Heirs of the Magi News Flash!

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

The annual Smashwords Summer-Winter sale is on for the month of July 2018! Magi Ascension and Magi Master are both on sale this month for 50% off, so click on the links to the left and get your copies at a great price while you can!

Happy summer - or winter - reading everyone!

Cassie's Journals have now come to an end with the start of the Magi Ascension storyline on June 15, 2018! Ethan and Ehlana will now be taking over the Heirs of the Magi daily updates as Cassie prepares to move on to college - and you can read all about her story by picking up a copy of Magi Ascension - Part One! Ethan's and Ehlana's roles in the Ascension of the Light is just beginning now too; so their journals will offer a different perspective on the events going on at home while Cassie is away at college!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cassie's Journal - November 29, 2012

Happy twelfth birthday, Rowen!

Most of the kids at school – including Rowen’s brother – think that she’s blown her big annual chance to score a bunch of gifts by skipping the whole birthday party thing and just doing a dinner, movie, and sleepover night with me instead.  I suppose that’s true, but Rowen didn’t want to have a boy-girl party; so she decided not to have one at all.  I can relate to wanting to avoid having a party; though Rowen’s main reason for that is a bit different than mine.

She was thinking about that a lot today, and finally came out and admitted to me that she’s crossed over.  We’re still talking about that, and the boy primarily responsible for that change; but let’s back up a bit and cover the rest of her big day before getting to that.

I had a little birthday gift for her this morning; and she wore the new earrings to school.  While she wasn’t doing a party, there were still a few cards and a couple of presents from friends and a cousin at school.  There was a large box of Olde Bakery cupcakes at lunch with enough for everyone in our class and the next-fastest two-dozen kids and teens.  We skipped our usual lunchtime music practice today, and instead went outside to enjoy the warmer weather and hang out with some of our friends.

Birthdays may rate get-out-of-work cards at home, but that doesn’t happen at school.  Rowen at least has the advantage of being able to get perfect marks when tests fall on her birthday like one did today.  I’m sure that all of the work today seemed more fun for both of us, and we continued to stay entertained after being set free for the day.  We stopped in at the computer store and my house for visits; and so that Ethan and Ehlana could give Rowen the gift they’d picked out for her while we were in Arizona; but then we were on our own until Rowen’s mother came home early to start cooking her birthday dinner.

We went for a short bike ride, but then decided to just hang out in Rowen’s room and enjoy the quiet time while we could.  It was just the five of us for dinner, and while Rowen loved all of the gifts from her parents, grandparents, brother, and me; one of her favorites was the gift card advising her that our sleepover was going to be brother-free.  I’m fairly sure that Patrick would have rather stayed, and had Scott spend the night here instead of him staying with the Faulkners; but he managed to hide the disappointment, and even gave Rowen a rare night off from any teasing or little brother annoyances – something that Rowen and I both really appreciated.

After dinner, Rowen and I were sent off to the living room to get started on our movie night while her parents cleaned up, and Patrick got ready to head over to Scott’s place.  We were on our own again for a little while when Patricia and Owen took Patrick over to the Faulkners, and then went on to game night at the Inn.  Doing that too had been an option for us, but I wasn’t surprised when Rowen didn’t want to hang out there tonight – or get the birthday attention that always comes with being at game night on your birthday.  The other reason she didn’t want to go was because there was also a good chance that a certain boy and his current girlfriend could be there too; and Rowen didn’t want to mess up a perfectly good birthday by having to deal with that tonight.

Not that we didn’t talk about it – him – a fair bit anyway; but Rowen waited for that part of our girl chat until we went up to bed after watching two movies and doing a bedtime, leftover birthday cake bedtime snack with her parents.

We’re almost back to the present again, and the last little while has drawn Rowen and I closer together while also being more than a little weird for us too.  The weird strictly comes from only having one of us crossed over, but I’m not sure that isn’t actually better for both of us.  Rowen may be too shy to do anything about how she feels about the guy she likes, but if I was in her position; I’d probably just go and get him.

Yes, Aunt Leanne, that does sound a lot like you, and no, I’m not interested in crossing over too, or doing that with anyone; so don’t go there!

Getting back to Rowen and her first public, if confidential, admission; she’s feeling better about the whole thing now, so that probably means that I didn’t screw up my end of dealing with this too much despite my admitted inability to relate to why any girl would be even remotely attracted to guys around our age.  It’s not that they’re total freaks all of the time, but there is definitely way more weird and gross than I’m interested in being in close contact with.  I will concede that Rowen does at least like one of the least-weird boys; but that is still relative.

You may be wondering if we worked out a plan to help Rowen catch her guy, and the short answer is that we didn’t; but I did promise to be there to help out when and if any opportunities came up to give my best friend a chance to do more than admire her favorite boy from afar.  I have no idea right now as to how I’ll manage to keep that promise, but hopefully it won’t still be as scary a thought as it is for me right now.

I don’t want to go to sleep and end up dreaming about things like going shopping with Rowen to help her find date-hot clothes or other similar scenarios; so let’s move on.  We’re watching random YouTube vids while chatting, and I’ve already wrapped up my usual nightly computing.  I’ve skipped the archive and language studies, and I’m going to wrap this up and get back to concentrating on having fun with Rowen until whatever time we run out of steam and crash for the night.

Say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.

“Goodnight, Cassie.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cassie's Journal - November 28, 2012

I’ve had another long, busy work day, and though there wasn’t really much play time; I did still manage to have fun.

