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Mini Grace’s first stop part 8

All photos were taken by Winter at
Day 11
bbp Ella is going to camp this week so we are taking her today. She will get to go horseback riding, swimming, hiking, spend a day at Adventure land and do a nighttime high ropes course and zip lining! Crikey! We each tried to sneak into her bag but we were found. hhmph, maybe next year.

Bye Ella! We’ll miss you! Have fun.

Girl Talk

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Mini Grace’s first stop part 7

All photos were taken by Winter at
Day 10
Best. Day. Yet.
We went to a street faire in Davenport and then to the Figge Art Museum.

An installation of giant, blown glass GMO corn, Scary and also really beautiful

The Figge has gorgeous art to look at but they also have tables and spaces where you can create your own art and leave it for other people to see! This table was filled with self-adhesive vinyl and cardboard forms. Can you see us?

Here is another room for patrons to create art. How cool is this!?! Can you see us here?

There we are, look, right there, on top of that table by those two girls.
We had lunch at Downtown Central Perk and we played Clue while we ate!
This is the point where the girls noticed the bbp (big, big people) don’t eat meat.

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Mini Grace’s first stop part 6

Day 6
We all slept in, everyone was worn out from yesterday. When we woke, we visited the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. We saw the home where he was born; it is tiny, just two rooms with the kitchen on the back porch!

We forgot the camera again so there are no photos for the next few days but we have some brochures in our boxes. Here is a link about the H. Hoover Library

Day 7
Today we went to Des Moines. Cousins from California were visiting Grandma. It was a lot of fun!

Day 8
On our way back from Des Moines, we visited Kalona, IA
It is an Amish/Mennonite Community. We toured an old fashioned farm, very different from modern factory farms! We saw beautiful quilts, bbp traveling by horse and buggy. It was very interesting. We saw a little girl with a cloth doll and the doll did not have a face!

day 9
was another quiet day. The bbp here have a tradition they call “jammie day”. They stay home, wear jammies or lounge clothes, play games and read to each other. It is not as boring as it sound. ;) Today’s game was trivial pursuit. Josie wanted to win, Grace just liked stacking the pieces. Isabelle is new here, she was adopted at MCM and she has an identical twin who was also adopted at MCM.

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Mini Grace’s first stop part 5

All photos were taken by Winter at
We are up at o-dark-hundred! These bbp (big, big people) are crazy! We are headed to Chicago today. First stop, Red Band Coffee in Davenport, Iowa. Smoked Gouda and egg breakfast sandwiches on ciabatta rolls, Holy wow, sooo yummy. We thought they were silly to drive 20 minutes for coffee and breakfast sandwiches. That was before we tasted the natural Ethiopian Yirgacheffe small batch drip, heaven. Truly, heaven in a cup. The bbp only let us little girls have a sip, bbp Winter made some excuse about coffee being bad for children. I honestly think she was just reluctant to share.

After breakfast we napped in the car. When we woke, we were in Chicago! It is a fun, busy city. First stop, the Field Museum.

The entrance

Mammoth Snacks, Saige was no help!

This is Sue

Aaaah, bbp Ella, Save us!

A typical pose: Josie, conquering another world; Grace befriending smaller persons and Saige resting!

This place is amazing. We spent all day here and only saw a tiny portion.

After the Field Museum, we went to The American Girl Store, had dinner at Mity Nice and headed back to our host family’s home.

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Mini Grace’s first stop part 4

All photos were taken by Winter at

Day #4 was a day of rest.
We played Settlers Of Catan. Grace was building a harbor, Saige was moving her pirate ship: We were so focused on the game, it took a minute to realize Josie was missing.

No worries, we soon found her. She had stockpiled all the gold, was rolling/playing in it, laughing maniacally and muttering something about becoming “supreme ruler of the universe”. She was terribly disappointed when bbp (big, big, person) Winter explained the gold is actually just cardboard.

She recovered quickly as the yummy smell of homemade nutmeg doughnuts wafted from the kitchen. Turns out bbp Ella is a terrific baker.

Lunch was also delicious

Bedtime, Josie and Grace received welcome gifts of tiny, guardian angel trolls. We’ll send them on their travels with them.

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Mini Grace’s first stop part 3

On the the third day Grace’s  host family went to the MCM sale… and they forgot the camera at home!

All photos were taken by Winter at

They did get photos welcoming Josie who has come to stay as well.

The bag behind Josie has the big girls that were adopted at MCM

Hello Maggie, My what big teeth you have!

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Mini Grace’s first stop part 2

On the first full day Grace took a trip to Le Claire on the Mississippi River.  All photos were taken by Winter at

She spent some time in the Candy Shoppe. I think this was Graces favorite spot.

