Wednesday, April 29, 2009


We started the Food Chemistry Science Kit this morning...

Here is a formula for a lesson I learned.

Flour + Powdered Egg Whites + Black Shirt + Silk Skirt = Huge Mess + Lots of Laughter + Ms.Quarles with a frown

Oh the joys of being a new teacher and sometimes lacking in common sense!

The kiddos will remember it though. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

My 26th Birthday

I had an amazingly terrific birthday. Tonight a few of the dearest people on earth came over for dinner. Nothing better than guacamole, tacos, and GREATERS ICE CREAM!

Daniel and Amanda got Greaters in Louisville, KY this weekend and had it packed in dry ice to get it here. Talk about amazing. It was still Pint Night Monday for me only it was a delicious pint of Raspberry Chocolate Chip. Strong.

Tiffany made and framed a classic picture of several of my Marvelous Monday friends. Priceless.

Amy organized a photo book from my friends from all around the world. Talk about tears. A beautiful reminder of how blessed I am. She also gave me a cleaver which I cannot even begin how excited I was. Its the little things in life.

I got to spend time talking with Tiffany on the porch. With her upcoming move to Kansas, I am so grateful for every minute I do have with her. Porch, good weather and good friend... strong.

I ended the evening at Love Circle in prayer. My favorite spot in Nashville. To look out at the city, reflect, and just be in the presence of a friend really made for a nice close to my day.

Thank you everybody... This was truly special.

I Do Love Mornings!

It could not be a more beautiful morning!

Stopped to get Chai on my way to work and have spent awhile on the stoop of my portable just enjoying the morning.

I finished my surveys this morning for my graduate class. I am finished now for the semester! :)

And now I am going to go dance around the room (aka-clean up the tornado that struck last Friday) to the delicious voice of Brett Dennen.

Hope you can enjoy your morning as much I have...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Another Dave Matthews Experience

No better way to celebrate a big day then going to see one of the best bands!

Those of you know me, know I completely adore Dave Matthews Band. I have all of their albums, but I especially love the live ones. Live at Luther College might be the greatest album ever! Seriously.

Needless to say I have seen DMB a "few" times. It never gets old. The great thing about the shows are you feel like you are at a slightly organized jam session every time. They don't just run down through their songs, but instead let member really shine. They throw in new things all the time. Last night, they performed an awesome version of "Burning Down The House." Couldn't help but dance!

We also got to see Jason Mraz. I have never been a big fan of his, but was quite pleasantly surprised. Will have to check some more of his stuff out...

What a great night!!!!!!

Race Day!

I crossed the finish line!

Yesterday morning, I got up at about 4:30am to get ready. I never got to meet up with any of the French-Lemoners, but I did run into one of my favorite professors so we started the race together.

Since I trained mainly in the freezing cold winter, it was a big change to run in 70 degree weather. I did not mind it though. The sun was shining and Nashville looked beautiful. It also helps when you have great cheerleaders!

I only ran maybe 4 miles. While I know this is good considering my training lately has stunk, it still was a little disappointing. Pre-radiation I had gotten up to a very comfortable 4.5 miles and ran up to 8. During radiation though I have only been able to 2 without wanting to fall over. This just means I will be racing again next year.
After 13.1 miles, I was super glad to see the finish line and my friends. Yea!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Yesterday afternoon I went with Lindsey and her sister Jennifer to get out numbers for the race tomorrow.


You can keep with me during the race by going to the Country Music Marathon website. (

Seriously lift up a little prayer for me because I have worked hard for this and have wanted to do this for awhile. My energy has not been up to par lately and while I say it does not matter how I get over that finish line, I think I would be disappointed if I didn't run most of it. So prayers for safety, energy, and pride. :)

Apr.23 Photo

TCAP Day 4

It is finished!!!!!
We celebrated with popsicles.
Now let the fun part of the school start...

Sometimes You Just Have To Laugh

The key to being happy is learning to laugh.


My friend Josh is one of the happiest people I know. He also has the greatest laugh of anybody I know. People love Josh because he is awesome and he is happy.

I personally have to be able to laugh at myself to be happy. If I let the million little messed up things I do daily go by without laughing then I would not be a happy person.

Two examples from last night...

