Heirs of the Magi News Flash!

***Heirs of the Magi News Flash!***

The annual Samshwords Summer-Winter sale has ended! Thank-you to everyone for your support and interest in my books - and for any other Smashwords authors that you may have checked out during July too!

***Year Three of Harry Potter - After the Epilogue has now been posted at FanFiction.net in time for Harry's 37th Birthday! If you love my Harry Potter fan fiction stories as much as I do; check out this newest installment in the 'After the Epilogue' storyline!

Happy summer - or winter - reading!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cassie's Journal Oct. 30, 2011

My plan to sleep in didn’t work out when I was awake at the normal time. It wasn’t very warm outside, but I dressed accordingly and went outside to work through the Yang long form. Everyone else in the house was still sleeping by the time I was done, so I took my computer down to the kitchen and mostly played on it until Rowen’s Mom joined me there.

I helped her with cooking breakfast for six until Mr. Emerson joined us, and then I was sent upstairs to wake Rowen, Patrick, and Scott. Rowen and I got cleaned up and ready for church before having breakfast, and then we took care of the cleanup while everyone else got ready to go out too. Even with the boys slowing us down, we had time to walk to church with a few minutes to spare for a chat with Mom, Dad, Uncle Adam, and Aunt Leanne.

Rowen and I sat with my family until Sunday school. Ethan and Ehlana looked disappointed when they found out that they wouldn’t get to meet Aiden today, but I wasn’t surprised that Uncle Adam sent Hannah and Aiden straight home this morning. They did get to meet Paige Spencer after church, and though there wasn’t much interaction between the three babies; I was interested in watching Ethan’s and Ehlana’s reactions to their future classmate and friend.

My perspective on the Magi Council’s concerns about how Magi and non-Magi kids interact has mostly been shaped by seeing it from both a kid and outsider point of view; and by how great it is to have a best friend that I can share the Magi part of my life with. I’ll ask them about it later, but I do see a difference between what I sense when Ethan and Ehlana are around, for example, Naomi than they were today with Paige or some of the other new, non-Magi babies. Since that is mostly just what I’m sensing, I’m not sure what it means; but I do hope that their ability to know who all of the Magi and non-Magi are isn’t going to affect their relationships with their peers and neighbors. Knowing what we do about our future might have as much of an affect on that for all three of us, but that’s definitely something to spend some time on for the Magi project.

We’re not doing any work today, though, and after church, I went home with Rowen to get my bag before we both went to my house for lunch. Mom and Dad both spent some time working in the office, and we put the finishing touches on our ventriloquist act with Ethan and Ehlana until their mid-afternoon feeding. They had a nap after that, and Rowen and I went to the park to play for an hour or so. The Emersons had invited us over for dinner; partly so that the Moms could help us put the last touches on our teddy bear dummies costumes; so we helped with getting Ethan and Ehlana ready to go out, and then walked down to Rowen’s house.

I hadn’t really thought about it before, but this was the first time since Mom and I moved here that we’d all gotten together at the Emersons for dinner. That was mostly because of their seven day a week jobs during the summer, and our own busy schedules, but I’d been over lots of times, and having Mom, Dad, and the twins there too just made it more fun. Getting out of the post-dinner cleanup was a bonus when Rowen and I were put in charge of Ethan and Ehlana while the parents took care of the work; and then we spent an hour and a half playing with our costumes, including Patrick’s; and the pumpkin carving that only three of us were surprised about.

Ethan and Ehlana let us know that it was time to head home shortly before nine o’clock, so after a round of goodbyes; I carried one of our jack-o-lanterns home while the other one rode in the stroller with Ethan and Ehlana. We set them – the pumpkins, not the babies – up on the porch before going inside; and then I helped Mom with the twins while Dad went into the office to finish getting ready for work on Monday. With a midnight feeding still ahead, an early night wasn’t an option for all of us, but Ethan and Ehlana were ready for a nap, and I was sent up to bed once they were in their cribs.

My plan was to have a short soak in my Jacuzzi and then get some sleep, and I even started my email and entertainment checks while I was in the bathroom; but that led to watching the new episode of Once Upon a Time, and then I ended up spending more than an hour sifting through the Hathorne Industries’ systems. The Hathornes had put on a massive Halloween party on Saturday night, and there was a lot of new information to read up on both from the party and some of the things that had happened since it ended.

The pictures of Gawain, Kellie, and Gwyneth dressed up as an Addams family-like trio were beautiful, and completely at odds with the much darker activities they were involved in. There was a lot of new information, and the flurry of activity on a Sunday said something about how efficiently Gawain and Kellie’s managers and employees reacted to directives from on high; but much more about what they were willing to do for money and power. Stopping them isn’t an option right now, but I wish we could; and it’s tough to read about the lives they destroy without a thought; the factories staffed with child or near-slave laborers; the unbelievable damage they do to the environment in countries all over the world; or any of the other horrors they’re responsible for.

Reading about all of that on the eve of one of the dark power days has been sobering, but it also reminds me of why we’re doing everything with our family business and charities; and at least Ethan, Ehlana, and I know that the Hathornes’ – and all Dark Magi – era of power is coming to an end. Mom’s told me before that she doesn’t like knowing about things that she can’t change, but for me; knowing everything about the Hathornes strengthens my resolve to do everything I know I’ll have to do to stop them.

Being ready to do that is still a comparatively long way away – at least it is for a ten-year old. Ehlana just gave Mom and Dad her ‘I’m awake’ call; it’s after midnight; and way past time that I should’ve been sleeping. I’m going to get on with that, and worry about saving the world from the Dark Magi another day. For this Halloween, I’ll just concentrate on bringing a little bit of Light and happiness to our family, neighbors, and friends.

P.S. I’ve skipped the Grandparents updates for two days now. They had a sightseeing weekend, and moved from Peru to Chile today. They’ll be spending the first few days in and around Santiago, and then spend the last few days in Southern Chile before moving on to Argentina. Hopefully their second week will be as successful as their first!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 29, 2011

I was wrong about the Haunted Halloween Adventure Walk being next up on the fun schedule. Aiden Draper decided to surprise his parents this morning. That had also caused quite the scene at the Inn because Hannah went into labor about mid-way through the early sitting of the breakfast buffet that she and Nathan had taken a break for while getting ready to open the bakery for one of their busiest days of the year.

