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  • Elijah Ricks

Carver Turns Ten

This week's biggest event was Carver's completion of a rotation around the earth's sun. Luckily, inertia did most of the work.


Last Saturday, Kira had a billion meetings to attend, and so I was in charge of the kids at home. We all loaded up into the car to take Avey for her last performance of the play, and then I brought the kids back home for dinner and bedtime. Kira attended Avey's show in between her meetings, and dropped Avey off at a restaurant for the after-show party. They were home late.


I forgot to mention last week that Avey was mentioned in the local newspaper twice: once with her Solo and Ensemble group, and then again for the play she was in.

In fact, we first found out because our neighbor a few houses down brought us a copy of the article in which Avey was mentioned. So she's basically the most famous thing to ever come out of Chesterton, Indiana (take that, Jim Gaffigan!).


Sunday was Stake Conference, and so everyone stayed home to watch it over the computer. I looked for something productive to do, so I tried burning the branches from my pruning several weeks ago. It did not go well, probably because everything is still rather damp as it thaws out, and there was still some snow near the bottom of the fire pit. I gave up after a while, figuring I'd let it dry out more.


In the afternoon, it was sunny and a little warmer than usual, so I took the boys, Hannah, and Apollo to the dog park with a playground next to it. It was very muddy, but everyone still had a good time. We came home to enjoy a chuck roast that Kira had made to share with our neighbors - the wife was recovering from back surgery. I started working on a Lego castle on my Lego table to get the boys interested in it again, but maybe I just need to admit that I built the table for myself more than anyone else...


Monday was the same old routine. Jesse was basically feeling all better after going through the 48-hour bug that Carver introduced to the household. It was the first day that they did not need masks on the bus or in class, so that was cause for celebration. It's been a whole week now without masks, and I haven't heard of any student deaths, so that's a plus.


I did my grading stuff, and Kira left for work. I did laundry in the afternoon. The boys were home to some nice warm sunshine, so they enjoyed the outdoors for a bit, even though it was windy. Jesse rode his bike around the neighborhood, and Merritt rode a scooter, so I walked alongside him. Both boys overestimated how warm it was, though, with the wind piercing right through us. Avey took Apollo out for a walk, too.


Merritt was thrilled to get a package in the mail from his grandmother - it contained a new quilt that is his favorite color! He's really loved to cuddle up in it at night.


Kira was home a little earlier than usual, surprising the boys before bedtime. They were sure glad to get their hugs and kisses for the night.


Tuesday, the boys wore church clothes to school for a special day. Each day this week was some sort of theme, and Tuesday was for dressing fancy. That turned out great for Jesse, because he excitedly told us that one of the girls in his class (not his girlfriend, mind you) told him he was one of the handsomest kids in the class. That was no surprise to us, of course, but the way he told the story made his face light up like it was the greatest thing that had ever happened to him. That really got his ego inflated for the rest of the week...


It was a pretty typical day otherwise. Hannah's neck was really bothering her, and so she stayed home that night.

Wednesday, I tried to let Kira sleep, but she had too much on her mind as problems had been arising in her calling. Long story short, she was going to need to spend her morning running errands on top of the errands she already had planned. We noticed that Carver forgot his iPad at home, and we figured we'd let him learn a valuable lesson, but then the school called to ask if we could bring it by. I took it over, and then came home to shower and join some stupid meetings. Kira left for her several errands, and then once my meetings were over I went straight over to get Avey from school and take her to the doctor. She's had a sore throat most of the time for about 6 months, and so we finally just decided to take her to an ear, nose, throat specialist. He is pretty sure that it's something to do with acid reflux, and so he gave her some things to try, a prescription, and we'll followup in 2 months. Kira made it home for the bus while Avey and I were out.

Merritt Dressed as the Book Character, "Bad Kitty"

Hannah still felt really bad that night, with this neck ache seeming to turn into all sorts of other maladies. I took Apollo over to scare away any demons, and messed with her bathtub drain so that she could relax in the bath. Kira was on the phone that night, so Avey and I watched a movie.


Thursday I was off to the city as usual. Classes went well, but it was my last time teaching before spring break, so I had a hard time staying motivated once I was done teaching. I forced myself to stay focused, though, and made it through. Kira spent pretty much all day on the phone, first catching up with a former roommate who'd recently been married. She spent that night on the phone also, and so Avey and I watched the next movie in our series while Hannah was still home feeling crummy.


Kira let me sleep in on Friday, and then we spent the rest of the day preparing for Carver's birthday celebration. He turned 10 in the afternoon. I baked his gluten-free cupcakes and then some gluten ones so that he could keep most of his. In between everything I put together a drum kit that a very generous family member had sent him. Kira had the rest of the gifts wrapped. She went to a chiropractor appointment, and then she and I went to the boys' school to join Carver for recess and then lunch. We saw Jesse first, and his school chums all seemed really excited to meet us. I finally met his girlfriend in person for the first time, and I had a stern talk with her about her intentions with my son (not really). We also saw Merritt pass through the hallway on his way to art class, so that was cool. We thought about next dropping by to surprise Avey at school, but figured that would destroy her image for the rest of her life.


We ate some lunch once we were home, and finished up some preparation for the afternoon celebration. We then drove back to the boys' school to pick them up, and Kira had also arranged to pick up Carver's best friends to come over and play. It was in the 40s, so it was good weather for outdoor fun. In fact, we were surprised that they didn't play any video games the whole time they were here. I half hoped that we could surprise Carver with the drum kit in his room, but the boys surprised me by going upstairs first thing and discovering the kit within about 30 seconds.

Everyone tried it out and had a good time before heading outside to enjoy the weather. I supervised their rough-and-tumble play in the backyard while finally burning about half of the branches I'd pruned. We took a break to open the rest of the presents, and then had cupcakes and more play, and Avey went to the library to hang out with friends.

Once the friends were gone, we picked up Avey and had pizza for dinner and started the bedtime routine.


Hannah was still feeling really bad, but she came over to see Carver open her present to him, and had a little pizza. She joined us for some TV that night. She's got a chiropractor appointment on Monday, so hopefully they can help her get this thing figured out.


This morning, Kira got up early to take our neighbor to get some blood work (she still can't drive after the surgery). I fed the boys. Carver has been invited over to a sleepover at his friend's house (who turns ten 3 days after Carver), and so he's counting down the minutes. Today's forecast is in the 60s, which is incredible, so we are going to do our best to spend lots of time soaking up that warmth before it plunges back down again for a few days.


I'm in Spring Break this week, so I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with myself. I need to make some final plans for my trip to Colorado for the conference, and maybe I'll do a few relaxing things, too...

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