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!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cassie's Journal - August 30, 2013

Go, Raiders, Go!  Go, Raiders, Go!

I should begin by mentioning that there is a big difference between going to a football game with your boyfriend and watching a game with your family.  Rowen and Tim were with us, and we had a really great time together; so the big first win was just a fun added bonus.

Since I’m there anyway, let’s just keep going with the football report.  This definitely felt like a date night to me.  Rowen and I got dressed up and took extra time doing our hair; though we did pick clothes that were appropriate for a hot summer evening of sports-watching on moderately-crowded bleachers.  The holiday weekend had a big effect on that, but then there were more visiting kids and teens that were catching the game for something to do than there will be on a normal game night.

Michael had to help out at the Inn until shortly before the game started, so Rowen and I met him there; and Tim had gone on ahead to save seats for all of us.  While he didn’t have time to grab a shower or anything, Michael had brought fresh clothes and cleaned up as much as he could before leaving the Inn.  He got razzed a bit by the guys in the kitchen for being picked up by two girls; but nobody there actually has any doubt about who his girlfriend is now; and he just played along with them.

We didn’t have time to pick up drinks or anything by the time we got to the school, but Tim had already taken care of that for us too.  Though he and Rowen were in ‘just hanging out with our best friends’ mode all night, if Tim had tried to tell us that he hadn’t dressed to impress Rowen; I’d be sure he was lying – not that we actually asked him.

He looked good, and Rowen was impressed.

There was actually a football game going on too, but before I get to that; let’s talk cheerleaders.  Erin Green is Head Cheerleader this year; though that doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that her boyfriend is Captain of the football team – there just aren’t very many cheerleaders; and we only have two seniors on the squad this year.  That wasn’t news for me; but it was news for nearly everyone at the game to find out that Jenny – and Tammy Morris – were the freshman cheerleader picks this year.  Jenny was really fired up, and looked great in her new uniform.

That was good and bad, because while she was impressing Joel, she was getting some attention from quite a few other guys too – and Joel definitely didn’t like that at all – especially when the younger guys on both teams were watching her or coming up to talk with her.  Jenny loved all of that attention, and was oblivious to the jealous side of her boyfriend’s reaction to her first time in the cheerleader spotlight.

Small school cheerleading squads can’t do the really cool tricks you see with the big competition teams; but they do work the sidelines with little cheers and dances that keep the spectators entertained during breaks in the action on the field; and the squads from both teams took turns doing short dance routines to music during half time.  That mini-battle between the squads was a friendly competition too; and nothing like you see in the movies either.

I can’t say that about the football game – both teams were definitely serious; and Hillcrest had a bit of a grudge going on against us after we won our playoff game against them last season.  Kyle and our defense won that close match-up; while their offense had kept them in the game.  Our offense is playing better – at least according to Michael and Tim – but Hillcrest was not ready to keep up with us tonight.

I should probably amend that to suggest that they weren’t ready to keep up with Kyle; since they were fairly competitive against the rest of our players.  The bad news was that Kyle is very serious about finishing his high school football career with a championship; and was playing as if this was the big game.  The Hillcrest quarterback wasn’t the only guy on their team who was very, very jumpy by the end of the game.

I’d say that was justified for him after being sacked five times and hit by Kyle on nearly half of their total offensive plays.  Kyle also had a hand in seven defensive take-aways; including four fumbles, two interceptions, and one lateral break-up.  Kyle scored three defensive touchdowns; and our offense put points on the board for each of the other four take-aways.  Our defense only gave up one touchdown and two field goals; while we put forty-four points on the board for a very convincing win.

I’m going to back up and cover the action from the rest of the day before getting to the post-game news; but I wanted to mention that being a Magi Master at an event like that causes a bit of a problem with sensory overload.  That can be fun – like when I told Michael and Tim about something one of the Hillcrest players was doing to give away what kind of plays they were about to run; and Tim passed that on to Kyle between the first and second quarters.  Unfortunately, there are also a lot of things I see, hear, and sense that fall into the ‘way too much information’ category.  Let’s not get into the details of the strange and weird that happens at a high school football game – especially since what happens in our little town is mild compared to big cities – but if I’m going to be going to a lot of these games with Michael from now on; I’d better learn to find something to do that will divert me from processing all of that information like I was doing tonight.

With that off my chest, let’s rewind to this morning.  Tai Chi by the river was a fun start to the day, but then Michael headed over to the Inn to help out with a busy holiday weekend Friday breakfast crowd.  I went with a quick cereal and juice meal, and was out moving the lawn before Dad left for work.  Since we’re not going to have a house full of guests this weekend, Mom didn’t really have much extra work to do today; but she and Alicia did take the twins with them and did all of the holiday weekend supply shopping this morning while I was busy working in the yard.

Rowen was working at the computer store, mostly helping out with the holiday weekend displays while her Dad was busy with a bunch of last-minute computer updates ahead of the first day of school on Tuesday.  It’s been another hot day, and lots of people were happy to be inside and staying cool; but I was glad to be outside and enjoying every bit of warm I can get as we head into fall.  I also love being able to hop into the river for a swim too; since that probably won’t be an option for much longer once we get into the cooler nights that we’ve managed to dodge over the past couple of weeks.