We missed out on that action; since Mom and Dad didn’t have everyone rounded up and ready to go until a bit after eight, but at least we didn’t miss out on the buffet like Uncle Adam and Aunt Deborah did. All of our sleepover guests were reunited with their families either during or after breakfast; and then Dad and I went home to the yard work waiting for us there while Mom and Aunt Leanne took care of Ethan and Ehlana.

They all went over to the clinic later in the morning; and Ethan and Ehlana were especially thrilled to be there when Aiden was born; though Mom wouldn’t let them talk with him Telepathically like they’d hoped. Only Uncle Adam did that while Mom and Aunt Leanne had taken care of the shielding so that Aunt Deborah and Nathan could concentrate on Hannah and Aiden. We already knew that he was a strong Magi, and though they could have managed without Mom and Aunt Leanne; their help did make the end of a tough delivery much easier for everyone.

We had lunch at one o’clock, and I loved hearing all about Aiden’s birth from Ethan and Ehlana; and about all of the help Nathan and Hannah were given by their family and closest friends – especially with keeping the bakery going all day. Since Uncle Adam was going to be busy all day, after lunch I was reassigned to help Aunt Leanne with the yard work around their house for the afternoon.

Giving Hannah a Magi Healing boost wasn’t an option like it now was for Magi mothers, so Hannah and Aiden were going to be staying overnight at the clinic; and Uncle Adam and Aunt Deborah were taking turns keeping an eye on her with help from Nathan and their families. Aunt Leanne set me free in time for her to get cleaned up and go have dinner with Uncle Adam at the clinic while I went home to get ready to go out with Rowen and her family to the Haunted Halloween Adventure Walk before having dinner with Mom and Dad.

Rowen invited me to stay overnight at her house shortly after dinner, and armed with parental approval, I packed a bag; shared a round of hugs and kisses with Mom, Dad, Ethan, and Ehlana; and walked over to Rowen’s house. Mom and Dad had decided to stay home with the twins instead of getting a sitter or taking them out on a fairly cold night. I had fun with the Emersons, but we had a different guide this year; and it was different without Miranda’s storytelling flair. Some of the actors were different too, though I’d found out a while ago that the group putting on the skits did have at least a few different members that was mostly due to graduating teens or returning collegians leaving or joining the troupe.

We’d had an early time slot for our walk, and then we’d played some of the charity games and sampled a few Halloween treats before going home again. I wasn’t surprised when Patrick had been given approval to have Scott stay overnight too, and while they weren’t as successful as Michael and Tim had been last night with their attempts to scare us; they did earn top marks for being annoying by bugging Rowen and I on a regular basis until after midnight.

Other than little brother and sidekick trouble, we’ve had a good night; watching yet another Halloween movie with Rowen’s Mom and Dad before going up to bed and having a nice long chat while surfing the net. The latest update from the clinic was that Hannah and Aiden were both doing well and would be going home sometime before dinner on Sunday. There wasn’t much news around the family, other than that Mark was working a double at the hospital due to a big highway accident. Everyone else was probably just busy with their own Halloween weekend entertainment.

Somehow, we’ve managed to stay up until after one again, but sleeping in later than I usually do on Sunday is an option; so I’ll be good to go by morning. Rowen isn’t as sure that she will be, but I’ll make sure that she is fired up by the time we go downstairs for breakfast; and we do have a comparatively quiet day ahead, so we will be able to rest up for the parties and trick-or-treating on Monday. Hopefully Ethan and Ehlana are getting a bit of extra sleep so they’ll be ready for the big day too.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 28, 2011

Times have definitely changed. Rebecca and Jenny opted to stay in one of the third-floor guest bedrooms instead of staying in the lounge and sleeping on the sectional sofa like they always did before. Emma, Lindsay, and Geraldine Sheldon were happy about that because they decided to camp out in the lounge instead. Geraldine and her brother, Jimmy, had been late additions to the list of campers after Lindsay made the request to have her best friend along, and Jimmy was included so he didn’t feel left out.

The sleepover party got started after school when Emma and Benjamin came home with Rowen and me. Mom had a snack waiting for us, and after giving her the daily school update; the four of us took the twins over to the park to play for a while and give Mom a chance to have a break that included some Jacuzzi time to get ready for her date with Dad. We picked Patrick up from the store on the way home, and Rebecca and Jenny joined us there shortly after we got back.

Mom went with the kid-favorite pizza and wings for dinner, and got our Friday night fun off to a great start. Alicia and her friends came over just as we were getting started on the cleanup; and took over watching everyone except Ethan and Ehlana while Dad helped Mom with feeding the twins before handing them off too and going to get ready for their Halloween party. Most of the stores in town were open late on Fridays; but the rest of our guests were dropped off before Mom and Dad were ready to leave for the pub. Naomi was first, followed by Scott and Lindsay Faulkner; Jimmy and Geraldine Sheldon; and finally, Michael and Tim.

The girls outnumbered the guys, so the six boys (not including Ethan) were going to use my lounge for their baseball and video gaming entertainment while the girls and babies had the extra space in the living room for our movie night. They were upstairs and taking turns playing games before Mom and Dad went out, but we waited until after they’d been sent off with a round of hugs and kisses before starting our first movie.

Rebecca and Jenny seemed a bit bored, but we started out with some Halloween cartoons for the younger kids, and then Emma, Lindsay, and Geraldine picked Spooky Buddies for our first feature film. While they were borderline too-cool for little kid shows, Rebecca and Jenny were happy to hang out with Alicia and her friends and help out with Ethan, Ehlana, and Naomi.

Mom had stocked the lounge with the usual snacks and drinks, and Michael, Tim, and the other boys were well on their way to emptying my little fridge and the cupboards when we took a movie break; and Rowen and I helped Alicia get Olde Bakery treats warmed up and take plates upstairs for them. Our sleepover supervisors had checked in on the boys regularly, and I was happy to see that they hadn’t totally trashed the room. Watching bakery treats being devoured by a pack of boys was Halloween scary, so we left them to do that and get back to their baseball game.

