Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Few Days After Christmas (Photostory)

 It's December 28th.  Danielle had to return an item to the store.  She wasn't looking forward to the after Christmas return crowd, but she was anxious to get it done.  Jacob insisted on tagging along, much to Danielle's dismay.  He surprised her by being an absolute angel.  They have just returned.

"Let's go, Jacob.  Hop down." (Danielle)

Hmmm.  Looks like Danielle did a little shopping. 

"Hey hon.  Whatcha doin'?"  (Danielle)
"Hey.  I was just gong to fix the kids something to eat."  (Rod)
"What did you have in mind?"  (Danielle)
"Nothing fancy.  Just some sandwiches."  (Rod)

"I thought you were returning stuff."  (Rod)
"I did, but you know they always have great sales after Christmas.  I couldn't resist."  (Danielle)
"Hi mom!"  (Julian)
"Hi, Julian!"  (Danielle can't see him, but she knows exactly where he is)

He is out on the patio playing with his new mini pool table Santa brought him for Christmas.  He also received the blue basketball court in the corner.  It's a good time to mention that Danielle wasn't too happy about the size of the pool table.  When Rod said he was getting him a small pool table, this is not what she had in mind.
"Move back, Jacob.  I'm getting ready to hit the balls."  (Julian)

"Have you figured out where we are going to put that pool table?  I had something else planned for that area."  (Danielle)
"Uh, I'm still working on it."  (Rod)
"Where's Nicole?"  (Danielle)
Just then she hears Nicole upstairs, playing with her Christmas gift.

Her new electronic keyboard is her favorite gift from Santa.  She recently started piano lessons and this will come in handy for practicing when she's at her dad's house.

Happy New Year to All!  Please be safe out there tonight.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Christmas Eve Surprise

Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!  My dolls never cease to amaze me.  Maybe it was the new outfit Darius received from Jewell of Doll-lightful.  She's been having fabulous giveaways, and Darius was lucky enough to win the shirt and pants.  With his luck in tack, he decided to surprise Nikki.

Dasia, Darius' aunt, is ecstatic.
"Oh I just love weddings!"  (Dasia)
The hug lasts a little while longer in silence, with Darius and Nikki giving each other "those" looks.  You know the ones.
"You guys have a seat.  I'm going to go to the kitchen and bring us some coffee and my homemade apple pie bread."  (Dasia)

"I never thought this day would come.  You have made me the happiest woman in Morristown!"  (Nikki)
"You have really been there for me through thick and thin.  I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else."  (Darius)

So let's take a closer look at the outfit that gave Darius the courage to propose.  It's a beautiful raglan shirt with a great pair of jeans.  The shirt isn't Darius' typical style, but he's loving his new casual look.  So is Nikki.  


Saturday, December 19, 2015

2015 in Review

I know I am doing this post a little earlier than usual, but I've been so busy, I haven't had time to do much with the dolls this past week.  This is a good time to get the yearly review in.  I can't believe how fast this year went by!

First things first.  Did I stick to my 10 doll limit for the year?  I just went back through the year and counted the dolls twice, because I couldn't believe how few dolls I actually purchased.  Here is the final count and list.

              Dolls that counted towards the 10.
              1.  AA Chelsea ballerina
              2.  2014 AA Holiday Barbie
              3.  American Girl Doll of Many Lands  (Asian)
              4.  American Girl Doll of Many Lands  (England)
              5.  Dasia
              6.  Lammily
              7.  Our Generation Mini Girl #1
              8.  Our Generation Mini Girl #2
              9,  Our Generation Mini Girl #3
             10, Our Generation Mini Girl #4

             Dolls that DID NOT Count
             1.  Two Girl Scout dolls purchased for cookies and
             2.  Two Science dolls purchased for microscope and

I bought a total of six male dolls;  two PowerTeam guys, JT, a Starting LineUp hockey guy, Emmit Smith, Troy Aikman, and Terrell Davis.

So I was very successful in limiting the number of lady dolls that entered Morristown.  That was my initial goal.  Technically, I only added one official Barbie to the group.  Not bad!  Having the ten doll limit helped out tremendously.  There were times when I had dolls in the cart at the stores and on-line, and I took them out knowing I would have to add them to the list.

In the beginning of the year, I dubbed 2015 the year of learning new things.  I have done a great job sticking to that.  A lot of that learning was in the form of expanding my sewing and my cooking skills.  Thanks to Dasia, I sewed a lot more than I expected to this year.  I learned new techniques while building her wardrobe.  I sold clothing for the first time in my Etsy shop and it was quite a successful venture.  I became an avid baker and will hopefully sell my baked goods starting in 2016.  I also got my bartender and barista certification.  I don't drink, but I've always wanted to know how to mix drinks.  If times ever get tough, I can always become a bartender.  Lol.  Line dancing was another activity I started this year.  Talk about fun!  Definitely something I will continue.

