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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Dishing Up Thanks

We had a fun and busy Thanksgiving week this year.

I spent Monday trying to get caught up on grading so that I could get ahead of some other work. Kira had a client at 11:00, so when she left, I listened for Merritt, who occupied himself on the screen. After about 30 minutes of that, Merritt came up and asked me to play a video game with him, so I took a little break. Once Kira was back, I got back to it for a few more hours. It was otherwise a pretty standard day.

Tuesday, even though I didn't have to go into the city to teach, I decided to anyway so that I could focus without interruption. Kira took me to the station and then was busy at home with a Relief Society Presidency meeting, and a plumber came by to look at our ceiling. Last weekend, we found a little bit of water that seemed to have come from a small crack in the ceiling of our downstairs. I was showering upstairs at the time, so it seemed to make sense that it came from the shower drain, as we'd never seen water come from the crack before.

In any case, the plumber came and wouldn't do anything. He said that he suspected that there is a leak from the shower, and that we'll probably have to replace the entire wall, as there is likely to be mold back there. Kira gave me the news when I got home, and I contacted our home insurance to see if they will come and assess the situation.

The Pot-Bellied Turkey from Library Class

Wednesday, I slept in more than I have in a long time. Kira was kind enough to let me. I finally woke up and saw the clock and forced myself to get up and get to work. The kids were off of school, so they lazed around a bit, and then after lunch I took them to a new store. Hannah had told us about their gluten free section, so we went to check it out, and we took advantage of a couple of sales, and finished stocking up on our Thanksgiving needs.

Thursday came, and we were all excited for the festivities. Hakan wouldn't stop talking about the ham, and Avey and Hakan were excited for the pies. I got the frozen rolls out to thaw as soon as I woke up, and fed the kids a normal breakfast. Hakan got working on graham cracker crusts for the pies (he enjoys pulverizing the graham crackers). Carver cooked the chocolate pudding for the pie, and Avey helped get the crusts shaped in the pans. I made the creamy fruit pie for the first time under Hannah's direction, although I learned a lot about how to do it for next time. Both turned out great!

Kira focused on the ham and the green-beans-with-bacon that she loves. We all chipped in to get mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and the relish tray all set, and Kira directed the kids in setting the table.

Everything turned out great, although Hakan somehow did not like the ham glaze (pecan and maple). Carver loved it, and Merritt would not touch it, instead opting for hot dog. We even did our now-traditional passing of the "Thanksgiving pepper" that Avey invented when she was 4.

Once the meal was over, it was a big group effort to clean up and put food away. I tried a nap for a while and Kira got the kids playing games. We eventually fed them small dinners and put them to bed before starting The Lord of the Rings trilogy. We've been chipping away at it a little each night now.

Friday I got up and set up the Christmas tree because Hakan would not stop talking about it after the Thanksgiving feast. I fed them breakfast and then we busted out the Christmas decorations from storage. We spent a good long while decking out the tree, and putting other items all over the house. Kira eventually released me to put lights up on the house, which took about an hour, plus a few more bursts here and there. I'm so glad to have invested in an outlet timer so that I don't have to go out in the cold and unplug the lights every night like a caveman!

That evening while the kids were eating, I baked Carver a gluten free cake that we had bought a few days before. He has been obsessed with it since. I cut it into slices and froze it, and then individually packaged the frozen slices and put them back in the freezer. This way, he gets out a slice right before each meal and it thaws while he eats his food. At this rate, though, he'll have burned through the whole cake by the end of today.

Saturday was a little more chaotic. Kira had several things to do for her calling, so I worked on a few minor projects in between feeding the kids their meals. Some neighbor kids were home (a brother and sister), so they came over to play for a lot of the afternoon. They stayed in the backyard, though, so that was good for keeping our kids occupied at least for a while.

Picnic on the Trampoline with the Neighbor Kids

Kira had a meeting at 3, so she took the neighbor kids and our boys to a park for a while. I installed a second smart light switch for our back patio (I've really liked the one for our front patio), and then when Kira was home I took the car for some errands. Her meeting was cancelled.

Not much else of note has gone on. We are all getting our Christmas shopping done little bits at a time, but the number of presents under our tree is really driving Hakan mad. He is going to be in agony waiting another month to open his presents.

We're excited for this week, as my younger brother, Aaron, will join us for a few days. He finally caved to the pressure I put on him whenever we talk. I feel bad that I still have to work while he's out here, but at least it's mostly from home. We'll try to come up with some fun stuff to do.

We hope you are all well, and had a great Thanksgiving!

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