Don'tMiss2

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Vote!

Hiya! Are you enjoying your Sunday? Getting a rest after church? Not for Madi. By the time you’re reading this, her service is probably still going and she has to lead praise and worship again. To help her out, I, Ellie, volunteered to post this today for her since she won’t be back until around 2 and then has to leave again a few hours later. Now wasn’t that so nice of me since she’s so busy? 😉 Just kidding. I’m glad to do it. 😉

Anyway. The closing date of August 31st is approaching quickly! If you haven’t already voted on which photo story series you’d like for Madison to make a second season, no need to go and try to find it. You don’t even have to look over on the sidebar, if you’re feeling lazy. Here’s the poll, right here!

So yeah. 🙂 So far, Hang on to Hope is in the lead. I’m really surprised, since Madison didn’t even really like HOTH that much. You know I thought for sure Mines of Malaysia or Little Orphan Emmi would win? Ha, maybe it’s because y’all like seeing me as one of the main characters! 😉 Just kidding again. Sorry, I just had this really delicious cupcake Josefina made for Chloe’s upcoming birthday, so I might still be on a sugar rush… Hehe. Don’t worry, I’ll crash soon. 😉

ElliePic2Oh! Chloe’s birthday! I can’t believe I almost just totally forgot what Madison told me to mention. Chloe’s birthday is this Tuesday! So check back on Tuesday to see a really pretty photoshoot of her. 😀

In the meantime, I’m getting kinda tired all of the sudden. It’s Sunday; I might as well go take a nap. Yaaawwwn… Oh, dear, that sugar crash is coming. 😛

Bye, y’all!

Love,

Ellie

Dollympicpic6

The Daunting Dollympic Trials – Part 6 (Finale)

Psst! Check out parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 if you haven’t already. 🙂


 IMG_0094Molly felt the disappointment weigh more heavily on her shoulders than ever before. Her dreams had been destroyed.

“What am I going to do now?” Molly whispered, not trusting herself to speak louder for fear of breaking into tears.

“Molly, I’m really proud of you. You did amazing.” Coach Josie tried in vain to console the distraught Molly.

IMG_0095Before anyone had time to think a moment longer, Jasmine burst onto the scene.

“Molly! It wasn’t your fault!” Jasmine gasped breathlessly.

“What do you mean?” Molly choked out, trying to blink back alligator tears.

IMG_0098“Demetria cheated, Molly. I can prove it! She cheated last year! That’s why I wasn’t here competing!”

“What are you talking about, Jaz?” Coach Josie asked, confused.

“We have to get one of the judges before they leave!” Jasmine ignored coach Josie, her eyes frantically darting about the room in search of a judge. She twirled around in a circles, looking about the room and making herself dizzy until she found one.

IMG_0100

“Ugh,” the judge was groaning to her friend. “Honestly, I can’t wait to get home and get to bed. As soon as everyone leaves I’m out of here. I’ve had such a long day, it’s getting late and I’m coming down a cold.”

“That’s awful. Maybe your boss will give you a break until you get better.” Her friend suggested.

“Ha, her? She used to be in the military. Of course she’s not gonna-“

IMG_0101“Ma’am! Ma’am! Excuse me, ma’am!” The judge was interrupted by a screaming girl.

The judge looked like she was just about ready to punch somebody, but she grit her teeth and forced a smile. “Yes?

“Someone cheated! I have proof! The third medal was won by dishonest means! You have to do something!” Jasmine ranted.

Just what I need right now, the judge mused sarcastically. “Are you sure?” She asked hopefully. “Accusing someone of cheating is a very serious thing.”

IMG_0102Just then, Demetria walked up to shake Molly’s hand.

“Huh?!” A startled Jasmine gasped with eyes as wide as saucers.

IMG_0106“Molly, I just wanted to tell you how amazing you did today and that I hope-“

IMG_0108“There she is!” Interrupted Jasmine in a panicked cry, unsure of what else to do. “There’s the cheater! There she is, Miss… Miss…”

“Amy.”

“There she is, Miss Amy!”

“What are you talking about?” An infuriated Demetria demanded.

“Oh like you don’t know,” Jasmine’s voice dropped to a threatening whisper. “You’re such a liar, Demetria. Such a cheater.”

“I have no idea what you mean by that allegation,” Demetria returned coolly. “How could you ever suspect such a thing without any proof? It’s true I’ve grown more competitive over the past year, but I would never-“

IMG_0110“I’m sorry, Miss Dare, but until this gets resolved, I’ll be needing your medal.” Miss Amy demanded.

Demetria’s jaw dropped. She looked hurt and offended. “But I didn’t cheat!”

“Just hand the medal over,” Miss Amy demanded again with sharp eyes. “We’ll look more into this whole cheating business.”

IMG_0111“Don’t bother,” a new voice arrived on scene. “I did it.”

“WHAT?!” Chorused Coach Josie, Molly, and Jasmine all at the same time.

IMG_0112“I changed your music, Jasmine. Remember I was the one in charge of it? I kept both copies and switched out the instrumental track for the regular version.” Emelie admitted.

“See? Told you! I only went in the sound booth to make sure my music was good! I would never cheat!” Demetria stated to Jasmine.

“Exactly. And remember when I handed you your bag earlier today, Molly? I broke your grips and put them in there. That’s why they didn’t fit right.”

Knowing that her best friend did those things not only to her but also to Jasmine felt even worse than not making it to the Dollympic Team Trials.

“Why would you do something like that?” Molly asked, not caring about the tears that streamed down.

“I’m sorry,” Emelie mumbled, forcing herself to look into Molly’s eyes. “I was jealous. You and Jasmine are always so good at everything, and no matter what I do I can never be as good as you. But it was wrong. And I’m sorry.”