As for my health, I spent 2 - 3 days of almost every week this year, sick in the bed from chemo.  I am happy to report that my numbers are the best they've been since being diagnosed, and I am officially on a chemo break as of the beginning of this month.  Yippee!  We don't know how long the break will last, but I'm grateful for whatever time I get.

2016 will be the year of "Getting it in!"  That means I will be participating in a lot more activities outside of my craft and doll rooms.  I've already started, which is why the last few weeks have been so busy.  I attended my first symphony recently, and just last week I went to my first ballet, The Nutcracker.  I've already bought tickets for my next ballet, Moulin Rouge.  Two weeks ago I flew to Culpeper, VA to have a cousins reunion with all my first female cousins on my dad's side.  There are 17 of us, and 14 of us were there for the big slumber party.  I didn't know most of them, but it was one of the highlights of my life.  At the end of January I'm flying to Los Angeles to see my godson play in his final college football game.  I can't believe how quickly that four years went by.  If you recall, his name is Quentin.  He's headed to the NFL.  I'll keep you posted about which team.  Oh yeah, in a couple of hours I'm headed to a local music concert to see Tyrese, Keith Sweat, BBD, Silk, and Jagged Edge.  Most of you won't know who these singers are, but I will probably be very hoarse tomorrow from all the screaming I plan on doing.  

Moving forward, there will be another limit on my doll buying.  I don't know what the number will be yet.  I will make a valiant effort to get all the Kidkraft houses furnished, so we can have lots more stories.  There may be one or two more Kidkraft houses in 2016.  I just bought a new lathe (machine for woodworking), so I plan to offer handmade pens for sale this year on my website.  I will also continue to sew and sell clothes for Dasia.  Below is the next sweater that will be offered.

I would like to thank all of you who have read my blog, left comments, sent emails, bought things from me, mentioned me in your posts, prayed for me, laughed with me, etc.  The love and support I get from you guys is so important to my well being.  I'm looking forward to doing it all again next year with you, my blogging family!  Much love, and happy holidays!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Rod's Heart to Heart (Photostory)

When we last saw Rod, he was sulking after Melanie threatened to sue for full custody of Nicole.  After a brief conversation with Danielle, they decided to temporarily put Nicole in the future nursery.  Rod is now on high alert, and doesn't want to give Melanie any additional ammunition.  If she hears that Nicole had to sleep in the boys' room, she will use that against him.  This way she will have her own room, while Danielle is getting her permanent room ready.  Rod decides to check in again with Nicole about the new baby. 

"So this is your room temporarily.  Danielle will be fixing up your new room over the next couple of weeks."  (Rod)
"I know.  She said I can help pick out the colors and the furniture."  (Nicole)

"There's something else I wanted to talk to you about.  A couple weeks ago we talked about the baby Danielle and I are having.  I just wanted to talk to you again and make sure you were still okay with the idea."  (Rod)

"I like the idea of being a big sister.  I just hope it's a girl.  Then there will be two boys and two girls."  (Nicole)
"Hopefully, if it's a boy, you won't be too upset."  (Rod)

"And just remember, no matter how many other kids are in my life, you will always be my first, and you will always hold a special place in my heart.  Don't ever forget that."  (Rod, starting to get a little emotional)

"Oh Daddy, are you crying?"  (Nicole)
"Of course not.  You know daddies don't cry.  Come here."  (Rod)

He takes her in his arms and gives her a big hug.  Just the mere thought of him not being able to see her when he wants is tearing him apart inside.

"Now, I've been thinking.  Maybe I should move in with you and Danielle once the baby gets here.  That way I can help with the baby."  (Nicole)
"That sounds like a good plan, but what about your mom?  If you leave, she will be there all alone."  (Rod)
"I don't think Mommy will mind.  She's always working."  (Nicole)

"Your mom works hard so you can have nice things.  She and I both love you and I think she would really miss you."  (Rod)
"But don't you want all your kids living with you?"  (Nicole)
Rod is not sure how to respond.  He doesn't want Nicole to feel like she's not part of the family, but he knows Melanie will start WWIII if Nicole tries to move out.  

He pulls Nicole closer to him.
"Tell you what, we will revisit this discussion after the holidays.  The baby won't be here for awhile, so we can just enjoy Christmas and work on getting your room put together.  Okay?"  (Rod)
"Okay."  (Nicole)

I know this storyline is not very jolly, but holidays are sometimes the hardest times for blended families.  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New Ikea Bedroom

 I am loving this new bedroom set!  Yesterday, I popped down to Ikea after visiting with our dolly friend, Jewell.  I had been seeing this set on various blogs and knew I had to have one, or two.  It is a fabulous set that is made of high quality materials.

