Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Well, I'll be...

There is a water main shut down. This creates... um... pretty gross problems at our school, but the good news is... we get to go home early!

Dustin says we'll head to Sunergos, a favorite coffee shop of ours, for an afternoon studying/reading on this rainy day. No school, rain, coffee, time to catch up on school, time to make phone calls and do those dishes, husby... this is not a bad deal.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Some New Frugal/Healthy Tips

As a seminary family, you quickly find a weird pleasure in saving money. While some tips take a lot of time, these are a few we've discovered can really help out. These are our favorites from the summer:

1. Buy off-brand coffee and then put cinnamon in it (in the filter). With some creamer and sugar, it's great and much cheaper.
2. Go to Q-Doba (if you have one) for a date. Split a burrito, get water with lemon and split an order of bottomless chips. $8 and a full and happy stomach... At Panera, you can get the price about that low. We sometimes order just sandwiches to go and then eat chips at home.
3. Carpool!!
4. Check the unit prices on things.
5. Once (or twice) a week, go vegetarian. I recently checked out a 5-ingredient Simple Vegetarian Cookbook.
6. Try to eat less. It's usually healthier and you save money.
7. Save the extra portions for leftovers before you even start. (Even at restaurants!)
8. Ask for a Sams/Costco card for your birthday or go in with a friend!
9. Eat dessert at home. Make your own. Or buy it at the grocery store.
10. Watch your cell phone minutes and turn off the lights.
11. Eat at places where you don't have to tip.
12. Have the "envelope system" at least for dinners out. Stick with it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Day 1, Dustin!

Where do you start with 3 minutes? Just another simple update, I guess.

-Dustin started class today. 1st day of the second to last semester here. Hard to believe he graduates in May. As counseled, and for various reasons, he is treating it as a job. I drop him off at 7:15 and he works (in class or in the library studying) until I pick him up around 4:45 (along with exercise and quiet time and occasional lunches with friends or chapel). Pray for mucho discipline.

-I started teaching Foundation and Frameworks. Looks as if I'll be learning mucho discipline right along with my hubby. It will require constant "time on task" (a favorite teacher term) and extra hours of reading at home each night to prepare to teach small groups each day. At least we'll both be reading!

-God is answering so many prayers, and our faith has been encouraged and strengthened as a result. I should not be so surprised when a big God answers big prayers for His glory! Between an amazing opportunity for our church to partner with U of L's Campus Crusade for Christ (never before so intertwined with local churches) and Dustin's Basketball guys opening up and coming over to interesting situations with new neighbors being resolved beyond our imagination, the Lord is encouraging our hearts. Now... do I believe and pray like I believe that God can save lost sinners? Do I depend on Him and not my words or actions? Pray for this kind of faith.

-I'm digging hummus these days. Do you?

-Welcome to Louisville, Peter and Kathlyn, Kristin, Jason and Cara...

-5A, the newest new class, is doing really well so far.

Friday, August 08, 2008

14 boys, running, and God's Long Nose

It's Back to School Day, folks. I met most of my 21 kids and their parents and gave the annual speech about missing papers, sign-up sheets, dress code, you name it. I have 14 boys and 7 girls. I had 3 parents tell me that they were praying for me with all of those boys, 1 mom tell me that it is hilarious that my name is Butts and I have all the guys who will laugh about it, and 1 dad tell me how this group is so athletic and yet so humble (weird remark, I thought, here's hoping) and one boy tell me that he is very smart. Not sure what to think, but with 3 girls not showing today, it felt like I taught at an all-boy school. There were siblings everywhere, too. I felt sweaty and probably said "um" too much, but hey, what do you do? I just try to catch as many names as I can of parents, learn the kids' names and faces and try to come across as a with-it professional, young though I am, capable of handling "all those boys". Shew. I know that I'm incapable, but the Lord is gracious. I like teaching boys; I don't have a preference. I'm just used to about 9, not 2/3! :)

At any rate, my classroom is squeaky clean and back to a peaceful quiet. There is much to be done with planning, especially with my new curriculum for reading.

Dustin is gearing up for another semester at Southern. He'll be taking 15 hours, which is a LOT in seminary. He has over a dozen books on his desk, and he hasn't even bought them all yet! And... he's taking Hebrew II. So, out come the flashcards and Jamie's giggles as he sounds like he's coughing up hairballs pronouncing those ridiculous-sounding words. One thing Dustin learned in Hebrew was that when the Bible says that God is slow to anger, it really says "God has a long nose." To have a long nose was an idiom for being patient. So, I decided I'm super thankful that God has a long nose. :)

Inspired by my friends Becky and Robin, Dustin and I have taken up running again. I checked out a book from the library put out by Runner's World. I read it over our anniversary trip and was further motivated. They put you on a basic plan where M, W, F and S, you jog/walk 30 minutes, with certain amounts of time for each. On T/Th, you just walk for 30 minutes. Sunday, you are off. I'm up to "alternate jogging for 4 minutes and walking for 2 minutes for 30 minutes" now, which is much harder than it may sound. Next week I graduate to alternating 5 minutes jogging/2 minutes walking. (Dustin can run the whole time. He cheers me along on my plan.) A few of us friends here in town want to run in Southern's Missions Fundraiser 5K in October. For extra incentive, Dustin and I decided when we have 20 days of running in our exercise logs, we will go and buy new running shoes! I can't say that I love running, because I don't. But, I like it. I like that it motivates me to eat healthier. I like the 30 minutes of no talking, no doing, where you just think or pray or look at squirrels or people. I like that it makes me crave water instead of Dr. Pepper. And, I like it that it really does make you think of all the running analogies in the Bible, just like Becky said it would!

I have a quote about marriage that I want to share soon. I think it applies to so many other things, too. The pattern of my life is shooting REALLY high with goals and then crashing and burning and starting over. This summer was no different. You think you will do this and that and this and that... yet you only do this and you don't even quite finish this. Sigh. Yup. This is my life. BUT then... you have verses and friends and books and wisdom and TRUTH that comes in and reminds you that you are not righteous. Not saved by works. Not slaves to legalism. And you start thinking that maybe you should think realistically about that old quote that ONLY God finishes His to-do list. Summer was yet another reminder for me that I am not God. Another reminder to trust and love Him and think through realistic goals, balance, grace. But this is a post for another time...