This weekend we went on our first Marriage Retreat sponsored by the Army. We found out about the event several weeks back during an FRG meeting, and decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up. Each Army base offers these sorts of things in order to help maintain and strengthen marriages during a highly stressful military career. Just coming off a deployment and then PCS'ing to another assignment, it seemed like the perfect chance.
So we headed off to a 4 Star Resort at Osage Beach. The retreat offered free on-site childcare, so after breakfast each morning we dropped the boys off and headed to our classes. We had several different sessions where we learned about (and reinforced) useful information such as "active listening" "clear communication" and "love languages." The retreat was put on by the Chaplaincy so most of the information was solid. Of course, we took a lot of things with a grain of salt as well. :) The Army organizers factored in plenty of vacation time for us to enjoy the amenities of the resort (boating, swimming, golfing etc) and also provided extra childcare for a "date night."
So... we had a ball. Nick and I have not spent so much time together alone in a very very long time. Even the class sessions were enjoyable because we were not trying to keep two busy boys quiet and still. We were able to listen and discuss topics together. Beyond the class sessions, during our free time on Saturday we pitched in with some of our friends (who were also at the retreat) and rented a boat and spent the afternoon on the water. It started getting kind of cloudy, but it was still warm, so it was actually a relief not to have the sun shining. Both boys took a turn driving the boat. As much as they like engines and driving, their favorite part about the boat was the horn (which they quickly found) so we boated around honking at everyone we saw. :) Hee hee. Hopefully no one was offended. :)
We also enjoyed the pools and water slides. We took the boys to the indoor pool in the evening, but during the afternoon free time, we hit the huge outdoor pool with "the big GREEN water slide" Nick and I took the boys down the slide many times. I think they could have done it all day. It's been years since I went on a water slide, and I couldn't believe how much fun it was!
It really was a great weekend. A perfect little vacation with the kids, while still enjoying time alone. I'm very glad we went. We cut the weekend a little short, and came home to worship and fellowship with the saints at our church. Hearing God's word preached was the perfect end to the weekend.