Sunday, April 19, 2009

Do you know the way to San Jose?

At the beginning of March, my friend Vanessa and I got adventurous and took our kids down to San Jose to the children's museum for a day. She has two kids, daughter Abbi, and son Jack, and I took my two boys. It took about two and a half hours to get to the museum, so it was lunch time by the time we got there. We sat on some benches to eat, and managed to get about halfway through before it started raining on us and we had to move under the overhang to finish. They don't allow outside food in the eating area of the museum. (Do the people who plan these things even have children, or just an evil love of money?) Once inside, there was plenty to see and do. 

The kids eating on the bench, pre-rain.

Such cute boys

Adam in firefighter gear

Driving the firetruck

Jonathan and his sometimes future-mother-in-law, sometimes girlfriend Vanessa

Adam dominating the dragon, not too long before...

...this happened. He ran into another kid and took the force of that kid's noggin in his eye. This picture doesn't do it justice - it was a big fat black eye that made it look like he had been boxing. We had to get an ice pack and fill out an accident report. It's not an official trip until someone gets hurt in our family.

There was an art area, and one wall was for painting on. Not great for teaching them that we only paint on paper, but fun none the less. The aprons were super cute.

Jonathan driving the old-time farm truck.

Adam and the corn-husk doll that he and I made.

Jonathan and a girl we don't know catching bubbles.

This bubble thing was cool - there was a line on a pully and when you pulled it up, it created this huge bubble. When you shook it, the bubble would wave back and forth.

Abbi making bubbles with the air nozzle.

Adam being "injured" on the gurney in the back of the ambulance - thankfully we haven't had to do this for real, yet.

Abbi and Jonathan in the water area - sadly I didn't actually get any pictures of the whole thing. Here, you put the ball on the track and it rolled down to the center, where a stream of water shot it into the air and into another track up higher.

The moms, still smiling near the end of the day.

Jonathan in the Vietnamese boat with the hat and everything - he actually could pass for a chubby little Asian boy.

Adam in the hat - he could never pass for Asian. And I don't know what is up with the picture - his teeth aren't really scary like that.

Happy baby Jack - he was really good all day.

Van and Abbi

On the way out, Adam insisted on getting his face painted (I told him in the beginning of the day that we would do it later, hoping he would such luck.) The twist here is that the kids are supposed to paint their own faces...there are even signs posted in the room to basically tell the parents not to do it. But no one was around to stop me, and there was no way I was going to let Adam do it himself when we were getting ready to leave. He said he wanted to be a tiger. I know you could already tell that from my awesome artistic skill, but just in case I thought I would let you know what he was supposed to be.

Van asked me if I would mind going 20 minutes out of the way to have dinner at this barbecue place she really likes (Gilroy is the closest one to us.) I said sure, even though I don't really care for restaurant bbq all that much. Let me tell you, it was excellent. I would go there again in a heartbeat. It is called Famous Dave's. This was our dessert that we split - and still were only able to eat half. Yum.

Overall, it was a great trip. The kids were really good all day, there were really no breakdowns (for either them or us) and aside from the black eye, it went off relatively without a hitch.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Long Time Gone

Alright already, I will post some new things to the blog. It has been in the back of my mind since the end of February, but with school and kids and gardening, I haven't had the time to sit down and do anything about it. Plus I have to share the computer with another school-going person, who has been using more than his fair share lately. At any rate, I have not forgotten about all of you faithful readers out there who are just dying to know what happens in the next chapter in the lives of the Joyner family (she said, voice dripping with sarcasm.) 

In the interest of blogging more often, and not just waiting for something big to happen before I blog, I took this picture of the banana muffins I made at the beginning of March. Obviously the idea that I would just get them posted on here a day or two later to show you all my culinary endeavor just didn't pan out, but it is such a tasty looking tower that I will post it now so we can all wish we had some in our kitchens. I usually use my grandma's banana bread recipe when I make the bread, but in the interest of trying to cut out some of the sugars and fats and whatnot (also known as everything that makes food taste good) I substituted 1/4 of the flour with whole wheat flour, 1/2 of the sugar with Splenda for baking, and replaced all of the butter with this fruit compote type butter substitute made by Sunsweet. It was a complete experiment - I knew very well that they could turn out rubbery and tasteless and be good only for bouncing on the pavement outside, but I figured that worst case scenario my boys would have something new to play with! They actually turned out pretty yummy, although it could have been the fact that I had been pretty well deprived of all things baked for a while. Making them as muffins made it much easier to transport and pass out to kids, but I still like the traditional bread form better.

Ok, stay tuned, there is more goodness to come...