Sunday, November 14, 2010

Till Death Do Us Part...

You'll never guess what I did tonight! Alyosha asked special permission for me to join the cast backstage before the show! I couldn't pass it over. 

I got to meet the leading actors and help Alyosha run lines and get ready. 

This is Alyosha's dressing station. She has a little tape spot that says her name as well as her paper plate award to let people know who's station it is. 

Alyosha's changing station is in the boy's dressing room, because she would rather not deal with girl drama. Everyone changes in the bathroom anyway, so it doesn't matter. All they really do in here is talk and play games before the show. We almost played Candyland! 

Alyosha's cue wasn't for a while so she had to use a radio so she would know when it was safe for her to roam the halls without being seen by anyone. The techies have very funny conversations! 

It was a VERY funny night filled with amazing acting, amazing new friends, and amazing fun!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pretty Leaves, pretty leaves are falling down...

It's been a while since I updated, but there has been a lot going on! Our homeschool group has been working on our play. The show is in ONE week! Can you believe it? The week before the show is always my favorite though! I'll be very sad when it's over.

Last weekend was Halloween. Rosalia had never celebrated before, so I took her out for Tricks or Treats, to a party, and on Thursday, we watched Charlie Brown! She certainly liked it! We decided to be Kirsten and Samantha for Halloween. Singrid got sick, but she was going to be Felicity, so we could represent the retired, but not forgotten, American Girls. People loved our costumes and our homemade treat bags. 

 This was Rosalia's. Oner side had a Halloween scene with ghosts and ghouls. This side was inspired by Charlie Brown. You can't see it, but Linus is in the pumpkin patch!

This one was mine. One side was Charlie Brown inspired, with all the kids in their costumes. This side is of two friendly witches flying over the night sky. 

 The first week of November we took off school for our Fall Break. During this time, I was also introduced by Sigrid and Rosalia, to All Saint's Day and All Souls Day. They are celebrated on November 1st and 2nd.

Even Rosie wanted to dress up. I'm not sure which Saint she wanted to be, but I thought she looked really pretty in her dress from Michigan!

And guess what! Only three weeks until I go to Disney World! I'm very sad Rosalia can't come (She is going back to Italy to visit family), but I'm very excited. I've never been with Alyosha. Last time, I went with Angie, and it was so much fun! Maybe I'm tall enough to ride Space Mountain this time! I sure hope so!

Friday, September 10, 2010

In which we went camping...

I know this is a bit late, but I've been so busy this week. It was the first week of schooling. You would think that being homeschooled, you would have more time, but it's quite the opposite, I think. Anyway, a few days ago, Rosa and I went camping to celebrate the end of summer vacation.

We set up camp in Alder Creek, where we had the fire the previous night. I even let Rosa bring my Ugly Doll with her, so she could have something to cuddle with! We made everything very neat. It's actually cleaner than my bedroom right now!

We had no problem with the no shoes rule!

My favorite thing was playing dolls. Rosa's Ugly Doll was a princess from Spain, who was try to flee from the evil dragon-dinosaur-fairy-monkey who wanted the crown! Rosie helped hide her in a cave!

Alyosha told us we needed to go to bed early though because school started the next day. Oh poo! But it had been a long, fun day.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Trip to Dayton and the Campfire

Yesterday was only 70* as a high! Isn't that crazy. At night it went down to 54*. Boy did it feel cold!

 We had to drive up to Dayton (it's about an hour away) to visit Alyosha's grandparents from up north, and Uncle Bill. I wasn't allowed to go inside with Alyosha and her famiy, but they gladly took me up for the car ride. It was fun long, but highly entertaining.

Everyone in the backseat (Alyosha, her brother, and me) watched Glee. Alyosha's brother refuses to watch it unless Jonathan Groff is in it. I don't know why, but it's stilly.

About half way we saw "Touchdown Jesus" for the first time since it burned down a few months ago. For those of you that don't know about this odd statue, here is a bit of background:

"King of Kings was a 62-foot (19 m)-tall statue of Jesus on the east side of Interstate 75 at the Solid Rock Church, a 4000+ member Christian megachurch near Monroe, Ohio, in the United States. It was destroyed by a lightning strike and subsequent fire on June 15, 2010.

