Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: Thanksgiving

Last week we all drove to Grammy and PawPaw's house in Northern California.  It was a bit of an adventure since our van decided to quit the night before we left.  Thankfully we were able to borrow a van and the trip went on as planned.  Mama B told me that they rotate which holiday they drive to CA for and this year it was Thanksgiving.  Grammy called it "Thanksmas" since we opened Christmas presents the same day as we celebrated Thanksgiving.

Grammy surprised Mama B with a scrapbook of Twiggy Four's photos.  Photos, you ask?!  Yes, Mama has been a squeaky wheel lately and was able to get some photos of Twiggy Four.  Sorry, but we can't post them online.  Mama would be more than happy to email them if asked.  He is adorable!

Along with the photos came some background information on Twiggy Four as well as his status as a favorite in his ward.  Everyone keeps saying how sweet he is and he's worth waiting for.

So, what is the status of the adoption?  Like I said, Mama has been a squeaky wheel and is hoping to hear something REALLY soon.  She has made contact with a couple of gals in the orphanage who are doing all they can to find out the status of his file.  Everything is slowed down right now because of the flooding.  Mama is praying specifically that we'll hear an update by Christmas...of THIS year!  She prayed the same prayer last year and God answered "no".  She's really hoping He'll say "yes" this year.  It's been a very difficult wait, but Mama can see God working and wouldn't change it.  She had an really neat experience in October that she wouldn't have had if God had said "yes" last Christmas.  So please pray with us that God would move in a mighty way and get Twiggy Four home in 2012!

Thank you for praying for the fingerprint problem to resolve.  Mama was able to schedule their updated fingerprinting to be done after her trip overseas.  Since they had already filed to update their immigration paperwork, it didn't matter if the old fingerprints expired.  Mr. Branch and Mama had a nice date on Nov. 1 driving an hour each way for a 10 minute appointment.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Adventures of Twiggy Bear: Camping

Well, Mama B. has been really, really bad about updating the blog.

My last big adventure for the summer was camping.

And here is the big green boat...

And my siblings and their friends...

Mama is homeschooling all three Twigs this year so she has been busy writing learning plans and getting organized.  She also got invited to join the mission team to Twiggy Four's country again this year.  She wasn't going to go because she thought they would be getting him soon, but since that hasn't happened she is able to go on the trip.  She leaves in 2 1/2 weeks.  Oh, and she's organizing a children's outreach event at church that is one week after she gets home.  She's nuts!

The files the adoption agency has been waiting for have still not arrived so there's no news to tell.  Mama is very frustrated.

Twiggy Four's immigration paperwork expires next week so Mr. Branch and Mama have to drive up to Yakima to get their fingerprints re-done.  Mama doesn't understand that one.  She says her fingerprints haven't changed!  You could pray that that all works out because the appointment they were given is in October which is after the expiration date (besides Mama will be overseas).  Mama has to make phone calls tomorrow to ask if they can "walk-in" ASAP.  It would not be good for the paperwork to expire.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I was wrong.  It's not referrals that are expected next week.  Referrals are where the overseas adoption board matches a family with a child.  What is coming next week is a batch of files that overseas is asking the agency to find families for.  When we placed our request to be matched with Twiggy Four last June his file was not complete yet.  So at this point, that is what we're hoping for.  A completed file that then our agency will tell overseas that they have a family for.  The overseas adoption board will then consider the match.  That process is known to take several months.  Once a match is approved it's another 4-6 months before travel.

The agency did ask me this morning if Twiggy Four's file is not amongst the ones they receive next week if we wanted to consider another child that is paperwork ready.  I'm not ready to go there yet.  Please pray that God will make it abundantly clear His will for our family.

Adoption update

I just received an email from our adoption agency and they did not come home from overseas with any specific information on Twiggy Four.  But they did find out that they should receive referrals for some waiting children next week.  Please pray that our boy's referral is one of them!!!

Twiggy Bear says he's off on another new adventure this weekend.  Just maybe it'll be his last one before traveling overseas to Twiggy Four!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: Who Knew?

