Saturday, May 23, 2009


I am leaving for Chicago this morning! :)

No plans, but to sleep, read, Segway, and attend an Italian mafia wedding.

Happy, happy, happy!

Saying Goodbye To My Class

My last day of school was on Thursday. From experience on saying goodbye earlier in the week, I knew this was not going to be easy.
This class was very special. For some I was their fourth teacher this year! I came in late October. We had some move away and others join us. They went through radiation with me. We had pen pals in China. They got to know some of my friends like Miss Amy. Plus, it was my first "real" class.
The morning started out well. All year I told them I would play soccer with them before they left for the year. I held true to my promise so the morning was filled with a lot of trash talk that helped me not think about saying goodbye. I did impress them with my "skills", but they slaughtered me in the end.

And how can you not help but laugh when you look up from your paperwork and see this?!?!

A student was leading them in yoga.

However, 11:30 hit and I had to say goodbye to him.

This was my starfish this year. At the beginning of the year everybody picked a student in their class that they thought might need some extra attention in some area. This child thought I hated from day one. He was constantly in trouble and could not focus on any task given to him. Over time though, we bonded. He greatly improved in his grades and behavior. If there was any question about how much I cared for him, those were laid to rest on Thursday when I had tears and mascara all over my face. He came up to me and said "Ms.Quarles, I pray everyday that your cancer never comes back." We did not let go of each other from our walk from the classroom until he literally stepped on to the bus. He called me in the afternoon to make sure I had quit crying. Love him... sigh.
I am already excited about next year, but I am not sure any class will be quite as special as this one!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beth the Mess

This is the way I am feeling these days... an emotional mess.
I started a new grad program this past weekend. I feel very out of my element and overwhelmed by all the things that must get done. I know that I will not be able to procrastinate which is very, VERY hard for me to do.
We had 4th grade graduation yesterday. I did well during the ceremony, but when it came time for dismissal I had to say goodbye to one of my students. My students thought I had lost my mind due to the amount of tears I shed. I have to say goodbye to some today and the rest tomorrow. So not a happy thing.
Tonight is the last chance I get to spend with Tiffany before she leaves without others around.
I got another speeding ticket.
I have to pack my entire classroom to move inside the building.
I have to move my bedroom for my new roommate.
Have I mentioned the amount of paper work I have to do?!!?
Okay, so those are the sucky things, but there are lots of good things too!
Enjoyed a fabulous Scrabble game on Sunday night!
Josh and Tiffany planned a fun night at the Saucer on Monday. Lots of people came out. Good times.
Got to spend some time on my hill and pray.
I got to spend some quality time with one of the French Lemoners. Accountability and encouragement are powerful tools.
My kiddos are precious. Really. I love them to pieces.
The weather has been amazing.
Amy is awesome.
Brad is moving here next week.
I am going to Chicago on Saturday!!!!!
And these are the reasons I am a mess. ;)

Monday, May 18, 2009


On Saturday my sweet friend Cali left for India. Several months ago, she expressed her desire to work with girls in India. I have never seen someone quite as passionate about a work. Over time it became clear that Father also wanted her there.

Cali found an organization to work with called Project Rescue. They have an amazing work going on especially in Mumbai. Please keep this work in your Thoughts. (For more information click on the picture.)

Please Lift Cali up. I know her work will be joyful and sorrowful at the same time. There is a lot of spiritual warfare that she will face. She will also be coming home in June to get married. Talk about a lot on her plate! She is pretty remarkable though and will do great things.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Crawfish Boil

Justin and I decided to go on a walk tonight over the pedestrian bridge. It is something I have always had on my "Nashville To-Do", but have never managed to do it before.

While on our walk, some guy came up and offered us free tickets to the Crawfish Boil. :) We had just talked about going last week, but well... In the end we got to go for free which was much better.

Because it was so late, we only got to see the headliner 311. Talk about some memories from middle and high school!

Good times.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Afternoon Break

With summer break literally around the corner, my kiddos are losing their minds quickly. Or maybe just their teacher is. There is SO much to be done! Final grades, testing, cleaning, packing (moving to a new classroom), etc. Needless to say, my patience is wearing thin.

In order to keep my head above water, our class took a much needed break today. The sun was shining, weather ideal, and we needed to be outside and be silent. We all (including me) took a book, laid in the grass, and disappeared into quietness for awhile. Our attitudes were much better for the rest of the afternoon.

Sometimes you just literally have to stop and lie in the flowers. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Breaking Habits

So I have this habit...

When I get stressed I cut my hair. Not every haircut comes from stress, but it is a good indicator.

If I had not just gotten my haircut last week (not stress induced) then yesterday I would have. It wasn't a bad day, but I have a lot on my plate right now. There was and is a lot of praying going on.

This morning after I hit snooze 3 times (and to think I use to just bound out of bed!), I managed to roll over, grab my Good Book, wipe the sleep out of my eyes enough to read.

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.”
(Proverbs 31:25)

Talk about something for me to take to heart.

It's going to be a different kind of day. :)

Dad On The Wild Side

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my dad?

My dad has become more adventurous the older he gets. A couple of years ago, he started his own company. He travels more. He got a Harley. Dad has always had a huge heart and now he is just plain old fun.

Dad left on April 29th for a trip to China and Thailand. (His first trip to Asia.) The trip is almost a full month. It is fast paced with lots of work. He has not had much time to see the sights. Plus, Dad is incredibly tall so his height makes him the object of much spectacle. I know it is not an easy trip. I am so proud of him.

