Monthly Archives: September 2010
Labor day marks the unofficial end of summer so we wanted to give some family-friendly activities that you can enjoy over this holiday weekend.
Beach picnic – Fill your beach bag with beach toys, sunscreen and towels and head over to the beach for one last summer splash.
BBQ – Fire up the grill and enjoy family favorites like barbecued chicken, hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob and macaroni salad.
End of Summer Scenic Drive - Take advantage of the last days of green scenery before the leaves start to fall and check out some of your local towns or hot spots.
Ice-cream party - While ice-cream can definitely be an all year long treat. It has special significance for summer. “Toast” summer with some fun shakes or an ice-cream bar where your kids can create their own sundaes. Don’t forget to have some fruit as ice-cream toppings.
One of our favorite ice-cream creations
What you will need:
- vanilla ice cream
- whipped cream
- food coloring
- ice cubes
- seedless red cherries with stems
- Put two scoops of ice cream and about 2 cups of milk into blender. Bend for about 30 seconds.
- Add a couple ice cubes and a few drops of food coloring and blend for another 30 seconds. Add a little more coloring if you need to.
- Pour into tall clear glass.
- Add whipped cream to the top of the shake.
- Add some festive sprinkles and top off with a cherry
*We like to use frozen yogurt instead of ice-cream and fruit instead of food coloring. It does the trick and is healthier.
What fun things are you doing as a family this Labor Day Holiday?
From chasing elephants to manufacturing crib mattresses, this Kolcraft employee loves adventure. We couldn’t pass up an opportunity for you to have a behind the scenes look at Kolcraft and meet Sam Logan who is one of our project engineers.
Sam, you lived all over the world. You even had a stint in Africa. How did you decide to be an engineer and not lead a Safari somewhere?
I was born and grew up in Africa and absolutely loved it. I guess that wasn’t enough Africa for me, so a friend and I took an eight month motorcycle trip from Israel to South Africa visiting 15 countries. It would be hard to top that motorcycle safari as we chased animals on our motorcycles, ran from an elephant on foot, drove through thigh deep rivers, crossed over rivers on a 6 inch wide steel beam and other fun things like that. I always loved tinkering with mechanical things and so I chose to study Mechanical Engineering which lined up with what I liked doing.
What do you like most about being an engineer?
The best part of my job isn’t engineering related – I love being able to work with people and I’m fortunate to work with a great bunch of people at Kolcraft.
What is a typical day like for you?
Days can be very diverse from visiting our mattress factory and getting grease up to my elbows as I try to improve how a machine works, to witnessing mattresses burning so they can pass a flammability test, to trying out new ideas for how our mattresses will be designed or made, to working with others to develop new quality standards.
Where do you receive inspiration for your work?
I love putting effort into making Kolcraft a better place to work and seeing changes that take place as a result of my efforts.
You have been at Kolcraft for 7 years, how have you seen Kolcraft change?
When I started at Kolcraft we were in a tiny office and had very little space. Sometimes we would only have little pathways to our desks because of all the product around with no place to store it. We then moved to a new office and have so much space. When I started, there were only 2 other engineers, now there are 6 other engineers. We have dramatically changed the process of how we develop product since I first started and now have a much better way of taking a product from start to finish.
Obviously you are living & breathing baby products at work and you are also a dad of 4 beautiful children. How has being a dad impacted how you approach your job?
I see firsthand just how “creative” kids are in the way they use things. For instance, we have a swivel stool with wheels at home and one day I found our one year old standing on top of it. When we design products here at Kolcraft, we have to constantly think about what a child could do with our product and how we can design it differently so it will be as safe as possible.
What has been your greatest joy & greatest challenge to being a dad?
It is a real joy seeing them mature and grow. I was thrilled last night when our 9 year old spontaneously ran to open the restaurant door for someone. Or I love seeing one of them, without being asked, going to comfort their crying sibling with a glass of ice water.
To be honest the hardest thing about being a dad is shaping their character. When my wife Sarah and I see something negative in them, it is sometimes so hard to coach and mentor them through that negative trait.
Sam at a glance:
Funniest thing that one of your children has said? At supper one day, one of them said “Thank you mommy for making these nice waffles. Did they come down from heaven?”
Favorite daddy activity with your kids?
Each Saturday one of the kids gets to go on a date with me. They love being able to choose what to do: McDonalds, the ice-cream place, the park, playing a game at home, a bike ride, etc. It is a very special time for both of us.
Favorite Kolcraft product? Baby Sit and Step
And since you now have “baby on your brain” 24/7, a little fun mind game with Sam. We asked Sam what is the first word that comes to mind when we say:
Baby – Treasure
Sleep – Baby
Morning – Fresh
Broccoli – Puréed
Beverage – Milk
Lady GaGa – Rattle
When my girlfriend was pregnant with baby #6 (yes, you read that right – single births too!) her husband had a work meeting in Chicago. They thought it would be the perfect time to visit Auntie Shell so they packed up all the children and headed North. (They live in Alabama.) We received a lot of stares and “OH MY! Are those all yours?” when we went out. Besides the stares, one thing that was never lacking during their stay was laughter. At one point we were laughing over one of the children’s antics, my friend looked at me and said, “Who needs cable when you can have a belly laugh a day from your child?”
Kids do and say the funniest things. You may have seen this video circulating on YouTube which has given us some belly laughs.
It’s one of those videos of a kid just being a kid, but you can’t help but smile.
What funny things do your kids do that make you laugh? Leave a comment and post a photo in our Magical Moments album of a time when your child made you “belly laugh.” A winner will be picked to receive our Kolcraft Under the Sea umbrella stroller which is great for those quick trips with your child!
*Contest ends this Wednesday at midnight CST