The other day, I visited the blog Fear Not Little Flock to read The Priest’s Wife’s latest post. But when I arrived, I realised my daughter, Imogen had beaten me to it. There in the comments section were her views on Christmas books for children. Her views? I was about to comment on my views. I felt rather put out. Doesn’t this blogging game belong to me? What was my daughter doing on a Catholic Mothers blog anyway? She’s not a Catholic mother. I am. And how did she find her way to Fear Not Little Flock in the first place? The same way I got there. She’d been reading my blog and followed the link.

My children are always looking over my shoulder, watching what I’m doing. They think anything I can do, they can do (maybe even better). I get out my knitting and soon there are four pairs of needles clicking along side of me. I start a journal and before long there is a request: “Can I have an exercise book please, Mum? I’ve decided to keep a journal?” I write a book and immediately I find my children at their computers tapping away as they write their own bestsellers. I sew myself a skirt and someone asks, “Can you buy me some fabric, Mum and teach me how to use the sewing machine?” I learn how to download ebooks to my ereader. They watch carefully and before I know it, they have their own ebook libraries on their own readers.

And when I created my blog, Imogen and Charlotte decided they were clever enough to create one of their own too. I decided to use my blog to write stories about Catholic family life. And that is exactly what my daughters thought they’d write about too. But I have to admit their blog has one thing my blog doesn’t have because there are some things they really can do better than me.

Actually there are plenty of things Imogen and Charlotte can do far better than me. They can sing. They can play the piano. They can do CPR and know how to use a defibrillator. They can swim butterfly and dive properly. They can use Gimp and they can draw.

It is the last two skills my daughters are using to good effect on their blog. They are designing beautiful, cute little girl paper dolls which can be downloaded by fellow paper doll lovers.

I have wonderful memories of playing paper dolls with my sisters. We’d spend hours tracing around our dolls, designing new clothes, colouring them in and cutting them out. We had so many paper dolls we frustrated our mother with all our mess. “I’ll throw them in the bin if I find them all over the floor again,” she’d threaten. But she never did throw them out. She knew we had such great fun with our dolls. A few sheets of paper, a pair of scissors and some pencils kept us entertained and quiet for hours.

My own girls love paper dolls too. When Sophie and Gemma-Rose have nothing to do they often ask, “Can we download some paper dolls from the Internet, please Mum?” But now they don’t have to go searching for dolls. They have their own personal paper doll designing team: their sisters, Imogen and Charlotte.

Charlotte designed and drew Annie Belle who is a very cute little girl doll. Each downloadable paper doll page comes with a themed set of clothes. There is a different theme for every page. Sometimes the Annie Belle dolls have different hair styles but they all have the same body shape. So clothes can be swapped between dolls.

The other day, Imogen and Charlotte uploaded a new Annie Belle page. This one has a Christmas theme and includes two dolls. Charlotte has given Annie Belle a cousin called Rosa. Annie Belle and Rosa have special clothes for Christmas which they will wear as they decorate their very own Christmas tree (drawn by Imogen).

Each Annie Belle paper doll page comes in two versions. The dolls and clothes on the coloured version are all ready to be cut out and played with. The black and white version is for those paper doll lovers who prefer to colour in their own clothes.

Coming (hopefully) in the next couple of days is a set of nativity paper dolls. Gemma-Rose requested a camel to go with the Three Wise Men but I wonder if Charlotte was able to draw one. I will have to visit the blog to find out.

So if you know a little girl who enjoys playing with paper dolls, please visit my daughters’ blog: Paper Dolls by the Serendipity Sisters. Imogen and Charlotte will be so thrilled if you stop by. In fact I bet they jump up and down with delight if they see their page views have gone up. And if you download something they’ll shout with excitement. Of course, I never go crazy, jump up and down and get excited when I realise I’ve had some visitors to my blog. I am far too dignified to do that. Or am I?

When I have published this post, I am heading over to Twitter. I joined up the other day. Apparently, a snippet of this post should appear as a tweet for (all) my follower(s) to read. (Dave, are you interested in paper dolls?) At least I hope a tweet appears. Did I set everything up correctly? I shall soon see if I am as clever as I think I am.

Imogen, if you are reading this, under no circumstances are you to open a Twitter account. This is one thing I am going to keep to myself. You might be able to write a book and sew your own clothes and create a blog just like me. But I am going to be the only member of this family who knows how to tweet.

I can just imagine it: I sign myself into my Twitter account, ready to catch up with whatever is happening and there waiting for me is the latest tweet:

“Hi Mum! Anything you can do, I can do…!"

Since writing this post, my daughters have created more blogs. Please share their stories:
Imogen at Dancing with Dragonflies
Charlotte at Charlotte's Web
Sophie at Sophie's Sea Bed
Gemma-Rose at Windy Island

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