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Venturing to Visit Vermilionville

IMG_1124Yes, I wanted an alliteration in the subject title. It really was quite vivid and vivacious in Vermilionville, though – it’s a living history village! Also known as ‘SO FUN.’

It was quite the 6 hour journey (in total). The last half hour or so of the journey both ways was, uh… trying, as one might imagine with a 5, 2, and 6 month old, but still so worth the trip.  Vermilionville was such a neat experience! A bunch of historic homes, a school, trapping cabin, carpenter andblacksmith shop, etc with dressed up guides performing the work of the time, and as if they needed to sweeten the pot, they were having a Spring Celebration in the morning where they taught us how to dye eggs naturally (TOTALLY doing that this year for Easter!), crafts, and did face painting.

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IMG_0915The Cajun French word for raccoon is Chaoui (sh-ow-ee) and so we ended up calling Rosie our little chaoui all day. I think it’s a nickname I could use forever. 🙂 Merry was not keen on going up there to get his face painted, though when we were driving home he said out of the blue that he wanted to get his face painted and be a raccoon. IMG_0920 (2)Just 6 and a half hours too late, buddy. 😉 I had no such reservations, and would have gotten my face painted as well, but Mr. Boffin said “no, no one else wanted there face painted,” before I could say “yes,” and she immediately responded with “Okay, then I’m going to the restroom!” Of course, I couldn’t try to stop the poor girl after that – who knows how long she had been holding it, while she painted face after face!

We ate at Maman Cuisine afterward and decided to go whole hog choosing a variety of quintessential Cajun foods and putting them in the middle and having little bowls to partake all around. Surprisingly, the baked potato with crawfish etoufee was the biggest win all around (even me- shocking!), followed by the jumbalaya, gumbo, and poboy with Cajun sauce coming in last. The waitress loved to see our interest in the different dishes, and when she came back after a while, she said, “Well, you destroyed that!” And was eager to hear which ones were our favorites and our opinions on the matter. She was so taken with our experience that when we when she brought us the check she brought a little bowl of bread pudding dessert for us to try – her treat. It was such a thoughtful and sweet surprise! Quite literally. 😉 (hehe)

At the end of lunch it was still raining (as it had been all morning), but by the time we stepped out and began the tour of the homes and demonstrations – the weather stopped raining and the sun peeked out. It couldn’t have been more perfect! Especially since we had only brought one small umbrella.

Exploring out at the trapper’s cabin.

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Most of the doors were tall and skinny like this with extremely low doorknobs – the perfect height for Rosie and Merry. They said that the original Acadians (later known as Cajuns) were very short, and a five foot person was considered tall! Also, in this time period there was a tax on doors (which were of a certain size), so to get around the tax, they made their doors of a different size and to look like windows from afar.

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I loved watching this woman comb and spin the cotton! It is astounding to think of all the hours that went into making one yarn ball! I’m one part wanting to do it, the other part EXTREMELY grateful I don’t have to!

IMG_1204IMG_1201As Louisiana struggled to establish English as the primary language, it became illegal to speak French in school from 1916-1968! As we were walking around we could hear the guides and some of the groups conversing easily in French – it was so cool!

The sheep and donkeys were unsurprisingly a big hit!

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The Ferry! It was fantastic! Stay tuned to see this on the dream lake at our dream farm. IMG_1053

The worker in the church (bonneted lady below) was making necklaces and rosaries out of what’s called “Job’s Tears,” which are these stunning, beautiful, polished grey/white seeds. They grow already polished, and they naturally have a hole all the way through them for beading from where it connects to the plant and the flower blooms off the seed! So amazing! They flourish in the area, and Mr. Boffin was so interested in them (I was too, but I was walking occupied walking Merry around at the time), that she gave us some of her seeds so that we could plant out own. Hopefully by next year we’ll be wearing them, and in five years we’ll be throwing them out at our mardi gras parade.