IMG_0115“Well, girls, good news.” Miss Amy came back on the scene after leaving unnoticed. “The other judges just notified me that Roxanne Moore resigned. I believe she said something about gymnastics not being her dream anymore. Mae Parker is first place now.”

IMG_0116“So, Miss Dare, I’ll be needing that third place medal of yours.”

“But I didn’t cheat!” Demetria desperately objected again.

“Just hand it over.”

Reluctantly, Demetria slipped the medal off and handed it to Miss Amy.

IMG_0117“You’re now second, Demetria,” Miss Amy smiled as she awarded Demetria with the medal. “And Molly, you’re first alternate, and so you are now third. Welcome to Team #14.”

Molly’s jaw dropped. She could hardly believe it!

IMG_0118“Now, if everything’s good, I’m going to go home and get some sleep.” The tired judge sighed in exhaustion.

“Yes! Thank you, Miss Amy!” Coach Josie laughed.

IMG_0119Jasmine awkwardly turned to Demetria.

“Look, I am SO sorry-“

IMG_0122“It’s okay.” Demetria interrupted with a forgiving hug.

“Thanks,” Jasmine sighed with relief.

Molly smiled. All seemed right with the world… Hey, where did Emelie go?

IMG_0123Molly abandoned the others and jogged to catch up to Emelie.

“Emelie! Wait!”

Emelie kept speed walking back to the bleachers, sniffling.

IMG_0124“Emelie!” Molly exclaimed again, grabbing Emelie’s arm and stopping her.

“I’m such a terrible person! I don’t know what came over me!” Emelie cried, blinking back her own tears.

“It’s okay. I forgive you, honest!”

IMG_0125“What a lousy best friend I’ve been… I’ve kept Jasmine from her dream and almost you from yours simply because of my own selfish jealousy! I am such a horrible person! I understand if you never want to speak to me again and surely you don’t want me as your best friend or even a friend at all!” Emelie began to rant and was about to begin to cry.

IMG_0126“It’s alright, Emelie. Please don’t cry. Today is a happy day. I forgive you and let’s just forget it all. I still want you to be my best friend.” Molly smiled.

Emelie looked up hopefully. “Really?”

“Of course.”

IMG_0127“Oh, thank you!” Emelie let out a sigh of relief as Molly gave her a hug.

IMG_0128“I think someone else needs to speak to you,” Molly noted as they pulled apart.

Jasmine’s eyes flashed with hurt. Emelie bit her lip, knowing this conversation would be hard.

“Hey Molly! Let’s take our pictures together!” Demetria called.

“Coming!” Molly called back, leaving Emelie and Jaz to talk.

IMG_0133Molly began walking toward Demetria, and when she looked back and saw those two hugging she knew everything was alright.

“Ready?” Demetria asked with a smile.

Molly grinned, facing the camera. She was so excited to be on a team with Demetria and Mae, training for the Dollympic Team Trials next year.

Molly had trusted God, and everything  worked out for her good. And she knew something great was bound to be in store for Jasmine.

What a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Romans 8:28 (NLT)
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”


The end!! I can’t believe it’s over! LOL!

What did you think of the series? Did you see the plot twist coming? How well did you like the story and pictures overall?

Love,

Dollympicpic5

The Daunting Dollympic Trials – Part 5

Psst! Check out parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 if you haven’t already. 🙂

IMG_0095Molly McIntire slid into her starting position, knowing that this event would be the tiebreaker, the deal-killer, and the game decider. If she didn’t ace this event, she could kiss her Olympic dreams goodbye.

“Help me, Lord,” She mouthed one final time before the first notes of the music floated to her ears.

IMG_0096As the song began, the audience in the background faded away. All she heard was the music. All she saw was the floor.

And all she did was her best.

IMG_0098IMG_0099Roundoff.

IMG_0100IMG_0101Back handspring.

IMG_0105IMG_0106Backflip.

IMG_0107Molly stuck the landing right on time with the music.

IMG_0109She began to lift one leg up, starting to twirl with perfect arms in rhythmic motion to the beat of the song. Then she immediately moved into her next skill.

IMG_0112She used to have trouble with her side split jump in the past, and happy fireworks bursted inside of her as she performed it perfectly.

IMG_0115Further along in her routine she bent behind into a back walkover.

IMG_0116IMG_0114She kicked over and immediately dropped to one knee and did a dance-y fan circle with her legs. In time to the music she twirled again and right away dove into a cartwheel, one-handed cartwheel, and then aerial cartwheel combo.

IMG_0132

IMG_0120Dancing and flipping in one beautiful floor routine brought her to the other side of the floor. She ran, did a roundoff and back handspring combo, and then without a moment’s hesitation threw herself into a beautiful backflip one leg at a time.

IMG_0131She landed pretty well, only a little off balance. As the music neared its end, she took a deep breath and began running towards the other corner of the floor.

She began to perform her biggest flip of the entire routine.

IMG_0126IMG_0127IMG_0128IMG_0130IMG_0133She couldn’t believe she had actually landed it. It was the hardest flip of the entire routine, and she had only gotten it down perfectly a few times. And that fateful day, it looked pretty good.

After another fan circle with her legs and an arm circle, she slid into her splits, brought her legs together, and spun around again, opening up into her ending position right as the music ended with its grand finish.

IMG_0135She breathed hard, staying in that position as she heard the audience cheer.

IMG_0136She did her very best, but would that be enough to beat Demetria Dare?

IMG_0137She was about to find out. She watched as Demetria posed in her starting position, waiting for her music cue.

IMG_0139Molly gawked as she watched Demetria’s routine in utter fascination and awe.

