September 05: A Little Bit of Everything (Pt. 1)

*** It’s been two and a half years since my last update. Real life took priority over, well, pretty much everything. Those of you who know me personally or follow me on Tumblr will know that since my last post on here, I’ve been pregnant and had a baby boy (July 2015). They say little babies sleep a lot, but this wasn’t true for mine. When he was a baby, he took short naps lasting 40 minutes tops. Since it takes half an hour to start up Honeycomb Valley, playing during naps was not possible and in the evenings I couldn’t concentrate on the game anymore. My son is now a walking and talking 1,5 year old who takes only one nap a day, but since this nap lasts around 2 hours now, I get a chance to play again. Expect slow progress, but yes, things will happen again. Hooray! ***

Did you know time is a strange thing in the Sim Universe? While time went on in towns like Sandy Valley and Bimlico, it was like someone had frozen Honeycomb Valley at the end of August 05. How very weird. And yet, the Sims of Honeycomb Valley had no idea of any of this and when September finally rolled around, they went about their business as if nothing had happened. As for that September, ah well, it was a little bit of everything.

The very first day

On the morning of the first day of the new schoolyear, Benjamin was making breakfast. This year it was a very special first day, as Ethan, who turned 5 in June, was finally starting school. Finally, because he had been looking forward to it for so long now.

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And sure enough, Ethan was out of bed as soon as he had opened his eyes that morning. Yay! School!

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The whole Anderson family enjoyed the breakfast dad had prepared and then it was off to school!

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A big hug for mum Grace, as Benjamin would take Isa and Ethan to school, seeing how he had to go there himself as well anyway.

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Ethan was proud to go to school on his new bike.andersons-off-to-school

SCHOOL!! Isa looks less excited… Maybe this has to do with the fact her friend Liam has moved on to Class 2, while she has another year in Class 1 ahead…

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Another family getting ready for their very first day of school in Honeycomb Valley was the Quinn family.

While the kids had breakfast, Tiana said goodbye to her husband, who would be gone for a few days, flying abroad.

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Jada put on her new clothes in her favourite colour and hoped she’d make a good impression on her classmates in Class 6.

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Finn had offered to meet Jada in front of the school, so she wouldn’t have to go in by herself. Such a gentleman.

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But Rachel wasn’t best pleased to see Finn and Jada together when she entered the class.

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Thankfully Sadie was there so she could utter her frustration whilst Jada was chatting to Finn.

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“Why, Sadie? Why do I always have to stand by and watch Finn with another girl? When he broke up with your sister I thought I’d finally get my chance. I mean, he put his arm around me for the school pictures back in May. And then at prom he chatted to me for at least ten minutes! And now she’s here and I’m back in second place…”

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“Rach” Sadie sighed. “Finn is your FRIEND. And maybe, now we’re in Class 6, the time has come to accept the fact that that is what he is, your FRIEND. And also, from the looks of it, Jada and he are also just friends.”

It was unfortunate that only the last part of that sentence was the part that stuck with Rachel…

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The youngest member of the Quinn clan had also started her day in Class 2. And look who she’s sitting next to…
The looks these two were exchanging can only mean trouble…

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And it seemed Ruth had caught their eye…

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When it was time for recess, Ruth went up to Ellie to ask her if she wanted to play with her outside. Ruth had only had boys in her class last year and figured now that there were finally some girls, she would have more playmates.
She soon learnt this assumption had been very wrong.
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“You don’t seriously think I’m going to play with YOU, do you. I don’t play with girls in ugly skirts!”

Once she came downstairs, Ellie told Aliyah all about the crazy thing Ruth had just asked her. Aliyah thought it was quite hilarious indeed.

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But Ruth wasn’t going to give up that easily. When she saw Ellie and Aliyah playing on the swing, she again tried to join them.

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Aliyah would have none of it.

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“Are you really that dumb? We don’t want to play with a girl who wears baby pigtails! Hahaha!”

Things were better over at the high school building. Malik and Logan were fast becoming great friends, spending their recess chatting and laughing together. And look, there’s Zoe on her first day as a high school student, reunited with her best friend Emily.

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These two boys are meant to be best friends, I’m sure!

