Saturday in the park

Saturday was a perfect Michigan summer day:  sunny, bright, warm but not hot.  Perfect day to be outside.  So we loaded up the van and headed to the Willow Metropark.  Adam and Eddie put in a few miles on their road bikes, Aaron headed to the skate park and Arianna and I hung out at the play ground.  They have a very cool playground.  After the bike ride, Eddie joined Aaron over at the skate park.  It took almost all afternoon, but they both managed a 180 turn on the shorter, steeper ramp by the “speed bump.”  (Instead of just a half pipe, there are two ramps, with a hill in the middle.)  Woo hoo!  From watching Arianna on the play set, she has a good future in mountain climbing if she chooses.
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Adam’s trip to New York City

On the first day we went to battery park and took a tour of Liberty island (which we didn’t stay at and visit) and Ellis island (which we did stay at and visit). At Ellis island I found about 7 different Burns families on the list! After that (I think, it might have been the second day I’m not quite sure) we took a tour of N.Y.C.

On the second day we went to central park after we went to the U.N. (United Nations) where they had a meeting in session. After central park, we took a trip over to Shea Stadium to see the Mets play.

On the third day, we went to Times Square in the morning to do some shopping, and would have gone into the empire state building in the afternoon, but the wait was too long so we took a short class trip to American Eagle (which I’m not all that into). at 7:00 we took a twilight cruise tour of the Hudson River.

Here are some pics of my trip:

This is a mosaic inside the U.N.

This is a gift from China to the U.N.

This is a gift from Japan to the U.N.

These are two cool statues just outside the U.N.

Paper Projects

  Today, we pulled out some Christmas gifts from Cyndi’s godmother, Aunt Janie. They are both calendars, one with different paper airplanes to make each day, and the other is Kirigami, which is what you do when you fold up paper and cut out patterns, like snowflakes. Here are pictures after a couple hours of entertainment. Arianna made all the Kirigami(she is lying on the ground), and the boys made all the airplanes:
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Father’s Day, and Dad gets a skateboard!

   This seems to be the year for athletic equipment. First, Adam gets a bike from the club, then Aaron gets a skateboard for his birthday, then Cyndi present Eddie with a skateboard for Father’s Day. I really did want one, because I kept borrowing Aaron’s around the driveway in order to try and learn some of the stuff he is trying to learn and Cyndi must have read my mind.
   Father’s Day started out with breakfast for Dad: eggs, bacon, toast and chocolate milk. Then, off to church for 10am service, where Eddie ran the sound console. Then step outside for lunch at the Strawberry Festival: sloppy joes, chili dogs, nachos and cheese, strawberry smoothies, and a strawberry tart to go. Once at home, Eddie took a well needed nap, not quite having recovered from a late night watching the Spurs take their fourth NBA championship and an early morning taking Adam to another bike race. Up from the nap, make a few phone calls to relatives(all of them fathers, of course), then invite Aaron to go skateboarding, which Aaron accepted. Sometimes Aaron is funny that way, not quite sure he really wants to go somewhere, but usually glad he went.
   We found a nice skate park in one of the big parks around here called a Metropark. It is a large park, miles of roadway, bike paths, a lake, paddle boats, a swimming pool, a pavillion for concerts, etc. There is a loop there where Adam and Eddie rode their first competitive time trial back in April, and it was then that Eddie noticed signs for a skatepark.
   Last week, Adam had a practice time trial there, and Eddie brought both Arianna and Aaron and tried to juggle biking, skateboarding and babysitting, which worked out for the kids, but it didn’t quite work out for Eddie. So today, for Father’s Day, he wanted to take just Aaron and spend time with him and the boards. It turns out that no one else was at the skate park, so we had it all to ourselves for a couple of hours. We practiced ramps and and spent a lot of time in the halfpipe skating backwards and trying what are called 180s. At the top of the pipe(well, we never made all the way to the top yet), you try and spin around 180 degrees on your backwheels and head to the other side of the pipe. I got a pretty good picture of Aaron just about finishing a 180. You can see his front wheels in the air, his body has already twisted around, and he is about to land his front wheels and shoot to the other side. Someday, I would love a picture of him doing this at the top of the pipe, but we need a lot more practice dropping in from way up there; neither of us can do it yet.
   There are no pictures of Eddie yet, but he can do about five or six 180s back to back, and is trying to do them higher and higher up the pipe. Tonight, he is nursing a sore back, sore elbow, and even one sore toe(I think the board must have hit it during one of his many falls)! Both of us wear helmets and knee pads. We both had a great time sharing this for Father’s Day.

Arianna’s acting debut!

June 7, 7pm.  Miss Betsy and Mr. Greg’s extended day kindergarten classes present “The Missing Heart,”  starring Arianna Hernandez as the spinal cord!  Well, it starred a lot of other kindergarteners, too.  Arianna’s classmates filled roles as the Brain, the Eyes, Ears, Nose, Lungs, Stomach, etc.  and 2 bungling doctors who accidentally removed the patient’s heart instead of his tonsils.  The remaining organs go on an all out search for the missing heart.  There’s a happy ending. of course.  Arianna did well, remembering all of her lines and speaking loudly and clearly.  Bravo, Arianna!

Strawberry season in Michigan

Strawberry season is in full swing in Michigan.  Last Sunday Arianna invited her friend Tessa to come over for the afternoon after church.  (A good deal for us,  Adam and Aaron went to play with Tessa’s brothers!)  First, we went strawberry picking at Rowe’s Farms.  The girls were motivated and industrious.  When we came home, they had a tea party with strawberries, graham crackers and Koolaid.  I wasn’t smart enough to get a photo of that.  Arianna used her special tea cup from Grandma Lou, and Tessa used one of my tea cups.  They loved it!

Later, they asked me to turn on the sprinkler so they could run through it.  That lasted about 5 minutes, until they decided it was more fun to test the umbrellas.  Tut, tut!  It looks like rain!

Busy travel week

Adam left Monday night for his big trip to New York City with the middle school.  He wouldn’t have noticed me leaving after I signed him in, except I insisted on getting a kiss.  He called last night, and said he looked up the Burns’ at Ellis Island, but there were many of them.  We’ll have to check the family history to see if any of the names he found are related to us.

I (Cyndi) am travelling to Holland and London this week.  Sounds pretty cool until I clarify that is Holland, MI and London, ONT.  As my program at work approaches the time for production approval, I’m off to various suppliers to make sure they are ready too.  I took the corporate shuttle to Holland this morning, and back this evening.  That makes it an easier trip, except that it starts at 6:00 am.  I know there are people who wake at 5 am every morning, but I am glad I am not one of them!  Tomorrow it is off to London, a 3 hour drive from here.