Caalab & the Johnny J's ChampsMy grandson, Caalab got back into softball this summer, when he was given the chance to play for his team at work. It was so much different from his years of playing when he was a little kid. I suppose that is normal, since little kids can get tired, bored, hot, and just plain done with a sport, but when they are older, and choose to play, it’s all different, somehow.

For us, as grandparents and parents, it doesn’t matter if he is a little boy or a grown man, we will be in attendance at as many games as possible. We love watching Caalab and our other grandchildren participating in any sport they might decide to participate in. I love watching them play, just like I loved watching my girls. I guess I’m just a born mom, grandma, cheerleader, sports fan…or whatever my kids or grandkids are into these days.

Monday night we went to watch Caalab and his team from Johnny J’s Diner play what turned out to be their final game of this tournament. If they lost, they would have played in the losers bracket on Tuesday, but if they won on Monday, they would be the champions for 2013. I’m sure you have already put two and two together, so needless to say, they won. We were so excited!! They played an amazing game, against a really good team. It could have gone either way, but no matter what they came up against, they all kept their heads together and in the game, and they won!!

After the game, they received their first place plaque and got their pictures taken, and then the team captain came out and personally thanked all of our family for being loyal fans. It was a great thing for him to do. He also told us that they have been playing for seven years now, and this is their first championship. That is very exciting!! I just want to congratulate the entire Johnny J’s team on an amazing championship win. We are very proud of all of you!!

Josh guarding in basketballGuardingLast night, I  went to  the last regular season basketball game I will ever attend for the middle school aged kids. Why? Because, my youngest grandson, Josh is the last of my grandchildren in middle school. That fact seems so odd to me. How can it be that my youngest grandchild is going into high school next year? It’s funny that it isn’t so much the first child to do the landmark things in life that shocks you, but rather the last one to do them. I suppose that it is because once you start a new level in life, you naturally think it will go on this way forever, and when you find out that it isn’t so, you are somehow startled by that revelation.

Josh has grown so much in his abilities. When he was in grade school, he was almost afraid of the getting ball, or should I say, of making a mistake. It has taken a lot of encouragement to get him to be more aggressive on the court, but the work his family has done, has really paid off. Josh doesn’t back off when someone tries to get the ball. He holds on tight, and gets the jump shot. He used to be nervous about dribbling the ball down the court and going for the basket, but now he goes for that too, and isn’t even afraid of going for the 3 pointer, which he has gotten pretty good at making. He is turning into a great basketball player.

The tournament starts this Friday, and that will be the last tournament, as will I don't think so!Stay Backtrack when he participates in that. It won’t be the last year he participates in sports, I’m sure, but it will be in a different setting. While I know that he will just get better and better each year, I also know that he is growing up, and things will be different. He improves so much with each year, that I know that next year will be even better than this year was, so what is my problem? I guess it is that my youngest boy is growing up, and I guess I just wish he wouldn’t do that so fast.

Every year Bob and I take a vacation to go to the National Bowling Tournament. This year it is in Reno, Nevada. Every year we go with the hope of Bob’s team doing well. Some years are great and some…well not so good. But, no matter how they bowl, we always have a good time. Bob and I have made it a tradition to take the whole week even though he only bowls two days, and then only for a couple of hours. We have had the opportunity to go a number of places that way, and still give him the chance to bowl in the tournament.

It is a very exciting thing to come and bowl in nationals. They make a big production of it by bringing the bowlers out in a big procession, set to music, and with everyone clapping and cameras snapping pictures. Then the practice begins. After 10 minutes, the National Anthem is played and the competition begins. This year has not proved itself to be a hot year for Bob, so far, but there is hope until it is over. He came in with a 212 average, so bowling badly really hurts the team.

So far, it looks like this year will be one of those years. There has not been a lot of cheering going on…anywhere in the bowling stadium. The scores are all pretty low, and everyone is trying to figure out what is wrong and how to fix it, but that doesn’t dampen the spirit of these men. At the beginning of the final game of the team event, it has become very obvious that there is not much hope for a good showing, but even though they are discouraged, they continue to encourage each other, and have a good time. That is just how these guys are. And there is always tomorrow and the doubles and singles event. Hopefully they will have a better showing then.

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