Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Sad Truth

Did you know that a baby is born into poverty in America every 35 seconds? Did you know that almost 13 million — one out of every six — children in America live in poverty? Test your knowledge about child poverty in America

Vocabulary Lessons

Yesterday morning, approximately 7 AM

B: stomp, stomp, huff, snort - I do Not want to go to school today
Me: Why not?
B: I do not want to go because school is boring!
Me: Really? (a mix of disbelief at both the allegation and his use of this word that to my knowledge has never been uttered in our home)
B: SCHOOL IS BORING, and I don't like it (loud voice)
Me: What is boring about school?
B: Pause, deep thought
Me: B, what does the word boring mean?
B: Very loud sigh, stomp, look of defeat, gets dressed as he realizes he is so busted because he has no idea what boring means but it seemed like it might get him out of going to school when he initiated the conversation.

This morning, same time

B: I don't want to go to school. It makes me nervous.
Me: What does nervous mean?
B: On the verge of tears (the angry kind) - lots more stomping and a loud I DON"T KNOW BUT IT MAKES ME NERVOUS!!!
Me: trying not to laugh at his frustration, sorry Buddy, let's eat breakfast, it's almost time to go to school...

I should clarify that B has never had a problem about going to school and still does not. He loves school. C, on the other hand, has legitimate anxiety about it. The last few days, C has been very distraught about going to school and we are trying very hard to figure out why while comforting and assuring him that we still love him when he is not with us, that Miss Laura (his teacher) loves him too and that his little brain needs good stuff in it to grow just like his body needs food. His teacher assures us that he is fine all day and I have witnessed this myself as I observed in the classroom last week. The psych 101 of this situation is better saved for another post. Just wanted to point out that we are not disregarding any legitimate issues on B's part...he is simply trying to get in on the action and experimenting with new vocabulary - leading to a lot of internal laughter (and eye rolling) on my end.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ordinary Miracle

I am so moved by this song right now. Opening my heart to the ordinary miracles everyday. We are so very blessed...

B, C, H - Red Top Mountain 4/24/08 - 4 years old

Monday, April 28, 2008

Growing Like Weeds

October 2006 (C, H, B)
April 2008 (H, B, C)

It is so important not to let ourselves off the hook or to become apathetic or cynical by telling ourselves that nothing works or makes a difference. Every day, light your small candle.... The inaction and actions of many human beings over a long time contributed to the crises our children face, and it is the action and struggle of many human beings over time that will solve them—with God's help. So every day, light your small candle.

- Marian Wright Edelman
Guide My Feet

You Think You Got Game? BRING IT!!!

Thanks to the 2 participants on the blog, and several in my multiples group...we have a name winner for the above photo. It was submitted to Kodak for "Picture of the Day" - if chosen it would be on a screen in Times Square. No word yet...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Perhaps everything terrible is, in it's deepest being, something that needs our love.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Did You Know...

  • Worldwide, 1 child dies every 3 seconds due to malnutrition and mostly preventable diseases. One billion children, almost every other child in the world, live in poverty. (source: UNICEF)
  • Fourteen million children worldwide have lost one or both parents to AIDS. (source: UNICEF)
  • Ninety percent of war casualties are civilians — almost half of these victims are children. (source: UNICEF)
  • Everyday in the U.S., more than $1 billion is spent on the military while 1,700 babies are born without health insurance and 2,500 babies are born into poverty. (source: Children’s Defense Fund)
  • Fifty-seven percent of the U.S. 2006 discretionary budget goes to military spending — everything but Medicare, Social Security and a few other small-ticket items (source: U.S. Office of Management & Budget.)
  • The U.S. military budget plus additional funds allocated for the “war on terror” is as big as the defense budgets of all other countries combined. (source: Institute for Policy Studies)
  • In 2006, U.S. taxpayers spent $535 billion on national defense and $19 billion on international development. (source: U.S. Government, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)
  • Seventy-eight percent of Americans favor helping poor countries develop their economies as a way to fight terrorism. (source: Center for Global Development, 2004)
  • World leaders have committed themselves to a set of eight targets called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which if adequately funded, will halve extreme poverty worldwide by 2015. (source: U.N. Millennium Project)
  • More than 60% of Americans believe that contributing 0.7% of the GNP to meet the MDGs is the right thing to do. 0.7 refers to the repeated commitment of the world's governments to commit 0.7% of rich-countries' gross national product (GNP) to Official Development Assistance. (source: U.N. Millennium Project)
  • On average, humans use around 20% more resources than the Earth can replenish. Americans use 500% of their share, Italians 200% of their share and Mozambicans use around 40% of their share. (source: Global Footprint Network)
  • Women spend 83% of the money in the U.S. We can use this economic power to create enormous change. Inspire women to flex some economic strength on behalf of children! (source: Time Magazine)
  • The percentage of female representatives in national legislatures is: Rwanda: 48.8, Islamic Republic of Pakistan: 21.6, US: 15

