Sunday, September 28, 2008

#10 Lauren's Sleepover Exchange

Sorry I've been slacking. I was hoping I'd get #9 No More Sleepovers, Patti? so I could do that one. I am trying to keep the recaps in order. But it still hasn't shown up, so I'll have to do it later. This is my favorite Sleepover Friends book.

The students in Mrs. Mead's 5th grade class are doing an exchange with the 5th grade class at Walden Elementary school. Walden is a small farming town, about 200 miles from Riverhurst.
More Riverhurst students signed up than Walden students, so not everyone will get to host a student. The Sleepover Friends are hoping they'll all get to host someone, so they can have a big sleepover. They all draw names. Stephanie gets Molly Jones, Kate gets Darlene Kastner, Lauren gets Annette Hollis, and unfortunately Patti draws a blank slip of paper. Their enemy Jenny Carlin gets Rebecca Newman.
There's a sleepover that night at Stephanie's house. They eat sour cream & onion potato skins, Patti's Alaska dip, leftover Chinese spareribs, and Cherry Coke and Dr Pepper. In this book, Lauren describes Patti's dip as tuna, catsup, cream cheese and some other stuff mixed in a blender. Tuna and catsup? That sounds even grosser than the recipe in the Super Sleepover Guide. The girls are all watching movies, but Lauren is more interested in Body Talks, a book about body language. After the movie, the girls talk about their plans for when the Walden students get there. They plan to go on a bike tour of Riverhurst, go to Charlie's Soda Fountain, go to the school party, and have a sleepover at Patti's. Stephanie plans to take Molly shopping. Kate plans to rent her favorite movies for her & Darlene to watch. Kate's favorite movie is 50 years old, 3 1/2 hours long, in black and white, and entirely in Russian. What 5th grade girl would pick that as her favorite movie?? I've always thought the movie was probably Dr. Zhivago. We had to watch it in school once and I thought it was ok. Lauren plans to take Annette jogging and swimming. The girls all say they'll share their Walden girls with Patti since she doesn't get to host anyone.
On Sunday, Lauren spends the day getting ready for Annette's visit. She and her dad wash her brother's dog Bullwinkle, but Lauren doesn't have time to clean her room so she just throws stuff in her drawers and closet. Then she and Kate head over to the school to meet the Walden kids. Lauren wore her second best sweater, green with buttons down the left shoulder, black sweats and jogging shoes. A sweater and sweat pants? That doesn't seem like a good look to me. Kate wore a tshirt, a blue cardigan, and stone-washed jeans. When they get there, they meet up with Stephanie, who is wearing a bright-red cable-knit sweater, black denim overalls (to make the farm kids feel at home), and spotless white sneakers. How do you wear a sweater and overalls together? I wouldn't think you could wear a sweater underneath overalls (seems too bulky), but if she wore it over them, you wouldn't be able to tell they were overalls. Anyway, their enemy Jenny wore a bright pink jumpsuit with a matching pink ribbon in her hair. Lauren watches her talk to Mark Freedman and Pete Stone, and recalls the things she read about in the body language book.
The bus arrives and as each kid steps out, they find out who they are staying with. One of the boys, Reggie, is really cute. He has spiky blond hair, pale blue eyes, and a light tan. He wore shades on a cord, a brown bomber jacket, and "a great smile." Turns out he is the cousin of Rebecca Newman, who is staying with Jenny. Rebecca wore jeans, a green and yellow zigzagged sweater, and canvas boots. Molly, who is staying with Stephanie, has black hair in a braid and round glasses with red frames. She wore high-waisted black pants with yellow suspenders, a white sweatshirt with yellow polka dots, and yellow sneakers with a red stripe around the soles. Kate says they look like twins who were separated at birth--The Shopping Sisters.
