Friday, April 29, 2011

Picnic Date


You likey this view?! We decided it was the perfect weather to eat on a blanket and the open space near our apartment is incredible!! Mix the Colorado outdoors with some homemade Veggie Pad Thai and you have 2 very happy Deckers!

{He must have liked it!}

{Pre-noodles and sauce. All the good stuff!}

{Picnic style dinner = Cheap/Amazing Date!!}

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalm 90:2

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Natural Way

I like to keep things as natural as possible around our house and kitchen especially. And it seems that the only way to do that sometimes is by making it yourself. We save a lot of money by making some of our own versions of our favorites plus it's safer and greener. This way you know every ingredient, there are no chemical-y surprises, and your home/body feel better. Win win!

Here are a few favorite things to make myself:

Dishwasher Detergent

1/2 cup of Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds
1/2 c water
2 tsp lemon juice
3 drops tea tree oil
1/2 c white vinegar

Mix all ingredients well in a resealable container . Use about 1 tbsp per load but experiment depending on your load sizes. Passionatehomemaking.com is where I got the idea and they estimate this recipe will clean about 15 loads of dishes and will cost you $0.05-0.06 per load. Yes please!

All Purpose Cleaner

Mix 1 part water to 3 parts vinegar. Place 5-10 drops of tea tree oil in the solution and mix well. Tea tree oil is a natural and effective disinfectant!

Shower Cleaner

5-6 tbsp of baking soda (depending on your shower size)
Water

Mix baking soda and water until the mixture is the texture of frosting. Apply to shower and bathtub. Let sit for a few minutes and scrub off with with hot water.

Toilet Cleaner

2-3 tbsp of baking soda
1/2 lemon

Sprinkle baking soda into the bowl, targeting the sides if possible. Squeeze the lemon juice over the baking soda. You will hear a very satisfying fizz-the sound of clean! Let sit for a few minutes and scrub with toilet brush.

Perfume

Many mainstream products have hormone disrupting ingredients that can be toxic to skin/mucous membranes/respiratory tract/nervous system/reproduction system. An easy solution is to make your own! I use essential oils instead of perfume. My favorites are lavender or tangerine oil.

In a dark bottle combine any essential oil combination. Begin with a base layer and add accents on top. 2-3 oils per batch is probably a good and simple start.

We do a heavy amount of cooking and love being in the kitchen together as much as possible. Here is what I like to whip up in the kitchen...

Salad Dressing (regular dressing is expensive and often full of MANY preservatives)

1/4 c Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp chopped garlic
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
3/4 c Olive Oil

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in the fridge and in a container that can be sealed.

Applesauce

8-10 organic apples

We buy bags of apples in the $1 bin at Vitamin Cottage for this. Slice the apples, removing core and stem. Steam them until very soft. We boil our in an inch or 2 of water and then make apple juice out of the remaining liquid. Place apples in a blender once slightly cooled and blend until smooth. Store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Be careful or these guys will ferment on you if you don't eat them soon enough!

Hummus (too expensive at the store and full of unnecessary additives)

1 can chickpeas
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 of c plain yogurt

This is simple. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Push blend. Wait until the mixture moves smoothly through the blades. Enjoy with falafel chips, fresh veggies or our favorite, on top of a big pile of mixed greens!

These are simple ideas to start taking steps toward an organic, cleaner home! Your body will thank you! Next up on my adventurous homemade list: Lip Balm, Candles, Deodorant, Toothpaste, Cheese, and Bread.

Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.
Jeremiah 33:6








Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Happenings

Our Easter Weekend was insanely busy but one of our favorite weekends since being back. We saw the Decker/Priester side of the family Friday night for some family hangout and poker. I learn more and more each time I hang with Ry's family how he got so crazy and hilarious. We love them all!! All day Saturday was spent at a Melting Pot Event. We help run these promotional events at different places around the Denver area. It's a fun way to hang with people and bless our volunteers with MP Gift Cards! This particular event was called "Spring Eggstravaganza" which meant little kids + Easter bunnies + sugar overloads. Busy.