IMG_1169As we were driving away we stopped by this pond so that I could take a picture of the “Do not feed the alligators” sign. Wow, are we in the South. It didn’t say, “Beware of Alligators,” or “Alligators in pond,” but “Do not feed the alligators.” Yeah, I wasn’t going to. Then as I took this picture, Derek saw something even more interesting. IMG_1230

My camera doesn’t have a zoom, but yeah…That’s a gator. That’s nice. Okay, let’s go home.

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It’s a “Hop on Pop” Life

Now, I have forgotten some of the things I learned in college, but I can quote to you verbatim a great many children books. The little hobbits here LOVE reading (a fact that I revel in), and one of the perks of having read a book 978 times is that instead of having to read the words, I can watch their little faces as they study each page – one of my absolute favorite things. It also comes in handy when I’m really tired and I can just lie my head back, shut my little eyes, and quote the book, while turning page by page by page by page by page.

And things are poppin’ around here. Hop on Pop-pin so to speak. You see, I couldn’t help but notice that we are now living some of my favorite pages.

As this little lady will tell you, we have:

Collages2.JPGYep! Another bouncing, baby boy! Coming the end of August!

P1060988We couldn’t be more thrilled… though I will say that during the ultrasound when we found out it was a boy, little lady said, “What?! Another boy!? I thought it was a girl! Ahhh…. Why did Heavenly Father send us another boy? I thought I would get a sister!” She’s perfectly happy now to have another little brother and talks to him all the time. I will say, though, that she does start a number of sentences with the phrase, “When you have another baby and I have a sister…” Haha, let’s just take it one at a time, girl. One at a time. 🙂

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Living in the Aftermath of Spring Ahead

I grew up in the blissful state of Arizona.

It’s a wonderful place. It has desert, mountains, forest, and you only have to travel about an hour to be in a completely different climate. It has culture, art, tasty food, swimming pools everywhere… I could go on. But perhaps its crowning glory is that there is NO DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME.

No nonsense with taking your hours away without your consent and then later trying to win you back by merely returning what was stolen from you. And don’t try to persuade me to like daylight savings time with the ole’, “well at least there’s ‘fall behind,’ where you get to sleep in an extra hour!” Ha. That person clearly does not have small children. Or they are uncommonly remarkable, in that when you tell the toddlers to “sleep in an extra hour to make up for spring ahead several months ago” they actually oblige.  No, fall behind throws everything off too.

I have come to the conclusion since leaving that wonderful state 9 years ago, (time out. How can I actually say nine years ago and actually mean nine years, and not be exaggerating?! And be talking about going to college and not my 7th birthday party?) But I digress, since my departure from blissful “never-touch-that-clock-Arizona,” I have come to the conclusion that I truly hate ‘spring ahead.’ I am not fooled by the claims that it was actually invented by Benjamin Franklin. It is the spawn of satan.

Nap times, bed times are off, and it’s not just for the week or two following until you adjust. Clearly Benjamin Franklin, I mean satan, never had to convince his child over and over and over that it REALLY was bedtime, despite the fact that light is shining all through the black-out curtains because sunset won’t be coming until 9 pm!

But all that could perhaps be forgiven if it weren’t for the debacle. I admit, it is partly my fault. I was just too comfortable in my golden Arizona upbringing. But none of it would have happened if not for that traitorous Spring Ahead.

It happened one lovely Sunday in San Francisco. Mr. Boffin and I were newly married and had been asked to speak in church that day. (In my church everyone in the congregation takes a turn speaking). We didn’t have a car, so I made sure to get up early so I would have plenty of time to get ready and walk the good twenty five minutes up and down and up and down the hills to the church building and make it in time without having to rush. I got out of the shower and was brushing my dripping, wet hair when I looked at a text I had received from a friend.

“It’s daylight savings and you are speaking today.”

My first thought was, “I know I’m speaking.. what does she mean it’s daylight savings? OH. NO. Daylight savings. It’s spring. Spring ahead. What time is it really? Aack! Church just started!” Keep in mind that we were the only speakers for AN HOUR for quite a large congregation. We weren’t the absolute first on the program, but certainly the bulk.

