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  • Elijah Ricks

Keeping Time

We thawed out a little this week...


It was cold on Saturday, again discouraging us from venturing out. Still, Hannah and I went to play racquetball in the afternoon. Neither of us had played in years, and I'm not sure she and I had ever played each other, but we got in a good workout.


While I showered and ate lunch at home, Kira then took the kids outside to play in the snow. She also wanted to shovel the neighbors' driveway again before they got home that night. While she was working on that, the older two boys ended up at a friend's house. We eventually got everybody home and warmed up, and then Kira left to pick up some groceries we'd need for the rest of the weekend.


As I got the kids ready for bed, Merritt wanted to play chess again, so we sat down and I walked him through each move he could make and each move I could make (although he tends to focus on just one of his pieces at a time, and so I tried to do the same). I gave him some tips on what might be good moves, and he actually beat me! He was just tickled pink when I told him how I couldn't move or save my king. He's brought it up several times throughout the week how much he liked me saying, "I can't move here, because then your queen would get me! And I can't move here, because then your bishop would get me!"


Hannah came over for a movie that night, and we all got to bed too late.


Sunday was typical stuff. I got working on that closet door again and finally got it back on the hinges, but I'll still need to do some adjusting. I'm glad I get to use this one as a practice door for if I ever need to do this to another one.


I cooked lunch, and then we had a short window of time in between the kids getting home from church and then getting them to a birthday party to which they had been invited. We figured any chance to get them out of the house was well worth it, so we fed them quickly and then Kira took them to the party. They had a great time climbing the wall (at the Boys and Girls Club).

After they left, Avey wanted to meet some friends at the library, so I drove her there and then came home to sort laundry and then go pick Avey up. Kira and the boys came home shortly after that, and so it was then dinner and family time before another quick game of chess with Merritt before bed.


Monday morning was normal, except that Avey had slept so poorly that Kira sent her back to bed and decided to take her late when she went to work. I had a stupid meeting that afternoon right after the boys were off the bus, but Kira came home to make sure they didn't interrupt me. Once the meeting was done, she went back to work while I did homework and bedtime. Avey had some homework to finish up that night, and Hannah stayed home, so I was left to entertain myself for the evening.


Merritt woke us up early on Tuesday, extremely upset that Carver was not in the mood to play with him. It was Carver's turn for the TV, and he wanted to play an online game with his school buddy, and Merritt just couldn't let it go, so he made the whole house pay for it.


I left to catch my train, but of course it was 15 minutes late, so I just sat there at the station like an idiot while Kira was left to do breakfast and get them off to school by herself. Classes went very well for me, but the long day just wipes me out. Jesse finished his box for Valentines, and by the time I was home, Kira had the kids fed and homework mostly done. Hannah came over for a little TV.


Kira let me sleep in a bit on Wednesday, but I was up to say goodbye to the kids before they left. Hannah and I played racquetball again after she was done driving buses, and then I had meetings in the afternoon, interviewing candidates for a job we have open in the department.


When the boys were home, Merritt was ready to do homework right away, and so I asked if he wanted to do homework with Kira or me. He chose Kira, and then said, "I love you one hundred, but I love Mom one trillion." That was really funny, and about as it should be.

Jesse had gone to play at a friend's house, but came home sobbing again. It was the same friend with whom he'd had trouble before, so I was pretty worried, but once he was calmed down, he explained that he had tripped and jammed his thumb. There wasn't any name calling or other problems.


Kira left for the evening for a Relief Society activity, and then went shopping afterwards, so she wasn't home until after I had gone to bed.


I was in the city again on Thursday, with a standard day again. I still seem to lose all of my energy by about 2:00 every afternoon, so it was nice to not have another class to teach that day. I kept busy with grading and such.


At home Jesse had started working on a clock kit Kira had picked up from the library. He was so excited that he didn't plan it out and just started drawing the numbers on it with permanent marker. He did the 12 at the top, but by the time he got to 11, he'd made it only halfway down the clock. He seemed to realize his error, and we suggested that he may want to paint it before putting the numbers on, so then he stained it yellow to look like the sun. Of course, the stain did not cover up the numbers, so we had to use paint to cover those the next day, and then he made a better plan to space the numbers out.

His face lit up once we put in the battery and the second hand started ticking around in a circle. He can't believe he built a clock!


Kira and Avey left that night to see a musical version of Matilda, so they were out very late.

Hannah came over for some TV with me, and then I went to bed. The girls said that it was a great production, and they were glad to go, even though they were both very tired the next day.


Friday morning I let Kira sleep and got everybody to school. During breakfast, Jesse had the idea to do a "magic trick" where he would pretend to move a piece of paper with his brain powers when he was actually just blowing on it. He would not stop talking about it all morning, certain that he would fool everyone at school, and soon the entire world. I gave him a few tips on how to improve it, like trying to face the other way from the kids, so they couldn't see his lips, and trying to keep his blowing silent. He reported that it went well at school - some of the kids "almost figured it out."


I had more Zoom interviews that morning with applicants to our doctoral program. That's always tedious, but I survived. It was much warmer that day, even getting into the lower 40s, so Kira was determined to get the kids outside. She offered to take our kids and the neighbors to a skate park Jesse has wanted to check out. Merritt refused to go, and Avey was headed to the library to hang with friends, so I stayed to take care of them. Kira very much regretted taking them (at least the neighbor kids), as it was a big hassle. At least we've got that trip checked off the list for Jesse.


Hannah was over for a movie last night. She and I are playing racquetball again today, and Carver was invited to a sleepover today, but we think we'll make it just a playdate in the hopes that he can get some sleep.


I found Jesse's fish lifeless this morning. He'd been acting a little strange for months now, so I figured he was probably getting old. He made it about 7 months with us, and was a fun addition. Jesse is already talking about a mouse for his birthday in May.


Kira and I are planning on a date this evening as our little Valentine's Day celebration, so that should be fun for everyone except Avey (our babysitter).

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