Located on the Interstate-facing side of the church's outdoor amphitheater, the statue was set on an island at the head of the church's baptismal pool, flanked by fountains and lit by colored spotlights. It depicted Jesus from the chest up, with his arms and head raised to the sky. The statue had a 42-foot (13 m) span between its upraised hands and a 40-foot (12 m) Christian cross at its base. The completed statue weighed 16,000 pounds (7,000 kg).

Since its construction, the statue has been given many nicknames, both affectionate and derisive, by local residents and I-75 travelers. Among them are: Big Butter Jesus, Touchdown Jesus, Big J, Swamp Jesus, and Mega Jesus.

The statue is also credited with inspiring two musical works: Comedian Heywood Banks wrote and performed his novelty song "Big Butter Jesus" about the statue. Singer-songwriter Robbie Schaefer of the band Eddie from Ohio wrote the song "Monroe, OH" after driving past the statue.
On June 14, 2010 the statue was struck by lightning and suffered major damage in the resulting blaze. The statue was sculpted using a thin skin of fiberglass over a flammable styrofoam interior stabilized by a metal frame, and the fire left only its internal metal structure. Following the fire, the pastor of the church stated that they plan to have the statue rebuilt, but now using fireproof material. In the days after the destruction, the church's digital sign had the message "He'll be back" running. Although the statue cost about $250,000 to construct, it was insured for $500,000 because the artist, Brad Coriell, had donated his time to the creation. The damage to the statue and amphitheater was estimated at $700,000 with $300,000 being for the statue and $400,000 for the amphitheater. PETA has offered funding through an 'anonymous Christian donor' to help rebuild the statue if they are allowed to promote veganism at the church."

Along this same road we saw IKEA, three flea-markets, a REALLY COOL Mosque, Entertainment Junction, the Ohio outlet malls, and lots of red punch-buggies!

On the way how I played with Rosie and my new Ugly Doll (Thanks Virginia), Ninja Batty Shogun. They had an amazing adventure in Belize, rock climbing and jumping into waterfalls!


Last NIGHT we had a campfire because it was so cold! It wasn't much, but we invited my neighbor and my new friend I'd like to introduce to come out and enjoy it too. My neighbor, Emma (I don't know her real name, she changes it all the time!) is from England. Her family moved here when she was little. She's lived there for a long time. She goes to a public school and I don't, so she has a lot of friends from school to play with, but sometimes she comes over and we play, and sometimes she brings a friend.

We stayed up and took turns telling scary stories. They were more funny than they were scary though. Maybe like fairy tales. Princesses, dragons, and an evil queen!

Now I'd like to introduce you to someone special. This is Rosa Maria Sanfilippo. She is staying with me until the end of next school year. Rosa is from Italy! Her English isn't very good, but neither was mine when I first came from Ukraine. She is very much into theatre too, and loves playing dolls! I'm very excited to have here here with me!

I just know Rosa and I are going to be best friends!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Summer in Michigan and Illinois

Once again, I was very sad to leave yet another friend in Virginia, but this time there were no jitters! I was going to visit one of my best friends in the whole wide world, Anna Lee! Last year when I went traveling, Michigan was my first stop. I was very excited to go back and see my friend again. I missed her!

My Visit in 2009
Only after a few short days of travel I arrived in Michigan. I knocked on the door and Anna Lee answered in her pajamas. She said she didn't think I'd be here so early. She kept apologizing, but it was okay. It was just nice to see her again.

The next day, Anna Lee and I convinced Katie to let us go to the park. We decided we were going to pretend to be twins from Australia. We stayed up all night practicing our accents. (Olivia Newton-John was my model!) We wore our matching Ragtime shirts and matching braids. We were ready to go, but it started raining!

But we were determined to make the most out of the day. Anna Lee suggested that we watch a movie. We watched Harriet the Spy, based off the awesome book! When it was over, we came up with the great idea of playing spies! Anna Lee was Maxine Smart and I played Jamie Bond.