{Ryan, Ryan Sullivan (the MP Pineapple, ha!), Reese, and Cliff}

{Creeping on the Easter Bunny}

Sunday we went to our FAVORITE church around-Hillside. This place is so legit! Heard an amazing message, saw good friends, and then headed over the the Nelson household for delicious late lunch and an Easter Basket Hunt! My sister Lindsay, Ryan, and I were sent on a Momma-Nelson-style scavenger hunt for our amazing baskets all over the house! We had a blast figuring out clues and we were blessed by all the fun treats inside! Finally we rounded out the weekend with incredible dinner, potluck style, with the immediate Decker family. Heart attack mashed potatoes, banana cake, fruit salad ham...we were stuffed!

We really felt like we were able to celebrate LIFE this weekend-the very gift Calvary gave us on Easter Sunday. Thank you Jesus for rising! Our hearts are full of praise this week and overflowing with gratitude.

Enjoy some pictures from this weekend:

{Sister Linny and Carly}

{All dressed up for Easter!}

{All gangster-ed up for Easter?}

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace"

Ephesians 1:7

{P.S. The actual best part about this weekend was Rilyn's chunky little legs in her white Easter tights! We LOVE her!}

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Risen

Our prayers cover you for a blessed Easter and remembrance of the LIFE and HOPE this day so undeservedly showers on us. Death is overcome, the grace is overwhelmed.

Praise Jesus Christ for the ultimate SACRIFICE!!

Rejoice today!

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
John 11:25-26


Friday, April 22, 2011

Some Life Lately

To the naked eye these might appear to be Philly Cheese Steaks...
However they are fully vegetarian! We are normally quite carnivorous around the Decker household but tonight was an exception...The type of red meat that we like buy is pricey, to put it mildly, so I ventured out and decided that Mushroom Cheese "Steak" Sandwiches was a great alternative. DELISH! May I just say in all humility that dinner was freakin good last night. Whip up some homemade hummus and you've got some good eats for the night!

Moving on from the food...Enter The Wards. We love these two!! Jo & Ryan. Ryan & Jo. We went bowling with them a few weekends ago and enjoyed time watching teeny bopper music videos at the alley and admiring Ryan 1 and Ryan 2's incredible bowling skills. Jo and I got about 70 or so!!

{Jo & Carly rocking the 8 pound balls}

{A dark shot of Ryan probably getting another strike}

{Those cute Wards}
{So proud of my bowling hubby!!}

Praying the rest of your week is blessed!

"That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you being rooted and ground in love may have strength to comprehend..."

Ephesians 3:16-18

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Maze

Ryan and I, along with one of our favorite college students, recently went to see an illusionist-Jim Munroe. His program is called The Maze-a combo of mystery, art, deception, and unbelievable "magic" stunts to reveal truth. It was incredible! Jim's overall message really got down to the nitty gritty of how we can be deceived in today's world of relative truth and what we are believing might just be a deception...


It turns out that 59 students on the Auraria Campus made decisions for Christ and decided to believe truth that night! Insane!!

His story is pretty incredible. He has devoted his life to deceiving people in these shows and he does an amazing job too. But less than 2 years ago he was diagnosed with Leukemia of the blood WITH. NO. CURE. Isn't it ironic that his career of deception essentially was what his body was doing to him? Cancer is just your body being deceived into believing that these invading cells are the real deal. Crazy huh? He underwent a bone marrow transplant by a willing 19-year-old donor (Did I mention she was just ONE in 9 million that matched his DNA closely enough???). He was quarantined for 40 days as they wiped out his immune system and prepared to undergo the procedure. The doctors started the transplant procedure on his birthday April 20 and 3 days later he had been given life with new blood.

Ok. If that isn't a picture of Christ I don't know what is!! 40 days of solitude...3 days to be raised to new life. What an incredible parallel of the gospel. It is only Jesus' blood that can give us new life when we turn and trust Him with everything.

He's a cancer-free man praise God!

This is just a crazy incredible story of God revealing Himself in amazing ways-breaking through deception and revealing the truth about Himself. We are so quick to believe that a man like Jim Munroe could really be doing magic tricks on stage. Our minds convince ourselves it's real! But...it isn't. So what else is deceiving us? How else is God pointing out truth to us, that some of the things we believe about Him, about ourselves, about religion...may not be the whole truth?

