Monday, May 1, 2017

Monthly Recap vol. 42~ April 2017


I'm drinking in the beautiful Spring vibes around here. This has been a very mild season for our area, so I'm just so so happy to be outside as much as possible for walks, letting kids play on playgrounds, riding bikes, and enjoying our backyard before the weather turns brutal.  I'm also trying to live it up before this baby comes and the kids get out for the Summer.  Time. is. flying. Crazily enough, in my next monthly update, I'll be talking about new baby boy. So, I guess we all know what I'll be doing once the baby is here!  Summer plans: play with a baby. Let my kids play with a baby. Let my friends play with a baby. Let my Mom and Mother-in-law play with a baby! (!!!!!)


Nothing of great interest or anything exceptionally philosophical or intellectual. However....

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

This was the best book I've read in years. So that's something (pretty big!)! ;-)  I know I'm way behind the times on this one (the book was on the NY Times bestseller list for 3 years....a while ago ;-) but I had heard so much about Hillenbrand's writing I wanted to read something by her. I was a bit intimidated by the premise of a WWII vet who gets stranded in the pacific. BUT suffice it to say, EVERYONE should read this book. Wow, wow, wow. If you want to appreciate your Veterans as an American, if you want to understand what it truly means to be a hero, if you want to understand the war better, you can't do any better than starting with a true story, and this true story is the cream of the crop.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This book is squarely for kids, and it has won many awards, including the Newberry.  I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but Gaiman is able to toe the line of creepy, while still making the reader feel, ultimately, safe.  I think, to be honest, more books could use a bit of creepiness just to make things more real. He states in his essays that he is trying to capture the experience of being a child: they have a level of helplessness, because they want to understand the adult world, but they cannot. Thus many things with shadows or mystery are scary. He dips into scary without bending into horror, which is one of the reasons I like him. The concept of this book came from his studies of an actual graveyard in London. The setting is so unique: who were these people, what is their history? You don't have to think about death in a graveyard... use your curiosity and think about when these people lived, their life-span, how they view our modern world, and how they may talk and interact if a modern boy came to "live" or dwell among their spirits.  It's fascinating stuff... what other author today is able to pull this off (and so successfully, at that?) There are a few witches and mentions of the "the suicides" of the graveyard and that type thing... so...Although I liked it so much, I don't think I'll be letting Molly read it any time soon. Just the idea of it could give her nightmares, although me, or an older, less sensitive child, not so much. ;-)

Best. State. Ever. by Dave Barry

Funny, entertaining, easy read. Bonus points that I know Florida pretty well (grandparents lived there all through growing up; we went every year for either Spring Break or Easter) and he nailed it. More bonus points because my brother is moving to Miami to be near his fiance and son, and it centers around that area.  Barry's humor is sometimes hilarious, sometimes... offensive for lack of a better word. I wouldn't give it 5 stars for that reason, but it's still worth reading, I think.

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson

I read this so that I could preview-read it before Molly.  It is a story of a boy who discovers portals to other worlds hidden in the attic of his aunt and uncles' house. The book lives up to your hopes for such an interesting premise. I heard N.D. Wilson interviewed on the Read Aloud Revival podcast, and I liked his perspective, so I was curious to check this one out. Friends, Sarah Mackenzie really knows her stuff. Trust her recommendations! This book was really fantastic.  I would put his storytelling WAY up there right by Harry Potter, a little lower than the angels of children's fantasy literature (Lewis, Tolkein). How many times did this make me think of the wardrobe to Narnia?! I almost liked this story better than Harry Potter  (although I've only read the first), because it fits right in with Lewis' fantasy, it is less gory, and I would venture to say it is more entertaining. I couldn't wait to recommend this to Molly with the highest praise.  N.D. Wilson is terrifically talented and he deserves the lauds and praise coming his way.

About a Boy  by Nick Hornby

Such a fun book and Nick Hornby is just {heart eyes emoji}

If you're wondering how I read ~a book a week, refer to this post. To see my Reading Challenge progress, click here.

~Funny Things They Say~

Molly: How many gallons does it take to fill up a gas tank?

Me: About 20, I guess.

Molly: Then why did you only put 8 gallons in?

Me: Because a half a tank will last me a while, and it costs $20.

Molly: $20?! What a waste of money!!!

Molly: Most of my friends at school like Chik-fil-a WAY better than McDonald's. They said someone found a human bone in a chicken nugget.
Stephen: Which bone?
Molly: A toe. But *I* like McDonald's.
GAG  ;-)  And I was laughing hysterically because of the moral of her story!!!!! :-O

Madeleine: Can we get a bunny? Or we could get an ELEPHANT! (throwing up her hands) But it wouldn't fit in the house!

