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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Not-Quite-Spring Break

It was a busier week than usual with the kids all on spring break.

I haven't mentioned yet how, when I was on my trip, Kira got an email from a scammer. They posed as an old acquaintance asking for a money loan because their nephew or whatever was in the hospital with cancer. It was obviously a scam, and so Avey decided to have fun with it, posing as Kira.

How are you? I need your help. I'd appreciate it if you could email me back. Am unable to talk on the phone right now due to a serious sore throat. Please let me know if you are online. Thank you, Bob
Hi Bob! Haven't seen you in years! What's going on?
I just tested positive for Covid-19. I need to get an Amex Card for my Nephew who is sick with cancer, It's his birthday but I can't do this now because I'm seriously ill and my doctor said I should stay indoors for some reason. I have tried to purchase it online but unfortunately no luck with that, can you get it from any store around you? I'll reimburse you as soon as possible. Let me know if you can handle this.
Please keep me updated
Thank you.
Wow, Robert. That's rich, asking ME for money after the way you left things? Funny, when you reached out to me I had hoped for SOME sort of apology. Something to tell me that maybe, just maybe, you had gotten better. That you felt any sort of remorse for what you did to me. My life still hasn't gotten back on track, and now you're asking me for HELP? You're a sick person. It's honestly pathetic, seeing you come crawling back. Fine, I'll help you. IF you finally apologize for the way you screwed me over. I'll bring the card over to your house. But you owe me a very LONG, DETAILED apology. -Kira
I’m so sorry for everything I did to you. I’m at the health center right now not at home at the moment. I will be back home on Wednesday Amount needed on the Amex Gift Card is 500 Dollars. You can get an Amex Gift Card at Walgreens, Target, BestBuy or any store around you. Today is his birthday. Once you have the card, I need you to open the card, Take a picture of the front and back of the card and also a picture of the receipt of the card and text the Pictures to my nephew's cell number. Here is his cell phone,(XXX)XXX-XXXX, Also keep the physical card for me. I will mail a check tomorrow morning. I look forward to hearing back from you. I need it urgently. Thank you
Listen, Bob. I know it will be difficult, but you HAVE to LISTEN. There's no easy way to say this. Trust me, throughout the years I've had the displeasure of knowing you, I've tried to deliver this news in a way that would make it easy to take. But it never does much more than send you spiraling. That's why I didn't say it sooner after your email. Telling you the news over and over, every time you bring him up, it's hard on both of us. But I guess you deserve to know the truth. Why I can't help you with your nephew's birthday, even if I wanted to. Listen to me, Robert. Your nephew, Sean Henderson, is dead. He died of lung cancer in 2018. It was too much for you. The worst part was that his birthday had been right around the corner and you hadn't had the chance to give him a gift. After his death, the pain was just too much. You got sick. You got stuck in the past, your brain convincing you that poor Sean was still alive. I don't forgive you for what you did to me all those years ago. But I am sorry for the pain you've been feeling. I just hope you can someday accept this and let go. -Kira
Good morning, Please I want you to get the the card, I will be very glad Let me know, Thank you
Didn't you hear me, Bob? He's DEAD. I can't help you. Only you can help yourself. -Kira
Ok, I want you to get me a gift card
Let me know if you can help with that, Thank you

She did not reply again, but we haven't heard any more either. Fun times...

Last Saturday, I had to go into Chicago to participate in the Admitted Student Day. I was invited to sit up near the podium on stage and say a few things about the psychology department. It was a little weird because I didn't have much information about what we were to do, so I just sort of played it by ear. I then got whisked off of the stage when somebody came to tell me that there were people waiting for me to do my mock class. I had always been under the impression that it wasn't for another 15 minutes, but I ran right over and got there just a few minutes later than it was supposed to start. It went really well, but 45 minutes just isn't enough time to really explore any topic. With that over, I then waited a few minutes for Hannah to swing by and pick me up on her way home from the temple. I bought some donuts for the ride, but then Hannah had already bought two eclairs for the ride, so we ate those instead. I gave the donuts to the kids at home.

I helped with a late lunch at home, and then Kira took Jesse and Avey to a store just to get out of the house. Jesse used some of the money he'd earned for the treadmill (which now does not interest him) to buy an inflatable pool that's a good size. Then, when he got home he was very excited to try it out right then. We explained to him that it was only about 39 degrees outside, and so the water would be about 39 degrees and feel like ice on his bare skin. He still really wanted to try it, but we told him no. He was very disappointed and clearly very tired. He was extra moody, and when we sent him upstairs to shower for the day, he forgot. We told him maybe he could try the pool on a warmer day later in the week (even though the high in the forecast was only 59 or so at a maximum).

Sunday was a pretty standard morning. Once kids were gone to church, I baked cookies and got a roast going. I tried baking using our larger oven (we have a double oven) with two sheets going at once. I don't know why it didn't occur to me before, but it seemed to take them longer to bake anyway, so I don't know if it was much faster. I then sorted laundry and showered.

