AMF’s Summer Bowling Program- Free For Kids/Discounted For Adults

School is out in just 8 days for Bruce. He will be spending the summer at a few different camps and he can’t wait. He’ll get to hang out with his friends at camp so he is looking forward to running around all day. But, with the Florida heat so intense we often have to find indoor places to play.

We love bowling. We get very competitive and Bruce and I are always battling it out until the last frame.

Unfortunately, I don’t live that close to an AMF theater but hopefully some of you might be able to enjoy the air conditioning while enjoying free bowling.

AMF’s Summer Unplugged program offers free bowling every day until 8pm thru September3, 2012. Kids 15 and can bowl two free games of bowling per day (Shoe rental not included, but they’re worth paying for.). To make sure the kids stay energized they are also offering $3.29 Kids Meals.

To find a participating AMF bowling alley near you go here. Select a participating center (over 250 locations) and complete a simple registration form.

The adults aren’t expected to sit and watch the kids have all the fun. AMF is also offering a Summer Pass.  For $29.95 up to four adults 16 and over can bowl two free games per day all summer long.  To get your Summer Pass, go here.

For more info and great promotions all summer long, check out AMF on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube,


Disclosure: I participated in this campaign as a member of One2One Network and am eligible for a prize drawing.  All opinions stated in the post are my own.


Reminder To Sports Parents – He’s Just A Little Boy

We are nearing the end of Baseball season for Bruce. The obnoxious parents are still out there and not yet tired of hearing themselves act worse than children. So,  when a Facebook friend shared this picture I had to do the same. It’s making it’s way around Facebook with kudos from moms everywhere.

This sign was hung up at the Cana Tigers’ baseball fields in Corsicana, TX to remind people of why they were there. I think this should be hung up at every youth sports complex in America.

Props to Coach Steve Petty and his crew for putting this in the forefront of everyone’s mind as they watch these games!

He stands at the plate with his heart pounding fast;

The bases are loaded. the die has been cast.

Mom and Dad cannot help him; he stands all alone.

A hit at this moment would send the team home.

The ball nears the plate; he swings and he misses.

There’s a groan from the crowd, with some boos and hisses.


A thoughtless voice cries, “strike out he bum!”

Tears fill his eyes, the game’s no longer fun.

Remember – he’s just a boy who stands all alone.

So open your heart and give him a break.

For it’s moments like this a man you can make.

Keep this in mind when you hear someone forget.

He’s just a little boy, not a man yet.


Crazy Baseball Parents – Coming To A Network Near You

Because there aren’t enough bad reality TV shows already, I’ve come up with another one. You think those Dance Moms and Pageant Moms are bad – you ain’t seen nothing compared to Baseball Parents.

Not only will we show the world how you should not raise your child, hopefully, they will look at themselves for 5 minutes and realize they are idiots.  It’s like therapy, only cheaper.

Our family is always in the middle of sports season because Bruce plays numerous sports.  Soccer season is now over and his team went undefeated during regular season and were Division champs, already playing in a higher division against kids older than them. They were awesome and all of the parents on our team were awesome too. With a team of 12 kids, most of whom are extremely talented players with the potential to go far in soccer, not one parent on our team was shooting college recruitment videos yet.

Now, we’re in baseball season. Sorry I can’t say the same about baseball parents. For a non-contact, often slower, sport I can’t believe the craziness of some parents. When you are done rolling your eyes at their behavior, they are actually quite entertaining.

The cast of characters include:

– The Stage Mom: she  coaches her kid from behind the fence at home plate every time he gets up to bat. It’s amazing the poor kid can concentrate at all. When he’s in the outfield, she yells from behind the baseline fences. Constantly complaining about the pitches he’s getting and calls being made.

-The “I could have been a Pro” Dad: he does nothing but complain about the coaching and could do a much better job. But did he sign up to put in the time to coach these kids? NO – he doesn’t have time for that. He does have enough time to sit at every practice or game and complain though.

-Hecklers: Adults who revert back to their youth. They must make sounds and try to distract the other team’s batter or pitcher.

-The grass pickers: These are the kids who really have no interest in sports. They would rather be home watching Scooby Doo. They are only there because their parents are going to turn them into athletes. The fact that they spend most of their time picking the grass in the outfield while singing at the sky is irrelevant.

-The “Can I pay my way out of that” parents: Every family is required to volunteer. These leagues are volunteer-based and cannot exist without dedicated people to keep these leagues alive. There is always that group of parents who feel it is always someone else’s responsibility. More than any other sport I’ve been involved with, baseball parents seem to be willing to pay for anything as long as they have to do nothing.

-The “Thank You For The Babysitting” parents: The drop their kid off and leave. You mean the purpose of sports are not to get semi-free babysitting services?

-Kids who are really just waiting for the after game snacks; everyone know’s that’s the best part of the game!

