Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wild Fire Tees - Help Those in Colorado

I am part of a Facebook group for firefighter wives. Someone posted a link today that I feel is really worth sharing.

I'm sure by now everyone knows about the fires in Colorado.

There are many, many people in the state of Colorado who are affected by this fire. As the news reports, the end is nowhere in sight. 

So how can you help?

Check out Wild Fire Tees.

Wild Fire Tees is a group of designers from Colorado who have come together to support wildfire relief efforts. They wanted something that would be bigger than any check they could write. Their design work was the answer.

100% of the proceeds from the sales of these tees will go to wildfire relief across the state. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Could You Love a Firefighter?

I found this on the web tonight. Really some good things to think about if your significant other is thinking about becoming a fireman, or if marrying a fireman may be in your future.

Could you love a firefighter through their ups and downs?
When visions of accidents leave their emotions spinning around?
When their pager goes off, would you just let them leave?
Or would you ask them not to go, begging them, “Please.”
Would you stress yourself out worrying about their safety?
Or would you convince yourself they might quit for you, just maybe?
Could you deal with the heartache and unknowing pain
Of whether or not you’ll see your loved one again?
As courageous firefighters they understand
That death is a card dealt in their hand.
A card they hope they never play
But one they hold there anyway.
They do what they do with love in their heart.
They don’t really know how it happens or where it gets its start.
But it’s here to stay, it isn’t going anywhere.
Before you love a firefighter, decide if you think it’s fair.
Could you deal with the life that they choose to live?
When they feel they’re down to nothing, they’re still asked to give.
Each time they go out, they might lose their life.
Would you change your mind? Or could you deal with the strife?
Could you stand by their side when things aren’t going well?
When they need to be rescued, is it you who they can tell?
Will you hold their hand and say it’s all right?
Would you listen and comfort them through the night?
Could you deal with their silence, after a horrible call?
Or knowing after the fire, they almost didn’t come back at all?
Could you provide them comfort after a small child dies?
And help them through memories of the small feeble cries?
Could you help them deal with having to roll back the dash
To recover the bodies of a family killed in the crash?
It’s not an easy job that we choose to do.
But we do it to save innocent people like you.
So think about that, if you’re falling for me.
Could you deal with my life? Could you see what I see?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - A Piece of 9/11

A piece of the Twin Towers that was given to a fire department in Ohio. It was driven through the parade we attended last Saturday.

Please share your Wordless Wednesday posts here! Leave me a comment and I will visit your blog!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!!!

Bubby, Sassy and I would like to wish our fire daddy a very happy Father's Day! He's an amazing father and a wonderful husband. We are so very proud of him for everything he's accomplished, especially fire school and all the things he does for the department!

We have been lucky so far, he's been home with us all day with no calls. We had a nice dinner at home together, and the kids and I made him his favorite dessert - Blueberry Crisp. The recipe is a few posts down on my blog if you are interested!

Bubby has been obsessed with the show Cake Boss lately. So when he heard me getting things around in the kitchen, he wanted to help. I had to chuckle when I pulled out the brown sugar. Bubby said "Is that brown sugar? Buddy uses that all the time for sand and stuff on cakes!" 

I let the kids cut the butter into the crisp mixure. They had fun stirring it around. 

After we had everything prepared, I lifted the pan off the counter to put it in the oven. Bubby put his hand on my arm and said "Okay Lisa, time to bake it!" I nearly dropped the pan and cracked up! For those of you not familiar with Cake Boss, Buddy is the owner of the bakery and Lisa is his sister who works there. This kid cracks me up!

Did you do anything special for Father's Day? Share your day's events in the comments!! 

Volunteer Firefighter Convention Parade

One of our neighboring towns was hosting the annual convention for our local Volunteer Firefighter's Association. Since 374 works third shift, we were unable to make the festivities Friday evening. However, we were all excited to head over Saturday afternoon for the parade.

We went over a couple hours early. We decided to take the kids to lunch at a restaurant near the parade route. The plan was to park in their parking lot, eat, and then walk to the parade route. When we arrived at the restaurant, Bubby was excited to find older fire trucks parked in the lot. He was coming out of his skin when he read the side of the fire truck with his name on it. The truck was from a township that shares a name with Bubby. He thought that was the neatest thing, until we walked in and he saw his name plastered all over the firefighter's shirts.

The four of us enjoyed a nice lunch. Usually we are in a hurry to get somewhere else, but today we had time to spare. It was very nice to be able to eat and talk and not worry about the time. 374 and the kids were distracted many times while we ate as fire trucks drove by to line up for the parade. It was so cute to see the big guy just as excited about the whole thing as the kids were.