We watched two more movies in the living room before Alicia and her friends recruited Rebecca and Jenny to help, and started the lengthy process of getting the rest of us ready for bed and off to sleep for most of us. Ethan, Ehlana, and Naomi required one-on-one attention, so while Alicia took care of getting the six boys into the three second-floor guest rooms; Rebecca and Jenny helped with the babies, and Rowen and I had one teen helper to get the lounge cleaned up and ready for Emma, Lindsay, and Geraldine while they used my room to get changed.

Once that was done, and Rowen and I had gotten changed too, we sat in the lounge and talked with the three younger girls for a half hour before they were all either ready to sleep or were already out for the night. Mandy opted to stay cuddled with Emma when we went into my room and got into bed; and Rowen and I have been talking while I’ve been doing my usual nightly computer check. We can hear the boys still awake and fired up; mostly because the Cardinals won the game and World Series Championship. Naomi and the twins will be sleeping soon, though, so Alicia will likely put an end to that so the boys don’t wake them.

We ended up watching another Halloween show on Rowen’s computer while I’ve been working; so we were at least awake, if not prepared when Michael and Tim launched a late-night prank on us. The monster-masked duo did manage to successfully scare Rowen and I, but the boys probably got the worst of the deal when Alicia, Rebecca, and Jenny came to investigate the noises they’d heard from the living room and found Michael and Tim sitting on my bed while gloating over how scared we’d been. All four of us were teased about it, but Michael and Tim made a very hasty, red-faced exit. Rebecca and Jenny had a few more zingers for Rowen and me, but it was also as close as we’d been in months to a best-friends moment; so we were happy to just have fun with them before they went back downstairs to hang out with Alicia and her friends.

It’s nearly two, and Mom and Dad probably won’t be home for another half hour or more depending on when their party wraps up. Rowen and I are planning on being up in time to help them with Ethan, Ehlana, and Naomi, so I’m going to wrap this up and Rowen’s already put her computer away and snuggled under the comforter. Up next on the fun schedule – the Haunted Halloween walk tonight!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 27, 2011

The Halloween excitement was growing at school with just two days left until what will almost be like a three-day weekend of fun. While Rowen and I did have fun at school, it was another work day for us too; and I kept busy right through until dinnertime. There’s not much to report with my part of the family business; and even Grandma and Grandpa didn’t have much to talk about during the little chat I had with them while they were travelling between their afternoon appointments.

During dinner, Mom and Dad had a few updates to pass on for the Friday night sleepover. Ethan and Ehlana were happy to find out that Naomi was on the guest list; and would be staying overnight for the first time. Claire Norton’s daughter and younger son, Emma and Benjamin, were going to come to our house straight from school; and Scott and Lindsay Faulkner would be coming over sometime after dinner. Alicia had recruited two friends; and they would be ‘supervising’ us – Jenny and Rebecca in particular were too old for babysitters.

I wasn’t thinking about it last night, but the World Series game delay had a big effect on game night at the Inn. There were a few exceptions – like Dad and Uncle Adam – but it was practically a girls’ night out compared to normal while the boys in town were mostly home watching the game. While their boys were doing that, Sarah and Tracey Landry teamed up to win the senior Championship for the week, and even Jacob and Miranda managed a rare top ten finish.

With fewer competitors, we were finished at the Inn a bit earlier than usual, but since I didn’t expect to get much work done until after Halloween; I wanted to work in the office for a while after we got home. Mom delayed that plan when she decided that Ethan, Ehlana, and I should do a lesson too for the same reason. We did multi-task, and do that while she nursed the twins, and then they had a nap while we joined Dad in the office for a couple of hours.

He was keeping an eye on the ballgame while working, but sometimes I think he does that for the same reason that I do my entertainment checks. We love playing baseball, or cheer on our friends and family when they play; but watching sports on television just isn’t the same. The majority of fans in town seem to be on the Cardinals’ bandwagon; so they’re going to be happy about the come-from-behind win that tied the series with the Rangers at three wins each. Now that I know we’ll have quite a few boys staying over tomorrow night; I’ll guess that either my lounge or the sitting room will be baseball central for game seven. That may actually work out by keeping them distracted for most of the night.

We worked until Ethan let us know that he and Ehlana were awake, and then I went up to bed while Mom and Dad took care of them. I was going to write this and get some sleep, but I was checking our Magi project archive, and after reading Uncle Adam’s latest entry that had to do with the checkup he did with Hannah Draper and her baby; I ended up spending an hour or so in the archives and thinking about the issue of Magi pre-natal development with a non-Magi mother. Uncle Adam thinks that Naomi and Hannah’s baby would make a good case study to compare that, and also the post-natal development of their abilities. Since they are both going to be strong Magi, not to mention how important they’ll be to Ethan and Ehlana; I think it’s a great idea.

We’ll work on that after Halloween. Right now, it’s definitely time for a nap. One more school day, and the weekend fun will be here!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 26, 2011

I’ve been going through my nightly email and entertainment check since climbing into bed with Mandy, and the biggest story tomorrow will likely be the one-day rain delay for game six of the World Series. The guys will be upset for the obvious reasons, and the girls will want to talk about how the change may affect their television viewing options – either because last night might have been the last game, or if a seventh game is needed on Friday too.

That won’t be a problem at my house one way or the other. Rowen and I found out that we’re having a large sleepover on Friday night while the parents are going to a Halloween party at Sheldon’s Pub. Details are still being finalized, but one of the highlights is a Saturday morning breakfast buffet at the Inn. Rebecca and Jenny are among the confirmed kids; so that will hopefully be fun too.

There isn’t any local news to report for today. It rained off and on earlier, but it was nice enough after school for Rowen and I to take the twins for a walk and play at the park for a while. We didn’t stay out all that long, since it wasn’t all that warm out either; and then we all went up to the lounge to work on our Halloween costumes and act. We need to have an ongoing routine for the school party, and we want to have enough material to take on the trick-or-treating road with us too. Ethan and Ehlana are going to wear matching outfits from their Sunday best wardrobe, though we may need to adapt for Halloween night depending on the weather. Rowen and I are going to dress up as teddy bear dummies. We’ve recruited help with the furry parts of the costume, and Rowen’s Mom is going to do the makeup during lunchtime at school. Going as teddy bears is a bit of a risk for us; but it works great with baby ventriloquists; so I think we’ll be okay.

