Friday, March 28, 2008

Minor update, not much to say

Phone call with Katie yesterday. It started pleasant enough, but we eventually dug a bit deeper and defintiely got her a but more uncomfortable. It seems so easy for her to say she is going to work on this or that - so we challenged her to now work on things, but to DO them. Not to work on voting up to level 3 next week, but to DO IT.
I'm a pure geek. So in the words of Yoda, there is no try. There is do or do not.
Now is the time to do it.
She has decideded that she probably won't make PC III in April - we had to correct her that there was no probably - she did not qualify at all for it. She has decided she is now shooting for October graduation. I honestly don't see that happening, though there is a slight chance. My goal is to get some type of home contract started for when the money is gone in August.

Friday, March 21, 2008


That is one thing that does happen with this program, or so it seems to me.

The most obvious one is, of course, the cost. For those of use who aren't independantly wealthy, or are just middle class, the cost si significant. $4300 a month - for 30 months now. Five more now to go. The loan payments are close to breaking us.

Of course, then there are the seminars. Those cost both time and money. I don't regret them at all, but it does seem to me that they have a knack for falling when I have other plans. I had gotten concert tickets for my birthday years ago, that I had to sell because Discovery was that weekend. We just found out the dates for June's PCIII, which is what we are really hoping Katie will make. And it is the exact same time as the Origins gaming convention that I go to every year. I guess it is good that I haven't bought the very expensive 4 day passes there yet - because they are non-refundable. Of course we won't know if she is going until the end of May, so everything is up in the air completely. I haven't told her brothers yet - one has scout camp that week anyway so can't go, but the other two were hoping to go (and now the oldest will probably have to pick the youngest up from scout camp as well - good thing he has his driver's license finally!)

I sound petty, self centered and greedy, but there does come a time when you don't want to keep giving up things for your children - or even more, sacrificing something for one child for another. And it isn't short term either - the financial sacrifices will be ongoing for the next what, 28 years? Katie will be older that I am now before I have her loans paid off.

Being a parent is hard, I know that. But one of the keys to being a good parent is showing your children how to be well adjusted adults. Unfortunately sacrificing for your children doesn't always show that - very often it shows a child that everyone should sacrifice for them, rather than showing that people should sacrifice for others (indulging kids gives you spoiled adults, it does not give adults who indulge their own kids).

I guess I'm just venting.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Like pulling teeth

Actually that isn't quite accurate - it was pulling teeth. Specifically Katie's wisdom teeth.
They have been bothering her for some time. When they first started to come in we tried to wait, hoping she would be home to have them out. Yeah. :-)
So on our call three weeks ago 'S' tells me that they are really hurting her, so I say go ahead, and 'S' says she will send me the information to get the billing set up. Two weeks later, 'S' is sick but emails me, saying we really need to get this set up, and FINALLY sends the dr. information. So I call them on Friday, get the forms, fax them back, and send 'S' an email Monday morning saying everything is good to go, and she says she will make the appointment.
Of course, the next thing I expected would be to hear when things were scheduled. Not an unreasonable expectation from my point of view. This is my daughter after all, and it does require general anesthesia, so there is some minor risk. Just a quick one-line email giving the time of the appointment, or a 30 second call. When I don't hear anything back immediately, I'm not at all concerned - I know how long it takes to get in anywhere around here - usually several weeks out at best.
So I get a call at lunch today. From the oral surgeon's office. No, it wasn't any question about her appointment, or billing or anything. It was letting me know that the extractions had gone fine and she was recovering well! WTF!?! I took it in stride, she is doing great. Like a duck.
So is it unreasonable to expect them to let me know AHEAD OF TIME when my daughter is going in for non-emergency surgery? Am I out of line here? I'm not one to worry, but I do like to be informed.
It isn't like I hadn't heard from 'S' this week. I sent her and ben an email detailing the financial information. Because I feel that we are all on the same team, all working together, and to do that we need clear and open communication. But it seems that I may be the only one who feels that way.
Now this week would be our call with 'B, but he is out this week, so we had it last week. After two and a half years I've learned that they aren't very pro-active on the communication front there, but I feel this is rather ridiculous.
I haven't decided if I'm going to call 'S', or just wait to see if she can find the time in her busy schedule to bother letting me know that my daughter had surgery and came through it fine.
(Would have been nice to have been able to send her a get well card that had a snowballs chance to get there before she was fully recovered as well, since snail mail takes at least a week to get there and even longer to get back here).

