Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Grateful for Rafts

We're grateful for a lot of stuff this week! Momma & Poppa Decker treated the Decker tribe to a day of white water rafting on Sunday! We went to Idaho Springs for a 6.5 mile rafting trip. Y-lo even paid our guide $1 to try and throw Ryan overboard but Ryan's legs were locked in tight to the side of the raft and he stayed dry. Lucky guy. We're grateful for super generous parents, the adventure of rafting, families that we love, Colorado outdoor time, and mountains!!!

Boat 1: Georgie, Meg, Tyler, Clint, Anna & Y-lo

Boat 2: Carly, Ryan, Matt (our friend), Jason, Stacey

(Disclaimer: Y-lo zoomed in on this pic above and now it is her FAVORITE picture b/c my tongue is hanging out of my mouth like a fool! ha ha Good catch on the zoom!)

Y-lo ready for the water!

Ryan & Matt. Nice shirt.

Clint & Meg gearing up

The time in the mountains for a day was just a good break from our busy summer. We enjoyed soaking up sun, and just being with family. Our hearts are full from this weekend!

In other news, Ryan is still LOVING biking to work. It honestly takes him 5 minutes. We left the apartment together a few days ago and he arrived on his bike in the same time it took me to drive! We're grateful for lowered gas prices in our budget, exercise for Ry daily, and the convenience of work being close!

We're also grateful that the summer is nearing an end so my work starts soon, grateful that Ryan loves his job, grateful for our 18 pound bag of veggies that arrived yesterday (literally, it is huge), and grateful for the Lord filling up our lives so full.

For all of this we are very grateful to you.
Acts 24:3

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

There is a way to have delicious Chicken Enchiladas minus the "cream of mystery soup" in a can! Plus I experimented with recipes and found a SUPER easy way to make your own red enchilada sauce to top it all off. It may be a little hot right now mid-July to turn on the oven but if there is a rainy day or you can wait until fall, everyone digs this recipe! Serve with a salad and chips + guacamole for a yummy meal!

Chicken Enchiladas
  • 1 onion, chopped,
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 small Anaheim peppers, de-seeded diced (WEAR LATEX GLOVES!)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2.5 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 12 smallish corn tortillas (maybe 6-7 inches)
  • Monterey Jack cheese, for sprinkling on top
Preheat your oven to 350 F

In a medium skillet saute the onions in olive oil until tender. Remove from heat and combine with Anaheim and jalapeno peppers.

In a medium bowl combine the chicken, cream cheese, milk, cumin and pepper/onion mixture in a bowl. Stir well to combine

Spoon about 3 tbsp of the chicken mixture on each tortilla, roll up tightly and place side by side in a lightly greased rectangular baking pan.

Before you bake it (directions below) top off your pan full of chicken-y goodness with this recipe:

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 3 tbsp chile powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 28 oz can of tomato sauce
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper
In a pot or medium pan saute the onion in the olive oil until tender. Add in the garlic, chile powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano and stir well. Add in the tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper to your taste preference.

Allow to simmer for about 25-30 minutes and re-season to your taste if needed. Pour over enchiladas!

Now that you have your sauce covering the enchiladas, place in the 350 F oven and bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle monterey jack cheese on top in the last minutes of baking to melt. Serve and enjoy!

*The enchilada sauce really does taste like the real deal but WAY cheaper and without the unnecessary added preservatives! Also, use the recommended latex gloves when slicing the Anaheim peppers or the resulting sensation on your hands may feel like you just dipped them into the sun. Just sayin...I made the mistake for you!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Favorite Pictures of the Week

Just wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures from the week...


Quiet Time Essentials: My mornings are typically spent from 6:00-7:00 am with the Lord. This picture covers all the essentials: COFFEE, Bible, blue pen, journal, maybe a Bible Study, and a concordance. This is my absolute favorite time of the day and the reason I dig the morn.


We have veggies coming out of our ears so this would be the makings of a vegetable/rice soup. I got a nasty stomach bug Sunday night so I'm laying off veggies for a few days. But it was still fun and crazy easy to make this soup plus we used up some random stuff!


