We had a really fun week with Isaac visiting, only to have our hearts broken as he left again.
Last Saturday afternoon we planned to all go to the beach. Hannah's boss was out of town and had invited her to use his small canoe and kayak while he was gone. Hannah, Isaac, and I all went to pick them up in my truck while Kira drove the kids and dog in the van. We unloaded but then had to go park back at her boss's house and then walk to the beach again. Anyway, we had a good time there. The kids quickly made friends with some other kids there, and we enjoyed taking turns in the boats.
Apollo was not thrilled to try out the canoe, but he relaxed after a while.
We left around 4 to put the boats back and start the long process of getting all the sand off of us and bathing everyone in the house. I then fed everyone while Kira dealt with funeral arrangements for someone in the branch. Hannah showered at her place and then came back here to play an online game with Aaron and Isaac while Kira and I worked on getting kids to bed. We then finished a movie.
Sunday morning was rough. Merritt had a very hard time getting ready for church, but eventually got in the car. It was rainy nearly all day, probably not helping the situation. I got working on lunch nearly right away - homemade burgers with Hannah's garden squash, french fries, and brownies for dessert. We then had a family night lesson and activity before going on a family walk/bike ride once the rain stopped. It was rather wet, but at least it was an outing. Hannah and Isaac played their traditional game, cribbage, for a while, and then Kira, my siblings, and I all sang at the piano. That was nice, and we even recorded some of them today, although our voices were not quite as warmed up. At least Avey joined us to help out. We recorded Be Still My Soul, Come Unto Him, and Our Savior's Love.
After the singing, Isaac left to his room to join a game with his friends that they do every couple of weeks, so Hannah stayed to chat with us a bit and left for home and the rest of us went to bed.
Monday was Labor Day, and so we got to sleep in nicely. Kira decided to cancel her clients so that she could spend more time with us while Isaac was here. Hannah and Isaac went to play tennis after breakfast, and so Kira and I prepped the kids to go to the park next to the courts. We took shifts watching Merritt on the playground and walking Apollo around. The older boys were interested in playing tennis, also, and so Hannah and Isaac were nice to humor them as they played doubles. We went to Wendy's for lunch, where Merritt got cold with all of the air conditioning, so Avey kindly loaned him her long-sleeved shirt:
Once home, I made up some cookie dough and then showered as it chilled, then I baked the cookies in the afternoon while we all played some games together. We then had a light dinner before putting the boys to bed, and watched a little TV before we went to bed ourselves.
I didn't sleep great, so it was a bit of a rough morning headed to the city on Tuesday. Class was fine, and then I was able to rally and get some good work done in the afternoon. Isaac mostly did his day job and relaxed in his room at home, while Kira tried to recover from the busy weekend and also keep up with her Relief Society duties. The funeral was eventually postponed, and so she was let off the hook somewhat. When I got home, Isaac seemed like he was in a mood to get out of the house, so he offered to go grocery shopping for us, but then as we realized just how much we needed, I went with him to the store while Kira fed the kids. Hannah came over while we were gone, and we started a movie once the kids were down.
Wednesday morning still came too early, but we got the kids off to school before I did work and then mowed the lawn. I had some stupid meetings scattered over the day, and so that sort of put a damper on making any plans, but Isaac and I hung out at our laptops at the dining room table. We then talked about going out to lunch, but hadn't thought it through very well, apparently. Hannah wouldn't be able to come before she needed to drive the bus, and we had only about an hour until the boys' bus would drop them off. Still, we thought we'd have time for take-out, and so Isaac treated us to a local restaurant. They told us the food would take about 25 minutes, and so we walked around downtown, but as it was getting to be 35 and 40 minutes, we were getting very close to needing to leave for home for the bus's arrival. We asked how long until the food was ready, and they said "no longer than 5 minutes." It was about another 15 minutes before we just were not going to make it, so Kira and I dashed home and left Isaac to get the food, which was finally ready about 30 seconds after we had left. Of course, we also missed the bus by about 2 minutes, but I used my smart home devices to open the garage from my phone and I talked to the boys as they came off the bus through the smart camera doorbell, telling them what was happening.
I dropped off Kira and then went back for Isaac, and then by the time we were home, I had to inhale the food before my next meeting, so I didn't get to savor it very much. It was good, but next time we will need to make a better plan.
Anyway, the boys did a really good job getting their homework done that afternoon. The weather was glorious, and so we enjoyed that for a bit, and Hannah came to pick up Isaac to go to a nearby bog for a nature walk. While we were outside at home, I met our new neighbors at the rental house next door. They have two dogs, so I hope that they will get along with Apollo - so far they all seem very territorial.
Once the boys were in bed, we finished a movie together.
I had to go into the city again on Thursday. I invited Isaac to come along and hang out in the city while I was in class, but he decided not to. My classes went well, and it's been especially nice this semester to have longer breaks in between my classes. I caught the earlier train home, so I made it for dinnertime. Hannah came over a little after that, and then we all enjoyed the weather outside before moving inside for games and bedtime. We older kids started another movie before bed.
Even though Kira had been getting the kids to school by herself most of the week, she let me sleep in on Friday, which I needed pretty badly, apparently. I slept in longer than did Isaac! Hannah came over in the late morning and then she made some treats while Isaac and I got caught up with work things. We then took Isaac to see our used hardware and furniture store we like, and then took him to a deli downtown, bringing Kira a sandwich, too. Hannah then had to leave to drive the bus. When our kids were all home, Jesse and Avey came with Isaac and me to the pet store where we bought our rats. We needed more food and wanted to check in on some of the animals. The parrot that the boys liked so much was gone, and so were the hairless guinea pigs. There were almost no rats there, either, but we did have fun seeing the animals there. We dropped Avey downtown to hang with her friends and then went home.
At home, we fed the boys a quick dinner and then decided it was a good night to go to our favorite ice cream place downtown. Kira went to pick up Avey, took her for food, and then we all met at the ice cream place downtown. I walked Apollo around most of the time, and we all avoided some loud and obnoxious teenagers who had taken over the park, but then Merritt had to find a potty, so we took him to Hannah's nearby.
We eventually made it home for some games and bedtime. We adults finished our second movie before going to bed.
This morning we did pancakes and bacon to send Isaac off. He and Hannah planned to go to a zoo in Chicago before dropping him at his flight. We all hung out, recorded those hymns, and then said our goodbyes. Once Hannah and Isaac had left, we fed the kids a quick lunch and then took off for a shopping trip for just a few things. Jesse has been very excited to get a harness for the rats so that he can take them into the backyard or whatever. He vacuumed out our cars to earn the money, and then after lunch we went to buy it while I was at a hardware store. On the way, our neighbor came to the door and asked if the kids would like to swim in their pool, so we hurried and finished up there and came home for the pool party. They are gearing up for that right now.
This next week will be long and dull without Isaac here to lift our spirits and give us excuses to play and party. We hope to get him to come visit us again soon, if only for our beach.