Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Saxophone Ensemble

On Sunday, December 13th, we loaded up and headed to Austin for Mason's Saxophone Ensemble's send off concert. This time they are headed to Chicago to play at the Midwest Conference as one of 6 bands across the US chosen to perform there.

Before the Austin concert we met up with everyone at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Baby A's. (I still think their soup is the best anywhere!)

Andy bet Ed $2 along with a double dog dare to drink his salsa with a straw. Andy didn't have a chance at the win. Ed does that anyway! Ha!
 Clark and Briana drove down from Denton for the event. It was so nice to see them for even a quick visit. Here they are with Mom at the restaurant.
 After dinner we drove down to the Bates Recital Hall on the UT campus. Hook 'Em! Here is a photo of the program.
 Amazing concert by the Hendrickson Saxophone Ensemble and the Austin Saxophone Ensemble with Mr. Lopez, Mr. Gundersen, Dr. Gadgil, and Dr. Pittel.
It was a beautiful concert. The kids were so happy and proud afterwards!
And here is the whole group that showed up to support our saxophone guys!
Thanks to everyone for coming out!
And one last picture of Mason with Dr. Sunil Gadgil who is Mason's private lessons teacher.
We are looking forward to hearing about Mason's Chicago adventure!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Winter Choir Concert

The Krimmel Choir held it's Winter Concert last night. It was a very good concert full of holiday tunes and joyous music!

Dane and friends pre-concert.
 The Beginner & Intermediate Men take the stage under the direction of Mr. Green.
 The Intermediate Men's perform a jazzy version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," complete with movements and a kick line!
 Next, they performed a fun filled action version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." In this piece groups of three would demonstrate the action for one of the days the first time it was sung. Can you guess which action Dane and his two buddies had based on their outfits?
 Nine ladies dancing! Ha! An they got the biggest laugh of them all.
 So funny!
 We enjoyed all the choirs and their music. It was a happy & fun night for Dane.

Bonus photo- I was a chaparone for the choir's elementary school tour one day last week. I got this cute photo of Dane and some choir friends in their choir shirts and Santa hats. It is too cute not to share.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Texas Renfest

On Friday, after Thanksgiving, the Monica's, The Rodriguez', and the Limbaugh's went, for their first time, to the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, Texas. Man, were we in for an experience! It turned out to be so much more than we expected with real 14th century styled buildings, various ethnic food, crafts, clothing, and specialty items. They had unusual shows, music, and activities. All of the performers were dressed to their character. And the people watching! 1/2 of the visitors were in some sort of character dress. We saw pirates, gladiators, maidens, royals, leathers, unknowns, etc....

Here is how our day unfolded, with the help on the Texas Renaissance Festive website. (in italics)

The Joust by The Hanlon - Lees Action Theater ~ The Arena
 Colorfully costumed steeds and noble knights in shining armor brandishing authentic weapons keep the spectacle ablaze with the action and romance of the period. 

Our first show was The Joust. We sat in the England section so we were automatically cheering for England. Whenever our English Maiden/host would yell, "For England," we would yell back, "For victory!" We cheered and clapped for our English knight as he competed against the knights from Germany, Spain, and France. 

After the show we got a few pics with the characters.
Dane and the English Maiden. Love her bloomers!
Mason and Elizabeth pose with the Queen and other royalty.
We went on two rides. The first one was a giant swing that was super fun. (So fun I had a death-grip on Mason's hand!) Nah, it was a nice and airy ride!
The kids went on the second ride that was part carousal, part spinning top.
The Great Rondini ~ Tower Stage
The Great Rondini is an Exciting and Engaging Escape Artist ! He brings a New Flair to the Ancient Art of Escape, combining Amazing Skill, Humor and Audience Participation to create an unforgettable experience! 

Dane was plucked out of the audience by Rondini. He was nervous about what was going to happen but he was brave enough to go on stage anyway! As it turned out, Dane became a model for authentic warrior gear and a sword. 
Next it was Mason's turn. He was picked to go on stage to help chain up and secure Rondini in a straight jacket for the escape trick. I love Mason's face in this first picture. He is laughing at something witty Rondini said.
 All chained up and secured!
He goes to work freeing himself including a loud pop of his shoulder being purposefully dislocated. Eek!
Ta da! He is free!
Fire, Whip Show ~ Falconer’s Stage
Adam performs sophisticated, high-energy routines, featuring Adam's dry humor in spoken material, anecdotes, historical stories. Routines include single-handed whip cracking, double-handed multi-crack demos, stunts and tricks including balloon popping, candle snuffing, paper cutting, flower snipping, whip dancing, wraps, fire whips.

This guy was good. He was funny and rhythmic. And the whips were LOUD! 
The brave assistant held very still as the rose was cut in half by the whip. Scary!
She got revenge with a hatchet throwing trick.
The last big trick was ablaze with fire!
 The Pirates ~ Sea Devil Tavern
 The Pirates of the good ship Pride O’ Bedlam can be found swillin’ rum and singin’ sea songs four times daily.  Avast Ye Landlubbers!  Prepare yerselves for a bawdy good time with Captain Basil Drake and his crew of misfits and scalawags.

We listened (and sang along) to several sea fairin' songs by the Pirates. It was super cute that they had a band of groupies lining the stage, all dressed up, and singing every word to every song.
 Dane and I sang along to "What do you do with a drunken sailor?"
Arsene ~ The Odeon
This French performer's accolades are too numerous to list in full. You have never seen an act quite like this one. Arsene, il est magnifique!

Hilarious! This funny guy used no words for the entire show. Instead he used his face and body with expressions and gestures to keep the hilarity going. It was a show full of comedy, magic, and picking on the audience.
Here he ejects a couple from the audience for arriving late.
 This was a funny trick involving a live hamster.
 After the show Mason posed with one of the assistants.
Dane was excited to buy a "Link" sword as a souvenir and even more excited to pose with a "Link" character for a photo. Later when Emily surprised him with the matching "Link" shield, as an early Christmas present, (not shown in the photo but just like the one the character is holding) he was beyond thrilled!
Oops. How did this photo of a hunky gladiator get on this post? Oh, yes. My eye candy souvenir. Ed took the photo for me. Seriously! Ha ha ha!
We stayed until just after dark, which was much later than we thought we would have. But like I said, it was so much more than we had expected. There was just so much to do and see. I have a feeling we will go back next year. And we will be dressed up too.