Fun, Flat Tire, and Frustration

March 31, 2007

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A few days after my last post I celebrated my 29th birthday, right here in Kansas City, where I was born 29 years before.  It was on Monday, March 19, and Michael has Mondays off so we decided to do something fun as a family and since it was my birthday I got to pick.  I picked Kaleidoscope, which is a fun (and free) thing for kids that is run by Hallmark.  They take lots of their leftovers, like paper and ribbons and add some extra stuff and let kids go crazy creating whatever art projects they want for 40 minutes.  We attended a family session that day and it was lots of fun.  After that we came home so Dresden could rest before going out for BBQ for dinner.  It turned out that Michael got called into work an overnight shift so the kids and I went out to eat by ourselves but it was fun anyway. Alley asked me what it was going to be like to be 30 and I told her I didn’t know, that I had another year until I had to know!

On Tuesday, the kids and I went on a homeschool field trip to a Pet Store and saw lots of fish, snakes, birds, mice, turtles etc. On Wednesday afternoon, the kids and I went to my Grandpa and Grandma Burton’s house for lunch and a chocolate birthday cake for me.  Thursday afternoon we headed up to spend the night with Grandma Harrison.  She cooked me a birthday dinner and a yummy red velvet cake.

This last Monday I was able to go to the ladies craft night with the ladies from church and I stamped 4 cards without any distractions or any requests from little people to use my stuff!  On Wednesday, the kids all had check-ups at the doctor.  They weren’t really excited about that, especially Dresden who recently got shots and was afraid more were coming!  It will be Alley and Liam’s turn to not be excited next Wednesday when they have to go to the dentist!

Last night we stopped at Mc Donalds for a quick dinner on our way to our Home Fellowship group meeting.  After we left McDonalds, my van warned me to stop and check my tires.  I pulled over in a Ryder Truck rental parking lot, expecting to see a tire that was a little low but instead I found one that was going down quickly.  I called Michael first who was at work.  He told me to call the Home Fellowship group leader and let them know where I was and then call our roadside assistance.  Roadside assistance told me it would be about an hour until they could get there.  It turned out that two men from the HF group came instead and put my spare on and we were able to make it for the rest of the HF meeting. The ladies were calling it “Redeemer Assistance” instead of roadside assistance. 🙂 We made it safely home afterwards and Michael is now out getting 4 new tires on the van.  We needed them soon anyway so we decided to get new ones all around.  We did have to sacrifice attending the pancake breakfast at church this morning to make sure we had tires that would get us to worship tomorrow.

Another frustration we have been dealing with lately is a 5 year old “debt” that we did not know we had has suddenly come out of hiding.  Here’s what happened:  In late 2000 we got our first cell phone.  When we moved to Germany, our contract was up so we cancelled our plan and moved in March 2002.  In April, I paid what we thought was the final bill.  We never received any more bills or late notices of any kind and we never gave Alltel another thought.  In February 2007 (YES, 5 YEARS later) we receive a notice from a collection agency saying we owe them $35  plus $5 in collection fees.  Of course, we thought it was some kind of mistake and sent a letter disputing the charge, giving them all the information we had.  I may have my old bills in storage or I may have gotten rid of them when I was clearing out to move.  Who would think you need to keep cell phone bills from 4+ years ago when your account is closed and all bills are paid??? Anyway, we received a response this week from them saying we didn’t give enough evidence (seems to me they should be doing some proving on their end) for them to investigate our claim and that we need to send copies of our drivers license, copies of our passport info page, receipts, etc.  Sounded kinda fishy to me so I called and got some advice from a financial person who suggested I call the company directly to make sure they actually did show an outstanding balance before doing anything else with the collection company.  I FINALLY got through to a real person at Alltel who transferred me and I  found out from her that they do show an outstanding balance of $35, then she transferred me again and my question to him was why didn’t we receive any correspondence about that $35 in 2002???  I finally got from him that they send notices for 147 days and then they sell the debts to the collection agency.  By this time I am really mad because we NEVER received anything from them  AND  he tells me they have our Germany (military address)  and that’s where they would have sent the mail.  I told him I found it a little hard to believe that 4-5 notices would have ALL gotten lost in the mail!!!  He said he understood my frustration but that there was nothing he could do about it now since it was not their debt anymore and after all, it was 5 years ago.  EXACTLY!  People who know me, know that I pay my bills and that I do not lose or forget bills.  When something like this happens, it just makes me SO MAD!  I can only assume that the collection agency took 4 AND A HALF YEARS to contact us, remarkably finding our new address after only 4 months, because a $40 debt is not nearly as important as some of the bigger fish they have to fry.  Whatever the reason, it makes me VERY mad!!!!  And I guess the moral of this story is- don’t use Alltel for ANY reason!!!!

April is already shaping up to be pretty busy as well.  Resurrection Sunday is only a week from now and Dresden is having her teeth worked on on April 16.  Please pray that there would be no complications and that she would make it the required time without food or drink without too much difficulty.  I am looking forward to a used curriculum book sale on April 14 and the homeschool convention/book fair on April 20-21.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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2 Responses to “Fun, Flat Tire, and Frustration”

  1. Kathy Nelzen said

    Tara, I came across some paperback books the other day. They are all (I think) of the Love Comes Softly series. Would you like to have them? I had your address, but the computer crashed after I sent the paper doll, and I’m not sure where the paper copy is now. BTW, how did Ally like her doll? Let me know if you want the books. Kathy

  2. lisa said

    good post except for one thing. you accidentally typed “have to” instead of “get to” when you were referring to the kids going to the dentist.

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