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  • Elijah Ricks

Then, One Foggy Hallow's Eve...

We had a very foggy Halloween this week, and have been working on our big pile of candy ever since...


I spent some of Saturday burning more of the leaves I had raked into a pile, but Jesse basically took it over for me after a while because he enjoys blowing into the fire to make the flames bigger. Still, it was a very slow process, and so we didn't finish it that day either. Jesse played a lot outside though, because the weather was very nice.


Merritt had been invited to a birthday party that afternoon, and so he was pumped up all day, insisting that he had to be ready to go at a moment's notice, even though it wasn't until 3 p.m. I cut his hair and he showered, and then I touched up Carver's hair a bit. I went on a little outing to get some air in the truck tires as the weather cooled down, and I picked up some supplies for our Sunday meal.


We carved pumpkins in the afternoon, although Jesse and Carver declared themselves too cool for such nonsense. Kira and I took shifts carving Merritt's according to his design, and Jesse eventually did come and carve his own. Avey did hers, too.

Merritt's is the funny face, Jesse's is the vampire, and Avey carved the infamous Heisenberg, from Breaking Bad.


Kira took Merritt to the birthday party. It was in the neighborhood, and she'd planned to just drop him off, but when she got there it seemed like all of the other kids' parents were staying, so she decided she'd better stay. At the same time, the older two boys were invited to play at some friends' house, and Avey was hoping to get a ride to shop for her costume. Kira stayed with Merritt, and I drove Avey. On the way there, we saw Hannah on the road, too - she was just on her way home from seeing a rare bird in the area.


Merritt had a good time at the party. He tried pizza again, but said he didn't like it.

At least he tried it, I suppose. He also tried a little pumpkin pie earlier in the week, but he said he didn't like that either. We'll just call it a "win" that he's even willing to look at new foods.

The older boys had a good time, too. We learned that they all decided to make a movie. It was hard to follow from their descriptions, but it had something to do with a murderer.


It was a typical evening. Jesse had to shower again after he had spent so much time with the fire. Hannah joined us for some TV.


Sunday was the usual morning, except that Hannah drove the boys to church when Kira had to go for an early meeting. I tried out a new recipe with our crock pot and made some treats. I again spent all day slowly burning leaves, trying to beat the rain that was in the forecast. I did eventually get through the entire pile just as the rain was coming. Of course, half of our yard is covered in new leaves, and it rained hard Friday just to make sure that it wasn't going to be easy for me.


Kira offered to let us all watch a movie in the afternoon to make it sort of fun. They all watched while I tended to the food that was cooking and kept working on the leaves. Ivy came over to play with Apollo, so I also supervised that. Once the rain really started pouring, Ivy went home. Hannah joined us for the meal and then we played a game before bedtime.


Monday morning I let Kira sleep in a bit and then took Avey to school. Merritt was in his costume for school, but the other two boys were too cool for such nonsense. Avey, on the other hand, was not too cool for such nonsense. She got up a little early to put on some costume makeup and sport her skeleton costume for school.

Kira left for work and I worked at home. It rained all day, so I was nervous that it would not let up when evening came around and everyone wanted to trick-or-treat. By the late afternoon, however, it stopped raining and a thick fog moved in, setting the mood just right:

The boys had no homework so they could get right into the excitement. They ate an early dinner and then got into costumes. Kira came home early from work so that she could take them around the neighborhood while I held down the fort. I first dropped Avey off at a different neighborhood so that she could go trick-or-treat with some friends.

A Foggy Halloween

Hannah came over and dealt with Apollo, taking him on a walk in the dark. She even dressed him as a shark to go with her pirate outfit:

It wasn't too busy, so I was able to get some other things done. Kira came home a little early with Merritt, who was too tired to keep going. She then met up with the older boys to finish up. I picked up Avey from the friends' house and we watched a little with Hannah before calling it a night.

Jesse Goes as His Great Uncle George

While Merritt was chatting with me after his trick-or-treating, it came up naturally that I sometimes tell jokes in my classes. He said he wanted to give me a joke to tell my students, and so he said that I should go to the front of the class and say, "Class, today we are going to do sweaters." I promised I would use that joke the next day.