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Since they were having so much fun, Logan invited Malik to come over after school so they could hang out some more. Malik of course agreed.new-best-mates

And so it happened. After school, Logan and Malik got together to read comics…

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.. and play videogames! Geek heaven!nerd-fun

Henry’s big plan

It was known all around Honeycomb Valley that mayor Henry Newman was nowhere near finished with his project “Greenify Honeycomb Valley”. The Greenery had turned out to be a great success, both for the economy and for Henry’s reputation (and for the size of my save file) as had the renovation of the park. Further steps were now required. There had been talk of large buildings, such as the University and the hospital, being demolished and/or relocated elsewhere, but exact details were blurry and it also quite worried residents. Where would they go if they got ill? What would happen to their businesses? But Henry had a plan and in the second week of September he presented this plan to his council.

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Not far from Honeycomb Valley, only right over the hill, lays a small town known as Stonehill. Despite it once being a great place to live, it suffered from the big economic crash that occured some 20 odd years ago and is now a deserted ghosttown full of rundown buildings. It seems there are still some people living there, but they’re up to no good.

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Henry told his council he had been granted permission to annex the little ghosttown and make it part of Honeycomb Valley. The town would be renamed and cleaned up. henry-presentation-1

As Henry showed slides of the current state of the town, it became clear to everyone in the room a clean up was definitely necessary.henry-presentation-2

Deserted streets, overgrown parks and derelict buildings…

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Henry further explained his plans for the town. It would be geared towards students and young professionals. The University would be placed there as well as lots of businesses now located in Honeycomb Valley.

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After Henry was done with his presentation, the council got a chance to ask questions and give their view on things.

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David wanted to know what the precise connection with Honeycomb Valley would be. Henry explained the town would be part of Honeycomb Valley in the sense it would share facilities “and a mayor!” He laughed. There would be a fast and direct underground line between the two towns, but the new town would be known by its own name.

greenify-meeting“Will there be schools for children and teens as well?”  Katie asked

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“No,” Henry answered. “For now, The Beehive will provide education for children and teens from both towns. If we place a primary and high school in the new town as well as a University, there’s a chance more and more young families will move there, and we risk Honeycomb Valley becoming a town with only ageing population. A schoolbus service will run from the new town to The Beehive.”

Renovation work in the new town would soon start.

Students to be

Meanwhile, five students to be had no idea about the plans for the new town and the University to be build there. As far as Daniel, James, Seth, Sarah and Jill knew, next month they would start their student lives at HVU and they were very excited. Even though classes wouldn’t start until October, today they’d get a tour of the University by a current student.

But first, coffee!

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Coffee in the park on a nice sunny autumn day.

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The five friends arrived well on time and were chatting away rather excitingly while waiting for their guide to arrive. students-to-be

The guide turned out to be third year science student Narai Walker.

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James immediately started chatting to Narai.

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First stop was the library. While Narai told James about HVU’s music department, I caught Jill glancing their way… Still hung up on James, Jill, or could you have been checking someone else out…?university-library-tour

After their tour of the University, Narai took our prospective students to another very important student venue: The Bumblebee!

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And even though Narai himself has visited The Bumblebee quite a few times over the past years, it seems he also spotted something new here today…

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While Dan and Jill discovered the pub…

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… Seth and Sarah found a very interesting place to have a little flirt…

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Even more happened in September, find out in…

part 2

May 05: Changes (Part 2)

Go back to…
part 1

New Home

Isa couldn’t wait to see what her parents had made of the house and ran ahead as soon as the house came into view.

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She was obviously happy to see her dad too, but she was mostly looking forward to seeing her new bedroom.

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She soon got to see it, together with Ethan, because the kids would obviously have to share a room.
new roomI’m not sure what she thinks of it really, but I’m just going to assume she liked it.

Liam was also happy to see his dad again.

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And Liam too got to check out his bedroom.

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While Grace had picked Ethan up from Julliet‘s toyshop, Naomi had made other arrangements. Since Donna was curious to see the house too, she had told Naomi and Colin she would bring Isla and Prince by later that afternoon.

