Category Archives: family

Lack-o-post :) – Limbo

Anyone else have a busy week? I sure did. Well weekend/first of the week/week.
I had a few photo jobs over the weekend – so inbetween all of what life brings to my plate with my boys and household/mommy stuff. I have felt immersed in photo work. I also took on more Boba photos for this fall… so I have spent many hours model scouting…. We had a TON of applicants!

So blogging. Alas, is last on the list. I miss it though when I don’t get to blog.

Here are a few post you can look at though if you are bored :)

Wednesday’s session with this beautiful couple, friends of mine.
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Saturday’s session with this cutie….

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Monday’s session… more dude cuteness. oh the chub.

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ED9A3207We also had a dinner party to go to on Saturday to say farewell to my friend above in the couple’s shot. I met her in 2012 and have so enjoyed getting to know her. Her husband just got a job in TX as a Senior Pastor. It is to a rather large church. This will be her first church to be a Pastors wife. I am excited for her and look forward to hearing about her journey. She better start a blog :) ::hint hint mel::

While at the party I snagged a new head shot of Travis :) – its been a while, figured it was time. He btw cannot wait til he can grow his beard back. I think its so silly that his job as a cop right now, makes it so he cant have facial hair. That to me is just a silly rule. As long as he kept it well groomed, why would it matter? Travis has the fastest growing facial hair ever. He can grow a full beard within 2 weeks. Its crazy! So you can imagine having to shave every day is a pain.

I feel like I should do an update post here soon on what is going on with us.

Is Travis applying for church jobs still?

Has anyone called?

When will we have to move?

Will we move?

Whats the plan? So many things to write about but so little of me to give right now. I know those who read my ramblings get that. I have been battling within a lot these days… with the state of limbo we live in currently. I am finding it hard to pour into friendships… out of dread of leaving… yet again… I am finding it hard to “be content” with the circumstance of life, knowing it very well may change again soon. I long for something constant… and find myself very heavy some days with the thought of uprooting my family again… but know that the Lord has called my husband to Pastor… and to not go, is not a choice I feel we can take. My prayer though… is for a place to put roots… and plant our lives for many many MANY years. Not 2… not 3… not even 4 years. I want a place for at least 10 :) – and I am praying and trusting the Lord with that part of our story… Will it happen? I like to think so… but time shall tell… and I know regardless, Christ has me. He will give me grace to deal with the moves… and the change… and throughout it continue to refine and grow me, as life goes.

Hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween weekend. We will enjoy trick or treating around our lovely neighborhood… fellow-shipping with neighbors, having a camp fire… and spending time together.

Maybe by next week ill be caught up and can blog more :) g’night.

Blue Ribbon Food’s – what is it?

blueribbonfoodSome of you who follow me on my personal facebook would have seen me post the photo to the right last week…. A photo that seemed to be great at catching peoples attention haha, because I got a TON of comments on that post. Kinda blew me away. Loved the conversation it created and was cool to pass on information about this company to all those who may find it to be a fit for their family.

To go ahead and get some disclaimers out there
, since I tend to feel the need to do so. I was 1) Not paid to write this post for Blue Ribbon. 2) My family signed up with Blue Ribbon Food’s just like anyone else would, through a friend. 3) I am no expert and I am brand new to this company, so what I am about to talk about is from a newbie’s experience. However, I plan to follow up in 6 mo. from now and share with my readers my thoughts as the time goes. I may even do a 3 mo. check in too, if yall want.

I saw a friend of ours on facebook post a similar image to the right, of their freezer. Packed full of foods. They also mentioned how the food was from a good source of local farms, free range and so forth. I am big on this but will be totally honest. We could not afford to buy all our foods organic… from whole foods, trader joes and other organic food stores in the area. I tried to find ways to make it work… but with our budget, we just couldn’t. We literally live pay check to pay check right now… and as much as I value quality food for my family, it was not worth buying it and then not having enough money to pay our mortgage or utilities. I have learned throughout my years of trying to live well, healthy, feeding my family real food, that living in fear is no way to live… and while everything we eat may not be 100% organic, I try my very best to make do with the resources we have and feed my family well.

