Monthly Archives: September 2011

What colony are you from?

Right before James and I had Amelia we decided to hold a garage sale. It’s amazing how much junk we’d collected in our few short years of marriage. We had kept saying that we should get rid of it or sell some of it, but things get in the way and time passes. Well, the beginning of summer is a perfect time to set-up some tables and display for the whole neighbourhood just how cluttered your life is. It seems that once the weather warms-up hoarders start getting that junk-hunting itch, so we decided to give them an opportunity to scratch it.

We were living in Niverville at the time. 217 2nd Street North I believe. Our rental house was a little run-down but it was a good size yard situated on a sleepy street. For the most part the area was quiet and people kept to themselves. In the year that we had lived on 2nd Street North I had only encountered a handful of our neighbours.

We put a few ads in some papers, set-up our tables, carefully arranged our un-wanted items, stock piled change and waited for the customers. It was slow at first but by mid-morning we were getting a steady stream of thrifters. I sat in a chair, carefully positioned in the shade, for the majority of the day while James set-about selling books and vases and teacups. I noticed a lady scoping out a table rather close to where I was sitting. She seemed to be looking at the books. Rather, she seemed to be making herself seem as though she were looking at the books when in actuality she seemed to be looking at me. I thought it was strange but, let’s face it, I’ve worked on Osborne. I’ve seen some pretty strange things. The woman slowly got closer, picking up a book and ‘inspecting’ it every few minutes. My attention became divided when I needed to tend to my toddler and, during my distracted minute, the lady left.

An hour or two went by and I noticed her walking up the street, coming towards our house again. She played the same game for a few moments and then made a b-line for James and I.

James and I.

Being 7 or 8 months pregnant while following around a one-and-a-half year old can take its toll on how much your care about your personal hygiene or, shall we say, grooming. I had been wearing a lot of bandana’s to keep my hair back and slipping on my most comfortable maternity jean skirts. I was a pretty cute pregnant 24 year-old.

James had grown and maintained a full beard for quite some time. I liked the back-woods look on him. It seemed to cover-up his baby-face. He also, almost exclusively, wore pearly button cowboy shirts. I also liked these on him. We made a pretty cute couple.

I spent my days being pregnant, wearing jean skirts and going for walks with my little toddler while James spent his days pastoring, building and driving a big black Chevy Astro van.

“What colony are you from?” the woman barked.

“Pardon me?” James asked. She was a bit hard to understand, her words rumbling around her thick Hutterite accent.

“I said, what colony are you from?”

Pause. James and I look at each other. A more awkward pause.

“Oh, we’re not from a colony” James replied.

“What? Really? I thought for sure you guys had left a colony.” Her brow was furrowed. Everything added-up. The young woman pumping babies out while staying home baking pies and sewing. The young man with a full beard wearing plaid tucked-in shirts working as a pastor and carpenter. The simple family attending church, having a yard sales, driving a big black van. It all added-up!

We had a short chat with her about how she had left the colony and how we hadn’t left a colony and were, in fact, non-mennonite city kids. We made sure she was out of ear-shot before we burst out laughing.

“She thought we were Hutterite! She thought we were Hutterite! That’s AWESOME!”

We relayed the story to all of our friends as soon as we could, all-the-while suppressing bouts of laughter until the punch-line was delivered.

This is by far one of the best stories that has come from our 7 year marriage. How many people can say they’ve been mistaken for Hutterites by a Hutterite!??!

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Star of the Day.

You know your child is growing-up when they start bringing home projects and homework. Grade One isn’t like Kindergarten. Oh no, it’s not just a few home reading books anymore. Within the first few weeks Rhys has brought home work for math, spelling, reading and his very first class presentation! The project is called Star of the Day. Each day one of the kids in his class gets to talk about their family, interests and favorite things. I think it’s a great idea. The project introduces a basic understanding of public speaking with the easiest topic…themselves! What kid doesn’t want to talk about his or her favorite food and movie?  

