An American Girl Doll Story

An American Girl Doll Story

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Checking In...

Long time NO post. 

I've been dreading logging onto my blog. Mainly because I failed with The Month of Giving. I'm really sorry - I truly planned on doing one each day or as many days as I could. Obviously, that didn't work out too well. 
Anyway, I guess I took another unannounced break, but I feel like posting during the holidays is such a hard task to accomplish anyway; and I know that others must feel the same way, so I am sure that you can understand. I'm currently visiting family for Christmas and I am having a great time. On Christmas, I received some great gifts; including Maryellen's School Outfit, Julie's Snack Set, and much more! I am so grateful. I hope that everyone had an equally great Christmas/holiday season. 

Even though I haven't done a fantastic job posting this year, I am excited for 2016, because it means a new beginning for me and my dolls and my blog, and most importantly, my follower friends. So, I know that posting was pretty slow this year, but I am going to try my absolute hardest to use this new beginning to my advantage. 
I hope that everyone else does too! Now, I won't be posting again until I write my opinions on the GOTY 2016 release, because I am having an amazing time with my family throughout all these holiday festivities.

Enjoy the rest of the holidays, girls! 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Month of Giving: Day #3

Day #3. Wow, I seem to be doing a great job at keeping up with posting each day during the Month of Giving. I must admit, I am pretty darn surprised, and a lot of my readers probably are too! XD ;P

Anyway, for the 3rd day in the Month of Giving, Elizabeth invited a girl from her arts school, Callie, to have a sleepover. Callie just moved to the area and didn't have any friends yet, and seemed lonely, so Elizabeth invited her over for a fun sleepover in front of a warm, toasty fire.
Here's the story:
The girls sat by the toasty cozy fire. The sleepover had only been going on for about 10 minutes, and already the girls were in their pajamas and the snacks were set out. They were prepared for a night of fun; even if it was a school night. Elizabeth and Grace were the only two girls who didn't have tests the next day, so they were allowed to stay up for the sleepover.
"We're so glad to finally have a friend over for a sleepover," Elizabeth smiled at Callie kindly. Despite her usual quiet and reserved manner, she always had a way of making everyone feel welcome.
"I'm so happy to be here," Callie smiled, between bites of gooey s'mores that had melted by the heat of the fire.
"Where did you move here from?" Grace got up the courage to ask. She felt a little shy in front of a girl that she didn't know, but Elizabeth did know.  
"I moved here from California - San Francisco," Callie informed the girls.
"Julie and Ivy are from there too!" Elizabeth exclaimed.
"Wow, really?" Callie began to converse with the girls.
"Yep - they are both always saying how good the food was in San Francisco's China Town area."
"That's where I used to live - right in China Town," Callie began to get excited. "Oh, and the food was really good. Especially the Happy Panda restaurant."
"That's Ivy's grandparent's restaurant!" Grace couldn't help but get excited. Callie was connected to the girls in some way.
Callie smiled excitedly. "I can't wait to talk to her one day soon!"  
The girls continued to laugh and talk as the fire raged in a soothing way and the snack supply slowly vanished.
After a long time of talking, the girls' conversation began to die down. After a short silence, Callie said softly, "I just want to thank you girls for inviting me over and including me. No one, since I've been here, has ever asked me to do something with them outside of school."
Elizabeth and Grace reached over to hug Callie. "I'm gad you agreed to come over," Elizabeth smiled warmly.
"I know how you feel too," Grace told Callie. "When I moved here from Paris, the first few months were rough - it was helpful to have such inclusive friends around me."
Callie looked at Grace. "I'm so blessed to have friends like you."
There was a content silence for a time, before Elizabeth lightened the mood and exclaimed, "Pillow Fight Time!"
Grace and Elizabeth went wild with the pillows, as did Callie.
They laughed and swung puffy pillows back and forth towards each other, screaming loudly in excitement the whole time.
And soon later, they fell asleep in the cozy den, lit by the soft glow of the fire.
Their Day of Giving had been a success and had not just given to Callie, but the girls had gotten so much from it too.
That was Day #3 of A Month of Giving! Thanks for all the positive feedback, girls! I really appreciate it!
Don't forget that I continue to encourage everyone and their dolls to participate in A Month of Giving!
Happy Holidays to everyone!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Month of Giving: Day #2

