Monday, May 4, 2015

#MicroblogMonday

*Its been a super busy day today. So today's #MicroblogMonday post is in bullet form.

*Josh let me pick out my Savannah's Day present on Saturday. I can't wait to get it next Sunday.

*My official grade isn't posted yet, but I'm pretty sure I got a B in my math class. I'm so excited that I not only passed, but that my grade was higher than a C!

*I've been super stressed over the HOA (Home Owner's Association). Last year, I was told the sprinkler system timer didn't work and it was never looked at because they didn't want to pay any money to fix it. Turns out Allred's Landscaping will do a free consult. To top it off, when he came, he found that it had been programed to never water. All he had to do was reset the timer.

*I no longer cuss lawyers. I had to hire one for the HOA to get some account brought current. I am still shocked at the results. Amazing.

*Summer semester starts next week, so I only get one week off. I'm going to take at least one class, but still haven't decided if I'll take two classes. Guess its time to decide.

*I played the piano for the first time in 6 years yesterday. I felt like I did horrible, but everyone said I did well. I think they are all good liars, but I'll take it. When I asked who sold me out as a piano player, I was told it was several people. I should have known I'd never be able to hide.




Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Books Read in 2015

"The Highwayman of Tanglewood" by Marcia Lynn McClure
"A Game of Thrones" (A Song of Fire & Ice Series, Book 1) by George R. R. Martin
"A Clash of Kings" (A Song of Fire & Ice Series, Book 2) by George R. R. Martin
"The Pirate Ruse" by Marcia Lynn McClure

Monday, April 27, 2015

#MicroblogMonday: Sleep On It

This weekend, we decided to start shopping around for a new truck. We were in the city and just wanted to look around and get an idea of what we wanted and the cost, but we knew we wouldn't be coming home with a new truck that day.

We drove to one dealership, but literally couldn't find any parking. Josh got mad and said we weren't staying if they couldn't make a parking spot for potential customers. (Over the years, he has gotten very picky about how he expects a business to treat their customers.)

We did a Google search and ended up at a different dealership. I guess I'm just used to my small town because I thought we would walk around the lot and if something caught our eye, we'd go inside and ask about it. We weren't 10 steps away from our car before a salesman came sprinting across the lot to greet us.

I knew we were in for a long day, but I don't think Josh had any idea how a car salesman can be. Its probably because I used to sell real estate and I've never forgotten how pushy my boss could be. We told the guy what we were looking for. He then tried to talk Josh out of what he wanted and into something else. (Big mistake, don't ever try to change Josh's mind.)

We did agree to go inside and let him check the online inventory and see if he could find something for us. While we waited, another salesman came over and again tried to talk Josh out of what he wanted, which is a standard transmission vs. automatic.

In our small town, when we test drive a car, they let us take it home for the night. But when we test drove one at this dealership, we made a small loop down the freeway, with the salesman in the back seat telling us exactly where to go. If we had bought that truck, it would have been the ONLY time it drove on the freeway. Josh would much rather drive on terrain he knows he'll use it in, like dirt roads.

Then we went back to the dealership. Again, Josh stated he wanted a standard transmission. I think they could tell we were about to leave, so they checked with their other lots and found a few. But they were out of our price range. I told them we would have to go home and sleep on it before we could decide. They asked me what it would take to get us out the door, that day, with a new truck. I told them, nothing, we always sleep on big decisions like this.

I have decided that is the one phrase a salesperson does NOT want to hear. They could not take no for an answer. Finally, I threw a number at them that was half the cost on the paper. I knew it was unrealistic, but I needed them to understand that for me to not sleep on it was also unrealistic.

Did it work? No. They brought in a 3rd salesman. His job was to talk us into a lease, even though we had already said we weren't interested in a lease.

Finally, at last we thought we were through. We told them we would go home and sleep on it and decide in a day or two. We got out to our car and were deciding where to go eat lunch when we noticed a FOURTH salesman had followed us to our car! That was the last straw. We were polite, but we will not be going back.

Honestly, I was surprised at how long Josh stayed there. But in the end, he didn't realize that we had been there for hours. I figured since it was his truck, I would follow his lead. I only jumped in when it got down to finances and they couldn't accept our need to think on it for a few days.

