Tuesday, September 30, 2008

sharing the gospel

I overheard Ethan this morning while playing with his cars...

Ethan: "If you believe in God with your whole heart, you get to go to heaven."

Child-like faith is a beautiful thing, even when it is being explained to inanimate objects.

fall is here...

...or at least until the sun comes out and it stops raining. We woke up to a chilly 78 degrees this morning in our house...mainly because it was raining. I love cool weather. So Ethan was asking for socks because his feet were so cold. And then after that didn't help he put on another pair. And what is the best way to warm up on such a chilly morning?...a hot beverage. I never drink hot beverages here unless I am in a Starbucks because they crank the A/C up so high that it makes you want to drink hot beverages. So the boys had their hot chocolate and marshmellows (Ethan's favorite since he had it at Mimi's house this past February after coming in from the snow) and I had my cup of green tea with milk (a weird pregnancy craving...I never used to put milk in my hot tea before).

Now I'm off to do some laundry and this cold weather is making me want to work on some sewing projects. I love cold weather!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

road trip

What do you do on an island when you want to "get away"? You go on a road trip. There is no need for maps on this kind of a road trip. No need to pack your bags...because there is one road that goes around the island and it only takes about 2 1/2 hours to travel the whole thing. So today we decided we needed some good family time and we headed up to the North Shore. As you can see in the video Ethan and Jude had no idea what a road trip was but they humored their mom anyway by saying "Woo-hoo!". About 15 minutes from home Ethan then told us "wow, we are so far from home"....poor kid, he doesn't even know what a real road trip is.

We loaded up with drinks at the local 7 Eleven (a Harris tradition for road trips...except it's usually a QT stop) and we were on our way. Our first of many stops along the way...because someone had to keep stopping to use the restroom (I won't name any names except that it involves a baby kicking someones bladder)....was Chinaman's hat. Across the street are some ancient ruins...okay maybe not ancient, but they're from an old sugar mill in the late 1800's and pretty cool to see.

We then made our way to Shark's Cove (you should have seen how big Ethan's eyes got when I told him that's where we were going) to do a little bit of swimming and exploring. They have great tide pools which make it so kid friendly...if it weren't for all the rocks everywhere. This is why water shoes were invented. Jason took the boys out to go explore the "cave" on the other side while I hung back and watched the fish swim around my feet.

I also had fun taking shadow silhouette shots of my prego belly.Then we spent the rest of the time collecting cool rocks and shells before we packed up for lunch.Our next stop was historic Halewia Town (a.k.a tourist trap) and had burgers at the Kua Aina...the best avocado/cheese burgers around.

You can't go to the North Shore without stopping to get a Shave Ice, so we of course had to stop and get one of those too. Ethan thought it was great after I explained to him it was kind of like eating snow. (side-story: the other day I made a comment about how I love Hawaii and Ethan said "yeah, except there isn't snow in Hawaii")

And to top off our road trip adventure we stopped at a road side stand to get some fresh pineapple, which we snacked on all the way home...since it was only about 45 minutes away. Yes, this is the road side stand we bought it from but....

it's fairly normal to stop at a run-down truck (or shack) on the side of the road, here in lovely paradise, to get a bite to eat....such as this "shrimp out of a truck". So see it's not so weird.I forgot how fun road trips were.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the party's over

Birthday is over. Back to normal life. Not sure why but I woke up this morning with the urge to clean...not just the basic cleaning, but bring out the old toothbrush and clean baseboards, screens, fan blades, grout, etc. Well 3 1/2 hours (and lots of sweat) later my house doesn't look that much different but I know that the dust bunnies are swept, soap scum is scrubbed away and dirty baseboards are clean (plus clean bathrooms, carpets vacuumed and floors mopped). This is when I'm thankful for my small Hawaii house.

Ethan and Jude even joined in the "fun". They got out their little mop and broom to clean off the front lanai. Such big helpers.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

happy birthday to me

This is the only picture I have to document my 32nd birthday. Not flattering but kind of funny. This was the cake Jason made me...he asked what kind of cake I wanted and I told him German Chocolate cake. Later I found out that he doesn't like coconut and won't eat any of it. So the boys and I enjoyed our cake and ate it too.

Jason and the boys got some great gifts for me. Jason got a Kitchenaid ice cream maker that I had been wanting and Ethan and Jude gave me a jewelry box that they painted themselves. Ethan was so excited for me to open his gift. And the first thing I saw this morning when I woke up was a beautiful bouquet of flowers that Jason left for me to find in the morning.

It's funny how birthdays just come and go when you get older...life just keeps going. Although I am thankful that I didn't have to cook or do dishes tonight.