She visited a tiny village, playhouse sized church, log cabin and school

They stopped for lunch at the Blue Iguana, for yummy food, with HUGE portions

Saige thought the vintage ash tray would make a great swimming pool, Grace was not convinced.

A visit to the mighty Mississippi rounded out the day

All that walking made Grace thirsty!

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Mini Grace’s first stop part 1

After Athena packed her doll Grace she was on her way to the first stop on her adventure. Winter and family welcomed Grace and kept her busy! All of the photos were taken by Winter at

The first night Grace learned how to play CashFlow

Grace received a welcome gift of a troll doll that is just the right size for her.  She took her new friend to bed which was helpful on her first night away from home.

In the morning she was greeted with a delicious breakfast of of waffles, eggs and bacon!

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Athena Prepares Grace for Her Journey

My doll Grace is going to travel this summer. I gathered everything I needed to send her on her way.

I started by putting bubble wrap in the bottom of the box.

I took a minute to say goodbye and wish her luck in her travels.

I wanted to make sure she was safe when traveling and out for adventures so I used a big piece of fabric.

After carefully wrapping her in cloth to protect her I put Grace in the box, she looked a bit like a giant burrito.

Next I added some clothes to the box.

After double checking the note in the front I added the notebook that will serve as her travel journal.

I got help from my parents to seal the box and add the address.
I can’t wait to see the adventures that Grace has!

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Athena Looks for an Adventure

With less than two full weeks of school left it seems like everyone is talking about their summer travel plans. One kid in my class is visiting Yellowstone, another keeps talking about a trip to Disneyland and one girl is going to Germany. It all sounds like so much so every time I heard a new story I was sure to tell my parents, sure they would get the hint. I even started to ask “doesn’t that sound like fun?” They agreed that all of the trips sounded fun, but when I asked if we could go there, I kept hearing “I don’t think so,” and “not this year,” they changed what they said each time but they all boiled down to “no.”

Convinced that I was being too subtle I started ask my parents if we could take a big trip this summer at every opportunity I could, I even made some suggestions of places we could visit. I got so frustrated at hearing variations on “no” that I yelled “you never let me do anything fun!” and stormed away from the dinner table.

I flopped down on my bed and with my voice muffled by my pillow told Josefina, Addy and Grace that I had the worst family ever.

It wasn’t long before my mom came into my room. I sat up and told her that it wasn’t fair that everyone else gets to go new places and do exciting things this summer while I am stuck at home. She reminded me that I have plenty of things to keep me busy this summer including camp and other activities and that there will no doubt be lots of slumber parties as well.

She told me she would do her best to make sure I got to try new things and have fun this summer, but a big trip isn’t possible and no amount of begging would be able to change that. She encouraged me to use my creativity to come up with a plan that would allow me to have my adventure without a big trip.

I thought about it for the rest of the night, and when bed time rolled around I hoped that the answer would come to me in a dream.

When I woke up the only dream I could remember was that Cricket could talk and after realizing how smart he was my parents decided to send him to school. The dream was funny, but didn’t help at all.

At lunch I talked to all of my friends but they only plan they could come up with is for someone to take a really big suitcase and have me travel that way. I don’t like being stuck in small spaces so that plan was right out.

After school I was discouraged so I invited my friends Lydia and Cordelia over to my house to play with dolls. Lydia came up with places we could explore in the neighborhood and all the ways we could enjoy nature close to home. I am excited to try her ideas, but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for.

Cordelia suggested that we could pretend to travel with our dolls, which also sounded like fun but not quite the adventure I wanted.

I remembered a book we read in my class and said “I wish I was like flat Stanley, I bet if I could be mailed my parents would let me travel.” After I said that, Cordelia’s eyes got big and I could tell she had an idea. She was so excited we had to ask her to repeat herself because her words got all mixed up the first time. She took a deep breath and said, “We can’t mail you, but we could mail a doll.” Lydia and I both got excited, with travel as part of her story I knew that I wanted to send my Grace doll on an adventure just like the character in the books. We talked for a long time and made lots of plans until it was time for them to go home.

After they left reality hit me, it wouldn’t cost much for Grace to travel, but it took a long time to save up enough money to buy her and my parents might not let me send my doll in the mail.

Preparing to hear “no” once again I got ready to tell my parents the idea that my friends and I had come up with. After I explained everything they asked me lots of questions. I think the wanted to make sure I knew all of the risks and things that could go wrong, and had thought it through. After I answered all of the questions I was surprised when they said, “it’s your doll, if that is what you really want to do, it is fine with us.”

After spinning her around and Grace that she was going to help me have an adventure this summer. I called Cordelia and Lydia right away. Now I just need to find places for Grace to travel!

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