This morning I had this picture in my inbox. It made me smile. He really is a great man. Please pray for him as he continues his travels.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Hike

Postage went up today.

I literally had just put the water bill in the office mailbox and walked all the way out to the portable when I heard. Another march back up to the office. At least it was not raining. :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

International Fair

This makes me happy!

Yesterday afternoon, I took a professional leave and attended the International Fair at Glenview Elementary. I had completed my student teaching there so was thrilled to go back and see some of my students from a few years ago. I was most excited though at the fact that elementary children are being exposed to cultures and the big world at such a young age.

I never knew about the world around me until high school. Growing up my life consisted of the Nashville bubble and a glimpse of North Carolina. Diversity was not something I experienced. In high school though, I had Mr. Fleming and he changed my life more than he knew. I took all of Mr.Fleming's classes: Government, Humanities, and World Cultures and Literature. I attended conferences on race relations. I helped to write a section of a children's/teen book on world perspectives. I began to see what pure love for the human race meant. It wasn't until college that I began to travel, but I sure have not stopped. Teaching ELL is extremely rewarding because I continue to learn about the world and life of others through my kiddos. I wish everybody could have some of the experiences I have.

The International Fair was a great way for students and people from the community to learn more about other cultures. There were booths for several different countries which has tons of information. You could sample foods. People were wearing traditional clothes. The afternoon closed with performances.

Drummers from Kenya

This woman performed dances from Egypt and Iran.

Of course, I bawled my eyes out when the Chinese fan dancers performed. (Hence, why there are no pictures!) I was truly impressed and hope that one day my school can offer such an activity.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happiness x3

Laughing with old friends (Delta Delta pledge class)

Painting pottery

Cannoli from Ferrara's in NYC (thank you Lemons!!!!)

And that my friends, is what we call a good night!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

3 Years Ago...

3 years ago today, I graduated college.

Not so far, but it seems like a lifetime ago.

Ice Skating

Today was the much anticipated and much dreaded field trip... Ice Skating.

The students have looked forward to this for quite awhile. Their teacher on the other hand, has not. I was imagining bloody messes. (Due to previous experience.) However, there was no blood and it was a lot of fun.

This was only my second time ice skating and first time to not be clinging to the walls. Thankfully my students were impressed. The secret is to grab a kid who is clinging to the wall and skate on the outside of her... you look like you know what you are doing. ;)

The trip was a good incentive (aka-threat) for students to keep their behavior in check. The middle school attitude is slowly creeping in. It helps having days like today. Fun to be had by all!

Thanks Mr.Daniel for chaperoning and tying lots of skates!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Real Sick Day

So tomorrow I was going to take a "mental health" day because I have a bazillion things to do...

1. Register and pay for grad classes that start next week
2. Grade, grade, grade... papers are overwhelming! (Even with all of the help the Awesome Amy has provided)
3. Clean
4. Sleep
5. Write thank you notes and letters to friends. Getting behind.

Just to name a few. Number 1 being the biggest goal.

Well, it was a good thing I got substitute because now it has turned into a genuine sick day. My nose is oozing, eyes are watering, and head feel like a balloon that won't pop. Yuck. Hopefully, I will still be as productive as I was today.

Death Cab Concert

The concerts continue...

On Sunday night, Amy, Josh, Brad, and I went to the Ryman to see Death Cab for Cutie. We ate dinner before at the Gerst Haus which was a first for me. I really enjoyed it! (Although prices were not too amazing.) It set the mood for a fun night.

Ra Ra Riot opened. Music was pretty good, but stage presence was terrible. I was disappointed after all that I had heard about them. Matt Costa played next and I was really impressed... In fact, so much so that I purchased his latest album on iTunes during the show.

Death Cab... AMAZING!!!!! We stood and danced the whole show. I would follow this band "into the dark" for sure.

Not only have I have I enjoyed good concerts, but enjoyed good friends to go with. Hope it was worth the drive down from Cincinnati. ;)

Next show... Coldplay and Snow Patrol on June 6.

Something To Work On

"To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking."

Working on being better with my follow-through of good intentions...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Breast Day

On Friday night, my friends and I celebrated the end of radiation.

Happy Boob Day! (Yes, I know a tad tacky, but sometimes you need to smile and laugh about things.)

At Centennial, I was given two huge bouquets of flowers, a bottle of champagne, a glass that says "When life hands you lemons, stuff your bra", and Gigi's cupcakes. Once arriving at home, Amy and Tiffany were there to be happy with me. Brad got into town just a short while later so another big hug. We had a champagne toast and planned a fun evening out.

We met Daniel and Josh at Hooters for dinner. (Wings are not nearly as good as BWW!) Then, we went down to Big Bang. Big Bang is a dueling piano bar. The guys do not only have amazing musical talent, but are also hilarious. They were more than happy to celebrate Boob Day with us. I was called to the stage where one of the guys wrote me a "love song" to the the tune of John Lennon's "Imagine." "Imagine if I were your boyfriend..." It made for MUCH laughter. About that time Jordan showed up. We had such a good time singing, dancing, and laughing. The party then moved to Tarboosh where we ended the evening. Minus the awkward "date" (another story...), the night was a complete blast!

I cannot be a luckier girl. To have this behind me, have seriously wonderful friends, and just lead the charmed life that I do... Not enough praise can be lifted up to my Father for all of it. I am so truly thankful.

Happy Boob Day!

Friday, May 1, 2009

#3 of "152 Insights Into My Soul"

If you say "coon's age" in the same sentence as talking about a plan for a date with me then chances are it will be your first and only date. (If you even get that!)