Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book Review - Firefighters A to Z

Books and reading are a big thing in our house. Bubby enjoys reading on his own these days, he's so proud of himself for blazing through chapter books half way through this past school year. Sassy always has a stack of books close by, they really are like her "lovies".

Both kids are always on the lookout for fire related books. We actually stumbled across one all four of us are very fond of at Goodwill a few months ago. We have never come across a book with us rich, true pictures or one that uses in depth terminology before this book.

Firefighters A to Z by Chris L. Demarest is in the top 10 favorite books in this house. This book is written by a real, trained firefighter. The book alphabetically goes through a day in the life of a fireman. Terms like primary search, k-tool, and pickax are scattered through the book. Each line in the book rhymes with the previous one. Not only does it talk about the tools of the trade, but you also get lines like my favorite - "T is for teamwork. No one works alone."

The pictures in the book are very true life. They seem to be done with oil pastels or some other similar medium. They are bold and full of color. Bunker gear and masks, nozzles and smoke are all accurately depicted in each scene. The kids both like to just flip through the book and admire the artwork without even reading the story. You really do get a true sense of what a firefighter goes through from the time he wakes up in a fire station, until he pulls back in at the end of a call and climbs in bed for a rest.

At the end of the story is a three page author's note that explains some of the lesser known fire terminology used in the book. It talks about the dangers of being a firefighter, and how important it is to take fires and firefighting.

This book would be good for preschool to first or second grade. Bubby is now 8 and Sassy is 5, and they both read this book on a weekly basis. It's a great addition to anyone's family library, whether your little one wants to grow up to be a firefighter, or you have one in the family.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I have more great news for Life Between the Tones readers from TRIBAL Hollywood!

Yesterday I shared the news that TRIBAL Hollywood is donating a portion of your purchase to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation from now until June 16th in honor of Father's Day and all our fallen heroes. 

Today I share some even sweeter news. One of you lucky readers can win a $10 store credit towards a purchase from their website! 

I absolutely love their pieces. I have found quite a few things that would be perfect for 374. Their pieces are very unique. There's something for every man. They offer necklaces chains, rings, bracelets, and pendants. One of my favorite items is in the King Baby Rosary line. 

If you are looking for a quality, inexpensive add on to a Father's Day gift, or if you are on a tight budget this year, they have a whole line of pendants under $20. I let 374 make a wish list from the website, and quite a few of these pendants ended up on his list. 

Don't forget to use the promo codes to ensure TRIBAL Hollywood donates a portion of your sale to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation!

So what do you have to do to win the $10 credit? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - YUM!

Our favorite local ice cream shack opened last weekend. Monday, us and the neighbors made our first of many trips for the summer. This little cutie enjoyed every last bite, errr... drip!

Online Men's Jewelry Retailer Honors Fallen Firefighters

Father's Day is fast approaching. I will admit I haven't even made one purchase for 374, let alone even decide what it the kids and I are getting him. If you are in the same boat, here's something to consider --

TRIBAL Hollywood is running a promotion from now until June 16th - they are offering two promotional codes that help benefit the National Fallen Firefighter's Foundation and honor fallen firefighters.

"Customers will apply one of two online promo codes toward Father’s Day jewelry purchases beginning May 20 through June 16. By using code FIRE1010 at checkout, customers will receive a 10 percent discount off their order, with 10 percent of the purchase total going to the NFFF. By using code FireAll20 at checkout, customers wave the 10 percent discount, and TRIBAL Hollywood will donate 20 percent of the purchase total to the foundation. All products across the site qualify for the promotion, including the most popular and ideal Father’s Day gifts of men’s necklaces, rings, leather bracelets, and King Baby and Scott Kay jewelry pieces."

What is TRIBAL Hollywood?

"TRIBAL Hollywood is an online men’s jewelry retailer that sells VIP jewelry designed to give guys a personalized style that reflects their individuality and attitude. TRIBAL Hollywood offers unique necklaces for men, chains, leather necklaces, bracelets and rings, including high-end designer jewelry from Scott Kay and King Baby. TRIBAL Hollywood was established in 2006 in Hollywood, California."

If you are not familiar with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, the are a non-profit foundation that helps the families and department mates of fallen firefighters from all over the the country, while honoring those lost. This is a win/win situation for everyone. Your father, husband, brother - whoever that special man is in your life receives a unique Father's Day gift, and an exceptional foundation receives funding. Purchasing from TRIBAL Hollywood this Father's Day helps you give a double gift!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tornado Party!

