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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Still Here

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

It's becoming pretty difficult to write this blog in the pandemic, as I sort of feel like I could just direct readers to last week's post and they wouldn't miss much. Still, there are a few noteworthy things going on here.

A few days ago, we received a notice from the kids' school district that all classes would continue to be taught through their iPads for the remainder of the school year. Avey and I had just talked about that possibility a few days before, and we're a little weirded out that she won't go back to her school at all anymore, because next year she'll be in the middle school. At least all of her friends will also be there. We're still realizing what all this will mean for us, as it's in some ways like an extended summer vacation, except that we can't go anywhere and there is still homework.

April Fool's Day was at least a little change in pace. Avey has always enjoyed it, and this year was no exception. She hid some items from the boys, put up a photo of Danny DeVito among our family photos, and convinced Hakan that if he planted some "doughnut seeds" (circle-shaped cold cereal), they would grow into some real doughnuts after a few days. He bought that one entirely:

Rather than disappoint him, Avey had us get some real doughnuts, and she put them on a plate and covered it right before they went to check. He still seems to think that it really worked, although maybe he was trying to call her bluff.

While we're stuck here, I've been coming up with plenty to keep me busy, at least. Now that our bricks are all here and ready, the next step was to finish smoothing out the ground where we want to place them. I got the kids to come and help with that.

Avey and I then went to pick up the leveling sand, which was a lot of work, but the kids had a blast treating the whole site as a big sand box until I could get the brick down.

Getting the brick laid down was quite the ordeal, as getting it all level was challenging. I kept looking it back over and worrying that I was sloping somewhere. Even now, I mostly just see my mistakes.

Still, I've checked it several times and it will do the trick. The kids were good sports bringing me one brick at a time, while I worked slowly to get each one just where I wanted. I'm glad that it's over, although I learned a lot for next time and would sort have liked to start it over again to use the tricks I came up with. Alas, now comes the shed itself, and then the tearing apart of the old one.

At least the weather has cooperated. We've enjoyed a couple of sunny days, and even had a Friday getting into the 60s. That's got the grass growing like crazy, so I changed the oil on our riding mower yesterday, and then cut the front lawn today. I'm holding off in the back for another few days.

Avey and I transplanted some lilies from the back of our lot that grow there each summer, and put them up closer to the house, trying to clear up a woefully neglected space from the previous owners. I'd like to do some more of that too, in the next few days.

The kids have been sort of keeping up with their schoolwork, albeit begrudgingly. They get new assignments every 2 days, and then have a couple of days to complete them, so they like to put it off until the last possible moment, and then we of course run into all sorts of technical difficulties, like apps that won't open, or websites with too much traffic, and so on.

Kira's kept busy with the kids and her calling as Relief Society President. She's enjoyed watching General Conference over the last two days as a bit of a break from the usual.

Hannah's kept up with her office job, but is starting to look into some other options for supplemental income as her bus job is now not going to be a source of regular income for a few more months. She's disappointed that she had to cancel her trip to Utah she had planned for this week, but hopes to get to go later in the summer if things are better. She was excited to see that Apollo was one of the dogs highlighted on the Instagram account of the shelter from whence we adopted him.

Poor Apollo seems like he's bored, even with everybody home. I seem like I'm always working, either on the computer or on projects in the yard; the boys don't chase him as much as he'd like; Avey can take him on only so many walks; and he hasn't gotten to play with his best doggie friend for days. The poor guy doesn't seem to understand anything about social distancing.

This week will probably be more schoolwork for me as I try to get caught up on grading (it comes in waves). The kids will likely avoid their schoolwork, and we'll enjoy whatever sunshine that's in store.

Take care, everyone.

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