However, as Donna was getting ready to leave, she suddenly saw Prince had FLEAS! Thinking he must’ve gotten them from Pebbles, she couldn’t bring him back to her son and daughter-in-law’s new home all covered in fleas! So, she gave Prince a bath first. Thankfully he didn’t put up a fight.

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And so, an hour later than planned, Donna arrived with Isla and Prince.

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Colin was happy to see his daughter again.

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As was Naomi.

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And Liam was just pleased to have Prince back, even though he had seen him that morning…

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Colin asked his mother if she wanted to stay for dinner, and Donna happily agreed.
Naomi chatted with her mother-in-law, while Colin made salad.

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First dinner in the new house!

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After dinner, Liam had to start getting ready for bed. (Isla was already sleeping)

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Meanwhile, Colin and Naomi told Donna all about their busy moving day. They were happy tomorrow would be a saturday!

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After Donna had left, Naomi read her son a bedtime story. Hopefully he would sleep well in his new bed.Screenshot-267

When both kids were asleep, Colin and Naomi finally had a moment to themselves.

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Across the field, Isa was drifting off to dreamland as well. Finally, all the residents of The Greenery were home.bedtime story

First Morning

The next morning, the Anderson family had their first breakfast together in their new home. Isa had slept well, and Ethan was still asleep! It must be the peace and quiet there…

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The Mason family also had their first breakfast and Liam was already thinking of playing on the field with Isa later.

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Morgan was up too. Very alert of every little out-of-the-ordinary feeling in her body, although she knew it was still too soon to tell. At least she too slept well in her new home.

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As soon as he was dressed and ready, Liam did go over to Isa’s . Both kids were happy to find out their classmates, the Knight triplets, were visiting the eco supermarket with their parents this saturday morning and were obviously very curious to see where their friends were living.

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Liam and Isa showed them around. They visited the cows and The Field.

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And ended up playing here together for most of the day.tag

If you, like the Knight triplets, are also curious about The Greenery, you can now tour it here. From there on out you can also visit the houses where these families now live and see what they made of it, with lots of stuff and little room! The houses can also be visited through their personal pages.

Schoolpictures

A few weeks later, it was schoolpicture time at The Beehive! The pictures in the hallways needed to be changed again.
Gareth took his job very seriously as per usual.
The kids had their pictures taken in their own classrooms, the teens had their pictures taken in the cafeteria in front of the clock wall.

Screenshot-296And here are the results.
Kids:

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Teens:
(Rachel was OVER THE MOON about this picture! Finn put his arm around her! He put. his. arm. around. HER. I don’t think it meant anything to be honest, but Rachel disagrees with me… *sigh*)

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Have you met my dog?

There was a big change for Riley too! Although, this change actually already happened in February, but hey.
In February, Riley’s aunt Abigail went to Sandy Valley for “Le Bal Masqué“. She didn’t pick up any gorgeous bachelors, but while she was in Sandy Valley, she did find out the Desfranges family had puppies up for adoption. Knowing how much her nephew had been wanting a pet, she decided to bring him a puppy. Her sister was less pleased, but couldn’t say no when she saw how happy Riley was.
And so, little, hyperactive Trognon was added to the Chapman family. But since Riley couldn’t pronounce his name, he changed it to PomPom.
These two are having a blast together!

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Riley isn’t the only one in the family in love with Pom though. The little one already knows how to use his cuteness to his advantage with the big boss too.

Put on your saddest puppy face…

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….aaaand SUCCESS!

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And then there’s a fun squeaky chew bone for you too!

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It’s a good life…

Wildlife Education

Earlier this spring, some changes had been made to Honeycomb Valley’s Central Park as part of mayor Newman‘s project “Greenify Honeycomb Valley”. One of the things that had been added was a Wildlife Education Center where teachers or other educational professionals could come and bring children to teach them all about wildlife in and around parks.
Naomi, being all about nature, was the first one to bring her class to the park for a lesson during the last week of May.

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First, the kids sat down on the benches under the tree where Naomi explained what they would be doing today.

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The kids were told to go look for a creature in pairs. It could be a bug, it could be a rodent. If possible, they were allowed to catch it (under supervision) and take it inside where they would study it. At the end of the afternoon, all creatures would be released back into the park.

