Farm Party

My friend Ashley had a farm themed party for her youngest daughter with a real life petting zoo. She had pony rides with the petting zoo, face painting and a balloon artist, Chick-fil-a and doughnuts for dessert. AKA a kids dream. She is an event planner, after all.

I was fairly surprised that both boys wanted to go into the petting zoo. They both tend to get skittish around animals, even if they are fascinated by them.

James just wanted to hold this dirty brush. Not to actually brush any animal, just to hold it and try to brush his own hair. I had to take this photo fast before i had to swipe his hand away again.

But then Zach and I saw this tiny goat. Could you die? Is he not the cutest thing ever?

And doesn’t he look like a real farm kid kneeling to pet it?

Until it got a bit too friendly and knocked him over.

He rebounded fine. And you guys, it was funny seeing your kid get “attacked” by a 2 lb goat. Hilarious.

He also, of course, wanted to get his face painted. But instead of picking a “something” he said he wanted to look like an army man. So she painted camo on his forehead. He looked like a walking bruise. He wanted to get his entire face done, but he had a basketball game that afternoon. I didn’t think he needed full camo on his face prior to running up and down the court at the Y.

James refuses to get his face painted. Refuses. He wants nothing to do with it, but will take a balloon sword to hit you across the knees with. Always be on guard.

Almond and sage chicken

I follow a new blog, Clementine. I can’t remember where I found it, but I dig it. They post different things each day from an interview with a sucessful woman, to clothing suggestions, a daily inspirational thought, cute home ideas and sometimes, meals. When I spotted the title Almond Crusted Sage Chicken, they had me at sage. And almond.

It is basically paleo and is totally delicious. And easy. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and every Wall liked it.

I mean as much as a 2 year old Wall likes anything. I roasted some broccoli along with the sprouts for Alex and I and most likely, frozen, microwaved peas for the boys.

I need to put this on my meal plan for this week, it is good.

6 cups brussels sprouts, sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1lb chicken breasts, sliced thin
1 cup almond meal
3 eggs, whisked
3 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon sage, dried
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, add brussels sprouts with 4 tablespoons olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss well. Add to a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes or until browned and charred.

Pat dry chicken and set aside. Add eggs, whisked with one tablespoon of water, in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, whisk together almond meal, thyme, sage and sea salt. Coat raw chicken in egg, letting the excess drip off. Then, add the almond meal herb mixture and coat the chicken well, using your hands to pat it in. Add chicken to a clean plate and chill for 20 minutes.

In a skillet, add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Over medium heat, add chicken and grill each side for 5-6 minutes or until browned. Serve over roasted brussels sprouts and enjoy!

Trail Riders

You guys, why do I get so sentimental about the trail riders? I mean, I just love them. I love these people that drive their cars miles out of town to ride their horses back in. They are so happy and having so much fun with beautiful horses, but at the same time, it is so, so weird. I don’t think other towns have a multitude of streets shut down for parts of a day so trail riders can mosey down. Do they?

Whatever. I planned to do what I have done in the past (well, 2010 and 2011 where he looks just like James, PS); we go to a park and let the kids play until we hear the music they blast as they ride down the street. We then run to the sidewalk and wave and wave. Added bonus of this year – I didn’t have to go to work, so there was no rush at all.

However, we were almost thwarted thanks to the P word. We had to leave the park so Zach could go to the bathroom. Then James peed everywhere, he and I had to change and it was a whole thing. I finally hustled them back in the car with specific instructions to “LOOK FOR THE TRAIL RIDERS OUT YOUR WINDOW!”. Again, why do I care so much??

We spotted them at the end of our street so I cut up a few streets (not the least bit slowly – the boys were yelling “Go Mommy!!”) and we parked at the Y. We ran into my neighbor (who took these photos) and were just in time to see the beginning of a very long trail ride.

Seriously, I totally geek out about the trail riders. I am embarrassed about my hideous too-much-smile face, but I knew you all would want to see it. Calm down, Kinsey, just calm down.

One guy rode his horse up to the curb to give Zach a high five, but the horse went up on the grass more than he needed to, and I thought the horse was going to hit into the crosswalk sign and James was going to climb over my shoulder to get away.

It was the highlight of Zach’s day.

I was so glad to drop my little cowboys off at school after that. I ignored the teacher’s eye rolls that we were late because trail riders. I didn’t even bother to lie.

I don’t really have a teenager

Do you guys remember this post I did where I said Zach looked like he was eight? Well check out this photo I took of Zach and his Valentine box.

That is totally his teenager face, minus the bigger nose and acne.

And this face really is. Eye rolling at me because I told him to make “a real smile”.

I can’t wait to ground that face and track his cell phone. 
Katilyn’s parents will thank me.

