**Previously with the Fuller family: Rosetta finds her daily grind at work tiresome, and misses her children every hour she's away from them and at her job. David's days were spent caring for three toddlers, teaching and playing. Every day nearly the same, but always something new. Things have changed since the girls have reached child-hood. Rylan is enjoying school, especially taking a liking to music and is considering what instrument he wants to ask his parents for. The girls, Caylin, Dayna and Brenna have grown into lovely girls and have just started school themselves. The family that has always been running around and busy were now finding some downtime in their lives...**
I love our new family routine. Ever since the girls came into their school age and have to get up by a certain time, everything runs much smoother. It also seems like we can spend more time with one another too. When I stop to think though, I miss the infants to cuddle and toddler giggles. No plans currently for any more of those though, I think we may have a big enough family. I never even dreamed it would be this big. It surprises me when I think about the time I moved here; back then I wasn't even looking to settle down or anything. Then there was David. It seems like a lifetime ago, or more. So many things, wonderful and not, have happened since then.
Rosetta was downstairs making breakfast while the rest of the family went through showers and dressing. A full cooked morning meal happened about every other day. The days in between were usually leftovers or cereal, maybe some yogurt. It was 'catch as catch can' on those mornings.
"Smells so delicious." Said a voice from the archway.
Rosetta smiled as she set the plate of fresh pancakes on the counter, she turned to see her handsome husband walking toward her. "I'm glad you think so. Banana pancakes today actually. I thought I'd switch it up from our normal cinnamon ones."
David wrapped his wife in an embrace and thanked her for making breakfast. This was something he did every time she cooked. David never wanted her to feel unappreciated for what she did every day. Affection was one way to show that he was thankful, and that she was loved.
It wasn't long before laughing children started piling in the dining room, bringing a renewed smile to Rosetta's face.
"Good morning munchkins. How did you sleep?"
In unison, the four kids replied, "Fine." Which brought another bout of laughter from Caylin and a smaller chuckle from both Rylan and Dayna.
The family sat to eat together, at first there was no sound but the clanging of forks on plates. The verbal silence was broken when Rosetta realized that Dayna wasn't ready for school.
"Dayna, you're not dressed. What's up? Are you sick?" She asked, only edging on concerned, it wasn't like her daughter to come downstairs, much less eat breakfast, before she was showered and clothed.
"I'm fine mom, it's just the other three were in the showers upstairs and I didn't have time for mine. When can I have my own bathroom?" Dayna asked, starting to get a little whiny.
Rosetta cracked a small grin. "Your dad's working on adding a shower to the downstairs bathroom, you should be able to use that one soon." That brought a smile to her little girls face.
"...but we'll just have to keep an eye on the weather channel." David was saying.
"What? Those weather people know nothing. Do we need some good weather for something?" Rosetta butted in trying to catch up on the missed conversation.
Rylan spoke up, "I was just hoping we could go to the summer festival! It's coming to town this Saturday. I hear they have fireworks!"
"Yeah, we were hoping for a break in the weather, it's been really wet for a long time now. " David continued. "It looks good today, and supposed to be for most of this week, but they are calling for rain this weekend. Here's hoping for finer weather."
After breakfast the entire family left the house, it was the first time the house had been completely void of human life since Rylan had been born.
All the children boarded the big yellow bus and departed for school. Rosetta got in the carpool waiting for her and rode to work. David took his own vehicle to the park where he was planning to spend the entire day practicing his magic tricks for tips.
Being a weekday, David was pretty shocked at how many people were actually at the park. He placed his tip jar in the center walkway and started his free performance. Doing the old and easy stuff first, just to attract attention, he was soon gathering a crowd. After it seemed like everyone that was going to watch was looking, tricks of increased difficulty started to be done. David levitated himself and made objects appear from thin air. He thought of attempting to raise a friend off the ground instead of just himself, since it would be more impressive, but decided that he hadn't practiced that enough on his own and didn't want to try it publicly just yet. He spent many hours earning tips, the viewers often changing. Some had to go and new people were always arriving. Lucky for David, the weather had permitted his performances daily.
The entire week went by in this routine. The house emptied every morning and filled back up again around 3 in the afternoon. The children would all settle in and do their homework while Rosetta made dinner and kept up the kitchen. David normally spent this time putting away his props and trick paraphernalia. The family ate dinner together and normally watched about an hour of television before getting into bed.
The Saturday morning sun rose unseen by anyone. A very large thunderstorm rolled over Hidden Valley during the night and was still raging strong when the Fuller family cracked their eyes open. Each one of them had slept late, none having sun beams breaking through their windows to awaken them.
