Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Cory Family Season 9

Cameron Sinclair—Elder male romance sim
Aquarius personality
Sloppy 4, Shy 4, Lazy 4, Fun 7, Nice 6
Lifetime want—become professional party guest—Achieved
Preferred hobby—Nature

Amanda Cory—Elder female popularity sim
Aries personality
Neat 5, Outgoing 8, Active 6, Serious 3, Grumpy 3
Lifetime want—have 20 simultaneous best friends—Achieved
Preferred hobby—Music and Dance

Matthew Cory— Teen male fortune sim
Aries personality
Neat 7, Outgoing 8, Active 8, Serious 3, Nice 10
Lifetime want—earn 100,000 simoleons
Preferred hobby—Fitness

Rachel Cory—Child female sim
Aquarius personality
Neat 5, Shy 4, Active 6, Playful 7, Nice 6
Preferred hobby—Tinkering

Sandy Cory—Child male sim
Sagittarius personality
Sloppy 4, Shy 4, Active 9, Playful 7, Nice 6
Preferred hobby—Sports

Check out the Cory-Sinclair Family Tree.

In the last update— Cameron and Amanda finally got married and became a more traditional family. Amanda allowed her son-in-law, Evan, to take over for her at Cory publishing as she took a leave of absence to raise her children. Cameron reached the top of the music career and maximized his enthusiasm in nature. Matthew started dating Anna, a family sim he met at school. Rachel and Sandy grew-up into children, while Amanda and Cameron aged to elders.

Season 9—Fall

It was very common for Evan and Alyssa’s children, Christopher and Rose, to walk next door to Grandma’s house to play in the afternoons. They loved the fort and play gym that Cameron had built in the backyard, and they enjoyed hanging out with Rachel and Sandy. Even though Rachel and Sandy were technically Christopher and Rose’s half-aunt and half-uncle, they felt more like cousins, since they were relatively close in age. Even Matthew occasionally hung out with them for an hour or so. Matthew was extremely busy with school, skilling, and his job, but he did understand the importance of family as well.

That’s why it was odd when the children walked over with both Evan and Alyssa for a formal visit. Cameron was delighted to see his nephew Evan, so he didn’t question the reason for the visit too much.

The children immediately rushed upstairs to play together. “Let’s have a contest to see who can build the best castle,” Christopher suggested.

That gave the adults time to catch up. “How are things going?” Cameron asked. Alyssa explained how much she loved her job teaching second graders at Emerald Isle Academy. Evan told him how happy he was to finally be working at Cory Publishing and how grateful he was that Amanda had let him have the job.

“How are things going here?” Evan asked.

“Very well,” Cameron said with a smile. “I don’t like to brag, but both Rachel and Sandy are doing extremely well in school now. I’m so proud of them. And, well, Matthew, you know I don’t have to worry about his grades. He takes after his Uncle Gary, that’s for sure. He just won an award from the school for his charisma skill. There was a formal award ceremony and he got a plaque and everything.”

“That’s wonderful,” Alyssa commented.

“That actually brings me to the reason for my visit, Uncle Cam. I came to ask for your help with something. I’m worried about Eli. Dad’s been really hard on him about his grades. He called me crying a few weeks ago,” Evan informed his uncle.

“I’ve been helping him on the weekend with his schoolwork and reading skills. I can already see a huge improvement,” Alyssa added.

“But, I’m still worried about him. You know how much pressure Dad can put on a kid. He reminds me so much of me when I was his age. He’d do anything to please Dad and earn his love, and he can’t handle falling short of Dad’s expectations. You were always so much help to me when I was little, Uncle Cam. I know I wouldn’t have made it without you. So, I’m asking for your help. Do you think you could spend some time with Eli? He could really use someone to help with his self-confidence. Aly and I are doing everything we can, but I think knowing that he has an uncle that loves him could help a lot, too.”

“Of course,” Cameron replied. Eli’s older brother Ethan took so much after his parents that Cameron had forgotten that each child was different. Eli had obviously received Cameron’s playfulness gene, just like Evan had. “He’s actually pretty close with Rachel. They’re only a year apart. I’ll invite him over to play with his cousins and see what I can do,” Cameron suggested.

