Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bike riding

Yesterday I had an accounting test at the college. Then I did our errands. I got my Amazon gift card in the mail and we ordered some Christmas presents with it today.

Small group last night was awesome. We had a slow time over the summer of not doing much as far as growing goes. But since "school" has started, we've gotten back into studying. We've been going through James and it is great conversation. I love discussing and picking apart passages and coming up with different possibilities.

Today it was wonderful to sleep in. We went for a bike ride in the late afternoon. We went the other way from town, because we hadn't ridden that way before. After a short ride, we came home via the street next to us. Our old Spanish teacher lives down there and was outside so we stopped and chatted with her for well over a half hour. It was nice :)

I just came back from taking pictures of the sunset. It was an ok one, but I ended up being more interested in the scenery. I might post some later. Now I need to do homework!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Afternoon walk in the fall

Our date went well. We dressed up and ordered one dish at Fat Olives. After eating we ordered the Peanut Butter Mousse Parfait. Oh my goodness that was rich. It was really good. We took some pictures before and after. It was fun time. A bit short, but nice nonetheless.

Today I went to my parents' church for a potluck. Dad gave me a Palm m500 that he got at an auction. I've been playing with it a bit. It's from 2001, so it's way obsolete nowadays, but I've been downloading games and programs. There isn't much to do with it, but I thought it would be fun to play with.

I came home and then turned around and took a 45 minute walk. I walked up to the road and walked down the bike path, about half way to town. I took tons of pictures of the trees and such. It was invigorating. This is day 2 of sunshine in a row. Tomorrow is not supposed to be sunny. I'm trying to soak in as much sun as possible today, but no one is available to hang out. Caleb is getting off work in 20 minutes, but he won't want to do anything outside. And I need to do homework. Such is life.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Torrential Downpour

Today was a crazy day weatherwise. It was sunny and clear all day, except for a dark cloud to the north looming. And then it randomly started pouring. It poured rain for over 10 minutes. I never timed it. It was probably 20 minutes in total. I was at work at the time and we were watching our parking lot fill up and water run down in "rivers". The street got huge puddles like it always does. Some poor kids walking from school were literally drenched and as I watched were soaked again by a passing car spraying water on them. It was miserable looking. And of course, it suddenly stopped and was done (for about an hour) and then a gorgeous rainbow appeared.

So I of course had to take tons of pictures of everything. And the leaves are really changing now, and quickly.

My sister in law sent pictures to us of my brother and his family today. :) Now I'm on the mailing list of these, so I'm excited. It was always fun to get them when my parents would check the mail. I love getting pictures from friends and family, so this was a great end to the day.

Tomorrow is Homecoming. Caleb and I (or rather me) like to dress up when the high schoolers do and go to dinner. That way, no one in town looks at us funny and we have an excuse! For those of you not from around here...our town is known for its casualness. There is no real "classy" restaurant here. There are a couple of nice ones, but showing up there in a dress gets funny looks (I've done it more than once, I can vouch for this) SO, when I get the chance, I like to dress up when every high schooler in town is as well. Tomorrow is the dance, so after work, we will go to dinner, likely to Fat Olives (yay Laurel) and eat and get dessert.

Also, every time that we plan to go on a nice date like this, the weather inevitable turns awful. I don't think we have any nice pictures of us dressed up where we had sunny and warm weather. Most dates it was rainy and windy or cold. It's nice to have warm weather because I am usually in a skirt or a dress and I always want to take pictures. More sunshine = more pictures. I was tempted to have us switch to today because it was sunny. But the forecast says it will be clear tomorrow. We shall see.

