Monday, April 28, 2008

My 25th Birthday

On Saturday afternoon, I received a visitor. Kim brought me a little "Admit One" ticket and asked me to come to Brad's house about 7pm. So a little after the sun went down, I tromped over to Brad's. After making it up the first of the dreaded flight of stairs, I noticed that there were posters on the walls. It was an advertisement for the circus appearing for one night only in Yichang and hosted by Ringmaster Brad and friends. I was excited!

Brad's living room sits to the right of his front door. Imagine my surprise when I turned the corner and saw Brad in a tux, hat off, arm extended, underneath a huge circus tent, circus music playing in the background and hearing him welcoming me to "the greatest show on Earth." I was totally geeked! For my birthday, Brad and Amy created a circus just for me!!!!

The show opened with a seal balancing a ball on its nose (a nice toy store find...). Our friend Johnson became the world's strongest man by lifting a huge ball (yoga ball that is) over his head, and then bending wires (pipe cleaners!). Su was covered in tattoos (markers) and performed a little martal arts for us. Chen Tao was the flying woman and did some nice backbends. Terry would come in and out offering me popcorn, peanuts, and soda. (The nicest vendor I ever met...) Felix (Clown-O) was the funniest and cutest clown! He presented me with some grape balloons. I got to play two games (balloon darts and throw a ring around bottles) and ended up winning an Anne of Green Gables DVD and the scariest stuffed animal thing ever. Some of my students dressed up like elephants and completed a nice little routine directed by Kim. They were sooo cute!!! Amy the Fortune Teller said that I would meet a handsome man and be surrounded by children before she said that she had run out of money. (I could continue my fortune reading by paying a little extra, but I was happy with the handsome man part...) Jade, the snake charmer called up a surprise snake... Peach!!!! That made my night even more enjoyable! I saw a freak of nature who swallowed a sword (nice retractable sword used in morning exercises). Amitha unveiled her secret of being a bearded woman. I danced with Siamese twins. Witnessed a disgusting yet totally hilarious hotdog eating contest. (Congrats Oswin on choking down 5!) Laughed at short armed Kristy (and Carrie's) comedy act. During the whole night was entertained and complimented by the greatest Ringmaster ever! I could not stop smiling.
More pictures on Facebook

My 25th birthday was so special thanks to my sweet friends. Never in my wildest dreams... At the end of the day, laying out under the Big Top with three of my closest friends I was literally the happiest girl in the world.

Amy and Brad... I love you.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Favorite Poems

Today, I'm pulling from the 100 Things Blog Jar...

"Do you have a favorite poem?"

Actually I have two favorites! The first was made popular in the movie In Her Shoes, but I fell in love with the poem before then. It is by e.e. cummings.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

The second poem is by William Blake. I read it in college in World Literature with Rhonda Collier. (One of my favorite classes...)

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee.
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild;
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Straight From Stars Hollow

I have the greatest friends ever. Really.
The fabulous Katie gave me an early birthday present because she had to go tromp around Ireland with her family. (Hard knock life...) Talk about some creativity! Katie gave me a Gilmore Girls themed present. (Gilmore Girls became a new love of mine when I moved to China.) So flippin' adorable that I just had to share.

Straight from Stars Hollow... All the characters sent something...

From Rory and Lorelai, a great CD from the Irish movie "Once"... wrapped in coffee wrapping paper of course...

From Kirk and Lulu, two movie tickets... the movie theater here has couches just like Stars Hollow...

From Sookie, ingredients for gourmet smores... What chef does not like chocolate?!?!

From Richard and Emily, a gift certificate to get my nails done... Can't have middle class looking hands! (Michel recommended the French manicure!)

From Lane and Hep Alien, new drumsticks and a card for a drum teacher... I have been wanting to take drum lessons for about a year now

And from the surprisingly thoughtful Luke, a book of letters from my friends and students here in China... the perfect thing to be able to take home to remember all the special people in my life here.

Katie, thanks so much for such a thoughtful gift! It really is special.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Singleness, Part IV (Lessons I Have Learned)

Through both dating and being alone I have learned a lot of lessons... Funny how many of them I have learned while being in China too...

