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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Absent Avey

Updated: Nov 26, 2022

We got our first snow worth writing about this week, and barely saw Avey while she was hard at work on the high school musical.

Kira was gone all morning last Saturday at a stake training meeting. To top it all off, that morning she also got a text from a client that set her on a path to have to make some long phone calls in the afternoon, so once she was home from her meeting, she holed up in our room to deal with that situation for most of the afternoon.

We were asked spur of the moment to have a girl in the primary over while her parents and older siblings were all away at different events. That was good for Merritt, because he gets along with her well, so he found something to keep him entertained. They even went outside in the bitter cold. I spent the day trying to occupy kids and cleaning up what I could. I bathed the boys and did some laundry. Avey and Jesse cleaned out the rat cage.

When Kira finally finished with her phone calls, she took over the kids and sent me away to get out of the house for a little while. I spent some birthday money to buy some dinner and enjoyed the time to myself for a bit. I brought Avey some food when I returned, and then helped finish the boys' dinner before the bedtime routine. Hannah came over for some TV that night.

Sunday morning was the usual, except that Hannah picked up the kids again because Kira had her early meeting. Kira gave a talk that day, which went very well. She was surprised by how few people were there that week, but it was a good surprise. They then stayed longer after church to attend a baptism, and then I had lunch ready when they got home. After lunch, I drove Avey to a viewing for her teacher who had died earlier in the week. It was so well attended that the line was out the door by about 20 people, even with the bitter cold. It took her more than an hour to get through the line, but she was glad to be in line with a friend of hers. I made phone calls in the car while she worked her way through the line.

Kira wrapped the boys in their winter coats and took them out in the cold to do some archery.

We got home much later than we'd anticipated, but then I helped with dinner and we had a short family night before getting the boys to bed.

Monday morning Kira let me sleep a little longer. Merritt complained of a sore throat, but it didn't seem that bad, so we sent him to school anyway. I was planning on making the monthly Costco run that day, and I really didn't need him tagging along. I dropped Avey off at school and we saw three deer - a good omen. Kira left for work a little earlier than usual, and shortly after that I left for Costco. It was busier than usual, but I got through the list. I then had Apollo's help unloading it all at home, and did a little more of my school work before the bus came. The afternoon was full of homework and playing catch with Jesse. Avey stayed after school because she had been recruited to help with the backstage stuff. Specifically, she is in charge of one of the spotlights. That meant that she stayed after school every day this week until about 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. She seems to enjoy the time around friends, and it's nice that she gets to sit in the little room by herself, and they also fed her every night (except Friday). Anyway, Kira was home for bedtime, and then Hannah watched with us before I went to bed and Kira picked up Avey.

Tuesday had snow in the forecast, but it mostly rained and then when it did snow nothing stuck. I was off to the city, but that ended up being worse than usual. I waited at the train station with the other passengers, but the bus they have been having us take never came. We all started getting suspicious and then some of us started to realize that there was a new schedule. I had seen the flyers about the new schedule, but reading them made it sound like the new schedule would not affect our station, so I didn't think about it anymore. Upon a much more careful reading, it looks like there were two things going on, and only one of them did not apply to our station. So, we were all left with a decision to wait another hour for the next one, or to quit our jobs. All of the new track construction has really made this commute a challenge. I decided to hop into the truck and drive to the city. When my train is on time, I have a little less than an hour before my class starts, but with the truck, I would have only about 20 minutes - so it would be tight, especially with the unpredictable traffic of a big dumb city like Chicago. Long story short, I did make it, traffic was about the average nightmare, and I started class normally.

It was a busy day otherwise, dealing with all sorts of little fires and interruptions before I got to leave. I'm very glad that we have a second vehicle for these sorts of situations! Avey was still at rehearsals again, Kira was pretty busy preparing for a temple trip the next day, and so I helped Merritt with his homework. Jesse was very kind and voluntarily put away Merritt's backpack that he loves to just dump on the floor when he first walks in the door after the bus. Hannah stayed home for the night, and so Kira and I watched a little before leaving to get Avey. Kira had not left the house all day, so she did not mind going.

Kira's brain got going around 5 that morning, planning the drive to the temple, making plans to check the roads, and so on. So she got up and let me sleep in a little. She did check the roads because there was a snowstorm making its way through the area. It was apparently already accumulating near the temple, so she decided to cancel the trip. I did work and then changed the oil on the truck, then made a run to Walmart for a few things we can't get at Costco. I was home for some work and then the bus. Kira took a nap while the taking was good. We didn't get any snow here until the afternoon, but it really came down for a while there, and so that got the younger boys really excited. They delayed homework so that they could go out in it, although we will need to figure out what snow gear fits which kid this season.

Kira took over the kids after her nap - I had started their homework, but then had to leave to run a meeting for my program director job. It went smoothly, at least, and then right after that I dashed downstairs to load everyone in the car. Merritt's last gymnastics class was that night, and he really wanted us all to go to witness the glory of it all. We even picked up Hannah on the way, and Avey came over to see him (it's at the high school) in a break she had. He sure had fun in that class!

Avey then took a few of us to see her work station with the spotlight. It was really cool to see how the sausage gets made.

I think she may have inspired her siblings to seek a career in stage production.

We will all go see her show later this afternoon, so it will be nice to see what all of this time has gone into.

We dropped Hannah back off and then took the boys home to bed. Kira and I took a few breaths, and then I picked up Avey after their last run-through.

I had the city again on Thursday, and so I had it planned out to get on the train (bus) that comes 25 minutes earlier than my usual one. That was really dumb to get up even earlier. Then the bus took us to the train station, but the train kept stopping, so that I got there at pretty much the normal time rather than 25 minutes early. I can't wait for the track construction to be done! My classes went well. Kira had the house in order with boys fed, trashes gathered, and homework finished by the time I was home. Kira was on the phone for the evening, so Hannah came over to dote on Apollo. That night was the first official show for the high school musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I went to pick up Avey when she finished a little early. She said that the show was overall good, but there were some microphone issues.

Friday, I let Kira sleep in and then took Avey as the boys waited for their bus. I had a stupid morning meeting, and then had to go back into the city for yet another stupid meeting. At least they fed us at that one. It was also my younger brother, Jesse's, birthday that day, and so I spent some time in my office just remembering him. He would have been 39 that day. I had planned to bake a cake in his honor when I got home, but Kira had already done it, so I just frosted it and we all had a slice. We started a movie at home with Hannah once the kids were in bed, and then I left to pick up Avey in the middle of the movie. She said the show went much better that night - I think we're all going to really enjoy it this afternoon. We finished the movie at home and then watched an episode of another show before finally getting to bed.

Kira Was Excited to See "Kiralee" in the Credits!

We all slept in a little on Saturday morning, but the boys were making enough noise that I got up to see if they needed food. Kira is planning on taking the boys to help her clean the church, so she got herself ready and fed. Avey is finally getting to sleep in. Today the first show is in the afternoon, so she doesn't need to be there until 1:00 p.m. It should be a lot of fun.

This next week I have a break! I'll still have crap to do, as usual, but at least Isaac is coming to help me get through it. We'll probably spend a lot of the week cleaning and doing some last-minute preparations for Thanksgiving. The kids have school on Monday and Tuesday, so they are looking forward to the shorter week. Thankfully, the weather is also supposed to warm up just a bit. We'll let you know how everything tasted next time!

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