Heirs of the Magi News Flash!

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

Summer is almost here! Everyone in Witch Falls is getting ready for the first big holiday weekend that will launch the summer season, and this year; there's a big wedding to add to the mix of fun and work for the Proctor family!
Check back daily to share in the fun and adventure with Cassie, Michael, and their families and friends!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 29, 2011

Happy eleventh birthday, Rowen!

I was up early, and made it over to Rowen’s house just as she was finishing breakfast so I could give her the special, best-friend birthday present; and then we did a little extra work on her hair and played dress-up before going to school.

Rowen’s come a long way from the ultra-shy girl I met when Mom and I first moved here, but she’s a long way from being a social butterfly; and has no idea just how beautiful and amazing she is. The girls in our class definitely noticed the extra work and great clothes, and so did at least a couple of the guys. (No, Aunt Leanne, I am not crossing over; I’m just being observant) I was prepared to help make Rowen’s whole day special, and that included Olde Bakery treats at recesses; a picnic in the cafeteria with more bakery goodies at lunch; and little birthday surprises while we were in classes.

I went home with Rowen after school with just a short stop at my house on the way so that I could get my overnight bag; the present I had for the party; and so Ethan and Ehlana could wish Rowen a happy birthday too. Rowen’s Mom was at home by the time we got there, and it wasn’t long before Rebecca, Jenny, and the rest of Rowen’s party guests started to join us. We couldn’t technically say it was a no boys party because Patrick was there, and had his best friend, Scott, staying overnight with him for support while his house was ‘infected’ with so many girls. Rowen was suitably annoyed by them, but I was the only friend staying overnight; and Patrick and Scott mostly left us alone until everyone else went home after dinner.

Other than needing to be alert for little brother trouble, Rowen had a really great party. Along with Rebecca and Jenny, she’d invited a few baseball teammates, and all of the girls in our class. That made for a full house, and a lot of noise and fun. We didn’t exactly play games, but there were some little contests with prizes; we had music videos playing in the living room; and there was lots of time for girl talk. We didn’t have dinner until after Rowen’s Dad closed the store and came home; and then it was non-stop action until after we’d finished dessert and Rowen had opened her gifts.

It was past eight o’clock by then, and while Rowen saw her guests out as parents stopped by to pick them up, or they left to walk home; I drafted myself to help her parents with the monster dinner cleanup. Patrick and Scott were involuntary draftees; and the work probably would have gone faster without them. We were nearly finished cleaning up by the time that Rowen was done saying goodbye to our friends; and then we all went into the living room to relax and wind down for a while before going up to bed.

Rowen’s birthday didn’t rate a day off from homework for our class, so we had to do that before bed too; and that was when Patrick and Scott started their mini-campaign to irritate us as much as possible. I was mostly just amused, but they did accomplish their mission with Rowen. Even though it’s a school night, we’ve been sitting in bed and talking while playing on our computers. Patrick and Scott finally settled down and went to bed a little while ago; and Rowen’s parents are probably asleep by now too.

We aren’t allowed to use our Magi abilities when we’re at Rowen’s, so that means no Telepathic chats, but sometimes I think that’s a good thing – kind of like getting lost in a good book for a while instead of speed-reading like I do most of the time in the archives or with my school work. Rowen’s starting to nod off, so it’s time to call it a night. One birthday party down this week; one to go!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 28, 2011

I kept a mental eye on my links with Grandma and Grandpa this morning while they were travelling; and though there haven’t been any problems with the Hathornes since June, I was relieved when they got to Arizona safely.

Rowen was as happy to be hanging out together again as I was this morning; and we had a really good day at school. There was a bit of bad news too when we found out that another classmate had ‘crossed over’ sometime during the holiday weekend. I’ve never really thought about it before, but that sort of thing does seem to happen more often during holidays. I have no idea why that would be the case – especially if the boys in my class were acting anywhere near the way Chris and Martin were this weekend.

It took until after lunch to get caught up on all of the weekend news around town – or at least all of it from the Grade Six girls’ perspectives. Rowen came home with me after school, and we took care of Ethan and Ehlana until she went home at dinnertime while we got our homework out of the way and spent a little time talking about her impending birthday and party. After dinner, I had a Magi Healing lesson with Mom and Uncle Adam while Aunt Leanne and Dad worked in the office and took care of the twins; and then I was set free to go up to bed early.

I had to wrap Rowen’s presents – one special gift that I was going to give her in the morning; and the present she’d get at her party. Since getting that done, I’ve been tucked in bed; doing my usual nightly computer routine. There were email from Grandma and Grandpa, Mark, Aunt Grace, Violet, Dawn, and Jaimie and Kaitlyn to read and answer; a bit of family business work to do; and I kept the entertainment check to a minimum before starting this journal entry. It’s only nine-thirty, but since this may be my only chance for a bit of extra sleep this week; I’m going to call it a night and get right to that.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 27, 2011

I really have been out of the loop for the past few days!

For one, I wasn’t thinking at all about the fact that Grandma and Grandpa are heading to Arizona in the morning for a three-week vacation in the sun until the subject came up while we were at the Inn for the buffet. That reminder did at least come early enough for me to spend more time with them after Jaimie, Kaitlyn, and the rest of their family left for Granite Park; and Ethan, Ehlana, and I made sure that they had enough hugs, kisses, and cuddle time before they went home to finish packing after dinner to hold them over while they were away.