Don't date/allow your children to date too early... While I know I completely went against my father's wishes and did this anyways, it was kind of crazy. At a very young age, I was willing to give my heart away. I did not know enough about relationships, the world around me, and most importantly myself. While it was nice being the girl that got to bring the college guy around, there was a gap in lifestyles that I did not understand.
Premarital sex is a temptation... if you don't think so then you are lying to yourself.
Don't settle... if the guy(girl) does a lot that gets under your skin, break it off early. Don't bother waiting to see if he (she) will change. You will end up calling them "Mouth Vomit" later... save yourself the reference.
Don't be something you are not... eventually it will all come out in the end. If you don't like roller coasters then just say so. It is worth it to stand up for things. (If not, you might end up puking on his sister!)
Learn to respect your date for who they are... It is easy to get so excited about the fact that you are getting to go out, that you end up focusing the whole evening around you. If you really listen to them then you both will end up having a lot more fun. Don't go through the checklist of things you like and dislike while on a date. Save it for another time, another place. Normally, it took courage on both of your parts to even go out so don't ruin it in the first 5 minutes.
Find a person of the opposite sex with to share with... (Did Beth really just say that?!?! Debbie Mankin would fall over dead!) Sometimes doing this is a little dangerous because when sharing so much with person of opposite sex, you are sharing a lot about things others don't know. If you feel like you are beginning to have feelings then stop. However, I cannot tell you how much I have benefited from discussing being single, dating, etc. with my teammate Brad. It has given me a lot of insight to myself and to how a guy feels about things. (Note: we might be in a unique situation because so much of our lives are each other's too... I have the right to take this back in the future...)
Have a group of same-sex help hold you accountable and pray for you... I have my "Strong Girls" that I know pray for me daily. This group of girls is very diverse... one married, one engaged, one in a foreign country and single, and two others that are single... talk about coming from all walks of life. The advice I get from these Godly women... Wow... Just so blessed. I am also thankful for my teammate Amy who puts up with all my silly emotions regarding singleness and just life in general. She has been here physically with a shoulder to cry for those times when I got a break-up box in the mail, an unwanted email from a past boyfriend, or finding out that an old boyfriend is marrying one of your dearest friends. (I am telling you I do have a little experience with dating and being single! ;) )
Learn to be thoughtful... Whether it is thinking for others' hearts and helping to keep them pure or by learning to open up and share your life, thoughtfulness is important. There is not a day that goes by that I don't pray for my future spouse. (Shoot, I have been writing him letters since 5th grade... the husband box...) While singleness is a state of great emotions, you must remember that you are not in that state alone. Your friends are. Your date is. While I am not a huge fan of Joshua Harris, I liked the introduction of his book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. He gives the idea that someone on their wedding day while saying their vows, gets a little spooked because while saying vows, past dates keeping walking up. The idea that we give our hearts away to others before our spouse. I do think of this picture a lot. It helps keep me on track because Lord knows, how special I want my wedding day to be for my husband.
Don't become a basher of the opposite sex... I felt like the book Rethinking Singleness did a lot of that. While the role of men might have changed, men to struggle in many of the same ways we do as women. It is unfair to say that men just are boys with toys. I believe that there are a lot of men out there who struggle more with making decisions more than in the past, but I think that in some ways this will help them to be stronger leaders/men when they do make decisions. We should be encouraging them instead of blaming. I am a fan of the books Captivating and Wild At Heart.
It's okay not to be happy... I agree with Debbie Mankin when she said that you do not have to be happy with being single, nor do you need to keep up with excuses of why you are okay with being single. I would even go so far as to say, that you don't have to be content. However, I think that you should learn to be hopeful. Put your trust in God. Much easier said than done. However, when you put that trust there, when you hand it over, you might be surprised to see how much happier your life is period.

I could go on and on using stories about myself and things I have learned, but these are some of the big ones. I think overall, in any state you are in life, the main goal is seek God first. The other stuff will come together for you. God is the only one who can see the big picture, so don't get so frustrated by looking at the the corner of a masterpiece. The unveiling is going to be beautiful.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Singleness, Part III (The Struggles)

While I know without a shadow of a doubt that there are struggles that come with marriage, I have not had to face any of those yet. Here are some things that singles struggle with...