So, when I saw these friends post about Blue Ribbon Food’s… I was immediately intrigued. I knew they didn’t live the high life and didn’t live lavishly with lots of money… I knew they had lots of little mouths to feed and shared similar values… and so I decided, why not… why not call the guy they referred me to, and check things out for myself.

So I made an apt. with Blue Ribbon Food’s. The rep who’s name is Matt Albert, came out to our house and cooked our family a meal. Yes, all 6 of us. He asked us prior to coming, what kind of meat we like and would prefer to try… and once he came, he began to cook it up, while talking to us about the company, the farms, the food and so forth. They btw have a list of all their farms. All of them local to the states they service.

Throughout the entire apt. my husband told me, he was just holding his breathe. Waiting for the big price tag to flash across our faces and bid the man goodbye, as he just knew we could not afford something that seemed so nice.

After Matt explained everything to us though, we ate the food, kids enjoyed it… he asked us a lot of questions, like what meats we eat, how often we eat at home, what veggies we eat and so forth… he then was able to quote us a price.

If you go to the Blue Ribbon website you will not see individual pricing. The way their service works isn’t based off a set price on a chicken breast, or a pound of turkey. The price varies depending on your family size… what meats you eat. Do you eat fish, lobster, beef, pork, chicken… or are you a vegetarian and only need their organic veggies. All of these things come into account and that ultimately determines the final price.

I will be honest I am not totally sure how all the numbers work in that regard.

What I do know is once he priced our family cost, my husband was shocked.

It was such a good deal… and even with the freezer we got through the company (commercial grade, frost free), the cost is still within our budget and LESS than what we had been spending at normal grocery stores, buying things on our own. (The freezer btw is something you will want to discuss with Blue Ribbon. It is amazing and so worth getting. It is not “required tho” to use their services. Still, ask about it.)

As soon as my husband heard the price, he was sold.

So, on Wednesday last week, a sweet man in a Blue Ribbon uniform, showed up. My kids were behaving as if this man was Santa :) – so excited about the huge freezer he was about to lug down our drive way and the boxes of food he was going to fill it with.

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The man who delivered our food was very patient with my kids 1,000 questions and remarks.

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ED9A8802As he loaded the freezer into our garage (where we felt it would best fit). I began chatting with him some about the company… and asked him about the largest family he delivers to. He said he has a family with 15 children he delivers to. Many foster kids… What a blessing this service has got to be for families that large… families who may have special needs children… who may not be easily taken to a grocery store. Families who’s husbands may work really late hours, leaving their wife to do all the housework, grocery shopping and tending to the children. I for one, do not enjoy grocery shopping with my kids. While some trips are kinda fun, if its just to pick up a few things here and there… If I had to choose, I would much rather do my grocery shopping alone :) – so that my brain can function properly haha… and I can think while I pick things out.

This guy took care of moving everything into place. He took care of unloading all the boxes himself. I felt like I needed to do something, but nope, he did it all. He didn’t even make that a possibility. He even took the time to properly organize and place all my meats/veggies and other items in the freezer. He explained to me how to use the freezer… its features and so forth. Oh and get this. IF YOU HAVE TO MOVE... as long as you move WITHIN the states that Blue Ribbon Service, they will come to your home on move day, pack up your food and freezer. They will then relocated it for you to your new home, even if that means taking it to a new state! Re-install and re-fill it for you, at no cost. I was blown away at that. They believe in taking care of their customers without a doubt.

Once we checked off the check list, he was on his way and that was it. Could not have been any easier.

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To those curious, all their food is vacuum sealed… it is good in the freezer for up to 12 mo. It wont get all gross and freezer burnt. The way they package their meats is amazing, as well as their organic veggies. I really don’t think Id do it justice to talk about all that here though, you def. need to contact my rep Matt and have him answer all those questions for you.

blue ribbon foodsA few questions I can answer… that some may have.

1. How much food is it? how often do you order?

– You order a 6 mo. supply of food… but you can order as often as you like.
– If you do not use the food within the 6 mo. You do not have to order again after 6 mo. You order when you are ready.

