Tuesday, June 28, 2016

An Amazing Melody Ellison Leak!

Have I mentioned that I absolutely love the blog, Lissie & Lilly? Well, I do. I about had a heart attack the day that I saw my blog added to their list of Links & Resources! It was like finding out some celebrity knows your name! Crazy!

Anyway, Lissie & Lilly has some amazing friends, and one of them got their hands on an early release of Melody! Lissie & Lilly was kind enough to not only write a review, but also to share a ton of photographs of the eagerly anticipated Melody! 

I can't share any images here, as they aren't mine, but please go an check her out. She's gorgeous, the review is amazing, and my Melody Fever is so much worse now than it already was!

~Mrs. D

Monday, June 27, 2016

American Girl: Ultimate Visual Guide

The "ultimate" guide for the fan of everything American Girl, American Girl: Ultimate Visual Guide is set to release September 6, 2016. 

Amazon describes this book as a book filled with photographs, a detailed timeline of the company, and exclusive behind-the-scenes information that the American Girl fan in your life will want to know! It looks like it will be an amazing addition to your library if you're like me and want to know everything! I know I'll be adding it to my Christmas list. (If I can wait that long!) Once I have it I'll review it here, so keep a look out for it!

So, what do you think? Will you be adding this to your AG library?

Friday, June 24, 2016

Girl Of The Year 2017?

The rumors are already swirling around 2017s Girl of the Year. It's generally believed that her name will be Tenney Grant, though the name Logan Everett has also been recently trademarked too, and many in the fandom are hoping for a girl of color in 2017. (There has been an absurd and insulting lack of girls of color represented in the AG lines, though that it a rant for a different post.) 

This video leaked a couple of days ago featuring a new doll on the Simplicity American Girl patterns. While similar to #31 she is obviously a different doll. Some think she'll be a new Truly Me doll released later this year while many are hoping that this might be our first sneak peak of 2017s Girl of the Year. I am leaning towards the likely hood of a new Truly Me doll, because it seems unlikely that AG would allow their first leak of a GOTY in the form of a Simplicity pattern, but who knows? Either way, I think she's a beautiful doll. I've never understood the hate for Addy's mold. I personally find her one of the most beautiful dolls. 

What do you think? New Truly Me or a possible sneak peek at Tenney Grant? 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The "...And MORE!"

I wrote a post earlier about the Wellie Wishers release. I had planned to highlight some of the other new releases on the American Girl site in the same post, but decided that the Wellie Wishers deserved their own introduction post. And, honestly, these new items deserved their own post too.

For those of you ready for some camping your American Girl is ready right along with you! The largest of these new items is this Adventure Pop-Up Camper that I absolutely dread my own children seeing, because I can tell you with 100% certainty that they will want it!

Of course, you can't go camping without the essentials, and AG has provided those from the tent and campfire to the clothes you need for hiking in the wilderness. Your girls are ready for days of hiking and nights around the campfire with stories and s'mores! 

This release of new items has also seen the arrival of an outfit that leaked over a month ago on Lissie & Lilly. At the time the thought was that these would probably be released in the Fall, but I'm happy to see them a little early. I think these are really cute jammies, and I love that they coordinate with the cute Pomeranian puppy that was released last month! I think we have a couple of dollies that might need these at some point. 

There are also a ton of new Truly Me outfits for both dolls and girls, and American Girl is trying something a little new with them. They are offering these outfits as mix and match pieces that you can buy individually instead of as a full outfit, similar to Girl of the Year Isabelle's individually sold pieces. I've heard mixed opinions on this. Some people are really excited to be able to buy exactly the pieces they want from each outfit, and some people are upset that this comes out to full outfits being more expensive than they usually are when sold as a set. I tend to lean in the direction of the latter opinion. I like the idea of creating your own outfits, but the heftier price tag will cause us to steer clear of them without amazing sales or coupons. Sorry, AG. 

On the other hand, I think some of the new accessories are adorable. (Even knowing that rings get lost faster than pennies!) I particularly like the Brownie Ombre Glasses. I might need those for me. 

AG even tossed out some new releases for the Bitty Babies, maybe to make up for the fact that they are taking away our Twins, that are kind of cute. (Though the zebra/cat looking combo confuses me.)