I went for one quick swim once I’d finished cutting the lawn, and then moved on to the gardening.  Ethan and Ehlana ‘helped’ me with that for a while when Mom and Alicia were busy unloading the minivan; putting everything away; and making lunch.  When it was nearly time to stop and eat, I went for a clean-up swim with the twins first; and then we had another picnic lunch on the dock while Mom and Alicia sat on one of the benches to eat while helping to give me the shopping report and latest grapevine news.

There was still more work that I wanted to get done after lunch, so I got back to that, and Rowen gave me a hand when she came over; which is why my chores were pretty much done by the time Michael came over to hang out with us during his afternoon break.  The football team had some training today ahead of the game; but only a light morning workout to go along with some classroom time to go over their game plan.  That’s why we didn’t spend an hour or two at the school this afternoon, but went for two swims and a bike ride instead.  Tim joined us for the ride and second swim; but then he headed out again when Michael went back to the Inn.

There was a family barbeque going on at Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s tonight; but Rowen and I ate at my house before getting ready for the football game.  I’ve covered enough of the football game part of this report; so let’s move on to the post-game action.  First up was the victory celebration on the field.  Hanging out with Tim put Michael, Rowen, and me on the inside of that because the entire Landry family was very close to the football team and program – as they have been for decades.  That was fun, and though the Hillcrest players and coaches were really disappointed, and a bit shell-shocked; the interaction with them – and their fans – was mostly good-natured and entertaining too.

I wanted to check in with my visiting cousins before they’d be in bed for the night, so Michael and I went to do that while Rowen and Tim stayed and hung out with some of the other teens and tweens before meeting up with us again for a swim at my house.  Doing that visit ended up being fairly easy, because the main family action was still going on at Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s house.  Jaimie, Kaitlyn, and Jayden were there with their parents, aunt, and uncle; and Kara and Eddie were there with their parents too.  Nicole, Robyn, and their parents and grandparents hadn’t made it home yet; but they hadn’t escaped the city early like everyone else had.  Mom, Dad, Ethan, and Ehlana were there still too, and so were all available grandparents.

I loved having a little visit with my cousins, but Michael and I hadn’t planned on staying long – especially since it was an all-hands-on-deck weekend at the Inn; and I wouldn’t be seeing Michael very much on Saturday or Monday.  The only problem I had with escaping was when Jaimie, Kaitlyn, and Kara all wanted to do a sleepover with me.  The Moms and Aunts helped me out with that by negotiating a sleepover at our house for Saturday night instead.  Problem solved; and I expected at least one sleepover night anyway.

Mom and Dad used our departure as an early out for them too; so Michael and I helped to get Ethan, Ehlana, and a few bags and boxes full of empty dishes, leftovers, and the rest of the gear they’d taken along for the barbeque and swimming.  After doing that, Michael ran home to change into a swimsuit.  He was back, and we were already swimming by the time Tim and Rowen joined us.  There was a reason why they were both smiling and later than we’d expected; but I didn’t get the details about that until Rowen and I had a little computer chat once we were both in bed for the night.

Once we were together again, we had fun playing in the water for about a half hour before getting dried off; throwing shorts and shirts on; and going for a long walk.  We went down to the falls first, but it was fairly busy there, so after staying long enough to talk with some of our friends; we wandered over to the park to wander around on the trails there instead.  There were some teens hanging out there too, but they were mostly hanging out around the playground, pavilion, and along the river.  There wasn’t anyone else around the bike trails at the far end of the park; and that was exactly the kind of isolation we were looking for – both so we could all talk together, and for a little couples-only time that Tim and Rowen weren’t doing just for us anymore.  They won’t admit that publicly; but the smiles are all the evidence I need – even without picking up any empathic signals.

We were all home again by a bit after midnight, with Tim being the last to get to his house after walking Rowen home first.  Michael and I did our goodnight kisses on his front porch; and I was on my front porch by the time Rowen was standing on hers; watching Tim walking toward Witch Falls Road and oblivious to my wave; or anything else going on around us.  I needed to deal with a few things before coming up to my room; including taking care of the wet towels that we’d left out on the back porch.  I was still changed and in bed by twelve-thirty; and had that little chat with Rowen while doing my usual nightly computing.

She and Tim were late because she’d gone with him around to his house while he got changed into a swimsuit; had talked with his parents for a while; and then they’d moved on to her house so she could get changed too.  That explained most of the delay, but the smiles were because they’d managed to sneak a kiss in the kitchen when getting cold drinks to go – a scary, thrilling moment for Rowen with her parents nearby in the living room; and her brother upstairs.  They didn’t get caught, though if Patricia saw them smiling like they were when they caught up with us; Patricia would have had some suspicions.

Rowen is as tired as I am, so we didn’t chat for long; and since that’s the last bit of news for today; I’m ready to put my computer away and get some sleep – we do have our big game coming up in just about eleven hours.  Hopefully we’ll be able to have a really great start to the last day of August with another baseball championship!

That thought, and some happy memories with Michael to take with me into dreamland, is just what I need for a happy sleep; so...

...until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Cassie's Journal - August 29, 2013

I’m going to keep this short, because it’s late; and I’m tired.

Michael was here for Tai Chi and breakfast again today before we went over to the computer store to get a ride out to the ranch with Rowen and Tim.  Patricia had the outbound trip this week; and we ended up getting a ride home with Lee Landry on his way back from a repair call; since he was out near the ranch anyway.