Our tax dollars at work: The 2008 US budget request for military spending, now referred to as “security” spending is projected to be $699 billion – bigger than all other military budgets combined. This represents a 61% increase since 2001. For a number of years, experts have confirmed that 15% of the budget could be shifted to programs that nurture & protect the lives of children without weakening the strength of the US military. SHIFT HAPPENS!!!! Mothers*, it’s our job to decide how we want to spend our tax dollars, because business-as-usual just got an urgent memo from its mother saying her children will no longer be ignored. Learn more at Mother's Acting Up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Farm Bill - Action Needed Today

Please call your representative and senators by noon Eastern time Friday, April 25, at 1-800-826-3688. Tell them we must pass a new farm bill now, and must not lose the nutrition increases and food aid changes already passed. At a time of sharply rising food prices, these increases are especially critical. Modest commodity reform could pay for these increases without resorting to tax increases or other cuts.

Background information and talking points are available here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

World Hunger Crisis

It's being called the "Silent Tsunami." In three years, prices for the basic staples that feed the world—wheat, rice and corn—have risen by a staggering 83% and this week, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said that if left unchecked, global food shortages could set the world back seven years in the fight against extreme poverty and global disease. For people in the developing world, affording enough food to eat is becoming a daily struggle for survival. Without action to stop the upward spiral of food prices, 100 million people around the world will face deeper poverty and hunger, and hundreds of thousands will confront famine and starvation. Help the ONE campaign reach a new goal of 100,000 ONE members urging President Bush to rally the G8 to take emergency action against hunger and to invest in agricultural productivity in the developing world. Click on the the image...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Healthy Child Campaign

By the end of today, one million children will have been born without health coverage since the start of the 110th Congress — a Congress in which the House of Representatives was convened on January 4, 2007 with these words, "For all of America's children, the House will be in order." Unfortunately, Congress has not yet succeeded at being "for all America’s children." Despite attempts last year to expand health coverage for children, Congress was unable to override vetoes by President Bush and today 9.4 million children in America are living without health coverage.

Every 41 seconds, a child is born uninsured. To emphasize the stark reality of this crisis, I have added a "counter" to my blog that has been counting the number of uninsured children born since the start of the 110th Congress. Later today… that counter will hit one million.

In honor of those one million children and the millions of other children suffering in America without health coverage, I ask you to step up, take action and help solve this crisis. Tell Congress there is still time to truly make this a Congress for all of America's children by supporting legislation to ensure health coverage for every child and pregnant woman.

During this busy election year, send a clear and overpowering message to our Members of Congress today to make children's health coverage a priority. Children cannot wait.

Please take a moment and send an email to your Members of Congress today then ask your friends to do the same.

You can also help spread the word by adding a Healthy Child counter to your own website, blog, or social network profile!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Random Photos

A few recent pictures I finally uploaded from the memory card...

Not Really A Contest...