There are 2 girls left. One is about Lauren's height, with short, wavy hair and kind of a bouncy step. She wore jeans and Mercury jogging shoes, just like Lauren's. Lauren hopes she is Annette, but unfortunately for her, she is Darlene, who is staying with Kate. Annette turns out to be the other girl, who is short and blonde, and is wearing a turquoise-blue sweater and skirt, pink tights, and loafers. Annette isn't very friendly, and she announces that she doesn't want to go out for pizza with the rest of the girls. So, she and Lauren go home. Annette asks Lauren how they'll get to school and Lauren says they're all going to ride bikes together. Annette says she can't because she was in a serious bike accident and can't get near one for 6 more months. As they walk inside, Lauren's brother's dog jumps on Annette and freaks her out. Then they go up to Lauren's room and Annette freaks out over Lauren's cat, Rocky. Kate calls later that night and is shocked to find out Lauren and Annette are cleaning Lauren's closet! Annette had opened the closet and seen everything Lauren threw in there. Kate tells her that the other Walden girls call Annette "Little Miss Muffet." Her dad is the superintendent of schools in Walden, so she had to go on the trip, but she's not friends with any of the other girls because she thinks she is too good for them. Kate says that Darlene told her she's never seen Annette ride a bike, so she doubts she really had a bike accident.
Lauren recalls an article she read in a magazine called The Dream Diet. To lose weight, you go to sleep. Wake up 7 days later and you've lost 20 pounds. I always thought that sounded like a great diet! I love to sleep. The Dream Diet is one of the things I remember most from the Sleepover Friends books. Lauren wishes she could fall asleep, wake up 7 days later and lose Annette.
The next day, they all go to school. At lunch, Rebecca Newman sits with Patti instead of with Jenny, her host. Jenny is furious. After lunch, some of the Walden students give speeches about life in Walden. Austin talks about his family's dairy farm.
After school, Lauren's mom tells her that Annette's mom called. Turns out, Annette doesn't know how to ride a bike. Annette is an only child and her parents are very overprotective. Lauren convinces Patti to come over and pretend to suck at baseball, so they can teach Annette how to play. Her plan works perfectly and they all have fun. Then, Rebecca shows up! She couldn't stand Jenny or her sidekick Angela, so she left and walked over to Patti's house. Patti's brother told her Patti was at Lauren's house, so she came over. They are about to start playing baseball but unfortunately, Jenny and Angela show up. Bullwinkle gets loose and jumps on Jenny. When Lauren's older brother Roger comes out to get Bullwinkle, Jenny gets all flirty with him, much to the disgust of Lauren. After everyone leaves, Annette confronts Lauren about her mom calling, and says she figured out that Patti wasn't actually bad at baseball. Lauren decides she'll teach Annette how to ride a bike.
At school the next day, Jenny continues to be annoying and Rebecca continues to ignore her. In class they learn about Carol's family's pig farm, and the antique apples that Jim's family sells. Turns out the apples are not really antique, it's the trees that are. After school, they get Dr Peppers and cheese doodles, and teach Annette to ride a bike. Annette learns quickly. Then Rebecca shows up--she escaped from Jenny's house again. Lauren's mom calls Jenny's mom and tells her that Rebecca and Jenny don't seem to be getting along so Rebecca will be staying with Patti.
The next day at school, Lauren hides the Body Talks book in Jenny's desk, thinking maybe Jenny will learn something about her ridiculous body language. In class, Tommy talks about how his dad is a vet, and Darlene says her family grows fancy fruits and vegetables for restaurants, sells fresh pies in the summer, and runs a cross-country ski business on their land in the winter. After school, they all ride their bikes around Riverhurst. They go to Tully's Fish Market, which has tanks full of live lobsters and clams and sea urchins--"the closest thing we've got to Sea World." (doesn't sound even remotely close to me). Then they go to Munn's Pond and the Wildlife Refuge, and go window shopping on Main Street, with a stop at Charlie's Soda Fountain.