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Psalm 145:18

Monday, April 18, 2011

Loins Update

I would just like to assure all of you that Loins is back to his normal healthy self and has no signs of chopstick rage or bladder disease. You can go ahead and check that off the list of worries for the week...

And just to get your Monday going right here is a little Old Testament action, Deuteronomy style...

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."

Deuteronomy 30: 19-20


Saturday, April 16, 2011

When the Bible Reads You!

RJD here. So in case you haven't noticed from past posts from Car, we have been experiencing some serious growth. From our personal times reading and praying to applying to CCC, to working at HWI to our friendships to life, it's been a tough and stretching season of life.

God has been rocking me in a few ways as well. I heard one of my favorite pastors, Matt Chandler, a few mornings ago say, "It's easy to read the Bible. It's another story when the Bible reads you." I have been thinking the last few days on how the Bible reads me. Aka, how the Bible (really, God's Spirit) knows me, gently points out my sin, and calls me to more. I will now explain with extremely well thought out bullet points (yeah right!):
  • The Bible is SUPER clear on how God feels about pride. It freaks me out a little, but basically God opposes the proud. OPPOSES! About the time of hearing that scripture, I started thinking, "Crap, I don't want to be opposed, but I think I am doing pretty good on this front." Was I wrong! The next few days God really pointed out to me pride is 2 areas of my life.
  • The first was work. I noticed one morning how I was almost fixed on being noticed and recognized for doing good work. I wanted to be supplying good ideas and was even jealous when other people WERE giving the great ideas. Don't get me wrong, wanting to be a great employee is legit, but not when my motivation is to be praised for it. When I started my job I knew that God would give me the good ideas I needed to be successful and that I wanted Him to be praised. Getting that mixed up is just ugly.
  • The other area was my marriage. When I seek to make my relationship with Carly more about me being right, rather than us both coming to God for grace and growth, the battles wage on. I am unwilling to forgive and ask for forgiveness when pride seeps in. Man, it's freaking nasty stuff.
Through all of it though, I have seen the Lord show up again and again. Car and I are super thankful that "He gives grace to the humble." I am super thankful for my wife that continues to have patience with me and I am thankful for my sweet beard that is coming in nicely.

The Growing of Wheatgrass

Today's amazing spring-y type of feel makes me want to go on a bike ride or eat lunch outside in the sun OR tell you what we have been growing lately...

It started out as this...A simple bag of wheat grass seeds from Vitamin Cottage


Then you follow the directions and soak the seeds for 10-12 hours to sprout them. I didn't see any actual sprouts but this step is important. I would use half the package next time. We just grew ourselves A LOT of grass!


After they have soaked, drain the seeds and fill up a few pots up with good soil.
Leave 1-2 inches of room from the top.


Then just put the seeds on TOP of the soil. Yeah, that's right. Weird. Get yourself a spray bottle to frequently mist these little guys a few times a day. Moisture = Grass.
Make sure you put them in as much direct sunlight as possible!


I planted Monday night and by Friday morning I had 2.5 inches already!!


Plant them in anything. I used a teacup, some little pots and some big pots.
So cute!
Make sure you trim them up regularly or it will fall over and be very pitiful.



So what do we do with all this grassy goodness? Well you tie a bow around that pot and give it away to someone you dig. Or you decorate your home with it to welcome spring. Or the best use I think would be to trim that bad boy and throw a handful of grass into a smoothie to give it an intense health boost! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peas

It is confirmed. I do want dog nor child, fish nor fish again. Arg!! We have a Beta Fish named Loins (classy, right?) that has contracted himself Swim Bladder Disease. Which means that he is constipated, bloated, and floats at the top of the water on his side. Quite pitifully I might add.

Now being any good fish parent we looked up what to do! You feed the little guy peas. Um...yeah. right. And I quote:

"He's just going to die anyway..." -Carly
"No! We can't! Quick, boil some peas and we'll try to feed him!" -Ryan





So we spent about 20 minutes this morning trying to feed him peas. I finally got him to nibble once or twice this afternoon. And then in a fit of rage Loins finally attacked my peace-making chopstick and I officially have not looked at the bowl since. Little stinker.

And this is why I do not want a pet or a child anytime soon...they are stubborn and won't eat their vegetables.