First we spied on Katie, but she was being boring. She just read her book! We then moved on to spy on Katie's husband. We hid under the kitchen table and listened in on him. Whatever he was watching on HBO, it had a lot of bad words and Anna Lee and I couldn't help by laugh. Katie caught us and said we needed to go into the bedroom until the show was over. Oh poo!

Michigan is VERY hot in the summer. Sometimes it felt hotter than Ohio! That's saying something seeing as Ohio is the only place in the world where you can experience all four seasons in one day! We tried to eat our yummy ice cream to cool off, but it melted fast. Once again, oh poo!

Finally we got some exciting news - we got to go on a little road trip! Katie had to go to her grandmother's 90th birthday party in Illinois, and we got to tag along! We started going through all our clothes right away to find the perfect matching outfits.

It's just not summer until you've taken a road trip. We drove through Indiana and stopped for lunch! We saw a huge fireworks place too! We weren't allowed to buy anything though! In Illinois, it was all cornfields, one right after the other! We tried to count them at first, but soon lost track. There were just too many! We arrived in Illinois earlier than planned, so we stopped at a Frisbee golf course and played a few holes. The course was all through the woods, and just like regular golf, you aimed the Frisbee at a "hole" and counted how many tries it took you to get it in.

We stayed at Katie's grandma's house while everyone else went out to her dinner party. We got to stay in the master bedroom! There was a king-sized bed just for us with tons and tons of pillows on it! There were about a million knickknacks on every surface in the house - perfume bottles, little boxes, jewelry, pictures. We looked at everything for a long time (and tried our best not to touch too much). After we put our pajamas on, we lounged around on a fancy bench and pretended we were princesses locked up in an enchanted castle. It was fun to pretend we were in an old castle, because the whole house, especially the bathroom, was full of gold stuff. The bed had all satin blankets, and Anna Lee and I stayed up late playing our princess game, plotting how we were going to break the enchantment on the castle and what escape route we should take once we did.

The next morning we had to leave our castle behind to go back to Michigan. One weekend we went to see Katie's parents. We were going to go fossil hunting in the ditch behind their house, because real fossils were found there back when the ditch was first dug up. But it rained and rained most of the weekend and the ditch filled up with water, so we could not hunt there. We got these pretend dinosaur eggs instead, with a real dinosaur inside to excavate! I got my egg open first!! My dinosaur! I used my excavation brush to clean him off a little. Then Anna Lee's egg broke open too, and she squealed! We decided to name our twin dinosaurs Simon and Alec.

Then we played that Simon and Alec had been frozen thousands of years ago and came back to life in the present day when they un-thawed. Anna Lee and I had to protect them from the government, who wanted to take them away and stick them in a research lab forever and never let them have a normal life. When we got back home, we played with our dinos and our dolls. We pretended that Anna Lee's guinea pig, Ginger Rogers, was a killer monster who was after them. Ginger Rogers wasn't very threatening to them while all caged up, so we let her loose. "Run, Nancy!" Rosie, my doll, shrieked. "Don't let the monster get you!" And then Ginger Rogers, who is really very timid and not at all the killer monster type, got scared and ran and hid between the chair and bookcase. We had to be very gentle and quiet and coax her back out. We put her back in her cage and petted her and fed her a carrot, and then she seemed happy again. Sorry we scared you, Ginger Rogers!

We really like watching the show Project Runway about fashion designers, so one day we decided to try and design outfits for our dolls! We looked through the sewing box to get some supplies. My doll's clothes don't come off, and Anna Lee's doll only has red socks, so we picked red and white satin material that wouldn't clash. Anna Lee measured Rosie and Nancy, and I cut some fabric for us. After much cutting and pinning and stitching, our finished product was...well, not quite what we envisioned. "This material ravels if we so much as look at it," I said glumly. "I guess we shouldn't have used satin." Anna Lee was especially dejected that our fashion designing didn't work out, so I convinced her we should go outside to play and just forget about it.

