Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thank you Jesus, a SNOW DAY!

Wooohooo! I am typing this post from my desk at home instead of at work. Every child, teenager, and employee at APSU got an answered prayer today because there is NO SCHOOL! I will say I'm a little disappointed with APSU. I woke up this morning to snow covered cars, trees, and roads. (I actually thought I was going to run outside today...ha!) I searched endlessly on the internet to see if we were delayed because on the radio they were announcing how terrible the roads were. No APSU announcement. At 7:00am, Clint headed out to work (poor thing) and called me when we got to his first stop confirming that the roads were very bad. Still no word from APSU. Even the morning radio personalities were perplexed as to why APSU wasn't even delaying classes when other schools and community colleges were closed! So, here I was at 10 minutes until 8am, endlessly shoveling snow off my car and chipping ice underneath that. I had just pulled out of the driveway when my boss called me to say that they had delayed school 2 hours. We both said the same thing, "Gee, thanks for the advanced notice!" Then, about 30 minutes ago, I got my alert text message that said school was closed because TDOT was recommending people to stay off the roads. Duh! They were saying that at 7am this morning!! Some one dropped the ball of this one. Oh well, glad it won't be me getting all those angry emails tomorrow from students and staff for the delayed announcment :)

I do have an event tonight at the APSU basketball game, but you won't hear me complaining. No sir! Because today, I'm going to do some laundry and catch up on my soap opera that I never get to watch anymore. Happy Snow Day!
Doesn't look to bad, but the roads were!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Okay, one more Dave Ramsey point

Last one for the week, I promise. Our wonderful FPU facilitator (and my friend) Delilah sent us this email link today because in our meeting last night we were talking about the stimulus tax rebates that most likely, Americans will expect in the mail this May. Dave has some good ideas about the rebate, and I thought you might be interested to see what he has to say about them.

Financial Peace, week 2

Last night was our second week of Financial Peace University (FPU). Wow, what a great series this has already turned out to be. Even after working from 8:30am-6:30pm, I was still excited to attend class from 7-9. Dave is so charismatic and keeps you hanging on to every word with his clever wit. Okay, so here are the " baby steps" we have learned so far (keep in mind that there are a couple of baby steps before these, but we had already passed them before starting the class):
1) Invest 15% of income for retirement
2) Start saving for your (future) children's college fund
3)Pay off your home early

Even though we don't own a home yet, we are already thinking about a game plan. I've read ahead just a bit and was so glad to see that Dave addresses what you want to consider before buying, such as how much to put down, what type of loan to get, etc.

Because the classes we are taking is meant for churches to administer, Dave constantly relates the principles we are learning back to what the Bible has to say. We love that! He also talks constantly about money and marriage. Last night, we found out that I am the money "nerd" and Clint is the "free-spirit." (Not hard to believe if you know the 2 of us!) It's great to see how we balance each other out even with finances!

Teaching your children proper money saving techniques was also addressed. Wow, what an eye-opener this was for us. He pointed out 2 verses in the Bible that are never read together. Usually the first verse is the one that gets the focus, but it is clear that they are meant to go together:
Proverbs 22:6-7
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
"The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. "

It was an "a-ha" moment for me and we don't even have kids :) Can you tell I'm eating this stuff up with a huge spoon?!? But, I won't go one forever because some of you might find this boring (you also might be the "free-spirit" like Clint). So lastly, I have to tell you about a hilarious document that we received in our class. If you know anything about Dave, it's that he is strongly against credit card usage. He has developed a letter to send to the credit card companies. You simply print it off and send it back in the pre-paid envelope that they send you when they junk up your mailbox with all their credit card offers. The great thing is that they have not clue who sent it to them because it is signed: Sincerely, Devoted to Being Debt Free." It's hilarious! I'm sending 3 off today in the mail. Our class is keeping track of all the offers we get and how much credit we get offered on a weekly basis. I know we get at least 5 in the mail a week! (Let me know if you want the letter and I'll send it to you. It's so funny because it has cute sharks swimming all over the page!)

As with any life-style change, you have to truly want to stick to it (just like losing weight, etc.) One of my favorite Dave quotes: "Live like no one else now, so later you can live like no one else!"

That's all for this week, stay tuned for more in the coming 10 weeks of FPU!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Snow and Tough Decisions

It's snowing!!!! This is the first time I have seen snow in Clarksville. Well, snow that actually sticks to the ground. Okay, so it's only flurries...but it doesn't take much to get me excited! I have only been to work for about 45 minutes this morning and I've been distracted the whole time looking out my window. Yes, I'm fixing to turn 25 not 5. I know this is a carry-over from my childhood. You know what I'm talking about. Crossing your fingers and constantly watching the TV and listening to the radio at the same time to see if maybe, just maybe school will be delayed. Or even better, no school for the day. I guess there is always hope, right? Now I know why northerners laugh at us in the south. "We" stock up on milk, bread, and beer (okay, not me, but most) if we hear of a little snowflake. Not northerners, they strap on the chains and plow there way to work. Haha, I'm laughing just thinking about it. I'm going to stop talking about this because as I type, the flurries are gradually decreasing. Oh well, I'm going to keep the hope alive!

