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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Nearing November

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

We packed far too much into this week also, but we made it...I think.

Last Saturday we older kids awoke very tired after staying up far too late to watch Better Call Saul. It was Isaac's last day with us, so we were not sure how best to spend the time, but Hannah and he first had me open up my birthday gift from them. They had sliced a section out of one of the pumpkins we bought at the pumpkin patch the day before, and slipped in a piece of paper in a watertight baggie. They then carved "Smash Me" into the pumpkin.

So, I smashed the pumpkin on our back patio, with the help of gravity, and found two tickets to a concert by The Smashing Pumpkins for the Saturday before my birthday! That's why they wanted to have me "open" it early - so that I could make plans to get there. That was very exciting, and now we're debating who is going to come with me to the show.

The weather was beautiful, so Isaac and Hannah stayed in the yard and tried shooting arrows at the partially smashed pumpkin. The boys wanted a picnic lunch in the yard. Kira and I still had our usual Saturday chores to do, so I gave Jesse a haircut while Isaac finished a video game that he'd started while he stayed with us. We all played a card game together with the last few minutes we had before he had to go to the airport. I drove him and Hannah came along.

While we were gone, Kira fed the boys, and then I cut Carver's hair when we made it home. Once the boys were in bed, Kira stayed up to practice the piano (our digital one), because she had been asked to play at church the next day while the usual organist is out of town. Hannah, Avey, and I watched some TV and shared in the misery of Isaac's absence.

Sunday was pretty standard. Kira joined Branch Council by phone while she got herself ready for church, and I got the boys fed and dressed. She wanted to be there early to be ready to play. She said that it went really well - she was glad that she got to pick the hymns, and that it went smoothly. If only we could get her to play at home more often...

Primary was ok, and very nice to have Hannah as her counselor helping in there. At home, I baked cookies to try to fill the gap Isaac left in our souls. I also did laundry and got working on lunch. It was an Indian curry chicken that we bought at Costco. Most of us really liked it, but when Carver tried a taste, he spit it out. Of course, Merritt refused to try one of my freshly baked cookies, so that left more for us.

The weather was still very nice, so we took the boys and Apollo to a park, where I walked Apollo around and Kira kept an eye on the boys. Carver and Jesse got deep into some game of imaginary play, and Merritt mostly kept Kira busy.

Avey stayed at home to line trim, probably for the last time this season. Once we were home, Jesse took it upon himself to rake the leaves in our backyard into a pile.

He kept at it for a good while.

He and Merritt then had a good time trying it out:

We had a brief family night lesson, and then the neighbor dog, Ivy, showed up in our backyard again after hopping both fences. The neighbors say they are working on a solution, so we'll see if she shows up less often...

Kira and I both got up on Monday to get the kids to school. I then had a full day of grading. Kira left for work, and I eventually took a break to have lunch and to go vote. While I was out, I bought a new toilet part because our downstairs toilet started leaking that morning. It was an easy fix, at least.

As soon as the boys got home, Merritt threw off his backpack and wanted to do an experiment he'd seen at school. He had me cut open his small pumpkin, clean it out, and then he had us scoop in some baking soda and stand by with the vinegar:

Jesse got going on his homework right away, and Merritt took a break first. It was a typical afternoon and evening otherwise, with Kira coming home at bedtime, and Hannah came over for some TV.

Tuesday was a busy day in the city for me, including 3 student appointments after my class. I didn't get much break. On the train ride home, I was looking forward to unwinding a little, but instead an enormous guy sat next to me and smelled like he had not bathed in weeks. I was worried I'd never get that smell out of my nostrils. On top of the smell, he wanted to chat with me - except his version of chatting was telling me all of his thoughts on technology conspiracies. Eventually, he stopped talking and then fell asleep, but he kept tipping in my direction.

Carver had his first day of after-school choir that day. He is one of two boys in it, but he really owes the world his voice, so we hope he enjoys it long enough to appreciate being surrounded by girls.

When I got home, Kira took Avey to the high school for a meeting about a trip to Europe. They apparently do it every year, and Avey thinks she might go in another year or so, so she and Kira got some more information on the whole thing. I finished feeding the boys and doing the dishes. I had the boys ready for bed when Kira and Avey came home.

Wednesday, Kira and I were up together again to send off the kids. I took Avey to school and then ran a few errands before meeting Hannah for some racquetball. The rest of the day was mostly schoolwork. Kira left to get Avey from school and take her to some stores before an appointment. We got word that Jesse's new glasses were finally in, so I took Merritt and him to go get them as soon as they got off the bus.

We were in and out in about 10 minutes, so we were home in time for Carver's bus.

Kira had bought some refrigerated items at the store before Avey's appointment, and so had to improvise a way to keep them cool until Avey was done. She was pretty proud of her setup of bags and cups with ice, and it kept things cold.

Once the girls were home, I took Merritt to gymnastics, where he got to try out a long trampoline. He probably would have preferred to just play on it instead of trying specific moves, but he still had a great time. Now that the weather is cooler, I moved our little slide from the backyard to his room, and he loves it. Whenever bedtime rolls around, he just can't seem to hold still, and so just tries to see how fast he can go down the slide over and over. That kid sure has energy!

Kira was on the phone that night, so Avey, Hannah, and I finished a show.

Thursday was a typical busy day in the city for me. Carver was still asleep as I was leaving, so Kira woke him up. It's very rare that he'll sleep past 6, so when he said that his legs ached, Kira decided to keep him home and see what's going on. He seemed fine otherwise, so she made sure he did his homework and such. As soon as I came home, we left for the "Brummit Bash," which is a Halloween party at the kids' elementary school.

It was a good time, but very crowded. There were lots of activities to try out, and the lines moved along pretty quickly, except for the trick-or-treat line: it was so very slow! Anyway, Kira volunteered to set up a table for the trick-or-treating, and it turned out better than she had imagined:

The kids had fun, and then Merritt got bored, so we all slowly coordinated and then left for bedtime.

Another Beautiful Fall Night in Chesterton

Friday Kira let me sleep in, but I got up to see the boys get on the bus. Carver went to school like normal. I did work and then had a stupid meeting that I had to run. I raked the rest of the leaves in the yard to make one big pile by the fire pit so that I could more easily burn the leaves after the kids got to play in them, and then Kira and I went on a little lunch date before the buses came.

The boys were thrilled at the leaf pile, so they had a good time.

I took Avey downtown to meet some friends, and I went to the library to pick out a semi-scary movie for us to watch that night.

Once it was dark, we had a fire in the backyard, although it was very slow because the leaves were still pretty damp. So mostly it was playing in the leaf pile after dark. I'm not sure we made a dent with the burning, even though the fire was going the whole time.

At least they had some fun.

We got the boys to bed and then watched our scary movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which we'd never seen before. Hannah had an early morning driving to the temple the next day, so she stayed home.

Today, I got up to feed most of the boys and get to work on various tasks. I need to touch up Carver's haircut and start Merritt's. I hope to also get a little further in my leaf burning. It's that or I have to transport them all to the front yard for the leaf crews to come and get.

Merritt is invited to a birthday party in the neighborhood this afternoon, so he's excited for that.

Aside from some trick-or-treating on Monday, and the concert next Saturday, nothing big is planned this coming week. Let's hope there are few surprises...

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