Thursday, January 28, 2010

My life as I know

I felt as if an update is needed, as so much has seemed to happen in the last week alone!

First, this time off and flexibility in my schedule is like a dream come true. Yes, at times I get quite bored and overwhelmed with what to do, but overall it has been wonderful. I try to get up as Matt leaves for work about 7:15ish and go straight to the gym to get me up and going - after that the day is at my fingertips. I have caught up with many dear friends (in whom it had been WAY too long since I had seen or talked to...I was determined to not be that girl that got married and dropped off the face of the earth...sadly, due to uncontrollable circumstances I think I may have slightly been that person...but not anymore!!) So, that has been lovely and very refreshing. I even got to spend a whole day with my sister Caitlin just shopping and getting Crave cupcakes (totally worth it at $3.50 a pop) before she finally got blessed with her dream job in Galveston - wahoo for her! And I got to attend my best friend, Sarah's, bridal portraits because I could at 2 o'clock in the afternoon on a Wednesday. I have been able to complete the necessary chores during the week so Matt and I don't have to spend our weekends (per usual) doing laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc and can actually relax together. Again, bonus! I do have to say our marriage has grown and deepened significantly now that I'm not completely stressed out and angry at my job all the time! Amazing how that happens...

Other exciting news is that in the last week and a half, I have gotten hired on as a Katy substitute (which is quite the process! geez!) and can start that hopefully next week as a good transitional job. I got hired on as a contractor for this private tutoring service which should hopefully find me clients (though no word on that yet...). And I (through Craigslistings) acquired a tutoring job everyday this week! One of them will be weekly for awhile and another was just short term this week...but what a blessing! I've decided tutoring is awesome. It's exactly like teaching...but only one kid, have no other distractions, and after an hour or two, I get to go home! I may have found my calling...

So in all, life is going pretty darn good. It is such a confirmation that God was allowing and guiding me to leave my previous job. Sure there have been sacrifices, but the blessings way outweigh them! I am OK with the anyways. Good thing life needs to be taken one day at a time. ;)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Price Matching

As I have previously posted, I am doing all that I can to save a few dollars - as we are on a slightly tighter budget these days with one income. For example, this frigid cold winter brought temperatures both inside and out down rather low for a few weeks. SO, Matt and I decided to invest in a space heater since I'll be home and we'd rather not run the heat all day. Other than having to carry it from room to room with me, it worked out rather a portable fireplace. :)

As we decipher where else we can save money, I decided that my next project was to be on groceries. Usually I spend about $60 on groceries a week (we don't eat out except occasionally on the weekends) and my goal is to get it down to at least $50. Last week I shopped at HEB and through in-store coupons I save over $10...darn close to my $50 range. I was pretty excited especially since HEB puts the amount you save in big bold numbers at the bottom (this got posted on the fridge - I know I'm a nerd, but celebrate the little victories). Then I heard about the price matching that Walmart this seemed like an easy task at first but thankfully it only cost me what I have to spare at the moment...time! First Matt and I went and bought a Sunday paper yesterday and clipped all the coupons that we might use now or in the near future. I also had saved all the grocery ads from that week that we got in the mail. I made my weekly grocery list and marked next to each item the place and price it was on sale or if I had a coupon for it. That was the easy part...

Today at Walmart, I walked up and down the aisles with my ads, coupons and list in hand trying to figure out if it is cheaper to purchase the item on sale at Walmart, the generic brand, or the item I have price matched...I'm sure I looked ridiculous as I stopped at the end of each aisle double checking all my resources. Over an hour later I get in line to check out. I put all the items I needed to price match at the end and one by one I pulled out the ad (sometimes I forgot which ad and had to search through the 5 that I brought. oops, lesson learned!) and the nice cashier changed the price for me. I think my best deal was on bagged salad that was $3.78 that I got for $2 for being on sale at Kroger. It all worked out wonderfully except for:

1)the toilet paper that I got the wrong kind ($4.99 for a $12 package did seem too good to be true!)
2)the poor lady behind me that was unaware until too late how long it'd take me and
3)my unnecessary trip to HEB to buy their brand chicken for $1 a pound only to find out that split chicken breasts have bones (who knew?) :( so I had to trek back to Walmart to buy their chicken (again, lesson learned).

