Saturday, February 25, 2012

the lil fight club

My innocent, sweet Niels happily riding his Lil Coupe.
Not for long.

And the evil twin strikes.

Mission accomplished. Moowhahahahahah!

And there you have it my friends. My evil twin in action. This kind of thing happens on a daily, perhaps hourly, basis. All Niels ever does is cry about it. He NEVER fights back. Ever. I'm sure that day is coming though. Watch out gotta lotta payback comin' your way!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

update post

An update for those who are interested.... I spoke with the principal today. I will keep this short: Yes, in fact, there are, "government mandates and obesity laws and restrictions coming across her desk every day. I wish I didn't have to worry about what the students are eating -- I sure have plenty of other stuff to do!! But I do. I have to meet my government requirements." She totally and completely agreed with me that what happened to Soren was appalling. However, she said that she does require that the children's snacks and lunches be monitored due to current government standards. She agreed that he should not have been forced to buy a hot lunch and she will talk to the staff about that.

She said that she has done everything she can to not change the rules about what children can have for holiday parties (this school is allowed to bring treats for holiday parties...but I know some schools aren't), but there is a specific federal mandate against treats for birthday parties -- so she can't allow it, even though she wants to.

I've already stated my opinion on this. Go ahead and dismiss it as an over-reaction to a well intended desire to see that children have a healthy diet. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. - Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, February 16, 2012

wake up people!

This afternoon, Soren arrived home from school and sheepishly told me that he got hot lunch today. I said, "No, you get hot lunch tomorrow." (He gets hot lunch on Fridays if he does his homework -- without whining -- all week...which is rarely a problem for him, but I'm not a mom who likes to give something to my children without them earning it. Yup, I'm that kinda mom....) He said, "Nope. I got hot lunch today." Huh? 
Well...apparently a "teacher" told him his lunch wasn't healthy enough. "What's the teacher's name?" I asked. "I don't know. She's new. She only works in the lunch room at lunch time. She has only been there about 2 weeks." Apparently someone has recently been hired to monitor the children during lunch time. This person has no clue that Soren's mom makes homemade -- from scratch -- meals and lunches every day (and most of it from our garden!). He was given beets (just what every 7 year old wants for lunch, right?) and "chicken nuggets on bread"(?!).
Ok, seriously....? Yes, seriously.
WAKE UP everyone. Pay attention to what is happening around you. Those of you who live in this country and enjoy your individual and religious freedoms, believe in self-reliance and personal responsibility, wake up to what's going on right now. Government overreaching its bounds sounds like fear-mongering...until it happens to you...and it's not just happening to me. Check this out.
A blogger I follow posted this just this week, and it helps explain why I sometimes just have to "speak up":
 “In Germany they came first for the Communists, 
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, 
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. 
Then they came for the Catholics, 
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. 
Then they came for me, 
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
by Martin Niemoller

She then wrote:
"Anyone notice how quickly things have been Progressing in the world lately?"

Have you noticed how our religious freedoms are being infringed upon? How our personal freedoms are being chipped away, little by little? How the Constitution is being ripped to shreds before our very eyes? This is not fear-mongering people. This is reality.

Here is another link worth noting.

Also, take a little read of the Declaration of Independence. It is startling to note some of the similarities of the "repeated injuries and usurpations" of the King at that time and of our current administration.

Ok. I'll get off my soap box now. I just don't want there to be a time when there is no one left to speak up in this great country of ours.

After posting what happened to Soren on Facebook, I realized I had left some information out.... Soren said this was someone who started working in the lunch room a couple weeks ago to monitor the lunch room. I haven't heard from the principal (I left a message with her today), but upon reading the WP article I posted above I reacted thinking it was an isolated incident...whatever people.... But THEN when I realized that there was someone at my son's school monitoring what he was eating...that's when I went ballistic. This is a public school. Funded by our gov' our taxes. This is what our multi-TRILLION dollar debt is paying for? To make decisions about my child's lunch???? When my family is in debt we do things like cut babysitters (ie: spending). I simply do not think the gov't should get away with spending the kind of money it is spending, considering it is OUR, the people's, money, NOT the government's. This is a part of what I want people to wake up to -- the gov't is spending like it's someone else's money...which it is. It is OUR money, not theirs.

I am still missing many more details of the issue here...and it amazes me that I have to spell it out since it seems like common sense to me, but obviously it isn't to many.

The principal did not reply to my email asking about the incident (but did later reply to my email regarding a project I am volunteering to help with. To this day she has not replied to my email.). So.... I went directly to the lunch room during Soren's lunch time -- I like to find things out directly from the source.

On my way to the woman Soren pointed out as "the teacher/meddler/do-gooder/whatever", his teacher stopped me in my tracks and gave me an enthusiastic greeting and asked why I was there. When I told her, she gave me the scoop: The person who told Soren his lunch was unhealthy was an aide who works at the school. These "aides" who work to help teachers out with special needs children, reading, etc, are monitors at lunch time who make sure the children are behaving, help if they have any questions, etc. She said that just this past week there was an announcement within the school to all the teachers (it hasn't reached the parents...) with "guidelines" as to what is a "healthy" and "not healthy" snack for the children. Apparently homemade cookies are not considered "healthy". Apparently the gov't (it IS a gov't mandate, whether you want to admit it or not...) knows better than I what is healthy and not healthy.

