New Girl

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I really was not planning on buying another doll. But as I do not have much self-control in the AG store, a new girl came home with me yesterday.

American Girl doll Truly Me #40 | Happy House of AG

Please welcome Parker (#40) to the HHOAG family.

American Girl doll Truly Me #40 | Happy House of AG

I haven’t quite figured out her personality yet. But I believe she’ll be fourteen, with a love for the paranormal. I’m not entirely sure, though.

American Girl doll Truly Me #40 | Happy House of AG

I almost got #64 instead, but I fell in love with Parker’s short hair.

American Girl doll Truly Me #40 | Happy House of AG

I also bought the Tropical Print Dress from the new mix-and-match set.

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My dad bought the Blue Sandals for me.

American Girl doll Truly Me #40 | Happy House of AG

Would anyone like a review of her? Maybe a comparison between Parker and Ivy?

American Girl doll Truly Me #40 | Happy House of AG

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American Girl doll Truly Me #40 | Happy House of AG

American Girl doll Truly Me #40 | Happy House of AG

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I got a pink hoodie and jeans.

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And the Geo-Print Shorts.

That’s all I got at the D.C. store. I’ll probably do some reviews.

Anyway, please welcome Miss Parker.

-Loren

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A Soccer Game Leads to an Unexpected Guest . . .

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I, the great Tracy, had forced my family to venture outside. The great outdoors, the great unknown, other stuff that starts with “great” — we gathered on the great sidewalk, just outside our house.

“Listen up, ladies, ’cause I’m only going to say this once,” I announced, putting my hands on my hips and staring at my family. “We’re going to play soccer!”

There were a few excited cheers from Savannah, Emily, Eve, and Ivy, but the other girls frowned skeptically.

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“Not quite the reaction I was hoping for, but it’ll do,” I muttered to myself. Then I raised my voice and proclaimed, “I hereby make myself the captain of Team One, and Ivy the captain of Team Two. I will now choose my first teammate!” I pointed dramatically at MJ Valdez. “Sis, you’re up!”

She skipped over and we slapped each other high fives.

MJ wasn’t the best soccer player in the family — that title belonged to me — but she was my best friend. And who doesn’t like having their BFF on their sports team?

The choosing of the teammates went back and forth. Ivy would call someone’s name — “Emily, come on!” — and then I would call on another girl: “Eve Cortez, I want you for Team One!”

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Soon, everyone had been called . . . everyone, that is, but Saige and Caroline. They were staring at the ground and shuffling their feet uncomfortably. Everyone knows that if you’re the last to be picked for a team, it means that you’re not a very good player.

It was Team Two’s turn to choose a player. Ivy made her choice and stammered, “Um, I chose . . . uh, Caroline.”

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Caroline gave her a tight smile and joined the team. The teams were currently even: five against five.

Saige saw an opportunity and took. “Hey, the teams are even all ready!” she exclaimed. “I don’t have to play. I can be the umpire. No, that’s baseball . . . I mean, I can be the referee.” And she wandered away, playing on her phone.

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The players surged onto the soccer field and claimed positions. If there was a dispute, it was settled with a good old fashioned thumb wrestling battle. In a matter of minutes, everyone was ready for the game to begin. I got the position of right sweeper.

“Saige!” I shouted, waving to get my sports-hating sister’s attention.

She was sitting on the sidewalk, crisscross applesauce style. Saige was smiling at her phone, maybe watching a video on YouTube about babies eating lemons for the first time. She looked up when I yelled at her, a scowl appearing on her face. “Yeah?”

“Give us some awesome music!”

She frowned at her phone and tapped the screen. Epic rock music blared out of the tiny speakers.

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I gave Saige a grateful thumbs up before returning my attention to the soccer game. “Ready?” I asked Ivy, who was left sweeper on Team Two.

She nodded, and her silky black hair shook with the movement.

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I put three fingers in the air and started counting down. “Three . . . Two . . . One . . . GO!”

I was about to pass to MJ, my team’s other sweeper, when a cheery, feminine voice called, “Hello!”

Everyone on the soccer field looked around for the speaker.

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 I spotted her first. She was on the sidewalk. The voice belonged to a young girl, dressed in odd, vintage clothes. She caught my eye, beamed, and waved.

