Wednesday WOW: CHEAP Teacher’s Appreciation Day Ideas

Teacher’s Appreciation Day is coming up! If you’re like me, you end up waiting until the last minute before you have something to present.   your child has a cool gift to share. I tend to look for gifts that are original, reflects my child, useful  and of course cost effective. As a holistic mom coach, it also has to promote wellness! That’s all!

In our home, we have one in college, two in charter schools, two in homeschooling circles and 2 just enjoying the adventures in everything their older sibling do. so for us,  me, this is a fun, creative time.

cute teacher gift

I must say that we are a “Work For Gift” family. I tell my children all of the time that “I do NOT reward back behavior.” I carry that rule onto teachers gifts. I allow the children to reward the teachers they feel has helped them the most. That way I will be sacrificing my money on those that have really contributed in making a difference in my children’s life. Sometimes it’s every single one and other times it’s just 2 or 3.

Consider it an investment in your child! Dr Shropshire and Cassie Sweetz

YES, Charter, tutor, and home-school circle teachers count too! For us, this is as special a holiday as Mother’s, Fathers, Grandparents Day. On average, teachers spend up-to 8 hours a day with our child. They are indeed part of your child’s well being team! Showing gratitude to them is a way of saying thank you for all that you do. Once in a while, everyone needs to hear that!vegan gift cookiesThose cookies above can be purchased from the teen vegan baker, Cassie’s Sweetz! Another great idea is gift cards! If you have a service like The Big Sister, you can offer a free night of childcare for your teacher , who would really enjoy a night out way from the children. My last idea is

The cutest DIY  gift bag EVER for the little ones. My two youngest guys will be participating in a “Mommie and Me” craft workshop. We will pay just $5/child and created a simple, cute, gift, functional gift for me.

crayons gifts
Check these out!

Buzzfeed

The coolest printable gift tags for teachers

More awesome tags!

More tags, tags

Need a GREAT tutor? i know a Marvelous one one!! Click here—> Charlotte Tutor Gift for tea lovers

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Baltimore is ON Fire for Freddie Gray!

What we know about the Freddie Gray case:
Freddie Gray, 25, died on April 19 — a week after he was injured while being arrested by Baltimore police. Video of the arrest surfaced, protests have broken out and an investigation into his death is under way.

What we know:

* Gray was apprehended April 12 after a foot chase, transported in a van that stopped at least once, and was transported to Shock Trauma from the Western District station. [Full timeline]

* A family attorney says Gray’s spine was “80 percent severed.”

* Gray died April 19, a week after his arrest.

* Gray repeatedly asked for medical care while in transit. Police said he was carrying a knife and was “arrested without force or incident.”

* Gray’s injury suggests there was “forceful trauma,” according to a medical expert.

* Gray was known to police, and was recognized in his neighborhood as a well-liked jokester.

* Police have identified the officers involved.

* The U.S. Department of Justice is opening an investigation into Gray’s death.

* Five of six of the officers involved in the arrest have provided statements to Baltimore police.

* Gray’s funeral and burial is set for Monday morning.

* In an April 24 news conference, Baltimore Police acknowledged that officers made mistakes during Gray’s arrest.

* Police say the investigation into Gray’s death will continue even after their findings are delivered to state prosecutors by May 1.

What we don’t know:

* Were police justified in chasing and arresting Gray?

* Was force used by police in the arrest?

* What happened on the ride in the van?

* How was Gray’s spine injured?

* How will the investigations unfold?

Live blog: Updates on the unrest throughout Baltimore
BREAKING NEWS
Live blog: Updates on the unrest throughout Baltimore
Riots erupt across West Baltimore, downtown
BALTIMORE CITY
Riots erupt across West Baltimore, downtown
SCOTT DANCE
Demonstrators set vehicles on fire, loot stores

Friends, family bid farewell to Freddie Gray
BALTIMORE CITY
Friends, family bid farewell to Freddie Gray
JEAN MARBELLA AND JONATHAN PITTS
In a funeral service Monday that was both personal and political, family, friends and strangers alike said farewell on Monday to Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man whose death from injuries sustained in police custody has sparked a national furor.

Al Sharpton to visit city, plan march to Washington over Gray’s death
BALTIMORE CITY
Al Sharpton to visit city, plan march to Washington over Gray’s death
YVONNE WENGER
The Rev. Al Sharpton said Monday he plans to visit Baltimore this week to help push police for answers in the death of Freddie Gray.

At funeral home, a call for peace and remembrance for Freddie Gray
BALTIMORE CITY
At funeral home, a call for peace and remembrance for Freddie Gray
JULIE SCHARPER
Family, friends and hundreds of strangers streamed into the small wooden chapel for five hours, walking, one by one, to the gleaming white casket.

Obama sending aides to Freddie Gray funeral in Baltimore
BALTIMORE CITY
Obama sending aides to Freddie Gray funeral in Baltimore
JOHN FRITZE
President Barack Obama will send three aides to represent his administration at the funeral services for Freddie Gray, the White House said Sunday.

