My lounge is currently teen central for Chris, Martin, and a bunch of their Witch Falls friends; including Rebecca, Jenny, and Shane. having Jenny here with her boyfriend might be stranger for Martin than for me, but probably not by much; and I’ve had the added bonus of seeing other girls showing new interest in him now that Jenny no longer has a claim on him.
Jaimie and Kaitlyn are sleeping in their room for the first time this weekend, and Dawn and Mandy are somehow managing to sleep in my bed despite the noise from the lounge. I’m once again writing this while sitting in the window alcove, and though I’m still hearing more from the lounge than I’d like to; at least I don’t have the permanent visual to go with the audio track. Let’s move back in time and recap the rest of the day instead of thinking about that too much.
Tai Chi with Mom and Dad was again the calm before the Sunday morning storm that is the norm for a Proctor family holiday weekend. Somehow, between wake-up calls and leaving for church, we managed to feed seventeen people; clean up the kitchen from that major meal; juggle eleven showers in four bathrooms; keep five younger kids and toddlers entertained; and have everyone dressed up and out the door fifteen minutes early. We even managed to get to church five minutes before Uncle Adam, Aunt Leanne, and their guests, but then again, they didn’t look nearly as frazzled as the parents in our group did by then.
The last service of twenty-twelve was fairly normal compared to the last few holiday events, and there must have been as many people away for the weekend as there were here visiting; since we didn’t need to have overflow seating this week. Sunday school was pretty much just free play and craft time. Pastor Martha kept the service comparatively short too, and we were home again by a bit after eleven o’clock. That gave all of us time to get changed; lunch was on the table by noon; and the kids were set free just in time for the guys to take over the living room for another day of football – this time, the final week of the NFL regular season instead of college bowl games.
Dawn and I took Jaimie and Kaitlyn with us; picked Rowen up at the computer store; and headed out for a chilly afternoon of park and playground action. There were some younger boys playing at the park, but most of the tween and teen guys must have been either working or watching football too. Mom, Aunt Alison, Aunt Grace, and Violet brought Ethan, Ehlana, and Jayden to the park for a while at around two, so we played with them while they were there, and then we went home with them for a hot chocolate and snacks break before Dawn, Rowen, and I headed out again once we were warmed up.
While we spent most of the afternoon outdoors, the lounge had been chick flick central for some of the girls. Ehlana, Jaimie, and Kaitlyn joined that group after our break; getting some quality cuddle time with their grandmothers, moms, and aunts. Ethan and Jayden played in the lounge for a while too after deciding that sitting around doing nothing but watching football with the guys was just too boring compared to racing cars, playing with action figures, and bouncing balls around the lounge and my bedroom.
There were three buffets at the Inn today, and Grandma and Grandpa had reservations for the second sitting for everyone. Rowen had to run home to get ready for that too when Dawn and I did, since her family was going to be there too. We had lots of adult support getting the younger kids set up with their food first, but then Dawn, Rowen, and I were in charge of the ‘kids’ table; and spent most of the hour and a half we were there keeping up with Jaimie, Kaitlyn, Ethan, Ehlana, and Jayden. They didn’t actually run off all that often, so I guess it’s more accurate to say that we needed to keep them entertained, and get them to eat something more than ice cream and Olde Bakery dessert treats.
One of the bonuses tonight was getting to spend a couple of minutes talking to Isabelle Jacobs and Andrew Jennings. Violet’s spent some time with them while hanging out with Dillon, but I basically haven’t seen them at all since they’ve been home from college for their Christmas break. They’re both doing great with their academics; love their college; aren’t so crazy about residential halls; and miss Witch Falls a lot. Ethan and Ehlana are happy about that last part, since they expect to have Isabelle as one of their teachers when she does graduate and come home to work at our school. There were other cameo moments with other college kids or visitors that I’ve met over the past couple of years, and between those little visits; playing with my brother, sister, and cousins; and having some awesome food; I’ve got another set of great memories to add to all the others I have from the Inn.
With New Year’s Eve day just one sleep away, most of us were going with an early night – with Chris and Martin being the obvious exceptions. We didn’t have any extra family house guests after coming home from the Inn, and while some of the guys needed to catch up on the football action; Mom, Aunt Alison, and Aunt Melissa did bath time with Jaimie, Kaitlyn, Jayden, and the twins. I was put to work making sure that my lounge was clean, stocked, and ready for the tween-teen invasion, but Dad and Uncle Rick made sure that I had help hauling pop and snacks upstairs from the pantry. Dawn and I also folded two loads of towels and put them away after that, but then stopped working once Chris and Martin’s friends started arriving.
There were a few teens – including Rebecca, Jenny, and Shane – that couldn’t come until later, but the noise level and gaming action kicked into high gear shortly after Chris and Martin led their first group of guests up to the lounge. Dawn and I split our time between the lounge and living room, but once all of the teens were in the lounge, it wasn’t long before we decided that being anywhere else was a good idea. Dawn assured me that she feels exactly the same way at home whenever her brothers have a gang of both boys and girls over for a gaming or movie night. She’s even thinking about moving to Witch Falls with Violet next summer, or going to live with Jillian, if boy-girl pool parties become a daily thing at her house. I guess we do at least have the advantage here of spreading that kind of weirdness out along miles of river – or out at Quarry Lake and the other campgrounds.
In addition to our time in the lounge or living room, Dawn and I also did the bedtime story and snack with the younger kids, and had a little girl chat with Violet while she got ready to go out again and meet up with Dillon, Jake, and Stephanie. After our last visit to the lounge, there was a little cuddle time with our parents, aunts, and uncles before Dawn decided that going to bed and cuddling with Mandy was more fun that either football or Zone Weird with her brothers. Rebecca was the only teen to actually acknowledge our brief goodnight visit to the lounge; and I had a bonus hug for her after sensing that she didn’t really want to be there either, but was doing it for Jenny.
I don’t expect to be able to sleep until after the party ends next door, but there really isn’t anything else to report for today, so I’ll move on to something else while waiting for the exodus that will happen about ten or fifteen minutes before the midnight curfew that most of Chris and Martin’s friends have to be home for tonight.
Say ‘goodnight, Cassie’.