I’m currently looking for a network who might be interested. All you network honchos who might be reading this, have your people call my people and we’ll do lunch.


I Can’t Wait… But I Can

When you have a child you have so many hopes and dreams for them.  Time and experience often change those dreams for your second child though. 

My excitement of  future milestones naturally had me wanting Bruce to walk and talk. Big Mistake. I haven’t sat down since. It seems he went straight from crawling to running.

And once they start talking they never shut up. Seriously, how does 1 little mouth have a continuous on switch that only knows one volume – loud. I love being called mommy but not every 2 minutes. He doesn’t seem to get that not  EVERY sentence is supposed to start withMommy…”. There is always “one more thing” to tell you – but only when you are having a conversation with someone else , it’s time to do homework, or it’s time to go to bed. Funny how a kid remembers nothing of their day at school but when they sit down to do their homework – it all comes flooding back and must be shared.

I disagree with all the so-called experts; tv is educational. Especially, when I am trying to cook dinner, clean the kitchen, make lunches and bottles, and vacuum the house. But, I am begging Fusspot to please disregard the orphan bunny rabbits known as Max & Ruby. There is no more annoying cartoon on tv than these 2 rabbits who are raising themselves in a big house. When Ruby isn’t barking orders to her fellow scouters, she is reprimanding a speech-impaired Max for breathing. Do you have any idea how annoying it gets 5 minutes into a show that only has 1 animated voice.

Who needs athletics? Having a naturally athletic kid produces nothing but a lot of time spent in the car driving to and from practices and games, a lot of money spent on gas so you can sit in the car for hours, an empty checking account when all the registration and equipment fees are paid, very early Saturday mornings spent driving all over the state.  And all that starts at age 4. Raising a couch potato is much more accommodating to my advanced maternal age that I kept hearing about when I was prego. Unless that potato is intent on watching Max & Ruby.

Smart children = exhausting conversations. You teach your child their ABCs and 123s and what do they do? They become smarter than you and suddenly you don’t know anything. They willingly show you the error of your ways and can solve all the world’s problems very easily.  I’ve recently learned I don’t even take a shower correctly.

So, Fusspot I will carry you around for the rest of your life, read for you and buy you your own flat screen tv if you just stay a baby forever. But I will require you to sleep through the night and put your laundry away.


The Death of Unorganized Sports

Every year Ryan watches the Little League World Series. Every year I ask if there is anything else on tv (besides the 12 ESPN channels that always seem to have 4 old men talking sports behind a big desk- those “4 men behind a desk” shows annoy the crap out of me). Apparently, for about 2 weeks there isn’t. I think it’s great that these kids have the chance to play in these types of games and get national recognition.

Wait for it….

BUT, each year the looks on these kids faces portray nothing but fear. They aren’t smiling or joking with each other like MLB players do in the dugout. They aren’t jumping up and down and smiling into the cameras for their friends at home to seethem. No, all I see are children being put in such a high pressure situation that they aren’t even taking in the experience; all they know is they MUST WIN. This year, a few of the kids looked like they just wanted to run away and cry.

I recently read an article on what ruined youth baseball of our past. The author seemed to believe that it was ESPN and tv cameras. He remembered the joy kids had playing sandlot baseball in an unorganized environment – the freedom for them to just let lose.

Sandlot baseballRemember what it was like? No fancy bats, no sponsors or big name logos, no reporters asking you about your winning strategy, no birth certificate rules or certifications. Just a bunch of kids with sticks and garbage can lids having fun in the street or in an empty dirt lot.

Today, the neighborhood kids don’t converge in one location outside to play games, they don’t find general household objects to use in games, they don’t catch fireflies in the summer night.  Now, kids hide inside all summer in the air conditioning playing video games or on the couch eating junk food while watching tv.

It’s sad. I’m all about organized sports. I’m a firm believer in organized sports’ role in sending kids down the right path in life, esp in inner cities or towns where the alternative can be deadly. I’ve seen if make a difference between a child losing their way in life and becoming successful members of society who are willing to give back to the next generation. I am grateful for every coach I had throughout my life that made a difference in my life. For every coach who was like a second parent to me and believed in me and made sure I was headed in the right direction.  For every coach that disciplined me and didn’t fill my head with empty unearned praise but made sure I learned that life isn’t always fair and how to loose with grace while learning from my mistakes.

But I wonder when organized sports took over for just plain fun. I would love to see kids outside just running around and working things out for themselves. Making up their own rules, teaching each other, and just concentrating on the fun – not the fancy LED scoreboard. Sure, even the youngest kids keep score at everything. In my house even a game of checkers is a constant “Am I winning?”. And I see no real problem with acknowledging winning or losing – I just think it shouldn’t overshadow the game itself.

This post started off in a completely different direction so I will have to get to that topic in another post.

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