The holiday weekend Sunday morning rush was about as wild as usual, and Jaimie and Kaitlyn kept me busy while I helped them with breakfast and getting ready for church. It wasn’t raining this morning, but it was quite cold; so Dad and Uncle Blaine drove us over and dropped us off before going in search of parking spots. The sanctuary was full to overflowing; and there wasn’t enough seating for everyone until after the kids and teens left for Sunday school. I ended up staying with Kaitlyn for that when she found out that Jaimie would be with the first-graders instead of with her.

I missed getting to spend some time with Rowen and the rest of our classmates, but it was fun doing crafts with Kaitlyn and the other little kids too. After church, we had time to go home and have a little break before going to the Inn. Mom and Alison fed Ethan, Ehlana, and Jayden then before we loaded up into the van and SUV again and drove over to the Inn. Jaimie, Kaitlyn, and I ended up at a table with the grandparents; and it was during their conversation about what they’d all be doing between now and Christmas that I got the reminder for Grandma and Grandpa’s trip to Arizona.

Grandpa Duncan and Grandma Mercy weren’t quite ready to retire yet; but they definitely thought that spending time in the south somewhere during the winter was going to be part of their plans when they did finish working in a couple of years. Jaimie and Kaitlyn weren’t much interested in that conversation, other than the potential for future winter holidays; so they mostly talked with me about Christmas, and everything from letters to Santa to ice skating and tobogganing.

These family buffets that wrapped up our long weekends never seemed long enough, and we were soon on the way back to either our place or Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s again. I was put to work helping Jaimie and Kaitlyn get changed into comfy travel clothes and getting their bags packed to head home. Uncle Blaine, Grandpa Duncan, and Aunt Grace were all going to be in for a tough drive – especially for Aunt Grace with the extra side-trip to take Mark to the airport. We had everything packed into the SUV, including my cousins, within forty-five minutes; and once Grandpa Duncan and Aunt Grace pulled up in front of our house when they were ready to go, the goodbyes were short and sweet.

Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Adam, and Aunt Leanne all came inside with us after everyone else was gone; and they stayed until after dinner. Our first order of business, after getting hot drinks and getting comfortable in the living room, was to set Ethan and Ehlana free to get started on what ended up being an hour and a half long question and answer time that they’d needed to wait four days to have. I may be a bit jealous that they have things like iPads to use now that weren’t around when I was a baby; but that also makes it a bit harder for them than it was for me when they have to play normal babies and can’t use their favorite toys.

While Ethan and Ehlana cuddled with Grandma and Grandpa and entertained us with their ongoing queries; we also talked about the weekend highlights; Grandma and Grandpa’s trip; and our holiday plans while they were away. A trip to the Christmas tree farm and the kid’s Christmas shopping trip to Crystal Springs were at the top of my Christmas fun list. When it was time to make dinner, Dad and Uncle Adam took care of that while Mom was busy with Ethan and Ehlana; and then time seemed to speed up again as we had our meal; cleaned up; and then shared a long round of goodbye hugs and kisses when it was time for Grandma and Grandpa to go home. Aunt Leanne and Uncle Adam went home then too, and the house seemed almost deserted by comparison when we were down to just five again for the first time since Wednesday.

Dad needed to disappear into the office then and get some work done. I helped Mom with Ethan and Ehlana; and we ran a couple of loads of laundry and got started on cleaning the second and third floor guest bedrooms and bathrooms until it was time to nurse the twins and get them ready for bed. When we had them sleeping in their cribs, we joined Dad in the office for a hot drinks and leftover apple pie bedtime snack; and then I came upstairs for a little Jacuzzi time before getting into bed with Mandy.

I wouldn’t say that I can hardly wait to get back to school in the morning, but I am looking forward to hanging out with Rowen and our friends again. With just four weeks left until Christmas, we’ll be having a lot of fun at school; but this week’s highlights are going to be Rowen’s eleventh birthday party on Tuesday, and Rebecca’s twelfth birthday party and sleepover on Friday. What a great way to end November and start December!

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 26, 2011

Maybe it was just a coincidence, but while the Rice family was getting ready to leave this morning, it started to rain; and the unusually warm weather that we’d enjoyed for the past few days came to a rather abrupt end.

We were all very busy for the first few hours of the morning; though for Chris and Martin, that was more like the last hour before they hit the road with Uncle Rick and Aunt Melissa. Dawn and I had been able to get to sleep despite the little party in the lounge, and that had ended by one o’clock; but the two boys had stayed up and played until after four; and weren’t particularly motivated to do anything this morning. I helped Dawn to get ready to go as much as I could; but we both helped out with Jaimie and Kaitlyn too while the parents were juggling babies; cooking; and everything else they had on the go – like the loads of laundry that had been piling up since Wednesday.

Dawn’s parents and grandparents came over from Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s house by nine o’clock, and while Uncle Rick needed to get Chris and Martin moving and packed; Violet and Dawn were both ready to go, and it didn’t take them long to get their bags loaded into the SUV. Violet was going with Dillon, and Dawn opted to head home with Uncle Richard and Aunt Carrie instead of spending a few hours stuck between Chris and Martin. Grandma and Grandpa stopped by in time for the goodbyes; getting to our house just after Dillon drove over to get Violet. The goodbyes didn’t take much longer, and after watching the three vehicles disappear from view; we all went back inside and took a little mid-morning break.

I’m not sure in hindsight why I thought that we’d have a quieter weekend once nearly half of our family had gone home. Jaimie and Kaitlyn made sure that both Mandy and I were kept busy most of the day. When I wasn’t playing with them, I had work to do – like the forty-five minutes it took me to clean up the mess that Chris, Martin, and their friends had made in the lounge. Maybe I should give them a refresher lesson using Mom’s board-breaking demonstration. I’ll keep that in mind for the Christmas holidays if it’s a problem then.