We did the post-ride swim with Ethan and Ehlana before Michael went home to get ready for work at the Inn.  Tim and Rowen both stayed for lunch; and we had a little picnic with Ethan and Ehlana on the dock; but then Tim went to the school to watch more of the football training camp.  Rowen and I had a fairly lazy afternoon that included a little play time with the twins in the back yard; a visit to the school while Michael was on his break; and a couple of swims.  Michael and Tim went for one of those afternoon swims with us – again just before Michael needed to get back to the Inn; but Tim went straight back to the school when Michael needed to leave to catch the tail end of the practice.

Rowen stayed for dinner too, and we ate on our own so that we could get to the park extra-early for our practice.  I’m not sure if that was good or bad, because Carolyn was there with a couple of her friends too; and was happy to have us join them for some bonus fielding drills.  Since we only had the teams that were in championship games practicing this week, Coach Sarah and Carolyn were able to have an extended practice; so we worked for a bit more than two hours – not including the early drills – before they set us free with admonishments to get extra rest and be ready for the game on Saturday.

That’s easier said than done for me.  Rowen and I went for a swim after getting home, and then Mom did a Magi lesson with both of us while Rowen waited for her parents to finish up at the computer store.  They’ve been busy with the back-to-school rush this week, and though I hadn’t worried about it one way or the other; Mom did get my school computer updated with everything I’d need for Grade Eight this year.

We had a lot of fun with the lesson, and then we went for a bedtime swim with Michael, Ethan, and Ehlana when Michael stopped in after getting home from the Inn.  Rowen went home after the water play time, but Michael stayed to help with the bedtime snack and story for the twins; and he and I tucked them in for the night before taking drinks and going to sit by the river for a while and have a wind-down chat.  That wasn’t the end of my night, because after Michael went home; I needed to get to work.  Mom and Dad had suggested that it might be easier for me if I did as much of my weekend yard work tomorrow instead of on Saturday so that I wouldn’t have all of those extra chores along with everything else that we have planned.  That actually works for me, but it meant that I needed to get the family business work done tonight instead of tomorrow; and I wanted to get my archive homework out of the way before the weekend too.  I’ll be getting back to my usual school year workload on Monday or Tuesday night; and I don’t need to have a back-log before adding new language studies and daily archive research to the mix.

That’s why I’m writing this at nearly three o’clock in the morning, but the computer work is done now, and once I get the yard work out of the way; it should be mostly fun and games for the rest of the weekend!

If I don’t need to sleep through half of it.

Until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cassie's Journal - August 28, 2013

The top fun today was probably the afternoon appointments Rowen and I had with Liz at the salon, with my Magi lesson with Mom; afternoon break time with Michael; and some trail riding at the park earning honorable mention.

I should mention the great weather too, since I haven’t done that lately; and we really are getting a beautiful, hot end to our summer holidays.  Hopefully that comment won’t jinx us for the holiday weekend; but it really is nice to have the weather cooperate with all of our outdoor play plans.

Hot, sunny, and warm is nice for Tai Chi by the river too; and I like starting my day sharing riverside kisses with Michael as much as the moonlight, goodnight variety.

The Tai Chi was fun, and Michael stayed to have breakfast with us, but then he needed to do some chores around the house before going to the Inn; and I kept busy helping Mom until Alicia came over.  I spent the rest of the morning working in the office; and then Rowen came over to have lunch with us before we went to the salon for our annual back-to-school hair appointments.  Neither of us went with anything more radical than trimming our bangs and evening up the length; but we had a lot of fun catching up on the latest news around the salon; hearing all of Liz’s latest pregnancy stories; and letting her style our hair with braids and curls before we needed to meet up with Michael and Tim at the school while Michael was on his afternoon break.

They were impressed with Liz’s efforts; though that didn’t really distract them from the football action they were following avidly now that our first game of the season was just two days away – and with the bonus of being at home too!  Did that sound excited enough to you?  ;^)

Rowen and I were able to talk them into going for a swim before Michael needed to be back at the Inn; and we took Ethan and Ehlana with us for that micro blast of fun.  Tim went back to the spot he’d apparently staked out for the week on the school bleachers when Michael left for the Inn; and that’s when Rowen and I went for our trail ride.  One good thing about football season is that there are a lot less guys out on the trail; and Rowen and I could really let loose on the jumps with nobody around to watch us.

No, we did not use Magi power; but I’d seriously love to try that sometime!

Moving along, Rowen went on to the computer store after going for another swim with me when we’d had enough fun on the trails; and it was a Mom-ordered study night for me; so I didn’t see any of my friends tonight.  I helped make dinner; we ate as soon as Dad got home; and then he went to work in the office while Mom did Magi lessons with Ethan, Ehlana, and me.  I came up to my room when Mom and Dad were ready to do the bedtime routine with the twins; and combined my archive studying with some quality Jacuzzi time.  I didn’t have any work to do tonight; so all I had left to get done after climbing into bed with Mandy was my usual nightly computer checks.  That didn’t take long, because there were only two emails to read and answer, and now that I’ve pretty much finished with this update; I’m ready to get an early start to my nightly nap.

We have our last riding lesson of the summer in the morning, and a big baseball practice tomorrow evening to get ready for the championship game on Saturday; so that extra rest is going to come in handy.

Until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Cassie's Journal - August 27, 2013

Michael and Tim were at the school all morning to watch the football training camp, so after coming over for Tai Chi with us; Michael went home to grab a shower, get ready for a play day, and take breakfast to go before meeting up with Tim at the school.  Rowen and I weren’t in any hurry to join them there, so we did our own thing this morning except for one visit to the school that included dropping off a pair of Emporium ice cream treats for them.