1) Loneliness... Does this come from having one too many Friday nights on the couch alone or from knowing what companionship is and not having it? I am not sure. Either way I think every single probably at some point has dealt with this issue. I think moments where I am most lonely is after I have made a big dinner for a group of people and then they end up leaving for the night afterwards.
2) Self-Doubt... Sometimes you might look at some screwed up person who is just utterly happy in a relationship. You wonder how they got that. Then you think that there must be some obvious characteristic you posses that accounts for why you are single. Obvious, that is, to everybody but you... Maybe it is that extra 10 pounds you carry in your thighs, that horrid way you sneeze, the way your shoes always manage to find every piece of toilet paper on the floor, your desire to have a son named Kermit or that big sweat mark you have on your shirt after working out (note: others did not see you working out, but they did just see you stand up... sweat from sitting?!!?) You can become obsessive with the things you think are wrong with you, instead of just being comfortable in your own skin.
3) Becoming set in your ways... While this struggle might come with a prolonged time of singleness... (i.e.- 40+ year old men who still live at home with their mommas) it can hit anyone at any age. I have seen many a female my age being too stubborn about things for their own good. How are you going to really love if you cannot look past the fact that dishes are not a priority for someone else?
4) Flirting with anything... When you have been starved for attention and someone flirts with you, you might go a little overboard on the flirting. With only one guy in this city, I am amazed at what I do and say when I am around other men. While flirting is not a big deal, if you overly-flirt it leads to that horribly awkward talk about how you really don't have feelings for that other person; you just fished for compliments; you wanted to battle struggle#2; and you look like the biggest jerk on the face of the planet. Not to mention, you are more upset with yourself because really, what were you thinking?!?! The guy is going bald, does not have a job and lies to his mother!
5) Sexual purity... this applies to any state you might be in. We have to admit that we have sex drives. (Although churches like to teach that you only have one after you are married... and if you don't have a sexual urges then thank your lucky stars!) I have seen many a friend fall into unhealthy, seduced by Satan, ways to satisfy their desires. Instead of talking about this struggle and holding each other accountable, we sneak off into the privacy of our own homes and lie to ourselves saying "This is the last time." While dating might even cause more struggles with purity, I struggle with it while being single too. I have gotten myself into a very scary and very real situation in the past where I could have hurt countless others all because I could not take control of purity. Shameful, yes, but I know I am not the only one who has been in this boat.
6)Putting walls up... Whether it be not wanting to go out on a date again because of that last buffoon or not wanting to hear about how your best friend's husband surprised her with flowers and a manicure at TIBA, single people often build walls for countless reasons. Sometimes you don't even realize that you have put up a wall. Looking back, that was a very nice guy who just asked me out and I gave him the excuse that my turtles need to be feed! When you put up walls, you are often also putting up barriers against those who might can understand your struggles. You playing defense against those you can help you win the ball game! Silly...

While it is easy to joke about struggles, they are very real. I wish I could say that I had all the answers, but sadly I am not a guru of love/singleness. All I can say is that one day someone is going to find that Southern accent of yours adorable! Next post on some lesson learned...

