Monday, November 3, 2014

Welcome Home, Tag!

Look who showed up back in Richmond, Virginia USA today! We were so happy to welcome our little traveling teddy home, and we were so excited to see all of the wonderful souvenirs he brought with him! (We will be eating our Galaxy bar for dessert tonight!)

As you could probably guess, Teeny was the first to hug him- well, she hasn’t let go yet! I think she’s our official International Teddy Bear Guardian. Tag will get 7 months of snuggles before he’s on the road again next summer! 

Thanks again to our British hostesses for taking such good care of our bear and showing him everything England has to offer. :-)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bon Voyage, Little Charmin!

The chill of fall is in the air, which means that yes, it’s finally time to bid farewell to our beloved summer guest, little Charmin. But not without a sweet sendoff from his biggest fan, Teeny!

First a big kiss...

Then an EXTRA big hug (it’s gotta last him all the way across the Atlantic!)

And off he went. (and I blurred the address for security purposes- don’t worry, it’s nice and clear on the package!)

We have loved having that sweet bear come along on all of our adventures, and we are happy he will get to go home to his family! 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Over the River and Through the Woods... grandmother’s house we go! 

On Saturday, Chad and I wanted to make our quarterly temple trip, and we decided to leave the kids with my mom. They (my mom and stepdad) will be moving soon (closer to us! Williamsburg! Yay!) and we wanted to visit their house least one more time before they moved. They live in Lovettsville, 3 hours from us, but they’re only an hour from the temple, so that’s nice too. :-) 

They live on a 10-acre horse farm (Everland Farm) and it’s absolutely beautiful out there (I know you love the real estate- here’s the listing for their house- click here). Even with as far away as they live, my stepfather can still take the train into Washington, D.C. for his work at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). We had hoped to take Charmin into D.C. sometime this summer, but it didn’t happen. Oh, well!

Charmin relaxes in a rocking chair with Grandma on the front porch.

Charlotte takes him for a ride on the porch swing.

Tyson lets his teddy bear Bobby sit on his lap and Bobby lets Charmin sit on his lap. Bobby and Charmin have become great teddy-pals this summer.

Audrey found a dandelion for Charmin to blow. So fun!

Grandma gets Charmin settled for a quick ride on Chase. 

Bareback can be tricky, so she makes sure he doesn’t fall.

Charmin loved seeing the horses! They’ve pared down to just the two horses now- Charm and Chase.

Charmin checks out Charm’s stall. Her full name is “Charm My Heart.” 

This curious bear took a jump in the hay!

Charmin checks out the beautiful view of their road as we travel home. 

It has been a WONDERFULLY fun summer, and it’s finally time for Charmin to go back to HIS home  in the U.K.! We have loved having him as a part of our family and we are missing him already! Thanks for loaning us such a sweet bear! :-)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Farewell, Summer! Hello, School!

Monday was Labor Day here in the States, and then on Tuesday SCHOOL started! Charlotte is starting elementary school this year and she will be in kindergarten. Audrey will be in 3rd grade and Tyson will be in 5th.

Charmin and Teeny knew they had to stick together, since they were the only ones not going to school.

When I was taking individual shots somebody decided he wanted to photo bomb. Can you spot that bear?

Teeny and Charmin finally convinced me they needed a First Day of School photo too.

Tyson was kind enough to share his First Day photo. 

Everyone lines up at the bus stop...wait, where does Charmin think he’s going?

Charlotte gets ready for her first school bus ride!

Charmin waves farewell as the bus leaves for school. He’s sad to know our time with us is almost at an end, but the excitement of a new school year is contagious!

We have one more little adventure with Charmin this weekend before he returns home to you, so stay tuned...

Tag meets Dippy

We wanted to squeeze in just one more adventure before the end of the Summer holidays, so we jumped on a train and headed back to London again with our friends the Edey family to visit the Natural History Museum. Here's Tag on the train with his ticket. We offered him some chewing gum to make him feel at home.

Here are Ceri, Gregory, Tag and Peter outside the museum. It's a very grand and imposing building.

Dippy the Diplodocus  is in the main hall. It was very crowded and busy in there so Ceri kept tight hold of Tag so that he didn't get lost and end up in a dinosaur.

The children really liked the Imagination area. There were lots of specimens and things they were allowed to touch and examine. 

 In the basement is a picnic area. After an exhausting day of looking at interesting things, the children were hungry!