Since it wasn’t very nice outside, I invited Rowen and her cousins over for the afternoon. She’d worked in the store for the big sale on Friday, and spent the morning there today too; so she was way past ready for a little fun time even if that was mostly geared toward entertaining six and four-year old girls. The rest of our family came over for the afternoon too; and while the guys mostly took over the living room to watch college football, girl-central was in the kitchen. Rowen and I did get some Mom support now and then, and Kaitlyn curled up on my bed with Mandy and had a little nap for a while; but we were mostly left to play on our own until Aunt Leanne, Aunt Grace, and the grandmothers came upstairs to round us up for dinner and help with a quick cleanup of both toys and kids.

Rowen and her cousins had to go home to their own family dinner; and when we got downstairs, they had a parental chauffeur waiting to take them over to Grandma and Grandpa Emerson’s. I may be missing out on a lot of what’s going on with the adults in family this weekend, but even though Jaimie and Kaitlyn keep me busy during meals too; I still keep my ears and eyes open to everything else that’s going on around me. Tonight, was seemed glaringly obvious to me was that Aunt Grace and Mark are definitely, totally in love. It’s also obvious that they haven’t figured out what to do about that; but it won’t be all that long before Ethan, Ehlana, and I help them out with their little geographic problem. I’d love to spring that on them now, but there are a few other things that need to happen first; so they’ll just have to work things out for themselves for now.

After dinner and the cleanup, football still ruled in the living room, but Jaimie, Kaitlyn, and I had some company in the lounge to watch a movie, and then my two adorable little cousins took turns using my Jacuzzi before being tucked into my bed for the night. Grandpa Duncan took care of their bedtime story, and once Jaimie and Kaitlyn were sleeping; I went downstairs to hang out in the living room until the party broke up and everyone either headed for their homes or up to bed.

I’ll hop into bed with Mandy and my cousins soon, but I wanted a little time for myself first; and have been sitting in the lounge, playing on my computer since getting changed. Dawn sent me an email to let me know that they’d gotten home safely and to tell me all about their second of three family Thanksgivings. There wasn’t any family business work that couldn’t wait until next week, and I didn’t miss much on the entertainment scene.

Considering our history with the Hathornes, Mom has probably been checking up on them this weekend, but tonight was the first time I took a look to see what they’ve been up to for the holiday. They had another big corporate party at the estate, and though it may not seem like a big deal compared to some of the really terrible things they do; I think that purposefully keeping families apart on holidays like this does do a lot of damage. There wasn’t anything for us to worry about with anything I saw in the Hathorne systems, and the only interesting information was about Gwyneth’s continuing, extraordinary development that rivals the accomplishments of the brightest baby geniuses of all time. I still really hope that she doesn’t draw the wrong kind of attention by creating that public image for herself. Surviving fights with other Dark Magi is one thing, but it’s also the jeopardy her soul will be in because of anything she does during those battles.

Somehow I’ve managed to lose track of time again, and it’s past midnight. Time to call it a day and go join my little cuddle buddies. We only have one more day left in the holiday weekend; but even with a smaller group, Sunday mornings are always busy; and we’ve got reservations for the first buffet at the Inn to look forward to before the rest of our family heads home. That sounds like a recipe for another hectic, amazingly fun day!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 25, 2011

They should come up with a better name than ‘Black Friday’ for a day that is so much fun!

First of all, this is going to be an especially happy day for our family from now on; since it’s the anniversary for when Aunt Leanne and Uncle Adam were re-introduced to each other and the rest, as they say, is history.

The second annual breakfast buffet at the Inn was a great way to start our shopping day; and I especially loved that we were getting to spend nearly the entire day with Violet while Dillon was busy working at the Inn. I haven’t mentioned it in my journal, but the Rice family is only here until tomorrow morning; and then they have to leave for other family commitments with Uncle Richard’s and Aunt Melissa’s families on Saturday and Sunday. That made having the time to spend with Violet even more special.

It was a bit hectic around the house while we all got ready to go out for breakfast. Chris and Martin weren’t very motivated after only getting a couple of hours of sleep; but they also didn’t want to miss out on the buffet either. We had lots of transportation help from the gang staying with Aunt Leanne and Uncle Adam; and managed to make it to the Inn on time. The food was great, and Jaimie and Kaitlyn in particular did a great job keeping us entertained; but all of the girls were seriously ready to get out and start shopping by the time we were finished eating.

Abby, and Palmer’s, won our votes for best holiday sales; and I’m pretty sure that all of us were set up with enough new outfits and dresses to get us through the entire Christmas season by the time we were ready to move on. We had time to accessorize with shoes from Taylor’s before going home for lunch; and then we spent the afternoon wandering around town and hitting most of the other stores. The guys in the family had gone on their own shopping trip in the morning, and then went to the park to play football for a while before returning to our house to trade in playing the game for watching football on television.

Even with pre-cooked food and lots of leftovers, it still took a while to get dinner ready for the whole gang; and while the parents were busy with that; Violet helped Dawn and I with kid control in the lounge and my bedroom. Jaimie and Kaitlyn were fairly easy to keep busy and entertained, and Jayden was quite happy to sit on the floor with us and play with a couple of his favorite toys. Ethan and Ehlana could do that too – and a lot more – but were stuck playing five-month old normal babies instead. I’ve been there, and know how frustrating that can be; but they seem to handle it better than I did, and they really did like the extra cuddle time that Violet and Dawn shared with them.

Since the Rice family was going to be leaving after breakfast in the morning, instead of splitting up after dinner like we did last year; everyone stayed until after Jayden, Ethan, and Ehlana went to bed for the night. Chris and Martin had some of their Witch Falls friends over for a visit; and they took over the lounge while the rest of us mostly stayed in the living room.

