Alligators, Airplanes & Pasta…More of Our Family Forward Adventures

Alligators, Airplanes and Pasta...More

During the Family Forward conference, we were treated to sessions from DohVinici, Animal Jam, Southwest Airlines and Barilla Pasta. My family really enjoyed every session. Each session provided us tools, resources and information that will help us in building our family. Here’s my recap of each session.

Animal Jam

Animal Jam Home Screen

Animal Jam is an online community for children who love animals and the outdoors. It’s the result of a partnership between Smart Bomb Interactive and National Geographic Society.  Animal Jam gave us an amazing experience by allowing us to see crocodiles and alligators up close and personal with Dr. Brady Barr. I love experiential learning and my son can now tell us the clear difference between crocodiles/alligators as well as how to get a crocodile to calm down. My son even got in on the action by having his bite pressure tested and my husband had his strike speed (similar to how fast a snake can strike tested). They both loved these experiences.

Animal Jam at Family Forward

Share the Table with Barilla Pasta


Barilla Pasta introduced us to the concept of sharing the table by allowing our family to prepare a meal together for lunch. My boys loved preparing the food together, step by step, so much that we’ve even decided to make it part of our regular habits at home. The lunch speaker provided us with several strategies for making mealtime a family time.  I loved that she acknowledged we’re busy families and didn’t make us feel guilty for not sitting together for dinner every night. Instead, she offered these solutions for making the most of our meal times. You can check out several of them here at the Share The Table website.

Since we loved preparing the recipe so much there, my husband suggested it for dinner instead of our normal Friday night pizza. I’m sure that we’ll adapt it to fit our family (and what I have on hand) for many years to come. It’s going to be special because it was something we learned together.

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Southwest Airlines Adopt a Pilot Program

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Two pilots from Southwest Airlines Adopt a Pilot Program (AAP) came to talk with us about their careers paths and the lessons they’ve learned. They did some awesome experiments to share how planes actually fly that my boys loved seeing. I was most impressed by their FLIGHT curriculum that they use with the AAP. FLIGHT is an acronym for:

  • Fearlessness
  • Leadership
  • Imagination
  • Gratitude
  • Honesty
  • Tenacity

Wow, who wouldn’t want their children to embody those characteristics every day? I’ve reminded my oldest to take FLIGHT ever since hearing it and even created this printable that I’m share with you.

Soar in Flight Printable


Click here to download it.

As you can tell, each of the sessions provided us great information that will help us build our family for many years into the future. I wish I could provide more details because we really learned so much. I’d encourage you to look at each of the sites above. They have several resources that can help your family. Why the sessions were so great for us is that we are moving to place in life where we’re being deliberate in all our actions and thoughts about how to create a vision for our family so we appreciated the sessions because they provided us food for thought about how we want our family to run and most importantly how we want to live.

Which session do you think you would have enjoyed the most?


  1. says

    Wow – sounds like you & the family have had a full schedule. I would have loved the cooking one – while my kids would probably say the animals would be theirs!

  2. Pam says

    You have certainly been busy! My family loves Barilla pasta, we make pasta regularly and it’s so great to prepare dinner together.

  3. Christina says

    This looks like a great event so it would be hard to choose one. But I love cooking and eating so I would say the cooking session would be right up my alley.

  4. says

    It must have been good if it’s replacing pizza on the regular home menu. 😉 The values are good ones that yes, you do want your children to have and exhibit.

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