Tuesday, July 31, 2007

brain overload

I've been discussing a book called Odd Girl Out - The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls (author Rachel Simmons) with a friend of mine, Colleen, who has been our youth intern this summer while she's been home from college. I have enjoyed getting to know Colleen more and more through our discussions and listening to her insight on life, God and how He is teaching and growing her. I know the youth group has been blessed by her this summer as well.

So on to my post title...I am a slow processor and this book had a lot packed into it...hence the title "brain overload". I do process so much better discussing something one on one (not in a group because before I can get my thought together the group has moved onto something else and what I had to say wouldn't make sense anymore). So I am glad that Colleen and I got to discuss it. It is shocking to me that this aggression in young girls is real and not just in the movies (Mean Girls). It was sad to read because these young girls (and the author) are lost and hopeless...with no real answers...just things to blame - parents, society, teachers, not having "tools" to deal with it, not being empowered enough...and missing the only answer...Christ...and the hope that He brings through his promises to us.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

What great Hope and Peace!
I am thankful that Christ gives me purpose and fulfillment.
This book helped me to see that:
1) I am not far from these girls as far as the sin and selfishness I have in my heart
2) There is a lot of hurt and lost people in this world that need to hear the Good News of the Gospel
3) Thankfulness that God calls me his child and that even through my sin, his love is never failing
4) I don't need to live up to someones expectations or search what completes me in this world...God "fulfills his purpose for me." Psalm 57:2
5) God has given me all kinds of friends...mean, nice, listeners, talkers, shallow, deep, compassionate, moody, loving...all have taught me many things about myself, who God is and how I am to treat and love others. I define myself in Christ, not by who is my friend or how I have been treated by my friends.

Monday, July 30, 2007

we all scream for ice cream...

...or at least get a lot of it on our faces. These pictures are showing one of our favorite family pastimes...eating ice cream. You can never have too much...especially with chocolate pieces in it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

yummy salsa

With fresh mango...soooo goooood!

Well I couldn't wait until I grew some fresh cilantro, so I saw some at the grocery store and bought it. Even though salsa doesn't go with the menu tonight (turkey and rolls)...I had to make some. I had some fresh mango as well and threw that in my batch (Jason isn't a fan of mango)...my mouth is watering just writing about it.

My recipe for salsa isn't special but I'll list what I threw in it.

-2 Roma tomatoes

-2 T diced onions

-cilantro (chopped)

-dash of lime juice

-1 T of chilies (out of a can, I cut fresh ones before and vowed never to do that again...so canned will do)

-diced fresh mango

Throw it all together and wah-laa...tasty fresh salsa!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

herbs, herbs and more herbs

Well just like my sewing urges, I get the gardening urges every once in a while too...but for some reason (either not fertilizing or maybe just not watering it enough) plants die when I try to grow them. I am determined this time to have an herb garden so that I will be able to use these in some of the dishes that I make. I love the flavor of fresh herbs in some of the 'favorites' that I cook, so hopefully I will keep up with my little garden. The great thing about Hawaii is the perfect growing temperature year round makes for beautiful gardens year round...if you don't kill them first.

My favorite herb is basil (a friend of mine made some really yummy pesto with her fresh basil so it has inspired me), my second is cilantro (you can't make fresh salsa without it) which I am still looking for and my third is mint (my neighbor had a plant from the grocery store...we'll see if it makes it...but Mojitos can only be made with the fresh stuff). I planted these in the shade and thought later that wasn't such a good idea (since the instructions say full sun) but full sun in Hawaii is way different (a lot more intense) than other places and so far they seem to like the shade.

Below is lavender...and the first time I am trying to grow it. I never realized what a sweet, lemony smell lavender has...I've only smelled imitations of it in lotions, soaps, etc. But I read somewhere that cats don't like lavender so our downstairs neighbor and I decided that we would plant some in a flower pot to keep the cats off of our outdoor furniture on the lanai we share...plus it looks pretty.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

for book lover's

I found this great site to find the cheapest deal for used books. I'm not a fanatic when it comes to books but there are times I want to order books on line and I would so much rather buy it used. The problem lies with the cost of shipping...sometimes it's not worth it to buy used because you still have to pay for shipping which ends up being the same price as new anyway. So anyway onto this great site...

It gives a list of sites that have the book you want (and the price they are selling it for) and then it offers coupons for different discounts. I just bought a used book ($14 value) for 7 bucks and then didn't have to pay for shipping. It's great.

So maybe many of you know of this site already but for people like me who love bargains....I wanted to pass it along.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

happy 7 years

Jason and I have been married 7 years today. Here are 7 blessings and adventures from the past 7 years:

7- 7 minutes it takes us to walk to the beach from our house without having to pay a million dollar mortgage...