Rylan groaned with crushed hopes and rolled over, burying his face in his pillow to complain about the rain for a few more minutes before getting up. The girls woke about the same time, as they usually did, and fought over the bathrooms.
There were two restrooms upstairs, one right off the master bedroom, and one between the girls' room and Rylan's. Since David had finished putting in a shower in the downstairs bathroom, there was now a third for the house. With five people in the house, that made for some arguments about bathing. Rylan had started to resolve himself to being after his sisters, as did David, neither of them wanted to argue with the triplets. Rosetta was normally up before anyone so was never part of the disagreements, she was always first.
Rosetta went downstairs to check the weather channel, she scoffed when it came on.
David had just come down and was turning toward the kitchen when his wife addressed him, "Check this out. The channel is saying sunshine all weekend! Look out the window! Ridiculous."
"Yeah, that's how it usually is. Always wrong." David replied while trying to suppress a laugh. "Ready for breakfast love?"
Rosetta sighed and pushed the power off button on the remote rather harshly. She nodded and followed him in to get some food. The kids all came in just a minute later.
After their fill, the triplets and Rylan looked out the window again and decided, since they didn't really have a choice, to play a game of dominoes. It was the perfect thing to do on a stormy day since it took for people and normally took hours to finish. In a small sprinkle, with just rain, the kids were usually allowed to go out and play in it. Splashing in puddles and making mud pies were always fun. Their mother had laid only one rule about it - if there was lightning, which there was plenty of, the kids stayed inside.
A little later that afternoon, Rosetta sat down to watch a movie. She had finished her housework and even picked up the kids' rooms, which she normally left for them to do. The laundry had been finished, dishes put away and bathrooms were sparkling. She figured a little downtime was in order. Rosetta smiled when David decided to join her and she briefly wondered what he had been doing all day, recalling that she hadn't seen much of him.
"You've been busy love." David said.
"I guess you have too, since I haven't seen you around."
"Eh, no. Not at all. I've just been on the computer for a while checking out the news and general browsing. What are we watching?"
"Flowers in the Attic actually. I haven't seen it in a while and it sounded good." Rosetta told him.
"Oh I've not even seen that one. I'm ready. Should I make popcorn?" He asked as he was stifling a yawn.
She shook her head and pushed the play button. During the beginning of the movie, Rosetta couldn't help but wonder why they didn't make the second or third book in the series into films. Before long she was caught up in the movie.
David snuggled his wife for a few minutes as he watched, but soon scooted to get more comfortable. The movie was interesting, but nothing could have captured his attention completely, he was too relaxed to concentrate on much.
Rosetta asked her husband a question about the movie. When he didn't answer she looked over and chuckled silently. He had fallen asleep and, something she hadn't heard, was very lightly snoring. "Well I guess you don't like the movie." She whispered with a smile.
It wasn't much longer before the show ended and Rosetta stood up to go look for the kids. David awoke with a start. He rubbed his eyes, "Great movie yeah? Have to watch that one again!"
Laughing, Rosetta gave him a love smack on the shoulder. "Yeah only cause you didn't watch past the first fifteen minutes. I was just going to have the kids get ready for bed. I feel very strange. I don't think I've been able to watch a full movie, uninterrupted, in... well years."
Finding all the kids upstairs, their parents told them to get into pajamas and have a snack if they were hungry. It was their turn for the TV for about an hour before they were tucked into bed. Rylan went off to his room to change, then had a couple of crackers before going to the den to settle down. The triplets followed suit, dressed in PJ's and had something small to eat.
Rosetta went to the kitchen to clean up after the kids' snack. David followed to help. The two of them got it done quickly and, since there was nothing else to do, joined the children in their TV time. No seats were available, so the two adults plopped to the floor next to each other. Rosetta was mildly surprised to find that they had been watching the cooking channel.
She looked at Caylin and smiled. "Never too early to learn how to make pancakes is it?"
Caylin smiled back and shook her head. Her attention was back to the television when the chef said 'Now this is important. If the pancakes have too many bubbles on the top, you've probably waited a little too long to flip them!'
Rylan scoffed. "Well how many is too many?" The whole family chuckled.
They continued watching the show, which gave Rosetta a mind to make French Toast in the morning. She didn't think the kids had ever had it and it sounded great. David interrupted her train of thought by saying that he was bored of the show.
"I'd be way more entertained if you would dance with me m'lady." He stood and offered his hand for her.
