Monday, August 31, 2009

Strawberry Kiwi Truffle

How I made this yummy dish:
Into this yummy dish!
I saw this recipe in the H-E-B Texas Life Magazine. I am all for trying new recipes and desserts, and this one has two of our favorite things in it, strawberry cake and strawberries! This is also a figure friendly version because there is NO oil in it!

1 box (18 1/4 oz.) Strawberry Cake Mix
3 large eggs
1/3 cup Strawberry Jam
1 can (12 oz.) Red Soda, regular or diet
1 container (16 oz.) Frozen Whipped Topping, thawed
8 kiwi fruit, peeled and thin sliced
1 package (16 oz.) Frozen Strawberries, thawed (or you can use fresh strawberries sliced to whatever size you prefer)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9" x 13" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or grease with softened margarine and dust with 2 tablespoons fl our, then shake out excess.

2. Combine cake mix, eggs, jam, and soda. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed with electric mixer. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake on center oven rack for 35 minutes or until done. Cool completely in pan on cake rack *and then cut into 1-inch cubes.* since I don't have any nice truffle dishes, I let the cake cool completely and left it in the pan.*

3. For assembly: Cover bottom of large trifle or punch bowl with half of cake pieces. Spread 1 1/2 cups whipped topping over cake pieces and sprinkle with half of kiwi slices and half of strawberries. Repeat layers and top with remaining whipped topping and fruit. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes or more.
Alternate: Since I left this in the baking pan, I put about half the container of whipped topping on the cooled cake, then spread the kiwi and strawberries on top. I left the rest of the whipped topping for individuals to place on top of the cake if they wanted extra!

Add-ons: 1/2 cup sliced Almonds or Pecan Pieces

*I took off all the brands of the ingredients and went with more budget friendly ingredients!!!*
I hope you guys enjoy this just as much as we did!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Yoga at Enchanted Rock

I have been trying to convince Trent for the longest time to take me somewhere, just the two of us, and this weekend, he decided that he wanted to go to Enchanted Rock. It is located about 20 miles outside of Fredericksburg, TX, and old German based town. We decided to take the summit trail, the shortest trail up to the top of the rock. We had a blast, and I must say the walk up and down was a lot easier than I had imagined it to be!

Trent taking the first breather of the walk, from far away this rock looked like a baseball glove.
This was about 300 feet or so from the very top of the rock. If you look far enough back, you can see how far up we are, and the beautiful rocks behind us.
We decided to walk to the other side of the top of the hill, the steeper side, where I choose to sit down, kick off my shoes and enjoy the view!
Yep, this is the part where I decided to do Yoga! It was way to hard to resist! The hike up there was so refreshing, the view was amazing, and the feeling to do some deep breathing was overwhelming!
More breathing, focused, very focused! Ahh, that felt so amazing!
This rock makes Trent look so small! This was one of the steeper rocks that we stood in front of-as you can see, it looks almost straight up and down.
Hehe, my mountain man! This photo reminds me of the new book that I am reading called "Danger Close". It is a book that Trent got a while ago, which will describes in very great detail what his new job will entail. All Trent needs in this picture is the beard and more gear around him!
I did not notice this rock until we were on our way down, but by the way I looked at it, it appears to be an angry fish! hehe! Trent attempted to climb this one, but the spaces were to close for him to get into!

I had a blast today, and I am hoping he and I can do this again. We are thinking about taking kiddo on one of these hikes and camping out there. They have quite a few trails and camping grounds that are child and pet friendly. Oh, and I want to add a BIG THANK YOU to KELLIE and her family for watching Lilah for us while we were hiking!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Open House!

Playing in her 'new' indoor swing set
This is what she likes to do now. One day Trent put her in one of her toy bins, and since then, she likes to dump out all the toys, climb in and put the toys right back inside with her!

