Easter Treat 2014!!!

16 Apr

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The sun shone brightly, and there was just a hint of a spring breeze, when Easter came early to the VFW National Home for Children.

The Ohio Military Order of the Cootie arrived – along with the Easter Bunny – to the National Home last weekend, bringing Easter fun to kids and adults alike. The day included playing on the Bounce House, the traditional Easter egg hunt, baskets filled with candy for the children, and ice cream sundaes in the Café.

The kids had great fun climbing up and sliding down the inflatable slide.

“Did you see me?” one little boy asked excitedly.

One little girl kept bouncing up and down.

“Are you having fun?” her mom asked.

“Yes!” she shouted.

One mom held her little daughter, dressed in a yellow spring dress and white hair bow, while watching her son slide down.

“There’s your brother,” she said, pointing.

Several of the children there were toddlers, and a bit unsteady on their feet. One little boy would take a few steps, tumble down, and then get up and start walking again.

The Easter Treat weekend is an annual event sponsored by the Ohio Cooties. It is a weekend looked forward to by both kids and adults.

“We’re doing Easter Treat for the kids,” said Grand President Tina Medberry. “To bring a little hope and fun to them.”

Finally, it was time to hunt for Easter eggs! The kids and adults rushed outside the Community Center, looking for eggs in the green grass.

“Look, buddy,” one mom said to her son, pointing to an egg.

One girl found an egg, and then helped her little brother find eggs, too.

“Good job,” her mom said.

For the Easter Treat Chairman, the weekend is all about the kids.

“The kids are a joy for me,” said Joe Eklich. “It’s just a pleasure for me to come here.”

Enjoy the pictures below from Easter Treat, and check out our Flickr for even more pictures from the wonderful day!

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National Home kids learn about Internet safety

10 Apr

Safety on the Internet

The VFW National Home for Children recently welcomed Michigan State Trooper Marco Jones to our campus this week for a presentation on “Internet Awareness.”

Jones is highly experienced on this topic and travels throughout the state to do these presentations for a variety of different groups.

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Trooper Marco Jones presenting2

Jones covered topics such as safely using social media, good habits to always practice when using the Internet, and things to be cautious of when online.

One word of caution he spoke about was not divulging personal information online to anyone at any time.

“The first thing about the Internet is realizing it is never a sure thing who you are talking to and that people can be truly anonymous on behind the keyboard,” Jones said. ” We encourage kids never to reveal information on their social media page, texting, or instant messenger that is revealing in any form.”

Types of information that shouldn’t be revealed online include name, date of birth, location, school, and information about one’s parents and/or siblings.

“Never tell when parents are or aren’t home,” Jones stressed.

One of the more popular topics of the night was what happens to a picture after you send it from your phone. Several eyes widened when Jones told the group, “You think a picture is gone once you delete it from your phone, but once you send it, it can still be retrieved for up to three to four years.”

Jones said when using cell phones, always disable the GPS locator when taking photos so the location of where the photo was taken is not in the properties.  Many times a picture that is sent can have the location quickly found out by right clicking and going into the properties if not disabled.

He also cautioned about accepting just anybody as a friend on social media.

“Accepting friends at random that you don’t know is just as creepy as walking up to someone in the mall and asking them, ‘Hey, will you be my friend?’” Jones said. “I try to get this across to the kids so they are not just accepting friend requests from anonymous sources that may or may not be who they truly say they are.”

 

 

Bikers for Books thrills VFW National Home audience

13 Mar

Bikers for Books group shot

There are book enthusiasts. There are motorcycle groups.

And when you combined the two, you get something pretty special.

“We’re pretty excited about books,” Big Badge V said. “Pretty excited about reading.”

Bikers for Books recently spoke to a large gathering of children and staff at the VFW National Home for Children for March Reading Month.

Bikers for Books started with a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who found themselves talking about literature.

“That’s kind of weird, right?” Big Badge V said, as the group of kids and National Home staff laughed.

The group would talk about motorcycle books and books that their children were reading in school. These talks would eventually lead to the formation of Bikers for Books.

“One teacher wanted the kids to do book reports,” Badge said. “But she didn’t have the funding [for books].”

The group thought that it would be a great idea to raise the money so the teacher could purchase the books for her student. And then another idea formed.

“Why don’t we do something with books?” Badge said.