Mom and I worked on teddy bear paws and hoods after dinner; combining that with a Magi lesson that Ethan and Ehlana loved getting to help out with. We all spent a couple of hours in the office with Dad after that, and he was sent to bed early after being caught dozing off in his chair. Ethan and Ehlana partied on through until their midnight feeding, and it was nearly one by the time Mom and I got them into their cribs and off to sleep. Getting some extra rest over the last couple of days made it easier to stay up late tonight; but I’m definitely ready for a nap now – especially now that the weekend is going to be even busier with the addition of the Friday night sleepover. It’s a tough job to have so much fun every week; but it’s a sacrifice that this little Magi Master is very happy to make!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 25, 2011

Our twin baby ventriloquist Halloween costume/act has been approved for school. Ethan and Ehlana were more excited about that than Rowen and I are when I told them about it after school. They wanted to work on our act, but Rowen was working at the store, and I needed to work on the family business; so I promised them that we’d make time to do that tomorrow.

I had other work to do too, but some of the things that Grandma and Grandpa had suggested to me last night could be done nearly immediately; so I took care of the first steps of making them happen. While some of the proposals were company-centric; a few may be very helpful to some of the other businesses. I’ll start working on researching that over the next couple of months if I can find the time with everything else I have going on through until Christmas.

While I was working in the office, Grandma checked in with me; and we exchanged a few messages while she and Grandpa were travelling between meetings. They didn’t have anything going on with any of my companies for the rest of the week, but it was fun hearing about what they had been doing; and even with all of the work, they were both having a lot of fun. I am definitely putting South America on my list of places to go when I’m older!

Alicia didn’t stay for dinner with us tonight; and Mom decided to go with a late meal after nursing the twins. Alicia helped her with that before going home while I helped Dad to finish the cooking in progress. We were doing a work night after cleaning up from dinner, and I was working on the family business again; but Mom did a lesson with me first, and we had an ongoing chat with Ethan and Ehlana as they used their iPads to do some reading that Mom gave them to work on.

When the twins were ready to be nursed again, I helped Mom with them, and then came upstairs and got ready for bed. I liked getting the extra rest so much last night that I’m going to make it two in a row; and get a few extra hours tonight too. The email and entertainment checks are done; tomorrow’s an after-school play day; and we’re one day closer to both the weekend and a few days of Halloween adventure. I definitely want to be rested up and ready for all of that fun!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 24, 2011

Happy twelfth birthday, Jenny!

While Rowen and I weren’t going to Jenny’s party, we did have a joint present that we gave her this morning before classes started. That was a bit awkward for all three of us, but I’m sure that she’ll love her first co-ed party, and we really are glad to not be going.

With party central at Jenny’s house after school, the park was a bit emptier than usual; mostly because there weren’t enough guys available for the usual pre-teen football scrimmage. Rowen and I split our after-school time between doing our homework; playing at the park; and working on our Halloween costumes and act. Mrs. Warren is going to let us know tomorrow whether we have principal approval for our request to bring Ethan and Ehlana along for the class Halloween party; but she didn’t expect it to be a problem, and thought we’d picked an awesome costume idea.

As usual after his week in the city, Dad had lots of homework, so we did a light dinner, and then he went to work in the office while Mom and I cleaned up and took care of Ethan and Ehlana. Aunt Leanne took over watching the twins when she and Uncle Adam came over, and he, Mom, and I spent a couple of hours on a Healing lesson that included another guest Magi patient in need of what would have been arthroscopic surgery if our special talents weren’t available to her.

That part of the lesson was fun, but the archive reading was a bit boring for me. Uncle Adam didn’t need to study the procedure, and Mom taught both of us how to apply our power, and in this case, for me; how to use a phase-shift transmutation to remove the damaged tissue without needing an open incision. Since he can’t do that, Mom did show Uncle Adam another way to deal with the tissue; but he’s planning on having one of us help him if other cases like this one come up again instead of doing that.

It’s been a bit too long since I’ve managed to have anything even close to eight hours of sleep, so after our lesson; I kissed everyone goodnight and came upstairs to get ready for bed. The email and entertainment checks are done, and it isn’t even ten o’clock yet! Mandy’s still downstairs hanging out with Ethan and Ehlana. She’ll be surprised when she finds me already sleeping, but I’ve had enough fun for one day; so it’s time to shut this computer down and call it a night.

P.S. I almost forgot the Grandparent update! They had meetings all day today; and visiting one of my company’s head office was their third stop. They were mostly impressed; but I’ll also be working on the suggestions they had for the company after school tomorrow. Their other meetings were with one of our charities; a land management interest; and a mining company. Mom’s keeping up with the details of all of that in her archives, though; and I’m definitely going to sleep now before I decide to get a head start on that family business work instead.

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 23, 2011

The weather really cooperated, and Rowen and I had a warm, sunny, and beautiful play day. Even though I’ve only been getting a handful of hours of sleep each night for the last week, I was as fired up as usual when I met up with Mom to help with Ethan and Ehlana with their morning feeding before we all went upstairs with Dad for Tai Chi. We went with a light breakfast, and took turns getting ready for church around the cleanup and taking care of the twins before walking over to the church with Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne.

Rowen and I sat with her family until we went to Sunday School, and after church, we had lunch at her house before picking up Ethan and Ehlana and taking them for a walk to the park. I’m not a football fan, but there is one thing that I like a lot about the sport – it directly affects the number of boys at the park on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. That’s not one hundred percent effective, but it’s also usually the rowdier guys that are also the biggest football fans. Two of the guys in our class figured out that they can watch and listen to the games on their iPods while playing at the park; thanks to the town WiFi network. Since that isn’t quite the same as watching games on big screen televisions, though, I don’t expect the idea to catch on.

