First Lady Michelle Obama paid an early Easter visit to military families at the Fisher House at Walter Reed Military Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland on Wednesday morning, bearing a big basket filled with White House Easter cookies and a special surprise. First Dog Bo accompanied Mrs. Obama on what has become an annual holdiay outing. (Above, Mrs. Obama greeting on of the families)
“I like to come and hang out, number one, to bring cookies," Mrs. Obama, clad in a pink twin set and a full skirt, told the excited kids and parents.
"Anybody like cookies here? I'm not sure if we haven't any cookie fans."
The cookies were in the shape of Bo, a favorite design o the White House pastry chefs. "The Fisher House is a program established to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment while their loved ones receive care," the White House said, and is one of many on or near US military bases around the world.
After helping the kids make Easter cards, Mrs. Obama spoke about her Joining Forces initiative to support and honor military families, and announced another surprise.
"One other thing I come bearing,” Mrs. Obama said. "We do this really cool thing at the White House around Easter every year. It's called our Easter Egg Roll...I brought tickets for all of you to come. So that's the other thing I bring."
"So the Monday after Easter, you guys are invited to my house to hang out, okay?"
It was more than okay with the kids and their parents, who cheered and applauded. The 135th annual Easter Egg Roll will be on Monday, April 1. More than 35,000 guests are expected to play on the South Lawn during the largest social event on the White House calendar. The theme this year is pegged to Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! campaign: "Be Healthy, Be Happy, Be You."
President Obama donated some of the award money from his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to the Fisher House Foundation. The President was in Israel during Mrs. Obama's visit.
The First Lady has also extended an invitation to the family of slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton to attend the Easter Egg Roll. Mrs. Obama attended Pendleton's funeral in Chicago after she was gunned down close to the Obama family residence in Hyde Park.
CLICK HERE for the latest on the Easter Egg Roll.
*Photo by Lawrence Jackson/White House