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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cassie's Journal - December 30, 2015



Sofa sleepovers with Michael are really great, but Rowen and I had quite a bit of fun this morning doing wake-up calls with our respective boyfriends when it was time to get ready for our adventure at the Blue Ridge Ski Resort and hit the road as soon as we had everyone together and loaded up into minivans and trucks.

We had to rush around a bit to get everything done – including loading our gear into the vehicles; and I was an even happier camper as a few bonus surprises were sprung on us as we gathered outside of our house.  Not only did we have Jacob and Miranda going with us, but Philip and Liz decided to take the day off to go along with Naomi – thanks in part to help for babysitting support for Eli and Vicki’s assurance that she could actually run the salon for a day on her own – even during the Christmas holidays.  I was a bit surprised at that with New Year’s Eve just a day away; but I guess that most of those party appointments will be tomorrow anyway.

That reminds me that I’m overdue for a visit with Liz; but that’ll have to wait for sometime after we’re back to school.

Rowen’s and Tim’s parents had made arrangements to take the day off too, and including Lucas and Peter; we had lots of drivers and vehicles available for everyone.  In addition to our gang, Miranda and Jacob had offered to bring Jessica, Ryan, and Sophia along; Owen and Patricia had extended their invitations to include Patrick, Scott, and Lindsay; and, as I mentioned yesterday, Emma and Benjamin were with Lucas for the day.  The Moms wanted to pair up for the morning trip, so Mom, Miranda, and Liz had a full minivan with Ehlana, Naomi, and Sophia with them.  Patricia and Tracey ended up with Rowen and Tim in the Landry’s SUV; and Michael and I went with his father, Martin, Jessica, and Lindsay.  The girls chose us over going in the same vehicle with Patrick and Scott; which is also why Dad and Owen had Patrick, Scott, and Ryan with them in Dad’s truck.  Peter and Jenny were on their own for the trip because he’d need his car to get home from the ski center; and Lucas had room for Rebecca, Emma, and Benjamin – though we did some travel trade-offs at the half-way stops both ways so that Emma and Benjamin could have more fun with the other kids and teens.

Michael and I got teased about it, but we didn’t have a problem with claiming the back bench seat in the minivan so that we could cuddle during the long drive – and I had a couple of naps that I’m stating here were not just so that I could share multiple good morning hugs and kisses with Michael – those moments were just really great added bonuses! ;^)

When I wasn’t napping, we had fun during the drive – whether that was chatting with our travel companions; munching on snacks or the breakfast food we picked up in Crystal Springs; or watching a movie on the iPad or tablet that had been brought along for our entertainment.  We arrived at Blue Ridge nearly a half-hour before the lifts opened for the day, but it was surprisingly quiet there; and we were able to get the rentals set up for everyone in our group by the time the lifts were running.  The teens and pre-teens were paired up and set free for the morning along with some of the parents; but Mom, Dad, Philip, and Liz were in charge of the youngest kids and novice skiers or snowboarders; and they’d apparently called ahead yesterday to set up morning lessons for their group.

My top news there is that their instructor was a hot, young collegian, and while it was fun to catch Emma, Jessica, and Lindsay joking around about staying for those lessons too; it was a bit weird for some of us to have more than one mother in our group joke about doing that too – or warning Dad and Philip to keep a close eye on their wives all morning.  Let’s not go there; except for adding that I’m sure that Aunt Leanne would have had fun with that – and agreed about the hotness of their instructor.

Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I stayed together for most of the day, but we also spent time with everyone else – whether that was to do a few runs together or just cameo moments in passing; but the only time we were all together was when we met up for lunch.  The parents had collectively insisted on that – if only to make sure that we were all still alive and well by then.  We had so much fun today I don’t have a chance of covering everything; but let’s see what I can do about mentioning the highlights.

First up has to be skiing with Rowen.  Yes, I do mean Rowen and not Michael; though that’s always great too.  Something happens to my usually mild-mannered best friend when we get out on the slopes – or on our bikes at home; and she becomes an amazing, fearless daredevil.  Okay, I’m like that too; but nobody is surprised by that with me.  The point is that even at a small ski center; the snowboarding tricks can be fairly extreme – and there isn’t anything that Rowen and I aren’t willing to try when it comes to the really cool tricks.  Among other things, Rowen and I played around with five-twenty inverted, side-by-side aerials starting from both sides – something that scared some of our parents when they were around to see us doing that.  Michael and Tim are fairly adventurous too; but the main reason why we can’t pair up with them as successfully for tricks is because of the size and weight differences between us.  With a bit of Magi power use, I could fix that problem, but that isn’t an option most of the time when we’re not even all allowed to know about each other – and especially when some of my favorite Magi are right there on the slopes with us; so we don’t even try to have that kind of fun.

