Athena’s New Doll

I really wanted to get the Girl of the Year, Grace. It took the money I had saved from Christmas gifts, my birthday money and lots of work around the house but last week I finally met my savings goal. I made a deal with my parents, they agreed that I saved enough to buy the doll I wanted they would cover the shipping cost.

Today when my parents picked me up from school they said that the package from American Girl had arrived. As soon as I got inside I ran to my room and found Grace sitting by my bed.

Waiting for the package to arrive has been really hard, and I was excited to free Grace from her box but I knew that I had to do one thing first. I called my friend Cordelia and asked her to bring her doll Sienna and come over to my house as soon as she could.

It didn’t take long for Cordelia to arrive. With Sienna under her arm we ran into my room so I could show her Grace.

With great anticipation, we both sat down on the floor for the unboxing.

Cordelia held Sienna up so she could get a good look at her newest friend. Not wanting to be left out of the action my cat Cricket came to watch as well.

We held the dolls up so they could shake hands and officially meet.

I am excited to have a new doll and being able to experience it with a friend makes it even better.

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A Surprise for Athena

I spent Friday night at my friend Cordelia’s house. When my parents picked me up they seemed really excited, I figured that they just missed me and were happy to see me. In the car I began to suspect that they were up to something and as soon as we got home my suspicions were confirmed. When I walked through the door they told me that they had a surprise for me.

When I walked into my bedroom I found a new bed set.

I picked out my old comforter when I was really young and it seemed a little babyish to me, so I had been bugging my parents to redecorate.

I love my new bedding, it is my favorite color and fits my style perfectly. What a great surprise!

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Earth Day 2015

My friend Lydia loves nature, to celebrate Earth Day she takes time to spend time enjoying her surroundings and observing the spring growth.  It has become a tradition to return to the same spot for photos.   She asked me to share her photos from this year.

Earth Day 2014

Are you doing anything special to celebrate Earth Day?

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Egg Hunt

I invited my friends over for an egg hunt.

My parents hid all of the eggs so I could participate in the hunt.

Lydia and Cordelia arrived right on time both wearing a fancy spring dress and carrying a basket.

We all started walking with our eyes on the ground for hidden eggs.

Lydia was the first to yell out, “I found one!”

I saw it a second later, just as Lydia bent over to pick up the egg. I decided that my best chance of finding an egg of my own was to space out from my friends.

It didn’t take long before I spotted one.

I reached down to pick up my first egg, which happened to be my favorite color.

Lydia’s luck continued and she found two eggs by the tree.

Cordelia found an egg nested in the Tulip leaves!

The tree looked like a perfect place for an egg to be hiding.

I was right, I found a green egg nestled in the trunk.

After we had searched the area and were sure we had all of the eggs my friends and I posed for a photo by the tree.
Have you ever participated in an egg hunt?

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Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday! Some might be superstitious about Friday the 13th, but today turned out to be a lucky day for me.

I took chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting to school to share with my friends at lunch. When I got home from school there was a small stack of presents waiting for me.

My parents said I could open them right away so I sat down and got to work. Cricket was right there to help.

The first present was a pink hoodie.

The second box looked like a shoe box.

I tore the paper with Cricket close by to supervise.

Pink puddle jumping boots!

The last box looked like it could be an American Girl doll.

After tearing away one corner I saw, “Contains one doll and one book.” I had a couple of dolls on my wish list so I wasn’t sure who it would be.

I was excited to find Addy!

I took her out of her box right away, I think she looks a little like me.

I am so happy and thankful for all of my gifts! Lasagna dinner with ice cream cake will be the perfect way to round out my best birthday yet.

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Valentine’s Paper Chain

Valentine’s Day just wouldn’t be the same without a craft, so I invited my friend Lydia over to make a heart paper chain.

If you want to make your own chain you will need a few colors of paper. I chose red, pink and white because they are the official Valentine’s Day colors.

First cut the paper into thin strips.

Next fold one paper strip in half. Then use your fingers to gently curl the cut ends in.

Then add a little glue to the end of the strip, bend it in and attach the other end of the strip to form a heart.

Lydia and each made a heart in our favorite color.

After you have two hearts connect them with a third heart to start forming a chain.

Continue to add links until the chain is the length you want.

As we held the chain up to admire our work, Cricket broke the “no cats on the table” rule to investigate.

What do you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

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Shrinky Dink Ornaments

After years of them saying we did not need our own Christmas tree since we always visit my grandparents for Christmas, I convinced my parents we should have a tree at our house.

They were concerned about my cat Cricket climbing the tree or playing with the ornaments, so I promised that I would keep a close eye on him to make sure he was good.

We don’t have a lot of store bought ornaments to decorate our tree so I decided I should make my own. I invited my friend Lydia over to make Shrinky Dink ornaments.

Lydia thought other people might like to make their own Shrinky Dink ornaments, so we made a tutorial.

You will need Shrink film, I got mine at the local craft store and a few other basic supplies; scissors, a hole punch, and colored pencils. You will need a grown up to help with a few of the steps so it is good to make sure you have one close by.

