Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Grateful For Summer Coming

It has felt so summery here in Colorado lately!
We both love all the seasons but there is something about summer that is especially energizing (even though we all know I'm a true fall girl at heart).
Lately we've been ushering in the new season by pruning our berry bushes, prepping our garden beds, and planning what to plant!  We've been doing yard work and cleaning up our yard and house.
Spring cleaning will soon be ensuing which is one of my favorite times around our house.  Everything gets spruced up and fresh!
I found a ladybug in our garden beds!
Don't you love to see buds on trees peeking out?
We can't wait for warm weather and the season to come with all it's activity and life!!  Get outside and enjoy :)
You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter.   
Psalm 74:17

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Last Weekend Happiness

Last weekend was filled with pretty much all of our favorite things!  Friends, family, time outdoors, and relaxing.
Saturday we woke up to a bright morning so we strapped on our hats and slapped on the sunscreen for a long walk with the doodles.  The doods were very happy to get out on such a gorgeous day and we all came back TIRED!
Yes, we wear matching hats to shield our white skin from the sun
Saturday night we celebrated Pi Day with Casey & Connie and Matt & Katie.  We had amazing pizza, chocolate espresso pie, and personal fruit pizzas for dessert.  We love this group!!  We seriously all laughed so much, at one point until most of us were crying.
That's baby Josie (Casey & Connie's daughter) with Ryan and she was clearly not pleased here.  This picture makes me laugh out loud and I put it as my phone background.  That little lip makes me laugh even though I know she is pitiful.
The baby whisperer
P.S. Oh and did you notice Ryan's mustache?  Yup, he's growing one now!
Sunday Ryan woke up to waffles in bed--yum!!  We were headed down later that day to meet our new niece Aebyrnn that morning but had time for a hike first.  I didn't get any pics of our sweet new girl but she is so scrumptious and a little squirt at about 6 lbs!
We hiked around for about 45 minutes enjoying the 70 degree morning weather.  SO nice out in Colorado lately!
Hello baby bump!
Isn't the scenery gorgeous?  It was a perfect hike
We finished off our Sunday with a grill out at the Bolts.  Lots of friends came and there were puppies and kids running around galore.  We chomped on brats and burgers, salad, corn, grilled asparagus, and more.  It was a fun afternoon in the sun with many of our favorite people. 
Katie, Bella the doodle, and myself (sporting a new beach ball maternity shirt from my MIL!)
Could anything look more summery?
A weekend like this is so life giving!  We needed it and were thankful to soak up the gifts of weather, community, and joyful living.
For you are our glory and joy.   
1 Thessalonians 2:20

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Food Drives & Tutoring

I mentioned in this post that my nursing school group was conducting our research project this quarter at the lowest income school in Aurora, CO.  It was an AMAZING and eye-opening experience for all of us. 
Ashley, myself, Nylah, and Alissa
We learned that the school was the hungriest in the districy according to the principal and that the needs were just outstanding for all the children and families.
The group of ladies I had the immense honor of working with all have the biggest, most generous hearts.  The four of us organized a food drive for this school as our research winded down; we were just totally moved by our experience and felt energized to help.  I am so proud of our efforts and the outcome!!
The girls all organizing and packing the food
HUNDREDS of pounds of food were donated to the drive, enough to feed every child at the school  and their families approximately 1-2 dinners.  Many children do not eat evening dinners or over the weekends because of low-income households. 
Their two meals per day are the free breakfast and lunch at school.
Everything from vegetables, fruits, rice, noodles, cereal, soups, and more donated.  We filled 200 bags of complete meals and every kiddo took home a bag.
The final project--look at all that food!
Great job ladies!  It was so neat to have started this journey for a grade and our research, and to come out invested in this way.
I had also mentioned needing to get some volunteer hours in this quarter.  Ryan and I ended up signing up long-term with the local elementary school down the street in our neighborhood--so excited!!
  Our experience in Aurora was very compelling but as we live 40 minutes from that city it really wasn't sustainable.
The next best option was to invest in kiddos here in our town.  Every week Ryan and I spend about an hour tutoring a few kids and we love it!  We focus on second language learners.  Ryan works with his kiddo on reading and sciences while I spend time with my two girls doing reading, focusing on comprehension and vocabulary.
The school in our area is also among the lowest income schools in the area--90%+ of the attending children live at the poverty line and accept free/reduced lunches.  The need is very high in nearly every area at this school.
So one powerful experience led to another even more personal experience here in our own neighborhood.  We hope to invest long term and see real life changes in ourselves and those sweet kids we interact with!  This is something we are so thrilled and passionate about and will keep updating as the weeks progress
Therefore, whoever humbles himself life this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven...
Matthew 18:4

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pregnancy Week 15 & 16

Week 15 & 16 Pregnancy Questionnaire *
I'm just going to do a pregnancy post every  other week.  I'm so bad at remembering to take pictures every Saturday, so we will just do even weeks from here on out!

