Mombear- I loved your post! We really enjoyed meeting Maureen. She certainly seemed to be a like-minded personality for us and we are definitely considering her. I also loved your profile data! It made me laugh b/c (minus the dog) it could possibly be mine. I love running (finished my first marathon then found out a week later #3 was on the way!), can't wait for spring and starting the garden again, and will soon be starting homeschool with my son in the fall. I taught at a private Christian school and homeschooling feels like a natural fit for us. I would LOVE to hear what you have to say about "eclectic homeschooling" and am completely curious....what is a "crunchy Christian??" :)
It's so fun to find like-minded people on these forums :) Our eclectic homeschooling philosophy is, briefly, a bit of Moore's "Better Late than Early", a bit of Charlotte Mason's living books, and a bit of John Holt's unschooling, all looked at through our Christian worldview ;) With our 9 year old, she does maybe 30 min to 1 hr of daily work and lots of self-lead reading, the 5 yr-old just plays and helps around the home and listens to books. We describe ourselves, a bit tongue in cheek, as crunchy Christians, a lot like "homebirthing" (sarahB) does in her post: we cloth diapered, co-slept, attachment parented, breastfed each DD about 2 years... while still holding to our conservative Christian beliefs. (We're the "weird" ones at our church who won't let our kids play on the lawn the week after they spread chemicals)
Yay running!! I've done a 20K or a 1/2 marathon with my dad every spring since about 1997: one time I was pregnant and didn't know it, one I had just found out I was pregnant (then the two runs after those years I was in double sports-bras and nursing a baby at the finish line!)
Regarding our experience with insurance and homebirth - it's odd, but when we talked to the insurance company before-hand, trying to tell them what we were doing, they're saying "yeah, we don't cover any of that"... so, we went along, paying Maureen as we went, not really expecting much. However, going through her person for insurance claims (you'd have to talk w/ her about how this works), it took a bit under a year and we had a good chunk of the money back that we paid out. Disclaimer that I don't have any idea how this would work for your insurance specifically (we had Medica at the time), our how insurance is paying out these days in general, but I will say we were very pleasantly surprised at how we did get money back even after the insurance said they wouldn't pay. You never know!