Hannah stopped by for lunch and then left to dog-sit for the Branch President who was gone with his family for the week. The missionaries then came by briefly to share a thought and get barked at by Apollo. I sent them with some cookies. We had a brief family night and then Hannah came back for games. Avey got invited to hang out at a friend's house suddenly, which is a rare occurrence, so we dropped her off for a few hours. She had a good time.

We slept in on Monday, and then I got up to feed the kids. Carver was feeling some cold symptoms again, and they got worse through the week, but are now finally seeming to get better. I had a meeting with a student and then lots of grading. Kira fed us lunch, except for Merritt who wasn't ready yet. Then Kira took Avey to the chiropractor while I fed Merritt and read an honor's thesis. Nobody was in much of a mood to get outside, but Jesse did some archery, played with Legos, and then used my hatchet to chop up some wood in our forest area of the yard. I cleaned the rat cage, Avey took Apollo on a walk. Kira was at work for the afternoon, so I fed everyone and did bedtime preparations. She was home later. Hannah was also feeling the same symptoms as Carver, and so she stayed with the dog she was sitting and went to bed early.

It was hard to get out of bed on Tuesday and go to campus while everyone else was home. It was a productive day, at least. At home, Kira arranged dog play dates and convinced children to go outside. Jesse went on a bike ride with neighbor kids, but Carver was still quite ill. Merritt played with Ivy's people. Kira washed an old couch of ours that she had arranged to give to a family in the branch, so we loaded it into the truck for her to deliver that night. She had an activity planned at the church for the primary kids, but Avey went along, and Merritt did not. They played pickle ball and had some ice cream. It sounds like it went well. Hannah came over even though she didn't feel well. Kira made it home just a little after normal bedtime, so we fed Jesse dinner and got everyone to bed later.

Wednesday I was up to feed the kids after sleeping in some. Kira slept longer. I had arranged to do a review session for my statistics class before their homework was due, but nobody sent in questions and nobody attended, so I just recorded it anyway and then made it available for them. Their homework turned out alright anyway, so maybe they didn't need it after all.

I did lots of work throughout the day, trying to get caught up and ahead on some other things coming up. It was a weird weather day - it snowed quite a bit in the morning and even stuck enough that we might have been able to sled in it, but it was all melted and sunny outside by the afternoon.

Kira took the two younger boys to a trampoline park in the afternoon. It's about a 30 minute drive, but it took even longer with traffic this time.

They had a good time, but it was a long trip.

Jesse was proud of himself to get to the top of the climbing wall several times, but Merritt just didn't have the nerve to go that high this time. Jesse even won a jousting match against another kid.

We bathed and fed them once they were home.

Hannah was much too tired and sick to come over, so she stayed with the dog.

I was up before my alarm on Thursday for no reason, and then left for the city. It was a good day, just busy. At home, Merritt wanted mac and cheese for breakfast, so Kira obliged him. He then had egg for his dinner, the crazy guy.

It was a little warmer that day (in the 50s), and so Kira let Jesse and Merritt try out his inflatable pool. They thought it was going to be a regular summery beach day, I suppose.

Jesse worked to get the pool all set up:

They then filled it with water and experienced the laws of thermodynamics in all their glory:

Lesson learned? Perhaps.

The little psychos took a long time to thaw out inside.

Kira took Avey for a little outing once I was home, just so they could get out of the house. Hannah felt better, but still stayed home while Avey and I watched a scary move (Kira was on the phone that night).

We slept in on Friday, but when I got up to feed the boys, Carver was the only one hungry because the other two boys had filled up on snacks. I then got going on work when Kira was up. It was a lot to do. I then did some paperwork for a doctor's appointment for Avey. Kira left for a quick dental followup, and then she took over back home while I took Avey to the doctor. She and I then went for some errands. Kira picked up some of our former neighbor kids and took them to the park to play with our boys (except for Carver, still sick). I dropped Avey off downtown to hang with friends, unloaded the car back home, and then went back out to pick up some pizza for dinner. Kira left to get Avey once I was home. Hannah joined us.

Kira decided to use the evening dying eggs for Easter, because she will not be here next weekend (she'll be in Utah on a trip). She set everybody up and got the egg dying going. I tried a marble design this time, and it turned out very cool, but also very oily.

We spent some time that evening debating on whether to go to the Shedd Aquarium the next day. Carver ultimately decided he would stay home, and so Kira got it all arranged. I will stay home with Carver and everyone else will meet Hannah at the station and have a shorter aquarium trip this time. We'll see if Merritt whines the whole time like last time, but he said he really wants to go...

We had a tornado warning last night. There was quite a bit of rain, and some periodic high winds, but no tornado. Our lawn chairs blew over, and I saw the trampoline do a little jump of its own in the wind, but we are alright.

This morning has been pretty normal. Kira got up before I did after we both slept in, and now we're just preparing for the aquarium trip.

This coming week will be back to school for the kids, and more stupid meetings for me... We'll have some aquarium pictures, though...

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