(1) My coordination
As I am telling Amy about something funny that happened at school, I proceed to pour the sauce from the Chinese takeout container I was eating from all over my lap. After wiping it off, we both agreed that it did not look so bad because I was wearing dark jeans. Then I stood up. Needless to say I went to change to my workout clothes that were in the car.

(2) My vocabulary
Amy and I were walking around Brushfire trying to pick out something to paint. I saw this beautiful dish with someone's initials painted on it. I turned to Amy and said "I like things mammogramed." Can you tell what has been on my mind lately?!?!

Amy and I laughed a lot last night. I was happy. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Apr.22 Photo

TCAP Day 3

Happy Earth Day!
We completed the science portion.
One day left!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

He Had Me With His Smile

It is seriously hard to be upset at a face like this.

He deliberately poured red Juicy Juice on my classroom carpet.

Ms.Quarles was not happy.

10 minutes later he flashed this smile.

Heart melted.

Apr.21 Photo

TCAP Day 2
We rocked the Reading test which should have been the most difficult.
Only 2 more days!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Country Music Half Marathon

Back in January I signed up to participate in the Country Music Half Marathon. It seemed like a good idea at the time... in reality it was me falling to peer pressure (French Lemoners!) and thinking if 5 miles (Boulevard Bolt) was so bad then 13 miles isn't that much more. (Ha!)

I started training. It took me awhile to get to 3, but then I was able to work up steadily. I would get up early and run in the cold or make my way to the SAC at Lipscomb. For the most part, I enjoyed it. (Most part...) I had friends that would run too for awhile which was encouraging. Many dropped off, but there are still a few running strong (yea Marianna and Lindsey!).

Due to recent weeks events, my running has really suffered. I know it won't be possible to run the whole thing, but I am going to run as much of it as I can. I will crawl across that line if I have to. Money and time has been put into this race, but mostly importantly it was a goal I had given myself. I refuse to let it go.

So if you happen to be up between the hours of 7am and 10:30am, come out to the course and cheer! It would mean a lot (not just to me!) to the runners which have worked hard to get there.
Here is a link to the map...

Looking forward to Saturday!

Apr. 20 Photo

TCAP Day 1
Ms.Quarles' class really is the best!
I was quite pleased with how the students worked.
Only 3 more days!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sweet Potato Enchiladas

On Sunday, I got to spend some time in my favorite room of any house... the kitchen! I really do enjoy cooking even though I tend to be a little spastic. (Forgot sugar in fruit tea...oops!) Dinner was good oldies... Cajun chicken pasta and grasshopper pie. For lunch though I tried a new recipe. Honestly, I was quite skeptical at first, but in the end was pleased. I will be making this again!

Sweet Potato Enchiladas
5 sweet potatoes
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
4 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
10 flour tortillas
1 (19 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat, and boil the sweet potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes. Cool and peel the sweet potatoes.
Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl, and mash them with the cream cheese, green onions, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper until well mixed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and grease a 13x9 inch baking dish.
Place about 1/3 cup of sweet potato filling down the center of each tortilla, roll it up, and place filled tortillas seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas, and sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the enchiladas are bubbling and the cheese is beginning to brown.

Friday, April 17, 2009

who knows...

who knows if the moon's
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky--filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
why then
we'd go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody's ever visited,where

and everyone's
in love and flowers pick themselves

-e.e. cummings

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Peaceful Heart

Last night I went with fellow French-Lemoners (my girls small group) to Fellowship to hear Cindy Easley speak. Her topic was "Finding Peace When Having a Panicked Heart." I wasn't super excited because I thought it would be a lot of fluff and I had just survived Chik-Fil-A's 99 cent Kids Night. (Actually, it is now a $1.50, but that will be another posting...) I am glad I did though.

Mrs.Easley went through these verses...

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. -Philippians 4:4-9

Verse 5 really sticks out. The word "gentleness" here is also translated as "reasonableness", "considerate", "forbearance", and "graciousness". In the midst of trials, sometimes it is hard to be a gracious person. People can stupid things to you. You might feel like a small person. It is sometimes hard to not just reach out and backhand those "all-knowing" people. But then sometimes, it is easy to be gracious because the blessings abound. And that is why I am writing this morning... I am so blessed.

Most of my readers know that I am halfway through radiation treatments for DCIS, which is common form of noninvasive breast cancer. To be honest... it sucks. There isn't anything fun about it. However, I have so much to be grateful for so I thought I would share these with you.