IMG_0140Whoever had choreographed that had done an incredible job, and the gymnast that performed the routine totally rocked it.

IMG_0142Demetria didn’t just perform one skill after another. She blended them seamlessly together into not only a great floor routine, but a beautiful dance as well.

IMG_0144Her skills were flawless.

IMG_0147 IMG_0148 IMG_0149 IMG_0150She flipped, landed, and crossed her legs fancily as she began a unique twirl. Then she threw her arms behind her for a back-walkover-to-backflip combo.

IMG_0151When the entire, incredible routine was over, she landed beautifully into her ending position. The crowed erupted with a roar of applause.

IMG_0094“Alright, Molly. They haven’t announced the scores yet. We’ll find out if you made it when they announce the winners.” Coach Josie told Molly as the next gymnast began to perform. “And whatever happens, I want you to know I’m really, really proud of you. Even if you don’t win, you did your best. You worked very hard, and just being here is a huge accomplishment. Good job, Molly.”

Molly smiled. “Thanks, Coach Josie.”

Still, everything in Molly wanted her to win. If she didn’t land just one of the three spots, her dreams would be completely destroyed. As the last gymnast performed, Molly desperately hoped that her great job on the beam would cover her mistake on the bars.

IMG_0096Finally, they both turned to the speaker as the winners began to be announced.

“The first place winner is…” the announcer was speaking.

Molly held her breath.

“…Roxanne Moore!” Boomed the loudspeaker. Molly clapped her hands with the rest of the arena as Roxanne Moore strutted towards the podium unsurprised.

“The second place winner is… Mae Parker!” Mae let out an excited squeal as she sped up to her second place spot. She waved frantically and blew kisses to her family.

IMG_0098“It’s between you and Demetria now.” Coach Josie whispered. Molly nodded as her stomach clenched into a tight knot. She felt more nervous than ever. Both anticipation and dread drove her to wring her hands in tension as the announcer spoke, “The third place winner is…”

IMG_0099Without even thinking Molly grabbed her coach’s hand and squeezed it tightly, holding her breath.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

“…Demetria Dare!”

IMG_0102Molly felt all the air being sucked out of her at once. Her heart dropped to her stomach in shock with the most terrible, disappointing feeling.

She could barely whisper the word:

“What?”


My brother finally had enough of helping me and quit halfway through the photo story, so some of the photos don’t look as neat. 😛 Thanks to him for all the other help, though.

It’s not over yet. There’s still the next part to look forward to! Does the cheater get avenged? Disqualified? Will Molly win?! Dun, dun, dun… LOL, I’m so silly. 😛 Stay tuned for the next part which will be posted on Friday! 🙂

Dollympicpic4

The Daunting Dollympic Trials – Part 4

Ready to find out what happened with Demetria and Jasmine? 😀 Check out Parts 1, 2, and 3 if you haven’t already.

~Jasmine’s POV~ IMG_0152“Hi, I’m Demetria.”

I didn’t know it then, but I was looking into the same sincere eyes of the girl that would do the unthinkable.

IMG_0155I looked up at the face smiling at mine. “I’m Jasmine,” I returned. “Nice to meet you.”

“I just wanted to say that you’re really flexible.” The girl, Demetria, began with admiration – or was it jealousy? – in her voice.

“Thanks!” I exclaimed, my expression brighter.

IMG_0156I slid into my middle splits as Demetria slid into her left ones and she continued, “How long did it take you to master your splits?”

“Not too terribly long. I think I might be naturally flexible or something like that.” I answered.

“Wow,” Demetria smiled. “It took me a very long time to get mine.”

“Demetria!” A man’s voice called.

IMG_0157“Oh, that’s my coach. Gotta go.” Demetria sprang up from the floor to walk to her coach.

“Good luck!” I called to her as she left.

“You too!”

IMG_0158She seems nice, I reflected as I finished my last stretch.

I was wrong.

Warmups were over, and I heard my name called by my coach. I stood up and jogged over to Coach Josie in her signature coaching outfit.

IMG_0159“Vault starts in a few minutes. You’re up second.”

I nodded, fighting the butterflies in my stomach. You’re too awesome to be nervous. I reminded myself vainly. It didn’t work much.

Coach Josie turned to Molly. Molly and I were the best gymnasts on the AG All Stars team, which our sister Josefina coached (it consisted of all of us :P), so we where chosen for the regional tryouts.

“Okay, Molls, you’re right after Jasmine on vault. Remember your form.” Coach Josie reminded Molly, who simply nodded.

“I’ll do my best,” she promised.

“That’s all you can do.” Josefina reassured.

IMG_0160“Emelie has my music, right?” I asked Coach Josie.

“Yes. She’s given it to the sound booth already.”

“Great.”

IMG_0161Vault, bars, and beam flew by faster than ever. A gymnast named Brianna Greene was first place so far, with myself in close second and Demetria in third.

But the next event would change everything.

IMG_0163Brianna Greene seemed unstoppable until floor came. She fell and broke her ankle.

IMG_0167So now I was in first, with Demetria in second and a girl named Hallie Lark in third. Molly was right behind Hallie and hoped more than anything she would land one of the three spots.

IMG_0168Floor was the last event – and my best. As I slid into my starting position I knew that first place spot was mine.

IMG_0172I knew the perfect music for my floor routine, and had gotten the instrumental track for it so there would be no deduction for any words.

But when the time came for the words to start in the regular version, they actually did! This wasn’t the instrumental track at all!

IMG_0170I kept going, knowing that stopping and losing focus would result in a bigger point deduction than music with words would.

IMG_0175When I had finished my floor routine, I struck a proud finishing pose, but inside I was infuriated and felt like crying.

