soap, students, spouse, something, and spring


Okay, I know this is going to sound incredibly silly, however I am trying to ration our hand soap for one more month. Why? Well, not too long ago I realized that Brent and I have yet to buy any hand soap. My mom put together a type of "beginner's kit" for me at a bridal shower that included a bunch of essentials (paper plates, matches, a cleaning bucket, batteries, hand soap, sponges, etc). I also was able to leave my college apartment with what was left of the surplus bottle of soap we had bought for the school year. A family friend from home read the post I wrote in November about that refill bottle (see previous link), and for Christmas gave Brent and I two bottles of Bath and Body hand soap (woah! Gourmet! Thanks, Diana!) Needless to say, with all this soap that was given to us, we never had to peruse the soap aisle at any store! Okay, so it is May 9th and now I have this very odd determination to last a full year before we need to go buy soap. This could seem strange to many of you, but for those of you that have occasionally seen my competitive streak, this may be a way to fulfill some sort of competitive void within me. Kelsey vs. Hand Soap. Here is a picture of what we have left:

I think we would have been fine, but then the Swine Flu hit the country and I have been feeling the need to wash my hands every time I pass the sink. I'll keep you updated (and please don't worry: Neither Brent nor myself have sacrificed any necessary hand washes for this silly competition, although I am more hesitant to have any guests over who may feel the need to use our restroom, and therefore our soap!)


So, the school year is actually coming to an end. Although for awhile I thought that it wouldn't, the reality that my first year of teaching is wrapping up is becoming very real. I have always been told (by professors, friends, colleagues, mentors), that I am "reflective by nature." I have found that to be true in this area of my life especially. I had each one of my students write me a letter to let me know what activities they liked, and didn't like, and how they would like to see a few things change. These were very helpful, and encouraging, and some even made me tear up a little (I may share a few at some point). However, they also pushed me to do something that I maybe shouldn't have taken on: I wrote a letter back. I am going to give everyone a copy of this letter, but I also wanted them to have a personal note from me. I am about half way through and have a week before I want to give them to my students. I think that some of them will care less, but for those that it means something to...it's worth it. Last week I had a girl write me a FOUR page letter just venting about how frustrated she was with how she felt about a lot of things: being a middle school girl, being a christian young woman trying to hold on to her purity. I took the time to type up a two page response and for a minute I thought to myself, "Kels, this is crazy." But then I reminded myself that this is the reason I became a teacher in the first place... so I gave her that letter, and for the same reason I wrote that letter, I wrote the letter to my students. I will post the letter on here tomorrow for those of you that are interested in reading my reflection for the year.


Yesterday Brent and I were able to attend an event at our church titled, "Marriage Rocks!" I may have been slightly apprehensive, but the evening turned out to be a lot of fun. There was a live band, an improv team, and some very humorous MC's. We played a few games and listened to a speaker and ate some desserts. It was a very fun evening and gave us a chance (about a month before our 1 year anniversary. What?!) to just reflect on our marriage and enjoy each other's company. It also made me very thankful for a church that puts a priority on marriages, and invests in married couples in very real ways. They are planning on having two more this year, and since last night was SOLD OUT, I think the future ones will be hits as well. We went with our friends, Shane and Meagan, and finally remembered to take a picture together.


Brent has begun working on the ball fields again... and he is SO SORE! His legs are so sore he says it hurts to walk. On top of this he sliced open his thumb, and banged his shin up pretty bad. Oh what a crazy job :) Today he decided to soak in the tub, and I pulled out a book we got for our wedding: Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things. I found a couple different things that were supposed to help tense/sore muscles. So he just had to trust me as I poured vinegar and mustard in his bath water! We'll see how it works!


(How vague, I know!) This year I helped with the yearbook. Helped is a very relative term because I feel like I still don't know what I'm doing. However, for this I receive a substantial payment added onto my next paycheck. I am also helping with intramurals for the next two weeks, which I will also get paid a little extra for. So, Brent and I are trying to decide on which something we should put this extra money towards. We have, I feel, been making great strides towards becoming good stewards with our money, and we both feel so blessed for everything the Lord has provided us in this past year. We obviously will put some in our savings, but have 3 options for how we will spend the rest. I would really appreciate your input. Here are the options:

1) A new TV. This probably seems silly, however we have a TV that is probably about 15 years old, wood-paneled, wavy lines, blurred corners, and occasionally likes to make a high pitched squeal.