Friday night, there is a Sock Hop at the school. Afterwards, they head to Patti's house for a sleepover. There's big bowls of chips, pasta salad, soda and a 6 foot hero sandwich crammed with baloney and pepperoni and onions and provolone and peppers. There's also an ice cream cake for later. The girls head upstairs, where the Walden girls tell ghost stories. Rebecca tells a scary story about a fat white hand. Then they eat the ice cream cake and drink pink lemonade, listen to the radio and gossip.
The next afternoon, they play baseball with the boys, and Annette does great. That night, Lauren and Annette go out for Chinese food with Lauren's family. Then they come back and Lauren shows her her photo albums.
On Sunday, they head back to the school to meet the bus back to Walden. The girls are all excited and talking about all the fun things they plan to do. The Walden kids had a blast and the Sleepover Friends can hardly wait to go visit them in Walden. The Walden kids all shout out "Riverhurst! Riverhurst!" and on the last one, the Walden girls shout out "Sleepover Friends!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

the Stephanie bag

A few months ago, I started making handbags. After making bags for all of my friends, I finally had time to make one for myself. I usually refer to the bags by whichever friend I made it for. This one I am calling the Stephanie bag. Why? Because it's black, white and red, of course!
I found this black & white fabric and thought it was cool and different. It's definitely not my usual style. I originally planned on doing the inside lining in bright pink. Then I saw the red and was inspired! I think it turned out really cute.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

the full list of Sleepover Friends books

Here is a list of all the Sleepover Friends books. The ones I have are in bold. I hope to eventually get all the books.

#1 Patti's Luck
#2 Starring Stephanie
#3 Kate's Surprise
#4 Patti's New Look
#5 Lauren's Big Mix-Up
#6 Kate's Camp-Out
#7 Stephanie Strikes Back
#8 Lauren's Treasure
#9 No More Sleepovers, Patti?
#10 Lauren's Sleepover Exchange
#11 Stephanie's Family Secret
#12 Kate's Sleepover Disaster
#13 Patti's Secret Wish
#14 Lauren Takes Charge
#15 Stephanie's Big Story
#16 Kate's Crush
#17 Patti Gets Even
#18 Stephanie and the Magician
#19 The Great Kate
#20 Lauren in the Middle
#21 Starstruck Stephanie
#22 The Trouble with Patti
#23 Kate's Surprise Visitor
#24 Lauren's New Friend
#25 Stephanie and the Wedding
#26 The New Kate
#27 Where's Patti?
#28 Lauren's New Address
#29 Kate the Boss
#30 Big Sister Stephanie
#31 Lauren's Afterschool Job
#32 A Valentine for Patti
#33 Lauren's Double Disaster
#34 Kate the Winner!
#35 The New Stephanie
#36 Presenting Patti
#37 Lauren Saves the Day
#38 Patti's City Adventure

Super Sleepover Guide
Super Beach Mystery

Monday, September 15, 2008

Banana Smoothie

GO BEARS! haha

Tonight I made a banana smoothie, Lauren's favorite thing to order at Charlie's Soda Fountain. It wasn't very good. I do not recommend it.

Banana Smoothies

1 banana
1 cup milk
EITHER 1 cup yogurt
OR 1 scoop frozen yogurt
OR 1 scoop vanilla or chocolate ice cream
1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Put everything in a blender and mix. This is an especially healthful recipe if you use yogurt. With ice cream, it is almost like a banana milk shake.

I used yogurt and put in a little honey. I also threw in a few ice cubes, because I figured it needed it. Well, it was not that good. It would probably be better with ice cream.

Next up: I haven't gotten #9 No More Sleepovers, Patti? so I will be doing my favorite, #10 Lauren's Sleepover Exchange. I also plan to post the recipe for Kate's marshmallow super-fudge, although I doubt I will be making it any time soon. It sounds complicated. But maybe one of you will be inspired?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

#7 Stephanie Strikes Back

There's a new video club at Riverhurst Elementary, and Kate can't wait to join. She finds out about it through Kyle Hubbard, a kid in their class, during an assembly about Amsterdam. Kate loves to watch old movies & foreign films, but is bored with a slideshow about Amsterdam? I've been to Amsterdam and I loved it. Anyway, after school , Wendy, a 6th grader, approaches Kate and invites her to come to her house on Saturday for a meeting of the video club. The Sleepover Friends don't like Wendy because she is snobby and knocked Lauren down during recess in second grade because she wanted to be first on the slide. Stephanie and Lauren are not interested in the club, and Patti can't go because she promised her mom she'd help out at her brother Horace's birthday party. Since Patti hasn't gotten him a gift yet, she, Lauren and Stephanie go to the mall. Stephanie is excited about a jacket she saw in the window at Just Juniors--it's black & white checks.