When we were done, we walked a block to the portion of the parade route we were going to watch from. We were excited to see a Postal Museum across the street from where we were going to sit. It was a very hot afternoon, and we still had about 45 minutes until the parade started so we decided to take the kids in and walk around.

They really enjoyed seeing all the stamps, postal vehicles, and old mail boxes, etc. Much to my pleasure the building was air conditioned. Very nice when it was nearing 100*.

After we made our rounds in the museum, we headed out to take our spot along the street. The kids, and when I say kids I am including 374 too, were very anxious for the parade to begin. I didn't take into account that we were half way down the parade route, so the kids got a bit antsy when they realized it was after 1:30 and there were no fire trucks to be seen. 

About five minutes later we heard a distinct noise in the distance. 

What a better way to open the parade than a fly over by Life Flight. Bubby and Sassy were so excited to watch it fly low over the parade route.

The parade was full of all different kinds of fire trucks and ambulances, old and new,  from many different departments in the area. There were also marching bands mixed in. My favorite part of the parade were the old fire trucks.

It was a great family afternoon. 374 repeatedly stated that he's bringing some of our trucks to the parade next year. Because what's more fun that watching a parade full of fire trucks?? Driving YOUR fire truck through the parade!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Flag Day - June 14th 2012

The kids and I spent the afternoon riding around in a fire truck with 374 and another fellow firefighter. We drove around town putting flags up on the poles lining town for Flag Day tomorrow. The kids always love riding around in the trucks. This was actually the first time I got to ride around in one. The little kid in me might have had more fun that my kids did!

We ended the day sitting on the porch enjoying the evening weather while the kids played across the street with the neighbor. It was the perfect evening for front porch sitting - just enjoying life between the tones...

Giveaway: Kidde 10 Year Sealed Battery Smoke Detector

Have you checked the smoke detectors in your home lately? Are you sure you have enough of them in the correct locations? Your batteries may be fresh, but is your detector itself in optimal working order?

You hear all the time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors monthly, or when the time changes. However, did you know that the life span of a smoke detector is 10 YEARS? Every 10 years you should replace the smoke detectors in your house.

Would you like to not have to worry about the state of your smoke detector and it's batteries? What if there was a detector that didn't require battery changes, and it LET YOU KNOW when it was about to expire?

There's an awesome giveaway going on right now on Kidde's Facebook page. Every day in June they are giving away a Kidde 10 year, sealed battery smoke detector. This smoke detector comes with a sealed 10 year battery. This battery never needs replaced! Not only that, but the detector will also alert you when it's time to replace the it!

According to the National Fire Protection Association, one third of smoke detectors in America are not working properly. ONE THIRD.

We are in the process of switching to these smoke detectors in our home.

Head over to Kidde's Facebook page to enter this amazing giveaway. One person per day will win every day in June.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Future Firefighter

Share your Wordless Wednesday!! I'd love to hear from you. Link up your WW post, and then leave me a comment below! I'll visit everyone who posts.

I've spent the afternoon scouring the internet for fire related blogs and websites that I feel are share-worthy.

I came across a blog called The Fire Critic. Rhett is a Lieutenant with a fire department in Virginia. He shares fire news, information and product reviews on this blog. He has paired with another fire blog and they have created a website called Fire Product Review. Here you will find reviews on all things firefighter related - tools, books, gear, etc.

If you are in the market for anything fire related, check out their website for reviews!! You can also post your own reviews of products you have purchased.


While checking out the latest tweets on my Twitter feed, I came across a website with daily deals geared towards fire, ems and police workers.

You can subscribe to their deals via Twitter or Facebook pr email to be notified of current special sale prices. There are only certain quantities of each deal available, so act fast if you see something you want.

If you are interested in purchasing a deal, you must register with their site. This is different than subscribing. You will need to create an account on their site to receive the vouchers to purchase deals.

They will also reward you for sharing the site. If you refer someone to the website and they place an order, upon completion of their first order you will receive $5.


Giveaway: The Fireman Who Loved Me by Jennifer Bernard @StopDropandBlog

I've been on the hunt for some fireman related reading material. Boy did I find some tonight! I was browsing through the tweets on my Twitter feed and came across a giveaway for the book The Fireman Who Loved Me by Jennifer Bernard over at Stop, Drop and Blog. She's another firefighter wife blogger, and this is an amazing giveaway. Not only can you win a copy of this book that she raves over, but it will be a SIGNED copy by the author herself!!

