Friday, February 25, 2011

How to Eat Fried Worms

This book is destined to become a classic. Well, maybe not a classic in the sense that Charles Dickens or William Shakespeare are considered classics, but it *is* timeless. I remember reading it in 3rd or 4th grade and being greatly amused, and admittedly a bit grossed out. Those memories spurred me to have my son, a 9 year-old 3rd grader, read this book this year.

He seemed to enjoy parts of it as I would hear him chuckling as he read.

He finished reading it yesterday, so below are some pictures of the "special" lunch I fixed for him and his sister.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Year of the Champions!

In the Spring of 2010, around the first or second week of All-Star baseball practice, there was banter about the team, and how much they had improved, etc. The head coach, Josh Mease, said something about the State Championship, and though all heard it, most did not consider it a reality, or frankly, even a possibility.

About 6 weeks later, not only was it a possibility, with a walk off homerun by Kameron Walker, it became a reality.

4 days later, 7 members of the team showed up for football camp at Bethel Middle School's field. Because of his age, Kameron would leave his baseball buddies and join the older football team, the Mites.

6 of them, though -- Keegan Hudson, Gatlin Blanton, Travis Shuford, Brooks Valentine, Hunter Cseledy and Lane Mease would join forces and under the leadership of Johnny James and his most excellent coaching staff, absolutely roll over every one in the division. They became WNC Youth Football and Cheerleading's Association's Western Division Champions.

One week after a narrow Superbowl loss, 4 of the boys, Cseledy, Hudson, Valentine, and Shuford traded the cleats for high tops and the pigskin for a roundball. They reunited with three other baseball teammates Sawyer Trull, Jacob Moore, and Daniel Worley. Together, they charged through the winter, and found themselves as WNC Youth Basketball's Eastern Division regular season champions.

Three championships in one year. A year many athletes can dream of. What will the future hold for these young men? As one young man put it, "Do it again! Except take Association championships instead of just divisions!" Be ready coaches; here they come!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Couple Who Pray

I got this book and read it and I really wish I could give it rave reviews and talk about how wonderful it is.

Unfortunately (I guess for me), I can't.

From the opening paragraphs, I could not shake the feeling that I was reading an infomercial. I could just imagine the host giving the spiel as I watched couple after couple parade across the stage and proclaim, "This is what it did for us, Rich!" The "celebrities" interviewed gave me a feeling of "read this book because of these names" -- or "name-dropping." I much more enjoyed the "real" people's testimonies as I could relate to them better.

Supposedly, they also have the research with which to back up their claims. Of course, one of their studies has only been done once, so it doesn't have the benefit of being tested or tried. At best, the results can be taken lightly.

Is praying together important? Yes, definitely. Is it something that couples need to be aware? Very much so. And, perhaps, that is where the disappointment of this book lies for me. It is a crucial topic that has a world of potential, and yet, I came away from it going, "Okay, so if we pray together for 40 days we will never fight, we will understand each other thoroughly, and we will have mind-blowing sex." Actually, a lot of the time, I got the impression that the first two were optional and the real reason to pray together was to have better sex. ???? Seriously?

Again, I do not disagree that couples need to pray together. And frankly, I can think of few things more important than that, but this book's delivery in that message left me feeling cold. I suppose I *might* recommend this book to a couple who was not very mature in their faith, but I would be hesitant to suggest it to a couple who was having serious problems. I am afraid the simplistic approach to what could be years of problems could prove to be a fatal let down for the couple.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, February 05, 2011

A young friend saw the book on my shelf and asked me about it.

Because he is an avid reader, and we have "swapped" books several times, and he is, indeed the one who introduced me to "fantasy" books, I described it to him as "CS Lewis meets Christopher Paolini."

The story, an classically allegorical with a good vs. evil theme, takes place in a land that seems to be far away, in the distance past. The characters must use discernment, wisdom and magic to keep the dragon eggs safe, keep the statues out of the wrong hands, and stay alive.

It is an easy read in that it flows well, the characters are developed well, and the action, while a bit draggy in places, is enough to keep the reader interested. This is a latter book of a series, and I am thinking it may have been a bit more understandable had I read the first one before this. I had read some of Danita Paul's work, so I was familiar with a few of the characters. Some of my initial lack of understanding may have been because I was trying to make "Dragons in the Valley" a sequel to the one I had read, but it is does not seem directly related.

I would highly recommend this book to any middle school or high school student who enjoys reading and enjoys reading fantasy. Likewise, any adult that appreciates the genre will probably like it as well.

Find this book at -- Dragons of the Valley

Or the Waterbrook Multinomah page


I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review