Wednesday, April 30, 2008

trip to the zoo




Since the boys have watched way too much TV the past couple of weeks (reason: baby in the house and the boys needed distractions and quiet entertainment) we decided to get out of the house and go to the zoo. It was overcast and perfect weather for being outside...not too hot. It had been a while since we had ventured on over to the zoo (not sure why because it's only $4 for all 3 of us to go). Jude loved naming all the animals that he's been seeing in books and Ethan kept asking me "mommy are we lost?" everytime we rounded a corner. It is kind of maze like there...but no we were not lost. All roads led back to the mega playground that is in the shade...which topped off our zoo adventure.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

baby J goes home...

Well today we are a family of 4 again. Baby J was able to go live with his extended family for the time being. To be honest we were looking forward to this day (because we were so tired and cranky and overwhelmed with how to take care of a drug baby) but it has really been a sad day. Having a newborn around was a bit overwhelming and exhausting, but we really grew to love that sweet little face. I walked in the house today after running some errands and sadness swept over me as I saw a baby blanket and the baby swing still out. Jason called this morning and said he had been thinking about Baby J this morning, too, when he was out in town and saw a mother pushing her baby in a stroller and blowing her cigarette smoke all over the poor child. We just pray that Baby J will be in a loving environment that is safe and we truly pray that he will come to know the Savior as his own. We were able to meet the uncle, auntie and grandparents yesterday and they are so excited to take him in. So we felt better about where he was going. But my thoughts this afternoon have been I hope he's okay and I hope he is loved and I hope they know the way he likes to be rocked or burped or swaddled. This was probably the hardest experience we have gone through as a family and a learning experience for us all. Do we want to foster newborns again? Probably not at this time in our lives. Do we still want to foster children? Absolutely. Without a doubt.

Monday, April 28, 2008

worship

I started this blog to do exactly what the title says...tell you about Life with the Wood Family. I didn't want to use it as a place to give my opinions of what's wrong about politics, religion, the world, etc. But this is a topic heavy on my heart...so here we go. We live in a culture where church is only attended if it is convenient and entertaining. The biggest complaint we hear at our church is that it is boring and too heavy (yes we don't want to be challenged to think, that is too much work)...boring to them particularly when it comes to "worship". I feel that the whole church service is a form of worship, but here in Hawaii the word is used for the music in the church service. Words do really work as a virus that spreads discontentment and strife...and it is now affecting the hearts of the youth in the church as well. Parents, don't think that the complaints and foolishness of your own hearts aren't imitated by your children. Instead we should be teaching them the importance of worship, in all things, with our hearts and minds...as well as our emotions. It's an attitude of the heart.

"Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs." Psalm 100:2

It doesn't say "unless the music is really dull". Pay attention to the words that you're singing...not just the music. Are all songs sung in my church my favorite? Not all, but guess what....it's not about me. It's about worshiping my Lord and Savior with songs, meditating on the words and giving glory and praise to Him...not being entertained by amazing instruments or watered down lyrics that sound good in harmony. Do instruments and harmony have a place in church? Absolutely. But they are not the focus. If we were singing songs that weren't Biblical, then by all means stand up in protest. But if we are singing songs that are praising God for his glory, singing his mightiness, standing in awe of who he is...than shame on you for complaining that it's too dull. God our Father is the farthest from dull or boring.

"Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. " Psalm 145:3-7

Saturday, April 26, 2008

vog, vog go away



What does volcanic ash and no wind cause = VOG. Not fog or smog but vog. It looks as though we have forest fires around us with all the haze...and it is stinkin' hot too. But with the active volcano's on the Big Island that are spewing ash and hazard gases, it's bound to float on over to us. We have scratchy, dry throats and sneezy, drippy noses. I am ready for the trade winds to come back and the bright blue Hawaiian skies to reappear.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

the island of Missouri

Ethan says, while seeing something familiar:

"They have those on Kyle and Tyler's island, mommy."

To a kid who lives on an island, why wouldn't he assume everyone lives on their own island...so to him, his cousins live on the island of Missouri. Makes sense doesn't it?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

are we famous in Japan?

Today the boys and I were stopped by Japanese tourists who were "asking" if they could take pictures with us. This weird phenomenon happened when we first moved here and a couple of Japanese girls wanted pictures with Ethan. I felt flattered that they thought he was so cute, but now it's a bit weird to me. So while we were at the beach park today we were taking a photo session with a bus full of Japanese tourists. They didn't speak any English but kept pointing as one by one each of them got their picture with us. How weird that we are going to be in a bunch of photo albums in Japan.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

adoption/fostering story


So this is the short of it...it started when Jason and I got married and we both talked about how it would be neat to adopt one day. And that was the extent of the conversation. It wasn't until after Jude was born that we began to seriously pursue the process...especially after witnessing a few of our friends adopting children. So we decided to try in-state first. We wanted to wait until Jude was at least one years old, just in case the process of adopting went faster than we had thought. So last summer we started with all of the paper work, finger printing, criminal background check, TB tests, etc. We then took a 15 hour course (3 Saturdays) and a home study...and were licensed in November for a child that was 5 years old or younger. We had never even considered fostering because I didn't want to have to give back a child that we all got attached to and thought of our own. But it's amazing how God can work in your heart to mold it to his will. So in December we changed it to fostering, in hopes of being able to adopt if that ended up being an option. Four months later we got a call that there was a newborn that needed a foster home. At first I wasn't too sure because, honestly, a newborn is a lot of work...and I didn't have 9 months to prepare myself. But here we are with Baby J. He was exposed to drugs in-utero, but so far has not showed many signs of it yet. Even though he is such an easy-going baby, it has not all been a piece of cake. But through many great encouragers in my life, I am being reminded to pray a lot and trust that God is with us through this whole process....and that He has a great plan for this little guy that we get to be a part of. I wish I could show pictures of him because once you see his sweet little face you can't help but want to kiss that cute little head.
I hope to journal a little bit along the way of my emotions and thoughts. God is already stretching me through this process and at the same time bringing me comfort and peace to my anxious heart.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

what do you get....

