Friday, November 28, 2008

#13 Patti's Secret Wish

I’ve never said much about the covers of the Sleepover Friends books, but I have to mention this one. If you look at the books on the shelf, there is a Sleepover Friends book! How is that possible? ha. There’s also The Gymnasts and The Babysitters Club. Nevermind that these books would never be found in a college bookstore. It’s pretty cool though.

Lauren, Kate, Patti and Stephanie are getting back some papers they wrote for class. They had to either write about being an insect or a kitchen appliance. Of course, Lauren writes about a refrigerator. Stephanie also writes about a refrigerator. Kate writes about a praying mantis and Patti writes about a ladybug. They all do pretty well on their papers but their teacher, Mrs. Mead, asks to see Karla and Patti after school. Karla got an A+ on her paper, but the girls are worried Patti didn’t do so well and is in trouble. They wait til Patti gets out, and she tells them she has to redo her paper. They all want to help her, but Patti says she’ll work on it by herself and heads home. Stephanie, Lauren and Kate head to Stephanie’s house.

There’s a lot of construction going on at Stephanie’s house. They are having an addition built onto their house for the baby. Plus, there is something being built in the backyard (hmm… wonder what that could be.) Stephanie’s parents told her it was an office for her dad (but we all know it’s the "apartment" they give Stephanie for her birthday! This is the book where she gets it).

Stephanie tells them she is worried her parents have forgotten her birthday. They haven’t said a single word about a party or a present. Well, she’s getting the "apartment" for her present, and the Sleepover Friends are in on the surprise party—Stephanie’s dad is renting out the Pizza Palace and inviting all her friends.

As the girls are heading to the mall, they pass by the university and see Patti’s bike. The girls are wondering what is going on, since Patti told them she was going straight home to work on her paper. Then they see Patti, talking to an older guy. He’s in his 20s, with straight reddish-brown hair combed to one side, dark eyes, and a light tan. He’s wearing a bright-green cable sweater, old khakis, and white sneakers.

Later, at the Pizza Palace, they talk about Patti and the guy they saw her with. They figure that Patti has a crush on the college guy and are too embarrassed to tell them.

The next day at school, they try to get Patti to talk about the college guy, but she doesn’t get their hints and acts all jumpy. They feel bad, so they suggest going to the mall that night. Kate says they saw "a blue-and-yellow plaid sweater with matching denim pegged pants" that would look great on Patti. Patti gets flustered again and says she has to watch her brother after school.

Lauren, Stephanie and Kate decide to follow Patti after school. They decide to go inside the Bookloft, the university bookstore, and spy on Patti. They have to check their backpacks at the door, and are each given a plastic number. They head to the window and sure enough, the Mystery Man shows up! This time he is wearing a navy-blue sweater, a pink shirt, gray pleated pants and brown moccasins. The girls think he is so cute.

However, a tall, lanky girl with blonde hair runs up to Mystery Man and calls out his name—Jeff. She is wearing a long, dark-purple paisley dress, tights and ankle boots. Stephanie says she is stunning and looks like a model. Jeff and the girl hug and kiss right there on the sidewalk. The girls are so upset for Patti, because it turns out her college crush has a girlfriend! Then they spot Patti. They quickly grab books and put them up to hide their faces. Patti walks by the bookstore and takes out a small mirror and comb, and begins to comb her hair.

That evening, Kate’s mom takes Lauren, Stephanie, Kate and Kate’s little sister to get Chinese take-out. They order spring rolls, egg rolls, spare ribs in black bean sauce, sweet and sour shrimp, pork-fried rice, steamed dumplings and more (Lauren can’t remember). They take all that food, plus two giant size Dr Peppers and a platter of Kate’s super fudge upstairs. The girls decide to play Truth or Dare once Patti gets there, so she’ll hopefully tell them about her crush. When Patti arrives, Lauren notices that she smells funny, like she’s been at a hospital. The other girls don’t notice. They eat the Chinese food and Stephanie complains about her birthday some more. Kate says they’ll make her a cake for the next sleepover, but Patti says she can’t help because she’s busy.