Rowen and I were both working after school again because we’re taking tomorrow off to celebrate her birthday.  Mom didn’t have Alicia to help her today, so while I was busy working too; I had Ethan and Ehlana in the office with me part of the time while Mom was busy making dinner and getting some other work done.  They mostly did some of their school work, and loved getting to do that with a little Magi power since I was there to put up my wards to do my own work – and to chat with them telepathically.  They expect to finish Grade Nine by Christmas, and will move on to Grade Ten after the holidays.

I haven’t written an update about Ethan and Ehlana’s education in a while, and the most exciting part of that for them is their ongoing lessons with Naomi and Aiden.  While Aiden hasn’t been working with Ethan, Ehlana, and Naomi for very long, and is the youngest, he’s got as much potential as Naomi; and they all work together very well – probably even better than Rowen and I do.  Mom thinks that’s because they’re starting out so young, and don’t have the same trust issues that people develop as they get older.  I’ll guess that having Mom there to jump in to keep them from getting burned while literally playing with fire helps too; though my brother and sister seem to have fewer problems with that kind of thing than I did at their age.

Going through all of this training with me probably helps Mom avoid some of the stranger moments we had during my early training, but working with four toddlers is still new, interesting, and exciting.  While Naomi and Aiden are both strong Magi, they’re progressing far faster than expected; and that, at least so far, seems to be validating Mom’s training methods and her expectations that having the Magi kids train together in groups will help them to reach their full Magi potential.  I think she’s right about that, but from a kid’s perspective, even if that wasn’t the case; it’d still be worth it just for the fun factor!

Getting back to the recap, I worked in the office until dinnertime; Mom did another Magi lesson with me after Dad and I had cleaned up; we all had some family play time before Ethan and Ehlana went to bed; and then I came up to my room for some quality Jacuzzi time.  I worked on my archive assignment and language studies while soaking in the tub, and only had my regular nightly computing and this journal entry left to do after getting into bed with Mandy.  Somehow, I’ve managed to get all of that done before midnight, and if I wrap this up now; I’ll actually manage to miss being awake for the start of the new day, so...

...say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.

“Goodnight, Cassie.”

Cassie's Journal - November 27, 2012

It’s been a very long day, so I’m going to keep this short and crash for a few hours.

We had a busy day at school that included two quizzes and a new major group project that will have cross-over work in three of our classes.  Rowen and I had our usual Tuesday lunchtime music practice, and we did our homework at the computer store after school before she started working there with her Dad, and I headed home.  That change in the usual after-school work routine slowed me down a bit, so except for the dinner break, I worked on the family business until eight o’clock.  Mom did a Transmutation lesson with me after we finished putting Ethan and Ehlana to bed, and I’ve been in bed with Mandy and working on my computer since then.  My archive assignment; language studies; and e-mail, news, sports, and entertainment checks are done, and there isn’t anything particularly exciting to report there.

That’s it for me – I’ve hit the wall.

Say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.

“Goodnight, Cassie.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cassie's Journal - November 26, 2012

The Thanksgiving holiday really felt like it was over by the time I headed to school this morning; mostly because we’d started the day with an early goodbye breakfast for Grandma and Grandpa before they left for Arizona again.

Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne joined us for that – and for morning Tai Chi.  Grandma and Grandpa had the van loaded, and were ready to go, before driving over to our place.  Getting to spend that time with them was great, but reminded me that I didn’t get to spend nearly enough of the weekend with them while they were home.  I guess that won’t change as I get older, and we all get busier, so I’ll just try to enjoy these little moments whenever we can share them.

There were lots of fun moments at school today.  The football team players – and Kyle Landry in particular – were heroes with all of their fans.  Rowen and I weren’t the only friends that didn’t get to spend much time together during the holiday, so weekend recap chats were at least tied with football for top topics of the day.  Christmas wasn’t being talked about yet, but we started learning to play Christmas songs in music class; and that had me thinking about it – and the fact that we’re exactly four weeks away from Christmas Eve Day.

That’s put me into an especially happy mood, and after school, Rowen and kept the fun going.  Our homework didn’t take long to finish, and then, though it was fairly cold today; we bundled Ethan and Ehlana up and took them to the park for a while.  The usual group of guys was there playing football, but only a few girls braved the chilly temperature to watch their attempts at sporting heroics.  Ethan didn’t let the cold keep him from his Monday afternoon football moment either, but Ehlana, Rowen, and I were soon ready to move on; spend a little time at the playground; and then head home again for some hot chocolate and warm, indoor play time.

Rowen stayed for dinner, but then needed to head home after that, while Dad and I cleaned up before Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne came over for our Monday night healing lesson and family business meeting.  Mom, Uncle Adam, and I always have fun with our lessons, but it was the business and future plans part of the night that was the most fun for Ethan, Ehlana, and me.

We started that part of the evening out by getting hot drinks and snacks before moving into the office; and then the first order of business was to talk about Aunt Grace and Mark.  They’d both been given more details about their jobs over the weekend, and while I would have loved to be in on those little chats; it’s enough to know that they’re both even more excited than ever to be moving here.  Mark probably thinks that he’s taking a cut in pay for his new job, and joked about Aunt Grace needing to support them; but he’ll eventually find out that his new partnership will pay better than he could ever imagine; thanks to our family business.