Today we celebrated Bubby's 8th birthday. His actual birthday is not until Tuesday, but the party was today. As I've mentioned before Bubby is obsessed with all things weather and tornado related. I came through with a tornado cake and some tornado decorations. It was just a small family and close friend get-together. Just like we like it.

Funnel clouds on the ceiling fans - we turned the fans on and they even spun like real tornadoes!

Tornado cake - It ripped through the road and flipped the car!

This year's birthday marked a new step in his little life - he read each and every birthday card by himself, unassisted. I tried not to cry. I failed.

These three pics are a series that shows what happens when you tell a brother and sister to "Act like you love each other!" I couldn't help but laugh when I pulled them off the camera!

Tuesday my first born will be eight. It seems so unreal!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Trust Their Training

Running into a burning building is not something that you could pay me enough money to do. Even putting on a SCBA mask and air pack is not something that you could ever entice me to do. I really, truly believe that working in the fire service is a calling. It's not a job just anyone signs up for.

374 has definitely heard the call. It's something he enjoys immensely. This was absolutely apparent this weekend when wiggled his way into a training session for the Fire I class that is being held at his station currently. A good friend of his is going through the class. He was aware of their live burn trainings this weekend for the class, and after talking to the instructor he was granted permission to attend and participate with them.

Running into a building to help save property and life is one thing - you know that someone is in desperate need of your skills and help. However, to willingly volunteer to walk into a burning structure because it's something you ENJOY doing is something I can not fathom. The night before I was so nervous. He's putting himself in this situation willingly. It's not even his training. I couldn't comprehend WHY. Then it hit me - THIS IS WHAT HE'S CALLED TO DO. He's doing this to better prepare himself for those situations that are not a controlled environment. If there was ever a time to NOT be nervous about him donning his gear and walking through fire, it's now. I had to remind myself of this again that next morning as he left, but the rest of the day it was not something I worried about.

As a family member of a firefighter, especially when you are new to the lifestyle, it can be scary and unnerving whether they are running off to a call, or attending a training. In your mind fire is fire whether it's planned or not. It's true that things CAN go wrong during trainings - the are not fool-proof, but it's these trainings that help keep them safe when it's a fully involved structure fire. It's these trainings that you want to keep in the back of your mind when the tension is high when he's out on a long call. Just as they learn to trust their training and knowledge, YOU have to learn to trust his training and knowledge.

This has been a hard lesson for me to learn, but it's one I'm beginning to feel a lot more comfortable with. This fall will mark his third year on the department. He attends any training he can fit into his schedule. He has attended weekend long trainings at a college that are put on each year for any firefighter in our region. The trainings and search for more knowledge never stops. I've realized it's a very fluid thing - they are always finding new and better ways of doing things. There's always room for improvement. New products come out on the market. When training and the desire to grow is gone, safety is not in the forefront of their mind. Things can go wrong at any time, whether they train every day or twice a year - but if they are not constantly honing their skills there's a bigger gap for error.

If there's one thing I can feel secure with it's his desire to learn and grow and improve as a firefighter. Not only to ensure his safe return home to us at the end of a call, but also to provide the best service he can for his community. With all that said, I can assure you that I will have to remind myself of this post from time to time. It's a hard thing to remember when you hear the tones drop. I may just have to print this post out for myself and hang it on my refrigerator. I encourage you to remind yourself of this post if you are new to the fire life, if you are considering entering the lifestyle, or if you are a seasoned wife who may just be nervous over a call that may be out of the ordinary. They trust and live by their training - you can too.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Another Rave for MN8-Foxfire!

One of the things 374 picked up at FDIC last weekend was tets from MN8-Foxfire. Zach and the crew were selling special FDIC 2013 tets in their booth all weekend. He grabbed a couple for him and his buddy for their helmets. 374 already has the illuminating/reflective tet package (as well as the helmet band) from MN8, both of which he absolutely loves and raves about to anyone who will listen.

I saw MN8-Foxfire post on their Facebook Friday during FDIC about the commemorative tets. I shared the pic with 374, who immediately put it on his wishlist of things to pic up while we were in Indy.

He applied the tet to his helmet this evening. I snapped a pic to share with the owner, Zach. Of course in true  MN8 fashion, it illuminated amazingly for the picture.

If you haven't experienced MN8 products for yourself, they are a must have item in my opinion for firefighter safety. They add another element of accountability beyond the reflective tets and strips on their gear. 

I think the picture speaks for itself.