This was one of those weeks that just refused to quit.
Avey went sledding with the youth in the branch near the beach. There was enough snow on the sand dunes that they could sled down a large hill. That was a lot of fun, and then Hannah brought her home so that she could get ready to take part in Solo and Ensemble. That's an annual event where singers can put together a song, perform it in front of a judge, and get rated. Avey was in a group with a few other girls from her school choir. We all drove down to drop her off for warm-ups, and then we explored the school until it was time for her performance.
They sounded great, even with the masks covering up their voices! Afterward, they went to see their rating, and they got gold! We assume that's the top rating one can get - she also got a little medal to show off.
We were out of the house, and in a celebratory mood, so on the way home we stopped at Culver's for some frozen custard. Kira then dropped most of us off and took Carver and Jesse to get their glasses adjusted. For the evening, Avey babysat after the boys got settled in for their dinner, and Kira and I left on a dinner date, using a gift card we had from Christmas. While waiting for our table, we stopped in at the hardware store and bought me a chisel set so that I can carve out some new gaps for door hinges on our mudroom bathroom closet (I want to reverse the way it opens). Our table was ready by the time we finished, so then we ate and headed home for a movie with Avey and Hannah.
Sunday was a fairly standard morning to get kids ready for church. Carver stayed home, not ill, but just really not feeling it that day so Kira let him stay home. I worked on reversing that door for a while, but didn't finish before deciding to take a little break while the taking was good. I then had to go and pick up the boys at church because Kira was set up to do some visits to people in the branch that afternoon. I brought the boys home and fed them, then I made some cinnamon sugar roasted almonds (I'm supposed to eat more almonds, so I've been dressing them up with some different recipes). They turned out well.
Hannah stopped by briefly, but left before Kira made it back from her visits. I had some food waiting for her, which was a good idea because she hadn't had a chance to eat the lunch she packed.
The afternoon was lazy, as the cold was so foreboding. I played a card game with Merritt, and Avey convinced Jesse to help her bake some cookies. They turned out really well, so now I don't know why I ever step foot in the kitchen anymore.
Merritt has been talking a lot about the months of the year, and especially August. He keeps asking how many days until August, and tells me that August is the warmest month of the year. He declared on Sunday that he would not go outside until August, so we privately placed bets to see if he would stick to that.
Monday, Merritt awoke with a slightly sore throat, and so he was convinced that he would stay home. His energy was totally normal and he had no other symptoms, and so it sure seemed to us that he was just fine. I was also not sure I could make it through another day of not getting much of my work done while Kira was at her job. Anyway, eventually Kira convinced him to go to school if she drove him there. She dropped off Avey and then took him to his school. I then worked and Kira got ready for work. I let the neighbor dogs out to do their business and then took Apollo to a park to run around and sniff.
We were home in time for the boys' bus. Merritt seemed maybe a little sniffly, but otherwise totally fine. Avey skipped Drama Club because she was so tired and felt over-committed with the neighbor dogs on top of everything else. Merritt was very energetic nearing bedtime, and wiping me out, so I redirected his attention from making me chase him around and got him to write Kira a note on her microwave she has in her room (for warming rice bags to keep her feet warm):
It says, "I love you, Mom. I wrote a card [for] you. Love, Merritt." Of course, he just puts the words wherever they will fit rather than in order. It took him a good 20 minutes, because he would stop after every word and tell me about whatever was on his mind. He was quite proud of his work, and only wished that he would be awake to see her reaction.
Tuesday was pretty typical stuff with me in the city for eternity. We were all a little on edge because the weather forecast included a huge winter storm overnight, and we didn't know what would happen. The school district made it a remote learning day, so then we grown-ups stayed up a little later.
We awoke on Wednesday to about 8 inches of new snow.
It was supposed to snow all day, too, so I fed the kids and got outside as soon as I could to try and beat the rest of the accumulation. I shoveled our driveway, but by the time I was done, there had been another inch or so of accumulation. It was going to be a long day...
Because our neighbors are in Florida, but were supposed to get home on Thursday, we figured we should clear their driveway for them. Avey started on it (and Jesse joined for a little bit) while I finished our driveway, and then I used their snowblower to finish it off. I promised myself I would get a snowblower after last year's insane snowfall, but I didn't do it, and now I regret it.
I came back and shoveled my driveway one more time with just a couple of inches, and then went inside to eat a late breakfast and join a stupid faculty meeting. Kira dealt with getting the kids to do their remote learning. After my meeting, I shoveled our driveway again, and then took the truck out to get some groceries. There were cars slipped off the road, and a semi-truck was being towed up the hill, so I was glad to have the 4-wheel drive!
By the time I was home, the kids had been invited to join our other neighbors who were going sledding on the hill where Avey had gone. They got all geared up, and I stayed home to try not to throw out my back, and keep Carver on task (who hadn't finished his schoolwork). I ate a second meal, and then went out to shovel one more time for the day. Carver surprised me by coming out to join. We also shoveled the neighbor's driveway one more time, nearly finished by the time Kira and the kids got there.
They had had a great time sledding, apparently.
It was a very big hill, but Merritt was super brave:
Jesse had a grand time, too.
Jesse and Avey came right over to help finish up the neighbors' driveway, and then Carver and Jesse stayed out there playing in the dark for a while. We had to drag them in for dinner and bedtime.
By bedtime, we had been informed that school was again going to be remote for Thursday, but I didn't hear anything from my job, so I planned to get up and take the train like usual.
I woke up at 6 and checked to see no notifications from work, so I got up and on the train while everyone else stayed home. It was a weird day because classes were about half empty as all of the students figured it should have been a snow day. I then joined a webinar in the afternoon, and enjoyed it a lot. I was sore all day after so much snow shoveling, but at least my back wasn't thrown out...
Kira kept very busy with the remote learning stuff - keeping the boys on their tasks, while also keeping them from burning the house to the ground. We got them to bed eventually, and were glad that school was back in-person for the next day.
Friday, we got the boys on the bus and then Kira took Avey to some appointments. I had a morning full of stupid meetings, so I got through those. We had a little snow, but thankfully not much new accumulation. We had blown through the cookies that Avey and Jesse made, so I baked up some more in the afternoon after the boys were home. Hannah came over before bed and then paid the price when Merritt would not let her look away from whatever he was looking at until bed. We watched some TV and called it a night.
Hannah and I are planning on playing racquetball this afternoon. I haven't played in so long that she might actually stand a chance, especially if I throw out my back. Otherwise, it is very cold and there's still plenty of snow, so we're likely to stay indoors as much as we can.