Today, The Boy and I headed to Fire Station number 3 in Killeen for a quick field trip with our local homeschool co-op. We were able to chat with D.Brooks for a bit in the morning, did a half day of homeschooling and headed out to fire station. Honestly, when I signed us up to attend the field trip I wasn’t expecting much. We’ve toured several fire stations before, and done the whole: sit in the cab, take the picture, get a flimsy, red, plastic fireman’s hat, don’t forget your coloring book routine. And we enjoy it, don’t get me wrong… it’s just always the same. So when we left this morning I was expecting more of the same and was pleasantly surprised by a whole different fire station tour.

The firefighters at Station Three were absolutely wonderful. They took their time showing the kiddos all the implements necessary to do their jobs, answered questions in their entirety, were funny, engaging, and brimming with information. We learned so much today, from the fact that most of their calls are not fire related, to exactly how the jaw’s of life work, to the in’s and out’s of their schedules. After showing us their vehicles and the clothing they must wear to keep safe while fighting fires, they took us inside the firehouse to tour their home. We were able to check out their kitchen, living room, bedroom, and even their bathroom. They told the kiddos about a typical work day schedule, spoke about their training, and gave us some insight to the things that make their jobs tough.

One of the firefighters made a great point in that they said that they are paid for what they can do, not what they do, because each shift is different and sometimes you don’t get called out much. It was an insightful trip and we were so glad we made it out today. It’s wonderful spending time with real heroes, and people who are extremely dedicated to what they do. Their passion for their profession is evident in all they do. Little Brooks even said after leaving that he may want to fight fires when he gets bigger, funny little man that he is.

We returned home to work on baking some goodies up for D.Brooks’ care packages. I know Brooks prefers to eat healthy, but most baked goods just aren’t. I did try to appease his preference for healthy foods by making him homemade granola and carob wheat walnut brownies. The brownies are ridiculous. The recipe only produced nine brownies so I split one with the boy, to taste test… of course. I was half tempted to taste test another, just to make sure, but then I felt bad, so I didn’t. We also whipped him up some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that are moist, chewy, and super duper tasty. Yay for care packages!

Brooks was able to settle into his room today, which included hooking up his internet. I have to say after four deployments that I wasn’t expecting much from his in-room internet connection. I think it was his last deployment that he had a satellite or some contraption on top of his room to help with the connection and it wasn’t a huge improvement. I am super pleased that his internet was hooked up quickly and that the connection is wonderful. How wonderful for both him, and us, that he’s able to call several times a day, from chatting online to video phone calls. Seeing him is an unbelievable gift, and makes it feel likes he’s here with us, partaking in our day to day, a simple phone call away. Yay for great internet connections!

Today, being Friday and all, is our Campfire USA club meeting. We were doing a lesson on Pets for our Environmental Emblem and I had told the kiddos they could bring their pets to show and tell. I was tickled pink that we ended up with five dogs, a tarantula, four hermit crabs, and some gold fish. The kiddos had a great time telling their club mates all about their pets and did a wonderful job taking and answering questions. Campfire time always flies by! I always feel like an hour just isn’t enough to get all our activities in, and sure enough while playing a game we realized we’d gone over our scheduled time. Thankfully our parents are super understanding and we were able to squeeze in a snack. I think the kiddos had as much fun as I did. And the best part? Brooks called right at the end to say good night!

It’s the perfect ending to a perfect day!