Take a load of this weird-o! What the heck is it?! That would be Kohlrabi, a German turnip. It's a great source of Vitamin C, fiber, potassium and is low in fat (duh!). We got two of these bad boys in our farm share this week and mostly I didn't even want to touch it. However I found a recipe for Roasted Kohlrabi that includes Parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil. I have some faith in this freaky vegetable...


And those would be a glorious half dozen of Grant Family Farm eggs. They threw in a free dozen last week! They are HUGE, have bright orange yolks and so delicious. I told Ryan I was hoping a chick lived inside one of them but alas, there was no chick. Come thou chicken coop of the possible Golden house.

Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!

1 Chronicles 16:32


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Butt

This is not just any butt. This is the cutest, chubbiest baby bottom you've ever seen!

I'm in love with this sweet tiny girl and all her rolls. We're blessed to have such a sweet baby niece. Can you blame us?!? I've never seen such a cute butt in all my life.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

End of July Update

It's time for a Decker update, list style! Some how it always starts with a house update...

1. We're "half way" under contract with the house. What does this mean you say? Well, as some of you know it was a bank owned short sale so it is pretty complicated to get everything done. One out of the two owning banks has accepted our offer (which was $25k less than the asking price!!) and we anticipate the other to accept by tomorrow. For now we have scheduled an inspection and we are already dreaming about what needs to happen first. Sometimes I can get ahead of myself but at the top of my list is to get rid of the house's ghetto front door and replace it with something like this one. Dreamy....

{Ryan calls this front door "friendly".}

2. Random food update: We had honey-lemon glazed salmon tonight! It sat on top of our farm share red lettuce, avocados, red bell pepper and red onion. Is veddy goot. Our friend Alex created a super summery dessert: stewed rhubarb topped with strawberries, sour cream and toasted walnuts. SO GOOD!


3. We've been learning a lot about marriage lately and have been super convicted about how we spend our time and are a steward of our marriage. We've been asking these hard questions lately and love seeing God show up to help us answer them:

-Is work or ministry ever coming above our time with the Lord or our marriage?
-Is any other aspect of our lives ever coming above the Lord or our marriage?
-What can we change so we spend more quality time with the Lord and each other?
-How can we model the marriage between Christ and the church better through our own marriage?
-In what ways do we need to surrender our time, work, ministry, or anything else to better glorify God in and through marriage?

4. Ryan's bottle wash design officially shipped out and he is now working on what Healing Waters has named "The Supermodel". More details to come but of course he is loving every minute of work and we are so blessed that he goes to a job he is passionate about. The work location finally moved too so he is exactly 6 minutes away BY BIKE! He is also proud of himself for setting up a dual screen computer system and his own personal desk :) Check out their new website if you get a chance here

5. I've been thinking more and more about the products that we use and consume lately. Are we consuming responsibly and in a way that honors God? Most likely someone in another country, who is "poor" has been slaving over certain products. Eeek! Is that OK? What does the Lord say about it? I'm starting to wondering if the products we choose are sustainable and if the people who make them are treated fairly? I'm buying a few of "The Better World Shopping Guide" below to shop responsibly and support companies that protect the poor, the weak, and the defenseless.

{This book gives a vast range of products an A-F ranking so you can quickly identify responsible companies- turning your grocery list into a powerful tool for change.}

6. That's about it for us! We're wrapping up July with more hang outs with people, several Melting Pot events, a day of white water rafting with the Deckers, packing up our apartment and a Bridal Shower for the newest official Decker addition, Megan! It's been a great, busy, learning-intense summer so far!


Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Real Deal

Just read this interesting quote as I'm working on Campus Crusade training that got me thinking quite a bit. Dig deep into the words...

Preaching the need for faith without repentance is preaching only half the gospel. It will result in people being deceived, thinking that they have heard the Christian gospel and tried it, but nothing has happened. They might even say something like, 'I accepted Christ over and over again and it never worked.' Yet they never really did receive Christ as their Savior, for he comes to us in his majesty and invites us to receive him as he is - the one who deserves to be, and demands to be, absolute Lord of our lives as well.

