Happy Mother’s Day to all of my favorite mothers – including those reading this in my future! ;^)
The weather was perfect this morning for our camping adventure, the Mother’s Day breakfast, the rest of our morning at church, and any outdoor lunchtime adventures; but not so much from about mid-afternoon through to a few hours ago. I’ll get to the Mother’s Day part of my update soon, but before I go there; let’s back up to the news from Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s anniversary dinner and go from there.
The social hour before the big dinner was already in full swing by the time I got back downstairs after getting cleaned up and ready for a play night with a small gang of kids. There were a lot of kids too; so Rowen, Tim, and I had our hands full as we played with them using the back half of the yard while the adults mostly stayed closer to the house where the roasting of the happy couple was already warming up. Dinner didn’t start until after most of the stores closed in town for the day or rest of the weekend; so we had time for our games – and the kids had a blast. They were also hungry by the time they were queued up at the buffet table ahead of the adults so that we could get food and drinks for them with as little mess and fuss as possible.
I especially loved hanging out with the kids for dinner because I had custody of Brianna. She is, by the way, ten months old today; and it’s hard to believe that her first birthday is now just two months away. My cousins don’t get individual mention in my journal often-enough; but then I don’t feel as though I get to spend enough time with them either. Since I do have the chance to do that right now, though; I’ll mention that Brianna is extraordinary! Sure, there’s no doubt that I’m biased – just as I am with Ethan and Ehlana; but that doesn’t mean that I’m not wrong. All of the younger Magi kids in Witch Falls are now being trained to some extent with the programs that Mom is continuing to design based on what she did with me and through her archive research. That’s going to help all of them; but that doesn’t change the level of talent each Magi possesses. In Brianna’s case; her potential really is incredible. She also has to play the part of a ‘normal’ baby in public, so we couldn’t exactly sit and chat while we ate, but she has learned the same signals that Ethan and Ehlana, and most of our younger cousins, used as babies too; so we had fun with that – and she has a great little sense of humor!
Brianna also has the ability to make everyone she meets fall in love with her, and while we’re fairly sure that isn’t a previously-undiscovered Magi talent; it is entertaining to watch. She’s a magnet for hugs and kisses; and if anyone walks away without a smile on their face after spending any time with her; I never see that happen. Mom, Aunt Leanne, and Uncle Adam have a very thorough archive for each of us kids, so that’s a better place to go to study each of our abilities; but I’ll wrap this little side trip up by mentioning that Brianna’s one of the Magi pushing the high-end of the charts in nearly every Magi talent. Sure, there’s a big leap from there to Magi Master, just as there is from latent potential to active use of Magi power; but it’s also a huge difference between Brianna and the weakest Magi. It is going to be so much fun watching her grow up – and not just because there’s a very good chance that she’ll be a lot like Aunt Leanne while doing that! ;^)
Okay, moving along, I was out of the loop for the anniversary roasting, but I did spend a lot of time strolling down memory lane. Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne’s wedding wasn’t the actual end of the first year in Witch Falls for Mom and me, but it was a sort of ending and beginning for all of us. When you think about it, what happened in that first year was a miracle, and while I obviously have no doubt about God when I can communicate with Him on the higher plane; our story should show His hand at work to others.
Seriously – what are the odds that brother and sister Magi – and two very-eligible singles – would stay unattached as long as Dad and Aunt Leanne did; and then have everything change in just a year? That was extraordinary; and so was everything else that happened that first year. Okay, there was a lot of normal, everyday stuff going on then too, but since I hadn’t really known normal until then; that’s a perception that I didn’t start to have until maybe two or three years ago. I still find miracles every day, though; and I hope that never changes!
Uncle Adam and Aunt Leanne were, I’m sure, thoroughly roasted, but that was still going on long after the kids were finished eating; and they needed to be entertained – once we had them cleaned up again. A trip to the park to burn off some energy seemed to be a good idea; so we rounded up some older kid and younger teen help for that; and headed for the park playground. That kept us busy until it was time to head home again for the campfire; and the kids were starting to tire out by then. That had been part of the plan, which is why I’m wondering who came up with the brilliant idea for having campfire treats that include marshmallows and chocolate. What’s the point of wearing kids out and then fill them full of sugar so they’ll get a second wind and be ready to party again once they’ve toasted their marshmallows and demolished their s’mores?”
That didn’t happen for every kid we had camping with us last night, but it did happen with the kids that are scariest to deal with in that situation. Yes, for those of you reading this in my future who also know Zack; he is included in that group – and it’s a bit scary when he’s only two and a half years old. He’s chosen a rather overt public image for himself, though; and he finds it very entertaining to try the patience of the adults around him – or in this case; the babysitters. He’s still fine-tuning his act, so that doesn’t always work out for him; but he does usually manage to walk the line between keeping people exasperated and amused without moving on to annoyed or fed up with him. That isn’t a Magi talent either; but I personally prefer Brianna’s lovability to Zack’s precociousness.
It’s so great that he’ll always have to sleep in the boys’ tents for our campouts – for me and the other girls! ;^)
Michael was able to meet up with us at the park for the tail-end of the play time there, and we got to cuddle with Brianna at the campfire for a while before we were recruited to take a turn leading the music. While a campfire might not be the most-entertaining anniversary activity ever for most people, it worked for us; and most of the parents were glad to wind down the day by spending that time with their kids instead of taking the party to Sheldon’s or do something else. The music, stories, and family and friends time was amazing, but it had also been a long day, and some of the parents had kid-free nights to get home to; so the campfire began to wrap up at eleven o’clock.