Uncle Blaine’s end of our future plans was up next, and he expects to have the plans for the lab finished by the New Year’s Day long weekend when we’ll be doing our family Christmas.  He’s also going to have the first batch of housing plans ready – including the home that he just found out that he’ll be designing for his sister and brother-in-law-to-be.  That little gift should end up somewhere right at the top of Aunt Grace’s best-ever Christmas present list!

The rest of the updates from Mom, Dad, Uncle Adam, and Aunt Leanne included telling us about the little nudges that were helping Violet, Dillon, and several other teens along toward making decisions for their futures.  For some, that meant thinking about different career options; or about new opportunities here at home instead of elsewhere.  Aunt Grace may be the first member of a Witch Falls family to be drawn back to her hometown; but there are going to be many more; and that’s going to be one of the most exciting things about our collective future.

Ethan, Ehlana, and I had a few new future details to pass on to our parents, aunt, and uncle too; though there is still a lot more that they’re not meant to know about yet.  We know that frustrates them, but it’s also a burden for us – one that we accept and deal with as best we can.  We’re heading into a bit of a future plans quiet time for most of the winter; though there will be a lot of behind-the-scenes work to get ready for next spring and summer.  Not everything that’s meant to happen will require our direct involvement, but we will need to keep an eye out to make sure those little side-events still happen.

Anyway, moving along, our meeting lasted until nearly eleven o’clock; so I got a late start on my usual studying and nightly computing.  My archive homework took more than an hour; I studied languages for another hour; and finished my email, entertainment, news, and sports checks before wrapping up with this.  It’s heading toward two o’clock, and I need to get some sleep, so...

...say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.

“Goodnight, Cassie.”

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cassie's Journal - November 25, 2012

I am so ready for a long winter’s nap!

Mom and I just finished doing my first Magi lesson since last Tuesday; and we hadn’t gotten around to that until Ethan and Ehlana were in bed.  There’s a lot to write about, so let’s get to it.

Our morning Tai Chi was the only quiet time from the moment I woke up until the travelling members of our family headed for their homes after the noon buffet at the Inn.  Dawn and I were in charge of Jaimie and Kaitlyn this morning, and managed to get them fed, ready for church, and their bags packed and downstairs by the time we all needed to load up the younger kids into vehicles for the short drive to the church while the rest of us made the chilly walk there.

As always, the teens led the holiday weekend service with a little help here and there from the Pastors.  That hour and a half-long blast of fun included lots of music; themed skits; and a heart-warming message from Pastor Lewis.  The action kicked up a few notches again after church, but for Dawn, Jaimie, Kaitlyn, and me; that was mostly because we were running around trying to spend a few minutes with everyone while parents and teens mostly finished loading up cars, vans, and SUV’s before we all went to the Inn.

Holiday weekend buffets are just that little bit more extra special than the usual Sunday night events; and that’s only partly because of having all of our family there with us.  The food was amazing, and it seems that the Olde Bakery always finds a way to impress everyone with their desserts – which featured a mouth-watering assortment of pies today.  Dawn and I were at one of the kids’ tables again, but this time, we had Violet and Christina with us to help out with Jaimie, Kaitlyn, Kara, and Nicole.  Violet wasn’t happy about heading home after lunch, but since Dillon was working all afternoon anyway; there wasn’t really any reason for her to stay and then fight the worst of the holiday weekend traffic all the way to Woodvale.

Though Miranda and Jacob were now doing two-hour long buffet sittings, keeping the younger cousins entertained that long wasn’t an option; so our little group went for a quick walk to the falls and back while waiting for everyone else to finish their meals.  The goodbye hugs and kisses started outside the Inn by one-thirty, and by two o’clock; Mom, Dad, Ethan, Ehlana, and I were at home and on our own for the first time in four days.

For me, that lasted until Rowen came over after helping her grandparents with their family goodbyes while her parents were busy at the computer store.  My Mom and Dad had a lot of work to get done this afternoon too, so Rowen and I kept Ethan and Ehlana with us for the rest of the afternoon.  We had a long telepathic chat in the lounge to catch up on the weekend news; played at the park for an hour or so; Rowen and I did our holiday weekend homework assignments; and we still managed to have enough time for a short sax and flute practice before she needed to meet up with her parents again at six o’clock.

After doing a big breakfast, and the lunch buffet; we went with a light, leftovers dinner that also made for an easy clean-up.  Ethan, Ehlana, and I were on our own again for a while after we ate; though we did help Mom out with a little telekinetic laundry carrying, folding, and putting away that was mostly loads of towels.  I don’t really write much about stuff like that, but when we have a house full of guests, the washer and dryer run almost constantly; and there always seems to be another basket or two needing to be taken upstairs and put away.  Too bad we can’t keep up with that using a little Magi power when everyone’s here, but I doubt that most members of our family are ready to see baskets of clean laundry floating past them with giggling toddlers sitting on top of the towels or clothes.

Since there was some fairly significant future plans news this weekend, the twins and I also took another look into the future tonight.  We didn’t see any major changes, but Aunt Grace and Mark’s engagement did help to bring some clarity to what we see.  For those of you reading this who don’t have the Sight, there’s a difference between looking at individual events or choices and ‘seeing’ the bigger picture.  You can focus on one event and see the possible outcomes fairly easily.  The same could be done on a bigger scale, but that would mean sifting through a mind-boggling and meaningless number of possible outcomes.  What my brother, sister, and I seem to be quite good at doing together is seeing – or being allowed to see – certain things about our future with varying degrees of clarity; while other parts range from hazy and less certain to foggy and unknown.  Knowing that Aunt Grace and Mark will be here in Witch Falls makes several things quite clear for us now, and that includes quite a bit more than how they will help with the lab and clinic.

