Sampler Saturday

Sampler Saturday: Suddenly I’m In The Mood For A Game Of Risk

Luke doodled this pic on the back of a school worksheet. I liked it so much I scanned it into Photoshop so we could color it.

Risk, anyone?

Categories: Animals, Artwork, Family, Gaming, Horses, Humor, kids, Life, Sampler Saturday | 2 Comments

Sampler Saturday: Childhood Is Temporary; Imaginary Friends Are Forever. Apparently. Also: Starships!

Once a year I go through the kids’ bedrooms and we sort out the toys that have been outgrown and can be packed away or donated to the thrift store. We used to do this in late fall or early winter, to make room for the big piles of shiny new Christmas toys, but alas, those days of big piles of new Christmas toys are bygone and yore, verily. Avast! Where was I? Right, the annual bedroom purges. Since it doesn’t matter so much anymore when we do them, I tackled Elizabeth’s room a few weeks ago. Turns out she’s outgrown a LOT of toys since the last time; her shelves were looking rather bare in the wake of our cleaning spree. I was tossing stuff into a cardboard box, confirming each item with her as I went. “Footprints too?” I asked, grabbing the toy in question and holding it over the box.

“Are you KIDDING?” she gasped, rescuing Footprints and restoring him lovingly to his familiar place on the shelf. “I’m never going to outgrow FOOTPRINTS!”

This is Footprints:

Elizabeth got him when she was four or five. Or maybe three. Anyway, she was a wee thing and she loved him like crazy. When he was brand new he had flashing lights and cool sound effects, but a few too many trips through mud puddles and sprinklers (and possibly the bathtub) put an end to that. Elizabeth loved him just the same.

The only reason I still have Joe Jackson’s “Steppin’ Out” on any of my iTunes playlists is because to this day, whenever it plays, Elizabeth says, “Oh! It’s Footprints’ favorite song!” I never get tired of that.

So apparently Footprints’ near-storage-experience got Elizabeth to thinking about which of her imaginary (“reality challenged?”) friends will still feel real to her when she’s all grown up and adult-like, and then she and Luke got into a conversation about it and he contributed his own list of BFFs, and then she was inspired to sit down and draw…not a comic, exactly. A Vision Of The Future, where she and Luke have grown up and become…captains of their own starships.

Hey, it’s good to aim high.

She started with Luke:

You can tell it’s Grownup Luke because of the pipe and the mustache. Love that spirally mic cord! Luke’s passion for steampunk will apparently integrate itself into the design of his future starship. And it looks like he will still be in the habit of wearing a coat almost year-round, with the sound-dampening hood always up to discourage his peers from attempting to engage him in conversation. It’s like his personal Cone of Silence.

The Hymie he’s speaking to is the boy from The Polar Express, the main character. The boy doesn’t have a name in either the book or the movie, but Luke dug the character enough to include him in his imaginative play, so he needed to be called something. I think Luke got the name Hymie from the robot dude in Get Smart. Moving on…

Looks like Hymie’s all grown up too. Still has bed-head, though.

Otto Matic, from one of Luke’s favorite video games. He’s a robot, so he ages well.

Alrighty then. Let’s take a look at Captain Elizabeth:

I…don’t even know where to begin with this pic. The vintage ’50’s shades, the slinky little dress, the inch-long talons, the hair…well, okay, the hair’s fairly realistic. Elizabeth has some serious hair.

(Btw, those are iPods and earbuds in the “In Case Of Emergency” case. Snerk.)

When I first saw this drawing, I commented to Elizabeth that it was hard for me to imagine her ever looking like that. She replied, “Well, that’s when I’m an adult.” Ah. Okay then. I fear that my own adult card is in danger of being revoked, though, if it involves dressing like that.

Captain Elizabeth might consider turning down the lighting levels on her bridge, since everyone seems to be so blinded by the glare that they have to wear sunglasses.

Espio doesn’t look a day over sixteen. I guess. It’s hard to tell with those Mobian Chameleons.


