• Elijah Ricks

Goodbye Papa

Monday morning, Kira got a call from her mother to let us know that her father had passed away in his sleep about an hour earlier. We had been expecting it for some time, but to finally know that it was over was a swift kick to us all. Kira and I took a moment to process it and then carried on with the day while trying to make plans for the funeral and arrange schedules to get there. Kira quickly got an outpouring of support from people all over. She’s doing very well so far, as it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. We are looking forward to the funeral this coming week, where it is sure to be an emotional time remembering and celebrating his life. 

Aside from the plans to go to Colorado, we spent much of this week with a lot of gingerbreadlike house making and a lot more back pain. 

Kira learned of two opportunities for the kids to craft some gingerbread houses. One was at Carver’s school, and the other was at our local library. We decided to split it up and have Carver do the one at his school, while Avey and Hakan did the one at the library. That was probably a good idea, because Carver’s school one did not involve food. They used cardboard instead, so there was no need to be wary of rampant gluten for poor Carver. The library had a great spread, and used graham crackers rather than gingerbread. According to the kids, it was a wonderful experience.

Tuesday was my long day, so I missed everything at home, but it was a busy day for me with students all preparing for final exams and asking for letters of recommendation. Fortunately, my late class had no questions for our planned review session, so I was able to come home about two hours earlier than usual!

Wednesday morning, we awoke to find it snowing. There wasn’t very much, but I wanted to be sure to get it off of the driveway while I could. I went out to sweep it off (it was so powdery), and then came back in and somehow threw my back out. I had been feeling the need to stretch it for a while, but hadn’t been doing it, so I suppose the sweeping finally was enough to throw it. It was especially rough this time, but after a lot of stretching it, it’s nearly better now. Just don’t tell the boys or they’ll insist I swing them around more, which doesn’t help.

I had some fun on Thursday when we played Jeopardy as a review exercise in one of my courses. I spent a good part of Wednesday getting it all prepared, and I’m glad I did. It turned out to be a lot of fun. In the afternoon was a little social thing put together by a scholar program of which I’ve been a part. Two of the students I supervised are graduating this semester, so they were a big focus of the event, and it was nice to celebrate their achievement.

Kira discovered an indoor playground at a local church, and she found two occasions to take the younger boys there, including one for a play date with another kid. That’s been very good, as our kids don’t much enjoy the cold, and Kira hates the messes from snow.

The only other event that I can recall from this week is Kira’s branch Christmas party last night. That was pretty alright, with a Mexican food menu and a few crafts for the kids to do. We got home past bedtime, though, and Merritt made that clear as day. He refused to get into pajamas, and just dug in his heels with every idea we had to convince him differently. After a very long time, he finally did fall asleep, but after a 30-minute tantrum on the drive home from church today, maybe we’ll be more careful about keeping him up.

We’ll leave for Colorado on Thursday right after my last final.


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