The girls think Patti doesn’t want to hang out with them because she’d rather go to the university and see her crush. They decide to listen to the radio to hear the requests. During a break in music, there’s some announcements about various activities in town, and one of them is that the meeting of the Quarks is postponed. The dj makes fun of the club, saying maybe it’s for ducks—"quark, quark, quark!" The girls wonder what that word means, but Patti just murmurs that she doesn’t know.

Then it’s time for Truth or Dare. Stephanie gets dared to call Donald Foster. She pretends to be Wendy Rodwin, a snobby 6th grader from the video club, but the call gets disconnected. Turns out Kate’s sister unplugged the phone. Then Patti picks truth. Stephanie asks her who she thinks is the cutest guy she knows—of any age. Patti says Donald Foster! Then as Lauren sits down, something in her pocket pokes her. It’s the plastic number she got at the bookstore when she had her backpack checked. She tries to hide it, but Patti sees it. They watch a movie and then go to bed.

There’s a subplot about how the girls have to pick which guys to invite to Stephanie’s party, and they keep changing their mind. They finalize the list on Monday. On Tuesday, they go to Charlie’s Soda Fountain and order their regulars. I could go for a Coke float right now. They decide to go to Russell’s after school to order an ice cream cake for Stephanie’s birthday. Patti says she can’t go, and Kate is sick of her excuses. They are all getting tired of Patti’s secret life.

They go to Russell’s and order a red, black and white ice cream cake (strawberry, chocolate fudge and vanilla ice cream, with white frosting and chocolate sprinkles). Then Stephanie treats them all to raspberry turnovers, and they buy Dr Peppers at a deli across the street. They decide to go to the Wildlife Refuge to eat. While they’re there, they spot Patti and Jeff! Patti sees them and runs off, so the girls leave because they are pissed off at how secretive Patti is acting.

The next day, Patti doesn’t show up to ride bikes to school with them. Turns out she is sick. After school, Lauren and Kate go to Stephanie’s house. They see Stephanie’s annoying neighbor Walter. He tells them he saw them yesterday at the Refuge. They ask him why he was there, and it turns out Jeff is actually Mr. Murdock, a teacher for the Quarks Club. It’s a science club and it just started last week. They’ve been having a bunch of meetings to get organized. He lists off the people in the group—including Patti.

The girls head right to Patti’s house. They tell her they know about the Quarks Club. Patti admits that she didn’t tell them about it because she was worried they’d think she was a total geek, and not right for a Sleepover Friend. The girls tell her they know she is one of the smartest kids in school, and it doesn’t have anything to do with being a geek. Stephanie, Kate and Lauren admit that because Patti didn’t tell them about the Quarks, they thought Patti had a crush on Jeff/Mr. Murdock, and would rather chase him around than spend time with them. Patti starts laughing. I mean really, do they not know Patti very well?!

Everything is back to normal on Friday. They go to Stephanie’s house that night and have a little party. They eat the ice cream cake and give Stephanie her gift—a red-and-black corduroy jumper. Then they watch some scary movies and go to bed. The next morning, Stephanie’s parents make them blueberry pancakes for breakfast. There’s a tiny silver package tied with red ribbon sitting next to Stephanie’s plate. She opens it and inside is a key. Her parents tell her it’s a key to the little house in the backyard—it’s not her father’s office after all, it’s a playhouse for Stephanie! Her parents felt that with the baby coming, she’d like a place to get away from it all once in awhile. She’s not allowed to live out there, but she can hang out and have sleepovers there. Stephanie calls it her apartment and is already thinking of ways to decorate it in red, black and white. That afternoon is Stephanie’s surprise party at the Pizza Palace and Stephanie is definitely surprised.

Sleepover Friends forever!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

#12 Kate's Sleepover Disaster

My computer sucks, so I wasn’t able to post this last night.

It’s Wednesday after school, and the Sleepover Friends are at Stephanie’s house, discussing their upcoming trip to Walden. It’s time for the Riverhurst students to go visit the kids in Walden. The girls are eating peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and trying to decide what to pack. Stephanie is bringing lots of red, white and black clothes of course, including a black and white sweatshirt and red stretchpants. Kate complains that she tried packing the night before, but her little sister Melissa (aka Melissa the Monster) messed up everything and put on her clothes. Stephanie thinks Kate is too hard on Melissa, and that she should be flattered.

