25 Dec 2017 @ 6:31 AM 

Greetings from the Cottings.

 

Before we had kids, we never realized what parents meant when they talked about being busy. Well, we are seeing how that is a thing.

 

2017 has been a good year for our family. Everyone is healthy and doing well.

 

We flew down to Texas this summer to visit Wendy’s family. We had a great time and the kids got to see the ocean. Later we went camping at a campground in Big Cottonwood Canyon which is a short drive from our house. The experience was much better this year and the kids had fun. We also took a fall vacation to NE Utah to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. It was a beautiful landscape that we didn’t expect to see in Utah. We had a lot of fun this year.


Mia had her second year of school. She was in Pre-K at Intermountain Christian School. She turns 5 next month. Mia, much like her mother, really enjoys school. So much so that she gets excited when we talk about it the night before. Her teacher is wonderful. She has learned a lot of valuable things, and she has started reading and writing some words. Outside of school Mia has also been doing gymnastics, swim lessons, and a soccer camp. Mia loves running, jumping, standing on her head, riding her big girl bicycle, and reading. She is a really good big sister to her little brother.


Cody has developed a lot this year. He had to learn to run so he can keep up with his sister. He has also been doing gymnastics and swim lessons. His speaking has been improving and has recently used the potty for the first time. He turns 3 in February. Cody enjoys being around his big sister, playing with the dogs, riding his balance bike, helping around the house, and playing with his cars and trucks. Cody is a charmer and likes getting attention from people, especially the ladies. Cody has mastered how to
be the little brother.


Wendy stays really busy taking care of the family and working. She takes the kids to gymnastics, school, swim lessons, and during the summer she took the kids to parks to play and ride bicycles. Wendy changed from teaching the nursery at church this year to teaching the 3 year olds. She enjoys cooking and puts a lot of effort into planning meals to keep her family fed. She still enjoys her job and plans to continue with it.


Jason stays busy doing things around the house and helping take care of the kids. He started a part time job last year working for the church doing computer work. He also started volunteering to manage the safety and security group for the church. Jason still enjoys riding his bicycle, but would like to have more time to do it more. Jason has spent time going to EMS conferences to keep up his education hours needed to keep up his paramedic certification (144 hours over 4 years). He has stopped looking for work with the fire departments, but hopes to be able to use his EMS certification somehow in the future.


The dogs are doing well, but wish we played with them more. Panzer turned 1 and Daisy is about 6. Panzer is terrific with the kids and lets the kids crawl all over him without complaining. Daisy has met her match in a fetching partner as Panzer, who is bigger, likes to steal the ball from her.


As a family we stay active with our church. We cohost a small group from our church at our home once a month. Between Wendy’s evening work hours, our tendency to be home bodies, and two small children, we spend a lot of time at home and close by.


We will be staying home for Christmas. Wendy’s parents are staying with us for Christmas and Jason’s parents have lived in town since Mia was born. Jason’s brother and his family will be driving out after Christmas to visit.


We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season and a great new year.


Jason, Wendy, Mia, and Cody

2017

 

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Categories: Family
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 25 Dec 2017 @ 08 30 AM

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 25 Dec 2015 @ 8:24 AM 

Hey  y’all. Here is the latest on what we’ve been doing the last year.

We had a new addition to the family arrive in February. Jason was worried he was going to have to share his birthday, but Cody Wyatt Cotting was considerate enough to arrive two days later. He is now 10 months old and is a happy healthy little boy. He is a really good crawler who is doing his best to become a walker. Cody is currently cruising. He enjoys following around his big sister and playing with her.

Mia turned two back in January. She keeps getting bigger and bigger. Mia is a good big sister to her new little brother. She plays with Cody and helps Mom and Dad take care of him. Mia enjoys helping Wendy in the kitchen. Minnie Mouse has replaced Bear as top friend. Mia enjoyed playing outside at the parks this summer and learning to ride her balance bike. She still enjoys reading which is a wish for Wendy that has come true. We’ll have to see if that continues once she actually learns how to interpret all those little black lines on the page. We are holding off on preschool until next school year.

Vacations were scarce this year. We did an overnight car camping trip during the summer in American Fork Canyon. It was over the July 4th weekend which meant it was full of people. It wasn’t an easy camping trip, but we enjoyed it. It was Cody’s first time to go camping. We also went to Frankenmuth, MI for a family reunion that Wendy’s father had planned. It was nice to get out of town for a few days, but Jason and Wendy were exhausted by the time we got back. The kids made travel tough. We discovered that Detroit’s airport is not stroller friendly in case you were wondering.

Wendy took 12 weeks off for maternity leave. We all enjoyed having her around the house for a long time. She is still enjoying her job with Kidscare. Since most of her shifts are in the evening, she gets to spend a lot of time with the family during the day which she enjoys. She was able to plant another successful garden and is enjoying being a mom.