Badge and the other bikers, including Tank, Wrong Way, and Quarter Tank, decided to form a group that encompasses both their love of reading and motorcycles.

“Reading and books touches everybody,” he said. “It transcends everything.”

Badge said he’s a father, uncle, and husband – “I also have to do the ‘honey-dos’” he said, laughing – and one of his responsibilities is teaching his children about the importance of reading.

“There’s so much in these books,” he said. “And we want others to know.”

For Badge and the others, books and bikes are their passion; something that they live and breathe daily, something they can’t live without.

Bikers for Books started giving presentations about books and the love of reading to schools throughout the mid-Michigan area, including Olivet and St. Johns. The group then branched out further, giving presentations to schools in Whalen, Houghton Lake, and Howell.

“We talk to the kids about traveling in books,” Badge said.

“The library is going to have every place you want to go,” he continued. “That’s pretty cool, don’t you think?”

To Badge and the others, the library’s walls have stories about everything in the world. Time travel, stars, ships gliding across the ocean.

Then Badge shifted focus and began to tell a story about his life aboard a ship. The ship left port, and the city’s buildings began to get smaller and smaller. Then there was nothing but the sea.

He met people and got to know the ship. He spoke about placing his hand on the ship’s smooth rail; looking at the ocean’s smooth surface. He saw dolphins breaking through the water and spraying him.

“I sat there and watched them as long as I could,” Badge said. “What were the odds of dolphins going to the same place as we were?”

Badge and the rest of the crew sailed for weeks through winds and clouds.

“You can smell the sea,” he said. “Incredible.”

Then the wind started to pick up and the ship began to rock a little bit. Badge looked out into the dark distance.

“Then I saw lightening,” he said. “Waves getting bigger and bigger.”

“Waves as big as this room,” he continued, spreading his arms wide.

Badge started to get sick as the ship rocked up and down on the roller coaster sea.

“Waves crashing, throws mist up in the air.”

As Badge spoke, the children and adults alike sat enthralled.

“You can taste the salt from the sea,” he said.

But the men were a long way from home, and Badge missed his family. He wasn’t sure, however, how or if they would ever get home because they were surrounded by water, water everywhere he looked.

Badge went to sleep. He got up the next morning and the sea was as smooth as glass. The ship had been at sea for four weeks now, and he wanted to go home to his wife and kids.

The ship’s food had run out and all that was left was some moldy bread crawling with bugs.

Badge finally confronted the captain, asking if he had “any idea where we’re going?”

“He said, ‘Yeah, I know exactly where we are going,’” Badge said.

The captain had Badge look into his eyes and then said, “You’ve got to believe.”

Badge said there were one hundred sailors and only one captain, so it would be easy to take over the ship. But they didn’t.

There was only enough food for four weeks, and the ship was at least five weeks out.

“We’re going to starve,” Badge said.

Then Badge saw a bird. Badge thought about it for a minute, and realized that birds can’t fly five weeks out. He knew he was going home.

And then Badge wrapped up his tale.

“I’m not telling you I went there physically,” he said. “I read it.”

Badge had just described the voyage of Christopher Columbus to America, which he had read in one of his many beloved books.

“My escape is books,” he said.

Next Tank, Wrong Way, and Quarter Tank spoke about their love of reading. Wrong Way – she’s called that because she always goes the wrong way to every place – spoke about reading to her children at night.

“We get a completely different picture in our heads,” she said. “That’s okay.”

“The destination and journey is all your own.”

The evening wrapped up with some questions, and the children and adults mingling with Bikers for Books afterward before heading out into the cold night.

Please enjoy the photos below from the Bikers for Books presentation. Bikers for Books can be found on Facebook.

Dinner and group before presentation

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Big Badge V talking

Kids reading

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Wrong Way talking

Wrong Way smiling

UAW Carnival 2014!!!

24 Feb

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The National Home children and their friends got the chance to play and bounce and have fun at Sunday’s UAW Carnival.

United Auto Workers Region 1-D Veterans Committee provides the annual event, and many members come to the National Home on carnival day to help out with the games and inflatable play places.

This year, Region 1-D was joined by Dream Girls USA members from Michigan. Dream Girls USA is a national organization that emphasizes natural beauty and community service for girls and women.

Rebecca Robbins and Betsy Spreeman were manning the Bounce House. Both women have been members of Dream Girls USA for years, and said community service projects range from working with veterans to volunteering for hospice.

