Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chief Valentine

Chief Valentine is my Uncle Scott and Person of the Week. He is Chief of the Little Rock Fire Department and Bomb Squad, a U.S. Marshall, and a wonderful uncle! I'm told he is also a pretty great husband and father too. :)

Hands down, the most eventful part of our Christmas vacation was our day with Uncle Scott at the Little Rock Fire Department. It was an awesome and unforgetable experience.

My Uncle Scott works mostly in Firehouse #1 also known as "The Big House", Little Rock's first and largest firehouse.

Below: Uncle Scott, me, and Sam

Here is the LRFD Bomb Squad truck, complete with all your bomb squad necessities such as bomb detecting robots, special uniforms which are sure to keep your body intact for your funeral (Uncle Scott's words, not mine), computers, detonators, and the list goes on.

Sam tried on the bomb suit, which weighs about 100 pounds once it's all said and done. He also got to drive the robot and detonate something. I'm not sure what it was but he was 100% safe with the experts on board, no worries.

I just wanted to put on the mask. It was VERY heavy and made me look like a monster.

Okay, so we're in the bomb squad truck and all of a sudden something starts beeping really loud. It sounded kind-of like Morse Code and somehow Uncle Scott understood it all and he said, "I gotta go." And he asked us if we want to go on a fire run! Ummm, YES! We hop into Engine 1 - the big ladder truck - and we were off!

I have no clue how they drive those big trucks, but Firefighter Lance did a perfect job!
And I was busy trying on fire fighter accessories in the back seat.

Mom and Sam joined in too. We all got to wear these headsets and talk to the fire fighters!

We basically went to the end of the city, but another Little Rock firehouse was first on the scene so we didn't see any fires. I think a smoke alarm went off but there wasn't a fire. So back to the station.

I forgot to mention, Uncle Scott doesn't ride in the fire trucks. He has his own vehicle especially for the Chief. It's obviously not as cool to ride in. :)

As soon as we returned to the fire station the beeps started again so we got to go on ANOTHER fire run! This time it was across from Park Plaza Mall. I was just dying to see someone I knew while we were driving, but no luck. It was still so much fun riding around and seeing the cars move out of the way for us!

Once we got back to the station, Sam and I climbed in the back of the ladder truck to take a picture. There is a driver in the front and back of this truck! That's a big truck.

Sam had been waiting all day to slide down the ladder, but the guys made him turn around his "Ohio State Buckeye" hat first. Haha.

We had such a great time at the Fire Station! Thank you so much Uncle Scott and the other LR fire fighters for such a fun and exciting day! Most importantly, thank you for being heroes and risking your lives for our safety every day.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Love, Sweet Love

I'M NOT EVEN GONNA EXPLAIN WHY MY BLOG IS NOT UPDATED. Let's move on and accept the fact that I just can't figure it out.

So, Christmas in Arkansas was great and let me show you just how perfect it was in pictures...
 Nieces & Nephew...always one of the best parts of my visit!

 Hanging out with my sister

 Our family's dirty Santa gift exchange is always a crowd favorite! As is Elli's smile that will just brighten up your life like sunshine on a rainy day!

 And the sassy Elli is just as wonderful as the sweet one!

 Uncle Scott & Dad are all smiles for the holidays!

 The fake, and not so fake, smile you give when someone has taken one too many pictures for the night.

Brandlyn & Aunt Terri

 Uncle Scott and I traded dirty Santa gifts. I got Lowe's and he got Starbuck's. Obviously a trade needed to happen.

 My brother and sisters. I always make it a point to snap a sibling picture everytime I am home!
One day they will be thankful for this, trust me!

 Dad and Aunt Terri

 My cousin, Braye, and my brother, Ryan. We were so sad Tiffany and Scott couldn't make it home for Christmas. Scott is an athletic trainer for Oklahoma State University's football team. They were in a bowl game so we missed the Parker's by ONE day! Tragic.

 The Frensley's. Always showing off their PDA because they are just so dad-gone cute!
 Also a personal favorite, Brit and Spence. Y'all know Spence already! He is my whiskey pong partner and Brit's boyfriend. Always ready to have a good time!

 The Sackett's. Always adorable. :)

 Ryan & Kathleen. She has a golf scholarship and she is just as sweet as she is beautiful.

Sam did not get a nerf gun for Christmas. This gift was Hunter's gift, which Sam so generously set up and then shot at everyone. He even shot Mom! Seriously.

 Brandlyn found the Christmas Pickle. Darn her! I never find it!

 Elli's sass came back that night. I was beginning to miss it.

Mom hearts Vera Bradley.

 And we love those ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS! Dad now has five Razorback boat fenders to ensure he is looking good while supporting his team on the lake. Ahhhh, the lake. I CANNOT wait for lake season! But back to Christmas now...

 Family Photo. I don't care if the toys are out and there's stuff all over the coffee table in front of us. Get in the picture! Just try fighting me on this. I dare you.
Seriously though, why does taking a family photo have to be such a big "to do" for my family?!

 Dad and Mom had this frame made with a photo of Hunter killing his first deer. Now y'all, this is a big deal down south (and in other parts of the country I'm sure) so don't go getting all judgemental just because you don't hunt.

 Elli & Aspen got new bicycles for Christmas...
 ...and Uncle Sam won the Uncle of the Year award for taking the girls out for a ride in the freezing cold!

Sam (husband), Blaine (cousin), Nick (cousin), and Hunter (nephew).
They had an epic Nerf battle outside that could put the war between the states to shame. Eventually they all turned on Sam, because well obviously he is from the north. {Glad you get my joke now.}

Now here is something I am especially proud of! My incredibly artistically talented sister (I love adjectives), Brittany, painted this beautiful Santa Clause. This picture I took does not even do it justice. The detail is amazing.