Heirs of the Magi News Flash!

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

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

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

Happy summer - or winter - reading!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Cassie's Journal - July 4, 2015



Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Happy Un-Independence Day, Mom!

We had a cooler start to the day, but the weather has also been beautiful and nearly-perfect for a holiday.  I’m also fairly sure that some fireworks were going off first thing this morning while Michael and I were busy sharing our good morning hug and kisses before Tai Chi by the river – even though my parents, brother, and sister didn’t hear or see a thing; and insisted that didn’t happen.  That did give Michael and I the excuse to test that assertion out during the fireworks show in the park, and while I’ll concede that it was louder and brighter tonight, it was also dark out; and the kisses felt about the same to me.

That’s gotten off-topic, so let’s get on with the holiday report.

Tai Chi was followed by an even busier breakfast and morning rush than we had yesterday.  I was not on the cooking crew because Mom and Dad told me to go and get ready for the day first.  I was finished doing that in time to help out a bit before we all sat down to eat, and while the meal was a blast of fun; it was time to get to work after that.  The kitchen was clean by the time I needed to head for the school.  Rowen collected me on her way there; we met up with Michael; and the three of us walked to the school.  We had picked playing with the school band this year; and we were among the first members of our group to get to the school.  The trailer was already set up for us; so we got our instruments out of the cases and tuned up while waiting for the rest of the band.

Tim stopped by for hugs and kisses from Rowen, but he only stayed for a few minutes to talk with us before moving on.  He was helping his Dad out again this year; and then went along with Kyle while his cousin drove one of the company trucks pulling a float trailer.  That wasn’t as exciting for him as playing in the band was for us; but I expect that he’ll hope to be one of the drivers next year – even though he’d still need a co-pilot to do that while still having the learner’s permit that he’ll be able to get in August.

I missed out on all of the pre-parade action at home, but that work was going on while I was warming up with the band and waiting for the parade to start; so I’ll add that bit of news in here.  Mom and Dad kept the oven loaded with food that they were warming up; salads and other donations were loaded into the truck along with coolers, chairs, and the rest of the usual day camp gear that we need for these family adventures at the park.  A delegation of teens and adults were put in charge of keeping the kids entertained while the work was getting done, and when it was time to stake out a spot to watch the parade from; Violet, Dillon, Jake, Stephanie, Christina, Josiah, and Dawn were put in charge of doing that with all of the kids from our collective families – including the Bassett kids.

Trust me – playing in the band was way, way easier!

Maybe that’s why so many of the adult volunteers come back for more every year; though that has me wondering why Aunt Leanne isn’t doing something in the parade every year too considering how often she tells Mom and Dad that they pick responsibility over fun.  I’m not suggesting that she should have been in the parade this year, but then I did also hear her own jokes about being mistaken for a blimp if she had been.  She did have fun today, and wasn’t allowed to do any work anyway; but it was also a very long day for her too.  While Aunt Leanne also had lots of jokes and comments about her size, pregnancy, and things she could have done at the parade and park celebration to speed up going into labor; I’m also sure that she’s glad that she didn’t have an Independence Day baby.

Then again, if my prenatal cousin was thinking about making an appearance tonight; I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the noises of everything from the fire trucks in the parade to the fireworks tonight were enough to have her choosing to wait a bit longer. ;^)

Getting back to the holiday adventure stories, after warming up; Michael, Rowen, and I had lots of time to just hang out and talk with our friends and band mates while waiting for our turn to head out onto the parade route.  We were the last musical act this year, and while I’d have rather gotten going sooner; we were at least in a decent spot to watch the parade as it rolled out of the school grounds.  One thing that is different about being in the band compared to the teen praise team is that we couldn’t interact with the crowd as much while concentrating on the music and our conductor, but getting to do that with Michael was great; and I did still get to see everything going on around us – even if I couldn’t acknowledge that I did most of the time.  I also preferred getting to play music for my favorite people as we passed them way better than if we’d been able to interact more with any of them had we passed them during one of our micro breaks between songs.

