Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Cheer

Enjoy this video of Jars of Clay singing their version of "Little Drummer Boy".  This is the most viewed video I've posted to youtube.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Polar Express

At school, Cami and Griffin had a Polar Express day.  They wore their pj's, had to color their golden ticket, rode The Polar Express (aka School Bus), met the Conductor, and watched the movie at the North Pole (aka "It's just the computer lab" - Griffin).  They had a great time.

Cami (blonde head) about to get her ticket punched

Griffin (back of head) getting his ticket punched

Awesome Christmas Light Display

Tuesday, Trisha and I took the kids to Christmas on Victory for the third year.  It is a really cool, 50 minute synchronized light display.  They also accept donations for the Make A Wish Foundation.  All-in-all, it's a good time.  Two years ago, I took the kids by myself because Trisha was at work.  They were in their pj's and had blankets and slippers.  We enjoyed the show, and then Cami said she had to go potty.  It was a 30 minute drive home, so we had to stop.  We lucked into a Family Christian store and I raced my under-dressed kids into the store and the bathroom.  All the people worked oohhh'd and ahhh'd because the kids looked so cute in their jammies and slippers.  Anyway, enjoy the videos below.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls by Scott Snyder - Book Review

Last year, DC Comics ended approximately 70+ years of comics continuity to reboot their titles.  Many heroes and villains stayed very close to how they've always been, while others were drastically changed.  Additionally, many years of back story was thrown out in a lot of cases.  Fortunately (since I'm a huge Batman fan), that was not really the case with the Bat titles.  Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls wraps up (for the most part) the storyline begun in the Batman reboot.  Batman has to finish squaring off against the secret society of Owls and their assassins, the Talons.  This story has roots in Batman's creation, and even farther back to the founding of Gotham City.  Scott Synder writes an exciting, deep, and quick-moving story.  Many of Batman's group of "helpers" play a role.  Additionally, there is insight into Bruce Wayne's trusty butler, Alfred, and his past.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel collection.  Having the issues (Batman 8-12, and Batman Annual 1) all together made the read more enjoyable.  I'm glad I did not have to wait a month between each installment.

I highly recommend this for any comic fan, and especially Batman fans.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I recently discovered, and joined, NetGalley.  This is a large book review site with access to multiple publishers.  The key is that everything is delivered digitally.  So far, it seems like there are a lot of pretty cool selections, so expect to start seeing a wider variety of reviews than the Christian-type that I've been doing so far.  I'm most excited about getting some graphic novels, although they are not nearly as easy to read on my tablet.  Oh, well, this should be a fun experience.

The Cape:1969 by Joe Hill - Book Review

I enjoy reading comics of all types, so I jumped at the chance to review The Cape: 1969 by Joe Hill and Jason Ciaramella. I was unfamiliar with the subject, and I think that affected my view of the story.  The Cape: 1969 takes place in Vietnam during the War.  Captain Chase and his helicopter crew are shot down, and all but Chase are killed by the Vietcong.  Over the course of four issues, a battle of wills ensues between Chase and the man in charge of the VC.  During the course of this battle, Chase comes in contact with a local witch doctor, who bestows some type of flying ability on him.  Apparently this story serves as a prequel to the ongoing series The Cape.  Overall, I thought this was just an okay story.  Maybe if I was familiar with the regular series I would have enjoyed it more.  I would definitely recommend reading The Cape first, as this story might have more meaning and emotional impact.

I received a complimentary copy of the story from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finding God in the Hobbit by Jim Ware - Book Review

With the release of the new Hobbit movie, many Hobbit tie-ins are appearing. Finding God in the Hobbit by Jim Ware is a book that appeared shortly after The Lord of the Rings trilogy of films was released, but it now pertinent again.  In this short book, Ware examines the many places God can be discovered in the story of Bilbo Baggins and his quest. 
First, this book is not a devotional.  It uses as its premise the fact that stories are a reflection of The Story, God’s ultimate plan of salvation for mankind.  While Tolkein himself was a Christian, he has said that The Hobbit was not intended as an allegory, and Ware respects that.  He simply points out how many elements of the story are echoes of God’s story.  Ware has used each chapter to explain one theme or idea, beginning with a passage from The Hobbit, then explaining the context and supplying scripture or life examples to support his point.  He wraps up with a reflection on the truth that is revealed (ex: Trust God, be yourself and watch the sparks fly; God’s grace is the narrow strand on which all our hopes depend).  Some of my favorite chapters include On Eagles’ Wings; Reluctant Leader; and Grim but True (this is particularly cool for anyone who has a pessimistic life view and gets tired of being told to look on the Brightside).
This was an interesting book, and I would recommend it to fans of Tolkein, or other fantasy authors.  It is not heavy-handed in its approach to Christianity, which lends it to being a good book for both Christians and non-believers.  For more of the idea of all stories reflecting God, I would recommend Epic by John Eldredge.
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.