2. Do you have to pay for it all at once?

– Heck no haha. You pay for it weekly. Also, be sure to ask them about what happens if you loose your job… and can’t pay for the food. Their costumer care is UNREAL. It is no wonder most of their clients stay with them for 10+ years.

3. Do you have to order the same stuff all the time?
– No, you can change what you order at any time. So if you end up using more turkey than you thought, but not much of the beef… you can switch it up next order.

There are TONS of questions to ask about the services Blue Ribbon Food’s provides… I don’t really feel I am qualified to answer them all…. However, what I will say is, book an apt. Talk to a rep. Ask a lots of questions and go from there. It cost NOTHING to have a rep come into your home, cook you free food… and tell you about the company. Its free and it is def. no pressure. If they quote the price for your family and you cannot afford it, they understand and its okay. They will work with you and make it work though if it is something you want.

To end, let me say this…

I feel incredibly blessed to live in a country that has the resources it has. You all, we are blessed! I mean look at that freezer! God has blessed this country and I am thankful for everything we have. I do not post any of this to boast… to brag… My family lives frugally…. and while we live very lavishly compared to many in third world countries or even in our own state, where many are homeless and don’t have anything… we have learned to live within our means and with a tight budget. God teaches us to be good stewards of our money… and we truly believe this is going to help us stay within our budget even better.

I look forward to not having to run to a grocery store to buy meat that may be bad… Have you ever purchased an organic chicken (that you paid a lot for) only to get it home and realize its rancid? what a pain… I look forward to trying new recipes with the many choices of food we have here… I also look forward to cutting our bills down even more, by eating at home, real, healthy foods…. rather than running out to eat because we didn’t have a chance to go buy meat, or veggies at the store that week. We have eaten out way to much the last few months and I know that is the culprit. Not being prepared… and not having the time in between home schooling, shooting for my business and keeping a home. Grocery shopping, is last on my list some weeks…

Having Blue Ribbon become a part of our normal, is fine by me :)

To wrap this up….

If you are interested in Blue Ribbon Food’s and live in, GA, NC, SC and parts of VA… contact my rep Matthew Albert on facebook HERE. Or you can email him at: malbert[at]blueribbonfoods.com. I have his phone number too if you want that… but because my blog is a bit to public, if you would like his phone number, just email me drea[at]dreawood.com and I will pass that onto you. One cool thing that Blue Ribbon does do, is offer some great rewards… so any time someone signs up with Blue Ribbon Foods, our family has the opt. to earn money towards paying for our food. So you can help our family out, and others can help you out, etc..etc… The way they have it laid out is great. So if you are interested, be sure to tell Matthew that “Andrea Wood” or “The Wood Family” sent you :) – and we would appreciate it.

With that said, even if Blue Ribbon Food’s had no reward program. We’d still use them. You really cannot beat the convenience and quality for the price.

Hopefully this post made SOME sense. I know it was really long :)

I leave you with baby Reed, enjoying some of his Blue Ribbon food, the first day we cooked it up last week. We’ve enjoyed many meals since then using their food and loved every single one.

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8 years in the making…

We had our family photos taken recently… by my sweet friend Laurie who lives in NC. She was traveling through GA and made a pit stop nearby our home, just for me! I felt so blessed. The pictures came out so so so SO good… I hope to share more of those next week some time. For today though. A little flash back. I had told her I wanted to do this one particular pose… that was honestly a bit OLD SCHOOL… and a bit “not my style” … but it was a photo we had taken when we had first moved to NC back in 2007… I have always loved the photo and wanted to recreate it. So! we did.

Here is the old photo. Taken Nov 2007 – so like 8 years ago? if I am doing my math right.


Its been 5 years?

and… taken last week…

12yrs


In 8 years we sure have grown :)

When I look at the above photo of our sweet family of 6… I first off begin to look at my flaws. Not sure I am loving the bangs… Wondering if I look a lot older… and you know, just finding things you find wrong with yourself.

I hate that my flesh goes straight to the flaws I see with my eyes… instead of naturally going to what does matter.

Look at how faithful God has been!

We are all healthy.

We are all safe…. growing and each passing year, blessed beyond measure.

Christ has seen us through 8 moves over the course of our marriage. Within those moves the Lord has blessed us with babies. All of them born in different cities and 3 different states.