Yep, that is right, Lilah had her first open house today for her Mother's Day Out (MDO) program. I have decided to enroll here this year for something, I wasn't sure at first because she is only 2.5, and I did not think pre-school was the answer this year, and daycare was not really an option for us either.
The program that she is enrolled is a great one! She will be in the older 2 year-old group, those that will be turning 3 years old towards the beginning of next year. This is also a great program for us because the curriculum is Christian based (without the price tag), and she will be going 3 days a week.
This will also allow me more time to get classwork and my crafts done! By being able to work on class during the day, I can spend more time with Trent being lazy at night! And, I've been trying to work on about 2 quilting projects! I want to start another, but I don't seem to have the time right now! With this, it will free up some of my day time, in order to get things done that I WANT to get done, not that I HAVE to get done!

I wanted to attach the letter that I sent to her teacher and director, but will post the general information here. We, Trent and I, have chosen to take the "one-day-at-a-time" approach to telling others about her dwarfism. We have made a note to tell her teacher, so that we can make the appropriate simple modifications in her classroom.

Our daughter, Lilah, is attending VPBC Mother’s Day Out Program this year. She was born with a form of dwarfism known as achondroplasia. We have found that in many cases, children and adults alike who are new to Lilah’s

condition are interested in increasing their understanding of dwarfism. With this in mind, we have compiled the following information which should answer many of the most frequently asked questions that should help you and the children in your classes understand Lilah’s dwarfism.

- Lilahs’s growth disorder, achondroplasia, is the most common form of dwarfism. It is a dominant genetic bone disorder that affects the long bones of the arms and legs, the spine, and some small bones in the head. Achondroplasia affects one child in 40,000 births. Dwarfism affects all races and nationalities equally.

- 80% of children born with dwarfism are a 1st generational phenomenon, which means that neither parent is a dwarf nor is there a history of dwarfism on either side of the family. Lilah is in this category. First generation dwarfism is a spontaneous gene mutation that is presently unexplainable; no cause has yet been found.

- Lilah’s adult height will be approximately 4 feet. Her life span should be equivalent to “average-sized” people.

- Dwarfs are not mentally handicapped in any way. The median I.Q. for dwarfs is, in fact, slightly higher than the median for “average sized” people.

- The difference between a dwarf and a midget has to do with physical proportions. Midgets are perfectly proportional, short-statured individuals. Dwarfs have average sized torsos, shortened limbs and slightly larger heads. Many people with dwarfism find the word “midget” offensive. This word is no longer used to describe people with dwarfism. The term “little person” or “person with dwarfism” is perfectly acceptable. Some individuals do refer to themselves as “dwarfs” and this also acceptable and not offensive.

Please don’t think that we are asking you to treat Lilah differently than her peers, but if questions or comments arise, please don’t hesitate to talk with me or look for further information at (Little People of America). In talking about Lilah, the best route to take is to be open, honest and direct. For example, if your children comment that Lilah’s head is “big”, tell him “Yes, Lilah’s head is a little bigger than most kids, isn’t it? People come in all shapes and sizes!”

If there is any special treatment that we would like for Lilah, it is that he be treated according to her age and not her height. Please let your children know that they should not attempt to pick up Lilah. We celebrate Lilah’s differences and the opportunity she provides us to teach our community about tolerance and understanding toward people who look different than they do.


Trenton and Sheri Ward

(we also added our contact information at the end)

Such as putting a step stool at the bottom of her chair so her feet don't swing when she sits, and having a pillow behind her back to allow for more comfortable seating. Fortunately for us, they have a little potty there, literally! It is one of those potties that all young children should be able to use with ease; of course she will still need help to get up on the seat, but her teacher said even other children her age still need help with that adjustment, so no modifications will be needed there.

They are also going to add a few more step, step-stools around the school. They have a single step stool that is position in-front of a low height sink, but even with this already made modification, she still cannot reach the flowing water to wash her hands. Thus, they said they will either add another step-stool in the bathroom, or buy a multiple step to put in the classroom for them to fold up and leave in there.

I did not take any pictures because I didn't want to seem like the over bearing mom at Open house! But I will have pictures for her first day there! So check back for updates next week!