Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekly Review

Well, our internet has been getting consistently worse in the last week or so. It just quits randomly and yet other times we have blazing fast speed. Thankfully we'd already decided to switch from DSL to fiber and the installer comes on Tuesday. Here's hoping that everything will work well after that since all the components of the system will then be new.

We've had some crazy adventures this past week starting with Tuesday night when we went to see the Chinese Acrobats with my parents. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but this was a fantastic show! It was along the lines of a Cirque d' Soleil show, but on a smaller stage and more focused on physical feats rather than a show.

Don't get me wrong, it was still plenty of show, but there weren't 12 things going on at once so it was easier to watch. It was a good 2 hours of amazing talents including one where a guy stacked 6 chairs on a platform end to end while climbing up with them and at the end did a one hand stand with his body sideways at the top. He was as high as the curtains above the stage!

Other cool acts included girls twisting themselves inside out while balancing things on hands and feet, girls spinning 3 plates on poles on each hand while dancing - these looked like bouquets of flowers, and guys acting like human gyroscopes.

You know those machines you can get into, usually at a science museum, where there are 3 or more concentric rings and you are suspended in the middle and have to right yourself? Well, these guys kind of did that only they were in the middle of hoops and making them roll across the floor by throwing their body weight around. It was fascinating to watch!

Oh, and finally, there was the ballet act. One guy and one girl. A combination of ballet and gymnastics that culminated with her standing on one leg, on his head, on pointe. Yikes!

It was all much better than the ballet we went to last fall at the same theater!


Friday morning our alarm went off at 5:45 so that we could be to my friend Carisa's house by 7 after picking up my friend Becca and her kids. This to help out with a garage sale to benefit our Mom's Bible Study group. Cory had a blast playing in the backyard with the other kids, but I was freezing because I was standing in the shade of the garage and there was a wind blowing. But it was fun to hang out and we made a good amount for next year's group!

After getting up that early Brian stayed up all night with his Magic Club doing the Relay for Life. I'm not entirely sure of the rules, but they donated money by playing Magic. Interesting!

He came home at 7am and then I got up to go to a first time homebuyer's class.

The first hour of that was a total waste of time as the guy who was the "credit counselor" had some good information, but was totally incompetent and unprofessional at giving a presentation. It was really annoying.

The rest of it was good, but suffice to say, we can't afford to buy a house. Even with the $8,000 tax credit that Obama has made available.

The problems are 1) we make just barely too much to qualify for any assistance programs since we only have 3 family members 2) we have so much student loan payments every month that we can't afford a large monthly mortgage that it seems we should be able to on our income. That and the fact that we still live in one of the most expensive housing market compared to local income means that the only thing we can get right now would be a manufactured home. Not a wise idea.

I'm still kind of pissed at the situation I feel like the schools put me in....

Here's the story. I went off to college as a freshman only to decide after 3 weeks that I wasn't ready to be away from home. So I dropped out and worked fall term and then went to the local community college for 5 quarters. I thought I had made it clear that I wanted to be a teacher so had gotten the correct prerequesits for getting a teaching degree. 3 years later (I also spent a semester in Costa Rica) I discovered that I had taken all the undergrad classes to major in anything except teaching. Which would explain my crazy combination degree of Chemistry, Spanish, and Christian Ministries. (note: it's really hard to major in anything and get out in 2 years as a transfer student)

Basically I came out of that undergrad with pretty minimal debt, but after working for a year in a chemistry lab I still really wanted to be a teacher so I went back and got a master's degree in teaching. Thus the giant student loan bill. Brian is kind of in the same situation so together our student loan bills are more than a fancy car payment. And yes, both of our cars are paid off.

You might be thinking, well, if you didn't go to grad school, you wouldn't have met Brian. And while that's possible, if I hadn't dropped out to begin with I would have met him back when I was a freshman as he was good friends with a girl who lived on my floor and I had started to get to know while living there.

Ah, the many twists of life. I just hope it doesn't mean we can't ever buy a house here.


  1. Those chinese acrobats sound pretty crazy.

    I wish they would do something to relieve people of their student loan debt. :( I think that someday you'll be able to own a home, but it sounds really frustrating.

  2. I totally agree that there should be some educational reform that would take the burden of student loans off of people who become public servants, like teachers, police officers, firemen, etc. I mean, let's face it....those jobs don't really pay a whole lot as it is, but yet to qualify, as in your case a teacher, you have to get a college education. Which, for most people, means taking on a huge amount of debt. It's a horrible cycle.

    We would not have been able to afford to buy a home here in the northern Virginia area had it not been for two forcing us to live way below our means for the past 5 years, and Peter having a job the job he does. Oh, and like a friend was a God thing. And it was.

  3. Anonymous9:11 AM

    We just switched to fiber and saw signigicant improvments right away. We would've done it earlier, but they just got fiber in our area. Yeah!!!


  4. Anonymous3:06 PM

    Your description of Chinese Acrobats reminded me of Moscow Circus that makes your heart beats skip at times and which I think is the best one in the world.



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