Friday, October 1, 2010

Gearing up for Fire Safety Month & Our New Art Class

So I'm combining two posts into one...I'm just plain lazy like that! 

This week was filled with a lot of learning and some really fun activities.  On Tuesday, we took a field trip to the New Boston Fire Department...about 20-30 minutes from our house.  This is a Volunteer Fire Department, but we learned that they still have to follow the same state/federal guidelines and regulations as paid fire departments.  I have a new respect for Volunteer Firefighters!  They don't get paid one penny for all time they spend training or fighting fires.  All of the men and women from this department (save the one paid Fire Marshall position) maintain full-time jobs in order to provide for their families....which means that they have to use up their vacation time (if they even get that) in order to attend training functions, etc. 

In addition to all of the typical Fire Safety stuff they teach kids, we also got to see what a firefighter looks like when he/she's all dressed up and ready for firefighting, which is very different from the little cartoon-looking guys in the red overcoats and cute little red hats.  Two of the firemen got dressed up (we learned that the State of Texas requires them to be able to don their suits and gear and be ready to go in under 60 seconds...I don't see how on earth they do it!!) and walked around and talked to the kids and let the kids touch their suits and ask questions.  By doing this, they helped the younger kids see that they were just regular guys dressed up in a suit and not to be afraid of their Darth Vader-like appearance and sound. 

Here are some pics of our trip:

First, the boots and pants, then the coat.

Next the gear on his back - looks heavy!!

Then comes the "Darth Vader" mask...

And the head gear, helmet, and gloves are last!

They said lots of kids hide from them because they look scary in all their gear. 
But we learned "Don't Hide!  Go Outside!!"

My kids were a little reluctant to touch him - but I later found out that it wasn't because
they were scared of him, it was because they didn't like invading his personal space.  Lol...
My thoughtful kiddos!  : )

A very special thank you goes out to these firefighters,
and to all who risk their lives to make our communities a safer place!  : )

So when we finished up at the New Boston Fire Department, we drove home for a quick 20 minute snack/bathroom break, and hopped back into the car and made our way to Old Washington State Park (about 10 min. outside of Hope, AR - a good 45 minute drive from our house).   The homeschoolers of Old Washington and the surrounding areas were hosting an Art Class.  It was GREAT!  One of the local artists / teachers was on hand to show the kids how to do Pointillism and Storyboards.  This class was a God-send!  I've been pricing art lessons locally, because I know how very NON-artistic I am, and was flabbergasted (genuine southern word!!) at the cost for lessons!!  We just can't afford $75 / month per child!!  That's outrageous!!  Holy Smokes!  (See I'm still flabbergasted!)  Anyway, I was very relieved that this class was only $5 per child!!!!  I can hear the angels singing "Hallelujah!" in the background even now!!

So here are our pictures of our first Art Class - a bit of a drive, but CHEAP and soooo worth it!!! 

Starting with Pointillism

Getting those creative juices flowing!

After Art Class on Tuesday, we made a mad dash home and made it just in time for Addie's cheerleader practice at 5pm, and my weigh in at my weight loss challenge at 6pm!  It was such a busy day, but so worth every minute!!  The rest of the week was spent recuperating from Tuesdays activities and doing our normal homeschool lessons.  I did begin a new program with Lindsay, which seems VERY promising - I think she may be reading soon!!!  :)  I want to be sure it's working before I make my mind up about it though - stay tuned for updates on that front!  : ) 

Hope everyone has a marvelous weekend!!!  :)