Wednesday, December 31, 2008
So, Resolutions for 2009...
(1) Pay off at least a semester's worth of student loans.
Thankfully I have nice scholarships and tuition discount for grad school so my loans are VERY minimal for that, but I really want to finish paying off my undergrad loans in the next couple of years.
(2) Keep a daily photo journal.
I am only good at journaling sometimes. However, I do always have a camera with me. I thought if I take a daily picture than I could have a good sampling of memories from the year. Sometimes the picture might be of a grand adventure and some days it might be of something I do around the house daily. I am pretty excited about this resolution though.
(3) Scrapbook my year.
I used to scrapbook often. I have so many supplies, pictures, and things I pick up that I want to be better about scrapbooking shortly after things happen.
(4) Run a half marathon.
I have already signed up for the Country Music Marathon with several of my friends from girls community group. I want to be able to actually run a whole half marathon. Yes, I have turned into one of "those people." The Bolt inspired me.
(5) Be more intentional.
2008 was great, but may 2009 be sublime. ;)
May you have a wonderful time ringing in the New Year wherever you might be...
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Cirque's winter show is called Wintuk. We all sat truly amazed at the performance. The storyline had to do with bring snow to the city. We watched juggling, tightroper walkers, clowns, rollerbladers, bikers, gymnasts, and acrobats who all performed with more grace and beauty than I have ever seen in "circus" performers. The sets were spectacular. Music was so fitting and I wish I could have bought the music to play daily. There was one set with ribbon acrobats, cranes (men on stilts), beautiful lighting and music that seriously almost made me cry because it was so beautiful.
The show ended with snow falling onto the audience with of course great music. I felt like such a kid because I was in such awe.
If you ever get the chance to go see a show by Cirque I would highly recommend it... What a great evening in NYC.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
On Friday, I finished moving all of my stuff. I am now living with the parents again. Hopefully not for too long. ;) I got to meet up with Rupa, Kathy, and Kelly for dinner. We always have such a good time (and loud!) time together. Topics always somehow always center around traveling and politics. Somehow even I am amazed how we can get from talking about breast exams to Obama. Rupa gave me a concoction for my flu/cold. Equal parts of scotch, lemon juice and honey. Not so yummy. Wish I could say it worked (it didn't), but it did make for a good sleep. :)
This morning Rupa brought me to airport, but I missed my flight to Baltimore. I am stuck in Nashville airport for a few hours. However, all will be worth it to have a week off in New York relaxing and celebrating the New Year with my best friend.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
This year we actually got to go with a Christmas theme.
Wishing Emily was here.
Remembering the Lewis Family and Katie for past pjs ;)
Sadly, still sick :(
Better go to bed, so Santa will get here...
Monday, December 22, 2008
On Saturday I could not even make it to Tiffany's graduation! Sunday I survived people coming over. Today has been miserable. I am in the process of moving so I managed to pack 1 (ONE!) box before requiring a two hour nap.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
On Saturday, the family drove to Cookeville to watch Leanne graduate from Tennessee Tech. :) She has worked really hard the past couple of years and we are all so proud of her. Her graduation itself was interesting. The speaker talked about how she met the two loves of her life there. She also announced that one was the dean of education and he left her for a younger woman. So uncouth. Then, the name announcer sounds like he was calling starting players for the NFL I am sure the graduating class will not forget their ceremony.
Saturday night went to Christian's Dirty Santa party. I scored some hot pink Everlast boxing gloves. Apparently, the dirty santa gifts of the season are these Hello-Kittyish items called Parasite Pals. What will they think of next?!?!
Sunday, my favorite day of the week, included great Family time, weekly coffee date with Tiffany, tomato basil soup lunch with Ashley, and lots of school work. Tiffany's parents came into town so we got to visit with them for a little while. :) I also got my plane tickets to go to New York (Dec.27-Jan.2) I am quite excited about seeing her home and meeting people I have heard about for 6 years now. Sadly, Emily and Jakson left to go back to Texas. It was so nice having them in town. I have the cutest nephew ever! Looking forward already to their return in March.
