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Friday, July 10, 2015

Cassie's Journal - July 9, 2015



Between the lounge and our room, Mandy and I have five sleepover buddies with us tonight.  Ethan has two extra guys in his room; so Mom is going to have a small gang to feed in the morning – though that’ll still be a lot fewer than she had tonight for the family and friends dinner she and Dad hosted after our Quarry Lake adventure.

My sleepover guests are Rowen, Ehlana, Naomi, Sophia, and Uncle Mark’s niece, Colleen.  The four younger girls are camping in the lounge; Mandy is with them; and Rowen and I get to have my bed to ourselves.  Ethan has Uncle Mark’s nephew, Noah, and Aiden with him, and after spending the night in a sleeping bag on the floor while his guests get the beds; he might be wishing for a bigger room or more beds by morning.  Yes, two of the girls are on the floor in the lounge; but Ehlana and Naomi practically have princess-worthy beds set up for themselves; and guys are not allowed to do that – or just sneak off next door and be comfortable in one of the guest bedrooms.

Man laws really suck sometimes; don’t they, guys? ;^)

I’ll get back to the sleepover part of the story; but let’s back up and cover the rest of the news for today first.

Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne had a very good first night with Brianna.  Other than needing to be nursed a few times and cuddled a lot; she happily napped between feedings and let her parents get a decent night of rest.  WE found out about that during our morning visit with them after breakfast; though we didn’t stay long because we were also busy this morning getting ready for our trip to Quarry Lake.  For me, that meant helping Mom out with making salads and getting everything together for our lunch, snacks, and drinks there.  Mom did an Olde Bakery and grocery store run after visiting with Uncle Adam, Aunt Leanne, and Brianna; and though it took a while to get everything ready and the minivan loaded; we were on the way to Quarry Lake by ten-thirty.

‘We’ included Mom, Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, Aiden, and me in the minivan; Jake, Stephanie, Michael, Jessica, Ryan, and Sophia in their minivan; and Aunt Grace and all of Uncle Mark’s family in several other vehicles.  Uncle Mark couldn’t go along with us; but there were some other additions to our group that joined us at Quarry Lake by lunchtime – including Uncle Nick, Naomi’s Dad, Leah, Sebastian, Zack, and Eli.  Zack was in that second group because we dropped him off at home before leaving so that he could have some time with his parents and baby sister – and because we didn’t have room for the extra car seat in the minivan anyway without the back seat being too crowded.  He was actually okay with that plan; since it meant getting to hang out with Eli instead – even if he also had to hang out with his baby sister for a while too before Philip was ready to take the rest of the day off to play with his kids and their friends.

It was cooler out this morning, but still warm-enough to enjoy the non-water fun options at Quarry Lake.  With so many younger kids, rock climbing and the zip line wasn’t an option until later; but we still had a lot of fun at the playground; playing some of the games; and tossing around Frisbees, baseballs, and footballs.  Our day camp was near the beach but not right at it today; and we had a few picnic tables to use too.  That helped a lot with setting up lunch – and gave the adults somewhere to sit while most of the kids and teens sat on blankets or in one of the bag chairs we’d brought along.  There was a lot going on around our lunch break.  Just getting everyone fed was a challenge that kept some of us busy for more than an hour; but we also had other visitors and a few temporary additions to our group – like Violet and Dillon.  They came out for an extended lunch break before heading back to the lab, and though they wished that they could have taken the day off too; that wasn’t an option with Aunt Grace and Uncle Adam both away for the day too.  They’re not officially very high on the corporate food chain at the lab, but they will be; and Aunt Grace is developing them accordingly – including trusting them with taking care of the place when she can’t be there.

It never got really hot out today, but we still went swimming several times this afternoon.  Michael and I only went swimming with our family the first time after lunch; we played with the younger kids and parents until shortly before three; and then we moved on to Elliott’s birthday party.  Rowen and Tim had been dropped off by then and had caught some of that play time; but they’d also gone ahead of us to the birthday party and helped Elliott’s family out with some of the pre-party work at the small pavilion they were using.  Elliott’s party started out with a short social time in and around that pavilion; and then his parents had reserved some times for the rock wall and zip line for those of us that wanted to do that.  Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I all got to be in the first group to go climbing with Elliott, Nora, Paul, and Vanessa.

For those of you reading this that remember that Rowen and I were not Nora and Vanessa’s favorite people just a short couple of summers ago; yes, that was a bit weird – even if they have gotten over being mad at us and we get along fine now.  The other two couples climbed first, and to be honest; that probably kept that little scene from getting even weirder because they’d already moved on after riding the zip line before we reached the top of the rock wall.  If they’d stayed to watch; I’ll guess that Nora and Vanessa would have been at least a little annoyed with Rowen and I for making that climb in less than half the time it took them to do it.  I’m not going to get into a long discussion of the weird part of that part of our party adventure, so just picture the scene with four teenage boys watching two teenage girls climbing that rock wall; and remember that we’re talking about two current boyfriends of those girls and two former boyfriends.

Yes, Michael, we know that you never considered yourself Vanessa’s boyfriend, but she did; so just go with it.

