Author: Manuel Harper

What We’re Doing While Staying Isolated

staying home

Joseph and I are back in Penticton where we’re staying isolated at home. Just looking out the window is scary for Joseph because he sees people with masks on and gloves. I’m trying to take his mind off things, and started by restricting our news time. I don’t want to teach him the habit of denial but I do want to teach him positive thinking. Dwelling on the pandemic is not good for his mental health. To help him feel better, I taught him about the medieval plague and how it was way worse but humanity still survived.

In the meantime we’ve been playing a lot of cards and board games. I also tried to restrict his video game time because I know playing too much can lead to bad habits that stretch into adulthood. He should never want to play video games all day, and for me COVID-19 is not an excuse to do this. So we’ve been spending a lot of time together doing physical things. I think he’s really liking the game Monopoly because he beats me every time. Trust me, I’m not letting him. He knows the rules better than I do because he used to play it with his baby sitter a lot a few years ago.

If you know any other fun things we can do that don’t involve a monitor and television than please email them to me. We won’t run out of ideas any time soon but new ideas we might never have thought of would be well accepted. We’d also like to hear what other single parents are doing with their kids during isolation. Hopefully this post can give other parents motivation and inspiration.

We’ll make it through this, and see you all happily on the other side!

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Joseph visiting his Friend in Hamilton Ontario to Play Minor Football

football story

Joseph and I love to travel when we get the chance, and we love to do so even more when we also get to play football while traveling. Our recent visit to Hamilton Ontario saw just that as we got to play with Joseph’s friend there. This was right before the COVID-19 pandemic and so it was no worries to have a bunch of kids together roughhousing. Now, with the schools shutting down, such an event might be frowned at, so we look back to this memory with gratefulness knowing we might not be able to play more football until the COVID-19 outbreak settles down.

Joseph’s friend’s name is David and they met online playing a Pokemon video game. They were such great friends online that I got in touch with David’s parents and organized this get together. David plays too many video games and so his parents were excited to have him interested in getting outside more for some football. This wasn’t the first time Joseph and I played football in a foreign part of Canada. Our trip to Kelowna BC last year was great, but we both agree that our trip to Hamilton ON was even better because Joseph and David are super great friends now. They talk every day over the internet and want to see each other again soon.

Joseph himself wrote this little message for me to share with you guys: “David is so cool. He’s really good at all Pokemon games and teaches me how to get better at them. I teach him how to play football and we started playing a football game together on Nintendo.”

Joseph and I are also heroes in Hamilton ON now because we did a great service for the football game while we were there. It was a free event for all families to join and so there was no funding for jerseys, food and the like. All the food and the cost of renting the space to play was covered by parents like me, and I spent a good deal of cash there getting everything set up, but it was worth it.

Why are Joseph and I Heroes in Hamilton ON? We Kindly Paid for the Arena’s Fridge Repair Service so Everyone Could Have Cold Drinks!

hamilton ontario

This is the story I started this whole post to share with you. Right before the game, after many parents had brought in snacks and beverages for the kids to enjoy, the refrigerator in the staff room we were all sharing broke down. This was sad news because we were going to play football all day and without the refrigerator working our snacks would go bad and our drinks would get warm. Many brought egg salad, ham sandwiches and stuff that can’t stay warm all day, so Joseph and I rose to the call of duty by calling Appliance Repair Hamilton, a company there that said they could fix our fridge within a few hours.

Believing the appliance repair company would follow their word, we set off to play football nonetheless and had so much fun that we forgot the refrigerator was even broken and our food was getting warm until lunch time came around and we all went inside. We went into the staff room to find that the appliance technician had already repaired the refrigerator and all our drinks and snacks were chilled. We were so happy that we ate a little more than we should have, but that extra food was soon burned off with the afternoon’s round of fun football games.

For dinner, we were so grateful to have the working refrigerator that we cancelled our plans to order pizza and finished off the chilled snacks that other parents had kindly supplied. It was a great day, and most of that greatness is owed to the fact that one appliance which had broken was fixed! Joseph and I felt good for doing that, even though we both knew we couldn’t really afford it (the fridge repair service cost $175). We decided we would do it again in a heartbeat and actually plan to. We’ll be going back to Hamilton this summer and Joseph can’t wait!

