Category Archives: Finances

The Biggest UNTOLD Story in our ‘Viral’ Skype Family Videos

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On November 11, 2013 three (3) videos of my family, The Covins, were released for the entire world  and allows everyone all over the planet the ability to have a look into our private lives.

The videos, which can be viewed on Skype TV or YouTube as part of the “Moving Forward” campaign, introduce you to my homeschooling family who has a beautiful, yoga pant wearing wife, helping the entire community mommy, 4 young aspiring actresses, beautiful, doing each others’ hair daughters, who are all led by a social media husband, but turn the cable TV off dad.

The taping took 5 days and the actual footage that was used was a total of 7 minutes long. So of course the videos don’t have time to allow you into all areas of our lives, because the purpose was to show you a very important aspect of our lives during a 5-6 month timeframe that my family was living apart and how Skype helped us to navigate that process.

The distance between my family and myself was over 500 miles.

Sounds crazy and WAS!!

It was the hardest time of my life and yes SKYPE made it totally doable. I am really grateful to SKYPE and the creators for being available, at this time in our lives.

I almost want to cry thinking of the nights that I experienced anxiety attacks for the first time in my life. I felt like I was having a heart attack, but found it was due to the separation.

And God worked it out through a mentor of mine named James Andrews.

James is the Digital Evangelist and Partner at StudioGood and called me to tell me about the Skype casting for a family in transition and I thank him for making that call and Joyce from my church for calling to tell me while I was on a Skype call with Dan Bell Casting already. (That is how you know it was really your family they were looking for or God really stepped in and said it was time)

But the Biggest UNTOLD Story is where and how I was able to live during this time of separation.

When I really think about it, I was homeless.

But God showed me favor in the form of a family that allowed me to stay in the basement of their nice town home in Woodbridge, Virginia.  THIS is the AMAZING part of the story.  The family was not unfamiliar to me but were not blood relatives or anything.  The family consisted of a husband, wife and 2 children (boy and girl both under the age of 10).

The husband and I were roommates before I was married and God spoke to him and his wonderful wife about them allowing a man to invade their privacy for 5-6 months and be around their children.

WHO DOES THAT?

During this time where we needed community to step up, to experience it actually happening is mind-blowing.

I was able to give them the ability to have a regularly scheduled “Thursday Date Night” where the wife was able to discover the husband had a passion for playing pool that she had never known about.

During this time, I also had an amazing weekend where the couple was able to travel out of town, without the children, and I was able to run the children around to activities like bowling and swimming.  This weekend running totally reminded me of time with my girls.

The question I have is….

WHO DOES THIS?

Who actually trusts God enough to follow His word and do something for ‘the least of these’ in these times of…

IT’S ALL ABOUT ME.

I am so grateful.

There are 3 videos and the first one currently has just under 600k views in only 4 days and don’t worry I’m not famous because 400k of those views came from me.

And I cry then entire time.

I cry because I know the UNTOLD story. I know that if that family doesn’t bless mine by allowing me a place to stay and the ability to use a 3rd car….

WE NEVER MEET ON THE VIDEO.

So THANK YOU!

Thank you to the wife for being flexible!

Thank you to their son for talking to me when you didn’t always want to because you are not a talker and I am and sometimes I just need some boy energy! (And thanks for finally getting me to Saturday morning Flag Football)

Thanks to their hug-a-thon sweety, daughter for hugging me so tight that with Skype I thought I was at home hugging my own daughters.  (I have not forgotten you.  Once we get our truck situation straight you will be my 5th daughter)

And thanks to God for speaking to the husband and asking his family to be open to helping mine.

We are forever grateful, because without your family, mine doesn’t grow and elevate during this time.

We LOVE you guys and are forever grateful.

ODC

p.s. Let us know when you want a ‘Thursday Date Night’ or a weekend off…WE GOT YOU!

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Bad/Good Customer Service Series…

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Paying with Debit Card

 

Well here goes…

I have always wanted to do this and today is the day.  My wife and I have talked about starting a site where everyone can share their customer service stories and keep it ALL THE WAY REAL!!!

REAL because no one is financially sponsoring this blog but God and HE loves good customer service too.

So feel free to share your stories here and let the entire world know who has great customer service/horrible customer service and let’s show merchants the power of #sociamedia.

So I just moved to Washington DC and THIS is my biggest issue with DC and has already happened twice this week.

I am a big pay cash guy but I have gotten caught with my cash down and needed to use my debit card for purchases under $5 and the cashier told me the minimum purchase was $5 and I said, “Does Visa know you are telling people that?”

I just walked out.

You either want my form of payment or you don’t want my business.  I am not buying more of what I don’t need because you don’t want to pay Visa.  (You signed a contract saying you will take their cards…)

Once I was filling up my suburban at the same time the cashier was telling me this mess.  I immediately ran to the truck and stopped the pump and will NEVER, EVER go back.

Then there was the carry out place that told me they were only taking cash at the present time but had an ATM machine that only charged $2.50.

“Are you CRAZY?”

