Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve


Mom felt well enough today to get up and leave the house, so for New Year’s Eve we ate at a restaurant and then went to Kate’s office.  We brought a few games with us including Monopoly so we started playing it using the “fast game” rules. It ended up being a 4 1/2 hour long game! Here was the final score:

Andrew: $7,761 Lisa: $4,883 Noah: $3,957

Ben & Kate went bankrupt

Even though it was a pretty long game, it was still the easiest $7000 I’ve earned in such a short period of time.

We had hoped to have a family meeting for our vision for the next year, but the Monopoly game took up most of our evening.

I tried printing the timeline I’d created for 2010, but the printer kept on acting up. We finally got home at about 3am.






Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sledding & Shooting

671648For Christmas I got a new HD Camcorder that records video onto an SDHC memory card. It has a dual shooting mode that I like so I can take photos while I am filming. I went outside to test how the video looked and how good the photos would look like. It looks like the photos are taken in 16:9 aspect ratio, so it’d require some cropping to get these photos printed.






Lydia in ONE of her coats Smile








Monday, December 27, 2010

Nerf Showdown (Incomplete)

On Monday (Dec 27) we went to the LaMotte’s house and had some awesome dart tag games again.

Later that night we started filming a Nerf commercial, but before we could get all of the filming finished it was time to go. Hopefully next time we’re over at their house we can add more footage or redo the video. I had a lot of fun experimenting with different editing styles and the video ended up being very fast paced and much shorter than it had been on the rough edit.

This is the “final” video, but we before we had left the LaMotte house we were going to redo the section with Benjamin:


The first cut I made later at our house:


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day with Family

IMG_3853 Our family had a good Christmas morning at our house and in the afternoon we loaded the car with gifts and food and headed for our family get together.  The trees looked so fantastic with the snow!

The roads had all been clear, so traveling wasn’t a problem.







(Left) Lydia’s cousin, “Teddy”  Middle, Right) Lydia & Teddy got matching pajamas that were personalized with their names.





My uncle and Kate discuss tax shelters and the lack thereof

   We were having a great time, but had to head back towards home.  We’ll be having more of the family over on New Year’s Eve for a gift exchange.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A White Christmas…

…can sometimes be a bad thing.

When we woke up this Christmas Eve the yard was covered with snow and the snowflakes were still falling!IMG_3708

Benjamin shoveled our driveway and then did one of the neighbor’s driveways.

I guess that I was so delighted by the sights that met my eyes I forgot to check the settings on my camera and later found that it was still set to night photography from the night before.  Just in case you were wondering why the photos look like they were taken in the 1980s.


(Right) He’d l strike any pose as long as it wasn’t a smile (Left) What a menacing look! Now I know why he’s always the villian in our videos.



UPS stopped by a couple of times today to deliver some last minute gifts.



Our long time friends and cousins of the Bauwens family got to drive down from Detroit on Christmas leave. They came over to our house and visited-it was so good to see them!

We all really pulled together this evening and started getting the living room in order. Mom finished the trim, so we could move the piano against the wall.  Take a look at the time lapse video below of us tried to get our construction site ready for Christmas tomorrow morning.




We laid down some of the left over carpet to use as a rug tomorrow morning


We were walking out of the van to meet up with Grandma & Glenn when they called and told us that they had slipped on the roads and were in the median of a highway. By the time that we grabbed a tow strap and drove to where they were a couple of people had stopped including a guy with a big truck who towed them out. Their Mustang (rear-wheel drive, big engine, light car) hit some ice and spun around for awhile, when it stopped they were facing the oncoming traffic so they slid backwards down the hill. Thankfully neither of them had gotten hurt even though they were a little shaken up and also the car didn’t get messed up.  Glenn turned the car around and we followed him back home. The roads were in pretty bad shape and we had a slow drive back home.

We still had some wrapping to do and had to setup some decorations before going to bed and we fell asleep from 2am-3am.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ballet, Raccoons, Water Heater & Painting

IMG_1969Before we left for the ballet performance we found that our water heater was leaking…on further exploration we found that the bottom of it had become rusty and could bust anytime. The thought that at any time 50 gallons of water could suddenly start gushing through our basement and into our new carpet wasn’t too soothing.

We attended the performance of the Nutcracker that night. We’ve never watched ballet before so it was…well…a new experience. I enjoyed the first act because it looked more like a play than a ballet, but after that it was pretty much just a bunch of twirls and such.  The music was fantastic.  Hey, but you never know!  It was something new to try! Who knows but maybe the three of us would’ve gotten hooked on it and would’ve demanded that we start taking ballet classes ASAP!?!  (After watching a few movies of Fred Astaire I started taking tap dancing lessons.)  Well, unless one of us takes up football I don’t foresee ballet in our future.

  We got some nice family pictures while we were dressed up but unfortunately the SD card got corrupted and I’ve lost those photos.


IMG_3638This morning Benjamin found a raccoon in one of his live traps by the trash cans. This is the third raccoon that he’s trapped and he’s never skinned any of them. The first time he gave the raccoon to a fellow trapper and the second time it was real young and he let it go. He cautiously released this raccoon as well.

Kate left this afternoon to make a final Christmas shopping trip and Benjamin & Mom dropped off the new water heater at the house before they went shopping.


Aaron stopped by and hung out for awhile    We’ve taught the word “Aaron” to Lydia and she likes him a lot


Prepping the hallway bathroom for the paint



Grandma & Glenn came over to the house and worked on getting the new water heater installed.



While I painted and Glenn worked on the water heater Grandma and Noah setup the Christmas tree.



However, Noah decorated the tree by himself and did a pretty good job.

We hauled out the old water heater with the dolly so that we could take a look at the rust forming on the bottom of it:


(Middle) You can see the hole where the water had been leaking out


I replaced the light fixture in the bathroom and found the last remnant of wallpaper behind it…I can still remember listening to a Faith & Freedom Tour album while I was scraping off the wallpaper a few years ago!

I continued painting the bathroom and was halfway finished with the second coat until Benjamin and Mom got home after midnight.  They had bought more groceries home than anything else, so we had to put those away before we headed for bed. I packed up my painting supplies and went to bed. Kate got home a little before 3 am.

Oh yeah, our Christmas party got rescheduled at my Aunt’s house so thankfully we won’t have the stress of trying to get the hallway bathroom setup tomorrow.