But Josh must really want a new truck because we stopped at another place on the way home. But he was more upfront with that salesman. He told him exactly what he wanted and they did have one. We told that salesman the same thing, that we needed to sleep on it. He did ask us once if there was anyway to make a deal that day. We told him no and he accepted that answer. So we'll defiantly keep them in mind.

I guess it boggles my mind that so many people can jump into a decision like that so quickly. We never make a big purchase until we think about it for a few days. Normally, I would have crunched some numbers before hand, but Josh took me by surprise when he said he wanted to look at trucks. I had a ball park figure in my head, but I knew I couldn't commit to something until I really looked at our budget. We haven't had a car loan for over a year now, so I've been using the extra money for tuition. It's going to be hard to give that up.

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Monday, April 20, 2015

#MicroblogMondays: School Thoughts

Last week, I filled out an online survey for the college. Several of the questions focused on the high school years. "What inspired your during those years to pursue a higher education?" "What do you feel could have been different to help inspire you to pursue a higher education?" There was 3 or 4 questions, all very similar to that.

When this semester first started, I felt more prepared this time around. I understood the importance of all of it. I realized that I can not just put homework off until the last minute and fly through on the seat of my pants. So my response to the survey questions was "Nothing inspired me and nothing they could have done would have. Being an adult has been biggest factor."

The first time I was in college, I was also a young newly wed. I was ready to take the world by storm. Over the years, I have seen high times and low times. Nothing has prepared me for college like being an adult has. I'm more responsible now. I'm better at managing my time. I can better understand when I need to turn down something fun, so I can finish an assignment. I'm more established with my finances.

I'm not saying a young person should live a few years between high school and college. If you are able, go to college as soon as possible. Because of all the course I took many, many years ago, I nearly have my Associate's degree. I am hopeful that I'll be able to start the Accounting program this fall. 

But when it comes to life, there is no better experience than, well, life.

Since we're on the subject of school, I have to brag for a minute. I was able to wrap up my Economics class a few weeks early. My official grade isn't posted yet, but I'm confidant it will be an A (or A- at the worst). That's pretty good, considering all I hoped for was a C. I'm pretty proud of myself, but I think the best thing was listening to my husband talk to his grandpa and hearing him brag about me. (He didn't know I was listening.)

I still have two weeks left in my math class. Unfortunately, at this point, a C is what I'm hoping for. I think its party because I was so worried about my Econ class that I focused most of my energy there. But also, a person can FORGET a lot of math over the years. Seriously, I've never needed these skills over that last 13 years, and I don't foresee ever needing them again.

But despite that, I still have hopeful have good news on the math front. I thought I would have to retake a class this summer. Not because of a bad grade, but because it would line me up for the Accounting program this fall. One adviser counseled me to retake the Accuplacer test again and see if I can score well enough to skip ahead. But then, on Friday, I ran into another adviser and she suggested I take the ACT math test instead. She said it was less intense and I could get by with a lower score if I go through that route.

I agreed to try that and asked when the next test was. "Oh, in about 2 hours." Its a test they only offer once a month, so by next month it would be too late. (I need to sign up for summer semester in the next 3 weeks.) So I decided that maybe God had put her in my path for a reason and I agreed to take it. I did a Google search for ACT test preparation and studied off of it until the test. I know I didn't do perfect, but hopefully I did well enough to skip to a higher level.

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Monday, April 13, 2015

#MicroblogMondays: My Amazon Addiction

Hi, my name is Savannah and I have an impulse buying addiction.

Over the holidays, I was on Amazon almost daily. I kept telling myself, after Christmas, I would get my spending under control. But then January was my birthday. February was our anniversary. March was Easter shopping, since Easter was in early April. Each month, I would find an excuse to spend money on something I really didn't need.

First off, let me clarify, we have ONE credit card, and it is for emergency use only. So I was financing this addiction right out of my wallet. But because of that, no money was going into our savings. And some months, I would pull money out to help cover my costs. Each paycheck, I would be responsible and pay our bills. But then my next stop was Amazon.

I was stuck in a vicious cycle. I didn't like it, but I like new stuff, so I felt like it was justified.

Then a few weeks ago, I decided to add up my purchases on Amazon. I added up just the Christmas season by itself. Then I added from January until the most recent purchase. I'm not going to post the numbers, but over just the Christmas season, it was nearly a full paycheck. The 2nd amount was nearly as large. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty disgusted with myself.

