Dear True Love | AGPS

 Dear true love,
I’m a farewell that came all too soon.
I’m a hand-me-down that dreams of being new
When I’m without you.

Dear True Love // Sleeping at Last


I found some fake flowers in the attic and thought they’d be perfect for a Valentine’s Day shoot. Parker’s eyes are too dark in some of the pictures and it makes her look almost demonic. Hope you enjoyed them anyway.

I never really do anything for Valentine’s Day. Last year I got roses from my friend, and a few days ago my mom gave me an orchid, but that’s about the extent of the festivities. As dumb as it might sound, I miss celebrating with my co-op class. We would print out memes and use them as cards and share candy and no one took it too seriously.

Update on the new doll: she arrived on Monday and I absolutely love her. But I’m going on a youth retreat this weekend, so unless I can photograph her and schedule a post before I leave, she won’t be revealed until next week. Sorry, I’m not pushing it off on purpose, stuff just keeps coming up.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Tell your friends you love them. ♥

xo

Loren

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Catching Claus | Christmas Special

I strain my ears in the darkness, hoping to hear the jingles and clops of reindeer landing on the roof. It’s one in the morning on Christmas day and Santa Claus has not visited my house yet. I’m beginning to get nervous.

I’m not worried about Santa’s well-being, in case anyone’s wondering. No, I’m nervous because if he doesn’t show, all my preparing and scheming will have been in vain.

I snuggle deeper into my sleeping bag, gazing at the tree through half-closed eyelids. The lights wink at me from between the branches. Rotating slowly, glittery ornaments throw bits of colored radiance around the living room. Humming a carol to myself, I resolve to stay awake until Santa arrives. My plan won’t work unless I am ready to move when he gets here.

On Christmas Eve, before camping out in front of the tree, I left some nasty gifts for Santa around the house. Several drops of sleeping potion lurk in the milk set out for him, powerful enough to make a man drowsy in less than a minute. Jacks are scattered across the carpet, their sharp tips yearning for an unsuspecting foot. And, finally, a snare attached to the rafters. Step in it, and you’ll be jerked off the ground, dangling upside down from the ceiling.

Listen, I’m a good kid. Look on the Nice List and you’ll find my name, Elise Larkin, right at the top. That’s how it’s been in the past, anyway. But I’m afraid that I might have become naughty this year, thanks to a haywire science experiment that ended up killing several butterflies in cold blood. There’s no way I’ll be getting presents this Christmas after committing such a serious offense.

So I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands.

After staring absently at the star topper for what must have been hours, something upsets the gentle stillness of the night. The pitter-patter of tiny objects falling, the sound of crusty ash raining from the chimney as someone wiggles their way down.

Santa is here. The fun can begin.

Slowing my breathing to a steady pace, I pretend to be asleep. Through one open eye, I watch silently as a large man creeps into the room. The front of his bulging scarlet jacket is streaked with soot from the fireplace. He notices the traps laid out on the floor — in plain sight, I realize, too late. Carefully, he tiptoes between them, lugging a giant sack behind him.

Santa reaches the table where the gingerbread cookies and poisoned milk are on display without accident. Grabbing an iced cookie with callused fingers, he takes a big bite, spewing dark crumbs onto his snowy beard. Once the gingerbread is all gone, he hungrily snatches up the cup of drugged milk and chugs it down.

Refreshed, he gets down to business, extracting trinkets from his voluminous sack and tucking them into the lined up stockings. There are stuffed animals and candy canes and plastic toys and other wonders that cause my young heart to fill with glee.

As Santa moves toward the sparkling Christmas tree, he suddenly pauses and presses a hand to his great belly, the other on his head. Behind his circular glasses, his eyes flash with discomfort. My sleeping potion is doing its job.

Santa stumbles back, so dizzy that he can barely control where his body goes. Unable to avoid my traps this time, he slips on the jacks, yelping. Then, pitching forward, his thick black boot gets caught in the snare. With another holler, he’s swept off his feet. My prize — his sack — waits for me just out of his reach.

I spring out of my sleeping bag and lunge for the bag. Giving Father Christmas an innocent smile, I drag it over to the tree and dig in. Presents done up in festive paper and shiny bows stack up around me.

It seems like Santa is trying to tell me something, but his words, muffled by his beard and slurred from the potion, are impossible to make out.