God has radically done a work in our marriage.

He has seen us through so much… and in those moments when I begin to doubt His love for us, He lavishes us and blesses us, again and again.

We may not have a bank account with a nest egg… or savings.

We may not have the best clothing or shoes :) – in fact our entire wardrobe above was stuff we already had and made do with… I did go to a thrift store to buy Caleb a shirt and Reed some pants. Spent $4.00.

We don’t drive the most fancy cars… and the cars we do have may very well have over 100,000 miles right now :) – but they work and get us where we need, with AC, no complaints.

So despite my hair not being perfection (oh the woes of bang issues haha). Or my shoe falling off… or whatever small thing I may see that the flesh in me wants to fix. The above photo, is perfection to me, in that we are together… and I am so very thankful for this memory.

Broken

IMG_9468I spoke briefly about this on my instagram over the weekend… but thought I would speak about it in more detail on my blog.

On Friday this weekend… my family and I went to a nearby beach/lake type place about 20 minutes from our home. While our neighborhood has a nice pool for the boys to cool off in, after the same ol’ pool, the boys often want to swim elsewhere. So the lake is a good option and close by. So Friday we went on our way to this lake… Up til this point we had been twice before. Both times enjoying our time there with no issues at all. We’ve noticed if you go on a week day, there is literally no one there. A friday however, seems to be the day people come out.

So we pull up to this lake… and begin to unload and set up our picnic area nearby. This lake has about 10 picnic tables in the shade right by the lake. So its nice to be able to relax, eat a picnic on an actual table, all the while watching your kids play on the shore.

While Travis prepped charcoal for a grill… and I helped baby Reed get into the chips. We all of a sudden heard a lady yell at the top of her longs “HEY KID! Don’t be throwing Sh$* at my kid!!” – My automatic reaction was “Oh no, she better not have said that to my child…” but even more so I was thinking “Who in their right mind is cussing at the volume in front of children!” I had a very big rush of anger hit my entire body and the Mama Bear in me wanted nothing more than to get my COP Husband to arrest her HAHAHA… Although, he obviously had no grounds at that moment.

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I cannot even imagine the brokeness my husband has to face daily in his line of work right now. I know he has had to deal with suicides face on… people shooting their brains against the wall or hanging themselves in a bedroom. He also has to deal with families broken and falling apart… spouses going at each other and neighbors bickering over someone stepping foot onto their grass. He see’s it all…. and I know because of that he was able to retain a proper composer better than I was.

I was so upset at that woman that it completely ruined my entire night. I could not relax… and was watching my children like hawks to make sure they stayed away from her. We could hear her continue to drop curse words throughout her conversation with her friends, as she sat in the water smoking a cigarette… but we just spoke to our boys and kept them away.

Her behavior makes me never want to go back to that place.

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I am trying very hard to remember that we cannot shelter our children. We can in some degree…. and I believe it is wise to protect our children from the world… but one way or another, our children will hear the F bomb, or random curse words. They will be faced to see the depravity of our world, one day.

Caleb who will turn 10 next week, noticed a magazine cover at a grocery check out the other day. He looked at it and saw Robin William’s’ face on it. He then saw where it had his birth date… and date of his death. Caleb was very confused as to what the two numbers meant and asked me what happened. He knew who Robin William’s was… and ill be honest. I had no intention of telling Caleb he had killed himself…. I didn’t want Caleb to face that truth until he was older. I didn’t feel he needed to. He loved Robin William’s in Jumanji and in Hook. Why tell him he killed himself? … you know? However, in that moment of our conversation Caleb asked me point blank. “How’d he die?” and I knew, I had to be honest. So I told him what happened… and I just saw a very puzzled 9 year old looking back at me and he just said “Why would anyone do that?”

It was sad to have that conversation with Caleb.

It made me sad for him.

The Brokenness of our world is all over… and my prayer is just that my boys would come to know Christ early… and grow in a maturity from a very young age. I want them to be equip for battle against the depravity we face… and know they have a Savior who can see them through.