The parade route only changes a little bit from year to year, and the time to complete it is always very close to the same too; so the only difference for us this year was that we were at the end of the parade and had to pack up while the crowds were heading into the park and getting started on the fun there while we were busy working for a while.  Michael, Rowen, and I stayed and helped out with packing up all of the gear from the trailer; and then Michael volunteered to help out with the work at the school to get everything back to the music room while Rowen and I headed home to get changed and meet up with any members of our family that weren’t already at the park by then.  I dropped of Michael’s saxophone at his house too on my way home; and then eventually met up with him at his house once I was ready to go back to the park and play.

We needed to hurry by then to get to the park in time for the co-ed baseball game at noon, so while we’d had the house to ourselves by then; we unfortunately didn’t have time to take advantage of the opportunity.  Our families had us covered on the lunch food front, but I literally had to join my cheerleading squad and get to work as soon as we arrived at the ball diamond closest to the park entrance.  I should clarify that comment, since this year; Miranda and I were co-captains of our squad.  She cheered for Mom and Dad’s team this year because she didn’t have a team in the game – and because cheering with me and the rest of the girls on our squad was more fun than just being a spectator.  Our squad included all of the younger girl cousins in our collective families – including Uncle Mark’s nieces.  Violet, Christina, Stephanie, Rebecca, and some of the Moms helped out too; and we had a blast cheering our team on to victory.

Our Eagles were up against the Hawks, and the teams were probably fairly evenly matched – except for at the cheerleader positions.  That wasn’t even close, and I’d like to humbly report that Miranda and I are really good at motivating our squad – and baseball team too.  We didn’t try to ‘steal’ the Hawks’ supporters this year; but we did send our junior cheerleaders out along both sidelines and pretty much had everyone watching the game cheering for the Eagles and jeering the Hawks.  Our team had the ‘Home’ advantage, and while the Hawks opened up a small lead in the top of the first inning that took our team a few at bats to overcome before taking the lead; the game wasn’t all that close after that.  Even the seventeen-to-eleven score was a bit misleading because the Hawks scored three runs in the top of the final inning before the Eagles earned the third out to end the game and minor attempt at a late rally from a nine-run deficit.

When I was envisioning my Fourth of July in my thoughts and dreams last night, I wasn’t considering that we had two baseball games to watch today – and didn’t have any time at all to play between the matches.  In this case, the ‘we’ didn’t include all of the members of my family; but Miranda, Rowen, and I were there for Michael, Tim, and their team even while we lost most of our junior cheerleaders for that second game while they went off to play with our families and friends.  There were a few cameo visits, and we had some new cheerleaders join the squad; but there was a much smaller crowd of spectators for that game too.  Having more teens and Moms on the squad – including Tim’s Mom – made that little adventure fun in a different way to the first game; but then that’s probably why we didn’t just get bored after cheering for so many hours straight without many breaks.

Having a lot to cheer about was good too; and Michael and Tim in particular were fired up and happy to help us out with that – even if Tim was totally weirded out to have both his girlfriend and Mom on the cheerleading squad together.

I wonder why he doesn’t seem to have that same problem when it’s Michael’s Mom and me cheering together.  There’s probably a logical, simple explanation for that inconsistency.

The Arrows were playing the Catapults, and this time; the away team took the early lead and never looked back.  I’m sure that the cheering helped out with motivating my favorite players on the Arrows’ team; but we can’t take credit for what was pretty much a blow-out, eighteen-to-six win.  As I implied, Michael and Tim were responsible for that; and either scored or batted in twelve of those eighteen runs between them – including the runs that Michael scored off of Tim’s hits.  Michael couldn’t return the favor; but only because of the batting order.  Speaking of that, some people might think that Martin gave Tim the better batting slot on the team strictly because of the father-son thing; but he does actually do that the way it should be done.  Michael has the better batting average; and Tim is more of a power hitter with more doubles and triples to go along with more outs.  I won’t get into the fact that they both need to hold back and not show off all of their abilities, but then if they did; games would need to end with the mercy rule every time – just as they would if Mom and Dad, or any other Magi in town, played their best.

Then again, it might be very cool to have an all-Magi match to see what would happen!  No, that isn’t going to happen; but it would be a blast if it did!

