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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Brother Act

A common theme for this week was a lack of energy, with school taking it out of the kids, and jobs taking it out of Kira and me.

With my wall all painted, I worked intermittently on Sunday to get my cabinets rearranged for the new layout. I've been very bothered by how chaotic it is in there as I work on the other walls, with no place to put everything. It was nice to get them put up, but then I painted them, so I still haven't been able to use them for organizing... It will all be worth it in a few more days, or at least that's what I keep telling myself.

Kira took mercy on me and cooked the Sunday meal this week, although it seems she was at least partially motivated by her great hunger after fasting for the day. Hannah joined us for the meal, and then the rest of the day was a flurry of school preparation and outside play in the very pleasant weather.

The boys were not excited to start another week of school, apparently feeling like they'd paid their dues with their three days last week. I admit, the morning alarm came awfully early, but they all made it to school. Kira napped before getting ready for her morning client. I probably should have concentrated on my day job, but I got working on sanding and painting the east wall in the garage so that Wallter wouldn't feel so alone. The challenge with that one is that I had the freezer and my work bench in the way, so I had to carefully work around them. Now that it's done, I got to move those things back to make a little more space, at least.

The boys got home from school to report their respective days, and Kira made it home shortly after that. I ran to the hardware store for a few supplies, then Avey arrived home, and Carver tried taking Apollo out on a walk to earn some money. It went much better this time, and he made just enough for the thing he wanted (money for Fortnite). Hakan had a very rough afternoon. He played with lots of neighbor kids, which is pretty much his favorite thing in the world, but then when it was time to do his homework and other jobs for the evening, he outright refused. We tried several incentives before turning to threats, and then finally he caved at the very last minute.


We learned that night that Avey got a small part in the musical, Sister Act. We've paid for her to join the production company at a church not too far away, and so we knew that she would at least be in the ensemble, but we were glad that she got the part of Monsignor Howard. We'll learn more about it over the next few weeks, we're sure.

Tuesday was pretty standard. After the kids were off to school, I worked and then got going on my garage walls again. Part of why it's taking so long is that each wall has needed 3 coats of paint over the stupid beige color with some gray spots that were never painted over. And waiting a whole day for the mud to dry is really stretching this out. Anyway, one of the days I went into the garage and saw something flinch when I was in a corner. It was a large toad who had made its way in.

I scooped it up with the snow shovel and scooted it outside, although I'm sure it will spread the word about how much better the garage looks.

In the afternoon, I had made the mistake of agreeing to get an "estimate" to replace our windows and siding. I just wanted to hear the numbers, and told the guy who set up the appointment that we would need to be done by 2:30 (for the kids' bus). But this whole thing was a very long sales pitch. The sales guy was very nice, and then basically told us that our house is on the verge of collapse if we don't give him a year's salary right now. Luckily, we were able to get rid of him because we had an appointment at 4:00. We left Avey home and took the boys to their Tae Kwon Do orientation, where they met the instructor and got familiar with the place and the routine. We brought Merritt along, because we weren't sure if he would be interested, but he wanted nothing to do with it. He just sat with us and watched his brothers. They both liked it, so we signed them up for their first real class on Friday. On the way home, we stopped by the eye doctor to get Carver's new glasses adjusted, then went home for dinner. I puttered around in the garage some more before bed, caulking some gaps to prepare for paint.

I was up during the night, thinking about the house falling apart, so I didn't sleep well. I know it's not really falling apart, but between the sales pitch and the work I'm doing on the garage, my brain has been feeling like there's too much to keep up with on this place. Anyway, I dropped Avey off at school and then picked up some wood putty at the store before working on my north wall, which was the easiest one (nothing in the way). Kira left for an eye appointment, and then had lunch and went to visit the bedridden sister in the branch. I finished the wall prep and then showered and started on work for the semester. Kira made it home just before the boys did, and then it started raining, so she supervised the younger two as they played in the rain.

I ran out for a quick errand and our dashboard brake light came on again. That meant that we had a brake fluid leak somewhere. I peeked under the hood once I got home, but couldn't see anything wet or dripping, so I looked around more and found that it was coming from the rear driver's side wheel. I decided that we'd better take it in the next day.

After dropping Avey at school on Thursday, I dropped off the car and then rode my bike home. They found the problem, and set us back a big chunk, but at least the car was fixed by the end of the day. I sanded and painted the north wall of the garage before Kira reminded me about a meeting I was supposed to join on the computer. It was a waste of time, but at least I made an appearance. The afternoon was another flurry of entertaining kids and such before I rode my bike to pick up the car. Avey worked on memorizing the songs from Sister Act that evening, and Kira was on the phone with her mom, so Hannah just stayed home, and I went to the hardware store late. I needed a lot of supplies for the west wall, as it was in pretty sad shape.

Friday morning I got started on the west wall after getting the third coat on the north wall. Things went pretty smoothly on most of what I had in mind. There was some rotted wood needing replacing, and some places needing drywall patches, but it was nothing too big.

I finished that up, and then I decided to replace some of the wood where the tracks for the garage door are. Each screw was in several layers of wood that were there purely for function, and not cosmetics. I was not sure how to paint it like that, and I didn't really trust the functionality of it, so after wrestling with it for a while mentally, I just took out the tracks, tossed all of the wood scraps, and put in solid wood boards. It was quite the ordeal, but now I'm so very glad that I did it, as it looks much better and should function nicely.

Anyway, I was very tired after all of that nonsense, so I showered and got to work on my usual job.

Kira decided to join Merritt for lunch at school that day, because he had been having a rough time. He didn't want to go to school on Thursday, and then it was the same on Friday. He even got teary. We figure the change in his routine is catching up with him. Anyway, she joined him and it went pretty well, although he was sad to have her leave. She then went to a nearby city to run several other errands. The boys made it home, and they unwound for a bit before I took them to Tae Kwon Do for their first official class. There were a lot of kids in the class, but the boys had a good time, and they are already talking about getting their black belts...

We went home to trade the car with Kira so that she could take Avey to her first rehearsal for Sister Act. Kira said that Avey immediately saw someone she knows and they got chatting right away, so that's good that she's already found a familiar face. I fed the boys dinner while Kira stayed for a "parent meeting" that just went over the information she already read in the handouts. Avey came home after the long rehearsal feeling pretty good about it, although it was long.

Avey has a fundraiser going for her school choir now. If you would like to help out, you can go to and when it asks you for the "participant ID," enter in "ENG7R9" so that it goes to Avey's school and she gets credit. No pressure, of course, but she appreciates any contributions!

Saturday we got up to get Avey to her next rehearsal, but this time it was at a house and outside in the heat and humidity. I started mudding the west wall, but I was very sore and tired, so it felt especially difficult. I finished, and then took Merritt on a bike ride before Kira left to pick Avey up from rehearsal. I fed the boys lunch and then we left for a barbecue at the church. Kira had told the boys about it, but Carver and Hakan put up big fights about going. Apparently they were hoping to have a very lazy day after the school week. In any case, we still went and they ended up having a good time playing with a frisbee. We picked up some ice cream on the way home to reward them for coming, and then I collapsed on the couch at home, totally drained. The older boys watched a movie during dinner, and then Hannah came over for some TV.

Today was late church for some special meeting, and so that threw off the routine, too. I tried to squeeze in more wall prep, but it must have felt like Saturday to the kids, because when it was time to get them dressed, Hakan threw a huge fit about going. Anyway, he eventually did go. We're planning on salmon burgers this afternoon, so let's hope those turn out decent.

Have a great week!

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