School Lunches, what should be done?

yea.... It hasn't changed much

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This week is Nation School Lunch Week.  Our schools have the job of feeding our children lunch during the school year.  This is a job that I cannot image being a small undertaking.  My children go to a small rural school, Kindergarten through sixth grade, there is about 630 children attending that the school system needs to feed 5 days a week.

I understand why schools serve the foods that they do.  Most kids are picky and they are trying to get them to eat what they know kids will eat.  I see no problem with that.  I myself have one child that is extremely picky, and know that it is a fight most nights to get her to even attempt to try anything that doesn’t look like a hot dog or mac n cheese.  I couldn’t imagine doing that with 600 kids.

Many in this country are trying to put the blame of childhood obesity on school lunches.  personally I am going to blame helicopter parenting, convince of fast food, busy lifestyles, and technology.  Children need to get up and get out to play, I have seen mothers on message boards saying that they won’t let their children outside by themselves even at 12.  I’m sure that these parents have their childs best interest at heart, but with all of the responsibilities that come with being an adult how much time can you really spend outside just watching your child play?  Our busy lifestyles have a lot of us reaching for prepackaged meals or stopping at one of the fast food restaurants that seem to be on every corner anymore.  Most of us don’t have time to cook, and in order to just get something in us and our kids we go for what is convent and not necessarily the healthiest.  Technology from the internet to the 798 channels on cable tv to video games keeps more children in the house than anything else.  Kids are happy to sit on the couch and hold virtual races rather than go outside and have an actual race with other kids, or to see what is going to happen in tonight’s episode of “Teen Mom” so they are in the loop at school the next day.  Today’s children eat the same amount of meals at school that previous generations did, you cannot say that school lunches are what is making them obese when for generations they didn’t.

Hungry kids are not going to learn as much as full children.  The government started the free/reduced lunch and breakfast programs for this reason.  I can understand the wanting to feed our children healthier meals at school, but at what cost is that going to come?  Our schools are already under funded in many places, the arts are being cut out of school days to save money.  What next can we cut so our children can eat the fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy foods that many are pushing for?  For many places in the United States fresh produce is not readily available year round.  It must be shipped in from other states and some time countries, this in turn raises the cost of that salad many are trying to get to be the main entrée on our children’s lunch menu.

As I look at my own children’s lunch menu this week I see a mixture of different foods that would cater to different taste buds.  Every day there is a vegetable and a fruit.  I know that these are probably going to be coming either from a can or frozen for a couple of different reasons. 1 the growing season in Indiana is over, in fact we’ve even had our first frost of the year.  2. The cost of these items fresh for that many students is going to be more than is allotted in any school budget.  Finally 3. Can you imagine how long it would take to snap green beans or shell peas for that many kids?

Many parents will tell me that I am letting my children eat “crap” at school and I should be packing their lunch.  To them I ask what is the difference between me putting an individual applesauce in their lunch box and the school putting it on their tray.  I’m realistic, there is no way for my kids to heat up a lunch that I send with them.  While I don’t mind sending a cold lunch on a day that they are having something that they don’t like at school, I do not want them eating cold lunch every day.  They would get bored with it, and it nutritionally would not be as diverse as what they are getting at school.

I know that something does need to be done about school lunches.  I’m not real sure at this moment what that is.  I am torn between wanting kids to eat healthy and the schools offering items that they will actually eat.  The cost of what it would cost for fresh items plus the extra personal to prepare those items and with our country already in the red.  The final thing is wanting my children to eat healthy, but at what cost is that going to be to me each week while handing out lunch money?


A belle, a bean, & a chicago dog blog boycott day

Liz over at “a belle, a bean, & a chicagodog”  is hosting a Blog Boycott Day.  This is a day for bloggers to not worry about doing all their blogging stuff, and go have fun on twitter.

If you would like to link up please head over and check out her post


As for me, you can find me @fallnangelplus3 today, but I promise to be back tomorrow ranting about the latest and hottest news 🙂

Westboro Baptist Church can kiss my….

West face of the United States Supreme Court b...

