Thursday, June 19, 2014

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

** Please forgive me for the lack of character in this post. I've been traveling and am publishing from my phone**

Now on to Bernadette ...  I enjoyed the book and was taken by the twist at the end. Like most books it took me a while to get into it , but once I made time to read I really loved the book. I found the mother/daughter relationship to be the most intriguing part of the book. The book is told from Bee's point of view -- and she thought her mother hung the moon. I liked seeing Bernadette from Bee's perspective because it was honest about her crazy habits and strange tendencies, yet it showed she did have the heart to care about someone. 

At the beginning of the book I thought Elgie was a hard-working father who was just consumed with his work, but as the truth unraveled I began to think he used work to escape his life. I think he used it to escape Bernadette and her shenanigans and to escape the delapidating Striaght Gate. Do you agree? 

On the Straight Gate note -- do you think the property is symbolic of Bernadette and her life? It has huge potential, but lacks care  and love so it is crumbling around the family as they live together yet apart. 

Antarctica -- how random is that?? I found it interesting that  Bernadette and Elgie promised Bee anything she wanted if her grades were a certain standard. Bee chose to visit Antarctica. I learned a lot about the continent and was fascinated by the details Maria Sempler, the author, included. Do you honk rewarding grades and behaviors that are expected is okay? My famy just discussed this last weekend and we land all over the map in how we feel. 

What did you think about the writing structure? I thought it helped make this book a quick read. I enjoyed getting varying stories and perspectives on the same events in the book. Were you completely thrown for a loop at the end with Audrey's long confession? That made me have a little more compassion for her! 

At the end,, when all the pieces to the puzzle came out, I was dumbfounded as how smart and strategic  Maria Sempler is. I cannot imagine writing a book with so many secrets, varying points-of-view, and the literal man-hunt for Bernadette. I commend Maria for her work and rumor has it ttgat a film company has bought the rights to the book to turn it into a movie soon! 

I truly enjoyed this book and I look forward to hearing what you think, too. This is a very free book club -- you can answer the questions posed or you can leave your own thoughts. Please leave comments and we can interact about Bernadette. 

The next book and date will be announced on Monday. Two weeks from today is  July fourth, so perhaps well do Thursday that week. Take care and have a good weekend!! 

The Beach!

Tyler and I love the beach and we discovered that our girls do, too! We took our first ever vacation as a family (that wasn't a PCS) last week and had the best time. We hung out on the beach, played in the pool, rode the carousel, ate out, ordered in, napped, and just enjoyed each other.

Tyler took her on the carousel. I so enjoyed watching them come around each time and I love that he is getting to experience new things with her. Although she has always been fun, Caroline just keeps getting more and more fun!!

**Prepare for picture overload**

This year was quite different than last -- Tyler was here, I wasn't 10 months pregnant, and Caroline LOVED it! My family joined us for the second weekend of our trip and then the girls and I stayed for a few extra days with my Mom. I feel like a spoiled beach bum -- thank you, Tyler for letting me stay home with the girls and vacation with my Mom!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Six Years

Tyler and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary on Saturday .. SIX!! We kicked the weekend off with a ball Thursday night. I do have to say Army Balls are one of the perks of the Army ... you get to dress up, have a nice dinner and socialize all night with the friends you've made in the unit.

Friday we had a date day that included the driving range, a movie, dinner out and reading on the couch that night. Yay for six fabulous years ... I am excited about what lies ahead.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Virtual Book Club

I have found that many bloggers and friends of mine are trying to read more. Read for fun, read to learn, read to escape, whatever the reason we want to read more. In light of this, I have decided to start a virtual book club for the summer. We will begin on Friday, June 20 with the book Where'd You Go, Bernadette? 

On June 20 I will pose a few questions on my blog and you can choose to respond in the comments section or to write your own review and link-up to my blog on that day. Anyone -- blogger or non-blogger -- is welcome to join. I hope that this will be a fun way to interact throughout the summer!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

TV Shows

Caroline does not get to watch a lot of television and she most certainly does not flip through the TV to choose what looks good. I have introduced her to a number of new shows over the last few months. She becomes obsessed with the new show and rarely goes back to the previous one.

Her old favorite, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,  is the only Disney show she has been able to watch. She hasn't watched it in months, so I'm not sure if she is over it or forgot about it. The other shows she has been introduced to are from PBS. They include: Clifford, Curious George, Madeline (DVD not PBS), and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.