Whew! It is 9:30 where I am, and I just realized that I forgot to post Day #2 earlier today. Luckily, I still have time! Anyway, here is day #2 of the Month of Giving (see Day #1 post for explanation on the Month of Giving). Enjoy! Remember, I continue to encourage everyone's dolls to get involved! So far, I've gotten pretty promising feedback from a few people! : )
Day #2:
It was a Tuesday afternoon on the 2nd day of December, the last month of 2015. Kirsten had finished her homework and had felt rather tired after having stayed up until midnight on Sunday for Cyber Monday sales on her favorite brands.
"Kirsten?" She heard a voice; a rather lively voice, call for her. Lively was exactly the opposite of how Kirsten felt, and she really didn't want to be disturbed.
"Kirsten," Kit came over to Kirsten's bottom bunk, "I've called you several times, and I know you're awake."
"How do you know?" Kirsten asked.
"Aha! I knew you were!" Kit exclaimed, laughing. Kirsten groaned, and Kit stopped laughing. "Why are you so grouchy?"
"I'm just tired from staying up for that Cyber Monday sale. I've been trying to sleep, which is hard with all that clacking you're doing in the other room."
"It isn't clacking," Kit replied in a rather annoyed tone. "I happen to be writing a great article for the newspaper. Now, I didn't come over here to fight or anything, I came over here to let you in on a great idea. Don't you even want to hear what it is?"
Kirsten hesitated and then slipped out of bed and stood up. "Alright, what is it? I guess I'm not so tired anyway."
"Now that's more like it!" Kit smiled, before launching in to her idea pitch. "Grace is going to have a hard time here for the holidays. She isn't going to be able to go to Paris to see relatives, and her mother is still in that special center for her sickness. Grace hasn't seen her in almost two months. I thought, to help Grace in to the holiday spirit, we could decorate her bed canopy posts with some pretty handmade chain garland. We have all the material."
Kirsten was silent for a moment, and she seemed deep in thought. "You know what, Kit? That could be a great idea!"
Just then, Ivy came over to Kit and Kirsten. "Wow, you mean your fingers didn't melt onto the typewriter keys yet?"
Kit rolled her eyes, but laughed. "No, I decided I had to take a break some time."
"Now there's an idea!" Ivy joked.
Kit didn't respond to what Ivy had said, instead, she retold her idea to Ivy. After she was done telling Ivy about the idea, Ivy didn't even need to think for a moment. "Oh yes! Let's start right away while she is at music practice."
In the living room, by the warmth of a cozy fire, the girls took strips of green and red construction paper and began to tape and glue and fold to create a chain of festive colors.
The chain started out small... 
And turned out HUGE!
After a half hour or more of crafting, the girls stood up with their finished craft. "Wow, I don't think I've ever done an art project that quickly and have it turn out this good!" Ivy smiled.
"It sure was fun," Kirsten commented, and Kit nodded in agreement.
"Now, let's go hang this around her bed posts! She will be back in 15 minutes or less and we need it to be perfect!'
The girls linked the chain through the posts on the bed... 
And ended up creating a sort of canopy! (I will take a better picture of this later since it may be hard to see the effect in this picture)
When Grace came home, she went right to her bedroom, to find Kirsten, Ivy, and Kit sitting on the bed with the red and green garland hanging in a festive and holiday spirited way.
Grace gasped in amazement. "Did you three do that?"
All three girls just smiled.
Grace rushed to them and the girls swept her up in a group hug. Nothing even needed to be said. Grace right then knew that the holidays were going to be okay. Maybe even more than okay.
That was Day #2! It may seem like a little thing that they did, but it is actually all of the little things that make the difference too!
Happy Holidays to all!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Month of Giving: Day #1

It's December 1st! I am so excited, because this is really the start of the holidays for my family and many, many families out there! I think we might even be getting our Christmas tree tonight. I wanted to do a snow photo shoot, because I see that other doll bloggers have gotten snow, but I haven't yet! I'm kind of disappointed, but I'll just have to wait and see.
Anyway, I am starting a new tradition for my dolls - and maybe your dolls too! I am going to do a Month of Giving on here, just because the holidays are one of the best times to give. Every day, there will be a small photo shoot or photo story about my dolls doing a different good deed for the community! I thought it would be a lot of fun, and it would get me posting more too. Unfortunately, around the holidays I get CRAZY busy, but I'll post as many days of giving as I can!

