Seems the Army has thrown a big monkey wrench into my EMT plans. MacGyver was supposed to be on the list to take the Advance Course here, locally, as all of the slots at Mother Rucker were full. He's been pushing to get this class because it will help his chances when the promotion board convenes next spring. He had secured a slot for the class here and then it was taken and given to someone else. So now he has to go to Mother Rucker for the course early next year for six weeks.
I had been counting on his presence to make it possible to FINALLY take the EMT-B course again. It's not in our budget to pay a sitter to watch The Boy and The Girl while I'm in class. It's just not do-able. We're quite tight right now and every extra penny (and there aren't many, trust me) is either going to pay down our debt or into savings in case the Army says "thank you for your service. Have a nice day." next spring. Oh, and possible a new clutch AND a new water pump for my car. Yay.
So, barring a major change in plans, no EMT course for me. I'm frustrated and disappointed. I've been trying since 2000 to retake this silly class, having taken it originally in SoCal before we left for college and got married. The first time I had the opportunity, I found out I was pregnant and you couldn't take the class while pregnant. Two years ago, I found a class in Hawaii but MacGyver's deployment put the kibosh on that idea due to the logistics of being a single parent. Then he didn't deploy but we made the decision to homeschool and that killed off that idea again. I thought I had it in the bag this time - courses are free, MyCAA is still in effect to cover the class even if it weren't free, the school is just down the highway, it was a night class so MacGyver would be available to at least pick the kids up from me when he was done in the evening, etc. Sadly, it does not seem to be meant to be.
And before you remind me that I should be grateful that my husband still has a job...shut up. This is my blog and I'm allowed to have a pity party. After staring into the abyss that has been my life for the past few years, NO ONE is more grateful that her husband is still employed than I am. And I'm very relieved that he will be able to take this course and that it might counteract the effects of the past two and a half years and might possibly allow him to remain in the Army. I GET that. But I am also disappointed and frustrated that I wasn't able to work this out. Please don't rain on my pity party.
So now that I'm not taking the EMT course, it's time to figure out some things to do to help pay off our debts and build our savings a bit. The Army's "golden handshake" is pretty generous but that won't last very long, especially in light of the debts we're carrying. We've been chipping away at them over the past 2-3 years but, each time we start to get ahead, something hits the fan (see above where I mentioned the need for a new clutch and water pump? Yeah..there you go.) I'm going through all of our stuff and starting to get it organized so that I can start putting things up on both Craigslist and eBay. We have too much stuff to begin with so selling things off kills two birds with one stone. I'd put it out for a yard sale but that won't be possible until spring and I want it all gone before then in addition to wanting to pay down these debts as soon as possible.
In addition to selling off a lot of our excess, I'm starting to look for more frugal ways of doing things. Pinterest has been a treasure-trove of resources for this. I've found recipes for homemade laundry detergent, homemade dishwashing detergent, homemade hand soap...all for mere pennies per load/wash whereas the stuff you buy in the stores costs 10-20 times that amount. If I can make my own laundry detergent for 1/10 of what it costs to buy it (even at the commissary), then I'm all for it! In addition, it's better for you as it doesn't have 1/2 of the unpronounceable chemicals in it. I have two children who have relatively sensitive skin so this is a bonus. Plus, it's fun!
There are a bunch of other things that I am doing or plan to do as I cinch down our budget even further. Moving from Hawaii was painful in more ways than one...we lost our cost of living adjustment and we're no longer renting for LESS than our housing allowance. Quite the double whammy to the budget. I think I'm going to start up a blog about our financial adventures and what we're doing to lower our expenses and pay down our debts.
And maybe writing on that one will help me remember to write on THIS one! (and the homeschooling blog)
For now, I'm going to lick my wounds and wrap up this pity party.