IMG_0177Distraught and stunned with grief, I walked back to Coach Josie. She began to say something, but I caught Demetria’s eye as she walked out of the sound booth and didn’t hear a word of what Coach had said. I narrowed my eyes at her and knew at once she had done it.

IMG_0178As Demetria slid into the beginning pose for her floor routine, I glared at her. Coach Josie didn’t know what on earth had happened with my music, but I did. I knew Demetria Dare had cheated.

And I also knew that I was no longer first place. I wasn’t second. I wasn’t even third! On the scoreboard I was fifth. My dream was completely ruined. And it was all Demetria’s fault.

IMG_0179I sat, defeated, while Coach Josie hugged an elated Molly who had just won third place. Demetria won first with Hallie Lark in second, but I didn’t feel like congratulating any of them. I didn’t feel like tattling, either. Nothing would make up for my deduction with the music.

IMG_0185I didn’t want to give Demetria the satisfaction of letting out my long, shaking sobs, but I couldn’t stop the silent tears that escaped.

I hated Demetria Dare. How could anyone be that desperate to win that they would destroy a girl’s dream like that?

*

IMG_0169I was startled from my flashback just in time, for I was about to begin crying again. All my roommates stood up and cheered.

“Who won?” I asked reluctantly, hoping it wasn’t Demetria.

“Nobody yet,” Cécile informed me. “But Molly is on her last event and needs all the support she can get!”

IMG_0170I watched sadly as Molly saluted to the judges. She was about to begin her floor routine, and if she didn’t win, Demetria Dare would.

I held my breath as she walked to the spot where she would slid down into her beginning pose. I saw her lips mouth Philippians 4:13, and I wondered, will she win?


Thanks to my awesome little brother for helping me with the photos of the dolls flipping!

LOLOL! Was “Will she win?” the lamest cliffhanger or what? Anyway, hope you like this so far. I’ll post part 5 on Wednesday!

How many of you think Molly will win third place?
How many of you think Demetria will win third place? 

P.S. Happy birthday to my Floridian friend Sierra! 😀

Dollympicpic3

The Daunting Dollympic Trials – Part 3

Psst! Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already.


IMG_0101 IMG_0102 IMG_0131IMG_0103Molly McIntire mounted the beam, pulling herself up into a perfect handstand. She knew every move counted, and she was determined to do each one to the very best of her ability. How else was she going to qualify for the Dollympic Team Trials next year? If she didn’t land one of the 3 spots at this Qualification Meet, she was sure her life would be ruined.

IMG_0104She pulled her legs back through her arms and sat gracefully on the beam, extending her arms with gorgeous form and perfect gymnast hands.

IMG_0105She stood up elegantly.

IMG_0109 She high kicked, and without a moment’s hesitation…

IMG_0121…She jumped, extending her legs out as far as she could. The world around her became darker. All she could spot was the beam.

IMG_0123She landed the split jump perfectly! The crowd cheered, and Molly immediately moved into her next skill.

IMG_0124 IMG_0125 IMG_0127She kicked back into a double back walkover. Her carriage had been graceful, her movements quick and deft.

IMG_0128Now for one of her biggest moves. She pivoted and began a very fast walkover.

IMG_0096And immediately she threw herself into a beautiful back flip.

She heard the crowd erupt into cheers. The rest of her routine went smoothly and her nimble feet seemed to practically dance across the beam. She was getting a lot of airtime and her form was perfect. Coach Josie smiled as Molly leapt into a spectacular stag leap – she used to have trouble at those, and now they looked amazing.

IMG_0134And then came the dismount.

IMG_0135She performed a double back somersault…

IMG_0136 IMG_0137…And stuck the landing without a single hop or step back!

“S-T-A-R, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE!” She heard the screaming cheer with the familiar English accent of her best friend. Her eyes scanned the crowd for any sign of her roommates and sister, but they were nowhere to be found.

But I know they’re cheering for me, Molly consoled herself with a smile as she walked triumphantly back to her coach. I can hear them.

IMG_0139Coach Josie held up her hand for a high five. “That was flawless, Molly! Fabulous job.”

Molly beamed a huge smile. “Thanks, coach,” She replied, catching her breath. “I hope I didn’t get many deductions.”

“Oh, I’m quite positive your score will be very high.”

IMG_0098Together they looked up at the scoreboard, all hopes toward a high score.

Molly squealed as the crowd roared with applause. “That’s the highest I’ve ever gotten!”

“Somewhere in that they found a 0.709. You’re not many points behind third place, Molls. I think you can kill this competition with floor.”

“But didn’t you see Demetria’s floor routine last year?”

“Yeah. What about it?”

“Floor is obviously her best event.” Molly sighed.

Coach Josie smiled. “But beam isn’t.”

IMG_0141With that, they turned to watch Demetria on the beam. Despite what Coach Josie had said, Demetria looked sensational. She had a lot of style with beautiful arm motions and perfect poise.

IMG_0148Molly watched with competitive hope that she’d wobble or even fall. Just one significant deduction would make Molly third place by a hair, and then floor would be the tiebreaker.

IMG_0144IMG_0146Molly gawked at Demetria’s one-handed L-handstand. She heard someone in the crowd scream, “Rock it, Demetria!”

IMG_0147 She had confident poses and expressions like she owned this beam. She is so amazing, Molly reflected. How will I ever beat her? 

IMG_0142Demetria began to twirl, and when she did, Molly held her breath.

IMG_0149She wobbled slightly as she came out of it.

Fall! Fall! Fall! Molly silently cheered.

But she recovered well with beautiful arms. She progressed straight into the next skill undaunted by her mistake.

IMG_0150She dismounted with a beautiful twisting back flip and stuck the landing perfectly.