“That would be great,” Evan sighed with relief.

After that they had dinner as one big family. Amanda was thrilled to get to spend some time with her oldest daughter. Circumstances had forced Amanda to miss a lot of Alyssa’s childhood, so she was very happy that they could be close as adults.

That night, Cameron had trouble sleeping. He cuddled his wife as he thought about their family. He was so grateful that she had convinced him to stay all of those years ago. He couldn’t imagine his life if he had run scared as he’d wanted to before Matthew was born. Not only did Matthew and Amanda need him, but now he was able to be there for Rachel, Sandy, Evan’s family, and even Gary’s boys. He owed everything, his wonderful family and his own happiness, to the love of his life, Amanda. He kissed her lightly as he pondered it before finally falling asleep.

The next day, Cameron took Evan’s advice and asked Gary if his nephews could come over to play. Eli and Jack came to play with Rachel and Sandy. Cameron carefully observed. Eli seemed to be happy. He was comfortably being social with his relatives as they played in the fort.

But then, Cameron saw something that broke his heart. Eli was going down the slide. When he landed at the bottom, he clearly winced.

Cameron nearly cried as he watched the boy gingerly rub his bottom.

It didn’t take a genius to figure out why Eli’s bottom was sore. He knew that his brother wouldn’t ever really hurt Eli; he knew that. Cameron had grown up with Gary as his big brother and had watched how he’d raised Evan. Gary was demanding, but not cruel. However, based on what Evan had told him about Eli, Cameron also knew that Eli couldn’t possibly have done anything to deserve punishment. Eli cared too much about pleasing his father for him to have done anything truly bad. It took all of Cameron’s strength of will not to run up and hug Eli or to go give Gary a piece of his mind, but he knew that the situation needed to be handled delicately. His main concern had to be giving Eli some self-confidence and making sure that he knew that he was loved.

Evan had told Cameron that Eli loved strategy games, so Cameron decided to ask Eli if he’d like to play a game of chess with him. His nephew’s eyes lit up at the mention of his favorite activity. “Don’t get too excited,” Cameron teased. “I’m sure you’ll beat me in five moves.”

The game lasted a bit longer than that, but Cameron had the sneaking suspicion that Eli was purposefully prolonging the game. He’d make a very stupid move, but then make several brilliant moves to keep the game a stalemate.

After talking about nothing for quite some time, Eli finally mentioned that things weren’t going so well at school. Cameron didn’t press him for information. He wanted Eli to know that there was someone he could talk to about anything.

When Gary came to pick-up the kids, Cameron pulled him aside to talk to him first. He knew he couldn’t start a fight between them, but he had to know. “You want to tell me why you spanked Eli?”

“I’m surprised he told you about that,” was Gary’s only response.

“He didn’t have to,” Cameron replied. “I can tell. I think we both learned the tells pretty quickly when we were kids.”

Gary nodded. “It’s not like you think, Cameron.”

“I know it’s not like with Pops. If I thought it was, I’d be putting a fist in your face instead of asking you about it.” Cameron tried but failed to keep the anger out of his voice.

“Trust me; he earned it. After he was already in trouble for his grades, he didn’t even START his homework until the school bus was already at the house. He made Regina miss a very important meeting so that she could take him to school late. He needed to be punished. I’d taken Evan’s advice and let Eli’s first bad report card slide, which obviously was the wrong decision,” Gary explained. When he saw nothing but continued anger in his brother’s face he added, “Look, Regina was spitting fire. If I hadn’t taken care of it, Regina would have, and I don’t think that she could have kept her temper out of it.”

Cameron merely nodded. He couldn’t risk arguing with Gary over it. It was a better explanation than he had expected, and the last thing he wanted was to ruin his relationship with his brother and possibly never see his nephews again. Perhaps it was enough for Gary to know that he was closely monitoring the situation. “Can Eli go fishing with me this weekend after his tutoring with Alyssa?” Cameron asked. He wished that Gary lived closer so that Eli could come over more often, but it was quite a drive across Emerald Isle. Maybe combining the trip would make the offer more acceptable to Gary.