If every single person who ran into this mess walked out people would stop trying this.  So hopefully enough people will read this and will stop or I will just keep walking out…or not know it happens by keeping cash on me.

Well…that ain’t happening.

Later,

ODC

“Launching first book in 2013!”

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Attractive Woman with Her Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case you were wondering….

I have not been silenced by the Powers that Be, but I have actually been preparing for a HUGE 2013!  A year that will start with the launch of my first book.  I have met with my writing coach, who you can follow on Twitter at @karenbowlding, and she has given me the green light to as she put it…”Get off my BuTT.”

I kinda hang with people who will keep it real for me.  It’s the only way you are going to get my attention.  So she has gotten it and the writing is coming right along.  I will begin to have time for blogging again so you guys will be seeing post from both my wife and I.  (I did not get that last sentence approved before typing it, but I hope she gets the HINT)

So as it is scheduled currently the release date will be March 2013 and trust me…..IT WILL BE ON!

Thanks for your support,

 

ODC

 

41 Minutes to a NEW MARRIAGE!

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Marriages are taking a hit and we are always super honest with our readers.  This week has been rough in my home and I am not sure why marriages are going through such a tough time currently. I am receiving inbox messages on Facebook with prayer requests.  We are hearing about separations that are shocking and rocking us to the core.  There are close friends of ours that are losing sleep because of emergency visits to others, wonderful couples with beautiful children that are currently discussing divorce and a few that we have already lost to divorce.

What I have realized is my marriage has a global purpose and when we have these rough times it is a smoke screen to prevent  my wife and I from grasping something HUGE and sharing it with our community.  It is a distraction to make us believe that maybe this blog was created for fun and laughs only and not to change and impact the lives of those around us.

Well we made it through the smoke screen and I would like to share what I would like to call the ‘Crossfit of Marriage’. What I am about to share with you will challenge all your marriage muscles in one workout and you will be done in less than an hour.   This information packs such a punch that it left me in tears when I first viewed it.  It is a series that you should catch but if you know you will only watch one portion, that is okay.  I have given you that one video.   If you have a spouse who will only sit still for one, here it is.  This is for the Non-Christian or the Christian.  Enough already!!  I present to you:

41 Minutes to a new marriage!!

http://bit.ly/R8hjam

ODC

p.s. Special thanks to Andy Stanley and family of www.buckheadchurch.org.  We also are enjoying his book Principals of the Path.

“Call me if you need anything.”

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The weekend started with a phone call while on 285 just before traveling through spaghetti junction.  On the phone was a friend of mine who I have known since before I married the pretty lady that shares this blog with me.  It was a friend that I had always wanted to be closer with but us always living several states over coupled with many long hours for the both of us at work, it has never worked out that way.  I actually was thinking about my mother and how brave she was to have cancelled her surgery at Duke University Hospital.  A surgery where she was to receive a heart pump that would buy her some quality of life while she waited on a donated heart to complete a transfer.  She told the doctor that she would rather wait on the heart transfer and only have to go through one surgery.  Just as this was sinking in my friends call came through.  He immediately asked, “How is your mom doing?”

I replied, “She is being a tough cookie.”  I updated him on the latest information and he mentioned how he was pretty happy the current surgery was not still a go.  I asked. “Why?”  He then shocked me and told me, “Because I want you to be here when your mom has her surgery and my wife and I have decided that we would like to pay for your travel expenses as our gift to your family.”

I was driving and was glad I was because it was the only thing that stopped me from fainting.

Can you say……RIGHT ON TIME!! Taking off from work is one thing, but taking off and then having to pay for travel is another issue.  I don’t think he realized how much this gesture meant to my family.  My family was already forever connected to his before this gesture and regardless of the miles between us he felt a need and did not call to say, “Call me if you need anything.”

THEY JUST DID IT!

ODC

How tanning can get you thrown in jail for stealing an iPhone (The Finale)

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How tanning can get you thrown in jail for stealing an iPhone (The Finale)

The funny part about Mr. Smarty Pants Police is how quickly he realized he was not dealing with a ‘Status Quo’ BOY who was going to allow him to act any kind of disrespectful way but I also was not going to play the ‘who can raise their voice the loudest game.’

He immediately walked over to his damsel in distress and asked her to tell her side of what happened.  And would you believe he actually turned his little puppy dog head to the side and listened to her entire story…..WITHOUT INTERRUPTION.

After approximately 20 minutes, his superior arrived on the scene and asked him to point towards the person who called to speak.  I also noticed the superior did not speak to him for a prep talk either.  He walked over and introduced himself and I told him who I was and he asked, “How can I assist?”

I asked him if he had a problem shaking hands with me and he said that he did not but he prefers not to take any germs home to his children.  He said it in a nice way and extended his hand saying, “If it is necessary I have no issues.”  I told him that I appreciated his response and his eyes told a completely different story from that of the officer.  He allowed me to explain my issues without interruption.

