Our last visit to the Main Hood takes us to the Lucas family home. The third CAS family to grace us with their presence, this small group consists of adults Colin and Angela, child Richard and toddler Sarah.

Like the other children enrolled in the area’s public school, Richard heads off immediately upon moving in. He would’ve been allowed the day off really, but Colin had made the school arrangements early and had informed them that his son WOULD be there Monday morning!
As their meagre funds wouldn’t stretch very far, Colin started looking for a job straight away. They didn’t have a computer yet, so the only place to look was the newspaper. There wasn’t much on offer, but as a stopgap Colin took the Adventurer Career post. Angela would’ve liked to have taken something too, but as nannies were expensive she thought it best to stay home for now and look after Sarah. Once Richard was a teenager she’d be free to take on whatever she liked! Whether Sarah would mind being “looked after” by her brother remains to be seen…
All in all that first day was productive enough. Angela met the neighbours (Betty Holland, Dina Caliente and Coral Oldie), Colin brought home his first wage packet and Richard learnt to study. Sarah hadn’t managed anything fully yet, but was well on the way to walking and being potty-trained. Talking would come later.
Richard was a tease, and couldn’t resist tormenting his little sister whenever he could. His favourite trick was to hold toys just out of reach, whether it be a car, a rocket ship or a boat. He found it hilarious, but Sarah didn’t find it funny at all. Their relationship (such as it was) suffered accordingly.
The days flew by. Before long Sarah had learnt everything, and transitioned into a pretty child whose only “fault” was that she needed glasses. Her outfit wasn’t particularly nice though, but a quick trip to the shops sorted that!
“Dad, can we change my bedroom too?” she asked, coming into the bedroom where Colin was using the family PC. “Yellow’s okay, but the wallpaper’s so babyish.” Colin checked the bank balance online to see whether they could afford it.
“I think we could manage that for you. What would you like?”
Sarah tapped a few keys to show her dad a photo she'd found of an "aqua-themed" room. “That! It’s all watery-looking, and it’s got matching bed, desk and lamp!”
It was a stretch. Not only did Sarah have a tiny bedroom, and the bed and desk took up a LOT of space, but matching everything was also expensive. Still, the effect was worth it, and Sarah LOVED it! She couldn’t wait to go to bed in her “new room”! It could be said that Richard might even have been jealous…
Summer had arrived. The family made a little vegetable plot near to the house, and Sarah seemed to be the green-fingered one amongst them. She was always watering the plants. Angela was fine at planting, but spent most of the rest of the time doing other things – like giving financial consulting online to supplement Colin’s wage. He’d been promoted once, but to get another he needed to exercise.
Before long Colin brought home a cheap stereo, which he installed in the living-room. Pushing the coffee-table against the wall meant that there was enough room for him to work out, and for folks to dance.
“Dad! That is SO embarrassing!” Sarah cringed at Colin’s antics, and was extremely glad none of her friends were around to see this. It would ruin what little street cred she’d managed to obtain.
“What’s the matter? I’m in my own home; I can dance if I want to.” Colin didn’t care what the neighbours thought, even if his children did. Sarah vowed that she’d only dance when her dad wasn’t! Richard was quite happy smustling away in front of anyone. Shame he wasn’t very good though!
Autumn arrived, and with the temperature outside dropping, Sarah needed to don her winter coat to tend the plants. It was unlikely that the growing tomatoes would be ready before winter began in earnest. If she could keep them going for now, hopefully they’d revive when spring came round. The family would have to buy their food for now.
As the week drew to a close, Richard was very close to becoming a teenager. Angela looked forward to his birthday, as it meant she’d be able to pursue her dream of fortune as well as being a mum. Richard was also looking forward to it, as he’d be able to go out on his own. Having to have someone “in charge” wasn’t his idea of fun!

So, will Angela find her dream career? Will Colin get promoted again or will he choose to do something else? How will Richard fare with teenhood? And can Sarah look after those struggling tomato plants over a harsh winter? Find out next time we visit.

 
 
Now it's the turn of the second CAS family to move in - we have Ivor and Betty Holland, along with their children Hazel and Jennifer. When we enter their new home, Hazel is a child, while Jennifer is a toddler.

