Saturday, December 31, 2005

Rockin' Bowling

Gotta love a some good midnight bowling. Midnight bowling at Eastbrook lanes is a habit Duby and I started when we were living together as sophomores at Calvin. So now every time he's back in town we have a mandatory match. The competition between us has subsided somewhat since we spend a lot of the time catching up, but we still go at eachother when its close. Erin and Jenny joined us too.

I bowled better than average but blew the last couple frames of the first game and Duby picked me off by 3. Also note Erin's score on the bottom. Her first round breaking 100 in as long as she can remember! She threw a gutter on her first bowl of the 10th frame and had a clutch 9 to put her into 3 figures.

The rest of the games were better to me and I stayed well ahead of Duby.

Balancing bowling balls is always fun too. Its actually pretty easy to balance a few of them. This was by best yet, getting 5 to stand freely and almost the 6th.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas 2005

Another Christmas has come and gone. Erin and I enjoyed a very nice 3 day weekend filled with parties and family. With all the Veldhofs in town we had dinner in Zeeland together on Friday night with the intention of sledding afterward. Unfortunately the weather turned unseasonably warm and rainy. So instead we just hung out.

Later in the evening Erin and I had our personal Christmas and exchanged gifts. Marriages get scary when you end up getting each other the same gift! I bought Erin a TV version of the popular game Dance, Dance, Revolution because it doesn't require a PS2, XBOX, or Game cube (which we don't have). Erin bought me a PS2 and worked it out for her sister to buy me a memory card and the PS2 DDR game for my present the next day. So now we have 2 versions of the game. Our plan is to re gift the TV version sometime in the future so watch out. I also made Erin a 2006 calendar with pictures of us from the last 12 months and all the dates of her friend's birthdays and anniversaries so she can remember easier.

On Saturday we went to the Soper party for a couple of hours and then to Zeeland for the real Veldhof party. We had a wet and muddy game of football at the Soper party where the Elenbaas men (plus Aaron) beat the Drenths (plus Hal) 5-3 before I had to leave. Paul was all-time offense and conveniently played much better for our team than the Drenths. At the Veldhof party we had a ping pong and boccer ball tournament with Rob taking ping pong honors and Josh winning boccer ball. I had a disappointing first round exodus in both events. Worst of all, both losses were to the Brandts!

Christmas day was spent with the whole Elenbaas gang (minus the Johnsons) and filled with lots of food,


mini basketball, pinball, DDR, and air hockey. In the evening we had another spirited round of Christmas carols with half the Elenbaas gang making up the band and the other half singing. Our band is the unique combination of piano, trombone, trumpets, flute, and string bass.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


I've made my new year resolution a little early. I decided to watch less TV and do more reading. So far I've already read 'The Divinci Code' which is one more book than I had read in the previous year. It was a great book but I'm more interested in non-fiction, particularly history and economics. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The best part of Christmas...

Family is one of the best parts of Christmas, and Erin and I are lucky to have great families that get along well and enjoy spending time together. This past weekend was Christmas at the Elenbaas house in Canton. Right now we are 8 strong so everyone can fit in the house for the whole weekend. When I said get along, I mean we all enjoy each others company but that entails constant bugging, reminders of past wrongs and injustices, and many good arguments.

Erin and I took off early on Friday so that we could see Derek's basketball game. He had a break-out performance scoring 11 and ripping down at least 6 boards. No match for his big brother 1-on-1 just yet but getting there.

We then made one of my favorite foods; our family Christmas cookies. Erin and I made these on our own twice already this month but the 3rd time was just as good (for me, Erin was burned out). Jeff tagged along too, wearing shorts and a t-shirt as always.

Saturday was more good family time. In the morning we delivered Angel Tree gifts, in the afternoon we went to "The Chronicles of Narnia"

and at night we had our Christmas dinner and opened gifts. My gifts were a coat, bike odometer, watch, hat, music stand, and brain-bender block puzzle. Erin got a coat, a winter hat, and scrap booking supplies.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Socialism Stinks

Here are some interesting facts on the socialist country of France.

French Tax is 52.75% on incomes above 46,000 euro. Below 46,000 the tax brackets are 7.5%, 21%, 31%, 41%, and 46.75%.

On a 50,000 euro income a person would pay 12,375 euro more in taxes if they lived in France as opposed to the US. I sure don't need that much health care every year.

Aside from this outrageous income tax there is a 3% property tax and a 19.6% sales tax on basically everything besides food (5.5%) and medicine and newspaper (2.1%)!

Thank goodness for capitalism (or at least somewhat close to it)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A midnight jog

It was a fun weekend hanging out with friends. On Friday we met some friends downtown and on Saturday we had a little party at our place. A few people came early and we played some snow football. Erin was all time QB and did a steller job leading both teams to a 1-1 tie.

Sometimes Erin got tired and insisted on having the huddle while sitting down.

We also played the classic games "bucks up" and pie tag.

At night we enjoyed wine, food, and games.

One of the most insteresting moments in the night was when Jenny challenged me to a race. Jenny has this complex with competing against me. To her, everything is an opportunity for her to beat me at something. Naturraly, I enjoy these ranom challenges. So at about 11 pm she wants to take on in running. We decided on running to CVS and back, which is 0.3 miles away for a run of a little over 1/2 a mile. She had her shoes on first and started running, getting about 20 feet ahead of me as I left the house. I stayed about that far behind her most of the way down the street until we approached 52nd and a car that had just turned onto Wyndtree toward us. I can only imagine what they must have thought seeing a grown female running down a snowy street late a night without a coat on and being pursued by a large male man wearing a collared shirt and no coat. To add to the confusing image Jenny puts out her hand giving the hitchhiking sign and slowed to a walk. The driver rolled down her window and as I passed Jenny I could hear her saying "Can I get a ride to CVS, I'm racing this kid." We were only a couple hundred feet from CVS at that point. Unfortunately for Jenny she didn't get that ride and her pause cost her the competition as I stayed about 50 feet ahead of her the rest of the time. Victory!

We also had some fun with Jenny's camera. Disturbing...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Excitement from start to finish

This fall was definitely a great one. No weekend was left open as Erin and I paraded around the Midwest and beyond. Since labor day it has been:
-Joel's wedding in Pella, IA
-college football at the University of Notre Dame
-college football at the University of Illinois
-a weekend in Los Angeles with Uncle Hal
-college football at the University of Michigan
-October skiing at Big Star Lake
-the Detroit Marathon
-college football at Northwestern University
-raking leaves and my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary
-Rio de Janeiro

4 college football games, 6 states, and 2 continents. Loved it! It would be hard and unfair to rank each event but my top two would definitely be Rio and the Detroit Marathon.

Now we are into the winter months and the excitement has toned down a little bit. Don't worry, though, I won't let life get to the point where I don't have anything to write about.