Saturday, April 25, 2009

Books, Food, Good Mood - Learning how to put words together

Late last night S started having trouble breathing and he kept gagging on all the mucous going into his throat - stupid allergies - so I gave him a dose of allergy medicine. We woke up the next morning and he was still stuffy and so were C and L. Despite this, S and X joined us for our morning exercise routine.

The kids love the library and I had some books to return, so we packed up and headed to our nearest branch. I also had a book waiting for me so I picked that up, each of the kids got 2 books, P-Daddy and I each got a fiction book and I picked up a copy of The Story of the World, vol 1 - Ancients to preview and see if I wanted to use this to read history to the kids. I am very interested in a history curriculum called History Odyssey by Pandia Press which uses Story of the World as a required resource. So, I need to decide if I want to use the History Odyssey or SOTW as a stand alone.

I also picked up another book to read to the kids. It is called What the World Eats . Amazon review from Publishers weekly said "Adapted from last year's Hungry Planet, this brilliantly executed work visits 25 families in 21 countries around the world. Each family is photographed surrounded by a week's worth of food and groceries, which Menzel and D'Aluisio use as a way of investigating not only different cultures' diets and standard of living but also the impact of globalization: why doesn't abundance bring better health, instead of increased occurrences of diabetes and similar diseases? These points are made lightly: delivered almost conversationally, the main narrative presents friendly, multigenerational portraits of each family, with meals and food preparation an avenue toward understanding their hopes and struggles. A wealth of supporting information—lush color photographs, family recipes, maps, sidebars, etc.—surrounds the text (superb design accomplishes this job harmoniously) and implies questions about global food supplies. Pictures of subsistence farmers in Ecuador cultivating potatoes from mountainous soil form sharp contrasts with those of supermarkets in a newly Westernized Poland. Fact boxes for each country tabulate revealing statistics, among them the percentage of the population living on less than $2 per day (47% in China, where the average daily caloric intake is nonetheless 2,930 per person); the percentage with diabetes; number of KFC franchises. Engrossing and certain to stimulate." Thought it might be good to show the kids how other children live and eat in the world.

Keeping with the food theme, we decided to try a local chain called El Pollo Loco for a snack before heading home. I made lunch then headed to the grocery store. It is my goal to keep our food budget at or below $75 per week, which includes all b-fasts, lunches and dinner. We also spend about $200 a month at Costco buying cleaning supplies, pet supplies, and bulk items, so our grand budget for food, pet food, and cleaning supplies is about $500 per month. This also includes 1 bottle of wine per week and 2 bottles of beer per week. We only eat meat once per week, Sunday, so that reduces cost and we rarely eat out. I make almost all of our food, including yogurt, cottage cheese, baked goods, granola, etc.

As you may have noticed from my title, S is getting better at finding "blends" in words - like two Os put together says ooooooooo.

We tried to watch Will Smith's movie, Seven Pounds, but neither of us was in the mood for it, and had no idea what was going on anyway.

All-in-all a pretty quiet Saturday.


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