Monday, October 31, 2011

Maggie's Memos: Our 108th Post-Captain America (Finally!!!!)

I am on cloud nine!!  After MONTHS of waiting, I have finally seen Captain America!! :)  One night last week, Papa was off of work, and Mimi offered to watch all three girls so that Mama and Papa could have some time together.  When they saw that Captain America was playing at the discount theater, they decided to go see it and then have some dinner.  Even though it was technically a date night, they were nice enough to take Rachel and I along, since they knew how much we'd been wanting to see it too. 

Here's our one and only picture of the event:

Unfortunately, you can't see the poster too well, since it was so reflective.  And as you can see from the picture, Mama had to hold us up since the poster was so high. 

There was a really cool cardboard cutout of one of the Captain America movie posters inside, but Mama didn't bring her camera in with her, so we didn't get a picture there.  Phooey. 

So, you may be wondering what we thought of the movie.  It. was. amazing.  It was totally worth the wait. :)  Rachel and I haven't stopped talking about it since we got back home. :}

Of course, not everything was great.  I had forgotten how raunchy the previews can be when you see a PG-13 movie. :(  I could have lived without all 4 of the icky trailers they played beforehand.  

The movie itself was great, though. Action, humor, a bit of romance, and a hero worth looking up to...what more could you want?  It was pretty violent (duh, it's a war movie, so that's kind of to be expected), and the bad guy, the Red Skull, was pretty creepy.  I was glad Tess didn't go with us...she wouldn't have been able to sleep for weeks.  She's super sensitive to scary or intense stuff (which is why she sticks to Jane Austen and other period dramas.  And no, she won't be trying "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" anytime soon.  Neither will I, though.  I'm not a fan of zombies or Pride and Prejudice!) ;)

The scene close to the end was especially touching.  I don't really consider myself sentimental, but I couldn't help tearing up a bit...I can't tell you why, though, because that would be giving it away. :}  Rachel, who is much more sensitive than I am, bawled like a baby.

Another fun thing about this movie was spotting all of the familiar faces.  Sadly, many of them I recognized from boring period dramas I'd been forced to sit through.  It was pretty funny seeing the actors in such different roles, though.  Who ever knew that Willoughby from that "Sense and Sensibility" movie that is waaayyy too long could play Iron Man's dad?  Or that Elrond from "The Lord of the Rings" could also play the notorious Red Skull?  Or that Mr. Thorpe from "North and South" (gag) was also a Nazi spy?  Or how well Mr. Tilney from "Northanger Abbey" could handle a machine gun? (By the way, please don't ask me how I'm remembering all of these's a bit embarrassing that I actually can list them!)  Oh yeah, and the girl who played Peggy Carter, Cap's love interest, was in the newer version of "Mansfield Park".  (Okay, that's it, no more period dramas for me!  This is absolutley ridiculous that I can remember all of these characters!!!)  Mama and Papa also recognized several of the other actors from movies they've seen, such as Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones.

I would recommend this movie to our more mature readers.  It had a lot of wartime action/violence, and there was some sporatic swearing, too.  I loved this movie, though.  I really appreciated the character of Steven Rogers (aka Captain America).  He had a lot of qualities that are growing steadily rarer today, such as determination, integrity, compassion, bravery, and the willingness to sacrifice his life for others.  This movie made me so thankful for all of the young men and women who have proudly served our country in the past, and those who are still serving in the present. :)      

Iron Man will always be my favorite Marvel superhero (I love Tony's sense of humor), but I think Captain America is on his way to becoming a close second. :)  Now, I can hardly wait to see "The Avengers" next year.  It will be so fun to see how all of the different characters play off of eachother.  

Seeing this movie also made me really want to watch the Avengers cartoon series again, too.  Too bad we had to cancel our stupid Netflix account. :(  

One really cool thing about waiting so long to see it was that we didn't have to wait very long before it was released on Blu-ray and DVD.  Mama and Papa liked the movie so much that they bought their own copy!!  Whoo hoo!!  I sense a Captain America movie night post in the future! :D  It's about time, after all of the Disney, Jane Austen, and Bollywood movie nights we've had around here!

So, have any of you seen Captain America?  What did you think of it?    

