My grandniece, Raelynn Masterson is very smart, but she, like so many other people, is also timid and shy. Once she gets to know people, she does great, but it takes a little while to get comfortable with people. In the past, she wasn’t aways confident in her abilities, or in herself, but she is working on that. For one thing, Raelynn was never really good at cooking, but these days she is not only spending time in the kitchen with her mom, Dustie Masterson, learning to cook, but she is learning about nutrition, and how to better take care of her own body and health, which of course includes exercise and fresh air too.
Raelynn has also been stepping outside of her comfort zone to make so new friends and hang out with them. The social aspect of things hasn’t always been easy for her, and like many people, when Covid hit, being on lockdown made the social interactions hard, and many people just started leading online lives. Stepping back out, or stepping out for the first time, is not easy, and I’m very proud of Raelynn for pushing herself to be more of a joiner.
Raelynn likes to write stories and develop characters for her stories. The friends she has made have similar interests, and they like to bounce ideas off of each other concerning their stories and characters. Sometimes it’s a big help to brainstorm together about what you want to do with a story or character. Also, every character needs a backstory. They need to have come from somewhere, and that isn’t always easy to develop or to make interesting. Raelynn is also into art and uses her drawings to illustrate her stories. Raelynn says that using her drawings in her stories “makes it easier for me to visualize that character and what they would do so I draw them at least once and then maybe later in a scene I wrote them in.” She doesn’t necessarily think she is very good, but I think that she is doing very well, and as with any skill, practice makes perfect. She knows that too. She is ok with the progress she has made. She obviously hasn’t seen anything I can draw, or she would really understand that she is leaps and bounds ahead of my skill level.
Raelynn may have held herself back in her earlier years, with shyness and a lack of confidence, but she is breaking out of that shell now, and like with any caterpillar, we are seeing the beautiful butterfly emerging. Raelynn has always been a beautiful girl, whether she knew it or now, but as she becomes more and more social, more people are able to see what we all saw…just how beautiful she is, inside and out. Today is Raelynn’s 19th birthday. Happy birthday Raelynn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
These days, most of us don’t give too much thought to the reasons for school lunches, but during the Great Depression, children might have gone to school with some potato skins, a piece of bread, or even nothing at all, if their parents didn’t have enough money to get them something. Enter the school lunch program. It’s been around for so long that these days it is just part of everyday school life. The reasons aren’t what you might think. Many people think that the Great Depression had something to do with the set up of the National School Lunch Program, but that would be wrong. The National School Lunch Program started in 1946, and it was actually due to World War II.
As many people know, World War II was the second deadliest war in United States history. The loss of 405,399 American lives was second only to the Civil War, in which 618,222 American lives were lost. When a nation loses so many young men to war, there can be a concern about the future and particularly about future wars. The United States government decided to address that future deficit by giving the nation’s children free meals. The theory was that if the children were given meals with proper nutrition, there would be a healthier draft pool in the event it was ever necessary to have a draft again. That is a good idea in theory, and I’m sure that with nutritious meals they would be healthier, but it is strange to use that as a way to build an army. In a way it seems manipulative.
Why do governments always seem to have an ulterior motive…about everything they do? I suppose it’s possible for them to honestly want to help people, but when you hear things like feeding the hungry, so they will make a good army, it tends to be a really big inspiration downer. The idea that had taken shape in the first place, becomes polluted by the manipulation of the government, and suddenly it just doesn’t seem so nice. Over the years, military leaders have stood up to make sure America’s youth had proper nutrition for a healthy start in life. The military discovered that at least 40% of rejected recruits were turned away for reasons related to poor nutrition. With that, I can understand that the government wanted to help. After the war ended, the military’s Selective Service Director, General Lewis Hershey, gave a speech that helped win passage of the National School Lunch Program in 1946.
Now, Seventy years later, the program is still a very important part of the healthy eating habits of a great number of children. School nutrition remains a national security concern. Many children consume up to half of their daily calories at school. That said, it stands to reason that healthier school nutrition will be a driving force for lowering obesity, which is the leading medical reason why more than 70 percent of the nation’s young adults cannot qualify for military service. I am not opposed to making children’s lives better, but I just don’t like the manipulation that was involved.
My niece, Lindsay Moore is a private consultant for South Dakota State University, Michigan State University, University of Missouri, Purdue University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Ohio State University, serving as their Project Coordinator for all states. She basically manages their project and research activities and personnel, focusing mainly on South Dakota, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Minnesota, and Michigan. She was originally employed at South Dakota State University, but when her husband, Shannon took a new job at Miami International University in Miami, Florida, it looked like Lindsay was going to have to find a new job, but her boss, Suzanne hated to lose such a valuable employee, so she went to work to find a way for Lindsay to work as a private consultant. The job took off and expanded to include several other universities, and it have been quite successful for all concerned, and it worked out especially well when Lindsay’s husband took a new job at Special Teams Coordinator and Tight Ends coach at East Carolina University, bringing a move to Greenville, North Carolina. It is really nice that Lindsay doesn’t have to look for a new job every time her husband takes a better job, which is very common for football coaches.
