Tag Archives: sports

Kids Can Bowl FREE This Summer All Over the U.S. and Canada


Looking for a fun way to spend time with the kids this summer?

KidsBowlFree is offering free bowling throughout the United States and Canada for children under all at participating bowling lanes all summer long.  Even military bowling centers are taking part.


Through the program, kids at or under that bowling center’s cutoff age (typically 15, but sometimes 13 or other ages) are eligible to register for 2 free games each day of the KBF program, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers and sponsoring schools and organizations.

They say:

Registered Kids Receive 2 FREE GAMES Of Bowling Each Day Of The KBF Program All Summer Long, Valued At Over $500 Per Child!

This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.

Each bowling center has its own rules for things like cutoff ages and whether shoe rental is included.  Head to KidsBowlFree to find a participating center near you.

Have fun!

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Silver Medal Girl 2

I couldn’t just post about one daughter’s soccer results and not the other.  🙂  Annalee had her soccer tournament today and also got a silver medal!

(Anna is the third girl on the bottom)

Her team was undefeated this season but the red Walnut Grove team was just unstoppable today!  They won their first two games and then red team beat them.  They worked their way back up and faced off with the red team again in the final game and it was very close (2 to 3) but victory went to Walnut Grove yet again (they took gold in Victoria’s age group against our town last night too).

Anna’s team (the white team) sure gave us some great entertainment though!  Their second game of the day went into double overtime.  They were still tied up and they went to a shoot out, where each team had 5 players kick towards the goal and whoever scored the most points won.  The red team was ahead 2-0 and white came from behind.  At the last kick white tied THAT up too! They went to sudden death.  The red team missed their first kick.  White’s little goalie said he wanted to try and that was allowed.  He got it!  White won!  What a suspenseful game!

Anna’s soccer career has been quite an experience.  She played one year when she was very young and it was very easy and then she quit the next year because it was too rough and scary.  She was one of those kids who was afraid when the ball came at her.  Last year she didn’t want to try out at all.  This year she decided to give it a shot and she’s been getting right in the thick of things. 

She even blocked the ball with quite a blow to the stomach today!  She proudly told us afterwards about "taking one for the team."  It knocked the wind out of her!

All season I have gotten a kick out of watching her because she is such a little butterfly of a girl.  She flits all over.  She does random dance moves when she’s bored.  She chats with her teammates nearby when there’s no action (all with her eyes still on the ball).  She bounces and spins and smiles.  When there’s action she runs right up and gets in there, though, and she had some great kicks today.

I love this picture of Annalee because it sums up all the parts of her personality.  She’s wearing her children’s theater T-shirt for the drama and love of acting.  She’s got her ever-present camera in her hand for photos and movies.  She’s wearing dangly dress-up earrings because she will always be the ultimate girlie-girl.  And she’s got her beloved soccer ball, because she’s learned to love the game and that she’s pretty tough after all.


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Silver Medal Girl

Victoria had her soccer tournament tonight and I had to post a quick update. 

The Pink Panthers won their first game and lost the second, by only one point, to the undefeated top rated team in the league.  They took silver.

Victoria said several of her teammates congratulated her for some of her plays.  Including the bully.

Later, she was sitting on the bench and the bully said something to her.  She ignored him, as usual.  He asked her, "What’s the matter, don’t you ever talk?" and she said in her best, loftiest voice, "I DO talk, I just choose not to talk to YOU."

She said the rest of the team burst out laughing.  She couldn’t help smiling when she retold the story.

The coach told her she was his MVP and his favorite player.

She’s decided she wants to join the soccer camp that starts next week for her age bracket — even with the bully.

She told the coach that she wanted to play next year after all and he said he was planning on quitting, but if she comes back he’ll come back.

Talk about victories.

Tomorrow, Anna has her soccer tournament.  She has loved it all along and her team is in first.   She makes me smile when she’s on the field… 

But it’s late and that’s another story.  🙂

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Quitters and Winners

A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.
— Napoleon Hill

Monday afternoon, I gave Victoria permission to quit soccer in the very last week of the season.  It was not the first time I told her she could quit.  Indeed, I had been telling her to practically from the beginning.

I know our society has done a really good job of teaching us all that we have to raise children who will stick it out no matter what, endure the unpleasant, keep going.  It doesn’t matter if you hate it.  It doesn’t matter if it’s something that will serve no purpose in your life.  There is a nobility in carrying on.