P.S.  This is not the special post I had planned, but I've been really burned out trying to get my other idea all together, so this one will just have to do for now.  Sorry if it's not as involved or exciting as Tess or Emma's posts, but it's all I can offer at this point. :}

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tess's Tidbits: An Announcement

Okay, I know this was supposed to be Maggie's special 107th post, and it is still coming!  It will just be the 108th post now. :}  We just had a very important announcement to make that I felt couldn't wait. 

Belle has officially started her own blog! :D  Posting on the pages instead of on regular blog posts was getting very inconvenient for her.  From all of the lovely comments we've received, she now knows that she has enough of a following to justify a blog of her own. :) 

You can see every post and page she's done so far on her blog, Belle's Bulletins: My Life as a Disney Fashion Doll.  We wish her all the best and hope that her blog is successful for her.  And of course, she's starting from scratch, so there are no followers on her blog yet.  I know she'd feel a lot more confident about her decision if some of you who read her stories here would follow her there.  And just think, you don't have to deal with Maggie's sarcastic comments each time you ask about the latest post from Belle! :) (I can say that because she's not sitting here right now.) ;)

Within the next few days, we will be removing the content from Belle's pages at the top of our blog, but we will keep a link to her blog there so that people can find her. :) 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Maggie should be getting her post done sometime within the next week! :D

Emma's Editorials: Our 106th Post...Welcoming Hayden :)

Hi everyone!  Any of you who have been keeping up with our blog and Mama's blog know our happy news:  Hayden is here!! :)  I'm sorry that it's taken me a while to get this post together.  We've had so much fun spending time with our sister that I haven't taken the time to write about it. :)

Oh, but before I get started, Belle wanted me to let you know that she has finally got a new post up on her Belle's Bulletin's page.  Yay!  You can view it HERE.  Just remember that you'll have to scroll all the way down to read the newest entry. ;)

Okay, back to the topic at hand!

Hayden actually got here on Friday the 21st, but since Mama was at Ladies Retreat, she had to spend an extra night in her box.  That must have been hard!  Charlie and I would have gone out and tried to open her ourselves, but no one came and told us that she was here! (Mama was gone, and Papa doesn't really make a habit of talking to us when she's not around). ;)

On Saturday afternoon, Mama got home and opened Hayden within the hour. :)  One kind of ironic thing we found out about later was that Piper was actually the first one to meet Hayden!  Mimi had given Mama a ride to and from Ladies Retreat, and Piper had gone too.  Tess was already back in her room by the time Mama opened Hayden's box, but Piper was sitting right there on the couch, so she got to be the first one to greet our newest member. :)

According to Hayden, they had a very pleasant conversation. 

We're so glad that Piper was able to genuinely enjoy meeting Hayden...and how funny that she was the first one to greet her, when she doesn't even live here anymore! :)

Mama wanted Hayden to look her very best for our first meeting, so she got her all dressed up and then brought her to our room. 

Mama made the official introductions and then left, saying she wanted us to have a chance to get to know each other without feeling like she was hanging over us.

It was a little bit weird at first.  Hayden seemed really nice, but really shy.  No one knew exactly how to get the conversation started.

In my typical fashion, I filled the silence with waayy to many words, just so that someone was saying something!  I honestly don't even remember what I said...I just remember wishing I could stop.  It always happens like that when I'm nervous. :}

Charlie finally brought some sanity to the conversation with, "So Hayden, how was your trip?"

" was nice...I guess.  Kinda dark and bumpy.  I was really glad to get out of that box!"

Charlie and I laughed.  "We know exactly how you feel," I confided, remembering my own trip here.

Hayden smiled nervously.  The conversation died again. 

Hayden looked away.  It seemed to make her uncomfortable to make eye contact with us.

Charlie and I glanced at each other.  This is awkward, we said with our looks.

An idea hit me suddenly, and I sprang into action.  "So, this is your part of our room," I said cheerfully, gesturing with my hand.  "Mama's been working really hard to get it just perfect for you."

A smile spread across Hayden's face.  She leaned over and gently touched the delicate pink bedspread.  "It's perfect," she said softly.