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Today the Supreme Court will be holding a hearing about if the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS can constitutionally picket soldiers funerals under the first amendment.  I personally think this is a no brainer, anyone who would want to picket a funeral is mentally unstable and should be locked up.  End of court battle and these extremists would not be allowed to bother anymore grieving families.  Unfortunately our constitutional rights are not that black and white, and this would fall into a gray area of free speech that us sane Americans would never think of being in.

While I will admit that they can say the things that they do, no matter how hateful and vile I think they are, the location of where they are saying them is what I have the biggest problem with.  For people who are supposed to be Christians to do such hateful things, makes me glad to not be a Christian.  I think that these “Christians” missed the part about do unto others as ye would have them do unto you, because I think that they would be upset if someone came and disrupted the funeral of one of their family members.

These men are sons, fathers, husbands, uncles, cousins, grandsons, and brothers to the people at their funerals.  Children have lost their father and now see these people saying that he was a murder and that God hates him.  We as adults can separate the truth from a psychotic idiots point of view, but children cannot see that difference as well.  What they know is that their daddy or mommy is dead, and these people are happy about it.  Way to go again Westboro Baptist Church on remembering what is in your bibles about Jesus loving the little children.

This church needs to, in my opinion, go through their bibles again.  Their God has killed more people and taken more innocent lives than American soldiers ever have.  Wars have been fought in their God’s name that have killed thousands if not millions of people.  People have been tortured, outcast, burned, and killed in their Gods name.  For as many lives as their God has taken without a second thought, these people are sure spending a lot of time and money saying that he hates others for something less than he has done.  Not to mention no where does it say in the bible that God hates the people who have fought in Iraq or Afghanistan.

I’m not sure how the Supreme Court will rule in this case.  I know that no amount of money can take away the pain from the families who the picketers have hurt.  While I don’t think that our first amendment rights should be infringed upon, I do think that this goes beyond what our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the right to free speech into the constitution.  I’m sure that none of them thought that the highest court in the land would be making a decision on if it’s okay for people to hold signs at a deceased military members funeral, or that anyone in this country could ever think of doing such a thing.

I hope that the founding fathers ideals are with the justices on the Supreme court as they make their ruling, and they rule as they see fit.  I do not wish I was in any of their shoes, because this is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t type rulings that will go into the history books no matter which way they rule.

Another child left alone

A mother holds up her child.

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I just heard about yet another child left home alone while their parents were out partying.  As a mother of 3 my heart goes out to this little one.  I’m sure that they were confused enough waking up in the middle of the night to find their mother gone, and then being placed into a home where they know no one makes it even worse.

I understand the pressure put on mothers today from society to be perfect.  It seems that unless you give up all of yourself people will label you a bad mother.  With all of the groups out there from the breast feeding militia, the rear facing till they are in their teens fanatics, the granola mommas cringing when you even think about sending chocolate chip cookies for snack day, the attachment parenting mommas who think you are horrible if you don’t spend every second with your child till they are married it is hard to figure how not to lose yourself.

I’m starting to wonder if we aren’t hearing more and more about these mothers leaving to go party because of them getting overwhelmed and losing themselves.  Today’s moms are being pushed more than ever to be the best parent 24 hours a day.  The internet is full of people with parenting criticism and perfect children who never once threw a tantrum because they didn’t want to go to bed.  You go to a site thinking that you can get help with your problem and instead are told how horrible it must be to think about getting a babysitter so you can go out for a night without your child. Or how you abandon your child all day for someone else to raise while you go to work.  Or my personal all time favorite Why did you even have a child if you were going to have someone else raise them.

I think that we need to step back and look at what we are doing to young mothers today.  There is a difference between putting information out there for mothers to make an informed decision and ramming the information down their throats to the point where they are scared if they give their child an M&M that they will be obese later in life.  We all have our causes that we feel strongly about, but we need to start figuring out new ways to get others in tune with our feelings. Putting each other down and telling someone else that they are a horrible mother just because they didn’t make the same decisions as you did in raising their children is something that no mother should do to another.

Of course there is the other side of the coin, that maybe these people are really just stupid.  Which brings up a couple of things that I feel strongly about…

first, you should have to pass a basic test in order to become a parent

second, stupid people shouldn’t reproduce (please refer to question one for more explanation)

Finally, they find evidence that ADHD is genetic

Brainscan of brains with and without ADHD

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Today I finally heard the press release that I have been waiting for my whole life.  A study has finally found that ADHD is genetic.  My Grandmother, Mother, or I could have told the scientists that did this study that was true before they spent millions on it.  I come from a very long line of ADHD people, and I myself have ADHD as do probably at least one of my kids, the jury’s still out on the other two.