I had more I wanted to say, but I'll leave it for another day. This entry is long enough.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Old Classmates

Linnaea came over yesterday and we spent a good deal of time looking for people on myspace and facebook that we went to elementary school with. I brought out my old yearbooks and we went at it. We found so many people. Some of them I added, but most I just sat and stared at. It is so crazy how people change. And mature. Many of the faces in the yearbooks reminded me of immature moments, thinking someone was mean or really nice. It's so strange to see where everyone ended up and what they look like now. Most of the ones we found were people we haven't seen since about 1st or 2nd grade. And now they are in their 20s. Some of them we looked at several people and weren't seeing a resemblence and suddenly we would find a listing that was obviously that person. A good 13-15 year difference and you could tell immediately who it was. So strange yet amazing.

I made contact with one girl who kind of remembered me. It's strange to remember some people so well and yet they have no idea who you are!

It makes me think how crazy it is that we are all growing up and aren't kids anymore. Many of my classmates are married (or not) and have a kid, or two. I wonder what they think when they look at me. I came out of my shell somewhere in high school, found a boyfriend and am now married. Fascinating to think about!

Credit Card

When we got married, I closed my Wells Fargo accounts to join with Caleb's. I kept my WF credit card. It turned out that paying it off without another account in my name was impossible. They said I should be able to access it with my SSN instead of my online username, but that did not show up any of other account. So, my WF card was paid off in the branch for the month and I stopped using it.
I researched other cards and in July I applied for the Chase Amazon.com Visa.
Every $2500 spent they send you a $25 gift card to Amazon. And triple points spent on Amazon. I knew that would be perfect for me, due to spending lots on school, and spending lots on Amazon. Looking at that statement, it appears that I spent a lot of money in the last month. I obviously am getting sent my first gift card. And it appears that I get more points for college??! I'm more happy with this card as time goes on. By next month I will probably be in line for another gift card. All of my larger purchases I've been putting on here - like groceries. So I'm pretty excited by this. I'll let you know when the card comes in the mail!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Conduct Happiness - Hilarious T shirts! I just came across this site on Facebook and it's very cute. I want to get one of these for my sister in law, but we already have all of her Christmas presents! (so we'll see...but a couple are just what she would like!)

Chicken bake

Yesterday was a blast. We went to the beach, and cooked steak over a fire. Caleb came on his lunch break and hung out. It was pretty fun. And it was sunny too!

Today it is raining, as has become usual.

Last night we had a good answer to prayer. We'd been praying about where to give our Dividend tithe. A new couple in our group was saying how the husband needed to get an MRI and then possibly surgery on his elbow. They didn't have the money for their $1000 deductible. It sounded like a good use to us, so we gave them a check on their way out the door. :) We were both happy with how the money will be used and wanted to be a blessing. We came home happy last night.

Now we're going to get groceries. Then we will make a real meal. Our favorite meal has become Chicken Biscuit Bake. It takes a while to make, but is so yummy. It has a lot of different flavors and is unique. It's great work lunch food. We've made it at least twice since we got married, if not 3 times. I'm excited to eat it again! I would highly recommend it.
So after we start it cooking I get to buckle down and start my homework for the week finally.

Here's some pictures from yesterday.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Moving back into our place was such a nice relief! It's nice to have our own quiet space back that has no one but us there!

Yesterday resulted in a mad scramble to finish my last 2 homework assignments. I put my accounting off after I got stumped last week. So I crammed and almost completed it before midnight. I had nearly all finished and wrote a note saying I ran out of time. And my teacher still gave me a 100% on it! I'm not going to complain! He's definitely my favorite teacher this semester. It's a good thing, because he's my advisor too!

Sometime in the next little while, I will be running off with 2 or 3 friends to go to the beach. It has been beautiful for the past 2 days...finally! Yesterday I had to do homework so I couldn't enjoy it like I wanted to.

I cleaned all morning. It felt good to get our place back to where it needs to be. I'm not done, but it looks much better after the moving back in chaos. And get this, I used our vacuum for the first time. We bought it on our honeymoon and Caleb's been the only one to use it so far. It's a small Dirt Devil that is quiet and has great sucking power! I loved using it. I hate vacuuming in general. I have to do it at work fairly often for closing and it just takes all of the joy out of it when you have to do it every night.

