Thursday, December 12, 2013

Snow Baby!

This past Sunday it dropped a few inches of snow on us in surprising fashion.  No one knew it was coming.  We went to sleep Saturday night and Sunday, boom.  Snow.  So, we decided to take Elise out for her first play in the snow.  Here are some pictures and a couple of videos!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Picture with Santa 2013

It looks like she's just interested in Santa but it's kind of like I tell our youth group when talking about Bible's all about context.  This picture was snapped in the midst of the fit she was throwing to get down and run and play.  Luckily Santa played along and we have a usable picture.  The rest of the pictures have Kim's head in the background or me trying to move Elise's legs.  Good times...I have to say this is exactly what we expected though so no surprises :)

Smiles From the Heart

It's interesting watching Elise get older.  At her age it seems that's she pretty wide open with the way she feels.  Today, I was sitting with her upstairs on her couch reading while she watched tv.  I got up because I had to use the bathroom and she stayed on the couch content to continue watching tv.  I opened the door to the bathroom and stood there for a minute.  Usually, she likes to come in the bathroom with us when we go in there and she likes to go in the shower and play.  She never tears anything up so we always let her.  I was sure she would want in this time like usual, but she didn't..she just sat there on the couch.  I looked at her to see if she was coming and she was slouched a little more but still in the same spot.  When I was sitting with her before that I had my arm behind her so she slid down a little when I got up.  Then, I made eye contact with her and smiled.  She smiled back.

It may seem kind of over-emotional, but it was a great moment.  Just for a second, it was a great moment shared with my daughter.  And it's not that Elise doesn't smile or laugh often.  Quite the contrary actually.  She laughs all the time.  But, this just seemed a little more close and a little more undeserved.  Almost as if I want to ask God what I've done to deserve a daughter this amazing. 

It made me think too about how many times I smile and it's not geared through true joy.  Elise is pretty pure and honest about her smiles.  If she's happy, she'll smile.  If not..she won't.  And that's not to advocate that we put on a frown until we're ready to smile.  Because I think sometimes we need to smile to strengthen and encourage others or to give joy to someone else.  But, as a follower of God, I want to be honest and genuine too.  I hope that smiles come from me because I am joyful and thankful and content.  And when things don't go my way, I hope I can be honest about my hurts, downfalls, or fears and be encouraged back to joy by someone doing better than me.

Anyways, I feel like my thoughts with this are a little random but I hope it makes sense somewhat.

     After all the talk on smiling this is this is the look she gave for the photo

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's (Going to be) a Boy!

What up now, estrogen house??  It's official that the new baby is a boy.  Kim called it this time.  I knew Elise would be a girl and Kim knew this baby would be a boy.  We're going to name him Liam Brandon McKendree.  Not that we named him after the actor, but it would be awesome if one day he could destroy people like Liam Neeson in Taken.  A son any dad could be proud of :)

On a serious note, just as with Elise, I hope Liam grows up to do great things.  And not necessarily on a success scale as we might normally view it (although I hope they do achieve greatness in that aspect) but on a deeper level.  I hope they love people with unconditional love.  I hope they realize much younger than I did that the church isn't just a building or an institution, but a group of people reaching out to God and others.  I hope they bring joy to people's lives because they were kind, funny, or knew how to make someone feel good.  I hope they bring joy to people who are suffering because they want to extend the love of Jesus.  I hope they stand up for the weak and choose justice over popularity and reputation.  

I'm looking forward to seeing him and can't wait for a lot of things.  I can't wait to shoot basketball with him.  I can't wait to play video games with him.  I can't wait to take him fishing (even though I'm not much a fisherman myself).  I can't wait to have another male in the house that I can blame messy bathrooms and open toilet seats on.  It's going to be great.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Insurance!! Arrrrrggghhhh!!

I hope you enjoyed my pirate sound in the title...I'm a little irritated to say the least. I've been on the phone with Anthem for 48 minutes and counting over one single issue of a prescription reimbursement. It's been extremely difficult to not take my rage out on the lady on the phone because I realize none of this is her fault. Here's the scoop..When Kim was first pregnant, she was constantly sick to her stomach. So, he doctor prescribed her a generic form of take every 4 hours..and gave her 20 pills. 20 pills...20. To take every 4 hours for a month. Do some simple math and you'll realize that if you took even just 2 pills every day, that would still only last 10 days. And our insurance company, like many, will only cover prescription refills every 30 days. So, we called the doctor and she prescribed a pill count of 120. But, it needed to have a prior authorization which then went before Anthem's medical review board.

 In the meantime, Kim was still sick. So, Anthem, remember this, ANTHEM themselves, advised us to pay out of pocket for the prescription ($117) to hold us over and if the prescription was approved by the medical review board then we could get reimbursed. So, Mark and Sharon were nice enough to help us out and we got the prescription. More than a month later we received a letter stating that they had approved Kim's prescription that she no longer needed. So, I set out on the adventure of reimbursement. Three, count em', three, phone transfers (full of holds) and 30 minutes later I was taken to the right place: a lady telling me that she would send a reimbursement form. As Kimmie would say, "Well, glory."

