Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley? Flat Stanley is a character in a children's book. When a bulliton board falls on Stanley he quickly discovers that being flat has it's advantages. It's fun to follow the adventures of Flat Stanley as he travels the world. Some schools have a unit on Flat Stanley where the children draw Stanley and are then encouraged to take photos of their adventures and the places they've visited with Stanley.
When Mason first left on his mission we all went to Build a Bear Workshop to make a Missionary Bear. Bear comes with us everywhere Mason would go if he were here, kind of like Flat Stanley. He's been camping, vacations, baptisms, baby blessings, weddings, birthday's, Hump Day dinners, family photos, ball games, opening day of ski season, and posed with us in our pajamas on Christmas Eve. We take photos and send them to Mason to show him all the places "he's been." Now that Grandma and Grandpa are also serving a mission we have Bears that represent them as well. It's a fun tradition that everyone enjoys and as we run out the door you can often hear someone call out, "Don't forget Bear!"