Huge update, but again it's one of our other collections and not a Calico Critters or Sylvanian Families update. I did tweak a few things here and there on my Calico Critters pages, but nothing that can be noticed by the eye. It was all HTML coding things.

I did notice an oddity about our critters when looking at our critter count. We have 18 father critters, 18 brother critters, and 18 baby boy (crawling and standing) critters. That's really bizarre, I think. What are the chances that they would all align like that?

The real update is Our Fontanini Nativity collection. I think that it added eight new pages to the site and about seventy pictures plus a story for most of the pictures that I had to type from these cards because I thought it would be cool to include them on the site. I've been adding this update over the past couple days slowly typing one more story in these spare few minutes and another in the next few minutes.

A little background information on the Fontanini Nativity (but not too much because I have a little background information on the Fontanini Nativity elsewhere on this web site): the nativity introduces new figurines each year depicting not only those standard Holy family, kings, and shepherds found in nearly all nativities but also the citizens of Bethlehem. Each figure comes with a story card that tells of their virtuous, albeit, fictional life. They are pure sentiment, but I love them just the same. Of course, the collection also features gads of buildings and accessories that insane-pack-rat collectors salivate over while trying to figure out where the money to pay for them is coming from (I'll get a third job!) and where they will be stored (we don't eat in the kitchen anyway so I can tuck those boxes under the table, no one will even know...).

Please, take a look for yourselves at our collection found through the Other Collections page of this site. Decide for yourself, but I think they are lovely. My mother-in-law purchases us most of the new figures we want each Christmas and we've already put together order for this year. And it was my wife, not me, that decided we needed the produce stall...
 
 
This is not a Calico Critter or Sylvanian Families update. Sorry. Instead, I have finally gotten pictures of our new American girl doll and outfits taken and posted with the help of my wife. Due to owning an American Girl, I have now learned how to tie a bow tie. One of the outfits comes with a hair ribbon that is tied around the head like a headband, and we were unsuccessful in getting a "pretty" bow with that ribbon until I said, "I bet it's like tying a bow tie." After a few Google searches, a lot of head stratching, and many failed attempts, I finally got a bow that looked pretty decent. Not pretty "pretty" but pretty decent. I'll keep practicing.

We've also decided that our daughter (and mostly me) needed a Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway collection. We (I) bought a few peices and have created a page for that collection on our "Fun Stuff" section of our web site.

Hopefully, I'll get to work on our nativity collection, but I'm not looking forward to opening all of the boxes and unwrapping all of the figures and taking the pictures and rewrapping all of the figures and putting them back into their boxes. It shouldn't take too long, but it will be tedious. That's probably our most expensive collection though, and I keep saying this is web site is partially insurance proof in case our house burns down, so I suppose I should do the work to include the nativity collection. Sigh.

I'm really enjoying working on the American Girl and Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway pages, but it's just not the same as organizing those little critters into pictures.
 
 
I have posted pictures of the thirteen new sets we added to our collection on the appropriate pages of the "Our Collection" section.

I have also updated the Family Album with new family portraits and biographies for our newest critters. I updated the figure count section of the "Fun Stuff" page too to keep it current with our collection.

Hopefully, I'll get some pictures of my Thomas Wooden Railway collection and our Fontanini nativity collection taken and post those here soon too. I don't know though. The nativity collection is going to take a long time.
 
 
We got our latest order from Geddie's Toys. They have great prices and good shipping deals, but I do have to say I'm disappointed with the handling of the products. The boxes were in good condition; there were no tears or rips, but there were bents and folds and some of the boxes were a bit dirty. Nothing major, but I'm picky. I'd definitely order from them again.

We added thirteen sets to our collection.

Dalmatian dog twins-
I don't have much to say. They are Calico Critters twins. The boy is crawling. The girl is sitting. They are wearing the standard blue and pink baby outfits. My wife did set the boy down on the couch and from the angle I was sitting in and the angle she placed him, he did look amazingly great.

Furbanks squirrel family- I love the green cloths but wonder why the mother was left out of the green cloths continuation especially when Fiona Furbanks from the Ivy and Fiona: Friends Forever ready-to-play set is even wearing green. My wife commented on how the tails were better than she was expecting. She thought they would be the standard pipe cleaner tail, just longer.

