Saturday, July 26, 2008

Next Phase Begins

Today we officially began the construction of Sterling Creek Lake. Cory started a weeks vacation today and pending a decently dry week, we will have a lake bed ready for water in about 2 weeks. That's Cory on our Catepillar to the right and our friend Peter Ladewig, who also was the contractor on our first house, on his on the left. They started today and worked about 8 hours before calling it quits. Moved quite a bit of dirt and Jack enjoyed keeping tabs on it all. Even decided to bring out his own CAT to show me how it's supposed to be done.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Response

(I've been down and out with a cold since Monday, so this will have to do for this week's post!)

For those of you interested in the follow up to the Starbuck's's the response, that way you don't have to write to corporate, since this would surely be their canned response...

From: Customer Relations [] Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 2:45 PMTo: Rath, SarahSubject: Response from Starbucks Coffee Company - Case # 5779439
Hello Sarah,

Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company and writing to us with your concerns about the closure of one of our locations. We appreciate your passion for the location and the baristas who greet you and make your visit an enjoyable part of the day.

It's never an easy decision to close one of our locations, as we know every Starbucks is a gathering place for the local community. In making this decision, we have considered many factors, including financial performance, proximity of other locations that can provide the Starbucks experience, as well as other considerations.

Partners in the affected stores have been personally notified that their store has been slated to close during this timeframe. Once a specific closure date has been confirmed for their location, store partners will receive advance notice and more details from their leadership team. After specific closure dates have been communicated to all affected partners, we will continue to update the confirmed store list posted on

We expect to place many of the affected partners into available positions at nearby Starbucks stores. Those partners who are not offered a comparable position within a reasonable distance of their current location will be offered a severance payment to aid in their transition. All affected partners - including full-time and part-time - are eligible for severance based on job title and current pay rate.

If you have questions about which stores are to be closing, please visit our website at for a full list.

Thank you again for contacting us. We appreciate your comments and thank you for supporting our baristas. If you have any further comments please email us via or call (800) 23-LATTE (52883) to speak with a customer relations representative.

Warm Regards,

Colleen N.
Customer Relations
Starbucks Coffee Company

If you would like to share your thoughts about your experience with Starbucks Customer Contact Center, please click on the link below to participate in a short survey. Your comments will be used to ensure that any future experiences with Starbucks Customer Contact Center meet your highest expectations.
Another friendly neighborhood form letter. But then again, at least they bothered to respond!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Starbuck's - I Can Empathize, But HEY!

Ok, so I've had two kids in 2 years and yes, I like my Starbuck's! It's a little trendy oasis that I don't have to create. Give me that at least! I know their coffee is overpriced, I know Dunkin Donuts tastes better (sadly there is no location anyhwere near me to test this for myself...), but still I enjoy my weekly (as long as Cory is in town and can be home after the kids are in bed) jaunts with my neighbor Crystal to the local Starbucks to have a simple cup of coffee or latte and chat for a few hours without having to worry if one of the boys is going to wake up crying or need another drink of water.

So, that being said, I have no less than 5 Starbuck's locations between my house and my office. Three stand alone stores, one in the Super Target and one in the Barnes and Noble. And sadly, the one closest to my office, which just opened a year ago, is on the list of 600 stores to be closed!

Now, I would be much more upset if the store that Crystal and I chill at on the occaisional Monday night was on the list, but still, what a bummer. No shot at getting away from the office for a break, no last minute hot Starbuck's Skinny Vanilla, or Carmel, or Cinnamon Dolce Latte (or non-skinny Toffee Nut Latte) to sip as I check my email first thing in the morning in my office. Nope, now I must plan ahead, drop the kids and head a block the opposite way on bumper to bumper Hwy 280 and add 2 stoplights to my commute in order to enjoy this occaisional indulgence on the days I just must have something to make it through the morning!

So, of course I have sent in my note to Starbuck's corporate...which will probably not sway their fiscally responsible policy to close stores which are not profitable...even though this one in my opinion hasn't had a chance to get it's place in the neighborhood yet, but at least I have given my opinion and feel I have done my job in making an attempt to keep my life more convenient. So, maybe in the long run, Starbuck's is actually helping me keep my girlish figure by closing a store so convenient...either way, I am certain I will continue to have my indulgence, just maybe a little less frequently.

And Clare and Natalie, don't worry, I already searched the list and Racine and Brunswick (or anywhere nearby) are safe for now!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's Not the Firsts....