Mom and Dad updated us on everything they did this weekend for our future plans, but I’ll cover that tomorrow night after we have our meeting with Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne.  Right now, all I want to do is shut down my computer, snuggle with Mandy, and get some rest.

Say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.

“Goodnight, Cassie.”

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cassie's Journal - November 24, 2012

I didn’t really think about the fact that Mom, Dad, and I really haven’t spent much time together so far this weekend until Dad pointed it out to me this afternoon while we were on our trail ride.  Other than morning Tai Chi, and some cameo moments here and there on Thursday and Friday; we’ve all been too busy with everything else that’s been going on.  Even when the girls were shopping yesterday, I didn’t actually spend much time with Mom.  Dawn and I were mostly doing our own thing; and she was busy with the other women and shopping for the younger kids.  That didn’t actually change a whole lot today, but we were able to do the trail ride together, along with Dawn and Rowen; while Grandma and Grandpa took care of Ethan and Ehlana back at home.

It was another chilly fall day, but that didn’t keep us from spending a lot of time outside.  There were two play trips to the park – one this morning; and the other after the trail ride and follow-up snack and story time.  Dawn and I spent most of the day keeping our younger cousins entertained; and Rowen helped us with that once she was finished helping out at the computer store for most of the morning.  She was with us for lunch, but back with her family and guests for dinner.

While I was busy playing all day, Mom somehow managed to do all of the usual work around the house; have several quiet meetings in the office; do a Magi lesson with Violet; and still fit in some play time too.  Dad, Aunt Leanne, and Uncle Adam were at least as busy as Mom was; and I’ll report more on all of that when I get the details sometime in the next couple of days.

We – Dawn and I – are going to bed early tonight.  She’s in the Jacuzzi now, and it’ll be my turn once she’s finished.  I still want to get a few things done on my computer after finishing this, and I don’t really have much else to report; so I’m going to end here and move on to the stack of email I have waiting for me.  There’s still one more blast of holiday weekend fun ahead for tomorrow, and then we’ll have a few hours to wind down and get ready to return to normal life – at least until we start gearing up for the Christmas season in a week or so.

Right now, I’m just going to get my nightly computing done; spend some quality time with my Jacuzzi; and then get a solid night of sleep.

Say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.

“Goodnight, Cassie.”

Cassie's Journal - November 23, 2012

You have to love any day that starts out with Tai Chi and a breakfast buffet at the Inn!

Part two of that was a surprise that the parents dropped on us this morning, and even Chris and Martin managed to get fired up about that news when it came during the wake-up calls that Aunt Melissa had Jaimie, Kaitlyn, and Ehlana deliver to them.

There were hot drinks and snacks available in the kitchen while everyone took turns getting ready for the day, but with a big shopping and play day to look forward to; it didn’t take long for us to be ready to head over to the Inn.  It was an all hands on deck morning there, and while Miranda wasn’t our server, she did stop by a few times; mostly to have fun with Aunt Grace and Mark in a way that reminded me a lot of when Mom and I first moved here.  It also reminded me that I need to stop in and visit more often – something that I haven’t done nearly as much as I used to do when hanging out all the time with Rebecca and Jenny.

I wasn’t really thinking about just how big Aunt Grace and Mark’s news would be around town; and that it was the fact that Witch Falls would be getting a second young doctor so soon after Uncle Adam took over from his grandfather.  Aunt Grace probably got as many congratulations for that as she did for their engagement.  Dawn and I weren’t particularly close to that action, since we were sitting several tables away from them; but we were having fun with Jaimie, Kaitlyn, and the other kids.  We had some parental help getting plates filled, and then we were pretty much left to entertain ourselves while we ate.

The dining room was full, and seeing a bunch of my friends had me wishing that I could spend more time with Rowen; but she was busy with her family too, and she was spending at least part of the morning today helping her parents at the store.  We crossed paths a couple of times today while we were shopping, and it sounded like she’d been having a fun holiday weekend so far too.  I’m sure I’ll get more of the details tomorrow when she comes on the trail ride with us – or on Sunday afternoon at the latest after our guests all head home again.

We all had a blast shopping, but for the second big event in a row; I didn’t personally buy very much.  There was a dress and one dress pants and sweater set that needed to come home with me from Palmer’s that I’ll wear at Christmas, and a pair of shoes to go with the dress that I picked up at Taylor’s Shoes; but that was it for clothes.  I picked up a couple of Christmas gifts too, but will be saving most of that shopping for the kids’ Christmas trip to Crystal Springs in a couple of weeks.

Fortunately for my favorite store owners, the rest of the girls in my family were being much more active shoppers.  Mom and Aunt Leanne especially had fun, including playing dress-up with Ethan and Ehlana.  For Ethan, that meant meeting up with Dad and some of the other guys at Ayres’ Haberdashery, and matching clothes for him with some of Ehlana’s new outfits from Palmer’s.  So far, Ethan accepts that inevitability graciously; but we’ll see how many years that lasts once he’s old enough to care about what he’s wearing.

The guys were shopping for most of the morning too, but after meeting up for lunch with us back at home; they went to the park for the annual holiday football action.  Mom wasn’t going to let Ethan go along for that, but he really wanted to go; and I think that Dad was hoping that having him along would give him an early out from a cold afternoon outdoors.  I’d say that worked out for both of them; since we found them having a nap in Mom and Dad’s room when we got home from our post-lunch shopping.

