The Trials of Tessa, Part 1

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“I wonder when I’ll adjust to this new family, Cooper,” I say to McKenna’s Labradoodle. We’re sitting on the heart, bored. Cooper, because he hasn’t gone for a walk today. Me, because I have no idea what to do to entertain myself in this new house with my new family.

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“Hey, Tessa!” McKenna calls, materializing next to me in that creepy way she does. “What are you up to?”

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“Nothing much,” I tell her. “Just hanging out with Cooper.”

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“Ohhhhhh,” McKenna sighs. “I see. You’re bored, you have no idea how to fit in with your new family, and you think we have nothing in common.”

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“How did you know?” I ask, shocked. Can McKenna read minds in addition to appearing out of nowhere?

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“Trust me, I’ve been through this with four other sisters. You would think I would understand the signs by now,” she explains.

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“Oh,” I say. “So . . . they went through this too?”

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“Absolutely. And the best way to cure it is to do something fun together. Hey, I’m about to head to the gymnastics center for open gym time. Wanna tag along? I have a gazillion extra leotards that would probably fit you,” McKenna offers.

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I ponder this for a few minutes before nodding my head. “Sure. It’s worth a shot.”

It’s not like there’s anything else I can do.

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“Watch and learn, sis,” McKenna says forty-five minutes later. We’re at Shooting Star gymnastics, and my sports-obsessed sister is about to show me a few moves on the bar that I’ll (hopefully) be able to do.

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McKenna flips herself upside down, her legs reaching the bar.

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In one swift motion, she’s on top of the bar. “That was pullover,” she explains. “The most basic bar move. Wanna try?”

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That was basic? I think, as I step up to the bar. I replay what McKenna did in my head, hoping I can do the same thing.

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A few seconds later, I’m on the ground.

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“Um, maybe bars isn’t your thing so much,” McKenna says. “Why don’t we move on?”

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We step over to the beam, where McKenna hops up and positions herself. “Watch this. It should be simpler for you.”

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McKenna flicks her arm out and I step back. With just the right amount of sass, she begins to walk down the length of the beam.

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A few minutes later, McKenna hops off. “Why don’t you try now,” she says. “Gymnastics have to look confident, and walking on the beam is the best way to practice that.”

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I hop up, McKenna watching from behind. “Go for it, Tess.”

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It doesn’t go quite as McKenna’s did. My legs begin to wobble instantly.

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I fall off the beam, crashing into McKenna. “Owwwww,” we moan in unison.

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“Ya know, Kenna? Maybe gymnastics isn’t my thing at all.” I say.

From behind me, McKenna says, “Yeah. Maybe not.”

-End of Photostory-

Did you guys enjoy the beginning of an informal little photoseries? I think it’ll be around three or four parts, once each week. Kind of illustrating Tessa’s journey in becoming a part of her new family. Sound good? Is there a specific sister you think Tessa should follow around in the next few parts? Just leave me a comment down below!

AGs in Alaska

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2017 Wrapup

Well, well, well.

On June 1st, 2017, I (AGs in Alaska) published my first post. Since then, amazing things have happened.

I have 45 followers.

I have published 80 posts, including this one.

I have gotten 2,932 views!

I have views from these countries:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Spain
  • India
  • France
  • Kenya
  • New Zealand
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • UAE
  • Brunei
  • Romania
  • Indonesia
  • Japan

And I have done some pretty epic photostories/shoots!

In June, I did my first tutorial on how to make an AG stopmotion.

In July, I did my first-ever photoshoot feauturing Crystal. Here are my favorite pictures from that:

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I was also nominated for my first award by the AG Homeschooler!

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In August, I did my first photostory with Lindsey and Morgan. Boy, was that a mess. It was raining and my mom’s iPad was getting all wet. 😦 That was the day of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse!

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In September, I celebrated 20 followers!

I also participated in the Back-To-School Tag (thanks, Kaylyn!)

In October, I started doing Day in The Life posts, beginning with Crystal.

The girls also celebrated Halloween with a ridiculous spooky prank!

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In November, we had a epic birthday bash!

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The girls also celebrated Thanksgiving!

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I also did my first Q & A! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Then, December got a little bit crazy.

I worked crazy hard to get the Twelve Days of Christmas done. Here are the highlights of that:

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And, on Christmas Day, the AGIA family welcomed Tessa Elizabeth into the family!

 

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And now . . . it’s New Year’s Eve????

Seriously, that does not seem possible. Just yesterday I was ringing in 2017. And now? It’s almost 2018, people!!!!