I learned today driving home that it's not the "firsts" that each child accomplishes that are so exciting, it's the "firsts" they do together...

Today, Jack was playing peek-a-boo, hiding his eyes with his hands, then throwing them aside and saying "PEEK", a relatively new joy for him. And all the while Duke sat in his back facing car seat leaning as far as he could to see his brother and laughing hysterically every time Jack squealed "PEEK"! Only making Jack want to do it over and over again.

Joy comes at the most unexpected times.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Well, what a few weeks it's been and it isn't over yet! Sorry for not having checked in (and thanks for the email reminders), but it's been a little crazy here. I feel like we are "close" to getting back into our routine, but I'm sure something will come up and toss it in the air again...oh well...

We had a great time in Racine for the 4th! Of course, talk about crazy!, but what can you expect with three little boys on the verge of 2 years old! Jack was in sheer heaven and awestruck by the houseful of toys that Quinn has access to everyday (thanks to mom staying home, something has to help her keep her sanity!) Duke played with his feet...seriously, everyone was a bit suprised at how chilled out of a baby Duke seems to have become. And they both did fairly well on the trip, other than the fact that I think we managed to bring a "southern stomach bug" with us, which eventually found it's way in some shape or form to Caroline, Quinn, Clare, Nolan, Ali, Josh and Charles (sorry guys!) If it makes any of you all feel better, two babies in Duke's class were sent home today with a new stomach bug and one baby with pinkeye and Jack's room is reporting similar symptoms and fussiness, so there is no telling what this weekend will bring.

All in all, awesome trip and so wonderful to spend time with my family! And the new hot tub at Clare and Josh's new swank pad wasn't such a bad bonus either! Better than a hotel in my opinion! Thanks to you two for opening up your place to us on such a short schedule of getting in there yourself. And while I'm at it, I must say little Nolan Gasser is quite the little stinker of the group. Now not really a stinker in the way of being a pest or anything...he just reminds me so much of his mother growing up it's scary! A little ham and I have a feeling will be quite the little clown in his day. Clare and I may have our hands full with two each, but Ali may have us beat with the nonstop-always on the go little guy in her house, good luck with that!

We had a week or so to adjust to being back and then Daddy hit the road for Vegas for a week and I'm starting to sense this isn't going to get any easier anytime soon. Actually for a while, when we were on the usual schedule of Daddy gone mid week for a few days, it really worked pretty well and we managed to avoid any major meltdowns. However, now that Daddy's been home a while since gas prices have had to readjust the travel schedule some, it has not been such a great week in Jack's world.

Don't get me wrong, the kid is a trooper for what little time he gets one on one with Mommy these days...but when push comes to shove and it's just Mommy and the boys, Duke takes the lead most times and poor Jack has to practice our new action word "patience". Not so smooth this week, but things did look up tonite when I broke down at lunch and bought him the Little People Airplane for a suprise. Since the trip to Wisconsin, AIRPLANE, has been the big word around here, (actually "airmay" and how cute is that!) and the idea was a good one, until it was time for bath, where the "airmay" cannot go... Between the "airmay" and the sudden attachment since Sunday to "Goodnight Moon" which now has to be read no less than three times before bed, and then a crying spell ensues regardless, it's been a loooooonnnnnggggg week for Mommy. I have a whole new appreciation for divorced and single mom's, let me tell you. At least us Mom's that have Daddy's travel have the hope of a short reprieve and sound sleep again!

So that's about it in our world this week. There's so much more, and I will try to do a better job this month of some short posts, but for now I hope you are entertained.

And just for the record:

Jack's latest words:
Bus (out of nowhere on the way to work today as we passed one and accompanied by an active rendering with the hands of "The Wheels on the Bus...")
Airplane (see above)
YaYa (been around a while)
MiMi (now recited following Mommy's prompt of "and who lives with YaYa")
Catepillar (sounds like "cacakiller", however not the bug, but for the very large yellow machine in our yard these days)
Granola Bar (don't even ask)
Mommy (yes finally, it seems I have a name other than "uh, uh")
and the one that beats all....ELMO! (heard over the baby monitor at 3am recently)

Duke's favorite pasttimes:
Sitting up
Playing with his feet
Not telling anyone he is awake in the morning, Mommy eventually has to assume by 8am that she needs to get him and feed him or he may stay in his crib all day entertaining himself!
Testing out Daddy's Saturday morning pancakes