When they get to the mall, they head to Romano's, which is described as "a gigantic store that sells just about everything, from shampoo and greeting cards to dishes and toys." Sounds like Wal-Mart or Target to me. Patti and Lauren go look at toys and Stephanie heads off to the makeup aisle. Patti had thought about buying Horace a 6 ft. tall inflatable iguana, but Lauren talks her out of it, saying it'll take him all day to blow it up and then what would he do with it? They find some eggs that transform into insects, but they're too expensive. Stephanie shows up with her purchases--two Swingers, which are zinc oxide sunblock tubes that come in bright colors. Stephanie got red and yellow, since they didn't have white. She also bought a book about dreams.

The girls decide to go look around in the mall, and stop for rocky road ice cream with hot fudge sauce. After they eat, they head to Feathers and Fins, where Patti buys Horace an ant farm. They were sold out, so she buys the display model which already has ants in it. Stephanie returns from Just Juniors, where they were sold out of the jacket. Then the girls head to the Pizza Palace, where Stephanie buys the girls each a slice of pepperoni pizza, because she wants to see her latest crush, Michael Pastore. He asks Stephanie if she is going to join the video club and she decides that she will, since he's going to be there.

That night, the sleepover is at Patti's house. When they get there, they find out that the clowns who were supposed to be in charge of Horace's birthday have canceled due to the flu. They provided favors and decorations, but there's no cake or entertainment. Apparently Patti's mom is not good at baking, and she's all stressed out about work, so the girls decide they'll make the cake. Supposedly the bakery has already closed for the night, but don't they have grocery stores in Riverhurst? Can't they just go pick up a pre-made cake? Or at least go pick up a box of cake mix and some ready-made frosting? I don't think my mom ever made a birthday cake from scratch, and she's great at cooking and baking. The girls actually get out a recipe book and find a recipe for Conway's Chocolate Bliss cake. Patti's mom leaves them some "fuel"-- a giant bottle of Cherry Coke (just how giant? Does she mean a 2 liter?), onion dip, shrimp spread, cheese dip and some large bags of chips. The girls get to work on the cake. They decide to increase the recipe by 1 1/2 and put Lauren in charge because she's good at math. Well, when the cake is done, it turns out Lauren miscalculated the flour and they put in too much. There's a huge crack down the center of the cake. Then, they get a great idea! They make some chocolate frosting with a few drops of green food coloring to look like dirt. Then they put little plastic dinosaurs on the cake and make some volcanoes out of paper. Everyone loves it!

While they were making the cake, they put on a home shopping channel. They see a video camera being offered for $759.98. They are surprised at how expensive it is. Then they switch the channel to some old sci-fi movie. Oh & after they finish baking the cake, they sit down to eat the chips & dip, as well as cherry coke floats with fudge ripple ice cream.

Once the cake is done, the girls head up to Patti's room and start playing around with the zinc tubes Stephanie bought. Patti thinks Lauren looks like a puppy and Kate thinks Patti looks like a clown, so Lauren starts barking and the 2 start telling jokes. Then Stephanie gets the bright idea that Patti and Lauren should call themselves Sparkly and Barkly, and perform at Horace's birthday party. They are nervous but agree to do it. They're a hit--the kids love them.

While Horace is opening his presents, a bratty kid named Bruce starts fighting with the other kids and they end up knocking over the ant farm. Patti's mom takes the kids outside while Patti and Lauren clean up. Lauren is under the table when Bruce's sister, the snobby Wendy, arrives to pick him up. She is talking with her friend about how they only invited lowly 5th graders to the video club because they needed more members. She tells her friend that they won't even let the 5th graders near the video camera and she bets most won't even stay in the club.

Lauren tells Kate and Stephanie, but they don't really believe her. However, there's a video club meeting after school on Monday, and it's a disaster. Most of the 5th graders end up leaving because Wendy and her friends are running the show. The club decides their first video will be "A Day in the Life of a Junior High Athlete," starring Wendy's boyfriend, Chuck. The girls are disappointed, and there's only one video camera, so there's nothing they can do.

