Friday, January 26, 2007

No real change

No real change this week. We had our call with A, the family rep, yesterday, and that went well. It was a bit humorous, as I think we told her more than she told us, simply filling her in on a lot of background.

As much as Katie is bringing her baggage with her, there is still a lot of starting over right now. She is still out of Orange, and slowly accumulating points. She is working on her homework for the next seminar - well, except for working on earning her level - as she has to be at level 3 to attend it, regardless of what homework is done.

We haven't heard from her in a couple of weeks as well, so hard to judge based on her letters, since we haven't had any.

She does have a rash, and I have to call today to give the insurance info to a dermatologist for her to see. I should have done this last week, but I kept leaving the number at home (and of course I need to call during the day to set this up). But I have it here now, so I can get it taken care of today.

Then next week one of the more fun parts starts again - it is time to apply for a third loan to keep her there. This part makes me real nervous - are we going to get another one, and for how much (i.e. how long?) I've estimated that it will be another $72,000 to keep her there until her 18th birthday or so - which is slightly less than we've already taken out. From what I know, my credit is pretty good anymore - the biggest concern is how much we owe - that is why the last loan was only enough for six months instead of a year. However when we did that one we were in the process of consolidating a bunch of other stuff - so all of it would have been outstanding at the time. With all those other things (car, gutters, credit cards, etc) paid off on that second mortgage I hope that it will go better.

It makes me feel a little bit like Oliver Twist though. "More please?"

I am really hoping I can do it without anythign else, but I do have some other ideas to help if they turn us down. I don't know if they would work, but it is better than nothing at all. I think, worst case being that we couldn't get any more loans, that I could come up with something like four to six months worth (via tax refund (that we are hoping is really good) and 401K loans), but it would really leave us hurting, especially because the payments on that option would be as much or more than what the education loans would be. Then there would be the straight 401k hardship withdrawal after that - which would not directly hurt so bad, but really hurt retirement, especially because I would have to stop contributing to it, which means I would lose the company match, which is the only retirement money they are providing any more.

But who am I fooling with that? The way things are, I can never retire anyway. I have to work another 30 years to pay off the loans I already have.

I do figure that once they are all done I can consolidate all of them into one, which should make that part a little less painful each month.

I sure hope Diane manages to sell a lot more houses this year - it would make everything a lot easier if we were a steady two income household. Last year she went from for over six months with no closings. Overall she didn't have a bad year (August was really good), but it wasn't consistent, and wasn't great.

Ok, this is depressing enough for one day.

Friday, January 19, 2007

First Call

We (finally) had our first call with the new therapist, B, last night. He sounds fairly nice, and right on the ball. He is a bit different than the previous one, but then that is what we were trying for as nothing was working before.

They do seem to have a fairly good handle on Katie, especially the part about not wanting to continue with her previous goals, and putting them off whenever possible. One thing he is all about though is to have her earn privileges, so I don't know when she will actually be on a therapy call again. That, in my opinion, is not a bad thing. If it will motivate her to work then it is all good.

Right after we got off that call, we also heard from the new family rep, A. She really seemed nice as well, and apologized for not getting with us sooner, but she just got the paperwork on Katie (isn't bureacracy wonderful!). So we will have our regular calls with her also on Thursdays, just a bit later.

She is concerned about the rash Katie has, an I need to make arrangements with a dermatologist for her to get an appointment - and of course I left that information at home today. She also saw that Katie was saying her knee hurt - but I think that is from all the running. We did get her a simple knee brace when we were there in October.

She did agree that there is pretty much no substance in any of Katie's letters, which is the same as in her group. One of the things they are going to try is to have her talk about something about each of the other girls - putting the focus off of herself for once.

One of the other things that was a bit surprising was a new 'revelation' that she made to everyone and said she put in her autobiography, but that none of us have heard of / seen before. We honestly don't believe her, and think once more she is making stuff up to try and get acceptance and fit in with her new group.


as much as things change, they still stay the same.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Feeling Poorly

We actually got a call from our old rep last night, because we aren't really set up with the new one yet. Apparently chicken pox is going around the school, and Katie has a rash. It isn't chicken pox, as she has had it, but it does appear to be infectious, so she is in the infirmary with it.

Plus the dentist does recommend she get her wisdom teeth out - however right now I would like to hold off on that for a while, unless they really start to act up. While it is 'minor' surgery, it is surgery and that is especially hard on someone without any family there, and the school really isn't set up for that. They recommended we wait until she makes a higher level, so we can do it on a pass. I kind of laughed at that, but we may just have to wait until she is actually at home for it, as it seems to me much more likely at this point than her making a high level.

