Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hockey and FĂștbol turned into major bonding time.

I have twin girls who are now 7-years-old. They like to play dress-up and Barbie, but they're equally into LEGO building and playing school as well. It's usually not too long, or hard, for them to talk Daddy into spinning them around the living room for the big ball or sitting down to build a house or spaceship.

They like to watch their cartoons and movies. I'm a big fan of anything Disney so we can usually find something we'll all agree on when Mom and Dad are finally sick of Dora for the eighteenth time that day. However, sports in my house can produce a struggle, and it rarely comes from my wife. You see, Mommy and Daddy are both big time hockey fans in my house, but the two little ones have just never caught the fever. Well, that changed this week.

As I was getting ready to put my little ones to sleep on Friday night I flipped on the Stanley Cup Finals - Game 5. There were the New York Rangers trying to hang on for dear life as the Los Angeles Kings sought to send them to the golf courses of the world before 60 minutes of regulation finished. This is when it happened folks. I was sitting there watching when my daughter asked me "who are we cheering for Daddy?"

I explained that I was rooting for New York because if they lost then hockey would be over for the season. Now, don't get me wrong, they're probably not the fanatics Mom and Dad are, but they recognized that this would disappointed to their Old Man and jumped in cheering for New York right away.

I didn't find any of this odd until my other daughter got upset with me when I told them it was time to head to bed. "But Daddy, the game isn't over yet." I reluctantly agreed to let them finish the regulation, but under the regulation that they weren't going to be watching any overtime. They relented.

The next thing that happened was almost stranger that though. As they were starting up the stairs they asked me if I would make sure to write down the score for them, so they could find out what happened first thing in the morning.

Now, I forgot to write anything down, but I was up with them pretty early on Saturday. Could you guess the first thing out of both those little mouths when they saw me? "Daddy, who won last night."

And if that didn't get me going, they both seemed genuinely disappointed that the Kings had bested the Rangers on that previous night. I actually had to console them both a bit and even thought one might shed a few tears over the whole ordeal.

So this morning we sat down together and watched the World Cup. We cheered together for Colombia in the first match of the day. Even though they needed to take a break to go play and blow off steam, they sat there with their Daddy and watched as the best players in the world played the most popular game in the world. Together we celebrated each goal and the overall victory of that bout.

Today was great day.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tenacious by Jeremy and Jennifer Williams with Rob Scuggs

Tenacious is the story of how a football coach turned a team around. It's also about how that team turned a town around and left a lasting impression for generations to come. But more than anything, Tenacious is about having heart. It's about standing up and fighting hard even when the odds say you should be doing otherwise. This is a story of hope.

I enjoyed the book. It was an engaging read and a wonderful story. The story resonated with me because we all struggle, we all want to give up sometimes, and we need people like Jeremy and Jennifer  Williams to be there and say, "If I can bear my cross, you can bear yours."

I don't mean to say that the book is condescending in anyway, quite the opposite. And I found myself identifying with so many of the Willams' traits that, at times, it was a little beyond funny.

I think it's highly inspirational, and immeasurably valuable. Especially in this day and age when so many think they 'deserve' things, Tenacious is a bit of a wake-up call. And I dig it.

I received this book through Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program in exchange for my honest review of the work.

Tracy Groot Spins a Riveting Yarn About Enemies Becoming Compatriots

In The Sentinels of Andersonville Tracy Groot aims to show that things are not always what they seem, not even the South during the Civil War of the United States of America. Groot masterfully tells a tale of how 3 unlikely heroes hatch a plan to stop the atrocities happening behind the walls of Andersonville's prison.

Once Violet Stiles finds out about how cruelly the Union soldiers are treated in Andersonville she determines to put a stop to it somehow. Sentry Dance Pickett, as well as Corporal Emery Jones are none too pleased with the conditions they also see as coming up far too short of Southern Hospitality.

Together the three hatch a plan the likes of which is not so well received by their fellow Southerners and puts them on the wrong side of an awfully big conflict. Still they persist and, through unconventional methods, are able to open more than a few eyes, but their journey isn't over yet.

Groot's narrative is an easy read. While she admits in her acknowledgements that there may be some creative license taken in the book it doesn't dilute the story any, and in many cases seems to enhance it. However, being that Groot seems to have taken her research seriously, it could just be the by-product of old-fashioned hard work.

I'd recommend this to anyone who is interested in the US Civil War, injustice in general, or just wants to read a real good book.

I received this book through Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review of the work.