But when we woke up the next morning and went out to the living room where we'd left the dolls in their awful dresses, they were sitting there wearing brand new satin skirts and capes! We were so surprised! There was a note pinned above them that said, "For Hodel and Anna Lee - remember, practice makes perfect!" Anna Lee said Katie must have made the outfits for us, but when we asked her she said she didn't! She said it must have been elves who thought we needed a little bit of magical inspiration. "Wow, elves," I said happily, hugging Rosie. "Or maybe it was fairies! This is so cool...I wonder why they picked us to surprise?"

On my last day in Michigan, we went to the beach at Lake Michigan! It was so pretty there. I have seen Lake Erie and Lake Ontario before. Now if I can see Superior and Huron, I'll have seen all the Great Lakes!

Anna Lee took out our beach shovel and said, "Hey, let's dig a giant hole and bury Katie's husband in it!" "Yeah! That sounds fun!" I giggled. However, we soon realized it would take us all day to dig a hole big enough for him with our tiny shovel and pail, so we decided to spare him from having to be buried. I'm sure he is very sad we didn't. It was more fun to wait for big waves and then run into the water and try to jump over them!

When it was time to go we wrapped up in our towels and got the backseat nice and damp and sandy on the ride home. After we got back from the beach, I had to start packing to go home. :-( Anna Lee helped me put some of my souvenirs in my bag. Then I said goodbye to Ginger Rogers, who seemed sorry to see me go, even after I scared her during the killer monster game. I guess she doesn't hold grudges!

Now that I am experienced at traveling, I think the nicest thing about it is getting to meet new people and seeing how other girls who maybe aren't the same religion as you, who celebrate different holidays or go to a different kind of school, can still become dear friends. You get to be a part of their lives for a little while and you get to see that in your hearts, you are really the same. :-) Happy travels, everyone! It's time to go home.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Summer in Virginia and DC

I was very sad to leave my new friends in Oregon, but my gloom didn't last long. My next stop was at PrincessRuthie's (On AGFMB) house in Virginia!

I got there on July 10th, 2010. Very excited to be there, I helped myself out of my box. I heard a loud thud and ran in the direction of the loud noise. I stumbled across a girl, passed out on the floor, face first! I helped her up and asked if she was going to be alright. I helped her over to her bed when she asked me if I was Sophie! Certainly not, but I explained to her that I am Hodel, and I'll be visting. She didn't like the idea of  another visitor, because she just had said goodbye to Ruthie. She also told me they put on a play while she was there!

"THEATRE!" I yelled. I'm sure I scared her a little bit! I went on to tell her that I'm in love with theatre too! We stayed up all night and talked about plays and musicals, and everything theatre!

The next day, Rebecca took me to the school's Thespian meeting. It was nice to be at an arts school!

At the meeting, I met Isabel! "HEY, wait! You're HODEL?! Hodel Yanovic, Anna Lee's friend!?!? Hi, I'm Isabel Cohen, and I've been dying to meet you and Anna Lee both! Oh is it true that you are going to see Anna Lee next?! Can I go with you? Oh my goodness, PUH-lease? Anyway, I can't believe it's really you! I just know that we're going to be good friends, too!" It was very exciting! I felt famous!

The girls and I decided to put on a talent show instead of a full-blown production. Anya started out with a little tap dancing number. She didn't want to compete. Rebecca dressed up like Barbra in "Funny Girl" and sang/danced to "I'd Rather Be Blue". Nathalie and Isabel dressed up like Anne and Dianna from Anne of Green Gables. They sang a song from the musical!

Finally, moi! Lindsey, Chiara and I did our own version of "Bad Romance", spoofing that of Glee. The YouTube watchers voted, and WE WON! The talent show was so much fun!

On July 18th, my trip took a change of pace. Laura took me to Vienna, VA to see Idina Menzel (!), and decided to drive a little farther to DC! I'd never been there before!We first went off to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History! We saw the ruby red slippers (Just like in Minnesota!) and Julia Child's kitchen!

We at lunch and walked up and down on the National Mall. We also saw all kinds of pretty buildings along the path!

When I got back to the school, it was time for Camp Blacker, a summer day camp filled with fun activities bound to keep us from becoming couch potatoes. After setting up a cozy camp environment and putting up a nifty sign, everyone got in on the fun.