Now on to my tough decisions. Every time I open my planner I am compelled to look ahead at the next 3 months and it makes me want to cut off my left big toe! I have sooooo many nightly activities in the coming semester and I HATE it! My job has so many wonderful benefits, but I must say, the part I despise most is working over...specifically nights and weekends. Yes, I know, I know, that is part of my job. And yes, I knew that coming into the position. But, I didn't say I had to like it OK? But, I am reminded what my aunt Libba told me once, "It's called work for a reason. If it was that easy, they wouldn't call it work!" So, I admit it...reality can really suck! Anyway, tough decision. My boss told me a week ago to start thinking about the direction of my position. I am assistant director of programming (planning student activities) and service (planning community service opportunities for students). I have a coordinator for service that I supervise, so I really don't do much with the community service aspect. However, that is what attracted me to the position, b/c I thought I would be working directly with service. Since I started, I have learned all about programming. I finally feel like I am beginning to understand what needs to be done. So, anyway, my decision is this: Do I want to stick with programming and keep a service coordinator, or change my focus to service and hire a programming coordinator?!?!? Decisions, decisions. Honestly, this long post is really me just trying to think aloud. My boss wants me to let her know what I'm thinking by today!!!! Yikes! I think it would be great to learn both components completely. (You know, for future job searches.) But, I just don't know.
Please say a prayer for me as I figure out the direction of my job!

Disclaimer: As I re-read this post, it sounds like I truly hate my job. That is not the case. I absolutely LOVE working with the students. I really feel like this might be my calling. I love my co-workers. I just don't love salaried overtime. But, who really does?!? I still feel very fortunate to have found such a great working environment for my first job.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Together again, if only for a short while.

This weekend I got to see my favorite girls. Bridget, Sarah and I met up at Sarah's house in Loudon to head to Gatlinburg for the night. The hotel we stayed at had an indoor water park!! You would have thought we were little kids (especially Sarah)! After some maxing and relaxing in the hot tub, we hit the sack. The next day we did some shopping (what else do you do in Pigeon Forge?) and ate at one of my favorite restaurants, The Apple Barn. Mmmmmm!

I left Sarah's place Saturday afternoon and got to spend the night at Mom's house in Maryville. It was great to have some girl time with her and Maggie! Did I ever mention how much I love East TN??

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Reality Check

Most all of you know that Clarksville is a military town with Fort Campbell Army base being located here and in Kentucky. Clint and I knew when we moved here, there would be some adjustments to living in a town that has a fluctuating population depending upon deployments. That is about all we assumed. I work in a office full of women and with the exception of one of our Graduate Assistants, I am the only woman who isn't either married or engaged to a military man. To say I do not understand their life is an understatement. These women amaze me at their strength. Yesterday, we found out that my boss's husband and my other co-worker's fiance are scheduled to for deployment to Iraq. Our other GA is dealing with this already because her husband has been in Iraq for 3 months now. All of these ladies are newlyweds or will be once the deployment occurs. I simply cannot imagine having to go 12-15 months without seeing Clint...especially in our first years of marriage! I know how easy it is for us to forget about the soldiers overseas if it is not in the news or directly influences us in some way. But, the truth is, they are still over there fighting. And living here is a constant reminder. My hearts go out to the families who have to be so strong during these times. Please continue to pray for our troops, their families, and our government!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Our Wedding Photographer Rocks!

I got an email today from our amazing wedding photographer who told me we have another credit to use! This is the 3rd credit we have received since Tara has taken our wedding pictures. Whenever we refer someone to her and they sign a contract, we get free pictures! I have not have to pay any extra for prints because I keep getting free ones. I was able to get two 8x10s for my mother and grandmother for Christmas and didn't pay a thing! There is nothing that this girls likes better than free stuff :)

I know I am bias, but I think our wedding pictures are amazing. Tara did such a great job. She was all over the place at our wedding. (I might also add she was pregnant at the time.) My nana still jokes about how she look up once during our wedding and Tara was in front of her taking pics. The next time she looked up, she was up by the alter getting a close up. I told Tara that all I have to do is show people the pictures and they speak for themselves. Clint is so funny because he keeps asking me, "When are you going to stop looking at those pictures." I think he is sick of seeing them. But, I love looking at them. They take me back to that day and I can remember exactly how I felt. That was truly the happiest day of my life. Now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to go look at my pictures again. Yes Clint, this time I have a reason...I'm picking out free ones!

P.S. I might as well plug Tara again while I'm at it. She takes wonderful portraits too. Her prices are SOOOOO reasonable. I have her page linked on the left side of this page. Check out her work, the girl's got talent.