That day trip to London was the last adventure of our Summer with Tag. There are so many things we could have done, but didn't manage to squeeze in. We wanted to visit the Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch,  or have a lemon Rossi and freshly-fried doughnut on the longest pier in the world at Southend, our nearest big town. We could even have taken Tag to visit Audley End, a stately home just an hour away, which also has a miniature railway to enjoy - perfect for litte bears.

But the children are back at school, and it's probably time for Tag to go home. Thanks Tag, we enjoyed the adventures we had with you, and it's wonderful to have this record of everything we got up to in Summer 2014. And thanks to the wonderful Tross family for making Charmin so welcome, and giving us the opportunity to be involved in the Great International Teddy Bear Exchange.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Summer Tradition and Charmin Goes to Primary!

We started this crazy summer tradition in our family a couple of years ago where we go out for ice cream for dinner one night in the summer. We never tell the kids what day it will be, one night we just show up at the ice cream (or frozen yogurt) place at dinnertime and tell them that’s what we’re having.

There is usually some screaming and jumping with excitement.

Charmin was thrilled to join us! We took him to our favorite local fro-yo (frozen yogurt) place, Sweet Frog.

He checks out the flavors- should he do blue cotton candy...or cake batter...or both? There were also cheesecake, strawberry, graham cracker, chocolate, cookies & cream, mango, and a few other flavors. You just grab a cup and fill your own!

Once you have your cup filled with your choice of frozen yogurt, you get to choose your toppings- anything you want! There’s candy, cookie crumbles, nuts, whipped cream, hot fudge, warm caramel, chocolate chips, sprinkles- whatever you want! (You pay by weight, though, so watch out!)

Charmin is ready to eat- he’s got my concoction of blue cotton candy, cake batter, chocolate, brownie pieces, caramel, and whipped cream. Charlotte has all kinds of things in hers- looks like some gummy bears on top.

Teeny wanted to share.

Audrey tries to help Teeny warm up after she says, “I cole!”

We love our sweet tradition!

Today we brought Charmin to church with us. He went to Primary and hung out with Tyson.

The kids are standing (most of them) for our Spotlight. The Primary President is naming off one child’s favorite things and if it’s not something that’s your favorite, you are supposed to sit down. We keep going until there’s just one child standing.

Charmin gave the talk today.

(Just kidding. He was just messing around after Primary.)

The kids pose with Charmin outside the church building. It was HOT today! Mid-90’s!

Do you guys have any fun family traditions for the summer, or any other season? Do you have anything like Spotlight in your Primary? :-)

ANOTHER Fair Bear!

Tuesday night we headed out to our own county fair here in Chesterfield, because it was Boy Scout night. Not sure how much y’all know about Boy Scouts, but Tyson is a Scout and he gets to wear a uniform and works to earn badges for things like camping, hiking, woodworking, mechanics, communication, sports, etc. It’s a great program that teaches boys leadership skills, encourages them to serve their communities, and helps strengthen their faith. 

Our first stop at the fair was to get some kettle corn from a vendor. Because fresh, hot kettle corn is really the entire reason I go to fairs in the first place.

Clearly Charmin agrees with me.

While Charmin pigged out, Teeny enjoyed her own little cup of corn.

Here comes the parade!

There’s Tyson with his Scout troop! Don’t they look handsome?

I liked this guy. Very patriotic.

Charmin watches the fire trucks go by.

And of course, tractors. We Americans do love our tractors.

When Tyson was done with the parade he posed with Charmin for a pic. Charmin is atop a free balloon Teeny got from a politician. 

Woohoo! My brownies won second place!

Charmin watches the model trains go by.

Quick pic with Audrey in front of the trains in the Arts & Crafts building. 

I wasn’t the only winner- Tyson’s “Splaticus” painting won first place, Audrey’s got third, and Charlotte got a very nice participation ribbon. (I took these photos on the day we picked them up- we weren’t allowed to touch them until pickup day, so I couldn’t get a photo of all of them together with their art and their ribbons.)

Charlotte with Charmin on the midway.

There’s a ride coming out of Charmin’s head!!

Once again, we didn’t do any rides, but they sure were fun to look at!

We did get to catch some pig races, though. Teeny made sure she and Charmin got a good seat atop her dad’s shoulders.

Aaaaand they’re off! See that pig coming out of the gate? And yes, that is a baby in a play pen in the middle of the race track. His dad was the race master, and the kid was having a great time.

We had a lot of fun at the fair and we were so excited by our prizes! We are looking forward to entering again next year, and maybe saving up our pennies and riding some rides next time. :-)