American Girl Store

Last weekend has been a bit of a blur because I have been sick with bronchitis and feeling pretty terrible. But despite not feeling well, I had read about the opening of an American Girl store in a mall across town. Apparently American Girl has been opening temporary stores around the country for the holidays. I knew that the store would not be anything like the big American Girl Place store in Chicago but thought that it might be a fun idea to take Elin because she enjoys looking daily at a catalog that we recently received. I have been contemplating getting her a bitty baby doll for Christmas but wanted to see how she liked them in the store.

Saturday came and I wasn’t feeling so great so we didn’t head out on the hour’s drive until after lunch. When we got to the mall, I found the table where they gave away tickets to get into the opening and we were lucky because they had earlier stopped giving them out but had just started handing them out again.


We were 27 and they were letting in people with numbers 21-22 so I didn’t think we had long at all, although they told me that could still be a couple hours. So as we headed off to find Bath and Body Works to stock up on holiday candles, Elin spotted the mall train and was so excited to ride. She rode around and  had the best time waving at everyone. I snapped some pics as she rode past on my way to shop.


After the train ride, we spent a long time in the Disney Store and LEGO Store. Then it was finally our time to go in American Girl. As we waited in line to get in, Elin kept telling me wanted the Mary Ellen doll which was funny because I told her the names of the dolls once and I can’t believe she remembered! We took at look at her in the store, but I steered her back to the bitty babies because I know she is not ready for the responsibility of an older doll with tiny accessories.


They had a nice big area for the bitty babies and lots of displays of all the merchandise for the kids to play with and check out. Elin loved playing, which was a good thing because I stood in a long line at the cash register in order to buy her the doll, and she was entertained the whole time by playing.


A nice associate took the items I wanted so Elin never saw me with them. As it was getting my turn to pay, Phil left with Elin and they started to walk through the mall and to the car. By the time I made my way to the car, she was half asleep and hopefully didn’t see me walking to the car with the bags. One Christmas present down!

I’m glad we went because I think Elin had a lot of fun riding the train, playing with LEGO blocks, and looking at all the dolls.

Arrival Day Party and Zoo Boo


Angel just celebrated her first arrival day birthday without Fiona. It was very sad to not have her there. Angel didn’t seem like she was in the partying mood, but she was very good and let me take her photo. She is 14.5 years old now.


Elin desperately wanted to get in on the photos so she sat with Angel for some photos. I love the one of them staring at each other. Elin loves Angel, but Angel is still not a huge fan of Elin. She tolerates her, but I think Angel is still just scared of Elin and thinks she is too loud.




I have no idea where Elin has learned this head tilt, but she has wanted to take pictures like that all weekend long.


Daisy came over for the party and brought some gifts. I didn’t get a good picture of them together which is a bummer. But they enjoyed some birthday treats and hopefully had a nice visit together.


Elin also go to visit Zoo boo with her Nanny and her friend, Lydia. She dressed in a Minnie Mouse dress-up outfit which is not the costume she is going to wear on Halloween, but I thought this would be better for the zoo. Plus, it was easier to layer a shirt and pants underneath it.



These two looked like they were having a blast and I’m glad they got to get there this year.



Elin’s First Field Trip


Elin had her very first field trip last Friday at the apple orchard. I was excited to go along with her and her class as a chaperon and see her interact with all her classmates for the first time. The first thing we did was drive out to the orchards to pick apples and fill a little bag to take home.


Then we went to see the machines that wash and polish the apples before they are bagged up to sell or made into apple cider. They went into the giant freezers to see how cold it was where they store the produce.


Then it was time for prayer and a snack of apple and apple cider. I love this picture of Elin peeking at me during the prayer portion. Despite liking applesauce, Elin was not a fan of the apple or cider.


Elin’s favorite part of the trip was getting to play on the playground and the big pile of hay bales with her classmates. She just loves all the kids in her class and her face lights up when she talks about all of them.



It was her teacher’s birthday so we put together a gift basket and everyone brought something to put it in it. The items were supposed to be things we thought she needed or a way to thank her for all that she does.


This was what Elin contributed. I thought a movie theater giftcard and theater type candy would be nice.


Elin really enjoys her teacher and I was so glad to get a good picture of them together on the field trip.


Before too long it was time to go, and luckily since I didn’t have to drive any other child back to the school, we got to stay longer so Elin had more time on the playground.



It was such a fun morning and I was so glad to get some extra special time with her.

Daddy/Daughter Activities

Elin loves to spend some special time with her daddy. Awhile I go I learned about kids workshops at Home Depot but forgot about them until I was reminded of them again from Meghan from The Adventures Start Here. We signed Elin up and she ended up having an awesome time.

She got a little apron on and got all ready to make the project of the month which was a fire truck.


She got to help hammer the nails down which is the first time she was a allowed to use a real hammer.


Then she enjoyed painting the truck.



Th fire department came and talked to the kids about fire saftey and had little stations set up where they were quizzed on it and then given stickers, candy, coloring pages and crayons. Elin was in heaven with all that loot, plus she got to keep her apron, a pin for the apron, a certificate of completion, and of course the fire truck she made. She has enjoyed playing with it and admiring her handiwork.

We are definitely planning on signing her up for them every month.

Another fun activity she got to do with her daddy is she invited him to a special Dad’s event for her classroom. All the dads came to the school in the evening and brought pumpkins to carve. Then the kids preformed a couple songs they learned and shared a snack they made. They had a good time!


I think they did a pretty good job on their pumpkin, too.