We didn’t have much going on after finishing our shopping.  Dad and Ethan weren’t the only people taking afternoon naps, but Dawn and I weren’t interested in doing that, so we wandered over to Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s place to see what was going on there.  Catching Aunt Grace and Mark making out wasn’t part of the fun we were looking for, and honestly; I’m not sure where to file that little file in my photographic memory storage.  They were in a second-floor bedroom at the time, but the door was open when Dawn and I were passing by on our way up to the third floor.  I’m not sure how much Dawn saw beyond the lip-lock, but I’ll guess it wasn’t as much as I caught.  Her giggles definitely broke the mood for our aunt and future uncle, though I’m sure they had no problem getting back to what they were doing after we hurriedly moved on up to the third floor game room with the sound of laughter – and a door closing – following us up the stairs.

Chris, Martin, and Jonathan were playing video games and watching football, and there wasn’t much else going on in the game room; so our visit there was fairly short.  Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne were working in the kitchen, so we stopped for a little visit there; had a little chat in the living room with Michelle and Christina; and then headed home again to hang out in the lounge until dinnertime.  That meal was a combination of leftovers and one of Mom’s pre-cooked entrees.  We mostly had the same guest list as we did at dinner yesterday, except Violet invited Christina to eat with us before they were going to get together with Dillon, Jake, Stephanie, and some of their friends after the Inn was closed for the night.

Dawn and I were on the kitchen clean-up crew again tonight, and after doing that for an hour, we escaped to the lounge for some chick flick movie time with the girls while the guys returned to their ongoing football and gaming action.  We had a rotating group of Moms, Aunts, Grandmothers, and cousins with us in the lounge, and Jaimie and Kaitlyn started out watching the first movie; but were taken to bed when they fell asleep about half-way through.

The grandparents all headed home by ten o’clock, and Dawn and I were on our own by eleven when Mom, Aunt Melissa, and Aunt Alison decided that hanging out and cuddling with their boys in the living room would be more fun than watching another movie with us.  Since Dawn and Mandy are both passed out now, and I’m watching the movie by myself; we probably should have skipped the last movie too.

While I’ve managed to avoid most of the football action so far this weekend, I did still check the town intranet to find out how our high school team did in their playoff game tonight.  They were playing against Grand Summit, and though there weren’t many details posted yet; they won the game by a score of forty-seven to fifteen.  Next week, our team will be on the road again against Hillcrest; and they’ll be trying to get past the team that beat them in their season opener to get to the Championship game.

That’s enough football for tonight.  Tomorrow’s going to be another play day, with the trail ride tomorrow afternoon being at the top of my fun list – along with getting to spend the afternoon with Rowen.  There’s also going to be some future plan action going on; but I won’t be directly involved in any of that.  At the top of that list will be a meeting with Uncle Blaine to talk about his ongoing architectural work for the lab, and for the first phase of houses for the new section of town.  Aunt Grace and Mark will get a few more details about their new jobs too; and a few, smaller details will get taken care of while other certain people are in town for the holiday weekend.  All of that will mean a bit less play time for Mom, Dad, Aunt Leanne, and Uncle Adam; but it will all be fun for them too.

I’m ready to wrap this up for the night and get some sleep.  It’s been another really great day, and just in case I don’t mention it enough; I really love my adopted family, and every holiday is better than I ever expected or even dreamed that they could be before Mom and I moved here.

That’s a great thought to drift off to sleep with, so...

...say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.

“Goodnight, Cassie.”

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cassie's Journal - November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’d say that happy pretty much sums up what our day has been like too.  Mom, Dad, and I ended up skipping Tai Chi this morning when Ethan, Ehlana, and Jayden started a chain reaction that soon had Jaimie and Kaitlyn, and then all of the parents, up and busy.  Only Chris and Martin managed to sleep through that action, and they didn’t come to life until breakfast was nearly ready.

Dawn and I were put in charge of Jaimie and Kaitlyn while the parents juggled getting ready for the day and taking care of the three toddlers.  Dad and Violet led the cooking crew, though they had a little help here and there, and Dawn and I set the dining room table with some help from our junior assistants.  We did the full country breakfast because Mom’s plan for food today included a light, get-it-when-you-want lunch instead of three sit-down meals.  After breakfast, anyone not on the kitchen clean-up crew were set free, so Dawn and I took Jaimie and Kaitlyn over to Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s house so we could visit with everyone there; and then see if any of the girls wanted to come back to our house and hang out in the lounge with us.

Only Kara and Nicole were interested in doing that, while Eddie opted to stay and hang out with Jonathan; and the other teens were still juggling bathroom time and hadn’t decided what they were going to do for the rest of the morning.

Aunt Grace and Mark’s engagement was the top story there too, but there was other news too.  Aunt Elaine is now heading into the last trimester of her pregnancy with her second child.  Mom and baby are both doing great, and she and Uncle Kevin are both really excited; but Nicole advised us that she’s not sure whether she wants to have a new baby in her family – especially if it’s a boy.  Since Eddie was happily bugging her before we headed back to my house, and Kara, Jaimie, and Kaitlyn were all offering their advice on the downside of baby brothers, that all likely had a lot to do with Nicole’s baby worries.  I assured her that I love having a baby brother, but the other girls told her it’s different for me because I have a matching baby sister too.