We both took our time having breakfast and doing some chores around our houses, so it was heading toward nine-thirty by the time Rowen came over.  After doing a bike tour of the usual construction sites, we went for a little trail ride at the park before doing the ice cream break with Michael and Tim.  The four of us decided to take Ethan and Ehlana for a picnic lunch and canoe ride; so Rowen and I went home next so we could get everything ready for our little river adventure.

Ethan and Ehlana had been excited about that; and while we didn’t try to paddle to the whirlpool and back, we did have a fun few hours together that included play time at the park, a picnic at the falls, another Emporium ice cream visit, two swims, and about an hour of actual canoeing both up and down river from our house.  The second swim came after we’d gotten home and put the gear away; and then Tim and Rowen made up a pair of feeble excuses for why they couldn’t hang out with Michael and me for the rest of Michael’s day off before biking over to the shop and computer store to check in with their parents.

We love hanging out with our best friends, and it’s still a bit strange to actually have alone time; but Michael and I do need to make some time for just us – or let our friends set up nights like this when we don’t.  Michael stayed for dinner; and we helped Mom with the work while Ethan and Ehlana gave her the afternoon update.  We were able to sit down and eat as soon as Dad got home from work; and then Michael and I sent the parents to go have a little play time with Ethan and Ehlana while we cleaned up.

Mom and Dad ended up going for a walk that included a little visit at the Bassett’s house so Ethan and Ehlana could play for a while with Sophia; so Michael and I had time to get the work done and walk over to his house to get his saxophone before meeting up with them on their way home.  Ethan and Ehlana joined Michael and me in my room for our music practice.  We were both a bit rusty; but I think we sounded pretty good by the time we moved on to a guitar lesson.  We played music for about an hour and a half, and Ethan and Ehlana alternately sang along in their best ‘real toddler’ imitation; played my keyboard; or played on the floor with Mandy and some toys.

Michael and I helped Mom with their bedtime routine after that, and in addition to the usual bedtime snack and story; Michael ended up spending nearly twenty minutes just sitting and talking with Ethan while tucking him in for the night.  That gave Ehlana and me time for a little girl chat too; and then Michael and I came up to the lounge to watch a movie.  After watching the latest Star Trek movie at Tim’s birthday party, we decided to start my trekkie immersion by watching the movie series from the beginning.

I’m a big fan of cuddle time with Michael, so I’m okay with the fact that it’ll probably take us years to watch all of the movies and the episodes from all of the series.

You may be wondering if Mom and Dad checked up on us, and the answer to that would be yes and no.  Since we were in future space mode tonight, let’s just say that Mom would sense a disturbance in the force if Michael and I get too affectionate.  Yes, that works both ways; but we can also turn it off; though that’s not exactly accurate.  Doing that works for me with Mom and Dad, but I’m twelve; and don’t seriously expect Mom to do the same for at least a few more years.

Would you if that kind of talent was available to you with your kids?

After watching Captain Kirk and crew save the day, universe, or whatever; we went for a bedtime swim.  It’s too bad that we can’t do that year-round, or even for much longer this year; because we really love playing in the river a lot too.  We swam for a half hour, and then Michael walked home through the back yards after we shared a long goodnight kiss while sitting on one of the benches by the river and having a not-really-talking, last bedtime chat.

My night wasn’t over, so I came straight up to my room and got ready for bed before sitting in the window alcove and working on my computer.  That was more than two hours ago; and the mix of studying and work was almost the same as it was last night.  I’m also just as tired, and don’t have anything newsworthy to add from my studies, work, or nightly computer checks; so...

...until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cassie's Journal - August 26, 2013

I want to make it clear that I am not dating Michael because his father is a chef – but that is a really great bonus; and we had two meals at his house today.

Tai Chi by the river is still my favorite part of the morning, but I could get used to trying out Jacob’s day-off breakfast experiments very easily.  It sure beats standard work and school day morning food at my house – and probably nearly every other house in town too.  While Jacob loves the cooking, there is an ulterior motive – having his kids ready for a busy house and yard work morning.

I volunteered to be on that yard work crew again; mostly because they were getting all of the work done ahead of the holiday weekend; and so that Michael wouldn’t be stuck doing that all day when the only place he really wanted to be was watching the first day of football training camp at the school.  Using our lawn tractor again helped a lot; and this week I helped Rebecca with the gardening while Michael helped his Dad with some other chores.  We worked straight through until one o’clock; and then Michael and I split up for a while so that we could each get something to eat and take the showers that we were both in need of by then.

He went on ahead to the school without me, and when I was ready; I biked over to the computer store to collect Rowen on my way to the school.  We had drinks and a little visit with Owen and Patricia; and then biked to the school.  Michael was sitting with Tim and a bunch of kids, tweens, and teens in the bleachers.  With all of the gear Tim had with him; we didn’t need to get confirmation from him to know that he’d been there most of the day.  Patrick and Scott were there too; and it was nice to see Patrick talking animatedly with Michael for the first time all summer – even if they were just talking football.

There was a reason why I had taken my time getting to the school, and I wasn’t the only girl who was purposefully getting to the football field near the end of the afternoon training session.  Tim was happy to give us a detailed monologue of the action we’d missed since early this morning, though, so we didn’t miss anything important.  While I hadn’t been interested in spending the day watching guys play football there was a lot going on around the school that being there did have me paying attention to.

