Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Semester Update

I've gone sixteen days without a day off. That being said, I'm having a great semester. Student teaching is so much fun. I love the students. My cooperating teacher focuses on grades K-2. For those of you that don't know, I will be teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). Once I finish school, I will be certified to teach K-12. She's an excellent, caring teacher that really puts a lot of time and effort into those kids.

I'm already teaching the students, but my main focus is a little boy who just came here to this country in August with no knowledge of his native language. Teaching him is like teaching a two year old the alphabet, except he's 7 years old. He couldn't even write his own name back in September. I am happy to report that that has changed and his writing is improving. Letter recognition has been difficult, but there is progress everyday.

I must cut this very short because my son is begging me to read to him and it's bedtime.

Nine more weeks left of this semester and one more semester till I graduate!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blast from the Past!

It's been almost 9 months since I've last written a post. School got the best of me. I can't promise to write frequently during the next 9 months because graduate school is kicking my butt. That said, I begin my internship this fall. I'm looking forward to it and hoping it passes in the blink of an eye.

My patience level for juggling school, work, and a home is wearing thin. I need some kind of normalcy to return. Two more semesters and I'm done. Well, I'll probably return to work on more certifications, but in due time. For now, let me work on this Master's.

On to other stuff.

My son will be THREE next month. Can you believe it? I sure can't. He's a little man that looks exactly like his daddy. Not only do they look alike, but they act alike even in their sleep. It's quite funny. He's a little chatter box beginning to switch between English and Spanish (that makes me happy since I speak more English than Spanish). He fully understands Spanish, but mostly he'll answer in English. Either way, I'm happy.

I just celebrated ten years of marriage with my hubby. I have to say the years have flown by. We celebrated by visiting the Shawangunk Wine Trail. Excellent trip! We hit up three of the eleven wineries (Stoutridge, Benmarl, & Adair). The views and the delicious wine sure made this trip out of this world. We tried eighteen different wines and came home with six bottles (I restrained myself to only six).

There's more stuff going on, but too much to write. Maybe I'll start keeping my posts short and sweet so that I could write more often. Until next time!

Monday, January 18, 2010

And the new semester begins...

My month of freedom is done with. I did manage a week off from work and did absolutely nothing and worked like a maniac the rest of my break. However, I did escape to North Carolina for a weekend getaway, read seven books, and started some crocheting. Not bad, I'm impressed with all that I accomplished.

This semester is another crazy one with four courses. Two of those are linguistic classes which are pretty difficult. The month of May can't come soon enough! After this year, my school load lessens. I have two more semesters left and I graduate! Wish me luck!

To add to my tight schedule, I will begin an exercise regime. Dan and I will be going to the Grand Canyon in the summer for our ten year wedding anniversary and we want to be able to do several long, strenuous hikes. As long as I manage my time, I think I'll be able to pull it off. I want to have strength and stamina come July to fully enjoy our second honeymoon. Wish me luck on this too!

Let the challenges begin!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Benefits of the Great Recession

As I was reading the news this morning, I came across this NY Times article about how Americans are changing spending habits by buying less and doing more. Dan and I must have been experiencing this recession for the last ten years because we have always tried spending less and doing more. Not that it's always worked. We still have credit card debt and struggle every month, but we try not to over do it.

For instance, I have not gotten a manicure or pedicure in about three years. Why? I just can't bring myself to spend $20-$30 every two weeks when I could do it myself. I give myself a mani-pedi as part of me time and I enjoy it more than sitting at the salon for an hour.

Haircuts come around every four to five months instead of two. I dye my own hair. I haven't changed my hair color in a really long time and only cover my grays (yes I have tons of them). I don't buy clothes unless they are on sale and I also get a lot of my clothes altered when they no longer fit me properly.

We don't go on vacations. Actually, Dan and I have never been on a vacation. We go away for weekend getaways, but that's the extent of it. Since we are celebrating our ten year anniversary this year, we are going on a "real" vacation. I am so excited about this!

I bake a lot of my own cakes and cookies instead of buying them at the store. We go out to eat about once a month and not to anywhere expensive (this might change to every two months and to a place that has better quality food; we're tired of the so-so food). We have a decent stock of wine and liquor at home for whenever we're in the mood to have a drink. It's cheaper than going to a bar and with a two year old at home, that doesn't happen often anyway.

We hold off on buying expensive stuff until it's absolutely necessary. For instance, we desperately need new living room furniture. And honestly, I get a little annoyed when people mention to me that so and so is having a sale and we could do a payment plan. The reason we haven't gotten new furniture is because I don't want to pay for it monthly. I want to pay for it in full. When Dan and I get enough money in our savings account where if one of us lost our job or anything else that could happen, we would be fine financially, then we'll get new furniture.

We splurge on plenty. This past summer, we went to numerous state parks to hike, picnic, and absorb the scenery. We take little day trips into the city or anywhere where we could do lots of walking. We buy plenty of books and read all the time. We spend more time with each other. I have to say, I wouldn't change that for anything.

Our frugal ways have helped us tremendously now that I'm in school and can't work as often as I should. We've been able to float by. Our savings has shrunk substantially, but we haven't gone under. We enjoy plenty of quality time together and nothing is missing in our household. Can we use more money? Sure anybody can, but for now we're content. When times are better, which they will be, we'll work on the stuff we need. For now, it is what it is.