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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Seventeen & Six

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

We've been gearing up most of the week for the end of my semester and for Merritt's birthday...

We left off on Saturday of last week. I took Merritt to the park to enjoy the nice weather, but I was nursing a hurt back (it's the same injury I always get). So I hobbled around with him, but he had a good time. He played in the sand volleyball court for a good while, getting nice and dirty.

When we came home, he had his bath and I gave Carver a haircut before he bathed. It was a pretty standard evening otherwise.

Sunday I got the boys ready for church, and then made their favorite treat after they'd left, and prepared lunch for when everybody got back. Hannah joined us this week, as she's been feeling much better, thankfully. It was a very windy and rainy day, so the afternoon was just a mess of moping around inside. Merritt actually went outside to jump on the trampoline in the rain, wearing a swimsuit. He lasted only about 10 minutes, though. Kira, Avey, and Jesse took Apollo out on a walk, but they got rained on quite a bit. We had a short family night lesson and called it a night.

I let Kira sleep in Monday morning and got the kids off to school, then worked until she woke up. I kept at it except for a brief break to go get some groceries while she went to see her clients. I am trying to get ahead of all of my last grading for the semester, but I have a thesis and a dissertation that keep needing my attention (both students want them finished right now). So that's all kept me busy. It was a fairly standard afternoon, except that I had to join a stupid meeting right before dinner. I did manage to squeeze in some laundry and scrubbing the kitchen sinks before fixing Jesse's bike (the chain needed to be tightened). Kira came home a little before bedtime to help get the kiddos to bed.

Tuesday was our 17th anniversary, but of course it fell on the day I had to be in the city all day. We of course had our celebration over the weekend for that reason. It was also my last week of teaching for the semester, so that meant I got to take things a little easier. That evening, Merritt used some of his money to buy a video game he's wanted for some time, so he was very excited to get it finally. When Kira looked through his school papers, she couldn't quite make out his writing on this one:

It supposedly says, "I can make a hole for the owl." What Merritt does, though, is he'll write from left to right far too large for the space on the page, so then when he runs out of room, he will just write the last words wherever he can cram them in on the paper. Anyway, Kira had trouble finding the "owl," and so she asked Merritt where it was. He took a quick look and just stated matter-of-factly, "it disappeared."

Wednesday morning, Kira tried to let me sleep, but I still got up. It was a very cold day, getting down near freezing temperatures. The boys were not thrilled to have to wear their winter coats again. It was a normal day of work for me, and Kira had a Relief Society Presidency meeting at our house, so I took Apollo on a long walk to try to keep him from ruining it by barking at everyone. I took a quick trip to the grocery store after that. Avey went to a youth activity that night with Hannah, and Kira was on the phone with her mother, so I had the TV to myself for a while. Hannah brought Avey home and then we watched a little TV together before calling it a night.

(These are Carver's)

Thursday was my last day of classes in the city for the semester, so that was nice to get done. I also had a couple of students thank me for my teaching style, and tell me how excited they are for a class they're taking from me next semester, so that's always nice to hear. I got all caught up on grading and reading theses and dissertations, and then came home for the night. Avey recorded her video audition for high school choir next academic year, so we're excited to see what happens with that. She's felt better from the sickness, but is still trying to get all caught up from missing so much at school last week.

Friday was a cloudy but warm day. Kira and I figured it would be a good day to go and have lunch with Merritt at school and take him a birthday balloon (his birthday is on Sunday), so we did that. He introduced us to his friends on the playground, and one of his girl classmates came right over to us and told us her life story, apparently needing some attention. Anyway, it was nice to visit him, and then after we parted ways, we found the two missing mittens (from two different pairs) that he had lost over the cold season! Kira then went on several errands, and I took Apollo to the dog park. He seemed confused about what he was supposed to do there. I came home for lunch and then Kira made it home. I changed the oil in the truck just before the boys' bus got back. They played outside in the glorious weather, and even busted out the bows and arrows.

I still need to finish putting up the netting behind it to feel more comfortable with them shooting, but they had a good time.

Avey hung out with friends after school, and so I eventually picked her up around dinner time. Hannah came over once the boys were in bed, and she and I started wrapping all of Merritt's gifts for his birthday celebration the next day. Naturally, as we were right in the middle of it all, with gifts piled up and totally exposed, Merritt came downstairs needing a couple of fingernails cut (there's about a 60% chance that he'll do that on any given night). Thankfully, I planned on that, so I had a blanket ready to toss over his unwrapped gifts. It took him a minute to realize what we were doing, but then he was good about not wanting to spoil the surprises. He finished clipping his nails and went back to bed. We big kids watched a movie and went to bed way too late.

Kira and I were both up after a little sleeping in today. Kira needed to take Carver to get his blood drawn as we see how we are doing keeping his Celiac under control and make sure he's absorbing enough nutrients. I was up to toss Merritt's cake in the oven and feed the younger two boys. We are going to celebrate Merritt's birthday today. He wanted to invite his best friend over from school, so he'll be here shortly. We'll do presents and cake while he's here, and then in the afternoon we'll go to an indoor play place he likes. Tomorrow, we'll probably make pancakes or something for his favorite meal. This kid is tough in some ways - he originally said he wanted chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting, but then changed his mind to wanting just a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Earlier this week, he had a chocolate cupcake from somewhere else, and he didn't like it, so there's a good chance that he won't eat more than a couple of bites of this cake I baked. I bet he'll love his gifts, though. I'll post pictures next week!

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