While Mr. Robinson was there to coach the football team, all of the other teachers were back to school today too – a fact that I knew but didn’t think about at all before then.  I saw Uncle Nick once when he waved at us from his classroom window – and that really started to make back-to-school feel real because that’s going to be our home room too; and Uncle Nick is going to be our main teacher this year!  That won’t quite be the same as it would have been for Jenny if her Mom had taught her; but it will be both strange and fun.  I should probably practice calling him Mr. Ayres instead of Uncle Nick a bit before next week so I don’t get into trouble.  I’m not giving up family hugs, though, so my classmates can just get used to them.

Getting back to the football action, Coach Robinson had been teaching his players some basic offensive and defensive formations and plays when Rowen and I joined the spectators, but he’d almost been finished that; and then had the guys move on to the conditioning drills that took exhaustion to a whole new level for most of the guys.  Kyle was the one exception; but they’d likely need both of our town doctors to come over if Coach Robinson tried to push everyone on the team as hard as Kyle could work.

Maybe I should have brought Ethan and Ehlana along so Kyle could use Ethan in the drills again.

The practice was wrapping up by the time Michael and Tim needed to be thinking about food and their final baseball practice.  Michael had invited us to his house for dinner, so we rode around by Tim’s house to drop off the bag and cooler he’d taken with him to the school; and then gone on to Michael’s house.  We had time to go for a quick swim that Rebecca joined us for; and then we had a really great little meal at the patio table on the back porch.  Dad’s pretty good on a grill, but Jacob is a master; and even Tim notices the difference – which is actually quite a compliment for Jacob.

The two boys were sent off to their practice after they’d eaten, but Rowen and I stayed to help out with the clean-up before going to my house and taking Ethan and Ehlana to the park with us for some playground time while the Wranglers worked hard to get ready for their Championship game on Saturday.  Since I hadn’t spent much time with Ethan and Ehlana today, that was a nice little blast of fun, and when Michael and Tim were set free again; we all went swimming back at my house before Mom and Dad took custody of Ethan and Ehlana again.

They had already started their family business meeting by then, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  Tim, Rowen, and I went back to Michael’s house again with him after our swim.  Tim and Rowen played video games while Michael did a guitar lesson with me.  I haven’t had much time for music lately, but now that we’re just a week away from going back to school; I’d better at least dust off my saxophone and practice a bit – especially since Michael, Rowen, and I did get those early invitations to join the school band this year.

Anyway, the guitar lesson was fun, and then Michael and I joined in on the video gaming action – though Rowen and I were happy to let the boys take as many extra turns as we could get away with.  It was time to tone it down when Jacob and Miranda were ready to call it a night; so we went for another swim and then decided to take a walk around the park.  It can get dark even on the main trail when you’re in the woods there; and you can get lost on the biking trails at night – if you really want to do that.  Conveniently for us, though, we only got lost in pairs tonight; and Rowen assured me later that Michael and I weren’t the only couple playing hide and kiss while we were temporarily on our own.

Michael and Tim both want to be at the school tomorrow for the start of training camp day two, so we headed home by eleven o’clock.  Rowen and I left them on Michael’s front porch after she and Tim gave Michael and me a minute for our goodbye hug and kiss; and then we had a little chat on my front porch so I could get those pertinent park in the dark details before she continued on to her house and I went inside.

Mom and Dad were working in the office while Dad caught up on the work he didn’t get done while they’d been having their family business and future plans meeting; so I grabbed a drink and joined them there.  Mom decided to combine a short Magi lesson with the meeting update that they took turns giving me; and we ended up talking together until Dad was finished his work at a bit after midnight and we all went up to bed.

There weren’t any surprises for me from the meeting.  The lab is just slightly ahead of schedule right now after having some extended good weather; and that’s going to work out great for the construction start for the first of the three apartment buildings that are planned for the new section of town.  The news for the college kids we’re keeping an eye on was reviewed; though there isn’t much for us to do with that until next spring and summer.  We will be offering some of those college kids summer jobs at the lab, though, and that’s going to be very cool for those lucky young men and women.

On the real estate front, Aunt Leanne and Claire are actually going to do a Saturday morning open house for a couple of model homes they’ll be using to sell new homes and townhomes; though there aren’t going to be more than two houses that are the same – or even mirror images – in the entire new section of town.  Even the townhomes will have significant differences between each unit and groups of units.  While Aunt Leanne is handling most of that part of our future plans, she is getting ready for some time off with the baby; and Mom and Dad will be keeping an eye on that part of the business for her this fall and winter.

We have some financial involvement with the mortgages that will be needed for those new homes; but that’s strictly through providing extra capital for our community bank; since they don’t have the deposit base to handle all of the new business that will be coming their way over the next ten or fifteen years.  Sharon Palmer is taking care of all of that, and while I’m thinking about her; she’s doing a really awesome job with all of her family business responsibilities.  The financial and insurance business side of our portfolio is really taking off since she joined the team.

