Sunday, March 29, 2009

Flotsam and jetsam.

Note to self: they don't dig my poetry...

So, I don't really have enough for a full-on family update, but here are a few tidbits:

Liam and Amelia: There was much vomiting and washing of blankets in the land this week. The Tylenol flowed freely.

Ben: Practiced his clarinet without being told. Trust me, this is huge.

Will: Submitted his packet to apply for Warrant Officer. We'll know in June. Cross your fingers and toes.

Me: Gained 5 pounds (which is why there's no picture this week). I'm not freaking out--every 4 weeks on the dot I gain 5 pounds. It'll be gone by Friday, but it's still annoying. 90 pounds ago, 5 pounds was nothing. Now I feel it and see it.

In other news, I ate the first strawberry from my garden Friday. It was divine. Also, everything is growing. The corn, cucumbers and scallions--all which I started from seeds-- are now a few inches tall. The tomatoes have buds just waiting to blossom and the bell pepper plant has little pod-like things, which I assume will eventually become the peppers. The cilantro is thriving so well that I'm having to cut it at least every other day. Good thing I love cilantro in nearly everything. And I eat freshly picked basil with sliced tomato and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar almost everyday. Jealous much?

Before I go, I want to leave you with a question that came up at church today. The Bishop (the congregation leader--like a pastor) asked us how we can teach our children that gambling is bad when it pays their teacher's salary, their classroom materials, and in Georgia's case for pre-K, even provides the student's breakfast, lunch, snack and before and after school care.

I had a minor heart attack because I thought he was then going to counsel us all to homeschool. I'd probably have to become Catholic or something if that was the case. I'm not the homeschooling kind. He didn't suggest it. He didn't really suggest an answer at all (because that wasn't the actual topic of the lesson). But it's had me thinking all afternoon. How do you reconcile gambling=bad, education=good when you live in a state with lottery funded education?

P.S. The Blog Frog thingy on the right? All proceeds (from mine) now go to the American Cancer Society. You don't even have to click on ads. Just add a link to this blog on your own blog, and sign up for a free Blog Frog membership. That's it--you've done your good deed for the day.

P.P.S. Anyone out there know how to make a button for me for you guys to add to your blogs? And would be willing to do it for nothing but my undying adoration and gratitude?


  1. how i reconcile the lottery funded stuff, is i don't participate much in what it funds. i don't send my kids to free preK, my kids don't eat breakfast or lunch at school. the food is gross and unhealthy anyway. most processed food has been now proven to cause adhd. i have 3 boys so i try to stay away from the processed.

    it was interesting to note that both georgia and s. carolina who have a lottery that contributes to education, have the very lowest rankings when it comes to education. the argument for the lottery is always that it will improve schools, but it doesn't work.

    what works best to improve education is parental involvement, but if the parents are busy gambling and wasting their money on lottery tickes, instead of buying front line phonics, the kids suffer.

    by the way, nice garden, i just planted mine last week. 30 tomato plants, 30 cucumber seeds, peppers, basil, cilantro, cabbage, romaine lettuce. i think i'll follow your lead and plant the scallions.

  2. I have no idea about the gambling thing. It seems quite the conundrum.

    But yay! for clarinet and warrant officer packages! And veggies! I wish I could have a garden. Instead I'll settle for a little tomato plant on my balcony.

    And I'm gonna have to butt in on Sylwia's comment. Processed food doesn't cause ADHD. Unless it stops the brain from producing serotonin, dopamine and other chemicals in the brain that actually cause ADD and ADHD. I hate that everything "causes" ADD. It's a genuine problem with chemicals in the brain. Any other statistics are merely a correlation with no basis.

    And that's my pet peeve for the day.