It would be awesome if we could go Magi snowboarding, though; and that’s not even talking about the kind of tricks we could do with a little Magi power help.  The aerial flips and turns could last as long as we wanted them to with a bit of telekinesis applied to our boards!

Moving along, I’ll pick snowboarding with Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, Aiden, and Sophia as my next top highlight of the day.  Not surprisingly, they learned fast, and while they weren’t trying inverted aerials of any kind today; they were already ‘catching air’ by lunchtime; and going on the intermediate level slopes by the afternoon.  They always needed help with the chair lifts, so there was always a parent or teen with them for that; and Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I took our turns doing that – including an hour or so of snowboarding that Jessica and Lindsay helped us with so that the parents could go off on their own for a bit of kid-free skiing – and it was skiing for most of the adults in our group.  That does bring me to the next highlight; and Mom and Miranda made the list for being the most adventurous of the parents.

They were on skis all morning; partly because that made it easier to help with the younger kids while they learned how to snowboard; but Mom and Miranda traded in their skis after lunch for snowboards; and went on to prove that Michael and I came by our daredevil impulses at least partly from genetics.  While attempting to keep up with Rowen and me wasn’t something they tried to do; it was a blast to watch them do jumps and even a few one-eighties and three-sixties.  What was just as much fun was watching them play with Dad and Jacob; since we don’t get to see that side of our parents much – and I hope that Michael and I will be that happy when we’re their ages.

Ethan, Ehlana, and I should try to do more to make sure that our parents get to have more fun days like this one has been, and as I think about that; they’re way overdue for a getaway weekend or vacation.  I’ll have to see what I can do about making that happen for them!

I’m not forgetting to include the Michael and me fun; but I’ll make it the last highlight for the day – which means that I can’t quite go there yet.

The reason for that is because there were other highlights that deserve mentioning.  Spending time with Michael’s cousins was high on that part of my list, and while he had the most fun with Ryan; I loved hanging out with Jessica and Sophia.  Add in the friend fun with Rebecca, Emma, and Lindsay; and we had some really great moments with the girls today – including some cameos that not even some of the participants are aware of – or admitting to noticing.

Let’s begin that part of the report with Patrick and Jessica.  Patrick is will be thirteen next April; Jessica will be twelve in April too; and it’s fairly obvious to some of us that they’ve taken notice of each other in more than a neighbors sort of way.  I’m sure that Patrick has noticed that Lindsay is becoming a tween knock-out, and she’s easily one of the most beautiful girls at our school; but he never looks at her the way he was looking at Jessica today.  Maybe that’s at least partly some guy thing because Scott’s his best friend; but I’ll guess that it’s more than that – and it’ll just be a while before one or both of them are ready to deal with it.  I can add that they won’t have an issue with the timing for growth spurts that can be a problem for tween couples; since the one-year advantage that Patrick has is apparently enough for him to stay just a bit taller than Jessica as she’s hitting her first major tween growth spurt must after he’s been into his.  They might not quite be ready to deal with it yet, but the attraction is mutual; so we’ll see how long it will be until they take that next, inevitable step.

Yes, that will be a good thing for me too; though Patrick has gotten over his crush disappointment – even if he might still wish just a bit that things won’t work out for Michael and me.

Patrick and Jessica weren’t the only pre-romance story of the day.  Lindsay and Emma both attracted a lot of attention from the boys on the slopes and around the lodge.  Lindsay was her usual, kind self about the attention; but didn’t respond to any of that interest – and stayed closer to members of our group the couple of times she had minor issues with guys that didn’t want to give up when she didn’t return their interest.  Emma had fun flirting a bit with a couple of different boys; but big brother Lucas managed to be around often-enough to keep those suitors from getting too close to her for his liking.  He might not be the biggest guy on the football team, but Lucas could be intimidating to any younger teens that don’t know he’s such a gentle person.