I don't think it's actually supposed to look like zebra stripes, but it doesn't remind me of a tiger striped kitten either. 

Oh, and we can't forget that the second Melody book and the 3 book boxed set are now available everywhere! That's exciting, even if we still don't know when we'll be able to get our hands on the doll! 

It would take a much longer post to feature all of the new releases, but you can check them out here. Over all I think it was a pretty exciting day for American Girl fans. I know my little fans are excited. Mommy might be too. 

~Mrs. D 

 *All images in this post came from the American Girl website

Welcome, Wellie Wishers...And MORE!

Well, they're here. The Wellie Wishers arrived overnight and have joined the AG family with a bang.

They were available on the Navy Exchange, or NEX, website before they even dropped on the American Girl website, going live on NEX sometime around midnight MST. They became available on the American Girl website shortly after midnight PST. (With free shipping through 7/31!) Now they are here, and big Wellie Wisher events are going on in AG stores all through the weekend. (I would love to see some pictures if you're going and hear your opinion on the line. Either leave a comment or email me at Dollywollydoodlebug@gmail.com. You'll get credit, and I could share your story here. Please share!)

We won't be going to the store to see them for a few days. I want to wait until the initial events are over so we can avoid the crowds. (Especially since we have no intention of buying them as of yet.) I will be taking pictures and writing up my personal opinion once I've seen them in person though, so keep your eyes open for my review. Here's some things I know without having seen them in person though.

Some of the items are already on back order. Like these adorable socks that are meant to be worn under the see through "wellies". I am personally most excited about the boots, and wish that they were available in adult sizes. Seriously. Boots that you can change the look of just by wearing different socks or tights! Sign me up! For my little fashionesta this is a dream come true. (And not a bad price for rain boots if we're being honest. I'll check out their quality when I get a chance to go in store.)

The little girl outfits are, frankly, adorable, though I have already heard several complaints about the fact that they only go up to a size seven and that they run small. I have no idea how accurate this is, but I can see it being a problem for little girls who are unable to match their dolls.

Honestly, I might have to break my resolve not to get anything from this line just to buy the Happy Hedgehog Outfit that matches the Willa doll. I've spent the last several months thinking it was a kitty on her shirt. Knowing it is a hedgehog makes it a whole new ballgame! Hedgehogs are a sacred animal in our home! I'd feel bad not getting a Happy Hedgehog Outfit for my girls!


Speaking of Willa, she and Kendall are the ones I am hearing the most excitement about, and it has been suggested that Willa will be on back order soon. I'm not here to tell you what to do, but if you want her, you might want to get her sooner than later...

It wouldn't be AG without accessories, and the Wellie Wishers don't disappoint. From larger items like a playhouse and stage, to smaller items like an Explorer Set and Tea Party Set, there are accessories to match the interests of most little girls and boys out there. 

Like all good American Girls, the Wellie Wishers come with a pet. And he's pretty darn cute. Carrot the rabbit comes with his own hutch and his own free app. No, I'm not kidding. My only complaint here is that I wish Carrot was available for purchase on his own, because Carrot and Hutch are a bit pricey for an AG pet and plastic box, in my opinion. I understand that part of the price is probably going to cover the "free" app, but if you don't want to use the app you still end up paying $42 for a doll pet. I'd love to get the rabbit, but not for that price, AG. Thanks but no thanks. 

The Wellie Wishers line also has PJs, a charm bracelet, and a pretty cute carrier, and people are going gaga over them! As I said, I haven't seen them in person yet, but I hope I've given you enough information to be getting on with. 

Again, I would love some real life pictures of the events, comparison sizes (I've heard that instead of the 16 inches people were expecting that they are running closer to 14.5.) to Bitties and 18 inch dolls, how the boots and socks look on your girls...If you want to share, please leave a message or email me at Dollywollydoodlebug@gmail.com. I'll give you credit, and you'll be able to share with people on the blog. 

There are also going to be books released at a later date September 1st, and a cartoon on Amazon coming this Fall! I might not be able to avoid getting them if they see the cartoon...

In addition to the Wellie Wishers there were several other new items that AG released today! I planned on mentioning them in this post, but I think I'll write another one but I wrote this one instead. It's appropriate that the Wellie Wishers get their own post, don't you think? 

