We had a blast! We did the Rainforest first, completely indoors and a great place to see toads, snakes, bats, fishing cats, orangutans and much much more. We had such a good time that after touring the whole building we ventured over to the outdoor part. It was cold, below freezing, in fact, but we had jackets, gloves, hats and LOTS of energy. What else do you need? We saw polar bears, wolves, reindeer and seals. Yep, they all thought the weather was just about /perfect/!
The boys splashed in near frozen puddles (much to this mom's chagrin), threw snowballs at each other and even played some ice-ball soccer up and down the sidewalks. There were lots of smiles [especially from the few people we passed on the sidewalks -> to you I say thanks for enjoying my boys instead of thinking... "Why must they be so loud?" :)]. There was much laughter and tons of love. My heart pounded with joy. (I'm pretty sure it was joy, and not the fact I was pushing the stroller up a steep incline.)
All this leads back to my sermon notes from earlier in the day, Sunday. Our pastor gave his annual 'State of the Church' sermon. It wasn't a plea for money for programs. It wasn't a guilt trip about what we aren't doing right. It was just simply what the church and the Church is about and where we should head in the future as the congregation. It was good.
What I found most interesting and very relevant was where our church spent the largest chunk of its money and resources: The Children. But to take it a step further, the church is there to equip the Family - because who has the most impact on these children's faith? Not the pastor, not the Sunday School teachers, but the parents.
Children are our priority
Faith Training Happens at home
I wrap it back to this. I am glad that Military Family support is in the spotlight right now. It is wonderful to have the support of the nation behind us. I'm hoping money will be well spent on these programs and the programs that receive it are good stewards of the gifts they are given. But who is the primary resource in our children's mental health, our family's physical health? The parents. The spouses. We are a unit not to be reckoned with. Families use the resource you are given. Be there for each other. Spend time together so that you know when their are troubles brewing. Seek out help when you need it, when your children need it, when your spouse needs it.
There are lots of great articles about the call from President Obama to support Military Families. You can find a few of them here:
Collaboration is Key to Family Support Effort, Official Says
First Lady Pledges Support For Military Families
First Lady, Dr. Biden Laud New Family Support Effort
Leaders Praise New Approach to Military Family Support
Programs Aim to Support Military Spouses, Families
White House Unveils New Approach to Military Family Support
Be your family's advocate. Be there for each other. Get out and spend time together!
- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com