Singleness, Part II

Growing up I never would have imagined that I would be single and childless at age 25. (Thought that maybe all through the end of freshmen year of college.) I had this image that marriage and family made you an adult. Having a mortgage, mowing the grass, talking about insurance at dinner parties, climbing into your mini van (SUV nowadays) to go to church on Sundays, and having amazing home-cooked meals each night, all meant that you had arrived. 25 and single was just one step away from spinsterhood... Another life lesson learned.
Since high school I have always had a steady string of boyfriends/dates in my life. Everything from a 3+year relationship to dates that ended so badly I wanted to never see a guy again. Even when I came to China, I made the comment on the plane that I was going to stay a year and return to marry the guy I was seeing. HA! But for about a year and a half now, I have not been on a date and it has been a good period in my life.
Have you ever seen the movie Runaway Bride? I was like Maggie. With each guy I dated, my identity would form to theirs. If they like scrambled eggs then that was how I liked my eggs. Anytime I would get upset or frustrated I would hold it in because I did not want to upset them. This often would carry over into any relationship I had with anyone. Not anymore. Somewhere along the way I have found my voice. Beth Quarles, can be an angry, mood swinging chick who is not afraid to let you have it if needs be. I sure as heck don't let others control my whole identity. I am more comfortable in my own skin now than I have ever been. Sometimes I am even downright proud of myself. ;) (Note: maybe my Yankee friends have just rubbed off on me...)
Don't get me wrong. I do not like being single. Out of all my friends, I would say I have the biggest desire for a family. I want to have many (12) children, raise a multicultural family and still attempt to be a super mom while teaching my kids that there is true Purpose in life. I have spent many a nights lying in bed crying because I was so lonely and many foolish afternoons spent just thinking "What is so wrong with me?" However, I do not regret this time in my life where I have found out that I can do things on my own. I can survive in a foreign country. I can make decisions for myself. I can cook. I can control my money wisely. I can speak and be heard. I can say with all honesty that I struggle with being single, but so relieved that I am not in a relationship because I settled or one that causes unhappiness. Maybe I am a little too idealistic, but I have dreams and I can be patient to see them come to fruition.
In the book Rethinking Singleness, the author says that we should not have the mindset that God will provide a man for us. I disagree with this statement. While I do think that we, as women have to be "marketable" (for lack of a better word), I believe that all is really up to God's timing. Each day I do think about my appearance. Do you think I like spending 30 minutes putting on makeup for the heck of it?!? I am learning to cook, attempting to sew, trying to figure out how to fix things, run a home, etc. all with the hopes that one day I can be useful to somebody. (Plus, I just enjoy it.) I do believe that I am a catch. However, my future spouse has not been revealed. Instead, I am in China, working and living. I believe that was my Father's will. He made a way for me to be here and I trust that he will provide the "perfect" spouse for me if I am patient.

I did not mean to go on talking about myself for quite so long... Now, I am running late to some cooking lessons, so next time I will post on dealing with some of the struggles of singleness....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Head Over Heels In Love...

Have you told you all that I am going to be an aunt?

Emily and Sean are having a baby!

Today I sat by my computer for almost 4 hours waiting to hear if it was a boy or girl.
Well worth the wait to see the pictures Em sent. (Stupid blogger won't let me upload them!)


Jakson Robert Valenta.

I am in love... sigh...

Me:Being Honest

I actually do read quite a few blogs now thanks to the ever-so-amazing invention of Google Reader. I would like to think that it helps me to stay informed of things, but really I just enjoy reading about the lives of others. Anyways, one of the newest blogs is about Truthness in Self-Portraiting. This lady writes about how we, as bloggers, tend to promote only the good side of our self and life. While I tend to post both the good and the bad, rarely do I post the ugly... so here you go...
This is me, Beth Quarles, first thing in the morning. I did put on my glasses only so I could see well enough to take the stinkin' picture. I might even go so far to say that this would be a good morning. (On a normal day, you would stop reading this now and just run for cover or breakfast would be coming up.)
Why post this? One, it was a double-dog dare... (yeah, I always let those slide...) and two, because I try to be honest. My next post on being single will be very honest. I have spent time in prayer about it. I wanted to share it because I think it will help me share some of my thoughts with people in my life who it is hard to talk about things with and maybe, just maybe it will be an an encouragement to my fellow friends and readers. So because I am writing so truthfully, I posted this picture to show me being honest.
What do you look like first thing in the morning?! Double-dog dare you...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Singleness, Part I

So I think I am going to blog my first two-parter on a topic that has very little to do with my life in China (ok, it plays a big part, but it would anywhere I lived...) Hoping to get some feedback on this mini-series...

There is a book that has been circulating around the Yichang women. A friend sent a friend from America. The book, Rethinking Singleness: Getting Serious About Getting Married by Debbie Manken, has created much conversation. I had no idea I had such strong opinions about singleness and marriage until I finished the book.

Here are some of the ideas Mrs. Manken presents... (Please note these are not my opinions... that will be the next blog...)

