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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Freezing and Thawing Out

We finished off last Sunday with a trip to a new park that the boys had sampled, but Avey hadn't seen. It was very cold, but they still had a great time. I was on Apollo duty, so he took me all over the place, sniffing everything in sight. He was still recovering from a bit of a cold or something, so I've wondered if everything smells different to him. In any case, after a good long while freezing ourselves, we came home to warm up and call it a night.

We had our first official snow of this season this week. Monday was cold and the snow started to come down, but it wasn't sticking much at first. Avey's school had a big assembly for Veteran's Day, in which she was singing with her choir, so Kira and I both went with Merritt. She did a great job, and it was a nice tribute to those who have served.

It continued to snow, and finally started sticking more, so that Hannah and I had to shovel the driveway to get her car up into the garage after she came home from work. We got it done, and then it just kept coming. Kira's client who had scheduled the first appointment for that night called to see if maybe they should reschedule for later in the week, so they did. The snow just kept coming steadily through the night, so that we awoke to a winter wonderland.

Hannah Shovels Off the Trampoline at Merritt's Request

I was curious to see Apollo's reaction, as we are not sure if he would remember seeing the little bit of snow we had when he first came to live with us, and we don't know what he'd experienced before he came to us. He was very cautious at first, but started enjoying it pretty quickly:

He had lots of fun hanging out with Hannah and me while we shoveled the driveway, too.

To the children's delight, school was delayed by 2 hours that morning, so that things were a little more relaxed. I still had to be on my train at 7:08 a.m., so Kira was kind enough to drive me. Hannah had an interview scheduled that morning to see about driving a school bus route to supplement her income. They rescheduled for the following day due to the delay.

Merritt Mows the Snow

Tuesday night was a special event at Carver and Hakan's school. They were to bring a special person like a grandparent to an appreciation night. Because their grandparents are so far away, they took their favorite auntie, Hannah, who showed them a good time.

Wednesday was still very cold, so the snow did not go anywhere, but at least the roads were clear. I worked from home, doing a ton of grading and trying to get some research I supervise off of my desk. Hannah's rescheduled interview was basically just a job offer and instructions on how to take the next steps, so she scheduled a physical and got started on upgrading her license to drive a bus. We think that if she does start, she will forever be Merritt's hero. He always points out buses wherever we drive.

Kira was all set for her client that night, but they called in the afternoon to report that they had to work that night, so they rescheduled again.

Hannah took Carver to the youth activity that night and had a good time. Avey opted to stay home lest she run into a friend with whom she'd had a small falling out. The friend ended up not going at all, and they have since made up.

I had to go to the city on Friday for a meeting, and spent the rest of the day meeting with students and doing other grading. That night after getting home, all the ladies of the house left for two separate musicals at two separate schools. Hannah got invited to go along with some friends in the branch, and Kira and Avey went to see Avey's friend in his musical. I got the boys to bed, did dishes, and then cleaned out the hamster cage for an equally stellar evening.

It was nice to have Saturday full of fewer obligations. I spent the morning cleaning the house and bathing kids. Kira took the boys in the afternoon to go get ice cream and play at an indoor playground, and Hannah and Avey were at another youth activity for the afternoon. While Apollo and I were alone at the house, I rearranged the boys' room. Hakan mentioned a couple of times that he didn't want to be on the top bunk any more, but Carver didn't want to switch, so I undid the bunk beds and arranged the room so that all three boys' beds were on the ground. They came home very on edge for some reason, but were easily distracted by the change in their room. Hannah was away for most of the evening for a work party at her boss's house where she made good friends with their dog, had some good food, and came home with a holiday bonus check!

Today was the primary program at church, so I came along and our neighbors visited, too. She, Tammy, has been quite taken with our boys, and she really appreciates having Avey available for dog-sitting, so she's become a sort of pseudo-grandmother. Her kids moved out not long ago, so she takes it pretty hard having them away. We hope that our kids fill the void a bit, as they love her very much. Anyway, it was an entertaining program, with Merritt keeping his finger up his nose through most of it, and then not understanding that he was supposed to speak at regular volume into the microphone. His teacher would whisper what he was supposed to say, so then he would whisper it into the microphone. The family then sang a song together, though Kira's voice has just not been cooperating for several days, so she sat this one out.

This is the last week before Thanksgiving break, so I'm excited to get a little bit of a chance to catch up on some other things, and very much looking forward to a feast! Apollo seems to have recovered from his ailment, and the snow is mostly melted with temperatures in the upper 30s for the last few days. We've heard rumors that we should expect a rough winter, though, so we're trying to psych ourselves up. We'll see what happens...

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