But today I saved $9.78 by price matching and was just slightly over my $50 mark. Not too shabby for my first time and buying $10 worth of chicken that will last us a few weeks. I plan on getting this down to an art and it not taking nearly so long!

It's so wonderful to feel productive...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Olny 55% of plepoe can raed tihs.

So, are you a part of the 55%?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Goal

Over the last couple weeks, while being unemployed, I have had time. Time to think. Time to read. Time to pick up some domestic skills again. Time to cut my finger almost off while trying to chop an onion (thank you domesticity). and unfortunately, Time to stress.

I desire this time to be refreshing and a renewal period. I know that I needed it after leaving my job. I don't think I realized how much it beat me up inside. And my sweet, loving, understanding husband saw the impact of those 9 hours I spent everyday at such a place and allowed me to leave it all behind.

So here I sit. Trying to figure out what's next. And it slightly stresses me out, as usual. Now I've had my share of jobs (hostess, Tom Thumb checker, Sonic car-hop, camp counselor, filer/clerical, Kohl's, administrative assistant, waitress, church intern, bookkeeper at a jewelry store, wilderness guide, medical forum counselor, teacher...and I even think I left a few out...) and rarely do I know what comes next. Maybe if I followed a "normal" path (whatever that is) my life wouldn't be so eclectic. But then again, I kinda like it like that.

I mean, my mind has taken me all over the place for my next job...even yesterday I had an interview for a clerical position, got offered the job - for $9 an hour!! NINE DOLLARS! I think I made that before I was even a high school graduate! Plus, it didn't even sound like something I'd enjoy after about a week....And I almost took it. Because I want a direction and something to cling to. Something to define myself by...To feel as if I'm contributing to this marriage.

Which brings me to my inspirational "aha" moment as I was reading Becoming God's True Woman by Nancy Leigh Demoss (one of many books that have been sitting on our bookshelf waiting to be read). One part talks about our goal in life and how we need to define it so we can walk faithfully in it. Yes, it would be nice to have a job that I love and I can utilize my God-given gifts to excel in it (and lucky are you if you have found it)...and maybe that job is right around the corner...but right now I'm a daughter, a friend, a sister, a wife and God's child. And my goal is to look at those relationships and determine how I am to serve.

Right now I'm focusing on my role as a wife. Mostly because it's new and always immediately in front of me. I am Matt's helper. And I LOVE it! (As I'm still learning what that means.) But Mrs. Demoss in her book reminded me,

"What is my goal as a wife?...One day I want to hear God say to Matt, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.' As Matt's helper in this life, those words will be my joy."

So, right now even if I don't contribute an income, I still have a place. Building a home. A clean, safe place for Matt to come home to each day. Looking for ways to save a little money here and there. Provide a home-cooked meal each night (ok, maybe not every night...). Help keep the clothes on his back clean. And try my best to encourage him with a joyful spirit after a long days work. So, right now, that's my focus and goal as I wait for the next job...but unlike most other things I have done, this one gets to stick with me for the rest of our lifetime!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Venture...Tutoring

Due to my recent resignation from teaching, I've decided to pursue a new, yet similar venue for 1) income and 2) my sanity to have something to apply myself to. From my experience, I have learned that many of my previous students seek out outside resources for additional help in my math and science classes. Especially as 3rd grade is the first TAKS test year (so much pressure for those kids!).

I love helping students one-on-one and have many years of experience, so I think that if this pans out it could be an excellent career/hobby/supplemental income!

So, if you know of anybody looking for a (TEA certified) tutor for a 1st-8th grade student who could use some additional help in math and science, please let me know!