The girls head to Charlie's Soda Fountain and order their usuals: Patti gets a lime freeze, Kate has a Coke float with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, Stephanie gets a chocolate shake and Lauren gets a banana smoothie (that will be the next thing I make! Look for that within in the next few days!) Wendy and her friends are there, and are being snotty, so Stephanie vows to do something about it.

The next sleepover is at Lauren's house. They are making caramel popcorn. They bring that up to Lauren's room, along with a king-size Dr Pepper, a mound of Lauren's dip and a giant bag of taco chips. Lauren gets a call from a kid's mom, whose daughter had been at Horace's birthday party. She wants to hire Sparkly and Barkly for her daughter's party. She offers them $35 and Lauren says she'll talk to Patti and get back to her. Meanwhile, Stephanie has a surprise for them--she got a video camera. What?! Apparently she bought a used video camera for $364 off that home shopping channel. How is this even possible?? Stephanie says they sent her the camera and a tape, and bill you $30 a month for a year or so. This girl is in 5th grade! I'm pretty sure they don't let 10 year olds buy stuff off home shopping channels and agree to a payment plan like that! The girls decide to keep it from their parents so they don't get in trouble. Just then, Bullwinkle, Lauren's brother's Newfoundland dog bursts into the room. The girls go crazy running around and trying to keep the video camera safe. Roger comes in & gets the dog, and Kate says they are sending the camera back. Stephanie says no way. Lauren mentions to Patti how Mrs. Freedman offered her $35 for them to perform at her daughter's party and Stephanie says they should do it because that will take care of the first payment on the video camera. Lauren asks why they should have to give up their hard-earned money to pay for the video camera, and Patti says they have to stick together. They agree to do the party and then come up with an even better idea--they'll videotape it and call it "Clowning Around."

Kate announces that one of the biggest directors around will be talking to the video club at their next meeting. The girls plan to show their "Clowning Around" video. The party is a success and the video turns out great (no need to edit!) They even manage to catch Wendy's bratty brother Bruce on tape, picking on another kid.

At the video club meeting, Wendy shows the video of her boyfriend and it's boring. The director is not impressed. Then Kate gives him their video and everyone, including the director, loves it! Wendy gets pissed off and leaves.

The final sleepover of the book is at Kate's house. They eat a whole plate of Kate's super-fudge and drink ice cream floats. Stephanie admits she finally told her parents about the video camera and they're cool about it--but if the girls miss a payment, they have to send it back. And the company won't refund their money (well, of course not. I'm surprised they'd even take it back at that point). Kate says Wendy dropped out of the video club and some of the other 6th graders probably will, too. Stephanie is busy calculating how much money they will be making since Roger wants to borrow the camera, and other parents want to hire Sparkly and Barkly. She jokes that they should buy another camera. Um, no. Thankfully Kate talks her out of it and suggests they play Truth or Dare.

Next up: I hope to do #9 No More Sleepovers, Patti? I bought it on ebay but I haven't gotten it yet. If it doesn't come in time, I will do #10 Lauren's Sleepover Exchange, which is my favorite! I also plan to make Lauren's banana smoothie. I'll get to Kate's fudge at some point, but it seems kinda complicated to make. Then I thought--it can't be that hard if a 10 year old can make it! ha

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dr Pepper ice cream float

I made a Dr Pepper ice cream float tonight. It was really good! I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner! Thank goodness for the Sleepover Friends.

I bet you didn't think you needed a recipe to make an ice cream float. Well, there is one in the Super Sleepover Guide, so I thought I would share it.

Ice-Cream Floats

Your favorite kind of ice cream for floats
Your favorite kind of soda for floats
Whipped cream (optional)
Straws (optional)
Long spoons (optional)

What's the whipped cream for? It makes the floats "fluffier." Here's how to do it: Put a teaspoon of whipped cream in the bottom of a tall glass. Then add a scoop or two of ice cream and fill the glass with soda.

I don't know about you guys, but I never heard of putting whipped cream in the bottom of the glass. Have I been making floats the wrong way all these years?! I used chocolate chip ice cream and it turned out pretty good!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

#6 Kate's Camp-Out

It's Friday night and instead of the usual sleepover, the Sleepover Friends are headed upstate to a cabin on a lake with Kate's family. The place is in the middle of nowhere and the girls are getting tired and hungry in the car. Kate is disappointed to find out the Norwood family will be at the lake as well. The 2 boys are troublemakers and Kate can't stand them.