Today, Elizabeth, Lanie, & Grace went to an afterschool program in a less fortunate community and played and baked with the children there. Here is the story:
After school, on December 1st, Elizabeth met Grace in the living room/den area of AG Farms. She was dressed from head-to-toe in red and green and she looked very festive. "Grace, you remember how I told you about our Month of Giving idea, yesterday?"
"Yes," Grace responded.
"Well, Mrs. Murray, the lady who runs the afterschool program down in the city, invited us to come help the children who go there after school. They don't get out of school until later than us, so we'd have to leave right now. Lanie and I are going, but Mrs. Murray suggested that 3 of us come. Would you like to?"
"Oh," Grace thought for a moment. She had been sad lately after everything that had happened in Paris, her home. Maybe doing a good deed would get her mind off of her troubles. "Okay."
"Great!" Elizabeth smiled kindly. "Let's go get in the car - my mom is driving us there."
Both girls headed outside to the car.
At the after school program, as soon as the 3 girls entered the building, they were ambushed by children. They all ran up to hug Lanie, who seemed the most exciting out of the 3, because of her curly hair in a funny high ponytail and her skirt and boots. Elizabeth naturally had younger children drawn to her; she always had a mothering way about her. Grace however, felt awkward in the situation. She did not often deal with younger children and she found herself feeling even more shy than usual.
"I'm going to be helping with the homework!" Lanie exclaimed to the children who then began to take out workbooks and pencils from their backpacks. Elizabeth agreed to help.
"What should I do?" Grace asked Elizabeth.
"You can do something fun with whatever children don't have homework. Stand up and tell them," Elizabeth nudged Grace to the front of the mass of young children.
"Um, I'll be doing an, uh, activity with anyone who does not have homework to do," Grace felt self conscious in front of the crowd. Would the children be able to understand her with her French accent? Did she say everything properly in English? Many thoughts swirled through her mind.
"We don't have homework!" 2 little girls cried out. Grace recognized one of the girls as Mabel, the young child that Grace had returned Honey, the dog, to.
"Alright, well, let's go," Grace waved the girls over to her, and the girls led her to the kitchen at the after school house.
"I remember you from when I found Honey," Mabel told Grace.
Grace smiled and nodded, "I remember you, too, Mabel."
"Can we have a snack? I think Mrs. Murray said that there was some chips in the snack cabinet.
"Um, well, alright," Grace shrugged, then an amazing idea popped into her head. What if she baked a treat with the girls?
"Actually, no chips," Grace shook her head, and both Mabel & Nahji began to protest. "Instead, we shall bake a cinnamon shortbread cake." Both Mabel and Nahji then proceeded to cheer at the idea of baking cookies.
"Wash your hands, girls," Grace told them, and both rushed to wash in the sink. Meanwhile, Grace rounded up the ingredients, which were all there, thank goodness.   
Grace put the flour in, just because the flour was the part that was hardest to measure.
"Mmm, it looks good already!" Mabel sighed happily, making Grace giggle.
"Add the first sprinkle of cinnamon, Nahji," Grace ordered kindly. Nahji happily sprinkled in the delicious spice.
Mabel added some salt and sugar and baking powder.