“How does she do that?!” Molly huffed. “She’s landed every single landing perfectly so far!”

“Don’t worry, Molly. Demetria’s in for a significant deduction due to her wobble for sure.” Coach Josie told Molly.

Demetria walked back to her coach, holding her head high.

“You wobbled.” Molly heard Demetria’s coach state.

“I know,” Demetria sighed. “But I’ll make it up with my floor routine.”

“I know you will, or you don’t have a chance against Roxanne Moore and Mae Parker.” He noted.

Demetria nodded. “They’re practically guaranteed the first and second places now.”

“Here’s your score.” Demetria’s coach mentioned. They both turned to look.

“That was better than I thought you were going to get!” Her coach spoke.

“I’m still in third by a hair,” Demetria sighed in relief.

“Don’t let McIntire catch up to you.”

“Oh, I won’t,” Demetria reassured. “Remember, I’ve competed with their family last year. I’ll never let any of them get to me, Coach Nick. Who’s going to beat my floor, anyways?”

“That’s the spirit. I’m proud of you, Demetria.”

IMG_0151Jasmine, who sat with the others in the bleachers, bored her eyes into Demetria.

I hope she loses, Jasmine wished angrily. If it weren’t for her, I would be the one competing right now.

IMG_0154“Switch spots,” She ordered to Cécile. “I’m so squished in this three-doll bleacher.”

“Think of the rest of us! We’re squished, too.” Cécile argued.

“Please? I want to see better. You got to pick the matching hairstyle today, even though I really wanted to wear ponytails tonight. So make a move.”

Cécile sighed. Sometimes her best friend was so demanding.

IMG_0155Nevertheless, they switched spots. Jasmine could now see Demetria and the gymnast currently on the beam better.

She better lose, Jasmine mused again as she glared at Demetria, who was sitting down with her coach. Jasmine began to think of what had happened last year.

IMG_0161The gymnasts performing in front of her faded as she flashbacked to August 2015.


Thanks to my mom this time for helping me with the photos of the dolls flipping!

Hehe! Can you tell I love cliffhangers and dramatic stories? I hope you’re curious about what happened with Demetria and Jasmine, because you’ll find out in the next post for sure!

Be honest. You won’t hurt my feelings. Do you like this photo story series and its plot, or is it boring?

Dollympicpic2

The Daunting Dollympic Trials – Part 2

Psst! Check out Part 1 if you haven’t already.


IMG_0096Molly gulped. Something felt wrong. Something wasn’t right. She knew bars had never been her best event, but this time something was different.

What if… Molly began, but as she saluted, she changed her negative thoughts. “I can do this,” she mouthed to herself. “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”

IMG_0098With that, she jumped onto the bars.

IMG_0099She pulled herself up and began her routine. She knew that her best skills on bars were her perfect form – even if she didn’t stick the landing perfectly, she knew she’d never get a deduction for her tight formation and poise.

IMG_0101Handstand.

 Oddly enough, she had a horrible time grabbing onto the bars, and therefore her form wasn’t as tight as it should have been.

Double front flip.

Something is off. This isn’t right. Molly realized, but she kept going. She tried hard to remember her tight form, but because of her loose grip on the bar it was very difficult.

Back flip, turn around to front flip – oh, no!

Her grip on the bar was so loose when she changed directions that she nearly slipped. She didn’t have enough grip to perform the front flip and had too much momentum from the backflip, so she had to substitute with a kip.

IMG_0100I can do this, Molly rehearsed to herself as she continued on her routine, flipping over again. Everything will be alright.

IMG_0122She jumped and transitioned to the high bar in beautiful side splits. She grabbed on better this time, and she heard the crowd cheer. She pointed her toes harder, remembering her form.

IMG_0134When her routine was done, she back somersaulted for her dismount. Due to her lose grip on the bar, she landed just a little off and took a tiny step, but recovered well.

IMG_0135She forced a smile as she saluted. The deduction for her not-as-tight form and extra step would cost her dearly. She took off her grips angrily as she walked back to a smiling Coach Josie.

IMG_0087Molly crossly throwed her grips on the floor.

“You did great, Molly,” Coach Josie praised with a hug.

“Thanks,” Molly mumbled. “I know bar is not my best event, but something’s off. Something was wrong with my grips. Did you see my terrible form and the extra step I took? That never should have happened.”

“You probably just grabbed the wrong grips. Someone else most likely got yours. You recovered very well, though. If you rock the house on beam, which I am quite confident you will, you have a good shot at third place.” Coach Josie insisted.

Molly’s heart sunk when her score came back a 14.009. That was the lowest score she had gotten all day, but at least it was better than she thought she was going to get.

IMG_0124Molly watched closely as Demetria Dare began her bar routine. She jumped onto a springboard and started off on the high bar. Impressive, Molly noted.

IMG_0125Her handstand was gorgeous, and Molly watched with a critical eye. She began to change directions while in the handstand, and as far as Molly could tell, Demetria hadn’t made a single mistake so far.

IMG_0126Demetria performed a wonderful side split as she swung into her front flip.

IMG_0127And she flipped off the high bar after a back flip and transitioned flawlessly onto the lower one.

IMG_0131When she dismounted, Demetria stuck the landing perfectly. The entire room was filled with applause and cheers, but Molly grew more restless.

So far, Molly was doing pretty good. She was fourth place out of everybody, even with her deduction – but Demetria was in third. If she had any hope of making it to the Dollympic Team Trials next year, she was going to have to fight Demetria Dare for the third place spot.

Demetria wasn’t surprised at all when her score came back a 15.212. She was almost in second place. Her coach nodded his approval at her. “Keep at it, Demi. You’re practically guaranteed a spot for the Dollympic Team Trials next year.”