Welcome, Wellie Wishers! I'll wear my Wellies today in honor of your arrival! (Though mine don't let me change the look simply by changing my socks!)

~Mrs. D

*all images in this post came from the American Girl website

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Poll Question: Who Is Your Favorite Historical/BeForever Character?

The results for our last poll are in, meaning that it is time for a new poll question. Cast your vote. Tell your friends. I'll announce the winner here on the blog when the voting period is over. My eventual goal is to have a poll a week, but I'm letting them go for a little longer at first so that word gets around. 

So, who is your favorite historical/BeForever character? Vote by choosing your favorite in the poll at the top of the right of the blog. I look forward to seeing who wins! If you would like, please share your why with me in the comments. Happy voting. 

~Mrs. D

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


...And the livin' is easy.

Since Melody fever is still strong in this house, I could so imagine Melody and Dwayne singing this amazing summer song. Or Big Mama singing it in the kitchen as she made Sunday dinner. Mmmmhmmm. Summer doesn't start in this house until I've opened up all the windows and we've belted out "Summertime" while mixing up some ice cold lemonade. 

Melody isn't here yet, nor is her release date, but there are still plenty of girls here to enjoy the first day of summer, (my own children and nieces included) and Molly just happened to get her swim suit in the mail today. Fitting, right? She was more than ready to take off that sweltering hot skirt and sweater combo of hers and model her 1940s swimwear. (I love some 1940s swimwear!)  

Molly was content to stretch out in the sunshine while the living little girls in this house ran around in sprinklers with water balloons. It's not my favorite season, but summer has its perks.

Happy First Full Day of Summer, Y'all!

~Mrs. D

Friday, June 17, 2016

American Girl Lapbooks

Lapbooks can be an amazing resource in any classroom. Homeschool Share has provided some American Girl Lapbooks for download if that is something you have been on the search for. 

You can find them by clicking here

If you put any of them together please share pictures in the comments or email them to Dollywollydoodlebug@gmail.com. I'd love to see what you put together! 

~Mrs. D 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

And The Winner Is...

Our first poll has officially closed! The question? What time period would you like to see covered by the next BeForever doll? And the winner, by a very narrow margin, is...

The 1920s!

The 1620s were a close second, losing by just one vote. Honorable mention to the 1620s fans out there! (I think it would be a fascinating time period to cover too!) 

I had decided that I would do a lesson plan surrounding the winner of this poll, so you can expect to see that here on the blog in the next couple of days weeks. (Let's be realistic here. It's summer, and I do have other things going on right now!) 

I'll be posting another poll later today. I hope that you can participate in that one too. My eventual goal is to have a new poll every week, but that will probably be every two weeks to a month here at the beginning until we get more followers.

Which reminds me, share me with your friends! I don't bite. Promise. 

~Mrs. D

It's Official...

American Girl's new brand, Wellie Wishers, has a release date!

AG sent out an email this morning, and Wellie Wishers will be hitting the shelves on Thursday, June 23rd, a mere week from today.

You can check out the Wellie Wishers Pre-launch Page here!

I have said before that I am not sure we will be adding one of these to our collection, though I do plan to make some time in the coming weeks to head to our store and see them in person. In the mean time, if you are among the first to get one and would like to share your pictures our thoughts with me, please post in the comments or send an email to Dollywollydoodlebug@gmail.com.

Still no release date for Melody on the horizon, even though some stores have other events listed already all the way into September. We can only hope that they just plan to add the Melody release events into that somewhere. I would still prefer July, but the latest I am hearing from my people in the stores is that it will happen sometime in August, so I am not hopeful for a release before then. (It would be nice though.) 

However, Melody's second and third books, though they are still listed with a June 23rd, 2016 release date, are available to order off of Amazon nowNever Stop Singing: A Melody Classic 2 is listed as in stock, though it might take an extra day or two to process, and the Melody Ellison 3 Book Set is temporarily out of stock. I'm thrilled that it looks like we might at least be able to continue Melody's story a week earlier than expected, even if it seems like we're going to be waiting on any news of her doll. 

Silver linings!

Those dimples!