Nathan and Riley immediately started crawling under bushes…

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…while Ruth and Nick discussed a strategy first.

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In the end, only Nathan and Riley had found a ladybird, but fortunately a chipmunk and an iguana were already available for study in the wildlife center.

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After studying the animals for a while and taking notes, miss Naomi called her class together to tell them about ants.
The kids were fascinated to see the work the ants did underground.

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After they had learnt about ants, they were left to their own devices for a while.
Apparently a sleeping chipmunk was very funny to Ruth and Nick…

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The Moment of Truth

Morgan had been good. She had waited the full two weeks before taking a pregnancy test, but today the moment of truth was finally upon her…

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POSITIVE! She was actually pregnant! After only one try! Wow! She could hardly believe it!
Of course she immediately called David and Bradley and then her brother.

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Congratulations Morgan! I’m sure you’ll be a great mum!
And with Morgan’s happy news, May had come to an end. The busy month of June was around the corner. Why June was so busy? That’s a story for another time.

***Note: I have quite a strict policy about using poses for my sims. I don’t mind posing them for things for which I personally would pose too. And by that I mean, having their picture taken. When you have your picture taken, you strike a pose. Most of the time anyway. So, I have no problem putting my sims in poses for schoolpictures, weddingpictures, portraits etc. However, when I play, I play. I don’t play to write a story, I write a story about what I played. Therefore I don’t like posing my sims for storytelling purposes. I once posed a childbirth that way and ended up not using the pictures, because I felt it “didn’t actually happen that way”. I was moving “statues”. It felt wrong. And so, my no-poses-unless-they’re-having-their-picture-taken policy was born.
But as you can see, this time I’ve made an exception. The pregnancy test poses were so PERFECT for Morgan, as there is no action or animation in game which quite shows the tension and excitement that come with taking a pregnancy test when you really want to be pregnant. These poses did show that and therefore I’ve made an exception to my rule. Just this once. For Morgan.***

May 05: Changes (Part 1)

May arrived in Honeycomb Valley and with it came changes. Some big, some small, but things certainly changed for many of Honeycomb Valley’s residents…

Moving Day

In April, The Anderson family signed the contracts which made them the owners of a small little house in The Greenery, Honeycomb Valley’s new, eco friendly district. Now that May had come around, moving day was upon them. The kids were staying at aunt Julliet‘s house until tomorrow, so Benjamin and Grace could really get some work done.

The movers arrived early that morning and soon everything was loaded in the truck and they were ready to go.

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Ben and Grace weren’t the only ones moving into their Greenery house today. For Colin and Naomi it was moving day as well. And wow, did they have a lot of stuff!Screenshot-25

They knew a lot of it would have to be sold or given away once they were done. That’s what you get when you move from a big house into a small one…

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***Note: For both the Anderson and the Mason family, I had moved all of their furniture from their old homes into the family inventory and challenged myself to decorate their new homes using their old furniture and only buying the minimum amount of new stuff (some shelves here and there, mostly). It was a challenge, especially with these houses being so tiny, but I had a blast decorating this way! ***

Soon, both families were well on their way getting their new homes organised.

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Around noon, the hard workers decided to have a picnic together on the field.

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While discussing their progress, Naomi and Grace realised they both needed some stuff. Naomi needed to get a bed for Liam (Liam used to have a double bed in the old house and there was no way that would fit), Grace needed a rug for the living room and they both needed some shelves. So, the girls decided to go to Ikea together, while the men continued in the homes.

After a few hours, the ladies came back with a van they rented at Ikea.

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Grace stopped by Naomi and Colin’s house to see how they were getting on.
There was still a lot to do…

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But when evening fell, both families had made a lot of progress. Benjamin and Grace invited Colin and Naomi over to have some spaghetti.
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It was delicious!

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While their parents worked, Liam, Isla and cat Prince were staying with grandma Donna, who was loving having her grandkids over!

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Liam loved it too. At least here at grandma’s he was allowed to have a jam sandwich for dinner!

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And after dinner, he could have a bath for as long as he wanted!