The set comes with a bed, a closet, desk and chair, a striped rug (red on the other side), and the cutest dinosaur.

He's a little blurry here, but isn't he adorable?

So the new resident for this room is Kenaz.  He is moving up to a big boy room  He's so excited.  Look at that smile.

He first checks out the new dinosaur.

Then he sits in his new chair.

I asked him to open the closet so we could see inside.  It has a metal clothes rod.  The hangers are cutouts that came on the box.

Antoinette joins Kenaz and coerces him to take a nap in his new bed.  This is the first time she doesn't have to twist his arm, or deal with his crocodile tears.

This bed is pretty special.  It expands...

to full Barbie size!  Antoinette knows she will be able to use Kenaz's room to accommodate any overnight guests.  Hopefully she's not dreaming of a new KidKraft home.

The expanding bed also means older boys can use it.

Here is a picture of the set in the box.  I bought two sets.   They were $14.99, which is a great price for what you get.  Wouldn't it be nice if Mattel could hire Ikea to make their furniture?  We would get some great pieces.

Here are a few pictures of the cutouts on the box.  I don't normally use the cutouts, but they are worth showing.  I'm thinking about painting some of them and using them as background props.

A window and a trunk.

Hangers and a mirror.

The hat boxes are cute.  I think I will cut off the white border, color the boxes, and set this along a bedroom wall, or in a closet.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

"What's Wrong, Honey?" (Photostory)

Rod and Nicole enter the house through the garage.  Nicole is all giddy.  She's excited to see the new house.

"Hand me your coat, so I can hang it up."  (Rod)
"Where is everyone?"  (Nicole)
"I'm sure they're upstairs."  (Rod)
Danielle puts her backpack down and takes off her coat.  She then spots the gingerbread house.

"Wow, look at the gingerbread house!"  (Nicole)
"Yeah, that's nice.  Grab your backpack and let's go upstairs."  (Rod, nonchalantly)

They head to the living room.  Nicole is taking it all in as she follows her dad.

"Hello Mom.  How you doing?"  (Rod to his mother-in-law)

"I'm doing well.  I love what you've done to the house."  (Roberta)
"Thanks."  (Rod)
"Honey, can you put Jacob in his bed?"  (Danielle)
"Yeah.  Where should I put Nicole's bag?" (Rod)
"She's going to have to sleep in the boy's room until she and I can get her room together."  (Danielle)

"Hello pretty lady.  Come give me a hug."  (Roberta)
"Hi grandma Roberta."  (Nicole)

Rod grabs Jacob.  Danielle can tell something isn't right.
"Are you feeling okay?"  (Danielle)

"I've been better, but I'll be okay."  (Rod)

"I swear you get taller every time I see you."  (Roberta)
"You just saw me at the picnic."  (Nicole)

Danielle watches as Rod leaves the room.  Something is definitely wrong.

"Nicole how about we go find Julian?  He's going to be excited to see you."  (Danielle)
"Where is he?"  (Nicole)
"He's either in the playroom or his bedroom."  (Danielle)
"Wow, he has a playroom?"  (Nicole)

Julian is quietly playing with the Lincoln Logs, and barely notices when Danielle and Nicole enter the room.

"Look who's here, Julian."  (Danielle)

"Nicole!  I didn't know you were coming today.  Want to help me build a house?"  (Julian)
"Sure."  (Nicole)
Danielle leaves them to go find Rod.

She finds him in their bedroom sitting on the side of the bed.

"I know you said you were okay, but you don't look okay."  (Danielle)
"I'll be fine.  I just needed a minute."  (Rod)
Danielle climbs on the bed to get closer to him.

She starts rubbing his shoulders hoping this will bring him some comfort.

He takes her hand in his and kisses her palm.

"Are you sure you won't tell me what's bothering you?  Talking it out may make you feel better."  (Danielle)
"I appreciate the offer, but I just need some time alone.  We'll talk about it later."  (Rod)
Danielle kisses him on the forehead and heads back downstairs.  She hates when he shuts down, but after three years of marriage, she knows that giving him his space is the best thing to do.

Remember the room with the fireplace?  I covered it with map paper thinking it would make a nice backdrop for a library.  Danielle still wanted to have a fireplace, so she and I came up with the following plan.

Divide the room into three equal sections and install a wet bar, fireplace, and a library.  Having a wet bar on this level will be perfect since the kitchen is on the lower level.  I'm hoping o get to this project soon, but it may be a couple of weeks.
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