(Below are some of my favorite pages from our album. You should be able to click on each one to enlarge.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Joe!

Today is Clint's dad's birthday. We were so glad we got to spend some time with him over Christmas and wish that we could be in Kingsport today. Joe has played such a huge role in Clint's life and has always been such a positive role model. Joe was Clint's best man at our wedding and he was perfect! He did everything a best man is suppose to do and then some. Clint couldn't have picked anyone better. One of my favorite things about Joe is his sense of humor. He's hilarious! After I met Joe and Lo for the first time, it wasn't hard to see where Clint got his wit. Joe, we love you and hope you have the best birthday ever!
Joe and Lo

Joe fishing on the dock. This is one of my favorite things to do at their house. Joe gave me a few lessons, but I'm learning to bait my own hook!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Today is one of my best friend's birthday. Sarah is turning 27 today and I am so sad I cannot be there to help her celebrate. Sarah and I met at MTSU my freshman year through ADPi. She actually was one of the first girls I met in my pledge class. We rode together on the way to our Bid Day celebration. We soon realized that we were both from East TN and lived only about 45 minutes away from each other (she is from Loudon). After talking we even discovered we had mutual friends. Not long after our meeting, we became best friends. We moved in together along with Bridget and those years we all lived together were some of my best years. We have made so many fun memories and traditions together. Sarah is honestly one of those friends who I can go weeks without talking to and we have no problem picking up right where we left off. She is such a kind, compassionate, and Godly women. I thank God every night that I can call Sarah my best friend and sister! I love you Sarah K!! Happy Birthday!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Financial Peace

If those 2 words don't make you think of Dave Ramsey where have you been?!? The church that Clint and I have been attending is offering Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace over the next 12 weeks. We have been pretty big fans of Dave for a while. When we heard we would have the opportunity to take these classes, it was a no brainer for us. Even though we have no debt, I think this class is going to beneficial for us. Clint and I are both pretty much clueless about finances. One thing we both agree on is saving money and using cash. We went yesterday for an introduction to the program and it really got me excited about all the things we are going to learn. God has really blessed us up to this point with finances and I feel like it is our responsibility to manage them in a smart way. Please pray for us as we learn together!

Congrats Tom and Erin!

I'm a little late posting this, but better late than never. My cousin Tom is engaged!! He is the oldest of the grandchildren and also the only boy (on both sides of his family)! Despite those factors, he has turned out to be quite a nice man...haha, he really is great! Tom is the true Southern Gentleman and any girl would have been lucky to get him. I could not be more excited for his upcoming marriage to Erin. I think I met her at my wedding, she was there with him, but you know that whole day went by so quickly that I cannot remember who I actually talked to. I look forward to talking with her and giving her all the dirt I know on Tom :)
Should I set a cot up next to mine for her at Hatchie Bottom?? That might be wishful thinking, I'm still trying to get Margs to join me!!
The happy couple.This is the only picture I have of them together :) I don't think W will be able to make it to the wedding though!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy 2008!

Clint and I are back in C'ville and back to our work routine. We really had a nice Christmas break. Well actually, I was the one with the break. My poor husband had to work everyday except Christmas and New Year's Eve. However, we still did a fair amount of family visisting over the weekends. I had to leave Clint at home when I went to Jackson. He was really bummed that he didn't get to visit everyone there. But, I had a great time catching up with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Visiting Jackson is about the only time I get to hang out with my favorite cousin Margaret. Even though the visits are generally short, we still do our fair share of talking, chatting, gossiping, whatever you want to call it :) We had so much fun that I forgot to take any pictures!

Kingsport was our next stop and always a favorite, espeically now with Ryann in our lives. (Did we mention how much we love her?!?) I always feel the trip there is too short, no matter if we stay for 2 days or 2 weeks (that was back in our care-free college days).

I hope 2008 brings you many blessings. We are excited to see what new things come up in our lives together this year!

Clint testing out his new fishing pole from Brooke.
Christmas gift from Joe & Lo. We all share a love for Robert Tino pictures...Thanks guys!

JD is married!

Over the Christmas break my high school friend JD got married. I was so pleased that it worked out that I got to attend. She surprised us all a month ago when she announced that her wedding would take place in December instead of May. But, no sweat, I just rearranged some trips and there I was! (I told Clint not to worry, I was a master at planning road trips.)

The wedding was so nice and the bride was beautiful. It was great hanging out with the girls again for awhile. Our old friend Charissa even showed up, who by the way caught the lucky bouquet. Jessica tossed this bouquet at her wedding and I fought JD for it (and won). Not long after that, I was married. JD caught the same bouquet at my wedding and now she is married! Watch out Char, that thing is H-O-T!! We all had such a great time. We love you Mrs. Jackson!

Lindsey, Jessica, JD, Me, Lindsey
With the Bride
Char,Lindsey, Me, JD, Jessica
David and JD Jackson