The next day was so hot. Nathalie and I HAD to cool off in the sprinkler!

Oh! And I want to place a shout-out to my host, Laura! She made me this dress! Isn't it darling!?!?

My last day was nearing, so I went around the school trying to say goodbye to everyone. I found Becky laying under a lamp with cream all over her face! After I made sure she wasn't going to faint I said goodbye and headed out.

I said goodbye to everyone else too, but I couldn't find Isabel. The girls told me that she isn't good with goodbyes, and it probably off somewhere.

I couldn't find Isabel, but it was time to go. I was just about to climb into my box when it was already full!

I pulled back the blanket and uncovered a familiar face - Isabel! "Oh, there you are, Isabel! I missed saying goodbye to you earlier. Lindsey told me that you'd hidden yourself away since you hate goodbyes..." "It's not that," Isabel interrupted, pulling herself up, "I just want to go to Michigan with you! I thought that, if I stowed away in your box, I could meet Anna Lee and spend time with the two of you. How much fun would that be? Of course, Laura would never let me go out traveling right now - she's got a strict rule about one doll traveling at a time - so that's why I stowed away. And don't tell me that two dolls can't fit in a box like this - Kit-Kat shared a box! But, anyhow, I just have to meet her...I have to! And I don't want to say goodbye to you either!" "Oh, Isabel, I wish you could come with me, I do, but since you don't live with me, it'd probably be better if you went in your own box someday. You'll meet Anna Lee someday, you will. She's not going anywhere! Now, come on, let's get you out of the box, and we can hang out a bit before I go," I said, trying to reassure her. I helped Isabel out and embraced her in a hug while thinking of one last thing that we could do together, "Hey, why don't we have some ice cream at Kirsten and Addy's café? I hear Addy makes the best vanilla ice cream around! I'll even tell you all about the adventures Anna Lee and I have had..." And that's just what we did.

On to my next stop... Michigan!

My Summer in Oregon

This summer, I was allowed to travel again! My first stop in my summer adventure was in Oregon. ~Crazy~Doll~Lady~ (On AGFMB) was kind enough to let me visit her and her girls for a few weeks before going on!

Kelsyee woke me up when I got there. There isn't much to do on a three day journay, other than sleep. It's the worst part about traveling to your first spot. In between hosts, I need that sleep, and I'll gladly take it!

On memorial day, Marsali, Kelsyee, and I decided to dress up in old clothes and pretened to be the little girls that came before us! It was very exciting because when we were playing, we saw ducks! Yes, we have ducks in Ohio, but these were Oregon ducks. And ducks are just cute...

We decided to go inside and play with our dolls. SaraDawn, their dog, also wanted to play with us, so we let her! She wanted to be in all of our pictures, too! I liked her, and it made me miss our dogs.

One of the most exciting things that I saw in Oregon was buffalo. I'd never seen a real one before, except at the zoo. They were hudge! And we even saw baby buffalo! They wouldn't make good pets, but they were awesome! I wonder if I can convince Alyosha we need one in the backyard...?

Here we are at Smith Rock. While we were taking this picture a nice man asked if TracAn felt weird setting up photos for us. I'm glad she said 'no', that she was used to it! The man thought it was cool and even took a picture of us for his granddaughter! I felt very special!

I love trains. Cincinnati was a HUGE train spot in the 1930s and 1940s! Here is Oregon, we got to see a bridge that the trains used to go over! It was exciting!

Here we all are at The High Desert Museum in central Oregon. We saw all sorts of things like old cars, baby animals, snakes, otters, and anything else you can imagine! (You can see both the albums on the right!)

On June 20th, we got together and started planning a 4th of July picnic! We made a list of what we needed.

I helped set up the lawn chairs in the nice, cool shade! You never know what Oregon weather will be like!

We played all sorts of lawn games! It was so much fun. This was the last album with "Pooka" in it. RIP SaraDawn! I loved getting to know you!

But at the end of the day... it was time to leave Oregon and all my new friends. I was very sad, but it was on to a new adventure in Virginia and DC! Bye!