Got Wrestling, Part II

For years I have heard men of all ages speak with pride about the State Individual Wrestling Tournament. I never understood the big deal until I actually attended the event. This past weekend, the top wrestlers from all four divisions in the State of Michigan met at the Palace of Auburn Hills and held a three day competition.

wrestling grand march

The Grand March

The event began with The Grand March, as all the athletes took to the mats for the opening ceremony. Day one guaranteed each athlete a single match. The tournament was double elimination, so all athletes, win or lose, had two days of competition.

State qualifiers, Patrick Murphy and Jeremiah Schaefer

State qualifiers, Patrick Murphy and Jeremiah Schaefer

As a spectator, I saw emotions run high for all here, parents, coaches, players… Top athletes occasionally faced unexpected loss and long shots fought their way up the brackets. As a mother, I was not prepared to watch my son end his high school wrestling career. I will never forget that final match and aftermath, the tears, hugs, and handshakes with team mates, coaches, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and parents, bonding in the hallway outside the stadium.

Jason Slaughter earned 5th Place

Jason Slaughter earned 5th Place

As mentioned in an earlier post, I will be forever grateful for the gifts of wrestling. Wrestling gave my sons a healthy opportunity in their youth to expel energy. Later, as young adults they found focus in stressful situations while observing their opponent and making immediate decisions on the mat. Wrestling helped mold them into men.

If you ever have an athlete, friend’s athlete, family member, or any excuse to attend, treat yourself to an adventure and witness the State Individual Wrestling Finals.


You’re Never Too Old…

quiz pic

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

I recently read about the National Science Foundation’s basic science quiz and was motivated to create a Language Arts equivalent. Special thanks to the grammar guru for your input and my research subjects (hubby and the kids). It’s just ten questions–give it a try and let me know how you did.

1. A noun names a person, place, thing, or idea.  True or False?

2. Vitamin supplements (improves, improve) daily health. Which verb is correct?

3. Which sentence is correct, A or B?

A. I couldn’t care less.

B. I could care less.

4. An adjective describes verbs.  True or False?

5. Which sentence is correct, A or B?

A. Between you and I, the judge was too harsh.

B. Between you and me, the judge was too harsh.

6. The verb is always found somewhere after the subject of the sentence.  True or False?

7. Which sentence is correct, A or B?

A. Every one of the girls remembered her homework.

B. Every one of the girls remembered their homework.

8. Driving into the pounding blizzard on a dark night and wishing the weather would offer a break for travelers.  Is this a fragment or a run-on?

9. I asked my Aunt to join me for lunch. Is this sentence correctly capitalized?

10. The president of the Student Council began the weekly session without taking attendance.  What is the subject, “president” or “Student Council”?


1. True
2. improve
3. A (A unique explanation to this answer can be found here.)
4. False
5. B (Between is a preposition. Prepositions use the objective form of pronouns.)
6. False (Here’s an example of a sentence where the verb comes before the subject: There were many loyal fans at the hockey game.)
7. A (Every one is a singular pronoun; therefore, the pronoun her (also singular) would be the correct choice.)
8. Fragment
9. No (Only capitalize aunt if her name is included: Aunt Jackie or if referring to that person by name: I’m going to the store with Mark and Dad.)
10. president (Student Council is part of a prepositional phrase, so it can be excluded as the subject.)

Do Kids Ever Need a Personal Day?

MK and dog pic

I imagine many of you who read that title quickly formed an answer. The concept of a personal day is something that started when I was in high school. Before you form an opinion, hear me out.

I allow my kids one “Personal Day” per year. However, they have to meet the following criteria:

  1. This day cannot take place in the first semester of school.
  2. If they have accumulated seven or more sick days, they cannot use their personal day for that year.
  3. They must be doing well in all their classes.
  4. They cannot use their personal day because they failed to complete a homework assignment or have a test. Believe me, Mom finds out!
  5. They cannot participate in any after school activities (sports, dances, friends over, etc). The personal day functions like a sick day, and they must remain at home.

Some of you might ask why I have this policy. In high school, I had the occasional day where remaining at home was a powerful gift. After all, I chose the day. In addition to a day off, I appreciated having some control in my life. This frequently led to those impromptu conversations with one of my mentors who always made sure she was available on these days. She sacrificed her time and made sure she was available because she understood that those windows of conversation were rare.

I just explained the policy to my daughter as she took her first “personal day.” While she is a 6th grader and does not have the teen issues yet, we laid the groundwork for future contact. In fact, I had a few errands to run, and we exchanged some bonding texts throughout that time, a fun exchange that mothers and daughters often need and rarely receive. Am I helping my children by allowing the occasional personal day? I think so.