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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Tricky Trucks

We got Kira back this week, and started searching for a new member of the family who can also haul large loads of cargo...

Sunday morning I made waffles for breakfast, although they were mostly for me, because the rest of the kids sit firmly in the pancake camp, which is why Wallter is slowly rising in the ranks among my progeny. I digress... I gave the kids the option of going to church, but they declined, so after I enjoyed the waffles and the other kids choked them down, we had a relatively low-key day preparing for school the next day. Merritt's class is still working its way through the alphabet, and the next day was "Q" day, so we worked on finding some item that starts with that letter. I didn't want to resort to a queen, as that was way too obvious, so I got him interested in a quintet. I gave him a family photo of us before he was born, and there were only five of us. Then I worked on helping him remember the word "quintet" throughout the rest of the day. By the end of the day, I wasn't sure it would work, so I wrote it on a sticky note and put it on the picture, hoping that if he couldn't remember the word, at least his teacher would get the idea. Fortunately, when I quizzed him on it the next morning, he nailed it twice in a row.

Hakan spent most of the day playing with all of the neighbor kids, loving his Mohawk.

Hannah came over for lunch and let Merritt monopolize her attention. She even painted his nails after he saw Avey painting her own. I was a little nervous how that would go over at school, but he didn't say anything about it all week, so maybe it was fine. He helped me bathe Apollo in the afternoon, and was a big help.

Hannah left for some peace and quiet, and so we had a small family night together, and then got the kids' clothes ready for the week and cleaned up the house to help welcome Kira back the next day.

Carver was intensely bored nearing bedtime, probably due to exhaustion, and I would not let him be on the screen any more. I suggested he play with his awesome mini-drone, and he finally did and had a really good time, even inspiring Hakan to play with his later in the week. We checked in with Kira before bedtime, and finally got to sleep.

I woke up Monday to find that I had been paid, so I got the kids to school and then did some work and showered so that I could leave for Costco. I finished that and then came home to unload it all myself (although Apollo was really invaluable at getting in the way). I then ran out to get bananas because we were out, and then came home to prepare for a video meeting. At the meeting, I was nominated to serve as the chair of the committee, which was not exciting. I explained that my kids' bus arrives 10 minutes into the meeting each time, hoping that would get me off the hook, but instead they all agreed to move the meeting 30 minutes later. Ugh. Fine. Accepted. I met later in the week with the secretary of the committee, and she was very helpful in getting me oriented to the position, so I'll just grit my teeth for the next year.

Anyway, the boys were home, on screens, while I conducted the meeting. Kira kept in touch with me about her flight, and it turned out that her later flight was cancelled, so that she would take an earlier one, and then the train, and be in around 8:30 p.m. I fed the boys and then took the older two to Tae Kwon Do while Merritt stayed home with Avey. Once we were back home, we muddled through bedtime preparation, and kept up with Kira's progress home. She was finally back home a bit before 9, and then Carver came downstairs, having stayed awake reading. Hannah was over that evening, and had a report about a rough time getting her blood drawn at the doctor. We were all glad to let our heads hit the pillows that day.

Tuesday, we expected rain about the time that I was supposed to get back, so Kira drove me to the station instead. I had good classes and spent the afternoon grading, and then when I arrived at the train station, of course there had been no rain, and the sky was clear. Kira spent her day recovering from her hard work on the trip, helping her mom get packed for the move. She unpacked most of her own stuff and napped and such.

As the sun was going down that evening, Merritt and I were on the trampoline, and I lay down to look up at the trees. I spotted a bat, and Merritt was very intrigued, so he lay with me and we watched for more bats, spying several. We spread word to the other kids, and so the whole family came out to watch them chasing moths and other bugs.

Wednesday was picture day at school, so we spent some extra time getting Hakan's Mohawk as Mohawky as possible. We're excited to see how they turned out. I did work and then had a dental appointment, getting a clean bill of health. I swung the van by a place to get emissions checked so that we could renew the plates, and on the way home I saw a truck for sale that looked great. I came home for lunch and told Kira about the truck. We talked a bit about how my extra UTEP money will be nice, and how our next financial expenditure is probably a second car, as it would be an enormous help with our hectic schedules we have to coordinate around who has the van. We drove to look at it and find out the price, but it was a bit above our budget, so I decided to keep looking.

Back home, we had preparations to do for a youth activity we were hosting. We floated the idea of a backyard fire some time ago, and they must be desperate enough, because they took us up on it. I got the grass cut, cleaned up generally, and then got a bunch of firewood ready to go, not sure how much we'd need. The boys bathed, and Kira fed them dinner as I got the rest of the yard set. It went well, and it seemed like they all had a good time, although our boys got to bed later than usual.

Thursday I didn't have a prayer of using rain as an excuse to get a ride, so I took my bike. It was another good day of classes, and I got my flu shot in the afternoon before more grading. I also found some time to check out more truck possibilities and make a plan for the following day to look at them. I have found so many times over the last 3 years that a truck would have been enormously helpful with all of my projects, and I think the death of my old white truck back in Countryside still haunts me, so I'm pretty firm on wanting a pickup. Anyway, I found one online that I absolutely loved, but it was an hour away, so Kira and I made a plan for the next day to go out there.

Kira Caught this Photo of a Hummingbird who Seemed Lost

Friday morning came way too early. Kira and I were both pretty groggy the rest of the day. The kids made it to school, and I had a meeting in the morning. As soon as it was over, I called the dealership to see if that truck I liked was still there, but it wasn't. Back to square one. Kira and I decided to go driving around to some used car lots closer to home, and found some promising options, but nothing that screamed "buy me!" We'll probably go look again this coming Friday. We had lunch and came home to relax a little before the kids got home. It was the last class of Tae Kwon Do on the month trial, so we talked with the boys about whether they want to continue. Hakan still wants to stick with it, but Carver is not really all that interested anymore. We'll see if there's something else he'd like to try.

Anyway, Kira took Hakan to Tae Kwon Do, and took Apollo to walk him around outside. I took Avey to her rehearsal for Sister Act when they got back. She was pretty bummed that they didn't even need her to be there for any of the 3 hours that time. Hakan was very sad to come home with high hopes of playing with neighbors, but after trying 4 houses simply could not find a single person available to play. We finished the night with lots of playing, and some watching.

Avey's Costume (Needs Tailoring)

Saturday I got breakfast going and then took Avey to her rehearsal. This time they did need her, so at least that. Once I got home, I started working on the garage ceiling, getting it prepped a little more for paint. I painted over the ink spillage on Wallter, and then did lunch while Kira went to get Avey from rehearsal. We all went to an art festival in downtown Chesterton in the afternoon, which was a nice change of pace. We stopped for ice cream, too. After a few errands on the way home, we got the kids settled and I put on some kick plates to the door from the garage, as the kids like to kick it open and closed. Now they can have at it. Hakan got in some neighbor time, the boys bathed, and we eventually got them to bed.

Hakan Paid to Have a Spider Painted on His Forehead

Saturday night, I got a bizarre email from a student who did not like his grade and seemed anxious to make a big fuss. I pointed out that his grade was probably related to the fact that he had not been attending class or doing the readings, and that seems to have just made him madder. I've been dealing with that off and on since last night, so we'll see what happens this week.

Today we had a nice meal, and Hannah brought over her first watermelon that she grew in her garden!

It was very tasty, and really made the meal complete.

I painted the garage ceiling this morning, but I'm going to need more paint for the second coat. Not sure when I'll get around to that. Otherwise, we're hanging on pretty well today. Maybe by the end of the week we'll have our truck, and who knows what else is fixin' to happen?

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