Fubanks squirrel twins- I wish they had some kind of tails. Other than that, they are your standard babies.

Norwood mouse twins- Yes, they are the standard babies, but these ones are so cute! I'll admit that; I love these twins.

Pickleweeds hedgehog twins- We don't have the family-of-four yet, so these twins are pretty great as they are like nothing in our collection, but the boy is named "Honey?" What's up with that? I really have issues with the way Calico Critters are named.

Wilder panda bear family- I love the boy's clothing; I can't think of any other boy that is wearing short pants. The sister's clothing, like mother Furbanks, doesn't fit with the family.

Wilder panda bear twins- They are your standard twins. Sigh.

Country Dining Room set- The leaf-and-acorn detailing on the chairs and table are a much needed surprise. I thought over all that this set was boring; it's very plastic looking. I wish the dishes had some kind of detail and a tablecloth or runner would have been nice. Maybe a flower vase with flowers for a centerpeice. It's nice, but boring. I guess that's why it's significantly cheaper than most furniture sets.

Country Living Room set- This is probably my favorite furniture set that we got yesterday. For the price, I think it's rather nice. The arm chairs are well-detailed and the cookies and tray dress up the set nicely. I like the coat rack; it's the reason I bought the set, even if it looks rather cartoony.

Deluxe Bathroom set- It's nice, but too similiar to the blue bathroom set. The tile floor is bizarre in my opinion and I find myself wondering if it will even fit in a Calico Critters house. I like that it's not blue; I'm not a fan of blue, but most of the pieces between the two bathroom sets are identical.

Deluxe Living Room set- This is my favorite new furniture set. It has that classical Sylvanian Families look to it with the green coverings and this is our first telephone. I'm a sucker for the folded-goodies and this set came with a present (not really sure why, though) and a pastry box. We have the old living room set (the shelf, couch, and rocking chair), but this couch is much nicer, in my opinion. Softer. This "deluxe" set is the one that looks the least like plastic.

Deluxe Kitchen set- This is a nice set, but it really needs a refrigerator. I think Calico Critters needs to make a refrigerator set available to add to this set to give people unaware of Sylvanian Families the chance to add a fridge without having to buy the Kitchen set. In my opinion, the Kozy Kitchen set is more deluxe; the Deluxe Kitchen set has some nice-detailed peices but it's pretty small when set up. I like it, but it's not deluxe, in my opinion.

Sister's Bedroom set- I had high hopes and expectations for this set, and it's nice but did not meet those hopes and expectations. I like the quilt is more red than pink or purple so it could be used for not just "sister's bedroom" and the recorder and globe are fun peices. The chairs are extremely cheap looking and there's these weird necklace things that you have to make yourself by stringing a pendant on an easily-fraying cord and then tie a knot in that easily-fraying cord. They look a mess and the knots easily come out of that easily-fraying cord.

Along with the Country Dining Room set, this set looks like plastic more so than any other Calico Critters set. And, I beleive that this is a newer furniture set with only the "Country" furniture sets (Dining Room, Living Room, Patio, and Bedroom) being newer to the Calico Critter world. My wife and I could tell that the Country Bedroom set and Country Patio set were not sets we needed from the pictures because they were cartoonish in design. This scares me, because I feared that the quality was going to begin going downhill with the introduction of Calico Critter products to Toys-R-Us stores here in North America. Of course my argument is weak because the Country sets are not available at Toy-R-Us... yet... We'll just have to see.
 
 
We got our 107th critter yesterday: Esme Chantilly in the Esme's Camping Set from Flair. Having Esme now means that we have completed the Chantilly family, which also means I have now lost my family that did not have a daughter.

I have updated the Our Collection, Calico Critters and Sylvanian Families Ready-to-Play sets page with pictures of Esme and her camping set. I did not yet pull out the rest of the Chantilly family for a new family portrait to be posted on our Family Album page.

Since school has ended for another year and I'm on summer break for three months, I'm actually hoping to take all new pictures of everything we have. I'm not sure how well Adah is going to cooperate with this plan; but, hopefully, I'll get all new pictures posted.

Esme's Camping Set is wonderful, in my opinion. Since we really liked the idea of having a tent, we thought we were going to have to by the ultra-girly camping set with Ingrid Blackberry but were able to find Esme's Camping Set on eBay. I really like the blue tent, and the picnic table is nice two. I really love that my critters can go fishing with the fishing pole!
 