You will need to decide how you are going to decorate your ornaments, shrink film is clear which means it is easy to trace pictures and color them in. I found a bunch of coloring pages I liked online and printed them out.
If you don’t want to use coloring pages you can use rubber stamps, or you can draw your own pictures as well. One nice thing about Shrinky Dinks is that everything, including mistakes, get smaller when you bake them, so your ornaments do not have to be perfect.

Lydia and I each picked a picture and taped a sheet of shrink film to the page.

Once the film was taped down I carefully traced the picture. You can use a Sharpie but a black colored pencil works too.

When you are done tracing color your picture however you want.

The shrink film will be clear after you bake it so make sure you color any parts you want white with colored pencil.

Once you finish your design carefully cut the corners and have a grown up use the hole punch to make a hole in the top. You need to remember to put the hole in before you shrink it, after it has been baked it will be impossible to create a hole, and you will not be able to hang it up.

Now you are ready to watch the magic happen. Have a grown up set the oven or a toaster oven to the temperature on the package and follow the directions on the shrink film package. If your oven has a window you can watch the ornament shrink!

Even if you want to pick it up right away make sure you wait until it is cooled, you don’t want to burn your fingers. When it is cool and the grown up says it is ok to touch it you can put a ribbon or string through the hole you made, and your ornament is done!

Lydia and I both made a few ornaments to decorate our trees. We held one set up next to the coloring sheets they came from so you can see how much they shrink.

Did you make any holiday decorations this year?

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St. Nicholas Day

When my friend Cordelia asked me what St. Nicholas usually brought me I was confused. My first response was, “Do you mean Santa Claus?” She explained that Santa visits on Christmas and brings lots of presents, St. Nicholas visits on December 6th and brings a small gift or candy. After she heard that St. Nicholas had never visited me I could tell that she had an idea, but she wouldn’t tell me what it was no matter how many times I asked.

I found out what her idea was the next day when she invited me to spend the night at her house on Friday night.

When I arrived on Friday evening Cordelia invited me into her room and showed me where I could keep my bag.

We played with our dolls until Cordelia’s parents told us it was time for bed.

Cordelia explained that we had to leave our shoes out for St. Nicholas. She told me that we should put the shoes outside her bedroom door, but we made a plan to leave them right by us in hopes of getting a glimpse at St. Nicholas. I was a little worried about eating candy that was in my shoe, but Cordelia told me not to worry.

I slept well until I got the feeling I was being watched. As soon as I opened my eyes I heard “Good morning sleepy head!”

I sat up to find Cordelia wide awake and sitting on her bed. I quickly looked at my shoes, and found that we both slept through it, but St. Nicholas had visited us and left something for each of us.

We took the packages out of our shoes and Cordelia made room for me on her bed.

With Josefina and Sienna by our sides we opened our gifts. “He knew that my favorite color is pink,” I exclaimed as I held up the lollipop that St. Nicholas left for me. Cordelia held up her favorite sour candy out of her package.

I am really happy that Cordelia invited me to spend the night at her house, I hope St. Nicholas remembers me next year.

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Halloween 2014

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.   I love to dress up and what is not to love about free candy!

I dressed up as a fairy this year.

Lydia dressed up as a tree.

Did you dress up for Halloween?

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Back Yard Adventure

Lydia came over to spend time with me on Saturday. We decided to spend time in my back yard to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather. I asked Lydia what she wanted to do. Her response was “Athena, you should decide, your ideas are always more exciting than mine.” After thinking for a minute I suggested climbing the big Birch tree.

I was shocked when nature loving Lydia said that the tree was too big to climb. She stuck to her story even after I assured her that I had been in it just last week. We have climbed smaller trees together before so when she explained that there are many ways to enjoy trees without climbing them, I began to wonder if she was a little afraid of heights. When she suggested that I could climb the tree and she would stay on the ground to cheer me on it sparked an idea.

I pointed up into the tree and pointed out a branch, then dared Lydia to climb to it. I assured her I would stay on the ground to make sure everything was ok and would coach her up.

On the first big branch she looked down, and asked if I was sure it was a good idea. After a little reassurance and a reminder not to look down any more, Lydia continued to climb.

When she got to the branch I had pointed out she sat down to rest with a huge smile on her face. Lydia can be reluctant to try new things, but once she does she usually enjoys herself.

When Lydia got back to the ground I gave her a high five for facing her fear. We sat down on the grass and I asked her what her favorite thing about fall is.

Our lists were a bit different, but and both agreed that jumping in piles of leaves was in our top three fall activities. We were a bit bummed that the birch tree hasn’t dropped enough leaves to make a good jumping pile yet.

Talk of fall soon turned to talk of Halloween costumes. We talked about going together on a themed costume this year but couldn’t come up with anything that we were both excited about, plus Lydia has a great idea for her costume, I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Even though our costumes won’t coordinate we agreed to go trick-or-treating together this year. I am excited that Halloween falls on a Friday this year, since it isn’t a school night I think I may be able to convince my parents to extend my trick-or-treating time.

What is your favorite part of fall? Are you excited about Halloween?

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