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He could even splash!bathtime

Meanwhile, Isla was already sound asleep.Screenshot-79

Isa and Ethan were also having fun with cousins Sadie and Esme (although I’m not sure what Esme and Isa are watching…)
Sadie is always playing with her cousins when she’s with them!Cousins staying over

Aunt Julliet was still at her toyshop, but the rest of the family had sushi for dinner!

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Isa proved to be the perfect houseguest, because she did the washing up completely autonomously!

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Esme took Ethan to bed. (In a very undecorated guestroom – the Stevens family is in the process of remodeling their home)

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Then the girls of the family had a little dance together!

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Goodmorning!

The sun rose early the following morning, it was clear summer was approaching. Before the new residents of The Greenery were up though, there was another guest on The Field…

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If you thought we were missing a resident on moving day, you are right! Morgan had not been there the previous day because she had other business to attend to. And her house was all done already anyway. But this morning, Morgan arrived too.Screenshot-161

The previous day had been a rather important one for Morgan. Let’s have a little flashback…

Morgan’s Day

While Ben, Grace, Colin and Naomi were hard at work in their new houses, Morgan was at the hospital. Today was THE day. The day Dr. Harvey would, hopefully, help her get pregnant. Morgan was in the waiting room -much too early- waiting rather nervously for David and Bradley to arrive.

There was another woman waiting there as well, who started to speak to Morgan.

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“Do you have an appointment with Dr. Harvey as well?”
– “Yes, but don’t worry, I’m just very early, I guess your appointment is before mine”
“Oh good, haha, I was worried he might be running late and I need to go to work soon”
– “No no, I’m really just early! I was too nervous to wait any longer…”
“Haha, I know, all this being pregnant business is quite nervewracking, isn’t it?”
– “Oh, I’m not pregnant yet, but I hope to be after today… How far along are you, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“Just about 6 weeks, this is my first check up. My boyfriend should be here shortly, but he insisted on coming on his horse and now he obviously can’t find a place to leave him…* He’s quite young and naive… Is your umm… partner around too?”
– “No. Or actually, I don’t have a partner. I’m going to be a single mum. I did find two great men who are willing to help me with this and be part time dads though!  I found the love of my life when I was really young, but sadly, I lost him… Ever since then, things just haven’t been the same. And now I’m 35. Before you know it I’ll be 40! It was now or never, really…”
“Oh! I understand! BELIEVE me, I do.We’re not getting any younger, right! If I hadn’t met Luke, I would probably have done the same thing! I’m Susannah, by the way, but everyone calls me Susie.”
– “Nice to meet you Susie, I’m Morgan.”

Friendship established.

When Susie had left, it was Morgan’s turn, even though the boys weren’t there yet. Aaron discussed the procedure with her.

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Thankfully, they soon arrived and Aaron also explained to the boys what David’s part in all this would be. (Although, that seems pretty straight forward if you ask me…)

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Morgan and Bradley waited in the waiting room…

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And then it was Morgan’s turn to go in…

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After that, it was two weeks of waiting… Fingers crossed!

Back to The Greenery

So, that had been Morgan’s day. But now she too had arrived at her new house. By this time, her neighbours were already up too. Grace was already hanging the laundry out to dry.

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That afternoon, both Naomi and Grace were happy they would get to see their kids again. Naomi arrived at school before the bell rang.

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There he was! Hi Liam! Mummy missed you!mother-son reunion

Grace had picked up Ethan from Julliet’s shop first, so she was a bit late. Isa didn’t mind though, she played in the playhouse until her mum arrived.

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But she too was happy to see her mum again!

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Both Liam and Isa were very eager to see their new homes!

See what they think in…
part 2

*Luke actually DID go to the hospital on his horse. Because he was taking forever and I wanted him to get a move on, I decided to teleport him in. Little did I know that when you teleport a sim who’s on a horse, the horse is teleporting too… Result:

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And this is on the second floor… Oops…

The Greenery – House 3

3 The Greenery, The Greenery

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Who lives here?