“I don’t know,” Gary contemplated. “I was going to use the time to help him with his football skills.

“He needs a break, Gary. Haven’t you learned anything from me or from Evan? Eli’s a playful sim. He’s not like you, or Regina, or Ethan. He needs fun time. He needs time away from the pressure. I just don’t want to see him run away like I did when he becomes a teen. Just let me spend some time with him?”

Reluctantly, Gary agreed.

As promised, Eli walked over to the Cory house Saturday after his tutoring with Alyssa. He was happy to see his Uncle, but he seemed nervous as they began to fish. “Am I doing this right, Uncle Cam? I’m sorry. Please don’t get mad at me for doing it wrong. I’ve never been fishing before. Just show me how to do it, and I’ll do better next time, I promise.”

“Shh, you’re doing just fine,” Cameron reassured Eli as he helped the boy bait his line before starting his own. “You don’t have to worry about doing well at fishing. This is just for fun.”

“So, like, even if all I catch is boots, that’s okay?” Eli hesitantly questioned.

“Even if you accidentally lose the whole pole into the lake,” Cameron explained. They were nice poles, and he didn’t want to lose one, but he wanted to clearly illustrate his point. “As long as you have fun and relax out here, then we’ve accomplished our goal, okay?”

Eli relaxed a lot after that. After a few hours, he was really getting into it. “This is so much fun, Uncle Cam. I like fishing! And, I . . . I think I’m actually doing better since I don’t have to worry about doing well.”

The smile of sheer joy on Eli’s face said it all. “I bet you’re right, Eli. Try to keep that in mind when you’re reading or playing football. If you just relax and enjoy what you’re doing, it isn’t near as hard. You’re more likely to succeed at it.”

“Maybe if I don’t worry about throwing interceptions so much, then maybe I won’t throw as many?” Eli contemplated out loud.

“Why don’t you try that at your next game? Just enjoy playing for the fun of it and see what happens,” Cameron suggested. He was so happy himself. He knew that he’d managed to reach Eli.

Amanda was busy having fun of her own. She’d decided to take dancing lessons at Emerald Isle’s dance studio. She would show off her skills at her next party, which she invited half of the town to.

The active dance floor combined with the excellent wine that Amanda served at the party combined for one huge roof raiser party.

After that, it was amazingly November already, and time for Thanksgiving. The Corys hosted the Cory-Sinclair family dinner that year. They were a close extended family that normally spent a lot of time together, but it was especially nice to be together for the holidays.

Cameron was still the best cook in the family, so he slaved away at preparing an excellent meal most of the day.

The Cory and Sinclair families had grown so big that they couldn’t fit all at one table anymore. Amanda rearranged the living room to make room for another temporary table. Even with that, it was a tight squeeze to fit everyone in.

“Daddy, can I sit at the adult table?” Rachel asked as she climbed up into a chair.

“Sure, pumpkin, if you want to. We’re probably going to talk about boring adult stuff like the economy and politics, though.”

“I don’t care. I want to sit with you, Daddy,” Rachel replied. She was still daddy’s girl, through and through.

Eli followed right behind her, but he stopped abruptly as soon as he reached the doorway. “I’m s-sorry. I d-didn’t realize this was the adult t-table. I d-didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“You’re not interrupting, Eli,” Cameron immediately responded. “You can join us if you want.”

Eli shook his head and ducked out of the dining room. Ethan was quick to take the last empty seat at the “men’s table.” He wanted to join the adult discussion. No way was he sitting at the kiddie table or talking about sewing or dancing with Aly and Aunt Amanda.

After dinner, it was time for a family touch football game. Jack gave Rachel some pointers before the match officially began.

Gary was the captain of one team while Cameron led the other. Gary, of course, picked his captain-of-the-football-team son Ethan first, but Cameron shocked everyone by picking Eli as his first choice. Cameron felt it was important to bolster the boy’s confidence. Cameron also picked Rachel, since he knew she was actually pretty good at sports, and Gary wouldn’t use her to her full abilities. Once everyone was fairly divided up, the scrimmage began. It got a little rougher than it was supposed to, but it almost always did. In the end, Cameron’s team was victorious, but it was a very hard won victory. Gary and his team tried not to act like sore losers, but they were still grumbling about a couple of calls referee Alyssa had made.

