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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Carver's 11

Updated: 3 days ago

We kicked off this week with Carver's birthday celebration! Last Saturday we had a quick lunch and then hung out. Jesse was ultra bored as it felt like an eternity until the neighbor kids were going to come over for Carver's party later in the afternoon.

Kira took Jesse and Avey out for a quick store run, and I ordered pizzas for us to have at the party. The other kids finally arrived and then it was about an hour of chaos and running around. It was very muddy outside and so everyone was confined to the indoors, but they had fun. We heard a bunch of noise upstairs at one point and Hannah happened to peek in on them doing some sort of bizarre ritual around Apollo's bed with their shirts off.

Very bizarre.

Just slowly back away...

Merritt mostly moped around, but he brightened up when I played a game with him. His favorite phrase of this week is "Dad, have you ever knowed..." and then he tells us something he learned from a video or that he read about in a book. "Dad, have you ever knowed that water is more stronger than fire?" for example.


Carver got some very generous gifts, and his face lit up when he opened his new Nintendo Switch Lite! We hope that will ease some of the tension between Merritt and Carver over who gets to play video games. I ran to get the pizzas, and Carver started setting up his new device right away. The kids ate up all the pizza, and the entire cake, and then eventually all left.

We did our bedtime routine and then watched a movie once the boys were down.

Sunday was a typical one. One thing that made it special, though, was that the boys all wore their bow ties that Hannah had made them as consolation gifts for Carver's birthday. Merritt was pretty excited.

I took a break once the kids were gone to church, and then I started cooking. We had lunch and then everyone except Avey went to the dog park.

Hannah then went home and we did dinner, family night, and bedtime as usual.


Monday was my first day of spring break, so Kira let me linger in bed a bit, but I saw the kids off. I then worked a normal day and even had a meeting with a student. I made a run to the pet store for some rat food and then was home just before Kira left for work. It was rainy all day, and so it was a rather boring start to my break, but I did relax a little before the bus arrived for the homework rush. Jesse had some state tests this week and so he did not have any homework. That was maybe a bad thing because it just meant that he was bored. He did go play with a friend that day, at least. Avey did her audition for the play after school and felt like it went pretty well. We hoped to hear the results the next day. She went on a bike ride as it was getting dark, but came home in one piece. Kira was home around bedtime.

I fed the kids on Tuesday morning, but Carver was still asleep. That's pretty unusual for him, so I had to wake him. I got them ready and then left to take Avey to school and then go meet Hannah for racquetball, but somehow in my efforts to get everything gathered I left my gym shorts at home. So, I played in my jeans, looking like a total idiot. At least most of the other people at the Y that early in the morning are about 30 years older than I, so it doesn't seem like they are really worried about scrutinizing my choice of athletic gear.


Back at home, I showered and then got to work again, taking another little break before the bus arrived. Weren't we surprised to find a bouquet delivery on our doorstep from a thoughtful relative - just to express appreciation for Kira!

That sure brightened the day for the whole house!


I took Apollo to a nearby park for a walk and Kira did the homework stuff. Merritt was in a great mood and decided to do his homework first thing, and so we reinforced that good choice a lot. Jesse had had one of his tests in reading that day, and he seemed to think that it went well. He was mostly glad not to have any homework.


That night we had a lot going on. Avey had some of her art selected to be displayed at the Art Center in town, and so we met Hannah there and admired her design for a logo that could go on a t-shirt for the Indiana Dunes.

It was easily the best work there, out of the hundreds of others. There were lots of other genres at the Art Center, and so it was fun to see what everyone had done. Avey pointed out a few works by people she knew, and we saw several pieces by a young woman in the branch. Avey's art teacher was there, and she had nothing but good things to say about Avey and her many artistic talents. She distinctly noted that Avey might like to try photography, as she has an excellent eye for aesthetics.


After the Art Center, we then went straight to Carver's orchestra concert.

It was held at the high school auditorium this time because they combined two schools and it had been a nightmare getting everyone seated at the intermediate school gym. In any case, it was a very good concert, and really fun to hear the progress they've made. You can hear them here.

Carver Sits With Fellow Cellist, Robbie

Carver is pretty strongly leaning toward starting percussion in the band next year, and the way it works out he won't be able to continue with the cello. We shall see how it all works out...


We got home late, and so Hannah just stayed home for the night and we got the kids to bed.


Wednesday I fed the kids breakfast again while Kira got herself ready for a conference on anxiety. I did my normal work stuff and then took a pretty good break before the bus brought the kiddos. It was sunny out, and so the kids played outside a bit. Jesse went to play with a friend again, and Merritt and I did his homework. Avey got the results of casting for the play, Cyrano de Bergerac, and she got two parts - Bellerose (the theater owner), and then she also plays a cadet in later acts.


Kira was gone for most of the evening as she made a run to Costco for a few items after the conference. She came home after dinner and then reminded me that it was shower day (I had totally spaced it), and so we got the kids bathed before bed. Hannah joined us for some TV after bedtime.


I lingered a bit in bed on Thursday and then saw the boys off. I worked again, and then took a break at lunch. Kira was on the phone most of the day with various people. The bus brought the kids and then I had a very stupid meeting for a very stupid committee I got suckered into. Jesse mentioned that he had seen a treadmill outside a house on their bus route, and he wanted to go see if it was in good shape for him to grab. They couldn't find it, unfortunately, and so it looks like someone else snagged it. Jesse couldn't let it go, and so he tried looking in various locations for a cheap/free treadmill online. He found one that was too far away for us to go pick up, and then eventually found one for $20. I didn't know where we would put it, but he seemed to think this was the one thing he needed to be happy. I gave him some chore ideas he could do to earn money. He mopped two rooms, doing a good job, and then he lost steam. He still seems really interested, but has more work to do to get the money. It's interesting just how much that kid loves to exercise - I can't imagine where he gets it.

I went to pick up Avey from her first rehearsal for the play. It was mostly just talking through the story and then they started a read but didn't get very far. I'm sure it will all come together better as time goes on.


Kira was on the phone that night, but Hannah came over to cuddle Apollo and watch a little. Poor Hannah has had some dental trouble lately, and it seems like she might need another root canal. It hasn't been too painful, but it's irksome enough that it needs some attention. It's still a while before her appointment with the dentist, so let's hope that it doesn't get any worse.


Friday was a typical morning and then I did some work before Kira and I went out to lunch and then did some shopping for boring stuff. Merritt is in desperate need of some new shoes, so we made our best guess on the size without him there. We got close, but we'll need to take him back today to get it right. Anyway, we then came home and had just a few minutes to chill before the bus arrived. We had a pretty typical afternoon. Avey did not have any rehearsal that day, but she did go to hang out with some friends. I picked up the relatively new film version of Cyrano at the library so that we could watch it that night. Hannah had the temple this morning and so she did not join us last night. We enjoyed the movie, although it's a very sad story. We look forward to seeing how it turns out when put on by the high school.


Today is Carver's friend's birthday, and so he and Jesse have been invited over for a sleepover this afternoon. We had also planned to have Jesse's girlfriend over in the afternoon, and Kira is going to take Merritt shoe shopping and Avey will tag along to get out of the house.

Jesse Marks the Soft-boiled Eggs

This week I am back to my normal routine, but then on Thursday I'll go to my yearly conference for the American Psychology-Law Society. My dissertation student is presenting her dissertation, so that's a good experience for her. This year it's in Philadelphia, so there's a good chance I won't make it back, but I've had a good run. I'll let you know what happens...

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