We walked the path around the park with Ethan and Ehlana; played on the swings, slides, and fort at the playground; and wrapped up our visit to the park in time to have them home for their mid-afternoon feeding. Rowen and I went back out to play after that while Ethan and Ehlana had a nap, but we were home again in time to do a bit of work on our ventriloquist act with them until dinnertime.

My no-work, play day plan mostly worked out until I went to bed after spending the evening doing a lesson with Mom, Ethan, and Ehlana; the bedtime snack and story that Dad joined us for; and another Jacuzzi session that I needed after a play afternoon at the park nearly as much as I’d needed one last night after doing yard work all day. After climbing into bed with Mandy, though, I started with my usual email and entertainment checks; and got caught up in a couple of hours of family business work. While doing that, I also watched the first episode of Once Upon a Time. I don’t really watch all that much television, especially on my own, but the new series is a cool twist on fairy tales; and I definitely have the early symptoms of being hooked on the show.

Since the work and show watching has led to another late night, and I hear Mom and Dad wrapping up the midnight feeding with Ethan and Ehlana; it’s definitely time to pack up and get some rest. Just seven more sleeps to Halloween!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 22, 2011

Our house looks awesome!

Dad surprised me with some new Halloween decorations that he picked up while in Crystal Springs; the best one being a skeleton with glowing eyes.

The yard work came first, and I worked hard all day, but we did manage to have fun while we worked; and the two hours of decorating was definitely the most exciting. For the next week and change, we have a spooky graveyard in the front yard that has gloved hands or boots coming out of some of the graves among other props. The new skeleton went on the front porch next to the stairs, and it looks really creepy at night with the eyes glowing in the dark. There are giant bats and spiders, and a Witch that I made with old clothes and stuffed with leaves. She’s hanging out in a lawn chair at the bottom of the stairs, and will have a few things to say and laugh about with the kids on Halloween night; thanks to a little motion-activated technology. Dad helped me with setting up a few spotlights, and he took care of the pair of ghosts on the porch roof too.

We didn’t finish working until it was nearly dark out, and had a late, easy-work dinner. Rowen came over to hang out with me for a couple of hours, and we mostly talked Halloween and about what we were going to do for our costumes. It sometimes amazes me the peer pressure that we have to deal with for things like Halloween. A costume faux pas can haunt you for the rest of your life – especially in a small town like ours! Our bandit costumes last year worked, but Rowen advised me that recycling them for this year wouldn’t be a good idea.

I loved her suggestion to do something with Ethan and Ehlana; and after talking that over with them, and Mom and Dad, we decided to go as twin baby ventriloquists with their walking, talking kid ‘dummies’ carrying them around. Ethan and Ehlana want to actually do their own talking, but Mom and Dad want to see if we can work out a way to pull that off or not first before giving us permission to do it. Option two wouldn’t be as much fun, but Rowen and I could pull off the act too. The only other condition for our plan is that we need permission to take the twins to school with us for the Halloween party. I’m sure that won’t be a problem; since everyone in town loves my brother and sister.

Rowen stayed until a bit after ten, and then I spent a little quality time with my Jacuzzi that I really needed for more than one reason after working all day. I’ve been in bed, playing and working on my computer for over an hour now, and as I’m writing this, I wonder what a non-Magi would think about a Magi of the Light being so excited over Halloween. The first thing I would say in answer to that is to point out that Halloween is now just a time to have fun and enjoy life with your family, friends, and neighbors. As a Magi Master, I can assure you that God has a sense of humor, and if you doubt me; just spend a day hanging around a group of Grade Six boys – you’ll be convinced (and fairly annoyed too).

I wouldn’t be able to add this, but Magi Masters do know the truth behind all of the legends, and the archives include extensive studies that Mom didn’t even need to push me to read as she did with the less entertaining study materials. Some of those tails – I mean tales – are as awful as the Witch hunts were for the Magi of the Light; and just as wrong. What’s important to the issue of Halloween, though, is that it is absolutely okay to go out and have fun.

Right now, my idea of fun is a few hours of sleep. Mom and Dad both have work to do on Sunday afternoon, but Rowen and I are going to have a play day; work on our costumes and act; and help out with Ethan and Ehlana. We’ll need the break – the last week of October is shaping up to be one of those great ones.

P.S. Grandma and Grandpa are in Peru, and their trip went smoothly. I kept an eye on my link with them all day; which I’ll probably be doing for a long time for everyone that I can do that with when they’re away on trips. They’ll be sightseeing for their first day in Peru, but we’re going to try a link with them sometime after dinner. That should make for a fun telepathic story time for all of us.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 21, 2011

Paige Spencer’s birth was the top news story around town today, and Ethan and Ehlana were particularly excited about the arrival of another future classmate and friend. The only direct impact of her arrival for our family was that her doctor was exhausted by the time he got to our house for dinner, and he fell asleep about five minutes after we started the movie part of our dinner and a movie night.

Before we got to that, Rowen and I had a busy school day, and then we got our homework out of the way before taking Ethan and Ehlana out for a walk and to play at the park. The nice weather had brought out the boys to play football, and a group of girls that included Rebecca and Jenny that had gathered to watch the often-unsuccessful attempts to impress them. We stayed away from that end of the park, and though there were boys goofing off at the playground too, one of the advantages of having Ethan and Ehlana with us was that Rowen and I were never pestered by the boys when they were around.

Rowen wasn’t doing dinner and movie with us this week, so after leaving the park, Ethan, Ehlana, and I walked with her to the computer store before going home. Grandma and Grandpa were already there, and took custody of the twins while I went upstairs to get cleaned up and changed. Aunt Leanne was home by the time I’d done that, but Uncle Adam was running late while helping the Spencers get ready to take their new baby home and dealing with the usual Friday afternoon walk-ins. Mom ended up needing to keep dinner warm until he could join us.

I’m as excited for Grandma and Grandpa as they are about their trip, but I’ll miss them a lot too. Our dinner conversation was both vocal and telepathic so that Ethan and Ehlana could talk with us more easily than they can with their still-developing voices. They wanted to know all about Paige Spencer from Uncle Adam first, but the rest of the conversation centered on Grandma and Grandpa’s trip. There wasn’t really anything that we didn’t already know about their travel plans, but they wanted to talk mostly with Mom and Aunt Leanne about the family business side of the trip; and Mom and I were both able to tell them a lot about the places they’d picked to visit on the days they had set aside for sightseeing.

