Five years ago, right after my wife and I bought this house and moved in, I took to the outside with a spray bottle of outdoor cleaner to attack the siding and deck. Not only did it not work very well, but shortly afterward I discovered that I'd completely ruined a brand new t-shirt and shorts. The reason? Overspray from chlorine bleach, which I'd neglected to notice was the primary ingredient. Not cool. With evolving landscape and gardening projects, we're always looking for new and safe ways to do things, and that's why Scotts® Plus OxiClean™ Outdoor Cleaner was immediately intriguing - the ability to get the house, deck and all of the girls' Step2 play equipment nice and clean without harming our plants. Plus, it's from Scotts - a trusted brand whose products I use regularly here at Rock Father HQ.

Published in Gardening

Earlier this year, I posted an article about going hands-on with the newest version of Step2's legendary Extreme Coaster. While the toy hasn't changed, it's color scheme has, and as a Step2 Brand Ambassador, my girls (and the rest of the neighborhood kids) have had a blast on their own personal "their-size" roller coaster (perfect, since we live in the shadows of Six Flags Great America) right here in our own backyard. While my initial post showed the Coaster in a very unconventional manner (indoors), now that it's warmer, the kids are absolutely loving this as it's outside in all of its glory. Would you like a Step2 Extreme Coaster for your own little rockers? We're giving you a chance to win one right now!

Step2 Brand AmbassadorFunny thing is that we live just minutes away from Six Flags Great America here in Illinois, and I have yet to take the girls. We see the roller coasters towering over the horizon on a daily basis, and my little ones keep asking when they can ride those mighty creations. My answer is always "someday, when you're older." While they are the right age for the kiddie areas of the park, those coasters are a little way's off, but this year The Rock Daughters are going to have something very special - their own coaster, right here in our own backyard. Yes, the Step2 Extreme Coaster has become legendary over these past few years, but even as a Step2 Brand Ambassador (on the payroll, disclosure and all), I'd held off on getting one - largely due to it's coloring. Well, that's all changed, as Step2 has re-issued the Extreme Coaster in an all-new color scheme and graphics package for 2015. We now have one, but there's a slight problem... we have over two feet of snow on the ground right now...

When I started this site a few years back, I had no idea where the path would take me. Truth be told, I still don't - but what I do know is that this site exists because of the two beautiful daughters that my wife and I created. While being "The Rock Father" led to THE ROCK FATHER, doing this site has created a lot of opportunities for my girls that they otherwise wouldn't have had, and in turn it's created many professional opportunities for me - the best of which have allowed me to give back to the community, and to all of you that have supported me, my family and this site. One such opportunity came when I first joined The Step2 Company as a "Test Driver" in 2013, later becoming a paid Brand Ambassador for the duration of 2014. As I first revealed in my year-end "Play it Forward" entry, I have indeed signed on for a third, and final year as a Step2 Brand Ambassador... and 2015 is going to be a ton of fun!

Step2 Brand AmbassadorFor the past two years, I've had the privilege of working with The Step2 Company, first as a "Test Driver" in 2013, and later a full-fledged Brand Ambassador in 2014. I've had some great adventures as part of the Step2 team, and it's gone well beyond just playing with toys and talking about cool products. The folks at The Step2 Company are a very kind and giving bunch, many of which are parents themselves, and after visiting their HQ in Streetsboro, Ohio this past summer, I saw first-hand the pride that they take in their toys - most of which are Made in the USA. Going above and beyond, Step2 has been there for me on other projects, like when I needed a great raffle prize for the annual Fall Fest at Addie's school this past October, they stepped-up with a fantastic Studio Art Desk. For our final project together for 2014, all of the Step2 Brand Ambassadors have been "Playing it Forward," each spreading a little cheer to the recipient of their choice, and again, I've chosen Addie's school. After consulting with her Principal (who took feedback from the faculty), it was determined that the Pre-K/Kindergarten play area was in need of a new playhouse. Rock Father Santa was back in-action, delivering a Neat & Tidy Cottage II last week - my little Elf Finley along for the ride as we made our delivery on the way to Addie's Kindergarten Christmas party...

If you missed the big reveal the other day, then it's time to catch up - as one of this season's hottest toys has arrived: The Step2 Spin & Go Xtreme Cruiser! Available exclusively from Walmart.com, this rockin' ride for kids 4-8 is one of my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide Items this year, reviewed here on THE ROCK FATHER as part of my gig as a Step2 Brand Ambassador. Now, in the spirit of giving and to kick things off with style, my friends and fellow Ambassadors Thrifty Nifty Mommy & Viva Veltoro have teamed-up for a giveaway in which one of you will score one of these awesome new vehicles for your little one(s)!

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