• Elijah Ricks

Feels Like Fall

Things have really cooled down here, and the leaves are all gorgeous oranges and yellows, so I think we can officially declare Summer over. We made sure to fill our week up with plenty to keep from thinking about it, though.

Sunday afternoon, Hakan was on one: he was moping around, and annoying his brothers just to get a reaction out of them. I thought of punishing him, but then thought I'd try something else. I poked through our crafts drawer and found some old wheels for some furniture that we never used, and I tossed out the idea that he build a car out of a cardboard box. His eyes lit up immediately, and it was like Mr. Hyde was never even there. He sat down and, with my help, and then Avey's help, he customized this little box car to look like our van.

He even had me spray paint it black and then he painted on the windows and headlights. He asked me to cut slots in the doors so that they could really open, so he's really poured his heart into this thing. It was good for occupying him for a while, and now I've got a new way to deal with him when he's trouble. In fact, when he was acting up yesterday, I suggested he make some necklaces out of a bag of beads we have. He loved that idea, and has come up with some "friendship necklaces" to give to the two neighbor girls with whom he plays. He may be a troublemaker some of the time, but he is a lady's man all the time.

In any case, with Isaac visiting, and still enjoying Hannah's birthday, we made an early dinner of Schnitzel and Spätzle, although it didn't quite turn out as tasty as the first time. We stayed up to play dominoes that night, though we were all tired, and Hannah had to be up to drive buses in the morning.

On Monday, Kira had a client in the morning, so once we got the kids off to school, Isaac indulged Merritt by playing his favorite game on the Switch, doing everything the way he wants, and submitting to all of his demands. After some of that, I baked some cookies and we watched Merritt show off on the trampoline until Hannah could break away from work. She picked up some takeout for us, which we enjoyed together until Kira brought the car home so that I could take Isaac to the train station. Kira had evening clients, and so nobody would be home for the kids to get there if we drove Isaac to the airport, but he was good enough to take the train, and apparently didn't get lost at all. We all miss him terribly: even Merritt said to Kira that "Daddy's brother is nice." Maybe we can get him to come out every year.

Kira left again for work, so I helped with homework and stuff, and snuck in a little (but badly needed nap) on the recliner while the boys got their video game fix. I then did dinner and bedtime, and while the boys were playing before bed, I made Carver's bed and moved his stuff over to his new room (Hannah's old one). I then rearranged Hakan and Merritt's room a bit to take advantage of more space. Now that it's cold outside, I moved the slide into their room for some good times.

Hannah came over for a little TV, but she was dog-sitting all week, so she had to leave to go entertain that high-energy German shepherd before getting a chance to fall asleep.

Tuesday morning had us up too early while the boys made noise downstairs, so I felt terrible all day. Kira took Merritt to library class, and I was teaching in the city without getting a chance to do much else. I did get a flu shot during my lunch break, but that didn't help with my list of things I have to do for work.

Wednesday was e-learning for the kids. I went to pick up Hannah and we drove over to vote early. It didn't take long, at least, and then Kira went over by herself in the afternoon while I took over. It was a decent enough day that Kira tempted the boys with promises of soft serve from Wendy's. We did a little picnic at the park and had a nice time playing, and Avey opted to stay home. Hannah also used the time for other things, but she came over for some TV that night.

Thursday was "Fall break" for the kids, so they had both Thursday and Friday off of school. Of course, that's the day that I have to catch the early train, and of course, it was raining, so Kira was good enough to get up and drive me there. I was very tired, but got through all of my courses, and Kira took our boys and the neighbor girls to the park in the afternoon when the sun came out. It sounds like they had a nice big game of tag going on, so that was nice.

Friday was another big day of work for me - I have a lot of things that need doing, and I'm getting pretty worried about finishing them in time, so I worked longer than usual. I may need to stay later a couple of days this week to try and get caught up, too. Anyway, after my shift, Kira needed to take time for her calling and job, so she did that for a while and then we all went on a family shopping trip to a couple of stores in neighboring Michigan City. It was probably too late, as Avey didn't get to do all she wanted, and Merritt melted down once we got in the car. He was livid that we didn't get him a snack from the store, even though we had some snacks in the car for him. He didn't shut up about it for most of the car ride home. They were all in bed too late. Hannah, somehow sensing the chaos, chose to stay away that night.

Saturday finally made up for much of the week's insanity. I finally got in some good sleep, and then after breakfast I cut the wet grass and then fed the kids lunch while we prepared to go to the pumpkin patch.

We took a while to figure out which one we had visited last year, but Kira finally remembered the city it was near, and then recognized the name from a list.

It was chilly, and mostly overcast, but we had a good time. Apollo has chilled out enough around strangers in crowds that he did a good job, mostly just sniffing around for scraps of food people had dropped. He sure loved getting tangled up in the corn maze!

We told the kids they could pick one of the other activities available, and wasn't I surprised when they all chose the corn maze instead of riding ponies!

They have a fun playground area, so that's mostly what the boys did. Avey bought herself some nachos, and mostly dealt with Apollo the rest of the time.

We made it home with a little time before dinner, which was pretty nice timing. The boys got bathed, and then got to bed before Hannah joined us for some TV.

This next week is sure to be full of more madness, but Kira will probably have an easier time of the kids going to school. I will likely need to spend all of my time in front of a stupid computer, trying to get all of my stuff done.

It's hard to believe October is nearly gone already! See you on the other side of it!

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