According to the review post, this is going to be a series of books from this author. I am so excited. The giveaway is open until July 1st, 2012. I'm not sure I can wait that long to take the chance that I win. I may have to purchase the Kindle version and dive into this bad boy soon!!

If you head over to Stop, Drop and Blog you have up to three chances to win your copy. Two winners will be chosen. You can share on Twitter and Facebook for extra entries! I've already submitted my entries, so what are YOU waiting for?!? Whether you are a fireman's wife, or just a lover of a good book - this novel should be on your summer reading list!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Life Lessons for Fire Kids

One of the things that I love most about 374's station is the family atmosphere. Whether it's during clean up after a fire or on a work night or training, the kids are always welcome (with adequate supervision) at the station. I love the exposure they get to this lifestyle and the lessons they can take from the experience.

I love that my kids do not have a fear of fire trucks or firefighters in full gear. It's so much a part of their day to day life that it's not scary. I like knowing that they know all these guys personally, so that heaven forbid anything ever happened at our home they would know who's coming to help them and that the gear they are wearing is not bad.

sorry for the poor photo quality, these were taken with a cell phone

Another plus to the exposure is they are learning how to work as a team. They see all these guys pitching in together to get a job done. For them to see the responsibility that it takes for Daddy to jump up from a family dinner or rush of from an event when his pager calls is a great life lesson. They see him pop out of bed in the middle of the night to run off in aid, but that the job doesn't stop there. They see all the work it takes to clean up the gear and hoses and gas up trucks and maintain them. Bubby and Sassy see the team work - all the guys working together and staying until the job is complete. A lot of the time, the kids jump right in and start helping with the work. I know at this age it's fun for them, but over time as they get older it will be a character builder.

I've always wanted to teach my kids selflessness and to be kind and helpful to others. Having a volunteer firefighter as a father is really helping to teach them that lesson. They know when the tones go off that these men and women are rushing off because someone is in need, and they are willing to help. They know that no matter what Daddy's doing, if someone needs help he will be there. The pride they have in their eyes when he returns home from a call makes all the worry and nervousness I feel as a wife worth it.

Saturday, June 9, 2012 Giveaway!!

Planning a family vacation this summer? Do you have a road trip in your near future? Enter this great giveaway! HotelCoupons is giving away a prize pack that includes a a $100 gas card, an annual membership to AAA, a Garmin GPS system, a Phillips portable DVD player and lots more!

Follow this link to enter. Contest ends June 30, 2012.

Father's Day Gifts for a Firefighter

Father's Day is just around the corner. I just started shopping Thursday evening. There would be no big issue with that, except I'm shopping online. I'm shopping online and I can't decide what would be the best gift for 374.

I've found a couple neat tools. I'm really leaning towards possibly picking up a pack of Jammers because he likes handy little tools like that to keep in his pockets. However, when I buy a gift that can't be used right away I always like to include something that can be enjoyed as soon as they open it.

I'm sentimental - almost to a fault. I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with a gift that's unique and thoughtful. Gift giving to me is serious business. I LOVE giving gifts. Receiving, not so much. I'm a horrible receiver. I'd rather give. I give gifts that have meaning. I give gifts that are useful. I want the receiver of the gift to know that I took the time to plan out their gift because they mean so much to me. Whether it's a wedding gift, a birthday gift, or Father's Day, that's my gift giving approach for any occasion.

I was laying in bed last night and it came to me. I would like to start a collection of fire department t-shirts for 374 from all over the country. (I hope he doesn't read this blog!) I figured my best bet would be ebay. Boy was I right. I hit the jackpot on different department shirts from all over the country. I'm convinced this is the perfect gift for him. He lives in his Black Helmet Apparel shirts as well as his station shirts. The only time he's not in a firefighter shirt is on Sundays for church.

Now the task at hand is to pick one or two shirts to start out with. I believe I have it narrowed down. My first inclination was to choose shirts from a big city like New York or Chicago. But the more I thought about it, the more those shirts are easier to come by. I want something that you won't see very often. Then it hit me, I lived in Hawaii for a good portion of my childhood. Hawaiian culture was, and still is a big part of my life. Sure enough, I stumbled upon an ebay seller who has Hawaiian department shirts. SCORE! You can't get any farther from the Midwest than Hawaii. Now I just need to commit and order them. No matter when I order, they won't be here in time for Father's Day. As long as 374 knows he has gifts on the way, and really just gets to spend the day with his family, that's all he needs.