Baby size: An avocado. Doesn't that just seem big??

My weight gain so far: I just about fell off my seat at the last midwife appointment but my total weigh in at 16 weeks is 9 lbs!  I don't know why that seems like so much.  Ryan is convinced it's a big healthy Decker boy in there now :)

Food Favs: Food is becoming more enjoyable as each day passes.  I'm loving spicy, grilled food especially corn on the cob, gummy worms (another post as it was my first official craving), a combo of strawberry banana anything, peanut butter, kale salad, citrus, strawberries, and any fresh produce

Foods hates:  The usual...garlic, lots of onion, chilis, chicken is not sounding great these days, hard/strong cheeses, fried, fast food

3 Pros of Week 15 & 16:
1. I had only one "bad day" of nausea and vomiting in the last two weeks.  Other than that I have been an energetic lady that feels like I have a new life!!
2. I happily eat most foods prepared for me or that I cook myself.  There is not a lot that I can't/won't eat anymore which is nice.  I'm sure Ryan especially appreciates that.
3. Baby Decker has been fluttering around in there much more frequently which is so fun!  He or she wakes me up pretty darn consistently at 4:00 a.m. to say hello but I love the movement

3 Cons of Week 5 & 16:
1. Ack-the peeing at night!!!  It's back and it's vengeful.  I was up 5 times last night.  I cut off water at least an hour before bed but it doesn't  help.  My kidneys are too busy these days keeping my body clean
2.  Sleep has been a little harder the last two weeks.  Staying asleep and getting comfy mostly.
3. I'm officially, as of week 16, unable to wear regular pants anymore :(  It felt sad to pack away my cute jeans and colored pants but I'll just busy out the sundresses and skirts for the spring
Working out:
This week we spent A LOT of time outside soaking up the Vitamin D and fresh air.  I walked the doodles over a mile at a local park with Katie which felt wonderful.  Ryan and I hiked about 45 minutes at Dinosaur Ridge in Golden on Sunday.  We rock climbed last week and it's apparent I'll soon have to switch to a full body harness as my bump is getting in the way of regular gear now.  Last night we power walked about 2.5 miles and while my legs were sore, my heart and body were thrilled by the endurance needed.

When I work out I try to eat a really good protein filled snack before-peanut butter shake or sandwich, hard boiled eggs + cheese, etc.  I pack snacks to take (nuts, fruit) and ALWAYS a big water bottle full of icy water.  I find the more active I am the better I sleep, the better I feel, and I'm sure the easier my labor will be in August!

Best moment of the week:
 I was able to hear our little one's heartbeat last week at our midwife appointment.  Beating strong at 150 which is always reassuring.  He or she is measuring perfectly for their gestational age and everything seems to be just perfect so far in this pregnancy.  BTW, we will not be finding out the gender...not until this little human is birthed anyway :)
Ryan really is the baby gear master.  He researched for a lot of hours about baby strollers and finally settled on the Uppababy for us.  I know you're not supposed to buy used baby stuff but we did anyway.  We found an incredible deal on the stroller and it is seriously almost brand new.  We love it--so many features and extras plus it can fit up to three kiddos on it so as our family grows, the stroller can stick around!  I appreciate this willingness to get our baby the gear it needs and be so invested in every detail.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Health Fair in Pijijiapan, Mexico.

When Ryan was in Mexico two weeks ago, I mentioned he had the incredible opportunity to assist at a Healing Water's hosted health fair.  He and the other team members spent a day teaching health and hygiene to over 100 kids about healthy habits to prevent sickness!  They hosted the fair at a project site in Pijijiapan, Mexico.

  Ryan worked on hand and nail hygiene, cutting fingernails, hand washing, and cleanliness.

This unfortunate reality is that 90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are in children under five years old.  Targeting kiddos with this education is CRUCIAL!


There was also a station to learn to brush teeth properly.  So cute!