After the protests, calm sought for Freddie Gray’s burial
BALTIMORE CITY
After the protests, calm sought for Freddie Gray’s burial
JEAN MARBELLA AND COLIN CAMPBELL
As Freddie Gray’s family prepared to bury him on Monday, officials reiterated their calls for calm after a massive demonstration on Saturday left some businesses and cars vandalized, 35 people arrested and a city on edge over the 25-year-old’s death from injuries sustained in police custody.

Pro-police group rallies in Annapolis
ANNAPOLIS
Pro-police group rallies in Annapolis
COLIN CAMPBELL
A day after six police officers in Baltimore were injured when mostly peaceful protests over the death of Freddie Gray turned violent, police supporters held a rally sunday in Annapolis that was planned months ago.

Batts email praises police for being ‘scary good’ at protests
MARYLAND
Batts email praises police for being ‘scary good’ at protests
KEVIN RECTOR
In an internal email to police officers, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts praised his department’s response to protests in the city on Saturday as “scary good.”

Baltimore police arrest 35, 6 officers injured in protest
BALTIMORE CITY
Baltimore police arrest 35, 6 officers injured in protest
YVONNE WENGER AND COLIN CAMPBELL
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and a coalition of two dozen interdenominational leaders issued a “call for peace” Sunday after 35 people were arrested and six police officers were injured in protests over the death of Freddie Gray.

My POTUS and I, in the QC

President Barack Obama visits ImaginOn for a a town hall-style discussion on the Paycheck Fairness Act, his proposal to increase the federal child tax credit and to expand the earned income tax credit.

Obama and qc supermom

There were only 150-200 tickets given out INCLUDING the media,bloggers, politicians, community leaders,Mom groups and Johnson and Wales Women’s Basket-Ball Team. Doors opened at 1 pm, the president got there at 2:30 pm. My seat was about 7 ft from the President Of The United States. I could see the perfect trim lines on his edges. There were just 4 questions asked and everything was over by 3:55 pm. I was able to make it back in time to pick up my daughters from Charter School. What a perfect day! obamaTownHallMeeting

A lady on my right was selected to ask her question as well as a lady on my left.

DSCF9045 I’m just gonna drop a few of the pictures here and walk away!  MomsRising with POTUSJohnsonandwales Wildcats See more here—-> POTUS PASS My question would have been as follows: Today we are talking about healthcare, equal pay and in essence getting our voices heard. Right now I am a practicing doula of 9. In 2005 I lost a 11yr old daughter to AIH. She did not get a liver in time.  She was treated a major medical center and took her last breath with both grandmas, both parents, and newly made hospital friends. We fought foe her. I knew that there were less abrasive options for her wellness available.  These options were less expensive, more gentle on her young body at one point, they were all we had as a civilization. But I was fought on every turn to explore these options. This would have been the cases for my infant son years later. He was diagnosed with a disease called Kawasaki disease.  The remedy was steroids and a blood transfusion. THIS time, we From that experience, I decided that more moms needed a voice, guidance and options. But here we are. In NC we aren’t considered a part of the medical staff and our pay isn’t covered with most mainstream insurance. I want equal pay too. How can I get it?

If you had a opportunity to ask the president anything, what would you ask?  NOTE: I can’t guarantee he’ll answered them, but you never know know. Who knew that this girl would be sitting that close to our POTUS ??? Leave it below, I’m listening.momsrising in CharlotteDYK:  Charlotte economy has healed considerably over the course of the nearly six-year recovery. The region added about 41,000 jobs last year, one of the strongest gains the area has ever seen, said Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo in Charlotte. 

Oh Snap, Take That Back!

So last week I was talking about the new measures congress is pondering for EBT /SNAP families.They want to cut, ban, food items from the SNAP/ EBT budget.snapp

 Billions of dollars in proposed cuts to SNAP in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate budgets despite the fact that one in five kids in the U.S. rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) for their meals each day. Ridiculously, some in Congress are still pushing those cuts.-Elyssa, MomsRising.org

Today, I will play devils advocate. The argument is about high end items, junk food, and cleaning up food fraud. While I do think some items could be re-categorized….nothing should be cut. sna Last week, I gave my friend  a ride to the market to pick up some items. While she shopped, I sat on a bench near the market’s doors and wait for her. A few minutes later I saw a young girl (who couldn’t have been older than 4 or 5) pushing a shopping cart  filled with junk food, soda, microwave pizza, and those big containers of ice cream. And I mean filled. So naturally, this little girl was struggling. The cart was wobbling all over the place and she was using a great deal of strength just to push the thing forward. shit foodThat urked me. I am sad for the children that has to eat that stuff. I’ve seen a child’s face as she has tasted her first pineapple or homemade lasagna.  They WILL eat real food. But again, I can’t tell parents how to feed their family, so I put my hands on my cart and keep it moving. Sure, I’ll look back every once in a while, but I keep moving.  Don’t act like you haven’t done it before. Now check out this gift basket?  A friend shared this on my SHIT EBTsocial media page.What a cruel joke! This type of basket will have your child diagnosed with diabetes in 3 days flat!  There is no real food in here. Re categorize it. Since sugar is a drug… much like alcohol. In closing maybe fake food should be considered fraud and the corrective action should be to teach shoppers how to select better quality, budget shop, and properly store food and why? Just My Opinion. Moms and dads need to speak up and tell Congress “hands off of SNAP!   What FNS is doing about Fraud

States want drug tests for welfare recipients.