“Hello! Hi! I’m Ellie Larkin. A nice lady at the airport told me to come here, so here I am!”

Slightly wary of this enthusiastic girl, we introduced ourselves. Caroline — sweet, considerate Caroline — invited her to play soccer with us. She readily agreed, but they tugged on her long skirt with a pouty frown. Saige offered to take Ellie inside and help her find clothes more suited for playing soccer in.

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As soon as Ellie Larkin had disappeared inside the house, Eve threw her hands up and exclaimed, “There’s another girl staying with us? Seriously, Trace, how often does Loren tell you that you’re getting a new sister?”

“Not very often,” I admitted. “The ‘new sisters’ just pop up out of nowhere. Mom hardly ever tells us that we’re getting a new sister. She just waits for them to arrive without telling us anything . . .”

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Saige and the new girl returned momentarily. Ellie was dressed in a childish combination of a sky blue tunic and lime green leggings.

“I’m ba-a-a-ck!” she sang. “So, which team do I get to be on?”

“Mine,” I told her. “Hey, Saigie, looks like you’ll have to play after all! To balance out the teams, ya know?” I shot a smug, cocky smile in her direction.

She huffed several dramatic sighs before marching onto the field. Saige was the midfielder for Team Two; Ellie held the same position on Team One.

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Once everything was sorted out, the soccer game began. I passed the ball to MJ and shouted, “Look, Savannah, a unicorn!” I pointed off to the right.

Unicorns were Savannah’s favorite animal. She immediately looked in the direction I was pointing.

That was a mistake on her part. She was the right sweeper for Team Two, and was positioned in front of MJ. With her distracted by the fanciful promise of sparkly unicorns, MJ was free to run on Ana’s blindside without being spotted.

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The only complication in my otherwise perfect plan was the fact that MJ tripped over the ball. The sound of her faceplanting into the grass drew Savannah’s attention. Ana dashed forward and took the ball. MJ struggled to her feet and made a desperate lunge to reclaim the soccer ball, but Savannah was already driving it up the sidelines.

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Eve was not happy as the goalie, just watching her teammates chase the ball across the field. In fact, she got so frustrated that she abandoned her post, hollering, “Charge!” She plowed through the defense, knocking over Nevaeh. Ellie rushed toward Eve in a vain attempt to keep her in the goal, but to no avail: she was floored. She lay on the grass beside Nevaeh, and the two moaned in unison.

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Eve sprinted down the field, zeroing in on the soccer ball that MJ was in possession of. Eve slapped my best friend in the face in an excited haze. She stole the ball from her teammate and bore down on Savannah, who fell to the ground in terror.

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She thundered down the field. Emily, the goalie for Team Two, was trembling, she was so scared of Eve. Eve came to a halt in front of the goal . . .

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. . . readied her power foot . . .

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. . . and kicked!

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The ball zipped across the field at a frightening speed. Emily dove for the ball, but she just missed it, and the soccer ball zoomed into the goal.

“GOAL!” Eve screamed at the top of her lunges. She pumped her fist in the air and did an elaborate victory dance.

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We called it quits after Eve’s goal, because it was getting excruciatingly hot. The victorious Team One, made up of MJ, Nevaeh, Ellie, Isabelle, Eve, and, of course, myself, gathered on the sidewalk. We gave each other celebratory fist bumps.

“GOAL. GOAL. GOAL,” we chanted, smirking smugly at the defeated Team Two.

Just loud enough for the other team to hear, I sang, “You’ve got mud on your face, you’re a big disgrace, kicking your can all over the place.”

My teammates picked up the song. “We will, we will, ROCK YOU.”

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After our victory-fueled adrenaline rush faded, everyone meandered over to the porch. Ellie was eager to introduce herself properly. She backed up against the brick wall — “center stage,” she told us — and smoothed out her tunic. We gathered around her in a semicircle.

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“Hello!” she said, waving happily. “I am Ellie Penelope Larkin. I’m ten! My birthday is June 7th, in case you were wondering. It’s only a few months away!” Ellie twirled in a circle, clearly daydreaming about her not-so-distant birthday. She continued, “I used to live in Florida, but I’m not there anymore — obviously.” She giggled.

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“Hey, I’m from Florida, too!” Savannah put in. “Did you ever meet a girl named Cass? My best friend from Florida is named Cass.”