1. God created us for marriage. If we do not get married, we are denying our very nature.
2. Biblically, there are only 3 reasons why a person should not marry... born eunuchs, eunuchs caused by men, and those who have renounced marriage due to ministry. (Matt.19)
3. Missions is not justification for being single. If you are single on mission field then you have misapplied the sovereignty of God. There is no mission field today (VERY RARE anyways) that is too dangerous or would not permit a family/married couple doing ministry together.
4. Celibacy and singleness are not the same thing. If you remain single due to biblical reason #3, then you must have the gift of celibacy. (Basically, if you have any sexual desire you must marry.)
5. You should marry in your youth. If not you will not experience fullness of marriage.
6. Single women should not form friendships with males. If women provide things for men, they (men) will not realize that they are missing a wife. They need their "spouse-shaped void" to be filled and you could be stopping that from happening.
7. Historically, males married due to the push from society. Their aim in life was to have a family and provide for a family. Churches, families, etc. all helped couples get together and marry. Nowadays, males have been given too much freedom and little push so instead of getting married, they make excuses.
8. Dating provides too much access to the opposite sex.
9. To find a spouse, get an agent. There is nothing wrong with moving in with your parents and letting your father (or other male spiritual leader) help to find a spouse for you. Internet resources such as or can also be agents.
10. While dating/courting put a 3 month limit on it. A ring or go separate ways. You should know after the third date whether the relationship is worth pursuing for 3 months.
11. If you are struggling or upset with being single, it is okay. There is no reason to cover it up with excuses like "this is God's will for my life", "God will send the right man along" and "because I am single, I can focus on doing ministry." The Church is wrong to say that singleness is okay.

While I was reading, I took lots of notes and journaled some. I hope I did a fair job of presenting the book's main ideas. Please once again note that these are not necessarily my opinions. Let me know what you think... Will post some more tomorrow...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Love of Trees and Thunderstorms

Last weekend while in Wuhan I was reminded of how much I love trees. The area of Wuhan we were in had lots of trees and I could not help but be happy when I saw them. (I am sure Amy and Brad has thought I lost my mind...) Anyways, my favorite street in the whole world is Caldwell Lane. Why? Because there is one part of the street where the road is covered under the limbs of trees. In the spring it is absolutely gorgeous! (Plus, it is so close to a lot of my childhood...)
Another thing that I was reminded that I love is thunderstorms. We have had 3 since being in China altogether. (One last year and two this week!) The first storm this week I was woken up by the gentle pounding. I rolled over, looked at the time 3:17am. I smiled. So happy to be woken up by thunder. It was hard to fall back asleep, not because of the noise, but because I was so happy. The next storm came during the day when I was not in class. I crawled into my bed, pulled up the covers, drank some blueberry tea and wrote some letters. The perfect stormy afternoon!
Thank you God for putting the simple things into our lives that make us a little happier!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A New Generation

Today my students had a little vocabulary quiz. They had to just write the meaning of each word. Sometimes I get some interesting answers, but today an answer just struck me as funny. The signs of a new generation!

Copy: Ctrl + C (as on the computer)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Attractive April Completed!

This weekend Amy, Brad, and I went to Wuhan to visit our friends Peach and Danielle. We got to sample some of the new Wuhan Starbucks goodness, eat some great Greek pizza at Hello Pizza and stopped in at Dairy Queen for a Chinesy blizzard. We walked down by the river with Peach and her mom... careful not to be attacked by the rose-seller children. I got a new nose ring because my other one was having some "attractiveness" issues (aka- feeling too much like a booger!) We woke up Danielle at all hours upon our arrivals back to her house every night. (Sorry chicka!) Of course, no Wuhan trip is complete without first stopping by Metro for cheese! And that could have been a great weekend there, but there is more...

Amy had been wanting to get her haircut for quite awhile. Brad wanted to get his hair straightened. (If you are laughing at this then you don't understand how great his hair is...) And we decided this was the weekend to do it. We tromped in, wet from rain, into the salon. I expected to just sit and wait for my teammates to be transformed. Instead, I succumbed to peer pressure. (Okay, they really did not say anything about me getting my haircut, but I felt strange not getting anything done...) I don't know really what lead me to chop my hair a drastic amount, but I did it. I had not cut my hair in well over a year, but now those locks are gone. It looked sleeker at the salon than it does now. I, also, painfully regretted my length decision while running on the treadmill today with bangs flopping in my eyes. I had sworn I would never get bangs again like 10 years ago. What was I thinking?!?! Nah, I am actually okay with my cut.