I Received the form, filled it out, took it to Rite Aid and had the pharmacy manager print out the appropriate documents and sign the form, and faxed it over...only to receive a response that our claim was denied because, "The claim is for an amount or dosage that exceeds your plan's limits." You don't say??? Of course it is. That's why we needed a prior authorization. Anyways, the lady is talking to her manager about it and we've talked here and there through the holds and despite my frustration, she is being very nice and helpful and giving her best effort. So, I have to be thankful for that. It's just one of those things that makes you want to pull your hair out even though it's not any one person's fault. I'm at 1 hour 6 minutes on the phone now. Here are some pictures of the process along the way.

I looked in to see how Kim was doing and saw she got a little sleepy holding Elise so I snapped a picture

Sammie likes to sit on my lap when I'm at the PC.  Aside from her wicked typing skills, she helps tons by guarding the computer.

Elise got down to get a swig of milk and went back up to her mom.  A minute later and she is chugging and Kim is sleeping :)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving and Washerball

The last few years, we've done Thanksgiving evening at Kevin and Alicia's home.  But, this year, Chuck, Alicia's mom, had some health issues and they were in Columbus much of the week.  Needless to say, hosting Thanksgiving would have been pretty difficult.  So, last minute, we decided to have Barbeque courtesy of Mark.  His brother Brad and sister-in-law Kim got him some goodies from his favorite BBQ joint in South Carolina a while back and he's been saving it.  Well, yesterday was apparently the time to break it out and we dined like the Pilgrim conquerors we are!  I kid.  We had a great meal though and personally, I enjoyed the BBQ more than I do traditional Thanksgiving food.

On top of the BBQ, the other non-tradition we partook in was hosting the meal at our home.  It was kind of fun.  Unfortunately for Kevin and Mike though, they missed the REAL fun.  They had just left and Elise had gone upstairs.  Kim and Sharon were up there and eventually, me and Mark made our way up.  Between Elise's room and Liam's future room, there's a small portion of wall that we put the newest addition to Elise's toy collection in front of.  Kim had an old toy washer and dryer from her childhood sitting in a storage room and we got it out a couple of weeks ago and cleaned it up.  Last night, I opened the lid to the washer and started shooting balls from the ball pit into the washer.  Then, Kim joined in.  Then, Mark joined in.  Sharon rebounded for us and Elise LOVED it.  We've dubbed the game: Washerball.  Here are some samples...

This was how we decided to clean up and put the balls back

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Helper with the Guitar

I finally changed the strings on my guitar recently.  A while back, I was singing at church.  I grabbed my guitar off of its hanger on the wall to get ready to do.  I leaned it against the wall to go get Elise and then Kim could grab the guitar.  When I got to the kitchen I heard a crash.  I went back in the living room and it was on the floor.  I picked it up and headed to church.  But, once I went to get it back in tune and practice, I noticed the head was cracked in half and being pulled further apart by the tension on the strings!  It was a disaster.  I thought it was ruined.  

I took it to CA House music in Parkersburg and thankfully the guy was able to fix it.  He asked me what kind of strings he wanted me to put on it when he was done and I was specific.  I wanted Elixer brand strings and I was willing to pay for their extra cost.  But, he totally didn't put them on.  He did a great job fixing my guitar only to put crappy strings on.  I still used them though for a few months and they've been terrible.  So, I finally ordered new strings and went to install them. 

I got the old strings off and started putting the first string back on.  But, Elise wanted to push my hand away and put her binky in the hole.  Finally, I just laid it down for her to play with and she walked away.  So, I picked it back up and started putting the string on and she pushed it out of the way and put her binky in the hole.  So, I laid it down again and she started playing with it.  Then, she put her foot in and got it stuck and had a meltdown.  Fun times..

New Baby on the Way!

Well, we've got the announcement out, but I still figured I'd blog about it.  We're having another baby!  We're excited , of course, and ready to start some serious work on the room.  We have to wait until November 25th though.  That's when we should find out whether it's a boy or a girl.  Everyone has asked if we prefer one or the other, but we really don't.  Kim thinks it's going to be a boy, but I don't have any inkling one way or the other.  Last time, I knew we were having a girl.  I just had a feeling from the start.  I don't have that feeling this time, although I did dream we were having twins.  But, when we went for our first ultrasound, it only showed one.  Unless the other is super good at hiding, it's just one.  And we'll find out soon what it is.

Halloween 2013

This Halloween we had a little kitty with us.  She had a great time walking around the block..she even collected a little candy!  She's getting too big too quick.  Kim was able to wear her "Boo" shirt through yet another pregnancy.  I'm super proud of her for that accomplishment :) Notice that I sported my Jaguars shirt around the community.  If only they would make me proud to wear it...

Kim's Jack-O

My Jack-O

Myrtle Beach 2013

As with our last post, these are old, but blog worthy.  Some of these I'll leave uncaptioned just because there's so many.

 Mark, Me, Kevin before golfing at "Aberdeen Swamp" as I like to call it.  Actually, it was a beautiful course.  But, it was surrounded by a swamp which took me back to my mosquito infested memories of Florida :)

This was at the German restaurant we ate at one night.

We had our very own pool in front of the house and of course Elise goes everywhere except the pool

I don't know why, but this is definitely one of my favorite pictures.  Elise loved walking to the beach each day.

She's struttin'

Not sure how the planets aligned to get this picture with Elise posed really well..It just happened.