“Cass?” Ellie mused, scrunching her face up in concentration. “No, I don’t think so. But Florida’s a big state! I can’t possibly no everyone. And I’m sure there’s multiple girls in Florida named Cass, so even if I did happen to meet someone by that name, it’s not likely that she would be the Cass you’re talking about.”

It was obvious that Ellie Penelope Larkin was a chatterbox. I wanted to tell my sisters not to ask anymore questions — I was afraid that Ellie would prattle on instead of giving a straightforward answer — but Caroline asked, “What are you doing here, Ellie? You’re a long way from Florida.”

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The girl’s hazel eyes became unfocused. Her mouth drooped slightly at the corners. She looked . . . sad.

When she finally spoke, her voice was a scared whisper. “I don’t know,” she said. “I don’t know. I remember being at my home in Florida . . . and then I was at the airport . . . then I was here. I don’t know why I’m here!” she repeated, her voice rising into a scream. “I don’t know!”

THE END

Yes, I did just end this photostory there. I know you’re all so pleased with my decision. ;)

BUH-BYE.

-Loren

*DRUM ROLL* Introducing . . .

Hello, hello!

My new American Girl doll arrived today! I decided to sit in the driveway and read a Sherlock Holmes mystery while waiting for her to arrive. Because reading about a British genius will make the mail arrive sooner.

LOGIC.

So, isn’t it cool that it’s Leap Day? I always wished that I had been born on February 29th . . . (btw, who else saw today’s Google Doodle? I almost died from the cuteness of it.)

Anyway! Are you ready to see who I got?

Drum roll, please . . .

via

 American Girl Beforever

Here’s a hint: she’s a Beforever doll!

Everyone, please give a warm welcome to . . .

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

ELLIE LARKIN!

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

Yes — as so many of you correctly guessed, I bought American Girl’s 50’s doll, Maryellen Larkin.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

Since I already have a doll with “Mary” in her name (I’m looking at you, MJ), I decided to rename her Elise — Ellie for short.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

Wave hello, Ellie! :)

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

She is so beautiful, and I’m super happy that I got to add her to my collection.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

The Happy House of AG doll count has been upped to twelve! O.o

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

I love how innocent she looks. ☺

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

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American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

Can we talk about her ponytail? ‘Cause it’s just super cute.

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

American Girl doll Maryellen Larkin

Do you have Maryellen Larkin?

-Loren

The Guessing Game

Hey!

This is going to be a short, picture-less post, but it’s sort of important anyway.

*deep breath*

I GOT A NEW DOLL!

I ordered her a few days ago, so she should arrive . . . um . . . I honestly don’t know when she’s going to arrive. Hopefully soon. (btw, I used my own money to buy her.)

Which American Girl doll do you think I got? Post your guesses in the comments!

-Loren

“Can I Stay?”

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We were gathered around the sliding-glass door, watching the snow fall. There was already a foot of the powdery white goodness on the ground, and it showed no signs of letting up anytime soon. Everyone was excited to run outside and romp around in the snow, but Loren advised us to wait until the swirls of wind died down.

That was when the doorbell rang.

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No one seemed to noticed it.

Even Caroline, who usually answered the door, was too caught up in the drifting snow.

I sighed, fixed my beige and white scarf, and trudged to the front door. I was hoping that it wouldn’t be some kid asking to shovel the driveway.

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When I cracked open the door, I saw a girl standing on the snow-covered mat. She didn’t have a winter coat, just a white T-shirt, and was shivering from the cold. Her lips were almost blue.

“Come in!” I exclaimed out of pity, stepping to the side to let the girl in.

“Th-thank you,” she whispered through chattering teeth.

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The girl came inside, stamping her boots on the mat and shaking snowflakes out of her long caramel hair. We stood in an awkward silence for awhile, watching each other.

Finally, I asked, “Pardon me, but, um, why aren’t you wearing a coat? It’s freezing out there.”

The girl shrugged. “The weather in Brazil is really different, and nobody bothered to tell me that there was a snowstorm going on here.”

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I reached out and shook her hand. “I’m Nevaeh.”

“Eve Cortez,” she told me.

“Uh, Eve, I think that maybe you should stay here until the wind calms down,” I said. “As long as you think your parents would be OK with that, I mean.”