IMG_0097“How am I going to beat her?” Molly asked Coach Josie in frustration.

“It’s not about beating her. It’s about doing your best, Molly.”

“What if my best isn’t good enough to qualify for the Dollympic Team Trials next year?”

Coach Josie hesitated. “If you do your best, that’s all that matters, Molly.”

That’s not true, Molly mused. The Dollympics matter to me.

IMG_0098“Okay, Molly. You’re up next on the beam.” Coach Josie looked at the board.

Molly smiled. Beam was her very best event, and she was more than determined to make up her deduction from bars.

“Go show them what you got, Molls.”

IMG_0101She walked up to the beam and saluted proudly. She knew she had this one in her hip pocket.

“Nevertheless,” She whispered to herself before taking a deep breath. “I need your help with this one, too, God. Help me make up for my mistake on bars.”

IMG_0102With that, she placed both hands on the beam and pulled herself up, ready to begin the beam routine and make the next 90 seconds the greatest ones yet.

Thanks to my awesome little brother for helping me with the photos of the dolls flipping! 

Dollympicpic1

The Daunting Dollympic Trials – Part 1

IMG_0043“Where’s my gym bag?!” Cried Molly, her eyes darting about the room frantically in search of the missing bag. The excitement of watching the gymnasts compete at the Rio Olympics was gone, and now it was time for Molly’s Dollympic trials for the next summer Dollympics. And she was quite high-strung about it.

IMG_0047“Relax, Molly. Emelie has it.” Josefina, Molly’s coach and older sister, reassured.

IMG_0044“Here it is,” A cheerful Emelie tried hard to relieve a panicked Molly of her stress. “It was under the computer desk with the other bags.”

Biting her lip anxiously, Molly grabbed her bag and swung it over her shoulder.

IMG_0053“I’m so nervous!” Molly screeched, pushing her way past those around her.

IMG_0055“I should probably get some stretching in,” she sighed, immediately plopping down and extending her hand to her toe.

IMG_0057“I wish I could say something to help you,” Chloe wistfully spoke. “But I don’t know what to say.”

IMG_0058“Molly,” Emelie began uneasily, hoping not to make Molly more nervous by telling her to calm down. Telling her not to be nervous didn’t always help and sometimes had the opposite effect. As Molly stretched the other way, Emelie continued, “Will you listen to me one more time?”

IMG_0059“Sure,” Molly answered, sliding into the side splits and extending her arms forward with her stomach touching the ground. “Go ahead.”

IMG_0061“Being nervous is like a warning sign.”

“What do you mean?” Molly questioned.

Emelie explained, “When you feel nervous, it’s a warning sign that there is something bothering you that you haven’t completely given to God.”

IMG_0062Molly sat up, switching to the front splits. She shrugged in response to Emelie’s words.

Emelie opened her mouth to say something more, but clamped it shut. How could she explain to Molly?

IMG_0063“Are you saying,” Molly spoke after she stood up from her stretching. “That I should pray and ask God for help?”

A relieved smile showed on Emelie’s face. “Exactly. 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) says, ‘Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.'”

Molly nodded. “Oh, I get it. That makes perfect sense.” Then she looked at the clock and the worries hit her all over again. “Josefina, go get ready, please!”

Josefina folded her arms. “We have two hours until it’s time to leave, Molly.”

“JUST DO IT! I’m so nervous and I want to be at least an hour and a half earlier than the time we’re supposed to be there!”

Josefina opened her mouth to argue but then clamped it shut. “You’re the gymnast,” She relented, leaving the room to get ready.

IMG_0065Not ten minutes later did she return. “What time do you want to leave? The Dollympic Qualification Meet is an hour away, and we’re asked to be there at 4:00. If it’s 12:30 now, when do you want to leave?”

“Right now! I want to be the earliest gymnast there at the trial!”

IMG_0066Cécile, who had been playing with her doll elsewhere in Madison’s room, heard the statement and dashed over. “Goodbye, Molls! Good luck!” She cried as she threw her arms around her in a hug.

IMG_0067Soon, everyone gathered around to give Molly their goodbye hugs and good luck wishes.

“Will y’all pray for me?” She whined, the nervousness hitting her again.

“Of course!” They chorused together. “And we’ll be there, too.”

IMG_0068“Will you pray for me, Jaz?” Molly called to Jasmine, who had been reading the Bible all this time.

IMG_0069“You’ll be fine.” Jasmine snapped in annoyance.

“Just pray!” Begged Molly.

“You’ll be fine.” Jasmine reinforced, not bothering to say another word.

IMG_0072She watched jealously as they turned to leave. I should be the one on my way to the Dollmypic trials, she mused in envy. I’m way better than Molly. If only it hadn’t been for Demetria.

IMG_0073“Bye!” Molly called in with frantic waving as she and Josie left. “Pray for me! Wish me luck! And pray! And be there early! And pray for me, too!”

“We will,” laughed Ellie. “Just go on!”

As they climbed in the car, Josefina looked over at Molly. “Okay, Molls. I’m talking to you as your coach. Take deep breaths.”

Molly nodded. “Yes, Coach Josie.”

“And now I’m talking to you as your sister.” Josefina studied Molly’s eyes. “You pray.”

Molly nodded again, closing her eyes and giving the entire situation to God as they drove off. Whatever happened that evening at the AG Dollympic Qualification Meet, she would do her best. The rest would be in His hands.


Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 3.53.06 PM

IMG_0074The hours sped by. Molly’s numerous questions were answered. The warmups zoomed past. Before she knew it, Molly heard her name being called for vault.

She walked up, stricken with unbelief that this moment she had trained for was finally here. Her stomach twisted itself into nervous knots a sailor would envy, and then she remembered. Warning sign.