Categories: Family, Friends, Humor, kids, Life, Love, Sampler Saturday | 2 Comments

Sampler Saturday: Killing The Behemoth

Chapter 13: Killing The Behemoth
by Elizabeth, age 12


“I know these guys!” Espio exclaimed. “Vector! Charmy!”

“Espio!” The two exclaimed.

“You must be headed for the evil warlock lord who banished us here!” Vector said.

“Why yes!” Elizabeth said. “How did you know?”

“We did the same thing, Me, Charmy, Espio…” Vector replied.

“Espio was with us back then!” Charmy exclaimed.

“I’ll explain the rest,” Espio said, “just to make the story clearer:”

“Here comes the exciting part!” Charmy whispered to Vector. Continue reading

Categories: Animals, Dragons, Fiction, Friends, Humor, kids, Life, Sampler Saturday | Leave a comment

Sampler Saturday: Tricks And Traps

CHAPTER 12: Tricks And Traps
by Elizabeth, age 12

“I shall give you the gift of telepathy!” Elizabeth said to Espio.

‘Let’s go!’ Espio telepathesized. ‘Hop on! There’s not much time!’

Elizabeth and Roxie climbed onto Espio’s back and he took to the air. Espio landed safely on a turret and turned back into a chameleon. All three of them, Elizabeth, Espio, Roxie, rushed into the castle, Elizabeth stopping only to pick up one of the blue dragon’s shimmering scales, which had fallen off during combat. She put it in her pocket and continued on.

Elizabeth, Espio, and Roxie still had several more rooms to enter and explore. They finally entered a hallway with two doorways. One led out to a balcony. Elizabeth pulled out her lightning rod and placed it into a hole, one that looked like it was meant for the rod, and stepped back! Instantly another hole formed at her feet and a skeletal hand arose holding a sort of wand. There seemed to be a serpent carved right on it.

Espio and Roxie looked a little freaked out, but Elizabeth took the wand and the hand descended back into place. She looked at the wand, then at Espio. “I know where this goes. Be right back.”

“Good luck.” Espio replied.

“You too!” And she left.

Meanwhile, Espio and Roxie stood on the balcony. They looked around and walked down a staircase onto the rest of the balcony, where there was a pot of gold and a single bag.

Roxie took the bag and headed for the pot of gold. Espio quickly grabbed her tail. “It could be a trap!” he said.

Then without warning, the stones that the balcony was made of immediately crumbled beneath them and they fell…

… and the two managed to grab on to what was left! Roxie managed to climb up and save herself, but had to escape because more of the stones crumbled…

Hanging by his long, pink tongue, Espio managed to save himself once again! But enough was enough! He had to telepathesize to Elizabeth! ‘Elizabeth! I am in dire peril! Please help me!’

Moments later, Elizabeth was flying at top speed, just as more of the balcony stones crumbled and Espio fell again!

Elizabeth managed to catch him in her arms, though.

“Thanks!” he said. “And, hey, what’s that you got there?”

Elizabeth looked down at a staff in her hands. “This thing?” she asked. “That, Espio, is a staff. There are three pieces to the staff, and we only have two of them.”

They gently landed on what was left of the balcony (where they were greeted by Roxie) and headed into the castle quickly. Elizabeth pulled out the golden blade that she had picked up in the room with the wolf lady, and slid it onto the staff, where it locked into place.

“C’mon!” Elizabeth said. “We only have one more piece to find! Follow me!”

They went into the other door, whee they were greeted by a king. He was long dead now, just a motionless skeleton. Elizabeth looked for the scepter she had found in the coffin room, and carefully put it in the king’s dead, skeletal hand.

At that moment, a design on a pillar slid down to reveal a ring-shaped hole! Elizabeth asked Roxie for the ring that she had found in the garden, and when Roxie gave Elizabeth the ring, Elizabeth put it into the hole, and the royal throne moved to reveal a secret passageway. The three quickly hurried down into it, and were greeted by two doors. One led to the left, the other, straight ahead.

Espio walked toward the passageway to the left, and when a large slab of stone loosened up, Espio dived into the passage, the stone slab just barely missing his tail, and the poor chameleon was sealed in!

“Espio!” Elizabeth yelled, rushing to the slab. Dust and small stones fell to the ground from the cracks in the walls and ceiling, meaning the rest of the passageway would collapse.

