Heat and Kindness

Kindmilesmatte

Everybody told me I would die out there.

A horrible, painful, melting death.

We here in North Idaho are not accustomed to day after day of 100+ degree temperatures, especially in June, when a freak snow flurry wouldn’t surprise most people.

There was no denying that it was unusually, blisteringly hot. But my family didn’t let the fear of spontaneous combustion stop us from going outside, because we had a promise to keep.

And miles to go to keep that promise.

We had agreed to walk, bike, run, or hike as many miles as we possibly could over a two-week period. For each mile that my family traveled together, KIND Healthy Snacks would donate one box of their delicious snack bars to our favorite charity, the Community Action Food Bank of Kootenai County.

KIND has always encouraged families to get moving and spend quality time together, whether it’s a long hike through the woods, splashing in the lake, or a short bike ride around the neighborhood. I’ve been a fan of their products for a long time, and this challenge was one my family was really excited about.

And then the record-breaking heat wave hit.

But we didn’t care, as we set out on our first neighborhood walk of 5 miles. The next day, another 4 miles. Followed on the third day with a bike ride of 6 miles.

Spending quality time on the go with your family is not about getting from Point A to Point B. Rather, it’s a journey that you must savor all along the way. Walking, hiking, and biking are great times to connect with your spouse or busy teenagers. We made our time a chance to talk and joke and share in the moments.khgb-pbb-b

We always took a supply of KIND bars to fuel us on our trips. Made from wholesome and nutritious ingredients, KIND bars are the perfect snack to keep you going mile after mile. Everyone in my family has their favorites. I love the STRONG & KIND Thai Sweet Chili, while my son enjoys the Healthy Grains Peanut Butter Berry bar. We eat KIND bars for two reasons: They’re the tastiest snack bar I’ve ever had, and the company has a stated mission to spread and celebrate kindness in any form.

For two weeks, we braved the heat to build up those miles. You might ask, “Why didn’t you walk or bike in the morning when it was cooler?” Ah, good question. My son was spreading kindness of his own as a volunteer at our local hospital. His shift was from 8am to noon each day. Since I’ve always struggled with mornings, the only time we could even think about our KIND mission was after my son was finished at the hospital.

So, we walked on pavement when it was 100 degrees.

We rode our bikes around the park when it was 99 degrees.

And, one memorable weekend, we hiked 9 miles along a lakeside trail in temperatures that reached 104.

Mostly we just walked the numerous nature trails that criss-cross the prairie and forest near our house.

Day after day, the weather gurus warned us of record heat, that we should stay inside and limit our outdoor activities. And day after day, we filled our water bottles, stuffed KIND bars into our backpacks, stepped outside, and had awesome family time in the great Idaho outdoors.

We tracked all of our miles with the RunKeeper app on my smartphone. It was fun to watch the miles add up. It will be even more fun to deliver 45 boxes of KIND Healthy Snack Bars to the food bank. That’s how many miles we totaled over those two weeks.

As part of this journey, KIND has partnered with Target, which has a unique program called Made To Matter that offers consumers better-for-you and better-for-the-world products from companies like Babyganics, Annie’s, and Seventh Generation. You can find a great selection of KIND’s six different snack lines at Target. I highly recommend their Healthy Grains line of crunchy and chewy granola bars.

I will also recommend that you take advantage of the rest of summer to spend some quality time with your family. Take an evening stroll around the neighborhood, plan a hike in the mountains, or visit your local disc golf course. Get outside, reconnect, snack smart, and feel good.

Oh, and be KIND to each other.

kindmilesmatter

Disclosure: I have partnered with Life of Dad and KIND for this promotion.

Modarri Toy Cars Review & Giveaway

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There’s a new car in town.

A toy car, as a matter of fact.

The award-winning Modarri, from Thoughtfull Toys, is the toy car reinvented, and the days of Matchbox and Hot Wheels may just be numbered.

The beauty of a Modarri car is that it feels real. It drives like a real one, with realistic suspension, tight turning radius, and finger sized bucket seat that has you feeling the road. Continue reading

Jellyfish Attack

When I was a kid, probably 7 or 8, my family spent a day at a Southern California beach, building sand castles, playing in the surf, and eating slightly sandy hot dogs.

I remember that day because I was viciously attacked by a jellyfish!

Okay, so it was a mild sting. Very mild, in fact. But I was at that age where everything is amplified tenfold because it’s new and strange. In my mind, the ocean was suddenly filled with millions of horrible little jellyfish reaching out with their long, poisonous tentacles.

If only I had known that jellyfish are beautiful creatures. They’re even kind of cute and cuddly. Most of all, they are quite useful. Continue reading

For the Love of Reading and Pickle-Chiffon Pie

When my son was born, we took great care to outfit our house with everything a baby might need. Soft blankets, colorful blocks, nutritious snacks. But there was one staple I went a little overboard with.

Books.

I wanted my child to be surrounded by books. I couldn’t enter a bookstore without browsing the children’s section. Garage sales and thrift shops would see me snapping up every baby book I could find for 10 cents or a quarter.

I’ve always loved books, and I wanted my kids to love them too. Continue reading

Protecting Our Kids From The Beatles

Ever since the Internet came along, there have been horror stories of children being lured away from their homes after developing an online relationship with someone. Whether it was through MySpace, Facebook, SnapChat, or any of the other social media that have popped up over the years, it has certainly been a cause for concern from the very beginning, and has been the main consideration in allowing our kids to freely access social web sites.

Yes, we all agree. There are plenty of dangers for kids on the Internet. But if you think any of this is new, then think again. Continue reading

I’m A Dad Behaving Dadly!

For more than a decade, I’ve watched a good number of my fellow mom and dad bloggers take their hobbies to the next level, landing book deals and realizing their dreams of seeing themselves on book store shelves and Amazon pages.

I’m happy to announce that it is finally my turn to make the transition from computer screen to printed page. Continue reading

A Child’s Guide to Vegetables

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My kids have always loved their veggies. But only under certain conditions. Long ago, when they were younger, I developed this simple Child’s Guide to Vegetables to help me avoid mealtime rebellion.

1. Carrots must be raw, not cooked.

2. Broccoli must be cooked, not raw.

3. Celery must be 2 inches or longer, never chopped into small pieces.

4. Corn must be on the cob, never loose on the plate.

5. Tomatoes are evil, but ketchup is heavenly.

6. Beans are gross, while refried beans are delicious.

7. Green beans are tolerable by themselves, but disgusting when mixed with macaroni and cheese.

8. Peas are fun to eat, but if one gets smashed, the party’s over.

9. Mixing different vegetables together is forbidden, as it’s simply too much work sorting them out to eat individually.

10. Brussels sprouts. Are you insane?

None of these rules made much sense to me at the time, except for the one about brussels sprouts (yuck), but at least the kids ate their veggies in one form or another.

These days, as my son and daughter have grown into maturing teens, only a few of the rules still ring true.

I’ll just stay quiet on which ones.

Calling Dr Cocoa

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“I can’t wait to get sick again!”

That’s what I expected my kids to say once I showed them Dr. Cocoa, a new children’s cough and cold medicine made with real chocolate.

I grew up with the usual cherry-flavored cough syrup. To this day, anything with a strong cherry flavoring brings back unpleasant memories of childhood illness. Cherry Coke is the worst. It might as well be a glass full of Robitussin in my mind.

So, I was immediately intrigued by Dr. Cocoa when they sent me a few samples. Who doesn’t like chocolate? And why was it never added to cough medicine before?! Continue reading