Stayin’ Up Late Swappin’ Manly Stories

This is what I saw when I returned home from painting pottery last Friday night.  J let the boys swim and go in the hot tub.  When they got out, he lit a fire in the fire table and turned on Kung Fu Panda.

Life is good when dad is in charge 🙂


Firefighting Activity Day

Like most boys I know, my kids look up to firefighters.  They alert me whenever they see a fire truck on the road.  Their shrieks of excitement are even more emphatic if the truck’s siren is on and the lights are flashing.  Preschool trips to the fire station are main highlights of the entire school year.

So, when I saw that our city was advertising a Firefighting Activity Day at the local fire station, I immediately signed the boys up.  They’ve been eagerly anticipating the event all summer.

Yesterday was finally the day that we got to go to the fire station!  I didn’t think Cutie Pie was going to be able to participate since the advertisement indicated that only elementary school age children could register.  I figured that he would be just as happy to watch.  We were pleasantly surprised to find out that there were some cancellations when we signed in and Cutie Pie would be able to participate after all.

The firefighters divided the children into three groups.  My boys were in the red group and got to put out a real fire for their first activity.  Wildman volunteered to be the first child of the day to use the fire extinguisher on a fire.

I was so surprised that they let the children do this activity since it involved actual fire.  But it was very well supervised and the children LOVED it!

Next up for our group was shooting down cones with the fire hose.

Cutie Pie did not want to do either of the first two activities.  He was happy to watch from the safety of my side.  He came out his shell by the time we arrived at the smoke-filled room though.

Of all the things the children got to do that day, this was the one thing I thought Cutie Pie would not do since it involved limited visibility and crawling around away from the security of my side.  But he readily volunteered to go into the smokey room and search for a boot, a ball and a glove.  He and his brother found everything!

FYI: the smoke they used to fill the room was not real smoke.  It was the stuff they use for night clubs and other events.  The firefighters called it “disco smoke”.  🙂

The children ended their time at the fire station by running around in the water screen.  We all had a great time and look forward to doing this again next year if it is offered.

The firefighters gave the children honorary Jr. Firefighter certificates, juice boxes and a goody bag filled with candy and cookies to take home.  Wildman and Cutie Pie were naturally over the moon!

Demise of a Christmas Tree

This was me on New Year’s Eve.  Our friends, Ricardo and Karenita, hosted a beach bonfire.  It was a family-friendly way to spend the evening.  The night was gorgeous!  It was clear, cool, with little wind and no clouds.

There were many other bonfires up and down the beach that night.  We were treated to an illegal fireworks display thanks to the people next to us.  We really enjoyed it until the police put a smack down on them…

Their next prank brought the fire department running…

They rigged up a little hot air balloon with a few craft sticks, a candle, some string and a plastic bag.  They launched their contraption at the water’s edge.  It glowed beautifully as the gentle breeze lifted up and away.  We watched it until it disappeared high in the atmosphere behind some wispy clouds.  The boys thought it was the coolest thing ever.

But then the fire department showed up, truck and all…  The SBFD went to each beach party and said that they didn’t care who did it and didn’t want to know but they did not want to see another hot air balloon go up.  If the wind shifted and the thing fell on the city then there would be real problems.  They had a point.

J remembered making those homemade hot air balloons when he was in school.  A teacher took his class out to a field in the middle of the city and taught everyone how to make them.  Times have changed a bit, it would seem.

So, the demise of the Christmas tree!  Right!

When I found out about the bonfire and heard that the hosts were bringing a Christmas tree to burn, my thoughts immediately went to our wilted, dried out tree.  I insisted that J disrobe the tree while I prepared dinner.  The thought of it lying in a sad heap on the street until the city came to pick it up just did not seem right.  Why not send it up in a blaze of glory?

We chucked the nude tree in the back of J’s truck and headed to the beach after dinner (we had black-eyed peas, of course).  At the very end of the evening, J tossed it onto the fire.  The flames engulfed our tree in no time.  It burned very quickly and very hot then it was gone.  Almost in the blink of an eye.

I think we should do this with all of our Christmas trees from now on.

It seems like the proper way to send off a tree that has served us well.

After the fire, we came home and let the boys toss colored smoke bombs into the street.  Second to the hot air balloon, they thought it was the coolest thing ever…

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