Ryan also was able on the trip to meet this amazing woman, Josepha, pictured below.   She is 19 and was widowed last August.She  provides for her 3 year old daughter by working all day at the local market in Mexico. After working all day, she delivers clean water from a Healing Water's project site using her bike.  This little lady can haul 95 gallon bottles- that's over 400 pounds of water

Um, yes she is AMAZING (and so strong)!  The stories that come from clean water and the opportunities it provides for independence and life, is nothing short of mind blowing.


Here are a few other photos of the time spent in Mexico...

Cutting nails and working on teaching

A few other group members

This is the entire team posing after a long day working

So proud of my husband and the work that incredible opportunities that Healing Waters gives him and others.  It is such a gift to see this work unfolding.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 

Isaiah 12:3

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Baby Chicks & Learning Spanish

We have had quite a busy week!

Like I mentioned last post, we got our baby chicks on Friday night.  They are so unbearably adorable.  Very fat and fuzzy.  Unfortunately we had two die and of course I cried over both even though I only knew them for 24 hours.  The store we got them from (an incredible local business in Golden) actually replaced them and assured us that it happens and wasn't our fault.

That made me feel better because I spend the majority of Sunday night nursing the littlest yellow one we appropriately named Trouble, with sugar water and wet food.  Little girl didn't make it which broke my heart but we sure tried.

The happy news is that we had learned so much from the experience.  We received two more chicks plus a third (7 total chicks now). 

Chicks are usually sold in pairs with their breed and when Ryan went to get the new ones there was a lone Buff Orpington that in his words, "His heart couldn't stand to leave her by herself". 

**SWOON over my sensitive man!**  She is doing fine and is the squirt of the group.

Our other two replacement chicks are Ameraucana (my dream chicken!), nick named "Easter Eggers".  They lay gorgeous shades of colorful eggs.  Ours will lay green and I am peeing my pants to see their first gorgeous eggs. Below is what they will look like!


Enough chicken talk!

Ryan's recent trip to Mexico has inspired us to learn and become confident in Spanish.  Now that I'm writing it here it has to happen!

Ryan speaks excellently in my opinion.  He's conversational with native speakers and converses with other HWI employees through Spanish e-mails.  How cool!

We figure between my nursing career (hello Denver, where 50% of the population is Hispanic!) and his career working primarily in Latin America that this is a smart long-term move.  Plus we want our kiddos to be bilingual and have a broad linguistic experience.  We woke up Saturday morning to big cups of coffee and Rosetta Stone lessons.  I loved it!

It's been an eventful week with some ups and downs, but excellent overall!

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

Deuteronomy 7:9

Friday, March 6, 2015

A March List

Just a March list of what's happening for us this week...

1. Snow & Fireplaces

Our February in CO broke 100+ year snow records which meant a lot of snowy evenings in with tea, a fireplace, and a good book.  No complaints here.

2.  New baby chicks!

This Friday we have six new baby chicks coming to us!  We are so thrilled to have these littles and the best part is how dang fuzzy and little they are.  They will live in our office in a very large plastic bin (no lid) and a nice warm heat lamp.  Their food and water sources will of course be in their bin too.

Poppy and Grumps won't have access to them, thought they might get one very supervised peek at them.  They will live inside until they are the right age and the weather is appropriate for them to move to the outdoor coop.  Pictures to come!

3.  Cooking

Hallelujah I am cooking again!  Poor Ryan made almost all of our dinners the last 8 weeks because I either couldn't stomach the smells or was asleep already.  I made this white chicken lasagna, a favorite of ours, but actually lightened it up a lot.

There is always the option to make something healthier.  I subbed greek yogurt for sour cream, nixed the mayo, and cut the cheese in half.  Still yummy and better for us too

4.  Doodles

The picture on the left is Poppy playing with a raw egg I gave her.  They love to eat eggs and this little girl loves to dribble hers across the snow and play for 10 minutes before breaking the shell and actually eating.  

The picture to the right is them after a VERY snowy walk in the park

I only have two more weeks of Quarter 6! I'm thrilled to finish this up and start my Capstone soon (aka a final nursing internship in the spring).  Ryan is busy getting back into the swing of things at work.  We are both also starting to tutor at our local elementary school and I'll have news about that in a later post. We are very excited for the opportunity.

This weekend we get to see the Deckers to celebrate March family birthdays and who knows what other adventures.  Alrighty, I'm out! Have the best weekend


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...