Finally, the travel and charity work that is the reason for everything else we do is continuing to grow both here at home and around the world.  While Grandma and Grandpa have been staying close to home because of Aunt Leanne and her baby; there have been other trips going on this summer; and more planned for the fall, winter, and spring.  Grandma Eleanor and Grandpa Grant are happily continuing their globe-trotting archive visits; and have switched their focus almost entirely from just checking out each location to getting each archive ready to be moved here.  They’ll need help with that huge job; and will start taking assistants along – and training them – during their trip this fall.  Now that we have a new Pastor in town, Pastors Lewis and Martha have signed up for a winter charity trip; and will be going on it with some of their friends in January.

I should’ve gone to bed earlier and gotten started on the work I wanted to do tonight, but I wasn’t all that tired when I started anyway – though I’m getting there fast now.  The archive studying helped with that, but then I followed that up with an hour of family business work before getting around to the rest of my usual nightly computing.  There isn’t anything to report from the studying or work; but I did have a nice long email update from Violet about how the first day of classes went for her and Dillon today.

They both have some advantages that their fellow freshmen don’t, but Violet thinks that Dillon has a distinct advantage at college because our school does a lot more than most to prepare our teens for post-secondary education.  She’s known about those differences since getting close to Dillon, Jake, and Stephanie; but seeing her friends doing so much self-learning and group studying is different than needing to do that – while trying to work with new acquaintances who might or might not be at the same academic level as she is; or wants to be.

That part of their college adventure will be as tough for Dillon; but then he’s probably the smartest guy in the lecture hall for all of his subjects; so he’ll probably get more study group invitations than he’ll want or need.  Mostly, I’m glad that Violet and Dillon are having fun; enjoying their first academic challenges; and getting off to a relatively problem-free start to their freshman year.

Hopefully I’ll be able to say that for my Grade Eight year!

That is all I have for tonight, though, so...

...until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cassie's Journal - August 25, 2013

This morning started out quietly enough with Tai Chi by the river for Michael, Ethan, Ehlana, and me while Mom and Dad slept in – relatively speaking.  Then we had about two and a half hours of near-chaos as we needed to feed all of the campers; have everyone take turns getting ready for church; and keep all of the younger kids under control and entertained before making the exodus to the church.

I should’ve gone to sleep way earlier!

Thinking about that breakfast action is scary, so I’m only going to mention that it really is astonishing how much food a large group of teenage and tween boys can go through – even for an early morning meal.  Some of them were probably regretting those food games by later today – especially the guy that I won’t embarrass by naming who ate six Olde Bakery bran muffins on a dare.  They’re not affectionately known around town as ‘movement muffins’ for nothing.

Don’t ponder that for too long.  ;^)

Moving on, so to speak; the big stories at church were the meet and greet with Pastor John, Stacey, and Rebekkah Burroughs; and Ricky Taylor’s introduction to the congregation by his proud parents and families.  The church service wasn’t much longer than normal, but the visits after church took a while – though I left when Michael needed to so that I could walk with him to the Inn.

We had work to do after getting home, and while Mom, Grandma, and Aunt Leanne put lunch together for us; Tim, Rowen, and I helped Dad and Uncle Adam with tearing down tents and getting camping gear ready for pick-up.  There were other teens stopping in to help us with that; but it still took nearly an hour to clear the campsite; and then another hour to have lunch and do the clean-up from that while the Moms and pregnant women were sent off for naps or breaks.

Tim stayed with us for lunch, but he moved on to other plans with his family while Rowen and I took charge of Ethan and Ehlana for the afternoon so that Mom and Dad could work in the office.  We went for a bike ride with the trailer first; played at the park; did an ice cream run to the Emporium that was timed to meet up with Michael; and then we went for a swim with him back at home and played in the back yard until he needed to go back to the Inn again for the buffet shift.

Rowen went over to the computer store when Michael left because she had family plans tonight too; so Ethan, Ehlana, and I got to have some quiet time in the lounge where we had a little telepathic chat that was mostly about next steps in our future plans ahead of our next meeting tomorrow night.  I may or may not be at that meeting, depending on what Michael and I will be doing for his day off; but Ethan and Ehlana can handle our end of things if I’m not there; and the three of us aren’t all that involved in the things that will be happening this Fall.

Mom and Dad went with a leftovers and easy-dinner meal tonight, and then we had a quiet evening at home that included some Magi lessons; a little play time; and plans for all of us to go to bed early after having such a late night and early, busy start to the morning.  I even had my Jacuzzi time while Ethan and Ehlana were having their baths; and would have been in bed first too if I hadn’t gone down to their rooms for the bedtime story, hugs, and kisses.

I didn’t do any archive work tonight, and just covered the basics for the nightly computer checks.  A lot more happened today that I didn’t go into detail about, but I’m really tired; and it’s time to crash and get some serious down time, so...

...until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!

Cassie's Journal - August 24, 2013

My day started out and ended quietly enough, but it was pretty much non-stop action for everything in-between.

Tai Chi was the fun quiet morning fun, and sitting outside of our tents and talking with Michael, Tim, and Rowen for more than an hour was a really great way to end the day – along with some cuddling for Michael and me; a midnight swim; and some goodnight kisses.  I’m definitely okay with our best friends making excuses for giving us the alone time for those kisses, but when they’ve also now used those opportunities to share their own kisses for a third time; they’re not doing it just for us anymore.  This time, it was Tim kissing Rowen in the Pantry.  I have no idea how they ended up in there; since they didn’t return to our tents with anything except a pair of big smiles; but it’d be a good place to go if they didn’t want to be interrupted by anyone heading inside for bathroom breaks.