I have not read any of the "My Journey With" books yet, but I am extremely tempted to get Melody's to read with the children. They were so engaged and invested in her first book that I think it might be a good investment for our library. I'll let you know. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Other Stories About the Revolutionary War

As much as I love the American Girl stories and using them in our homeschooling journey, they are not the only books out there about history. In fact, they aren't always the best. I love them as an introductory tool for periods in history, but they are that. An introductory tool. They don't really delve into the nitty gritty of much of history, and I feel that it's important to do that. History has beautiful periods, but also extremely disturbing events. I feel it's important for our children to know about those too or else we run the risk of history repeating its self. I hope I'm not alone in saying that there is much of history that I never want to see in person.

I also love teaching through literature. There are many things I have forgotten from my own education, but many of the things that still stand out to me are lessons that my teachers enriched with stories. I use many different books for almost every lesson we have, and thought that people might appreciate it if I shared those here.

Here are some other stories that can be used in a Revolutionary War unit. Please know that this list contains books for multiple age ranges. Some of these books would not be suitable for younger or more sensitive children. Know your children, and review the books before sharing them in your classroom.

Please, I am always looking to add to our library. If you know of any books you think belong on this list let me know. Leave a comment or send an email to Dollywollydoodlebug@gmail.com. 

  1. My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier   This is one of those books that always stuck very strongly in my mind after we read it as a class in 4th or 5th grade. A family torn by war and loyalties divided, young Tim Meeker finds himself with an impossible choice. 
  2. The Fighting Ground by Avi   A first hand look at the horrors of participating in a battle of the Revolutionary War. Jonathan in this book reminds me very much of Ben in the Felicity books. So eager to fight without really knowing what that means.
  3. Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes   Winner of the Newbery Medel, Johnny Tremain tells the story of a young man who finds himself in the center of events leading up to the Revolutionary War. 
  4. Love Thy Neighbor: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson (Dear America) by Ann Turner   Those familiar with the American Girl books have also probably heard of the Dear American books. Through her diary Prudence tells of the beginning of the Revolutionary War through a Tory family's perspective. 
  5. The Journal of William Thomas Emerson, A Revolutionary War Patriot (My Name Is America) by Barry Denenberg   The "boy version" of the Dear American books (though I have no idea why we have to try to divide books with some unseen gender line), this story follows a young man who becomes a spy for the Patriots during the Revolutionary War. 
  6. The Winter of Red Snow: The Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart (Dear America) by Kristiana Gregory   Another Dear American book, The Winter of Red Snow tells of Abigail's life in Valley Forge Pennsylvania in the winter of 1777. 
  7. Cannons at Dawn: The Second Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart (Dear America) by Kristiana Gregory   The second story of Abigail Stewart and her family follows them as they become camp followers of the Continental Army in 1779. 
  8. Can't You Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz   A slightly humorous volume following the life of King George of England. 
  9. George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen From Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer   A look at the Revolutionary War from two sides. 
  10. Chains (Seeds of American Book 1) by Laurie Halse Anderson   Chains offers up a viewpoint not commonly seen in Revolutionary War stories. Thirteen year old Isabel is a slave trying to navigate her way to freedom...Both her countries and her own. 
  11. Forge (Seeds of America Book 2) by Laurie Halse Anderson   The second book in the Seeds of America trilogy, Forge is a story about escaped slave Curzon. Fighting with the Patriots, Curzon lives in constant fear that they will discover that he is an escaped slave instead of a free man while he fights for the freedoms of his fellow countrymen. 
  12. Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution by Avi   After witnessing something horrible, Sophia vows to do everything she can to help the cause of the Patriots in the revolution. When her vow puts her life in danger though, what will Sophia choose? 
  13. George Washington's Socks by Elvira Woodruff   A book about time traveling lands five children back in time smack dab in the middle of the Revolutionary War. What will they learn about the cost of freedom...and how will they get home safely?  
  14. Hope's Crossing by Joan Elizabeth Goodman   Taken captive by a group of Tories raiding her family home, Hope Wakeman must set out on a journey into war torn Manhattan. What will she find out about herself along the way?
  15. Revolutionary War on Wednesday (Magic Tree House Book #22) by Mary Pope Osborne   I love the Magic Tree House books and how they introduce different time periods and historical events to young children! We've been reading them in our home since the oldest two were a mere 4 and 1. Revolutionary War on Wednesday takes brother and sister team, Jack and Annie, back in time to General Washington's side on the eve of a huge attack. Can they help the General keep history on track?
  16. American Revolution: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #22 by Mary Pope Osborne   Many (if not all) of the Magic Tree House books come with nonfiction companion novels that I love to use in our classroom. 

