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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Mercury Rising

We enjoyed another week of hard work and hard play amid heavy humidity and heat.

Cardboard Car Ride

After posting last Sunday, the boys wanted to go back to the splash pad, so I took them again. They had a good time, but seemed to want to move on and go to the playground more quickly than last time. I'm not sure why, as they don't seem to have a lot of fun there, but there must be something about it, as they wanted to go to that playground again later in the week without doing the splash pad first. Hakan had a hard fall at the park on Sunday, scraping his shin across some of the equipment as he slipped. He didn't lose any skin to speak of, but it sure hurt a lot and had a light bruise the rest of the week. The very rough thing is that he hit the same shin in about the same spot the second time we went to the park later in the week, so maybe he's climbing wrong or something.

Monday was a usual work morning for me, putting the last touches on my first tenure application. This one goes to a bunch of external reviewers who have not met me and work at different universities. They just evaluate the quality of my research, so it's a smaller packet. After that, Hannah and I made a run to Costco for the month, and were surprised that it was a quick trip and that we came out under budget - probably because we weren't around for 2 weeks eating stuff. Wasn't Avey thrilled when we brought her a slice of pizza from the Costco restaurant that had finally reopened!

That afternoon, Hannah took Apollo to a play date with his best buddy, and I took Kira to work and then the boys to a park. It was a new park in a neighboring city that we had never tried out before, but it was a nice change for the boys. It was so hot that it wore me out quickly: Merritt's favorite thing to do at the park is to have me push him on the swing until we need to leave. We stayed until dinner time, and I just couldn't see myself mustering up the energy to go home and get them each their little dinners, so I took them to get burgers at a local drive-thru, which they ate on the way home. Kira came home late after her clients.

Carver Gives Hakan a Reading Lesson

Tuesday morning was more work for me, and then when Kira needed time to get stuff done for her calling the rest of the day, I took the kids out on a bike ride, and we had a pretty good time, although Hakan chose to ride a scooter, and slowed us all down a lot.

Wednesday during work I decided to figure out what was the deal with our piano. I'd ordered a digital piano about a week before, but it still hadn't shipped, which is weird considering the advertised "3-5 day delivery." The lady on the phone told me it would actually ship on July 22, so whatever. Of course, then later in the week I got an email from the company, explaining that the piano was on back order, so it would be even longer. Now they are saying it should come in August. Frustrating, but I don't have the energy to tell them to cancel the order while I then try to find a place with it in stock, so whatever.

Kira was still busy with her calling, seeming to have several phone calls to make each day. Hannah and I had planned on making a trip to Valparaiso that afternoon, but then plans changed when she discovered that the item she wanted to check out had been purchased, so we postponed.

Thursday, we needed to make a run to Walmart, so after a morning of work for me, Hannah and Avey and I went. Avey scored some sandals that would hopefully not fall apart like her other pairs, and she also got new rain boots and a water bottle. Hannah spied a bicycle bell for Merritt, and I was excited because he had just asked about one the last time we were on a ride. We tested it out that afternoon on a bike ride, and he rang that bell the whole time he was on his bike. Unfortunately, about halfway through, Merritt discovered that his rear tire was completely flat, which wasn't all that surprising considering that the tires are so worn that there are now holes straight through them. He and Hannah walked his bike the rest of the way home, and I ordered him new tires that day, and attempted to repair his inner tube using the closest glue I had.

Friday, our neighbor had gone on a trip, leaving Avey to dog-sit. She also said we could use their pool while they were gone. I had a lot of work to do in the morning, but Kira took the kids to the pool, and they had a blast.

While I had Merritt's bike all taken apart to remove the tires, I got the idea to paint it. It's a pretty old bike, and its paint was so faded that it sure looked its age. That night, as we were watching a movie, I removed all of the stickers and cleaned it up, then prepared it for the paint. I painted the body that night, and then the next morning I finished the handle bars, training wheels, and rims. I was very pleased with how it turned out, and his new tires even came Saturday, so that I could get it all put back together for us to go on a test ride.

He sure seemed to like it, although it was so incredibly humid and hot yesterday that I'm not sure the test ride was a good idea. As I was reassembling the bike in the garage, I was dripping sweat just standing there, it was so humid. Oh, and this morning I found his tire flat again, so that my repair didn't take. I should probably just invest in the correct type of glue, because this keeps happening. Maybe this week we'll customize the bike with some stickers.

Fortunately, we still had our neighbor's pool available during the horrid heat, so we went over in the late morning and had a great time, although Hakan's shin injury bothered him in the water, so he didn't have as much fun as the rest of us.

This morning, we awoke to rain and thunder. It was supposed to stop after a while, but it's still raining pretty strong now, so we're stuck inside.

Church asked that everyone wear face masks, so the kids wore their ninja-style face masks, although it was annoying after a while, they say. I finally got around to replacing a vent diverter in Avey's room, as it was obviously the one that first came with the house. It looked super old, so the new one is much nicer. I have a few more in the house to replace, but they are in less-obvious spots, so I'll slowly do that.

This next week is exciting because the two oldest boys will be doing a day camp. It's the same one that Carver's been doing the last two summers, and he's loved it, so Hakan is excited to finally be old enough to join this year. We're so glad that they are doing it, as we lost swim lessons due to the lockdowns, so it's nice to have something for them. Otherwise, it will be more work and madness like every other week. See you on the other end!

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