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The kids played old-fashioned carnival games – no computers were in sight. One game required the player to roll a ball on two steel rods without going past a certain point. Another game involved balancing a ball on two sticks while maneuvering it into a cup.

“Oh, so close!” said Danielle, 15, to a little girl. The little girl almost got the ball into the cup. Danielle was one of the Dream Girls helping out at the carnival.

“Here you are, honey,” Danielle said, handing the little girl two tickets.

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The tickets were a big deal to the kids. What would a carnival be without the chance to win prizes? The kids were given tickets at each game, which they could then exchange for prizes such as small games, colored pencils, little rings, and more.

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Then there was the Velcro Wall. Each participant suited up in a special suit with Velcro strips, bouncing and bouncing and then throwing himself against the wall, resembling a giant fly, stuck to flypaper.

Merridy Lewis, the VFW National Home District 7 Trustee, came to watch the kids and talk to some of the families. She said this was her first time at the carnival, and she looked like she was having a good time.

Over at the Bounce House, kids were bouncing and crawling around, racing up the small slopes and then sliding down the slide. The carnival feeling was complete with the smell of popcorn nearby, and there were chili dogs and chips for lunch.

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Laura Lonsbury, the National Home’s Education Director, was working at the bungee pull. Two sisters were racing each other, back and forth, only to be pulled by the cord when they raced too far.

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Charlie Pullen of Region 1-D Veterans Committee said the group has been putting on the carnival for about 10 years.

“There’s a lull between Christmas and Easter,” he said. “We got the idea to come down here … do something for the kids. Let the kids burn off some energy. Let the parents relax.”

The kids did burn off lots of energy, and had fun doing it – thanks to the UAW Region 1-D Veterans Committee!

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Check out all the carnival photos on our Flickr!

DIY – Relax and Reduce Stress

21 Feb

The inviting smell of coffee filled the air, and a platter of walnut fudge sat on a nearby table in the Guest Lodge’s front room. As people came in from out of the cold night, they could sense the calm, inviting mood.

A group of VFW National Home residents recently took some time out to learn some fun and unique ways to relax and reduce the stress in their very busy lives.

Pouring oil

Sometimes, it’s little things that can help us relax. Like glitter bottles. One of the National Home’s staff guided residents on how to make these small, glittery pieces that resemble miniature Lava Lamps. Glitter bottles can be held in one’s hand, shaken up, and otherwise used to focus and relax the mind.

There was much laughing and talking as three ladies started pouring the thick corn syrup and hot water mixture into their plastic bottles (recipes for all crafts follow at the end of the article.)

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Next, it was time to pick the perfect food coloring and glitter combination. Several small bottles of glitter, sparkling like Christmas ornaments – blue and green and red – lined the table.

“Do I have enough,” one woman asked, shaking green glitter into a bowl.

She poured the mixture of glitter and food coloring into her bottle, then gave it a critical look.

“Alright, does this look like pee?” she asked of the yellowish liquid, everyone laughing.

To correct the color, she added some red food coloring to achieve an amber glow.

Another lady used blue glitter, holding up her sparkly creation.

The finished product

Other residents were crafting aromatherapy pillows at the next table. The soothing smell of lavender and chamomile surrounded the table.

Each person measured out about two and half to three cups of uncooked rice. Next it was time to choose what essential oil to add to the rice.

“You’re going to put five droppers of oil in the rice and mix it around,” a staff person said.

One person chose the lavender, while another person decided to go with bergamot. One person read, to some laughter, that bergamot instills confidence.

“(I) should use it in an IV,” someone said.

Someone commented that five drops of oil didn’t seem like enough. One man, there with his wife, interpreted the directions a little differently.

“I thought she meant the whole syringe,” he said, liberally adding about five syringes of various essential oils to his rice.

Once the essential oils were mixed into the rice, each person poured the mixture into a long, white sock. The socks were then tightly tied, and each person was given a cover for the pillow.

The aromatherapy pillows can be placed in the freezer or microwaved, and then used for such ailments as headaches, tension, and sinus pain.

Getting ready to make aromatherapy pillows

Aromatherapy and resident

Ladies at the sugar scrub table

After working on the different relaxation projects, everyone headed downstairs. There was a table filled with different items used for relaxing – music CDs, stress balls, pink flower-shaped soaps, and scented sachets – that everyone could take home with them

It was clear everyone felt relaxed and less stressed as they placed their feet into warm pails of water and soft music surrounded them as they were led into a meditative state.