The school was trying to make me sweat

For some reason the boy’s school does Teacher Appreciation Week the same week as Valentine’s day. I think it is on purpose to make the room moms regret they volunteered for this position. And, you all know I love teacher appreciation week. I have an entire Pinterest board for it. I love making things for people (Love Language = gifts) and especially for the teachers. But man, that love was tested back in February.

I had to really plan it out this year to get everything done and even though it was ridiculously overwhelming (moderately self-brought on) I loved it. I thought these could be good ideas for end of the year gifts, or if you have an appreciation week coming up.

I copied the theme from the last time I was room mom, in the Honeybees class and started with a poster with all the kids names on it. The class name is Hummingbird, to state the obvious. I came up with the slogan myself (Sloan totally guilted me into NOT just stealing one from Pinterest) and used my cutting tool to make it happen.

Zach insisted on helping with the hummingbirds which gave me a large case of crafting anxiety, but I pushed it down. I ended up letting him put glue on them and picking which side they flew towards the feeder from. And told him they needed to alternate colors (yellow and green). I am a gem.

Tuesday, they received a plant with a tag from the entire class (James’ teachers got this for their gift)

Wednesday was hand sanitizer and I loved this one. So cute and useful.

Thursday was the countdown calendar, printed and put into an inexpensive 5×7 frame. All they have to do is wipe it off and countdown to anything. I hear they are counting down to Spring Break currently.

And Friday was a gift card in a funny card. You all know my feeling on using the majority of the money for gift cards and this was no exception. The one on top is my favorite.

It says, “I looked for teacher appreciation ideas on Pinterest, so I got out the Mod Podge, the Circut machine and thirty-two shades of glitter. Then I decided a gift card is better.”

So, so me, no? But as if I own 32 shades of glitter….only 32 shades of sequins. That is not funny.

The teachers said they felt so appreciated and the kids had fun giving them to them each day. The kids also like to look at the Hummingbirds with their names on them. Next time I am going to figure out how to make my handwriting better.

 That is really the main thing missing in my craft arsenal.

Look what still fits and is still not a rainbow

I was cooking dinner when I hear, “Mommy look at me” and turned around to see this.
I have James’ closet locked for just such a reason. His closet is huge and is where I store all their old costumes, toys I have not brought out yet and baby items. You might remember this from Zach’s first Halloween when he was 10 months old.

And the whole caterpillar vs. rainbow debate. The exact reason James did not wear it his first Halloween.

Yes, that is a 6-12 month baby costume. And was the cutest caterpillar ever.

He is 5. And still not a rainbow. He thought it was a flower costume. That is not much better Zachary.

70’s, like the year we were born

My sister sent the below text yesterday:

Oh, these babies. They are so, so young. However, we are not.

This weekend Alex and I hosted a 70’s themed party for our West Dallas Palace crew complete with 70’s theme food and attire.

 I am not sure how Alex’s kimono figured in, but at least he was in costume.

Why you ask? Because I love these appetizers that my grandma Jane used to make for her dinner parties made of Buddig beef, Claussen pickles and cream cheese. Oh I know they sound gross, but they are delicious. Alex also had a appetizer that his mom used to make where a green olive was wrapped in a mixture of cheddar cheese, butter and flour then baked.

So, we figured, if we have these gems hiding away, what must other people have? I sent out the call for everyone to bring a dish that their mothers/grandmother’s made. I am not being sexist, men did not cook then. Anyway, our friends dug the idea and we had such dishes as ambrosia, pot pies, a cheese ball, meatballs marinated in grape jelly and onion dip with ruffles. As my mom said, “everything processed. That was the 70’s”.

Hillary asked if we were dressing up and I, of course, jumped right on that. So did (most) everyone else. My favorite is Mike who came as a 1970’s Camero owner. As a previous two-time Camero owner himself, it was especially fitting. Though Jack as an aide to Nixon was clever.

We passed Zach off to Uncle Dave and Aunt Tami were he got to sleep in a fort, ride his bike to his favorite yogurt place and scare Tami by sticking his face in hers at 6:45 a.m. So he had a good night too. But James was with us. My sweet baby woke up with croup on Friday morning and was still not quite himself by Saturday night. Not that it stopped him from wrestling and karate chopping our party attendees.

As I was chatting with my friend KK about children, specifically how her daughter could avoid being swept up in the princess/tutu/everything pink that is all over the girls now a days it struck me that our moms were doing the same thing 30+ years ago. Back then it was an even more serious topic. While today the girls can wear all the pink they want, they legally have every right and privileges that boys do. Well, not in Texas, where the government wants to move into your uterus, but I digress.

Back then, our moms were fighting the fight to be a working woman, raising girls that would never know something they could NOT do; paving the way for us and our kale chips. And giving us the ability to put on a house coat, zip it up and roll cream cheese covered Buddig beef around a cold pickle without a second thought. Fight = won.