Winners and Losers

Last weekend our family attended the Native Sons and Daughters’ Pinewood Derby event.  It was pretty exciting because this year our daughter and son each entered cars for the derby. And to add to the family fun the children’s grandfather, my father-in-law, assisted them with the making and designs of their cars.  It was priceless watching the three of them together and the excitement on all of their faces as they completed the cars. The day before the derby I spoke with the children. I discussed how cool it was that they got to work on their cars with grandpa. What a great memory that will be and hopefully they can do the same next year. And if their car doesn’t place that they will always have the memories with grandpa and the excitement of simply being a part of a fun event with friends….basically a whole life is a journey not a destination type of speech.

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So fast forward to the night of the Pinewood Derby and after they ran all the races and tallied up the scores I was surprised to hear that our son came in second place! He came in second place to our daughter who came in 1st!! I have to admit I was totally shocked…here I was preparing them for a loss, to look on the bright side, to take note of the memorable journey, and they won! I didn’t prepare them for that!

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This situation, paired with the fact that our daughter is currently playing soccer and son will be starting t-ball, really had me thinking.  The whole concept of keeping score/ winners and losers is it a ridiculous way to teach labeling from a young age, to harm a child’s self-esteem, or is there actually a valuable lesson to be learned?  I mean, isn’t it important that we learn how to both win and lose graciously from a young age? Because let’s face it, in a lifetime there will times when someone is better than you and times when someone is worse.  What if we used those times as lessons and learned from our mistakes, our weaknesses, from other’s strengths and victories?

So I went in search of some clarity, I Googled it! Here are just a few of many websites that beg….to keep score, or not to keep score, that is the question…..

“In my opinion, I think kids need to learn about winning and losing — even at a young age….skipping the scoreboard may end up making our kids less competitive and well…wimpy.” (source)

“We don’t think competition itself is unhealthy,” Van Auken says. “It’s how the parents deal with it. The kids deal with it just fine.”…… “Parents and coaches impose their values on children,” Engh says. “We’re the ones who create the standings and scoreboards. Do you really think kids would have world championships?” (source)

Life is full of wins and losses, and I don’t mean on the athletic field.  If someone earns a promotion at work, that’s a win.  If a promotion goes to someone else, that’s a loss.  If someone falls in love and stays married for the rest of their life, that’s a win.  If someone gets married and then has to get divorced, that’s a loss.  My point is that I learned how to appropriately deal with a win that I earned, or a loss that I suffered because of my youth sports experience. (source


What do you think? Should score be kept? Should there be winners and losers in youth sports and events?

What a Weekend: House showing, Pinewood Derby, Comforting Hearts 5k, and more!

We had a busy weekend but it was definitely full of family fun and even a little solitude, in a roundabout way.


Friday evening we had a showing which left me extremely exhausted from preparing the entire house.  I think I might have gone overboard with cleaning.  I learned my lesson, you can’t clean all 3 levels of the house, the floors, scrub walls, counters, dust, vacuum, etc. in 4 hours, the human body was not equipped for such labor especially when paired with motherhood and crazy pets!

What mud?


Our little Princess participated in a Pinewood Derby with the Native Sons and Daughters Program.  Her car was all girl which comes as no surprise. And even though she did not place two of her best friends did, actually, they tied for 2nd, how cool is that!! She was really excited for her friends and had so much fun with her friends, brother, and dad. 

Even though her car did not place in the Derby, all participants received a trophy. Which is very kind but we still had the discussion about how excited we were for her friends and those who placed and how sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.  It is important that children are taught that they will lose.  While it is disappointing, they can learn from their losses/mistakes, to practice and try harder next time.  Because let’s be honest, doesn’t it feel so much better to win knowing you practiced, worked hard, put in your time, and it paid off? This topic deserves a post all its own, so there will be more to come on this topic at a later date.

While they were attending the Derby my mom, sister, toddler, and I attended mass since we had a 5k to attend on Palm Sunday.  Granted, Saturday’s mass isn’t quite as profound as Palm Sundays when the entire congregation assembles outside church and proceeds together into the church, but what is important is that we did attend a mass.


So, Sunday morning my mom, sister, and I attended the You’d have to be a Fool 5k out at Maumee Bay State Park for Elias Adin’s Comforting Hearts Inc.   Elias Adin’s Comforting Hearts Inc. gives care packages to the patients at The Toledo Children’s Hospital and Mercy Children’s Hospital in the oncology department. Elias’ story is shocking and sad but his memory is touching the lives of many.  Please consider donating to this amazing cause.  To read more about Elias’ story and donate checkout

While at Maumee Bay State Park we stopped in the Lodge and had breakfast then took a peaceful stroll on the boardwalk.  

The delightful boardwalk takes you through a large coastal wetland complex faintly reminiscent of what A the Great Black Swamp may have been like before it was drained and cleared for farmland in the 1800′s. The trees in this wetland forest are a bit smaller, but the species mix is similar: Green Ash, Cottonwood, Silver Maple, Red Maple, Elm, Swamp White Oak.

Bird life is abundant in our coastal Ohio wetlands. Here you may see the Wood Duck, Redheads, Ruddy Ducks, Pintails, as well as a number of woodpecker species, such as the hairy woodpecker. Great Blue Heron hunt in the shallow water for fish, while the yellow warbler, swamp sparrows, and other songbirds sing their praises to the great Lake Erie.

Walking on the boardwalk was precisely what I needed. I blogged last week about trying to find some form of mediation, or peace, away from the distractions of technology, rapid random thoughts, worries, and such and I think I found it. 

My mind was cleared of worries, planning, wondering, and such and I simply got back to nature. I listened, looked, and breathed.  That was all. For those few minutes I did not have to be in charge of anyone or anything but myself.  I did not have to participate in conversation.  I did not have to do anything but walk, look, and listen. And look and listen I did, once away from the noise and distractions of modern society I was able to see God’s wonder and glory so clearly.   I found peace.  I also noticed God’s beauty through the gift of the human senses paired with my newfound peace. I slowed down and was able to notice the beauty around me including deer hidden in the long grass and a snake camouflaged in the foliage. Though physically exhausted from the activities of the weekend I left Maumee Bay with the solitude I knew my spirit was desperately seeking.

At the conclusion of my walk I realized that I was nurturing my relationships with my wonderful and supportive family and friends. But yet I was still beginning to feel overwhelmed and simply drained emotionally, mentally, and physically and I couldn’t pinpoint why.

While on that walk I figured it out, I had been focusing so much energy on cleaning the house for open houses and showings, running children to various activities, and the everyday issues of life. But I noticed that during all the commotion of life I became distracted and I had begun to neglect the most important relationship in my life, my relationship with God.  I have decided that I need to make a date with God. I make plans with friends to grab coffee, I have date night with my hubby, I make plans with those who are important to me, to nurture those relationships, to give them my undivided attention, and why should God be any different?

Have you ever found yourself drained and couldn’t figure out why? Do you have a place you go to renew your spirit, to pray, to nurture your relationship what God?