Today is super busy. I will be trying to finish finding homes for frogs and crabs, testing students on their reading levels, going to the French-Lemons Christmas party, and taking my last final of the semester. Break is just ahead...
Saturday, December 13, 2008
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class.
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a mobile phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day
(Fun to read yours Jessica! Happy Birthday!)
Friday, December 12, 2008
About 10pm last night they called a snow day...After a long week, it was a much needed day. I set aside some time to go be quiet and have some time to myself. After grabbing my trusty Harbin hikers and my camera, I set out on a long walk and short hike. I needed to air out.
This week has been insane. On Monday I got all of my major course work turned in for the semester so that was a relief. The rest of the week went something like this... I found out I need to find a place to live in about a week and half. I sent in information for my second opinion doctors appointment (week of Christmas). I was called by the principal of my school and faced uncertainty about my job due to paperwork. I have been blessed by spending time with good people this week though. Anyways, I just needed some time today.
After a couple of hours, I felt like I could face the world again. Sometimes all it takes is a little nature, stroll with God, and just letting life air out.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Yesterday I finshed and turned in all my papers, made my presentation... all the big stuff for school this semester. One final to go. I met with my principal for my final evaluation for the semester and it went well. I was a happy girl.
I feel so good that I am going to once again attempt the impossible...
I am going to make banana pudding!
This has been a real struggle for me. (I was in China all of those times though so maybe that counts for something...)
I feel like it is going to be good. I feel it in my bones.
Wish me luck because Lord knows three strikes and you are out.
Today is the day.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
All is quiet this morning except for the sound of Dean Martin crooning "I'll Be Home For Christmas" through my my little computer speakers. I am coming down from quite a busy week. This morning it is just me, Dean, my Christmas tree, and the big blue chair that I might have to steal when I move out.
Most of you probably know about my complete fascination with trees. Christmas trees lie in that category too. In fact, the only things I "collect" are Christmas ornaments. From every travel, from friends, from family and of course Hallmark, not much can make me as excited as receiving a ornament. Every year I get the ornament from Hallmark's line of Eskimo Friends. My mom started me on that line when I was just a child. Over the years, my mom and an old friend made sure I had the one for the year. Mom once again made sure I got it this year...
My old friend made sure I got them while in China. Sadly, one of them broke last year. However, my dear Amy made sure that it would still hang on the tree.
Her paper version hangs on my tree today. A good reminder of thoughtful friends.
And of course, my non-traditional tree topper. While I put my own Christmas tree for the first time, I had not star and did not have the money to go buy one. A Christmas tree should be about personality, so I threw my Auburn hat on top. I never really meant for it to become a tradition, but it has stuck. No exception this year!
With just a couple of presents lying beneath...
my tree is complete.
It is a little thing that makes me happy. And maybe, just maybe it will motivate me to start my paper...
Friday, December 5, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
So a few freebies this week, that some of you might like...
This Tuesday (Dec.2), Team Green is holding an free info meeting about composting and local food. It is actually being held at Lipscomb. Tuesday from 6 to 7pm in Burton. Check out Team Green's website for more info.
On Thursday (Dec.4) at Brook Hollow Baptist Church, there will be an Internet safety course from 5:30-7pm. I think this is such a great thing especially for parents. As a teacher, I am overwhelmed by how my students use the Internet at such a young age. Parents might be quite surprised to learn what their children do on a computer when they are not looking.
It's back to the books and billions of papers to grade before Scrabble Sunday begins!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
All in all, a perfect Saturday afternoon outing. If you are in need of some good eats and have a little time to spare, I would highly recommend the Loveless.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Emily and Jakson coming to visit. She extended her stay until Dec.20! yea!!!
Having a job that I love, am challenged, and feel purposeful all at the same time.
New friends from Inversion and Intentional Community group.
My India blanket. (Can't tell you how much I love this blanket and only got it thanks to the encouragement of friends... thanks!)
Starbucks with Tiffany and "Hot Nick"... makes for a great afternoon.
Seeing a little green dot beside names of friends on Google Talk. (Even though we may not talk, it makes me smile just knowing we are doing similar things and might be all the way across the world.)
