Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Remembering Kaci Ronne

On Saturday a dear friend of ours went to be with Jesus. Today we will be attending her "celebration of life" along with many others who have been blessed by her time on earth. Please keep the Ronne and Reid families in your prayers. Follow their story here: http://theronnes.blogspot.com.

In loving memory...

We have more than a few wonderful memories of Kaci Ronne; but, there is one story that comes to mind that best describes who Kaci was to us.

When Ryan and Kaci were doing God's work in Albania, Careese (my wife) and Kaci would periodically talk via Skype. One day Kaci sensed that my wife (who was 8 months pregnant at the time with our youngest child) was having a particularly rough day. Kaci had a gift for deeply empathizing with people. She exemplified the old Bible verse "Bear ye one another's burdens". Kaci told my wife not to cook that night because she was going to take care of it. Anyone who knew Kaci knows that arguing against her benevolence would have been futile. Papa Johns pizza showed up on our doorstep for dinner that night...ordered from Albania. Several more times throughout the next few months we received messages that dinner was "taken care of". Whether it was Jason's Deli or pizza or something else, the Ronnes timing was always perfect--their little food blessings always arrived at the height of our exhaustion and were a blessed reminder that someone was thinking of and praying for us. On one hand we felt like we were a part of a modern day miracle--Jesus feeds the 5,000 reshaped into Jesus feeds the Wood family of 8 via the Ronnes from the opposite side of Earth. On the other hand...how to put it?...

...well...those of you who have done so know that it is incredibly humbling to have the opportunity to support missionaries abroad. The realization that we were being supported by missionaries who lived abroad was even more humbling.

That was Kaci. Nevermind that they were living in a third world country. The Ronnes somehow found a way to be Jesus to us. To us, that is the legacy that she left: a shining example of Christ in this crazy world--an example that modern Christianity could learn a thing or two from.

It has been our great privilege to watch the Ronne family, including Kaci's wonderful parents John and Deena, be Jesus to so many. Each of their faith, service, selflessness, and realness has been and will continue to be an absolute inspiration to us. Our hope and prayer is that everyone who knows this beautiful family will now prayerfully focus on being Jesus to them. May God shine his face upon them and give them peace.

-Josh & Careese Wood

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our Sunday in Chronological Pictures Minus Us

Monday, August 23, 2010

A. Make a lunch B. Take said lunch to work C. Profit

Generally speaking, one of the best places to save money in your budget is on food expenses. Have you ever wondered how much money you would save if you took a sandwich with you to work instead of grabbing fast food? I didn't think so; but, I don't care. Here's the answer:

Let's say you spend an average of $7 per work day on lunch. Not bad. That equals $1,750 per year on lunch (250 work days per year X $7 per lunch).

Below are the current costs of various sandwiches. "Generic" is Great Value brand (Walmart) and "Name Brand" represents the following brands: Mrs. Baird's (100% Whole Wheat bread), Peter Pan (peanut butter), Smucker's (jelly), Burleson's (honey), French's (mustard), Sargento (cheese), Kraft (mayonaise), and Sara Lee (turkey). How did I determine the quantity of each item on a sandwich? I may or may not have utilized my office postal scale during an extended lunch break. Don't judge me. Obviously these values aren't exact-because prices change...and because some of you people put way more lard mayo on your sandwich than you should. This will, however, give you a decent idea of the percentage cost differences for these various sandwiches.

Generic White PB & J: 18.39 cents
Generic Wheat PB & J: 19.78 cents
Name Brand Wheat PB & J: 35.44 cents
Generic White PB & H: 25.59 cents
Generic Wheat PB & H: 26.98 cents
Name Brand Wheat PB & H: 41.14 cents
Generic White Turkey, Cheese, & Mustard: 53 cents
Generic Wheat Turkey, Cheese, & Mustard: 54.39 cents
Name Brand Wheat Turkey, Cheese, & Mustard: 89.66 cents
Generic White Turkey, Cheese, & Mayo: 53.22 cents
Generic Wheat Turkey, Cheese, & Mayo: 54.60 cents
Name Brand Wheat Turkey, Cheese, & Mayo: 90.08 cents
Generic White Turkey, Cheese, Mayo, Lettuce, & Tomato: 61.94 cents
Generic Wheat Turkey, Cheese, Mayo, Lettuce, & Tomato: 63.32 cents
Name Brand Wheat Turkey, Cheese, Mayo, Lettuce, & Tomato: $1.0755

So...let's say that, rather than grabbing fast food, you eat a healthy (albeit odd) lunch consisting of 3 generic PB & Js each work day. Your savings over one year would be $1,612.07. Let's also say that you decide to be healthy and add an apple a day to your lunch. Your savings is still huge...still over $100/month...money that you could more wisely spend on the wife or kids or debt or a new iPhone 4.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Where's the Beef?