I give him a cheery wave before turning back to the gifts. Counting them in my head, I quickly realize that there aren’t enough for me and all of my sisters. This just won’t do.

I march over the Santa and jab at his stomach. “Hi, Mr. Claus, I’m Ellie. Big fan of yours,” I say sweetly, tugging on my braids. “So I was wondering, do you think you could get a few more presents for my family? Christmas will be just awful if we don’t all get something.”

Hanging by his ankle, he spins in slow circles. Sometimes I’m speaking to his face, then to his back. It’s rather disorienting.

“Naughty!” he sputters from beneath his beard. Then he promptly falls asleep.

As he twirls upside down in lazy circles, something wriggles out from under his belt and thunks against the carpet. It’s a phone with a tacky case.

I frown at it. Who would Mr. Claus ever need to call?

Ah. I scoop it off the ground and scroll through his contacts until I find what I’m looking for.

Calling Mrs. Claus . . .

In the North Pole, a high-pitched elf exclaims, “Mrs. Claus, Mrs. Claus!” Lilliputian feet scuttle across the kitchen and the elf holds up a phone, from which “Jingle Bells” is playing. “Call from Santa,” the elf explains, offering the device to the rosy-cheeked woman.

“Hello, dear!” Mrs. Claus chirps into the phone, setting down a tray of hot cookies. “I’ve baked some treats for you, whenever you get home. Gingerbread, your favorite.”

“This isn’t your husband,” I tell her coolly. Keeping the thrill of talking to Santa’s wife out of my voice is a struggle. “I have him tied up and I’m keeping him for ransom. If you want to get your dear Saint Nick back, fill a sleigh with as many presents as will fit and deliver them to my house before morning.”

I end the call.

Tucking the phone back into Santa’s belt, I imagine what must be going on in the North Pole right now. Mrs. Claus is pacing the reindeer stables, observing the elves as they load a spare sleigh with gifts for me. She has a soft hand pressed to her mouth, chewing on her nails as she worries about her husband.

Once the sleigh is stuffed, she climbs in and the reindeer take to the sky.

An hour later, I hear scuffling on the roof again. Down the chimney comes Mrs. Claus. She gasps when she spots her husband ensnared in my trap. Crying, she slashes the rope and catches him in her trembling arms.

“Will the elves be bringing down the presents?” It may sound like a question, but it’s really a demand, and Mrs. Claus knows it.

She nods weakly, cradling a drowsy Santa against her chest. “You naughty girl,” she spits at me. “I’ll see that you get coal the rest of your life!”

The Clauses are whisked away, replaced by mounds of alluring gifts. I sit cross-legged in front of the tree, admiring how beautiful they are and how clever I am, to have gotten so many presents straight from Santa’s workshop.

As the sun rises on Christmas day, I sigh contently. I rip the snowflake wrapping off the first box, singing to it, “Baby, all I want for Christmas is you.”


Merry Christmas from Happy House of AG! I hope you have a good one. :)

xo

Loren

Shout-out Your Doll Site | Avery & Advent

Today really made me realize how close Christmas is. I watched some of The Polar Express and had cocoa and candy canes at school, saw people wearing Santa hats, learned about Mexican holiday traditions, and took pictures of Avery in front of our tree. Now I’m listening to Elvis Christmas music while I write this.

Anyway, I’m doing a shout-out today. The goal is for people to discover new doll blogs. And if yours is on the list, hopefully you’ll get some new followers, too. :)

If you’d like to be added, leave a link to your site in the comments, but only if it’s a doll blog.

Sites added:

Samantha’s blog, AG Doll Awesome

Kaylyn’s blog, KAYLYN’S WORLD

Rose’s blog, A Doll-op of AG

Kiki’s blog, Kiki Through the Looking-Glass

Victoria’s blog, Reverie Dolls

Julia’s blog, Love My Dollies

Natalie’s blog, The American Girl Spot

Arabella’s blog, American Girl Days

ThePolkaDotPatriot’s blog, American Girl Here and There

Tori and Bella’s blog, agsparklesisters

blackiesunshine’s blog, Silver Sky Dolls

light4thelord’s blog, Dolls N’ All

Rose’s blog, The Dolls of Texas

AGs in Alaska’s blog, American Girls in Alaska

The AG Homeschooler’s blog, AG’s Wondrous World

Emma’s blog, Dazzling Dollies

Olive’s blog, Hidden Hollow AG Crafts

Gracie’s blog, Smile and Craft AG

justAG’s blog, Just AG

Xyra’s blog, Tea Time with Melody Q


Merry Christmas!

xo

Loren

Christmas Wishlist | Doll Edition

Hey, guys! Christmas is right around the corner, so I thought I’d share my wishlist of doll things that I’m hoping to receive. There’s not as much stuff as in previous years, since I don’t like dolls as much as I used to, but there are still a few things I’d love to find under the tree.

