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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


[For some reason all of our photos this week are of Jesse. We promise that we have other children, though.]

They say that the one constant in life is change, and it sure seems that way this week...

Last Saturday, Hannah, Avey, and I went to Michigan City for some shopping. Once we were home, Ivy came over to show Apollo how it's done. The two kids Ivy watches over came to play, too, so we had to encourage our boys to go outside and play with them. The older two did, and had a good time. It was cold and there was snow on the ground, so Carver and the older neighbor built a snowman. Merritt acted like going outside was pure torture. He eventually went, but just moped and cried the whole time.

When I showered that morning, not a drop of the water had drained out. I thought it would be an easy fix with my tools. I'm prepared for this kind of thing because some of the residents of the house insist on growing hair on their heads, meaning that our drains sometimes get slow. I messed with it for a while and could not get anywhere. The clog was apparently just deep enough that I couldn't reach it with my tools. Another problem is the angle of our pipes, so that my longer tools can't seem to bend in the right direction at the right time. Anyway, during our shopping in Michigan City, I got some of the liquid stuff that is supposed to dissolve the clog, and so I put that in to let it work overnight.

Hannah baked an apple cake with butter sauce and brought it over to share that night. I hadn't had one in a long time, and so it was a very special treat. We got the boys to bed - Merritt, unsurprisingly, was exhausted and passed right out. I worked on our taxes while we watched TV and got them finished. We will have enough of a return that we can replace the death trap we've been using as a couch... if we can survive long enough.

Sunday morning I got up to find that there had been no progress on the drain at all. It was just as stuck as the day before. I felt really bad because I wanted Kira to be able to use it before church, but she just used the kids' shower. I got the kids ready for church and then Hannah took them there after Kira had already left for an early meeting. I went straight upstairs to defeat the stupid drain, and was relieved when it cleared right up with just a little more effort. I cleaned the tub and then used it to shower myself. I also installed a thing that is supposed to catch hair from going down the drain, so we'll hopefully avoid that nonsense in the future. I did all the dishes, and then prepared a meal of white chili with chicken that was Hannah's idea. She provided most of the ingredients also. It turned out great, and so that was a nice change.

It was sunny and the snow was starting to melt, so I took the two younger boys to a park about 20 minutes away (one of their favorites). Hannah took Apollo on a walk in the neighborhood, using the opportunity to get some photos that she can use for her online profile for a pet care service exchange. She's thinking of using her extra time during the day to dog-sit, walk dogs, let dogs out, and so on, and people can hire her to do that on this app.

Jesse Attempts to Train Apollo to Carry Messages

The boys had a great time at the park, even though everything was sopping wet and it was still a little cold. There were lots of other kids there with our same idea, so they had a good time playing games of tag and chase. There were no major injuries, so I'd say it was a successful outing. We came home to have dinner and a short family night lesson and activity.

Kira was up before the alarm on Monday, but I got up to drive Avey to school. Kira left for clients and I did work before taking Apollo on a walk. Jesse had some big news when the bus brought him home. He and his ex-girlfriend had a long talk during recess and weighed the pros and cons of being just "best friends" versus "more than that." They ultimately decided that they should get back together. Jesse is glad that he'll get to give her the pillowcase he made for Valentine's Day. I just hope these two can avoid breaking up again for a couple of weeks. The ups and downs are a bit much for this early age.

Jesse went to play at a friend's house, and the rest of the afternoon and evening were the same routine of homework and such. Kira was home for bedtime, and Hannah joined us for some TV. Avey was busy working on school stuff in her room, so we didn't see her.

Teddy's Been Working Out

Tuesday was my usual marathon of teaching. I tried to work longer after my courses, but I was so wiped out that it was a real challenge to focus. I struggled to stay awake the rest of the day. I slept really well that night.

Jesse's Artwork

I saw the boys off on the bus the next morning after Kira let me sleep longer. I worked while Kira napped, and then I had to do online interviews of applicants to our doctoral program. Those are always hard as it eats up a lot of my time, and I usually don't see the applicants ever again. I also don't think my input is super relevant to their decisions, so I have a hard time taking part. Still, I tried to be thorough and helpful. I had lunch and made a treat to have on hand before leaving to take Avey to an appointment and do some shopping. We had a typical night after all that.

Jesse Likes to Read in Our Bed

Thursday was rainy all day, but normal otherwise. I had my long day in the city and Kira got some well-deserved rest while also working on some odds and ends. It was a good day because our niece who was born premature was scheduled to go home that day for the first time, so we kept careful tabs on all that.

I caught the earlier train home and was pretty wiped out the rest of the day. Kira had the trashes done and then we fed the kids their dinner and finished up their homework. The kids all played a game tossing a ball around right before bedtime, and had a really fun time, so we had to tear them away when it was getting too late. Hannah came over to join for some TV.

Friday morning I got up with the alarm to let Kira try to sleep longer, but she came downstairs not too much later. I took Avey to school and then bought some groceries before playing racquetball with Hannah. I then came home to shower and have a day full of meetings. Most of them were more interviews of potential doctoral students. Only about half of them seemed like good candidates. I got a little break and then had another meeting that I thought would take about 20 minutes, but it turned into 90 minutes. I was so very tired by the end of all that... While I was in that meeting, Kira took the younger two boys to play at the indoor church playground before it closed, and then had them back before I was done. Avey and Carver came home from the bus and supervised themselves. I took Avey downtown to hang out with friends, and then I went to the library and hung out until she was ready to be picked up. They had a good time, although they were pretty cold. Kira fed the boys and got them ready for bed.

Hannah had the temple the next day, so she stayed home while Kira, Avey, and I watched a library movie.

Jesse's Creation for His Teacher (Her Name is Spelled in Steam)

Kira forbade me to get up this morning, and so I dozed for a good long time, and probably could have kept going. This semester is really taking a toll on me. She fed everyone and tried to keep them occupied. It's a sunshiny day, but still a bit cold. Hopefully we can get these kids outside some.

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