Monday, May 23, 2011

Email hacked

Hi everyone,
It looks like after having this email address for over 12 years, it has finally been hacked!  Please disregard any emails you've received from me with links to click.  I will most likely be changing over to my gmail account: so please use that address in the future if you need to get ahold of me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Hate Scams!! Buyer Beware: Choice Home Warranty

No one likes falling victim to a scam. Especially when the scam promises peace of mind, such as a home warranty. We have fallen victim to a ridiculous scam from a heartless joke of a company. Last year, we decided to purchase a home warranty. Given the fact that we don't have much savings and we bought a home that was built in 1956, we figured that it would be safe and wise to have coverage should anything break during the first few years of home ownership. I looked online at some of the big name companies and happened upon Choice Home Warranty. They seemed to offer all the same coverage as the big guys (AHS, First American), but were a little more affordable. I talked with a representative on the phone and asked about the pre-existing and maintenance clauses in the contract. He assured me that as long as the contractor that Choice sent to our home deemed the broken appliance/system to be well maintained, then that was all the documentation Choice would require to pay our claims. Great! We signed up and started making monthly payments to Choice Home Warranty. Little did I know that I had fallen victim to a scam company. This company preys on young, new home owners. They have no intention of paying any claims.

When I called in a repair after having my warranty for over 8 months, they sent a technician out to look at my heater. He stated that the heater had a very common problem, caused by normal wear and tear and easily fixable. He put in the claim and we waited. Choice demanded all maintenance records for the life of the heater (8 years). Of course, as new home owners we didn't have those. What we did have was a written statement from the technician that Choice sent out stating that our unit was clean, well-maintained and that this issue could not be caused by lack of maintenance. Choice denied our claim.

I went through months of their lengthly appeals process before following my end of the contract and filing an official complaint with the American Arbitration Association. About a week later, I received a letter from the AAA stating that since Choice Home Warranty has a history of disregarding their legal findings and general fair consumer practices, they would not take any cases involving Choice.

I've sent letters to the president of the company, begging for him to do right by the customer and either pay for our claim or give us our money back. At this point, all I want is the premium back. I am in the process of filing a claim in New Jersey, but I have a feeling this company will file bankruptcy and I will never see a dime of my money.

I doubt Choice Home Warranty will be around much longer. They have several decent reviews on the home warranty review website...something I looked at before signing up. Upon closer inspection, though, I realize that after weeks of negative reviews, there are several wonderful reviews all within minutes and hours of each other....bringing the score back up. I brought this to the attention of the home warranty review site director and he is looking into tracking the source of the reviews. Seems that CHW would rather spend their time undoing all the bad press by cheating and lying than by actually doing right by the customer.

Friends, please be aware when making a decision like this. Since canceling our policy, I spoke to a dear friend and realtor who told me that there are decent home warranty companies out there and referred me to a couple of the big names mentioned above. We signed up with First American and have been very happy.

Stay away from Choice Home Warranty. I would recommend anyone looking into buying a home warranty, spend the little extra for AHS or First American. It is worth your time and headache when you actually have a legitimate home warranty and get your claims paid in the long run.

Thanks for letting me rant!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Number 6 Caedon!!

I remember what I was doing at this time exactly 6 years ago. I was rocking in the hospital rocking chair, squeezing your Daddy's hand and trying to breathe through the pain. I was trying to calmly tell myself that this would soon be over and the reward, my new son, would be worth the pain I was going through. Six hours later, it was over and you were here.

Our first child was here. Life hasn't been the same since. Life has felt harder and more difficult than ever before. The world is a scarier place than I ever thought it could be. My desire to put you in a protective bubble gets stronger everyday. I would do anything to keep you from feeling pain...ANYTHING! At the same time, life has also never felt more full, complete, wonderful, funny, and amazing since you've been here. When I get to see the world through your eyes, everything seems brighter, more exciting and I am awestruck.

You are so smart and come up with the most amazing things everyday. Just the other day, you and your brother were discussing how "real" and "actual" meant the same thing. Then you quipped, "Yes, but the word actual doesn't flow well with the word school, so I'm going to say my real school, not my actual school." This morning, your Grandma Renee called to wish you a Happy Birthday and Gavin was interrupting you as you talked to her. Finally, you told Grandma to hold on and found out what Gavin wanted. Then, you calmly said to Grandma, "Ok, where were we? My brother just interrupted our talk." Excuse me, when did you turn into a little man and what happened to my baby boy?