Hopefully on our next trip the refrigerator won’t break again. But one piece of great news is this: just today the Hamilton arena refunded me for my cost to repair the refrigerator and Joseph and I weren’t expecting that so we’re going to go out for a fancy dinner tonight!

I wish you could come with us!

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I Love British Columbia!


Hello, as someone who moved from the slums of Mexico into the beautiful Penticton, British Columbia it’s easy to relax and become grateful through my thoughts. It’s such a wonderful place this is. The nature, the people, the love and the music, the Canadian beer, the sports, the fans, the birds and the bright blue sky on a sunny day–all of it blows my breath away!

I’m so grateful to have what I have here after working so hard with my son Joseph to get us up off the ground and now we’re doing so well! The weather is turning around now that it’s spring and we find ourselves playing more and more minor football, and Joseph will be joining a real team this summer. I can’t wait to show off his skills to all the other fathers because he has so much practice already.

People in my area say they can’t wait till winter to go to Mexico but I laugh because that’s where I’m from and I have no desire to go back. I love British Columbia and the Canadian way of life so much. I just wanted to share this today because I have been feeling so optimistic.

So thank you for reading and don’t forget that if you live in British Columbia that you have so much to be grateful for and a negative attitude is really unnecessary here.

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Tow Truck Kelowna Company Plays Football After Invitation

towing kelowna plays football

Well, Joseph recently got back from Spain and to his surprise we went on another trip right away. Never before has our little family been so busy in the matter of a few months. Things are really looking great for us two. I have been dating this lovely princess-like goddess named Julia from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, which isn’t too far from Penticton. This weekend we are visiting Julia and are having a good time. The reason why I’m sharing this with you is because something amazing happened today that is related to our blog. Joseph and I, while Julia was at a business meeting, went to the park, a place we’ve never been before, and we brought our football. After playing pass and enjoying ice cream for a good hour, a group of men came walking through the park and at first we thought they would get in the way of our game, but one of them ran out and caught the football Joseph had thrown before I could catch at. He laughed and I was about to yell at him, until he smiled splendidly at me and threw the football back at Joseph in calmly wise. Then I saw Joseph laughing and never had I seen him catch a football so well.

This group of men, about eight of them, all burly and big, started giggling like school girls and in matter of a few seconds the football kept going back and forth between them all and more often than not Joseph was the one who saw the most attention. Never in a single day had Joseph caught so many great scores. I even saw him do a movie-like dive for the ball and all the guys laughed. After playing with these Kelowna gentlemen for a good 20 minutes, they were all out of breath while Joseph was still full of energy and we quickly got more ice cream before playing again.

It wasn’t until we were all done our ice cream and even Joseph was exhausted that we finally introduced ourselves. It turned out the eight Kelowna gentlemen were all either truck mechanics or tow truck drivers as they worked for Kelowna Towing and that explained why they were so burly, manly with grease stains on their jeans. They told Joseph all about the joys of driving big trucks, and Joseph loved it because lately he had been playing with a lot of toy trucks and this evening he found a renewed joy for them and for a good while playing mostly with his red toy tow truck. He pretended he was a tow truck driver from Kelowna helping people in Penticton and I though it was superb to watch.

kelowna minor football
kelowna BC

But the day did not end with us just playing football with Kelowna tow truck drivers. We also spent a while in the playground just talking and that day I was talking with Ricky about a discount for towing services in Kelowna whenever I was in the city. I promised to take advantage of this discount because it was rather hefty, only so hefty because they loved Joseph so much and they said they’d never forget us. They said that when I’m looking for tow truck Kelowna services that I should choose their company, which is small but growing quickly, hence their cause for celebrating, and I can say my son’s name, Joseph, and, if they remember, which I hope they do, I’ll get a 20% discount. I told this to my girlfriend, Julia, who lives in Kelowna and she needed tow truck services the other day so she wished she had learned this earlier but swore she would only choose Kelowna Towing from now, which I will also do to so long as I’m visiting Kelowna.

Now reflecting about this awesome event in the City of Kelowna, BC, CA, I’m thinking of the 4 great things Joseph learned:

  1. Driving big tow trucks is not only cool but great for people who need certain help.
  2. Even big and strong men who might seem scary are nice and willing to play minor football, at least in Kelowna BC.
  3. Towing services are here for everyone and are affordable, safe and educational for children.
  4. Kelowna BC is a great place to live, not just because we now have a discount coupon on local towing services but because the men who do it are real and love people just like we do.