6- six different cars (yes we have gone through quite a few...of all colors purple, green, red, black/gold)...

5- five great family vacations...Niagara Falls, NY; Hilton Head, SC; Nassau, Bahamas; Barbers Point, HI and Prince Edward Island, Canada for our honeymoon...

4- four different homes that we've lived in that God provided...and each always met all of our needs at the time...

3- three wonderful churches that we have been members of since we got married...with many wonderful friends that have challenged us, taught us, laughed with us, cried with us and just had many great times of fellowship with...

2- two little boys that God has blessed us with...

1- one very loving, thoughtful, strong, compassionate, amazing father, thinker, hard worker and friend...my husband Jason.

I love you honey and look forward to the many years ahead! Happy Anniversary!

This isn't the best picture...but it is the most recent. I guess we need to take a few pictures of the two of us more often...and that is not my new hair-do...maybe I shouldn't put a picture in for this post.

hooray for pre-K

We just got our Pre-K home school curriculum in the mail a few days ago and I have been in the process of going through it and trying to figure out where to begin. You would think since I am a Elementary Ed. major that this would not intimidate me...but it does. Ethan was so excited about his books arriving and asks when he can start...let's just hope his enthusiasm continues once we start. Which leads into why I am a bit nervous...and this is only Pre-K. I want this to be a good start to a 'formal' education for him. Learning takes place everyday but book learning is a different thing. I don't want to push him in areas he is not ready for (developmentally, mentally) yet at the same time challenge him with what he is capable of.
-I need to pray for patience this year because I know that I am not patient when it comes to having to repeat myself.
-I pray too that I will have clarity in how I'm teaching so that it will make sense from a 4 year old's point of view.
-I pray that I will be able to create an excitement for learning so that he looks forward to school time.
-And I pray that God will give me wisdom to set a solid foundation to build on, so that Ethan will have a grasp of God's amazing Love and Grace in our lives. That he will be able to see God in and through all aspects of our life.

I am thankful that God gives us the intellect to learn. It will be hard for me to not boast in the accomplishments of my children and pat myself on the back...but to remember that any knowledge that we gain is from God alone. I am just the vessel that He uses.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

i'm a country boy

Believe it or not Jude is wearing his Grandpa's jeans...the jeans Dwight wore when he was a little boy. He is the 5th Wood boy to wear them...or at least he just tried them on. It's a bit too hot here to wear jeans but I had to put them on him before he got too big. So to top it all off he is also wearing the shirt Jason wore as a little boy with "I'm a country boy" on the front.

Is that a 'country boy' pose or what...he even has the little farmers tan.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

'ice cream cheeks'

We have rediscovered an old favorite treat recently...Rice Krispy Treats. Since Jason isn't a fan, I thought I would make a pan of them while he was away this week. Ethan would ask 20 times a day if he could have one. But for some reason Rice Krispy Treat sounded to him like 'ice cream cheeks'. I would explain to him that it was actually Rice Krispy Treats and have him repeat after me each word. But a few minutes later he would once again call them 'ice cream cheeks'. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

splish, splash

Since our friend Josh came over today we decided to pull out the pool. It turned out to be a big hit with lots of splashing and fun. We put the slide into the pool to make a fun water slide...even Jude (my little no-fear guy) was going down by himself. I always think this is easier and cleaner than the beach, but once they got in and out a few times it had grass floating in it and was cloudy from the dirt...but at least it provided some play time to wear them out for their naps this afternoon.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Makapu'u lighthouse

Waimanalo Bay
This is my favorite picture...you can see the amazing shades of blue of the water, the islands off in the distance and the rain coming in from the ocean...God's creation is amazing!
Makapu'u lighthouse
Up at the top...you can see the lighthouse at the bottom left of the picture.

We went to see some of the sights today before Jason headed out of town. We've always wanted to hike the trail up to the Makapu'u Lighthouse and finally had some time this morning. The views were amazing. We decided it would be easier to take the stroller up the hill since the trail was paved...so I was glad that Jason was there to push it. I was a bit winded, sweating like crazy and just had my camera to carry. But it was worth it...to see all the views at the top. It's amazing to me that this is all 20 minutes from our house.

more pics

It's a bit windy this high up...as you can tell by our hair-do's.
Koko Crater off in the distance...it's amazing to see extinct volcanoes all over the island.
This was the thing Ethan was most fascinated by...an old rusty truck and he wanted his picture with it.
The relaxing, non-strenuous way to hike up to the lighthouse.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

adventures with the kiddo's

So this is what we did while the youth group was out playing, having fun and having Bible Study...