P1050226Panic. I yelled that it was spring ahead, and Mr. Boffin had to get out of the shower RIGHT NOW. I texted my friend to ask someone to pick us up. I threw on a dress, hastily threw my long, sopping hair in a ponytail braid, and we ran out the door. I was a sight. Sprinting down a steep hill in a dress and tights as I held my high heels in one hand and my sodden hair streaming behind me. Later our friend came zooming in his car, did a quick U-turn halfway up the  hill, we threw ourselves into the seats, and he sped off.

We arrived and luckily they had gotten someone to bear their testimony until we arrived, but OH. I cannot describe how deeply I wanted NOT to walk up all the aisles to the podium – so. embarrassingly. late. But I couldn’t turn back time. In fact, this whole mess started with clock-touching. So, I braced myself, said a prayer, and tried to calm my racing heart as I walked straight to the podium and began speaking. Mr. Boffin had the jolly, good luck of speaking after myself so that he had time to compose himself.

See? Spring Ahead is a sneaky little wretch. I saw this meme (made by whisper Ap), and I had to laugh as I raised my hand. giphy.gif

And this one was just too perfect. (I couldn’t find who made it)pbdstI think I need to go watch Princess Bride now. Just try to forget this whole daylight savings thing as Wesley climbs the cliffs of insanity.

So, good luck. May the treachery of spring ahead pass over you quickly as we all try to adjust to this time thievery.

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Hobbitses

If only I could live in a hobbit hole. hobbit_invitingnz“Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell: it was a hobbit hole, and that means comfort.”

There’s something about hobbits. Elves, dwarves, and humans certainly have their virtues, and hello – Eowyn. But it is hobbits who seem to have found the secret to beautiful living. They work hard for their food and their families, but not overmuch. They work TO live – in their snug, beautiful hobbit holes, singing songs, dancing, having families, eating well, and altogether loving and enjoying life.

They don’t seek after great riches nor power, they just want to live their lives happily, simply, and in peace. Can you imagine the beauty of the world if we all strived to live as hobbits? And while of course there’s always exceptions (cue those sour Sackville-Bagginses), they’re generally kind, good-natured, jovial, steadfast, loyal and brave. And if you’re the lucky sort – you’ll even find yourself on wonderful adventures. Though I would argue that creating a beautiful, happy life is certainly one in itself.

And while our life is nowhere nearing the picturesque, incomparable splendor of the shire, it is filled with its own hobbit-like simplicity and beauty despite its imperfections.

  • In the daily work of crafting our home into a peaceful, happy haven & center of our world
  • In the laughter and squeals and songs of my own little hobbits
  • In the way we eat and eat and eat all the tasty (and hopefully healthy) meals we make
  • In the way we love adventuring, but enjoy making it home in time for naps
  • In sinking our hands in the earth as we grow our little garden
  • In singing and making up our own little verses as we dance about the house
  • In our leathery, furry feet. Hehe. Jokes, our feet aren’t leathery. 😉

Gandalf found himself continually astonished at how good, strong, and brave they were, even in the face of powerful evil, despite their somewhat soft and simple upbringing. “Hobbits really are amazing creatures. You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you.”

I, for one, do not find myself surprised. When a person KNOWS where they’re from and where they want to end up, when a person has LIVED simple goodness, NURTURED love and friendship, and KNOWS what makes a beautiful life – they possess a confidence and a will that is not easily shaken. So here’s to hobbits – and here’s to growing to be more like them.

In our pursuit of comfort and adventure and those hobbit-ish things, we are the Boffins. Mr. & Mrs. Boffin with our little Rosie and Meriadoc (or Merry). And if we’re very lucky, we’ll even start to hear shire theme music as we go about our day. Until that wonderful day, I suppose we’ll just have to press play.

I hope your day is filled with love, singing, and a little good-tilled earth.

All quotes are by J.R.R. Tolkien & pictures from The Lord of the Rings movies