O.K. I thought you all were my friends!  But you've been holding out on me.  You didn't tell me my parents own a boat!!!  Last week Mama B kept talking about Mr. Branch getting "the boat" ready to "take out" now that hot weather has finally arrived.  So Saturday the whole house was full of excitement as Mr. Branch "hooked up" and got gas.  The rest of us packed up food, water and sunscreen then headed outside.  Lo and behold, there was a boat in our driveway!  Now I know what they've been talking about.  I had seen a big, old green thing next to our house but I didn't know what it was.  Boy, did we have fun on that old boat.  The big Twigs and even Mr. Branch rode behind it in what they called a "tube".  They bounced and laughed for two hours.  Mama kept telling me to look at the big airplanes in the sky.  They were doing a show for the big boat races that were going on.  I can't wait until I'm grown up and can ride in the tube.

Twiggy Two started a new gymnastics program last night.  She is in the TOPS program which gets girls ready for team competition.  She really liked it and it probably won't be long before she moves up.  Mama B says she can already do all the stuff the other girls are working on.  Good for Twiggy Two!!!

Mama is waiting for an email from our agency.  They said they would be back in the office today.  She's trying hard to wait until at least tomorrow before sending an email asking for news.  I keep telling her that it takes time for people to get over jet lag and to organize any info they might have received.  She says she knows that but it doesn't help.  She'd like to just go help them organize!  After all, that's what she's good at.   Silly Mama!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: Puzzle Finished/Orphanage Project

It's finished!!!

Twiggy One and Mama began working on our orphanage project tonight.  In the contract with the adoption agency, Mama B and Mr. Branch agreed to do some sort of service project for Twiggy Four's orphanage.  His orphanage has mostly kids with cerebral palsy and many of them can't feed themselves.  Mama figures that must get pretty messy so she decided to make bibs from hand towels.  She loved those when we Twigs were little!  

Here I am wearing the first finished product.  You can't tell from the picture, but the cheap towels Mama bought frayed around the neck ribbing so she's going to have to look for different towels.

Here are 36 neck ribbings waiting to get attached to towels.

Mama sure is anxious for next week when the adoption agency representative should be home!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: Silverwood Theme Park

Two things before I tell you about Silverwood.  First, Mama B changed her mind last Saturday about the SUPER fun activity and didn't take us to the World's Largest Pillow Fight.  Actually, it didn't break the world record so we didn't miss much.  Mama B was sad to hear the organizers didn't ask the city ahead of time and they kind of stole the show from a scheduled wedding.  Boo on them!

Second thing, here's a puzzle update.  Almost done!

And now, about Silverwood.  The big Twigs earned free tickets doing a reading program at school and I got in free because I rode in Mama's bag.  The big Twigs had lots of fun showing me all their favorite things.  The MOST favorite was getting the really big scoops of ice cream.  We only got kiddie scoops and look at the size of them!

Twiggy Three got really brave this year and tried all kinds of new rides.  He spun, he went up and down, and went crazy driving the Krazy Kars.  He was a great big brother and took me on the airplane ride.

Twiggy Two took me on the carousel at the end of the day.

Mama B took a long nap today and had a dream that we got Twiggy Four's referral.  She was sad to wake up and realize it was a dream.  She told me the adoption agency is in Twiggy Four's country right now so she's really hoping to get an update soon.  As soon as we get the referral, Mama B says she will mail me to him so he can hold me until she gets there.  I will miss her but I know I'll see her again soon.  It's an important job she's given me and I'll do my best.

Click Here to read the post introducing Twiggy Bear.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: A Week Without Twiggy One

Twiggy One has been at Junior High Camp all week and should be home just any time now.  Ever since school got out, we've been busy with getting ready for and doing VBS, then we were off to Family Camp.  This week was the first week of summer we've had with no schedule.  We younger Twigs got a little restless so Mama B took us bowling (Kids Bowl Free) another fun, free summer activity.

Mama B let us spend a quarter on candy and this is the face Twiggy Three made when he ate his Lemonhead.

Mama B pulled a puzzle out of her "The Natives are Restless" stash.  It looks like I could be in it!

Mama just announced a SUPER fun activity this afternoon.  I can't wait to show you pictures!!!

Click Here to read the post introducing Twiggy Bear.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: Family Camp

July 3rd, Mama B had all us Twigs get our suitcases packed up for Family Camp.  Remember mine?