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Eve brushed a snowflake off her cheek. “Thanks for the offer. I’m sure my parents will be fine with that.”

I twisted one of my blonde curls into a tight rope. “Great!” I smiled. “If you’d come with me into the kitchen, I could get you some cocoa and introduce you to my sisters. We’re adopted sisters, by the way, not biological ones.”

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Eve jerked off her hiking boots and followed me into the kitchen.

I silently congratulated myself on being so bold. I was painfully shy by nature, and talking to strangers — even friendly ones my own age — was hard for me.

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Eve’s POV

Nevaeh lead me into the kitchen, where a bunch of girls were crowded around a glass door, watching the snow fall.

“Um, this . . . this is Eve Cortez,” Nevaeh announced to the people that I guessed were her sisters. They all waved hello, and Nevaeh told me their names: Tracy, Caroline, Saige, Molly, Emily, Isabelle, Ivy, Savannah, and MJ. Nevaeh was the newest girl in their family, having been adopted in October.

“Eve is staying with us until the wind dies down a little bit,” she explained.

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After we’d all gotten acquainted, Nevaeh asked, “What were you doing in Brazil?” She hastily added, “Remember? When I let you in, you told me something about the weather in Brazil being really different, and that’s why you were wearing a T-shirt.”

“Oh, yeah,” I said. “OK. Well, I went to Brazil with my parents so that I could visit my older brother Zac. He was living in the Amazon with some Brazilians as a part of his college experience or whatever. We visited with Zac, blah blah blah. Then my parents decided to extend their vacation — you know, go on a trip without kids — so they sent me home to Missouri on an airplane, but I kind of boarded the wrong flight. So here I am! I couldn’t figure out how to contact my parents to tell them I wasn’t in St. Louis, so I walked around for awhile looking for someplace to stay until they got back to America.”

I took a deep breath. I’d already repeated that story several times, asking other people on this street to take me in temporarily. They’d all refused.

“So, can I — I mean, well . . . can I stay?”

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Nevaeh’s sisters exchanged sympathetic looks. “Of course you can!” promised the one with curly blonde hair and light blue eyes.

“Group hug!” exclaimed someone else.

Everyone came rushing forward, surrounding me on all sides and hugging each other. I was squished in the very center.

But the smothering hug was worth it, if it meant that I could have a home.

Nevaeh 

and

«EVE»

Photos of GOTY 2016 Lea Clark

Hi! Happy New Year!

I just got back from the AG Place in D.C., and the first thing I did was take some pictures of my brand new Lea Clark doll! Enjoy. :)

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark - hair color

Lea’s hair isn’t all the same color. It’s blonde, and has some caramel and light brown mixed in. It’s parted on the side.

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark - hair length

Her hair — which is incredibly soft, by the way — goes down to her hips, and forms loose curls.

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark - eyes

I’m pretty sure that Lea has unique eyes. They’re ringed in black, and are hazel with a bit of brown in them.

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark

As far as I can tell, Lea Clark has the Josefina face mold, with Grace Thomas’s thick, feathered eyebrows.

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark

GOTY 2016 Lea Clark is $120. For that amount, you get the doll, her first book, Lea Dives In, a compass necklace, and a messenger bag.

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark -- compass necklace

Here is her compass necklace. The arrow really spins!

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark -- messenger bag

Lea’s messenger bag.

Lea Clark and Grace Thomas comparison

Her skin is darker than the skin of my other dolls. This is a comparison between Lea Clark and MJ (Grace Thomas). You can see how similar their face shape is, as well as the difference in the color of their skin.

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark - skin comparison

Another look at their skin. MJ (Grace) is on the left, Lea is on the right.

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark - no strings

Sadly, the rumor is true: Lea Clark has no strings. American Girl replaced the strings on the Lea dolls with zip-ties. I was afraid that the zip-ties would make her head harder to move, and I was right. It takes some effort to make Lea’s head move.

American Girl GOTY Lea Clark

Overall, I am very glad to have gotten the new Girl of the Year, Lea Clark. I’ll be doing a more in-depth review of her soon, as well as pictures from her debut. :)

I want to rename her, but I don’t have very many ideas. Two names that I’m currently thinking about are Phoebe and Megan. Any name suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

–Loren