Moving along, the baseball action ended up filling up my entire afternoon, and while I was seriously ready for a break and some play time; Michael and I had to go and help out with dinner and kid control after the game.  He got to go home first, grab a shower, and get changed; but he did that fairly quickly and managed to be back in time to join me in the long food booth line I’d been in – and then he helped with hauling all of the food to our day camp site.  We had parental and grandparent support for getting the kids set up with plates of food and drinks; but then we were in full kid-immersion while we ate and my brother, sister, cousins, and some friends needed to tell us all about their games and playground adventures while we’d been busy with baseball game number two.

There was other teen support during the meal, including from Rebecca and Lucas; but Michael and I had the biggest group of kids around us – mostly because Ethan and Ehlana really wanted to spend that time with us; and more than half of our cousins were with them, Naomi, and Aiden.  Hanging out with the kids meant missing out on most of the adult chat time, but we did hear about a bit of the news from that side of the family.  For me, some of those highlights weren’t actually play and fun-related.  Finding out that Aunt Leanne was sent home for an afternoon nap was entertaining because it was her Mommy and Doctor giving her those orders, and while she was the only Mom that wasn’t given a choice for that; there were a few other Moms and Grandmothers that went to have naps too – along with a few of my youngest cousins.  I won’t go into the post-baseball stories involving parents, aunts, and uncles that involved going home to get cleaned up and changed – or why it took them so long to do that; but I’m sure you can use your imagination on that.

Just don’t ever tell me about that if you do – please!

It took a while to finish our meal, but then Michael and I were left on kid control duty instead of moving to the clean-up crew.  That wasn’t all good because we were instructed to take our group of kids for ice cream cones; and to make sure that they were clean when returned to their parents or grandparents when we were finished that little task.  Since our group ranged in age from about one and a half to eight, you can imagine the potential for mess; but Michael and I managed to deal with it – even if not all of the adults were impressed with our solution to several extreme ice cream messes.

That’s right – we dunked the kids in the river to clean them up.  We were told to return them clean.  Nobody said anything about whether they had to be dry or not too!

While we had a lot of fun with all of that, the dance was starting by the time Michael and I were set free; and we headed for the stage and dance floor to meet up with Rowen, Tim, and a bunch of our friends that again included Rebecca and Lucas – and Jenny and Joel.  The change in action was almost shocking with that move from kid to teen fun and entertainment; though we didn’t completely escape interaction with the kids in our families.  We did really enjoy the dance, play, and chat time with our friends, though; and the cameo moments with the kids and adults in our families was all good too – if a bit of an overload of action.  I won’t try to write about everything, but here are some of my personal highlights.

Dancing with Michael; hugging and kissing Michael; and cuddling with Michael while we talked with our friends at one of the picnic tables that bordered the ‘dance floor’ area topped my list.  Having Ethan and Ehlana cut in on us once was cute; and so was Michael’s dance with Ehlana while I danced with Ethan – until Naomi cut in on us and danced off with my brother while leaving me temporarily stranded on the dance floor.  Other cameo moments that I loved getting to see included Aunt Leanne dancing with Uncle Adam and Zack; a dance that I had with Dad; and watching the dance that Mom had with Ethan while we did that – right up until Naomi cut in on them and danced off with my brother again.

I sense a pattern there – especially since that happened to Ethan with the only other dance he had with any girl other than Naomi – and that only happened because Aunt Leanne decided to try messing with Naomi by asking Ethan to dance with her.

The fireworks were scheduled for eleven o’clock, so other than taking a short break from the dance to go and play a couple of games at the booths; Michael, Rowen, Tim, and I didn’t really get a chance to play the games at all this year.  Since we’d also missed out on all of the afternoon stage shows while we’d been busy with baseball; it felt as though we missed out on half of the fun today – even while we were getting tired out by then from all of the busy.  While hanging out with our friends for the fireworks had been an option, Michael and I chose to meet up with our parents, Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, Aiden, and the rest of the gang that met up at our day camp spot to watch the show.  We would have had fun either way; but I especially love sharing that part of the day with Mom, Dad, and the twins; so I hope that we at least rotate doing that with them every other year or so for as long as we can do that.