Last semester, I was able to pay for my tuition, all out of pocket (with some help from a scholarship). I was so proud of myself. I really want to pay for school all on my own and not have to take out any student loans. But because of my spending habit, my savings is not where I need it to be to pay for any classes I plan to take this summer.

A few weeks ago, I told myself, no more Amazon. Its been harder than I thought it would be. I think of some little thing I want, and I want to hop on over and buy it for myself. Is it something I need? No, its just a passing want. (Although, I am finding it hard to buy a few essentials, like my favorite eye makeup remover and a some supplements we take. )

We've each only had one paycheck since I went on my Amazon fast, so its hard to say if I can see a difference in our bank account yet. I've promised myself I will go at least a month with no Amazon. By that point, I'll have nephews birthday's coming up, so I might have to set a limit and buy just that.

I've also decided to set a goal to help me. I want several new pieces of furniture. My goal is to save up enough to buy a new bedroom set. Once I get my tuition savings built back up, I hope to be able to do that.

I did get on Amazon last night. I recently bought an iPad (another impulse purchase) and decided to download the Kindle app to it so I could transfer my books over. But when I went to open the app on my iPad, I couldn't remember my Amazon password. I'm sure I just forgot which letter was supposed to be capitalized, but I couldn't remember. So I got on Amazon long enough to request a new password. But I didn't look at anything else. Once the password was reset, I logged out.

Amazon has made life easier because of my limited options of living in a small town. But it also fed my monster of instant gratification. (Amazon Prime, it'll be here in two days!) When grandpa passed away, I had plenty of dresses, but I wanted a new one. The problem was, I bought two.

Not only will I miss Amazon, but I will miss the sound of the UPS unit as they drop off my packages. I have joked many times that is is my favorite sound. I did get one last high this weekend. A few weeks ago, I ordered a package for Easter. But it got lost in shipping. It finally showed up the other day. But it was purchased before my official Amazon fast.

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Monday, April 6, 2015

#MicroblogMondays: Random Thoughts

Today's Random Thoughts for #MicroblogMonday

* I have a math test tomorrow. Sometimes I feel like I will do well. Other times, I break down crying that I am not going to pass this class.

* I promised someone at church I would come up with a project for their girl's activity. I want to make notebooks with my Cinch machine. I forgot how much work it is just to prep for this project. I'm spending my breaks at work cutting out paper. But I'm excited to be more involved with my congregation. They feel like family.

* You know its bad when you even start dreaming about math in your dreams every night.

* Yesterday, we made stuffed Brussels sprouts using THIS recipe. They were DELISH!

* I filled out evaluations for my classes today. I gave my Econ professor a glowing review. I did not do the same for my math professor.

* I can't wait to go camping.

* If I ever had to torture someone, I would make them solve math problems.

* In case you didn't notice, math seems to rule my thoughts right now. I'm so ready for this class to be over.

* I don't want to end this post on the subject of math, so here is a picture of Zipper. He was so excited to find a box, he wouldn't let me finish taking the stuff out of it before he claimed it as his. 

You can find more of this weeks #MicroblogMondays posts HERE.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Grandpa Paul's Funeral

Grandpa Paul was a WWII vet. I wasn't going to take any pictures, but they did such a beautiful job of honoring him, that I decided to take a few pictures at the cemetery.

Right as we walked out of the church, they had several men lined up holding flags. They were our motorcycle escort to the cemetery.
When we arrived at the cemetery, they lined up again. It was so beautiful.

I know grandpa lived a long life, but he will be greatly missed.

April Fool's Day 2015

This year, I decided to take treats to work for April Fool's Day; a large bowl of colorful candy.

What I didn't mention was it had M&M's, Reese's Pieces and Skittles. 

I love how well they all mixed together. Even the purple Skittles blended in very well.
I left the bowl in the break room, so I didn't get to see any of the reactions of people eating them by the handfuls, but I did have a few people track me down later to "thank me" for the treats.

Flowers from the nephews

A few weeks ago, Vanessa posted a picture on Facebook. Valex had taken several sticky notes and drawn flowers on them. I left a comment that aunt Savannah would like one.
The next day, not only did I get a paper one, but each boy picked out a real flower for me also.

I love that even after the flowers died, I still have the picture ones, which I have proudly taped to my cupboard at work.