Monthly Archives: October 2015

Isabelle Solves the Mystery

To read part 2 go here 

The next day Isabelle found Addy packing her lunch for school.

Isabelle Addy breakfast“Addy… did you hear anything weird when you were studying for your French exam a few nights ago?  I heard this strange scratching sound last night, and reading Poe wasn’t helping the situation either.”

“Wreath,” Addy said plainly.  “It scratches on the glass door when the wind blows.”

Isabelle played it cool. “Oh yeah, I forgot about that,” she said.  Inside, however, her brain was doing cartwheels of joy now that she had found someone to put her fears at ease.  She couldn’t wait another minute to see what Addy had to say about the doll in the closet.

“Oh!  Saige is finally out of the bathroom… MY TURN!” Addy called out as she dashed out of the kitchen.

So much for feeling better.

Isabelle sank into a chair to review her math for the quiz later today.  Kit and Caroline were busy playing without a care in the world.  “Oh to be a little kid again,” thought Isabelle to herself.

Kit Caroline Play Madison Doll Sale

“I get to be the doll sale lady who hands the dolls to customers!” said Kit.

“OK, I’ll be the customer, but then we have to switch,” agreed Caroline.

“Pretend you’re looking for a doll with earrings and I will go through all the boxes for you,” Kit suggested.

Isabelle looked up, “What are you two doing?”

“Playing Madison Doll sale,” Kit replied.

“That was the best day ever,” sighed Caroline.  “Getting to leave that huge warehouse, and getting a home!”

Kit agreed and added, “It was so exciting when they chose a third girl to take home, and we still haven’t met her!”

“Wait a minute,” said Isabelle, “What did you say?”

“A third girl… In the closet.  The special present?” Kit said casually.

“I…I… How long have you known?” Isabelle was dumbfounded.

Isabelle Kit Caroline“Like I said, we were there at the sale, and the new girl is for Christmas.  The clerks cheered when she got to come home with us!” Kit added, “We are saving money to get her some Christmas gifts so she has her own stuff.  You are supposed to be saving too!”

Isabelle wondered how many other things were going on around the house that she didn’t know about.

“Seriously?! Where is she going to sleep!!?” Isabelle said as she left Kit and Caroline.  Isabelle acted as though she was aggravated, but one tiny seed of joy sprouted in her heart when she thought of the perfect gift she had just seen in the new holiday catalog.  Maybe she would just hop on the AG website for a second. . .












Ho Ho Ho, Holiday Catalog!

Brianna is practicing “Jingle Bells” on her clarinet and we got the AG Holiday catalog in the mail – life is good!

We have a tradition in our house that we must look at the American Girl catalog together… no peeking if you’re alone!  The January catalog viewing when the Girl of the Year comes out is an especially sacred time.  Today we sat on the couch after school and checked out this new and interesting catalog.

Overall, I enjoyed seeing the various Instagram “fan made” doll photos.  Time and again I have appreciated AG items more when I see them on fellow bloggers’ websites than the images in the catalog.  I liked seeing outfits broken up and mixed in a new way, as shown in the 14 year old’s photo of the doll of color with the horse peeking over her shoulder.  Super cute.

I also liked the feature photo on page 2 of all of the dolls gathered together at a holiday party.  At our house, a doll party is for all the dolls – historical, TrulyMe or Girl of the Year.  Pictures like that reflect the way we “play” at home.

That said, for me personally, seeing Kit in Julie’s 70s egg chair was a bit of a stretch.  Granted, you can get so used to seeing Julie in the egg chair that you don’t really ‘see’ it anymore.  Another solution might be to feature fan pictures of one or two of the historical dolls in each catalog so that we can see some fresh photos.

Hi! This is Brianna! Here are my opinions on this new and awesome catalog.

I really enjoyed that this catalog was larger [in length and width.] Also the inside format is great! I agree with Jen that the various “fan made” doll photos were really neat and was a cool idea by American Girl.

I’m really glad that they put all the Beforevers in the catalog, instead of just a few. Also, I agree with Jen that it was really neat the way AG combined outfits, like how on pages 66-67 they featured lots of different AG bedroom ideas for the dolls. My favorite was the 2nd picture, with the plaid dog bed, the Hanukkah set, Rebecca’s bed, Maryellen’s jukebox, and an adorable little Corgi Puppy.

What are your thoughts?  We welcome all opinions – these topics are as hot as discussion about Hillary’s emails in the Democratic debate!



Fall Beauty with Kit

This month I have been reading Kit’s books for the first time — they sure are different from and better than the movie.  In truth, Kit has been a little neglected around here since I bought her at the Madison sale this summer.  She came to us right on the heels of Julie and never got the attention she deserves.

I took her out this weekend for some fall photos.   Here she is wearing one of Cecile’s blouses (I think!) and a one of a kind dress.  Kit would approve of an outfit like this that isn’t frilly and pink.

Kit Kittridge

When my husband saw me taking pictures of Kit he asked if they were for the on-going Isabelle story.  Sorry!  No sneak peeks for you mister.