What do you get with a $10 plastic pool from Kmart, a Playskool slide and water? An instant water park and apparently tons of fun. Since we'll be spending a lot more time at home (I'm not brave enough to venture out with 3 kids by myself yet) I was trying to think of inexpensive things that would entertain Ethan and Jude and also get some of that crazy energy out (if I could only bottle it and sell it....). Forget all of the pools with inflatable sides and built in slides and water sprayers. All they really want is a container big enough to hold them and water.

And for those of you that are wondering, Baby J is doing really well. For a newborn he's amazingly good. I am a pessimist when it comes to newborns, so I just keep waiting for the day when he starts acting like a newborn with the crying and not taking good naps, etc. Although I must say that battery operated swings are the greatest invention of all mankind. I think I will go this afternoon to stock up on batteries because he is a sleeping champ in it...that and the swandle blanket.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

our big news!

Yesterday we became a family of 5. Baby J came to live with us possibly for a few weeks and possibly for a life time. We will have to wait and see what God has planned for baby J and for us. I haven't blogged about our experience with fostering/adopting because I just wasn't sure how long the whole process would take. And we have been waiting a few months since we've been licensed. But like they told us it would happen quickly when it happens. So Thursday afternoon we got a call that a newborn needed a home and Friday morning I went to get him from the hospital. We are extremely excited and at the same time scared to death. Because of security reasons we can't share pictures of him or his real name but I have to tell you he is a quite a cutie...and so far pretty easy going. The boys love him already and Ethan loves to hold him. So I will blog later about our story a little more when I have time. Right now I am going through the "I forgot how tired I can get with a newborn" reality/fog.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

boiled peanuts


I lived in the south for 8 years and didn't once try boiled peanuts. You are probably thinking "how could you not have stopped by one of those road side stands and tried boiled peanuts?" Honestly it sounded really gross to me. Well who knew that I would end up trying soggy peanuts here in Hawaii (they are quite popular here) and find them to be my new favorite snack?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

the saying goes...


"Sleep like a baby" now makes sense when I peeked in on Jude during his nap and saw this. I miss the days when I could sleep like this...in positions like this...and wake fully rested. Well I don't actually remember those days but that seems amazing!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

look what came in the mail




If you would have told me that one day I would be giddy over curriculum I would have rolled my eyes at you and said "Yeah right". We just received Ethan's Kindergarten curriculum in the mail and I am seriously excited over it. Yes, a bit weird and dorky I know. But there is something about teaching Ethan that is so rewarding...not always fun all the time, but absolutely fulfilling to build a foundation for him that will hopefully bring fruits of a godly man that desires to follow and love God with his heart, soul and mind. Overwhelming yes, but a challenge that stretches me and hopefully grows me as well. It's funny how the thought of homeschooling in the past was always followed by a thought of "no way", "never" (yes, all do to a laziness of not wanting to do all that work)...but now that we are in a place where public schools are the furthest thing from an option, and Christian schools are too expensive, God has opened up the door to homeschooling as the only option. I am thankful that he made it very clear this was the route he chose for us because I have no doubt that this is what we are to be doing with and for our boys. So as we wrap up this year of preschool over the next couple of months, I pray that I will continue to be thankful for this opportunity to teach my boys and that I will meet the challenges with humility and wisdom that can only come from God my Savior.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Proverbs

A few more nuggets from my Bible study book Proverbs: The Ways of Wisdom by Kathleen Nielson...as I've been catching up from what I missed while I was in St. Louis. Proverbs is a book of conviction, accountability, hope and God's amazing grace. It has really challenged me in so many ways.

"A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again." Proverbs 19:19 (or the lazy man, etc.)

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Proverbs 14:30

"Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD." Proverbs 23:17

"Pride, anger, and envy block the heart. Cleaning out such attitudes allows wisdom's qualities to grow in our hearts." (p.95)

"Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death." Proverbs 19:18

"As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man." Proverbs 27:19

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

the language of Jude

Just in case you don't catch it, Jude is saying "Clifford the Big Red Dog"...and this is not an April Fools joke...you just have to listen carefully.


video

I've just started realizing lately that Jude has a way bigger vocabulary than I thought he had...such as today he was saying "awesome mommy" or his famous phrase "I dunno". The problem is not many can interpret what exactly his vocabulary is, which is beginning to really frustrate him (he tends to say it over and over until we can figure out what he's saying). But if I listen carefully and watch what he is looking at, I can sort of figure out what he is saying...just like "Clifford the Big Red Dog" being a recent discovery. He had been saying it, but up until yesterday I had no idea what "iifuu-da-dog" meant.