Finally, I’ll mention that Ryan has a serious crush on Lindsay – though he desperately tries to hide it.  That reminds me of the stories about Uncle Adam, but the one big difference for Ryan is that he sees Lindsay at his house nearly every day; since Lindsay and Geraldine spend a lot of time with his big sister.  I’ll guess that Uncle Adam’s crush issues would have been very different if Dad had been the younger sibling and one of his best friends.  I’ll guess that Aunt Leanne would be as aware of his childhood crush as Lindsay is of Ryan’s crush on her.  She handles that fairly well, in my opinion, and while she’s obviously not romantically interested in an eight-year old boy; she is always kind and friendly with Ryan in a way that works without hurting Ryan’s feelings.  She definitely handles her crush better than I ever dealt with Patrick, but then her Mom is probably an expert on dealing with crushes and had great advice for her! ;^)

For the guys reading this that have had crushes on Abby, you survived; so I’m sure that Ryan will muddle through some day too – or he’ll hope that Lindsay will follow her mother’s lead when it comes to younger me too!

The younger kids in our group were tired out by late afternoon, and while it would have been nice to stay later; the slopes were getting icy by then anyway and harder to snowboard or ski on – even for the best of us.  A really good bribe from the parents encouraged us to agree to skip the night snow fun in favor of catching a movie in Crystal Springs.  I’m mentioning that ahead of the Michael and me part of my update because that movie time was an important part of that story.  I’ll back up a bit for that, but I’ll wrap up the rest of the snow time news by noting that we managed to return our equipment rentals; pack up; and hit the road for the city in record time.

Now we can get to some of the memory highlights that Michael and I made together today.

I’ve already covered the travel naps, hugs, kisses, and the rest of the early morning fun.  The snowboarding entertainment with Michael included a lot of boyfriends chasing girlfriends time; quite a few minor make-out moments in the snow; a couple of snowball fights; and a lot of special cameos that we both shared with our families and friends.  Our lunch break with our entire group didn’t keep us from making time for one of those minor make-out moments while we didn’t have all of our winter gear on; and the cuddle time in the minivan while we drove to Crystal Springs was a great way to warm up after our afternoon in the snow.

I should take a moment here to mention that Blue Ridge did an amazing job getting the ski center up and running in just two days – especially when they’ve really only had yesterday and today available for making snow and grooming the slopes.  They didn’t have all of the runs open yet, but they did get quite a bit more snow than we did at home; so the base they’d really just started now might survive if we don’t have any extended weather warm-ups.

We picked up fast food to eat while driving to the city; and then the movie choice was a no-brainer with so many guys in our group – the new Star Wars movie.  Our fathers have been fans since they were kids; the teen boys were hooked by the second trio of films; and I’m sure that Ethan, Aiden, and most other young boys will be hooked by this latest addition to the franchise.  Ditto that for Ehlana, Naomi, and Sophia thanks to the young Jedi heroine in this movie, and while the princesses in the other movies weren’t exactly quiet and demure while the boys did all of the fighting; they also weren’t Jedi or fighter pilots.  I’ll admit that I was totally sucked in by the movie, and all I’ll say in my own defense is that I think it’s okay to just sit back and enjoy the show sometimes – even if it’s something that isn’t particularly stimulating from a mental perspective.

The fact that we, as Magi, could do a lot of those Jedi ‘tricks’ is just a really cook added bonus that makes these movies especially entertaining for us.  Now if only I could have a real light saber and the rest of the cool Star Wars gear.  Flying to other planets is just so tough for Magi without the space craft!

I don’t need to advertise for the movie in a journal that nobody will read until the show is a classic – or long forgotten – so I’ll just say that the movie lived up to the expectations for everyone in our group.  For me, the cuddle time with Michael was great too; and I am so glad that we got to have lots of time for that today!  Some of us needed to pick up fast food for another snack when it was time to head home; and Michael and I got to go with Rowen and Tim for that last leg – mostly because all of the younger kids were ready for naps by then and didn’t need to be entertained.  We had to flip a coin for the back seat, but we won that toss; so Rowen and Tim were stuck with the middle bucket seats that weren’t quite as comfortable for cuddling – even with bags, blankets, and a couple of pillows that made it a bit easier for that – but didn’t keep them from having the space between them due to the seatbelt locations.

