Firefighter Combat Race

April 30, 2012

A few weeks ago (because I”m slow at updating the blog and finding the time to write!), Big Monkey was working and the kids and I were looking for some things to do. We ended up making that Saturday and VERY busy day. The kids did their race, we picked blueberries and then we went to the Firefighter Combat Challenge.

The Firefighter Combat Challenge is a traveling competition for firefighters. While wearing all their gear and an air pack, they must complete a series of challenges. The goal is to do them all correctly and in the shortest time. We watched a little bit of the competition and then saw they also had a kids challenge area. Little kids could try out the challenge for themselves on a smaller scale. Little Monkey was old enough to try it but Little Monkette wasn’t. She was a bit sad about it but got over it and cheered her brother on.

Little Monkey got suited up with a jacket and helmet and we checked out the Bahia fire truck while waiting his turn for the challenge.

Ready to Respond!

We watched a few other kids do the challenge and talked about each step he’d have to complete. Little Monkey and another kid lined up, ready to try it out and listened to the directions intently.

Finding out what to do.

The first part was to pick one of the two hoses and carry it to the other end of the row and drop it by the ladder.

Running with the hose!

After dropping the hose, Little Monkey climbed a ladder, and then slid down the slide.

Sliding down!

Once he got to the ground, he ran over to the kid sized Keiser Force Machine. It simulates a forcible entry chopping. Using the mallet, Little Monkey hit the beam until it got all the way to the other end. This took him a bit of time but he kept at it.

Testing out his chopping skills for forcible entry!

The next step of the challenge was to run and grab the fire hose, carry it down to the marker, aim and shoot the water to knock down a target. Little Monkey said this was his favorite part of the challenge!

Shoot the target!

The last part of the challenge was to drag a dummy kid to safety. Little Monkey had a hard time getting a good grasp on the kid but once her figured it out he got the dummy to safety.

Dragging the kid to the safety zone!

After he was done, Little Monkey said he was tired and it was a lot of work. It wasn’t too much work though, because he ended up doing it twice! He thought it was a lot of fun but at the end of the day decided he still wanted to become a policeman when he grows up.

After doing the combat challenge, we also went into the Safety House where they taught the kids about smoke alarms and what to do if you hear one. Then the kids go into another part of the converted trailer where they fill the room with non toxic smoke. The smoke alarm goes off and they have to get on their hands and knees and try to get out. (There is a firefighter with them showing them what to do.) They feel the door to see if they can go out of it but it is hot, so they climb out the window and down a ladder. Little Monkey liked that and thought it was a cool thing.

They also had a room filled activites the kids could do, coloring, build a fire truck (paper folding), watch a video, etc. The event was lots of fun and helped wear the kids out even more from our busy day. Even better, the entire event was FREE!

Check out the Firefighter Combat Challenge webpage to see if they are coming to a town near you!


First Blueberry Picking of 2012

April 19, 2012

Little Monkette and Little Monkey hard at work looking for dark blueberries.

We tried out a new blueberry patch this past weekend with Mimi. Our ‘regular’ patch hasn’t opened up yet but the one by Mimi’s house was ready for picking! After doing the Kids’ Run, we headed over to the patch to get some blueberries.

Little Monkette took a little bit of teaching because she tried to just pick any berry she saw. Once we got her to look for the dark berries, she did great. Little Monkey did well too. We ended up filling a bucket with blueberries. It was almost 6lbs of berries! Even better, it was $15 for all 6lbs! That is quite a deal if you compare it to the grocery store. We will be getting more blueberries…once all of these are eaten.

Little Monkey showing off most of our blueberries!

Chicken Roll Ups

April 15, 2012

The other night I was trying to decide what to make for dinner…so I checked my Food board on Pinterest. Not helpful at all. It has 27 pins on it and all but four were dessert! Thankfully I have another collaboration Pinterest board that three other friends also add recipe ideas to. I checked out that board and found this easy recipe for Chicken Roll Ups. The best part was that we had almost all the ingredients already (and I probably could have made it without the item we were missing and been fine). It took me almost an hour to make (including the 30 minute baking time) but you can make the filling ahead of time and just keep it in the fridge. I had to cook the chicken and make the filling before putting it in the oven.

My version of Chicken Roll Ups with green beans.

Basically it is chicken with cheese and spices wrapped up inside a crescent roll and baked with a sauce on top. It was voted a winner in our house, so we’ll likely make it again. The only note I would give the recipe would be that it might need more than 30 minutes to bake in the oven. Some of our crescent rolls were not fully cooked.

