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  • Elijah Ricks

Celebrating Hannah

Updated: Oct 17

We had another full week of dealing with sick boys, preparing for my little brother to visit, and gearing up for Hannah's birthday!


Last Saturday morning I was up to feed people and then helped Merritt complete his homework from his missed day of school that week. He did a good job staying relatively focused (comparatively), and so he got it done. Carver also worked on his missed work from his sick days, but had a lot of it to do. Kira spent much of the day working on stuff for her calling, so I managed the kids. In the afternoon, we drove to a town about 30 minutes away for a little festival they were having at a music store. There were musical performances, bouncy houses, a video game trailer, and lots of food. Kira was excited to do axe throwing, and the kids got to try it, too.

They had a good time with all of that. I mostly walked Apollo around and tried to keep him from eating all of the dropped garbage.

We left and then needed to get people food and also get some gas. We stopped at Costco to do both, but almost nobody else wanted a meal there, and the gas line was longer than usual, so the whole thing was pretty silly. We got home eventually and finished feeding people before bedtime. Hannah came over for a movie - Jurassic World: Dominion.


Sunday, Kira left for an early meeting. The Branch President wants to have that meeting every Sunday before church, so that complicates things a bit. This time we tried having Hannah come and drive the kids in the van, because she does not have to go to the meeting. That worked out alright, so we'll see if we make that the norm.

Carver's Foil Shark He Made During A Church Meeting

I worked on lunch preparation and then fed people when Hannah brought them home. Kira stayed to help with some stuff, including a little farewell party for a senior sister missionary. Jesse made a goodbye card for her that turned out really well:

In the afternoon, Merritt agreed to practice riding his bike without the training wheels. He made some pretty good progress. I wish that we could do it more often before the weather turns much colder, but we just can't seem to find the time more than a little bit here and there.


Anyway, Jesse and Merritt had "buddy time" again and put up the teepee in the master bedroom. They really enjoyed that, and it's still up as I write this.

Spit Bath in the Teepee

Jesse and Avey cleaned out the rat cage, and we had a brief family night.

The neighbors brought over Ivy to play with Apollo, so they joined in on a game of "Come Here, Little Mice." I cooked some meat for dinner and made half of it into taco meat, so Hannah stuck around until that was done before heading home. Avey worked on a school project that night and Kira and I tried to get to bed a little earlier.


Kira then let me sleep in on Monday, and that was wonderful for my energy the rest of the day. I was up to say bye to the kids before they left for school. The internet went out after I had worked for a while, so it was a good thing I had finished most of what I needed to. The low-tire light had come on in the van the day before, so I left to fill them up (they get low every year when the air gets cold). Then I came home and left again when I saw we were out of bananas. The bus brought the younger boys, and Jesse's obsession du jour was a mini super soaker squirt gun that he had found browsing the internet. He had some money, but needed a few more dollars, so I put him to work and then by the time he finished I had found the same gun for a few dollars cheaper, so that was nice. I ordered it and it arrived later in the week.

Merritt Wanted to Dye His Hair, but All We Had Was Gray

When Merritt got off the bus, he was talking about watching the first Star Wars. I had told him some time ago that it would probably be okay to watch if I screened it with him to warn him of the parts that are a little much for a 6-year-old. I sat down with him and we started the movie, but he would not stop talking about it. He had so many questions and kept trying to connect the characters in the movie to the ones he knows from video games, but they are from different movies, so we kept going in circles as I tried to explain. It went on like that for about 15 minutes before he declared that he was bored and wanted to do something else.

Hannah surprised us with some donuts that were left over from a thing at work, but she left right after to get home. That was fun to have for dessert after dinner. Avey took Apollo on a walk before bedtime, and Kira came home from work at about bedtime. We started a movie that night that Avey really likes, Coraline, but had to stop to get to bed at a decent hour.


Tuesday was a standard day for me, but I was especially tired. I made it home in time to help with dinner and get kids to bed. Carver stayed up a little later trying to catch up on his missed school assignments from last week. Kira was on the phone with a friend that night, so Hannah, Avey, and I worked on a show we are enjoying.