And here I thought I wouldn't have anything to update my blog with this week :-)

Monday, March 10, 2008

No Soup For You!!!

Well we heard back from Teen Help - and to paraphrase the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld - No Loan for You!

I have to look at this in a slightly positive way - we are having a very hard making the payments we currently have, let alone more.

Now comes the time to empty Diane's IRA - that will hurt come tax time but I feel it is important that we get Katie to 18 at least. It is funny, we like to joke that we can never afford to retire - but that isn't funny anymore.

With the next PC III being April 14th, it would mean that Katie would have to be level 5 by Friday to make it, and if things went well she made level 2 today. So that is out. Which means maybe PC III in June.

So at this point I really doubt we will be able to keep her in until she can graduate, as the earliest she could would be October, and that would be without any further hiccups, and I really doubt that would be a possibility. Most likely she will be coming home in time to start her senior year - that would make the most sense to have her here in time for school to start.

Friday, March 07, 2008


We had our call with Katie last night - 'B' will be on vacation next week, so we switched. It went ok - nothing huge. Still level 1, but maybe 2 next week. One thing is that she is learning to do some self-analysis - kind of doing therapy sessions with herself instead of a therapist. This is actually a good, and powerful thing, and I view it as progress.

Her wisdom teeth are really bothering her, so I need to call the oral surgeon in a little bit and get that arranged. We were hoping they would hold out until she was home, but that isn't to be.

As for the loan, we are working on re-submitting co-signed by my dad (thanks mom & dad) - we'll see what happens then.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


The parallels to Oliver are even worse this time.

"Please sir, may I have some more?"

"NO", and then the beating begin.

No loan. I called "aunt sallie" and they aren't even sure why they turned it down, but will try to get more information. So I need to call them back on Friday to see why they decided that I make enough, but don't have enough of a credit history to get this loan.

So now we see if we can get a co-signer. From Oliver to Animal House.
"Thank you sir, may I have another?"

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Frustrated and worried

I got a letter from Sallie Mae this weekend, saying that they turned us down for the next loan claiming "Limited credit experience". WTF!?! What the hell is that? Don't give me that I don't have a long enough credit history - heck I've had loans with them for 18 months, plus the other student loan, my friggin house and car (paid off), and credit cards. I could see them saying that it was too much, over extended or one of the other reasons, but I don't know what this one means.

So I'm worried and concerned. I need to talk to the guy helping us at Teen Help to see what to do next. Do we try to get a co-signer - and who? Does we try with someone else (the first loan isn't with Sallie Mae, so that isn't the only option out there)?

If we can't get the loan at all, then what? Katie is currently paid up to March 22nd, and we have just a tiny bit ($640) over, which would be what - four more days? Diane and I both have our 401-K's, which are a possibility. If we were to close out Diane's then that would be real close to covering the next six months. I feel guilty about asking that while leaving mine alone. However I still have the company match going into mine, and she doesn't. My company changed their 401-k provider and policy to only allow for 1 loan - which I already have. So I'd have to take a withdrawal (and it is allowed for tuition). However I'd have to stop putting in for six months if I did that, and lose the company match I get for that (which would be about $3k), making it an even bigger hit.

So I talk to our guy tomorrow, and then see. I so hate this waiting and not knowing. I really don't want to have to pull her. Even if we waited until she was 18 and then we pulled her at least then it wouldn't feel so bad. Especially since if we had to pull her now she would be back in the house and we wouldn't have a choice.

At 18 we could do an exit plan and life contract of some sort. I really was hoping we could at least get through PC III anymore to get the life contract started, even if we couldn't keep her there until graduation.

I just don't know anymore.