Saturday, October 29, 2016

How We Are Adjusting to CA

This is a loooong update that probably no one but my mom will care about ;)

Update time!

We have said to each on in our processing lately that if we had to move anywhere but our beloved Colorado, California is pretty much the next best thing.

It's warm, it's occasionally overcast, there are rolling hills of vineyards everywhere, the ocean is 30 minutes away, it's mountainous, it's home to the amazing organization LifeWater and our new friends here have welcomed us SO well!  California culture and lifestyle is very similar to Colorado and it's been a smooth transition.

I think I honestly expected the move to be MUCH more difficult specifically as it related to "stay-at-home-mom'ing".  I feared not having my family and circle of friends for support and community but it has really been OK.  We miss everyone so much and only wish we could transplant everyone with us.

My sweet, rambunctious little Gideon had been flexing his independent muscle more intensely by the minute in the days and weeks leading up to this move but now that we are settled he has really adjusted nicely and seems more content.  Although still fiercely independent :)

To set up support and keep my sanity in tact, we established a babysitting swap with a co-worker of Ryan's and this couple (David & Lindsay) are two of our favorites.  Our boys get along SO well and it's an incredible break once a week.

On the nursing front: I have started the frustratingly awful loooooooooong process of getting my RN license transferred to California.  In the meantime I'm volunteering as an RN at a local crisis pregnancy center one afternoon a week and also signed up to volunteer in the children's ministry in our new church.  It is absolutely crucial that I'm getting plugged in to feel purposeful and connected.

Giddy Lou: is getting a twice a week playdate with new friends Des & Shep plus the time in children's ministry.  We bought a punch pass for him to this amazing little gymnastics place down the road that is owned by Christians and is pretty much Gideon's dreamland.  Plus he enjoys story time at the library and other playdates so overall this guy is well socialized.  He is sleeping well, pretty uninterested in food overall, and has the energy of 9 babies!!  We love him.

Ryan John Decker: is doing well adjusting to his new job.  He is significantly busier than his last position but whenever I talk to him on the phone during the day he is so excited and invested in his work.  He will be doing some night classes for an online Leadership/Management course with others from his work and I know he likes the new challenges.  

We also ditched his motorcycle and bought him a super cool 1989 Toyota Corolla.  The drivers here are CRAZY and he commutes about 20-25 minutes per day down a really steep highway nicknamed "the grade".  It's much safer this way.

We have been welcomed to California with such warmth.  Dinners dropped off, invitations to birthday parties and family outings.  The CEO and his wife hosted a BBQ last weekend and invited a few other couples they thought we would like just to help us feel connected.  Who does that?!  There is something so special about the body of Christ taking care of one another.  I can't imagine this transition without the love and support we have had.

Overall this is a very good new chapter for us. Sure, we have stressful, ugly moments but those happen enough that I don't need to document them here.  We move on from what's difficult and are thankful for the incredible ease and goodness of this new stage.

Her are some pictures to help you recover from all those words...

Gideon is OBSESSED with all leaves and plants.  He must touch everything he sees on our walks 

Just enjoying a little morning book time

Three boys 3 and under all by myself?  No problem when they are as sweet as these guys

Gid & Shep at open gym time.  This is a baby's heaven with no boundaries and everything designed for them

This is my life people.  All. Day. Long.  He climbs on everything, tinkers with anything he can get his hands on and is generally an untamed wild animal

Here are our costumes.  Gideon is the rock, I'm paper and Ryan is scissors.  Can't wait to wear them Monday!

Lindsay, Shep, Gid, and Ryan as a birthday party for our new little friend Silas who turned 7.  This kid knows how to party!

Family shot!

There was a bounce house that pretty much made Gideon's life complete.

I'll post Halloween pics next week.  We have a trick or treat street our church is hosting and I personally can't wait to see Gideon dressed as a toddler rock.  

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12

Monday, October 24, 2016

Uganda & Pumpkin Patch Pics

Well this is a super rando mash up of pictures but they are getting bunched together anyway!

The first two are of Ryan on his latest trip to Africa.  He is on two site visits in Uganda.  If you click on them to enlarge them you can see Ryan in a turquoise long sleeve shirt and khaki hat.  Also look for his pasty white skin ha!

Look for Ryan behind the fencing with the hat on

That's Ryan on the left walking down the road.  I just think Uganda is so gorgeous.  The last time we were there together was in 2010-crazy!