Leaving China wasn't easy, but what if I had been there now?
I got a wonderful job in October and it includes wonderful insurance. (Truly, truly thankful... Who knew I would ever be so flippin' happy about insurance?!?!)
85% chance this will stop growth.
I have met some incredible women who know what it means to overcome. (I get to celebrate today with my friend Estelle who is finishing her treatments this afternoon. Yea!)
My friends who have provided notes of encouragement, dinners, care packages and have just understood when I have fallen asleep when we get together to hang out.
The faculty here at my school has been too kind. I did not plan on or tell everybody, but one afternoon everyone was told at a faculty meeting that I was not present for. I have received an outpouring of concern. There is a teacher who packs lunch for me. My team has come up with a plan so I can leave early if needs be. The gym teacher comes to pick up my kids (a little much, but it is what he does ;) ) I get an email almost everyday from a co-worker who wants to provide me a little dose of cheer.
My kiddos (who don't know everything, but know that Ms. Quarles goes to the doctor each day) have loved on me despite my sometimes tired crankiness. I even got a hug from the kid that never hugs one day when I fell apart in front of them.
My family who understands my need to be independent, not overstep, but still manages to make me feel undoubtedly loved and supported.
The fact that this time in my life is nothing in the realm of eternity. Seriously, what is a couple of weeks compared to the life that I am promised?!

I have my moments of self-pity, brash anger, and times when I cry uncontrollably, but in the end there is a peace that in some ways cannot be explained except that it is in his hands... I am in his hands. My friends, I am truly grateful.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


It's baseball season!

On Sunday afternoon, several of us went to Greer Stadium to watch the Nashville Sounds. Warm spring weather, slightly overcast sky, good seats, and good friends made for a perfect setting. 2 broken bats, kids attached to bungee cords, a 2- beer old man with great outbursts and countless foul balls held our attention. We played the New Orleans Zephyrs and sadly lost. A good time still though.

Would love to make it to watch the Cubs play again this year!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dingus Day

It seems as though I am always learning about a new holiday... what better reason to throw a ridiculous party!

Happy Dingus Day!

Yes, that's right... it's Dingus Day again. This Polish holday is a day of feasting, drinking beer, and an interesting ritual. Boys are to throw water on girls. I guess that is what happens after so much drinking.

One of my students at lunch today decided to celebrate Dingus Day by throwing milk all over his teacher aka-Ms. Quarles. Too bad he isn't Polish because maybe I would have let him off the hook.

Because I just heard of Dingus Day today, there will be no party this year, but looking forward to DD 2010. ;)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good for the Soul

Friends are good for the soul.

This week I was able to spend some quality time with some quality people. I really appreciated these chances.

Monday night, I got to spend time with some girlfriends over tea.

Tuesday night, I went to see Ben Folds at the Ryman with the fabulous Brad Ellis.

Wednesday afternoon I was surrounded by sweet tunes of the amazing Amy Pratt and Brad while sleeping on a porch.

Wednesday night, I was able to catch up with the glamourous Tiffany Lemons before an early bedtime.

Thursday night, I caught Cirque du Soleil show with the endearing Burts and Amy.

Friday afternoon, I toured the Frist and Five Points with Brad before he heading back to Cincinnati.

Friday night, I ate Indian deliciousness and watched/snoozed through a Bond movie with the dear Justin.

What good medicine...

Spot of Tea, Shall We?

Monday night, some sweet women came over to the house for a little tea/jewelry party. Every now and then you just need a little reason to look good and be with the girls.

Amy has been working for her friend Tammy who is quite talented. Tammy is not only a recording artist, but also a painter and jewelry maker. Tammy brought over some of her super cute earrings for us to look at.

Tea is becoming a lost luxury. Now with Starbucks and hectic schedules, not too many settle down for a spot of tea. It was perfect on this rainy Monday night and after discussing with the girls, it is something that will be done much more often.

Extra points to Emilee for her fantastic hat... I am seeing a hat party in the future...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

good afternoon

A good afternoon consists of falling asleep on a blanket on a porch in the sunlight while friends play guitar...


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


So we have started our plant unit in which the students will be planting some flowers. We were going over the parts of a plant and I asked, "Where do you find seeds?" (I had seeds drawn on the picture.) The response - "Home Depot."