Mama really had done a great job converting our room for 2 into a room for 3, and all of us had tried our very best to get things just right.  Hayden had a comfy bed with really pretty bedding (Mama had found out ahead of time that Hayden liked pink).  Then there was a little nightstand for all of her special treasures.  Mama had gotten out some of her old miniature Breyer horses that were just the right size for Hayden.  She found some Strawberry Shortcake toys and a Strawberry Shortcake book, a stuffed horse, and a really cute Disney Princess purse.  Once Mama had gotten everything together, she'd let Charlie and I arrange it.  We'd had so much fun getting Hayden's area ready.  It really did look inviting.   

Hayden sat down on her bed.  "Did Mama really do all of this for me?" she asked in amazement.

I nodded.  "She got all of your things, and then Charlie and I set them up for you."

Hayden seemed overwhelmed.  "That was so nice of all of you!"

"Oh, I almost forgot!" Charlie interjected.  "I wanted to tell you a special story about this Felicity doll." 

She gently touched the doll on Hayden's bed.  "My best friend Hailey (you'll meet her a little bit later) heard that you were coming, and she heard that you really liked horses.  She had this Felicity doll that belonged to her sister Ella, and she really wanted you to have it.  We figured every girl should have her own doll...and we thought Felicity would be a good choice since she likes horses, too."

Hayden looked amazed.  "She...gave me her doll?"

Charlie nodded.  "She wanted you to know how excited we all are to have you here."

Our sister picked up Felicity and hugged her.  "I've always wanted an American Girl doll of my own, and Felicity was always my favorite."  Then she paused.  "Wait a minute," she said in confusion.  "Did you say this was Hailey's sister's doll?  Is her sister okay with her giving it away?"

I nodded.  "Hailey emailed her and checked with her first."  I glanced at Charlie, and when she nodded, I continued.  "This is more of a sacrifice than you know, Hayden.  Hailey's sister Ella doesn't live here anymore, and this doll was something that Ella left for Hailey when she moved.  It was a big decision for Hailey to let her go."

Hayden's eyes filled with tears.  "I can't believe you've all done so much for me when you don't even know me!"

"But we feel like we already know you!" Charlie insisted.  "We've been waiting for you for a really long time!"

"And we're so excited to get to know you even more!" I added warmly.

Hayden looked away and tried to compose herself...which gave Charlie and I the perfect chance to grab our gift for her.

"There's one more thing," I told her, a little nervously.  "We wanted to get you a welcome gift, too."

Hayden turned back to face us.

"It's nothing as exciting as what Hailey gave you!" I warned her quickly, and then slowly held it out.   

"It's a flower clip for your hair," Charlie explained, as if she was worried that Hayden wouldn't be able to figure it out.

I shouldn't have bothered warning her about the quality of our gift.  She got so excited when she saw it! 

"Oh, thank you!" she said happily.  "It's just perfect!  I think it'll even match with what I'm wearing now!" 

She took it from me and fastened it to her hair, and then turned so we could see it.  "What do you think?" she asked.

I grinned, amused by this sudden burst of exuberance.  "It looks perfect."

Charlie agreed.  "You look like a princess from a story book."

Hayden seemed to like this idea very much, which made sense, considering that she's into Disney Princesses. 

I glanced across the room at Papa's digital alarm clock.  "Oh, it's getting late.  We'd better make the rounds and introduce Hayden to everyone!"

"Good idea," Charlie said.  "We do want to talk more later, though.  We want to know all about you," she informed Hayden, linking arms with her.

"That sounds like fun," Hayden agreed, "as long as you tell me all about yourselves, too."

"It's a deal," I said jokingly.  "Now, come on.  We've got to crawl over your bed here to get to the first spot."

Right next door to us, Rachel and Maggie were hanging out in their room.  Poor girls...they're the only ones without beds.  I think Mama is trying to figure something out for them soon.  Anyway, Rachel was busy reading, and Maggie was trying to set up her Toothless the dragon from "How to Train Your Dragon".  As we came into the room, she finally gave up and put him back down on the floor.

"Hi Maggie, hi Rachel," I said as we came over.  "We came to introduce you to Hayden."

Maggie nodded and waved.  "Yo," she said casually.  That's about as warm and friendly as Maggie gets on first acquaintance.

