Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Time

The Beavers had a great Christmas. Eli and I worked at BAM on Christmas Eve, but thank goodness, we didn't have to close. We came home and I worked on Christmas cards while Eli played PS2 for the first time in a very long time. We stayed up late.

Christmas Day, we slept in and when we woke up, we fed the cats and exchanged presents. Afterward, we watched Gone with the Wind--yes, all four hours of it--because I got it for Eli for Christmas. We spent the rest of the day eating, reading, napping, vegging around the house and got absolutely nothing accomplished. It was wonderful (though I wouldn't string too many days like that together).

I started a book called Split Ends by Kristen Billerbeck, one of my favorite contemporary Christian chick fiction authors. I couldn't put it down, and ended up staying awake until 2 a.m. to finish it. I love books that you can't bear to put down.

Anyway, Eli left early this morning to go hunting, and I have to work tonight. Tomorrow, Stephanie and I are driving down to the hunting camp to meet the boys, and then to Mobile. Family Christmas is on Saturday. It will be nice to spend time with the Beavers this Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Today was the day that the teachers at TMS found out where we're being placed for 2008-2009. Of course, this is official until my contract is renewed at the end of this year, and since I'm not tenured (this is my tenure year), things are going to be touch-and-go for a while while I get all my observations in.

The good news is that I got my first choice. I'm going to UP next year, but I won't be teaching sixth grade. I have been moved up to 7th/8th grade language arts. I was really hoping that I would get a sixth grade dual placement, but I prayed that the Lord would put me where I was needed. So, I'm happy. I'll go back to having 100 kids, though. I was looking forward to having half the students in double the time, but that's okay.

I should also find out about my Praxis test today. I'm going to check the mail when I get home. I just really hope that I passed the Middle School Mathematics portion! That would mean that I am a certified math teacher for 4-8 (after a little paperwork, of course).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Half Birthdays Gone By

Okay, so no part in Dearly Departed, but in the spirit of trying new things (and getting some drama experience just in case I'm force to teach the subject some day) I have volunteered with the crew. We start tech rehearsals around Feb. 1.

Yesterday was my 1/2 birthday. That means that my birthday is six months from now. There was no great celebration.

I did come home from school and watch the 1973 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture The Sting. And while I have always loved Paul Newman (I can't really explain why--I just always have--though I think it must be the eyes, or the salad dressing), I have now come to fully appreciate Robert Redford. He's blond, so not really my type--and yes I realize that my husband used to be blond, but he definitely had brown hair when I met him--but when Robert Redford smiles, you forget everything else. They are old men now, but if I only could have been around in their prime years!

I also got to talk to Daphne yesterday. It's been a while (since before Thanksgiving), and since she just turned 29 this week, I needed to know if she survived.

I tried to call Kimberly, but her number was disconnected! I hadn't called her since July.

I got an e-mail from Erin, also haven't talked to her since July.

And I haven't heard from Michelle in a while.

I miss my best friends.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

O Tannenbaum!

In our 4.5 years of marriage, Eli and I have never had a full-sized Christmas tree. This year is the first year for one--and it's real! I've never had a real tree in my life, so this is a big deal.

We weren't sure we would be able to afford a new tree this year, so I didn't think we'd get one. But when Eli came back from hunting last week, he also came back with a tree that I liken to Charlie Brown's tree. I love it.

We decorated it on Sunday after church, and MB came for tutoring Monday and told me she liked it. After she left, I put some big white bows on it, and when she returned on Tuesday, she said she liked it even better.

We have silver and white glass ornaments, but the star we bought won't go on the tree (it's too heavy, and the tree is very petite in its trunk). I think it looks nice. This might be the last year that our tree looks monochromatic. Eli thinks it needs more color.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dearly Departed

Well, I bit the bullet and decided to try out for a play. No, not a musical. A play. The results will be posted tomorrow after a second day of auditions. Last night, I saw Jenny (Pick-A-Little Lady) and Laura (costume helper), along with Tina, Jill, and Amanda. And Katie tried out. She's in high school, but I hope she gets a part. She would do really well with the part of Nadine.

What's most important is that I had fun. I was laughing a whole lot.

It's not so bad to step out of my comfort zone if it involves laughing. ;)

Monday, December 3, 2007


I started back at the bookstore yesterday. My last day there was February 24 of this year, and a lot of things have changed, but it just felt the same (except with a LOT more carpet to vacuum).

There are times when I ask myself why I'm doing this. I didn't actually think about it. I just did it. And it comes back to my goal of having my debts paid off before I'm thirty. (I have to reapeat this to myself over and over again--it will all be worth it!)

The crux is this: What am I doing?!? It takes 5 hours at BAM to make as much money as I make in only one hour of tutoring! I'm working at BAM for the discounts, of course, but also because over the holidays I can't tutor, and I definitely couldn't get 30 hours a week of tutoring. I feel a little bit of loyalty to the people at BAM, but not so much to the dismal pay. Even with minimum wage going really stinks.

Alas, I have consumer debt that I have to pay off. But how long will I stay with BAM? I'm already looking for a job for this summer...

Saturday, December 1, 2007


I talked to my mom the other day, and she admitted that she has been praying that the Lord will somehow bring us back to Texas to live. I asked her to please not pray that prayer. I have nothing against Texas. I lived there for 12 years. My alma maters are there, and most importantly, my family is there. But I don't really want to go back.

