family spotlight

The Johanningsmeiers

“Last summer, we lived at the Y,” explains Michele Johanningsmeier. The family, Michele and husband Benjamin, with children, Gillian, 5, and Colin, 3, sampled nature walks, pool parties, field trips, gardening, science and art. “It was awesome. We did pretty much anything that was offered. And my son really enjoyed the gymnastics part of the Super Heroes event in the gym at Toby Wells. Both of my kids want to try a class now.”

Michele says that she and Benjamin, who travels quite a bit for the military, have managed a few date nights, as well. “My kids go to bed pretty early, so having it end at 9 p.m. is perfect. And it costs me $30 —you can’t get that kind of care for that! I love that the staff in Kid’s Place knows us, and remembers my kids’ names, even when we haven’t come in awhile. My kids are not just being taken care of, they’re getting the best care."

And, she says, “My hubby comes to whatever family programs he can. We think it’s nice that someone has planned something for us, and we can just come. When people move into my neighborhood, I tell them to join the Y. We’re all in the same boat — lots of us have a husband or a wife gone. Staying at home to raise the kids is so important, but our kids need to know how to be around other kids, too.”