We’re not in Kansas Anymore Toto…

We’ve now been in the land of the Red, White and Blue for just over eight months, and I thought it high time to write a wee update. And start a blog. I don’t harbour any grand notions of becoming a minor Christian celebrity. I don’t even know if anyone will read it. And that’s okay. It feels like it could be cathartic for me at this time in my life to be able to focus my thoughts.

I’ve named my blog ‘Adventures of the Ordinary’. In my younger youth I definitely held grand notions of becoming a minor (read ‘major’) Christian celebrity. However, I find myself on the cusp of 34, having spent the majority of my days in the most ordinary of ways. In my mad fancy it appeals to name the blog something like ‘Musings of a Rambling Lioness Lamb’ or some other such metaphoric nonsense, but the bald truth of it is that I live a very ordinary life. It’s a life I’m learning to really appreciate. I’ll share some of my ordinary thoughts at a later date, but since most of you are probably here just to get the Christmas Letter version of what we’re up to (and are already glazing over – yes, I see that yawn), on with the update!

We touched down in Redmond, Oregon on the 6th of July last year. After 20 something hours of travel with a 19 month old, I was euphoric to have made it! Judah was a total champ, but naturally the Phenergan, which I had trialed earlier with pleasing results, backfired horribly on the plane. This led to a little dude having bouts of screaming followed by maniacal laughter several hours past his bedtime. Nevertheless, we made it. It was a warm summer evening, and I’ll never forget the overwhelming smell of Juniper that greeted us following a rain shower. It will forever be the smell of our new life.

Caleb’s parents were gracious enough to put up with us while we went about the house hunting process. We were sure that we’d be able to find something reasonably quickly, however the credit score we had built in New Zealand meant nothing here, so we had to start from scratch. We ended up staying with the Hargroves for six months in Redmond, before finally getting to purchase our first home here in Bend. Bend is such a fantastic town, just a wee bit smaller than Tauranga, it reminds me of a delightful mix of Queenstown, Hanmer Springs and Tauranga. The real estate market is booming here, and long story short, we were basically handed this house on a silver platter! It was what they call a short sale – essentially a foreclosure or bank-owned property. We discovered it had been empty for eight years before we moved in, and it really did feel like God had been saving it for us. It was within our price range, and we have instant equity in it. The more I get a feel for what the real estate market is like, the more blown away I am at what we got!

Caleb was initially working for a local construction company, but things have kind of fallen into place for him to start a branch of Rupp Family Builders here. Rupp is the company that he worked for in Portland before he moved to New Zealand, and is owned by our buddy Garrett. We’re so excited to see things starting to fall into place, and it just feels like God is breathing favour over it all.

Judah is thriving here! He is loving getting to have regular playdates with Caleb’s family and our new friends, and he’s just growing like a weed! He is the loveliest and cheekiest kid I know! He brings so much light and laughter into our lives. Just tonight Caleb was like, “Judah, can you say ‘Napolean give me some of your tots’?” And Judah says, “Nipple…tots” and cracks up laughing. Love that kid.

We started attending Westside Church in Bend as soon as we arrived, and we just feel like God really has called us to be here. We feel a strong sense of purpose, and we’re starting to get to know people and feel more settled. We’re both a part of the worship team and are really excited to see what God’s gonna do here.

As for me, it’s been a super interesting time. I’ve had a few random health things happen, which has introduced me to the American healthcare system somewhat sooner than I had hoped. The upside in paying $5,000,000 a year in health insurance is that the hospitals really are very well funded. And pretty. And the medical staff all seem very relaxed. Which is good, because¬†we may have to sell our kidneys to afford it…

I’ve started making some lovely friends, and since we’ve moved into our house I’ve made a concerted effort to invite people over. Our prayer is that our home is a place of peace, refreshing and healing for people. On that note, please come and stay with us!!

On a personal level, there have been some hard but really really cool things unfolding in my heart. I’ll save those for another blog post – nothing worse than trying to read a general update and getting sideswiped by someone’s intense personal outpourings ;).

Anyway, over and out.

Deb xx