I let Kira sleep in on Wednesday morning because she had stayed up so late on the phone. Avey had the PSAT at school that day, so then she got to come home early in the afternoon. Kira went to volunteer at the elementary school for a while before taking the boys to the dentist. They had no cavities, and got their new toothbrushes. I picked up Avey from school and then she and I left to do some shopping before an appointment she had. We then went home and I helped with dinner before Kira took Merritt to his gymnastics class. While they were gone, Jesse finally felt ready for me to pull his very loose tooth:

It's the one he hit on his knee months ago, so we're kind of glad to have it out of the picture now. He was so thrilled that he lost the tooth, and he was very brave about it. He liked losing the tooth so much, he pulled out his next one on his own the next day:

After the boys were in bed, Kira, Avey, and I tried to finish Coraline, but we started too late and so I had to get to bed for any hope of 8 hours before the alarm. They finished it without me.


It was a very busy day on Thursday. On top of my courses, I also "volunteered" to participate in a "Major Madness" program where I sit at a table to represent the Psychology department while a hundred undergraduates come through and ask me the same questions over and over (because they were assigned the questions). It was a pretty poor use of time as it would make more sense to just have me do a 15-minute presentation to their course instead of spending 2 hours having them each ask me the same questions. Anyway, it was nice to get to chat with a couple of the other professors at tables next to me, so that was alright. I went from there straight to my afternoon course, and taught, keeping an eye on my phone for updates from Isaac who was going to land at any time.


We kept in touch and then met at the train station to ride back home together. Avey had her first choir concert of the year that evening, but Jesse was feeling ill, and so I stayed home with him while the others went to the concert. Carver also stayed home to keep working on his missed schoolwork, but he finished! Jesse said his tummy was upset, and his head was pounding. He was falling asleep on the couch, so I eventually just carried him up to his bed. I then made Carver's bed and Isaac's bed, finished taking out the trash that Kira had gathered, and made myself some dinner.


The rest of the crew came home and had good reports about the concert. Kira took Avey back out for some ice cream, and picked up some food for Isaac, too. We had a nice night chatting with Isaac before we got to bed.


Friday, Kira let me miss most of breakfast. Jesse stayed home because he was still feeling a little weird. He got better throughout the day, so we don't know what it was. Apollo kept him company on the recliner as he tried to recover.

I got paid that day, so I bought an online driving course for Avey so that she can get her learner's permit. I then did some work and then Hannah and Isaac and I went to Costco for our month's supply of food. We went out to eat on the way home, and then unloaded before Kira left to take Carver to the dentist. He was our last appointment and the last one with no cavities! That's 6 for 6 this year! Carver showed us his report card that afternoon once he was home - he has a 4.2 GPA! If only he used that power for good...

Merritt and Jesse went to a pre-arranged playdate with Merritt's friend at a park. They had a good time, but it was very windy and chilly. Jesse's tiny squirt gun came in the mail, and so he played with that a lot, mostly squirting water into people's mouths with their permission.


I took Avey downtown to hang with friends, and Isaac came along. We just browsed a store mostly while she was there. I saw a toy gun that looked like what Jesse was hoping for with another coveted item, so I told him about it once we were home, and he said he wanted to buy it the next day. We got the kids to bed and watched a movie that Hannah and Isaac hadn't seen before.


Saturday we all slept in a bit, and then I got up to feed boys and make Hannah's birthday cake, a Boston Cream Pie variation that we enjoy in our family. I also made Carver some brownies that he can have instead. Hannah brought over some fancy donuts from a place we keep meaning to try. Those were a fun change of pace, and then we opened Hannah's presents before a video game break while I finished frosting the cake and doing the dishes.

Hannah and Isaac then departed to go to the zoo we had visited for Avey's birthday. They had a good time while we worked on cleaning and keeping kids busy. The two older boys were invited to play with some friends at their house, and Ivy played with Apollo over here. Jesse and I had planned on going to buy his toy gun I'd seen at the store, but when he got invited to the friends' house, he went there instead and just had me go to buy his gun. Avey came along to get out of the house, but of course we went to the store and couldn't find the toy gun, because it was a different location of the same chain store. I just assumed they would all have the same inventory, but learned a valuable lesson instead. Avey and I made a quick dash over to the other location that I knew had the gun, and then came home with it. He's still playing at the friends' house, so we'll see how he likes it when he gets here.


Tonight we are planning on having the Boston Cream Pie after dinner, and then tomorrow we'll have Hannah's special meal of enchiladas for her real birthday. Luckily, Isaac will be staying until Saturday, so we should have plenty of quality time with him before he ditches us again. Maybe we can convince him to join us for Thanksgiving...

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