Day Four

Day four:
Weather was rainy and snowy.
Went to the Detroit Science Center in the AM hours.
Researched pirates and sunken ships via exhibit at Science Center.
Watched multi-media presentation (a.k.a. IMAX movie) about prehistoric sea monsters.
Ate lunch at wendy’s.
Dropped Arianna off at a friend’s house so us men could go play lazer tag.
Us men played lazer tag.
Came back to residential unit after picking Arianna up.

Spring Break 2008 – Day Two: slug day, Offensive Twister and Professional Crazy Eight

   Ok, today was a slug day for dad, but it started out doing good deeds. In the fall of 2006, I was nominated to the Sound System Committee of my church, and subsequently elected chairman of the committee. After putting together requirements, we solicited bids. We presented our case to the vestry, and they approved the purchase of the new sound system, which was installed in January 2007.
   Fast forward to 2008, and the sound system sometimes performed flawlessly, and sometimes not so flawlessly. It is the flawless instances that the congregation remembers the most, and they are no longer happy with our investment. With the Bishop paying a visit this coming Sunday, I was asked to get the system fixed. So I called them up, and made an appointment for them to come out this morning at 9am. Our pastor was to meet us, but had to go to the hospital, so it was up to me. I got the system up and running, and was thankfully able to reproduce some of the problems we’ve been having. After talking to the man, and calling the owner, we determined the mixer to be the problem. A temporary one was installed, and I helped with the sound check. Now everything is working flawlessly again. Sunday is the big day.
   By the time I got home, I had a headache. So we had lunch, and Arianna, ever so full of energy, wanted to play Twister, so we got it out and the kids twisted themselves up pretty good. I had really never considered Twister a contact sport, but apparently Adam had devised a strategy to make it impossible for everyone else to get into the next position. As a result, you can see how much of a pretzle Adam and Aaron made of themselves. Arianna was always out after the second move, but gladly hopped over to me to bark out commands for the next move.
   After I had a nap, Arianna wanted to play Crazy Eight, so she picked out a card deck and dealt the cards. When I came over and started playing, she asked if I had a king. I said yes, gave her my one king, and she laid down SIX KINGS! Then she picked up five more cards and said it was my turn. Lo and behold, she had combined two card decks because their backs looked very much alike and she couldn’t tell the difference, so we had a blast finding eight of everything. We were loaded. After the game, I explained what was going on, and she laughed, and we separated the two decks.
   Arianna and I cooked up dinner: mac & cheese and hot dogs, good old easy spring break meal. After dinner, the boys and I started recording a song, more later…

Spring Break – Ann Arbor Hands On Museum

   This week is spring break for the kids. Today, I was off of work, so I took the kids to the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum. I also volunteered to host my neighbor’s kids, Mason(11) and Lucas(6). Since Lucas is Arianna’s age, I toured the museum with them while the older boys wandered off on their own. It turns out later that they spent a lot of time in the Museum Shop, but that’s ok. Then we met their mom in Ann Arbor for lunch at Denny’s. That was an adventure, thanks to the quality of the food. After that, we went back home and the kids played games and watched some TV and had numerous Easter Egg hunts in the house. It is still cold in Michigan, having received several inches of snow Friday night, so no one played outdoors. I forgot to take the camera, so this picture is from my cell phone facing the sunlight, not a good scene, but it worked ok.
   When Cyndi came home, Arianna and I went around the neighborhood to collect donations for her upcoming Jump Rope for Heart, and the donations go to the American Heart Association. Arianna makes the whole speech herself(with a couple words from me), and she can really rake it in. You can’t turn down a face like that.

Easter Sunday 2008

   So passes another Easter Sunday. As usual, many activities revolved around church. Maundy Thursday is when our church has a sort of vigil in one of the conference rooms, where the altar has been moved to. Many of us sign up to watch vigil over the altar all throughout the night. My shift was 2:30am-3:30am. Talking is not allowed, but no one was there with me anyway.
   Friday at noon we went back to church for an ecumenical service, and I ran the sound system, fixing a few problems during the service. Friday night we went back to church for choir rehearsal at 6pm.
   Saturday night we went back yet again for Easter Eve service at 7pm, where I played clarinet as a musician and Cyndi and I sang as a choir members. Then I went to a 10pm hockey game(my first game of the spring season).
   Sunday morning, we went to both the 8am and 10am services because this is the only Sunday that the choir sings at the 8am service. I also played clarinet again. We are treated to an annual choir breakfast between services, then we do an Easter concert before the 10am service. Then we have service itself, where we sang, I played clarinet and then I played piano for the recesional. This has become a tradition for the last several years, and the song I play is “Lord, I Lift Your Name On High”. Some years I do this on my keyboard rig, but I just did this on piano this year. I got lots of compliments again, since this really tends to get everyone out of the pews and clapping and singing. I’ve been adding a more complicated left hand part that mimics a bass player, and I think it spuces up the song a bit. Next year, I will have Aaron and Adam join on bass and drums!
   Then we go home to take pictures. Some years back our church started a tradition of wearing hats on Easter Sunday, so these are ours.