I have no "prize" to offer the winner. But, if you're feeling witty - I'm looking for a name for this photo taken a few days ago. All six of these kiddos (2 sets of triplets) are 4 years old. So help me out here and name this picture...(leave a comment and I will post the "winning name" later this week).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Random (Like My Life)

Okay, I may be the worst blogger on the web in terms of regular posting, writing anything interesting, analyzing what I've written (on the rare occasion I do), offering wisdom, insight, humor - anything of value (legitimate or entertainment) to any reader (if there are any) who happens upon this site. The world wide web is full of blogs that can offer all of the above and more and there is an ever growing list of links on this site for you to choose from.

Incidentally, though you would never guess it from this blog, I am a decent writer. And I am pretty analytical by average standards. I am also very guarded and tend to withdraw into my own thoughts and feelings when pondering something of great significance (if not to the world at large, at least to myself and my family). So I tend to stick to the factual information, the advocacy I believe in (via links to other sites - rarely of my own analysis), pictures of my boys (who I believe to be some of the cutest kids alive so who wouldn't want to see more of them), and random posts where I say I am going to post more often, more substantially - and then never do.

Also, my head is so full of the things necessary to our daily existence that it "hurts my brain" to think too much beyond the obvious - at least in terms of being able to articulate it somewhere (here). I'm full of random thoughts, ideas, feelings about things that are so incohesive they sometimes do not even make sense to me so trying to make sense of it in a user friendly, readable format seems like a lot of work that I am not overly inclined to take on. Not to mention the constant interruption (happening even now) that diverts my attention from the task at hand - and it is increasingly more difficult to find my way back to whatever I was trying to do before the interruption. I'm not sure if this is due to aging, laziness or triplet induced insanity but my ability to focus for long periods of time is waning and if interrupted cannot easily be attained again. So I have a blog full of half finished (or barely started) drafts of things that I meant to document, to discuss, to report on that I have never gotten around to completing. And probably never will ...

Seriously, I meant to pull this all together - to possibly post a complete thought - or even - sit down f0r this- several thoughts pulled together with great insight and may roll your eyes excessively now :) But there is a little boy - a very cute one - who is insistent about sitting on my lap. Who very much wants my undivided attention and while I do feel some frustration at yet another interruption, I recognize that he will be little for a very short time. And he will not want (or fit in) my lap much longer. So I am off to snuggle an adorable 4 year old who cannot wait, nor should he. And so the blog will wait again. Maybe a day, maybe a week, a month - who knows. Life is happening all around me and I am logging off now to be a part of it.

Have a great day - or week or month....I'll check in later (likely, much later :).

H - my currently needy for his Mama little snuggler - how can I say no to this?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ONE is launching a petition campaign to tell our senators that we want them to support record increases in funding to treat and prevent the spread of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
Please sign ONE's petition and ask your senators to join us in the fight against these deadly, but treatable diseases.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Enjoy a Good Meal for a Good Cause

On April 23rd, nearly 200 restaurants in the Atlanta Metro area will participate in Dining Out for Life donating a minimum of 20% of food and beverage sales to Project Open Hand.

Open Hand is one of the largest producers and distributors of home-delivered meals in the United States. Each and every day, the organization -- with the help of over 125 volunteers -- prepares and delivers more than 4,500 freshly cooked, nutritious meals to people in metro-Atlanta whose health complications have impaired their ability to prepare meals for themselves. Clients include homebound seniors, dependent children and persons with chronic, critical and terminal illnesses - 93% of whom live below the federal poverty level. With only 30% of Open Hand's annual budget coming from corporate and government sources, the organization relies on contributions from individuals in order to continue to serve the community. Dining Out for Life -- their largest annual fundraising event -- plays a vital role in helping bridge that funding gap.

Make a point dine out on April 23rd in support of Open Hand!


This is a photo I took on Easter that was re-touched by my friend Theresa at Cherry Berry Studio. She is a gifted photographer and mother to twins plus one. Her work is more than photography, it is art. She has captured the true beauty of my children since they were a year old. I highly recommend checking her out (and some more pics of my boys in the gallery) at Cherry Berry Studio.