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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


This last week is a blur of snow, ice, and survival.

Monday started off with a snow day for the kiddos, to their great delight and amusement. I don’t teach on Mondays, so we all went out into the 4 to 6 inches to shovel the driveway, build a snowman and snow fort, and so on. 

We went back out later in the afternoon to try out some sledding at a place we’d heard about. By the time we got there, the snow had been thoroughly packed down tight by the kids who had been there earlier, and so it was very slick for us. That made for some great sledding, and some dangerous slips for me (I landed flat on my back probably 4 times). We had a great time, but could tell we would wake up sore the next day.

We received word that Tuesday classes were also cancelled due to the snow and icy conditions. We were also expecting the polar vortex to hit us late Tuesday and last through Thursday. My university had already decided to cancel Wednesday classes, so I had a hard time staying motivated to work on Tuesday. I went into the city and taught my courses, though they were lightly attended. 

I was glad to not have to drive to Schaumburg on Wednesday, and sent instructions for the students for what we would do instead to keep up. The kids’ school was cancelled again for the freezing weather. We had a predicted high in the negatives, and with the wind chill it would feel like it was in the negative 40s. I spent most of the morning baking to have some treats ready for our stay indoors, and to help keep the house warm. It was clear that conditions were not going to improve much on Thursday, so the kids’ school was cancelled yet again, and then my university also decided to close down until Friday.  

Although the kids were excited to have so much time off of school, they were still getting assignments to do on their iPads. Avey opted to wait until the last second to complete hers, and Carver also tried to procrastinate his work. We were getting a little desperate for things to do outside of the house. On Thursday, I thought it would be fun to drive by the shore of Lake Michigan (5 minutes away) to see if it had frozen over. I really didn’t plan on getting out of the car, but once we got there we saw another family out on the ice, and the wind was not really bad, so my sister, Avey, and I all ventured out to take a closer look at the ice.

It was really cool. We couldn’t tell quite where the sand ended and the water began, but it looked like we could have walked out on the ice for a few hundred feet. The boys, who had not quite dressed for the outing, were a little upset that they didn’t get to come out with us for those few minutes, so I offered to take them home to get better gear on and then bring them back. Merritt flipped his lid as we drove away, and would not be consoled. As soon as we got home I tried to help him into his heavier snow gear, but he complained that he was cold and wanted to go inside, and quickly forgot the beach entirely. The older boys lost interest, too. 

After a whole 4 days off of school, we were a little anxious to get the kids back on Friday. Avey had an early meeting for a competition thing, so Kira drove her to school while I finished getting Carver off on the bus. The weather was snowy, but a more manageable high in the 20s. I did some work from home and then Kira took Merritt to a library class while Hakan refused. He opted to watch TV while I worked. Kira and I then had a meeting with an accountant to get our taxes started. Hannah graciously babysat so we could be relatively distraction-free.

Saturday was finally above freezing temperatures, but we spent most of the morning cleaning the house. Kira invited the missionaries in her branch over for dinner, so we tried to get the place looking more presentable. My sister found out about a dog adoption event going on not too far away, so she, Avey, Merritt, and I all hopped in the car to check it out. We are working on trying to be ready for a dog this summer, so we thought we could find out about how this organization works and get advice. It was nice to get out for a while. I took the boys to the library that afternoon for a while, and then came home to help get dinner ready for the missionaries. We got the kids to bed late because Merritt simply would not be near the strangers at the table, so we had to feed him after they had gone. They told us the story of the day before when they found a broken pipe in the wall at the church, shooting water through a wall and onto the carpet in a storage room. They knew where the shutoff was, thankfully, and stopped the leak, but the damage was enough to cause the branch president to cancel meetings for Sunday. Kira decided to take everyone to just the first meeting at another building this morning.

The weather should be relatively pleasant this week, so we expect to have a somewhat normal schedule coming up!

#Happenings #LittleGems

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