Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE this time of year. I love looking at the Christmas tree glowing in our living room at night. I love shopping for presents for loved ones, and wrapping them. I love walking to the mailbox and getting Christmas cards. I love driving around with the family at night in search of pretty houses all decorated with lights (we did this last night). I love all of the wonderful things that the Cincinnati area has to offer this time of year.
This morning I went with the kids and my mom to the Shriner's Hospital Gingerbread House Display Contest, it was wonderful. Here are some pictures of our favorites:
They had a Gingerbread house in the Culinary Arts Competition area that was the "UP" House, loved it!

This was a pretty one:

This one was of Findlay Market, the attention to detail was amazing. It was in the professional category.

There were sooooo many houses, they blew me away. If this blogger photo upload was any quicker I would upload them all, but I digress.........

We had such a great time looking at all of the houses and voting for our favorites. Then we got back into the car and headed over to another Cincinnati treasure, Krohn Conservatory. The pointsettas were just beautiful!
The kids and I in front of the pretty flowers:

Mom and the kids in front of the pointsetta tree:

The live nativity scene they have outside wasn't open today,they said it will be on the 11th so we'll have to return.

So much more things to look forward to and displays to see. On our list are the downtown displays, Holiday in Lights drive through at Sharon Woods, Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo, the Reindog parade (gotta look for an outfit for Mickey for this one), seeing a Nutcracker performance and a live Christmas Carol performance at the Aronoff center, and a new one to try: Neiderman farm. Another tradition of ours is sitting around the Christmas tree and sipping on hot chocolate with the kids while we tell Christmas stories. You can't forget all of the holiday baking and decorating to come too, just LOVE this time of year. I hope you are enjoying it with your families too!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Answering Life's Difficult Questions

Tonight Lauren and I went to a local pottery store to create a special gift for someone who will remain nameless in fear they may read the blog. On our way there Lauren talked my ear off in typical Lauren fashion (no radio is required when you are in the car alone with Lauren). As we drove around she started talking about how much she missed preschool. When I asked her why she missed it she of course mentioned her teacher and then she said "I also miss talking about Jesus at school, why can't we talk about Jesus in Kindergarten". Wow, that question blew me away....... I started talking about the difference between public and private school to my inquiring 6 year old (most of which I thought would go over her head) and explained to her that is why we go to church on Sunday, so she can learn about and talk about Jesus because they don't do that in a public school. She did not seem satisfied by my answer, and more questions kept arising.
I didn't want to tell her yet in her young mind that not all people are believers, seems a difficult subject to broach with your 6 year old when she still believes in Santa Claus and what a huge bottle of worms that will open up when she questions that, will she automatically question her belief in Jesus as well?
These are the subjects I wish I had a parenting manual for. Anyone want to write one?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It costs HOW much!?!

This year, my school district switched from traditional medical insurance to a Health Savings Account. We have a 4000 dollar deductable we have to meet (the district threw in 2000 towards that deductable). Up until the deductible is met we pay for EVERYTHING at cost. After the deductible is met you pay for nothing.
This is an interest bearing account and it is YOUR money, so what you don't spend rolls into the next year, etc. I was hoping I wouldn't meet our deductible this year so some money would roll into the account next year since the district isn't putting as much in towards the deductable next year. Well....... now I'm thinking that isn't going to happen. I've gone to the doctor a few times, kids a few times, and each appointment has averaged around $125. Well, today I took Luke to the eye doctor and it was $375!!! WOW!!! I didn't anticipate that. Tim has prescriptions to fill next month and I've been calling around and it's averaging around $375 for ONE months supply. It's funny in this country how when we have health insurance we just blindly hand over the card and don't have a clue what the medical professionals and medication companies are charging us........ well, my eyes have been opened and I don't like what I see.


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