Christmas trees. (yes, I put ours up yesterday!)
Having a God that has blessed me beyond all belief and loves me when I am beautiful and when I am ugly.
I am thankful for this little blog that allows me to document my life, share with (and hopefully encourage) others, and helps me keep up with people.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
My cup runneth over...
Monday, November 17, 2008
It all started when I checked a grade on an assignment I turned in this weekend. I got a D! When reading the professor's comments, I was confused about what happened. I emailed her and then checked the work when I got home tonight. I am not understanding what I have done wrong. Agh.
Then, the weak stomach was hit.
When walking back to the classroom after lunch today, I learned that a student was going to be sick. I told her to RUN! She ran, I ran, and the class ran. She stopped before reaching the restroom, turned around in my direction, and projected vomit. I am talking major air! I did okay until the smell hit. I was able to grab the trash can before I was sick, but my students still saw and were completely grossed out. Teachers don't throw up. Ha.
After school, I went to Davis Kidd to buy the next book for our teacher read-aloud series. Super Fudge was requested by the entire class so being a considerate teacher (and thankful the vote was unanimous) I went to make the purchase. Upon leaving my grad class, I happened to flip the book open and saw the first 42 pages were missing. Back to Davis Kidd. The kids will be excited tomorrow so it will be worth it.
This weekend I tried to be productive and get work done early because of a certain event taking place tomorrow (I will blog on later...) I even did my Saturday paper for next week! (WOW!) I was feeling super good until I went to class tonight. Not only did I discover it wasn't due this next week, but the week after.... The teacher informed us that because he is "a nice teacher" he was canceling the assignment. And that ladies and gentlemen, is yet another reason why I do not do work ahead of time.
It is now 10pm and I have lots I could and probably should be doing, but I am going to turn in early and try to get over this not quite Marvelous Monday. (It really wasn't a BAD day, but def. not marvelous!)
I have waited for almost a year and half for tomorrow.... Really.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
(Not sure exactly who said this... it was stated in my class on Monday night)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
We spent 3 hours working on understanding this concept today. In the end, everybody went home with headaches and still puzzled. (Teacher and students.) So much, for my fun day with totem poles and mammals...
But... that means totem poles and mammals tomorrow! :) Yea!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Tiffany, Christina and I went to the Grand Old Opry tonight. The Opry was at the Ryman and we had to stand in a super long line. Why all the fuss? See video above.
That's right, Kevin Costner performed at the Grand Old Opry. He wasn't terrible.
We also got to see Randy Travis, Billy Currington, Craig Morgan, Vince Gill, Josh Turner, and Riders in the Sky.
I am not a country music fan (tonight confirmed that once again!), but it was a fun night out. And when you see Kevin Costner, it is a great night!!! :)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Hope you had a fantastic Halloween!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I did not judge too well so it got a little too thin in some parts. The face ended up falling off, but with a little help from super glue I ended up with a decent pumpkin.
Only a couple more days til Halloween! Spooky spooky kuai le!
You might remember me writing about how I seem to procure the most unfortunate things in my daily life, but ladies and gentlemen life has just been too good recently. I made an "A" in my philosophy class, a 99 on Lavender's midterm (!), made great new friends,found a church where I can be challenged and centered, have found two different community groups to study with (the girls and then the intentional group), got a job that I love and come to love more each day, and my students were complete angels during and the scheduled and unscheduled observations yesterday. It is just too sweet.
I don't really believe in luck. I can't say all of this is coming about because my walk with God is great. (Sometimes the times I seem to really be going strong in the Lord, the rest of the world seems to be crashing around me.) Whatever has happened, I am so thankful. It is so nice to crawl into bed at the end of the day and fall asleep with a smile on my face.
(Note: I still have my "China" moments. This week I have missed Peach fiercely. I also find it harder to be in Quiet Time here in the States. It seems like I let that slide all around my calendar. Encourage me to find and stick with a regular time.)