For each of the topics he will be talking about (food, movie, family, pet, sport, colour, etc.) he needs to bring an item or picture to help him explain it to the class. These items need to be packed in a box and the box needs to be decorated with things that he likes. We started working on the box last weekend. I had a kids shoebox lying around which was the perfect size for holding all of these items. originally Rhys wanted to just cover it with paper and plaster it with stickers…but then we remembered his MakeDo set. Why have just a boring old box holding all of the items when the box itself can be an item!??! (your brain just exploded, didn’t it?) For those of you who know Rhys, and now those of you who don’t, will know just how crazy this kid is about building things. Usually it takes the form of hours spent building with Lego at his table, but Rhys also loves building with recyclables. That’s where MakeDo comes in. Haven’t heard of MakeDo? Well, you should have. We bought Rhys a box of it at Toad Hall Toys a while back and he loves it. Makedo is a bunch of reusable connectors which allow you to build things out of recyclable materials. Rhys was doing this sort of thing before he discovered these cool connecters…these just make it easier.

Here’s our supplies:

-two toilet paper rolls

-one shoebox

-one KD box

-two fruit cup lids

-1/4 plastic wrap roll

Here’s our finished product:

I think it’s pretty neat. Why settle for an ordinary box when you can turn it into a super-cool robot? Now we have to fill it with his favorite things and work on a clear voice and eye contact (as per teachers instructions).

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I Hate Uggs.

I know this goes against the norm, but I hate Uggs. I do. I always have. They’re not fashionable. They’re not fashion forward. They’re not stylish. I can’t stand the yoga-pant wearing, Ugg clomping, I’m-too-busy-to-put-on-a-real-outfit trend. I was at the library with Amelia the other day and EVERY SINGLE MOTHER was wearing yoga pants and some version of the Ugg boot. I felt like shaking some sense into every single one of them. Mother’s of the world…”DON’T GIVE UP!” Although it’s not just mother’s. Vancouver was just voted the worst dressed place (by the Fashion Police apparently) because of this exact reason! Ugg boots have somehow become trendy and now they’ve taken over the world. I personally think that they’ve become appealing to the masses because they make your feet look so large and cartoon-ish that they actually have a sort-of slimming effect.

Yoga pants are for yoga. I have a pair or two kicking around and I wear them frequently. I call them my stretchy-pants (said with Nacho Libre flare) and I wear them for…………you guessed it, YOGA! Or possibly when I sit down to watch Drop Dead Diva with a gigantic bowl of ice cream, but that’s besides the point. The point is that I wear them in the confines of my home or when I’m clearly engaged in some form of excercise.

I also own a pair of Ugg-ish boots. They were hand-me-downs from my little sister (yes, she’s 14 years younger than me and her feet are bigger than mine). I was going to, politely, decline when they were first offered to me but then I reconsidered. Let’s face it, Ugg boots have one thing, and only one thing, going for them; their warmth. I took the ugly pre-broken-in boots because I thought they would be good to wear around the house. When I brought them home James lost it. He hates them more than I do and apparently I’d crossed over to the dark side. We actually had a full-blown argument about me wearing them out of the house (ONCE) for Festival Du Voyageur. I don’t own Sorrel’s. I should, but I don’t. Now if it’s -30 I’ll often wear the Uggs in the truck and bring along another, more fashionable pair of shoes or boots.

However, these horribly hideous things have unfortunately made it into my ‘acceptable-to-wear-while-walking-your-child-to-the-bus-stop’ wardrobe. I don’t know how this happened, but it did. The other day I grabbed the boots and slipped them on as Rhys and I were running walking to the bus. Every time I took a step something would catch my eye. Upon closer inspection I realized that there was a huge gaping hole on the toe of my boot that the stuffing was pouring out of. Well, I sure spent a heck of a lot of time fixing it up for not even liking the stupid boots.  As soon as I saw the hole I had a vision of a cute appliquéd flower covering it up. So that’s what I did.

 

And now my uggly boots are just that much cuter and have a little bit of personality stitched in. Still pretty uggly though…

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Button.

I figured it out!!!! If you look up ↑ at the top of my page you’ll see I’ve added a new page to my blog. Beside ‘Home’ and ‘About Me’ and ‘Everything Nice’ there is one called ‘Grab A Button!’. You can go there and get the HTML code for adding my blog’s button onto your page if you like! Awesome.

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Early Morning Reflections.

 

“It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” G. K. Chesterton

 

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Runaway.

I’ve been listening to The National non-stop these days (thanks Jordan)…especially their song Runaway. Have a listen.

 

(Here’s a link to a live version.)

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My Portion.

…His compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

I say…, “The Lord is my portion.”

Lamentations 3: 22 – 24

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