I want to give a HUGE thank-you to every one of you amazing people who read my blog! I am inspired and impressed by each and every one of you guys daily. I want to give a few special shout-outs to:

You guys are amazing and I could not do this whole blogging thing without your support and encouragement. When I first started blogging just six short months ago, I never imagined that I would make such amazing friends as you guys.

Happy New Year from the American Girls in Alaska family! I hope 2018 is wonderfully blessed for you with all of God’s grace and love!

Love,

AGs in Alaska, Crystal, Lindsey, McKenna, Morgan, Emily, Molly, Grace, Tessa, and . . . Coconut, Grace (the dog), Cooper, Chocolate Chip, Yank, Bennet, and Bonbon

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Twelve Days of Christmas, Day #12: Surprise! (A Photostory) + Giveaway Winner

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!!

It’s Christmas! Finally! December 25th, 2017.

I hope you all are having a very merry Christmas. Please, chat away in the comments. Tell me what you got, what you’re having for dinner, how your family celebrated, traditions, etc.

And now, onto the epic Christmas photostory I promised you! (Apologies in advance for any blurry/dark pictures!)

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“Can we open presents now?” Lindsey begs.

 

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“Why not?” Crystal replies. “It is Christmas, after all.”

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“I think this one is for you, Lindsey,” Molly says, handing Lindsey a bright red bag.

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Lindsey unwraps the present.

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The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict!” she squeals. “Thank you thank you thank you!!!”

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“This one is yours, Grace,” Morgan says sweetly, holding up a brown box tied with a bright red bow.

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Grace opens the box. “Earrings!”

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“This one is for you, Morgan,” Emily tells her sister softly.

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“Aw, a chew toy for Chocolate Chip! He’ll love it – thank you!” Morgan exclaims.

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“Now, here’s your present, Em,” Morgan says, handing Emily a Santa Claus bag.

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Emily pulls out the wrapping paper.

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“Oh, a music book!”

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“Thank you, everybody.”

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“Hey, Crystal, here’s yours,” Molly tells Crystal, holding up her present.

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“Oh, for me?” Crystal asks. “Thank you.”

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“Eek! A fairy costume! Hold on, let me go put it on!” Crystal shrieks.

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She returns a few minutes later wearing the glitzy costume.

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“McKenna, this one is yours,” Lindsey says.

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McKenna opens the box excitedly. “A FITBIT!!!!”

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“It fits perfectly!” McKenna exclaims. “You guys are da best!”

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“Here, Molly,” Grace says, holding up an owl bag. “I think this one is yours.”

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Molly pulls out the tissue paper, practically smothering herself.

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“SAT Secrets! It’s just what I wanted!” Molly exclaims. “Thank you so much!”

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Lindsey snorts ungracefully.

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Emily elbows her. “Lindsey.”

All of a sudden, the doorbell rings.

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“Hey, who’s going to get that?” McKenna asks. “We’re all in our pajamas.”

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“I’ll get it,” Crystal answers. “I’m the only one not in my PJs.”

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“Um, Crystal, maybe you shouldn’t-”

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Crystal ingores her and jets up the stairs in her fairy costume.

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“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

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“Oh, my apologies,” Crystal says, sliding her fairy mask on top of her head.

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“Is this the American Girls in Alaska family?” the girl asks in a Southern accent.

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Crystal nods. “Yes, it is. I’m Crystal.”

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“Hey, who’s this?” Grace asks, bounding up the stairs.

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“I have no idea,” Crystal replies.

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“I’m Tessa,” the girl says in a Southern accent.

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“Hey, I’m Grace,” Grace introduces herself.

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Molly suddenly appears out of nowhere. “Hello. I’m Molly. Sorry we’re all in our pajamas.”

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“It’s fine,” Tessa says. “It’s nice to meet you.”

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“Hey, who’re you?” Lindsey asks rudely.

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“Lindsey, be nice,” Morgan chides, appearing behind Lindsey. “Hi, I’m Morgan, and this is Lindsey.”

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“Are you our new sister?” McKenna asks. “Hi, I’m McKenna.”

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“And this is Emily,” Morgan says, prodding Emily forward.

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“Why don’t you come downstairs?” Crystal asks Tessa.

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“Alright,” Tessa agrees.

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Back downstairs, Morgan says, “We’re so sorry, Tessa. We don’t have a present for you.”

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“Yes, you do,” Tessa tells her. “You’re my new family. And that’s the best thing I could ask for.”

WELCOME TESSA!

