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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

1 Week to Go

The kids have just 4 more days of school before their break, and they are holding on by a thread. It seems like it's torture to get up each morning when those days off are so close. Kira and I aren't enjoying it either, as we don't get to sleep in until the break. Still, we've been busy with our own things to keep us distracted.

Kira's had a rough week that was taken over by an issue in the branch that made her dual role as a therapist and Relief Society President especially salient. It spread to take over most of her week, and will hopefully get cleared up soon.

It was finals week for me, which meant that I had a lot of grading to do. I was at least able to work at home the whole time, and got almost all of it done before graduation on Friday. Graduation was nice, but just took up most of my day. All throughout the week, I've also been dealing with students contacting me trying to salvage their grades, which gets very frustrating. When they have legitimate reasons for not being able to fulfill the course requirements, I can make arrangements, but I really dislike it when they just figure they should get the grade they want without meeting the standards I set forth. So I had to teach a valuable lesson to one student who tried to get around the course requirements, and I caught another student who plagiarized her essay for a course.

In any case, all of my grading is now done. I just have some other research things to work on, and then I have to begin preparations for my busiest semester yet. I'll be teaching 5 courses in the Spring.

Hannah has been gone for most of each day it seems, as she's deep into her training to be a bus driver, on top of her normal job. She takes her test this week, and it's surprising just how much she has to learn. She has to do a careful point-by-point inspection of the bus each day before she drives, including several parts of the diesel engine. Then, there's the driving, of course, which is challenging enough as it is. We expect she'll do very well, though, and probably see her on the road in no time.

The boys and Apollo have seemed extra bored with the cold and rain we've had this week, so we've resorted to some imaginative things. Apollo has a best buddy from the dog park, named Wiley. He's about the same size and age as Apollo, and they get along swimmingly. Hannah found out that the owners actually live about 5 minutes from us, so we've been setting up play dates for our dogs every few days. I took Apollo to one, and when we pulled onto their street, I could see Wiley looking out through the window, waiting for us. As soon as we pulled into the driveway, I saw him dash to the door, and then when they got together, it was a high energy reunion. It was hard to pull Apollo away after an hour, as he seemed like he would have been content to move right in with his buddy.

The boys, on the other hand, keep gravitating toward doing things on the screen, which is okay when we adults need some time to work on other things, but we try not to let it be too much or too often. They tried Legos for a day, and sometimes come up with other games to play together. Yesterday, while Kira and Avey were at a service project, I rearranged the couch in our bedroom so that we could hang a sheet over it to the bed to make a sort of tent. I then also put up our tepee in there so they would have something else to do. They had a great time, and came up with a game using the sheet as a sort of catapult for a Raggedy Andy doll, launching up toward the ceiling. We'll see how long that keeps them occupied.

This week, I'm hoping to take a day to just relax or something and then get back to some work stuff. We've also still got some Christmas shopping to do, although at this point it is basically just getting stocking stuffers.

I'm nearly done with our family Christmas letter, so expect an email with that soon, and I'll of course post it here next week, too. Have a great week!

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