After that, the adults sat around and talked while the kids went upstairs to play. Rachel, Sandy, Eli, and Rose played with blocks while Jack and Christopher played pirates.

They played late into the night until Regina finally came up to collect Eli and Jack. As Jack protested, she reminded them that it was way past bedtime.

It was late, but Matthew really wanted to see his girlfriend, Anna. He missed her. Between school and work, he hardly had any time to spend with her. And, his cousin Ethan had informed him of something that he really needed to talk to her about. Ethan accused her of slapping him several times for no good reason. Matthew knew that there had to be more to the story, so he was anxious to get her side. But, getting his parents to agree to let a girl come over so late was going to be tricky business. His dad knew all about romancing women, so Matthew was sure that if he asked his dad, he would get a quick no. Instead, Matthew decided to try his luck with his mother, whom he found working in her office.

“Umm, Mom, there’s something I wanted to ask you,” Matthew started. This was going to be a hard sell.

“There’s no school tomorrow, so I don’t have to go to bed super early tonight. I’ve been doing really well learning skills, too, so I have a little bit of rare downtime tonight. Do you think I could invite Anna over for a little bit? I’d really like some time to talk to her,” Matthew explained. He held his breath as he waited for an answer. There was no way he mother wouldn’t realize that two teens together at night would manage to get themselves into trouble.

“Sure, Matthew, I trust you. You can invite her over if her parents are okay with that,” Amanda replied.

“Yes!” Matthew whispered under his breath as he left her office.

“What was that?” Amanda called after him.

“Nothing, Mom.” Matthew couldn’t contain his smile.

Matthew greeted Anna in the front yard with a kiss. He really liked her.

They snuck up to his room together. As much as Matthew just wanted to hold and kiss Anna, he couldn’t get his mind off of what his cousin had said. He needed to know if Anna was a mean sim. She seemed so sweet. He couldn’t believe that she would hit someone unprovoked, but Matthew also trusted Ethan. He knew his cousin hadn’t made the whole thing up. Matthew decided to go ahead and broach the topic. It was best to find out what was going on and get it out of his mind.

“Anna, I want to talk to you about something . . .”

“You see, my cousin Ethan said something pretty mean about you, and I don’t want to believe it, so I need to hear your side. He said that you slapped him for no good reason out of the blue. I’m sorry, but I have to ask. Did you do that?”

“He said what about me?” Anna’s jaw dropped.

“I only hit him to get him to leave me alone. He and those jocks he hangs out with are always hitting on me. They look at me like they’re undressing me with their eyes, and they make lewd comments. One of them even grabbed my butt and started to put his hand up my skirt. I get so scared when they do that, Matthew,” Anna explained.

“I’m going to KILL him!” Matthew clenched his hand into a fist and started to pace. He might just drive over to his cousins that very night. “He TOUCHED you?”

“Well . . . Ethan’s never touched me himself. Actually, I don’t remember him ever giving me any of the cat calls himself, either, but he stands by while his friends do that at school,” Anna responded.

Matthew let out a soft sigh of relief as he unclenched his fists. He hadn’t really wanted to fight his cousin. Ethan was quite strong and athletic. He’d have defended his lady’s honor no matter what, but it was good to know that it wasn’t going to come to that. “What exactly did he do before you slapped him?”

“Well, that time he was alone. He walked up to me and was like ‘Hey, Anna,’ so I slapped him before he started in on me. I don’t like being treated like a piece of meat.”

The pieces of the puzzle suddenly started to fall into place for Matthew. Anna was genuinely scared of the jock crowd that Ethan hung out with, so she’d reacted defensively when he’d tried to be nice to her. And, to Ethan, her attack had seemed completely unprovoked.