As I mentioned above, Uncle Adam fell asleep shortly after we moved into the living room and started the movie; and he didn’t wake up when Dad got home from Crystal Springs. Aunt Leanne stayed cuddled with her sleeping husband, and Grandma and Grandpa had Ethan and Ehlana with them, so while we paused the movie; only Mom and I went outside to welcome Dad and help bring in his work cases and luggage. That didn’t take long, and when we went back to watching the movie; Mom and Dad had a sofa full of kids to cuddle with when Ethan, Ehlana, and I all joined them.

Grandma and Grandpa were going to be leaving for the airport fairly early in the morning, but they still stayed until it was time for Ethan and Ehlana’s midnight feeding; mostly so they could spend the extra time with Dad. I took advantage of that, and cuddled with one or both of them while they sat and talked with Mom, Dad, and Aunt Leanne. Uncle Adam got his wakeup call to go home to bed then too; and there was a long round of goodbye hugs and kisses before any of us were ready to say goodbye to the ones we wouldn’t see for the next month.

Dad was wiped out by then too; so Mom and I sent him to bed, and I helped her with Ethan and Ehlana. We had them asleep and in their cribs by one o’clock, and I’ve been sitting in bed and working on my computer since then; too fired up to sleep yet. I know we’ve got a long, busy Fall cleanup day just hours away, but I wanted to do a fairly thorough check of what the Hathornes were doing; and hopefully make sure that they wouldn’t be making any trouble for Grandma and Grandpa while they were away. I didn’t find anything to worry about; but there was some news about Gwyneth.

It wasn’t being publicized, but she now had a full-time tutor on the payroll, and the first report the woman had submitted advised Gawain and Kellie that their amazing daughter was an off-the-charts brilliant child prodigy. I wasn’t surprised about that, but it does make me wonder about what kind of public identity Gwyneth is going to have. There is no way that Ethan, Ehlana, or I would ever want the kind of attention that being a child prodigy would bring, and considering how well-known the Hathornes likely are among the Dark Magi; it could even be more dangerous for Gwyneth to do that than it would be for us.

There wasn’t anything else specific going on around Hathorne Industries; though Kellie and Gawain have both been making some changes. None of those changes have been for the good – they’re just doing some really bad things differently than Corwyn did. If my little gift for Gawain has had any effect on him at all, it is not showing up in how he runs the Centre or treats his people. Hopefully, that will change some day.

For now, I’ll just be grateful that the Hathornes are leaving us alone; and now that it’s past two – going on three! – it’s definitely time to get on with the few hours of nap time I have left tonight. I’ll need to help out more with the yard work today, but since I get to do the Halloween decorating too; it will still be a fun day.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 20, 2011

I haven’t really written much about world issues in my journal, though I do keep up with what’s going on. Since making the changes to how we run our family business over the past year, Mom and I have both talked about how great our companies and charities are doing; which I was thinking might seem strange to future readers if they compared our comments to the global news of the past few years.

Our family business isn’t immune to the effects of the ongoing financial crisis; but we’re also a diverse, private company that doesn’t have many of the issues that other corporations do; and our goals are also very different. Having Aunt Leanne, Miranda, and I to help Mom now has actually allowed us to take advantage of the downturn in the economy; and also, more importantly, help more people when they really need it most.

That doesn’t change the fact that there are immense problems in the world, or that hundreds of millions of people are suffering. Ethan, Ehlana, and I now know a fair bit about our future; but even we don’t try to see everything. The point I want to make with this line of thought is that even though the top news stories always seem to be about the bad things going on everywhere, there are bright spots; and our family business is one of the brightest – even if we’re also anonymous and unknown.

I was thinking about this today because of a problem I helped resolve with one of my companies that was about to lose a major supplier that was going out of business. It took a bit of high-powered Magi time, and that supplier’s owners had made a real mess of things; but as they say in the commercials – I was so impressed with the product; I bought the company. Problem soon to be solved, and the added bonus of keeping a few thousand people working too!

Game night at the Inn might not be news by comparison, but Rowen and I had a lot of fun – partly because we had a few less boys there than usual while they were busy elsewhere watching game two of the World Series (the Rangers won two-to-one to even the Series at one game each). Miranda was going to recruit Mom for her team while Dad was away, but Uncle Adam had to go play at the office with Luke and Ashley Spencer; who were about to become first-time parents of a future classmate for Ethan and Ehlana. They’re cousins of Jared’s, and their family has a large dairy farm. Miranda wasn’t too happy when Mom and Aunt Leanne won the Senior Championship for the night! As of my last email check; Ashley was still in labor, and Uncle Adam had a waiting room full of family there for support.

Ethan and Ehlana were ready for a nap after getting home for the Inn, so Mom and I worked in the office while we could until it was time for the midnight feeding. Mandy and I came up to bed as soon as my adorable brother and sister were in their cribs; and I’m about ready to snuggle in with her and get some sleep. While there isn’t any news about the impending increase of one to the Ridge River population, there was some email news around the family.

I’d hoped that Violet might come home for the Witch Falls Haunted Halloween Walk, but she advised me that Dillon was working all weekend because of the extra business they’d have at the Inn; so she wasn’t going to make the drive and not really be able to see him at all. They are going to meet up in Crystal Springs the Saturday after Halloween, and that three weeks between seeing each other will be the longest they’ve been apart since April or May. My cousins, including the Johnson family kids, are all getting excited about Halloween, and I had several email telling me about costume choices; reminding me that Rowen and I really need to get on with picking ours fairly soon. I’m not getting any specific news from Grace or Mark; but Jaimie and Kaitlyn have advised me that their Aunt has been especially happy every time they’ve seen her since her weekend away.

It’s not surprising that Uncle Adam has some very bright cousins; and the college students in that group are all doing very well. When we really get going on studying the whole Magi-Latent phenomena as it applies to talents; his family might prove to be a very good sample group to work with – especially since they have a great mix of Magi, Latents, and normal people; and four generations.

