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  • Elijah Ricks

Spring Broke

Updated: Mar 29

The kids had their much-needed Spring Break this week, which meant that there was plenty of craziness to be had.

Hakan's Clay Easter Egg and "Sunflower" Earrings

On Sunday afternoon, we had a couple of family night activities when Hakan scraped his bare toes on my retaining wall as he tried to jump over it in a chasing game. Carver was trying to dash through the work zone and landed his foot in a hole. Maybe that's why they didn't help out with the project much this week...


That night, Hannah was over to play some dominoes, and then she started dog-sitting for the branch president. She's getting pretty worn out by that, because that dog is much larger than Apollo, but also less well-adjusted. Like most dogs, she wants to play all the time, but unlike most dogs, she doesn't seem to understand how to take a break. Apollo will take a nap or lie down and wait for attention, but Gabi demands attention at every moment. At least she's nearly done with that task.


Monday was our first official day of the break, and so that took some adjusting. We older people slept in a bit, and then Kira went to work while I tried to do work at home while also supervising kids. They mostly just watched TV. In the afternoon, we worked on moving more dirt for the play set plot, as we are trying to even out the slope. Avey's phone came that afternoon, so she worked on getting that all set up. We ran into a few hurdles, but she's up and running now. I forget if it was Monday or Tuesday, but the boys were so thrilled with the 60-degree weather that they begged to fill the kiddie pool, so Kira let them do that, thinking they were out of their minds. Still, they had fun despite the chill.

Tuesday was a fairly typical morning of work for me while the kids entertained themselves. After I finished some work, I went back to the hardware store to get more retaining wall bricks. I found some kid-sized shovels that were not made of plastic, so I bought one for Carver and one for Hakan, hoping that would encourage them to help with the dirt. It worked for that afternoon, anyway.

Avey had a friend over for the afternoon, and they decided to do an impromptu sleepover. It rained a bit in the afternoon, but I laid some more bricks to start to complete my wall, although I didn't get it finished before it was time to move on. We did Wendy's for dinner, but of course Merritt refused to leave the house for some reason. I fed him at home while Kira took the kids and Avey's friend. That night, Avey and her friend stayed in her room, and Kira worked on making sure she was all set for being eligible for her license to do therapy. Hannah opted to steer clear of the sleepover, so I entertained myself with some TV. Nobody slept well that night, mostly because Avey's friend didn't sleep well.


Wednesday came much too early. The girls were up to both shower after having not really slept much of the night, and so Kira got up to make sure Avey's friend had a towel. She then started breakfast while I showered so that I could take her back to her house and take Avey for a hair trim. Kira then took Avey and Carver to their doctor checkups. While they were gone, I recorded a lecture, hoping that the younger boys could keep from interrupting me. We then fed lunch and left for roller skating and bowling.


Merritt didn't want to skate this time, so he just ran around in his shoes. The other kids all did much better compared to the first time we were there. Carver was the most improved, as he was zipping around pretty well, instead of hugging the wall like last time. It was all very encouraging to see the progress, and so maybe we'll go again soon.


We then did our bowling, and had a good time of that. Carver seemed to knock down 7 pins with his first throw on almost every frame. Hakan was excited to stay in the lead out of his brothers, and I was happy with bowling a 156, which I haven't done in a few years. Avey enjoyed some snacks she bought, although her nachos got cold too quickly.

Once we were home, we got them going on dinner. I went outside to throw something away, and met our new neighbor who was taking a look at the house. He's got a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old, so I hope that our kids will get along. They will supposedly move in any day now.


Thursday came too early, also, as Apollo woke us all up while barking at our lawn service guy. I dashed downstairs to make sure Apollo didn't impede his ability to do his job, and then got Merritt working on his breakfast before I showered and got ready to go into the city for my long day.


While I was gone, Kira decided to take the kids to Michigan to see a lighthouse. She'd wanted to do that since we moved here and she learned about the place, and so it was nice for her to get that off of her bucket list.

Unfortunately, it was a little too cold and windy to be all that enjoyable. The lighthouse was closed due to the pandemic, so they couldn't see inside, and of course the water was far too chilly to play in, but at least it was something to do.

I did breakfast on Friday, letting Kira sleep a bit. I then had a phone meeting and did some work before finishing the retaining wall in the yard. I tried moving more dirt, but it had rained so much through the night that it was just too muddy. Hannah brought over the German Shepherd for whom she is caring. Avey waited for her on the porch because she apparently has a hard time being approached by people. In fact, she tried to escape several times, dragging Hannah back to her car. After several minutes, she eventually chilled out enough to see the backyard. Apollo was losing his mind when he realized there was another dog on the property, but we wanted to ease Gabi into meeting him. She explored the backyard for a good while and then Avey took Apollo out on a leash. He never really got used to her being there, but she had a fun time after a while. She loves to play fetch more than anything, and so once she met the boys, they had a good time tossing the ball for her. Apollo acted like he'd been betrayed or something.


About the time that Hannah took Gabi home, I got working on a tree ring for the front yard. Now that I'm feeling pretty good with the retaining wall bricks, and I had an open tube of landscaping adhesive, I figured I would get the job done while I had the energy.

That took me a while, but I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I've wanted to do that project since we moved in.

I checked in with the kids every now and then to make sure that things weren't getting out of control, and Kira kept working on stuff for her calling and her license.


Saturday morning was all booked up with an Easter egg hunt at the church. The responsibility had sort of fallen to Kira for the whole thing, so she and Hannah went a little early to hide about 700 eggs on the church grounds, and I got the kids all ready to go. We got there right on time, and the kids all went for the eggs. Carver was disappointed to find few candies that he liked and could also have, although we arranged some trades once the hunt was over. Everybody had some of the candy and then ran around for a while until the event came to a natural conclusion. While waiting for Kira to be ready to go, Merritt instructed me on how to make a hopscotch board with the sidewalk chalk.

We went home to do lunch, and then Kira left to visit a bedridden sister in the branch while I worked on evening out the dirt in my play set plot some more. Kira then took Avey for some clothes shopping while I added LED lights along Avey's wall so that it looked better. Kira picked up pizza on the way home, and so we all enjoyed that. Hannah joined us, but then left before we did much for the evening. It was probably a good idea, too, because Kira was working on her license stuff, and Avey and I started watching a scary movie. Just as things were getting pretty intense, the power went out, putting us all in pitch black. That was exciting. Carver woke up scared, but we put a candle in his room so that he could fall back asleep. We hung out and then the power turned back on after an hour or so (it was a tree that had fallen on a power line). Avey opted to just be done for the night, and Kira and I watched a little bit of another movie we've been watching.


It's a gray and gloomy day today, but maybe we can squeeze just a little more fun out of the day before it's back to the school routine tomorrow...

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