On Saturday we adventured out with new friends David and Lindsay and their boys Desmond and Shepherd to a farm not far from our houses.  This little spot was set in the middle of hills covered in vineyards.  California is truly gorgeous!  

At Jack Creek Farms there were trains to play on, antique tractors to climb, and cider slushies to gulp.  We packed a lunch to eat together and let the boys get dirty and climb on everything.

It's about 85 degrees here during the day so the farm is ridiculously smart to have cold, refreshing drinks even though hit cider is pretty delicious and seasonal.  It was a really good morning that left us feeling loved and encouraged.

Left:  Shep & Gid look like brothers to me.  Both have curls and Shep is even a tint of red.  
Right:  Family picture

We took a wagon ride through the pumpkins.  The rule for the boys about pumpkin buying: if you can carry it can buy it.  Then we forgot to even buy Gid one haha

Lunch time!

And finally here is Gideon earlier this morning. We focused on textures and colors today using pom poms and a muffin tin.  We even got a little math in.  Gideon insisted on taste testing each and every puff until we were had a million drooly soaked puffs to play with.  

1 drooly pom pom + 1 drooly pom pom = 2 drooly pom poms!

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 9:10

Friday, October 21, 2016

October in California

We aren't even 1 week old Californians yet but our exploring has been rigorous!  We are going to leave no stone unturned here in SLO.  We live about 20 minutes outside of Downtown SLO (where in those neighborhoods it costs you the small price of your firstborn to rent a studio). 

Being out of the city a bit puts us right into some incredible family friendly spaces.  There are parks, a Children's Museum, zoo, vineyards, shopping and more we just need to discover.

It's about 85 degrees most days this time of year so exact perfect shorts weather during the day but very cool in the mornings and evenings so you can still bundle up with coffee and a scarf for a bit :)

Ryan has been riding his new motorcycle into work and he says it's chilly if he leaves super early.  BTW his new job is going really well.  He is working longer and harder than he ever has but he likes what he's doing and Lifewater needed this role to be filled.  Plus his co-workers and company are the bomb.

So here are a few pictures from our week of exploration:

Photo courtesy of his Grammy!  Proof that there is fall here!!  Tonight we are going on a family date to get Halloween costumes and pick out pumpkins to carve

This has been my favorite part so far.  The library about 5 minutes from our house is SPECTACULAR!  It is huge and  has a child's dream play center.  We easily spent 1.5 hours here the other day plus it's free

While my mom was still with us earlier this week we went to See's Canyon Fruit Ranch.  They are a 100+ year old orchard that presses their own cider, maintains beehives, has free range chickens, and of course, apples galore.  We ate lunch and let Gideon crawl everywhere.

What is this child even doing?!

Our routine has stayed very similar as when we were in CO.  We do breakfast, play hard, have music time, read, and keep busy with toys at home in the mornings.  After first nap we go out for our adventure for the day.  After second nap we walk to the park, watch 15 minutes of Veggie Tales, and/or clean up and start dinner.  

Today we went to the Children's Museum and it was a huge hit!  There was an antique fire truck Gideon could have spent his whole life on with all the buttons to push and knobs to twist.  We made a pumpkin craft, went to story time, played in the ball pit, and shopped the tiny grocery store.

Plus he got so dirty in the outdoor sandbox I had to give him a mini bath in the sink and change his clothes :)

His face says it all!!  He absolutely loved this truck with all his heart

Now THIS face is absolutely out of the ordinary!  JJ is one of the smiliest children I know but he did make me giggle a bit with some sad faces while we Facetimed.  I love him and would have kissed that face 1 million times if it was in person to turn that frown upside down.

We have a BBQ tomorrow afternoon to hang with some friends we already know and get connected to new faces.  Plus we are trying a recommended church on Sunday morning that we are looking forward to!  So far California is treating us well. not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.

1 Samuel 12:20

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Wow, my first post from California!!  So wild.  What is even our life right now?!

Ryan and my dad arrived 1 week ago after a 17 turned 21 hour road trip with our whole life in a trailer.  They were such studly road trippers. 

 My mom and I stayed back in Colorado to celebrate sweet JJ's 1st birthday party.  It was the sweetest Lumberjack party for the one and only Jay Wheeler!!

The three of us flew out on Sunday and I am unspeakably grateful to have had my mom to help wrangle the wild stallion that is Giddy Lou.  He is truly a very good traveler-he makes friends quickly, nurses on take offs and generally sleeps a little.  His curiosity knows no bounds so an airport is pretty much where he should live for his whole life.