We took Mama's new Prius to save on gas and she volunteered to sit in the middle in the back so we Twigs wouldn't fight.  She says she was comfortable, but what do you think?!

We arrived at camp a day early so we could watch the Carnation, WA 4th of July parade.  Here Twiggy One is babysitting me while waiting for the parade to start.

Some of the candy handed out were packets of S'More makings.  Twiggy Two shared hers with me.

Remember I told you Mama B was looking forward to not having to cook and clean up for over a week?  Well, she REALLY enjoyed it and is not happy to be home and making menus again.

After dinner every night the Camp Gilead train gave rides.  Mama B told Twiggy One to take me for a ride and this what she did while waiting in line.  I hope she got bit by a mosquito!

At least she let me ride on her lap.

Family Camp was super fun but super tiring. I shared the double bottom bunk with Mama B.  Mr. Branch got his own bunk since he needed to plug in a mask he wears to bed so he doesn't snore.  We all agreed Twiggy One needs one too!  She sure can snore!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: VBS

This week at VBS we traveled all around Australia on a train!  I got to be the conductor one time.

Here I am at Bible Study Outback where the kids learned about the life of Peter.  The Chalkie (teacher) in there had great ways to explain how much Jesus loves us.

I almost got wet in this next picture.  Mama B had me sit on the pier and I almost fell in the water!  This was Mission Harbor.  You can see the picture of Sydney Harbor in the background.  The missionary Chalkie in here was very creative with his illustrations of Jesus' love.  Mama B and her co-director said this room had a holy atmosphere.  I'm not sure what they meant and they were crying when they said it.  I liked this room.  Not sure why they were crying.

At Craft Crossing I managed to get stuck in the Moab Tree.  Mama B had to help me down.  That's what Mama's are good for!

Wednesday night Mama put on a carnival for the VBS families but she said I had to stay home.  She said there would be too many people for her to keep up with me.  I was sad but when I saw how much the wind was blowing I was glad I got to stay home.  Mama showed me some pictures though.  I would have liked to see the clown show!  He had a Bible coloring book that colors magically appeared in then disappeared.  He also made lots of balloons...

Mr. Branch got to dunk Twiggy One in the dunk tank.  That must have been lots of fun!

All of us Twigs are getting packed today for Family Camp.  They say it's lots and lots of fun.  We don't have to wait for Mama to call us for dinner.  When the camp bell rings, all we have to do is get ourselves to the dining hall.  Mama says she likes that a lot!  Our cabin has 6 beds...  just right!  Can't wait to post pictures and tell you all about it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: Free Lunch

Last week I got to do something the Twigs all love to do each summer.  Twiggy Two and Twiggy Three and I went to a local school for a free lunch every day.  It was as much fun as the big Twigs told me it would be.  I got to pick chocolate milk which Mama B never lets us have at home!  I think my favorite was the corn dog.  One day 4 Twiggy friends went with us after helping decorate for VBS.  Can you find me in this picture?

Here we are at church in the boat set up for the VBS Missions Harbor.

Mama B has been super busy this week but she promises to get some pictures of me at VBS up soon.  Tomorrow night is the carnival.  Do you think she'll let me go in the dunk tank?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: Taking it to the Bank!

Since Grammy and PawPaw are getting ready to move, Grammy sent a few things home with Mama B and me.  One of them was a toy Mama B played with a lot when she was my age.  Does anyone remember these?

It's an "Uncle Sam's 3 Coin Register Bank".  These were made in the 1920's to help people save money since the door wouldn't unlatch until the bank had $10.  That was a lot of money back then!  The big Twigs raced around the house hunting for coins.  It was a bit unfair because each time they lowered the lever the bank would register the amount then take away 5 cents.  But they finally made it!

Twiggy Two is not pictured because she was sick and in her pajamas with a very bad case of bedhead.  When Mama B and I got home from California, the big Twigs and Mr. Branch all had colds.  Twiggy Three ended up with bulging ear infections.  Mama B is trying really hard to not get sick since this week is VBS set up.