    BTW assuming I don't go into labor (I wish) today, I'll be watching BSG so we can chat about it tomorrow. :)

  3. Thirty tomato plants?!

    I don't know what the meals are like in other pre-k centers, but at Liam's it's all homemade from scratch. Oatmeal or grits for breakfast (Cheerios are also always an option), Homemade breads, lunch. No frozen chicken nuggets and fake cheese slices.
    I'm even halfway impressed with the food at the elementary school here. There are certainly processed foods, but also a lot of really good choices as well. Fish, wheat bread, fresh veggies rather than canned...

    Anyway, we don't use the before and after care, but we most definitely use the pre-K. It's a great program, I just wish it were funded differently.

  4. Crystal--

    Yay! I've been waiting to hear what you thought about BSG.

    I didn't hate it, but I was disappointed. And left without answers (which I think was their point).

    And Sylwia-- I know kids who have been raised since infancy on organic, healthy food only who have been diagnosed with ADD.

    Processed food isn't good for you--agreed, but I don't think it's been proven to cause ADD/ADHD.

  5. sorry ladies,

    believe what you like but my husband reads studies all the time. it's his job as a doctor. his brother is also a chemist and he reads studies all the time. BHT(preservative) and nitrates (processed meat preservative) have a big effect on adhd.

    also the more you process a food, the more micro nutrients are lost. i'm not talking about vitamins and minerals, but things even smaller that can't be put back into food. these things effect how our brains work.

    also tv and gaming affect adhd. maybe your friend who raised her son on organic let him watch tv.

    anyway, you can believe the adhd website. just remember that 50 years ago everyone believed that breastfeeding was the absolute worst thing you could do for your child. formula or even plain corn syrup was better. that's what they gave the babies in the hospital. corn syrup mixed with water! my husband's grandma was considered a horrible mother for being a "closet" breast feeder.

    i'm sure kraft, or some other huge processed food maker, contributes millions to fight adhd. hence, the conclusions on their studies.

    brandi, i'm glad that you have healthy food at your school. none of that at "freedom" park elementary.

    but how did this discussion turn to food anyway?

  6. Sylwia,

    If the doctors 50 years ago gave infants corn syrup and water over breastmilk, who's to say that in 2059 we won't look at "studies" that prove processed food causes ADD/ADHD and think, "Man, those guys were idiots"?

    My husband reads studies too, and my understanding is that you can find a study to prove your opinion on just about everything.

    Is processed food good for you? Of course not. Is TV the best use of your time? Not a chance. But those things in small amounts are not going to alter brain chemistry enough to radically affect behavior.

  7. A couple of points...1) do you believe ADD is a brain issue or a behavior issue? Saying it's caused by tv and video games wouldn't support the brain issue so the processed foods point would be moot.
    2) doctor, chemist, or whatever most studies lean whatever way the guy conducting the survey wants it to lean. They go in with a hypothesis and don't usually say, "whoops, silly me, I was wrong." they usually go with "inconclusive." Every year studies change to tell us that wine is good for us, when we know the word of wisdom tells us otherwise. Eggs are bad for us, now milk is bad, now milk is good. etc

    As for ADD, it's shown to be genetic. So I guess the chances of my children having it are pretty high. Might as well give them kraft mac n' cheese.

    I'm not saying processed foods are good for you, but I certainly don't think that Kraft has some big conspiracy like tobacco companies to cover up problems.

    ADD is a super hot button and people have opinions on either side. But in my family my father being diagnosed with it as an adult and given the right dose of meds has been life changing. In my brothers, they decided they didn't' want medication and no one ever forced it on them. They have learned to deal with it in other ways. Not everyone believe it even exists and most people are ill informed about it. Maybe if it affected your family you would feel differently.

    Of course, no offense is meant. :)

  8. nicole

    i obviously dont believe all studies. my husband and my granola type friends tell me about different studies and conclusions, and i do what i feel good about. from studying, following the spirit, and from experimenting on my kids, i have come up with conclusions of my own.

    i try to share them with others when the opportunity arises. and no you don't have to listen. believe what you like. feed your kids what you like, let them watch and play what you want.

    and by the way, i was not talking about small amounts that effect our brains. it's large amounts i was talking about. my kids are allowed to eat anything at parties, or other people's houses. i just control what's in my house.

    and now we better get back to the topic, or brandi will be mad.

    back to lottery funded schools...

