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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Happy Birthday, Hakan!

This week marked the last of school for the kids (for now), so each day seemed agonizing just to get up and get going. They seemed to have fun when there, though, as most of their testing and such was over, so they watched videos and such for most of the week. 

On Tuesday, we were supposed to do a “pet day” at Carver’s school, where families can bring their pets and introduce them to the students’ classmates. It got rained out, unfortunately, and then rescheduled for Wednesday. It was a beautiful day then, and so we all went. We even pulled Avey out of school so that she could join in the fun for the afternoon. There were a couple dozen dogs, two cats (including one with only 3 legs), a ball python, a guinea pig, a turtle, and a bearded dragon. Apollo was very excited to see so many dogs there, and didn’t seem interested at all in the other kids.

Avey had gone on a field trip earlier Wednesday, going to a 3D IMAX showing of a documentary about the Hubble telescope.  She wasn’t sure what to expect, but said that it was a lot of fun.

Thursday, Kira had volunteered to go help out at Carver’s school with field day, so I got the kids ready for school and then managed the house while she was gone. The boys helped me weed about a third of our garden area that the previous owners fully neglected, so I’ve picked at it here and there. Hakan planted some carrots in it several weeks ago, so I was hoping to clear the weeds so we could keep a better eye on the carrots. The boys and Apollo were very helpful with that: slinging dirt, pulling off the leaves but leaving the roots, and getting in fights about other things so that I had to stop my work.

Kira wasn’t needed at the school for the afternoon, so we went and picked her up, dropped her off at home, and went to the park. Kira used the line trimmer to mow down the rest of the weeds in the garden, and then the following day sprayed them with a weed killer she made. Still on Thursday afternoon, though, I spotted a toad in our yard. We hadn’t seen one in our yard at all before, so that was really exciting. We put it in a box so the kids could check it out for a while and we kept Apollo away from it, and then let it go after 15 minutes or so.

I had to go into the city on Friday because I’d scheduled a couple of meetings with students. The first one was productive, but then the second one canceled. The third was just meeting with a student who graduated in December, but who is about to move. We’d worked together on her honors thesis and other research, so it was good to chat one last time before she moves onto bigger things. I came home and mowed the lawn, expecting it to be rainy or too busy the following day.

Saturday was made up mostly of Hakan’s birthday celebration. He wanted to open presents first thing, so we did that and then the boys spent most of the morning playing with those. He’s thrilled with them all, and has been forced to share his bow-and-arrows the most. I drew some targets on our glass sliding door with dry erase markers, where the suction cups will stick, and so the boys have enjoyed practicing there, although Merritt sure seems convinced that it is his toy. In the afternoon, the boys, Kira, and I all went to a kids’ play place with a ball pit, trampoline, arcade, and laser tag. They had a grand time for the rest of the day, and hope to return soon.

Today is, of course, Hakan’s real birthday, so while he was at church, I baked his cupcakes. He wanted them to be striped with green, blue, and orange frosting, making for a labor of love. He enjoyed them thoroughly just a few minutes ago. We can’t believe that he is 5 already and that he’ll be a Kindergartner in just a few months. It will be so strange to have just Merritt at home.

Over this next week, I have more research things to do with students I’m supervising, and I’m trying to figure out more projects I can do around the house that don’t cost much (the fence basically took up all of my summer project budget). I have a good list going. We’re likely to also visit plenty of parks and spend lots of time on the trampoline.

Hannah was called as the Young Women’s President last week, and was sustained and set apart today. It’s a lot of responsibility, but she’s thankful that there are only 5 young women in the branch, and Avey is one of them. We’ll see how she feels about it after a couple of months!


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