(Click on the first three images to find out where to buy them.)

Image result for ever after high dolls lizzie

Ever After High Lizzie Hearts Doll

Lizzie is probably my favorite EAH doll. I love her color scheme and that she’s the Queen of Hearts’ daughter. Honestly, the only reason I want her is because she’s pretty, but I guess that’s all that counts when it comes to dolls.

Image result for our generation dolls kitchen

Our Generation Gourmet Kitchen Playset

My best friend has this set, and let me tell you, it is the coolest thing she owns. It would be great for photostories, because not only is it a sick kitchen, it comes with tons of dishes and food. I’ve wanted this thing forever, but I’m constantly broke and rarely have more than $20 at once. Which is why I’m asking for it for Christmas instead of buying it myself.

Image result for plaid to be here our generation

Our Generation Plaid to Be Here Outfit

This is the cutest outfit I’ve seen in awhile. Plaid skirt? Lace tights? Mustard yellow shirt? Sign me the heck up. It fits with the artsy aesthetic that I like, and idk, I just think it’s adorable and I want it a lot.

Lanie Holland & Sonali Matthews

I’d love love love to have either of these dolls, but they’ve both been retired for years, so it’s unlikely that I’ll ever get my hands on one. (I looked them up on eBay, and while the Lanies are affordable, Sonali dolls go for $300+. Woe is me.)

What’s on your wishlist?

xo

Loren

The Haunted House | Photostory

Related image

It was the night of the greatest Halloween party of the year. Our entire family had been invited, and in the hours before it started, the house was buzzing with activity. The bathroom was crowded with girls doing their makeup and face paint. Shouts of “Has anyone seen my shoes/hat/wings?!” rose above the cacophony every other minute. The excitement made the air electric.

When I say that the entire family had been invited, I really mean almost the entire family. Nevaeh was the only one who hadn’t received one of the pumpkin-shaped invitations. The kid was so quiet at school that the girl who was hosting the party probably didn’t know she existed.

I couldn’t very well leave Nevaeh at home by herself while practically everyone else in the entire school was at the party. So while the rest of our sisters bounded out of the house in their getups, I hung back. We could find something fun to do together. I didn’t really want to go to the party, anyway.

We surfed the web for Halloween activities and decided to go to a haunted house. I’m into creepy stuff — ghosts and zombies and that sort of thing — so it was kind of a no-brainer.

After paying and signing waivers, Nevaeh and I hung out in the brightly lit lobby, waiting for the haunted house guide to appear and lead us on the tour. The Ghostbusters theme played from speakers mounted on the wall. We sucked on peppermints from the bowl on the desk.

A door slammed open on the other side of the lobby, letting out a group of shrieking kids. A young woman followed the screamers and walked over to us. “I’m the guide,” she said, giving us a rehearsed smile. “Are you my next group?”

“We are. Nice costume, by the way. Very scary.”

She laughed, drumming her fingernails on the cardboard sign draped around her neck. Your grades were scrawled on it in black marker. “Thanks. It’s in honor of my report card.”

The woman told us to call her Kate and beckoned us into the haunted house. Dry ice curled around our feet. Nevaeh shuffled closer to me in the dim light.

We rounded a corner and my sister gasped. Dangling from the wall and ceiling were severed hands and a decapitated body. They spun slowly, scraping against the wall.

“This used to be a jail,” Kate whispered in a low, husky voice. “Those bodies? They belong to executed prisoners. Some people believe that their souls still haunt this place.”

A sudden gust of wind made the hanging body parts twirl on their strings.

Kate led us down the hall, where a spirit drifted into view. A beautiful snowy gown was draped over her bony body. When the shadowy form tilted its head in our direction, we could see that instead of eyes, there were just deep black holes in its face.

