Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Do You Ever...

Have a desire to write this amazing blog post that inspires and uplifts others, helping them to find meaning in their lives to keep trudging forward through all the crap that life gives us, only to find that you have written an extremely long run-on sentence and not even inspired yourself to move away from the computer?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cinderell-ee, Cinderell-ee

Fat Kitty has officially started shedding. I know that you are wondering why this is a notable event. It's not. It is a problem, however, due to the fact that he sheds A LOT more than the other animals. I have had to work much harder at keeping the house cat-hair-free. I am also trying to train him to stay off the counters in the kitchen and out of the pantry. This is not an easy task as he LOVES to wreak havoc in those two rooms.

Several times when I have realized that I haven't seen Fat Kitty for a little while and have gone in search of him, I have found him wrestling with an empty bread bag, the loaf of bread strewn all over the floor. He doesn't even have the courtesy to eat the bread; just a few nibbles here and there. This is why we created the "no animals in the kitchen/pantry" rule. The kids find it hilarious that Fat Kitty ruined it for all of the other animals. Daisy does not find it amusing in the least, now that she has to lay outside of the kitchen.

It has been fairly easy to train the dog not to go into the kitchen. The other cat is grumpy enough that it only being chased out of there a few times with a squirt bottle to do the trick. Fat Kitty, on the other hand, is a stubborn cuss. He tries so hard to be sneaky and the squirt bottle only does the trick if you spray him in the face. I know it sounds mean, but it is the only way I can get him to leave.

So... we are slowly getting to the point where the dog and Fat Kitty, who love each other, will lie together on the edge of the kitchen floor and watch us as we prepare our meals. Seriously, how cute is that?

As for clean kitchen floors, Jessica got the opportunity to scrub the floor this weekend when she found out what the difference between dish soap and dish detergent is. I'll give you a hint...LOTS of bubbles. Don't worry, as you can tell from the pic, she is smiling. It was hard not to after I practically fell on the floor laughing. This was quite a relief to her, considering she thought she would get into trouble for creating a HOT mess.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Lisa!

I know, I'm a bit early, but otherwise I will forget to post this.

Happy Birthday!

L - likeable
I - intelligent
S - super
A - amazingOh yeah, we're cheesy like that.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Truth...

Behind cell phone bundling.

When Todd and I got married we both had individual cell phone plans through AT&T. We were happy with our plans and I had never had any problems with AT&T, who had much better customer service than any of the other cell phone providers that I had worked with.

After Todd got laid off, we decided that we had better bundle our phones in order to get a better deal and save money. What a false assumption that was.

First, they have two different ways of billing for customers. Some pay the month previous to usage and some pay after usage. I'm not quite sure why, I think for credit reasons? Anyway, Todd was previous and I was at the end of the month. When we merged, we settled my account and merged to his account because apparently he couldn't merge to my billing cycle, but I could to his. However, when we merged, they changed my billing cycle and so have been trying to double charge me for a month (plus the pro-rated for the change, which is what I was expecting would be the total). PLUS, they charged all total fees and past bills to our new and "improved" (please note my sarcasm) merged plan.

Then Todd got a new underpaying job where he uses his phone a lot more than we realized. So, we are already fighting the huge double phone bill when we realize that NONE of our rollover minutes transferred, not even Todd's. This really sucks because we both had thousands of rollover minutes, none of which we got to use when we received an $800 bill. Yes, $800 in one month. OUCH! That didn't help our already tight situation due to Todd's having to take a huge pay decrease to get a new job.

So, I called the phone company to see what they could do for me. In the past, I have had much better success with them, so hoped they would help me out. As it worked out, they were willing to backdate a new plan, but remember, my bill has already come out and so this doesn't affect my past bill. They are also willing to write off a few hundred dollars worth of minutes. Thank heavens. The wonderful customer service man took pity on me and added almost a thousand rollover minutes. However, that still leaves our bill at about $400, plus the double pay that we are still fighting. Unfortunately, CS Man wasn't wonderful enough to be able to take care of that situation.

So, back to my math for merging cell phones into a family plan?
2 Separate lines with 900 minutes each plus unlimited text = $160 after taxes (plus I have a U of U discount that brings it about $20 lower)

2 Lines on a family plan with only 1400 minutes (current increased minutes plan) and unlimited family text = $160 after taxes (my U of U discount now applies to 2 lines and saves us about $35, however, we had to pay $70 to sign up with AT&T's corporate something or other to get it.)

So, in the end, we will end up saving about $15 (after discount) a month. Of course when you think about all of the extra set-up fees, difference in minutes, loss of rollover minutes and double billing, which comes to about $700 (once again, OUCH!), we will eventually be saving money in about 4 years.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Back to the Grind...Maybe?

A while back my sister was so kind as to let me know that Vangent is doing the hiring for the 2010 Federal Census. They are hiring 1200 people to help in call centers doing telephone surveys, quality control, etc. It is a temporary position based out of Sandy, but it pays better than a lot of the jobs that I have looked at and so I went ahead and applied for a quality control position.

I had my interview at the end of December where the gave me a conditional letter of hire, dependent upon my ability to gain security clearance.

So, yay, I will soon be working with a steady paycheck and will continue working with health insurance (any Utahns, feel free to contact me about it) during the time that I am not at work.

Boo, I am still stuck waiting for the background check and I really need to be able to bring in an income now. Luckily, I don't think it will take too long, considering I just had a background check when I got my insurance license and that didn't take very long. But it is hard to sit here, speculating on the date that I will be able to begin.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas Break

It's been a fun Christmas break for us this year; very easy going and laid back. We had a fun Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning and then got the kids back a few days later. We've been swimming at the Legacy Center, playing with friends, had our annual New Year's Eve sleepover and breakfast the morning after and we were visited by the local fire department when we burned our Christmas tree a little too high.

We burn our tree on New Years Eve to help us celebrate the past year by burning our written regrets and unreached goals. This year we also held a flag ceremony to dispose of our old, dilapidated flag properly. Apparently it alarmed one of our distant neighbors when they saw the flames rising in our backyard. I guess next year we'll have to cut the tree to pieces before we burn it. It won't be as much fun, but I reckon we ought to refrain from scaring our neighbors.

Austin's Christmas present, real football lockers.

Christmas Morning

Matterhorn de Pett

...and the luge...