Dillon joined us after finishing work at the Inn, and made Violet’s weekend with the news that their parents and friends had surprised them with a day off from the Inn on Saturday and car privileges so that he could go with Violet in the morning; and wouldn’t need to be back until his shift started on Sunday. Even if Violet had been staying all weekend, she and Dillon wouldn’t have had much time to spend together while he was busy working; so they were both very happy with the new plan.

Violet didn’t get to spend as much time with the rest of her extended family now that she was spending so much time in Witch Falls, so staying for the extra two days wasn’t an option; and the downside was that she didn’t have much time to spend on her Magi training with Mom. I’m sure they did a couple of late-night lessons after Dillon went home on Wednesday, and Violet got home on Thursday; but I’ve only seen them get a chance to work together once during the day. Hopefully, she’ll get to spend more time with us at Christmas so she can spend more time on that. Sometimes I forget just how lucky I am to be able to do my lessons with Mom nearly every day. It must be much tougher for Violet; and even Rowen can only train with her Grandmother or when Mom does lessons with both of us.

Anyway, Dawn and I came up to bed after everyone else except Dillon and Chris and Martin’s friends had gone home. We made a very short visit to the lounge to say goodnight to them; but that was fairly scary for both of us; and we escaped as soon as possible. Dawn’s opted for one more visit with my Jacuzzi; so I’m getting this done now while she’s busy. It’s going to be a bit quieter around here for the rest of the weekend after she heads home with her family; but after the last two crazy days, a little quiet time sounds pretty good. I know, something does always seem to come up every time I say that; but we do actually get a break now and then. Maybe tomorrow will be one of those times!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We’ve had an amazing, crazy, busy day. Our morning Tai Chi ended up being cancelled while I took care of Jayden when he woke up; and Mom and Dad were soon busy with Ethan and Ehlana when they joined the early morning baby adventure. With everything else we’ve done today; I’m fairly sure that we more than made up for the missed exercise even after counting in the Thanksgiving dinner.

The weather was beautiful, though it took a while for it to warm up this morning. Since working our way through breakfast, cleaning up, and taking turns getting ready for the day while taking care of the younger kids took several hours; the cooler morning temperatures didn’t get in the way of the fun. Dawn and I spent a fair bit of the morning working as junior babysitters for Jayden, Ethan, and Ehlana while entertaining Jaimie and Kaitlyn too. Mom, Dad, Aunt Alison, and Uncle Blaine were mostly keeping busy in the kitchen; Chris and Martin got up long enough to eat their way through a few plates of food before going back upstairs to have a nap; and Violet was off to meet up with Dillon as soon as she’d eaten and gotten ready for the day.

The rest of the family began dropping in by eleven o’clock; and once we had grandparent support; Dawn and I were set free to play. Since Chris and Martin were still catching up on the sleep they’d missed during their nearly all-night gaming session; we were able to hang out in the lounge and play with Jaimie and Kaitlyn until lunchtime. Violet and Dillon joined us for lunch, but they’d be having dinner with his family after flipping a coin to decide which family would get them for the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals this year.

Chris and Martin came to life in time for lunch; and the start of the first football game of the day. With most of the boys happily immersed in watching football after lunch; Dawn and I were ready to get far away from that action; so we took Jaimie and Kaitlyn with us; met up with Rowen and a couple of her cousins; and went to the park to play for a couple of hours. There were a lot of kids at the park; including Rebecca, Jenny, and some of their cousins. We stopped by the football field to visit with them while they watched the pick-up football game; but didn’t stay long before moving on to the playground after Jaimie and Kaitlyn’s obvious boredom gave us an easy out to escape the girl chat.

We played at the park for a bit over an hour until Mom and Aunt Alison came over with Jayden and the twins; mostly so they could get out of the house for a little break from the work in the kitchen. Rowen, Dawn, and I took the three babies on the swings and slides for a while, and then we all headed for home. Rowen and her cousins stopped in long enough for warm-up snacks and drinks, and then needed to head over to her house while Dawn and I went up to the lounge to play with Jaimie and Kaitlyn until dinnertime.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that this is just the second Thanksgiving holiday for Mom and I with our new family, and while a lot of things were the same; there have been some changes for me too. For me, I think the biggest change is that I’m definitely one of ‘the kids’ now, and that puts me a bit on the edges of what’s going on with the adults. That mostly meant that I didn’t get to spend much time just visiting with Aunt Grace, Mark, or the rest of my grown-up cousins. The good news there is that Ethan and Ehlana were usually near Mom and Dad; and they’ll be able to give me the weekend highlights on Sunday.

Mom, Aunt Leanne, and their kitchen helpers put on another amazing holiday dinner. Jaimie and Kaitlyn kept Dawn and I busy and entertained while we ate; and one really great thing about being in the kids group was when we were sent up to my lounge after dinner to play and stay out of the way while the major dining room and kitchen cleanup was in progress. There were exemptions from the work crew for Mom, Aunt Leanne, and Aunt Alison; but Chris and Martin were drafted; and I wasn’t sure if they were more upset about the work or that they missed the end of the second football game. (The Cowboys edged the Dolphins by just one point)

Most of the girls eventually joined us in the lounge for a chick flick while the boys watched yet more football; and then it was time for a long round of goodnight hugs and kisses before Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne took their guests home; the parents and grandparents were busy with getting Jaimie, Kaitlyn, Jayden, and the twins into their beds or cribs; and Dawn and I were able to get ready for bed too. Dawn’s already sleeping, and Chris and Martin have taken over the lounge to watch the rest of the last football game before moving on to some video gaming action. I need to wrap this up and get some sleep too. Today has been an amazing, whirlwind of fun, and with the big, town-wide sales and the breakfast buffet at the Inn in the morning; tomorrow is sure to be another one of those best-ever kind of days!