Bubbles is Jude's new favorite thing. He can even say the word, which is the cutest thing ever...we just have to work on the actual blowing air through the wand part. He would end up chewing on the wand and getting bubbles all over his face. But it kept him busy.

Ethan discovered that pretend play is pretty fun. He found the play cell phone and as he was walking by me he said "my phone is ringing". He then pulled it out of his pocket and continued to have a conversation with someone while walking around. He would then come back and tell me who it was and what they said on the phone.

Jason would come and have some quick play times and snuggles with the boys in between activities...which was a nice break for me. Small spaces tend to give me cabin fever.

I tried to get a picture of Ethan's dirty feet because that was basically what the boys looked like all week. It was hard to get away from the red dirt that seemed to be everywhere on Moloka'i...you should have seen our white rental car. No matter how many baths and beach times we had, they always ended up with orange dirt stains from head to toe...I am in the process of scrubbing and washing clothes as we speak.

And thankfully Ben brought his wife Dawn and their little girl Naomi. So Dawn and I hung out quite a bit...many trips to the local grocery store to get food for the group, playing at the beach, and trying to get our kids to nap. It was nice to have another mom there to relate to and laugh with...even when we were completely exhausted.


We just arrived back from a youth retreat that Jason led for our youth group at church. We all flew to the island next door (on a way too small Cessna airplane) and camped out in tentalows next to the beautiful beaches at Molokai Ranch. It seemed charming to stay in a tentalow by the beach...but it was a little closer to camping than I liked. I must say it is nice to be back where we have more space indoors and a bathroom that we don't have to pull a cord to take a shower or step on a peddle to flush the toilet. Not to complain...but it does make you appreciate what you have.

They say that every island has it's own look...which turned out to be true about this unique island. It felt a little mainland-ish with the wild deer, turkey and the miles of farm land divided by barb-wire fences.
I am so glad that I was able to tag-along and hang out with the youth group kids. It was neat to see them all draw closer together and discuss their walks with God. Jason brought in his good friend, Ben, to do the talks all week and he did such a great job. I pray that God will work on the hearts of the kids, so that they will truly understand how great God's love is for us and how that should stir us to walk in obedience to what he has called us to do. I know we all have created some great memories and great stories...and how often can you say that you flew to an island for a youth camp. Pretty cool.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

II Corinthians 11:30

A verse I just read that really challenged me to think of what I'm boasting about...whether it's out loud or to myself.

"If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." II Corin. 11:30

...so that the glory would be brought to God and not to myself. Because through him am I able to do anything at all.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day

Ethan showing me the pencil he just got in the parade. And yes those are beads around his neck. One of the floats had a Mardi Gras theme.

I guess we've lived here long enough now that we are starting traditions...like the local 4th of July parade...which is our second time attending. For such a small town it was a pretty fun parade...and it was overcast so the weather was perfect too. Ethan enjoyed all the free stuff...candy, popsicles, pencils, flags, etc. I think the bagpipes at the end were our favorite...not very Hawaiian but really cool.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

1st haircut


Well the day has finally come. I couldn't believe how attached I was to Jude's hair...but finally someone thought he was a girl and I figured it was time to cut his hair for the first time. He wasn't really up for a photo-shoot but at least you can get the idea of what his big boy haircut looks like...he's not baby Jude anymore but our big boy Jude.

the slippery slope

Last week we had VBS at our church with the Peacemaking curriculum. We had it at night at the church with church, school and neighborhood kids and although it was a busy week for our whole family, I enjoyed it so much. Ethan looked forward to it each night and I wasn't sure how many of the concepts of peacemaking were making sense to him...until yesterday. We had a couple of magnets from a local pizza place on our frig that were in the shape of a pizza slice...and Ethan was putting them together in the shape of the "slippery slope" model and saying "this is the top of the slippery slope mommy". And then he told me we were missing a piece because he needed the other side of the slippery slope. So whether or not he really understood all of it, it has definitely set a foundation to build on and as he grows up we can teach him how God has called us to respond to others when conflict arises. And as he and Jude grow up I know I will be able to ask them "are you using attack responses with each other as you're playing or peacemaking responses?" I am so thankful for our church family that is working as a community to help us as we raise and parent our children...the commitment they made when we baptized our children in church. I am thankful for Ethan's teacher during VBS and how she loved and taught the kids so well. I know our church isn't perfect by any means but it's so exciting for me to see how each part of the body of Christ works together to make up the whole body and serve to glorify him in using our talents and gifts.
"The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body...but in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be...now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." I Corinthians 12: 12,18,27
*UPDATE* - Ethan just informed me that we had sin in our heart and that it shouldn't come out of our mouth (meaning unwholesome talk)...lessons one and four from VBS...how cute is that.