Rachel was different, as I knew she would be.  She put down her book and got up.  "Hi Hayden!  I'm so glad you're finally here," she said warmly.  "I'm Rachel."

I wanted to hug her.  Rachel knew what it was like to be the newbie.  She was very soft-spoken, but she sure knew how to be a good friend. 

Hayden had gotten really quiet again when we first entered the room, but she instantly relaxed when she heard Rachel's kind and inviting tone. 

We all chatted for a while before moving on to our next stop:  Tess and Hailey's room.

Tess and Hailey were sitting and visiting together when we got there.  Tess was telling Hailey all about her adventures at Ladies Retreat. 

"Hi girls!" I called.  "Sorry to interrupt, but we wanted you to meet Hayden."

Tess and Hailey turned, and instantly their faces were full of excitement.  They hurried over to us.

"Hi Hayden," Hailey said sweetly.  "It's great to finally meet you."

Hayden smiled.  "It's nice to meet you too.  Thank you so much for the Felicity doll!"

Hailey looked relieved.  "Oh, good!  I hoped you would like it."

"I love it!" Hayden assured her.  "But I feel bad...won't you miss her too much?  Emma and Charlie told me she belonged to your sister."

Hailey smiled bravely.  "I really want you to have Felicity.  I can remember my sister with or without a doll.  And if I start missing Felicity, I can always come over and visit."  She glanced back behind her, at her dresser.  "Besides, Tess has been sharing her Rebecca doll with me since I gave up Felicity, so I'm not doll-less." 

Hayden glanced over at Hailey's Rebecca doll.  "Oh, she's lovely!  I'm glad you still have a doll, too."

Tess was waiting patiently throughout this conversation.  Hailey backed up a bit and made room for Tess.  "This is my older sister, Tess," she told Hayden proudly.

"It's nice to meet you," Hayden said politely.

Tess reached out to take Hayden's hand.  "We're so glad you're finally here.  Emma and Charlie have been waiting for you for a long time...Mama, too!"

"So I've heard," Hayden replied, still amazed by this.  She seemed to run out of things to say and glanced over to her left.  "Wow, what a pretty curio cabinet!"

It was the perfect subject.  Beaming with pleasure, Tess told Hayden all about the curio and where Mama had found it.  Their conversation soon turned to Tess's figurine collection, and then they talked about Hailey's Hello Kitty collection.  Hayden loved everything.

Charlie and I exchanged a happy glance.  It was so fun to see our sister fitting in with everyone so seamlessly.  This was what we had hoped for.

Tess and Hailey probably talked for another half an hour with Hayden.  They were always so kind and supportive of everyone.  Charlie and I were proud to call them our friends.

We loved seeing our sister's happy face as they visited with her.  We had a feeling that Hayden would soon feel right at home with all of us.

Hayden was pretty tired that night after her long journey, so we didn't get a chance to have the "tell-all" conversation we were hoping for.  We did manage to learn that Hayden is also a follower of Christ.  She confirmed that she loved horses (she had a lot of fun looking at all of her new Breyer models before she went to bed).  She loves Strawberry Shortcake, especially vintage SSC from the 80s and then the latest SSC dolls, too.  Her very favorite characters are Orange Blossom and Raspberry Torte.

We also found out that her favorite Disney Princesses are Belle (yay!) and Jasmine, and that her favorite movies are "Aladdin", "Beauty and the Beast", "The Man from Snowy River", and "The Princess Bride". 

And pretty much after that...she fell asleep. :)  We're getting to know her better and better as the days go by, though.  She's really relaxed around us.  It hasn't even been a week since she arrived, but it already feels like she's always been here. :)

I thought I'd close this post with some of the pictures Mama got of us.  You know Mama and her photo shoots! ;) 

This is my favorite picture that Mama has taken of Hayden so far.  Isn't she beautiful? :D

Mama had a ton of fun taking pics of the three of us together, especially when she put us in our matching outfits. ;)

Okay, this picture is nice, but I'm a little embarrassed.  I'm not sure why I was looking in the completely wrong direction! :{

I love this one because it reminds me of the JC Penney's pics Mama has of her daughters. :)

