Friday, March 30, 2012

Crock Pot Vegetable Polenta Casserole

Still loving the crock pot and found it especially amazing this evening when it was about 70 degrees. Definitely DO NOT want to turn on the oven.  So I tried this recipe.  Verdict: glory, glory hallelujah it is DELICIOUS.  A new vegetarian, super easy favorite that everyone loved.  We all had seconds.  Try it out!

Crock Pot Vegetable Polenta Casserole

2 19 oz cans white kidney beans

1 19 oz can garbanzo beans
1/4 cup purchased basil pesto
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1 16 ounce package refrigerated cooked plain polenta cut in 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
2 cups finely shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)
2 cups fresh spinach
1 red bell pepper, diced

Mix beans and 1/4 cup pesto together with onions, garlic, and Italian seasoning.

In the crock pot, layer half of the bean mixture, topping with a layer made of half of the polenta slices.  Repeat with the remaining bean mixture and polenta.

Top with red pepper and 1 cup cheese.  Place lid on crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

At end of cook time top with tomato and remaining cheese. Let stand uncovered for approximately 5 minutes. 

Serve hot over a bed of fresh spinach in your bowl and enjoy!  

**I doubled this recipe for leftovers and also did not really follow the directions all that well from the original recipe so that should assure you that it's not easily messed up.  Feel free to add more vegetables-maybe zucchini, summer squash, or others!

All the good-everything was on sale!

Bean and pesto mix

Polenta slices

Start layering

Top second layer with peppers and cheese

Top with tomatoes at the end and serve on a bed of spinach

"Polenta...not to be mistaken with placenta."
-Ryan Decker

HA HA!!  I love my husband.

Here are some other fun pictures from our week!  We have been busy with friends, working on the yard/garden/deck, and other randomness.  Tomorrow we are headed to E-days at Mines to watch cardboard boat races down Clear Creek-Mines students make boats out of nothing but cardboard and duct tape and then see how it goes.  Always a great time!   It is just the best to be out in Golden and we are crazy for this gorgeous weather.  We hope this weekend is restful for you!

Ryan working on the deck

Feeling DANG excited about some very cheap new Keens!

Corrie (Marc & Beth's daughter) came over for a visit!

Cute little Malone family

Beth, Marc, Ryan & with delicious ice cream

Best spring dessert-vanilla ice cream and canned peaches from Y-lo
The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14

I'm so glad you're here!  I hope you're encouraged by what you read and spurred on to pursue the heart of God.  To make sure you don't miss anything join us over on the sidebar or add our button to your page.  Be blessed!


Sunday was one of THOSE days.

Don't even judge-who doesn't have those hard, rotten days?

Running at a low boil.

Grumpy from a sore throat and ugly cough.

Self-centered because that's just how I can be.

Tired from not sleeping well.

Random lower back pain-so throw in a little more grump.

Wasted too much time on the computer

Felt thirsty so I was annoyed.

Really got mad at my hubs.

Didn't accomplish much of anything I had planned because of marital strife.

Got my dang feelings hurt big time later that day.

Let my anger and hurt fizzle and sizzle until my heart was burned to a crisp.


Then I listened to this.  It didn't solve my problems and sin but the words did allow me to stand truly amazed. Thank the Jesus for Your grace.  Enjoy your Friday & your weekend!

Lord I'm Amazed By You by Kari Jobe on Grooveshark

My Journey to 1000 Gifts:
273. Lots of new plants in our home for Spring
274. Shocked at the junk that lives in my heart but grateful for a Redeemer
275. $2 lattes at church
276. That God is concerned with places and boundaries-calling us specifically
277. Sweet potato baking in the oven
278. Early morning snuggling
279. Depending on Him more and more
280. Blossoms and budding leaves all over Golden
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Organize: Create A Cleaning Cart

I really dig getting all the  Decker Home chores done at once--if possible.  It's a full day and helps our home run incredibly smooth the rest of the week.  I secretly (now, not so secretly) love this day!

But I found myself running all over the house for the toilet brush (master bath), mop (in the pantry), cleaning supplies (under the sink), dust rags (linen closet) and so on.  So as we rearranged a bedroom closet recently and a 3 shelved metal cart opened up.  It used to hold my hubbies undies and socks BUT  repurposing items already in our home is a pretty good idea in my book!

And the creativity started stirring...

 Behold!!  A cleaning cart.  A fantastic tool for wives, moms, and families everywhere.

 Top shelf: sponges, paper towels (a rare commodity at the Deckers), vacuum supplies, etc

 Second shelf: a pile of easily accessible rags and a mesh bag for re-fills

 Bottom shelf: Cleaning supplies and plastic bags

Hang any spray bottles off the sides for no-spills and easy to reach

So there you have it: organized and efficient all at once!  We have wood floors everywhere in our ranch home so a roll-able cart makes sense but for carpeted or multi-leveld houses try these ideas:

More inspiration for cleaning organization:

-Combine all that you ned to clean in a gallon size bucket or reusable tote with plastic bottom to carry to each clean-needy spot in your home
-Consider placing a smaller bucket with smaller portioned supplies under the sink of each bathroom for easy and quick clean up!
-Find or self-mix ONE multi-purposed cleaning solution to eliminate many bottles and as a less expensive option!  I use 1 part white vinegar to 5 parts warm water, a squirt of dish soap, and 10 drops of lemon essential oil.  Good for showers, floors, windows, counters, toilets, and more!
She sets about her work vigorously;
   her arms are strong for her tasks. 