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 23, 2011

I love holidays!

Especially when they come with surprises!

Okay, so the big surprise this year wasn’t really a surprise for me, but it was for everyone else. Grace invited Mark to spend the Thanksgiving weekend with us; and their arrival tonight was definitely both a surprise and hit with the family. They were staying with Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne, and didn’t get to town until after nine, but they did stop in for a visit at our house; since nearly everyone else had gathered here already too.

Uncle Adam’s family was away for Thanksgiving this year, though Deborah was staying to spend the holiday with us and with Nick and his family. Since they had lots of room – and guest bathroom Jacuzzis – they were getting most of the family adults for the weekend while we had all of the kids. The only parental exceptions were Uncle Blaine and Aunt Alison; though they were offered the chance to stay with the grownups and keep Jayden with them instead.

The girls – Violet, Dawn, Jaimie, and Kaitlyn – are all on the third floor with me; and Dawn is staying in my room. Everyone else is on the second floor, but I won’t be surprised if Chris and Martin spend most of their indoor time playing video games in my lounge. At least they haven’t drawn a crowd of girls to the house so far! We’ll see how long that lasts. I give it until Friday, and only because nearly everyone is busy with their families tomorrow.

Our family visit began to wrap up at nearly the same time that Dillon got here after finishing work at the Inn; and it wasn’t long before he and Violet had the living room to themselves while everyone else had either gone home or been recruited to help out with getting Ethan, Ehlana, Jayden, Kaitlyn, and Jaimie off to bed. Dawn and I did have to sneak downstairs and catch them kissing once before cutting them a bit of slack, but that was only because it’s one of those things that little sisters and younger cousins are supposed to do. The fun is just a great added bonus!

I’ve been doing this while Dawn’s been busy checking out my Jacuzzi; but it sounds like she’s about done, so I’ll need to finish this too. Chris and Martin are still in the lounge playing video games, but we closed the doors between the rooms; and they’re being reasonably quiet so far. I’m really glad that I remembered to charge up the gaming headsets!

It’s nice to have a house full again, but I’m ready for some sleep. We’re in for a crazy day tomorrow; and with three babies and a gang to feed in the morning, Tai Chi will likely be the only quiet time we have all day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 22, 2011

It took until eleven o’clock; we had some babysitter support from Grandma and Grandpa; and there might have been a little Magi power thrown in to complete the holiday preparations, but all of the work except for stuffing the turkey is done!

Even though we were really busy, it was one of those amazing nights too. I know that Mom records all of the progress that Ethan and Ehlana are making in their education and development; but it was definitely fun to watch the twins impress our grandparents with just how far they’d come in the month they’d been in South America. Getting to look at that from Grandma and Grandpa’s perspective really did make what they were doing more impressive than it was to watch it happen every day.

I also wasn’t thinking about Ethan and Ehlana being five months old today either until Grandma pointed that out. Their physical speech was now nearly completely developed; though their vocabulary was far ahead of their ability to enunciate – a problem that I can relate to, and will get better as their teeth grow in. They can read nearly as fast as I can already, and their reading comprehension is developing at about the same rate as it did for me at their age. They’re still at the very basic stages of learning to control their Magi power, but Grandma and Grandpa were still very impressed with their demonstration of what they’d learned over the past four weeks.

Ethan, Ehlana, and I were all happy to have Grandpa tell us our bedtime story, and it only took a few hugs and kisses – and a slice of Mom’s apple pie – to convince him to do that for us. The work and bedtime story has managed to keep us all awake until midnight again; so I’m going to wrap this up now. One more school day, and it will be time for some serious holiday fun!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 21, 2011

The good news is that we have a four-day weekend coming up. The bad news is that we all have about six days worth of work to get done in less than three.

As usual, after a week in the city, that means working late every night for Dad. Mom was mostly busy with Ethan, Ehlana, and the ongoing cooking and baking that she was fitting in around the rest of her usual work. I mostly helped her as much as I could today, and expect to be doing that for the rest of the week too; but I still have other work to keep up with, and that had to wait until after Ethan and Ehlana went to bed for the night. Staying up late with Mom and Dad wasn’t all bad, since we did have an awesome midnight snack that left one of Mom’s desserts a few slices short of an apple pie.

Tomorrow is likely to be a rinse and repeat of today; so I’m going to keep this short and get some sleep.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 20, 2011

I know I’m supposed to keep up with this every day, Mom, but it’s been a busy week; and shocking as it may be, even I run out of steam sometimes!

With Dad in Crystal Springs, we’ve had a fairly quiet, if busy week at home. We’ve probably done a few more Magi lessons than usual; mostly because we won’t be able to do as many next week over the Thanksgiving holiday. Mom and I had our hands full with Ethan and Ehlana, work, and for me; school. Everyone else had plans for Friday night, so dinner and a movie was cancelled this week. Rowen stayed for a sleepover instead, and that was fun even though we decided to go to bed early after finding out that we both had a lot of chores booked for Saturday at our respective homes to get ready for the incoming holiday crowd. Mom, Dad, Aunt Leanne, Uncle Adam, and I were also going to spend a couple of hours at Grandma and Grandpa’s house getting it ready for them too.

