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.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear: Roller Skating

Today I got to go roller skating with Twiggy Three's 1st grade class.  Twiggy Three was pretty good for his first time.  Mama B said he looked like a robot though.  He was tired at the end since he walked from school to the skating rink.

 The best part of the day was when I got to do the "YMCA".  Can you see Twiggy Three, Mama B and me?

Tomorrow I'm going on an adventure with just Mama B and me.  I don't know what it is, but Mama B says she hasn't done this in 20 years.  I wonder what it is?  I'm all packed but Mama B has to finish the laundry and do her packing.  I wish she'd hurry up!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Adventures of Twiggy Bear

Boy, did I have a great first day out! I really liked being with Mama Branch all day today. I could get used to this. We took Twiggy Two and some of her friends from school to the Ft. Walla Walla Museum. They have all kinds of original pioneer homes and other buildings and lots of machines pulled by horses. Mama B really liked seeing original buildings and hearing the stories of the families who lived in them. She doesn't like fake stuff so she enjoyed touching "real" history.

Here I am on a water wagon.

Behind me in this picture are 33 mules that would all work together. We watched a movie that showed them all carefully turning corners so they wouldn't step on any wheat.

Twiggy Two and her friend took me into the jail. I was a little bit scared but Twiggy Two held me tight. Then they closed the door and I could only stick my nose through the food hole. Then I got really scared.

Those pioneers sure could fit a lot of stuff in their wagons. Not sure how they did it!

I didn't want to ride the side saddle since I'm a boy, but Mama B made me.

I begged Mama B to let me sit on the teeny-tiny little seat. She told me it wasn't really a seat, it was a foot rest for the stagecoach driver.

Before we left the museum to eat our sack lunches, Mama B had to stop by the little girls' room. There was no place to put me so this is what she did.

She made me turn around since that what little boys have to do when they're in the girls' bathroom.

I was tuckered out after my big morning so I got to take a nap in the car while the big kids ate their lunches. It was pouring down rain so we got to stop for hot chocolate on the way home.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Gotcha, didn't I?! You were expecting me to announce a referral. I sure wish I was. We thought we would have Twiggy Four home by now. It's hard to enter the summer months filled with family events without him. So a friend suggested to play a little game to help pass the time and to make it feel a little more like he's here.

So, without further ado, I introduce to you...

Twiggy Bear! This is a bear that Twiggy Three owned and I loved. Several months ago he was downsizing his stuffed animals and I retrieved Twiggy Bear from the donate pile. He's so soft and sweet that I just couldn't let him go. I decided to save him for Twiggy Four. The plan is to mail him overseas before we travel so Twiggy Four can smell our scent and hopefully begin the bonding process even before we hold him in our arms. I've had him next to my bed for awhile and sometimes I even sleep with him. The bigger Twigs tease me, but I don't let it bother me. I always tell them I have reasons for doing what I do.

So instead of reporting the adventures of a new son, I'll be bringing you "The Adventures Of Twiggy Bear" this summer. Tomorrow he goes on his first road trip as I drive Twiggy Two and some of her classmates on a field trip to Walla Walla, Washington. He'd better get used to car trips because we have a fun summer planned. I'll let you know how he does.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


With the news of a referral possibly coming soon, we have decided to do a fundraiser to help cover our remaining costs. I will also be applying for some grants once we have a referral in hand.

I am really excited about the "Money Savings Card" you see below. It is an online savings card that offers cashback as well as up to 75% off purchases. There are 100's of retailers including Macy's, Target, I-Tunes and more. And the really neat thing is that it costs $10 and purchasers receive an instant credit of $10 in their account once they download the shopping wizard. That means it's essentially free!!! And if you know me, you know I love getting things for free! You can read more about it here: http://www.moneysavingscard.com/.
I'm not usually one to ask for money (ask my parents!), but this time I am asking people to purchase this card. It's a win-win for everyone involved. We make $8 for every card purchased.

If you're interested, please click on the "Chip In" button on the right sidebar and make sure to leave me a message with your mailing address so I can mail you your card. "Chip In" uses PayPal so it's secure.

It would also be great if you could share this with your church family and friends who might be interested.

Thanks so much for following our journey. Hopefully (prayerfully) we'll have news soon!

Mama Branch

P.S. In the unlikely event our adoption plans are cancelled, funds will be donated to friends of ours who are in a legal battle to retain their domestically adopted children.