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Recipes

Glitter Bottles:

Mix 1/3 cup hot water and 1/3 cup corn syrup in a bowl.  Add one to two drops food coloring and about one teaspoon of glitter (a mixture of regular and extra fine glitter).

Stir together well and funnel into a small plastic bottle (8 ounces). Fill to the top with water and/or corn syrup depending on if you want to speed up or slow down the glitter fall rate.

Cap it and shake well to test it.  Use Superglue or another strong glue to glue the cap on, and let it dry.

***The glitter will fall more slowly when the bottle has cooled to room temperature.

Aromatherapy Socks:

Add three cups of uncooked rice to a bowl. Mix in about five drops of essential oil (optional) and pour into a large clean tube sock. Tie the end shut.  Microwave for 30 seconds at a time until warm.  The National Home’s aromatherapy socks were put inside a flannel cover.

These can also be stored in the freezer and used as a cold pack.  Store in a plastic bag to prolong the scent.

The essential oils used in this projects were: Basil/Citrus, Sandalwood, Lavender/Chamomile, Bergamot, Eucalyptus/Mint, Rosemary

Sugar Scrub:

Use about two parts sugar to one part oil and mix.  Experiment until you get a consistency you like.

They used mineral oil, but you can use olive oil, body oil, baby oil, coconut oil, or other types of oil. You can also add a drop or two of essential oil (optional). Mix it well. Use about a teaspoon full and gently rub over your hands. Give your hands a good rinse in warm water and pat dry.

National Home children share cookies, hugs

18 Feb

Little boy in suit

The VFW National Home for Children maintenance staff were recently treated to cookies, hot chocolate, and lots of hugs by the daycare’s children.

One little girl shyly walked up and handed one of the maintenance men a cookie.

“Thank you,” he said, smiling at her.

Two other little girls passed out hot chocolate, and lots of marshmallows. The children came up and hugged the men, and then sat together for a few pictures.

“Say cheese and pickles,” Dave said, as the kids giggled.

The school and children planned the little treat on Valentine’s Day as a way to say, “Thank You,” to Dave, Rob, and the rest of the maintenance guys for all their hard work shoveling and plowing snow during this very long winter.

Dave and two little girls

Rob and little girl

The preschool and nursery was filled with the colors reds and pinks in honor of Valentine’s Day.

“I have something for you,” one little girl said to Joan, the school’s director. She then handed her a card.

“Thank you,” Joan said.

There were several tubs set up as texture stations. One tub was filled with glittery red water, plastic hearts, purple and red tinsel, and colorful Mardi Gras beads. The children enjoyed swishing their hands around in the tub, pulling up tangled bits of tinsel that looked like oddly colored seaweed.

Two little girls

Little boy in chair

Little boy playing

In another room, a machine was squirting out bubbles that landed on a child’s head, the floor, and everywhere else. Many of the children and staff were wearing pink and red, the colors of Valentine’s Day.

Soon it was time for the maintenance guys to get back to work, so with one last wave, they went out into the cold and snowy day, warmed by hugs and hot chocolate.
Staff and kids

Awareness Week 2014

11 Feb

Creating Awareness and Knowledge about the National Home

Home in the Fall

Home is that special place where you can relax at the end of the day, reconnect with your family, and retreat from the stresses of the larger world.

For families touched by the stresses of deployment and war, it can be difficult to provide a safe and loving home. Perhaps a mother is struggling to financially provide for her family. Or a father needs to work through the things he saw and dealt with while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. The children might not be doing well in school and need a caring adult to mentor and guide them.

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That’s where your VFW National Home for Children steps in. For struggling military and veteran families, the National Home offers the chance to heal and grow, a chance to be at home while working on moving forward.

Awareness Week 2014 is March 23-29. This year’s theme is Creating Awareness and Knowledge about the National Home. Talk to people you know about the National Home, and its work with the families of veterans and active duty military. Visit our Awareness Week 2014 page for free promotional items, including Helpline cards, that you can share with others. We have also included a short piece called HomeFacts, a reference guide about the National Home.

Bringing about awareness of the VFW National Home for Children is key to providing military and veteran families the chance for a new start.