It looks like our therapy calls will be on Thursdays with B, so I hope to get our alternate calls the same with A, but I haven't heard from her yet. This is the off week for therapy calls, so the first will be next week.

I don't like hearing that she is sick, and know that being away from home makes it even worse. Unfortunately it is a fact of life. Maybe this will make her want to come home a bit more, since nothing else seems to be able to inspire her.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Nice Weekend, new therapist

This past weekend we met up with our Keys family at the "Great Wolf Lodge" indoor waterpark in Sandusky Ohio, and it was a lot of fun, both for the boys and for us to have a chance to get with our 'family' outside of the seminars. Lots of playing in the water and talking. It is always nice to start to get to know the people you see there outside of that environment - I've found it fairly amazing how you can share such intimate details with people, and yet know so little about their 'normal' lives.

I also heard from Katie's new therapist, B. (I'm going to use his initial because having no way to refer to them except by 'her therapist' and 'family rep' was just getting difficult to write, but still keeps them fairly anonymous. And this is about us after all, not them.

Anyway, it looks like we'll be setting up our call for next week - he seems to be on the opposite weekly schedule than we had before, which is actually no big deal. So this week should be a family rep call, but we haven't gotten that contact yet.

B did say that Katie wanted to start fresh. Of course that means that she has made new goals, rather than work on the ones she had before. That, to me, means that the new goals are probably not what she needs to work on, as her old goals were to simply progress in the program, i.e. get to level 2. She claimed to be working on the homework for the next seminar, which is a moot point right now as she has to be at level 3 to be allowed to go to the next seminar, and right now that is a long way off.

So she has her fresh start - now we just have to see what, if anything, she does with it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pulling the Trigger

I just got an email from Katie's therapist, and it looks like they are going to move her tomorrow. We were a little worried when we heard that she wouldn't be going where we first thought, but he put my fears to rest when he said that the therapist he had first thought about is moving on - I had that paranoid feeling that someone else was going to refuse to take her!

I'm going to miss the old therapist and family rep - they were really good people, and have really helped us through this, even is Katie has been so stubborn and refused every opportunity she has yet had.

So tomorrow is a bit of a new start, though I think we are all hoping that the new therapist and family rep will give her the kick in the butt that she needs to actually do something.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year, Same Old Stuff

So with the new year, people love to make resolutions, reflect on the past year, and paln for the future.

Katie however, is doing none of that. She is simply sitting there. We talked with our family rep last night, and they haven't been able to change her groups yet due to some issues with the group they were going to put her in, so now they are looking at another one. But she has done absolutely nothing at all in the past three weeks, simply waiting for a 'fresh start'. She doesn't seem to realize that in life there aren't any 'do-overs', no one truly gets a fresh start.

As much as a new group will be different, she is the same. And all the girls, from all the groups, know about her. There is enough movement, and the upper level girls doing service work in other groups than their own, so she isn't escaping her past.

She stayed out of Orange, but has done nothing. She says she is working on her homework for the next seminar, but to be eligible to go to the next seminar she has to first achieve level 3, and right now I wonder if that will EVER happen.

When we started this, I was first wondering how long it would take her to graduate, and what we need to change in our home when she returns. Now I'm really questioning if she ever will graduate, if she will even make the next seminar. And I worry a lot about the money, if we can get the next loan, how long we can keep her there, and in the end if she continues to choose not to do anything will this be worth my working for the next 30 years to pay off.

And I'm also frustrated with the constant barrage of student loan consolidation letters. I do plan to consolidate the loans - but only when I have ALL of them in - it doesn't make sense to do it before then, since you can only do it once (or so the law used to be, and I don't know if it has changed).

On the brighter side (if there is one today), I have requested to staff the next Discovery and Focus seminars in Chicago. Right now I'm extremely frustrated and not working my own program, and the fact that we won't be going to any more seminars until May isn't helping, so I figure this will. Since I've done one, I'm not really worried about doing it again, and I really think it will be cool to follow a group from Discovery through Focus into Keys (and not only that, but then perhaps I will actually have some people I know there when I graduate in May - isn't that selfish of me :-) !). Diane isn't going to staff, but she may go with me, though I think that her just sitting in the hotel for three and four days would be kind of a waste, as I won't have any time at all to do anything with her, since you are busy from 9 am to midnight every day. However I think she is a bit worried about me driving home afterward alone when I'm tired.

One last note - they put up new pictures of all the groups, and Katie looks pretty good in hers (much better than the last one) - and like she has lost even more weight, which is also great.