while i'm thinking of it...

There are two songs that are currently preoccupying my mind because I can't make sense of them, and I'd appreciate some insight. Anyone who has listened to the radio for more than 5 minutes in the past few weeks must have heard these songs.

The first is "Kiss Me Thru the Phone" by Soulja Boy. The chorus goes, "Girl you know I miss you, I just wanna kiss you, but I can't right now so kiss me thru the phone." What? I'm not sure if he just means making a smooching noise or if this song is supposed to suggestive of something more... ?

The second is "Halo" by my girl Beyonce. First of all, B, you know I love you. And don't get me wrong, this song is kinda pretty, and I've found myself humming it on numerous occasions, only to be annoyed because what does "I can see your halo" really mean? I suppose she's trying to imply that her lover is angelic, but Emily and I got a good laugh over the weekend by sporadically informing one another, "Whoo-hoo, your halo's showing!"

I'm distressed by the degradation of the music industry. Seriously, I think I could be a successful songwriter. Do I even need to remind you of my foray in freestyling?

happy birthday!

happy 27th birthday to victoria!

27 fun memories...
lists like this must always begin with uncle sam/runaway from the orphanage.
2. piece of cake in waffle cones at luigis lugios lugias
3. spending hours & hours doing ceramics with cherry bomb & the birds
4. sneaking into the snack shop at pinnacle to make milkshakes at night
5. walking out of the restaurant after they wouldn't clean our dirty table
6. wading in the river while our husbands look for alligators
7. tubing down the river while that dummy talks about water snakes
8. beating the boys at taboo every time
9. making jam together
10. dancing in the headlights on the way back to camp from albany
11. car rides from camp to home "deaf child area? it's not like they can't hear you!"
13. playing the question game during our driving shifts on the florida trip
14. tuba stories & pictures in our journals
15. arranging sea shells on driftwood
16. huronia
17. rock climbing
18. scrubbing baby food jars in the sun
19. our snack dinners
20. walks around the pond at the 4th
21. our old im conversations - gootah & ugga
22. all our threats to pee on people's tires
23. our "fashion shows" in the dressing rooms at malls
24. lifeguarding (gilgal for gaygay)
25. our many, many trips to old navy & michaels
26. puffy face & runny nose @ the strawberry festival
27. hours upon hours of crafting & sewing & scheming & dreaming

best of the best.
happy birthday! love u.



Recent Funny/Awkward/Weird Moments

-Mom & I were waiting in the ticket line at All-County chatting. There was a middle-aged husband & wife in front of us, also just chatting to pass the time. Suddenly, a man walked by, placed his hand on the husband's arm and said, "Hey - I wanted to thank you for last weekend. I had a great time." At which point Mom & I exchanged an awkward glance and Mom burst into stifled giggles.

-At the border on our way home (back into the US), we had a pretty young (um, & cute!) border guard. He was very serious and asked Doug to turn off the car and pop the trunk. Doug complied and we could hear him jostling things around in the back. He closed the trunk and walked back to his little station and asked Doug calmly, "How much did you pay for that pack?" And pretty soon Doug & this guard are like, best friends - discussing where Doug got the hiking pack, the way it fits & how he can attach his sleeping bag to it & yeah, the waist band is pretty good. 

-Today in speech class, my students were giving the "Award Speech." They had to do this in partners - one person presented the award, the other accepted. Two [male] students - of whom I may have previously written - presented & accepted the "Almost as Cute as Doug Award." The acceptance speech consisted of that student saying how flattered he was to be compared to Doug's "strong arms, legs of steel and immaculate jawline." 

-I started reading To Kill a Mockingbird with my freshmen today & swore in front of them 6 times. I suppose, for the sake of propriety & job security, that I should confess it was in the reading.


!exclamation points!

Okay, so Doug & I are about to leave for NY in 2 seconds, but I had to find some public outlet for all the joy inside of me...

A huge congratulations to Kress & Debbie, who found out today that Kress will be at Henry Ford for his residency! 

I'm so excited for you guys, and my selfish little heart is SO thankful that you'll be near us for the next four years! AND I'm super pumped that you'll be [hopefully] moving even closer to us!!

I love you guys!

4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!



Whew! Our first class service project was a success! The kids had a lot of fun serving at Gleaners & their efforts will be helping 2,520 students in schools throughout Detroit! 

Learning about hunger & food insecurity in the state of Michigan.

Stacking bags on pallets.

Everyone working hard.

Who said volunteering can't be fun?!

Pulling one of the pallets to the elevator.

Circling up to pray for Gleaners.

