Drum roll please....ahh just kidding I guess it's not that big of deal but we are pretty excited to FINALLY have a video! We knew we needed one to show how easy our Mittyz are to use and how much fun they are, but we also needed snow. Well thankfully Grand Targhee ski area and the Tetons get plenty of snow. We should also thank Marc Crapo our super talented videographer as well as all the parents and kids who showed up to help us. That's enough chit-chat, I'll let the video speak for itself.
"Put down your phone and look at me while you talk to me."
"Get those ear-buds out of your ears at the dinner table."
"Have you been on that all day? ... Go outside!"
Have you uttered these words, or something very similar, to children in your home? Do you struggle with some aspect of raising children in a high-tech household? I hope so! Because, I do. I hope I'm not alone!
It's a battle I confront every day, in and around my home. How do I allow my children the many benefits of high-tech devices but control them, so that they don't harm their growth and development, or preclude other activities like regular exercise and being out in the sun and fun.
As a father of three, I appreciate the value of "modern technology" and the use of high-tech devices. In fact they are necessary! They allow us to have a world of education and information right at our fingertips. I've spent many evenings with children, on the iPad, pouring over enough information to finish yet another book report or semester project. Having the world at our fingertips is a wonderful educational tool. Communication is another vitally important benefit of high-tech devices. I've been very grateful for a teenager with a cell phone. When she was in an accident, she could contact her father in seconds to get support. Modern technology, with it's high-tech devices is vitally important to embrace and take advantage of.
Despite these benefits, technology has it's obvious downsides. It can take valuable time away from exercise, fresh air, and more tactile activities that children need. It can expose children to inappropriate content, literally at their fingertips.
So, what do I do? What can we all do to control our children's interaction with high-tech devices? Here are a few rules I've instituted with two teenagers and an 11 year old:
1. No more than one hour of screen time a day.
2. No more than a pre-set data limit (my carrier will shut off data, on individual devices, when limits are reached).
3. No accessing high-tech devices in private areas of the home.
4. Only access high-tech devices in common gathering spots like the living room and den.
5. No high-tech devices at the dinner table or in the kitchen, while we prepare and eat meals as a family.
6. No apps or video games without spending an EQUAL amount of time OUTSIDE — sports, nature walks, riding bikes, playing in the snow, etc.
Easy right?! Not! Every day is a chore to live by these rules, but we are getting better. And, as we get better, things improve. Family conversations and interactions increase. Tension and arguments decrease. Overall health and happiness increase. So, try them perhaps and see if they work for your family. And, remember, get out and play! - Matt Radford
Rounding a sharp corner, on an empty road that paralleled Yellowstone Lake, we saw what we had come to see ... a stout and intimidating male Grizzly Bear. He paused, just long enough for our heart to enter our throats, then disappeared quickly up a steep hill into a tangle of lodge-pole pine and boulders. I drove quickly to that spot, grabbed the camera, and leapt from the car to follow. Levi, my youngest, said boldly "Dad! That's not a good idea!" And he was right ... the wisdom of a 9 year old trumped my desire for just one good photo. But just that fleeting moment became a wonderful memory, of 2013, that my three children and I will have forever. That year we amassed a collection of wonderful memories.
Despite its many memories, 2013 entered dark, frigidly cold, and foreboding in the small Eastern Montana town that I called home for two weeks a month. Twelve hundred miles to the south-east, but close in my heart, were my three wonderful children. Employment, required to support them, took me too far away for too many days a month; a necessary circumstance that made me miss them terribly. I was missing out on too much. My heart was heavy.
I decided then, sitting on a sharply-sloped snowy hill, that I would make 2013 one full of adventures and memories, not regrets and moments missed despite employment that made it difficult to pull off. So, I prioritized, focused, and started planning. As a single father of three, lots of planning is requisite but often difficult with the needs of the children themselves, their mother, and the many activities of life. I had to re-arrange schedules, take time off, and skip activities I had planned for myself. However, we pulled it off, and organized 4 weeks of trips across the western mountains and mid-west badlands and plains.
Some of our destinations were educational, some silly, but all fun! We found ourselves in the high Cascade Mountains smelling wild flowers and watching the furtive and exquisitely beautiful Harlequin Duck. We fished, mid-summer, in an Idaho lake for cutthroat trout; the elevation high enough to have frost on the flowers until the sun drove it away. We stopped, with somber moments, at a National Cemetery in South Dakota. We saw the grandeur of Mount Rushmore and learned about the great men that came before. We hiked the Montana Badlands and found fossils and petrified wood; 60 million-year-old relics from the past. We sat for long hours just visiting and re-connecting with western family and friends. We planned, explored, discovered, and found much. What we found the most of, however, was each other.
I am grateful for a 2013 when I was compelled to focus on time with my children, to overcome circumstances of life and employment that pulled me away from them. I’m grateful that we prioritized, planned and got out to play!
It's satisfying, after all our hard work to bring Mittyz to the world, to hear and read about peoples actual experiences with them. We sent a pair of Mittyz to www.garagegrowngear.com nearly as soon as we had any to send last winter. Garage Grown Gear specializes in telling the stories about innovative outdoor gear that comes to the world. You can read their full review of our Mittyz by following this link.
Not much changes your life more than having kids right? What about two kids at the same time! That's what happened to our founder Drake, twins, a boy and a girl. Not only did this profoundly change his life but it launched a company....Veyo Kids.
When Drake's twins were old enough to "get out and play" he quickly became frustrated with how hard it was to get kids dressed and out the door, and then once they were out in the snow how quickly they got cold, or snow went up their sleeves or in their gloves.
"Kudos to every parent who has ever gotten a child ready to go play outside…and particularly in cold weather. I mean honestly—what goes on first? The coat and then the gloves? Or the gloves, so that the coat sleeves stay over the glove cuffs? " - Drake
Drake thought that maybe it was just him, maybe he bought the wrong gloves? He scoured local stores and couldn't find what he wanted. What's a guy to do? Well Drake's a problem solver so he unearthed the sewing machine from the basement and went to work. Dozens of prototypes and three years later we happy to introduce Mittyz.
Finally a mitten just for kids with innovative features to make sure they go on and stay on.
- Oversized guantlet style cuff to make sure it fits over even the bulkiest coat
- Waterproof, breathable, with sythetic insulation to keep little hands warm and dry
- Well placed bungee cords and wrist straps to keep snow out and gloves on.
- Exclusive EasyThumb design, no more searching for that pesky thumb hole. Our thumbmless mitten design ends the "Thumb Wars"
- Sewn in liner ensures the liner never gets pulled out
- Reversible design for easy washing and drying, yeah they easily flip inside out.
- Soft all over, let's face it kids wipe their noses. Most gloves feature a small "snot patch" our gloves are soft all over, so kids can wipe wherever, whenever.
- Super cute designs! Kids gloves were due for a makeover right? Let's have some fun