Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

Whoo hoo, it's Friday! The week is finally over and the weekend can begin.  But I love Friday for another reason: Field Trip Friday! Every Friday the kids and I take a break from our usual schoolwork and housework to do something fun. Sometimes we visit family, sometimes we go to the Zoo or the Aquarium. Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is just amazing and my kids never get tired of going there and seeing the animals.

The hubs and I decided to purchase a membership to the Aquarium and it has been such a blessing. We can go whenever we want and we never have to worry about finding money to go. It did mean we had to cough up money up front but numbers don't lie. It was the best decision in the name of frugality. Check out these numbers.

Family Membership $179.95/ 2 adults & 4 kids
$179.95/12 months= $14.99/ family of 6 each month.
Just one visit to the Aquarium for our family regular admission (with a military discount and not counting the baby) would have cost us $68.75 per visit! There's no way we could afford to do that each month. We actually chose the Family Plus Membership for $249.95 so we could bring 2 guests with us everytime and it has made for some great field trips with the cousins.

My kids are absolutely love animals. They are big fans of Wild Kratts and they are always regaling me with information about every animal we see at the Aquarium and Zoo.

I love the Aquarium because it is so interactive. They have summer camps the kids can go to, they can talk to the keepers about the different animals, pet snakes and touch starfish and stingrays. One day I would love to take them on a penguin adventure, where they can go back with the keepers and feed the penguins. And after we are all done, we head upstairs to Tuki's Playland and let them play.

Play and Learn. Learn through Play.

I don't think I have a favorite exhibit. I love just love being with my kids as they fill their minds to the brim with wonderful information learning about the animals they are so passionate about. The sharks are amazing, the penguins are so cute, the river otters are playful and the reptiles and insects are downright fascinating. The aquarium is the best place to be with my kiddos. 

Alright, y'all, it's Friday! Go out and do something fun with the kiddos! As for us, I'm off to pack the diaper bag and then we're off to the Aquarium. Have a wonderful day  and a fantastic weekend!

Why I Take My Kids To Church No Matter What

Have you ever dreaded going somewhere with little kids? I have. Once I had baby #3 going anywhere with my kids became a major chore and a total pain. It always takes twice as long go get to wherever it is you are going and once you are there you are playing interference the whole time. And taking a bunch of little kids to Church on Sunday to sit for an hour during Sacrament is definitely not a walk in the park especially when you have to go alone.

Since my husband is in the Marine Corps, there are times when he is gone for training and for work, leaving me alone with our now 4 children. When we lived on the East Coast, it was especially difficult because I didn't know anyone and the area we lived in was strangely stressful. In fact, the first time I drove to Church on my own I almost got in a car wreck! The idea of driving to Church on my own  and dealing with all our kids who desperately missed their father and were acting out because of it gave me a stomachache. You might feel the same way sometimes and honestly feel like it's not worth going to Church with kids. I don't blame you. I have felt the same.

I didn't like trying to get kids dressed, fed and packed up all on my own. I didn't like the idea of sitting alone with  the kids or trying to sit through class while trying to distract my kids with toys or crayons only to end up walking in the hallway with them. I wished I could sit through class without getting distracted by the kids or have conversation with a fellow sister without having to run out the door. I would often convince myself the night before that I would not be attending Church the next day only to find myself getting the kids up and out the door in time for Sacrament meeting the following day.

Why? Why do it? Why go if I'm just gonna end up in the hallway? Why go if I'm going to sit alone the whole time? Seriously, why should I still go?

Because the Gospel is more to me than Church on Sunday.And I want my kids to know that.

When I was little, my family went to Church. There wasn't a question or a ever a debate. We just went. Period.

When my parents divorced, my mother moved us younger kids back to Missouri and there became inactive. But I found my way to Church each Sunday because the Gospel resonated with me and I loved it. I hoped I wouldn't be attending alone for long and the Lord heard my prayers. My Mom soon remarried, my step-dad joined the Church and we started going to Church again as a family.

It was a miracle.

As we grew as a new family unit and continued to go to Church each Sunday, our love and passion for the Gospel grew and became part of who we are today. Because of the Gospel, we are a strong in our conviction as individuals and we have started our own families with the same beliefs in mind: This Gospel is True. Heavenly Father is our Father, Christ is our brother and they have sent us here with a great work to do. And we will not turn our backs on what we know, WE KNOW, to be true.

When I was 8 years old, I was baptized in my faith but I wasn't truly converted to the Gospel until I was 17. The Gospel of Christ saved me and has brought so many blessings and peace.

I go to Church with my kids each Sunday, sometimes alone, but always with my kids because the Gospel is beautiful.

I go to Church with my kids to Church because the Gospel is a part of me through and through.

I go to Church with my kids because without the Gospel, I wouldn't have my children and my husband. They wouldn't be mine forever without the Gospel.

I go Church with my kids because I want my kids to understand how wonderful the Gospel is, that it is important and that it is a life changing force.

I go to Church with my kids because I love my children. I know that their Heavenly Father loves them and that Christ loves them and I want them to know it too, without a shadow of a doubt.

I go to Church with my kids because I know that even if they fall away or they choose a different path in their life, they will know that they are loved forever and always.

So even if I sit in the pew alone, even if I'm up and down throughout all 3 meetings taking kids to the potty and even if I have to pull my kids out the hall because they are having a meltdown or even if I have to take them outside and run laps around the Chapel, I will always go because I know the truth.

And the truth has set me free.

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