Welcome to the MoritzOnline.net blog!
The place where all five of us will regularly contribute to keep our family and friends informed of happenings in our lives.
Be sure to check back regularly.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Winter Percussion trip
Andrew is very actively involved in music at school, including choir and, more recently, band. This past weekend I had the opportunity to accompany him and the winter percussion band as a chaperone as they went to a regional championship in Union City, CA (in the San Francisco bay area).
Winter Percussion is a highly competitive, very demanding form of band. The Hanford High band (one of the best in the region) is comprised of 30+ kids who have been practising tirelessly since Christmas (over 6 hours per week), all for a presentation that lasts about only 5 minutes. It is highly complex for several reasons: Not only do they have to be rhythmically and musically sound, there is also a significant amount of choreography. And, when they enter the gymnasium they have to set up in only just 2-3 minutes, and that includes laying down a large mat, bringing in many large stationery instruments, and making all electrical and sound connections. (PHOTO LINK
). All this setup after carrying and pushing these instruments by hand for over two blocks to the presentation center.
Andrew plays the largest bass drum in the drumline.
They finished fourth this weekend.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Countdown to China
Well, it is now less than one week before I leave for China. To give you a little more insight and information on my trip, I am including this map with an outline of where I will be traveling inside China.
I start and end in Beijing, and while this may not look like a lot of traveling, the three main train trips I will be on add up to a total of 1477 miles (2377 km).
Stay tuned for (hopefully) some more information about my trip. I leave Tuesday, April 4th!
Monday, March 27, 2006
We found a new place to live! Fortunately, we did not have any trouble finding a house, and were able to find one that suits us well. The house is newer than our current house with some nice features. It is a little smaller, but with the shrinking size of our family that lives at home that shouldn't be an issue. And, on a clear day we will have a perfect view of the Sierra Nevada mountains from the house!
We anticipate moving on the Easter weekend. Contact us directly to get our new mailing address which will take effect at that time.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Going to China!
As I think I have mentioned before, I am taking another trip. In 2 (two) weeks from today, I will be leaving for China. I just received my tourist Visa so I am allowed to enter the country, and that was the last piece of the puzzle. I am actually quite happy that everything is in place two weeks before I leave, rather than two days.
On April 4th, at 11:10am, I will be flying out of Fresno
-Yosemite International airport, flying through Portland
, Oregon and Tokyo
, Japan to arrive in Beijing
, China at 9:25pm on April 5th.
The plan is to spend April 6th exploring some of Beijing (on my own). Then that night I will take an overnight train to Xi'an
to see the Terra Cota Warriors
and some other areas of that city.
After Xi'an, I will be taking another train to Jiaozuo
which is where my friend works. My friend Neil teaches English at Henan Polytechnic University, and I will be spending almost the entire trip with him. He has traveled to all of these areas, and since he is living in China for this year he knows a fair amount of the Chinese language. In Jiaozuo we will get to visit a factory, a local farm, and some of the markets, as well as a little more of the Chinese culture.
From Jiaozuo, we will take another overnight train back up to Beijing. This time in Beijing I will get to see more of the city, including Tiananmen Square
and the Forbidden City
, as well we will be going to see a section of the Great Wall of China
that is near Beijing.
I am flying out of Beijing on April 15th at 9:05am, flying through Tokyo, Japan and Los Angeles
, California and arriving in Fresno, California at 12:22pm that same day.
It will be a very exciting trip, and I will make sure to post pictures and details about what I did while there. You may have noticed that I have included a lot of links in this post, all links are directed toward the Wikipedia pages describing the specific locations and subjects.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
We've looked at several houses already and we found a couple we like. They are much smaller than our current house but we'll have to wait and see. We are going on Monday to look at a 2 storey house which looks bigger than the others, at least from the outside. Four of the houses we've chosen appear to have the same floor plan. They are also all in the same neighborhood. We'll keep you updated!
Thursday, March 16, 2006
The California Moritz Gypsy clan is moving. Not far, but we found out today that once again our house is being sold, so here we go again looking for another place to live. This time, however, we have more notice and there are more places available in Hanford.
We'll keep you posted as we have more information.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Another long day
Well yesterday I woke up at 3:15am. It was Kid's Day again, and so I was in charge of reserving our intersection. Kid's Day is one day a year where The Fresno Bee newspaper dedicates all the proceeds of newspaper sales to the Children's Hospital here in Fresno. So what happens all over Fresno is groups get big stacks of newspapers and sell them to cars as they stop at red lights. It is a very interesting experience to drive anywhere in Fresno on this day, because at seemingly every intersection there are a bunch of people trying to "sell" you a newspaper. Most people give a dollar (which is the recommended donation), but there are a lot of people who will give a $5, $10, or $20, or you'll see people with a stack of 5 newspapers, just because they've bought one at every intersection they stop at. It is very cool. This was my second year helping with Kid's Day.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Andrew in Vegas
Andrew is in Las Vegas this weekend at a Winter Percussion Competition. You can find out more about this activity at www.wgi.org
. Andrew loves winter percussion better than band and it's pretty fun to watch too. He plays the 5th bass drum which is the biggest one you carry up on your chest. Hopefully we'll have some pictures to post in a couple of weeks as Lloyd is going to the competition in the Bay area as a chaperone. Should be some good stories to come........
Hail Hail and more hail
Well, it hailed twice yesterday and I don't think I've ever seen it hail so long. It just kept coming and coming. Around our house the hail was pea sized and parts of the grass turned white for a while, it was pretty fun to watch, although I don't think it was that good for the trees that are in blossom. Yoshi didn't even mind being outside in it for a while. Yes, it's cold here today.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Another trip already?
Well, it's true. I am going on another exotic trip next month. I will be leaving for China on Tuesday, April 4th. My plane will be going through Tokyo, Japan as well. The trip is 11 days, so I will be getting back on Saturday, April 15.
I have a friend that is teaching English in Jiaozuo, China and he has invited me to visit him, so I jumped at the opportunity. I mean, how could I not, it's traveling!
I will also get to see Beijing (Peking), The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Xi'an where the Terra Cota Warriors are, and also a number of other places around China. I am very excited.
I am planning on taking a lot of pictures again, and will hopefully be able to post a lot of them on the internet like my last trip.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
I know, I know - we all complain we're too busy. So if I don't get a chance to talk to you as often as I'd like, know that I think about you often! I have switched my schedule around some so I'm doing different things during the week than I have been and I feel like I'm getting more done around the house than I have in years. Because I sit at a desk and work all day - it was tiresome to do that after work - so now I'm doing physical stuff like laundry and cleaning and groceries during the week so I can work at my desk on Saturdays. This is my 3rd week doing it and I've gotta say life seems better. Thanks to Lloyd for suggesting it!
Last weekend we had the Central California Association of the Church of God meeting in Exeter, CA (funny - I was born in Exeter - different country). It was great to meet with the people from the various churches and discuss what we're doing, how we can be better interconnected and fun stuff like that. It was a very enjoyable day.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Jonathan's new look
Jonathan works at a grocery store called "Save-Mart". This week they began wearing a new uniform, including a tie. Here's Jonathan modelling the new look.