That last hour and a half of cuddling included some quite make-out time too that Rowen and Tim ignored while trying to have a bit of fun despite being right behind Owen and Patricia; but we also had some fun quietly talking together and listening to music too.  Though we’d caught one of the earlier show times, it was still heading toward one o’clock by the time Michael kissed me goodnight and walked home after walking me to my house from Rowen’s.  Mom and Dad were home with the twins and their best friends by then, and we had Naomi again because Aiden was staying with us anyway instead of waking his parents in the middle of the night to return him to them tonight.

I helped out with getting our day trip gear inside and put away or into the laundry; Ehlana and Naomi talked me into doing a sleepover in the lounge; so I took care of them while Dad handled getting Ethan and Aiden into bed for the night.  Once Ehlana and Naomi were set up on the sectional sofa; we had a nice little girl chat that needed to be quiet because Violet and Dillon were already sleeping by then.  Since that’s my first mention of them; you’ll have guessed that they opted to stay and work at home – and then they likely opted to enjoy an evening with the house to themselves – though I won’t know that for sure until Violet tells me about her day in the morning.

Mandy and I weren’t in my bed until one-thirty or so; which is why I’ve only dealt with the work that I couldn’t leave for tomorrow while doing my usual bedtime computing and computer checks.  That’s still taken me nearly an hour and a half, and Ehlana and Naomi have been sleeping for more than an hour now; so I’m pretty much past-ready to wrap this up and join them in dreamland.

That’s figuratively; since I wouldn’t actually want them in the scene for the dreams I like to have most with Michael in a starring, clothing-optional sort of way! ;^)

Suddenly, my interest in writing this report has completely evaporated as my mind wanders to thoughts of Michael and me having fun in a Star Wars-like setting; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cassie's Journal - December 29, 2015



The storm left behind a messy blend of ice and snow that we spent some of the day dealing with – or all of it for the people working to get the roads cleared and the other storm-related issues dealt with.

While the adults were stuck working all day – even the retired members of our little town like Grandpa; Michael and I were among the kids and teens that also got to have some play time today too.  It’s gotten a bit colder since the storm, and while I’ve been okay with temperatures in the sixties and seventies in December; the sub-freezing temperature will keep the snow around with us for at least a couple of days – and that’s nearly as good as a winter weekend away before returning to warmer weather back at home.  No, I haven’t been able to do that here; but Mom and I have lived other places that were mostly-warm in the winters so I do remember what that’s like.

Snow and ice was big news around town today, and getting to play in the snow – even though it was fairly messy – was fun; but my top story of the day is actually about the surprise that some of our parents sprang on us today after getting together and setting it up for us.  We’re doing a ski trip to Blue Ridge Ski Center tomorrow, and not only are Mom and Dad taking us; but we have a group of parents going along – including Jacob and Miranda!  We’re also doing some sleepovers, including the one at our house; so that’s made for a fun night too – though we aren’t staying up too late ahead of the early-morning start we’ll be having for our little snow adventure trip.  I’m not even going to have a sofa sleepover with Michel tonight – though that has been very tempting.

Since Rowen and I really do need to get to sleep soon, though; I’d better speed up this report so that I can pack up my computer and we can do that.

Tai Chi was out today; Michael and I spent an hour or so before breakfast clearing and salting driveways and sidewalks; we split up to eat; and then we spent more than another hour and a half finishing up the snow and ice clearing work before splitting up again to hit the showers and get ready for a play day.  The hills were a bit too icy, and we needed to be very careful; but we took Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden tobogganing on the ridge with help from Rowen and Tim.  We hung out with other kids and teens too – including all of Michael’s younger cousins; so we helped out with Sophia and Ryan so that Jessica could spend more time with her friends – and with us when she wanted to do that too.

We had the usual gang back at my house for lunch, and Mom had already whipped up two soup options to go along with hot drinks, bakery buns, and various meats and cheeses options for our mini subs.  In hindsight, I know that Mom had been working on our surprise by then, but it hadn’t been finalized; and we didn’t hear about the plans until dinnertime – and we were at different houses when getting that news.  Our afternoon included more sledding and outdoor fun; a warm-up break back at my house; and one more, shorter blast of fun before we’d had enough for the day and split up to head home.