I think that's about all for now.  Thanks for your patience with this post!  I know you've all been waiting for it.  I'll try to be a little more punctual next time. ;)

Stay tuned for Maggie's special 107th post! :D

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tess's Tidbits: Our 105th Post!!! :D

Hooray!!  It's officially our 105th post! :)  Thank you so much to all of our lovely followers and readers.  We truly appreciate you and all the wonderful, supportive comments you leave.  It really makes our day when we hear from you and know that all of our hard work is appreciated. :)

Speaking of hard work, as part of our celebration posts, Maggie is in the middle of preparing a special post for everyone.  She and I talked a lot about what we wanted to do to celebrate our accomplishment.  We had several different ideas, and then a couple of things came up that just seemed to fit into the scheme of things perfectly.  As a result, we came up with the idea of having 3 celebratory posts. 

For this, our 105th post, I'll be sharing photos and stories from my recent trip to Mama's church Ladies Retreat. :)  I didn't get a chance to share this news with the readers on this blog, but those of you who follow Mama's blog are aware that I was chosen to accompany Mama this weekend on her trip.  I had a wonderful time, and I'm so excited that I get to share my trip with you! :) 

Another thing Mama's readers will be aware of is that Emma and Charlie's sister Hayden has officially arrived! :D  Everyone is very excited about this, especially Emma and Charlie.  So, for our 106th post, Emma will be introducing Hayden and telling the story of their first meeting.

Finally, for our 107th post, Maggie will share her special surprise post with all of you.  Also, keep your eyes open, fans of Belle's Bulletins, because within one of the next two posts, we will announce when Belle gets her newest post up on her page.  We know you've all been waiting for a long time to see what happens! :)

I had such a wonderful time at Ladies Retreat.  I was honored that Mama decided to take me out of all of the dolls. :)  What was even more exciting was that Grandmama and Mimi went, and they brought Piper and Katie with them! :D  It was great to spend a whole weekend with my cousin and my friend.

Here we are in Mimi's car, all ready to go! :)  We didn't take any other pics of our trip up, although we had fun stopping at ToysRUs (for Mama) and Starbucks (for Mimi) before we got to the hotel.

I just realized as I was doing this post that we never took a picture of the hotel itself! Here's a picture of us by our hotel room door, though.  Well, to be perfectly accurate, this is where Piper and I stayed with Mama, Mimi, and Mama's best friend.  Katie stayed in another room with Grandmama.

I really liked how the welcome mat looked like it had cobblestones on it. :)

I loved our room key, too!  Isn't it fun and old-fashioned?  Usually in hotels you end up with those keys that look like credit cards, or so Mama has told me.  I thought having a real key was much more romantic. :)

Here we are on one of the beds.  The bedspreads were very beautiful and elegant.   

The funny thing was...they really didn't match with the rest of the room! :}  The far wall was almost a mint green color, and there was a wallpaper border with mint green and pink accents.  The carpet was blue, and the curtain was striped in dark brown and gold.  The lighting was a rather random mixture of old and new pieces, too.  But I still loved the room.  I haven't traveled much, so anything is new and exciting for me! :)

Here's the other half of our room.  It was so least to a doll like me. ;)

Here we have the bathroom.  Mama mentioned how nice it was that they had two different sinks:  one in the bathroom and one next to it.  That way, a sink was still available when one of the humans had to use the bathroom or take a shower.

We even had a refrigerator and a microwave!  And coffee...for whoever drinks it (not me or Mama!).

Piper preferred her Starbucks. ;)

Piper, Katie and I loved this little mirror behind the nightstand.  It would be the perfect place for Piper and I to get ready in the mornings. :)

This was the view from our back sliding door.  Isn't that a lovely pool?  Too bad I can't swim. :(

It was such a beautiful day!  We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather.

I couldn't wait to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. :)

After we were done checking out our room, we went over to see where Katie would be staying.  It was amazing!

Here's Katie on her bed. :)

I loved the beautiful bedspread and coordinating wallpaper!

She also had a beautiful artificial floral arrangement.

Piper was more impressed with the big flat screen TV.  Our TV in our room was not nearly as impressive.

Next to Katie and Grandmama's room was this cute little kitchen, perfect for making midnight snacks! 