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Joseph is in Spain visiting his Grandmother in the Hospital

visit to spain

This weekend I flew out to Spain with Joseph because my mother, on my dad’s side, is ill in the hospital and he had never met her before. She is the only member of my family who still lives in Spain, as most of my family is in Mexico, but she has many friends there who are all devote Catholics and they are looking after Joseph for the next few weeks while I continue to work in Penticton. I just wanted to share this news in case you’re wondering how we’re doing and why we haven’t posted a lot lately. Joseph and I talk on the phone every night and he says he loves all the amazing stories his grandma is telling him in the hospital. He never knew grandma was so smart. She studied history all her life and I’m sure Joseph is learning a lot about the world from her.

So now you have that update. When i fly back and bring Joseph home we plan to do a big blog post project together and show more pictures of our football fun and also life in Penticton for tourist use. So have a great day and don’t worry about us!

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How NOT to Deal with Injuries Playing Football

penticton injury

Now before you think this is some academic article on football science, you should visit our full blog and realize I’m only talking about backyard football. Joseph, my son, is the inspiration of this blog and we love sharing our stories together by the computer. He has a lot of input into what I say here.

Now just yesterday while I was throwing the good old football to Joseph he tried to jump and catch it up and fell and got a scrape on his hand. Now this is when you’ll start to realize why this a post about how NOT to deal with football injuries because my son Joseph had no idea what to do and started crying. Of course, I reacted and handled the situation, getting Joseph a bandage and some ice and a good dinner, but the whole point of this really is that this was the first time there had been an injury where Joseph was really scared. Together we both agree now that we should play more safely from now on and I think this was a powerful experience for us, and especially Joseph.

Injuries on the field can be scary and you must know how to respond in the most efficient way in order to prepare for the more serious kinds of injuries. That is why paramedics stand by at official football games. Our civilization is smart enough to know that these sports are dangerous and I’m so grateful for the education we have.

Joseph and I today spend a good while searching around on the internet for different university football teams and the kind of importance they put into safety regulations. Joseph and I think benefited greatly from today despite his injury and this reminds me of a passage in the Bible.

A good old football injury can be a very beautiful thing between and father and a son.

Thank you for coming back to visit. We really enjoy being able to share our story with you. We hope you come back soon!

“bye by jsoeph”

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Visiting Victoria BC To Clean Windows With Joseph

victoria bc

If you don’t know who Joseph is, no worries. We welcome you to our blog. Joseph is my son. He’s very young and you can read more about what we do and why our blog exists on our About Us Page. Today, we want to share a magical story all about charity and friendship. I wanted to teach my son how great it feels to help others, and so we went over to Victoria BC. It’s a city much larger than Penticton on Vancouver Island. For a while it was the capitol of Canada, and you can really see why when you go there.

Why did we got to Victoria BC to do this? We could have staid in Penticton to do charitable acts, but a friend of mine who lives in Langford BC and works for a window cleaning company hadn’t seen me in a few years and we had some catching up to do. He told me about this charity event his window cleaning company was doing in some dirtier parts of Victoria BC and I volunteered to come out with Joseph and help. I think Joseph had a lot more fun than me. Before we went to the event, we checked out some of the Island’s main attractions like the Butterfly Gardens and the Breakwater in James Bay. We also fed the seals at Oak Bay Marina and enjoyed fine meals at some fancy diners. After all this luxury, preparing for a charitable event became exciting because we felt like we wanted to give back to this beautiful city.

What was the charity event all about? Like any city, there are parts that are cleaner than others and in Victoria there’s a few neighborhoods close to down town that don’t get cleaned very often. The houses there need some repairs because there are a lot of unhealthy people with addictions and bad habits living there. So my friend and his Victoria window washing co-workers volunteered with some city workers to clean windows and give out hot dogs to the poor. There was even a magician there making balloon animals for a good hour! The work was a lot harder than Joseph and I had expected because we had a lot of windows to clean and we’re not too good at window washing, especially on the exterior of residential houses with ladders! Of course, I didn’t let Joseph go up high on the ladders but he did help me a lot with holding my window cleaning materials and equipment. He loved using the spray bottle!