The above list is just a few of the numerous books out there for children discussing the Revolutionary War. Please, check your local libraries, Amazon, Goodreads, Scholastic, and any of your favorite search engines or web sites for more. As always, please share anything you feel should be on this list with me! I'm always looking for more. 

Lea Sales and Lea To The Rescue

To coincide with the release of Lea's movie, Lea To The Rescue, American girl is offering some new Lea bundles and free shipping on Lea items on their site through June 20th.

You can find these bundles and more here. If anyone wants to share pictures of their bundles here on the blog please feel free to post in the comments or email at dollywollydoodlebug@gmail.com.

Happy shopping!  

Monday, June 13, 2016

There Is No Cure

There is absolutely no cure for our Melody fever! I wrote about Melody Fever a couple of weeks ago, and our entire household (which includes our nieces, and even my darling Mr. D) has caught it. I strongly suspect that it can't be cured until we actually have a Melody in our arms, though it might be helped by at least having a release date. (Hint, hint, AG!) 

All of the possible Melody leaks aren't helping at all! Lissie and Lily leaked this absolutely stunning golden coat at the end of May, and many in Doll World believe that it could be Melody's. It is so easy to picture her wearing this coat to Christmas Eve service at her church in Detroit...along with this dress!

eBay photo
This dress was also leaked on Lissie and Lily several weeks ago, though the original eBay listing's pictures weren't as beautiful as the current listing. (Which has already shot up to higher than I planned on spending to get my hands on one.) I can not express how much I want this dress/coat combo for my Melody! Even if it isn't meant for Melody I want this for my Melody! Perhaps I'll have to put a bug in Mr. D's ear for Christmas. 

eBay photo
My Melody fever is worse. Much worse. They'd better hurry up and announce her release date quickly! 

(Have I ever mentioned how much I love Lissie and Lily for leaks? They are making my fever worse though!) 

~Mrs. D 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

There Are No Words

There are no words. There are no words that can be said to adequately capture the horror that I feel on this day. There are no words to express the heartbreak and sorrow being felt throughout our country. There are no words to describe the disgust I feel for those who continue to spread the hate. There are no words, and I will not do a disservice by trying to come up with some. There are simply no words. There is nothing I can say. There is nothing that my words could do or change.

Our family's heart is with Orlando today, and with all of those who have lost so much to ignorance and hatred. I am so, so sorry.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Happy Birthday, Kirsten!

Kirsten Larson was born in Sweden in June of 1845. Her family arrived in America almost 10 years later in 1854. Kirsten would be celebrating her 171st birthday today, and while that isn't possible, it is very likely that her many greats grandchildren would recognize the birth of the brave pioneer girl that brought their family to America so many years ago. In fact, I quite like the idea of Little Kirsten standing in front of her class one day in the 2000's giving a report on her Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandmother, Kirsten, who was one of the first pioneers in America and born on June, 8th, 1845...

Kirsten and her family arrived in Minnesota before Minnesota was even a state. She probably would have celebrate Minnesota becoming the 32nd state in 1958, less than a month before her 13th birthday, along with the rest of her family in their cabin. The Dakota War of 1862 would have probably hit Kirsten's family closer to home than the acts happening in the Civil war further East.

Much of Kirsten's life experiences would be different from those of girls her age who were living in established cities back East. She would possibly have become a school teacher once she came of age and before she was married. I can see Kirsten taking the newer, shy students under her wing just as she was when she was new to America. When she married Kirsten might have settled on a homestead close to her family or she might have raveled West with her new husband who could have been eager to join in the Gold Rush with thousands of other families. Either way, the life of a pioneer was a hard one, though I have no doubt that Kirsten had the grit and gumption to make it through whatever the New World threw at her. She might have even met and taught a young Laura Ingalls if their family happened to cross paths with hers.

Disagreements and war between settlers and Native Americans would be a real concern in Kirsten's lifetime. I like to think that she would have seen the horrors being inflicted on the Native people and done her best to help, but many in her position did not. Freezing winters and blizzards, parched summers, dying crops, illness and injury...all of these and more are things Kirsten would have faced as a woman living as a pioneer.

Happy birthday, Kirsten!