Friday, September 30, 2011

The Twins Turn Five!

This past Wednesday was Cami and Griffin's fifth birthday.  It's hard to believe they are five.  Trisha threw a rockin' party while I sat at school for parent/teacher conferences all afternoon and evening.  There were a total of 10 4-5 year olds (with one 3 year old) at our house for three hours.  They ate pizza and cupcakes, jumped on the tramp, played games (pin the treasure on the pirate map; over-under with a ball; etc.), and opened presents.  Cami got lots of neat girly toys and Griffin ended up with action figures and superhero stuff.  Yesterday, Griffin tried on his "Ben 10 watch" which turns Ben 10 into a superhero alien (its a cartoon show).  He turned to Trisha in wonderment that he didn't actually turn into an alien!  Apparently he was okay with the alien part, but didn't quite understand it is just a toy.  Trisha even heard him tell Cami, "It's okay, I didn't turn into an alien."  I'm not sure if he was reassuring her, or just needed to say it out loud to see if anyone cared. Wow.  Today we ran to Toys R Us for the birthday crowns and balloons.  Good times.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos - Book Review

When I first heard the title of Matt Mikalatos's new book, I didn't know what to think.  His first book was Imaginary Jesus, and was apparently pretty funny.  Based on that, and on the book jacket, (plus the description that he is like "Monty Python meets C.S. Lewis" - Relevant Magazine) I decided to try Night of the Living Dead Christian.  I wasn't disappointed.  I like my theology explained through fiction, and Mikalatos uses a variety of monsters (vampire, werewolf, robot, zombie, mad scientist, etc.) as allegories to explain how being born again is the road to Christ and being made new.  The story involves Matt, his neighbor Luther (a werewolf), and other denizens of his neighborhood, on a quest to cure Luther of being a werewolf.  The story proceeds at breakneck speed, with lots of action and hijinks.  Along the way, the path to salvation is explained, as well as why that salvation is needed.  The story is not all fun and games though, as several parts can cause uncomfortableness as the reader is forced to examine his own state of "monster-ness".  The book comes complete with a monster guide, as well as a discussion guide.  I really enjoyed this book and will look for others that Matt Mikalatos has written.
I was given a copy of this book to read by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

All Pro Dads Day

Yesterday, Griffin and I went to the All Pro Dads day at the Colts practice complex.  They had lots of cools drills for the kids, a couple of bounce houses, and games where kids could win little prizes.  It was topped off by various groups encouraging dads to take an active roll in the lives of their children.  Other than a short time of fear (Griffin didn't like the bug mascot promoting wearing seatbelts), we had a good time.  I've included a couple of pictures and some video of Griffin doing drills.  The video is only accessible on the blog. Enjoy Griffin's first football drills.

Austin Collie #17 for the Colts

Posing in front of the goal posts

Colt head bounce house and slide

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Assorted Hodge Podge

This is a catch-all post with various items.

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 today, our principal decided we would spend Friday helping our students (6-12) understand why it was such a significant event.  They were all very young (my 8th graders were 3 or 4), so he wanted to provide context.  We watched videos, gave them an overview of what happened, and then looked at how this tragedy brought out the best in our country, with people rallying, serving others, and even sacrificing their lives.  We finished with a balloon release from the football field to commemorate and remember those who lost their lives.  It was an intense but cool day.

Last night, Trisha and I had the privilege of attending the wedding of a former player of mine.  It is one of my favorite things about being a high school football coach.  I love having the opportunity to see how those teenage boys grow into young men and begin families of their own.  It's an honor to be able to be a part of their lives.  I've probably been to 10 weddings and have another one to attend next month.

Finally, ONU got their first win under my buddy Brian Fish.  They ran an interception back for a touchdown in overtime to secure the victory.  Because we were at the wedding, I was updating on my phone all evening.  We were even able to hear a live radio feed through the phone on our way home. (I love technology...not as much as you, you see < for Dad and Jeff>).  Way to go Tigers!  Fight On!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Go Big by Cory Cotton - Book Review

About a 1 1/2 years ago, I saw a commercial for a truck that involved some guys shooting a basket out of a cropduster airplane.  It was a pretty incredible shot, but looked a little fake.  Come to find out, it was real and the group of guys are known as Dude Perfect.  Dude Perfect, of which the author of this book (Cory Cotton) is a member, are a group of roommates and college buddies who took their videos of crazy basketball trick shots and put them on YouTube.  Through what can only be described as a God-thing, their videos went viral, they started a business, and have been a huge internet success over the last two years.  Go Big is both the story of Dude Perfect and a business primer for using the internet to expand your dream into a viable opportunity.  The Dude Perfect philosophy is divided into five categories: Get Excited, Own It, Blink Later, Inspire Others, and Give Back.  The philosophy is illustrated with multiple anecdotes from Dude Perfect's amazing story.  Cotton explains how they turned their passion into a dream job, and how their faith in God has led them when making decisions.  It's an engaging success story on its own, but the principles expounded on in the book will be helpful to anyone looking to turn their dream into a reality.

I was provided a copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest and fair review.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day weekend, college football, and a recliner

On Saturday, Trisha took the kids to hang out with some friends, which left me at home for the day.  Thanks to Tom and Donna, I've recently come into possession of a recliner.  Also, Saturday was the first true day of the college football season.  Put all three together and you have a day of bliss.  Say what you want for spa treatments, I'll take my Saturday anytime.  From about 1:30 until 11:00, I barely moved from the recliner.  I watched football, read, and relaxed.  It was quiet, there were some good games, and I was able to lean back and put my feet up, literally.  I can't wait until next Sunday when the NFL season gets underway.  And don't even get me started on New Year's Day.  I may sleep in the recliner on New Year's Eve, just to be prepared for the Bowl fest the next day.  Ah, recliner, we will best friends forever.  Sigh.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Realms Thereunder by Ross Lawhead - Book Review

I approached reading this book with some hesitation, but I was intrigued by the premise.  The hesitation was for two reasons: Stephen Lawhead and Christian Fantasy.  I read several of Stephen Lawhead's (Ross's father) books when I was in college and enjoyed them but found them tough to get through; the writing style didn't suit me.  I'm also weary of trite and simple fantasy marketed to the Christian sector.  The books I've read have no depth and the writing styles are usually too simplistic. I was intrigued because The Realms Thereunder deals with elements of English mythology that I wasn't aware of (I really like the King Arthur tales, but am not aware of much more).  I've got to say that I'm glad I gave it a chance.  Ross Lawhead's writing moves quickly and is easy to follow.  The protagonists, Freya and Daniel, are followed during two different times in their lives.  One thread of the book deals with the two as children and the adventure the went on in a realm literally underground in England.  The second thread revisits the two in their early 20's, when strange and evil occurrences begin happening around them.  This refers back to their childhood.  I found the story to be engaging as it moved back and forth through time, following Freya and Daniel.  My only complaints are that the editing needs to be tightened up (sometimes names were transposed, causing confusion) and that this is clearly the first book in a series.  The story line was barely wrapped up and the sequel does not arrive until next year.  I'll definitely be reading the next installment to discover what happens next to Daniel and Freya.

I received this book free from in exchange for my honest review.