The conversation was great and went on for over an hour.  I found that his wife was a SAHM who homeschooled his children. (we actually shared curriculum challenges and I referred him to Khan Academy). He actually attempted to get his wife on the phone to speak with me while we were talking.  He also uses Dave Ramsey Financial Peace budgeting program and is on Baby Step #2.  I felt like I was talking to my twin but my WM twin is This Daddy’s Blog and so far from being a cop that it is not funny.

Anywho.

I wrote a statement to be placed in the initial rude officers personnel file and the superior assured me this would be done.  Don’t worry about me believing him. I do believe him but I always have a backup plan for the police fraternity.

During our 1-1.5 hour talk session the superior explained that he would stay on the scene with us as long as possible but if he got an urgent call he would need to take it.  I told him I understood and appreciated the advance notice.  He eventually left but the young woman’s mother, who had taken her Honda to the boyfriends home, eventually showed up with the phone.  The mother did not exit the car or even look at me.  But we already know this family had some parenting issues. She handed the phone to the daughter who handed it to the bad attitude cop who walked over and gave it to me. I looked at the phone and found it to be cracked on the face.  I immediately stated, “The face is cracked.” Little Miss Momma responds, “That is how it looked when we found it.” I looked her in the face and said, “I thought you didn’t know anything about an iPhone because there was NO phone in the bag!”  I told her I will let the judge decide if she should pay for my wife’s phone to get fixed.

At this point he told me that I had the option to write a statement that would be included in the police report…but said, “It’s really not necessary since you have the phone back.”

I told him I wanted to write a report.  He gave me 2 pieces of paper and half of the first one was filled with lines for my information.  I told him that I would need a few more pages and wrote a super long statement with 75% of it not even focusing on the cell phone but on his treatment.  He then had to go back and type up my statement into the report and read all of what I felt about his actions and how I really appreciated his superior officer but that I did not trust either officer to turn in the reports given to them and I would be making a visit to Henry County to file an internal affairs complaint.

It will take time for this to get done but these are the things we must do to pay stuff forward in hopes of correcting this curve between BM and the police.

Just a few items that I would like to bring up since this ended up being a little more about the Henry County police.  The young lady was cold while waiting and the officer gave her a Henry County police jacket to wear.  I just wonder if he would have done the same for me.  I also heard that is against policy but have been unable to verify.  He can’t say it did not happen because I actually took a picture of the couple standing side by side with their police gear on when I was pulling out of the parking lot.  I will post it later.  I have my reasons but don’t worry it will be the original and not photoshopped.

Also, I felt really bad for one of the young girls (8) who started crying because she thought she was going to jail.  I have a daughter around the same age who is so sensitive and I was telling my wife it just broke my heart to see her so upset and her mom being the cause of it all.

Well, I never even laid my eyes on the boyfriend.  He never made it to the scene.  The mother ,who could not look at me, had to go pick the phone up and actually had a client in the salon that was unable to get her hair done because of all this mess.

There was something good that came out of this.  My wife and I have some friends that I wish we were closer to, and I spoke to the husband while on the way and once at the shopping center.  He let me know that I was 3 minutes from there home.  Also, when my GPS directed me, it took me a way that I did not know existed. Now I realize they are only 25 minutes from us and not the 45 it was taking me on the highway.  So we are planning a Friday night family movie night and Saturday morning Crossfit session with them.

WOW! We finally made it to the end and I want to thank all of you for hanging in there with us to get to this point.

Point to remember:

Log your phone with ICloud!!

Apple is the bomb and I guess I have to now get my wife the IPAD.  I have been running for to long but they have earned my business as a customer for life!! The frenzy is actually worth it for our family.

BTW, here is a plug for Six Flag’s lost and found department. Apparently, WF did turn in the Hello Kitty Bag, but conveniently decided to keep the phone. The bag was mailed to us yesterday.

ODC

Your successful new life may need scheduling!

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My wife had me grab a dry erase board and told me to prepare to use the board to answer some questions.  Of course it is after a long day and I have very little patience but play along because I think it’s going to lead to something physical, that I will enjoy.

She asked me to make a list of the things that are important to me:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

I left them blank so you can fill in your answers. I don’t want to distract you by having you look at my stuff.  After writing this she asked me to find a Bible scripture that I could use as a foundational scripture for each.  This was to help me see just how much of what was important to me was also important to God!

She then had me draw a line down the middle board and on the left side begin to write the days of the week.

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

But you knew that…huh?

She then had me make my entire weekly schedule and we discussed when each of the items that I had deemed important would get time and I was amazed at how this turned out.  My schedule was so packed that if some of the items I deemed important were going to get touched some major changes would need to be made.

I discovered that there are several things in my life that I would like to improve and if those areas are going to improve I am going to have to invest the time, energy and efforts.  This involves getting out the bed at 4:30am-5:00am when my wife goes to the gym.  (something that is important to her and she has done this for the 12 years we have been married)

She told me, “Most people are not willing to invest in themselves or grind for what they want.”  Then she asked me, “Are you?”

This woman is mind-blowing!!! 

ODC

Note to Singles: “Iron sharpens Iron.” Even in a marriage