Monday, September 22, 2008

the gecko

When you live in Hawaii you have to be okay with living with nature...not outside but inside your house. There are the geckos, cockroaches (not due to lack of cleanliness), ants (also not due to lack of cleanliness), centipedes and the occasional bird that has flown in our open door. It took a little while for me to get used to the geckos that come out at night and chirp. People kept telling me they are good because they eat all the bugs (especially the mosquitoes) and they're harmless. So I tried to accept these little creatures sharing my home with me....because no matter how hard you try, you can't keep them out (thanks to the lovely jalousie windows).
So each night we are greeted with a family of geckos that come out of the light fixtures, behind picture frames or where ever else they hide and wait for their meals to come crawling by (and every once in a while chirp to one another). After a while I stopped jumping every time I saw one scurry across the ceiling or wall. But the part that was okay with me is that they hung out in our family/kitchen/dining room that has a vaulted ceiling....lots of space between me and the geckos. So this has been a good thing we had going for about 3 years now. But of course there will always be a rebel among the group...one that doesn't want to do what everybody else is doing, wants to be different...and has ventured on back to our bedroom to claim as his home. This is not okay with me. First of all I don't like sleeping knowing there is a reptile crawling around my room and could possibly fall on my face while I am sleeping. Second, geckos leave little deposits all over the place (which is highly annoying/disgusting to clean up especially in my bedroom).
This is what I get to clean up now. Do you see it? Gecko poop on my walls....
...and on my window sills. This is not okay with me. I might have to figure out a way to capture this little gecko friend and find a new home for him elsewhere...unless I can train him to eat the cockroaches...then he can stay.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I think I've blogged this hymn before but I really love the words to this song:

Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin, and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

what is classical education

My friend Lori has been doing a series on what Classical Education is. So for those that wonder what it entails...especially if you don't have time to sit down and read books on it...she has been outlining it in a "to the point" condensed way. If you want the "nutshell" of classical education check out part 1. Here's a little snippet of part 2A:

"All free men, regardless of the work they will eventually pursue, need a measure of knowledge, understanding and wisdom which will enable them to lead virtuous lives. Therefore, classical ed neglects, for a time, strictly utilitarian, job-specific skills in favor of cultivating a mastery of language, perspicuity of thought and purity of life."

She goes on to say:

"The goal, then, of Classical Education is not for its students to achieve high SAT scores, be accepted at an Ivy League school, obtain a particular job, reach a certain level of financial gain, or to be labeled as successful, but rather to acquire wisdom which will enable its possessor to live well in every capacity of life - his home, his workplace, his neighborhod, his community, and his world."

In part 2B she also covers the goal of Christian Classical Education, to "live well", by saying:

"It means to manifest honesty, integrity, faithfulness, sobriety, respect, determination, compassion, charity, patience, generosity and selflessness....In order to last, true virtue must be rooted in Christianity. Unless firmly grounded and held in place by a system of belief, it will be blown about by every new wind, or blown away like chaff."

Lori did a good job clearly explaining Classical Education (and is continuing to) on her blog. So if you're curious, do read it. I get asked a lot about what Classical Education is and I don't feel like I explain it well...as I'm still learning about what it fully entails.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Well this blog post doesn't have any pictures but I thought I would give a quick update (random thoughts/facts too) on the Wood family:

  • Our baby girl weighs about 1.5 lbs and is about 13 inches long (according to estimates). I definitely feel her moving around...she is quite the acrobat now. My pregnancy continues to go well and all is healthy and growing...other than the sore hips, weird muscle pains, etc.
  • Jason has hit the realization of how time consuming it is to be a headmaster/teacher/student in seminary. He's fighting a cold right now but continues to really enjoy his job...especially the teaching part of it. Seminary has been a challenge lately as he is taking his Greek course. But somehow he gets it all done and still manages to get sleep and spend time with the fam.
  • We are now re-licensed as of yesterday to continue with fostering. I don't know how much we will actually be able to foster in the coming year (with new baby and all) but it's easier to get re-licensed now instead of having to go through the whole process again in a year or two. Ethan keeps asking when the children are coming over to live with us. It's so interesting to see what questions come out of a 5 year old when they're learning about the reality of life and how every child doesn't have parents that can or do take care of them.
  • I'm feeling a bit homesick with Fall coming...it happens to be my favorite season. It doesn't help that stores have all of their red/orange/yellow decorations, linens, etc. It of course is still hot here...stinkin' hot actually and not Fall-like at all.
  • I'm already sick of all the political bashing, celebrity stupidity on politics and the liberal media....November 4th can't come soon enough. I just can't even watch another news program or read another Internet article. So I am sticking to watching forums and town hall meetings only. I know who I'm voting for (that's an easy choice) and that's all that matters.
  • I found a great baby sling wrap for our baby girl. Moby slings...check it out. Can't wait to use mine in a few months.
  • Ethan continues to love learning. This homeschooling thing has really been fun (although some days I wish I could nap instead of teach...but you can't always have what you want all the time). I'm learning more and more about the benefits (for boys especially) on this way of schooling and learning at this stage, that it makes it all worth the stress and chaos it can bring. We'll take each year and see if we'll continue with homeschooling, but I am thankful that this year we are able to homeschool...and that I got to experience, with Ethan, the firsts of learning that Kindergarten brings.
  • I picked up crocheting again. I made a little baby beany hat for the hospital and might try a few other things. It's nice to sit down in the evenings and relax with my yarn and crochet hook....anything where I can sit and put my feet up is relaxing, actually.
  • Ethan is in the other room right now belting out our bug song from Science..."head, thorax, abdomen, abdomen; head, thorax, abdomen, abdomen; eyes, antennas, mouth and palps; head, thorax, abdomen, abdomen" (to the tune of head, shoulders, knees & toes, knees & toes) and Jude is shhhing him....which of course causes Ethan to sing louder. Ah, brotherly love.

