Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Trip to the American Girl Place with the Girls

When KT was 5 1/2, Grandma, Grandma Robeerts, KT, & I went up to Chicago to the American Girl Place. Since MD was several years younger, we didn't take her with. Since several years have passed, we thought it was time for the trip with MD and KT had been asking to go back as well.

The last time, we'd went on a group bus trip, so this time we decided to do it alone and so we could set our own schedule for the day and if tired, we could pack it up and head on out if need be.

We took off pretty early in the morning and easily made the drive up to the Chicago area and arrived about an hour before our noon lunch reservation. The girls watched movies on the way up and Rei did very well laying between the front seats of the van.

After arriving and finding the parking garage, we walked over to the Water Tower place, the new home of the American Girl place and seeing the girls eyes light up was so much fun. MD truly didn't know what to think of everything and we made our way up to the dining area and went ahead and got our seat. MD was very impressed with everything and both girls were thrilled with having thier tea cups and plates for thier dolls, who joined us in thier own special chairs at the table.

MD looking over the fancy folded napkin, held in it's folding by a hair piece for the girls to take with them.

THe walls are black and white striped and pink accents. The booth seats themselves have pink outlined daisies all over them and it's just a whimsical motif throughout the whole room.

KT and her doll sitting to her right side in her table chair. Both the girls and thier dolls were wearing shimmery sateen dresses with an elasticized top like a halter top. I was able to purchase this fabric at Walmart and make them and thier dolls matching dresses.

MD showing her skewered fruits, cut in the shapes of daisies. She is eating an american hot dog, has a bowl of macaroni & cheese on a a plate as well.

MD's Doll sitting in her table chair, hair scrunchie in her hair and black and white tea cup sitting on he table as well.

Dessert for us all: an iced heart shaped sugar cookie, a heart shaped mini cupcake, and then a flower pot dirt pudding with an artificual white daisy flower stuck down it. Soooooo Cute!

KT grinning and posing by leaning close to her doll and a daisy flower tucked behind her ear:

KT and grandma standing together. MD is playing shy at this time, so the picture is only of KT and Grandma:

After lunch, we began shopping throughout the store, browsing all of the different things they had for sale and such. Grandma bought both of the girls a sweat shirt/shirt to wear of thier choice and MD asked repeatedly for a set of the black and white striped tea set. KT then asked for a specific dress set, which I then bought the items they'd requested for each of them.

MD overlooking KT looking up at the shelves of goods for sale and so forth:

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

VBX week at Connection Pointe Christian Church!

This was such an awesome week, as really this was a last minute committment on my part. At the Moms to Moms group, the lady that was the head coordinator for VBX was nearly begging for people to volunteer to work VBX. I'd considered it last year but with the issue of transportation and having AC and KT at home, I didn't pursue it. So this year, with only KT at home, the other two being at preschool and thus taking part in VBX automatically, I decided to offer to volunteer IF they could find a ride for KT, Rei, & I each day. :)

Needless to say, they quickly found a ride for us and I was assigned to the craft team. Which was just a load of fun! :)

Monday: 2nd grade and younger did cups with paper inserts to color and go inside of them.
3rd grade and up, did posters with stickers and markers to decorate thier posters, telling what thier favorite bible story was, why they were faithful and so forth.

Kids working on thier cups and posters:

Lots of people under the tent:

Tuesday- All of the kids did Birdseed bottles where there were 12 tokens that were placed in the bottles and then the bottles were filled 2/3rds of the way full with birdseed. Then a label with the 12 items and what they represented on it was placed on the bottle. The kids enjoyed looking for the items in thier bottles when they'd finished!

Rei did really well both days outside- staying under the table pretty much and many of the kids didnt realize she was there. It wasn't until a kid would drop something and go to pick it up and come face to face with her, that you'd hear the familiar squeal! "LOOK! THERE'S A DOG!!!!"

Even so, the kids were very good about leaving Rei alone for the most part until they were done with thier crafts and then I'd call her out from under the table for them to visit.

Kids showing off thier birdseed bottles:

Wednesday- We were originally supposed to do all ages of t-shirt painting. Because of the rain, we were forced to move indoors, so we did t-shirt painting with the older kids in the morning and then took the "Jesus is Strong as Nails" magnet craft to the younger kids.

All during this week too, riding to and from the church with Andrea and her kids, Rei made a new best friend. Andrea's little girl, B, absolutely fell in love with Rei and Rei was more than happy to love on her back. :)

Rei and B in the car on the way to VBX on Wednesday morning- B with her arm around Rei, head against the seat and Rei laying on her lap, with her head against's B's, and of course B having a HUGE smile from ear to ear and long gorgeous curly blonde hair. :)

Younger kids working on thier Magnets in the chapel, due to the rain:

The crowded lobby area of groups moving from place to place and thier next activities:

Nearly every day there was almost 800 kids present and 300 volunteers!

Thursday- We switched on what we did the day before, the older kids coming to us and doing thier "Jesus is Strong as Nails" magnet craft and then did the t-shirt painting with the younger ones. Both days it was so awesome to see the kids faces absolutely light up when we pulled the stencil off and they could see the shield with the wording "Jesus is my Hero" on it. They really couldn't tell what they were painting when they started but the end results yielded HUGE smiles and a lot of "WOW!!! That's COOL!!!!" comments. :)

The older kids doing thier magnet crafts:

Since we were indoors, KT's group wound up at the table next to where I was working, so I was able to get some pictures of her working on her crafts the rest of the week.

KT on the far left in the purple VBX shirt from last year and coloring her label to go on her magnet:

Painting T-shirts with the little ones:

Harry helping a young girl touch up her shirt:

Friday- We did beaded cross necklaces for everyone and the boys really liked the crosses made of what looked like nails wired together and the girls went for the pretty colored crosses. In the morning we stayed in the fellowship hall that our supplies were in and the older kids came to us. For the later part of the morning, we went to the younger kid groups wherever they were located.

A young man just about finished with his cross and deciding if he wants to add more beads:

Young girls picking beads out of the bowl to put on their pretty cross necklaces:

Harry helping KT tie her necklace:

While we were indoors, Rei hung out under the table when we stayed in the fellowship hall. She was awesome though as we went throughout almost the entire building when we went to the rooms of the other kids.

Rei under the table in the fellowship hall, where the kids were doing thier necklaces and our supply room:

Our awesome Crafts Coordinators- Vicki and Andrea:

Upstairs with the young kids- doing thier cross necklaces:

Then back downstairs in the other fellowship hall and working with another group with thier cross necklaces:

We even got to see "Captain America"! Totally in theme with our Super Heroes week!:

And not to be forgotten, here we wind down the week with Rei laying on the floor being VERY good and staying put as I was helping the kids:

Then as everyone finished up with thier very last crafts, Rei made friends with a couple of the teen volunteers that were finished:

Then when they left, the table I was working with, a really young group- Kindergartners asked to pet and she was quickly surrounded by a whole group of kids receiving hugs, kisses, and all kinds of petting and she was LOVING the attention. LOL!

I think that's what I absolutely love best about Rei,is that she can go from being petted to working in a matter of seconds and knows when she needs to be serious and when she can let loose and be a dog. She's made such a difference in my life that I really don't know what I'd do without her now. :)

The VBX week went by really fast and while everything was fun, I sure was tired by the end of the week! As I uploaded pictures off my camera, I fell asleep for a short nap sitting up in my desk chair. LOL! I can't wait to do it again next year! :)