Friday, March 27, 2009

High school concert

Last night was the high school bands' pre-UIL concert. There are three bands there, each with 50-65 members (or maybe more), and -- boy howdy! -- are they good. Again, the photos were taken without the flash, so they may be a bit fuzzy, but they're mostly to demonstrate the size of these bands.

This is the Concert Band:

This is the Symphonic Band:

And this is the Wind Ensemble, in which Austen is one of the clarinetists; they were playing Halvorsen's "Entry March of the Boyars":

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Band concert

Last night, the three 7-8th grade bands at Parker's school participated in the pre-UIL concert performances at a nearby high school. These photos were taken without the flash so they're a little fuzzy, but I wanted them to show the SIZE of these middle school bands. No wonder the high school bands are so good!!

Here is Parker's band in the sight-reading part of the competition. Amazing!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Big cat photos

I don't know what happened with the camera the other day, and I don't know if I did this or if Austen did. But ... oh, well ... these are really good pictures. You just have to click on it to "biggify" and be able to see the individual frames well. The detail is nice.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weekend outing

Today, Anne and Kira decided we should have an outing - do something different, rather than just sitting around our houses and doing chores all weekend. What a splendid idea! So we got into Anne's car and drove to the Downtown Aquarium in Houston. It's in such a pretty location, right near the theater district. We went through the aquarium, as we've done 3 or 4 times before - yet there always seems to be something new and different each time. Then we rode various rides, including the big ferris wheel, went back into the building and had a late lunch, and rode more rides after our lunch, too!

Here is a photo of the three kids and me, in front of the wall fountain that's halfway up the stairs to the restaurant. Look how tall everyone (except me) is getting!

Here are the four of us in June, 2004, in the exact same place. It's amazing how much kids grow, huh?

Here's Kira in the restaurant, standing in front of the giant aquarium in the center of the dining room.

Here are some shots of everyone as we sat near the snack bars before hitting the rides.

We saw two of the four white tigers at this facility. One was very regal. There are two videos of the tigers at the end of this post. It was almost feeding time, and it was clear that the one on the right knew what time it was! The second video also shows them scuffling and playing! Good job with the camera, Austen!

We took several photos of the city buildings from high up in the ferris wheel. The red building in the foreground is the Wortham Center. Houston Ballet will be performing Swan Lake there soon.

The very tall building - the tallest in the city - is the JP Morgan Chase building, which lost an incredible number of windows during Hurricane Ike. (People reported that it was "raining glass.")

More city buildings. The smallest building toward the right is City Hall.

And here's a view of the aquarium itself - from the top of the ferris wheel!

We rode the train around the whole building and grounds, including through the Shark Tunnel. Thanks to Kira for this photo!

Kira and Parker rode on the Lighthouse Dive - twice!

Here are more views of the buildings around the aquarium - this time from the snack bar courtyard.