Landscape #2

Yesterday Aaron and I finished our 2nd oil paintings.  These were our first on canvas, which I liked painting on much better.  Aaron selected the scene because ” water looks really fun to paint.”  He remembered seeing an artist demonstration at the Ann Arbor Art Fair last summer.  The artist was painting a river scene, and Aaron was fascinated.

We saved the in process pictures, so we could post them all together to show the progression.

Aaron’s under painting (end of 1st wk)                        Aaron working (during wk 2)

 Aaron’s masterpiece!

Cyndi’s underpainting (end of wk 1)                            In process
 The final result!

Aaron’s 12th Birthday Party

   We’ll, we survived yet another house full of boys. Aaron had 6 kids for a sleepover/gamefest Friday night. In addition to their normal Wii fest, there were some new wrinkles that we’ve not done before. One of the guests brought over an Xbox 360, which they played after Arianna went to bed, because the boys are old enough to play more mature games. Here they are having a sugar-Reeses fest before diving into the game:

Another guest brought his Warhammer 40,000 action figures over, so some of the boys held a battle:

This year, because the weather was nice, we also played basketball outside. Dad played around-the-world with them, then in 3-on-3, then all the kids came outside and they played 4-on-4 for a while, until they made two of the better kids play the remaining six kids in what turned out to be a fairly well matched game, despite those two kids being so outnumbered.

Then we had cake and presents, where once again we failed to obtain enough candles for base-10, so Aaron figured out how to do it in binary:

Finally, Aaron has been working hard to prepare thumbs puppets, something he invented several weeks ago and made his own patterns for. Unfortunately, we forgot to hold the thumb wrestling tournament, but I told Aaron we could have friends over some other time for a random party and do it then. Here are the puppets Aaron designed and knitted, among them Skull & Cross Bones, Hobbes the Tiger, a Jack-O-Lantern, two Emo Viruses and Angry Pig:

We have FLOWERS! (Finally)

Spring has finally come to the Hernandez yard!  Our first flowers of the year bloomed a couple of days ago.  It seems a bit irrational, but this makes me really happy.  Something about the sight of bright yellow daffodils makes up for having snow on Easter.

Aaron’s 12th Birthday – The Arts

   On the 16th, Aaron turned 12 years old. Since he’s become quite the renaissance man, he got all fine arts gifts this year. We put them all in the duffel bag Grandma Lou made for Aaron a year or so ago, which Arianna insisted on bringing upstairs. Daddy and the kids went to the local music store and scored a twin guitar stand(from Arianna, because Aaron plays guitar and bass now), an electric blue lightning guitar strap(from Adam, who made the difficult choice between flames and lightning, and nailed it) and a new pedal that Aaron’s been drooling over(from Dad). Aaron quickly put them all together and spent a lot of time playing the whole rig downstairs. Cyndi found these incredible skull and cross bones knitting needles from Punk Knitts which Aaron said were “totally awesome”. In fact, he took them to school today to show off. His choice for dinner was Olga’s, where he she showed us his new “mustache”. Gee, that’s two entries where Aaron’s had a mustache.
   Friday night, we host yet another herd of noisy boys for a birthday sleep over, after which I will post photos of something Aaron’s been working on for weeks in preparation for the party.

Can you believe we still change our own oil?!

   Editor’s comment: “A long time ago, my dad taught me how to change the oil and filter, and do a tune up. Well, the days of a tune up are long gone, but I still change my own oil. Thought it was high time Adam learned how, too, with a 20 year old cassette tape of Tejano music recorded from a station in San Antonio playing in the background.”
   This, although not my first official auto work, was my first truly messy auto work. I changed the oil and oil filter in my dad’s car. The only mistake I made was attempting to move my hand before the oil spilled on it after pulling the plug. The oil was too fast, and as a result, the oil landed on my hand and then proceeded to drip on the garage floor, creating a small puddle. Other than that, the oil change was pretty uneventful, but Arianna and I notice that when you plug in a new oil bottle, the oil leaving and the air coming in together creates an effect that makes the bottle “breathe”, like when you pour milk too fast. Altogether, it was an interesting experience, but I was rewarded for my effort: I got to park the car when I was done.

Aaron writes a Javascript Page for a School Zoology Project

   So Aaron has been into writing games, web pages, html and javascript. Last year, to illustrate how photosynthesis works, he created a video game that totally impressed his teachers. This year, for his zoology project, he chose the beaver(yea, MIT!), but he couldn’t just write up a report. He had this epiphany on the way home from school and ran to the computer to work it all out.
   When he was done, he showed it to me, and I knew his teachers would be amazed again. When I picked him up from school that day, teacher Jill told me she was thrilled and amazed. She couldn’t believe it what he’d accomplished. So we thought we should put it on his webpage to show the www what he did for the project.
   This link will take you to the Beaver Report in a new window. You’ll have to float the mouse over various parts of the beaver skeleton and wait for little text windows to pop up. If something pops up, you can click the mouse and a message will appear at the bottom of the screen, showing Aaron’s research. When you get to the head, something a little more sophisticated happens. Aaron wrote all of it, did the animal research, and found the suitable images on the web. We’d love to know what you think!

Arianna Paints a Barn at Art Class

   Today, Cyndi took the kids to art class, but had to leave early to get a haircut, so I came to pick up Aaron and Arianna. Aaron and Cyndi are working on yet another oil painting, for which we have pictures of various stages. We will post them later when the works are complete. The instructor/owner, Sharon, says that Aaron has a real gift for oils, and has a style distinct from Cyndi’s. She’s seems pretty excited to have him and wants to do one more oil with him before they switch to another media. Her studio/store is a place we’ve patronized for some years, D & M Art Studio.
   Today, Arianna finished a painting of a barn. She drew the whole thing, then painted it, and they mounted it on a green background. Sharon’s daughter, Erin, helps out quite a lot, and thinks it was wild that we did the trapeeze thing.

Time to Open the Pool!

   Well, Arianna couldn’t wait any longer: it was time to open the pool. So she made one and opened it. The blue thing is the pool. The yellow thing is the diving board. The orange things in the blue thing are people in the pool. Surrounding the pool are four chairs, three with pink towels, one with a green towel. There is a close up of someone lying in a purple chair. The big grinning thing staring at the pool is Arianna.