Let’s get to the rest of the report; and we’ll get back to that part of the story in a bit.  Michael was only over at our house for Tai Chi, and then he was off again to grab a shower and get ready to help out with the breakfast and lunch crowds at the Inn.  We had a light breakfast before getting started on the yard and house work; and I spent the morning mowing the lawn and doing the rest of my usual chores.  There isn’t anything exciting to report from that work, but I did like getting to spend some of that time working with Dad and talking about what we’d each been doing since seeing each other on Monday night.

We had a cold salads and subs lunch, and then Rowen came over to help me with setting up tents and getting our own gear rounded up.  Other kids and teens stopped in to help with the camp set-up; and that was still going on when Rowen and I took Ethan and Ehlana to the park to watch Michael and Tim play their last regular season game against the Sheriffs.  Both teams still had a shot at making the championship game – or to possibly end up at the bottom of their division if they lost.

The Wranglers were the ‘away’ team, so they batted first; and got the game off to a great start – for them – with two quick runs before the Sheriffs’ players kicked up their game and made some good defensive plays.  I won’t suggest that my good luck kiss for Michael or our little cheerleading squad made much of a difference; but Michael did score one of those first runs.  He and Tim both played really well, and those first two runs ended up being very important because the Sheriffs never managed to close the gap on that early lead.  That was frustrating for their players at first, and then just demoralizing as they started running out of time without managing to score many runs.  With a seven-to-four lead going into the top of the last inning, the Sheriffs managed to hold the Wranglers to just one more run; but then the game ended when the Wranglers only allowed one hit in the Sheriffs’ half of the inning on their way to getting three quick outs to end the game with a convincing eight-to-four win.

Michael and Tim took some razzing for getting hugs and kisses from their cheerleaders after the game, but none of us minded the jokes; and Rowen was very happy that Ehlana and I gave her a perfect excuse to give Tim – and Michael – a hug and kiss too.  They had to hang out with their team for the usual post-game celebration, and Rowen and I needed to get the twins home and help out with the work for the barbeque dinner; so that hugs and kisses moment didn’t last long before we were all off and running again.

Even with a comparatively short, low-score game we only got home in time to help with the last half-hour or so of the pre-dinner work; and most of our guests were already there too.  The work, meal, and clean-up mostly just felt like a mad rush of action before most of us headed over to the park for the Fix-it Uppers game against the Big Shots.  For the work side of that, Rowen and I mostly hauled food or empty containers and dirty dishes back and forth from the kitchen to the buffet table; and helped with the dishwashing after we ate.  We had Michael, Tim, and some other teens with us to help with kid control during dinner; and sat on the dock or by the river while the younger kids spent as much time playing as they did eating.

Amazingly enough, the Fix-it Uppers weren’t out of the running for the Championship game, but if you’re reading this in the distant future and thinking that the twenty-one to nineteen final score meant a close game; it really wasn’t.  The Big Shots built up a big lead in the first few innings; and then coasted the rest of the way so they didn’t completely embarrass our team.  If they hadn’t done that; our Coach probably would have asked to have the mercy rule invoked.  The good news is that once the game was all but over anyway; the players, cheerleaders, and spectators all just relaxed and had fun.  I don’t think that Mom, Dad, or really anyone else on our team minded the fact that they won’t have to deal with another practice or the championship game anyway.  I wouldn’t have been cheering with – or against – Miranda this year either, so I’m okay with not having to spend two or three hours doing that a week from Sunday too.

Scoring forty runs took a while, so the post-game action didn’t take long; and the kids, tweens, and teens who were camping at our house came back with Mom, Dad, and some adult volunteers who were helping the hired ‘babysitters’ to get everything set up for the rest of the night – including the campfire.  Alicia and Erin had organized and hired the babysitting crew; and that included their boyfriends, Doug Warren and Kyle Landry; along with Caleb Palmer, Erica Bassett, Carolyn Landry, and Jeff Morris.  Wasn’t it just yesterday that those last four teens were in need of supervision while hanging out with Chris and Martin and goofing around all the time?  Now they’re the responsible ones!

Michael, Rowen, Tim, and I were part of the gang that decided to go for a swim while the campfire was being set up; and we took Ethan, Ehlana, and their friends in with us with a little help from some of our friends.  That made for a bit of a damp start to the campfire for those of us who didn’t get changed; but the fire dried us off quickly enough.  The campfire music and stories time was a blast, but before I get to that; there was something very important that happened with Patrick and Michael that I want to write about first.

We were among the last kids to sit down at the campfire because we’d needed to get toddlers dried, changed, and do bathroom breaks with them first.  One of the other guys was taking a first turn at playing guitar by then, so Michael was able to cuddle with me – and when Patrick saw that; he got up and stomped off toward the river and out of sight into the darkness.  Michael waved Scott off when he was about to get up and follow his friend; and went to find Patrick himself instead.  They were gone for nearly twenty minutes, but when Michael returned, he had Patrick with him; and it was obvious to me that something had changed with Patrick – and between them.