Jason has continued his stay at home dad responsibilities. He has been unsuccessful in getting hired with the many fire departments he has applied for this year. His firefighter certifications expire next month with no way to renew them. We feel that God has closed a door which has been difficult to understand. Jason has not given up on looking for work as a paramedic though. He has been to a few conferences this year to keep up his continuing education hours. Jason was able to do some bike riding this summer but nothing big. He also was able to finish building Cotting Creek in the backyard.

Day to day Jason and Wendy spend most of their time taking care of Mia and Cody. They would both like to get back to backpacking some day, but that is going to take a few years. In the mean time, they hope to do more car camping next year since Cody will be a little older. This coming summer, Jason has plans to build a new workshop in the backyard, and Wendy wants to do more hiking.

Things are good at Chez Cotting. We hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year

Jason, Wendy, Mia, and Cody

Cottings Christmas 2015

Cottings Christmas 2015

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Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 25 Dec 2015 @ 08 24 AM

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Fist_Full_Of_Money_clip_art_hightA few years ago, I wrote about how my wife was over payed by her employer Intermountain Healthcare over a period of two years to the sum of a six figure amount. TLDR, we agreed to pay the money back, and we have been doing it it over the last four years. The monthly amount was equivalent to what some people pay for a mortgage payment each month. Thankfully, they were willing to waive about 1/3 of the amount for reasons we never understood, but we were grateful for.

During this time, we learned of several other physicians who had also been overpayed by IHC and were now repaying it. IHC also decided to hire an outside company to audit their payroll as apparently they have no ability to make sure they are doing it correctly in house. Earlier this month, we finally made the last payment on our debt. We expected to have a smooth closing to the deal, but more incompetence than I could have imagined followed.

Twice a year, Wendy gets a bonus based on the patients that she has seen. Each year, we agreeded to let IHC take money out of her bonus for the repayment. Earlier this month, she had her second bonus of the year which would pay the balance of what we owed to IHC. To our surprise, we got a notification from mint.com (where we keep track of our finances) that we had gotten a ~$65,000 deposit into our checking account. This was no where near what was supposed to happen. I doubt anyone at IHC gets a $65,000 paycheck for one pay period. Instead of taking more money out of her paycheck for the final payment (it usually shows up as a positive accounts receivable deduction on the pay stub ) they put in a large negative deduction to the accounts receivable ( negative deduction adds to your paycheck for those of you keeping score at home). There was no explanation as to where the amount came from other than someone randomly pressing numbers on a keyboard. Wendy immediately texted her supervisor about the error because we didn’t want to have to go through another dispute about pay.

Wendy corresponded with a payroll person at IHC. It was decided that we would write them a check for the ~$65,000 that got deposited in our account, and they would issue us another check for the correct amount that she was supposed to receive for that pay period. This new amount was calculated to include the deduction for the amount we owed for the last payment. The number that they gave us, unsurprisingly, did not match what the records I had been keeping showed. Wendy emailed her contact what we felt the right number was who then went back to recalculate our payment. He then gave her another number which still did not match my records, but it was in our favor so we decided not to protest it.

The agreed upon amount was taken out of the check they sent us as a replacement for the ~$65,000 payment from earlier, and a new deposit was issued to our checking account. According to this agreed upon amount, our debt was now payed in full. They agreed to send us a letter stating that we had paid our debt to them in full. When the next pay period rolled around, another deduction was taken out of that paycheck which was the same deduction from the previous paycheck. At this point, they were taking money out of her paycheck, that they weren’t supposed to be taking out anymore. Another paycheck was issued to correct this.

You would think, that once a mistake was pointed out earlier this month in her paycheck in closing out our debt to them, someone would have been making sure that all the numbers were going to be correct and that everything was going to be done right. Nope, nothing resembling that happened. It is as if they didn’t even care about what was going on. They did not care. As my father-in-law so correctly described it, someone was asleep at the switch. Even people in management who were CC’d in the emails my wife was corresponding with for all these corrections never once stepped in to make sure things got taken care of correctly. For an organization whose purpose is caring for others, I believe the non patient care employees let their true colors shine throughout this whole ordeal about what kind of people they are.

This is a multi-million dollar nonprofit cooperation. Intermountain Healthcare is the largest healthcare provider in the state of Utah. There are lots of employees and logistics and money to keep track of. Keeping track of money for an organization this size is nothing new. There is zero excuse for not being able to have an accounting department that makes sure employees are paid correctly, especially when it has been pointed out to them multiple times that they are not doing it correctly. Even something as simple as a flagging system for when someone gets a really high paycheck, such as $65,000.

There are only two explanations for what has happened. Someone important must have a brother in law running the payroll department. He’s untouchable, therefor no effort is put into doing the job correctly. The only other explanation I can come up with is that the payroll department is actually a cage full of monkeys throwing poo on the walls. I took some accounting when I was working on my MBA, which I never finished. Even I can see that things are being running poorly. I can’t imagine what it is the people running this organization are thinking when they are making decisions for this organization.

