ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: First lady Michelle Obama said today that her daughters are thriving in Washington and her days start with a predawn walk with the “most famous member” of the Obama family, new puppy, Bo. The first lady also encouraged community service in her remarks at the Congressional Club Luncheon, a gathering of 2000 people including Congressional and Senatorial Spouses, Spouses of Supreme Court Justices and Cabinet Secretaries and their friends and family. The newest addition to the Obama family, the “most famous member,” according to the first lady, is also adjusting to his new home. “Bo Obama is also doing well,” she said to laughter. “I have to say, he is the best puppy in the whole wide world. I love him to death. He is so sweet. But he’s still a puppy.” But guess who is waking up for the early dog walking shift? “Even though the kids are supposed to do a lot of the work, I’m still up at 5:15 a.m. taking my dog out,” Mrs. Obama said. “So for everyone who has a child asking for a puppy, you have to want the dog. As I do. I love my Bo.” Mrs. Obama said her daughters, Malia and Sasha, are “happy and healthy” and have settled into life in Washington. “They’re making friends. They’re getting good grades,” she said. “I feel like I’ve never left Chicago.” The first lady said there is a lot of soccer on Saturdays – “yes, I’m on a soccer field all day, just like many of you” - and slumber parties at the White House. Mrs. Obama said her mother, Marian, who lives at the White House, handles a lot of the shuttling duties, taking the girls to play dates, but she is also developing her own schedule and life in Washington. “She has a very full social life, so much so that sometimes we have to plan our schedule around her schedule,” the first lady joked. First Lady Touts Service The first lady ran through a list of her signature issues: military families, work-life balance and healthy eating. She said that the family had their first salad made from vegetables from the new White House garden. Mrs. Obama spoke at length about the need for service, calling it one of her “greatest passions,” and how important it is in this time of “unprecedented challenges.” “These are — there are few times in our nation’s history when the phrase ‘We’re all in it together’ really means something. And now is one of those times. We’re all in this together,” she said. Mrs. Obama cited examples of service from around the country including a garden at Colorado State University that will produce vegetables for a local food bank and an effort on May 9 by the U.S. Postal Service called, “Stamp Out Hunger.” The first lady said that the postal service is asking Americans to leave perishable food donations next to mailboxes and the carriers will pick them up when they deliver mail. “These stories prove that participating in national and community service is not just an escape for the wealthy or for kids who can afford to serve; it’s an integral part of empowering everyone to make our communities stronger,” the first lady said. The first lady announced that she is planning a service project to coincide with the annual congressional picnic at the White House, to be held on June 25. “Put it on your calendar, bring your kids. We’ll work a little, we’ll have a little barbeque, we’ll get a lot of stuff done,” she said. The service project would be a follow up to her event yesterday at the Capital Area Food Bank where she joined congressional spouses and packed 2,400 weekend food bags that will go to 1,000 D.C. area students who participate in the “Food for Kids” program. "We can bring our husbands and our wives, our children and our grandchildren together as we did yesterday and rally around a common cause…This would be a powerful message that we could send to people around the country; that they saw all of our families come together here in D.C,” she said of the June service event. “Whether it’s a food bank or a homeless shelter, there’s so much need out there. The projects are endless. Just imagine what message that would send if we came together."
– Karen Travers