The families living here have a real chance to rebuild their lives. They receive case management services, which includes one-on-one support and assistance with creating and achieving family goals, on-site licensed child care,  life skills training, tutoring, and other educational services, all of which are designed to provide them with the tools to create a lasting life and home for their children. Read here about the services provided to our families.

Struggling families can connect with the supportive services offered by the National Home through the free Helpline [800-313-4200]. The Helpline is staffed by caring professionals who take the time to listen to the caller’s concerns and help them find lasting solutions, either here at the National Home or within their own communities.

Please help our military and veteran families to heal and grow, creating a new and lasting life for themselves.

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Weird, Wonderful Science!

24 Jan

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Did you know that the human body contains billions of neurons? That each one is minuscule, visible to the naked eye only through a microscope?

A group of children and young people from the VFW National Home for Children explored the weird and wonderful world of science during a recent Science Fair in the Home’s new Science Lab.

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The Science Lab officially opened in August 2013 and is dedicated to the memory of PFC Robert L. Gleichauf of the Army Air Corps. Through the generosity of many donors, the Lab is outfitted with several telescopes, microscopes, digital scales, slides, safety equipment and more!

Dave Westjohn, Education Specialist, looking out of telescope
Girl looking out telescope
Dave Wesjohn, our Education Specialist, was on hand to answer any questions and help the young people adjust the microscopes and telescopes. Since it was a bitter cold evening, the equipment was kept inside – but one can only imagine the beauty and wonder that will be available to our young people when the telescopes can be taken outside to view the heavens and the stars!

Display in Science Lab

Beakers filled with mysterious substances

Closeup of bugs!

There was also many other things to look and wonder at – a mortar and pestle used to grind crystals, several beakers filled with mysterious liquids, insects pinned against a board.

Three young girls gathered by the table holding a small beaker of liquid, the insect display, and other implements of science.

“What is that?” one asked, pointing to a small glass bowl.

“When you grind crystal,” Wesjohn answered. “A mortar and pestle. These are salt crystals.”

Next the small group walked over to a table with a microscope and several large stones, one clear as ice.

“Do you carve something?” a girl asked, pointing at a knife.

To demonstrate, Wesjohn pounded the granite rock against the knife, chipping small pieces of clear quartz for each girl to take home with them.

Dave Westjohn, Education Specialist, helping a student with alegebra

When Wesjohn wasn’t explaining the mysteries of science to the group, he was helping a young teenager with his algebra homework.

“A is equal to…” Wesjohn started.

Later…

“X is 17, Y is 3. Right?” the student asked.

Meanwhile, the three girls were peering curiously in the small beaker of liquid crystal.

“Can I smell it?” one girl asked.

Girl with safety glasses

Each one took a turn and smelled the liquid, which had a plastic smell to it. They then moved onto the microscope.

“I got it!” one girl said excitedly as she adjusted the view to see the neuron.

“Eww!” another girl exclaimed when told there were billions of those little strands in her body.

That’s the weird and wonderful world of science – mysterious, interesting, and sometimes, a little gross to little girls.

Happy 89th to Your National Home!!!

7 Jan

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It was 1925, and the Great War and its hostilities had ceased seven years earlier. However, many veterans of that war still roamed the streets looking for work and shelter.

A young woman, Amy Ross, became moved by the plight of these veterans and approached the VFW Department of Michigan Commander Dr. Clarence Candler. Ross worked miracles and was not only able to find jobs for veterans, she inspired millionaire cattleman Corey Spencer and the VFW.

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Corey Spencer donated several hundred acres to the VFW, and the National Home was born through the hard work of the VFW and many other people. The first family, Mrs. Pollett and her six children, moved to the National Home in 1925. (Read more about the Home’s history here.)

Since 1925, your National Home for Children has helped thousands of families of veterans and active duty members gain new hope and rebuild their lives. Here is what one woman had to say about the National Home: “We were given the most incredible gift. We were given the time to heal.” Another woman credits the services she received at the National Home for allowing her to gain independence and courage.

helpline

And your National Home not only helps those who live on campus, but nationwide through the Helpline. The Helpline works with people to find connections and resources in their own communities.

8-family-at-christmas-partyFamilies living on campus receive a variety of services, and also are able to take part in fun activities such as the annual Harvest Festival and Cootie Christmas!

Thanks to the various donors, the VFW Departments and Ladies Auxiliaries nationwide, the National Home continues to grow and strive to help whomever might need us, a living testimony to the VFW motto of “honoring the dead by helping the living.”