So life is back to normal again and I'm loving it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Fabulous Day

Today has been a great day!

A friend called and wanted to go to coffee with me. So we hung out for a good 2 hours.

Today it is extremely windy. Last night I slept with my hair in a braid. When I got up this morning, it didn't look that bad, but I redid it anyway. As of now, my hair looks much worse from the wind that it did from sleeping on it.
So, on my way to hanging out with my friend I stopped at the ATM. When I was driving off, I saw some paper flying around. At first I thought it was a dollar bill. Once I realized it was a $20, I parked and chased after it. :D So now I have an extra 20 bucks for my hotel night fund, which is pretty much completed now! Yay! I love unexpected blessings like that. I felt bad because someone lost $20, but there was no way to figure out where it came from, because it was so windy.

Coffee was good (or rather, my steamer and her hot chocolate) and it was good to hang out with her one on one. She has only been home a month and this was the first time I've hung out with her without her boyfriend.

Yesterday and today, it has started out slightly sunny. Both days, by the afternoon, it is pouring rain. Right now, it looks miserable out there with the wind.

Yesterday, as promised, Caleb and I made it to the beach. It was getting cold, and the tide was very high, so we took some pictures and then left. As soon as we did, it started raining.

Youth group last night was much better than last week. We had a smaller group, though.
After my "coffee" today, I did a bunch of errands and got a ton of groceries. We go home tonight!! I'm so excited.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No rain!

I'm very pleased with myself. I only have 4 more assignments to finish for the week of school and it's only Wednesday (out of like 12 to 16 a week)! Granted, two of them - accounting homework that I am stuck on and a paper to write are a little harder to finish in a night, but otherwise, I feel like I can breath a bit easier this week. Thus said, I plan to go to the beach sometime today as it isn't raining!

We only have another night here at Caleb's parents' house. It has gotten a bit more bearable, but I am so sick of being in this house for 5 days straight!

Tonight we have youth group. We'll see how it goes.
One of the high schoolers told me about Picasa. I kept hearing about it, but hadn't really looked into it. I downloaded it last night to see what it was like. We already have Photoshop and Fireworks, so I don't need another photo editing program, but I liked how easy and simple it was to use. It also had a cool way of organizing pictures. I'm going to use it for some elements, like quick blurring and stuff. Anyone else use it?

Monday, September 15, 2008


It's been my first chance to blog since last week. I would say it's been a chaotic week, but I think that's what I say every time.

Wednesday night, we helped out with youth group. It was very challenging for me. I'm pretty introverted, and it was harder when it was with kids that I have a slight relationship with, but am completely removed from their world. And then there were the ones that I hardly know their name. Our leaders did good leading them, considering they have no experience doing it whatsoever. It was a hard night for me, just realizing that I have been removed long enough from this setting to be hard to get back into it, and also that I am one of the adults there now. Kind of scary.
Thursday I did errands, and then ended up hanging out with a friend of mine for several hours. We went to lunch and then spend a couple hours at the beach. I had not hung out with her in several weeks, so it was a lot of fun.

Saturday night, we started "babysitting." Caleb's parents are out of town for 5 days, so we moved into their house for that time. We dragged all of our computer stuff over, which has been a hassle, but worth it to me so that I can do school. But I did not think about how noisy it always is at this house!
It is kind of hard to explain, but this is a very open house. The friends of the kids are always over, to do homework or hang out. When we got here Saturday night, there were at least 6 extra people here. It turned out to be awful for my homework situation.

[As a side note, living here cuts down on our living expenses a tiny bit. We aren't paying for food, nor driving so much. Caleb is walking to work like he used to. It's also weird spending so much time here again since I've been away from being here everyday since our wedding.]

Yesterday, I went to lunch with my parents. It was the first time since May when I started working on Sundays. It was nice to get to do that with them again.