Today was definitely the best day of the past week, and that was all because Grandma and Grandpa got home from Brazil. They barely made it back to town in time for the buffet, so we met them, Aunt Leanne, and Uncle Adam at the Inn for dinner. Grandpa seemed happier to see all of that great food than he was to see us; but I’m pretty sure he was just teasing Ethan, Ehlana, and me about that. He did have amazing stories to tell us while we had dinner, and then we all went to their house to help them unpack and continue our little reunion.

So other than a bit more detail about my work on the family business, Magi lessons; the seemingly endless rounds of cleaning, cooking, and baking; and what little bit of playtime Rowen and I managed to fit into the week; you haven’t missed much around Witch Falls. With just three days until the start of Thanksgiving; that is definitely about to change!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 12, 2011

Time to play catch-up on my Journal!

For Wednesday and Thursday, I fell asleep while doing my archive reading in bed, and last night; my computer was at home alone after Ethan, Ehlana, and I were surprised with a Friday night sleepover at Aunt Leanne and Uncle Adam’s to go along with our dinner and a movie night at their house. I’ll pretend not to know why they wanted to give Mom and Dad a night without kids on the weekend before Dad would be away for a week.

The big news on Wednesday was the first evening hours and the clinic; and the schedule change was definitely a hit. We didn’t go there, but Aunt Leanne kept us posted, and they had a good turnout that Uncle Adam hopes will relieve some of the usual Friday afternoon walk-in pressure this winter. Falling asleep while doing my archive studying sounds bad, but I did spend several hours both Wednesday and Thursday night doing that before falling asleep; and still covered about five thousand pages split between Healing, Transmutation, and Element studies. That can make for some fairly tedious, technical reading; and I’m only surprised that I didn’t fall asleep sooner!

In hindsight, it’s obvious why Aunt Leanne wanted to take our dinner and a movie show on the road to her house even though it was a lot of work getting the twins ready to go out for what we’d thought was going to be a few hours until getting the orders to pack for an overnight stay shortly before we were to leave. Aunt Deborah and Nick were joining us this week, and we had another great meal and evening together before they went out to Sheldon’s. Mom and Dad stayed until Ethan and Ehlana had been nursed and put to bed, and then they were sent home while Aunt Leanne, Uncle Adam, and I sat up and watched another movie before bedtime.

Tai Chi for three and a big country breakfast was a great way to start the day on Saturday, but it was all work, all day after that. We only had two Saturdays left before Thanksgiving, and this was going to be the last big yard cleanup day; since next weekend was going to be more about getting the house cleaned and getting started on the advanced cooking and baking. Other than lunch and snack breaks, Dad and I were outside and kept busy until after dark.

We had a late dinner, I spent a couple of hours with Ethan and Ehlana before they went to bed; and then my Jacuzzi and I got together for a little quality time. The only news on the email front was from Grandma and Grandpa. They moved from Argentina to Brazil today, and will be doing a little sightseeing tomorrow to start off the last week of their trip. I know they’ve had fun, but I’m going to be really glad to have them home again next weekend!

I’m not quite archive-studying falling asleep right now, but it’s time to call it a night. Tomorrow is going to be a play day, but that won’t start until after our usual, crazy-busy Sunday morning rush. You know it’s been a while since the last big family holiday weekend for me to be thinking that now. By the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, I’ll be quite happy to get back to the quiet, slow Sunday mornings for five!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 8, 2011

Sometimes I think Aunt Leanne is right. Mom and Dad work too hard, and I’m learning to do that from them too.

Dad seems to be even busier than usual getting ready for his week in Crystal Springs; and there’s always work that can be done on the family business. That was what I’ve been spending most of my time doing since getting home from school. For tonight, and maybe for the next couple of weeks, it’s my retail stores that need my attention most.

I’m going to need to work on a little change in perception for some of those companies in the future. There is definitely an obsession with the Thanksgiving weekend ‘Black Friday’ that is a bit ridiculous. What’s even odder is the stores that actually go into the red for the day because of their big sale discounts. There isn’t anything I can do about that this year, but since I can see the big picture that the individual companies can’t; I am able to help out with matching problems with solutions that they can help each other out with.

I’m sure that in a poll of my classmates, not one of them would think that would be fun, but I do love getting to help Mom; and it’s definitely more challenging than my school work. I worked in the office until dinnertime, and then had a break while we ate and cleaned up. Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne came over after dinner, and Aunt Leanne took care of the twins while Uncle Adam and I had our Healing lesson with Mom. They stayed until after Ethan and Ehlana had their bedtime feeding, and then they went home, and Mom, Dad, and I worked in the office until nearly midnight.

That brings me to my usual nightly wrap-up. There wasn’t much on the email or entertainment front, and I’m definitely ready to get some sleep. Tomorrow is an after-school play day, and I wouldn’t want to be too tired for that!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 7, 2011

Marcie had cold and rainy weather for her birthday, but that didn’t keep us from having fun at school and then at her party.

I hadn’t been to Marcie’s home before, and hadn’t spent much time with anyone else in her family. Rowen and I were right about Marcie’s best friends all wanting to spend a lot of time talking about boys, and though we were having fun playing too, I mostly tuned that out, and spent some time watching Marcie and her family; and thinking about how they fit into our little town.

There aren’t really any poor people in Witch Falls or even in the Ridge River area, but there’s still a big difference between families like mine and Marcie’s. Even Rowen would likely think that my perspective on this is a bit warped, not to mention that they’d think I was nuts to even be thinking about things like this at a birthday party; but she, and they, would be wrong. I’ve spent most of my life on the run, and Mom and I have spent more of those years living sparsely than like we do now; so I do have a fairly diverse set of experiences to draw on. Except for the running and hiding from the Hathornes, those years were all really good for us; and that’s one of the things that so strongly affects my perception and perspective now.

