Sam’s birthday was 10 days ago. That was a big one. We started the day by attending a huge church in W. Des Moines. He was just curious to visit someplace else because he’s attended the same church all his life. It was definitely different than what we’re used to and all the kids said they were glad we go where we do! Of course, I about had to scrape all their jaws off the floor when a new associate pastor was introduced…and it was a female. Yes, well….
I cleaned out the fridge a couple of weeks ago. Lizzie peered into it afterwards and made the comment, “I feel like we’re poor now!” (because it was no longer over-flowing with Rubbermaid containers of moldy food).
Ben has taken it upon himself to start highlighting verses he likes in his Bible. I don’t know where he got that idea. Paul had a Bible that he highlighted with colored pencils (different colors for different themes) when he was about Ben’s age. Will and David share that Bible now. But I doubt Ben would know anything about it. Maybe I should show it to him.
A few weeks ago David picked up the Littles from school. When they got home, I could tell Ellie had been crying. She immediately launched herself into my arms and started sobbing, “I missed you so much!” The kids said they had been halfway home when Ellie suddenly began crying, saying she missed me. That was a little odd. Well, later that night Ellie shared with me something that had happened at school – she had not been treated fairly, it sounds like and I suddenly realized where the tears came from. It wasn’t, “I miss Mommy” but “I need Mommy.” Somehow, that made me feel good.
The kids started practicing for the school Christmas program a few weeks ago. Sam came home and told me the words to one of their songs: How could a little baby make the angels sing, How could a little baby grow to be a king? I think that’s awesome. Of course, I realize it’s just a nod to the Christian celebration of Christmas. I subbed with second graders one day last week and was in their music class – where they worked on a Christmas rap song for the program! The teacher happened to have all the songs for each grade listed on the white board and I saw that there are plenty of Santa songs, a Kwanzaa song, and Hanukah song, and apparently, one song about baby Jesus. But, you know, it’s public school, so we’ll take w hat we can get! Anyway, Sam said, in reference to the words of the song, “If people would just read their Bibles, then they would know!” Ha, ha, ha…he’s no dummy. Sam also commented – and I thought this was very astute of him – that while the song is about Baby Jesus, nowhere in the song is the name, “Jesus” sung.
A couple whose wedding we attended at church in July recently announced that they are expecting – a honeymoon baby, apparently, because he/she is coming 9 months after the wedding. I told the kids this and Lizzie exclaimed, “But they hardly kissed at all at their wedding!”
I had a stressful couple hours yesterday – on top of everything I else I was doing to prepare for trick or treating and Lizzie’s birthday. I received an email from Ben’s boss wanting to switch his days and hours. That’s fine, but it’s not so simple with Ben. Before I could agree to any changes (while keeping in mind that this store is being very gracious in hiring Ben in the first place) I had to contact the cab company, his special Olympics coach (because their practices are usually in the late aft and his boss is now wanting him to work then), Genesis to switch his dayhab, and all the while remembering that Ben sometimes struggles when dealing with change. I have a couple of loose ends to tie up, but I think that is going to work out. Ben’s actually pretty excited because now he’ll be working on Friday afternoons and Fridays are when Hy Vee has their big sales. So, I was up to my eyeballs in emails and phone calls about that when the news broke that one of the insurance companies in the privatized Iowa Medicaid system is pulling out, effective Nov. 30. It’s Ben’s insurance! This is the company that not only covers his medical and dental care, but all his waiver services. The waiver services include his SCL and respite care, his transportation to and from work, and his dayhab. ARGH!! I will forever be mad at Terry Branstad (former governor) for messing up the Medicaid system in Iowa by allowing the privatization. And, I have yet to hear from Ben’s case manager about this (her salary is also paid by Ben’s insurance). So, I don’t know what is going to happen about this. I kept reminding myself yesterday when tempted to panic, “God’s got this!”
I visited the dentist this week – no cavities. While I was there I visited with the dentist about David’s wisdom teeth. He says David definitely needs to have them out and because David has Medicaid, we’ll have to go to Iowa City to have it done. Ugh. So, I need to put that on my to-do list. It will probably take two visits, a consult and then the surgery. But, since the state of Iowa will be paying for this and I remember shelling out nearly $1000 to have Will’s done (and that was with private insurance) I really can’t complain. The dentist did say that once David turns 19 his office won’t be able to take his insurance anymore because of these regulatory hoops they have to jump through for Medicaid patients over the age of 19. I told him that didn’t matter to me – I will just pay cash for David’s teeth needs. I’m not going to lose this dentist!
We do have a new outdoor cat. He showed up about 3 or 4 weeks ago. He has a lot of personality (if personality means he sticks his claws through my new $50 screen door and yowls until you bring him some food). He likes to be petted and will rub right up next to you when you come outside. He also tries to shoot inside the house upon occasion and one day this week he got into the mud room and ate half my lunch I had out there (in a lunch bag in case I got called into work). David named him Casey. Actually, right now my neighbor has 3 week old kittens she is bottle feeding. The kids are trying to talk me into a companion for Bella. I don’t know. I have a feeling she likes being solitary.
Oh, and I finished my last term classes…and got 100% in both. I never lost a single point on any project or exam. And these were hard classes! But I did it!
Not much else to write about, which is good because I’ve covered a lot of space here. Our church is voting on a new pastor this coming Sun. night. I like this couple. They seem to be making an effort to get to know the members of the church. In fact, Will and Arien are having them over for supper tonight. I hope I’m off to a good start with the female half. Sat. night we had our annual fall picnic – such a nice time. Well, she’s going around taking pictures of church members with them holding a white board with their name on it so she can match names to faces – clever idea. She said something to me about “rounding up your husband” when I came in. I didn’t say anything because I was caught off guard. Later on, she took a picture of me with another widow lady instead. Well, somewhere in there, someone must have told her I was widowed and I guess she felt just awful and caught me later and was apologizing all over the place. I told her she had no reason to feel badly – she had no way of knowing. Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting to know both of them better in the months to come, should our church vote to have them be our new pastor and wife.