Molly Jones, who stayed with Stephanie when the Walden kids visited, calls to tell Stephanie where they’ll each be staying in Walden. Stephanie is staying with Annette, Lauren is staying with Rebecca, Patti is staying with Molly, and Kate is staying with a girl named Wanda. Wanda didn’t go to Riverhurst because it was during lambing time—her family raises sheep. Unfortunately for Kate, Wanda has 4 siblings. She is not thrilled about this, since she can barely put up with her own sister. Stephanie claims to have some great child-managing ideas but Kate is not impressed.

Stephanie gets a call from a stable, where their donkey, Sleepover, has been staying. Remember how Lauren entered all those contests when they thought Stephanie’s dad was going to lose his job, and they ended up with a burro instead? Well, they were able to find a stable to keep him at, but it turns out the donkey escaped and caused all kinds of damage to the owner’s house. He wants the burro out—now. The girls are worried, but luckily Rebecca calls and says her family can take the donkey since they live on a farm. Then she invites the girls to come a day earlier for a big sleepover.

The girls leave for Walden on Saturday morning. Kate wears a blue and yellow striped shirt, denim overalls and her blue leather sneakers. Lauren wears her favorite jeans, a blue-and-green rugby shirt, and silver hightops. I love Lauren’s silver hightops! Stephanie is wearing a red-and-black checked jumpsuit and short black boots. Stephanie’s dad is driving them to Walden, with Sleepover the donkey in a trailer. Donald, the kid who lives in the house between Kate and Lauren, jokes that the girls are joining a traveling circus.

The drive to Walden is 217 miles and should take at least 5 ½ hours. Lauren is hungry already, of course. Luckily, Stephanie brought along some snacks: caramel popcorn, mixed nuts and chocolate covered raisins, plus Patti brought some sugar cookies. It’s 9:10 in the morning! Lauren ends up falling asleep in the car for awhile, and dreams that she eats a huge farm dinner all by herself and gets fatter & fatter with each bite, so she ends up looking like the Goodyear blimp. (warning: there is a lot of food in this book!)

They decide to make a stop since Kate is feeling carsick (I would guess it’s more from eating all that junk food at 9am, but whatever). They stop at a gas station and go inside to get Dr Peppers and a double-dip fudge ripple ice cream cone for Patti. While they are in the store, Sleepover gets out. Patti uses her ice cream cone to get him back into the trailer, but they end up locking her in the trailer with him.

The rest of the drive is uneventful. They get to Rebecca’s house and take Sleepover to a barn. They meet Rebecca’s family, including her cute cousin Reggie, aka The Hunk.

Reggie has spiky blond hair, pale blue eyes, and a great smile. He’s the kind of guy everybody agrees is terrific-looking. That day he was wearing an electric-blue sweater, faded jeans, and work boots.

Wanda and her family show up, and the bratty kids cause all kinds of trouble. Unfortunately, Wanda’s mom is at the hospital with Wanda’s sick grandmother. Wanda’s mom is the one who usually keeps the family in line.

That night, they all sit down to dinner. There’s ham, a pot roast, a huge platter of fried chicken, 4 kinds of vegetables, fresh French fries, and 3 kinds of home-baked bread. Plus, coconut cake and lemon pie for dessert. After dinner, Rebecca’s family says the girls don’t have to help clean up, so they can get started on their slumber party. Oops, it’s a sleepover. Get it right!

The girls head to the house for their sleepover. Remember when the Walden girls visited and Rebecca told the scary story about the big white hand? Kate brings that up, and Rebecca tells them that the house burned down, but the shed is still standing on the property nearby. The girls know they have to be quiet at their sleepover because they are on a farm. Rebecca’s family has to go to bed early and wake up early. The girls head to the kitchen to get some snacks: Dr Pepper, Cheetos, Cheese Doodles and sour-cream potato chips. Then Lauren asks if she can raid the fridge! Lauren takes a little of everything: barbecued spare ribs, stuffed sweet potatoes, macaroni salad and more. Seriously, how does this girl eat so much?!