-Grudem

I am sometimes tempted to share or believe half the gospel. Ugh! But that's not the real deal, how awesome! Jesus desires to be Lord of all in your life and accepted as the person who took on that gnarly cross for us! The way we see real fruit and change in our life is by laying down all our junk (even the junkiest of the junk) at His feet AND making a real decision in faith to live for Him.

Whew! That is intense but if we do it halfheartedly we can expect zilch life/heart change. I'm encouraged by the whole invitation that Jesus lays out, to take us just as we are, never expecting us to get our stuff together before we meet Him. He makes us into a new creation, into a fully forgiven and clean person. You know when people say "I need to get my stuff together then I'll find Jesus..." Well I ask, "Uh, why would you take a bath and then get in the shower???" (weird analogy...) But isn't that true?! You can't do the cleaning up so let Jesus do it for you the real and whole way.

Hope this encourages you that Jesus wants it all and asks to have your whole life so He can radically live in and through it. Repentance and faith together are his style. The Lord doesn't do anything half way so you can expect a FULL commitment from His end. I dig that.


I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.

Acts 20:21






Saturday, July 9, 2011

We're Alive!

Hey All!!

We are still alive in case you were wondering since it has been awhile since we've been on here! And to prove it here is a sweet picture that we took for you at a recent wedding we attended at the Air Force Base in CO Springs!




We'll be blogging WAY more often about our adventures and what the Lord is doing when the summer calms down a bit and we are actually home to write a post or two!

Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.

1 Thessalonians 5:10

Friday, July 1, 2011

Homemade Healthy Granola Bars

I'm adventuring into a whole new world of snacks with this one! Normally we do chips & salsa, trail mix, cheese, sliced vegetables, apples & almond butter etc for snacks but I felt this morning at 7:30 a.m. that we needed to be move adventurous! So granola bars it was!!

I did some research on granola recipes for a bit and found everything to be FULL of sugar, butter, and not very much of the good-for-you-stuff. So I modified and made up my own to find a very happy recipe that Ryan and his co-workers all really liked! I was even told I could sell these since they were "the best granola bars they had ever eaten"! That's an idea...:)

Loaded Healthy Granola Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups of oats
1/4 c of flax seed (could sub out with wheat germ?)
3/4 c pumpkin or sunflower seeds
3/4 c chopped almonds
3 tbsp butter
1/3 c brown sugar (this is all I had on hand but you can probably use cane sugar)
1/2 c raw & unfiltered honey
2 tsp almond extract (you could use vanilla instead)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (leave this out if you're not a fan)

Butter two sheets of parchment paper and line an 11 X 13 glass pan with it one, saving the other for later.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix oats, flax seed, sunflower seeds, and almonds together in a large bowl. Spread on a baking sheet and place in oven to toast for about 15 mins, stirring once in a while to evenly brown. Turn off the oven when done (that was the only step you needed with an oven!)


Combine all wet ingredients butter, sugar, honey, almond extract and salt into a small pot and to bring to a simmer. Stirring frequently to prevent burning.


Once oats are toasted and the stove-top ingredients are simmering combine everything along with raisins and coconut together in a large bowl. Stir this combination of everything up really well!


Press the mixture into the parchment lined pan, pressing down evenly. Place the other piece of parchment paper, buttered side down, on top of the mixture pressing firmly and allow to cool like this. About an hour (or two?) later it should be cool enough to dump onto a cutting board and slice into "bar sizes". Wrap in saran wrap to keep fresh!

{Pressed down mixture awaiting the top layer of parchment}

{The easy step of letting it rest and cool for awhile}

{Carefully pull back paper or you will find small pieces tear off}

{Cut with a large knife into bars!}

**About a 30 minute process total and you can adjust this recipe to fit your taste preferences! You could add chocolate chips, craisins, dried apples or apricots, or lots of other goodies! Let me know how it goes if you try this out!

Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live!
Isaiah 38:16

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