Friday, September 18, 2009

California Trip, Part Two: Bakersfield

I have to admit, I have heard a lot of less than flattering descriptions of Bakersfield. I wasn't expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised to find a charming town. Mike's brother Joe and his wife Jenny were blessing their sweet baby girl Catherine, so off we drove to their home in Bakersfield on Sunday morning.
Early Sunday morning.
So early the sun wasn't up yet, as Andrew grumpily reminded us as we woke him up to get into the car once again.

We got to Bakersfield just in time for church. I was humbled to be able to sit with my family and listen as Joe gave a simple and sweet blessing to his first born, nestled in the arms of her father, uncles and grandfathers. What a precious gift the priesthood is. To listen to a father, with a gentle strength, using this power to give her a name and to invoke the blessings of Heaven upon his child.

After church, we had a delicious family dinner at Jenny and Joe's home. (More on the dinner recipe later...) We enjoyed good food and good company, as most of Mike's family (we missed you Dan and Traci) and Jenny's family were there. We even got a quick photo shoot with all of the Croft grandkids together.

We stayed overnight in Bakersfield, while most of the rest of the family traveled home. On Monday, we had a fun little picnic at a nearby park. This park had all of the regular park necessities: sand, playground equipment, large shady trees, bbq's, water fountains and bathrooms. Even better, was that this park had a splash pad to play in as well.

As it was Labor Day, the park was busy, but didn't feel crowded. We had a simple lunch and enjoyed the mild weather in the shade of a giant tree. The boys played on the playground and befriended a few of the other children playing as well.

Then, we took them to the splash pad. They were both excited to try it out. Ben found the mud before discovering the water. Why am I not surprised...

Andrew loved jumping around in the spray. Ben got one good squirt of water, discovered it was COLD and he was done.

It was so fun to hold a baby in my arms again... Catherine was so sweet and she put up with a lot of extra cuddles and attention from her extended family. It was good to visit with Joe and Jenny and spend time with them. They are sweet parents. It is times like this that you wish your family was closer...

Now, on to another fabulous recipe!

This one is from one of Jenny's friends, it may be a Weight Watchers recipe.
I can't wait to try them out.
They are very dense and brownie-like.
Chocolate that is much better for you.
You can't beat that!

Chocolate Muffins
1 box Devil's food cake mix
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup water

Mix ingredients together and divide between 2 greased regular muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Next stop, San Diego, Auntie Carla and delicious Greek-style pita sandwiches!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great trip. That picture of your boys and the baby is adorable. I'll try the cake and the chicken. Thanks.