That’s definitely something I’m too tired to work on now, but with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, it is something to consider doing anytime Uncle Adam’s family is home for visits. I’ll talk to him about it the next time we’re working on our Magi project. For now, it’s time for some sleep. It’s Friday, and along with Dad coming home tonight; we’ve got a special dinner and a movie night with Grandma and Grandpa joining us before the leave on Saturday morning. I still think it would be amazing to go with them, but I guess we’ll manage to have fun around here while they’re gone too.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 19, 2011

We mostly had a play day today. The dreary and cold Fall weather may have been a perfect setting for the mid-week day that so many think of as the longest of the week; but it has seemed to fly past for me, and even our classes today were mostly fun.

There isn’t any particularly exciting news to report today. Rowen and I came home after school, and since it wasn’t very warm outside, after doing our homework, we played with Ethan, Ehlana, and Mandy in the lounge. I’ve been thinking about Rebecca and Jenny a lot this week, – probably because of Jenny’s birthday on Monday – and while I do really miss hanging out with them, it is more fun for Ethan and Ehlana to just have Rowen here with us so that they don’t have to pretend that they can’t talk already; and we can use our Telepathy, and play and do things that we couldn’t if other kids were here too.

Mom probably doesn’t think that showing Ethan and Ehlana how to play video games by using our Telekinesis on the controllers should become part of the standard Magi training; but we did have a blast, and it is a cool way to practice both power control while doing several things at once. Dad thought it was hilarious when Ethan and Ehlana told him about it when we linked up with him for a Telepathic bedtime story while the twins had their nine o’clock feeding – especially when he found out that Ethan won two of the matches.

Rowen stayed for dinner with us, and then helped Mom with Ethan and Ehlana’s feeding while I cleaned the kitchen. She stayed for our Magi lesson, and then went home for the night. Mom and I mostly played with Ethan and Ehlana through until we put them in their cribs at twelve-thirty. That included some iPad reading time; the Telepathic chat and story with Dad; and some quiet cuddle time in the living room that included some music appreciation and related questions and answers.

It’s now heading toward one o’clock, and I’m definitely feeling tired. The email check didn’t take long, but I’ve decided to risk damaging my school rep by skipping most of my usual entertainment review. If it wasn’t for the fact that everyone knows I have the lounge, and Dad’s working in the city; I might have been able to get away with claiming ignorance because of the baseball playoffs. I haven’t paid any attention to it, but tonight was game one of the World Series. The boys may even be impressed that I know that the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers three-to-two – not that I’m at all, even remotely, interested in impressing them. Now that I think about it; that is probably why Dad seemed a bit distracted tonight. He was probably working and watching the game while talking with us.

Anyway, it’s time to get some sleep. Tomorrow – today – is going to be another long one, and we have a lot going on over the next few days – like game night; dinner and a movie on Friday; the start of Grandma and Grandpa’s trip to South America; and another Fall cleanup day on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 18, 2011

Ethan and Ehlana really are helping out by skipping the three o’clock feeding, but tonight, they were also fired up and ready to party during their midnight nursing and chat session; and it was nearly one-thirty before they were finally ready to go to sleep again.

Mandy and I are in bed now, and with just over four hours to go until my adorable brother and sister will be up and ready to roll again; I’m going with the condensed daily report, and skipping the nightly entertainment and email check. It was another quiet day at school, and I worked on the family business after school while Alicia was here to help Mom. She stayed until nearly seven-thirty; and after she went home, Mom and I worked with Ethan and Ehlana on non-Magi lessons until their nine o’clock feeding. They had a nap after that, and Mom did my Magi lesson before we both worked on the family business until Ethan and Ehlana woke up again shortly before midnight.

That’s all for tonight – time to get on with my little nap before it’ll be time to get up and going again.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 17, 2011

Starting our day out this morning by saying goodbye to Dad wasn’t much fun, but Mom and I did like the cuddle time in her bed with Ethan and Ehlana after he was on the road for the hour or so we had until it was time for their morning feeding. I helped Mom with that shortly after six, and then we all went upstairs, and the twins watched Mom and I exercise before we split up so that Mom and I could each get ready for the day. I took Ehlana with me for that, and we had fun chatting with Mandy while I got cleaned up and dressed; and then we met up with Mom and Ethan in the kitchen for breakfast.

School was a bit boring – especially compared to our Festival day on Friday. Rowen and I found out during afternoon recess that Jenny had handed out her birthday party invitations today, and we weren’t on the guest list this year. The sad part of that was the confirmation that we have definitely been left behind by Jenny and Rebecca, while the good news is that she’s having a girls and boys party; and we won’t have to be there to watch our friends moon over boys or put up with a bunch of goofy-acting pre-teen guys.

It’s been kind of a blah weather day too, so after school, Rowen came home with me; we got our homework out of the way; and then played in the lounge with Ethan, Ehlana, and Mandy until dinnertime. Mom and I had our dinner after she nursed the twins, and by the time we’d finished cleaning the kitchen; Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne had joined us, and it was time for another Magi Healing lesson. We all went into the living room for that, and while Mom worked with Uncle Adam and me; Aunt Leanne watched Ethan and Ehlana play on their iPads and she worked on her computer too.

Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne stayed for the bedtime snack and story that we included Dad for through the Telepathic link that Mom let me make with him while she was busy nursing Ethan and Ehlana again. By ten-thirty, Mom and I were on our own with the twins again, and we’ve been working in the office while they’ve napped. For me, that’s meant taking care of a few family business issues; checking email; doing my entertainment check; and finishing up with this journal entry.

Ehlana’s taking a turn with the ‘we’re awake and hungry’ call. It’s twenty after twelve, and doesn’t feel at all like we’ve been working for nearly two hours. We won’t get much sleep tonight, but starting and ending the day with some quality cuddling time with Ethan and Ehlana more than makes up for the long, busy hours.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 16, 2011

What a crazy, busy, amazing day!