BMR Labs was one of the sponsors of the fireworks show now, and the display has expanded a bit since they started helping out with the costs; but that’s mostly in quality and quantity more than the length of the show.  It is amazing, though; and I doubt that anyone left the park early – even when that meant getting stuck in the minor traffic jam that came with getting out of the park after the fireworks were finished.

I’ve already mentioned that Michael and I spent some time sharing kisses during the fireworks show.  We weren’t the only couple in our family doing that; though I don’t think that we really need to add any details there – especially since our parents were two of those other couples.  Technically, so was Ethan and Naomi; but her kiss for him was on the cheek; and it was the cuddling together for the entire show that was most-adorable for them.  I’ve occasionally wondered if it would have been like that for Michael and I if we’d known each other since birth, and I guess that’s possible; but I can’t quite picture it – even though Naomi is definitely a lot like me on the fired up and outgoing scale.  While I might not be able to picture being a couple with Michael when we were four; I can definitely see Naomi getting teased for hugging boys.

Oh wait – she got teased for doing that tonight! ;^)

The fireworks display was non-stop action in the skies above us while also being a wind down time for everyone, but once it ended; it was time to kick it up into high gear again as we packed up our day camp; rounded up the kids; and hauled everything home.  We didn’t have any vehicles to do that with, so most of the older kids, teens, and adults were loaded up with gear; so were all of the strollers; and the half-dozen youngest kids were sleeping and being carried or in strollers too by the time we started walking home.  Michael helped out with our things, but only because his parents had enough help from Rebecca, Lucas, Jake, and Stephanie.  He came home with us; helped with the work getting everything put away; and then we took care of getting Ethan, Jayden, and Ehlana off to bed for the night before saying goodnight to everyone else and going outside to sit by the river for a while with cold drinks and a snack.

That meant leaving Dawn, Jaimie, and Kaitlyn to fend for themselves, but we really wanted to end our holiday with a bit of alone time; and my cousins probably drew straws for using my Jacuzzi while I was busy.  They also each at least took one turn watching us from the window alcoves in my room and the lounge; but didn’t attempt any interruptions.  They probably had some girl chat time with Violet that I missed out on too; but I wouldn’t have traded the time with Michael for that – even if we couldn’t enjoy any major make-out time with a house full of guests.

The quiet cuddle time on one of the benches by the river was nice, though; and we had a fun little chat too while winding down again after that post-party work action.  Going for a swim had been an option too, but I decided that I’d rather keep my hair dry; and Michael wasn’t all that interested in swimming unless I was going in too.  We stayed out on that bench for about an hour, and while I can’t report that everyone in the house was sleeping by the time I came up to my room after sharing a long goodnight hug and kisses with Michael; we don’t need the details on what was going on with the members of my family that were still awake too.  Yes, that plural includes more than two people, and in multiples of two; but that’s all I’m going to include on that subject – especially since some of the ‘kids’ that might not want the details about that when it involves their parents will probably read my journals some day in the future.

I know I don’t!

I didn’t have any bed buddies when I got up to my room.  Jaimie and Kaitlyn were camping out in the lounge and Mandy wasn’t there because she was with Dawn instead; so I just cleaned up; got ready for bed; and cuddled with my computer and a stuffie before getting started on my nightly computer and email checks.  It was already heading toward two o’clock by then, but there was some family business work that needed to be dealt with; and that took more than an hour to get finished.  I might have used a time phase for that work if I didn’t have a house full of family to keep me from doing that, but even though I was – and am – tired; I’m still feeling pretty good right now.  We’ll see if I still feel that way by the end of the night tomorrow, but the work couldn’t wait until Monday anyway; and I’m glad that I got it done tonight even if it did mean losing some sleep over.

That does pretty much cover the main news from today, though; so getting some sleep now is definitely in order.  Tomorrow is going to be another crazy-busy day with another big family breakfast; the church service in the park; the lunch and afternoon family fun plans; and my own promise to help out with the buffets at the Inn tomorrow too.

With all of that going on, I’m wondering right now whether I could get away with a sofa sleepover with Michael tomorrow night after we’re done at the Inn.  That’s definitely a cheery thought to head off to sleep with; so let’s just go ahead and do that!

Until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!