Proverbs 31:17

Organizing Made Fun

 I'm so glad you're here!  I hope you're encouraged by what you read and spurred on to pursue the heart of God.  To make sure you don't miss anything join us over on the sidebar or add our button to your page.  Be blessed!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Who Me?

Just one word has been sticking out in my time with the Lord lately.  Check it homies:

There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land." 
Deuteronomy 15:11

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in." 
Matthew 25:35

"Who shall begin this battle?" He [the prophet] answered..."You."
1 Kings 20:14

Wow, did you catch that?  The Creator of the Universe, King over all, speaks so directly to YOU?

Dang I love that.  I am astounded (and totally freaked out, honestly) that we are charged with the work and labor of responsibility for many aspects of this life.  One major theme presented over and over to me, is just to get over my bad self.  The word "you" here is always in reference to serving another with a focus on Christ and a posture of self-forgetfulness.

I am so incredibly excited to do what God has laid out for me specifically.  There is no getting around personal calls in scripture either-it's everywhere in God's word exactly what we're supposed to be up to and who we're supposed to be caring for.  

This scripture points clearly to take on full force whatever responsibility that the Lord has set before you and on your heart.  The point of this life is to make much of Him-eyes off ourselves and focused to glorify God!

 If He is going to call you to it (and so specifically!), you better believe you'll be equipped to glorify Him.  So what's the calling on your heart? Who and where are YOU being equipped and called to serve?


I love that we are called, empowered by the Holy Spirit, with God's very clear Word as a resource and tool.  Awesome!

Start the battle friend-God has clearly called YOU.

 Sweet little people in Africa (far left: sweet Mercy was abandoned and starving but now adopted! The other two gorgeous girls are orphaned but in a girl's home in in Uganda.  We were privileged to love on them in 2010 and our hearts are ever widened for orphans by James 1:27

African slums...1 Corinthians 1:28-29

Ryan's heart is for the thirst-literally for clean water and soul-deep for the gospel

Loving a new friend in Kolkatta-her Hindi background is broken and confused but Christ is hope. 

My Journey to 1000 Gifts:
269. Specific and clear callings
270. Serving a God of purpose and worth
271. Warm days in Golden
272. Second hand Merrells that were insane-o cheap
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.
 Luke 4:18

Friday, March 23, 2012

Streams of Mercy

Here is a glimpse into what Healing Waters is about.  My husband has the coolest job and we serve the coolest God for thinking up an organization like this.

Clean Water Changes Lives...

Contact Ryan if your heart is to serve, donate, or simply learn more:

Beholding Glory

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thankfulness Addict

The Journey to 1000 Gifts is ROCKING my world!  It's addicting and incredibly challenging.  Somedays I find myself constantly aware and looking for gifts-I'm on the ball those days!  Other days I'm crummy and bummed, marching around in my own little world when the Lord WAKES ME UP me with something so unexpected.

Awareness and recording has been so uplifting to my heart and a real reminder of God's goodness.  I've been learning that being thankful isn't just for the easy-good-fluffy stuff.  It's glorifying and right to thank the Lord for challenges, changed plans, interruptions to my own way of thinking, bad days, sloppy days, mistakes and other things that should seem void of gifting.

I swear to not be that cheesy person saying I LOVE all those things but the I cling and hope to the truth of Romans 8:28--that God works all things for our good.  And I'm grateful for that because most of the time I don't even know what "my good" is but an all knowing God does.  Phew!

So enjoy this thankfulness post in pictures and a glimpse into our week.

259. Harpo's watchfulness and the ways this furry guy makes me laugh

250. Gifts and doggy treats for Harpo that keep him busy

251. Two very generous, caring parents!

252. That my husband loves his in-laws and that they ADORE him!

253. Sunshine and a husband who leads us tremendously

254. Views of THIS. Do we feerrrr realz get to live here?!

255. A mini-dog park we found about 3/4 mile from our house-and THIS view it gives us

256. Skype dates with Linny and the camel she slaughtered to get that bone necklace. Just kidding.

257. King size bed from the Deckers for 1 dollar!
258. Nutella on graham crackers. Swoon.
259. Lunch with a friend and her new baby
260. Plant life in our home-basil, garden buds, potted plants, orchid, and succulents.
261. Blogging with a purpose
262. Yard work
263. Psalm 91 to protect our minds, bodies, and spirits
264. Possibilites of a niece named Arya :)
265. A vacuum that sucks up Harpo's endless fur
266. This dinner-one of our favorites
267. Refreshed relationships
268. Re-recognizing
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Psalm 20:4


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