Having my mom here as we transitioned was indescribably helpful and she served us in ways we didn't even know we needed help.  She enabled us to go on a date night, babysat Gideon so I could clean/decorate and so Ryan could work more hours, and for Gideon to get more one on one attention.  She is too good to us, both of my parents are!!

Ryan and my dad had completely unpacked everything so we moved into a set up apartment Sunday evening.  Ryan is such a servant and so thoughtful about his wife and son.  All I did was decorate and my mom and I picked out a few cute accessories for the bathrooms and such.

So we are here now and doing well.  There is an emotional mixture for me currently of excitement, stress, sadness, adventure, and gratefulness.  

Fall is also in the air here which is a lovely surprise.  There are red and yellow trees right next to palm trees :)  The vineyards are full of fat purple grapes and we visited an apple orchard yesterday to buy fresh honey and cider.

On our agenda this week is to post pics of the apartment, check out the local Children's museum and get a play date in with our new friends.  Please pray for our transition especially for little Gideon as this is so much for him, to build new community, and to take time to rest now that we are here.

Ryan and my dad stopped every few hours to check the trailer and get it here in 1 piece

Grammy doing her thing with Gid in the airport

Mama and Giddy on the place.  This was after a full day of travel, a 1 hour delay on our second flight and only a 35 minute nap.  

Gideon climbing in our new space

Nothing to do with moving but here are my two sweet loves taking in the world together before we left

And my God will supply every need of our according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus

Philippians 4:19

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Gideon 14 Month Update

Age: 14 months

Weight: 24 lbs

Length: 30-31ish inches

Sizes (diapers, onesies):  Size 4 diapers, 12-18 month clothes.  He is definitely closing in on just 18 month clothes.  I notice his 12 month onsies getting tighter on him.  He wears size 3 or 4 shoes, not that he needs him because he's a speed crawler and only walks indoors if he's assisted

Eyes:  Blue

Hair: Still red, still curly.  It's getting much longer and when it's wet in the bath the long parts in the back reach all the way down his itty neck.  He has ringlets that I will never be able to snip off.

Sleeping:  As always this child is every mother's dream child in the sleep department.  He only has choppy sleep when he's teething or growing.  He gets up between 7:00-7:15 am and goes back down for a nap around 9:45 am.  He snoozes until about 11:00 am and then plays hard until 2:30 pm.  He's  back down for another nap until 3:30 or 4:00 pm.  His bedtime is roughly 7:30 pm and usually wakes up 1-2 times per night.

Eating: This little boy grows and grows despite pretty minimal interest in food.  He has 8 teeth and working on getting in some bottom molars.  He will eat solids and has a good appetite but I notice he eats heavier one day and lighter the next.  One day he'll eat a little puree but nurse for all this other calories and hydration.  The next day he will eat his weight in all the food we offer him.  He is so healthy and energetic so I know he's getting what he needs.  Also, he really loves water.  I know water intoxication is an issue for younger babies but he's old enough now to self regulate.  He needs a good drink when he gets up from a nap and first thing in the morning.  And plenty with meals.  He is a little camel!  Also he learned to drink through a straw and takes coconut or whole milk that way.

Favorite foods:  Chipotle chicken bowl with guacamole, black or pinto beans dipped in guacamole, avocado slices, bacon, green beans, asparagus, sugar cookies, ritz crackers, goldfish crackers applesauce and peanut butter covering anything. 

Milestones:  He has many new words and an increasing ability to communicate himself.  He walks very well if he's holding onto someone's hands or pushing a little stroller his Grammy gave him.  He catches a ball with two hands, picks up a ball with one hand and passes it back and forth, can open/close/manipulate any small button or latch and can climb up or down many objects.

Gid understands SO much linguistically.  I ask him if he can show me his tongue, clap his hands, is ready to eat, or wants to go and his responses are always right on.  So smart!  

Memorable outings:  We had a Mommy/Giddy date this weekend that consisted of Chioptle, the library and the park.   His Grammy also has started taking him out more just the two of them and he enjoys that time immensely.

Favorite toys/activities:  Gideon is already a reader.  He "reads" in the car, reads before bed, if he's in his playpen for a few minutes, or will stop playtime and find a book.  he flips through the pages and chirps to himself to mimic when I read to him.

He likes pushing his stroller around, music time, swinging, playing driver, playing with new textures likes grass or leaves at the park, swimming, and just free play at our house.