After lunch, I came to the in-laws' house to do homework. I had a whole load due at midnight and could not find the quietness to concentrate on it. A group of girls were giving dreadlocks to one of the boys. I was here for the whole process. They started at 3 o'clock and finally, finally finished right at midnight. The boy was in pain from all of the tugging and pulling and the main girl doing it was exhausted as well. They all had homework to finish and had not counted on the process taking 9 hours. It was great entertainment though! I was planning on posting pictures, but they did not turn out as nice as I was hoping.

Today I am to be doing homework all day, yet again. Then we have small group tonight.
It is definitely fall here. The leaves are officially changing and falling and it has gotten colder. It is sad, because everyone is rooting for sunshine after not having much this summer. I'm looking forward to all of the leaves changing though, so I can take some great photos! I discovered a few days ago that looking up from our apartment, we see the hillside to the north, and it is covered in birch trees and others that turn gorgeous. It will be an amazing sight every day!
We got our free money on Friday (and got paid!) so that was a blessing. All of it is divided into the separate savings accounts and is set to start earning interest tomorrow!
At work on Saturday, I got my first Alaska state quarter. Not to sound corny or weird, but it's so strange knowing that I've been waiting for this since 1999, never thinking we'd make it to 2008 to actually get to the second to last quarter. Time does fly by!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ways we are frugal

I read a lot of personal finance blogs, and have been wanting my blog to be one. But I don't have enough ideas for content to really make it that way, and I love to blog about the daily life much more. But, I've been thinking of one post that I could make for a while.

These are the ways that Caleb and I are frugal in our day to day life.
  • Cutting Caleb's hair: There's really no point in getting your hair cut at the salon when you are only getting it buzzed anyway. We've been using his parents' hair cutting kit, but when we went to Anchorage last month, we bought our own. We will be using it soon! I, on the other hand, like getting my hair cut in a salon. But I don't get it done very often..so..
  • Bringing lunches from leftovers: When we go out to eat, I take my leftovers to work the next day. Or we make a meal at home that is more food than we can eat and take that. We try not to go out to eat when we are working.
  • Grocery shopping only once a week: All summer we did this and it worked great. We spent less by only going to the store once. Now that our routine is different with me starting school again, we have to figure out how to make it work again.
  • Not going to Soldotna: We live in a small town with no malls or box stores. Everything in town is expensive and overpriced, because of no competition. The nearest town that has a mall is Soldotna, an hour and a half away. When we go to Soldotna, namely Fred Meyers, we tend to spend a lot of money. We only try to go there when we have a long list of things we need or it's a road trip. It helps us not spend!
  • Rechargeable batteries: For years, I used AA batteries for my camera and cd player. While my camera doesn't eat them up very quickly, it still is a waste. When I finally got a hold of some rechargeable ones, it was my lucky day. I bought another set of batteries and now I am no longer paying for batteries!
  • Moving to Homer: This probably doesn't count, as now I am paying for rent and food, but once we got married, I moved to Homer from my hometown, a 30 minute drive. I was going through so much gas to get to town everyday. I was filling up at least once a week, and now I fill up once for the whole month. I've stopped burning up so much gas, so that must count for something.
  • Used books: I try not to buy books new, unless it's from a favorite author. So I buy a lot of reading books at the local thrift store now. I find ones that I wouldn't have tried before that way, as well. I should try out the library too. The library in my hometown didn't have much I was interested in, but the Homer one might.
  • Eggs: I love eggs. Even though they have gone up in price, they are still a pretty cheap food. I can get anywhere from 6-9 meals out of a carton of them.
So, that's the current list. Most of it isn't the most frugal, and there are ways that we could definitely cut back, but I thought maybe some of them might be slightly unique.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Link Love

Here's the interesting links I've come across lately!

23 Geeky License plates - Some of these are pretty funny.

An eraser with 28 edges - This would be a great thing to have had in elementary school!

World's strangest fences - There are some very strange fences on here. My favorite is the pencil one.

"Where the rich go to drive fast" - An expensive racetrack to drive as fast as you want. It's an interesting enterprise.

