Cheer Allstars, formerly Texas Cutez, has a place for EVERYONE! I had the privilege of spending cheer practice with their amazing special needs team. The team has a total of ten athletes with boys and girls of all ages and abilities. The team does both cheer and dance. I watched their fun routine to “Single Ladies”. It was a wonderful experience watching them perform the part of the routine they had already learned, and then to watch how quickly they picked up the new steps. The coaches’ goal is to get the special needs athletes to perform the routine with full independence, and from my observations, they aren’t far from it. These athletes are being challenged to show their full potential and having a blast while doing so. They have to be on spot and ready for competition.

This team practices once a week and a lot of the athletes participate in private lessons.

Angela Harvard Patton, owner and head coach of Texas Cheer Allstars,  holds a Ph.D in Special Education Leadership and started the cheer program in 2006. She has experience in teaching individuals with special needs in both the school setting and cheer setting. On a personal note, in 2009 I was hired in the middle of the school year for my first teaching job. I was completely lost and needed someone to help me get started. Angela became my mentor and really helped me get through that difficult first year of teaching. Through our work together, I was able to see how passionate her heart is for the special needs population.

The environment at the gym felt very inclusive and family friendly. My experience there was wonderful!

Thank you for making Texas Cheer Allstars inclusive and inviting to Everyone!!!

If you are interested in the program please visit Texas Cheer Allstars (click for link).

“Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion. ” 
― Martha Graham