-End of Photostory-

SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I GOT A NEW DOLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tessa Elizabeth is a customized Truly Me #24 doll who I bought off of Ebay. I purchased a wig from Beautifully Custom, the Cocoa Caramel Swirl wig. Isn’t it gorgeous????

Anyway, I love Tessa sooooo much, and I hope you’ll all welcome her into the American Girls in Alaska family.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . .

The giveaway winner!

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Kaylyn!

Congratulations, Kaylyn!

I will be contacting you shortly to get your shipping address.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered!

If you would like to enter another giveaway of mine, never fear, because I will be doing one shortly. I am thinking about doing one for my 100th post, which is very soon.

A big thank you to AG Doll Dreams for her amazing Fitbit tutorial and to Micah @ Mixiepixie7 on YouTube for her mini book tutorial. Go check out AG Doll Dreams blog here and, if you’re allowed to, check out Micah’s channel on YouTube.

Okay, everyone! That is all for now! I will be back later today with The Christmas Tag, which I was nominated for. But until then . . .

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

AGs in Alaska

Twelve Days of Christmas, Day #11: Christmas is . . . Caroling

Okay, everybody! This is it! The last TDOC post before Day #12 – Christmas!!!!! Can you believe it’s just one day away???

ONE. DAY.

I can’t believe it, either. In the meantime, here’s a very, very short photostory!

There’s a knock on the door. I rush over to answer it.

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It’s carolers! (Sorry this picture is so dark.)

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“Hi,” I squeak nervously. I’ve never been very good around people.

(Also, now you can see how amazing Em’s hair looks!)

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“Deck the halls with boughs of holly. Fa la la la la, la la la la!” they sing merrily.

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“Troll the ancient yuletide carol, fa la la la la, la la la la.”

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“Thank you so much!” I cry. “Merry Christmas!”

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Okay, that was it. This post is super short because I HAVE to get to work on my Christmas photostory. It’s going to take a long time to do, so I’ve gotta go!

Merry Christmas Eve!

AGs in Alaska

Countdown to Christmas: One day!

Twelve Days of Christmas, Day #6: Christmas is . . . Sledding

And . . . we’re back, with TDOC Day #6!!!!!

CHRISTMAS IS IN SIX DAYS PEOPLE!!!!!

In the meantime, here’s a cute photoshoot of Grace and McKenna!

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“Ahh!”

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“Erm, Grace? I’m still here!”

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What is up with her hair???

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See you guys tomorrow! Hope you enjoyed the photoshoot!

AGs in Alaska

Countdown to Christmas: Six days!

The Big Birthday Bash (A Photostory)

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Morgan, Grace, and I stroll briskly down the sidewalk. We’re on our way back from returning some books to the library. I would rather not be running errands today – it’s my birthday, and walking outside in Alaska in November isn’t the most fun thing to do. Especially not when you’re finally a teenager!

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“Why’s it so cold?” Grace moans. “I want it to be summer again.”

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“Well, it is the middle of winter,” Morgan points out. “Technically it’s still fall, though, but whatever.”

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We walk up the street and turn the corner until finally we reach our home.

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The three of us step inside the house. We’re greeted by a blast of warm air . . . and very dim lights.

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All of a sudden, the lights flicker on and our sisters jump out of the shadows. “Happy birthdays!”

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My sisters and I, jackets hanging half off of our arms, can barely process what just happened. Is this a . . . surprise party???

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“Wait. Did you just say birthdays? As in more than one?” Grace asks, confused.

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“We sure did,” Lindsey explains. “Today, we’re celebrating all of our fall birthday girls. You know – Emily’s birthday is November 28th, and she’s thirteen, Morgan’s birthday was October 3rd, and she’s thirteen, and Grace’s birthday was September 15th, and she’s twelve.”

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Molly, Lindsey, and Crystal walk forward and place crowns on our heads.

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Each crown is light pink and has our names spelled out on the fronts.

We’re lead down the hall into the next room, where a huge surprise greets us.

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“Oh my goodness!” we gasp.

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A huge sign proclaiming “Happy Birthday!” in giant lettering is taped to the wall underneath a table with a couple of presents on it.

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“Do you like it?” Lindsey asks.

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“I love it,” I tell her.

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“We have presents for you guys to open,” Molly explains.

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“And you’d better be quick about it too, or I may have to open them for you,” McKenna warns us.

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Lindsey hands the first present to Morgan.

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She pulls out a flowery green frog. “Aww! It’s so cute!!!” she exclaims. “Thanks, guys!”

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“This one is for Grace,” Molly says, handing Grace something wrapped in pink tissue paper and tied with a silver ribbon.

