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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Too Much Campus

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

This week seemed extra full, mostly because I had to be on campus for most of it.

While Kira was at the Relief Society activity, I was home with everyone else. I took us all to Wendy's for lunch, but it took forever to actually get our food. We then made our way to the park with a splash pad, but when we got there we saw that the water was already off. That made sense, because it was an unusually warm day for mid-September, and I had forgotten that they usually turn it off around Labor Day. Merritt handled the disappointment well, and then played on the playground instead. Avey took the first shift walking Apollo around and then traded me so that she could sit and work on homework she'd brought.

Carver's nose was still rather runny, but Merritt seemed all the way better, so we weren't sure what would happen the next day. Carver played with normal energy, at least. We left after a while and then I cleaned up some of the house, fixed a sticky gate, and then worked on our dishwasher. The dishwasher has been weird, yet again - it will still run, but we have to push in the door extra hard for it to finally start the cycle. I took it apart and it looks to me like the spring that pushes up a switch is not sitting right, and so maybe it's not pushing hard enough against the switch. Anyway, I spent about 10 minutes working on it and made a brilliant fix, if I say so myself. I put it all back together, and it has improved significantly - now it just takes a little nudge to start up. Still, we have replaced so many parts on that thing since we moved in that I don't know how much longer it will last.

Anyway, Kira came home in the afternoon and said that it was a really good time with a good meal. She helped with dinner, and then she took Avey to meet a woman who is looking for a dog-sitter. They thought it would take about 30 minutes, so when it had been 90 minutes and I hadn't heard from them, I assumed that they were both in the woman's freezer along with her other victims. I got the boys ready for bed, and Merritt showed me all of the videos he had taken on his school iPad. He really enjoys playing with the slow-motion and time-lapse functions. Jesse and I played catch for a while, and then I got them to bed just a few minutes before Kira and Avey made it home, alive and in basically the same state as before they had left. Apparently the lady with the dogs is quite the talker. Hannah came over for some TV.

Sunday morning, Merritt exaggerated his symptoms enough that Kira would let him stay home. Carver was still a little stuffy, so he stayed home also. I made him work on schoolwork from his missed day last week. I made everyone's favorite treat, Muddy Buddies, and then started on our fancy lunch. Jesse has a particular way of eating his Muddy Buddies - he will go through the bag, and when he finds pieces that are stuck together into larger nuggets, he will save those to eat last, even arranging them in order by how delectable they appear.

Hannah was over for lunch, beating the others home. The kids were invited to the neighbors' pool, but of course, Carver was too sick to go, and Merritt had told us he was too sick to go to church, so we knew he couldn't go swimming either. He threw a royal fit, as we expected, and eventually he finally admitted that he had exaggerated how bad he felt. We let him sweat for a bit, and then made a deal with him that if he got some jobs done for school prep, and then spent some time doing scriptures with Kira, then he could go and join in the pool for the last 20 minutes or so. Hopefully he learned a valuable lesson about honesty, and not just that Mom and Dad are pushovers.

Before dinner, Hannah, Jesse, Kira, Avey, and I all played a game. At dinner, Jesse ate too much and then threw some of it up. He insisted that it was just because he ate too much, and that sure seemed to be the case. He was fine the rest of the night.

Jesse gave Merritt an old robot toy that he got several years ago for a birthday. He seems to be de-cluttering his stuff, because he's given Merritt a few of those kinds of objects. Anyway, Merritt had a really good time playing with that for the rest of the day. Of course, now Jesse is obsessed with upgrading to a better robot.

We had some heavy rain and thunder during the night, waking the boys up. Kira got them back to bed, and prepared them with their electric lanterns just in case the power went out, but the rest of the night was not restful. Jesse told us in the morning that he heard Merritt crying in the night, so asked him what the problem was. He said that he had seen a "jumping bug" and worried that it would jump into his mouth. Jesse reported that they worked together for an hour and a half to catch this bug (I'm sure it was more like 10 to 15 minutes). We are pretty sure it was a cricket or something. We told him to just come and get us the next time that happens. So after a night of nearly no sleep, Merritt got up a little after 4. It was dress-like-a-book-character day at the elementary school, so the younger boys dressed up.

We got Carver to go to school, but he went under duress, thinking he was still pretty sick. I just wasn't seeing it. Kira told him to go to the nurse if he started feeling worse.