Here’s to 89 more years of service for veterans, active duty members, and their families!

Happy New Year – A Look Back at 2013!!!

30 Dec

As we near year’s end, it is a time to reflect and remember the good times – and some scary times. The families and children at the VFW National Home for Children have taken part in lots of fun activities, including a fishing contest, participating in 4-H, a trip to the local apple orchard and pumpkin patch, and of course, Cootie Christmas and the arrival of Santa Claus!

The Home also weathered not one, but two storms – the first striking in November and the second bringing lots of ice and some power outages this past week. Power has been restored, and the campus looks simply beautiful with the crystalline ice gracing the trees and bushes.

As we look back at 2013, we are grateful for family and good friends, and the support of all the friends of your VFW National Home for Children! Please enjoy these pictures from the past year – and have a very Happy and safe New Year!

88th birthday of National Home January 2013

88th birthday celebration

New Year 2013 opened with a celebration of the National Home’s 88th birthday!

Early spring brought Easter and the Easter bunny! Here is the 2013 Buddy Poppy Child Unity and her sister with the Easter bunny. The National Home’s children also took part in a traditional Easter egg hunt.

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In April, the National Home received its sixth minivan through the Campbell’s Labels for Education program! The van sports a personalized license plate, “ARDATH,” in honor of Ardath Paris. Mrs. Paris was known as the “soup label lady” for her tireless work trimming and counting labels for us. Mrs. Paris passed away in 2012.

April 2013 Sixth Campbell's Labels for Education minivan

Soon summer was upon us and it was time for the annual Community Celebration to recognize the achievements of our residents. This year, we honored five mothers whose lives had been changed thanks to the opportunities they were given at the National Home.

Community Celebration July 2013

Summertime is a time of county fairs and 4-H clubs. The National Home’s children took part in this tradition, showing rabbits and pigs at the Eaton County Fair in August. The children are encouraged to work with their animals daily, and 4-H is a wonderful way for them to learn responsibility and care for animals – lessons that will help them throughout life!

4-H August 2013

Summertime also means fishing and the National Home has its own fishing hole! Pictured here are some of the Home’s boys taking part in a fishing contest during Michigan Day 2013.

Michigan Day fishing contest August 2013

When the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to show beautiful colors of reds and gold, that means it’s apple-picking, pumpkin-choosing time in Michigan! The National Home’s nursery and preschool children took a trip to The Country Mill in nearby Charlotte. There, they learned about apples and cider-making, picked apples to snack on, and chose their own pumpkins to decorate! The trip ended with warm cinnamon doughnuts and apple cider for all!

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The Missouri-Wisconsin Fall Festival 2013 was a time for both children and adults to dress up and enjoy looking at all the creative pumpkins that the National Home’s children decorated.

Two little girls Harvest Festival 2013

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The National Home Board of Trustees held its Annual Meeting of Life Members late October. Two new trustees and new officers – including Al Cantu of Texas as President – were sworn in during the meeting.

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It was a cold and windy day when “I Love My Country” was unveiled in the National Home’s Tribute Park. This beautiful sculpture was donated by Michigan residents John and Tara LaRose.

I Love My Country

Thanksgiving and feelings of gratitude filled the National Home campus in November. A group of residents and staff gathered to share thanks for family, friends, and loved ones, posting their messages of gratefulness on a Gratitude Tree.

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Stormy weather came to the mid-Michigan area in November, blowing down power lines and trees. Pictured here is a 40-foot pine tree that was uprooted by the storm. Thankfully, no one was hurt!

40-foot tree fallen November 2013 storm

Soon it was the most magical time of the year – Christmas! The National Home campus is filled with beautiful lights and decorations. There were a number of Christmas activities for adults and children, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and their elves. Through the generosity of the VFW Cooties, the Ladies Auxiliary, and others, the children had a very Merry Christmas!

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Family picture

Winter in all its beauty and fury swept into the Midwest and other parts of the country the weekend before Christmas. There were power lines down and power outages throughout the region, and many people in the area are still without power. People are staying with family and friends, and it’s been a cozy time of togetherness.

The National Home looks like a Winter Wonderland, ice decorating the trees and bushes throughout the campus. Everyone is safe – and warm; power has been restored to the one home that had lost it.

The beauty of winter shines throughout the campus.

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