“Parker!’ Nevaeh choked, grabbing at my hand.

“That is Lady Amelia. She died on her wedding day, along with her soon-to-be husband. She wanders the earth at night, murmuring the vows to herself, longing to be reunited with her lover’s soul.”

The ghost of Lady Amelia floated toward us, hand outstretched. She vanished just before her wriggling fingers found my face.

With Lady Amelia gone, the hall was clear, and we followed Kate down it. Spiderwebs hung over our heads; bloodcurdling yelps could be heard from other victims of the haunted house.

Something was in the hallway with us: scuttling, scratching sounds could be heard around our feet. Three wispy white objects darted in front of us and disappeared into the gloom, giggling.

By my side, Nevaeh was so tense that if anything surprised her, I bet she would jump as high as a cartoon character.

We walked in sinister silence for awhile, bracing ourselves before turning every corner. I had begun to relax when a young girl in a dirty nightie stepped in our way. A holey sweater was wrapped tightly around her. She gazed at us with dull eyes, unblinking.

Nevaeh glanced at me out of the corner of her eye. Her mouth drooped into a nervous frown.

The girl pulled the sweater away from her side, revealing a huge wound in her side. The thin fabric of her pajamas was damp and red. She shivered. Cocked her head. “Please help me,” she croaked.

 We had to press ourselves against the cool, rough stones of the wall to get past. She watched us go with a gloomy expression.

Not even a minute after escaping the bleeding child, another fright appeared. A figure was hiding in a dark alcove, crouched over something white and still on the floor. The silhouette of a person looked over its shoulder as we passed, revealing a pale, angular face and blood-stained chin. It gave us a menacing grin with too many sharp teeth.

The white thing by its feet whimpered. I could now see that the shape was a tiny white dog with blood spurting out of a wound to its neck.

Past the vampire and its meal was a room with bones, feathers, and tribal masks hanging on the walls. A witch sat hunched over a cauldron from which came flashes of green, orange, and purple light. Pots, bowls, and woven baskets littered the space around the hag. They were filled with crystals, insects, critters, eyeballs, and other unpleasant things.

A desperate croak came from a frog dangling between the witch’s knobby, gnarled fingers. She dropped it into the cauldron and the mixture swallowed the struggling creature, belching and releasing an unsavory smell.

The witch’s cat snarled at us as we passed through.

 

I felt Nevaeh’s hand slip into mine. She was shaking.

She must be really terrified, I realized. Aloud, I whispered, “Don’t worry, it’ll be over soon. Just keep holding my hand. Close your eyes if you have to.”

She nodded and tightened her grip. Her wide eyes flitted around the room. They glinted in the flashing colored lights.

Kate halted. She pointed to two girls who were standing with their backs to us. “Jenna and Elise were best friends hanging out at a Halloween party. They spent the night gossiping, dancing, and drinking punch. But it turned out to be the worst — and last — party of their lives.”

The girls whipped around and lunged at us. Their faces were sallow and their flesh was beginning to peel in some place. They moaned as the rushed toward us.

“Jenna and Elise were turned into zombies that night!” Kate exclaimed, stepping to the side as the undead girls careened down the hall.

Nevaeh screamed. She pushed past Kate and the zombies and sprinted for the door that would lead back into the haunted house’s lobby.

I raced after my sister and found her sitting on one of the stiff canvas couches, breathing hard. I slid onto the cushion next to her and draped my arm around her, squeezing her shoulder comfortingly.

“I’m sorry for making you go through that,” I said, staring at the ground. “I like scary things, but I see now that you’re not into that. I’m really sorry if I ruined your Halloween.”

She took a deep, steadying breath. “It’s ok, Parker. It was fun, actually.” She gave me a hesitant smile. “So thanks for making me go. It was better than going to that party, anyway. At least we’re not going to end up like Jenna and Elise.”

I laughed. “Yeah. Good thing I know how to cure zombification. We might need it, when our sisters get home.”


 

Happy Halloween from the HHOAG girls!

xo

Loren

The Pranks {a Photostory}

Hello, friends. Here’s a warning for anyone who may have forgotten: the date is April 1st. So watch your back.