I did some laundry and work once they were all at school, and then took Apollo to the dog park after Kira left for work. I got home and was about to mow when Kira told me that Carver was at the nurse's office waiting to be sent home. The nurse thought he looked fine, but Kira had called to warn that it might happen. I went to get him, and then got him to do schoolwork. I came to find out later that his friend had gone home sick too, so I wonder if he thought they could play Fortnite or something.

Anyway, I cut the grass finally, and then showered and ate before the younger boys' bus came. We worked on homework. Jesse is showing big improvement at his carrying of numbers in subtraction. Merritt read me another book, doing really well at that. Avey hung out in her room after coming home, and then Kira came home a little before bedtime.

Tuesday morning was normal running to the city. Carver went to a full day of school, finally, and Kira had a phone appointment with an old friend that day. I ordered some new glasses frames for Jesse, as his are falling apart. My classes went well, and then I had lots of other work to do. I made it home to help finish dinner, and then Carver suffered through his homework as if we were drilling his teeth the whole time. He cheered up a lot when Kira hung out with him at bedtime. Hannah stayed home for the evening.

Wednesday, Kira let me sleep in a little longer, but I did get up to help with breakfast and then took Avey. The boys wore "wacky" clothes that day, which mostly meant mismatched colors and such. Avey's school theme that day was "wear pink," so she wore a few things she had that were pink.

Once they were all at school, I got ready and left for the city again, because I had a few meetings to attend, and I had to do a classroom observation of one of the newer faculty members, and she teaches a night course. Kira left just before I did because she was volunteering at Merritt's class that day. My day felt especially long and exhausting, and then I got home way past my bedtime. Jesse had a stuffed up nostril that night, but it never got worse than that, so he didn't miss any school. Hannah offered to help out with the evening, knowing I wouldn't be there, so that was very nice. They all started a movie while I was away.

Thursday morning came way too early, and I got up to go to the city for the third day in a row - I don't know how some people do it 5 days a week! The day was long, but classes went well. Jesse said he felt like he could go to school, even with his nostril, so we told him to talk to the nurse if it got worse. Kira and Avey had a chiropractor appointment that day, so went out to lunch on the way, then dropped Avey at school afterwards. There was some confusion, though, and so Avey missed her bus after school, and Kira had to load up the boys to go and pick her up. It will sure be nice when Avey's got a license in another year! Kira said that Merritt helped her do the trash that day, earning some money, and then dinner was almost over by the time I came home. There was homework to do still, and then a normal evening of bedtime and TV with Hannah.

Friday morning Kira let me sleep in to recover from my last few days. That was very nice. She got everyone to school, and then I got up to eat and work, have a meeting, and cut the grass. It was a pretty low-key day once the boys were back. We hung out with no homework, and Jesse and I played some catch outside. It's been cooler and gray for much of the week, so it's really feeling like fall.

Once home from school, Merritt decided to do some pranks. He told me that he needed a piece of tape, and then wanted to know how to spell "Kick." He thought he was so sneaky about the rest, like I had no idea what he was up to. He made his "kick me" sign, and then "sneaked" up behind me to put it on, and proceeded to kick my chair, giggling gleefully at my dismay and confusion.

He then did the same thing to Kira, having a grand time.

At bedtime, Kira had the boys practice a musical number they have been working on. It still needs some work, but it's lots of fun:

Hannah stayed home that night because she's off to the temple today, getting up extra early. Avey went to her high school's homecoming football game, so I dropped her off. We were only about half an hour late, but her school was already up by about 14 points, so it was looking really good. They finished the game up about 42 to 7, so that was pretty neat. Avey seemed to have a good time, so hopefully more sports can be a nice outing in the future, too.

A kid we know through the branch was made homecoming king, too, so that was pretty cool. He's sort of Jesse's idol, and apparently a lot of people feel that way.

Today, I slept in and then got up to make bacon and pancakes. Kira slept through breakfast, which she earned. We've got to get the boys' clothes updated to fall weather, and it looks like some of them need some new shoes and pants. Kira has a few meetings for Stake Conference this afternoon and evening, and so it looks like I'll be in charge of the kids some more. Avey is planning on going to the homecoming dance tonight at the high school, mostly just hanging out with friends, so we hope that will be a fun time!

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