Getting to watch Aunt Leanne opening her presents – a few at breakfast, and then the rest of them during dinner – was one of the highlights. Morning Tai Chi with her and Uncle Adam was great too, and Dad and Uncle Adam cooked up the full country breakfast while the rest of us took turns getting ready for church, and helped Mom with Ethan and Ehlana.

It was non-stop action from Tai Chi to Church, and the fun kept on rolling there; led by Eleanor Byrd teasing Aunt Leanne about being a year older than she was now. We had quite a crowd sitting with us for the service thanks to a combination of Aunt Leanne’s birthday; our weekend guests and significant other; and the fact that this was going to be Grandma and Grandpa’s last Sunday at home until Thanksgiving.

Dawn and Jillian took turns holding Ethan and Ehlana until they went to Sunday School with Rowen, Violet, Dillon, and me. Pastor Martha kept the service to just over an hour, and then we were set free to enjoy one last afternoon blast of fun at the park. We all needed to go home and get changed first, and then Violet and Dillon went over to the park with Dawn, Jillian, Rowen, and I while Mom and Dad took care of nursing Ethan and Ehlana before meeting up with Aunt Leanne and Uncle Adam; and joining us for lunch.

There were more shows to watch, including a showcase of the talent show winners; we played a few more games that Grandma and Grandpa joined us for; and had time to go on all of our favorite rides at least one or two more times before we needed to go home again and get ready for the early buffet birthday dinner. Dillon had needed to go over to the Inn then to work the buffet shift; which probably explained why he and Violet had disappeared for a while before she met up with us at home again. She, Dawn, and Jillian also packed their bags and loaded her car before we went to the Inn. They planned on leaving for Woodvale right after dinner.

We still had a couple of hours to spend together, though, and even though Violet was already feeling down about having to leave Dillon again; Aunt Leanne managed to cheer her up, and entertain all of us as she let her inner kid out to play and enjoy her special day. Uncle Adam wasn’t going to be able to take extra vacation weeks for a while, so Aunt Leanne didn’t get any airline tickets to Arizona this year, but she did love the new clothes, jewelry, and toys that she was given. Miranda had a large birthday cake that she told us needed to be that big to hold all of the candles; but was really so she could offer it as a dessert option to about a third of her first-buffet customers. Dawn and I helped Aunt Leanne with the candles, and hopefully her wish will come true.

It was time to say goodbye to Violet, Dawn, and Jillian far too soon, but they needed to get on the road, and we needed to make room for the incoming customers for the second buffet sitting. Dillon could only take a break for a few minutes, and came outside with us so that he could share a sweet, tearful goodbye with Violet. We all waited to see Violet, Dawn, and Jillian on their way, and then there were more hugs and kisses as Dillon went back to work, and the rest of us got ready to head back to our respective homes.

Rowen came home with us, but only stayed long enough to pick up her bag before going on to her place and plans for some quality bubble bath time. Dad had some work to do before leaving for Crystal Springs in the morning, so I helped Mom with Ethan and Ehlana. That included some play and chat time; a Magi lesson; and their nine o’clock feeding before they decided to have a nap. Mom took that opportunity to visit her Jacuzzi for a while, and I’ve been in the office with Dad; taking care of a bit of family business work, catching up on email and the weekend entertainment highlights, and now, writing this journal entry.

My Jacuzzi is calling to me, and we’ll all be up early to see Dad off to the city; so it’s time to put a wrap on another great day and weekend. We may be in for a bit of a break from the non-stop fun; but the Halloween action around town will be starting in less than two weeks, and Witch Falls is definitely the place to be for Halloween!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Oct. 15, 2011

Dawn and Jillian didn’t make it through the movie last night, and Rowen and I went to bed shortly after they fell asleep. I was the only one to wake up in time to help out with Ethan and Ehlana when they were ready to be nursed, but Violet and Rowen were both awake and getting ready for the day by the time Mom, Dad, and I were finished our Tai Chi.

It was even colder this morning than it had been yesterday, so even though we were excited about spending the day at the festival; we were okay with taking our time getting ready; sharing bathroom time; and having a long, drawn-out country breakfast. Mom, Dad, and Violet weren’t going to the park with the twins until later in the morning, so once we were all ready to go, Rowen, Dawn, Jillian, and I walked over to the park together.

Dawn and Jillian hadn’t seen any of the little shows, or gone through the exhibit pavilions, so after warming up on a couple of very chilly rides; we picked up cups of hot chocolate, and checked out the exhibits for a while. Mom, Dad, and Violet joined us in time to catch a segment of the all-day talent competition, and we watched a magic show after that before heading back to the midway.

Violet was only with us until Dillon, Jake, and Stephanie finished their lunch shift at the Inn; but we had time to go on a few rides, play a couple of games, and have lunch together. Mom and Dad took Ethan and Ehlana home for their afternoon feeding and a nap, and though Rowen, Dawn, Jillian, and I were on our own again for a while; we did have a little cameo fun time playing a few games with Grandma and Grandpa, and then going on a couple of rides with Aunt Leanne and Uncle Adam.

We had all of our favorite grownups with us for dinner, and then we played again until the country dance started at nine o’clock. By then, it was definitely getting cold again, and all of the kids in our gang, including Ethan and Ehlana, were ready to go home and get warm again by ten. Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa looked happy to go home too; and it wasn’t long before we were having hot drinks and warm bakery apple pie for a bedtime snack.

Dawn and Jillian weren’t in the loop for it, but while we went up to bed after our snack, Ethan and Ehlana advised Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Grandpa that they wanted to do a quick feeding and go to bed for the night instead of getting up again or staying awake until after midnight. Grandma helped Mom with that while Dad and Grandpa cleaned up from our snack. Dawn and Jillian were both sleeping on the sofa in the lounge before Grandma and Grandpa left to go home, and while Rowen and I are still chatting; she’s cuddling with Mandy and starting to doze off. As soon as I’m done this journal entry and my nightly email check; we’ll all be off to sleep too. Tomorrow is Aunt Leanne’s thirtieth birthday, and with a special breakfast for her; church; another afternoon at the Festival; and a birthday buffet dinner at the Inn, we’ve got another busy, amazing day to get rested up for!