As Hazel heads off to school, Jennifer begs Ivor to read to her. Although his first wish was to find a job, he obliges. Betty takes a look in the newspaper to see what vacancies are available. There's nothing particularly exciting!
"Mum, can I bring Beau home?" Hazel asks after getting off the school bus and dropping her homework in the hallway.
"Sure." Betty was busy attempting to get Jennifer walking, as that would take the longest. "But play outside, okay?" Hazel was fine with that, and played tag for ages. Beau wasn't as fast as he appeared, so it was easier than she expected to evade him!
Ivor was the one who made the first meal; macaroni cheese. There was plenty for everyone, and it went down a treat! Afterwards, Betty placed the leftovers (not that there were many) in the fridge and took Jennifer upstairs. Ivor helped Hazel with her homework.
The following day, Ivor found the job he was wanting. A quick call to the employer and he found himself working as a Test Subject. Still, it was the first step to becoming a Mad Scientist!
Betty looked into getting a pet, partly because SHE wanted one, but also because Hazel had expressed an interest. The general consensus was to get a cat, and with a phone call to the Animal Rescue Centre they adopted a tom called Sweets. Maybe a name change would be in order at some stage...
The days flew by, and soon it was Jennifer's birthday. She'd been pretty cute as a toddler, but even as a child she looked nice. It also marked the point of bringing the third bedroom into use; until then the girls had shared the smallest room above the kitchen.
"Hazel, would you prefer to have this room or the other one?" Betty asked, referring to the bedroom she currently slept in.
"The other one."
"That's fine, and you can decorate it however you like!" So she did. But then, so did Jennifer upon growing up. She was a bit of a girl racer, and so had matching furniture (with a Cars bedspread) and decor! Hazel was more mismatched, but didn't mind a bit.
There was one unusual decoration though; even at that age Hazel was a science buff, so had stuck a copy of the Periodic Table on her wall. It certainly wasn't in keeping with the more girly stuff. Betty offered her a framed version, but Hazel said no - maybe have that later on when the old one fell apart.
Now that both girls had desks of their own, there was no excuse for leaving homework at the bottom of the stairs. Aside from anything else, there simply wasn't space! Jennifer needed help with hers to begin with, but before long had grasped the basics just like her sister. Now there was every chance that they'd be getting better grades.
Now that Jennifer was a child, she'd taken on the role of cat trainer. Sweets wasn't exactly clever, but by the end of the week he'd learnt to come when he was called. Well, assuming he wanted to! He'd also been trained to stay off the furniture, and to use the scratching post rather than the table legs. Although the rest of the family had helped with the behaviour modifications, Jennifer had been the one to teach the commands. Sweets was her best friend aside from her relatives.
Ivor had settled in well at his job, and had been promoted not once but twice. He was now a Field Researcher, and had to wear the white lab coat to work. He still found time to fix the bath when it began spewing water everywhere though!
Betty didn't work, but was happy enough looking after the house, the cat and seeing to the cooking. She was getting pretty good at it now. Jennifer too had found she liked cuisine, and spent hours reading cookery books. Hazel was usually found playing about with the telescope, and had been given a membership card to a secret lot. She would be a teenager soon.

So, will Ivor continue to be good at his job? Will Betty max her cooking skill? Will Jennifer train Sweets in everything? How will Hazel fare as a teenager? We will see...
 
 
I'm fully aware that many of you won't be that interested in "random" CAS sims, preferring to hear about the antics of the pre-mades. For those, feel free to ignore these posts and the associated pictures!
Anyone who is interested, then read on!