Monday, October 27, 2008
This captures the craziness that is teaching. I am in the process of scolding (aka- yelling) at my kids to stop making gang signs. They look like the innocent bunch, but whew... I love them anyways. :) Hopefully, this will not make it in the yearbook. ;)
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
First off, I am loving my new job. That desire for feeling purpose is fulfilled everyday. I have 17 blessings from foreign countries. Some speak English rather well and then I have a child who is one week off the boat and speaks/understands no English whatsoever. They are precious and I look forward to our time together. If you want to see more about my classroom, I did start another blog (partially due to grad school!)... Adventures in Ms. Quarles Class Will post more on there soon.
Secondly, making some other decisions concerning living arrangements and stuff. I could write a lot more about this and will at some point. However, for now I just ask for your prayers.
Finally, Tiffany and I got to go to Preds game this week. She had told me that we would be sitting behind the bench. I did not realized though until we got to the game, we were sitting right behind on the bench. I am talking first row! The Preds lost, but we had a good time watching some good hockey, fights, and good-looking, but toothless men.
I am ready for a weekend, even though it mainly entails school work. Hopefully, we will have a pumpkin carving too.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I might cycle through these stages several times a day.
The biggest exciting, overwhelming, and exhausting news is that I got a teaching position. 4th grade ELL. I did paperwork and such today. Tomorrow I begin teaching! I am the students' third (and hopefully final!) teacher. Blogging might have to go on the back burner for a little while...
Monday, October 13, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sometimes when you have something big on your plate that is hard to do. In a few hours, I am facing some little "big" thing.
Trying to rejoice...
And so I make this list of things I should rejoice about in order to encourage myself (and maybe a few of you) to rejoice about...
God has always watched over me, provided for my every need, and loved me without condition.
God has provided people in my life when I need them the most. Whether it be my dearest friend Lemons, great teammates in China, a crazy but amazing family, or just someone to sit down a have a glass of milk with me... He knows what I need and I don't have to be alone. When a person maybe not be physically with me, I can still feel his presence. He will never leave my side.
I am grateful for Marvelous Mondays even if that seems trivial. A good day makes for a better week.
I am thankful for people who share. It is not always easy to open up and share your thoughts, but you never know who you might be encouraging. (Girls that were present tonight thanks for doing this.)
I am thankful for road trips with new friends. For going to a new place, learning new things, and finding excitement in sharing that experience.
For a new computer! It is gloriously fast, makes my work easier, and allows me to communicate with people that I love.
I am thankful for doctors. A profession that I could never have.
I am thankful for healing. In all aspects. In every sense of the word.
Tomorrow I am heading to have another biopsy/lump removed. This isn't the first time and there are no promises that it will be the last. While I am confident that everything will be just peachy perfect, it is an emotional time. To some degree, it feels as though my womanhood is being attacked. (That might sounds silly, but some of you might understand.) It is not the outcome that makes me worry, but the scar. (Once again... silly) So I ask for your prayers... for the procedure, for Dr. Lawson, and for those silly things that lie in my head. I ask that you rejoice in your day. Rejoice for mine. Something that can be troublesome will soon be gone. That is worth rejoicing over.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
October 1, 2006... the greatest day of my life... finding milk in China... Beijing... classic tears video
October 1, 2007... Second Annual Milk Day... Old lady using her key helped us get into packs of milk to celebrate...
October 1, 2008... Third Annual Milk Day... I am in the land of milk (America), but sadly my friends are in the land of none... This video is for them.
Yichangers of the past, wish I could bring you milk to celebrate. :( Thanks to the help of the ever-so-talented Daniel and Josh, I celebrate in your honor.
Happy International Milk Day 2008!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Just thought I would post a list of short statements/thoughts made by Shane last night. (All are reflected in his book Irresistible Revolution.)
The church should be the instrument for transformation.
Often times we don't take responsibility for our ideologies.
The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them away.
In the book Unchurched, survey asked what do you think of when you think of Christian... top results... (1) anti-gay (2) judgemental (3) hypocritical
Intentional community : surrounding yourself with people you want to be like
We are not saved because we are good, we are good because we are saved
We need to have humility to learn from each other
Best critique of church is actually doing something to change it
Calcuttas are everywhere... find your own Calcutta
He really is a wonderful speaker. If you have the chance, Shane will be speaking tonight at Westminister Pres. Church at 730pm.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Can I just say how upset I am with this????
