After the morning sessions, the families headed back into the parks...
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(written by Children's Counselor, Meg Hill)
This morning the kids' counseling sessions included many awesome activities, one of which I can't share with you because it is TOP SECRET! But I will tell you that our topic today was how to deal with anger and sad feelings. One way that we (the counselors) help kids understand healthy ways to deal with frustration is to talk about volcanoes. Two ways things that we want to avoid are volcano explosion (like when angry people take their anger out on others) or volcano implosion (like when people are depressed). The way to best way to get anger out is by letting steam off and venting to prevent volcano problems.
What a wonderful memorable first day!!! Everyone woke up and had an amazing delicious breakfast and superb service at the Doubletree Guest Suites...we are sort of celebrities here :). After breakfast we had great sessions with the children as well as the adults.
Tomorrow, I will have the honor and privilege of welcoming 16 families from all over the country to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. These families are coming from Arkansas, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, Connecticut, Indiana, Tennessee, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Ohio, and Iowa.
I spend a lot of my time these days out at a baseball field cheering on my seven year old son and his all-star team, the Stingrays. I enjoy watching them play and cheering them on. One thing I do NOT enjoy is the unbearable heat that comes with June in Atlanta, GA. There is certainly a reason people have nicknamed this great city "HOTlanta."
I am actually NOT complaining about the heat. It is fine. I have great perspective after living in Minnesota for 7 years. Truly I would rather sweat than freeze any day of the week. However, in the same way it is essential to take cover indoors when the Minnesota temperature plummets below zero in January, it is equally as essential to take cover in shade when you are out in the 100 degree temperatures of June in North Georgia.
I live in Atlanta, Georgia. Home of the Braves, high temperatures, and southern hospitality.
I love hospitality! In fact, I think if you quiz my closest friends and relatives they would tell you that hospitality is in my blood. I enjoy having guests in my home for dinner or for weeklong visits. It is a joy to feed them a meal (or meals), take care of their needs, and make them feel very welcome in my home. It makes me smile just typing about it.
I don't know what we did before GPS navigation. Now we just punch in an address and go. My family even gave our system a name..."Smart Sally". We actually stole that name from another family but we like it so it stuck.
Smart Sally has led us safely through numerous states, cities and streets. Most of the time she lives up to her name and smartly directs us the most efficient and accurate path to our destination. She even frequently "recalculates" when her human follower makes a mistake or misses a turn. (Did I say, 'frequently'?!?)
However, occasionally Smart Sally is not so smart!
30 days from today Inheritance of Hope will be welcoming 16 families from all over the country to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a trip of a lifetime!!! As I get to know these families, I am amazed at some of the similarities. In my mind I already see the friendships developing between the children of similar ages and the parents with the same illnesses.
We even have two families that (when I google mapped their addresses) live just a few miles from each other! (It's a small world after all....) These families are strangers right now but in a month they will be friends AND neighbors (literally)!
Although we serve a wide variety of families with a wide variety of conditions it always amazes me that the community that develops at our Legacy Retreats is very rich and unified. These families may come from all over the country but they have much in common.
When I consider purchasing something new whether it be a camera, television, car minivan, or refrigerator I find myself asking everyone I know for their opinion. I also have been know to search online for reviews and comments to help me make my decision. This also applies to services like carpet cleaners, lawn maintenance, house painters, etc.
In this day and age it is as easy as a click of the mouse to get thousands of opinions on these things and more.
So...listen to this conversation from the backseat of my minivan the other day.
Elizabeth: "Do I have any money in the bank?"
Me: "Yes, it is for college."
Elizabeth: "I plan on working really hard at the piano and soccer so I can get a scholarship for college. Then what happens to that money?"
Me: "You can use it for something else, like a car."
Elizabeth: (with wide eyes and big dreams) "Cael, what are you going to work hard at so you can get a scholarship for college?"
Cael: (with very little hesitation) "I don't really feel like working that hard at anything....I'll just use the money in the bank."
Are you kidding me?!?! Guess I'm going to have to keep working on that one.