IMG_0075

That’s one sorry-lookin’ vault, isn’t it? I did the best with what I had. 😛

Molly eyed the daunting vault, taking a deep breath. She felt scared, and the idea of judges watching her every move intimidated her. “God,” she whispered. “Whatever happens next, it’s in Your hands.”

IMG_0076Due to instinct, Molly’s hands shot up in a salute to the judges. Her mind raced with fleeting thoughts.

This is crazy. I can’t believe I’m doing this. Wait, yes I do. Mark 9:23 (NLT) states that anything is possible if a person believes. 

IMG_0078And so she took a step of faith, beginning to run.

IMG_0079She pumped her arms and ran down the runway as fast as her legs would carry her.

IMG_0080Her feet hit the springboard.

IMG_0081She sprung onto the vault, pushing off with her hands.

pic1She flipped.

IMG_0083She turned.

IMG_0084She landed.

IMG_0085 IMG_0086She saluted happily to the judges. She hadn’t taken a step or a hop back!

IMG_0087“You did great, Molly,” Coach Josie hugged her when she walked back to where they had been sitting. “Your form was just a little off, though. Remember to keep your body straight when you spring off the vault.”

“Yes, Coach Josie.”

Molly looked up at the scoreboard and grinned.

“Very good, Molly!” Coach Josie praised. Then they watched together as the next gymnast performed.

“Demetria Dare!” The next gymnast’s name was called. Demetria saluted and began to run.

IMG_0089IMG_0090She side-flipped and then turned into a somersault.

IMG_0091She, too, stuck the landing perfectly. With a satisfied smile on her face, she saluted proudly.

IMG_0092Demetria passed Molly on her way back to her coach.

“Good job,” Molly spoke when Demetria drew near. She remembered to be a good sport about everything.

Demetria turned her head towards Molly. Demetria smiled. “Thanks,” She replied slowly, choosing her words carefully. “You too.”

“Hey, I’ve seen you before. Weren’t you at the Regional tryouts?” Molly questioned.

IMG_0093
“I was, and I won first place. That’s how I got to compete here.” Demetria answered.

“I remember now. I won third place, and that’s how I got here. Good luck.”

Demetria returned a forced smile, but didn’t return the good luck wish. She walked back to her coach, and Molly knew at once Demetria would be tough to beat.

*

Gymnasts came and went, and sooner or later, it was time to face Molly’s old enemy;

IMG_0096Uneven bars.

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Disclaimer: Madi here! I have NO IDEA what I’m talking about as I’m doing this photo story. I’ve done gymnastics before, but haven’t done any of the moves Molly or Demetria do. I’ve never competed, so I’m just going off of what I learned from the Olympics on the scores and deductions and stuff. 😛 I am aware that I probably got a lot of things wrong and that don’t line up with how a qualification meet really is. 😛 Despite my lack of knowledge of gymnastic competitions, I hope you enjoy this photo story series. 🙂

Oh, yeah. Almost forgot. Thanks to my awesome little brother for helping me with the photos of the dolls flipping!

Back-to-School Bun

Hello, everyone reading this! It’s Madi here. Today I’m going to show you how to make an easy-peasy style for your doll called the Back-to-School Bun. Maybe your doll didn’t have so great of a start at school this week, but she’ll own this coming Monday with this cute style. It’s quick and simple and out of the way, perfect for school, yet still elegant. You just need a flower from the American Girl store, or any fake flower with a stem. It’s best for dolls with longer, wavy hair. Ready to learn how?

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 12.57.36 PM
•Your doll, of course!
•An AGP flower (the one you get in the ice cream) or any fake flower with a bendable stem
•A spritzer to keep it frizz-free (optional, I didn’t use one)

Let’s get started, shall we?

IMG_0047First, you are going to have all your doll’s hair down like this. You can brush and spritz it if you’d prefer, but I just did it quickly because it was blazing hot outside. 😉

IMG_0048Bring your dolls hair into a simple beauty bun. Secure it with a hair elastic, like I did, or bobby pins if you want it to look very neat. 🙂 My bun is pretty messy, as you can see. 😛

IMG_0049Now, take the stem of your flower and push it into the center of your bun.

IMG_0050It will poke through near the top like this. Push it all the way through and then grab your stem and thread it through the hair on the top of her head. It’s kind of like weaving, but don’t go in-and-out – make sure it’s completely under the air.

IMG_0051Once the stem has been weaved under the hair and near her wig, it should look like this. You shouldn’t see the stem at all.

IMG_0052Look how beautiful the end result is!

IMG_0053 IMG_0054 IMG_0055 It’s the perfect style for school.

IMG_0056 IMG_0057Jasmine really loves her back-to-school bun, especially since the flower matches with Lea’s Celebration Outfit.

IMG_0058 IMG_0059 There are plenty of variations to this style. You could use two flowers and do two buns or make the bun higher or lower depending on how you want it.

IMG_0060 IMG_0063IMG_0062 I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial of the back-to-school bun!

Have you gone back-to-school yet?

Love,

Madison and Jasmine

A Doll’s First Day of Homeschool pt. 2


That’s right! Part two is here. Ready to see the rest of my school day?

 IMG_0044I stepped outside and grinned to myself. Jasmine had been wrong. The rain this morning had cleared up, leaving only a miserably humid and steamy sunny day behind it.

I looked around the backyard and my eyes landed upon the perfect subject of my science expedition.

IMG_0053Tree bark.

IMG_0070I zoomed over to the tree as fast as I could.

IMG_0073“This bark is very textured,” I mumbled aloud to noone in particular, “and falls off very easily. I wonder why.”

IMG_0082“How interesting!”