The Vimto family moved into New Pleasantview after Susan and Lester's son Simon became a child. They wanted a fresh start, and thought that this place may provide it.
The house wasn't particularly exciting - but it had four walls and a roof, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Well, two toilets, one bath/shower combo! Susan and Lester took the largest bedroom, while Simon got the smaller one to the back of the house. The third was currently empty, but it didn't stay that way for long!
Susan's wish was to land a job, as the money the family had wouldn't keep thm going for very long. Before many hours were up she found an open position in the Intelligence career, and headed off to work immediately. Okay, so it wasn't brilliantly paid, but it should hold off bankruptcy!
Although the family were pinching pennies (simoleans) they did invest in one expensive item - a violin. Simon had expressed a wish to learn an instrument, but being so young meant there were few options. Still, he seemed to enjoy making a sound like a strangled cat, at least at first!
It wasn't long before Simon did manage to get a tune out of the violin, and his enthusiasm for music was rocketing! He wasn't allowed to visit on his own yet, but he had been given a membership card to a secret location. He was looking forward to the day when he WOULD be able to go!
The family was also getting larger. Lester and Susan were expecting their second child any time soon. Susan was finding the pregnancy exhausting, so Lester was looking after the cooking and cleaning. What a pity he wasn't any good at it...
It was late at night when Susan went into labour. And when baby Peter came along it was obvious that he'd inherited his dad's coal-black hair. What wasn't so obvious was how he'd look as he grew up - that part the family would just have to wait for.
Simon was growing up fast now. He'd almost maxed out his creativity skills, and his schoolwork was getting better by the day. He spent almost every spare minute on the violin now, and Lester had decided what his son's birthday present was going to be.
But before that happy day, there was more good news. Susan was pregnant again! She wasn't so happy about it though, and was often so tired and irritable that she spurned any advances from her husband.
"No, you CAN'T touch the bump!" was quite a regular sentence heard. She may have wanted a large family, but juggling pregnancy, baby-care and a job wasn't much fun. In fact, she wasn't having ANY fun at all!
Peter grew up into a mischievous toddler, and soon found fun in playing the toy xylophone that Lester had left out on the landing. Simon grew up too, becoming a gangly teenager whose new love was the blue and white guitar his dad had bought him as a birthday present. He'd also found a few simoleans left over to get a cheap stereo. This was loved by everyone - there were numerous occasions when the men of the house would dance together! Yes, that included Peter!
It was late autumn when Susan went into labour again. Simon had brought Angela Pleasant home with him, and the two of them had been cracking jokes to each other when they heard the screams. Racing up the stairs to the bathroom they found the new arrival: a baby girl. Bernadette.
"She's adorable!" Lester loved his new daughter, who even at this early age showed signs of having Susan's brown locks. The question now was whether she'd be as much into music as the rest of the family.
Now that Bernadette was here, Peter wasn't able to sleep in the crib in his parents' bedroom. Instead, they bought a comfortable sleeping mat, which he was able to climb on and off of himself. Having the toys upstairs helped here; he could get up and play without disturbing anyone. It wouldn't be long before he was a child though, then they'd have to scrape together some money for a second bed.
Simon was not only good on the guitar now, he'd also spent a lot of time dancing - so much so that he'd won the Tsang Footwork scholarship for University along with the Art one. He had managed to land the SimCity Scholars grant too, but that would rely on him keeping his grades in the "A" range. As he'd lost interest in his studies this wouldn't be easy!
The next big event was... another pregnancy! Susan was hoping that this would be the final one. As she grew bigger, she started to worry about money and whether or not there'd be enough space for the new arrival. Their house wasn't tiny, but it wasn't huge either!
Shortly before she gave birth, it was Peter's birthday. He was now a child, and celebrated by moving a new bed into his big brother's rather blue room. The plan was to eventually redecorate the third room for Bernadette. For now though, there wasn't enough spare cash!
It was Bernadette's birthday too. She became a toddler, clad in a rather cute blue gingham dress. Her PJs were sweet too, which was a good thing as she spent a fair amount of time in them!
It turned out that she was just as much in love with music as Simon. Peter discovered that he preferred nature, but this never stopped him joining in the "family smustle sessions"! Still, the tradition of teen and toddler dancing together that had started in Peter's babyhood continued with Bernadette regularly joining Simon in the living room. Sometimes their parents would embarrass them too. But then, when one is a teen, just being SEEN with your parents is embarrassing!
As the week drew to a close, Susan went into labour for the fourth (and hopfully final) time. To the family's surprise, she gave birth to twins: Jason and Joshua. Where they were going to sleep once they outgrew the cribs was anyone's guess!
Simon lost the SimCity Scholars grant, but a "B" grade wasn't too bad. He had time to pull it back up before he'd be off to University. He'd also found a job in a music store, and had been told that it was important to study hard if he wished to keep it. Slacking off would mean he'd lose the post, and with it any chance at yet another scholarship! He wanted to buy a drum-kit to accompany the guitar, and they didn't come cheap!

At the end of that rotation, the family is rather bigger than I expected (ACR is responsible for all births except Bernadette's), the house is still looking pretty drab, but all family members are keeping it together.
Will Simon get those scholarships next time? Will the twins grow up well? What will happen with the bed situation? Will Bernadette become as good a dancer as her brother? We'll find out...