Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Phone Troubles

About two weeks ago, shortly after the cable companies switched every last station to digital delivery requiring a box for reception of any channel over 12, a nice man and woman came to the door trying to sell us an AT&T Uverse bundle of phone, internet and cable. I'm talking real cable with over 100 channels including high def ones (for the one TV in the house that has high def capability). For us it was all about price - we desperately wanted ESPN back as football season is well underway, but we weren't going to pay more for it.

Our Comcast bill had gone from $11.75 to almost $17 a month to get nothing but local network channels and when we combined that cost with our phone/internet already set up with AT&T it was only $6 less then what they were offering.

We decided football is worth the extra $6 a month. Plus they promised us faster internet (it's not) and better quality phone service on the new fiber optic spliced wires. Yeah. About that....

It's kind of disappointing that the phone has a buzzing sound that begins anytime between 2 and 7 minutes on every call we make with this fabulous new quality system.

It's even more disappointing that the automated phone system is like a cruel joke - with no option for a human being (until 15 minutes in you scream "GETMEAHUMANBEING" into the phone. By the way, when you select "phone" for the service you need help with, the automated voice instructs you how to buy additional channels for the cable.

It's super disappointing that you have to call three times before a technician gets dispatched (three days later when they have an opening when you are actually home).

And it's downright comical that the email confirmation for the service appointment says "do not respond to this email" and provides absolutely no links for a customer service rep to credit back all the minutes you've been using to call their service department while they explain to you how valuable your business is.

So I'm without a phone at the moment and that's really aggravating.

But the Bears beat the Packers on Monday Night Football last night and we watched the whole thing on high definition ESPN. So it's a wash. :-)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall Frenzy

I almost forgot I had a blog.

I've been writing a lot lately. The funny thing is I've been using a pen and paper to do it. Sooo old school.

It's been an eventful couple of months, so busy in fact, there's been little time to be on the computer (except of course for the six hours I spend on it each work day).

One of the blogs I try to read is called "22 Words" by Abraham Piper. Most of his posts are 22 words or less. In today's culture that's appealing. Who wants to read on and on? Be honest. You automatically delete those forwarded emails that require scrolling, right?

So in a nutshell...

Work/Church has been delightfully challenging. I know. That sounds like an oxymoron. We are opening two additional campuses before the end of the year, one is seven minutes from our home. In three short weeks we will begin attending Sunday worship there. Planning ministry across two additional locations with the same amount of staff is challenging. It's also delightful. Can't tell you how encouraging it is to watch people step up and how exciting it is to work on something that has the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it's goal. We also just began a new marriage study with our LIFE Group (small group) from church.

The kids are so good I feel ridiculously undeserving. Of course, I AM ridiculously undeserving. They help more around the house, have adjusted to the new school year, are learning to balance homework, football, band, academic clubs and more and are doing it all without complaining or falling behind. I see how their world becomes more and more challenging as we strive to live our lives in a manner that is so anti-culture and I cannot believe how mature they are. I am so grateful.

Our home has been through a lot in the past several months - a flood that officially changed the status of our basement from finished to UNfinished...a new roof...and a declining performance that has most of our 20 year old appliances threatening simultaneous mutiny. We keep thanking God for our new dishwasher, praying the fridge, washer, dryer, stove and microwave continue to work and wonder if we will ever be able to afford a snow blower.

Fall has FINALLY arrived with cooler temperatures and changing leaves and glorious football. We hope it lasts at least four weeks before winter arrives. The good part about winter looming is that the construction that is occuring on every single road we drive on should be over soon. We hope.

My husband is working hard, volunteering at church and serving as an assistant coach for Ryan's football team, but seems non-stressed and happy most of the time and is still the guy everyone wants to hang out with including me.

My mom had a brief hospital stay but is home and doing her very best to comply with the doctors orders that has her on three times the amount of medication she normally takes. Before you freak out, she had been on one and now she's on three. At 73 - that ain't bad.

The biggest heartbreak recently has been the loss of an aunt. My Dad's oldest sister, Tella passed away at 90 earlier this month. I've written a great deal about that on paper and eventually may post some of that onto the blog. When asked to talk about it I'm reminded of a line in "The Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring" when they believe Gandalf has died and the elves sing a lament for his passing. The hobbits ask Legolas to interpret and he says, "I have not the heart to tell you. For me the grief is still too near."

So much more could be said about what's "going on" but you've probably already had to scroll on the page so I'll leave some thoughts for next time and try to write more often.