  9. Argue...errr...discuss whatever you like. I'm just glad there's conversation going on.

    For all I care you could start talking about gay teachers at lottery funded schools that serve processed foods to ADD kids while making them sell Rainbow vacuums. It's all good...

    By the way, Sylwia, letting 7 year olds use wood burners unsupervised has been proven to cause fires and burns. And letting three year olds wander the neighborhood alone has been proven to cause DEATH. We all have our priorities and studies we believe in or don't believe in. :)

  10. crystal

    i think most of our 'new' mental diseases are caused by our lifestyle , which includes both what we eat and and our behavior. of course genetics also have a part. but like with all inclinations, doing things that are good for your body and brain, can help you deal with your inclination better. so if i were you i wouldn't call it a lost cause for your kids, just because of your father and brothers.

    i personally would do some of the things my granola type friends advise me. i give fish oil to my kids, make sure they have lots to sunshine and exercise, as little processed food as possible, we don't own a tv. though my kids can watch some movies on the computer when i decide not to log it off. and i make sure my kids work. work gives us good self esteem. i wish i made them work more; i wish i was more like mrs duggar, minus the 14 kids.

    my favorite doctor that I've ever heard of was a guy named Dr graham in the 1860's or so. he believed in sunshine air exercise,ect, when everyone else was taking mercury for their ailments...

  11. I think there's good in everything you mentioned. I also think that if we say "depression doesn't exist" we are hurting more people than helping. Giving someone who is severely depressed sunshine isn't going to help. The Lord brings about science and discoveries to help us. I don't believe that everything should be solved with medication, but I certainly think that some people need it to help them.

    I should have noted the sarcasm about my kids being doomed. :D

  12. brandi

    ha! ha! ha!

    you make some good points. and yes we've had our shares of burns, but remember, dad can fix it, that's why i told josh to become a doctor!

  13. crystal

    actually, all studies show that sunshine does help the depressed.

    and meds don't, because as soon as they take them, there goes their sex life, and they get depressed all over again. who want to live without good sex?

  14. Touche on the sunshine :), but I know too many people who thrived on anti-depression meds to think that everyone should just run outside instead of those meds.

  15. crystal

    did you talk to them about their sex life?

  16. okay, so i don't normally leave a comment but i am going to now because the add/adhd topic is annoying me. so why can't it be both? why can't processed foods etc AND a chemical imbalance be the problem? maybe if a person has chemical imbalances in the brain they can be sensitive to processed foods thus resulting in a add/adhd behavior? my children have adhd. my husband has add. so, i feel that my children have it because of him. but i also know that when my children are eating healthy, without dyes or processed foods, they think better and are better behaved. i think that both contribute to the solution or problem. i get frustrated when people don't really look at both sides. you're either right or wrong. sometimes that just doesn't work. it's just like the whole darwin/creation controversy. why can't it be both? why couldn't God have made the earth, and why couldn't God make the earth evolve they way darwin suggests?
    okay, i'll stop now. that's just my two cents.

  17. Sylwia -I've taken anti-depressants on and off throughout my marriage. My sex life doesn't change when I'm on my meds -it's still great. I will agree with you on the sunshine -I'm always happier when it's sunny.

  18. greta

    you are right, it's both. i think that's what i said in my last comment. if i were you, i'd put the tv in the dumpster...


    i'm glad you are one of the very few whose sex life hasn't changed. most people have awful sexual side effects, my husband hates prescribing for depression for that very reason...

  19. i'm going to bed, or i'll be cranky and depressed tomorrow. that's right doctor graham told us to get sufficient sleep...

  20. Sylwia Hardman--pissing people off (in two languages) since 1973...


  21. Greta- I believe that ADD is caused by chemical reactions in the brain, but I don't think that processed foods cause ADD.

