Elizabeth and I were eight years old when we got our first American Girl dolls for Christmas in 1995. Several of our friends had them already, but they were all girls slightly older than us. Claire and Erica had Kirsten. Kathleen had Felicity. Our Sunday School teacher had Samantha. We couldn't wait! We got the catalogs in the mail beginning in Spring 1995. Elizabeth wanted Kirsten . . . blond, blue eyes (she's always been keen on blond dolls!). Not me. Addy, the escaped slave girl, was brand new --- and I was totally in love with her! $82.00 for a doll was a lot of money back then, so these were serious toys to put on your Christmas list. But our Mom and Dad were wonderful and made it work so that two long white boxes were under the Christmas tree that morning! As of right now, I can't find a photo of us with Kirsten and Addy that day, but here is a picture showing us one year later (on Christmas Eve of 1996). Mom had just given us new homemade dresses for them, and they are proudly showing them off to the camera.
Addy has been my special friend ever since. In fact, just a few weeks ago, Elizabeth and I wondered if we shouldn't decide to part with our American Girl dolls. But I couldn't. Not with all of them, anyway. Addy is just too special. She and Kirsten are now 23 years old and still look great for their age. Here are some photos taken just this afternoon --- and you can see that Addy is still wearing the same dress! She has other options, but this is really her favorite.
Click on any thumbnail photos to enlarge.
On Christmas Day of 1996, one year after Kirsten and Addy's arrival to the snow covered porch at Ruth Avenue, two more white boxes waited under the tree. Felicity and Samantha were added to the happy group, and we now had the perfect amount of dolls for tea parties and any imaginable play. This is everyone that afternoon.
I didn't take pictures of Felicity today, but she still looks pretty good. Her hair has faded a bit and almost all of the color on her face has faded, but this seems to be common with Felicity dolls of her age. The pictures on the left and right below show her (taken quickly a couple weeks ago) and Samantha as they look today. The center picture shows them as they looked in late 2000 or early 2001.
All was wonderful and happy, and then it happened . . . a new catalog showed up in the mailbox announcing the September 1997 release of a new historical American Girl: Josefina. I LOVED her! Almost as much as Addy. But thinking of getting a third doll for the third Christmas in a row seemed like an awful lot to hope for. We woke up that Christmas, and even though she had been on my list, there was no long box under the tree. But Mom had it all planned! She really had ordered Josefina a month earlier, and Dad had the box all wrapped and hidden upstairs. They brought it down at the very end of the morning, and I can still remember the feeling of opening her and the amazing smell, which I think was due to the little leather moccasins (she still smells like it a bit!). So far, I haven't turned up a picture of her from that Christmas either, but it must be in an album somewhere. She's worn a variety of outfits over the years, and these photos show some of them. She needs her braid fixed soon, so more photos of her will come one of these days.
Click on any thumbnail photos to enlarge.
That was our collection for a while, and we had great fun. Mom made amazing clothes for them, and we took them on outings, had doll parties, school days, etc. The catalogs stopped coming, and we gradually played less and less and did more admiring. The dolls were all in a glass-front cabinet in our room, and we still changed them and posed them. Then, in 2000, a catalog showed up out of the blue with the newest historical character, Kit. She had a short blonde bob and freckles. So, you guessed it, we had to place an order. We were old enough by this time to have some money of our own, plus we had a garage sale and made enough money that way for each of us to order our own Kit. They arrived in a large box, along with a pair of aviator outfits that looked really cute on them! Mom also made some outfits for them. They were renamed and now called "Patty" (seen in cowboy outfit) and "Amanda" (in the pink birthday dress).
Seven dolls seemed like plenty, and we really didn't have any thoughts of adding others. In fact, they've been put away until recently --- when we decided to pull them out, go through them and decide what to keep. Thinking to sell Kirsten and Samantha, I've been doing some research into pricing, etc. In the process, I found an ad of Craigslist for a Kaya doll for $20.00. How could we resist that. Elizabeth had always liked her and really wanted one. She has loose limbs (due to stretched elastic inside), but so do the Kit dolls. Elizabeth is going to re-string the two Kits and figured it wouldn't be any problem to add Kaya to the group. So, we drove out and picked up the newest addition. The picture at left shows her as we got her. Her hair definitely needed the ends trimmed and a new hair-do. She didn't want to spend the rest of her life with those two long braids in her way! So, I studied websites by people kind of enough to show hair tutorials to those of us who have never touched the hair-dos on their own American Girls. And on a Sunday afternoon, when I was feeling brave, I decided to give it a go. The photos below show her as she looks today. Oh, and she's been renamed "Leonor" (called "Leo" or "Nora") after a very special relative.
So, that's a quick introduction to our group of American Girl dolls as they stand now!
SAMWISE: MY HONEY-POT
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
BEATRICE: MY HONEY-BEE
Edward James Eliot
My "favorite" member of the Clapham Sect. Not very much is known about him, but what is preserved keeps a beautiful memory alive of an exemplary Christian man.
William Wilberforce Quote:
May I look to Him for wisdom and strength and the power of persuasion, and may I surrender myself to Him as to the event with perfect submission, and ascribe to Him all the praise if I succeed, and if I fail say from the heart thy will be done.
For you Jesus Christ came into the world. For you he lived and showed God’s love. For you he suffered the darkness of Calvary and cried at the last, ‘It is accomplished.’ For you he triumphed over death and rose to new life. For you he reigns at God’s right hand. All this he did for you, though you do not know it yet.
Where there is one, there is a majority of one; and when the rights of the majority take away from the rights of the one, then the many will themselves suffer.
~Henry David Thoreau~
I often think of Bag End. I miss my books, and my armchair, and my garden. You see, that's where I belong. That's home. That's why I came back, because you don't have one. A home. It was taken from you. But I will help you take it back if I can.
~ Bilbo Baggins ~
FAVORITE BOOKS & FILMS
Gone With the Wind (Mitchell)
Genesis of a Legacy (K. Ham)
Prisoner of Zenda (Hope)
Amazing Grace (2007)
Bertie & Elizabeth (2002)
Farmer's Daughter (1947)
Ride Clear of Diablo (1954)
Secondhand Lions (2003)
He was born with a gift of laughter & a sense that the world was mad.
The future is to be read with certainty only in the past. Man never changes.
PRIDE & PREJUDICE:
A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment.
PRIDE & PREJUDICE:
Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.
WINSTON CHURCHILL ON
KING GEORGE VI
"His conduct on the Throne may well be a model & a guide to constitutional sovereigns throughout the world today & also in future generations."
"For 15 years George VI was King. Never at any moment in all the perplexities at home & abroad, in public or in private, did he fail in his duties."