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I have a new blog!!

Hi, everyone!  I am so sorry I've been absent from blogging for so, so long!!  I've been very busy, but I finally set up a brand new blog for myself and have made a new post!!  I have lots of plans for many more posts soon, and am very excited to have a blog again!  You can read my new blog here:


I hope you like it! :-)

My Last Day with Hodel

Yesterday was the last day of Hodel's visit. :-(  She had to go home today.  I am so sad - I miss her already!  The house seems so quiet and lonely without her around.  We did have a great last day together, though.  We went to the beach at Lake Michigan and swam and played in the sand.

Here we are in our beach coverups looking out at the water.  Hodel was telling me about the other Great Lakes she's visited.  If she sees two more, she'll have been to all five!

We played in the sand until the sun got too hot, and then we braved the waves.  Sometimes Lake Michigan is super cold, but it's been so hot this summer that the water was not cold at all.

It was such a perfect day at the beach!

Hodel made a photo album all about her visit with me.  It has all the pictures I've posted here plus more.  You can look at it here:


Shalom, Hodel, and Kol Tuv!  (I hope I said that right - I was trying to say goodbye, Hodel, and be well!) :-)

A Little Sewing Magic

Hodel and I have been watching a lot of Project Runway on T.V.  It is an awesome show where fashion designers compete in challenges to see who can make the best outfit.  It always makes me want to learn how to sew.  Hodel and I decided to try and make dresses for our dolls, Nancy and Rosie.  Rosie's clothes don't come off, and Nancy only owns red socks, so we had to use red and white material to avoid clashing.  We found some awesome red and white satin to use.  I measured the dolls and Hodel cut pieces of material for us.

We sewed and cut and pinned and sewed some more, and when we were done...well, it was not very good.  The satin material raveled like crazy if we so much as touched it.  If Nancy lifted her arms, she flashed everyone, and if Rosie tried to walk, one whole side of her body popped out (so it was actually good that her original clothes do not come off)!  They could not go out in public dressed like that, or they'd get arrested! 

Well, we were pretty bummed at the outcome after all that work.  I just hate it when my projects or ideas don't work out at all.  Hodel said we should go outside to play and forget about it, so we did.

But then...this morning, we got a huge surprise.

Click here to see some real sewing magic!Collapse )

Playing with Ginger Rogers!

Today, Hodel and I played with our dolls and dinosaurs.  We played that Nancy and Rosie, who were taking care of the twin baby dinosaurs, Alec and Simon, were being chased by a killer monster.  The part of the killer monster was played by my guinea pig, Ginger Rogers, even though she is about as far from a killer monster as it gets.  We had her in her cage, just observing the action for awhile.

Then we decided to take Ginger Rogers out, because it was hard for the dolls and dinosaurs to be really scared of a killer monster when she was safely shut away in a cage.  Rosie screamed for Nancy and Alec to run, because the monster was right on their heels!

And then...Ginger Rogers got scared and ran and hid between the armchair and bookcase. :-(  Poor Ginger Rogers!  She just does not like lots of noise or excitement!  Hodel and I had to be very quiet and gentle and coax her out.

We put her back in her cage and gave her lots of love and a carrot to nibble on, and then she was happy again.  Some guinea pigs just aren't cut out to be killer monsters, I suppose.  Sorry, Ginger Rogers!

Fossil Hunting!

This weekend Hodel and I went with Katie to visit her parents, and her big sister who just moved back in with them so she can go back to school.  Hodel and I had big plans for the weekend - we were going to go fossil hunting!  When Katie was a kid, the city dug a drainage ditch along her backyard to help prevent flooding when the winter snows melt.  Well, when the huge machines came and dug the ditch, Katie and her brother went out to look at all the neat rocks and stuff that got dug up, and they found FOSSILS.  Real, honest-to-goodness fossils of little seashells and fish on rocks!  They were so excited, and a little while after they found the fossils, a real scientist from the university came out to the ditch to look for more, and Katie and her brother sat and watched him looking with all his special tools.  He never found any dinosaurs or anything, but it's still so cool that there were real, ancient fossils right in the backyard!  Hodel and I wanted to go out and see if we could find any little fish or seashell fossils that got missed back then.  We each got special tools to help us look - a hammer, a chisel, and an excavation brush to get the sand and dirt off our findings.

Well...it rained really, really hard on Friday night and on Saturday, and the ditch got water in the bottom, so we could not fossil hunt there. :-(  We were so, so disappointed.  But then Katie got us these fun little dinosaur egg kits - we each got a big egg made of real, hard sand that we broke open with our hammer and chisel, and inside was a little tiny toy dinosaur!  It was not like finding a real fossil, of course, but it was good practice for finding some real ones sometime.

Here we are just starting to hammer away at our eggs:

Click here to see our dinosaurs come out of the eggs!Collapse )

A Successful Road Trip!

Guess what - we are back from our road trip!!  We got to be in three different states this weekend: Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois.  Katie's little brother drove us, and we laughed at him a lot in the beginning because he kept spilling hot coffee on his leg.  He wiped it up with a sock (and then wore it later).  Hehe!

