Hello Monday! Today marks the beginning of the first full week of summer and I’m taking it to be a Very Good Sign that my kids are still asleep at 7:35. I’ve enjoyed some hot tea (while still hot!) and had a few minutes to make out our weekly menu. I enjoy the fluidity (and not just the fluids that you sweat out in the Texas summer) of summer and know that well planned days can often get thrown aside for a spur of the moment pool date or spontaneous neighborhood playtime. Therefore I’m not promising that any of my summer menus will be 100% accurate, but I’m thinking 75% is fair.
Here’s what I’m thinking for this week:
Monday – Summer Vegetables over Orzo – A recipe yet to be created using some ripe tomatoes, basil, onions and maybe some feta cheese over orzo. If it’s turns out good, I’ll post it.
Tuesday – Quinoa Crunch Salad and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for the kids (if I remember to turn on the bread machine Tuesday morning, otherwise they’ll have cheese tortillas)
Wednesday – Vegetable Tostados with grilled vegetables, refried beans, avocado, salsa and maybe some cheese. The kids usually like just bean, cheese and avocado.
Thursday – Sweet Potato Black Bean Empanadas (recipe by cooking light) and salad. Kids will have salad and black bean and cheese tostados with leftover shells from Wednesday.
Friday – Vegetable Pizza. Maybe homemade, maybe not. We’ll see how my motivation is by Friday. :)
We’ve been doing a lot of reading lately and I only expect to do more as the long days of summer progress. Here are some recent reads.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth – It’s the second in a young adult dystopian thriller trilogy (the first book is Divergent). I didn’t like it quite as much as the first one, but it still kept me reading way too late for a few nights. It’s a complicated plot and I ended up re-reading several chapters to make sure I didn’t miss things, which indeed I had the first read-through. It ends with a huge cliffhanger, so I felt a little flummoxed to put so much time into the book and then end with little clarity or finality. Still, I’ll be first in line to reserve my copy when the final book comes out. I read both the Twilight and Hunger Games series* after all the books were written and loved being able to read the whole series in rapid succession. I think, if you like closure and for things to be neatly tied up like I do, you might be best waiting to read Divergent and Insurgent when the final book is out. If you have no problem with uncertainity and are generally more relaxed than me, then get yourself a copy of Insurgent, after reading Divergent first.
* The only comparison between Twilight and Hunger Games is that both books are in a series and feature teenage girl heroines. Otherwise Katniss and her Hunger Games crew kick the tail of the Twilight** crew.
** I read the Twilight books while doing a lot of business travel to and from a dairy factory in the middle of Ohio. For what it’s worth, those books were the best part of that travel. By far. And I don’t really like the books.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Oh my. Oh my. I read this one this weekend and am still reeling today. It’s another Young Adult book, but this one is a love story of sorts between two teenagers who meet in a cancer support group. It’s a doozy and left me doing the ugly cry for too long on Saturday night. Still, I’d heartily recommend it. The main character reminded me of Juno (from the movie Juno), that is if Juno had terminal cancer and a little more empathy. The characters are identifiable and real, the emotions raw and honest and, even for a book about kids with terminal cancer, it’s uplifting.
How do you transition from books about kids with cancer to books my kids are reading? Insert that transition here….
We are loving Arthur Geisert books. The detailed illustrations are mesmerizing, especially for my little art loving daughter. We’ll turn a page and the first thing she’ll say is ‘do you know how long it would take to draw that?’
Our two favorite so far are The Giant Ball of String and Mystery.
My little guy has entered a Super Hero phase, but it’s been tough to find books that are age appropriate since, uh, super heroes do a lot of fighting some pretty bad villans. And the stories are a wee bit complicated and dark for a four year old (‘okay, so spider man’s uncle gets shot in cold blood and then he has this rage and wants to kill other people and then there’s this man, the Green Goblin, who is the evil father of spiderman’s friend who spiderman ends up killing and then his friend gets all mad and tries to kill spiderman in retribution…..’)
Needless to say, I was thrilled to find this series of origin stories in the kid’s section that make the stories a little easier to explain to my boy and are much less violent. I’ve practically got the X-men and Iron Man books memorized and we are on Hulk and Spiderman this week. Unfortunately the Iron Man in the book is not a drawing of Robert Downey Junior, much do the book’s detriment.
If you are looking for these books at the library, they are shelved under author name ‘Thomas’
Some other recent books we’ve read at least 5 times a piece:
The Lima Bean Monster by Yaccarino
Benny and Beautiful Baby Delilah by Van Leeuwen
I Love to Draw Dogs! by Lipsey
Sophie’s Masterpiece by Spinelli
Knuffle Bunny Too by Willems
The Invincible Iron Man by Thomas
I love new book ideas for me or the kids, so please leave any suggestions in the comment section!