It was time to get kids ready for bed and into their sleeping bags after that. Michael, Tim, Rowen, and I had help for that from some of the parents, and we had some older kids to help with tent supervision too; but we were still busy for more than an hour by the time we had every kid tucked in for the night. They weren’t all asleep, though, so we also ended up sitting outside of the tents and supervising for nearly another hour before getting some sleep was an option. Rowen and I were in separate tents last night; and we each had junior babysitter support. I had Jessica with me for that; and we had Ehlana, Naomi, Sophia, and Brianna with us. Mom and Dad would have kept Brianna inside with them, but she wanted to camp with us; and I was okay with having her with me for a cuddle buddy.
I couldn’t exactly sneak Michael in to do that with when we had a gang of kids with us, and while that would have been great; cuddling with Brianna was a pretty good next-best option.
Getting a lot of sleep didn’t end up being on my schedule last night. Rowen and I had naps between runs to the house for middle-of-the-night washroom breaks and other minor emergencies that included younger kids that weren’t as excited about camping in the darkness of night as they’d been when their parents had still been around and helping to get them tucked in. That wasn’t a problem in my tent, but I helped out when Rowen, Michael, and Tim needed me – or we all worked together. That made the wake-up call for Tai Chi seem very early – and not just because it was earlier than normal.
We had a lot to do this morning, so Tai Chi with bonus exercise buddies was great, and helped to get us ready for the crazy that followed; but then it was non-stop action from then until, well, for the rest of the day for me!
All Moms that were invited to join us for breakfast were not allowed to work; so that meant that we not only needed to get ourselves and all of the kids ready; but our adult ‘men folk’ needed help with putting together a massive breakfast for a diverse group of eaters. Tables had been left set up on the patio for that, but they needed to be wiped down and readied too; and we had to do all of that without the benefit of any time phases. Since Rowen and I did have help from Jessica, Lindsay, and a few others, we were able to help out with the cooking and prep work too; though I should also mention that quite a few of the fathers brought food with them that was already cooked and ready to go – so we only needed to keep those dishes warm until we set everything out on the buffet tables.
That breakfast meal was an amazing, entertaining blast of fun – and also so crazy-busy that it was a blur that seemed to be over in minutes. Follow that up with the post-meal cleaning; and I barely had enough time to shower and get dressed before I needed to run for the church with Michael and some of the other kids and teens so that we could be there in time for the warm-ups some of us needed to get through ahead of the Mother’s Day service. Our participation in the service is also why I didn’t even have a break during the service to catch my breath. The fun continued as we sang and played with the teen praise team; Michael and I helped out with the younger kids too as they did their parts in the service; and then we also ended up helping out in Ethan and Ehlana’s Sunday school class to help the kids finish up Mother’s Day projects that they’d been working on for the past couple of Sundays. Most of the teens were helping out all morning too, so don’t think that we were doing more than anyone else; but the fun was worth all of the busy – even if I’m exhausted now.
The church service didn’t run long, but Michael and I still needed to hurry over to the Inn because Jacob and Miranda were having three Mother’s Day buffets instead of two – with the first one at noon. Our busy was back into the realm of crazy-busy after that; and stayed that way for the rest of the day except for when we took our breaks. Oh wait – Michael and I had to fit our weekend homework into those breaks too; but I guess we were only busy then without the crazy!
All three buffets were among the busiest we’ve ever had at the Inn thanks to the extra seating between the new and old sections. Jacob and Miranda are slowly building up their staffing, and will continue to do that over the next year so they’re ready when the full remodel is finished; but we were still pushed really hard to keep up today. The second buffet was at three o’clock, and the third at six. My family was at the last one so that Uncle Adam’s parents could go to it too; but I didn’t even go out of the kitchen to see them. By then, I was not fit for being seen in public; and we were too busy in the kitchen anyway. I know they had fun, since I got the report after I was home, and I wish I could have done that with them; but Jacob and Miranda needed me more.
They also needed everyone that could stay to be at the Inn until close because the final clean-up was massive too. That’s why it was ten-thirty by the time I made it home again. Mom and Dad were still working in the office then, but the twins were in bed and sleeping; so I had a drink and snack while trading Mother’s Day stories with my parents before heading up to bed. I stopped along the way for goodnight kisses with my sleeping brother and sister; and then it was time to do some multi-tasking. The soak in the Jacuzzi was a necessary part of that because I didn’t even want to be around me by then; and the work and studying couldn’t wait because I needed to play catch up on the work I didn’t get done since Thursday while I was busy with birthday and anniversary parties; camping adventures, and everything else.
I used a time phase for as long as I could do that; and that got me through bath time and about half of the work; but then I had to work at normal Magi speed after that. It’s taken too long to get caught up, but I’m there now, and have even managed not to totally short-change my archive journal in the process; so I’m happy about that – even if I’m not going to get much sleep tonight.
Before I wrap this up, though, let’s add a short college update. Violet, Dillon, and most of my favorite collegians are writing final exams this week; with the great news there being that they’ll be home from school for the summer this weekend – or sometime over the next week after that for some of them; depending on their plans. Violet and Dillon are going to Woodvale for the weekend before coming home to get started on summer jobs at the lab next week, and Jake and Stephanie will be in Europe for another week; so the homecoming won’t actually be much of one for our family. I will be happy to see everyone else, though; and it is going to be great to have Violet back home with us again too.
There will be lots of chances to write about that over the next few weeks, and I’m running out of napping time before I’ll need to get up and going again; so that’s it for tonight. Having this much fun and work packed into just four days has made it feel a bit like we’re heading toward summer, but we’re not there yet, and we’ll be back to normal school week life starting in a couple of hours; so, until next time...
...May the Magi Force be with you!