Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Credit Reports

I try to check our credit reports at least every couple of years because of the influx of identity theft, it should be done yearly but I haven't done it for a couple of years. There was an article in our local newspaper that gave the three credit reporting agencies information. Yes, you are entitled to a free credit report yearly, just takes a few minutes of your time to call and request the reports.

I had finally received all of our info via snail mail (USPS) and was looking over everything yesterday and I found an error. They had Wayne listed as a joint applicant on someone else's student loan, it was someone we didn't even know, fortunately for us this individual has been paying their student loan. If they were to default guess whose SS # is linked to the account, when Sallie Mae was contacted they felt that it was just a typographical error because no other info was linked to this account that belonged to Wayne. We had to submit the credit reports and file a dispute claim with all three credit reporting agenies, I also faxed everything to Sallie Mae. It will take about 30-45 days to get everything settled but I'm glad I was pro-active in pulling the reports this year. I don't think I will be delaying pulling credit reports each year again.

Here is the info to request your credit reports:
  1. EQUIFAX www.equifax.com 1800-685-1111
  2. EXPERIAN www.experian.com 1888-397-3742
  3. TRANSUNION www.transunion.com 1800-888-4213

Just remember you can request your credit reports yearly at no charge, if you are interested in getting your FICA score I believe there is a charge for that.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Break

Caleb is on spring break this week, so we decided to pay a visit to Grandma and Grandpa Stevens in northern Indiana. We haven't been home since Christmas so it was nice to take a few days and visit. It just so happened that my brother Nathan and his family were also able to come and visit at the same time. Wayne and Jon (my other brother) were both working out of town this week so not everyone was around but we still had a good time. Below are a few pictures of our visit.

This is Caleb and my nephew Spencer, he is getting so big.

Caleb and Grandma Stevens at Science Central in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

My dad was just relaxing away on the couch, so excited about getting his picture taken.

Spencer riding the duck in front of the fireplace, he had the greatest time climbing on and off the fireplace.

Savannah at bath time, I just loved her big grin.

Savannah and her mommy, Telesa pulling their weight up the pulley at Science Central.

Caleb pulled his weight up the pulley.

My brother Nathan pulling my mom up the pulley.

Mom and I in front of Science Central.

Caleb and I at Science Central, it was freezing cold and so windy.

Caleb in the computer room where he spent alot of time playing games on the computer because grandma and grandpa's computer is so much faster than ours.

My brother Nathan smiling such a pretty smile (not) and Spencer.

Spencer is cutting teeth, he is waiting for his two front teeth to come in.

Savannah was having a great time playing with Grandma's bears, she was reading a story to them and playing music.

Savannah showing off her tremendous smile.

My sister-in-law Aytha playing on the computer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Deer Picture

My mom requested that I post a close up picture of the deer. If you are with my mom for any length of time at all in a vehicle you will quickly notice that mom can spot a deer faster than anyone that I know. We can be riding along and all the sudden mom is like, look at all those deer, Larry, please slow down I want to see the deer. So this is an inherited fascination that I have with all of these deer that seem to graze around our property and our neighbors.

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Here are some pictures of what an area of our property looked like this morning, I'm beginning to feel like I have my own personal lake. So far the house is far from the rising waters, thank goodness. We are keeping a close eye on the flooding situation since our county is under a flood watch. This particular area on our property is a sink hole so the water will recede very quickly but in the mean time it bears watching. I feel so badly for those who have had to evacuate their homes due to the severe flooding that is going on.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Destination Imagination

Whew! What a busy few months it has been getting ready for Destination Imagionation (DI- is what we affectionately refer to it as). Caleb participates in DI at his school and we had the regional competition today. I'm very proud to say that Caleb's team came in 2nd for the challenge that was presented to his team. The way that DI works is that the top three teams in a particular challenge will proceed onto the State Competition which will be held in Fishers, Indiana next month. I'm so very proud of St. John's Obstacles Of Course DI team. Way to go!

This is a team that has worked very hard and had a very difficult challenge to overcome. Their challenge was called, Obstacles, Of Course. They had to build without adult assistance, other than the coach guiding them, their own obstacle course, design a skit that went along with their theme. They ended up having a ramp that the car had to jump over, a tree where they had to save a cat in a tree, a tunnel, a set of steps, a fire station and a farris wheel. They designed a car
that had a string attached to the front of the car and pulled the car along using a cordless drill, so the car could go into forward or reverse. Caleb was the driver of the car and he handled the pressure of running the cordless drill with the car through the obstacles pretty good. One cute thing they did was, they had a sign made for roadside assistance and whenever the car would deter off the track, another little boy held up the sign and would put the car back on the track using kitchen tongs (because they were not allowed to touch the car with their hands so thus kitchen tongs).
I will quote from our handbook, "Destination Imagination is an international program for K-12 and college students which teaches life skills and expands imaginations through team-based creative problem-solving. Destination Imagination emphasizes creativity, teamwork, research skills, presentation skills, and the added art of improvisation". This is a great program for kids of all ages because it offers them so many skills that will stay with them throughout their life. Caleb is always ready for the competition to come because it typically means that we are finished until the next school year, but not this year.

Caleb is excited about going to the state competition for DI but baseball season has also started so this means practice, practice, practice and more practice.

This was a sight to behold out my front window a couple of weeks ago. The dogs were going crazy barking so I ran to the window to see and what a beautiful sight it was to see these 5 deer across the road in the neighbor's yard. These deer must live in the woods behind our neighbor's house because we see these beautiful creatures there alot. The dogs eventually got bored and moved onto something else, the deer must know that the dogs can't get out of our yard because of the "Invisible Fence". The dogs can bark all day long but the they can't get to the deer. I was able to step out onto the front porch and take this picture and the deer just looked at me.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Rain Keeps Coming

What a rainy time it has been, it started raining last evening and hasn't stopped today. The sinkhole/pond keeps filling up and Caleb remarked to me, "I think we are going to have a flood". We don't have to worry about that yet but I wish the sunshine would come back out.

I was able to spend today with a dear friend of mine and her sister. My friend was in an accident this morning on her way home from work. Our plans that we had made for working out at the YMCA got cancelled due to the wreck. I decided to do an impromptu visit to check on her and got to spend the day in Christian fellowship with good friends. I enjoy being with my sisters in Christ and when you can share, laugh and cry together, life is just sweeter.