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  • Elijah Ricks

Much Ado

Updated: May 23

This week was full of zoo trips and dances.


Last Saturday we hosted a little play day at our house for Carver's friends. That seems to be the weekly tradition now, but at least he gets off the screen. The boys all played together while I ran to the hardware store for a few items. Once the other kids went home, we fed and bathed ours, then played in the backyard some more while I got working on putting up a backing for our archery target. We older kids watched a movie that night.


Sunday finally cooled down nicely, so we had the windows open most of the day. Once the kids were off to church, I finished the archery range. I think it turned out really well, but so far the kids haven't tried their bows at all this week. It's been kind of windy, so I sort of get it. I then made a second try at spreading some grass seed in the bare areas, and this time covered the seed with topsoil (and also chose to do it when the juncos had moved onto other territory). It's coming up now - so I'm feeling pretty good about it. Avey did the line trimming, and then I cooked our fancy meal to have when everybody made it home from church. Hannah went birding for a little bit after church, but still beat Kira and the boys home (after Kira had a late meeting). It was such a nice afternoon, that we tried to stay outside a lot. I sprayed a few weeds before the evening rain came, and we had a short family night lesson and then played some chasing games in the yard.


Kira let me sleep in Monday, and I actually did! I was still somehow tired all day. I ran to get some items at the store and then Kira went to work. I picked up some medicine for Apollo (routine stuff), and then dealt with some student issues as part of my new role at the university. The boys came home and we did homework. Jesse had gone on a field trip to a farm, and his friend's mom sent us some pictures of them.

I cleaned some sinks and replaced our filthy shower curtain liners. That night was Avey's last choir concert of the year (that we could attend), so Kira came home from work to take Avey to the warmup. She then came home and helped feed the boys before we went to see the concert. It was very good again, but because of the weather the air conditioner in the gym was on, and it whistled rather loudly through the whole event. I hope you can't hear it on the recordings that Kira made here, here, and here. As usual, Avey was the best singer there.


Tuesday I let Kira sleep in and then worked. The kids had substitutes at school while their teachers were at some sort of conference or training. After some of my day job, I cut the grass and then took Apollo on a walk and some errands. When we were home, I rewound the line trimmer that had run out of line. After school, Kira took Avey and Carver clothes shopping. Carver was way overdue for some new shoes, and Avey needed to find a suitable dress to wear for a school dance on Friday. We'd heard from other parents that it was a pretty formal dance, and so we needed to step up our game. They were gone late while I put the younger boys to bed. They came home with some good finds, though.


Wednesday, Kira had planned a temple trip with a lady in the branch, and so she got up to get ready while I got the kids fed and out the door. She then left and I worked on my new role, did laundry, cleaned our tub, and took a minute to relax before a delivery came. The huge box was a birthday present for Jesse from a generous donor - I assembled it and then hid it in the shed (it's too big to go anywhere else). It was stupid rainy all day, so Apollo and I felt pretty stuck inside, and then when the boys got home it was more feeling trapped. The kids had had substitutes again. In Carver's papers was a very nice note from one of his classmates, Avery, with a drawing of Carver and several compliments. We asked him if she has a crush on him, and he said that she will often give those kinds of things to other classmates, so he doesn't think so. In any case, it was a really cool thing to do.


Kira let me sleep in on Thursday. The weather started to heat up again. I did a whole mess of stuff with the new job - the previous guy sure left me a lot of stuff to clean up. Kira was busy with several phone things and stuff to do with her calling - much of the week has been in preparation for a large branch celebration that's happening today.