My co-sponsor, Marisa, & I have decided we'll be taking the class back every year, hopefully each fall & spring!


random is the spice of life

--My juniors & seniors are gone this week on their respective trips. Today was pretty quiet! And it gave me a little preview of what next year will be like without the seniors...

--Have I talked yet about grading papers in the bathtub? Should I admit to that on the Internet? Probably not. Okay, so it's not the most productive way to grade papers, but seriously - if you had 50 research papers to grade, you'd be treating yourself too. These things take me forever to grade - they were due last Monday, so in a week, I've gotten 10 done so far.

--Tomorrow I have my annual physical. I hate the doctor, but not as much as the dentist.

--Tomorrow is the freshman class trip to Gleaners. In case anyone was interested, I had a talk with the student who made that comment, and it ended on a good note. He's going with us tomorrow, and he actually seems to have a pretty good attitude about it.

--Today was the 1st day of the 4th quarter. Unreal.

--My freshmen started their Greek mythology presentations today (thanks, Megan!) - hilarious. Halfway through, I had this sinister revelation: holy cow, I have the power to make fifty 15-year olds dress up and make fools of themselves in front of their peers!  AWESOME.
Cronus & Apollo



Poseidon & Hephaestus

I love my job.

Edit: Hey, remember that date night that I was so excited about (see previous entry)? Well, it sort of got interrupted. Doug & I went to the District basketball game (which PCA won!), and then we went to Buffalo Wild Wings afterward. Which, turns out, is where THE WHOLE SCHOOL goes after they win a basketball game. It's hard to be romantic when you're slouching in your booth, trying to hide from your students, only to have the waitress seat the whole team directly across from you. I love my job.


i like:

1. stealing Victoria's ideas

2. 1/2 days of school

3. sunny Fridays

4. being on the verge of spring!

5. going for "wogs" (walk/jog).

6. hearing birds.

7. speaking of birds, this adorable little set that my dad bought for me when he visited:

8. date nights

9. having gift cards from Christmas that we still haven't used so we CAN go on date nights!

10. this clip of our boys basketball team winning semi-finals in double OT. Down by 1 with 7 seconds left, buzzer sounds right as one of our seniors makes a 3-pt shot.


numbered list of awesome 3

1. Okay, so I have a crush on Michael Cera - the kid from Arrested Development, Juno, and Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (and unfortunately, Superbad, which I haven't seen). Doug & I got hooked on AD about 2 years ago - part of me wants to say I like it better than The Office, and the other part of me wants to slap myself for wanting to say that. Anyway, I just saw THIS today - has anyone else heard the rumors that they may be creating an Arrested Development movie?! Because honestly, that makes me excited enough to pee my pants. And part of me wants to slap myself for writing that on the Internet.

2. Um, it's mini-Cadbury egg season. Need I say more?!

3. I dyed my hair this weekend with Debbie - a darker shade of brown. I should have realized that if I do anything to my appearance, my students are going to flip out. Which they did all day today. The responses varied from semi-oblivious sophomore boys saying, "There's something different about you..." to overly confident senior boys saying, "Your hair is dark! It looks good," to giddy freshman girls screaming, "MRS. PARTON - I LOVE YOUR HAIR!!!!!!!" to an incorrigible freshman boy saying, "Your hair looks awesome! I love it!" (and proceeding to move his desk next to mine to sit by me during the class...) to an undecided senior commenting vaguely, "It's pretty dark..." As for me - eh. I'm still undecided. It's taking some getting used to. I still jump when I see myself in the mirror in the morning. Although, that's not totally unusual.

4. I think it is ridiculous when boys go tanning. It's bad enough when girls do it (I speak as a girl who has gone tanning & still plans on tanning occasionally in the future), but boys? Please. Nothing says "metrosexual" like a guy who goes to the tanner. If you're a boy who tans, don't tell me, or I will probably judge you - I speak the truth in love. 

5. It was absolutely radiant today! I got home from school & did this:

(No, still not finished.)

6. I went to Barnes & Noble tonight! I dropped Doug off for his class and saw B&N on the way home and just pulled in. I had a gift card from Christmas (thanks, Ethan!), so I bought myself a new journal & a new book! Julie, I saw Ahab's Wife and almost got it... but I'm just a sucker for Salinger, so I went with Franny & Zooey. Now, the difficult part will be forcing myself to wait until I finish MD.

7. Music discovery yesterday: I had iTunes on shuffle and heard a song I'd never heard before. It's called "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova??? No clue. I think it must have been a Starbucks free download or something. Regardless, it's beautiful in the sense that it makes you feel like you're in the middle of a tragic movie scene.