I KNOW that I am not an "isolated incident". I KNOW other mothers have been asked to return homemade goodies (cupcakes, cookies, etc) because they are deemed "unhealthy" -- or have been told not to bring in treats for a birthday (let's celebrate with popcorn and grapes -- woo hoo. Yay.). I KNOW how much freaking time I spend making sure my children have healthy meals, and sometimes I give them what gov't standards might deem "unhealthy". This employee was OBVIOUSLY well-meaning, I will not deny that. She was also well-informed by the current gov't nutrition standards. She was also snooping in a lunch box of a boy who is NOT malnourished, overfed or even has any clue what it's like to have an "unhealthy" meal for his breakfast, lunch or dinner on any given day of the week. Once I am a ward of the state, THEN gov't employees can go snooping in my children's lunch boxes all they want...and that could come sooner than later if we aren't just a bit more aware of what's going on around us and take a stand against it. 
And while I am well aware that I sound like an over-zealous, overly protective citizen of my and my child's rights, especially when this is such a common (all too common in my eyes!!) form of "meddling" from a well-meaning aide at a school, my incredibly brilliant and articulate nephew puts it all in perspective for you:
After following some of this conversation, as a self-described libertarian-minded/moderate Republican, I don't think that it is extreme at all to be very very concerned about such an infringement upon parental judgment and authority. The only case in which the government should have any say over anyone's decisions with regard to diet or personal life choices, whether that be marriage, diet, health care, etc., is when that person, by his or her own choice or incapacitation, becomes a ward of the state. Clearly a taxpaying citizen of the United States should NEVER be told what to eat, whom to marry, how much to pay for healthcare, etc. Placing blame on Obama is not misguided- he is the leader of our country, and he has set a tone at the top of taking basic decisions regarding lifestyle away from citizens. Obviously the urge to meddle in peoples' lives is not monopolized by any ideology, I think all of us can acknowledge that.

Having said that though, here is the reason that the extreme left, or even the mainstream left, scares me far far more than the extreme right. Even liberals do not generally deny this fact. That is, all of the social programs/micromanagement that the left has implemented in our lives since the 1960's has proven irreversible. Never has an entitlement program, business-crushing regulation, or law "protecting" a certain class of citizens (really just reverse discrimination), been fully repealed since the 1930's. The welfare state/regulation/bureaucracy continues to grow at a pace far beyond the economy's ability to support it. Now let's contrast this to conservative goals, of which we can all agree can be basically summed up in tax cuts, looser regulation of business, national defense spending, and anti-gay marriage and anti-abortion laws. One at a time- 1) Tax cuts- Bush/Reagan tax cuts could only be pushed through because they had a sunset provision. Obama is letting them expire, just as the Reagan tax cuts expired. There is no such thing as letting Obamacare or our unsustainable Medicare and Social Security systems "expire." They are here to stay, with anyone who talks about keeping them solvent, including liberal Ron Wyden of Oregon, being labeled as some sort of granny-hating fascist by the likes of Paul Krugman. 2) Looser regulation of business- just look at a book of federal business regulations in intervals of a decade from 1960 up until now. No matter what liberals say about Reagan and the younger Bush supposedly letting the corporate fat cats run wild, these books have only grown bigger. 'Nuff said. 3) National defense spending- unlike entitlement and pork barrel spending, which have grown in real terms astronomically in the post-WWII era, we are spending far less on our military than during the Cold War despite the continued presence of serious non-state and state threats. Even when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were at their peak, military spending as a percentage of GDP was far below what it was during the Cold War. And Obama is reducing that spending even more. 4) Anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage- about the only thing Republicans at the state level have been able to do is require parental notification or make a woman see a sonogram of her baby. As inconvenient and debatable as these provisions are, in the end, a woman can still get an abortion. As for gay marriage, a slight majority of the country supports it, and more and more states are legalizing it. There is a very small chance that this trend will be stopped or reversed.

I challenge any liberal or Obama sympathizer to come up with a liberal program or policy that, once implemented, has been anything more than tinkered with at the margins. Even if you are of the (misguided) belief that conservative policies have irreversibly concentrated power and wealth on Wall Street or in oil companies, it has become pretty clear from the Dodd-Frank Act as well as Obama's refusal to build the Keystone oil pipeline that clearly the government will, when in a fit of drunk populist idiocy to protect its own ass, roll these industries fairly easily. Unlike those evil oil companies or banks, Medicare and Social Security have never gone through a period where they were "reviewed," "suspended," or had thousands and thousands of pages of laws written (see Dodd-Frank) to reform them. This, despite even the most generous actuarial calculations that show that our current or projected level of economic growth doesn't even come close to supporting them. Depending on the Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare and/or the election this Fall, we may see in Obamacare the first significant federal social/economic policy repealed in full SINCE PROHIBITION!

So back to my original point, yes, it is a huge concern that a teacher can do this. Because, if you don't fight back against it at all levels, history has shown that this sort of meddling will reach a threshold where it is beyond our power to reverse such meddling. Nanny states, as us Fox-loving knuckle-dragging libertarians and conservatives like to call them, rarely take giant leaps in interfering with personal decisions- policy is done incrementally. Obama and Nancy Pelosi know, and many liberals have admitted, that Obamacare was just the beachhead established for the goal of single-payer healthcare. Once they regain complete majorities, which will eventually happen, they will launch from the beachhead towards the ultimate goal of single payer. Thus, the more blatant the meddling, even if it appears relatively inconsequential to some, the more need to push back while we still can.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentine's day!!

In her excited anticipation of Valentine's Day, last week Anna Clara made Valentine hats for everyone...including her doll, of course.

I made (and the kidlings decorated) two double batches of cookies for the kindergarten and 2nd grade classes...which took way longer than I expected it to.
This is the second double batch -- lollipop valentines for them to hand out in class.
Anna Clara cut out green hearts and Soren cut out red hearts and they wrote the names of their classmates on each heart.
Better than cheesy store bought cards, dontcha think?