Today, my dolls will be acting out some pranks that took place at my co-op one year (my friends and I may or may not have been involved in said pranks). Enjoy. :)


The Cup

(Featuring two dolls sloppily dressed as boys.)

(This one may have been exaggerated a bit.)

In the empty classroom, an upside down plastic cup waited on a scuffed table. A note was taped to it, which read, in large, thick letters, DO NOT OPEN. Beneath that was added, . . . unless you are prepared to deal with what is inside.

An ominous feeling settled over the room. The walls seemed to whisper, What’s inside? What’s inside?

A light flickered on, bathing the area in harsh yellow light as the teacher marched to the front of the room. A gaggle of chattering boys and girls surged into the room, grabbing seats and dropping their backpacks to the tile floor.

Once everyone was settled, the teacher, Mrs. Dull — a slight woman with stringy hair and old-fashioned garb — coughed to get their attention.

“Welcome to Logic class. Please get out a notebook and pencil, and take notes about today’s topic: probability,” she droned on in a flat voice. Then her watery blue eyes caught sight of the cup on the table, and she made a tsking noise with her tongue. “Trash! In my classroom! Would you throw it away, dear?” she asked the student closest to the garbage.

Forcing a polite smile, the student lurched to his feet and swept the cup off the table. Moving to the trashcan, he popped the lid, and froze. He had spotted the note. He read it aloud in a puzzled voice, peering into the empty cup.

Suddenly, he whipped around and stared at the boy who was in the seat next to his, eyes wide. He let out a horrified yelp.

“Dude!” he hollered. “It’s on your head!” Rushing to his friend’s side, he began to beat wildly at his head.

A shrill shriek tore from his friend’s lips. Panicking, he slapped himself repeatedly in the face, screaming all the while. “Get it off! Get it off!”

The first boy swiped at his friend and curled his hand into a fist. “Got it!” he exclaimed. Shoving his hand into his friend’s face, he uncurled his fingers to reveal . . .

Nothing.

Students covered their mouths with their hands, snickering. It was a prank, and the boy had fallen for it perfectly. Too bad none of them had recorded it.


The Cookies

(Featuring only one doll dressed as a boy.)

(Much less exaggerated.)

Huddled in a corner of the vacant classroom, I put the finishing touches on my prank. I spooned a dollop of sour cream onto an Oreo cookie, then squished the two sides together. The sour cream oozed out between the cookies. I slipped the prank Oreos into a plastic bag and hurried out of the empty room, searching for a victim.

I spotted a boy leaning against the far wall, deep in thought. Maybe I could get him to taste the Oreos.

I crossed the room and gave him a slight smile. “Want a cookie?” I offered one to him.

After staring at it for a moment, the boy mumbled, “Sure,” and took it from me.

Tentatively, he took a small bite. His face scrunched up in confusion as the flavor of sour cream overwhelmed his senses. Then he shrugged and popped the whole thing into his mouth.

I stared at him in shock. He was actually eating it?!

“It’s not that bad,” he told me, wiping his mouth on his sleeve. “Do you have any more?”

I fished the Oreo-filled plastic bag out of my backpack and handed it to him. “There. You can have all of them.”

Later that day, as I was walking to the next class, the boy jogged up beside me. There was a strange grin on his face.

After a moment, he announced, “I put those cookies in your backpack.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “No, you didn’t. I saw you eating them.”

“Don’t believe me? OK, then. But those cookies are going to be sitting in your bag for an hour, and then it’ll smell like sour cream.”

I tried to tell myself that he was joking. A prank for a prank. But just as I reached my next class, I decided I should probably go check my bag for sour cream Oreos. I sprinted for the door, only to find the boy standing there, grinning and blocking my way. I attempted to skirt around him, but he caught me from behind. Laughing, we pretended to fight: I struggled for the doorway while he strained to keep me in the room. That went on until the teacher started the class, and we raced to our seats.

As soon as the class ended, I dashed to where I had left my backpack. It lay open, with a half-eaten sour cream Oreo stuffed inside.


So that was fun, I guess. I think there’s still some sour cream on the inside of my backpack. I’m not sure, though, since I haven’t used it since last year.

Anyway, happy April Fool’s Day. Hopefully you’ve played some cool pranks on your family today. If not, the day’s not over yet — you’ve still got time. You should check out Samantha’s post “April Fools Pranks 👿” for some good ideas.

-Loren