I first noticed on Facebook how many people referred to Grey's Anatomy, The Office, etc. on their status. Then, while catching a few minutes of the news the other morning, I saw the ad promoting "National Stay At Home Week." Don't get me wrong, I love a good episode of Project Runway, Law and Order and even The Office, but when a "holiday" is planned around it or we MUST schedule our lives around a program then I have a serious problem with it. Whatever happened to planning weekly bowling nights or going out to eat with the family?
Wow, it gets under my skin.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Last night I tried getting all of my homework finished, but sadly fell asleep. I got up early this morning and finished everything including the Saturday paper! Strong. Then, I went a got my haircut. Pretty pleased. No tears. Went to the Farmers Market. $9 for a huge bag of veggies. Yum. Then, this evening I went to a friend's birthday picnic at Arrington Vineyards. The weather was perfect, food great, raspberry wine delish, sunset beautiful, but most of all great people. Afterwards, caught up with Mr. and Mrs. Davis. Now I am settled down to watch a little Law and Order before going to bed.
Did I mention what a nice day it was? :)
Friday, September 26, 2008
On Wednesday night, Brian and I headed to the Ryman to catch a concert. The Ryman really is such a great venue, full of history, rather pretty and great sounds.
We went to see Swell Season. Who, might you ask, is Swell Season? Well, I have to thank my good friend Katie McGunnigal for my introduction. Swell Season is the band featured in the movie "Once". (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova) Check out the soundtrack...
The concert opened with Bill Callahan. I still have "Will you dress sexy for my funeral?" in my head. If this guy can play at the Ryman then anyone, ANYONE can who can play one chord on the guitar. We just laughed all the way through it.
Swell Season was pretty wonderful though. Hansard has a witty personality and made a hysterical Johnny Cash impersonation. I was amazed he did not bust every string on his guitar at points. They played a series of 3 new songs and I am now looking forward to their next album. My photos did not turn out all that great because of the blue lighting, but this was a decent one of Marketa. Overall, very glad I was able to see them.
October brings Matt Nathanison, Ben Kweller (again) and my absolute fave, The Features. (Also, cheaper tickets. Strong.)
Yea for music.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I joined a community group at Fellowship.
Slowly getting back into the "American" life and I am thankful to have this group to help me in my readjustment and Walk with Dad.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I allowed myself to sleep in until 6:30am! (Normally I get up at 530am)
I got Starbucks Chai Tea Latte on my way to work!
I was praised at work for the books being finished!
I got a dress at Target for $4.80 and it is super cute!
I got to leave work early on account of running errands and class!
I got a letter from Katydid!
I really enjoyed Master Teacher class!
I was able to get gas without paying a fortune (relatively) and no waiting in line!
I went to the Saucer and played cards with some awesome friends, spoke with a lisp, and just enjoyed a great night!
It was the prime example of a Marvelous Monday!
Could tomorrow be a Tubular Tuesday? Guess we will see... :)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
My computer has died. :(
My trusty (ha!) Dell died on Saturday before I could write my paper while I was in Cincinnati. Late submission, but some of the most reflective work I have done. Let's hope that will count for something.
Procrastination really can be painful.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
After a Chinese dinner on Friday night, I went home to work on some school work. The bus was to leave at 5am so I thought I would have plenty of time for work and sleep. I was wrong. I pulled my first grad school all nighter and still did not finish everything. But off at 5am did I go to Baton Rouge.
Baton Rouge is 9 hours away from Nashville. A 9 hour ride in which I wrote a paper and slept. Pulling into the area, I was stuck by the difference between Gustav and Katrina. When Katrina hit, I went on 4 trips to AL/LA/MS areas to work. Katrina was mostly flood damage whereas Gustav was wind damage. There were trees down everywhere. Stoplights were out. We had to stop in MS because we did not know if gas would be available.