Monday, January 19, 2009

Dad's RV-7 Experimental Aircraft

My father, Jack Bilak, built this RV-7 experimental aircraft in his garage and at the Del Norte Airport over the course of six and a half years. It first flew last summer and he recently had it jazzed up with this stunning paint job. It is very fast as it cruises at 200 mph, with a top speed of 230 mph. It has acrobatic capabilities and has done spins, loops, and rolls - oh my!

Ever since Dad was a small child in Pennsylvania, he has loved airplanes. After high school, he joined the Air Force and served as a flight medic in Vietnam. But it wasn't until he retired as a captain from the Air Force that he received his private pilots license.
Dad continues his career part-time in Del Norte, Colorado, as a Physician's Assistant. He didn't take any prolonged breaks from working on the plane. And he did all of the work himself, the instrument panel included. When it came to the fuselage, the body of the plane, it took him two weeks just to inventory the pieces.

This beautiful aircraft looks more like it rolled off the assembly line, rather than a garage-built airplane. A real testament to Dad's patience and attention to detail! There are 14,000 rivets in the plane.

Dad would like to thank all of his friends for their moral support and helping hands!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Fourth Birthday of Ben

Happy Birthday Ben!!!!!
The Day. Cheese pizza for dinner.

For Ben's party the following Saturday, we had a sledding shindig up at Sink's Canyon warming hut. The kids are helping haul stuff up in the sleds.

Ben and Laura helping set up. We had chili and hot spiced cider.

Ben and buddy Ross. We just barely had enough snow for sledding. But it was a beautiful warm day~

Sitting by the fire.

It was a WALL-E birthday.
We played space games (find asteroids on the sledding hill)..

Ben almost fell asleep sitting here after the party, waiting for us to clean up.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Day Nordic Skiing

New Years Day! We had the most amazing day skiing together at Beaver Creek, which is just a short drive from Lander. We thought conditions would be sunny and warm up there like it was in town....
Once we got Ben on the skis, he didn't want to ride in the backpack anymore.

We made it to 'The Face'

Laura only got frustrated after about 2 hours of ski tangles and falling.

Ben would merely laugh when he fell down.
He really laughed when Laura or Mommy fell down.

The panty and underwear tree. (I have no idea!)
Maybe next time Scott will toss his panties up there.

It was balmy in the trees but I almost gave up when we first got to the parking lot.
The wind was blowing so hard that the snow stung our faces.

Christmas on the Farm

We loaded up the family and went to Colorado for the holidays. We did a schizo trip of going back and forth between Mom's farm and Scott's brother's house. But we got to see good friends as well as family and it was a wonderful Christmas. Here are some random aimless pictures in no particular order....

Sunflowers in the kitchen at Grandma's.

Every Who Down in Whoville

The tall and the small

Making cookies with Grandma

Ben makes the perfect cookie for Santa.

Hat by Grandma.

Raising a glass to new presents.

The new slippers, thanks Aunt Marcia!

At Paul and Ollie's with the Brownings. Ben and Laura enjoying time with their cousin Beth, all the way from Phoenix.

A Greek lullaby.

Too much eggnog? And isn't that the polar express....