The 1-Eyed Teddy Bear

Monday, May 2, 2016 by  

The point of this story need not identify of the owner of the 1-eyed teddy bear, but rather WHO this fellow is made all the difference in saving our son’s cuddly animals.

The man actually cannot be identified because he is a secret agent on a very significant level. He is close to our family and we all adore him but we keep conversation limited to family stuff, old friends, or school happenings. He signs his holiday envelopes as James Bond. It’s all very cool in a surreptitious kind of way, the “secret” in secret agent makes it sound so hush-hush, and the undercover missions we are never allowed to know about are wrapped in clandestine mystery. All very exciting, so what does this have to do with stuffed animals?  Proud of our son, strapping young man, England, Abercrombie & Fitch

Our eldest is a strapping 24-year-old dude with beer posters in his room and a steady girlfriend at the helm.

Siberian tiger, blue-eyed tiger, white tiger, little boy, stuffed animals, cuddly animals, The 1-Eyed Teddy BearRewind about 14 years and here was a kid with a ton of stuffed animals, some from babyhood, others won at the amusement park, many from the big glass box with the grabber handle thingie at the diner. An admirer of big cats, one of his favorite was a huge white tiger with sharp blue eyes.

For a long time, my husband felt our son needed to unload his cuddly animals. I’d protest seeing the quiet sadness in our child’s eyes. The subject came up at significant milestones, like award ceremonies, moving from elementary to middle school, etc. I understood my husband’s point of view: he wanted to make our son grow up, be a man, get tough. I understood my son’s point of view: at that time he was still an only child and he wasn’t ready.

Then one year we visited Washington, D.C. and James Bond invited us to stay in his homThe 1-Eyed Teddy Bear, Steiff, Steiff teddy bear, old bear, loved bear, teddy bear, James Bond, James Bond's bear, James Bond's teddy bear, teddy on the bed, revered bear, revered teddye. He was away, as usual, and he couldn’t say where he was, except that he would leave the key for us under the mat. Under the mat?!? He lives with all this enigmatic secrecy but leaves the house key under the mat!

It was very exciting to walk around his home. Medals, awards, Christmas cards from the presidents over the last 20 years, and as we walked upstairs to pick out our rooms for the night, there, in the middle of the master bedroom, sitting proudly atop the big bed, was a 1-eyed Steiff teddy bear with a worn nose, an untied yellow bow & fur so loved-off and cuddled, it was a treasure to behold.

It was also ammunition to ward off any more attempts to clear out stuffed animals from our son’s room. “If James Bond can keep his teddy bear, so can I!” 
Tiger, Siberian tiger, blue-eyed tiger, students, enrichment program, enrichment school program, teacher with students, teacher and students and tiger, centerpiece of classroom, buddy for reading
So that was that. More than a decade’s passed and on his own, our son has donated his stuffed animals along the way – but that’s the important part of this story – it was on his terms, his timing and his choice of where they went. The huge white tiger is now the centerpiece & reading buddy in a fantastic enrichment school.Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (4)
I never take anything from my children without asking them. Together we donate what they choose to give up when they choose to. It teaches them to let go, to give to others and to stay organized. (Little One sorting>>)

Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (2)There is a marvelous organization called YoungLives which helps teenage mothers. Every 3rd Wednesday, the young mothers meet at a church in Norwalk, CT to learn about God and their children, plus, they can choose items they need that people have donated.

When our daughter was ready to donate her toys or princess dresses, etc., we would bring them to the church and she would see firsthand the children light up with joy as they pickedBarbies, mermaids, singers, butterfly fairies, butterfly fairy, Barbie mermaid out what they would like. She saw a little     2-year-old boy dive into her Elmo chair exclaiming, “That’s mine, I love this chair!” And little girls picking out sparkly dresses. Or Barbies. Or unicorns.Toys, princess dresses, dresses, playroom, play room, donation, giving (1)

The children were happy and it made our child well up with joy to see the kids’ faces light up while new life was instantly breathed into her cherished pieces. It deeply linked giving to pleasure. You can check out organizations in your area like YoungLives, Birthright, Hopeline or any organization that benefits a cause you believe in. We’ve also donated her crib, baby furniture and Pack-n-Plays.