Moving along, the rock climbing and zip line fun was followed by a swim that Michael and I got to do with Ethan, Ehlana, and some of the other kids along with our friends – their last swim before heading back to town for dinner.  I’ll switch to that story for a minute; since I wasn’t there for the dinner or early-evening entertainment.  Mom and the other adults had bonus help for the return trip driving; mostly because there’d been more kids and teens dropped off for some play time than they had room for in the remaining vehicles.  Violet and Dillon were among those extra drivers; and then there was another group helping out at home with the cooking for dinner – including Dan, Grandma, and Grandpa.

They had a bigger group there for dinner than Elliott had at his party; but then they were having a bit of a party too that allowed a lot of Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s friends to get to meet and visit with Brianna.  I didn’t get the meal options details; but I do know that grilling various meats and lots of pot-luck offerings from the guests were included.  There were lots of Olde Bakery treats too – enough that we had leftovers for our bedtime snack tonight; so that was a great bonus!  I also missed out on the social hours that followed dinner; and that was when the sleepover requests from the kids was approved.  Since Ethan and Ehlana had spent the day playing with Naomi, Sophia, and Aiden; they’d wanted to keep that fun going.  Noah and Colleen had played with them a lot too; so they’d been included in the invitation.  Their parents hadn’t been able to disappoint the kids, so they let them stay with us; but Mom got the impression that they’d have rather had Noah and Colleen spend the time with Uncle Mark while they can before they head home on Saturday.

I get that, but then we’re also talking about when they’d have been sleeping for most of the time anyway – especially since all of the adults at the Everett house were tired out by the time they went home from our house tonight and the younger kids were already sleeping by then.

Getting back to the birthday party; the action there got a bit crazy for some of us.  After that swim; it was time for some more play time while the meat options for dinner were being grilled.  The actual meal was on-the-fly too; Elliott opened his gifts while we all ate; and then Rowen and I were two of the girls that needed to head into town for an hour for our baseball practices while the guys stayed and played.  Rowen’s Mom handled the transportation for us both ways; and then stayed at Quarry Lake and visited with the other adults at the party until it was time to come home when the park closed to day visitors at dusk – or more like dark by the time we actually got out of there.  Our baseball practice went great; and so did the swim and play time after we got back to Quarry Lake that included another climb and zip line run for Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I shortly before that closed for the night.

Rowen’s Mom dropped the four of us off at my house on her way home, and while Rowen and I hadn’t planned a sleepover; she decided to stay after we found out about the junior sleepover already in progress by then.  Michael and Tim stayed too; but they started out their late-evening fun with some video gaming in the living room with Ethan, Noah, and Aiden while Rowen and I joined in for the junior chick flick movie ‘marathon’ that the girls were having in the lounge.  For tonight, that meant watching Barbie movies; since they were Colleen’s current favorites; and the other girls were happy to watch them with her.

Yes, Rowen and I loved watching one of those movies with them too; and I’m not embarrassed to admit it.

The kids did all eventually start running out of steam, and since my lounge was sleepover central for the girls; Rowen and I did our pre-bedtime cuddling with Michael and Tim in the living room once Michael and I had Ethan, Noah, and Aiden tucked in for the night.  Mom and Dad were still working in the office then, but Michael, Tim, and Rowen are all working in the morning anyway; so we didn’t exactly have plans to stay up and party all night anyway.  It was still getting late by then, though, and we wanted to have some quality cuddle and chat time; so it was heading toward one when Michael and Tim headed home – and conveniently at about the same time that Mom and Dad wrapped up their work in the office and wished us a good night on their way up to bed.

Rowen and Tim stayed in the living room for their goodnight hugs and kisses while Michael and I took care of ours out on the front porch.  Once our boys had left and we’d either watched them walk away for a minute or two; Rowen and I came up to my room for the night.  She shopped in my closet for something to wear to bed and an outfit for tomorrow; we took turns in the bathroom; and then we climbed into bed with both of my computers so that Rowen could surf for YouTube videos while I did my nightly computer checks and a bit of family business work.  She was tired by then; picked a video playlist; and then fell asleep about twenty minutes into our girl chat time.

I had some family business work that needed to get done, and spent more than an hour doing that; mostly because I couldn’t Magi-power it with a gang of kids in the house with us.  That’s all of the news for today; but let’s take a quick look ahead to the plans for the weekend.  Uncle Mark’s family only has one full day left for their vacation here, and while we don’t have anything major planned for their entertainment; we will be doing a family dinner and play night tomorrow that’ll likely include a campfire to end the day with if the weather cooperates.  I’ll definitely be helping out with the kid control again; though I hope that I’ll get to spend some time with Aunt Leanne, Uncle Adam, and Brianna too.  Saturday is going to be busy for some of the members of my family while they get Uncle Mark’s family out to the airport in time for their flight home; but it should be a fairly normal work day for me – except for my baseball game in the afternoon.  Dad’s going to be in the city next week and will likely be working all weekend to get ready for that too; so my current plan for Sunday is to help out at the Inn all day.  I haven’t spent much time there or with Michael’s parents; so that should work out great – even if it’ll be a lot of work too.

There doesn’t seem to be any Michael and me time worked into that schedule, but I’ll hope for a bit of that too – even if it isn’t all that likely.  The good news is that we’ll always have next week to try and make up for that – and we should definitely make that happen; since my cousins will be here for a week or two starting next Friday night.

With all of that coming up; why am I not sleeping right now while I can?

I don’t know either, so that’s all for tonight; and, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!