Open Enrollment

Medically insurance speaking, it’s Open Enrollment in this house.  When did things get so complicated?  Ah, yes, I remember now.  They got complicated when I stopped being single and started having more than 1 plan to choose from.

They got more complicated when we had kids and moved up into “Family” plans instead of “Employee” or “Employee + 1″.

They got more and more complicated when we had a baby last year and a head surgery — that will make you take “Max Out Of Pocket” really seriously!

Seriously, I had to end up creating the spreadsheet-to-last-through-the-ages to help us determine what our best options were.  Jeff’s HDHP?  My HDHP?  Cover Jeff as an individual, then do a family plan with my employer?  Cover me as an individual, then do a family plan with Jeff’s employer?  What if Jeff & I each took a kid onto our plan(s)?

AND…What are the results if we have practically no medical expenses next year?  What if we have another baby AND another head surgery?  What if every member of the family ends up visiting the ER 20 times?  What if?  What if?  What if?

The answer is different if we expect no medical expenses (which we don’t) compared to expecting every person to need a $50,000 surgery (we don’t expect that either).  So, I created a spreadsheet with all our options, all the possible coverage permutations and it allowed for inputs like expected medical expenses.

But, man, this used to be easier!  (Not complaining because we are truly blessed to have the medical insurance options that we do have in a place with excellent medical care and that we generally have good health.)

I Want To Remember

I made a list this summer of some of the things that I want to remember.  Time to add to that list!

The boys aren’t significantly older than they were then, but we’re always adding to the list of things that I hope I can hold onto in my mind.  Lately:

  • When Phinehas wakes up earlier than Stephen, he asks to make Peanut Butter toast.  We then sit outside on our back deck and look at the stars.  Our house backs up to a trail and a wooded area and it is DARK outside and you can see the stars perfectly.  We don’t stay long — either a toddler’s attention is hard to hold, it gets too cold or we hear Stephen wake up.
  • We look for the turkeys every day and we see them most days.  I think they sleep in a tree right behind our house.
  • Stephen usually always has something in his hands.  It started with a plastic toy magnifying glass, but lately, it doesn’t matter — a spatula is often a favorite thing to hold.
  • Both boys love to be naked after their bath and to “run” down the hall.  When there are no more babies at our house, I’m gonna miss the sound of giggles and the sight of little baby butts running down the hall.
  • We’re using up our last days of being a family without a mini-van.  We just bought one last night and we’ll have it on Saturday.  For 2.5 years now, the boys & I have done quite well in my little Corolla, but I’m looking forward to a car that Finn can get in and out of by himself (obviously, he’ll still need help with his carseat.)
  • How every once in a while, Finn wants to be rocked before he falls asleep.  “Mama, Rocky You”.  He really means “Mama, Rock Me”.
  • Phinehas’ language has just skyrocketed in the last few months.  Out of nowhere, complete sentences are there.  Common ones: “I do all by myself” and “Mama, stop doing that.”
  • I’m struck at how much they look alike.  Will this continue?  So intriguing!  Here are pictures of both boys at the same ages:

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A few months ago, I read a fictional story based upon the biblical story of Ruth.  It takes the facts that the Bible gives us and makes up what we don’t know — things that might have happened, but we have no way of knowing.  The book is “In the Field of Grace” by Tessa Afshar and it was very well done.

One of the quotes from the book that really, really, really stood out to be was said by Boaz to Ruth about one of the things that he noticed about her.

“You chose to be an outsider for the sake of a hurting widow. You accepted loneliness so that she could have companionship. You did all this because you refused to abandon Naomi.”

I loved that observation: she took on loneliness so that someone else could have companionship.  What a beautiful way to say that she was a servant to someone.  When put that way, she is Christ-like, who took on loneliness so that He could be with us.  He gave up His intimate, hard-to-fathom, unique fellowship that He had with the Father and the Holy Spirit to come to a strange-to-Him place in a strange-to-Him body so that we might have Him – for a little while, but also forever, in eternity.

Ruth refused to abandon Naomi.

Christ refused to abandon us.

Ruth accepted the loneliness of a new culture and people group.