Twiggy Two and Three are excited to do a summer tradition this week.  It's free.  Can you guess what it is?  It's not "Kids Bowl Free" even though they're signed up for that too!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: Yard Sales

Since tomorrow is Father's Day, we treated Mr. Branch to breakfast at Burger King then we gave him money to go to yard sales.  He likes to find a good deal, and apparently so does Twiggy Three.  He was the first one out of the van and the first one to spend his money.  He even managed to get something for free.  Mama B said he reminded her of her Grandad.  Fun times.... for the rest of the family.  I had to stay in the van because it was raining.  I have my hood on just like they did, but Mama B said I had to stay dry.  Hmph!

Mama talked a lady out of this cute little suitcase.  It was part of a 5 piece set, but Mama only wanted this one to go with the VBS train.

Mama also picked up a very full bin of K'Nex for Twiggy Three and Twiggy Four for $3.  Twiggy Three and Mr. Branch built this Wind Up Ferris Wheel.  Mama can't wait for Twiggy Four to get to play too!

Mama B got a new camera from Mr. Branch for her birthday but she hasn't learned how to use it yet.  Twiggy One is taking a Intro to Digital Photography class this summer and hopefully she can teach Mama some tricks to get better pictures.  Twiggy One's homework this weekend is to take two portraits of family members.  Here she is yesterday trying to get Twiggy Three to cooperate.

Clearly he was more interested in Mama's camera!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: Home Again

Sunday morning I got to see the walnut orchard by the church Mama B grew up in.  She told me Grammy used to send her out to collect the nuts.  Grammy says walnuts are good in just about anything!

 Mama really enjoyed her time at the Anniversary Celebration and being with her parents.  Early Monday she and I began the drive back to Washington.  She told me we would stop at a couple of places we missed on the way down.  The first one was the "shoe tree".  It's a tree that people hang their shoes on.  I wonder why they do that.  Don't they need them?

The second place we stopped was the 45th Parallel.  I have to admit I wasn't really all that impressed.  The land looked the same on either side of the sign.

Mama couldn't finish this trip without one more bathroom picture.  Thankfully she didn't take me in this one! (Mama says no comments on the name.  Grin)

I was kind of sleepy from our long trip and wasn't much company on the long drive home.  Mama was very tired when we finally made it home Monday evening.  She drank so much coffee that she couldn't sleep that night and was quite tired yesterday.  She feels better today (it's her birthday today so that's nice).

Last night some friends helped us set up a train on our church stage for VBS in a couple of weeks.  I mostly played with the kids.  Twiggy Three helped Mr. Branch put the wheels on.

Mama B says she's sorry for the quality of her pictures.  She's not much of a photographer.  Twiggy One is taking a photography summer school class and Mama hopes to learn some tricks.

P.S.  Please consider participating in our fundraiser.  It's free to you so it's a win-win!  Thx!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: California, Here We Come

Actually, Mama B and I are already here.  Mama B drove us all the way to northern California by herself.  She hasn't done that in 20 years.  The church she grew up in is celebrating their 35th Anniversary on Sunday.  My PawPaw pastored the church for many years so Mama B, Grammy, PawPaw and I will drive another 4 hours tomorrow to attend the service.  Mama B is pretty excited.

Here are some pictures from our drive down yesterday:

This is at a nine mountain marker.  Mama counted 8 of the snow-capped mountains.

This is at a rest stop that has a 300 foot cliff.  I was shaking in my boots sweatshirt when Mama looked over the edge.

Of course Mama B just had to get a photo in the rest area. What's with her and bathrooms?!

Anyway, Mama B did a good job driving and now we're here at Grammy and PawPaw's.  They live close to Mt. Lassen so there's lots of trees.

Mama B told me all about the things the big Twigs do when they visit G&P.  The first thing I wanted to do was swing on the tree swing.

Then I sneaked away while Grammy and PawPaw were showing Mama B some wild ginger.  I tried to chop some wood by myself...

and got sent to the woodshed! (can you find me?)

After that I was super dirty so I had to clean up in the old run-down outdoor shower.

Mama B is sad because Grammy and PawPaw have to sell their property and move into town.  Twiggy Four will miss out on all the memories the big Twigs have here, so I'm going to remember everything I did here to tell him.

Mama B and Grammy are going to town now to do some shopping and to visit Mama's sister.