For the recipe, please check out this blog post over at Plain Chicken.

Windermere Kids Run

April 14, 2012

The City of Windermere held its 11th Annual 5k Run Among the Lakes this morning. They also had three different lengths for kids races. Little Monkey has been begging to do another run, so when I found this one a few weeks ago, I signed the kids up.

This morning we headed out to the race and arrived just after the 5k had started. We parked and checked in at town hall to get the kids race bibs and shirts. Unfortunately, many other kids had already checked in (most who hadn’t registered ahead of time like we did) and they were out of kids shirts. The staff was nice and helpful and did get us one shirt, though it was a ladies medium. Looks like I have a new running shirt, or I can do a little sewing to it and make it fit Little Monkey. We waited around for the 5k to finish and checked out some of the vendors. Before the kids race ever started we ended up with two bags filled with free stuff! We got frisbees, flat water bottles, bam bam sticks, lollipops, Chick-fil-a cows and a coupon, popcorn and I’m sure I’m leaving something out! Mimi arrived (after getting stuck in race runner/walker traffic!) and we waited for the kids races to start.

Little Monkey and Little Monkette before the race!

The kids lined up for the first race (and the shortest). Mimi went with Little Monkette to help her along and then Little Monkey decided he wanted to run the short race too. They both did a good job and Little Monkey was right near the front of the group with the bigger kids. The next race was about 1/4-1/2 of a mile long. Little Monkey said he didn’t want to do it but then changed his mind after they already started. Mimi convinced him to do the longest kids run, just about 3/4 of a mile. She offered to run it with him.

Mimi and Little Monkey starting off for the long run!

Little Monkette wasn’t too excited to sit and watch for them to come back around but she did alright once some kids started coming to the finish line. When she saw Mimi and Little Monkey, she got very excited!

Little Monkey leading Mimi to the finish line!

Little Monkey did a great job running the 3/4 of a mile race. Mimi said they stopped two times for a short walk and then kept running. Little Monkey was very excited about it and is already looking forward to finding another race to run.

Little Monkette and Little Monkey showing off their medals!

The kids had a lot of fun and did a great job in their race. It was a great start to what turned out to be quite a busy but very fun Saturday!

Florida Special

April 11, 2012

The State of Florida or a Grilled Chicken Nugget from Chick-fil-a?

Little Monkette and I found the above gem in our lunch today. I immediately thought it looked like the state of Florida. I took the picture on my phone and then Little Monkette proceeded to pick up the nugget and try to shoot it like a gun. Pow, Pow!

I like to think that Chick-fil-a just really likes Florida, just like we do! 🙂

Resurrection Garden

April 7, 2012

Our Resurrection Garden

When Big Monkey was growing up, they had a Resurrection Garden for Easter. I had not heard of a Resurrection Garden until recently seeing them pop up on Pinterest.

GrandMom came to stay with the littles the other weekend and they planted a Resurrection Garden. Last night we had a lesson about it, added the crosses, put Jesus in the tomb and rolled the stone in front of the tomb. We asked the kids a few questions and I was impressed with what Little Monkette knew. Big Monkey asked if they knew what Jesus did on the cross. Little Monkette popped right up with, “died!” 🙂 We talked more about what Jesus did for us and why it was important. Then we let them know that on Sunday they could roll the stone away and Jesus shouldn’t be in the tomb anymore because that is when he was raised from the dead. Tomorrow, we will find Jesus is gone and talk again about the real meaning of Easter.


Ready to Meet Little Brother!

April 5, 2012

When a friend of mine found out that she was having a little boy this time around, she called me and asked if I could make new shirts for the girls. You may recall this set of onesies I made for her girls before baby girl two came along. Of course I accepted and we talked about what she wanted. We found the blue shirts at Wal-mart and then she picked out the fabric to go with it.

Little boy tried to come early on her and she posted on her Facebook page about being in the hospital with contractions. I told him that he wasn’t allowed to come yet because I hadn’t finished the shirts yet and I was out of town!! Lucky for me, he listened! It was probably a good thing too because he was going to be a bit early. When I got back home, I got to work on the shirts for his big sisters and the onesie for him.

Big Sister Shirts and Little Brother Onesie

They all turned out great and their momma loves them. So now baby boy can feel free to show up anytime. And by now I’m sure his mom would be thrilled! Can’t wait to meet the new little addition and see everybody in their matching shirts!