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Digging Growth Part I

T'was there ever a season of intense growth in our lives this could certainly be it. I (Carly) am being grown and stretched incredibly as of late, despite my stubbornness to resist. Oh yes, it is good, but may I just politely say sometimes it sucks?

So it's good but it's hard. Let me share briefly. Ryan and I are super jazzed about CCC staff and it's being used in ways we didn't even anticipate. Oh good night we are pumped and praise the Lord other people are getting there too! The application process, which I dig now by the way, is crazy intense. Next time you apply for a job, have 4 of the people closest to you (excluding family) fill out an evaluation of sorts about you and at some point they will have to be brutally honest and list how you can grow and areas of weakness. Oh, kill me now! One, of my many, many temptations is pride (I can feel it welling up in me now just telling you about it. Ick.) But thank God he is pruning that out of me and growing new things that are honoring to Him.

So as I learn to grow in the areas that ALL four friends mentioned (kudos for being consistent people!) I have been realizing how I will never, not in my wildest dreams have it together. Not all the way. Not the way I would need it to be if I want God in a real way. If I ever waited until my pride died out, or my sin disappeared, or the nastiness of me was gone by my doing I would be waiting until kingdom come because it's just not happening. I hope someone Amen'd that because I can't be the only one that has ever thought "Just a little longer, I'll get it together and then I'll head to church. I'm just too crappy (or insert some other choice word) right now." Lies!!

I'm learning that Jesus is the only way to crucify that flesh of mine that hurts people, sins, gets all puffed up at my own silly abilities, and ultimately draws me away from the Romancer of my Heart. Even in my weakness, I've got to cling to Jesus for dear life, to allow HIM to fix me, mend me up, and meet me. I'm not perfect, I won't ever be but the cry of my heart now is "Prune junk away Lord, because I will never get it together! JC you're my only hope!"

Love that Jesus. His swanky, real, strong love breaks us, woos us, changes us...when we allow Him even just a little work room.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Some Rilyn Love

Here's the truth. We have the cutest niece in the whole world. Fo reals. She is just too cute, we can't even stand it. You know a baby must be well liked when Uncle Ryan even offers to babysit while the ladies are at Bible Study (see below). And Rilyn really likes her uncle because he has a nice soft chest to fall asleep on. We are such suckers for this Decker baby!!


{I can't even handle this picture. Take it away or I'll want a baby!!}

{The only picture we have with her together...This must change.}


{Important Note: Rilyn's parents love her so much that one time they had a professional photographer take some sweet pictures of her with pink head bands on and fluffy pink blankets. Her cute little bum even made it into one! But we love this very candid shot of her wild hair and that crazy look in her eyes. Bahaha!}

We are so proud of this little chunker. She is gorgeous and fiesty and strong and so cherished! Plus her parents are rockstars for making and raising someone so dang adorable!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Apple Beet Carrot Smoothie

Oh dear friends just when you thought we couldn't get any weirder and more hippy, we have proven you wrong. How you may ask? Well just read below...

We have begun a very intimate love affair with beets. Move over avocados! These crimson colored root veggies are full of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and C. They have cleansing properties for your gallbladder, kidneys, and are a good source of calcium, potassium and iron. Plus they are amazingly pretty! Unfortunately the humble beet is too often overlooked but we are loving them lately.

So here is how we use beets...

ABC Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 chopped apple
1 peeled and chopped beet
2 peeled and chopped organic carrots
1/2 cup or water and a few ice cubes

Directions:
Blend it up adding more water if necessary to get "smoothie-texture"  Pour into a glass and enjoy!

 Oh it's so delicious and so good for you. We drink this smoothie if we find that we are eating out often or just need a kick in the butt drink that will boost us up!  Oh and you'll probably poop purple so that's fun.

Aren't those layers amazing??

This recipe makes enough for 3 people. This little cup was just modeling.

Try it, it's so dang good!

Just for kicks, isn't this guy so dreamy? Kind of looks like George Decker, no?



And lastly, check back in with us later this week to see what we are growing for some Easter Day surprises. Hint: It has to be planted and it apparently grows REAL fast!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Where does my approval come from?


Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10


I am learning this over and over again these last few days. I need a Savior, not to please the people in my life. What the Lord has is always good, but not always easy. I am learning this too over and over again these last few days...

But You, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head

Psalm 3:3




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