And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Phil 1:9-11

The same week I faced this situation at the lake, I also came across randomly a persons instagram account that had photographs of a blogger I followed for years. The photographs looked like paparazzi photos, taken of her, to do nothing more than poke fun. The person created their instagram account to belittle this individual, ridicule… and bully this mom. This person also has a website that is there to expose personal things about this person. From police reports, to bank statements and other information regarding their family. Now while I do not believe the person they are doing all this against is innocent… regardless of what she has done in her life or is doing, NO ONE deserves to be bullied or treated the way this person on instagram is doing… Calling her names like Fat Cow… Check out that Neck, Spare Tire, and so forth… everything about what that person is doing is just complete evidence of our worlds depravity and state. That anyone would think that doing that is right, is beyond me.

… and yet, we live in a world today, that would actually allow this type of person to accumulate followers who agree with her bullying ways, as if her words are justified by the way this mom is living.

IMG_9496-3Where have we gone? What is wrong with people!?

Satan has got a grip on peoples hearts – people are literally blind to their wrongs.

The night we came home from that beach… while I felt very weighed and heavy by what had happened… my husband ended our evening, with a family devotional time. He tries to do this every night with the boys. This particular evening a neighbors boy happened to be over. We asked him if he wanted to join and he said yes. This young boy who I believe is 8, sat on our couch… heard my husband speak about how much God has done for us… and ended the time with songs of praise. We sang songs like the Doxology… and this young boy who said “I’ve never even heard these songs but I like them!” – sang along with us and ended the evening praising God from whom all blessings flow, without even realizing I am sure what he was saying.

All we can do is learn to be a light in this dark world….

I don’t think my light shined very bright at that beach :) – but I know the Lord was pleased with our end to the evening by inviting that boy to be a part. Even tho part of me didn’t want him there – ashamed as I am to admit that. Even those with good intentions can be selfish. I would not be where I am or who I am without God working in my heart too. Cause really without him, I can be pretty harsh myself… Thankful for Grace.

It’s just a move.

IMG_0017copyMy parents who lived in Charlotte, NC… moved yesterday.

From my childhood home.

A house I spent from  age 3 or 4, to age 19 (when I got married).

A house where I sat as a child but also an adult, married, pregnant and with my children, throughout the years. Its the house my parents became grandparents in… and a home that holds so many childhood memories, all very vivid still today.

My parents are both retired now… and while I may not have understood their move completely… one thing I am realizing, is…

It’s just a move…

A hard one. For more than one person in this case… but a move.

As I thought yesterday of someone new moving into my old bed room… of new children exploring the back yard and creek… of different things up on the wall… and new smells and people entering those walls, parts of those thoughts, made me sad.

I think it should make anyone sad.

That is a lot to let go of…

As I sat yesterday, I looked around at my home. A beautiful 5 bedroom house that the Lord most obviously blessed us with… A home I wanted… and yet at times find myself discontent because of the unknown with Travis’ job. At times finding it hard to be, in the now… wondering when God might uproot us again.

IMG_9364copyIn our 1st 10 years of marriage we moved 8 times.

8….

Twice before Caleb was born.

Twice in Ohio (so Twice before Taite was born)

Twice back in NC before Owen was born.

and Twice since being in GA.

We have had a new baby in every city we moved too. We joke if we move again God may give us more HAH!

My parents today will be moving into a rental, while they figure out what the next step is. They will reside in a new city… a little closer to us (but still a bit of a drive)… around new people… new stores… and new things to see. It will be new for them.

Different…. and unfamiliar.

I know from personal experience… you will have days where you miss the old days and the old house… I still have moments where I miss our small parsonage back in NC… as much as I hated the small kitchen it had for many years we lived in it… the memories it held when my first two children grew up in that home for 4 years…  will forever and always be special to me, regardless of how we left.

Life here on earth is temporary.

“We are here for only a moment,

visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us.

Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.

- 1 Chronicles 29:!5

 

Some people stay planted for 25-40 years in one spot. Others like us, move every 2-4 years. It is just how it is.

One thing I am trying really hard to do though, is relish in the now… and remember that the walls around us, don’t matter in the end. Enjoy the memories… the pictures… and the move… one thing I always tell my boys when we move is… “To Consider it an Adventure!” :) – and always try to make it fun….