(last post on this topic will be this Wednesday) Be Well, QC Supermom

Wednesday Wow: Ooh SNAP! YOU can’t buy That!

Once, she was standing in a supermarket checkout line when her sister whispered disparaging comments about a woman in front of them who was using food stamps to buy junk food.

“When I told her I was on food stamps, she told me that I was different. I wasn’t somehow like ‘those people,” ‘ Burbank says. “She couldn’t’ stand the reality that I really wasn’t that different. It’s too painful for people to admit that their life can be like that.”

 I can relate to that!

food

 

If I want to purchase any of those items for a birthday party, holiday, gift, potluck themed’ Mom’s Night Out for myself and a few friends, I think I should have the right to do just that, if I carried the SNAP card. I’ve been hearing in the news that a few changes maybe coming to your EBT/SNAP card.

Here’s the plan. —-> Click HERE <—

But who uses them…. you know the Food Stamps?

Who uses food stamps

The most recent data indicates about 15.7 million American households are on food stamps, with enrollment varying greatly from state to state.

The number of participants for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, climbed steadily beginning with the arrival of the Great Recession.

As a share of all households, Oregon (19.8 percent), Mississippi (19.4 percent) and Maine (18 percent) had the highest SNAP participation rates in 2013, according to Census estimates. Wyoming (5.9 percent) recorded the lowest SNAP participation rate of any state.

SNAP participation rates differ greatly by state, partially due to to differences in eligibility requirements and how states administer SNAP. Nationwide, the Census Bureau estimates that 13.5 percent of all households received SNAP benefits at some point in 2013.OOOh SNAP!

Per: The FNS site

Eligible Food Items

 Households CAN use SNAP benefits to buy:
  • Foods for the household to eat, such as:
  • breads and cereals;
  • fruits and vegetables;
  • meats, fish and poultry; and
  • dairy products.
  • Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat.

In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.

Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
  • Any nonfood items, such as:
  • pet foods
  • soaps, paper products
  • household supplies
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Food that will be eaten in the store
  • Hot foods

She’s out there, lurking in the 2012 presidential race like a horror movie villain who refuses to die.

She has 12 Social Security cards, mooches on benefits from four fake dead husbands, and collects food stamps while driving a Cadillac. She rakes in about $150,000 a year in welfare benefits and, of course, people assume she must be African-American.- John Blake, CNN

“Junk Food” & Luxury Items

The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) defines eligible food as any food or food product for home consumption and also includes seeds and plants which produce food for consumption by SNAP households. The Act precludes the following items from being purchased with SNAP benefits:  alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, hot food and any food sold for on-premises consumption. Nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, medicines and vitamins, household supplies, grooming items, and cosmetics, also are ineligible for purchase with SNAP benefits.

  • Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible items
  • Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes are also food items and are therefore eligible items

Since the current definition of food is a specific part of the Act, any change to this definition would require action by a member of Congress. Several times in the history of SNAP, Congress had considered placing limits on the types of food that could be purchased with program benefits. However, they concluded that designating foods as luxury or non-nutritious would be administratively costly and burdensome. Further detailed information about the challenges of restricting the use of SNAP benefits can be found here:

Energy Drinks

When considering the eligibility of energy drinks, and other branded products, the primary determinant is the type of product label chosen by the manufacturer to conform to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines:

  • Energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label are eligible foods
  • Energy drinks that have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements, and are therefore not eligible

Live Animals

Generally live animals and birds are not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits. Live fish such as lobsters and other shellfish may be purchased with SNAP benefits.

Pumpkins, Holiday Gift Baskets, and Special Occasion Cakes

Pumpkins are edible and eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits. However, inedible gourds and pumpkins that are used solely for ornamental purposes are not eligible items.

Gift baskets that contain both food and non-food items, are not eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits if the value of the non-food items exceeds 50 percent of the purchase price.

Items such as birthday and other special occasion cakes are eligible for purchase with SNAP benefits as long as the value of non-edible decorations does not exceed 50 percent of the purchase price of the cake.

What I have noticed is many of the ones complaining about the usage of SNAP and EBT are those that are not getting them, those that actually want one, and those that are severely selfish. How can you  _ well, I’ll talk more on that topic Monday. In the mean time, swing back here on Friday, as I share 4  smart ways to make your food dollars stretch!

Now go out and enjoy your day!!!!

QC Supermomsna

 

 

I am getting MOST of my facts from here:

Who Gets Food Stamps?

SNAP Benefits

2013 Demographics 

Non-Eligible Food Items

Eligible Food Items

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)