She smiled and took it, using him to help hoist herself off the floor. The lovers walked behind the couch and danced to the soft music playing in the background. Usually, no matter what else was going on in the house, the radio in the den was always on. Most times it had children's music on, but this time it happened to be classical. Their fingers intertwined and David led his wife in a slow sway to the music. At first the dance was casual, just for fun - but when the warmth of Rosetta's body, being so close, became more than apparent - it changed. His gaze changed, turning from humor and love to a certain hunger. She noted his shift and felt her own body responding in kind.
With a sly smile, Rosetta dropped his arms. "Okay kids, time for bed, go tuck yourselves in. We love you and sleep well."
David smiled at her, watching her looking at him but addressing the kids. "See you in the morning." He told his children as they ran past, one by one, and climbed the stairs.
Rosetta's change in posture was very apparent, and he felt the pull of it internally. When the last of the kids disappeared through the door, he pulled his wife into a rough and sensual kiss. He was surprised by the quickness of his body's urges. When she moaned with pleasure at his touch and kiss, he knew he had the green light. Hardly able to keep their hands off one another the two of them went up to bed for a little fun before turning in to sleep.
The next morning it was bright and sunny. Rylan just about jumped for joy because that meant they could all go to the summer festival. This was something he had been looking forward to for a while. The triplets had only been old enough for a week now, and this would be the first time the whole family was able to go out on the town. Everyone was excited.
They all piled into the car and drove to the park. Three out of the four kids were bouncing up and down the whole drive. Brenna though, sat still and looked out the window. She was thrilled to be going out for some fun but, being a loner, it was a little crowded in the car and that made her nervous. She wasn't big on crowds and hoped there weren't too many people at the festival.
Caylin and Dayna babbled next to her, talking constantly while Rylan interjected every once in a while with his own opinions and plans. Rosetta smiled in the front seat, listening to her kids and knowing they were happy always made her happy. She glanced at her husband. He also had a grin on his face. It looked like some fresh air was doing the family well.
The family arrived at the park and piled out of the car. Rylan couldn't wait and started to bound of to find something to do when his mother called him down. "Hey, before we all get involved, we need to take a photo! The booth is over here, so let's get this done first, then playtime okay?" There were a couple of disapproving groans from the small group, but they all conceded. Since everyone was happy, smiles weren't hard to come by and the picture came out perfectly.
After pictures, Rosetta, Rylan, Caylin and Dayna went to the roller rink to skate. None of them had ever done it before and it was difficult at first. It was very slow going since each took their time to make sure they had their footing. They went round and round looking at each other and laughing. It wasn't long before they got some courage and felt better about doing, which made them loosen up. Another woman joined them in the rink and offered Caylin to spin with her.
They linked hands and spun in a circle. They had gone around only a couple times when Caylin lost her footing and fell, pulling the older woman down with her, almost squishing her. The girl and woman laughed about it and helped each other up, but neither really wanted to spin anymore so they went back to the usual laps around the rink.
Brenna watched from the sidelines while she ate the snow-cone she had gone off to get. Lime flavored and cold, it had a calming effect on the girl. She smiled a few times at her skating family and laughed aloud when her sister fell. It looked funny from her angle, but she sincerely hoped Caylin wasn't hurt.
Meanwhile, David had found a horseshoe court and spent a lot of his time attempting to toss metal shoes on the ring. Most times he failed to get a ringer, but he always got close. After a while, many more shots, he finally got it where it should go and felt a great sense of accomplishment. He looked around excitedly to see if anyone witnessed his small miracle, but frowned when he realized there was no one to see. Slightly defeated, but still happy, David looked around for something else to do. He was considering playing a game of Whack-a-Gnome when a concession stand advertising funnel cakes caught his eye. It had been a lifetime sine he had had one and headed straight for it.
It appeared that Brenna had close to the same idea. She had just got something of her own at the second stand and was looking for a place to sit and eat when David finished purchasing his treat. Rosetta wasn't far behind them, skating had worked up her appetite.
"Whatcha got there doll?" David asked his daughter.
"A sloppy joe. It looked good, it was this or chili fries for me." Brenna answered.
"Oh that does sound good, might have to get one of those after my dessert!" He smiled joyfully at Brenna and sat with her to eat. After a minute of silence he asked another question. A hint of concern echoed in his voice. "You are having fun aren't you sweetie?"
"Yes I am, a lot actually. I'm glad there aren't many people here, it seems to be just us and maybe one or two others. And it's a big park, plenty of room. Dad I wanna have a water balloon fight, do you want to come with me?"
David chuckled lightly. "I'm glad you're having fun but no I don't feel like getting wet much, maybe you could ask your mother and sisters, or Rylan. I'm sure he'd agree to a game."