“Anna, the way those boys are treating you is awful. I’ll find a way to put a stop to it, but I don’t think that Ethan was going to harass you. He said he was just coming up to say hi because he knew you and I were dating. He might have horrible taste in friends, but he is a good guy. Will you give him the benefit of the doubt, for me, since he’s my cousin?” Matthew asked.

“I suppose. I guess I might have overacted a little,” Anna admitted.

“I’m going to talk to Ethan about his friends, though. I’m going to tell him in no uncertain terms that he’s to defend you. I’m going to hold him personally responsible if he lets one of his friends ever lay a hand on you again,” Matthew explained. After a moment’s reflection he added, “There is, you know, something else we could do that might get other boys to lay off of you. We could go steady. It would announce to the world that you’re taken, if . . . if you want to be, that is.”

“Oh, Matthew! Yes! I want to go steady with you,” Anna nodded.

“Anna, I pledge, I’ll be loyal to you, love you, and protect you always,” Matthew declared as he took his girlfriend’s hand and stared into her blue eyes.

“Oh, Matthew, you’re such a great guy,” Anna declared before she embraced her boyfriend in a hug.

They talked for a little while longer before it was time to kiss goodnight and time for Anna to go home.

Matthew felt pretty confident as he got ready for bed that night. Everything was working out the way it was supposed to. Before long, he’d be off to college, and then he’d return to marry Anna and turn the Cory house into a true manor.

He laughed as he returned to his bedroom to find that one of the cats, Aya, had taken over his bed. The cat had decided to adopt Matthew as her owner. Matthew wasn’t exactly sure how that had happened, but he didn’t mind. Once he realized that pets could substantially add to the income of the Cory family, Matthew suddenly wanted to spend time with his pet and teach her commands.

One day, Cameron gave Amanda a big surprise. “I sold your old business for you. I know you bought it so you could meet some people in town, but you already have plenty of friends, and you never go there anymore, so I went ahead and sold it for you.”

“You what? How could you sell my business without my permission, Cameron?” Amanda began to get angry.

“I sold it so that I could afford to buy a much bigger clothing store. Deed’s right here in my pocket. But, since I know hardly anything about fashion, I was hoping that maybe you’d run the place for me?”

Amanda’s expression changed to one of glee. “You bought me my own clothing store?”

Cameron nodded. “First Cory Publishing, now Cory Fashion. You’re putting your name all over this town, Amanda. Besides, I knew how much you wanted to start a clothing store that sells high fashion to all sims, not just girls in their twenties.”

Amanda kissed him. “Cameron Sinclair, I love you.” He’d never admit to it. He still claimed to be a romance sim, but in truth, he was the most loving and caring sim you could ever met.

Cameron gave Amanda free reign over the store. She designed the layout herself. She had sections with fashionable outfits for teen, adults, and elders for both men and women. Anyone could come into her store and leave stylish. Business went well. Since Amanda and Cameron knew pretty much everyone in town, it was easy for them to make good suggestions that people would actually like.

“Ashlee would love that cologne on you, Daniel,” Cameron suggested to a friend.

When a reporter came in to review the store, Amanda received the best of the best award. Cory Fashion was suddenly full of shoppers drawn in by the publicity. Amanda earned a gold sales badge to go along with her gold gardening badge.

In the meantime, Rachel was growing up. Thirteen was the most special birthday in a sim’s life. It was when a sim child decided what they wanted to do with his or her life, and it was Rachel’s turn. Her mother threw her a lavish party with all of their family invited.

Rachel’s cousin, Ethan Sinclair, was the first party guest to arrive. Rachel’s half-sister, Alyssa Cory Sinclair, arrived with Alyssa’s daughter Rose, her husband Evan, and her son Christopher.

Rachel’s Uncle Gary and Aunt Regina also came with their youngest boys, Eli and Jack.

The whole family gathered around Rachel and her cake. Her brother Sandy waited anxiously over her shoulder for her to make her wish.

“I want to be a pleasure sim,” Rachel announced as she grew-up before their eyes. “I want the good things in life: pool parties, romantic dates, someone to do my chores for me. I’m a pleasure sim!”

