Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nuthin' But Fun

Well, after more than a month of trying to plan it, we FINALLY went with some friends to our local fire station for a tour!  I'd called them initially at the beginning of the summer, and they were immediately super nice about it.  The woman who arranges tours said that if it were just going to be me and my kids then we could stop by anytime unannounced, but I was hoping to invite a few friends to come along and in that case, she wanted us to schedule a time.  I was more excited about scheduling it anyway because I thought maybe they'd be able to show us more stuff if they were prepared for us as opposed to just showing up.  So, even though the woman was really nice about it all, we've just had a busy summer and between our vacation and this woman's vacation we played phone tag for at least a month before we finally set a time....I'm telling you all of this because if this looks like fun to you, I urge you to call your local fire station as well.  I bet they are like that everywhere because it's important to them that kids know about fire safety and that they are comfortable with fire fighters.  Honestly, it was a great reminder for me too that I should be teaching her fire safety stuff.  I guess lessons like that sneak up on me, since she seems to be getting older behind my back these days, so it was nice to have them reassure me that she's old enough to understand it all so it's a good idea to talk with her about it.  Anyway, really easy, free and fun!  I was kind of blown away by how much she remembered from the tour after we went home.  Made me feel like it was a worthwhile thing to do for sure...Here are a few of our pictures:
Hearing about who sits where in the truck

The heat gun

Holding the hose with Sierra

Firefighter Brian was so nice when showing them all his gear.  You could tell a lot of kids freak when he puts the mask on because before he did, he VERY clearly said "Now, I'm going to put this on because it helps me breath when there's smoke.  It makes me look pretty funny, but it's still me--I'm still here!"  They all did much better with it than I expected!

Offering for them to touch the suit...they didn't exactly jump at the chance, though.


She was pretty disappointed when we went to deliver this because they weren't there...hopefully they got it and it made them smile, even though I'm sure they get tons of these...I like to think they love getting them, not matter how often it happens!

I also wanted to share with you a couple of projects I just finished up for our upcoming, first annual "Family Housing Theatre Workshop" performance.  I work as a Resident Manager where we live and part of the job involves running activities for our residents.  This summer, I decided to do a Theatre Workshop...about half the summer, we just played a bunch of theatre games during our meeting times but then we started working on staging a VERY simple version of The Three Little Pigs.  I definitely learned a lot about what NOT to do the next time I do it but we had tons of fun, and the kids are too cute.  Come performance time (this Wednesday) all I'm hoping for is that they will all be brave enough to actually go on stage.  I don't even care if they are too shy to say their lines, just as long as they go out there and look cute.  The whole play takes about 5 minutes, and I can't wait to see how they do!

Anyway, I decided to make a little program and some t-shirts for them to wear during the performance and then hold onto after all is said and done.  For the program, I had to actually glue the text on the page next to their pictures and then photocopy that, since my computer knowledge and our actual software for designing such things is pretty minimal.  So, it doesn't look as clean as I had dreamed it would but it's still pretty cute.  I hope you can read the text because it's perfect:
Front cover

The t-shirts were a last minute thought and it started off as a very grand one.  At first, I planned to do it as a DIY silk screen project and was trying to psych myself up for the task.  I was telling myself that although it would be time consuming, it would be totally worth it.  If you've never done it, you stretch some nylon into an embroidery ring, draw your image on the nylon with a pencil, cover the negative space with glue, let dry, place on shirt and dab on the paint.  It's really fun and satisfying but to do 9 shirts like that (front and back) was way, way too ambitious.  Plus, I think I wouldn't have been as satisfied with the result as I was thinking I would be.  Anyway, when I went to the craft store to get the materials, I came across some "Heat Transfer Paper"...basically you put the paper into your (inkjet) printer and print whatever image you want on there.  Then you trim it and iron it on.  Even though I'd never used it, I crossed my fingers, bought it and hoped for the best.  I had pictured cutting all my designs out with an exacto knife so they'd be exactly what I wanted but, again that proved to be way too ambitious.  The first two shirts took a long time (there was some serious potty-mouth in my living room last night), since I was figuring it all out, but by the third shirt, I'd found a system (a much simpler one) and the rest were a breeze.  Even though they are not what I'd pictured, I'm still more than happy with the way they turned out and can't wait to see all the kiddos wearing them together on the day of the big show!
Front of the Pig Family shirts

Up close

The back

The "Seller" shirts

Big Bad Wolf!

UPDATE:  Here's the video of the performance!

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