Victoria dearly loves the sport of soccer.  She loves her coach.  She loves to scrimmage.  And she would get so stressed out before practice that she would end up with a stomach ache and often cry.  She never asked to quit.  She didn’t believe in it.  She just carried on, miserable.

My girls both played soccer through the school league a few summers ago and loved it.  They were on the same team and had a sweet coach and neat teammates.  The next year, Victoria was on her own and once again had a ball.  Last year, we missed the deadline to sign up.  This year, she’s on the team with the 5th to 8th graders (she’s 5th grade) and it’s a whole different world.

She is one of only two 5th graders and she is the smallest kid on the team.  Not only that, but she is the only homeschooler and she didn’t know many of the other kids.  A few of the kids viewed her as an easy target.

At the first practice, a few of the boys were obnoxious to her.  She ignored them and concentrated on playing soccer.  After a few practices, most of the kids stopped picking on her except one.  That kid and some of his cronies kept on.  And on.  And on.

This boy would make nasty comments to her every single practice, over and over again.  She didn’t usually tell me.  She wanted to tough it out.  She mentioned it enough that I knew he was not stopping, though.

It wasn’t just the bully that made her miserable, though.  It was the fact that the other kids on the team never did accept her.  She was alone.  She was an outcast.  She is used to making friends easily and being a bit of a leader.  She was also much smaller and had much less soccer experience.  With these older, bigger, ruder kids she was just some little kid who couldn’t kick hard.

Victoria has always loved soccer but it wasn’t long before she nearly got a panic attack each afternoon of soccer practice.  And so I told her it was okay to quit.  I encouraged it, even.

I was one of those kids who was forced to "tough it out" in numerous things over the years and I never felt particularly proud or happy afterwards that I’d endured it to the end.  I was just glad it was finally over. 

I see the merit in sticking things out — and certainly in at least giving them a real shot.  I wouldn’t encourage my kids to quit something after one day, but after weeks of misery?  Go for it! 

Monday afternoon, my little girl was once more in tears over going to soccer practice.  It’s the last week of practice before the tournament tomorrow.  The last practice!  And she was a mess.

I told her it was up to her, but if she wanted to play in the tournament she’d have to go to practice.  I told her I didn’t care in the least if she quit, and I wouldn’t lose any respect for her. 

She said she’d never be able to face anybody if she quit.  She said she’d be weak.  She said she thought she was going to be sick.

And so I told her about the time I got to quit violin lessons and the gifted club.  I told her what a relief it was, and how I never regretted it.  I told her if she wanted to quit she should quit. 

And so she quit, on the very last day of practice.  She looked like 100 pounds of weight was off her shoulders.

I walked across the street to the field where the team was practicing and returned a ball the coach had lent her.  I told him she wouldn’t be at the tournament, and why.  He said he’d suspected that kid was picking on her but he wished he’d known the extent of it.  He also said she was one of his most improved players and one of his toughest because she’s one of the few that’s not afraid of the ball.  He said he’d keep her name on the roster Friday night for the tournament and hoped she’d finish it out.

I went back and told Victoria all that he’d said.  I told her again that it was okay either way.  I told her it wasn’t too late to suit up and join practice if she changed her mind.

She did.

She rushed into her outfit and gathered all her supplies, and we ran out for her to join practice after all….  Just in time for the team to be going home.  The coach told us the players had annoyed him so much he sent them home early.  We told him we’d practice on our own then and she told him she’d be at the tournament.

One of the kids hollered something out to her, even with me right there.  I hollered back.

Anna, Jack, Alex and I did our best to help Victoria practice soccer.  It was a bit of a train wreck (Jack got hit in the arm by the ball and cried, Anna eventually refused to play anything but goalie or take her bike helmet off, and Alex mostly tried to push a stroller onto the field) but it was perfect to me.  Her siblings were supporting her in a way that her teammates never had, and she was practicing in front of the last of them without caring in the least what they thought of her.

I’m proud of Victoria for finishing it up, but I’ll be proud of her no matter what.  This is a girl who stands up to bullies to defend children she doesn’t even know, a girl who will throw her body in front a ball that’s been blasted by a person twice her size, a girl who has made me proud every day of her life.  Quitting soccer couldn’t diminish that.

We’ll be rooting for her tomorrow night at the tournament.  Their team has a good chance of coming in dead last.  None of us care.

She’s already won.  🙂


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