January 18, 2007

I had no idea it had been 6 weeks since I wrote my last post but I guess that means it’s definitely time for an update!

December brought with it the usual Christmas activities, like parties, Cookie Exchanges, and Christmas Pageants at church, along with lots of cookie baking. Alley and Liam both signed up for the Christmas Pageant at our church and Alley was picked to be the daughter in the family who would be onstage having a family devotion on one side of the stage while the other kids acted out the Christmas story on the other side. She was very glad about that and so was I as that meant I did not have to make or find an angel costume, just some pjs and a robe. Liam was a shepherd. They had several practices and had lots of fun.

Our friend Jon came for a quick visit in mid December. As he was pulling out in his rental car to head back to the airport, I realized we hadn’t taken even one picture while he was there! We can remedy that soon, however, because he is scheduled to come back to KC again at the end of January.

One thing that has characterized the last several months but especially the last several weeks has been WAITING. Michael is enrolled in an on-the-job training program at work that entitles him to receive some GI Bill money each month. We knew it would take a few months for the benefits to kick in but we were expecting them to start around August. Unfortunately, we are STILL waiting. We found out in November, about the time we were starting to get angry, that the Veterans Administration hadn’t even received the necessary paperwork until late August and then it takes them 90 days to process everything before you receive the first payment. (The paperwork was filled out by him in June and apparently held by his company, unbeknownst to us, until August.) So, we were at least encouraged that the 90 days was about up. What we didn’t know then was that there was more paperwork to fill out and fax in and we were at their mercy as to when they decided to mail it to us. We faxed it in in mid December and thought it was processing but then we received our fax back in the mail a week later marking where something had not been filled out properly so we wasted that whole week. It was immediately fixed and refaxed and so we started watching our bank for the direct deposit, hoping and praying that it would arrive so we could take care of things we had been counting on that money for (back pay from June to November which will be a decent amount) but it never came. We figured the process would slow down due to the holidays but we were still expecting it by Christmas or right after. My family came on the 27th and still no money. Michael and I decided that the kids and I should ride back to Bristol with my mom and dad when they headed back on January 3 to visit here for awhile and we would just get some cheap plane tickets back when the money came in. We were expecting it any day. When it still had not come in by January 9, I called and told Michael to find the direct deposit confirmation they sent awhile back and just double check the account numbers. He did and sure enough, a 7 and a 4 were switched in the middle! We hung up and he called the GI Bill people and I called the bank, very afraid that a large deposit had come in to someone else’s account! Thankfully, the wrong number was not a valid account which meant that the deposit had been rejected. This happened on December 27! We have continued to call and send emails since then to see how we can get the payment re-issued but as is typical, at least in our experience, the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing when it comes to the government! If it continues much longer, we will probably have to contact a congressman to look into it. Please pray that it arrives VERY SOON!

As I mentioned above, most of my family came to KC after Christmas. Heidi and Grant were going to ride with my parents and then fly back to meet Jeph at his parents for New Years but Grant was sick and they decided not to come, which turned out to be the right decision for sure because Grant had pneumonia! (He’s fine now, thanks to God, Dr. Andy and good old Zithromax!) Jana and Kane and Mara Kate flew in and my parents drove, both arriving on December 27. We had a good visit, although everyone except me had a bad cold that turned into coughing and caused secondary infections in some. For the most part, everyone is okay now, except my mom who just got some antibiotics yesterday to try to get rid of the last of it. The kids and I rode back here with my parents on January 3 and we have had a good visit. We didn’t know when we left exactly when we would head back to KC, since we were waiting on this money for our traveling funds, and since we still don’t have the money, we are still here! We are considering driving back with my mom instead of flying but either option is going to require MONEY! We may head back by mid week next week if all goes well.

The kids are enjoying feeling better and spending time with Grant. Dresden and Grant have been teaching each other new tricks…Dresden is trying to talk more after hearing how many words Grant can say and Grant has been stepping up the step between the living room and hall at his house after watching Dresden take it with ease. Today, Heidi and I took my kids to a fancy old hotel in Abingdon so Heidi could use her photography skills and take some updated pictures of them. We took about 60 shots and got several great ones. I’m sure there will be some on here before too long!

We miss Michael and are looking forward to getting back into our routine when we do eventually get home. Michael is missing us but he is keeping busy working and getting over the sickness that everyone had. He is a good sport and has always been good about letting us visit family even when he couldn’t come. We used to leave him here in Bristol and go off to Kansas City to visit and now he is in Kansas City and we are off to Bristol!


One Response to “Update”

  1. jana said

    Good post—but, thankfully I pretty much was up to date on all that has been going on with you all…but, you really should update more often! I miss reading new posts on your blog! Hope to see you soon, somehow or someway! Miss you all!

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