Then, Grace poured the finishing touches; milk and water.
(I love this picture because the water is actually pouring out of the doll cup if you look closely)
"Since Mabel added most of the ingredients, you can stir them together," Grace told Nahji, who began to stir, while listening to Grace who gave instructions.
The batter was a bit dry, so Nahji stopped stirring so that Grace could add in a touch more of water.
After a few more stirs, and some more water, the batter was perfectly mushy and gooey and full of brown specks of spice. Both Nahji and Mabel squeezed it in their hands excitedly.  
Mabel scooped the batter, with clean hands, onto the special cake sheet.
"Wow, baking is so much fun! I never get to bake, maybe you could come bake something with us every week!" Mabel smiled, squishing the batter in her hands as she continued scooping it onto the sheet.  
"Perhaps I might be able to," Grace replied, and she found herself actually getting excited - it was more than just a response to Mabel's suggestion; it was what Grace really felt.
Soon the cake was all smoothed out with a spatula that Grace used expertly. The cake was awfully messy and Grace knew that her French Baking Academy back in Paris would most likely be horrified at the sort of food Grace had just produced.
But, Grace didn't care. She realized that what mattered was that the 3 of them had had fun baking it together.
Grace placed it into the hot, preheated oven. "Will it rise?" Nahji asked, peering into the open oven as Grace turned it so it would fit on the baking rack.
"Some," Grace replied smiling. She was so surprised that the 2 girls had taken such an interest in creating the cake. Maybe Grace could open her very own French Baking Academy here in America.
As the cake spent its first few minutes baking, Grace sponged down Nahji and Mabel's faces and hands, which were covered in gooey, thick batter.
"I've had so much fun baking today!" Nahji exclaimed as Grace helped her get the batter off of her cheeks.
"I had a great time as well," Grace replied and she really meant it.
About ten minutes later, Mrs. Murray entered the kitchen. "Oh my!" She exclaimed. "Whatever happened in here?"
"I baked a cake with them, ma'am," Grace replied a little uneasily.
"You did?" Mrs. Murray. "We can't just have the food wasted away like that. Whatever were you-"
Nahji spoke over Mrs. Murray. "I had the best time at the afterschool program ever. Now I want to bake every day! Can Grace come back again?"
Mrs. Murray's expression softened. "Grace, congratulations, my dear. These two were the only girls who never wanted to join in the games or do any activities here at the afterschool program. You may come back once a week if that is possible. I'll work it out with your parents."
"Um, alright," Grace was taken aback by Mrs. Murray's sudden change of heart. "I'll ask my dad if I can come back."
"Wonderful," Mrs. Murray smiled. "Now, Nahji, Mabel, you need to pack up, your parents will be here to pick you up soon."
Nahji jumped up into Grace's arms to say goodbye, and Mabel hugged her hard. "Come back soon!" They both cried out.
"I know for certain that I will," Grace smiled at both of them just as the cake came out of the oven and both Mabel and Nahji's parents walked through the door to pick them up after work.
"Bye Grace!" the girls waved in unison.
Grace waved back.
Once the two girls each took their own slice of cake and left the program, and all of the other children began to leave too, Grace Lanie, and Elizabeth got together to say goodbye to Mrs. Murray.
"Mmmmm, I'm just noticing some sort of cinnamon smell. Does anyone else smell it?" Lanie asked the two girls.
Grace nodded and smiled shyly, "I actually made a cinnamon shortbread cake with the two girls, Mabel and Nahji that I worked with today."
"Well lucky you - we had to do math class all over again with the homework!" Lanie replied.
"I'm so glad that you came," Elizabeth smiled kindly. "I had a feeling you would like it."
"Well, I really did - now I am going to try to come back each week," Grace informed the two girls.
"Really?" Elizabeth asked, surprised.
"That's right," Grace smiled with confidence. Grace felt at home all of a sudden; she felt nearly as confident as she had in Paris; she didn't feel quite as at home, but that would come, she knew it. Doing a good deed for the Month of Giving had really ended up doing good for Grace too.
Well, that was A Month of Giving, Day 1! I hope you enjoyed it - I'd love to hear what you thought of the idea and if you have any suggestions as to what my dolls should do for upcoming days!

A bonus photo of the three girls together. It was so cute that I just had to get a picture! Shola is always just so sweet in photos and always so photogenic, as are Grace and Nahji too!
Oh, and PLEASE use this idea for your dolls too. Let's see if we can get a lot of different dolls from doll blogs to participate in the Month of Giving! It is never too late to start as long as you start in December! Is anyone going to?