Six seems so old. You are not in your "first five" anymore. You are not a preschooler. I've joked with you so many times this year that you need to stop here, just stay five forever. But, you keep on growing up with such determination, just like you do everything! You are a school-ager now. Your kindergarten teacher told us that you are doing so well in school and not having transition problems at all. Once again, you have surprised me with your ability to grow and change.

Your Daddy and I quite frequently find ourselves looking at each other, shaking our heads as we laugh at this crazy brood of kids we are raising. We have a bustling, crazy, chaotic household most days. But, we wouldn't trade this life for anything else. We have a beautiful bunch of kids and you are the leader of the pack! Life would not be complete without you Caedon. Our family wouldn't be complete without you! Now that I'm looking back at myself in that rocker six years ago, I would tell myself with all certainty to push through because the reward is SO WORTH IT!!!!

Happy Birthday Boo Bah! I love you more than the whole world!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Love is in the Mundane

Several of the "mom bloggers" that I read always post a special "Love Thursday" post on Thursdays. I'm new enough to the blogging world that I haven't been able to find the origins, but I love the concept. So, I thought I would offer up my own Love Thursday post.

Love can be displayed through grandiose gestures and it has been in my life many times. Family vacations, special gifts, songs written just for me, to name a few. But, I realize that most of the love that seeps through is in the mundane parts of life.

Last night, the boys were up too late and they were tired. Dan and I were trying to muster the energy to start the bedtime routine, but also relishing in the quiet moments with them. As they both told Dan about their time at the fountain and the bee in Caedon's hair, I was overcome with how much I love these boys, how my life would not be complete without them. They both leaned over a few times to tell me that they loved me and give me a big hug. We laughed about silly jokes. It was lovely. Looking in from the outside, it didn't appear to be anything special, but it was a moment where God grabbed my heart and reminded me that I'm right in the middle of a love story.

There are so many worries in life and so much to fret over. I can be the queen of worrying and fretting. Yet, as I was reminded last night and virtually all the time, I have nothing to complain or fret over. I have an amazing husband who works hard for his family and challenges himself to be a better man all the time (he's already the best man I know). I have 3 of the most awesomely made children ever. Sure, they bicker and fight and even Aislynn can talk back to me in her own little baby language. But, they know how to love, I've seen them show great compassion and I already see the footprints of God all over their little hearts. And I have a God who is ever-patient and gracious with me and continues to grab my heart and remind me that I am part of the greatest, most masterfully planned love story of all time.

Happy Love Thursday everyone. Hope you are able to find love in the most mundane moments of your day.

Monday, July 13, 2009

This Little Piggy

Has it really been almost 2 months since I last posted? My hubby keeps nagging me to write some stories down, but I've just been so busy. I finished up my job as Preschool Director on June 16th and have been enjoying being a full-time stay at home mom all while looking for another part-time job. This is not really the economy to be looking for a part-time, well-paying job, by the way.

Anyway, I wanted to share a cute little story with the blog world. The other morning, Gavin and Aislynn were sitting with me on the couch. I was playing with Aislynn's toes and reciting the "Little Piggy" rhyme. Gavin decided he wanted to do it too. Here's how his rhyme went:

Gavin: This little piggy (the big toe) stayed home.
Mom: Isn't that the piggy that goes to the market?
Gavin: No...the big toe is the Daddy toe and Daddies don't go shopping. They stay home.
Gavin: This little piggy goes to the market (the next toe). This little piggy had NO ROAST BEEF (middle toe).
Mom: I thought that was the one that did eat roast beef.
Gavin: No, Caedon doesn't like meat. The next toe eats the roast beef. And this little piggy (the pinky toe) goes "WaaWaaWaa" all the way home because that's Aislynn and she's a baby.

Apparently, the members of our family can be summed up in the 5 Little Piggies rhyme. I promise to write more of the wonderful and witty things that my children say soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Family Beach Trip

Our family took a day trip to Cannon Beach yesterday. It was Aislynn's first trip. She loved the sand, even tasted it a few times (YUCK!). We had a great time!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Depth of Gavin's Love

Every that's not accurate...several times a day, Gavin and I have the following discussion:

G: Mom, I love you.
M: I love you too, Gavin.
G: I love you the most.
M: I love you the most too.
G: I love you better than the most.
M: OK...
G: I love you better than the mostest most!!!!!
M: OK, Gavin.

So the other night, I was taken off guard when I kissed Gavin goodnight and he didn't start with the normal banter. Instead he whispered to me:

G: Mommy, come here. I have to tell you somefin.
M: Yes, Gavin?
G: (Long pause) I love you more than God, but don't tell will hurt His feelings!

What a sweet boy I've got!