window cleaning

I think Joseph and I cleaned close to sixty windows between us that day. My friend of course did three times more than that but he cleans windows for a living as an expert and professional. He’s so good at it! I was amazed at how he could clean a window so fast and then move onto the next. Joseph was impressed, too. The window cleaning Victoria business my friend works for also does roof cleaning and gutter cleaning, so he’s very versatile and can do all other kinds of exterior house cleaning, too. The people who lived in that area were so grateful to see him working away and some of them even started playing music on their guitars for him and he started working even faster. Joseph and I needed to take a few breaks throughout the day and so those free hot dogs came in handy at lunch. Joseph usually doesn’t like hot dogs but he was very hungry and found a new liking for them that day.

By the time the evening had rolled around, we had cleaned the exterior windows of nearly an entire block, and it was really quite the attraction for people walking by. This was when I think Joseph really started to realize how great it feels to help people and this is exactly what I wanted to see. It’s important to teach people this when they’re young because I believe it might be too late after they reach a certain age. Of course it’s never 100% too late to find the joy of helping people. After all, there’s a story in the Bible exactly about this. Even old adults like myself can find new joys in life rather unexpectedly. But for me unfortunately cleaning residential windows in Victoria BC wasn’t one of them. Although I was glad we got to help people and teach Joseph a good life lesson, I was rather glad to relax afterwards and do what we love doing most–playing some good old fashioned football in the park! My friend was too tired to join us but Joseph and I played football for a good hour at Beacon Hill Park before we went out for ice cream and a movie. I’ll never forget how much Joseph was smiling for the rest of that day after helping so many people. He said he wants to be a window washer when he grows up and live in Victoria BC, but I think this is just a faze of his. Even if it isn’t, I’ll still be there to play football with him on the weekends.

Well, thank you for joining us on our experience. I know it’s not the most interesting thing to read but Joseph and I are glad that we can come back many years from now and read about this cool experience we had. I really think this changed the way Joseph sees the world. He’s just getting old enough to understand that there are bad people out there, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t be good and help people by cleaning their windows when no one else will. So thank you for reading and have a great rest of your day!

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Playing Football in the Backyard with my Son

Football is slow in winter but not in my house. My son and I love to play together in the backyard. It’s really fun and today we want to share a funny story we had yesterday as a result of playing. My son accidentally threw the ball into the neighbors yard, but this was what my grandma would call a “divine accident” because the neighbors and their boys ended up playing with us when they brought the ball back and our game was so fun we ended up playing for hours.

My grandma would have loved to watch if she was here. Are backyard is the perfect size for football, but only if it’s a small game. We had 2 teams of 3 people and we weren’t playing full contact. We were only playing tow-hands-touch as the rules, so if you had the ball and got touched by two hands it was like getting tackled. My son and I lost to the neighbors but there’s no such thing as loosing when you’re having fun!

And when we got back into the house after the sun went down we made hot chocolate and I watched my son play on the GameCube. Ironically enough my son likes to play a game called Backyard Football. It’s a fun game perfect for kids his age. Here is a video of the game if you’re interested.

Backyard football anywhere in the world can be a great way to pass the time. But you may want to know this list of things you should have if you plan to play.

  1. A soft football that doesn’t hurt.
  2. Thick clothing for bumps and scrapes.
  3. Remove all rocks and sticks from yard and fill in holes with shovel.
  4. Lot’s of water for hydration. 
  5. A set of rules that everyone agrees on.
  6. A goal to have fun rather than win.
  7. More than one player!
  8. Enough light to see the ball.
  9. Music is also good, especially the Rocky soundtrack!
  10. Last but not least, a smile!

I hope everyone can experience the joy of backyard football one way or the other. Try it with your kid with the 2 hand rule and you’re guaranteed a good time!

Check out our previous post!

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My Son Joseph Wants to say Hello!

This blog is a fun project for me and my son to work on after football practice. He is eight, and he wants to start things off by saying hello. So I’ll let him take over the keyboard now.

“hello i am joseph. I am 8 but I wish I was 12. I love blogging, and I love my dad for taking me to play football. i met so others my age and they nice.”

As you can see my son is very good at typing for his age. This is all we have time for today but you can read more about us and what we do one this page. Thank you for staying!

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