Anderson fam

House Tour

 

Kitchen

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Living room

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Master bedroom

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Isa and Ethan’s room

Since Ethan and Isa are less than a year apart in age, and get along fine, their parents saw no harm in them sharing a room. Isa disagrees, but mostly because she wanted a pink room. She still got some pink though…

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Bathroom

Unfortunately, the bathroom wasn’t big enough to take pictures in, but it can be seen in the overview!

Yard

The shed is a laundry room.

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Overview

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September 03: Back to School

The Day Before

September came round and soon school and university would be starting again for the kids, teens, students and teachers of Honeycomb Valley. As per usual, the day before school would start again, The Beehive opened its doors to the kids and teens who would be starting in primary school or high school after summer. To get acquainted. Of course the parents were invited too.

Ellie and Liam were a bit nervous, but not as much as their mums, probably!

Holly, Kyra, Logan and John Jr. finally got to explore “upstairs” now that they were teenagers. They, and their parents, met with Benjamin, who will be their class mentor for the next two years.

After the new kids and teens had left, it was time for the teachers to get together for a quick “beginning of the year” briefing and of course some catching up.

The first day

The next morning, the first day of the school year was finally there. This wasn’t just exciting for the kids and teens. Maths teacher Pierce also felt just a little bit nervous. He had started teaching at The Beehive in January, but with the new year came new responsibilities and the new beginning is always just a bit nervewracking either way.
He kissed Loretta goodbye and got on his bike to go to school.

Half an hour after Pierce arrived at school, so did the pupils.

From the seniors…
(And is that Finn thinking of Sadie in the background?…)

…to the kids! (And VERY pregnant Annabel who dropped off her youngest daughter for her first day)

At 9.00 everyone was inside and ready to get started!

The kids

Liam and Ellie turned 5 over summer and had been looking forward to their first day in Miss Eva‘s class. Riley and Ruth, who are also in their class, were already 6. For them it all wasn’t so new anymore, although they would get a lot of new challenges too this year.  Eva gave the kids a few minutes to get used to each other and their environment.
*** Gameplay note: as you might have read in my post on Education, kids of two different ages are in the same class. It’s like this in class I teach in real life as well. It helps me fill my classes. ***

When all the kids had found a seat, Eva started with her “welcome to class” speech. She explained what was going to happen this year and what the rules are.

After a while, attention was clearly dwindling, so Eva put the kids to work. The two youngest ones got a half hour of free play, while Eva gave some maths instructions to Ruth and Riley.

Ellie wanted to know when they were going to play outside…

The teens

One floor up, our “new” teens were experiencing their first day too. Their first lesson was Science, taught by Mr. Murray. Here too, there was time for a few minutes of chitchat before getting down to business.

John didn’t waste any time to show his feelings of superiority towards his classmates. When Kyra kindly asked him how his summer had been, he responded rather rudely…

Logan saw it too.

And there was a new girl in class!  Her name is Trisha and she moved to Honeycomb Valley with her brother Garett, who’s a photographer. Trisha and Garett will be properly introduced in time. All of her new classmates, with the exception of John, welcomed her warmly.

Then Elliot felt it was time to begin the lesson, so he called everyone to take their seats.

Science is VERY fascinating…

(Although, maybe not for Holly, who somehow managed to stay out of most pictures I took. Maybe she’s camera shy?)

The students

For the students at Honeycomb University, lessons were also starting again. Two weeks after the kids and teens went back, so did they.
***Side noteHarry Newman graduated High School in 02. At that time, the university hadn’t yet been built, so technically, this would have been his first year. However, knowing Harry’s father the mayor, I didn’t think he would approve of his son doing “nothing” for a year. So I decided to pretend Harry had already had a year of university education behind him. Read about my university system in the education post.***

Two new first year students moved into the Student Residence to live there with Harry (second year history), Narai* (second year science) and Lola* (third year linguistics): Mia, who will be studying medicine and Chris*, who will be a music student.

A new university building had been built over the last months and the students all agreed it was a great building, with a quiet library…

…a cafe with good food…

… and a nice terrace.

That night they celebrated the start of the academic year at the local (student)pub, The Bumblebee.

The year was off to a great start!

* Narai, Lola and Chris are all originally created with different names by Alex at ice-creamforbreakfast.tumblr.com