When they finally arrive, they are disappointed to find out that the house is falling apart and there's no electricity. Kate's dad had called ahead of time to have someone go over to the house to turn the electricity and water on, but they are out of luck. Stephanie is upset because she won't be able to do her beauty regimen, and they will have to use an outdoor toilet. Stephanie isn't big on camping and bugs and the outdoors... neither am I.

Everyone decides to make the best of it. They unload the car while Kate's dad finds some firewood and a kerosene lamp. They roast hot dogs in the fireplace. Lauren eats three, plus half a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips. Then they roast marshmallows and eat Kate's super-fudge. As they are eating the fudge, Kate asks her dad to tell them about the place and why the lake is called Spirit Lake.

Dr. Beekman tells them the story. There were 2 fur trappers named Willis Pyle and Roy Jonas, who had cabins on opposite sides of the lake. Willis was lucky and ended up with hundreds of pelts. But Roy's traps would break or a bear would eat it before he could save the fur. Willis made tons of money while Roy barely had enough to scrape by. Finally, Roy cracked. He waited until Willis paddled into town in a canoe piled with fur and was paid for them. No one saw what happened, but next thing they knew, Roy was riding around on Willis' horse and shooting his fancy rifle. Roy said Willis gave him the stuff, but people suspected he drowned Willis in the lake. Then mysterious things started to happen--weird lights, a ghostly white canoe in the lake... but Roy paid no attention. Then one night Roy's dog gave a loud howl and there was a loud knock on the door...

Just at that moment, there is a loud knock on the door! Everyone freaks out. Turns out it is just Dr. & Mrs. Norwood, the Beekman's family friends. They wanted to make sure the Beekmans got there safely, and they had seen the dark house and a flashlight in the backyard. They explain that there have been some break-ins in the area and wanted to make sure everything was ok. Once they leave, Dr. Beekman finishes the story.

Roy calls out "Who's there?" but there's no answer. Then whoever or whatever it was knocks down the door and Roy is face to face with the ghost of Willis Pyle, complete with the bullet hole Roy put in him. Willis asks for his money. Roy faints. When he wakes up, his hair is completely white. He was never the same after that, and drowned in the lake soon after. Supposedly people can see the ghost of Willis paddling his canoe from one shore of the lake to the other, looking for his money. The money was never found. Roy buried it somewhere and even though holes have been dug up all over, it's never been found.

Everyone goes to bed after that. The girls get the whole upstairs to themselves, but put all the beds in one room so they can be together. Kate tells them that she isn't worried about ghosts, she is worried about the Norwood boys.

The next morning, Dr. Beekman goes to the Norwood house to use their phone and call about the electricity and water. The girls are hanging out by the lake and decide to take a walk. Patti sees some turtles and wants to catch one for her brother. The Norwood boys, Sam and Dave, come by on an inflatable boat. They invite everyone to dinner at their house that night. Kate tries to get out of it, but her parents already agreed. The boys ask Patti what she is doing and she says she wants to get one of the turtles but can't tell how deep the water is. Sam tells her the lake isn't too deep and puts one of the paddles in the water to show her. Patti and Lauren fall for the trick and take a few steps--and next thing they know, they are in water up to their noses! Lauren manages to open the valve on their boat as they try to paddle away. They end up in the water too.

The girls head back to the house to dry off. Mr. Morrell is there fixing the electricity. He tries to scare them by saying to watch out for ghosts. Everyone eats lunch and showers, and then heads over to the Norwood house. Kate warns them about the boys, and Stephanie thinks she can't be fooled. Sam tries to shake Lauren's hand but Stephanie knows he has a buzzer in his hand. Dave tries to offer Patti some lemon drops but Stephanie grabs the jar and holds it towards Dave as 2 paper snakes shoot out. The Norwoods have a book on ghosts that the girls decide to read. Supposedly the house they are staying in is haunted, but it's delightful--running footsteps and lilting laughter of a small child and music notes as if a child were practicing on a wooden flute.