Kit in FallI think Kit would savor a day to enjoy the beauty of fall without having to do all the chores required of her in her Depression-era stories. Can you imagine feeding and cleaning up after six or more boarders in addition to your own family, every day?!

“I’m just a drudge,” Kit grumbled to herself, feeling cross that even the chickens seemed to take her for granted.  She picked up her broom and went back to work beating the rug hung over the clothesline.  “Mop, sweep, scrub, polish, do the laundry, wash the dishes . . . my chores never end!”

noexif_IMG_6357_privateHere is Kit wearing a hand-knit poncho for chilly fall days in Cincinnati.  Perhaps Kit’s frugal Aunt Millie might have knit the poncho from repurposed yarn.

She and Ruthie presented Kit with a knitted red hat and blue-and-red mittens.  “These aren’t exactly new either,” Ruthie said.  “The red yarn came from an old sweater of Stirling’s that we unraveled, and the blue yard came from a cap of Charlie’s . . . .

noexif_IMG_6358_privateWelcome to the family wonderful Kit!

—For a fabulous trip through the best Kit book —  “Happy Birthday Kit” — visit Dollightful Dolls for Heather’s photo story.

Knit poncho came from a craft fair courtesy of Brianna’s Grandma 🙂


Isabelle’s Long Creepy Night

Click here to go to part 1

Isabelle couldn’t quite name the reason why she didn’t just tell the other girls ‘Hey!  There’s a new doll box in the coat closet!’  Maybe it was because she was the oldest, and she felt some personal responsibility for the younger girls’ happiness, or maybe it was because she didn’t want to contemplate a new girl moving in just as she was preparing to think about college.

The week wore on, and Isabelle was very distracted and spacey.  She went to her Wednesday ballet class and completely forgot to put her hair in a bun.  This resulted in the entire class having to do push-ups, her teacher’s customary punishment for not being prepared.

Isabelle Balletnoexif_IMG_6343_private

That evening she pulled out her American Lit homework after the younger girls were already in bed.  Her Lit teacher thought it would be “fun” to study Edgar Allan Poe in the month of October. Isabelle smirked as she thought of Poe as the original Goth, long before the kids at high school started experimenting with dyed black hair and dark lipstick.  The window rattled. A cold front was coming in, and she could hear the wind sending the leaves into noisy vortexes on the lawn and jolting her back to work.  She pulled a blanket around her.

Isabelle October Mystery

Isabelle cracked open ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ and tried to focus on the first sentence: “TRUE! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” ‘Great’ – she thought to herself – ‘Spooky October wind, story told by a madman, and a mystery doll box in the closet right behind my chair. At least this is a short story and I can get to bed soon.’


She dozed off a few times during the story, but after reading about the story’s main character going crazy hearing a “tell-tale” heart thumping under his floorboards she was wide awake and thoroughly creeped out.

Scritch Scritch

Scritch Scritch

What was that sound behind her?  It sounded like it was near the closet!  Isabelle ran off to her bedroom and swore she would confide in sensible Addy in the morning.

Final installment next week~

Isabelle Finds More Than She Expected

On a cool, autumnal Sunday, Isabelle decided to go out for a walk before church.  She had a new ballet teacher who was working the class very hard.  Isabelle was sore!  Maybe a little fresh air and movement would get her feeling better.  She checked the thermometer..  Ooh, 48 degrees.  Time to dig out the winter coat.

Isabelle American Girl

She headed to the coat closet wearing the wrap sweater that a friend’s mom knit for her as a birthday gift.  The family was from France and tres chic.  She felt a little smug knowing that she was so much more stylish in her ballet attire than her friends who ran around in day-glow soccer shirts all weekend.  Now about that winter coat…



“This closet is just a mess of tennis rackets, vacuum cleaners, and trick-or-treat pumpkins!”  As she grabbed her coat, she noticed something high up on a shelf.  Was that what it looked like?  It couldn’t be.


It looked like a doll box.  She closed the door feeling as though she had just seen something that she wasn’t supposed to.

Isabelle Gets Winter Coat

She stood with her back against the closet door thinking for a moment.  The confusing thing was that all of the girls in the house had red doll boxes.  It couldn’t possibly be another doll, no way.  It was too crowded here already!

Isabelle took off on her walk, debating about whether to tell any of the other girls about what she saw.

To Be Continued…

Madison Children’s Museum Sale 2016

imageI’m a troublemaker.  Here it is just on the cusp of October and I wandered over to the Madison Children’s Museum website to check the dates of the 2016 sale.  It will be held Saturday July, 16 and Sunday, July 17, 2016 (Sunday may not be a great day to do… stock can be extremely limited).

I am telling you for purely altruistic reasons, of course.  Maybe some of my regional friends might want to take a Great Lakes getaway this summer?  Think about it!

You need to request tickets by mail, usually at the beginning of May.  No need to think about that now.

If you are new to the blog and want a recap of our trip to the sale in 2015, read here.