They head upstairs to eat, play Mad Libs and play Truth or Dare. Stephanie dares Lauren to go to the spooky old shed. They all go and are scared. They hear a tapping noise. Turns out—it’s Sleepover! As they are heading back to the barn, Stephanie thinks she sees wolves, freaks out, and runs away. It was actually Rebecca’s dogs. Stephanie falls into a pond and screams, waking everyone up.

The next morning, they have a big pancake breakfast. They discuss the problem with Sleepover and decide he’s bored.

The next morning, they all go to school together. Kate complains that Wanda’s father is too busy with the sheep and lets the kids get away with murder. Wanda is too nice, and Wanda’s older brother is too cool and grown-up to be bothered. Stephanie still thinks she can handle them, but Kate doubts her. On the way home from school, the bus stops suddenly—Sleepover got out again!

Rebecca and Lauren have some peach ice cream and then head over to Wanda’s house to support Kate. The house is a disaster. They all try to help clean up. Before they leave, Lauren decides to weigh herself on Wanda’s brother’s scale. Turns out, she has gained 6 pounds in the past 3 days! She decides—no more farm food!

The next morning, Lauren wakes up at 6am to go jogging. She skips the delicious blueberry muffins and sausage, and instead has half a grapefruit for breakfast. That day at school, Carol invites them all to a sleepover at her house, and says her dad will take them all to the circus. Lauren notices that Angela, Jenny Carlin’s best friend, is actually smiling and being nice. Kate finally caves in and asks Stephanie for help dealing with Wanda’s bratty siblings. She goes over to the house after school, while Rebecca and Lauren go to a cattle auction with Rebecca’s dad.
Kate is shocked to find out that whatever Stephanie did, worked! The kids are actually cleaning and helping out around the house!

That night for dinner, Lauren has a salad and one pork chop, skipping the potatoes, cornbread and cake. The next morning she goes jogging and is joined by Reggie, which she thinks is excellent. The next morning, 2 more boys join her. If only Jenny Carlin could see her now!

Thursday afternoon, the girls go for jelly doughnuts at the Doughnut Hole and Lauren has a diet Dr Pepper. Then they go to Star Confectionery for hot butterscotch sundaes and Lauren has some lemon yogurt. I’m sorry, but you’re on vacation!! It’s ok to indulge a little on vacation!

Friday morning on the bus, they notice that Wanda’s sister is wearing Stephanie’s black and white sweatshirt. Turns out, Stephanie bribed the kids to be good! However, Wanda’s brother Will disappears. He turns up at the circus, along with Sleepover the donkey, who escaped yet again. Turns out, Will wanted Stephanie to buy him a canoe and she said no. So Stephanie’s plan didn’t work out perfectly, but the kids are better behaved.

That night they all go to the circus. When the vendor comes around selling peanuts and popcorn, Lauren says no and admits that she gained 6 pounds. Turns out, Wanda’s brother fiddled with the scale! Lauren promptly orders a big bag of peanuts AND a big bag of popcorn, along with an extra-large Dr Pepper.

The circus starts and guess who has joined? Sleepover!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I promise a recap of #12 Kate's Sleepover Disaster tonight. Sorry for the delay! I was in Philly last week, visiting some friends. I also went to the New Kids on the Block concert! It was awesome. But the main reason for my lack of updates is the 2nd job. It is killing me. I was hired to work 3 days a week, and I've been getting scheduled for 4-5 days a week. I already have a full-time job and I write for a newspaper about once a month, so I never have any free time anymore! I tried to quit on Sunday but they wouldn't let me. ha. They agreed to put me down for only 3 days a week from now on, so I'm going to stay.

I have tonight off from the 2nd job, so I promise I will post a recap. In the meantime, please vote on my poll! Part of the reason I got the 2nd job was so I could save up to go on a really great trip next year. I need some motivation when I'm mopping the store at night. ha. Thanks!