Kara and Kaitlyn are both five now, and get along great together.  At three, Nicole cant’ quite keep up with the older girls, but she was happy to hang out in my room and play with Ehlana.  Jaimie was with Dawn and me pretty much all day; though she played with all of the younger girls whenever we did.  We spent a lot of time in my room and the lounge, and there was a steady stream of visitors stopping by to check in on us, or join in for little cameo play moments.  Ethan and Jayden were the only boys hanging out regularly with us, though they were taken over to guy play central for a couple of hours too when Dad, Uncle Blaine, and Uncle Rick all went there for a visit.

Violet and Dillon were splitting their time between our house, Aunt Leanne’s, and his place; and they were going to try and juggle two Thanksgiving dinners this year.  Just as an aside, since I’m thinking about too much food; could the entire clothing industry have come up with a dumber time to have ‘Black Friday’ than hours after one of the biggest food days of the year?  I’m sure that nothing says big sales more than having women attempting to buy clothes when nothing in their normal size will fit them properly.  No, that isn’t a problem for me with my hyper-metabolism, but I have heard that lament often enough when shopping at Palmer’s to know it’s true for a lot of girls.

Violet and Dillon weren’t the only people in town juggling family time around town, but we didn’t really have much of that, other than the usual holiday weekend drop in visits from cousins and friends; and a steady intermingling between Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s and our place.  While Aunt Grace and Mark were staying with Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne, they were having Thanksgiving dinner with us so they could share the meal with Aunt Grace’s parents, brother, and his family.  I wish Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne could have had dinner with us too, but that just doesn’t work out when both families are home for the holidays.

Before I get to the main food report, I should finish the play day recap.  My bedroom was where the younger kids played with their toys and games, and we had a steady stream of cartoons and chick flicks playing in the lounge.  The Moms, Aunts, and Grandmothers came upstairs for regular visits, and sometimes stayed to watch a show with us.  Dawn and I were able to have a few breaks from our younger cousin supervising; including when the twins, Jayden, and Nicole all had afternoon naps.  Jaimie, Kaitlyn, and Kara didn’t nap too, but they watched a movie with the Moms while Dawn and I went to Aunt Leanne’s for another visit.

I miss out on a lot of the ‘grown-up’ action, and may have to wait until Sunday night to get a lot of those details, but Dawn and I still manage to pick up a few nuggets of news here and there.  Aunt Grace and Uncle Mark may not have had time to set a date for the wedding, or do any other plans yet; but they’d asked Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne to be their Best Man and Matron of Honor.  Uncle Blaine and Aunt Alison will be in their wedding party too, along with Mark’s brother, sister, and their spouses; though I think Mark’s going to do those last four invitations after he gets home.  Mark has also reported that his father and brother in particular think he’s nuts, so it’s probably going to be a lot of fun for him when he gets back home again.

We didn’t get to spend much time with the teen contingent of Uncle Adam’s family, but everything is going great for the college and high school students.  Most of the guys were watching football while we were there – just as they were in the living room at our house.  Chris, Martin, and Jonathan were doing that in the game room while playing video games too, and they had some drop in competition from Rob, Kyle, and the occasion Dad; but the main action was in the living room and kitchen.  Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne had a lot more help getting dinner ready than they did that first Christmas after Uncle Adam moved home again, and the kitchen was where most of the girl chat was happening.  That’s where Dawn and I picked up most of the news from around Uncle Adam’s family, including too much information about newlyweds Rob and Trish; co-habitating collegians Tory and Kyle; and Michelle’s most recent – and past-tense – ‘Mr. Right Now’.

I knew we’d stayed to long when I was asked about whether there were any boys in my life, but by then it was too late; and Aunt Leanne was quickly on a roll that everyone except me thought was very entertaining.  As if Aunt Leanne’s matchmaking wasn’t already bad enough, now Aunt Grace has promised to help her out once she and Mark move here next summer.  Maybe Rowen and I should see about getting sent off to camp for the summer!

We eventually escaped, went home again, and had some more play time with our cousins until dinnertime.  There was some more last-minute dinner guest juggling between the houses, with Chris and Martin staying at Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s with Jonathan; and Kara staying with Kaitlyn while Nicole opted to be with her parents.  All of the food was as amazing as always, but it was getting to spend that couple of hours with most of the people I love the most that was so wonderful.  The conversation ranged through everything from weddings and Christmas to travel, school, and sports.

Talking about our future plans with everyone isn’t an option, but I loved it when Aunt Grace suggested that Violet could come work for her at the new lab too after  Dillon told her about his plan to take bio-engineering in college; and his interest in working with Uncle Adam after he graduated.  Sometimes we don’t need to do anything at all to help our future plan come together.  When we have days like this, I can’t help but get even more fired up that usual about everything that’s going to be happening over the next few years; and there are going to be a lot of awesome days ahead for all of us!

While we’d managed to miss out on most of the work today, that didn’t happen when it came time for the dinner clean-up; and Dawn and I were among the draftees for that hour-and-a-half long adventure.  The rain that had been falling off and on all day seemed to have passed by then, so Mom, Dad, and some of the other exempted members of our family went for a walk and a visit to Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s; taking the younger kids with them.