Child donating stuffed animals, child donating toys, Africa, orphans, FedEx, FedEx box for donation, kindness, thoughtfulness, readiness of a child, giving

Our daughter has given up lots of her cuddly animals, even packing & sending many huge boxes to Africa.

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower – The exciting thing about the missionary we shipped her stuffed animals toOrphans, stuffed animals, given with love, children snuggling new animals, Africa, love, swells our hearts is that they sent back photos of orphan children cuddling her animals! A fine day, indeed. Again, on our children’s terms while reinforcing a life skill of giving as a pleasure.

 


Bianca

Nifty 50!

Sunday, February 1, 2015 by  

Everyone kept asking me what Phillip was planning for my 50th. He’s arranged some pretty spectacular things for me over the years so I knew whatever it was I’d be thrilled. Our son captured the moment:

Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (2)   Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (3)

Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (5)a   Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (6)
Good Lord! What could it be? Well, prior to opening this envelope, Phillip planned a weekend of delights including dinner at La Panetiere.

Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (4)

Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (11)
Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (13)     Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (14)  Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (5)  Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (6) Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (10)      Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (2)      Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (9)
We visited the Cloisters on the northern tip of Manhattan overlooking the Hudson to enjoy the stunning array of more than 5,000 pieces of European Medieval works of art from the 12th – 15th centuries including the famous Unicorn Tapestries. The Cloister’s Library contains over 15,000 volumes of books.

Cloisters, Magic Tree House, Mary Pope Osborne, Unicorn, Tapestry, Jack & Annie, snow, New York City, NY 1938, blizzard, mystery, children's book (8) Cloisters, Medieval art, New York City, The Lets Talk Mom (1)   Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (8)  Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (1)

Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (2) Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (4)
Later, we toured the World of Wings butterfly atrium where I had my 1st opportunity to take photos with my gorgeous new Canon from my son. For the amount of time I invest in my photography, this latest Canon with touchscreen, image sensor & built-in Wi-Fi was the p-e-r-f-e-c-t gift!! Thank you, darling!

World of Wings, New York, butterflies, turtles, atrium,  (10)  World of Wings, New York, butterflies, turtles, atrium,  (13)

World of Wings, New York, butterflies, turtles, atrium,  (5) World of Wings, New York, butterflies, turtles, atrium, (7)a

World of Wings, New York, butterflies, turtles, atrium,  (11)  World of Wings, New York, butterflies, turtles, atrium,  (15) World of Wings, New York, butterflies, turtles, atrium,  (17)   World of Wings, New York, butterflies, turtles, atrium,  (2)
And if anyone knows our family well, you’ll know why the logo above is so significant!! 🙂

As you can sBebe's necklace (1)ee, this day was magnificent with brilliant sunshine & deep blue skies. But 50 years ago, there was a blizzard and my mother arrived at the hospital with a police escort. That’s one way to make an entrance.

Mom recapped the story over dinner. Then she surprised me with a very special gift…a piece of jewelry I’ve admired for 45 years. It was given to mother by my father’s mother when I was 5.Bianca Tyler, gala, television, broadcaster Bebe's necklace, Miss Connecticut (1)

 

 

 

I’ve worn it in the past with great delight (photo on right), but on this special night, my mother said it was now mine. Overjoyed is an understatement. It means so much to me on many levels.

Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (19) Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (3)  Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (27) Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (9)Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (7)  Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (10)

Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (25)  Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (16)

So what was in the envelope in the opening pics? Let me first explain that my greatest gift ~ now & always ~ is being loved by my family & friends. Flowers & cards, emails & posts. All is appreciated. The kindness, the thoughtfulness, the time spent to make my day special. Thank you all!!

Birthday cards, Nifty at 50, Next Great Decade, family & friends (7)Birthday cards, Nifty at 50, Next Great Decade, family & friends (1) Birthday cards, Nifty at 50, Next Great Decade, family & friends (5)Birthday cards, Nifty at 50, Next Great Decade, family & friends (4)  Birthday cards, Nifty at 50, Next Great Decade, family & friends (6)
The above cards from my children touched my heart deeply. My son chose a card that says I make him feel understood, happy and loved. Wonderful, wonderful!! And our little one says I make her happy every day…down to even the school snack. What more could any mother want? Happy, thriving kids – this was, by far, the very best gift of all!!

Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son, Bianca Tyler  Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (5)Happy childhood, loving parents, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, comfort, understanding, son, Bianca Tyler (3)       Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, daughter, love, Bianca Tyler (7)

Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, daughter,  reading with Mom, Bianca Tyler      Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, daughter, love, Bianca Tyler (1)

Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, daughter, love, Bianca Tyler (4)              Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son, Bianca Tyler (2)

Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (17)        Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, daughter, love, Bianca Tyler (6)     Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, daughter, love, Bianca Tyler (10)    Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son, Bianca Tyler (1)

Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, daughter, love, Bianca Tyler (12)   Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, daughter, love, reading (2)  Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (40)c  Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, daughter, love, Bianca Tyler (5)cu2

16 years ago, I started the Harry Potter series with our son…reading it in “real time,” that is, waiting each year for another book to be published…standing in line at midnight openings with great anticipation for 1st edition hardcovers. We saw the movies, he had the posters, the comforter set, the throw pillows, the robe, Harry’s wand, etc. He even had a Harry-esque look to him, especially when he got his glasses.

Happy childhood, Harry Potter, posters, white tiger, son, friendship, boys, video games Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (6)

Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (13)    Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (3)Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (1)cu  Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (18)  Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (15)

Fast-forward more than a decade and our little daughter & her friends are relishing in the adventures, quoting the spells, whipping up potions and donning the robe. The perfect hardcovers have moved from our son’s room to our daughters’s bookcase. Over the holiday break, we watched all 8 movies (Yes, 8. The last book was filmed in 2 parts).

My friend, Sara, took one of our daughter’s best-est friends (since the girls were infants) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last month. The girls are now 9 & 10, the perfect age for the story. Sara posted this video of Platform 9 3/4 on her FB page & that was it!! What more fun could our family have than to venture through the fantastical world of wizards?

Sara said Universal Studios did a magnificent re-creation, a trip not to be missed! With the entire storyline under our belts just the previous month, I could not have dreamed of a more fanciful place to go for my birthday present!! In the envelope was a newspaper-like invitation from the Daily Prophet along with tickets to the mystical world of Harry Potter and a week’s stay at the CoCo Key water resort hotel. Simply marvelous, my darling husband, I love love love it!! And so do the kids!! (Well, as you can clearly see from our little one’s reaction in the 1st photos above as we opened the envelopes together.)

Courtesy of Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida (1)

Courtesy of Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida (4) Courtesy of Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida (8)Courtesy of Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida (10) Courtesy of Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida (6) Courtesy of Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida (7) Courtesy of Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida (5) Courtesy of Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida (9)

CoCo Key water resort & hotel:

CoCo Key water resort and hotel, Orlando water resort, Florida water resort, Florida, water resort, hotel in Florida, Orlando hotel (3) CoCo Key water resort and hotel, Orlando water resort, Florida water resort, Florida, water resort, hotel in Florida, Orlando hotel (2) CoCo Key water resort and hotel, Orlando water resort, Florida water resort, Florida, water resort, hotel in Florida, Orlando hotel (5)   CoCo Key water resort and hotel, Orlando water resort, Florida water resort, Florida, water resort, hotel in Florida, Orlando hotel (6)
We finished up the weekend celebrations with my favorite movie, The Scarlet Pimpernel, with Jane Seymour & Anthony Andrews. Luscious ~ Dreamy ~ Yum!

SP 4       SP 3

SP 6  SP 8

SP 1   SP 5
So many other details went into this weekend that I would just like to say thank you to my husband, my whole family and my friends for marking this milestone with great joy.

bright spot flowerThe Bright SpotTM  – Thankfulness that my mother is feeling better, it’s on & off and for my birthday she was really “on!” Even sparkly! And thank you to all who sent wishes for a beautiful birthday weekend. So ready for this next great decade, bring it on!!


Bianca

The Magic of Reading

Friday, April 26, 2013 by  

Cloisters, Mary Pope Osborne, Unicorn tapestry, famous unicorn, Dianthus, excited young reader, can't believe itDianthus!!  The magical unicorn trapped in the tapestry came to life – not only in the Magic Tree House book, Blizzard of the Blue Moon – but for our young reader on a visit to the Cloisters in New York City where the circa 1495AD woven masterpiece graces the hall today.