One of the things that Mom pointed out to the Magi Council was the economic and social disparity that was primarily drawn nearly exclusively along Magi and non-Magi lines. That wasn’t black and white by any means, since even the original Magi families usually had many more non-Magi members than Magi. (My new extended family is probably as good an example of that as any) Her early assessment of Witch Falls was that, if anything, the Magi Council intentionally keeps both the Magi and non-Magi from reaching their true potential – mostly because of their primary goal of protecting the secrets of the Magi.

My party-time musings today were mostly about how to change that, and help everyone in town reach that collective potential while keeping everyone safe and happy; and not losing the things that make Witch Falls so special. The way things are now, we could reasonably divide everyone into just a few groups. Virtually all of the Magi stay in town for most of their lives, regardless of the opportunities available to them here – or more specifically, the lack of them. Many of the best and brightest non-Magi are part of the group that moves away primarily because of that same lack of opportunity. Aunt Carrie and Uncle Duncan are perfect examples of that group, and that doesn’t even consider the lost potential of what their kids and grandkids could have contributed to Witch Falls. I’d say that Marcie’s family falls into the group of non-Magi that love our home and are happy with the life they have here; willing to accept the trade-off between what they might be able to gain living somewhere else for what they love most about their home.

Ethan, Ehlana, and I know that this is going to change, but we really do only know some of the details. There is definitely a gap in what we see of the future when it comes to the non-Magi; and we’ll need to think about that a lot to make sure that we include opportunities for everyone in our plans. The really great thing about that is knowing that with our family business resources; the possibilities for doing that are virtually endless.

Getting back to the party, we played games until dinnertime; followed the meal up with the delicious angel food cake that Marcie’s mother made for her; and she opened her presents before we wrapped up the party with a little girl chat time that was definitely not the highlight of the party for about half of the girls; including Marcie, Rowen, and me.

I was ready for an early night by the time I got home, but Mom wanted to do a lesson with me, and then advised me that it was time for me to do a bit more work in the archives than I’d been doing over the past couple of months. Fun, wow – NOT! After my lesson, Ethan and Ehlana wanted the birthday party report; so I did that while Mom nursed them, and then I helped with the diaper changes and putting them to bed before being set free for a little pre-bedtime Jacuzzi action.

My plans to be sleeping early tonight didn’t work out; and it’s heading toward midnight now. I did get caught up on my email, did the nightly entertainment check, and am about to put a wrap on this journal entry. I shouldn’t bother worrying about losing a little sleep. With a heavy dose of archive studying in my future for the next few weeks; I’ll probably be having little naps on a daily basis!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cassie's Journal Nov. 6, 2011

My batteries were fully recharged by this morning, and I feel great! It’s amazing what nine solid hours of being unconscious can do for you.

Ethan and Ehlana were fired up this morning, and got to meet Aiden Draper and Caroline Carter this morning after church. None of us had much time with either baby; since nearly everyone in town wanted to welcome the two newest members of our town and congratulate their families. While the twins might not be any more excited about some of the things we see in our future; Ehlana seemed quite happy with her first impressions of Aiden – and with his cuteness factor – when we talked about him after getting home again.

Rowen and I were having a play afternoon with the exception of doing a bit of homework; and I went over to her house to do that before we went out to play. It wasn’t all that warm outside, so we only stayed at the park for a bit over an hour before deciding to hang out in the lounge and watch a movie for the rest of the afternoon. We ended up having Ethan, Ehlana, and Mandy to cuddle and chat with for that while Mom and Dad took advantage of the break to get their work done in the office.

Rowen went home in time for dinner, and with the work out of the way; Mom and Dad spent the evening with Ethan, Ehlana, and me. Mom did a long lesson with me while Dad did a separate lesson with the twins; and then we watched television for a while before moving on to the new, early bedtime routine. Everyone else is in bed, and probably asleep by now; but I’ve been busy playing on my computer since getting into bed with Mandy.

I didn’t even look at my email last night, so I had some catching up to do. Violet had sent me a recap of her Saturday in Crystal Springs with Dillon, Jake, and Stephanie; and I had new mail updates from nearly everyone I kept in touch with – including Grandma and Grandpa; Grace and Mark (I’m counting them as a pair even if they aren’t); Dawn; and Jamie and Kaitlyn. Violet’s email was the most entertaining, but the most interesting notes were from Grace and Mark. They’re not telling me anything specific, but they are definitely up to something. It’s not time to start nudging them toward their future yet, so whatever they’re up to; I hope it isn’t anything that will make that harder for us to do.

After catching up on the email, I watched Once Upon a Time while also doing a weekend entertainment check. There wasn’t anything pressing for my end of the family business, so once I get this journal entry done; I’m going to call it a night. It’s going to be another busy week; starting tomorrow with the birthday party that Rowen and I are going to for our classmate, Marcie. Rowen hasn’t been to one of Marcie’s birthday parties before, and we’ve speculated that our invitations might partly be because most of Marcie’s closest friends have crossed over ahead of her; and she wanted at least a couple of girls around who wouldn’t be talking about boys the whole time.

We’ll know if we were right about that by tomorrow night, but I really hope that we won’t have to sit around and listen to hours of boy talk while we’re there. Time to change the subject fast before I end up having nightmares. Think about pink bunnies!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 5, 2011

We worked around the house and yard all day; had a few short breaks for meals; I spent some quality clean-up time in my Jacuzzi after dinner; and once I finish writing this sentence, I’m going to sleep.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Cassie's Journal - November 4, 2011

Happy thirty-third birthday, Daddy!