   Then I tried watching the Spurs play the Mavericks, but I was too tired, so I went upstairs to take a nap and convinced Cyndi to join me. She was tired, too, and needed to be a slug for a while. After nap, we did Easter eggs. Here’s the gang doing so, except for Aaron, who is trying to implant one in his eye:
   Then Cyndi convinced Adam to make his Apple Crisp, which he did as part of his cooking class for middle school. That was a lot of work for him then, so he asked everyone to help peel apples as part of the deal. Here is he and Aaron assembling the crisp, with Arianna sneaking into the shot:

   Then Cyndi cooked our Easter dinner, a nice ham with cloves plugged into it, croisants, veggies and wine. Now we are getting ready for bed after a long day, indeed a long weekend. Tomorrow starts the kids’ spring break, so we’ll try to keep you up to date.

Birdie Wrestling Match

For a long time now we have known that there is a nest behind the basketball hoop in out back yard. But it was not until we saw this sight did we have reason to believe there was two. Last week, we saw two sparrows fighting eachother on the driveway. After a while, they would both fly up to the basketball hoop where they would soon glide down while fighting in the air. Then two female sparrows went and perched up on the garage to watch, and we guessed that the two couples were fighting to see who got to keep the nest behind the hoop. This estimate was also supported by all the twigs and leaf scraps on the ground. One of the birds had the other in a headlock, then they turned over a few times, and the other got the headlock advantage, after which he broke free and they all flew away, including the females. 
    Here is a picture to help you get the idea:

I think they are currently in a mutual headlock…

Adam’s Cool Hockey Photo

   One of the hockey families we came to know this year has a ‘hockey sister’ who is also a talented photographer. Her name is Lauren Schreefel. She took a photo of her brother, Jared, under unusual lighting circumstances one day, and it came out so well that she offered to do this for each member of the team for our yearbook. The yearbook is a hockey tradition, where pictures are collected as well as information on each player, and this is assembled into identical binders, one for each player, and given out at the year end party. Anyway, Lauren was able to recreate the lighting, but the hard part was getting all the boys to NOT smile at the camera. I really like this picture since it is so unusual. Adam, as you know, has a bright personality, and you can sort of see it leak through in the tiny smirk he has, but the lighting and the pads make for a really cool setting. Thanks, Lauren!

Fish Fry

    Every year, our church has a fish fry on the Friday before Good Friday. Every year until 2 years ago, my dad and his trio played jazz music at the fish fry. Last year the trio’s singer moved away, so there was no music. But this year, Aaron was taking bass and I was learning drums, so my dad thought “Hey, why don’t we play at the fish fry?” So my dad asked us if we wanted to and we said, “Sure, why not?” He then recruited 2 of our friends from church as a horn section and asked Aaron’s teacher and mine if they could teach us some jazz stuff. They said yes, and proceeded to teach us jazz. 
    After a week or so of learning jazz, the five of us (my dad, Aaron, our 2 friends, and I) got together for a rehearsal. We had one more rehearsal missing a horn player, and then just the family practiced because the members of the band couldn’t line up their schedules very much (even among the family). 
    On the day of the performance, we showed up early to practice once more. Then, finally, we started playing for the people who were eating and chatting happily away. And, thank goodness, we didn’t mess up (or, at least the audience didn’t notice) and the audience loved it. It was the first gig for everyone, (other than Dad) and everyone had fun. Pictures will be posted in a later entry.

p.s. This post passes the 90-entry mark! Go Hernandi!

Welcome the Elder Hernandez to the World Wide Web

   Well, if you think it took me a long time to arrive on the world wide web, I know someone who took longer: my parents. They retired in 2000 or so, and have been blissfully unware of the www, email, blogging, and all that jazz. But since we’re so busy up here in Michigan and live so far away, we launched our website and blog last year as an attempt to let the masses know what’s been going on. I know my in-laws have really appreciated it, putting them back in touch with our daily/weekly lives, especially the photos we’ve posted, and especially with Cyndi folks being three time zones away. It occurred to me that my folks ought be able to keep in touch the same way. There’s always phone calls, but there is something unique about blogging and posting photos that the web enables. So I did some things to enable them to access the www. They are now online, can read our blog, and have their own custom email address. Welcome to the 21st century, Mom and Dad!


Super Snowman

   Well, despite the approach of March, we seem to keep getting snow. I came home Friday and called up my neighbors, who were playing in the snow in front of their house. Arianna and Aaron and I went over and found immense snowsballs on the ground. They were waiting for me to help lift them up and make the snowman. Here is what he looks like, with kids from around the neighborhood who helped build him. The big kid is 20-something Steve, son of our neighbor Michele. Arianna’s contribution to the snowman is the little snowball on top of his head. We used our ‘snowman kit’ of plastic pieces for the nose, eyes and buttons.