A boy for his birthday!

Today is my husband Richard’s birthday. We quit buying birthday gifts for each other years ago, but this year I broke with that and ordered something really cute for his birthday.


His name is Rodolson. He’s seven years old and he’s in first grade in his home country of Haiti.

No, we aren’t adopting a child in our old age! Instead, we will be sponsoring Rodolson through an organization called New Missions which, coincidentally, is celebrating it’s 34th birthday today.

In 1983, the late George DeTellis and his wife, Jeanne, left the United States for Haiti with nothing more than what they could carry on the plane. They lived in tents pitched under a grove of coconut trees and started a church the first Sunday they were there. Now, 34 years later, New Missions, which also branched into the Dominican Republic in 2000, has over 30 churches as well as elementary schools, high schools, medical clinics, a Bible college, and a professional trade school.

Following the devastating earthquake of 2010 the United States military made the main New Missions compound their primary base camp for relief work in Haiti’s southern plain. Though many churches and schools were destroyed by the 7.0 earthquake, New Missions has rebounded and continues to thrive.

For just $33 a month, child sponsorship through New Missions provides a child with quality education, a daily hot lunch which for some is their primary meal of the day, and medical care. New Missions also provides a number of community development initiatives including clean water, vocational training and local employment, all vital in this poorest part of the western hemisphere.

Rodolson is not our first New Missions child. We have been sponsoring Marie since she was nine. Today, she is a lovely young woman of 22 with one year of high school left to complete and a dream of pursuing nurse’s training. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed exchanging letters with her and watching her grow. Now we get to do the same with Rodolson.


So, Happy Birthday to both Richard and New Missions and welcome to the family, Rodolson!


Shopping the January sales

logoI haven’t been to the city to check out the January sales yet and when I do go this year, I’ll be looking for bathroom fixtures and accessories because we’re planning to have both our bathrooms renovated soon. Hopefully I’ll also have a chance to sneak into a few of my favourite clothing shops to see what’s on sale.

I’m no stranger to shopping sales. In fact, I seldom pay full price for anything I wear, but just because something is on sale doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a bargain. I’ve written about the words that I use as my shopping guide before, but perhaps this is a good time for a quick review.


Do the shoulder seams lie in the right place? Are the armholes sufficiently high without cutting into your armpits? Does the garment pull across your shoulder blades? Is the length appropriate? Is there puckering or wrinkling anywhere? If you’re unsure about the fit, try on another size for comparison and if you’re seriously considering buying an item, don’t forget to check a three-way mirror! Don’t buy anything without first checking the fit from behind!


Does the garment suit your body type? Does it accentuate your good features and disguise the less desirable ones? Does the colour suit you?


Regardless of how well the garment fits and whether the colour suits you, if you don’t find it comfortable or you don’t like the texture of the fabric, you probably won’t wear it.


Does it fit your lifestyle? Where will you wear it? Can be worn with other items that are already in your closet? If you have to buy a whole new outfit to go with it, it really isn’t a bargain at all.

While we’re on that topic, let’s talk about what to do before you go shopping. Take a good look at your closet and decide what you’re going to look for and what you’re not. Are there any gaps in your work wardrobe or your casual wear? Are there items that are wearing out and need to be replaced? Is there a colour that seems to be missing? Shopping the January sales can be pretty overwhelming if you have no idea what you’re looking for and you don’t really want to come home with more jeans and sweaters if what you really needed was a new winter coat or a nice suit for the office.


Lastly, when you’re considering making a purchase, ask yourself if you’re going to enjoy wearing it. Will it boost your confidence and make you feel great? Also, don’t forget to be adventurous and have some fun while you’re shopping. The January sales can be a great time to try on styles and colours that you haven’t worn before.