Saturday, December 29, 2018

Toys and their Joys

Daddy John & Daddy Steve: We must have some really good kids, because Santa delivered a lot of loot to Gregoropolis this Christmas!

Rolf, who loves monkeys, claimed a sock monkey as his own.

Paul: He looks a little like you, Rolfie.
Rolf: Ja, very handsome!

Pete Dakota got into action with his new G. I. Joe (something Daddy John always wanted as a boy, but never received).

Pete: What do you spy, Joe?  Daisy and Harriet are consorting with the enemy?

Harriet and Daisy checked out the Barbie dolls.

Harriet: I wonder if Auntie Marti could make some clothes for them?

Duncan doesn't have his namesake yo-yo mastered yet, but he's working on it.

Duncan: I'm trying to make it 'walk the dog.'
Luke: Well...looks like you got it to play dead.

Predictably, Tyler and Mikko are captivated by the Rock 'Em-Sock 'Em Robots; although mindful of their last boxing encounter, they are happy to share with Rhoda.

Rhoda: Can I try?
Tyler: Oh sure!

Ravi and Patrick love the Lincoln Logs set.

Ravi: We're going to be famous architects some day!
Patrick: Yeah, like Frank Lloyd Wright!*

*Fun Fact: Lincoln Logs were actually designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright's sons in 1916.

Pete Dakota and Benjamin Roy race cars along BR's new Hot Wheels set.

Meanwhile, the Tinker Toys are getting a lot of playtime with Angelo and Nathan.

Angelo: Is it a bird?
Nathan: No, it's a plane.

All of the kids are impressed with the Lite Brite.

Everyone: Coooooooool!

And Miguel likes Grumpy Care Bear the best.

Miguel: He looks just like Daddy Steve before he's had his morning cup of coffee!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Yes, Nathan, There Is A Santa Claus

Daddy Steve:  Christmas preparations continue in Gregoropolis, with Holly Belle as self-appointed director.  Not everyone is on board with this...

Holly Belle: Nathan, you need to unpack this box of decorations.
Nathan: How'd you get to be the boss around here?
Holly Belle: Because I have the clipboard.
Nathan: Well, you're not the boss of me!

Holly Belle: You know, Nathan, just because it's this close to Christmas don't think for one minute that Santa Claus isn't watching you.  In fact, he watches extra close this time of year.
Nathan: Well, I'm not sure there even is a Santa Claus.

With this bold statement, a collective gasp of shock and amazement echoed throughout Gregoropolis.

Wesley: Did Nathan just say he doesn't believe in Santa?!?
Emile: Sacre bleu!
Oliver: I can't believe what I'm hearing!
Frank: NO Santa!?!
Rhoda: Nathan's kind of a rebel.  I like him.

Holly Belle: You realize if you're wrong, you've cooked your goose as far as presents go.
Meghan: Yeah, Nathan, Santa doesn't take kindly to non-believers.
Nathan: Consider this: Mikko and Tyler are always in trouble, but they still get as many presents as that goody-goody Robin.

Tyler: We're not always in trouble.
Mikko: Yeah, we're adventurers!  There's a big difference.
Robin: And I'm not a goody-goody, either.
Tyler: Actually, you kind of are.
Kaveh: I'm sure Santa sees the good in everyone.

Nathan: Alright, answer this, then, how can a fat old guy like Santa fit down our skinny chimney?

Wesley: Well, hmmmmmm...
Oliver: He does have a point there.
Holly Belle: No, he does not.  There's a perfectly logical answer to that.
Meghan: Now quiet, everyone.  Holly Belle has the answer.  Go ahead, HB.
Holly Belle: Thank you, Meghan.  If Santa can't use the chimney, he just gets in using a skeleton key.  That's why Christmas is less than 2 months after Halloween; so there are still plenty of skeletons lying around to make keys.

Wesley: Ah, yes!
Oliver: She does have a point there.
Frank: Makes sense to me.

Ravi: Patrick, what do you think of all of this?  Is it logical to believe in Santa?
Patrick: I'm not sure, Ravi, but I do know that it's definitely not logical to question a good thing.

Friday, December 14, 2018

'Tis The Season

Daddy Steve: Here in Gregoropolis, all of the kids are getting into the Christmas spirit.  Indeed, it's hard not to when you hear your favorite holiday music. 

Anthony's listening to a live radio broadcast of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite as he writes out his Christmas cards.

Anthony: My favorite is the "Waltz of the Flowers."

Tyler and Mikko are grooving to the sounds of the Beach Boys singing "Little Saint Nick."

Mikko & Tyler: A run-run reindeer!  A run-run reindeer!

There's lots more to be done, of course.  In the kitchen, Wyatt, Meghan, and Frank are busy baking Christmas cookies.  Well, at least Wyatt and Meghan are baking...

Frank: Mmmmmm...yummy!  Nothing better than cookies right out of the oven!
Meghan: Uh, Frank, how many have you eaten?

Meanwhile, Christmas decorations are going up all over the house.  In the front hall, we have an old clock which the kids think looks like a miniature town hall.  They like to decorate it to look like an old time village square.

Daphne: The carolers will go in front, and the Santa orchestra goes on the roof.