Words/sounds:  Dada, Mama, Ball, What, Bath and has many voice inflections to mean excitement, anger, happiness and many other emotions.  His most exicted squeal happens when he sees animals of any kind or he spots the steering wheel because he thinks it's time to play driver

Nicknames:   Lou Lee, Lou, Little Love, Giddy Con Queso (from daddy), Giddy Lou Who (from Aunt Linny), Giddy Puff (from Aunt Linny), Giddy Face (from Maggie), Giddy Pantz (from Maggie)
The usuals...Giddy Bear, Giddy Up, Gid, Giddy, Itty Giddy Titty Monster with the tiny hiney, G (from Uncle Clint), Mister, Man Cub

Funny moments: He really gets a kick out of me pointing to any item and say "What is this?" and then I tell him.  He giggles and giggles!  Also he laughs if he sees a balloon of any shape or color.

Looking forward to:  We will be doing some exploring of CA very soon!  I'm excited to introduce him to the Pacific Oeaan, vineyards, and make new friends and memories.  I also love how much older he's getting because it's fun to spend time with him and explore the world together with such a sweet guy with so much personality.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Videos from Ryan's Uganda Trip

Below are a two videos from Ryan's trip.  These were shot in Ugandan communities at local churches.   Many of the individuals in the video are members of certified "Healthy Homes".  That means that homes and individuals are working with the Lifewater curriculum and certification to become healthier and make a larger community impact.   

To be considered a healthy home the family members must be using safe water and storing it safely, using a latrine, washing hands, drying dishes safely, and keeping a clean compound.  Communities also commit to being open defecation free.  Eventually if every home and individual can make these commitments the result is a healthy village!  The final step in the entire picture is Ryan's particular passion...a village having a sustainable source of safe water.  

And that's the whole picture!

The result of Healthy Villages includes increased health, decreased communicable diseases and therefore higher employment and education rates.  Usually women and children most frequently benefit as they are the ones who spend most of their day gathering water.  

When a woman thrives, a village thrives!

We appreciate Lifewater's work because of the community led model.  Schools can also become "Healthy Schools" and children go home and teach their families.  Little influencers!  It's such a big deal to have clean, safe water.  

That's why everyone is dancing and celebrating!

But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

John 4:14

Sunday, October 9, 2016

October Weekending

I never post when Ryan travels mostly because I don't want some crazo serial killer to randomly see that update.  But now it is safe to announce...RYAN IS HOME!!  From a looooooong 15 day 14 night trip to Uganda and Ethiopia.  

I think it felt extra long because the trip fell right into such a dramatic time in our lives with a new job and move.  Ryan did his trip well, Gid and I braved solo life well too.

But holy moly, anyone who does the solo parenting thing long term or very often crushes at life.  Gid and I had meals brought to us, help with packing, babysitting, play  dates, and so much support.  It would have been impossible without lots of people to help us. 

We had a full last week and weekend of Ryan being gone.  We squeezed in so many play dates and goodbyes and fun events.  Here are the pics...

Ryan met up with two of our very best friends, Matt & Katie, while he was in Uganda!  They got lunch together and were able to spend about 4 hours just hanging out and talking

While Ryan was busy being awesome in Africa we were busy at the library on Star Wars day!

Kylo Ren may have terrified Gid.  And I may have called him Darth Vader to his face which shows how much I know about anything

I wanted Gid to have a special Saturday since he's been so brave with Ryan gone.  First we went and got his favorite food ever: CHIPOTLE!  He ate so much.  Then the library and finally a stop at the park for some swinging and crawling.

It was such a perfect day outside as you can tell by all that sun drenching his curly red hair

After our Mommy/Giddy date that morning I got ready for a wedding.  Linny was my plus one and we had a blast!  The wedding was 10 minutes from my house so I left Gid with Grammy and Gramps and took the night off.

My friend Mallory who I have known for 21 years was getting married!  We met in 1st grade (in Mrs. Liu's class!) and have always stayed in touch.  It was very special to see her walk down the aisle and celebrate her wedding.

Applewood Golf Course at sunset

Linny and I with our sweet friend Caitlin and pic on the right is all of us plus Joe, another longtime friend

There was a photo booth that we inappropriately opened early and without asking

For being an October evening the weather was beautiful and no need for a jacket

The Pipers!  Their wedding was beautiful but the bride was the most stunning!

We are busy packing up last minute items this week and then Ryan and my dad road trip out Wednesday evening!  I'm really grateful we are ending our time in CO on such a positive, well loved note. 

I keep my eyes always on the Lord with him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 16:8


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