If any fire families who read my blog would have any shirts they would like to trade or sell for a shirt from our department, just send me an email at and we can talk!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Recipe: Blueberry Crisp - Best Stuff on Earth!

My kids and I, and 374 to an extent, are blueberry freaks. Anything covered in blueberries is absolutely divine in our book.

Yesterday at the grocery we found blueberries on sale for $0.99 a pint, so we stocked up. 374 was very excited because he knew blueberry crisp was in his immediate future. Blueberry crisp is like gold in our house - everyone goes nuts for it.

I made the first batch of it tonight while we were eating dinner. The kids were counting down the oven timer as they waited not so patiently for it to be done. So when that timer finally beeped, they paired it with vanilla ice cream and it was devoured one plateful at a time!

Summer has officially arrived.

Blueberry Crisp

4 cups blueberries, rinsed
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 quick oats
1 tbsp cinnamon
8 tbsp butter

Place rinsed blueberries in a greased pan. Cover them with lemon juice and sugar.

In a separate bowl add all the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Cut in the butter. Sprinkle mixture over top of blueberries in the pan.

Bake on 375* for 40-45 minutes.

From our kitchen to yours, ENJOY!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Trying to Beat the Summer Boredom

It's summer - school's out. Sassy has been out of preschool since May 17th and Bubby finished Kindergarten on May 23. My kids are polar opposites in just about every aspect of life, and dealing with summer vacation is no exception. Bubby has been much easier to manage so far, as he's not exhausted by 3pm every day. During the school year, he was up by 7:30. He attended school from 7:50 am until 3:00 pm. By the time he got home, he was a cranky ball of exhaustion. It was hard to get him to do even the smallest tasks - all he wanted to do was relax. Sassy on the other hand needs constant stimulation. By constant, I mean from the time she wakes up until she finally passes out in the evening. She has been the cranky one with not enough to keep her entertained. She is very much a social butterfly. She needs interaction with her peers like she needs oxygen. If she does not have an activity to hold her attention, the entire contents of my purse is strewn across the living room, or she's giving herself a hair cut for the 63rd time in a month. The child is very active, and most days it's exhausting just keeping up with her.

It's not been a full month yet, and I'm already needing to get creative. They are wanting to spend too much time in front of the tv. Granted, we do not have paid tv - we stream our tv from Netflix and Hulu Plus. However, there is still enough content to keep them plugged in all afternoon if they were left to their own devices. I've pulled out work books, banished them to the yard on nice days, and given them simple household tasks. Those are already getting old with them, and I'm quickly starting to dread the next two months if I can't find something to hold their attention. When I say "their" I'm 97% referring to Sassy.

We already have tickets to the Indianapolis Zoo. We need to pick a weekend to make that trip. We plan on driving there the first day and doing the zoo, making mental notes on the drive down of anything we'd like to stop and see on the way back. The kids are excited about the dolphins and the polar bears. Bubby has not been to a zoo since he was 3, and Sassy was 6 months old the last time. We are going to stay in a hotel that night after the zoo. The kids have never stayed in a hotel, so that will be a fun new experience for them. The next day will be spent leisurely driving back home.

Beyond that I'm at a loss. We are most definitely scheduling some play dates with friends. It's nice to let the kids entertain themselves, and have an adult to converse with. I wish our movie theaters around here did those free summer movie programs for kids. My kids love movies so it would be nice to be able to take them during the summer and not have it cost an arm and a leg.

So what are some things that you and your family do to curb the summer boredom? Any inexpensive ideas that your kids absolutely love? My kids are just now getting to the ages where they can both participate in the same kinds of activities. We are getting out of the toddler/preschooler stage and are close to having both in the elementary bracket. I'm open to any ideas and tips from parents of older kids to help them have a memorable and fun summer.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: My Fishing King and Dancing Queen

(and Llama Llama)

Being a Firefighter's Wife is No Joke!

I have taken for granted for a long time that 374 was not able to perform all duties of a firefighter until now. He has been on the department for two years, but was delayed in getting all his training complete because of his full time work schedule and the lack of classes available at the right time. Since he was not fully certified until a few months ago, he has not been able to pack up and go into an involved building/structure. That was, until Saturday night.

It had been a while since the department has had a call for a structure fire that 374 has been home to run on. He's been on traffic accidents and fertilizer spills, but no big fires. That all changed Saturday night.