The guys on the crew needed to take frequent detours to the living room to check on the evening football game, but that didn’t slow us down too much; and by the time we were finished in the kitchen; we had time for some movie and cuddle action in my lounge before Mom and Aunt Alison decided that Jaimie, Kaitlyn, Jayden, and the twins were all wound down enough to go to bed.  Dawn and I helped out with that, and then moved downstairs to hang out with everyone in the living room.  The younger kids weren’t the only members of our family that were ready to get some sleep by then, so it wasn’t really that much longer before the grandparents headed out, and a few visitor exchanges between our place and Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s reversed.  Chris and Martin weren’t among the returnees to our house then, so Dawn and I were able to watch another movie in the lounge before deciding to get ready for bed.

She and Mandy are both sleeping now, so I’ve been doing my usual nightly computing since then.  With one of my very favorite shopping days of the year just hours away, I need to wrap this up and get some sleep too.  We’re supposed to have a bright sunny day for that, except the warm weather moved out with the rain; and it’s going to be cold and sunny.  That’ll just give us more incentive to stay inside the stores and shop, so I can work with that; but it could put a damper on the usual football games for the guys tomorrow afternoon.  Whether they’re playing pick-up games, watching college football on television, or having video football competitions; I’m sure that most of the guys will be immersed in the game; and all of the girls will be glad to be out shopping or watching chick flicks instead.

That makes for another weird end for today’s journal entry, but that’s all I have to report; and there is a big shopping day to rest up for, so...

...say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.

“Goodnight, Cassie.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cassie's Journal - November 21, 2012

Top family news story for the holiday weekend is that Aunt Grace and Mark got engaged today, and will be coming to live and work in Witch Falls.


I love it when a plan comes together!

I’ll get to that part of today’s story in a bit, but it’s been a crazy day, and there’s a lot to write about.

We mostly had a play day at school, including a short Thanksgiving show in the gym that was mostly put on by the younger kids with some teacher and teen support.  By the time Rowen and I got home after school, Grandma and Grandpa had been in town for hours, and had come over to help Mom with some of the Thanksgiving dinner work she was getting out of the way before it would be time to stop and welcome incoming family.  Our house was also going to be dinner central tonight, so the cooking for that was already on the go too.

The next few hours were a blur of action and fun.  After doing story and snack time with Grandma and Grandpa, Rowen and I took the twins for a short trip to the park; mostly to just get out of the way for a while.  There weren’t any teens there this afternoon, and most of them were probably either busy with jobs or helping out at home.  There were quite a few younger kids at the playground; and most of them were likely sent off to play and stay out of the way too.

We had Aunt Leanne, Uncle Adam, Aunt Deborah, and Uncle Nick all join us for dinner, and I got to keep Rowen with me while her parents were busy at the store.  That’s when we got to hear about all of the action we’d missed while at school today, and Mom won the prize for the busiest day.  Somehow, she managed to juggle taking care of Ethan and Ehlana; keep up with the work around the house; do a massive holiday weekend grocery, bakery, and supply run; add Naomi and Aiden to the mix for a while; and fit in a bit of family business work when the twins had a little afternoon nap before wrapping up with the kitchen work that Grandma and Grandpa joined her for.

With all of that to look forward to, exactly why should I be in a hurry to grow up?

Next up, after our dinner guests headed home, was welcoming our incoming family.  The Rice family made it home first; leaving Woodvale right after Violet, Dawn, Chris, and Martin were set free from school.  They still ended up with a four-hour long trip, but it probably would have been more like five or five and a half if they’d waited until five-thirty or six to get on the road.  This time, Violet drove a ‘girls’ car with her mother, grandmother, and sister; with Uncle Rick’s SUV was guy central.  They’d all stopped at my Grandparents’ house first to drop off Grandpa Richard and Grandma Carrie; so that had taken an extra twenty minutes or so before they moved on to our place.

Rowen and I helped Violet and Dawn get settled in, and we had nearly an hour to hang out together before Uncle Blaine, Aunt Alison, and their kids pulled into the driveway and we all joined in to help with another round of luggage transportation and welcome home hugs and kisses.  Grandma Mercy and Grandpa Duncan were staying with Grandma and Grandpa too, so we had all of our work done for the night and could relax and have fun.  Most of Uncle Adam’s family was going to be getting to town later, but Aunt Grace and Mark were home from the airport by ten; and our house was the second stop for them.

The fun factor definitely jumped a few notches with their engagement and relocation plan announcement; and watching that news totally floor Uncle Blaine was high on my favorite moments of the night.  They needed to go share the news with the grandparents too, so they couldn’t stay long; but after they’d been sent off with a lot of hugs, kisses, and congratulations; they were the top chat subject for the rest of the night – at least for the grown-ups.

Violet was more interested in getting reacquainted with Dillon once he joined the party after finishing work at the Inn for the night.  Chris and Martin were soon bored and went up to the lounge to play video games, and after Rowen’s Mom picked her up on the way home from the store; Dawn and I went up to my room to hang out.  We spent a little time in the lounge too, but then we closed the doors between the rooms and watched videos on my computer while catching up on what we’d each been doing over the past few weeks since Dawn had been here for the Haunted Halloween walk weekend.

Dawn decided on having some Jacuzzi time, so I’m doing this while she’s in the bathroom.  Getting back to Aunt Grace and Mark’s engagement, we didn’t get any time to talk about their move here yet, but Aunt Grace told us most of the proposal details; and I’d say that Mark did a good job with that if the general approval of the girls in the room was any indication.  It’s probably a good thing that he proposed at the restaurant they stopped at for dinner.  From what Aunt Grace told us, I think if he’d tried it while she was driving; they’d have crashed the car.