Our daughter’s expression cannot deny the power of words coming to life. And no children’s author makes history come more alive than Mary Pope Osborne. She is a literary hero in our home, a master wordsmith, prolific and creative, funny and warm.

Anyone who knows me knows Children & Literacy are paramount:  http://www.biancatyler.com/childrenliteracy.htm
Our little one started reading the Magic Tree House books in 1st grade. Omi's birthday gift - Magic Tree House (8)cu Omi's birthday gift - Magic Tree House (15)cu3
For her 7th birthday, my mother gave her the entire set. She was thrilled!

Dad & the Birthday Girl are checking out each book.
Book stands & baskets throughout the house, this series commands a special shelf on her favorite bookcase in her room.Omi's Magic Tree House collection gift 2012 (1)b     Omi's Magic Tree House collection gift 2012 (4)b  Omi's Magic Tree House set (4)cu2

It helped, too, that our daughter was 7 when Jack’s little sister, Annie, was 7 in the series. And when our little one turned 8, Annie was just turning 8!

Annie’s brave and smart, kind and loves animals. She’s a delightful role model for any little girl. Jack is bright and funny, loves to research and jots handy notes in his journal. I have found boys are entertained by the series as much as girls are…and that’s a great first step in fostering a lifelong love of reading. Governor's Challenge cover page 2012169

Every book has been a joy to read. For 1st & 2nd grade, our daughter participated in the Governor’s Challenge reading over 2,000 pages each summer. Much of it, of course, the exciting Magic Tree House stories. And when she had to tell the Governor what her favorite book was it came as no surprise that it was a Magic Tree House story!

Cloisters, Magic Tree House, Mary Pope Osborne, Unicorn, Tapestry, Jack & Annie, snow, New York City, NY 1938, blizzard, mystery, children's book (8)  Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (8)   Cloisters, Magic Tree House, Mary Pope Osborne, Unicorn, Tapestry, Jack & Annie, snow, New York City, NY 1938, blizzard, mystery, children's book (2)   Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (5)Cloisters, Magic Tree House, Mary Pope Osborne, Unicorn, Tapestry, Jack & Annie, snow, New York City, NY 1938, blizzard, mystery, children's book (1)Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (9)

It’s been fun taking her to Cloisters, Magic Tree House, Mary Pope Osborne, Unicorn, Tapestry, Jack & Annie, snow, New York City, NY 1938, blizzard, mystery, children's book (3)places she’s read about – the Cloisters to see the unicorn tapestry. The 1930s structure resembles medieval abbeys and is situated on the northern tip of Manhattan island. It’s breathtaking views overlooking the Hudson River and the gardens surrounding it make the trip simply wonderful.

George Washington Bridge, Heather Gardens, Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (11) Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (4) Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (3) Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (2)                    The Cloisters house over 5,000 European medieval works of art from the 12th – 15th centuries. It is under the care of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Cloister’s Library contains over 15,000 volumes of books.Cloisters, Genealogy of Christ, Compendium, New York City, NY 1938 Cloisters, Genealogy of Christ, fragment of a Compendium, New York City, 1230AD

 

Our next trip was to Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts after reading Magic Tree House #27, Thanksgiving on Thursday. The stories of Squanto, Priscilla, Governor Bradford, the pilgrims & the Native Americans came to life through words only Mary Pope Osborne can weave. As we sailed into the harbor, we tried hard to imagine what the pilgrims were thinking in 1620 as they approached land.Plymouth, MA, Plymouth Rock 1620, 1620, Pilgrims, Priscilla, Governor Bradford, the 1st Thanksgiving

Plymouth & Whales April 2013 (57)c

Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, stained glass window, Revolutionary War, VFMA, America, Valley Forge Military AcademyNext roadtrip…Valley Forge – Jack & Annie’s story with General George Washington, Revolutionary War on Wednesday, book #22.

And from there, any family trip we can drive to…Gettysburg, Sturbridge, the Titanic exhibit at Mystic.

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower – If you are looking for a wonderful series for your young reader, I highly recommend the Magic Tree House series. The wind started to blow. The tree house started to spin…


Bianca