Ethan, Ehlana, and I gave Dad his birthday wake-up call in bed, and while I’m sure that he loved all of the presents he was given today; his favorite – and Mom’s – was the no-more-midnight-feedings gift from the twins. They’ll adjust the times when needed, but the rough sleep schedule will now be from ten until six. If they’re like I was as a baby, Ethan and Ehlana won’t need more than eight hours a night from now on. I’m sure they’ll have lots of nights when they don’t even need eight hours – I’ve been there, and tried my best not to wake Mom up whenever I was too wired to sleep. At least they’ll have their iPads to play with when that happens to them. The best I could do back when I was their age was to have Mom leave a few books in my crib, and it wasn’t particularly easy to flip pages or move them around when I was four or five months old without using my Telekinesis.

That got a bit off-topic - back to the birthday story.

Dad opened the presents that Mom, Ethan, Ehlana, and I had for him, and then we all got on with a fairly normal weekday morning routine. While I was stuck at school, Mom, Ethan, and Ehlana took Dad out for lunch at the Inn with Aunt Leanne, Uncle Adam, and some of their friends. Rowen came home with me after school, and we helped Mom with the twins, and with getting everything ready for Dad’s birthday dinner and a movie party. Aunt Leanne had a couple of weekend rental moves; so she wasn’t able to escape from the office early; but she and Dad were home for more than an hour before Uncle Adam, Aunt Deborah, and Nick could join us after a busier-than-usual Friday afternoon rush at the clinic was finished.

Uncle Adam and Aunt Deborah had been talking about adding new clinic hours pretty much since taking over from their Grandparents, but now that it looked like they were about to get into the tougher part of their work year; they finally made the decision to put those new hours in place after talking it over during dinner. They picked Wednesday for their new evening hours; and the first Saturday of every month for morning hours that they only expected to need from November through to April or May.

The rest of the dinner conversation was mostly a birthday roast for Dad, and Aunt Leanne was happy to lead that effort. Mom, Dad, and the twins were given get-out-of-cleanup passes and sent into the living room while the rest of us took care of the post-dinner work. Dad picked an action flick for our movie; and we all enjoyed a couple of hours of brainless, fight and blow-stuff-up entertainment. It was time to nurse the twins again after the movie, and Mom had Aunt Leanne and Aunt Deborah to help her with that while Uncle Adam, Nick, Rowen, and I handled the living room cleanup and got our bedtime snacks ready.

Ethan and Ehlana were in their sleepers when they joined us again; and we did the snack and story time in the living room before saying goodnight to our guests and seeing them out. Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne walked Rowen home, and I was probably changed and in bed before she’d even started giving her Mom and Dad the birthday party recap. Since Mom and Dad are getting to skip their first midnight feeding tonight, I strongly suspected that they were going to end Dad’s birthday the way they’d started it less than twenty-four hours ago; and that was all the motivation I needed to opt for the comparatively early bedtime.

Tomorrow is going to be another long Fall cleanup day, so the extra sleep will help with that. Too bad I couldn’t spend the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa. They have the weekend off for sightseeing and the move from Chile to Argentina. It’s hard to believe that their trip is nearly half over already, but I’ve missed them a lot too, and can hardly wait for them to get home again in just over two weeks.

There wasn’t anything newsworthy in my email tonight, and it was a light entertainment news night too. Mandy’s telling me to get the extra sleep while we can, so it’s time to wrap this up and do as I’m told. Sometimes, like when Mandy is mothering me, being able to do my own wards so we can talk Telepathically isn’t as great as I thought it would be!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cassie's Journal - Nov. 3, 2011

Uncle Adam and Aunt Deborah have had a few busy weeks on the baby front, and they both missed game night at the Inn while taking care of Caroline Carter and her Mom, Ellen. Ethan and Ehlana’s newest future friend and classmate was born shortly before six o’clock, after a day-long labor.

Caroline’s birth was definitely the top news story around town all day; and the Byrd and Carter families in particular were very excited about the new addition to their collective families. I wasn’t involved at all with the medical action today, but I did read the report Uncle Adam added to our Magi project archive; and the Carters are going to be another interesting family for us to study.

Ellen Carter is one of Eleanor Byrd’s granddaughters. She and her three-year old son, William, are both Magi. Her husband, Chris, is a latent non-Magi, and at the low end of the range. Caroline is latent too; but at the high end. Neither Uncle Adam nor I have any idea why William is a Magi while his new baby sister isn’t, but hopefully, some day, we will.

While Uncle Adam was busy at the clinic, I had a good day at school, and then went home to work in the office again while Rowen was busy at the computer store. There will likely be the occasional issue come up between now and Christmas, but over the last two days I have finished all of the holiday projects for my end of the family business; including some very cool new programs that will make a big difference for quite a few of our charities.

Miranda claimed Aunt Leanne for her game night partner; and they went on to win the senior Championship for the week. Rowen and I didn’t even make the top ten for the juniors, but we had Ethan and Ehlana with us for most of the evening while Mom and Dad tried to give Miranda and Aunt Leanne some competition; and we did all have a lot of fun.

Dad had a bit of work to do in the office after we got home, so I helped Mom with the twins until we put them down for a nap in their cribs. I opted for some Jacuzzi time after that, and have been doing my usual nightly computer routine since getting into bed. It’s after eleven now, and I thought about staying up to wish Dad a happy birthday after midnight; but I have a feeling that Mom has other plans for him after they finish the midnight feeding with Ethan and Ehlana that I definitely don’t need or want to know about. In fact, I’m suddenly feeling very, very sleepy; and I really should get a bit of extra rest so I’ll be ready for the birthday dinner and a movie party tomorrow night.