I was in the kitchen plating up the kids' dinner. 374 was in the living room talking to my aunt who dropped by for a visit. I made my plate, and sat down at the dinner table. Just as I opened my mouth to ask him if he was coming to eat, his pager went off. Structure fire. He popped up off the couch, and we sent him off with some quick kisses, hugs, and the ever so important "I love you! and "Be careful!" The kids and I have always made sure to do all those things before he leaves the house, no matter how big or small the call. You just never know if something terrible could go wrong.

After we ate, my aunt and I took the kids out into the front yard to play. About an hour had passed since 374 had left. We saw one truck come back to the station for the attic fan and then leave out to the scene again. My aunt and I were chatting on the front porch. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a firefighter coming up the road in his own personal vehicle and thought to myself, "Maybe they are almost done, and will be back at the station soon." Usually the kids and I walk up to the station and they watch and sometimes help with clean up after everyone returns. The truck slowed down in front of my house. We live on a corner lot. The truck stopped at the corner and parked at my house. Then I noticed the chief's car right behind him. My stomach dropped to my feet. My feet grew roots and I couldn't move from the porch.

The assistant chief and the chief's wife (who is a good friend of mine) walked up to my porch. I could tell by their faces they were not coming to report anything positive. With the kids huddled around me, excited for visitors, I tried to keep my cool. They informed me that 374 seemed to have been overheated, and the put him in the ambulance and took him to a local hospital. They assured me it was just a precaution. The chief's wife had come to help out with my kids so I could go to the hospital. My aunt offered to drive me, which was a God send. I was not in any shape to drive myself. My thoughts were everywhere, my hands were shaking and I was fighting back tears. I did not want to scare the kids, the last thing I needed was to be at the hospital with him knowing the kids were a mess at home.

When we got to the hospital, our EMTs were waiting at the doors for me. They explained what they knew, and took me back to his room. I was not prepared for what I saw. He was hooked up to a bunch of wires, and was in the middle of a breathing treatment. He was coughing very badly, and had a lot of pain in his chest. They had given him morphine, which did not even touch the pain he was having. He was also experiencing a very high heart rate, double vision and dizziness.

After a long night in the hospital, it was concluded that not only did he over heat, but he also must have had some insulation or a chemical get passed his air mask that irritated his lungs. We were sent home with orders to stay off work and fire calls until Tuesday night, and to use an inhaler they provided him with.

He feels a lot better now. He was pretty sore for a few days after, and has had to use the inhaler a few times the last few days. But he's home. He's safe, and we are thankful.

I knew being a firefighter's wife came with its risks. I try not to think about them. I do get nervous when he goes out on a call, there are so many things that could go wrong. If I worry about those things all the time, I'd never be able to deal with this lifestyle. I try to stay busy while he's gone. I use the opportunity to get some cleaning done, or the kids and I find something to do outside. If it's the middle of the night, I usually pull the scanner in the room and listen to it until I fall back asleep if they are out for a long time.

I just really wasn't prepared to see those cars pull up to my house. Sunday afternoon my hands were STILL shaking. I find myself reliving that moment when I realized why those cars were here. I am so thankful that he's okay. While the situation was a serious one, it could have been much worse. The fact that he could not come home from saving someone's house, pulling someone from a car on the side of a road, or being involved in a vehicle accident while on the way to the scene is all very real. Much more real now. I will continue to make sure those kisses and hugs and I love you's are exchanged. I will hold on just a second or two tighter now. I will watch him run off to his car a little prouder now. I love my fireman.

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's Recital Time!

We are coming up on my daughter's favorite time of the year. Recital time.

Sassy is in her second year of dance. It's what she lives for. It makes me so proud, and my heart so full to see this little girl love something so much at such a young age. We knew from very early on that this child was born to dance and perform. She's not proved us wrong yet! If she could have her way she'd be in dance class seven days a week. She wakes up in the morning asking if it's dance day, and twirls her way through the day until she finally passes out at bedtime.

Her recital is on Sunday, June 3rd. Tomorrow, Saturday, is dress rehearsal. I have some last minute things to do, mainly baking for the bake sale and gluing flowers on a hair clip, but other than that we are most definitely ready. This year she is in two numbers - a ballet number and a tap number. She's so excited to get up on that stage and perform her dances. You'd think it would be daunting to a four year old to get up on a stage in front of an auditorium full of people, but not her!

I'm excited to share some pictures with you tomorrow night after dress rehearsal. There's no photography during the recital, so all parent pictures are taken at rehearsal. I'm so proud of my tiny dancer!