8. My BFF here in Plymouth, Sara, is leaving for Africa tomorrow for 11 days. I'm so excited for her, and I hope she brings me back a little boy to adopt. I'm pretty pumped because our church is looking to partner with World Orphans & start an orphanage. 

10. I have a half-day on Friday - booya!


a milestone

Internet -

As of yesterday at 5:00pm...

Doug & I have no credit card debt. 
One small click of the mouse, one giant leap for Doug & Rachel.

Thanks, Dave Ramsey!



This afternoon I was talking to one of my classes about our upcoming field trip to Gleaners Food Bank in Detroit. As I was explaining, a student sighed in exasperation and groaned, "I don't want to help poor people."

I was absolutely furious when he said that. But as I sat quietly stewing, watching my students type away, another thought began to seep into my mind. I remembered something my wise father once said to me: "The things that upset us most about other people are often rooted in something we dislike in ourselves." And I realized, that in his immature, self-absorbed comment - I saw myself. Arms crossed, rolling my eyes, sighing, complaining:
I don't want to help poor people.

And it broke my heart and infuriated me.

How can we claim to have a relationship with Jesus, and yet not want to break out of the comfort of our middle-class homes? How can we not see that "poor people" are our brothers & sisters? How can I look through my closet at my abudance of clothes and whine that I have "nothing to wear"? How can I turn up my nose at everything in my kitchen cupboards because I'm "not in the mood" for anything I have?

How can we be so abundantly blessed and not be eager to share in the suffering of others?


the mamas & the papas

Doug coached baseball last year at PCA, and I've also told various stories about him to my classes; as a result, some of my students know who he is and will occasionally inquire as to his well-being. Doug has attended a few sports events with me, at which point he is often accosted by teenagers yelling, "Hi, Mr. Parton!" or "Hi, Doug!" depending on their level of familiarity.

Recently, at a basketball game, one of my male students, who has quite the sense of humor, walked up to Doug, stood about a foot away from him and said, "Hello, Douglas." I introduced the two of them and he asked Doug a few questions about his job. Then he suddenly asked, "Do you have Take Your Child to Work Day?" - and proceeded to ask if Doug would take him as his "child." 

Then, yesterday, the following conversation took place in my speech class:

Student 1: "How's Doug?"
Me: "He's doing well."
Student 2 (from story above): "Yeah, I'm trying to get him to adopt me."
Me: "Wait, what?"
Student 1: "Haha, that would be awesome! Me too."
Student 2: "Would it be weird if I called you 'Mom'?"
Me: "Yes."
Student 1:  "How about 'Mrs. Mom'?"
Me: "Still weird."
Student 2: "MAMA PARTON." 
*raucous laughter from class ensues*
Me: "Definitely not."
Student 1: "And Papa Doug!"
Student 2: "Mama Parton, can -Student 1- come over for dinner?"
Me: "Sweet, I just went from 24 to 44."

Sadly, the title didn't die yesterday, as I had hoped it would. Students were popping in my room all day today just to say hello to "Mama Parton."



weekend update!

Dad, Mom, Emily & Jayne came to visit this past weekend. It was their first time seeing our current apartment, seeing my school & seeing downtown Detroit! 

For our venture to The D, we all piled into our little Accord - the girls squished into the back.

We showed them Peaches & Greens, the school that CDC is hoping to purchase, Comerica Park, Ford Field, the fist of Joe Louis & a bunch of other cool [slash abandoned, boarded up, broken windowed] stuff. They also got to see Last Chance Academy for the first time.

In case you thought I was kidding. Photo by Dad.

If you've never had the dubious pleasure of visiting Detroit, here's a taste. Dad's pictures are pretty awesome. I suppose he had the added advantage of the front seat, rather than being crunched in the back. :)

Photo by Dad.

Photo by Dad.

Photo by Dad.

Photo by Dad.

Photo by Dad.

Oh, Detroit. "All I can say. All I can do." ($5 to anyone who knows that song.)

We had an awesome time & a lot of great discussions. Can't wait to see my fam again soon!


learning about the gospel

Doug & I have recently been listening to Tim Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC. I can't begin to explain the many ways that his message of the implications of grace & salvation have helped shed light on the true meaning of the gospel.

Keller analogizes many Christians to a pop machine. You've put the pennies in, but they haven't dropped, so you're not getting anything out (hence my new March masthead). If you're curious, listen to THIS talk about smashing idols - approx. 38 mins.

I strongly recommend clicking here & downloading (for free) the sermon called "The True Older Brother" - approx. 32 mins.

After being a "Christian" for practically 20 years, trying to be good enough and trying to stop sinning... my pennies are finally starting to drop.