The peeler man - Anyone heard of the man in NYC who sells peelers and makes tons of money doing so? I hadn't but he seems pretty fascinating.

Green polar bears - How awful it would be to be responsible for the polar bear exhibit!

Living on a dollar a day - A lady in Europe lived on hardly anything for a whole year. I know I couldn't do it, but it's inspiring!


Christmas Shopping in September

My consecutive days off are going well. Sunday I went to my small group leaders' house for a youth group kick off event. Tracy made taco soup (which I have never had before) and it was amazing :P So it was fun. Then I had to go home and do homework which was not nearly as fun.

Yesterday, I left the house for over 3 hours. I went and browsed/shopped in town. I'm getting a head start on my Christmas gifts while I still have some money. I got one present for my father in law and got something for Caleb. I also redeemed the rest of my work bonus and got some more presents that way. So that was good. I also got 2 shirts at Salvation Army. I've been looking for sweaters/long sleeved shirts lately and found a nice periwinkle one that will work just fine.
Next, I went to SBS to hang out with Caleb on his lunch break. I originally planned to take him to lunch, but I showed up too late because he took lunch early, and he was done eating already.

We started our small group on Monday starting yesterday. It's very strange, but it will work I suppose.

Today we slept in. I did homework, and now Caleb's brother Drew is over and they are playing games. I've done a lot of homework and have discovered that there is not that much to do this week. Thus, I am taking a break yet again and blogging!

Tomorrow we are going to youth group. I haven't been in 2 years. It's been at least a year, if not 1.5 since Caleb has been. We'll see how it goes.

I'm enjoying having time off, so it will be hard to go back on Friday!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Icky School

My work schedule has changed drastically starting today. I have a week off, until next Friday. I think I will probably go crazy being home all day. This time is devoted to school...right. I have worked on a lot of assignments today and became frustrated with one so I quit. I made some spaghetti, and did laundry since then. It always amazes me that the tasks I really don't want to do suddenly make me eager when I have schoolwork to do.

I'm going to head out to the grocery store soon and then pick up Caleb from work. Then I'll more homework.


For all of those non-Alaskans out there, sometimes living here is not that great. Small town living (Homer) means no entertainment, no malls, no Walmart. Alaska's first 2 Targets are opening in a month. Rarely any concerts in the state. Companies think it costs tons more to ship here (it doesn't...we're still in the US). Not to mention that I hate the winters. As much as I adore Alaska and never plan to leave, it still makes me unhappy sometimes. So, that's what makes our dividends a welcome incentive to stick around. And this year, I'm getting a double dose by being married. For those who are not aware, every year, those who applied in the state get a dividend from a state fund. This year, it is the biggest ever, due to being larger anyway, but then Palin signed an energy bill to give everyone an extra $1200 for gas money, basically. And, they are sending it all out a month early so we can fill up our fuel tanks before it gets cold. They announced the amount yesterday - $3269 a person. I'm excited about it, although all we're doing with it is saving it (but it will get us some nice interest!). So, $6500 to live here. Not bad :P

Now that I'm done bragging...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

5 months

Today is 5 months of marriage for us! Caleb brought me a dozen roses :)

Our small group leaders are going to be running youth group for the next few months. They never had any desire to do it, but were asked and have been considering it for a bit. They asked us to consider helping with them. We're going to go next Wednesday and see how it goes. I haven't been to youth group in 2 years. I'm excited to get back into it, but Caleb isn't as much. Time will tell what happens with this!

My classes are going fine so far. I found a girl in one of them who attended KBC with me. She transferred to Anchorage for this semester, though, so it will be frustrating to communicate with her about this class. It'll be fun to reconnect with her though.

It's getting dark at 9pm now! I hate impending winter! I wish that winter would go as quickly as summer always seems to.

I need to start studying now. Until I get into the swing of classes, I'm not sure of the frequency of my blogging. It may be more or less or about the same. Just a heads up!