We packed away all the Christmas decorations yesterday, so it’s time to share the 2019 holiday report.
This year we stayed put in Maryland and played host to all the grandparents as well as my brother. The advent calendar kept us busy and we were able to pack quite a bit into the kids 12 days off from school. The highlights were ice skating, several hikes in the woods, visiting Longwood Gardens, skiing with Elli at Roundtop, baking cookies, getting new bunkbeds, and seeing Frozen 2!
We received lots of nice picture cards in the mail and it’s good to see everyone happy and healthy.
Happy New Year!
Visiting Santa at the Fire Station
First Snow Day of 1st Grade
Stamping Out Christmas Cookies
Enjoying Snowman Pancakes
New Bunkbeds made by Our Friend Chris!
Withers’ on Ice
Hiking with a Princess
Elliott’s Note to Santa
Elves and Uncle Brent
Christmas Day Hike at Susquahanna
More Gifts from G&G Stader
Train Garden at Longwood
This year we travelled to Grandma and Grandpa Stader’s house in Columbus for Thanksgiving. We were joined by Cheri’s Aunt Tunie and Uncle Kevin who flew in from Omaha.
Thursday we had a nice hike in the woods followed by preparing and eating turkey, potatoes in many forms, broccoli, cranberry relish, beans, cauliflower, and apple pie. Super yummy! Then card games were played into the night.
We then spent the weekend with Cheri’s brother Chris’s family and the cousins all got along great. We all went on a nice hike and enjoyed the company. The kids baked Christmas cookies with Grandma. I also got to meet up with some high school and college friends and watch the Buckeyes crush Michigan.
Big thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for their hospitality!
Baking Christmas Cookies
Down the Fire Pole
Group Hike Minus the Over Achievers (Cheri, Rory, and Tunie)
Rory takes the easy option.
Group shot with questionable child buy-in.
October has been busy. We went to the Darlington Apple Festival, had a neighborhood Oktoberfest block party, and the kids ran a cross country race. Cheri and I each spent a week out of town on business, Elliott had a Walk-a Thon fundraiser, and of course Halloween!
Elli was a witch, Rory was a princess, and we hosted a few friends for dinner and trick-or-treating. Incriminating photo evidence below…
Elliott’s Horsey Ride
Goofy Kids at Oktoberfest
XC Race Start
Rory on the home stretch.
Mrs. Vernon’s 1st Grade Class after Walk-a-Thon
Windy and Warm Halloween
Last weekend we met Grandma and Grandpa Withers for a nice camp out at Elk Neck State Park on the Chesapeake Bay. We spent two nights and enjoyed biking, fishing, and hiking during the days. The campground was nice for the kids with a playground and swimming beach close by.
Waiting for Popcorn on a Stick
Sisters on a Bench
Walking to the Lighthouse
Elliott’s First Bass
Turkey Point Lighthouse
Lovely wife hit it out of the park when she organized and gifted me a surprise weekend trip to Ohio to meet up with my high school buddies and spend a weekend driving around in circles as fast as possible!
The track was Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, where I had spectated several races back in my school days and always wished I could get to experience driving first hand. The Porsche Club of America organizes events where you can spend a weekend driving a track and they even provide an experienced instructor to ride with you. No ‘racing’ is allowed but you are encouraged to drive as fast as you can, learn the racing lines, and go as far beyond your comfort level as you dare.
We drove 8x 25 minute sessions over two days, which is plenty of time to get comfortable and work on technique. Super fun! Also the only way to experience the true capabilities of a sports car without going to jail.
It was a great treat to get to spend the weekend with Joel and Colin, who I do not see often enough, and I also got to meet up with old friends Katie, Erin and Bob. To top it all off my Uncle Steve and Cousin Ryan came for a day and took some really great photos of us on track.
Thanks to Cheri for making it happen, and to Colin and Joel for putting their shiny cars at risk at my request.
You can tell I’m smiling even with a helmet on!
Colin looking blurry
Joel making his spoiler pop up
Uncle Steve and his Bullitt Mustang
Here’s a clip of one lap where I’m trying to chase Colin down but not making much progress:
We had a nice visit from some old friends over the weekend. Activities included biking, eating ice cream, playing in the creek, making s’mores, and building wooden airplanes and racing them off the deck.
This morning the yellow bus came to take Elliott to her first day of first grade. She was pretty clingy at the bus stop but once the kids lined up to get on the bus she jumped right on and had a great day.
Kids with their planes.
Jack’s sage advice – “Make sure you don’t hit your penis with the hammer”
Ready to Fly
Down the string.
On the way to the bus stop.
Elliott’s first day of 1st Grade