Christ accepted the loneliness of being a man.

Thank God for the example of Ruth.  And for authors who help make things more real

Grandma Ruth

My Grandma Ruth passed away yesterday, Sunday morning in her sleep.  She was 81 years old and had been married to my grandpa Delbert for 61 years (I believe).  She had 6 children, 15 grandchildren and at least 12 great-grandchildren (with more on the way!).  Her sisters had already passed away before her (all 3 of them were exactly 70 when they passed!) as well as my father, her oldest son.

She was a great grandmother to us.  Especially since my father passed away when I was just about 8.  My mom did a great job at keeping us involved with that side of the family – for holidays, random get togethers.  They were often at our Little League games growing up.  And they still came over for our birthday celebrations or “just because” Sunday afternoon dinners.  They were super supportive when my mom started dating again after my dad died — even encouraging her to remarry her long time boyfriend, Bill.  (My mom did – but 24 years after my father died after dating Bill for 23 years!)

She was great at cards, even though Alzheimers had set in the later years.  She knew how to play!  SkipBo and Phase 10 were favorites of our family.  And she was always up for holding babies – even when they become stronger and wiggly!

She was loved well by so many and we’ll miss her.



11 months old!

This past weekend, Stephen turned 11 months old!  Getting even cuter and more fun to have around.  Every once in a while, I’ll sense someone coming up behind me, only to realize that it’s a really little guy — yup, Stephen is a walker!  It’s strange to see someone so little walking.  (Not that he’s walking super early or anything, just that kids his age are well, small, yet they can fully move!)

His scrapbook page:


A couple of recent pictures:



(See previous posts here and here.)  Life in our powder room is good!  Cause, you know:

  • The walls are all painted.
  • The vanity is all stained.
  • The vanity has been poly-urethaned.  (New word.)
  • The light fixture is back up.

Life in our powder room is NOT good.  Cause, you know:

  • The new vanity top that I bought DOES NOT FIT.

It doesn’t fit.  I measured poorly.  I assumed that the vanity needed a standard 37 inch countertop.  But no…it needs a custom 36.25 inch countertop.  Which is now on order.  I ordered practically the same thing that I had bought off the shelf, I just now got the privilege of paying $80 more for it.  And get the privilege of waiting another 30 days or so until it comes in.  Lucky us.  Til then, no sink in the powder room.

We still would’ve done the project had we’d known that we needed a custom sink; we probably just would’ve waited a couple more months AND we wouldn’t have taken out the old sink until the new one had arrived.  But that’s a life lesson for you.  Measure once.  Measure twice.  Just measure carefully, would ya Jayme?

The Walls-Are-Now-Painted-Gray-And-All-The-Stuff-Had-To-Moved-To-The-Laundry-Room-During-The-Remodel-And-Isn’t-That-Little-Boy-Cute picture:



The Vanity-Is-All-Stained-And-Hardware-Put-On-But-Apparently-I-Need-To-Wipe-Off-The-Smudges-Of-Little-Fingers:


More pictures of the powder room remodel!

Yesterday was kind of an uneventful day.  Another coat of mud and sanding on the walls.  Another coat of stain on the vanity.

Today is also an uneventful day.  More sanding of the walls.  Last coat of stain on the vanity.  BUT…the wall have been mostly primed and are ready for paint.  The biggest event is that I broke a light bulb off inside the light fixture.  I did a good job of it too — some of the actual I-make-light part was in tact.  No big deal — needle nose pliers got them out!

It’s currently 9:07 p.m. and I’m waiting for my sister to come over to get the painting started!  That’s how we do it — put our kids to bed, then stay up and remodel.  That’s mostly why I’m glad my husband is out of town for work these last couple of days (he gets home tomorrow).  Not only does he miss out on the mess, but it really throws off our bedtime.

By the time Jeff gets home tomorrow, the staining of the vanity will be done and so will the painting.  Not yet done will be: the polyurethene coat and I’ll still have 1 more coat of stain to do on the door/drawer fronts.  But it will be ready for him to help me install the sink and the new faucet.  I’m sure he’ll be excited!

Here are some pictures of these uneventful days:



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