It wasn’t until Rowen and Tim gave us the alone time later that Michael gave me the condensed version of the talk they’d had; and I’ll shorten it down a bit more here.  Basically, Michael told Patrick that he completely understood why Patrick loves me – because he loves me too.  They talked about other things like Michael’s ‘other’ girlfriends, but it sounds like it was a new perspective for Patrick about Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne that made the biggest impact.  Michael pointed out to him that both my aunt and uncle dated other people both when they were growing up in Witch Falls and while they were living away from home and going to school or working; and that Patrick couldn’t expect that to be any different for him and Cassie than it was for them.  The only part of their chat that Patrick didn’t like was when Michael reminded him that he really did love me a lot and hoped to keep me; but he also conceded that we’re twelve, and it’s a bit early to plan on happily-ever-afters when we’ve only been dating for a couple of months.  The bottom line is that Michael managed to help Patrick out a lot with his crush on me; and I really love that he was able to do that for him.

I loved the campfire cuddle time too, and playing with Ethan, Ehlana, and all of our friends.  Alicia and Erin needed to remind the guys to tone the scary stories down until the younger kids started going to bed for the night, but other than that; the entertainment was toddler-friendly and the younger kids happily kept feeding toasted marshmallows and hotdogs to their storytellers and musicians.  Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I all helped out when Alicia ordered all of the younger kids to bed at eleven o’clock – or those who hadn’t already fallen asleep.

Rowen and I are using one of our big tents tonight instead of the usual dome tent because we have five girls with us – Ehlana, Naomi, Lindsay Faulkner, and Jessica and Sophia Bassett.  Michael and Tim have Ethan, Aiden, and Ryan Bassett; so Alicia had Caleb and Erica help us with doing the bedtime routine with our eight kids.  That made it a lot easier to get them all tucked into their sleeping bags; and we were even able to go back to the campfire for an hour when Alicia and Erin offered to stay close to our tents and keep an ear out for the kids if they woke up and needed anything.

This is probably a good place to write about some of the teen-rated action and the minor tweeird moments.  First up has to be Jenny and Joel.  They only have a week left until he heads home; and they’re a bit scary.  Michael and I know from Rebecca that Jenny has no intention of trying to keep things going with Joel after he goes home; and it seems like they’re both trying to get all of the fun out of their time together as they can before it’s over.

They seemed to be achieving that goal and then some from what we saw; and I don’t want to know about what we didn’t see tonight.  Rebecca went through the motions of putting her gear into the same tent as Jenny, but moved it sometime after the adults left; and already had other sleeping arrangements set up with some of the other girls.

Jenny and Joel weren’t the only couple in the same tent; but most of the teens were actually being pretty good tonight.  That extra hour that Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I got to spend around the campfire was a blast; and I don’t think that dating Michael was the only reason why we felt more a part of the teen action than I ever have before now; though it does help that Michael and Tim are accepted as junior members of the football fanatic teens that Kyle leads.

As I write this, the campfire is over, and most of the kids and teens are sleeping.  After returning to our tents, Michael and Tim sat outside of our tent and talked with Rowen and me for an hour or so; we went for a swim; and then spent a little more time together after Rowen and Tim gave Michael and me that alone time while finding a nice, quiet pantry so they could share their own goodnight kiss.  We’ve already covered Michael’s chat with Patrick re-cap; and we still managed to take advantage of that alone time to enjoy our own goodnight hugs and kisses before Rowen and Tim came back.

That last bit of chat time ended when we were alerted to the need for certain kids to go inside for bathroom breaks; and that ended up requiring two trips to the house by the time all of the kids who woke up during the process were taken care of and tucked into their sleeping bags again.  After splitting up with Michael and Tim, Rowen and I have been having a fun, quiet little girl chat while I’ve been doing my usual nightly computing.  The highlight of that chat for her was obviously that third major kiss with Tim.  We were both too wound up to sleep then, so I put some music on quietly enough not to wake the other girls; and we’re just getting to the point now that we’re ready to try to get some rest.

Before I put my computer away, though, there are a few notes to make from my email inbox.  Violet and Dillon are in their residential halls tonight; and are finding the change both exciting and weird.  Violet sent pictures of their dorm rooms and new roommates; and they were both really busy with everything they needed to get done today – and the campus events that were scheduled for the freshman class.  The city life culture shock is a bigger deal for Dillon than Violet; but that’s one of the reasons they left early – so they could have a few days to get used to the city and get familiar with the campus.  Having their own car apparently is a big deal – a fact that I’ll keep in mind for when I decide where to go to college; though I don’t plan on getting one for my sixteenth birthday; since that would be a waste for what little bits of driving any teens do in Witch Falls.

Stephanie had an update for me out of New York too, but the only news is that all is well; and she and Jake are having a lot of fun.  Being at separate schools is tough, but their schedules do work out so that they can see each other nearly every day; and they’ll be together as much as they possibly can on the weekends.  Last, but not least, was Chrissy’s college report.  I’d better start making that ‘Christina’.  She’s using her full name with her new college friends, and I’ve heard from other sources that she wants to leave the nickname behind now that she’s a collegian.  She and Josiah are really enjoying their college experience so far; and they’re both getting noticed by their professors already – though that isn’t easy when there are so many students in every class.  They’re also spending as much time together as they can; and there are apparently guys and girls in their respective dorms and classes who are terribly disappointed that they’re not single and available.  There haven’t been any specific stories about that sort of thing from Violet or Stephanie; but I’m sure they’ll all be dealing with that too – especially Jake; though I’m definitely biased about that! :^)

Okay, I guess there isn’t anything else that needs to be added to this update; Rowen’s starting to drift off; and there’s always the possibility that I’ll get one more toddler wake-up call during the few hours we have left until sunrise, so...

...until next time, this is Magi Master Cassie Proctor; logging out!