“We can’t just stay here,” Elizabeth said. “but we can’t leave Espio here either. Espio! See if you can find a way out!”

“Roger!” Espio replied. He threw one of his explosive shuriken stars and it exploded when it hit the stone slab. Then Espio emerged.

“Run!” Elizabeth yelled. “This place is gonna collapse any minute now! We gotta get outta here! Fast!!”

The three ran out into the next room, where there were two doorways, and two gargoyles guarding one. Elizabeth, Espio, and Roxie ran into the one that the gargoyles were not guarding, which led into a room filled with hot lava!! The only parts that were safe to walk on were a stone walkway, with a stone demon in the center.

“Motari Riseth!” Elizabeth yelled.

The stone statue sank, and another walkway formed. Walking along it, Espio asked, “How do you know all these spells?”

Elizabeth replied, “I’ve played a game based on this.”

The three made their way into another room. There was a big hole in the ground, a large cylinder hanging by a chain, and three levers on the wall.

Elizabeth walked over to the three levers and lowered the right lever…

Then lowered the central lever…

Then raised the right lever…

Then the large cylinder opened up, revealing a silver orb!

Elizabeth took the orb and slid it onto the staff. The room seemed to light up as the orb locked into place! “We have all three pieces now.” she said.

Espio looked down into the deep, dark pit in the ground. He picked up a pebble and dropped it into the pit, waiting for a sound. There was a sound when the pebble landed, and it was not a very good one!

First a rumble…

Then a growl…

Then something climbed up into view!

Elizabeth grabbed Espio and Roxie and ran.

The monster made an angry swipe at the three! Thankfully, before the monster made any accurate hits, Espio jumped out in front, grabbed Elizabeth and Roxie’s hands, and JUMPED, completely dodging the blow!

The three quickly dashed out of the room as the monster slammed his giant fists on the ground!

Espio lost his balance halfway across the bridge, Elizabeth having to catch him in order to save him from a fiery death!

They ran faster! When they got to the gargoyles, Elizabeth quickly said, “Instantum Illumina!” and ran into the next room, the room the gargoyles were guarding!

There was a well in the next room. A well and a locked door.

“I wonder what’s in the next room.” Espio said.

“Use your head?” Elizabeth asked.

Moments later, Elizabeth and Roxie were charging at top speed, carrying Espio who was wailing, “BUT I DON’T WANNA USE MY HEAD!!!!


The three were laying there, in a heap, Espio suffering from a splitting headache, in front of an open door!

Two voices were being heard from inside.

“*Gasp!* Light! I see light!” exclaimed a squeaky voice.

“We’re saved!” exclaimed a gruff voice.

Blinking from the light, out stepped two fine young gentlemen: a six-year-old bee…

…and a twenty-year-old crocodile.

Categories: Animals, Fiction, Friends, Gaming, Humor, kids, Life, Sampler Saturday | Leave a comment

Sampler Saturday: Riddles And Monsters

Riddles And Monsters
By Elizabeth, age 12


The three reentered the castle. Roxie and Espio were still a bit drowsy from what happened with the flute, and Roxie had taken the ring that was in the tree, she said it looked pretty.

They went through the remaining door, which led into a banquet hall, and they were greeted by three doors.

“Let’s go through this one!” Said Espio, pointing to the door to the right at the top of a staircase.

“Good choice.” Elizabeth said, trying to open the locked door.

“It’s locked.” Roxie said. “Try a different one.”

“They’re all locked.” Elizabeth replied, pulling out a bobby pin and inserting it into the keyhole.


‘I was wondering why she packed a bobby pin too…’ Espio thought.

A sphinx lay in the next room, blocking their path. She seemed to be watching their every move…

“Who are you?!?” The sphinx snapped. “No one may pass without answering a riddle!”

“I know that!” Espio exclaimed.

“SILENCE!” And the sphinx pounced on the poor innocent chameleon, nearly crushing the life out of him! Continue reading

Categories: Animals, Dragons, Fiction, Friends, Humor, kids, Life, Sampler Saturday | Leave a comment

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