I had a rough night with a big pain in my stomach. I didn't even eat that much candy, so I'm not sure what it was. The morning came much too early for my long ride to the city, and then it was a tough day. Jesse was still asleep when I left, so he must have also been paying for the late night. I did use Merritt's joke and they loved it. He was very happy to hear how it went later that day.


It was a busy afternoon for all of us. I had lots of work to do on campus, and Kira had to pick up Carver from choir. I made it home to help with dinner, and Ivy came over again.


I had a letter in the mail that I dealt with. I had heard from our identity protection service that someone had tried to get a short-term loan using some of my information. They can't do anything on my behalf, so I requested a credit report to see what had happened. It finally arrived that day, and the report was very hard to understand. What was clear is that someone had tried to get a loan using my name and SSN. It's a long story, but after about 45 minutes on the phone, it looks like the person did not actually submit the loan application, and so all I can do at this point is put a freeze on my credit and hope that nothing happens.


As Merritt was preparing for bed, he decided that he wanted to use his school iPad to record himself singing a primary song. The poor guy wanted to make it a good recording, but he kept getting interrupted when people would barge into wherever he was and make noise. With Kira's help, he eventually got it done. I am trying to figure out how to get a copy from his iPad so that I can document it here...

Jesse Holds a Woolly Bear Caterpillar

Kira let me sleep a little longer on Wednesday. I got up to take Avey to school and then met Hannah for some racquetball. Once home, I cut the grass again. I keep thinking it will be the last time for the season, but we keep having nice weather and some good rainfall. It sure has slowed down, so maybe I can finally retire the mower for the season. We'll see how it looks in another week. Kira left to pick up Avey for a chiropractor appointment. I then raked up what leaves were left and showered before joining a stupid meeting. Kira brought Avey home for lunch, but I didn't even see her because of my dumb meeting. Kira dropped her back at school.


After the bus came home, Merritt and I started to make a treat, but realized we were short on two ingredients, so we ran to the store together and then finished them up. There was homework and dinner, then I took Merritt to gymnastics where he had lots of fun again. Hannah was too tired to come over, so we watched a little without her and went to bed early.


Thursday was typical. Merritt was having a hard time after not getting to use the television that morning, but Jesse let him play a little before breakfast. I had a very busy day, with lots of tasks popping up out of nowhere, but I got through it. When I got home I helped finish up dinner and then helped Merritt do his homework. Ivy showed up, so that sort of threw off all that we had to do, but they played a little. I also bathed Merritt. Avey was kind and helped out Ivy's kid owner, because she wanted to hold one of our rats, but the adults were all occupied. We finally got things calmed down and then got the boys in bed. Kira was on the phone that night, so Hannah, Avey, and I watched another episode of Better Call Saul.

Jesse's Hair is Long Enough to Braid!

Friday, Kira let me sleep longer and then I took Avey to school. She had to perform a Greek play in one of her classes, but felt mostly prepared. It went well, apparently. I did lots of work at home, but I finally did not have any meetings! It was nice to get so much other stuff done. I ran a quick errand to the store for some grocery items and then the bus came. Carver and Jesse went to play with friends, and Kira took Avey to hang out with friends downtown. She also took Apollo to walk around while she was there. I fed the boys and got them ready for bed. I started some laundry, too. Hannah came over for a movie, and then we all prepared for a very windy night.


Kira and I both slept in, although Kira was awoken by the boys early this morning when they were scared there would be a tornado (the wind was very strong). She got them settled and then came back to bed. It's my birthday weekend, so Kira made my requested meal this morning, waffles with bacon. That really hit the spot, and Hannah came over to join, too. It seems that we are mostly stuck inside today due to the strong winds, but Kira and I are going to go to The Smashing Pumpkins' concert tonight in Chicago, so Avey is going to babysit and Hannah will be on standby in case of a zombie apocalypse. We'll probably fill the rest of the day somehow.

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