Monday, December 22, 2014

Make Monday: Make a Difference, Take a Stand Against Gambling

I know, it is Christmas week and you're expecting a post about crafts, how to wrap gifts etc. Trust me, this is much, much more important.

This week you will be with family and friends. Tell them that you are against the expansion of gambling. As a parent, if internet gambling is allowed, that will turn any smartphone/kindle into a slot machine. Gambling, of any kind, is not good for children.

Conservative or liberal, you know the implications that gambling has on families. You'll be with your families this week. We have one question for you to ask your family members.

How has gambling effected you?

This week my father in law retired. At the party, my Uncle (in law) said, "They should make everyone pass a test of probability before they enter. The house always wins."

He also shared a story. "It (Prairie Meadows) was just going to be a small horse race track. It turned in to so much more. I know someone who lost everything and he was making good money. He declared bankruptcy. He lost his job. Just make good choices."

I feel for anyone who lost their parent/grandparent/Christmas this year because of gambling (suicide).  I feel for families who are brought in by the empty promises of wealth and lose it all.

Enough is enough.  Iowa Conservatives Against Gambling Expansion says, "No MORE!"
Not here, not Iowa.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Food Friday: Cold Days, Hot Soup...Irish Queso Soup!

It's cold. Maybe not as snowy as Buffalo, NY, but cold.

Who doesn't love a good soup...especially when you can just dump it in the crock pot and go about your day?!!

I found a recipe for Pepper Jack Cheese Soup...but our boys didn't like the name. Our 5 year old said, "It's like queso, but with potatoes and ham."

Our 8 year old chimed in, "Ham and potatoes, that's Irish, right? So it is Irish Queso Soup."

And with that, this meal had its new name.

It is SO easy. Spray the crock pot and add...

  • 2 Cans Diced Potatoes
  • 2 Cans Chopped Green Chilis
  • 2 Cans Cream of Potato Soup
  • 2 Cans Cream of Celery Soup
  • 2 Cans Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Package Diced Ham
  • 2 Blocks of Pepper Jack Cheese (I just hand tore the blocks into smaller chunks)
  • 2 Cups Water 
Start it on low, cook for 8 hours. Use leftover ham (chopped) or buy prepackaged ham.  I'm sure the sodium content is off the charts, but it is SO good.

Add pepper and cilantro for a little more of a kick, if you like.

Easy and yummy dinner.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tooth Thursday: The Dentist with Our 4 Year Old...And I Feel The Worst.

Brendan (4), aka B, had three cavities filled today.  He played with another little boy (his mom called him T and he was 6) with Legos in the waiting room.

B climbed into the chair, and when the dental assistant said, "I have to put this bib on you," B replied, "I know."

I said, "It's not Cavity Carl's first rodeo." He's had three cavities before.

The dentist thinks it's due to a lack of enamel. Dr. Kerby asked if I had taken antibiotics during pregnancy, and I had. And yes, I feel bad.

The 6 year old was in the chair next door. He was SCREAMING. B said, "What's his problem?" The assistant said, "He has to have one cavity filled. They are just putting the bib on him."

B replied, "I have free (3) cavities! And have da bib. And he's older dan me!"
I reminded him, "It's not a competition, dear."

B had "the gas" to help with the pain.

I asked B what he wanted, if he was good. Last night, his oldest brother got a slinky after a good parent/teacher conference. So, of course, all he wanted was a "swinky" of his own.

He sat so very still, he had tears in his eyes, the assistant wiped them away with the bib when they would run down his face. But he never once complained. One of his cavities was between his front teeth, and they had to get special small equipment to help fill it. B was a trooper.

And he got his "swinky" at Target after the fillings. I feel like a horrible mom, for him having low enamel on his teeth because of my antibiotics when I was pregnant with him, but God blessed us with such a tolerant and strong little dude.

Way to go, B. And yes, Mommy is sorry.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Make Monday: Make Memories and Help Veterans

Looking for something fun to do with the kids that helps injured heroes?

Why not build a gingerbread house?

The Puppy Jake Foundation is hosting a fundraiser, where all of the ingredients for your family's gingerbread home are provided.

The Puppy Jake Foundation raises and trains service dogs for our injured American heroes. It's a great way to make memories for your children and help those who served for our freedom.

You can print your entry form here

Friday, November 7, 2014

Food Friday: I (h)Ate School Lunch..And Had To Show ID

Today, I joined my 5 year old at school for lunch. I was appalled that they were serving a pretzel with cheese as an entree. Now that the election is over, I have time to meet with him for lunch.

When I got to his school, I had to show my ID. They scanned it. It printed my driver's license picture, my name, what time/date I checked in and even, "cafeteria", where I was going.

I just LOVE having to wear my drivers' license picture on a name tag....said no one ever. But showing an ID to vote is racist. <- note the sarcasm.

I DID find Sean's ISU hoodie that we've been missing, in the lost and found, while I was waiting for his class to come down the hall. He saw me. He grinned from ear to ear.

He was excited.

We waited in line, I had to pay for my lunch, of course, and Sean was excited that he could tell me how it all worked. I had been to lunch with his older brother before, but I let him tell me. The cashier did say, "I was hoping to meet you! I saw the shirts that your oldest wore last week and said, 'Your parents must work in politics!' Liam told me that his mommy does. And Republican! Good work!"

We gathered our utensils and trays. We could add "salad" and a banana. There was a sign that read, "You must take 1/2 fruit and 1/2 veggie in order for the school to be reimbursed for a full meal." Most of the kids passed it over, because, they're in kindergarten. 

And here was my meal. 

A pretzel, the size of a milk carton (no salt), milk, green beans (no pepper), cheese in a cup, and Caesar  salad...ish, again, no pepper.

Sean and I prayed before our meal, and that reminded the kid who sat across from him to pray. He wanted me to take his picture, in case his parents are friends of mine.

This is the "other" option for lunch, called a "kydz-able". And yes, that is how they spell it. Cheese, carrots, Goldfish crackers and grapes with yogurt. And milk.

How can children learn on snack foods for lunch? How is this accepted?  

The pretzel is going to breakdown to sugar and can cause a major tired crash this afternoon. There isn't enough protein to sustain either of these lunches. Most 'kid-friendly' yogurts are filled with sugar and dye, baby carrots are most likely cleaned with a chlorine sanitizer, the goldfish is loaded with salt, and chocolate milk is loaded with sugar. Nothing in either of these lunches will help fuel the minds and bodies through the afternoon of school.

I wonder how many members of the School Board have eaten this lunch, and gone about their day, with nothing else to eat?

I've asked my boys if they want to take cold lunch. They always refuse. At their school, kids who eat cold lunch, have to sit at a different table than those who eat "hot lunch" or a "kydz-able". How is that not segregation?

How is any of this acceptable? This is not lunch food, this is snack food. My challenge to you, tweet, Facebook, share this post. Our kids deserve more than snacks for lunch.

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