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Underneath all the wrapping is a pretty throw pillow. “This’ll be perfect for my room!” Grace tells us. “This is so sweet of y’all. Thanks!”

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“Just one more present,” Crystal informs us.

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“Yes. Close your eyes, Emily,” Molly adds.

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I happily oblige.

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“Open,” Crystal commands.

Standing in front of me is my eldest sister holding a beautiful pair of bright white ice skates wrapped with a taffeta bow.

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“Wow,” I breathe, after Crystal places the skates in my lap. “I’ve been wanting a pair of these – thank you, thank you, thank you! This has been the best birthday ever.”

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“And I’m about to make it better,” Lindsey says. “Who wants cake?”

End of photostory!

I feel like a terrible doll mom – I completely forgot about Morgan’s birthday – October 3rd – and Grace’s birthday – September 15th. Fortunately, I remembered Emily’s and decided to do a three-in-one birthday post. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Also, don’t forget to wish them happy birthday in the comments!

In case you were wondering why I’m doing a Tuesday post, it’s just in honor of the birthday girls. I will still be here on Thursday.

Bye for now!

-AGs in Alaska-

 

 

Grateful (A Photostory)

Happy Thanksgiving, lovely virtual friends! Today is a day of joy and celebration, of food, and, most importantly, thankfulness. Today I challenge YOU to list . . . hmm . . . twenty-three things you are grateful for, since it’s November 23rd. I know you have at least that many. Here’s my list:

  • Jesus!
  • My blog
  • A computer to write on
  • Essential oils that smell amazing
  • All of my friends I have from blogging
  • My dolls
  • My rabbits
  • My dogs
  • My chickens
  • My family
  • Living in the beautiful state of Alaska
  • I have a camera to take pictures of beautiful Alaska with
  • My house
  • My warm, cozy room
  • My warm, cozy clothes
  • Books
  • Delicious food
  • The outdoors
  • Pretty pictures of the outdoors
  • Cute clothes for my dolls
  • School
  • Friends
  • Orange-scented bath products

That last one was a little random. Sorry.

Now, let’s get on to the fun part of this post. I have for you my first-ever Thanksgiving photostory! And, at the end, a little bonus behind-the-scenes explanation of the making of the photostory.

Enjoy!

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“Thanks for dinner, Grace. It was delicious,” Morgan tells my younger sister.

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“Oh, you’re welcome. It was my pleasure,” Grace responds.

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“I have an idea,” Molly begins. “Why don’t we go around the table and say what we’re grateful for and why? For example, I’m grateful for my education because I’ll be able to get into a good college. Now McKenna can go.”

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“Oh!” McKenna exclaims, looking a bit surprised that Molly picked her to go next. “I’m grateful for my gymnastics coach and teammates. They inspire me and help me to work harder. Um . . . Emily.”

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“Me?” Emily squeaks. “Well . . . I’m grateful for my piano and flute because . . . I love music. Morgan?”

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“I’m grateful for Chocolate Chip and the other dogs,” Morgan tells us. “They make me so happy and bring me so much joy. Crystal.”

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“I’m grateful for my beautiful clothes, because when I look good, I feel good,” Crystal says. “Grace?”

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“I’m super-duper grateful for all of my baking supplies,” Grace says. “I love being able to surprise people with yummy treats. What about you, Lindsey?”

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I look across the table at the shining faces of sweet Morgan, intelligent Molly, shy Emily, and fashionable Crystal.

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I glance over to my left at spunky Grace and sporty McKenna.

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“My sisters,” I finally say. “I’m grateful for my sisters.”

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-End of phostory-

I hope y’all enjoyed that photostory. And now, onto the behind-the-scenes of Grateful (A Photostory)!

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First, I placed two chairs across from each other in our hallway downstairs.

 

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I placed benches on either side of the chairs.

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Next, I placed books on the chairs.

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I then took this yet-to-be-set-up chicken ramp . . .

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And set it on top of the books.

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Voilà! The perfect Thanksgiving table setup! Since the set took up the entire hallway, it was a bit difficult to get back and forth to either side, but I managed by squeezing behind the narrow gap between the dolls and the wall and climbing on the benches. Of course, that mussed up their hairstyles a bit, but it wasn’t too terrible.

My original photostory idea was to have them eating and then praying and then sharing what they were grateful for, but I could not make doll food, so I had the photostory take place after dinner.

I want to know how your Thanksgiving went. What did you have for dinner? What are you grateful for? What is your favorite Thanksgiving food and/or tradition?

Happy Thanksgiving!

-AGs in Alaska