That evening was a "glow dance" at the boys' school. Avey stayed home, but Hannah joined the rest of us at the school for a dance party with glow sticks and black lights. It was some good clean fun. The whole ordeal was marred a bit by the ice cream debacle. We knew that there would be some ice cream for purchase, and so we told the boys to bring their money if they wanted to buy some. The older two didn't care, but Merritt said he did want some, so I held onto his money. The ice cream line was outside of the school, and so we hopped in line, waiting about 7 to 10 minutes. As we got closer to the front, I overheard the worker list the flavors they had available - there were only four, and none of those four was vanilla. Merritt is a very strange little boy, for he demands chocolate cake and donuts, but his ice cream must be vanilla. He dare not try any other flavors, lest he disrupt the balance of the universe. So, I tried to open his mind just a little to other flavors, but he refused. I clarified with the worker once we got closer that they didn't have vanilla, and he said they did not, so Merritt just hopped out of line and got in the line to go into the school. He didn't seem fazed, and so I thought we'd be just fine. The dance was plenty of fun, but then when we went back outside to get into the car and go home, he saw the line again (now twice as long), and decided that he would be willing to get chocolate. We got back in line, but everyone else was ready to go home, and the line would take at least 10 minutes at that rate, so I suggested we get Merritt a vanilla Frosty from Wendy's on the way home. He thought that would work, so we left. Of course, Wendy's was all out of vanilla. Kira decided she could probably get a carton of vanilla ice cream at the grocery store nearby for less than the cost of the single scoop from the stand at the school, so she went to try that, as Merritt had once again refused a chocolate Frosty. All the store had was vanilla bean, but surely only a maniac would object to the wrong kind of vanilla ice cream. Merritt put up a little fight about it not being in a cone, but then was willing to have a cup, but definitely not a bowl. He took one little taste and declared the ice cream unsuitable for his refined palate, as it was not the right consistency, and the little vanilla beans were simply too out of the ordinary. I tried stirring up the ice cream to make it creamy like a Frosty, but he again turned up his nose at it, insisting he needed vanilla ice cream that had nary a bean therein. We finally abandoned the ice cream route and suggested other treats we had on hand. Of course, the one he settled on was chocolate pudding...


Not kidding - after he had finished his pudding, we found a little bit of vanilla ice cream left in the freezer that had no beans in it. We'd had it all along...

That kid is really something. Kira noticed last week that Merritt had brought home three separate pieces of his art where the item on the left side was yellow, and the item on the right was purple (see examples in last week's post). She asked him if he did that on purpose, and he said that he did not. Apparently, it's just a pattern that has appeared recently.

In another event, on Saturday, Jesse was looking for his water bottle so that he could take it with him in the car. He couldn't find it in any of the places he'd been that day. It wasn't by his bed or the computer, and it wasn't at his eating spot. It was so strange! Kira recruited Merritt to help in the search, and he helped for a good while before realizing that he had hidden it from Jesse as a passive-aggressive reaction when he felt that Jesse had been mean to him. He retrieved it from the laundry room - right where he had hidden it.


Oh, also on Thursday was Avey's choir tour of the elementary schools. She sang with her choir for all three of her brothers, and stole the show when she improvised acting like Bruno during their song "We Don't Talk about Bruno." She had some fans after that, and for sure got some kids excited to grow up and join the choir in middle school.


Friday I let Kira sleep. Once the kids were gone, she got up to get ready to go to the zoo with Merritt for their class field trip.

(In the center photo is Merritt with his best buddy, Ben)


They had a good time! Merritt had been to this zoo before, but had it mixed up with the Henry Doorly Zoo we'd visited in Nebraska.

Kira decided to just bring the kids home early once they were back at the school. Naturally, she thought that they'd be thrilled to get out a little early, but Jesse was annoyed with the whole thing because they had been watching a movie in class, and now he wouldn't finish it (even though he'd already seen it).


Avey had her dance that night, so I picked her up from school so she could have a few more minutes at home. She brought home some pottery projects from art. She chilled out a bit and then got ready for the dance (just meeting friends there - no date).

She had a pretty good time, and then Kira picked her up after it was all over.

At home, we spent a while enjoying the weather in the backyard. I had retired our old flag, so we burned it in our fire pit and played some dodge ball before bedtime. Kira and I watched a movie while Hannah stayed home. Avey joined us for the last little bit.


Saturday, Kira was up early with her brain already going on several projects she had to complete before today's big branch celebration, which is the 42nd Anniversary of its founding. I dropped Avey off downtown to hang with some friends, and then Hannah and I went to play racquetball. She had reserved the court, but when we got there somebody had just mopped it, so it was wet the entire time we were there. I walked on a treadmill for a while, and we tried just knocking the ball around a bit, but we never did get to play. I then went to help Hannah adjust her AC unit's position and picked up Avey before going home to shower. In the afternoon, I took Carver and Jesse to a friend's house 20 minutes away and then Hannah and I went shopping. Kira managed Merritt most of the day, but it was rainy all day, so he was pretty bored.


Carver came home from the play date pretty tired, so we tried to get him to bed quickly. Avey took Apollo on a walk once the rain stopped, and Hannah joined us for some TV once the boys were asleep.


Today is the big branch thing, so I'll pick up the boys from church early so that Kira can focus on her duties. We've at least got sunshine today!


This will be the last week of school, and Jesse is so excited that Thursday is the last day, and also his birthday! We'll have pictures next time...

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