2) A new computer. Our computer was Brent's in college and is beginning to slow down substantially. We are also debating between another desktop, or purchasing our first laptop.

3) Throw the money at student loans. Boring, but probably a fairly wise option.

Like I said, I would like your input. (And yes, this may be a weak attempt to get you people to actually COMMENT on my blog).


It is spring here (although it feels more like summer lately), and it is absolutely gorgeous. I have always loved spring. The newness of everything. The smells. The thunderstorms. The GREEN after so much brown. It reminds me of my daily prayers last year that all the rain would get out of the system during May and leave June rain free :) Hard to believe that was a year ago?


*carrie* said...

Your soap competition cracks me up! Hope you make it. =)

The money thing is a hard one. I felt really motivated to attack my own student loans and am quite proud of how quickly I paid off a substantial sum. I don't know what amount you're talking about, but maybe you could split the money between two of those options. (Send in a little extra with your next loan payment, and put the rest towards a TV or computer.) Just my thoughts, since you asked!

Brent said...

You forgot that our T.V. takes light-years for the picture to appear!

Anonymous said...

Attack the smallest debts first. Knock one out then go on to the next thing.

TV's will get cheaper.

Can't help you decide between the computer's.

Love Ya.


Anonymous said...

Here's my two cents worth....
Knowing how well you are doing with saving and already paying extra on your student loans not to mention that you were able to get your "new" car without a loan, it may surprise you that I (who am a "tad bit" frugal myself!) think you should get the new TV. You know I'm not into things and can "make do" with the best of them, but I've also learned that once in awhile (when you have already taken care of the essentials) its okay to do something just for a treat. And its not like a TV will be used up in a week or even a month - you'll have it a long time and get alot of enjoyment out of it. (And besides, I want Brent to really like me so I'm voting for the TV!)
You guys are doing great. I'm proud of you.

Love you. ~MOM

PS I really thought your entire "S" post would be about me. Imagine my disappointment!

Anonymous said...

I have an idea, this will also get your competitive jucies flowing. You and Brent take a trip to Rochester NY, the home of Eastman Kodak Company, or Chicago IL., (which would be closer and will save money), to the home of Quaker Oats Co., and have a set down with the company executives explaining to them how your Sister is having a baby before the end of the year and see if they can come up with another great instant idea, then come home and buy A BABY BED!
Anxious and Anticipating,
(one of the future Pop Pop's of your children, guess which one!)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the Mothers Day call and blog card, (my first). I feel the love just the same. I have loved the last two postings, sorry I haven't been more active.
1) maybe a foam soap despenser would extend it? but you would have to get someone to give you an empty one.........
2) Your students are so fortunate to have you this year. I know they will be influenced by you in a positive way.
3) Brent I've heard its great for horses too.....(Office)
4)"Something" is tough, since I personally can't live without the TV.....I say interest adds up quickly and might amount to a TV and a computer soooon. Boring I know. Sorry Brent, maybe you can talk with your wife, draw, read, and who knows what could be accomplished in a light-year.
5) Thanks for the esses.
Love Joan

Anonymous said...


I'm with your mom. A treat. Go and enjoy!

Kelly K

Carrie Mathison said...

Tough decision! After reading your mom's comments though, I would have to agree with her. A mom knows best you know. I must say i really enjoy reading your blog with all your thoughts and adventures! Someday when we get internet at home I'll get my own, but for now that's a money saving issue as you can probably relate to in some way.

Kali said...

Okay, since I just got back from a major splurge, telling you to throw everything at your loans would probably sound a bit hypocritical, huh?

Here's my 2 cents - if you're already paying for cable every month, you might as well have a decent TV so you can actually enjoy it. If the computer is getting sluggish, you can purchase an external hard-drive for less than $100 (I think), put all of your pictures, etc. onto that, and free up enough space to allow the computer to run a little more effeciently. Then, you can purchase a TV with the left-over amount (I don't know how much you're talking, but this seems like it would work) - a bit of a combination of the two options.

I'm not sure which "computers" Dad is deciding between, but computers really are getting significantly cheaper and are obviously always improving. If you can hold off on the computer, wait until you can purchase one with the most latest "stuff" so it will last longer. A TV will last (as your current one can attest to, right?).

That was really long. I hope it makes sense (and cents...haha).