Frances: When babies read a book, they hold it up and look at the pictures. But they don't say "Oooh, la la." They say, "Oooh, ga ga."

lol she thought she was pretty funny when she said that :-) ha ;-)


Here's my playlist from March...

I can pretty much guarantee that if you download "Road Less Traveled," your kids will start begging you to play it again. ;-) Worth hearing...
(modesty alert)

I listened to the "Missing Richard Simmons" podcast, and I felt that it was stirring up controversy for really no reason at all.  There was an assertion that (spoiler) he was transitioning into becoming a woman, based on...  no less than... a National Inquirer's story.  {seriously?!} I think he just got burned out. It sounded like he was spreading himself really thin to maintain popularity, and what he really needed to do was cut back on public appearances and focus on friends and family. So when he did that, it upset some people and maybe those same people are the ones who made the podcast. I say, Good for you, Richard Simmons. If fame and the public eye is messing with your real relationships, pull back. Who cares what they say or what they think?!


I loved re-watching High Fidelity recently. I read the book in the past couple of months, which heightened the appeal a bit. The humor is on. point. I had forgotten how awe.some. Jack Black is in that movie. And J&Joan Cusack. Hilarious.

I also tried watching (and did actually finish) the movie version of Unbroken.  While it was pretty true to the events, I felt the director (Angelina Jolie) did not make it personal enough. The writers of the screenplay and those who brought it to the big screen neglected some major details that would have benefitted the movie greatly.  How Hillenbrand describes his races, his experience on the raft, and the prison camps is enlightening and brilliant. The movie touches on each event in a cursory way, and so it's easy to feel the Hollywoodish production undercutting the real pain and heartbreak of his experiences. The book is so far superior with regard to detail as to almost be a joke... ;-)

~Kids Are Reading~

Nancy Drew: The Mystery at Shadow Ranch

A Birthday for Molly (American Girl series)

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson

I can't keep up but I know she read a few others at school. A graphic novel and one that I'm actually not going to mention because I'm not a huge fan. Frances is a Kindergartener and she  is also an avid reader.She recently read out loud at Mass. She did great and wasn't nervous at all. ;-)


Some favorites...

Easter table decor @ Sometime Martha, Always Mary

I think these are really cute. Propped up those eggs look less like tombstones but otherwise, I wouldn't change a thing. Really I am not this creative and my crafty endeavors wouldn't really hold a candle to her ideas and executions! ;-)

The Most Powerful Interview I've Ever Done: A Chat About Suicide, Loss, and Hope @ Jen Fulwiler
God met me right in the midst of my brokenness with this interview about the suicide of Leticia Adams' son Anthony. I sobbed my way through it and I found it most life-changing in all of the *right* ways.  I told Stephen alllll about it which means it was the ^^^^^ superlative^^^^^.  I only tell him alllll about something... book, podcast, interview if it was stellar and this one was.


God gives us grace to handle what he throws at us. :0)

nuf saiad.;)

Linking up with Leigh and Tuesday Talk


Linda Stoll said...

Hey Neighbor ... Every mama should capture their kids' wisdom in some kind of book, don't you think?

Fun to meet you this morning from Leigh's ...


Michele Morin said...

So much good stuff going on at your house. I scribbled down some podcast recommendations, so thank you! Enjoy that Summer Baby!

My thrift store addiction said...

I loved reading About a Boy and the movie is one of my all time favorites. Fun recap and adore that last quote!

Tacy said...

Yes! I love About a Boy (the movie) too!! So good:-e)
Thanks for the comment Michele and Linda!

Kendra @ said...

I was pretty disappointed with the Richard Simmons podcast; it seemed like a lot of hype for nothing, and also unfair not to respect his privacy.

I love the funny stuff your kids have said; so cute, and it's great that you are documenting it! It will be fun to revisit those memories with them when they are older.

Gentle Joy said...

Kids do say such funny things! Glad you are writing them down... it seems we will always remember the funny thing they said... but we don't. They are so precious. :)

Wendy J Williams said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kara said...

Really enjoyed this, Tacy! After your glowing review, I will have to put Unbroken on my Goodreads list. I also loved the quotes from your kids. My newly two year-old boy is just starting to speak in short sentences, and we think he's hilarious…sounds like it just gets better. :)

Megan said...

Really liked the easter decor

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