Researchers have found that children with ADHD have more large, rare copy-number variants in their genes than children without the disease.  It looks like it will still be years before they can do a genetic test to see if your child is ADHD or just a normal child, if any child is normal, but the initial research has been done already, and I’m sure that someone is already working on how to genetically test for this.  This study is going to be able to get tied into other studies that are proving some diseases to be genetic.  These same variants have already been found to be genetic markers for predisposition to schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and other neuro diseases.

Males are more likely to posses these genetic variants than females are.  You would only have to take a look at my Grandfather, Uncle, Brothers, and Son to see that this is true.  I seem to be the only female in the family with ADHD, unless of course one of my girls or my brothers have girls and they end up having the family genes.  The shocking thing is that 1 in every 100 children have this disorder, and yet most parents think of it has a lack of discipline or a problem eating too much junk food.

The best thing about this research, to me at least, is that it proves that it isn’t what you are feeding your children that are making them hyperactive.  There was a study done in England that I saw a few years ago that disproved the theory that sugar makes children hyper.  Unfortunately a lot of parents it seems did not see the study and this rumor is still floating around the mom communities today.  If your child is already predisposed to have ADHD then if they eat a cupcake it isn’t going to make them more hyper

As an adult with ADHD I can give parents some advice on how to raise a child with ADHD so they become productive members of society.  The advice would be this “Invest in a house with a very large yard and a hyper active dog.”  My parents own 10 acres, every day it wasn’t below freezing I had my mother kicking us out of the house to get fresh air.  Now that I have my own ADHD child I know that it wasn’t for our benefit, it was for the benefit of my mothers sanity that she kicked us out.  I’m so glad that my kids like fresh air, and we have an acre yard.  Now I just need the hyper active dog, and I’ll be all set.

Americas fail at religion

Cults and new religious movements in literatur...

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For a nation that 6 in 10 citizens say that religion is very important in their lives, a new survey by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows that the majority of Americans fail a test on religion.  For a country that was founded with the idea of religious freedom, we seem to know nothing about religions other than Christianity and the Bible as a whole.

The findings of this survey are in no way shocking to me.  I as a non-Christian I know that Christians seem to know the least when it comes to something that is different from their beliefs.  Most of them cannot even tell you the difference in the different Christian churches.  It saddened me to learn that in most cases 50% or less could tell you the correct answer to questions about their own religion.  Just under half didn’t know that the Golden Rule was not one of the 10 commandments.  You would think that since there is a movie on the 10 commandments that we could at least get that one right.

Are some of us so wrapped up in our own worlds that we cannot see past what the religious leader talking about in our various services is his interpretation of the holy book that he is reading excerpts from?  It seems to me that the majority of Americans cannot see past their little bubble that they are living in.  They take what they hear as law in their faith, and do not actually read anything to back it up.  They seem to be listening to someones opinion and getting in an uproar over a subject without knowing if it is true or not.  A great example would be the Churches that have spewed how horrible and wicked the Harry Potter book and movie series are for years now.  These people have obviously never picked up and actually read the books or watched the movies because they would then know that it’s not about magic, it is about good vs evil, doing the right thing, finding true friends, making hard personal decisions, and so many more positive messages.

I feel sad that my children are growing up in a country that most don’t know that the Quran is the holy book of the Muslims.  After all the press about the psycho, I mean pastor, in Florida going to burn one not to mention the uproar over the “Mosque at Ground Zero” you would think that the majority of people could have figured that one out.  How can people have their panties in such a bunch over something that they know nothing about?

I hope that this survey will open the eyes of Americans about the different religions that are in our country.  Maybe this will be the start of people not screaming about religious freedom or about how their religion is being suppressed.  Hopefully it will be a time in our lives where people of different faiths will learn about each others faith, and support those faiths as we do our own.  By learning about each others faiths we can see that many of them are not so different.  But this is America, land of the selfish, the self-centered, and the self absorbed, so my hope for religious tolerance and learning to be achieved during my lifetime is something I will not likely see.