So, I did a couple of blog posts comparing various food prices at Walmart, Sam's, and United. (here: http://joshwoodtx.blogspot.com/2010/07/sams-vs-walmart.html and here: http://joshwoodtx.blogspot.com/2010/06/walmart-vs-united-supermarkets.html) I got a lot of feedback. A LOT OF FEEDBACK. I was surprised, mainly because I figured this blog thing would end up functioning more like a "notes to self" page. Anyhow, a ton of people asked me why I didn't include meat. The answer: I didn't need to buy any that particular day. Well people, here are some meat comparisons for you:

The prices are in cents per ounce or, in the case of hot dogs, cents per hot dog. Important things to note: Sam's Club stuff is better quality...name brands rather than generic. Everything else is generic. Also, United happened to be having a sale on ground beef. By the way, the nerd in me was very disgruntled that I was not more thorough in my meat selection. Don't be surprised if you see another, more thorough, comparison on here in the future.

Things to note: United has a section of "thrift" meat that is at or past expiration date. This stuff is a great bargain, that is if you don't end up in the ER with stomach eruptions (don't worry, I'm sure the meat is safe...and I don't think stomach eruptions are a real thing). Also, WTAMU has a feed lot from which they sell beef. Sometimes they have great prices. Keep up with their prices here: http://www.wtamu.edu/academics/meat-laboratory.aspx. I've also heard that the quality of their stuff is great.

Summary: Overall it seems that there is no clear winner in the meat department. It depends more upon a.) which store is having a sale and b.) what particular item you need.

In other news...I am beginning to become a bit of a grocerian conspiracy theorist. It seems that sometimes, rather than having consistent profit margins on all items in a category, stores have a low profit margin on most items in a group whilst gouging you on a partnering product. For example, low prices on bread, turkey, and mustard--high price on sliced cheese. Low price on ground beef--high price on chicken. It would make sense, I suppose. The stores know that you aren't going to drive all the way across town to buy your $1 cheaper chicken elsewhere. Hmmm....On second thought, let's not worry about this....this might just be the most boring conspiracy theory ever concocted.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Discipline Question

First off, I'll brag a little: our kids are awesome so we (more notably my stay-at-home-mom wife) must be doing something right. However, I know that I could be better at this whole parenting thing; so, I am constantly praying about/seeking ways to improve. One area I'm focusing on right now is discipline. A couple questions for all you other parents out there:

A) Is there any rhyme or reason to your discipline style? If so, I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Read on and give me some feedback. Keep in mind that my kids range from 1-6 years old.

B) If you don't discipline, would you please? Your kids transform fast food play areas from a place of joy (albeit disturbingly pro-bacterial) into a place of danger for all well-behaved kids who are afraid of the wrath that would befall them should they stoop to your kid's level and bite, steal, cuss, hit, or pee on someone. Rant/horrendous run-on sentence over. Seriously though-if Junior bites my toddler, a polite "Now Junior, we talked about how 9-year-olds don't bite. Will you stop if I get you some ice cream?" will someday evolve into: "Now Junior, I thought we talked about not wanting to bail you out of prison again." Ok, now rant over.

Anyhow, in my effort to rule my household with an iron fist I've decided that my discipline style could use a little more organization. We've always believed that the more consistent and predictable the consequence, the more effective the consequence. My wife happens to be gifted at remembering which consequence fits which "crime". I, however, am not and need a reminder of some sort. I'm attempting to put together some sort of "board of doom" (no, I won't call it that...ok, I might) that lists offenses and corresponding punishments. This project made me curious. Have any of you done something like this? If so, what offenses do you list and what are the corresponding punishments? Off the top of my head, I'm thinking it would be something like:

Disobey - lose a privilege
Lie - head thump
Intentionally injure someone (bite, hit, etc.) - spanking
Talk back - lose a privilege
Intentional rudeness (steal, insult, etc.) - lose a toy
Yell - time out

What do you guys do and/or use? Also, what is the best parenting advice that you have received?

Alternatively, I created this in the event that you guys don't provide me with any useful feedback: