Sunday, December 28, 2014

Holiday Catch Up!

We have been so busy lately and having so much fun that I have neglected to update you on our fun winter/holiday activities! Here's what's been going on around Pleasantview Doll Town.

Lora Lee started helping out in her parent's diner on the last day of school before the holiday break. She is hoping to earn enough money to buy her own horse! Sophie and Maggie came in for some yummy diner food.

Lora loves the fact that she gets to wear roller skates while working in the diner. It's much more fun that way.

Last week Kanani, Tara, Rosa, Clara and Izzy got dressed up and opened the gifts we received in a holiday swap.

There's been lots of action outdoors! The mountain was so busy and crowded that I had to wait my turn to go sledding. That's what happens when we get our first snowfall and it was right in time for Christmas. Teddy got a little carried away on his tube and went spinning down the mountain at top speed.

Things have been busy over on the skating pond, too. Holly is coaching Toni on some fancy figure skating moves.

Luci waited for her turn and had some hot chocolate in the warming hut.

Nicey Melinda and Sethany Anne went out with the sleigh to get a Christmas tree. They are named after the dolls in Tasha Tudor's book, "The Dolls' Christmas" which I highly recommend.

Later the two girls came inside and baked cookies. YUM!

More to come soon!

~ Kiki

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall Colors and Birds

I've been looking at photos on the internet of the pretty leaves that have turned red and gold. I thought I'd show you the reds and golds around here:


And gold! I guess you can tell that fall here does not include falling leaves. In fact it feels just like summer. I have to enjoy the lovely flowers that are blooming rather than leaves changing their colors.

One important thing, however, is that the birds here are in their fall plumage. Even the gulls look very different and the laughing gulls are quiet for a change. But, this makes identifying birds quite tricky!

We go to a nearby bird and nature center at least once a week. Each time we see something different because of fall migration. As it gets cold up north the birds are coming south. Many stop by right here to eat and rest and then go farther south for the winter. This sign is in front of the center and I thought it was a funny sign. If I stood behind it you wouldn't be able to see me at all!

I have my binoculars ready to look for birds.

Some of them are very far away.

I grabbed my camera and took some photos so you can see some of the birds we saw on this day:

These are white pelicans, terns and gulls.

This is a great egret.

Peek-a-boo! This is a young heron.

And this is a tri-colored heron.

That's about it for now. Next I hope to do a post on the celebrations here for Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. It's more important here than Halloween!

~Kiki signing off

Monday, October 6, 2014

Life On An Island

Hello everyone! I am writing from a very different sort of place today. While many people are enjoying fall colors and digging out sweaters and hats, I am practically living in my swim suit and glad we have AC! I am on an island far, far south. If we went a few miles farther south we would be in Mexico. In fact, we feel like we are since we see mostly all Mexican families at the beach and in stores and hear much more Spanish than English. Clara and meli are delighted!

Toni and I spend most of our time at the beach.

"Come on, Kiki! Surf's up!" We actually boogie board, but we like to say we are surfing.

Here's Clara standing in our garden. It's all cactus plants, but still has some colorful flowers.

In the north you might be picking apples while here we are picking the cactus figs. They are edible and no animals can get to them because of their sharp spines. You can't see them, but the grey dots are actually lots of tiny but sharp hairs.

Being careful not to touch those stickers, Clara picked a bowlful.

Meli very carefully cut them and removed the sweet fruit from inside. She is going to mix them with other fruits for a fruit salad for tonight's dinner. It's also very common to make jam out of them and I hope we get to do that later.

As Toni says, surfs up, so I have to go. More later!

Kiki, the island girl.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Picnic on a Hot Fall Day

An old friend of ours wanted to meet at a park and have a picnic yesterday. Ivy and Jazzi decided that was a great idea.

It was a hot day, after having a few cool ones. That's fall around here. Ivy and Jazzi are best friends.

Ivy took the short cut to get to the playground.

"Hello down there!"

Time to eat!

BFFL - best friends for life!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Therapeutic Horseback Riding Part 2

Lady is ready to ride, so Fiona gets on from a special mounting platform with the help of all the girls. Like all riders at the ranch, she has on a helmet.

During Fiona's ride Charlotte and Kaya will stay on either side of her to help her feel comfortable on the horse and give her support.

Horses are good at following each other, so Clara will ride in front on Bill.

Fiona is feeling more comfortable on Lady so Kaya and Charlotte talk to her about horse behavior.

We have come to the end of our story. Fiona had a wonderful time riding Lady and is going to keep coming to the ranch. Charlotte, Clara and Kaya are looking forward to helping more riders and so are the horses.

~ Kiki

Therapeutic Horseback Riding Part 1

This summer Clara, Charlotte and Kaya are volunteering at a ranch in the mountains. They get to help take care of horses and help other children go horseback riding. The children that come to this ranch have various disabilities and riding horses is an exciting type of therapy that has physical, psychological, cognitive, social, and educational benefits. As usual, there are lots of photos, so please be patient as they load. I know you will enjoy them!

Here are two of the therapy horses, Bill and Lady.

Clara and Charlotte bring the bridles and reins so that Bill and Lady know it's time to work.

All the horses at the ranch are calm and gentle and work well with all kinds of kids.

When a new rider comes they get to watch the horses for a while to get to know them and then choose which one they want to ride.

Fiona decided she wanted to ride Lady.

Sometimes the people and horses are a little nervous when first meeting each other. Horses are more comfortable being approached from the side and since Charlotte has a lot of experience with horses, she is holding Lady's lead and helping her stay calm. Fiona is getting brave enough to pet Lady.

It's time to get Lady ready to ride, so Fiona helps Charlotte brush her and put on her blanket.

Then they put on the saddle. Now it's time to ride!

Please see Part 2 for the rest of the story.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hiking in the High Country

Ella: Hey, Kiki. Where are you headed with that backpack?
Kiki: I'm going hiking in the high country today.
Ella: Oh, cool! That's a big pack. What all are you taking?

Kiki: When you go hiking in the wilderness you have to be prepared. I've got food and water, a compass, and my camera and binoculars. I should get my rain gear out and bring that, too, along with a trail map. I won't bother to bring my cell phone because it won't work up there. I'll be wearing my sweatshirt and hat because it's cooler at higher altitudes, but I also have on sunscreen because the sun is stronger up there.

Ella: Let me help you get that pack on. It's really heavy!
Kiki: Thanks! Yeah, it's full now. But, it doesn't feel that heavy once I get it on my back.

Ella: Have fun and don't get eaten by a bear!
Kiki: Okay, and I won't!

And THIS is why we call it the high country. Our hike will start at 10,300 feet which is about 3,139 meters. It's about 60 degrees here, which is about 15.5 degrees celsius. That's pretty cool for a summer day, but the sun feels strong! There is no rain in the forecast, but it often rains for a short while in the afternoons up here. There can also be dangerous thunderstorms that sweep in quickly, so we try to be done hiking by noon. Other important things to remember is not to hike alone, and to let someone know where you are going. This all makes it sounds scary, but it's really very safe if you know what you are doing.

First we followed a trail that is used for snowshoeing in the winter. There are a few signs to get people started.

The signs are way up high because the ground will be covered with lots of very deep snow. I want to come back in the winter and see that! And some more photos:

It is so gorgeous up here that it's hard not to post dozens of photos, but, these will have to do.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my visit to the high country. I'd love to hear if any of you go hiking and where you go!

~ Kiki

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Those Long Summer Evenings

Long summer evenings are delightful! The days are long and filled with activity, but the light lasts beyond bedtime and who can resist going back outside for just a little more fun? So, as the sun was about to set at the end of another busy day, I headed out to enjoy the last of it.

The evening was cool and smelled sweet as the flowers closed up for their night's sleep. The robins were chattering, talking about the adventures of their day and where they would sleep, making sure the whole family was settled together. One lone goldfinch perched on the roof of the house and sang a long, melodious song. He's a tiny bird with a big voice.

I found my friends out on the front sidewalk. Carmela and Lily were taking their pets for a ride in the baskets of their bikes.

Mia came whizzing by on her skateboard. I've got to get her to teach me some of the tricks she does!

I saw Fiona coming home from playing basketball with friends.

Rosa was in her own world, sitting on the ground and playing with her new dolly.

We were all together and ready to head indoors when I remembered a favorite poem by Robert Louis Stevenson called "Bed At Night." Maybe you know it, too:

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

Good night!
~ Kiki

An important disclaimer! Human children should wear helmets and other protective gear when riding bikes or skateboarding. Our person felt that since we are dolls we could play without those things tonight, and she stayed nearby to make sure we were safe. Mia started to fall once, but our person caught her. Phew! Always be safe.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mia's Team Wins the AG Cup!

This is a long story with lots of photos so please be patient while they load. I am very proud to be a member of Mia's soccer team and wanted to let you all know that we won the AG Cup this year! We came home to our adoring fans and did a little demonstration about the game. As you probably know, most people call this "football," but since we have the American football sport we call it soccer. Boys and girls all over the world love this game.

Here are our fans cheering as we arrived on the field. It felt so good to see them smiling and calling out our names!

And here is the team. From left to right there is me, Holly, Mia, Carmela, and Gracie. Since Mia is the captain, she is holding our trophy.

We started with a little demonstration of Mia taking the ball down the field toward the goal.

But, suddenly she passes the ball to Gracie. You can see that Holly has to really concentrate to keep track of that ball.

Gracie quickly kicks the ball, but Holly is fast and grabs it before it can go into the net. Holly's great skills are a big reason we won the cup. She had to stop lots and lots of attempts to score.

I love to run with the ball down the field. In a real game I'd have my teammates nearby to support me.

Watch out! Carmela is running toward me and she is fast!

In the blink of an eye Carmela steals the ball! She is like our secret weapon.

Before we can react, Carmela prepares to kick the ball!

It's up!!!...

...Holly sees it and starts to move...

...but not quickly enough and it goes in the net!

GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! And that is how we win games!

We were exhausted at the end of the demonstration. It was just like playing a real game and brought back some great memories of our season.

Time for some refreshments!

Many thanks to Clara for photographing this demo.

She's available anytime to take photos for you if you need a photographer.

Blooper time!

Lucy always has fun when we are playing outside. She was tempted by the ball, but was a good girl and didn't steal it from us.

~ Kiki

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Daisy Chain Award!

I want to thank Tea Time with Melody Q for honoring us with the Daisy Chain Award.

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Here is her blog:

And the questions she asked us to answer:

1. What is your favorite AG outfit of your collection?
This is a tough one! I think our favorite is Samantha's coat. We love coats and hers is beautiful.

2. Which AG outfit do you wish you had purchased when it was available?
Felicity's tea dress

3. Have you read the Harry Potter series? If yes, which is your favorite book/movie?
Yes, and more than once! The first book is my favorite because everything was brand new and exciting.

4. Which is you favorite AG GOTY?
Jess (teehee) but we love all the ones that live here

5. Which is your favorite AG Historical?
Samantha, our first AG doll

6. Which is your favorite AG pet?
Coconut, our first AG pet

7. Are you a doll "do it yourself" crafter? If yes, what is your favorite thing to make?
Yep! Our person loves to sew and knit. She also likes using scrapbooking paper for wallpaper in our rooms.

8. What historical era would you like to see represented by an AG doll?
I was thinking the 1950's and rumor has it there will be a 50's doll next year.

I'm not sure who has been tagged yet, but if you haven't, consider yourself tagged! Feel free to tell us anything you like about your dolls and their favorite clothes, crafts, pets and things to do. They don't have to be AGs.

~ Kiki

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Part 4 - The Party!

Izzy's successful recital was a great excuse to have a party. Almost all of our friends were able to come and we had a great time.

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"I'm taking off the apron." announced Ella. She had done lots and lots of baking to get ready for the party.

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"You did an amazing job!" said Gracie as she gazed at all the goodies on the table. "You could be a professional caterer!"

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"Just look at all that food. I'm getting hungrier by the minute." continued Gracie.

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"Did someone say hungry? I'm starving!" announced Isabelle as she came into the room, eyeing the sandwiches and cupcakes.

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But, being polite, Izzy greeted everyone before sitting down with Clara to enjoy her food.

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More and more friends arrived and everyone stayed in the kitchen. People wonder why that happens, but I know: it's because that's where the food is!

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Ivy complimented Eva on the beautiful job she did with Izzy's makeup. Ivy plans to have her own dance recital someday, and is a big fan of Izzy.

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I handed the camera to Sophie and let her take a few photos.

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More and more people arrived and I stopped taking photos so I could just enjoy the party.

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But, the last thing I did was set the camera on auto and take a group photo. "Cheese!"

The End

P.S. I know that inquiring minds are curious to know about the doll family here. We have a few more friends that live in the modern world that were not able to come to the party: Saige (at art camp), Kaya (working at a very special dude ranch), Noelle (#33, more about her later), Mia (watching the World Cup) and Rosalie (#48, visiting Cécile). There are also 14 historical girls that are all in their own homes right now, doing their own historical things!

My next story will be about Mia's soccer team and then I will be visiting Kaya at the ranch. Let me know if you would like me to visit some of the other time periods in future stories, or if you have other requests.

I also apologize for the quality of the photos. I tried a different photo hosting site and I don't think the resolution is as good as it should be.

~ Kiki

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Big Performance (Part 3 of the Recital Series)

Kanani and Eva hurried into the theatre and grabbed the front row seats.

Lots of friends arrived shortly after them. Daisy and I were able to sit in the second row.

It wasn't long before the entire theater was full. There was the usual sound of low, excited voices chatting and carrying the feeling of expectation of something exciting to come. Soon the lights dimmed and all sounds were hushed as the curtains opened. I won't try to describe the wonderful lyrical feeling of Isabelle's dancing. Instead I will let you enjoy some photos.

Before we knew it, the dance was over and Isabelle was thrilled that it had gone so well.

Flowers were given to her as applause filled the theater.

When the show was over, Isabelle came out front and Kanani and Eva were the first to congratulate her.

Soon Izzy was surrounded by a crowd of admirers. After lots of hugs and congratulations, Izzy said she needed to go change for the after party.

And that means, this still isn't over! So, to be continued... (once more!)

~ Kiki

Monday, July 7, 2014

At The Ballet - Part 2

A note from Kiki: This is a short part. The next part will be following soon!

The girls left the dressing room and Isabelle went into the studio to warm up. A dancer has to be warm before performing to avoid injury and to be able to dance their best.

But, another big reason Izzy wanted to warm up was to help calm her nerves.

Moving is so much better than sitting and thinking about all the people out in the audience!

Isabelle took a deep breath and thought, "Okay, I'm ready."

to be continued...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

At the Ballet - Part 1

Isabelle is a wonderful dancer and we have all been looking forward to seeing her perform. This weekend is a big dance recital and she invited all of us to come. Some of us were even willing to help her get ready for the big night.

Holly is very good with hair and helped Izzy get hers up into the classic ballet bun.

Next, Izzy sat down in front of the mirror to put on makeup. You have to wear makeup on stage if you want to be seen way out in the audience, so even the littlest girls get to wear some.

The only trouble is, putting on makeup is not Izzy's favorite thing to do. But, never fear...

...Eva LOVES to do makeup and is really good at it. She and Kanani came backstage just in time.

"You look beautiful!" exclaimed Eva.

"Come on!" said Kanani. I want to get front seats. So the girls left Izzy's dressing room and wished her good luck.

To be continued...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July

We are all very excited for the fireworks to start, but it isn't even dark yet, so we have a few more hours to wait. I thought up a photo for the 4th of July and asked my sisters to be in it. I call it Happy 4th of July to all of my American friends and peace to everyone on earth. :)

~ Kiki

Saturday, June 28, 2014

New Girl!

Mia came bounding into the kitchen looking for a snack and a drink after soccer practice, when Clara stopped her. "Mia, slow down. There's someone I want you to meet. This is Sophie. Sophie, this is Mia."

"Hey, what position do you play?" asked Mia.
"What?" responded Sophie, looking confused.
"Didn't you come to join my soccer team? Or do you call it football?" asked Mia.
Then Clara said, "Mia, not everything is about soccer! Sophie is the new girl that is moving in with us."
"Oops!" said Mia, "I guess I just have soccer on my mind. I'm the team captain and it's a big responsibility."

"That's okay," said Sophie. "Maybe I could play on your team. I have a little experience, but not much. I'd be willing to try."

And then they sat down and had a snack and chatted about all kinds of things, making Sophie feel very welcome. Despite the World Cup going on, life is not always about soccer!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ivy Goes Visiting

Yesterday our Mama visited a friend who collects dolls, but not AGs. However, this friend does have some AG furniture just because she loves it. Her dolls are 1/6th scale, so it's a testament to AG's quality and uniqueness that she buys the furniture just for itself. Ivy didn't have anyone to play with, but she found some fun things to do anyway.

Ivy went along and had a great time playing while the grown-ups had iced tea and chatted.

First Ivy found a doll that she fell in love with.

She gave it a ride in an old stroller.

And then she found a desk just her size and wrote in a little leather book. She said that what she wrote was a secret!

Do you ever go visiting where the grown-ups sit and talk and there is no one to play with? What do you do then?

~ Kiki

P.S. Our reading list has reappeared! Thank you blogspot!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dollies and Painting

Today was a hot day and the girls retreated indoors during the warmest part. Here's what I found them doing.

Amanda and Addy played with their dolls. I think they could do that all day long! Amanda got a new dolly stroller and shared it with Addy.

Nellie joined in the dolly fun, but poor Samantha had not finished her embroidery project and could not play yet. I actually don't think she looks too unhappy, though. Maybe she likes to do her stitching work.

I found Saige in the art studio. The thick adobe walls keep it nice and cool. That is definitely her favorite place to hang out.

She was just finishing another lovely painting. I admire her talent!

What did you do today? Is it hot where you live?

~ Kiki

Monday, June 23, 2014

Blogger Troubles and a Few Pics

I am having trouble with blogger right now and don't know how to fix it. I've sent feedback to them several times. The problem is that I can't get my reading list to load so that I can visit all of your wonderful blogs. :( The only thing I can do is click on people's comments to my blogs to find them, and even that doesn't always work because sometimes it sends me to google+. I don't know what is going on, but I know there are changes happening with google+ that are complicating my life! Anyway, just wanted you all to know. And to thank you for stopping by, I'll include a few photos:

Josefina went to a street fair in our town on Friday night and posed in this antique wagon. I guess it wasn't antique to her!

Kanani went outside to look far a rainbow last evening after we had a lovely shower. She didn't find a rainbow, but the light was gorgeous.

Everything is always so green after it rains and the air smells fresh and clean.

That's all for now.

~ Kiki

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lazy Summer Days!

I don't have much to share today, but I will have to start getting photos of our summer adventures. In the works are a dance camp, gymnastics camp, volunteering at a therapy riding center and, of course, pool parties! Yikes!

But, for today I have a photo of Mia in a tree. Why was she in the tree? We were playing hide-and-seek and she climbed into the crabapple tree. No one could find her so she had to wave and call to us when we finally gave up!

Ivy is settling in here and was especially glad to get out of that winter looking outfit she had on. I'm sure you will be seeing lots more of my little sister!

Kiki - signing off!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Shopping at American Girl and a Surprise

Hello from Eva! I'm your blogger today because I got to go to the AG store. When it comes to shopping, I'm your girl! I'm the one around here that follows fashion trends, and sometimes I even set them myself! teehee Someday I want to be a famous designer. But, I'm also a budding ballerina and I wanted to see the wonderful things they have for Isabelle.

My friend Charlotte came along and the first thing we did was hop in Julie's car and pretend to drive. That car is soooooo cool.

We always make new friends at the store, and we get to hear all the gossip from the dolls that live there.

Charlotte loves horses, so we stopped to pet one. He was very soft!

A highlight of the trip for me was getting my hair done! Some of you know that my twin Mia and I came with a special braid in our hair. After that got kind of messy I took it out, but it's complicated to recreate. Even the stylist had to get some help remembering how to do it. I felt like a celebrity sitting in that chair!

When I got home lots of my sisters gathered around to hear about the store and see my hairdo. I told them every teeny, tiny detail of our trip. And then the big surprise...

We have a new sister! Ivy came home with us! She is really sweet and I know she will fit in right away. First, she needs to get out of those wintery clothes!

I could not forget my twin, Mia, so I made sure our person got her something special: a skate board and a new outfit to wear. Mia is thrilled and since she's such a good athlete she hopped right on and posed for a photo.

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Bye for now ~ Eva :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Isabelle Visits a Wool Market

Our person decided to go to the mountains and visit a wool market over the weekend. Isabelle was the doll that got to go along because she loves fibers and fiber arts. There were hand spun and hand dyed yarns to purchase, or you could buy a whole fleece and spin it yourself. There was so much to see that Izzy was a bit overwhelmed. However, the best part was seeing the animals that the wool comes from. There were llamas, goats, sheep, rabbits, alpacas and Paco Vicuñas.

Izzy and our person fell in love with these sweet animals. They are native to Peru, not exported anymore, and so very rare. They can cost $10,000! Their wool feels like a cloud and is softer than any other kind. We could not even afford to buy the yarn, let alone a Vicuña!

Here are some more photos of them:

They look kind of like little aliens!

They had just been shorn (or is it sheered?) for the show and their wool was for sale.

This one is an alpaca that looks kind of like a teddy bear.

Everyone got carried away taking photos of the Vicuñas! That's the last one. Promise!

After the show Izzy took a nice walk along the river before having dinner. She is determined to have her own Paco Vicuña, someday! She better start saving now!

Written by Kiki who is still the best reporter! ;)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Name and A Very Green Walk

Hi everyone, it's Kiki. Now I know the title of the blog is different, but you know what? It really started out as Mia's and Eva's blog and I decided it was only fair to let them have it back. They are twins, but they are so different. Mia loves sports and Eva loves fashion. Anyway, I'll still be around, so I left my name up, too.

Today I went for a long walk by the creek. It was so lush and green! I'm glad I wore my new green dress so I fit right in.

It looks like it was snowing, but really that is cotton fluff from the cottonwood trees. It was everywhere!

Do I look like a model here? teehee!!!

I was a long walk and I started to get tired.

I wasn't the only one! Our person's puppy decided it was time for a rest and dug a nice bed in the cool sand.

Thanks all for now.
~ Kiki

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Back Again and Introducing Isabelle

Long time no blog! I'm sorry to have been away for over a year. How did that happen? Our person traveled a lot last year and she could not always have us along on her adventures. Other times we came along, but did not get in any photos. I'm going to have to make sure that doesn't happen again!

The big news around here is that Isabelle came to live with us. She is so pretty! She's also talented, both in dancing and in making stuff. She loves to sew and craft and even knit. She brought us each a rainbow loom bracelet that she made without even using a loom. Yep, she's good at lots of things.

Some people think she looks a lot like Ella, so we took a photo of the two together. See their bracelets? I have one, too, but I'm barely in the photo!

Over in the historical part of Pleasantview there is a new person as well. Nellie finally came home to live with Samantha and Amanda. Boy are they happy!

I'll be back soon with more news. Promise!

~ Kiki