"Mom! Are you done yet?" Dayna said, she sounded slightly out of breath. "Let's go! You said we would have a water balloon fight next!"
Caylin nodded in agreement and stole a bite from her mothers plate. Brenna smiled and said "Yes, I was just going to ask if you wanted to." She admitted.
Rosetta rolled her eyes a little, but smiled. "Of course, just let me finish my last few bites. Of course if Caylin keeps eating my food it won't take long." The table of girls laughed. Then Brenna and Dayna each snatched a fry from Rosetta, they laughed again, got up and started toward the small arena. It was perfect for four.
Rosetta and Brenna teamed up against Dayna and Caylin, each team taking opposite sides. No one seemed to want to throw the first shot, until Rosetta made a face at Caylin and taunted her. The girl succumbed to the jesting and flung a water bomb at her mother. That started the rapid firing from everyone.
Rosetta could have avoided nearly every one of the balloons but, in the spirit of fun, she took a few shots to please her kids. She also gave a few good shots. Caylin was pretty good at avoiding, and Dayna tended to block with her hands. It would have been a good tactic, except for the fact that when she used her hands to stop the bomb from hitting her body, it would burst in front of her. The water inside still carried some momentum and soaked the girl anyway. After the shock of cold water wore off, Dayna threw her own balloon and got her sister square in the chest, knocking her off balance and sending her flying backwards. Laughing, Brenna hit the ground, bouncing on her tailbone.
Rylan and David were over at the soccer goal, practicing their moves. Rylan was very good at blocking and, even though he had never been very athletic, was thoroughly enjoying the game. It made him consider joining the school team. When he thought about it though, he had stopped every ball his father had kicked at him. It made him wonder if his dad was going easy on him. Rylan looked at David and teased with a sing-song voice, "You can't make a goaaalll!" To top that off he blew a raspberry an smiled.
David smiled back. It was a sneaky smile. "Ya think?" He retorted. Then he threw back his leg and started a kick toward his right, as soon as he noted his son diving to block, he pulled out of his bluff and kicked left instead. He made the goal and clapped for himself while laughing. When he caught site of his son's expression he laughed even harder, slapping his knees.
"Oh ha ha!" Rylan said, but he was smiling. He dusted the dirt off his shirt and shorts. "I knew you were holding out on me."
"Aww, I was just trying to help you feel good and confident kiddo." David agreed, "I was being a little light on the attack though." He winked, "I'll not do that anymore since you're a big man and can handle the disappointment."
Semi-true to his word, David put his all into the practice. He got most of his goals, but missed quite a lot more than he thought he would. Turns out Rylan was better than he assumed. He smiled with pride when he stopped playing.
The sunlight was wearing out. The family had been there all day. They were having so much fun that they hardly noticed the failing light until the lamps around the park started coming on. Rylan and David found the triplets and Rosetta drying off with the towels that the festival provided.
"Hey," David said. "I saw some fireworks over there, shall we light some up?"
It was Rylan's face that lit up. That was something he had been looking forward too before they had come, but he had forgotten about them in all the fun he was having. "Yes yes! Please momma please? Can we? It's nearly dark, we'll be able to see them!"
Rosetta smiled at her son, hardly hiding his excitement. "Of course we can, you're dad and I will light them though okay?"
The girls smiled too, and each murmured their approval. Fireworks were always beautiful, even though they were loud. Dayna loved the big ones that shot up to the clouds, making great light. Caylin's favorites were the cones that sat on the ground and shot up colorful sparkles, but the festival didn't have any of those. Brenna really liked them all except a simple firecracker. The sound it made was always so short and loud that it always startled her. She just couldn't appreciate them and hoped no one had any.
All six of them wandered over to the firework sets. The kids braced themselves to watch. Rosetta and David picked up a couple of lighters nearby and lit a few at a time. They tried to make a good show of it, lighting maybe one at a time, then a couple. Toward the end they lit as many as they could for their finale. The park was alight from all the fireworks for a brief moment before it plunged back into it's dim light and silence again. A minute later, cheers erupted from the kids and a few other people who had been watching.
"That was AWESOME! Can we do it again?" Rylan shouted. His ears were still ringing from all the loud bangs.
Rosetta and David laughed, "No, not tonight." They said in unison.
"It's late, and already past bedtime you know. It's still a school night." Rosetta said. She hated to end the fun, but they had to go home. Nothing lasted forever.
Rylan nodded, disappointed. "Okay okay. But, can we come back next weekend?"
To be continued...