 
I've added our third collection: IKEA. My wife and I love IKEA and have furnished much of our house with IKEA products. I decided that I'd keep an inventory of our "collection" on this page mostly for my own amusement.

I'm hoping to take some decent pictures of the house to post on the page too. I'm quite proud of our little house and the way it looks. I was never really able to figure out what my dream house would be, and I would have never imagined that what I got would have turned out to be something that I'm very happy with.

As we were planning our wedding, we bought one side of a double house at a great price but that was insanely outdated. We gutted the majority, dry-walled the lot, painted with some wicked colors, tiled, carpeted, and wood-laminated the floors; it was pretty intense! When we got the furniture in, I have to say that it was a pretty satisfying feeling. Dare I say, "Magical?" I'm really proud of it and just want to keep a record of exactly what IKEA pieces we have for posterity's sake, I guess.
 
 
I've added a new section to the Fun Stuff page: Our American Girl Collection. Adah, our daughter, got the Rebecca Rubin doll for Christmas from my mother, and our Kirsten Larson doll that was backordered came this week. I had pictures of Rebecca modeling the clothing that we have so I've decided to expand our web site to include this collection too.

We have a few more pictures to take and retake since we got some more clothing, a dog from Uncle Todd, my brother, and the Kirsten doll.

I also have plans to add a few more of our collections to this site, but I don't want to reveal those until I have them ready.
 
 
My wife and I gave up on waiting for the house to be ready. The contractor is taking a long time to get back to us about when he's going to start our new living room ceiling. We decided to move back to the house, so I was finally able to take some pictures of the new items in our collection.

I posted pictures of the sets that my daughter and I gave my wife for Mother's Day. The Cycling with Mother and Village Postman set were posted in the Ready-to-Play set section of our collection, and the Scrumptious Sandwiches set was posted in the Shop Furniture and Accessories set page. I do have to say that the Scrumptious Sandwiches set is growing on me.

I also posted new and, in my opinion, better pictures of the clothing sets that I purchased a few weeks ago for my wife. These can be found on the Clothing and Accessories page of our collection. We're going to be taking pictures of critters dressed in the outfits and adding those pictures to that page within the next few days.
 
 
Critter Count: 106

I know I'm a day late, but I ended up working at the store yesterday. We're still not in our own house since the living room still does not have a ceiling. A stupid broken pipe is turning into a three week holiday from our house to my parents' house. I wouldn't care if there was work being done in my own house, but it's just been sitting waiting for the contracter to decide he's going to put our ceiling up. *Sigh* All you mothers out there, do except my well wishes for you.

My own wife and daughter's mother seemed to enjoy her new critters; although, I seemed to have enjoy them more. I love the Farthing dog family. Penny and Rally are great. Their box is the one that was a bit dinged and dented, but the Farthing mother and baby boy more than make up for that. They are great. I like the bicycle and I love the bread bag!

Postman Pete is a fun little set. Pete's uniform is really nice, and I really like his stamp and ink pad.

I'll admit that I wasn't and am still not a huge fan of the Scrumptious Sandwiches set. My wife really wanted that set though, and I'm sure that we'll enjoy playing with it when Adah is older. I just wish that there was a table or some kind of counter; of course, then the price would just go up, up, up. And we can always use the dessert counter with dessert sticker firmly attached in place, right?

I'd definitely consider ordering from Small Imaginations again. The shipping was fast, dare I even say faster than shipping from within the States? I would have liked a shipping confirmation e-mail though. The prices were decent, so all-in-all I'm very satisfied with this transaction. I'd recommend them.
 
 
I did some Mother's Day shopping today. I bought my wife, or rather Adah bought her mother, three Sylvanian Families sets from the UK website Small Imaginations. I'm happy with the price I paid; the shipping seemed decent. Let's see how quickly my order is processed and delivered.

I ordered the Cycling with Mother set, the Village Postman set, and Scrumptious Sandwich set. I wanted to get more mother/daughter type sets, but my wife didn't have any mother/daughter sets on her list.

I'm doing my best to keep this a surprise. I'm not good at surprises though. We'll see what happens.