Michael and I were at my house for dinner, and while there weren’t extra kids; we did have Jacob and Miranda with us – to help with springing that surprise as well as contributing to the dinner food options.  Rebecca was having dinner with Lucas; but that was negotiated with his parents because all three of the Norton kids are staying with Rebecca at her house tonight – and they’re going on the trip with us tomorrow.  That’s why Naomi and Aiden were home for dinner tonight too – to spend time with their own families ahead of their sleepover and snow adventure with us.  While we’d missed out on most of the work after our blast of action this morning, we did not get out of the dinner clean-up; and didn’t have a problem with that after getting the surprise dropped on us shortly after we sat down to enjoy that meal in the sunroom.

It was seven-thirty or so when we had that work done; Michael went home to pack an overnight bag and everything he’d need for tomorrow; and I got the lounge set up for teen and kid entertainment.  Mom and Dad both had work to do tonight to start making up for the day off tomorrow, so they worked in the office; and let me host our kid and teen guests.  The boys had been stuck with chick flick movies a few times leading up to Christmas, so I gave them a break from that; and watching college bowl games and video gaming were the television options tonight.  Tim was okay with multi-tasking that; and Michael, Ethan, and Aiden pretty much went along with him as they played games in between the main action for the football game.

The twins and their friends were ordered to bed by ten o’clock; we had until eleven to wrap up the teen fun and clean up; and Rowen and I have been in my room with Mandy since splitting up for a while to say goodnight to our respective boyfriends before they went on to their own rooms.  Violet and Dillon were out tonight, and aren’t back yet; but they will be here tonight eventually.  Last I heard, they hadn’t decided whether to go with us tomorrow or not; but that might have more to do with Dillon wanting to work at the lab and make extra money while he can before heading back to school in January.  I’ll let you know about that with the next update; but I guess that really is just about all I have for you tonight.

My bedtime computing has just been the basics; there wasn’t any major family business work that can’t wait until tomorrow night or Thursday; and I might even be sleeping before midnight if I hurry up and get to that napping.  We’ve had a really good day, and I have a feeling that tomorrow is going to awesome.  It’s probably too much to ask for temperatures in the sixties and seventies to return for January and February, but that will be a fun thought to take into dreamland – as long as Michael has a starring role too; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Cassie's Journal - December 28, 2015



The snow storm that was the best guess for the forecasters was more of an ice storm with a lot of freezing rain for us here in Witch Falls; and we’re especially grateful for the new power system and Solar-Wind farm because we didn’t lose power at all in town.  I can’t say the same for all of the farms around us, since there are some power lines down out in the country; but every farmhouse around here is equipped to handle the occasional power outage – just as we still are at our house.

We’ve had snow too, but the freezing rain has made a real mess of that snow; and we’ve been busy dealing with that mess as much as possible.  Michael’s had the day off, and so has Rebecca; but Miranda and Jacob worked at the Inn today and left their kids to deal with the work around the house.  I was doing that too, but Michael and I also had a fair bit of both indoor and outdoor play time with Ethan, Ehlana, Naomi, and Aiden around the work – and around the blasts of lousy weather for the outdoor play time.

Once the worst of the freezing rain and snow hit us; we were only outdoors when we could work on the driveway and sidewalks – and that involved salting, shoveling, and scraping as needed.  I also helped Mom out around the house with the ongoing post-holiday chores; did some work on my computer; and helped with cooking two meals.  Dad worked in the office most of the day despite the weather; and the busiest workers in our family were the doctors and nurse.  That was because of the ice and snow; and they had quite a few injuries to deal with at the med center today.  I heard about some of those stories while helping out at Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s house with a round of salting that Michael and I did at a handful of houses on our street; and I’ll admit that it might have been fun to help out with healing some of those injuries – even if that wasn’t really an option today.  Maybe we’ll be able to do that kind of thing openly some day; though I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

Michael spent the evening here and we watched a movie in the lounge with Ethan and Ehlana in between outdoor work sessions, but we were both tired out by eleven o’clock when we wrapped up our final blast of driveway and sidewalk clearing fun; so he went home and I came up to my room and got ready for bed.  My bedtime computing was the basic checks and this update only; and now I’m going to crash until morning – and maybe even sleep in.

Okay, that isn’t likely an option; but I’ll let you know how it goes.  The storm has mostly blown over now; but there’s a good chance we’ll still have a mess for most of the day tomorrow.  Now we’ll just have to see whether we’ll be tobogganing tomorrow or skating on the roads and parking lots. ;^)

Sleep is now my top priority, though; so, until next time...

...May the Magi Force be with you!