Most recently I introduced Super Why! I was afraid to introduce this because I didn't want to deal with the "Why" question before she started with it, but I LOVE this show. Super why .. the power to read. She LOVES it, too. This show is all about using books to find answers to solve problems. Letter recognition, letter sounds, and writing are all woven in each episode -- what's not to love. We recently bought a spelling wand at Target and she is having more fun than ever -- participating in writing words with Princess Pea on the show.

If you haven't seen it, check it out. PBS, 11 am EST.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day versus Veteran's Day

The United States designates two days each year to celebrate and thank military serviceman and their families, but these two days have two very different meanings. Since joining the military by Tyler's side six years ago, I have become keenly aware of the reason the United States designates these days, but also more knowledgeable about the difference.

Memorial day falls on the last Monday in May each year and is a day to remember our fallen soldiers, sailors and airman, and their families. This is not the day to thank people currently serving, yet a day to remember their fallen comrades. If you want to experience true love -- ask them about their friends and fellow serviceman who was killed in action. Be patient as you wait for the story because emotions are hard to contain, but they appreciate your sincerity and relish in the opportunity to share their friend's heroism.

On this day, do not forget the wives, husbands, sons, daughters, moms, and dads left behind. When a service member lays down their life, their relatives' lives change forever. They can tell you what they were doing when they heard the knock on the door and they can tell you what they are doing to survive each day without their loved one. These families are known as Gold-Star families and they are some of the most remarkable people you'll ever meet.

Veteran's Day is November 11 each year and is quite different. It is more of a celebration of those who currently serve. Say thank-you, have a parade, celebrate the men and women who volunteered to serve. Celebrate their families who are left behind for months on end.

This has become one of my pet-peeves. I encourage you to thank a serviceman every time you see them, there doesn't have to be a holiday to share your appreciation, but please don't continue to confuse the significance of Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. They are both necessary and special, but quite different in their purpose.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Last Day of School

I love seeing the First-day/Last-day of School comparisons. My mom took a first-day of school picture every year from kindergarten to senior year -- I know understand why she insisted on getting this done each year!

Caroline began school on September 3 and finished yesterday on May 22. Although Daddy missed both the first and last days of school this year, many things have changed over the last year.
Not only is she taller and her hair much longer and thicker, but Caroline
is 100% potty-trained
is super verbal
is inquisitive
knows her alphabet and colors
can count to ten
has masterfully transitioned to Daddy home and Daddy traveling again
loves her sister fiercely
loves "all her family"
loves to sing and dance -- particularly to the Frozen soundtrack

I have loved this year with her. Although her entire life has been one of exponential growth, this year will be hard to beat because of how much she began to learn. I am constantly amazed at how well her brain and memory work!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Last Weekend

I had grand plans to use last weekend's time wisely and to do a few fun things with my big girl. Sadly those plans came to a screeching halt when we were hit with the stomach bug and discovered a fallen tree on our house.

Friday morning I was feeling pretty good about things. It was cool and sunny -- not a cloud in the sky -- and we were on time for MOPS. The last MOPS event of the year and we were on time. Friday was going to be nothing too special, dinner with friends and getting things together for another trip to the strawberry patch on Saturday, followed by nap time jam making, a Frozen date and sleepover with Caroline Saturday night, and then keeping the nursery and church on Sunday.

But ... mid-way through said MOPS meeting, I got a tap on the shoulder and the news that Caroline had just gotten sick in the nursery. Awesome. I grabbed all my stuff and quickly left. We were home in minutes and this is what we saw when we pulled in the driveway:

Great. Upon further inspection, I discovered that a live power line was between the tree and the house. That makes for quite a sticky situation and one that my brothers, dad and brother-in-law cannot fix.

I parked Caroline on the couch with Curious George, Emma roamed around while I called the insurance company. Thirty minutes later Caroline says, "Mommy, I'm feeling well now." She was better, but I was beginning to ache!

I called in back-up Saturday morning at 1:30 am and my sister was here at 7:30 to help with the girls. They supervised the tree removal and then she whisked them away to Oxford for the night. Not that I could have taken care of them, but I was lost without them.

Sunday I met my family in Raleigh for dinner and to retrieve my girls. This was not a particularly fun weekend and not at all what I had planned, but we survived.