    Sylwia - How do you say your name? Random thought. :)

    I'm pretty open about sex, but the ladies I know that have taken meds for depression aren't exactly offering up their thoughts on sex. Next time I run into one, I'll ask. XD

  22. Brandi
    I too thought the Bishop was going to tell us we should all homeschool. YIKES!!!
    I think it's important to let your children know that the Lord has asked us not to gamble. But we all have our agency. We can choose to follow the Lords council or not. That's what agency means.
    I think we can vote against using lottery money to fund education. The problem is the majority of the people in both states Georgia and South Carolina have chosen this as the best way for them to fund their education.

    I really like the Pre-K program. Brooklyn attended two years ago and Chandler is signed up to attend this Aug. I think that the program itself is wonderful. I know there are those who do not agree with me and that is okay.

    I do not support the way it is funded but I do support the program itself. I do not go out and buy into the lottery. But I do take advantage of the education it provides. For me it gave my daughter the start she needed. She is now reading and writing. Those skills were aquired during pre-k, also the help we gave her at home.
    I'm curious to see what others think.

  23. tina and brandi

    you guys are so funny. it never crossed my mind that the bishop would tell us to do anything. the bishop only teaches what the prophet teaches and i haven't heard anything in general conference about homeschooling.

    besides you still have your agency to do what you feel good about.

    besides, the talk was about pornography. he just added other addictions to not single people out. it was very obvious...

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. This is Tina not Jeremy FYI!!!

  26. Yes Sylwia,
    We all know you think every man has an addiction to pornography!!!
    Except your perfect husband Josh.

    I was talking to a friend last night until almost 11pm. We may have to attend that addiction class. we are addicted to food, phone, cell phone while driving. However, mine is over my tom tom. So it's some what safe right?

    I am now going on three weeks of no chocolate so maybe my addiction class would help with that also

    So Sylwia what are you addicted to that this class would help??

    March 30, 2009 10:23

  27. I also knew the class was going to be about pornography addiction almost as soon as he started talking (and my first thought was, "please don't fuel Sylwia's fire..."), but when he went off on the little tangent about gambling and lottery funded schooling, I got a little nervous. I know Tina and I weren't the only ones who thought "homeschool your kids" were going to be the next words out of his mouth.

    And yeah, I want to know what Sylwia's addicted to!

    Me, food obviously. And shopping. And cleaning, although living in a crappy house is helping with that one (but exacerbating the shopping one).

  28. tina

    i don't think every man is addicted to porn. i just hear statistics from my sister who is a facilitator for the recovery program, and the numbers are huge and growing. it's a big problem in the world and in our church.

    of course we all have minor addictions like chocolate, eating, etc. overcoming any of them will bring us closer to the Savior. because we can't overcome addictions without Him. that's the definition of addiction. people just cant let it go. Only the Savior's power can heal them.

    my sister has been asking me to go to the program for years. she is not an addict, but because she is involved with the program she has done the program and it has brought her so much closer to God. she thinks it could benefit everyone.


    i'm addicted to yummy healthy food, your blog, reading scriptures and praying, my husband,

    and my sister thinks i'm addicted to telling people what to do. I'm sure you're going to get a lot of mileage out of that one...have fun.

    i'm just so right so much of the time, i can't wait to share it with others!

  29. I'm happy and a little bit jealous that you have a garden. We will have one next year.

    The lottery/school thing is kinda like Anheiser (sp) Busch owning Sea World, Busch Gardens, and whatever amusement parks they own. We go every year. I Guess that means we support beer companies. You know my opinion about homeschooling all of my kids. I don't care what the bishop suggests.

  30. This is been super entertaining to read (battle of the preggers! Holla!)

    Should I break out my famous peace cookies now or wait until Crystal and Sylwia start arm wrestling? ;-)


Be nice or I'll punch you in the taco.