What I want is to live overseas! I want an adventure! I have lots of wants, but one of them is not to go back to Texas (and another is to not stay in Alabama).

What would be great is if our families prayed that the Lord would lead us to where we're needed. Wherever that may be. If it's overseas--awesome! And if it's in Texas or Alabama, that's good, too, so long as I know that the right motives were there.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Helio! Helio! Helio!

I knew it, in the way that you wish so much that it is already fact, from the beginning.

He's hot stuff!

And now, my fast from television begins. I am not going to watch television again until Christmas break -- that's nearly 4 weeks! And for those of you who know that I have only 3 channels (ABC, CW, WVUA--local channel), you might think this would not be such a big loss, but I really scheduled my life around the boob tube.

Dancing with the Stars (Helio! Helio!)
Christina Who?
The Bachelor (now over--what a loser)

Beauty & the Geek
taping Dancing with the Stars results show and watching it later
Boston Legal

taping Pushing Daisies when at choir practice
Private Practice
taping America's Next Top Model, Cycle 11
taping Gossip Girls

Ugly Betty
Grey's Anatomy

Nothing Friday or Saturday

Life is Wild, but sometimes Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
America's Next Top Model re-run (if I didn't have time to watch it)
Brothers & Sisters

The truth is, the only show out of these that I really like (other than the aforementioned Dancing with the Stars) is Pushing Daisies. The rest are just mindless fodder for the overtaxed teacher's brain. It's pathetic. And, ever since Alias went off the air, ABC has been pretty much worthless to me, until Pushing Daisies (I can't help it that I LOVE Kristen Chenowith).

I heard on NPR that there was study of television watching habits and adults average about two hours of television per night. That's the truth for me! I was apalled when I actually thought about it, and that is what brought about this fast. So, now I'm going to spend my time reading, grading papers, washing dishes, and doing these other things that I didn't have "time" to do. Like I said, pathetic.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dancing with the Stars!

I love this show. Tonight is the finale for this season, and I'm actually watching it now. They're about to announce the person who came in third! It better not be Helio...

Yes! Marie and Jonathan are going home.

If it's not too obvious, I'm rooting for Helio. I realize that it has been since season 1 that a woman has won, but seriously! Helio is goooooooood! And goofy!

I was at a middle school basketball game, and I "had to" rush home to see the finale of "Beauty and the Geek" followed by this.

For the record, I had to borrow $5 from a student to gain entry to the basketball games. I'm in more debt. It was worth it, though. I love to see my students doing things that they love (because diagramming sentences is not it). This adds a whole new dimension to their personas. Something outside of the classroom.

And KF is technically a former student.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Debt Free By 30

That's only 19 months from now.

I've been wanting to go to this class at church called Financial Peace University. It's a Dave Ramsey class. Eli doesn't really want to go, because he doesn't think he'll learn anything new. We seem to be pretty knowledgeable about personal finance. I've read all the hot books -- Pay It Down by Jean Chatzky, The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach, and now The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I'm a class learner. I want reassurance that what I'm doing is the right thing and that someone else is doing worse than me. So, in January, I'm going to the class (possibly solo).

After our first year of marriage with two incomes and no savings, I decided that I needed to educate myself. We've been married 4.5 years, and have been living off 1 income for 3.5 years, and we're paying down our debts.

I realized the other day that when Eli graduates, we'll have all of his undergraduate and law school loans to pay off (that's somewhere upwards of $60,000) in addition to my loans and the car payment. Yikes!

We've been saving for the last two years, trying to come up with a sum of money for a down payment on a house whenever that may occur, and an emergency fund. After crunching the numbers on his loans, I decided that we'd just better get out of debt before taking out a mortgage. So, I manipulated a few numbers and realized that if I just divert my monthly savings to paying off my student loans, then I would have all my loans (plus the car!) paid off by May 2009--one month before I'm thirty.

I also realized that if we start paying on Eli's loans and we're making two incomes, that we can pay off ALL our debt by the time Eli turns thirty. That gives us 31 months to pay it down.

Can you imagine being debt free? Just thinking about it makes me feel weightless.

Plan G (or what's next)

Our time here in Tuscaloosa is coming to an end. Eli graduates from law school in five months and after that, everything is up in the air. The plan is to move from here and have an adventure somewhere.

Plan A: Eli gets into the Air Force JAG program (he got a rejection letter from them today, so we're reapplying, and continuing to pray). I stay in Tuscaloosa for one more year and teach. Eli goes to JAG school and officer training in Montgomery, AL, from January to April of 2009. We move to some exotic location (Italy? Japan?) in May.

Plan B: Eli gets a government job that sends us overseas as soon as he passes the bar (October 2008); I get a job that is not teaching so I can move ASAP.

Plan C: Eli gets a job with MLS and we get to move from Tuscaloosa as soon as he passes the bar; I get a job that is not teaching.

Plan D: Eli gets a job. Amen.

Plan G: We pray, and let God do what he does best. And we stop making intricate plans (okay, okay--I'm the guilty one--I'll stop making intricate plans).

I need to let go and let God. I want so much to have an adventure, to travel the world, but I also want to be content with wherever God leads us.

Miscellaneous First Post

Well, livejournal has been blocked from my work computer, and I feel the need to write my thoughts from time to time. I started a blog for my class, and one for my running (to take over from my marathon fundraising website), and now I'm out of control. I have one for me to speak my mind.