Okay I don't need to bore you anymore. Congratulations for reading through my ramblings to the end.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

a little more nature

So this is the post on my newest endeavor to be a horticulturist...thought I would hurry and take pictures while everything still looked green and lush. Here is our grape tomato plant...green and thriving. I've heard that grape tomato plants do well here in Hawaii. Plus I think grape tomatoes have the best flavor.
See all of the flowers on it. Very promising!
We also planted some basil (once again), eggplant and golden zucchini (yellow squash). Now I realize that squash plants like lots of room so hopefully they'll enjoy growing up along the railing for space. We'll see. But zucchini and squash are so expensive here that I hope I can just grow my own.
Our neighbor gave us a sprig of her spearmint (which is the only variety that seems to grow well in Hawaii...Kentucky something variety) and our faithful aloe plant that has lasted through the many plant killings over the last few years.
The boys picked out two flowers each and we planted them in this flower pot here. Quite a variety but they enjoy watering them.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

new feathered friend(s)

These beautiful birds are called Java Sparrows. They heard the news of some great bird seed and decided to drop in today to check it out. So now our feeder is a bit more populated. I love watching the birds (I think that comes from my mom).

The birds were a bit timid before they started chowing down at the feeder...checking out the surroundings before they swooped in. Their coloring is so interesting to me. But I think their experience was good and they will be back.

Sorry that my blog has turned a bit nature-y (is that a word?). It's what we're up to lately with school. Coming soon are pictures of our plants...yes, I like to torture myself and think that I have this amazing green thumb...and once again kill off some perfectly good plants. But this time I think will be different. I am actually remembering to water them. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

our two feathered friends

A week ago the kids and I went out and bought a bird feeder...partly for school (Science) and partly to see the amazing tropical birds that find their home here in Hawaii. Well apparently native Hawaiian birds aren't big seed eaters...probably because they have all the food they could ever want year round...berries, fruits and plenty of bugs. So all we have attracted to our feeder is this beautiful Cardinal and his mate...which I'm pretty sure aren't native to the islands. But we have enjoyed watching them come and enjoy their meal. Ethan has enjoyed learning a few bird names as well. The common birds that we see the most have been the Dove, the Myna bird, the Egret and the Cardinal which funny enough aren't tropical birds. So if you think we're surrounded by colorful tropical birds all the time...I'm sure they're out there but they're definitely not attracted to bird seed.

Friday, September 05, 2008

thank you Jude

My gift to myself, for making it through the potty training experience with Jude, was to get a new rug for our family room. I didn't want to get a new one before he figured out those important muscle control skills...for obvious reasons. So I figured that would be my goal, something to shoot for. Our other rug was filled with stains...more than I could spot clean. And it got that matted down, worn look that didn't even fluff up after being cleaned or vacuumed. So now that Jude is officially potty trained, I went out soon after and got a new rug.

As you can see Ethan enjoys the fluffiness of the new rug. He makes rug angels and hand prints. My favorite feature (besides the fluffy part...who knew shag was back) is that it is multi-colored, which hides stains. So if you ever want to come and enjoy sitting on our new fluffy, multi-colored, shag carpet with us, feel free to stop by.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

giggle of the day

(I received this in an e-mail today)
Sometimes I think Maxine should run for president. She was right on with this one!

Everyone concentrates on the problems we're having in this country lately: illegal immigration, hurricane recovery, alligators attacking people in Florida ... Not me. I concentrate on solutions for the problems. It's a win-win situation.

+ Dig a moat the length of the Mexican border.
+ Send the dirt to New Orleans to raise the level of the levies.
+ Put the Florida alligators in the moat along the Mexican border.

Any other problems you would like for me to solve today ? Yes!
Think about this one:

1. Cows
2.The Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments

C O W S Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

T H E C O N S T I T U T I O N They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq .... Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

T H E 1 0 C O M M A N D M E N T S The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this: You cannot post 'Thou Shalt Not Steal,' 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,' and 'Thou Shall Not Lie' in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians...It creates a hostile work environment.