Rory’s First Cake
Rory turned one this week! She’s picking up some sign language, standing on her own, and threatening to walk any day. My parents were here last weekend and she had her first taste of chocolate cake.
Around the homestead we have been enjoying the last of summer, mountain biking whenever possible, renovating a bathroom, and making slow progress on a treehouse.
Treehouse Framed In
A drink in my hand, my snow up against the burning sand, probably getting gorgeously tan…
Elli and Grandpa
Last month we travelled to South Carolina to visit Cheri’s immediate and extended family and have some beach fun. While we were there, we celebrated Elliott’s 4th birthday as well.
Rory is up on her feet and pushing her walker around better than an old woman in Florida.
Elliott is improving her coordination through playground activities.
I’ve been slowly working to build a stone path down the hill behind our house to more easily access the back yard and prevent further grandfatherly wrist fractures. I finished it last weekend and now I guess it’s a good time to go entirely overboard on a dad project. Let’s build a treehouse!
Right now it’s an 8×8 blank canvas. Any suggestions?
Spring has been busy. Here’s the update I know you’ve been wishing for. If you are reading this in your email, click on the WordPress link to see videos!
Rory is mobile! Crawling all over the place and really enjoying investigating all areas of the house.
Brent came to visit over mother’s day and it was good to see him and hang out a bit.
Mothers Day 2017
Mothers Day 2017
I spent a bit of time in April prepping the car for track duty. (Car talk incoming…) I pulled the transmission and replaced the clutch, IMS bearing, rear main seal, timing chain tensioners, motor mounts, and oil pressure regulator. Installed new shocks and springs, sway bars, motorsport oil baffle, brake pads, and a roll bar. Changed brake fluid, transaxle oil, and engine oil. As far as laying on the concrete and turning wrenches goes, the Porsche is probably the most enjoyable car I have worked on. Most things are accessible without having to remove a bunch of other stuff and mechanically it’s a pretty simple car.
Cheri bought me a gift certificate to a track event at Summit Point Motorsports Park for Christmas. I cashed it in on May 20-21 and had a lot of fun driving in circles. They provided an instructor to teach me how to go fast and be safe. The car never complained and I’m sure I was nowhere near its limits.
Last weekend we drove to the beach. Elliott enjoyed doing all the beachy things and Rory liked playing dominos. It was a nice relaxing time.
Building Sand Castles
Rory likes playing Dominos
Feels like winter is long gone here in Maryland. Famous last words, I know, but we’ve really been enjoying the weather lately. Since my last writing, Elliott has earned her Snowplow Sam ice skating diploma and seemed to really enjoy it. Rory continues to grow and is mostly an awesomely chill baby. I think she knows she hasn’t a prayer of being high maintenance with her older sister around, so she doesn’t even try.
Otherwise we’ve been working to manage daycare-borne illnesses and attending frequent kid birthday parties. A friend of mine was having a big oak tree taken down that had been allowed to grow too close to his house. The enterprising woodworker in me said “You should have them leave the trunk and we can mill it into lumber.” The next week he sent me a photo of a rather enormous pile of logs in his front yard. So I spent most of my February free time building a saw mill from wood, an extension ladder, a lawnmower engine, and parts borrowed from my shop bandsaw. I was off the reservation on this one as the internet tells me this really shouldn’t be done without a welder and structural steel. Last weekend we successfully milled 2 logs, so I guess it was just crazy enough to work. There are still about 10 more logs to go, so we’ll see about it’s durability.
Elli is signed up for swim lessons this month and Grandma Rosemary is visiting for Easter. My parents are closing on the sale of their new home in Pennsylvania next week, so there are some exciting times (and wall painting) ahead.
The Only Snowman of 2016-17
Rory – Five Months Old
Our holiday season this year was festive and fun. We stayed put in Maryland for the first time ever and while we missed our usual trip to Ohio, it helped to keep the Withers household well rested and less stressed. My brother came from Berlin for the week and mom and dad made the now-shorter trip from Virginia for Christmas weekend. Good times had by all and Elli especially loved all the wrapped packages coming in the mail.
After completing the dining room table just in time for Thanksgiving, I kept the pressure on and was able to finish a wall clock for Cheri with about 24 hours to spare.
Cheri is back to work now and Rory is making friends in the “Baby Bears” room at daycare, so we are adjusting to the new schedule.
Elli is in Ice skating lessons and seems to be having fun. The rink has cool frames the beginners can use to support themselves as they skate around.
Rory and Uncle Brent
Elliott and Grandma
My new driving helmet. First track day scheduled for May 21st!
Thanks for the process dress Grandma Rosemary!
Mechanical wall clock in curly teak.
Christmas Day 2016
Learning to Skate
We hosted some family this year. The dining table was completed with about 24 hours to spare. Dinner went off well and included maple glazed bird, apple sausage stuffing, potato leek gratin, butternut squash, and roasted broccoli. It was very nice visiting with everyone.
Grandpa and Rory
New Table Complete