Emile: Well.  I 'ave nevair seen ze village square wiz ze giant Foo Dogs before!

One of our newest decorations is this beautifully detailed log cabin.  It was one of the table centerpieces at this year's Sasha Festival, and we were very lucky to win it at the end of the festival.

Holly Belle: Look, Rolf.  Every time we put this up, we can remember how much fun we had at our first Sasha Festival!
Rolf: Ja, what fun we had.

As you may (or may not) know, I'm quite fond of old metal toys of all types.  A number of years ago I found this 1950s era metal split-level dollhouse.  The kids do love to decorate it for Christmas.

Blake: Each window gets a wreath.
Giancarlo: It looks very festive.
Duncan: >sigh<  I'll never get these lights untangled!

There's something very reassuring about unpacking cherished decorations and putting them in exactly the same places every year.

Daphne: The tree should come my way a little more.
Valerie: Actually, it should come my way a little more.
Gavin: >groan<   Grumble, grumble, mutter, mutter

Happy Holidays from our home to yours!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Pete versus The Elf

Benjamin Roy: Hey Pete, do want to take Annabelle for a walk with me?
Pete Dakota: Sure, I just want a drink of water first.

Pete: Ahhh!  What the heck is that?!

BR: What's taking you so long?
Pete: Wha--wha-what is that thing?!
BR: Oh, that's one of those Elf On A Shelf figures.  Daddy John and Daddy Steve move it around the house and say the elf watches us to see if we're being good or bad and then reports back to Santa.
Pete: I don't's kind of creepy.  I bet it moves around on its own.
BR: Oh, it's nothing to be afraid of.  C'mon, let's go.
Pete: O-o-okay, if you're sure...

Later that afternoon...

Pete: Now, where did I put my gray t-shirt? I know it's around here somewhere.

Pete: Here it is.  Frank leaves these drawers so messy... >grumble grumble<


That evening...

Pete: BR...BR, wake up!
BR: >snore, snort< Hmmmffff?

BR: Huh? Pete?  What's going on?
Pete: Can I sleep with you tonight?  Please?
BR: Of course.  What's wrong?
Pete: That elf!  He's going to come get me!  I just know it!
BR: Oh it's just a stupid toy.  It won't hurt you.  
Pete: No, he's after me.  I just know it!
BR: >sigh< Okay, get in.

Pete: Thank you, BR.
BR: Go to sleep, buddy.  It'll be fine in the morning, you'll see.
Pete: Okay...

Pete and BR drift off...

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Big Reveal

Daddy Steve:  It's time to reveal the big surprise.  Have you guessed it yet?  If not, then Meghan and Robin will be happy to share it with  you.

Meghan: It's Sasha Morganthaler's 125th birthday!
Robin: Technically, it's the 125th anniversary of her birth.
Meghan: Whatever.  It's time to party!

Sasha M was born 125 years ago on November 30th, so we had a party to mark the special occasion.  And what a party it was!  We made lots of delicious food including cheese fondue, a traditional dish of Sasha's homeland of Switzerland.

Anthony: Frank, why don't you go mingle a little?
Frank: I am mingling--with these macarons.

Holly Belle: Oh, dear me, my bread came off of my fork!  According to tradition, I must kiss the man next to me.  >Tee-hee!<
John Martin: Uh, why don't we just shake hands instead?

Party decorations included the Swiss flag and, of course, the Sasha logo.

Luke: All this time I thought it was a Red Cross benefit.
Kaveh: >sigh<  The Red Cross is red on white; the Swiss flag is white on red.
Luke: You learn something new every day!
Sasha: It all looks so pretty!

Holly Belle organized a fashion show featuring original Frido clothes that reflected Sasha M's fashion aesthetic.

L to R: Miss Pink Party Dress, Misses Blond & Brunette Gingham, Miss Brown Cord, 
and Miss Dungarees.

Daphne: It was actually kind of a hoot to dress up in these old-timey outfits.

Even Rhoda got talked into participating -- with some concessions, of course.

Frederick: Hey!  Those are my clothes!

Sasha Morganthaler had a great love and interest in all of the world's cultures, so Ravi and Harriet dressed in traditional garb of India.

And although she loved traditional designs, Sasha M could also be right on trend; interpreting the fashions of the 1960s.  Here, Emile wears a Mondrian-inspired outfit popularized by Yves Saint Laurent.

Emile: But of course, Le French are zee experts on le haute couture.

What would a party be without music? Entertainment was provided by a band comprised of Gavin, Valerie, Bowie, Rolf, and Sebastian.  They were quite the swinging quintet!

Giancarlo took front & center with the band to sing a moving love ballad as only an Italian can.

Angelo: Bravo!  He's like a young Pavarotti!

Much of the party's conversation centered on Sasha's life and work, including some personal reminiscences...

Gino: Daisy, you actually had your photo taken with Sasha M!  What was it like?
Daisy: Well, I don't remember too much, though I recall that her furry coat tickled!

Everyone in Gregoropolis had a wonderful time; even some of the more reclusive residents made an appearance.

The evening ended with a toast to Sasha M.

All: Happy Birthday to the mother of us all!