Then, next to the kitchen was this huge conference room.  Mama said that this was where we would hold all of the meetings. 

We had quite a surprise waiting for us in the conference room:  Grandmama had treat bags and name tags for each of us!  We hadn't really expected that, since we were kind of "tag-along" guests (no pun intended). ;)  I thought it was very nice of her to include us. :)

We all opened our goodies to see what we'd gotten. 

Each of our bags had a "Christian Emergency Kit"...

...a fruit and nut bar... 

...a pen...

...and a water bottle.  They also had a program with the retreat schedule.

Here we are modeling our name tags. :) 

After we'd gone through our treat bags and toured the place, we went outside.  There was a beautiful lawn area right next to the conference room, so of course Mama wanted to take some outdoor pictures! ;)

Katie with a giant pinecone she found (you can see Grandmama's fingers...she was holding Katie up for the picture).

In the background behind us, you can see the hotel lobby.  It's the big building behind the trees.

I just had to share this funny picture with you.  Mama wanted to get a view from the front when we were strolling through the grass, but right as she took the picture, Katie fell over.  Mama saw her fall, so she started to move towards us just as the camera clicked.  We all had a good laugh about it. :)

We all enjoyed the beauty of God's creation around us.

As we were walking through the lawn, I found this cute little batch of mushrooms, just doll-sized!  I asked Mama to take a few pictures.

One last outdoor picture.  It was really hard to keep smiling...the sun was so bright!  Soon after this, everyone else began to arrive.

We had a great afternoon and evening together.  For our evening meeting, we sang a few hymns, and then Mimi and another lady from the church shared their testimonies.  They were both nervous, but they did a great job.  Everyone was very touched by their stories.

When the meeting was over, most of the ladies stayed in the conference room to play games.  Mama was tired and a little bit nervous about her devotional in the morning, though, so she, Mimi and Mama's friend decided to go back to the hotel room.  Piper and I said goodnight to Katie and headed back with them.

We got into our pajamas quickly, so we were ready for bed before everyone else.  While the humans got ready for bed, we looked at Mimi's magazine she'd brought. 

We were really excited when we saw the great snacks that Mama's friend brought with her:  Baked Lays and Monster Trail Mix!  Mama's been really strict with her diet lately, so we haven't had food like this in a while.  We also split a string cheese to make sure we had enough protein.

Piper and I had a lot of fun visiting.  She's only been at Mimi's house for a few days, but we all miss her quiet, cheerful ways already. 

Piper's opened up a lot more since she's moved to Mimi's.  She was more talkative than I've ever seen her.  I think being where she is has really helped her come out of her shell.  We had a wonderful time talking and laughing.

The Lays were yummy...not quite as yummy as the unbaked kind, but I'll take what I can get! :)

The Monster trail mix was AMAZING!!!  How can you go wrong when you add M&Ms, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips to your trail mix? :D

Here's a close up, just to make you hungry. ;)

Before long, Piper and I fell asleep.  It had been a long, full day, and we were exhausted!

The next morning, I was up early.  Mama was going to let me be a part of her devotional, so I wanted to be sure I was ready in time.  I was something called a "visual aide". 

Mama was really nervous about her devotional, so she stayed behind in the hotel while Mimi and Mama's friend went out to breakfast.  Piper and I were Mama's practice audience as she went through her presentation.  She did a great job in the hotel room, so I knew it would turn out okay during the real thing, too.  She prayed a lot, too, so I'm sure that helped considerably.

When it was time to head over for the meeting, Piper confided that she was going to stay behind.  She hadn't slept well, and a pajama day sounded nice.  I was a little bit disappointed that she wouldn't be there for my big debut, but I completely understood.

Mama's devotional went really well, just like I knew it would.  She told me later that when we pray and ask God to work through us and glorify Himself, we have nothing to worry about.  God can use us to bless others even when we mess up.  I thought that was wonderful!  It takes a lot of pressure away when you're not trying to be perfect and when you don't have to do things on your own!

I really enjoyed getting to meet all of the ladies that came to retreat.  They were very nice.  I also got to meet Mama's other aunt.  She lives close to where our retreat was held, so she came to the morning meeting to hear Mama share her devotional and sing. 