Rachel’s cousin Eli seemed particularly happy about her declaration.

“You must have some sort of specific goal you wish to achieve,” Rachel’s brother, the overachiever, Matthew asked.

“I guess I should have some sort of career; although, I’m sure you won’t leave your baby sister hurting for money. I think I’ll be a video game designer. That will let me tinker with computer and still have fun at work, yeah, that sounds right for me,” she explained.

Rachel Cory—Teen female pleasure sim
Aquarius personality
Neat 5, Shy 4, Active 6, Playful 7, Nice 6
Lifetime want—Reach top of gamer career
Preferred hobby—Tinkering

Matthew was disgusted. He’d spent all of his teen years working toward his goal of improving the monetary status of the Cory family. He worked hard at school and his job and in his free time he tried to become more well-rounded for college scholarships.

The fact that Rachel didn’t seem to care about any of those things shocked her brother, but it was up to their parents to sort out. He was confident that his mother would get her into a more appropriate outfit and that someone would talk some sense into her. After weeks of anxiously awaiting his acceptance letter to Academy Le Tour and hours upon hours of applying for scholarships, it was finally time for Matthew to leave for university. He earned the sim city scholar’s grant for his grades, the entrepreneur’s scholarships for his job, a communications fellowship for his charisma skill, a genius grant for his logic skill, a visual arts stipend for his creativity skill, and the Tsang footwork award for his dancing skill. Matthew had hoped to earn an additional scholarship for his cleaning skills, but he didn’t quite meet the application criteria. Still, he was pleased. All in all, the scholarships totaled five thousand simoleons, and the dancing scholarship was a complete surprise. He’d only applied for it on a whim.

Ready to do what it took to get ahead and get into law school someday, Matthew headed off to college. His family raced to the door in their pajamas to say goodbye.

Season Recap

1. This season was filled with family bonding. The Cory’s spent time with Alyssa and Evan’s family and also with Gary’s boys.

2. Cameron bought a clothing store for Amanda to run.

3. Rachel became a teen and chose pleasure as her aspiration with reaching the top of the video game career as her lifetime want.

4. Matthew left for college with his girlfriend, Anna.

Points Recap

Previous non-money points 182

Gold badges, Amanda (2) +1

New non-money points 183

New money total for this household to be added for neighborhood points 194,345 simoleons plus ~70,000 simoleons for the new business.

Author’s Notes

The Eli storyline was completely not planned for this household. I had no intention of bringing the story into the Cory family as well. I just normally invite relatives over to play. Then I saw Eli go down the slide. I was shocked to see him look like he was about to cry. Poor dear! Then he started rubbing his bottom. I had no idea what was wrong with him, but my mind went wild with the story possibilities. I later looked it up in the Prima Guide and learned that going down the slide too hard is a possibility for sims with low body skills, but Eli’s body skill is pretty high. So, I’m going to stick with my story for the explanation. It actually worked well, I think, to tie all of the stories together.

By popular demand, Anna is sticking around. She is headed off to college with Matthew. I hope you all like the story I came up with to keep both her and Ethan likeable. It was hard to come up with something to explain it all, but I like how it turned out.

I had Cameron actually buy the new business instead of Amanda, even though I intend to have Amanda run it, because I wanted to be able to get a second set of money business bonuses. Amanda sold her old business, a small place I had bought just so she could meet more friends. I really wanted a clothing store so that I could use it to change townies into custom clothes. But, I can’t figure out a way to get specific townies onto the lot. I think I might have to go for the headfull of numbers perk so that my sim can call any sim. I wish there was a way to just teleport any townie onto the lot, but the simlogic teleporter doesn’t seem to have an option to summon townies.

Rachel will be changing into a new outfit soon. It doesn’t fit her, I don’t think, but I ran out of time to do it before the end of the round.

My photos looked a lot better edited on my computer. I got them looking perfect at 600X450, but they turned a little odd edited to 400X300. If ANYONE knows how to expand the margins in blogger OR is well acquainted with wordpress and can give me some advice on using wordpress (I've already figured out how to get wider margins with wordpress), please e-mail me at Thanks!