On Sunday our plans were to head back early after Metro run. However, we got a little sidetracked when we found a tattoo shop. I got my first tattoo when I was 18. It marked a great time in my life. However, I had been itching for another since then. (Warning: tattoos can be addictive!) Then 2 years ago while at a training Amy, Brad, Dawson and myself got temporary tattoos of Chinese characters. We talked about getting tattoos together. (Half joking of course) I decided that a tree would be a perfect tattoo because it could symbolize growth and strength. I kept this in the back of my mind until this past Sunday. On Sunday it was at the forefront of my mind. I got my tree tattoo!

My time in China has been one of a lot of growing up. I feel stronger in a lot of ways than I have ever been. I feel as though I can say more what is on my mind. I am independent. Spiritually, I have grown leaps and bounds. This has been a good time and a good place in my life. The tree is fitting. The Chinese characters beside are "gen shen" (根深) It means "deeply rooted." I know what my life should be deeply rooted in and this is just a personal reminder. In the future I hope to add to this tattoo a little when/if I have a family of my own.

And that my friends, is how we completed Attractive April in just one weekend... ;) Still working on some of the "active" parts.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

50 years ago, one of the greatest men to ever live was born. While I cannot be present to celebrate this milestone with him, he is continually in my thoughts today.

Garry Robert Quarles, I love you. Hope your birthday was extra special Daddy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Eating with Chopsticks

The other day Brad went to lunch with one of his 4,000 students and noticed that the kid pulled out chopsticks out of his bag. They said "Greenpeace" on them and when Brad asked about it, the student told Brad that he carries them so not to waste disposable chopsticks. We were all a little floored...

(Floored not because we did not think it was an issue, but because a student took a creative initiative... don't see that too much)

Each time we eat at a restaurant, 9 out of 10 times we use disposable chopsticks. We have all pondered the problem this could cause, but it was not until the student said something about it that we looked at it a little closer. After Googling, I found this from the Washington Post
"China now produces and discards more than 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks every year, cutting down as many as 25 million trees in the process, according to government statistics. Another 15 billion pairs are exported to Japan, South Korea and other countries. At the current rate of timber use, environmentalists warn, China will consume its remaining forests in about a decade."
In a decade??!?! You better believe I put my chopsticks in my purse right away. A nice little "active" way to show concern for the environment within the context of our culture. If you want to go to lunch let me know ahead of time so I can pack you some sticks...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Meagerness and Activeness

Meager March has come to an end. While I did not stick to the 169RMB budget a few of my friends had, I feel as though I benefited greatly from the little things I did.
I did buy my veggies from local people. In fact, I have my own little lady now who takes care of 95% of my veggie needs. She even has broccoli sometimes! We have created a great non-spoken friendship. I love walking down to the veggie market and will continue to do so the rest of my time here. Supermarket is way overpriced!
We did take buses or walk everywhere. I did a lot of walking. I discovered a couple of new streets and shortcuts to places by doing so. Yichang really is not that big of a city. (I did cheat and take a motor taxi back to campus one day so I could let the repairman into Brad's house. I froze to death though so I like to think I paid for it.)
I cut my internet time way down! (You might could tell from lack of blogging.) I knew I spent a good bit of time on the internet, but just did not realize exactly how much. I hope to continue limiting my time because I had so much time to do other things. I started some new craft projects, read 5 books, and became more constant in my daily Quiet Time. I did spend a lot more time with students and friends too.
Kudos to the Shiyan folk for introducing Meager March to us...

We have now begun the month of April. Several ideas have come up...
Adjective April... You call each other using an adjective that begins with the first letter of your name... "Beautiful Beth"... but since Brad and I share "B" it could get dangerous. We don't want a "Busty Brad".
Attractive April... doing things to beautify ourselves... kind of vain though... all of us will be getting haircuts/new hairdos though. It is about time.
But I think we will really go with Active April. Today I am going to sit down and come up with some goals to actively pursue this month. I did one yesterday by going somewhere in Yichang I have never been with someone I do not spend much time with. (Will post about that later...)

Happy April!