After the morning meeting, it was time for lunch.  Mama, Mimi, mama's friend, Mama's other aunt, Grandmama and I all went to "Juice and Java", a restaurant across the street from the hotel.  (Piper and Katie stayed at the hotel and ate something there).

The restaurant was really fun, although Mimi and Mama's friend had to order three times, because they were out of potatoes (their first choice) and roast beef (they had both chosen french dips after striking out on the potatoes).  The third time they ordered, they managed to order something that was available.  After that, Mama's friend didn't get the shake she'd ordered until close to the end of the meal, when she finally asked the waitress about it.  The poor waitress was very embarrassed and gave her the drink for free! 

Despite these problems, we all enjoyed ourselves.  The food was delicious and the laughter infectious.

When we were done with lunch, we all headed back to the hotel.  Mama's aunt had to leave, and Grandmama needed to take a nap (she hadn't slept well either).  I was pretty tired myself, so Mama, Mimi, and Mama's friend dropped me off at the hotel for a rest while they went to some of the local antique shops. 

Later that afternoon, they picked Piper and I up, and we all went to see "Courageous", the newest movie from Sherwood pictures (the same studio that did "Facing the Giants" and "Fireproof").  The three humans were in a really goofy mood when we first got to the theater.  It was really funny.  I've never seen that side of Mama before. 

The movie was really good, but we all cried...a lot!!!  It was a good kind of crying, though.  I hope that the movie touches many hearts for God.

There was another meeting that night, but Piper and I decided to stay in the hotel room.  We were wiped out from our big day...and from crying so much.  We settled ourselves on the bed with the remainder of the snacks from the night before and did some channel surfing. 

We also had fun looking at the cute little copper dish set that Mama had found at one of the antique stores.  She's still not sure whether this will be for us or for her daughters' dolls.  It was fun to look at, though.

I think it would be so fun to have a whole kitchen, just our size! :)

My favorite part was the cute copper tea kettle. :)

Later that night, after their meeting, Mama, Mimi, and Mama's friend came in and joined us.  We were all a little sad, knowing it was our last night already.  We made sure to enjoy it though.  It was amazing how quickly the time had gone! 

The next morning, we were once again blessed with beautiful weather.  Mama took some pics of the sunlight filtering through the leaves of the trees.

We had one last meeting that was very inspiring.  Before long, we were all going our separate ways.  Mama said she always feels a little bit sad at the end of Retreat, watching everyone drive away a few at a time.  She knows she'll see them again, but there's something about that special bond you form at Retreat.  I think I understand what she means.  I will cherish this trip in my memories forever.

We needed lunch before we left, so we stopped at the "Kalico Kitchen".  We got to eat with three other ladies from Retreat.  One of them was Mama's family's friend from Eureka, the one that Maggie and Rachel visited last summer. (Sorry for the involved's difficult when you can't use names.) :{  I'll have to be sure to tell Maggie. 

I ordered the AMAZING broasted chicken.  It was so delicious and tender!  I couldn't finish it all, though.  They gave us so much food!  Piper ordered the Pot Roast sandwich (it really was a lot more delicious than it sounded), and Katie had the Cobb Salad.

One funny thing about the picture above (where we're standing under the sign) is the way the people are looking over at us.  I guess they'd never seen dolls get their picture taken before.  I felt a little self-consious, and I think Mama did, too.  She still got the pictures, though.  I think it helped that her best friend came with her, even though her friend isn't a big fan of dolls.  That's just the type of friend she is. :)

By the way, the mark on Piper's face is only a shadow, just in case any of you are worried. :)

After our lunch, it was time to head back home.  We got to stop and get a tour of Mama's friend's house on the way (it was lovely!), and then we went back to our hometown.  More surprises awaited us there, but we'll have to save that for next time. ;)

I hope you enjoyed hearing all about my journey.  I had such a wonderful time.  Maybe someday I'll get to go again.  For now, though, I'm just glad to be back.  I hadn't realized how much I'd missed my familiar room and all of my friends. :)

Emma should be getting her post up sometime this week, and then Maggie will do hers, so there's more fun to come.  Have a wonderful week! :D