Guess what there is to see in Illinois, once you are past Chicago?  CORN!!  Fields and fields of corn!  We tried to count the cornfields at first, but eventually we lost track.  There were just too many!  Of course, we had to stop and get our picture taken by some Illinois corn:

Click here to see more from our road trip!Collapse )

Ice Cream and Plans

Well, this week has been so terribly hot, it's been hard to do much of anything.  All you can really do is sit in front of a fan and eat ice cream in weather like this. :-(  Hodel and I have watched lots of movies - The Parent Trap, Fly Away Home, Up, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and The Land Before Time.  Today we were desperate for a little fresh air, so we tried eating ice cream out on the porch and hoped for a breeze.  There was one, but it was hot and felt like a heater blowing on us, so it didn't do much good!  We had to eat our ice cream fast before it turned into ice cream soup.  But that wasn't hard, because it was yummy.

Then, we got some very exciting news - tomorrow morning, we get to go on a road trip!!!  I am so excited; I love road trips more than anything!  We will only be gone two days, and we are only going to central Illinois, just two states away, and we will not be doing anything crazy - Katie's grandmother is turning 90 years old and so Katie has to go to her birthday party.  Also, this grandmother is very crabby most of the time and doesn't even like dolls, if you can believe that, so we have to be on our absolute best behavior and stay out of the way.  But still.  A real road trip with my best friend!  We started planning immediately.  We had to decide which matching outfits we wanted to wear, and what we should bring to entertain ourselves.

We went through all our clothes and decided on our pink and orange tie-dyed skirts, and then went back and forth for ages on whether to wear sort-of-matching orange and yellow halter tops or pink t-shirts.  We decided on the t-shirts, because I tried on the yellow halter top and it did not match that well.

Then we packed our entertainment - our iPods, magazines, books, playing cards, dolls, a video game, and our practical stuff like shampoo and hairbrushes.  Everything is ready to go and now we just have to wait for tomorrow morning to come so we can leave!!!  YES!!!

I Spy....

Hodel and I had big plans yesterday.  We were going to dress up in our matching Ragtime t-shirts and jeans and get up early so we could go play in the park before it got too hot.  We were going to tell all the other kids there that we were fraternal twins named Bethanie and Stephanie Franklin, and that we were visiting from Australia.  We even stayed up late practicing our Australian accents so we would sound authentic.  Probably no one would really believe us, but it would be fun to pretend anyway.  We got up really early and got dressed and Katie fixed our hair in matching braids (which took FOREVER, because she is so picky about getting them perfectly even...) and Bethanie and Stephanie were ready to go!

But then we heard thunder, and looked outside...and it was starting to rain.  Boo!!!

So we ended up watching a movie called "Harriet the Spy," based on the awesome book of the same name.  Then we decided to play spies!  We put aside our twin names and came up with secret agent ones instead - Hodel was Jamie Bond, and I was Maxine Smart!  Hehe.  I got out my special Top Secret notebook so we could record our findings, and we were ready!

Okay, so there wasn't a whole lot to spy on at my house....first we spied on Katie, and all she did was read a book, for ages and ages, and then typed on her computer for ages and ages.  No mysterious phone calls or anything, and it was kind of boring.  Then we spied on Matt, and at first all he did was read a book, too.  But then he started watching a T.V. show on HBO with lots of bad words in it that we are definitely not allowed to watch, and we hid nearby in the kitchen, under the table, and tried to listen in without giggling too hard.  Hodel starting making tally marks in our notebook every time someone on the show said a bad word, and before long we were laughing so hard we got caught and sent to the bedroom to play until the show was over.  So I guess Jamie Bond and Maxine Smart have a lot to learn about spying without getting caught...but it was fun anyway!

I Have a Visitor!!

Well, today was quite a surprising day!  I was planning for today to be a very lazy day.  I am not normally a very lazy sort of person, but it's been SO horribly hot and humid outside lately, it isn't even any fun to play outside anymore.  All I want to do when it's so hot is sit in front of a fan and read or watch T.V. 

So I was planning to stay in my pajamas all the way till lunchtime, and just sit on a big pile of pillows and read my Five Minute Mystery book with Nancy Drew.  I had everything all arranged and was about to open my book...

When there was a knock at the door!  Who could it be?  I jumped up to answer it, and was shocked!  Guess who was knocking?  My friend Hodel!!!!  I knew she was coming to visit me, but I wasn't expecting her to arrive until next week.  She got here early!  Woohoo!  It was like deja vu when I opened the door and saw her standing there, just like I did when she came to visit me last year!

"Hodel, I wasn't expecting you yet!" I exclaimed.  "I'm not even dressed!  I haven't cleaned up the house for you yet!"

Of course, she didn't care, because she is my friend. :-)

Now we are going to talk and talk and plan all the excellent stuff we're going to do!!!


Household Mysteries

You know, Nancy Drew was really lucky she managed to find so many mysteries to solve.  Important mysteries, like catching jewel thieves and forgers and kidnappers.  I keep hoping I'll stumble into a mystery as good as one of hers, but so far the only one I've found is this:

The Mystery of Why We Use the Kitchen Table for Everything Except Actual Meal Eating:


And you know, it doesn't take much sleuthing to solve that mystery - it's just because we're too lazy to actually put stuff away when it's so much easier to toss it on the table to deal with "later."  Well, I needed one more big thing to do to finish paying off my Nancy Drew doll, and this was it.  You've seen the before, now here's the "after:"

Not bad, huh?  I wonder how long we'll manage to keep it this way.... :)