I won’t say that I was worried about this part of our future plans working out, but it feels awesome to know for sure that it is going to happen for sure.  They haven’t set a date for the wedding yet, but it will be here in Witch Falls; and sometime next summer.  I can hardly wait!

This is scary ground, but I should mention that one of the updates Aunt Melissa, Violet, and Dawn passed on tonight was that Chris and Martin were both have girlfriends.  That news had me thinking about Rebecca; and wondering how she would be handling having Jonathan here in town for the first time since summer.  Jenny and Martin may have both moved on from their little vacation romance, but I’m sure that Jonathan is the main reason why Rebecca hasn’t been interested in any other boys since last summer.  If she was holding out hope for a Violet and Dillon kind of story ending with Jonathan, then this might not end up being a very happy Thanksgiving weekend for her.

Dawn doesn’t have any boyfriends, but I have a feeling that she’s closer to crossing over than I am despite being about ten months younger.  It’s definitely going to be weird next summer if she starts attracting as much attention from the boys around here as Chris and Martin have been getting from the girls for the past two years – especially since some of those boys could be my classmates.

Let’s not end the night on that train of thought.  Tomorrow is going to be another wild day, and most of our family action will center around our house and Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s place.  Guy gaming will be at their place; and my lounge will be where the girls and younger kids will hang out.  We’re supposed to get some rain, but we’ll mostly be indoors all day anyway.  There isn’t enough room at one house for everyone to have Thanksgiving dinner together, so we’ll have our family here, and Uncle Adam’s family will be at his house; with a couple of crossovers like Aunt Grace and Mark, and possibly some of the kids.

It sounds like Dawn’s getting out of the tub now, so I’d better wrap this up.  We’re going to cuddle with Mandy and watch a movie next; and probably fall asleep long before Chris and Martin wrap up their gaming for the night.  Hopefully they won’t leave me with an hour worth of cleaning to do in the morning, but I won’t hold my breath on that; and I’m sure that re-stocking the drinks and snacks will be required for sure.  Maybe when they’re here for Christmas I’ll start storing extra cases of drinks and chips in my closet instead of hauling them up from the pantry.

That’s not a particularly exciting way to end a journal entry for a day that’s been so awesome, but I’m out of time, so...

...say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.

“Goodnight, Cassie.”

Cassie's Journal - November 20, 2012

Everyone at school was fired up today when news broke that Amy and Jared Spencer were expecting their first baby; and I’m sure that was the top story around town too.  I’m sure that the Spencer and White families are going to have an especially happy Thanksgiving holiday this year!

We didn’t get an impromptu play day like we did the day that Mr. Seager found out that Liz was pregnant with Naomi; but there were more fun moments, and Amy – Mrs. Spencer – had a steady stream of well-wishers keeping her busy all day.  Since I had the advance notice, Rowen and I were able to leave an anonymous baby snack gift on her desk during lunch, and that must have been a hit; since we heard about it through the grapevine news network before last class.

I don’t have much to report for the rest of the day.  It’s been all work for me since getting home except for breaks while we had dinner and when Ethan and Ehlana went to bed.  The Jacuzzi time only half counts because I worked on my computer the entire time I was soaking in the tub.  Skipping that was an option, but with a house full of guests for the next four nights, there probably won’t be much time for long, hot soaks – at least for me.  I fully expect Violet and Dawn to borrow the Jacuzzi once or twice each while they’re here.

Since that – their arrival – will be in about eighteen hours or so, depending on traffic and when they get away from Woodvale; I need to wrap this up and get some sleep.  The next five days are going to be crazy-busy!

Say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.

“Goodnight, Cassie.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cassie's Journal - November 19, 2012

We must be getting more experienced and organized getting ready for holiday weekends; since there really wasn’t any extra work to do today.

That meant that Rowen and I could go ahead with our normal Monday after-school routine, and we had a nice enough day to really enjoy our play time at the park with Ethan and Ehlana.  I don’t really have anything to report from school.  Classes are winding down into the holiday; talk around school is mostly about Thanksgiving plans with a healthy dose of football on the side.

Rowen and I only had a little homework tonight, so that didn’t take long to get through; and we were on our way to the park with the twins fairly quickly.  There were a lot of kids and teens at the park, and there were actually guys waiting to join in on the usual football game.  Ethan quickly toddled over to join the other boys, but went to the front of the substitution line when Michael spotted him and helped Ethan have his Monday night football moment during the next two plays.  I’m sure that Michael plays with Ethan for my brother; but he definitely earns some bonus points with the girls too.

Yes, that includes me, but don’t read any more into that admission than there is – and that includes both Aunt Leanne and Rowen.  My best friend was grinning way too suspiciously when Michael returned Ethan to us after helping him score a touchdown on the second play.

I don’t want to go there tonight, so let’s not.  We spent most of our time at the playground after leaving the football field; Ethan, Ehlana, and I walked Rowen to the computer store; and then we were home in time for me to help Mom and Dad with making dinner.  Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne spent the evening with us for the usual weekly Magi Healing lesson and family business meeting; and it ended up being after ten by the time Ethan and Ehlana were tucked in for the night and I got around to my nightly computing and studies.  Since there won’t be time to do any of that work this weekend, I’ve stayed up late tonight, and will probably do that again tomorrow night.  My archive research from our lesson tonight is done; I put in an hour of language study; caught up on my email; took care of a few quick jobs for my end of the family business; and went through all of my nightly entertainment, news, and sports checks.  It’s nearly two o’clock, and I’ve had enough, so...

...say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.

“Goodnight, Cassie.”