Monday, April 6, 2009

music class

Ms. Quarles' class got Music Class of the Week!!!!!

This is a huge deal... (We seem to misbehave most in music)

Bless Mr. Seay and his ability to handle 25+ kids at a time, all learning to play the recorder.


I have been going through Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest each morning. My grandmother has had this book in her bathroom for years, but it really wasn't until this last year that I really paid attention to it. It is a great book to meditate on using Scripture and Chamber's challenging thoughts.

This morning this really jumped out at me...

"Never associate the idea of martyrdom with the Cross of Christ. It was the supreme triumph, and it shook the very foundations of hell. There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross— He made it possible for the entire human race to be brought back into a right-standing relationship with God."

Sometimes it is so easy to undermine the power of the Cross. In reality though, the Cross really should define the word "awesome".

Something to think about...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Saturday

Busy, but good Saturday...
Kristie and Carl's baby shower
Dad's surprise birthday party
Grandma's 85th birthday lunch
Lots of grad school homework... one of which I learned to make these video shorts. This short is of our mini-family reunion this weekend.

Friday, April 3, 2009

de francais

les affaires du coeur ne sont jamais simplees...

a friend shared this with me several months ago and i find it to be quite true.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Cuzco

Recently, I have been reading The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara. Normally I race through books, but this one I have been reading slowly, enjoying every second of such a fantastic trip. It is hard for me to believe that this book was written in the 50's because I guess I always picture those "free-spirit wanderers" to be from my generation. Anyways, the reason I blog...

Che writes about the city of Cuzco in Peru. He ended up staying longer than he planned because of the feeling it provided. He not only terms it "evocative", but goes on to sum the city up in three descriptions.

"This is the Cuzco inviting you to become a warrior and to defend, club in hand, the freedom and the life of the Inca."

"This Cuzco invites you to be a hesitant tourist, to pass over things superficially and relax into the beauty beneath a leaden winter sky."

"This is the Cuzco asking you to pull on your armor and, mounted on the ample back of a powerful horse, cleave a path through the defenseless flesh of a naked Indian flock whose human wall collapses and disappears beneath the four hooves of the galloping beast." (pg.104)

I loved this because this is what adventuring is. You feel different things. You want different things. What is appealing, what is offered, the result, the consequence, the memory, just everything is different and yet, as scary as that might sound, you want to pursue.

Sometimes I feel like I have different descriptors to where live could take me. Sometimes I want all of those things. There is always that dream of settling down and raising 12 kids... the dream I have had since I was a little girl. Sometimes that passes (more often now than not) and I dream of living in a bustling international city with a job writing and living the single life to max with fun. Then, there is part of me that want to be still and quiet. All of these are attractive to me. While I know, I will probably never "achieve" all three of these, I feel like my life right now is a small bundle of all three. And that my friends, makes me happy.

I have found my Cuzco and I wish to stay as long as I can.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Anathematized Day...

I really don't hate too many things...

However, I do HATE this...

April Fools Day!

Despise, dread, loathe, detest, dislike, abhor, spit upon, etc, etc.

This was just magnified by 100x when my students walked in the door this morning and as every year I had forgotten about this horrid day.


Trading In...

In Spring of 2004, I pledged Delta Delta at Lipscomb. Delta Delta later became Delta Xi. It was honestly one of the two best decisions I made while in college. Women can be caddy and shallow sometimes especially when in mass and that was the case sometimes with my DX sisters. However, they were a group of women who had a lot of fun when together and aimed to be different and shed a little Light on the campus. Talk about some great memories! Through pledging I met my best friend. I have no regrets and would recommend pledging a club to most anybody. Since 2004, I have carried a little wooden Delta Xi keychain on my keys. It even went across the ocean to China with me. I loved that keychain.

This morning I retired the keychain. It now sits in a box of college memories.

Last night while meeting with French Lemons (our girls Bible study group), our precious Caroleann gave us a little Eiffel Tower keychain. She has just spent the past few weeks tromping around Europe. It was great to have her back! We listened to a couple of life stories and then dug into Philippians 1. Sitting and listening and just looking around the room, my heart just felt so light. What a group of misfits who are actively pursuing our Father. I fell in love with the girls all over again.

My keys are now held together by a simple silver Eiffel Tower. A keychain that reminds me of some amazing women at this stage of my life.