Part of Lindsay’s job includes speaking at conferences in different location in the United States and even in Canada. She has made trips, with her boss, Suzanne, to Victoria, Canada; Washington DC; and her latest trip was to California, where Lindsay spoke at a conference about food availability for under privileged communities and helping make healthy food available for those who are unable to get it. They use a power point presentation and present the way their six states are helping people get healthy food instead of just commodities, and they do studies with communities for ways to help people get and stay active. Lindsay is an avid nutritionist and exercise expert focusing on how the body moves. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and Health Promotion, and then her Masters degree in Nutrition, Exercise, and Food Science, making her the perfect person to head up the projects concerning food availability, good nutrition, and exercise.
Lindsay really enjoys working from home. It provides her with the freedom to travel with her husband on his scouting trips, take vacations during the summer while he is off work, and go to see her family in Casper, Wyoming several times a year, and when she and Shannon begin having a family, they won’t even need a babysitter. It’s a pretty sweet deal, and a far cry from her original plan of becoming…a firefighter!! Today is Lindsay’s birthday. Happy birthday Lindsay!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grand niece, Siara took the first semester off, from her studies at college, to work two jobs and save up her money for the second semester. Now she will be heading back to school in January to continue her studies I the area of nutrition. This might be a tough semester, because she has to take a lot of math and chemistry…not her favorite subjects, but necessary for the work Siara wants to do when she finishes college. It never really occurred to me that a degree in the area of nutrition would require those subjects, but I guess I am still thinking along the lines of the food groups and things like that. Today’s nutritionists know much more than that, and so she will be studying math and chemistry. This was a bit of a surprise to me because I never thought of Siara as the math and chemistry type, so I guess she fooled me there.
Nutrition is a big field, with a lot of more specific specialties that graduates can go into. Siara wants to go specifically into Diabetic Nutrition. Since my mother-in-law is a diabetic, I can attest to the fact that nutritional help in this area is vital. So many diabetics eat foods that are terribly wrong for them. Of course, like most of us, knowing that the food you are eating and changing how you eat, are two very different things. I don’t know exactly what a nutritionist could do about that, but maybe they could help the patient find ways to make the food they need to eat seem less distasteful. I think it would be a noble effort for any nutritionist. Adult Onset Diabetes is one of the few diseases that can often be completely controlled by diet, and yet very few patients actually manage to control it that way. I have to wonder if a nutritional plan that was more interesting would help that patient stick to it. I don’t know what things Siara will be focusing on in her career choice, but I do know that her work will help a lot of people, and to me that is a lofty goal.
Of course, all work and no play would definitely make Siara a dull girl, and we can’t have that, because there is nothing dull about Siara. She has an active social life, with a large group of friends, and one special guy that she has been dating since November. Time will tell us where that will go, but I can say that any guy who has the honor of dating Siara is a blessed man indeed, because she is one of the sweetest and yet goofiest people I know. Today is Siara’s birthday. Happy birthday Siara!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When my niece, Lindsay was born, she was all smiles and lots of personality. She had lots of curly dark hair and was a real beautiful baby. When you know someone from birth, it is sometimes hard to picture them as adults, with careers. You watch then go through grade school, junior high and then high school, but they still seem like kids to you. Then suddenly they have graduated from high school and headed off to college. Those little kids days are gone, but somehow you still can’t think of them as an adult…until college graduation…because somehow that brings the whole point home.
Lindsay began her studies at Casper College, where she achieved an Associates Degree in Fire Science. Then she decided to change her field of study. Having always been interested in nutrition and exercise, she decided to go into something in those fields. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and Health Promotion, and then her Masters degree in Nutrition, Exercise, and Food Science. Her schooling was over and Lindsay would be stepping into a new life, and a new career.
It really hit home for me, that Lindsay was all grown up, when she was hired at South Dakota State University. Oh yes, she has had jobs before, but not a career, and there is a difference. Lindsay is a Community Food Policy Field Specialist. If you are like me, you probably have no idea what that is. According to the South Dakota State University website, “Her major focus is to bring policy-informing research together with outreach and engagement activities to further foster community food policy councils as an important factor in healthy communities and families. Support program development that aims to enhance food security.” My sister, Allyn, who is Lindsay’s mom, says “Lindsay is in charge of starting a food policy council in 5 states, to help get healthy foods into food banks and other such places. She works with farmers and ranchers to bring good, healthy food to food banks and to get support policies in place to mandate it.”
Somehow that seems like such a big job for the little girl my niece is in my head. Of course, I know that she is well trained for it and she will do very well at it. South Dakota State University is very blessed to have her. Today is Lindsay’s birthday. Happy birthday Lindsay!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!