Examining the bark led to a few questions for which I found the answers simply by studying the bark some more. I felt it, sniffed it, and even tasted it. What? Don’t look at me like that! I’m more daring than you’d think!

Uh, don’t try that at home, though. It tasted nasty.

IMG_0075“Ants? There are ants in this tree? Absurd. And cool. I better take notes.”

IMG_0083In my scrawl I jotted down a few notes about the bark and the different insects and bugs crawling on the tree.

IMG_0085“God sure knew what He was doing when He made creation,” I sighed to myself. “It’s all so beautiful and so intelligently designed. It truly is an honor to be studying and learning about science.”

IMG_0090I walked back toward the house on the landscaping edge after gathering a pretty nice collection of notes about the bark. When I came inside, I typed it into a little report of what I had observed about it.

IMG_0043For English grammar, by the way, Madison will tell us anything gramatically incorrect we did on our reports about science or history or Bible. She’ll help us correct it and understand the right way to do it next time. For Bible, we type a report on what we learned about that day’s Bible reading plan. Most everyone’s is different, and Madison enjoys reading our views on it.

Of course, I got an A on my science report. I love being a star student!

IMG_0044Oh! Coconut! What are you doing here?

IMG_0047Coconut says she deserves an A+ in being the best dog in the world. Well, I don’t know how many dolly dog owners would agree with you, Coconut, but you get an A+ in my book! 😉

How was your first day of school?

Love,

and Coconut 😉

A Doll’s First Day of Homeschool pt. 1

Happy first day of school, world! It is I, Cécile Rey. I am beginning school again today just like most of you. But unlike most of you, I’m homeschooled!

Well, I had this idea. Would you like to see what a first day of school is like for a homeschooled doll? You don’t see that every day! I’ll take you through what a regular school day looks like for me.

IMG_0046First, I wake up at 7am. I get dressed, fix my hair, and brush my teeth.

IMG_0047“First day of school!” I sang to myself as I marked off yesterday’s date on the calendar.

IMG_0049Before breakfast, all of us sit down together and have morning devotions. We take turns every day reading our Bible reading plan, which is three chapters a day and five on Sundays. (You read the entire Bible in a year that way.)

IMG_0050Today it was Molly’s turn to read aloud. We’ve reached Psalm 91, which is one of Chloe’s (many) favorites.

IMG_0052Look at cute little Coconut!

IMG_0053After devotions, we’ll sit down and eat a nutritious breakfast. Here is one of our tables Madison recently made for us. Today I sat with Molly and Emelie and it was Ellie’s turn to cook. We all take turns doing the cooking, and it’s usually something quick and easy like eggs, oatmeal, fruit, a breakfast muffin I sometimes bake the night before, or a green smoothie.

IMG_0055Oh, and of course, Molly would never let us forget the orange juice. She happens to have a very strong liking for oranges.

IMG_0056 IMG_0058Isn’t her hair so cute? I’m going to ask her to do it like that more often. Her bangs and hair look particularily nice in that style.

IMG_0059This morning I’m having a breakfast of an egg and an orange.

IMG_0060 IMG_0061Aren’t the cups you get at the AG bistro great? It’s so nice of AG to let you keep them.

IMG_0067Oops, I forgot my fork. Better go get that so I can eat my egg!

IMG_0062One more picture of Molly’s awesome hairstyle before we move on. 😉

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 10.08.23 PMFirst up is math. I practice my math facts on this website here, and sometimes Madison will give me equations to solve for algebra. If I don’t get most of them right she’ll help me understand them better.

IMG_0069Then it’s time for the rest of school. For that, we do something called the Charlotte Mason approach.

This picture was taken while I was doing History. I read any historical fiction book that I’d like; not a boring one, but one exactly like American Girl. Something that makes history interesting and fun.

IMG_0070When I’m done reading the book, which doesn’t take me long doing four chapters a day (I have to limit myself; I love AG’s books!), I’ll write a book report on it.

IMG_0071In the book report I’ll put what I’ve learned about the history in the book.

IMG_0073“Five chapters already? Can’t I do one more?” I sighed to myself as I finished my last chapter.

“No, silly,” Emelie laughed. “One will turn into two, and two into ten, if that book has that many. You won’t stop until you’re done with the entire thing, and you’ll get school done way later than you planned.”

“I know,” I replied back. “But I still wish I could read just one more.”

“Go ahead,” Emelie dared. “I bet you that you won’t stop until you’re finished.”

She was right. I didn’t stop until my eyes had scrolled across every last word.

IMG_0074This picture was taken when I was done reading the first section of my Science book. It has cool illustrations and comics in it, and I like it a lot. Here I am typing up my essay, on which I got an A+, by the way. 😉 But Science isn’t over yet. I still have to go outside; more on that later.

IMG_0075Here I am holding my finished History essay. I did good on my Science one, so I hoped I’d do good on this essay as well.

IMG_0076I was quite delighted when Madison handed my report back to me, as you can see.

“Hurray!” I shouted. Making straight A’s is an important goal to me this season.

IMG_0077IMG_0078I broke out in a happy little jig, complete with very-muffled tap steps on the carpet. I was humming a catchy ditty and had just performed a quite beautiful scuffle when Jasmine barked at me to be quiet.

IMG_0081“I’m trying to finish my last chapter in History, Cécile! Go celebrate someplace else!”

“How rude!” I huffed in a joking way. “I was just about to go outside, anyway.”

“For Science?” She questioned.

“Yeah. I did both my Science and History essays, and I’m going outside for the rest of Science now.”

“Have fun. It’s a crazy-wet world out there.”

IMG_0082Wet and rainy won’t daunt me! Join me outside and for the rest of my school day in the next part.

Love,