As a nonprofit, Intermountain Healthcare does do fundraising for their Primary Children’s Hospital. Don’t get me wrong, kids need to be able to get good medical care. I have two of my own I want to be taken care of. A philanthropist should have second thoughts about giving money to this organization if they had any idea at how poorly they keep track of the money that they do have.

This paycheck problem is disturbing to us. I wrote about in the earlier post about how her paycheck is calculated. Its pretty complex and we do not have a way to check if what they are calculating is correct. Since mistakes were made with simple calculations for repaying her debt, I shudder to think at what is being done incorrectly when calculating her paycheck.

This whole fiasco has not been all bad. We’ve learned to live with less money, which is good. I think many people get too tied up in their money. We believe God used this to teach us to not rely on our money. After all, He got us through this.

My lesson to anyone reading this, don’t trust that your employer is going to pay you correctly. Keep your own records and be prepared to defend what you think is right.

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Categories: Family
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 23 Oct 2015 @ 02 46 PM

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 02 Sep 2015 @ 4:52 PM 

The Quail Hollow Fire that started today near my home. I saw the header get started while on my bike ride. Here are a couple of photos from near my home.

2015-09-01 10.24.52 2015-09-01 10.31.28

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Categories: Around the House, Fire/EMS, Status Updates
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 02 Sep 2015 @ 04 52 PM

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 30 Aug 2015 @ 4:58 PM 

Last fall I started construction on an 80+ foot long water feature for our back yard. I hired Brian Male of Alchemy Group to help me with it. Most of the rocks came from my parent’s yard who had a water feature that they didn’t want any more. Some rocks were also found in my yard. It has a switch with a photo sensor that turns on at sunset. It is set to run for 4 hours into the evening so we can here it when we got to bed at night. The switch also supports a remote control for us to turn on when ever we like. Mostly, we just enjoy sitting out on the back porch and enjoying the sound of the water.

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Categories: DIY Projects, Hobbies, Home Improvement Projects, Status Updates
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 02 Sep 2015 @ 04 59 PM

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 24 Jul 2015 @ 7:34 AM 

Today in Utah, its Pioneer Day. For the LDS people its a big historical celebration of their ancestors crossing the plains to settle here in UT. It is also a state holiday. For us gentiles, its a random day where things aren’t open and epic amounts of fireworks are shot that rival the 4th of July while I try to keep my dogs from freaking out because they think that once again this month the world is coming to an end.

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Categories: Around the House, Status Updates, USA
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 24 Jul 2015 @ 07 38 AM

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 17 Jun 2015 @ 2:40 PM 

Yesterday afternoon, Wendy was cooking some cornbread when she noticed it smelled like it was burning. The oven had switched into cleaning mode and was burning the cornbread. It did this about a year or so ago where it got too hot and switched into this overheating cleaning mode. The oven at this point becomes completely unresponsive so I have to go to the circuit breaker and turn off the breaker for the range. Previously, I let it cool down and it worked fine. This time after letting it cool all night, when I turned the breaker back on, it went back into cleaning mode where it got super hot. Looks like the circuit board on the oven is messed up. I imagine it would take a few hundred dollars to fix it.  We have been holding out on replacing our appliances because we have plans to redo the kitchen which would include new appliances. We currently have an electric range, but we would like to have gas. There is no gas lines running up to the kitchen at this point. We had to replace our refrigerator a few years ago, so we bought the cheapest one we could find. Thankfully, Lowes was having a sale on appliances. We found the cheapest one in the flyer that came in the mail yesterday and went to the store today. There it was, the cheapest stove they had. Low and behold, we found an even cheaper one. There was a refurbished one at the back of the store of the same model, but was even cheaper than the one on sale. $300 and we get a new range delivered to our house tomorrow with the old one hauled away. Not a bad deal.

Tags Categories: Around the House, Status Updates Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 17 Jun 2015 @ 02 40 PM

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 11 May 2015 @ 3:22 PM 

Going to brag a little on my wife. Not only is she deserving of being rrecognizedyesterday for being a great mom, but at work yesterday she saved a patient’s life. Teenager came in with severe anaphylaxis. Initial systolic pressure in the 50s. 3 rounds of epi and a fluid bolus later and that kid gets to live another day. Its not all viruses and lacerations at the urgent care.

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Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 20 May 2015 @ 03 23 PM

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 03 Apr 2015 @ 2:59 PM 

Playing with our new camera out at the park with Mia.

mia new camera park

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Categories: Family
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 20 May 2015 @ 03 01 PM

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 27 Mar 2015 @ 2:52 PM 

I’d like to propose the pacifier desperation hypothesis. Difficulty in finding a dropped pacifier is directly proportional to how loudly the baby who needs said pacifier is crying.

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Categories: Around the House, Family
Posted By: jason
Last Edit: 20 May 2015 @ 02 53 PM

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