They all decide to go fishing while Mrs. Norwood makes dinner, which is roast loin of pork. Lauren and Stephanie get hungry so Dr. Norwood sends the boys to get them some sausages on buns with mustard. As the girls are about to eat, they realize the boys put big worms inside the buns! They are grossed out and leave, while Kate's parents and sister stay at the Norwood house. Back at the house, Kate and Patti find a secret cubbyhole near the fireplace. Inside is a small leather pouch filled with old coins. At first they think it might be Willis' money, but then realize the coins aren't old enough. Instead, they think the coins belonged to the child who haunts the house.

The girls get hungry so they decide to look for food in the kitchen. Apparently no one had been in the house for a long time, so I wouldn't want to eat any of that food! They find some jars of shrimp cocktail, a container of smoked cheese spread, a metal box of fancy crackers and 6 small bottles of jam made from weird sounding fruits. They each decide to make something. They look through the groceries Kate's mom brought and find tuna, English muffins and Velveeta cheese, so Patti makes tuna melts. Kate heats up some chili to make sloppy joes, Lauren goes with the shrimp cocktail and cheese spread with crackers, and Stephanie makes biscuits with jam inside.

After dinner, the girls are still talking about the ghost and they decide to have a seance. They take deep breaths, turn off the lights, sing and try to concentrate. Kate thinks it's dumb, but then they hear a loud bang. They start asking questions and continue to hear the bangs. Then they hear a giggle. Kate gets mad and figures it's the Norwood boys. They all jump out the window and try to run after the Norwood boys. They are nowhere to be seen, but they keep running. Then they hear a noise. They decide to investigate and see 2 men dragging furniture out of a house and putting it in a van. They overhear one of the men saying they'll make a lot of money off the furniture. Then they recognize one of the men--it's Mr. Morrell, the man who came over earlier to turn on their electricity. They remember how the Norwoods mentioned break-ins and realize Mr. Morrell could easily steal from the houses since he goes around fixing things and turning the electricity on. Patti and Lauren decide to run back to the house and send flashlight signals across the lake to Kate's dad, who is still at the Norwood house. Kate and Stephanie hide behind a bush and continue to watch the burglars. Their plan works and Kate's dad rushes over. He calls the police and luckily there is a patrol car nearby. The police catch the burglars just in time. Dr. Beekman takes the girls to the Norwood house. The Norwood boys are barefoot and sleepy, and it doesn't look like they were running around outside. Is it possible that they didn't try to scare the girls and they really did contact a ghost? Meanwhile, Kate and Stephanie had gotten safely back to the house before the police showed up.

The girls figure out a way to get back at the Norwood boys. They decide they will pretend to find the gold coins in the sand. The boys will think they found Willis' money, so they will end up digging & digging for no reason. The next morning they go out to the lake and their plan works perfectly. As they are heading back to the house to pack up and leave, the boys are digging like crazy.

It's time to leave. In the car, they are discussing the old coins they found. Dr. Beekman says he is going to give them to Dr. Porter, the man who owns the house they were staying in. They catch a glimpse of the Norwood boys, still digging like crazy. Kate's sister Melissa says the boys couldn't have tried to scare the girls, because she watched "Roller Derby of the Stars" with them all night. Lauren is convinced they actually contacted a ghost during their seance, but Kate thinks Melissa probably just fell asleep.

Tuesday morning at school, Kate has a surprise. Each of the girls gets to keep one of the old coins. Dr. Porter donated the rest to a local museum. Then Kate announces that her dad wants to rent the cabin for 2 weeks in the summer, and the Sleepover Friends are all invited!

Next up: I still need to make a Dr Pepper float, and I will do that this weekend. Then, look for #7 Stephanie Strikes Back early next week!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

black, white & red

I found this really cute coat at Express. It's a black & white houndstooth wool coat. Unfortunately you cannot save images on the Express website, but here is the link:

I love it! It's not my usual style, but I really want it.

Then I thought... you know whose style it is? Stephanie's! She would totally wear this jacket! I can see her wearing it with a red scarf and red gloves.

I think I have been reading too many Sleepover Friends books.

The jacket also comes in red & white! Coincidence? I think I need this jacket! Just ignore the price tag, though.