Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Thanksgiving [in pictures and captions]

How was your Thanksgiving??  Ours was a stunner-a big win all around!  

Are you a Black Friday person?  The day after Thanksgiving we always put up Christmas decorations.  So if Black Friday means I'm in yoga pants drinking bottomless coffee with Christmas music blaring, then yes, I am a black Friday lover.

Our post-turkey-coma weekend has been pretty rad so far.  Benihana's birthday party with two of our favorite friends, brother-in-law bowling birthday celebrations, and anticipating a day of being filled tomorrow at church.  Still thankFULL and grateful.

Onto pictures...

Table set for 10 guests-a relatively small Thanksgiving for our house. Thanks for the decorating help and napkin folding ideas, Linny!

So much delicious food!

This plate was a winner.  Turkey, rolls, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato casserole, and green bean casserole.  Plus unpictured chocolate silk pecan pie and pumpkin pie.

Me and my handsome boys.  Linny and Justin look dapper as always.

Then this swoony short dude showed up.  GAME CHANGER!!  Holy cow he was the hit of Thanksgiving.  If you weren't holding him you were giving the jealous stink eye to whoever had him.  

Xander is such a scrumptious little munchkin.  Who flexes in his newborn sweater vest.

Like I said...everyone was obsessed with him.  Including my mom who is dying for grandkids.

Was this day fabulous?  Why, yes, yes it was.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving DAY: ThankFULL

I've been up with an 8 lb fur ball since about 5:15 am this morning.  So it seems only appropriate that this holiday morning I write a post while said furball is now konked out asleep in my lap.

Puppyhood.  We dig it!


Sweet little Grumples came home Tuesday evening and we are totally smitten with the little guy. Seriously, he is the cutest dog in the world.  He's a goldendoodle: black poodle dad and golden retriever mom.  Curly and soft as can be with giant paws so pretty sure he's going to be enormous.

I am dying for our niece Rilyn to meet him because I know they will be instant best friends for life!  I can just hear her now, "Grumples miss me!"

So we are full of thanks for the fun gift that Mr. Grumples is to our home today!

Since Grumps wanted an early wake up today our day started with steaming mugs of coffee, reading out of Psalms, and letting the sun slowly fill our living room. 

We welcomed the chickens into the day and cleaned up accidents :)  And started off our Thanksgiving with a slow, deliberate pace.


Ryan will be up soon to pull the turkey out of the incredible brine he made (apple cider, orange peel, peppercorns...mmmmm)  and I'll start whipping sweet potatoes and crumbling cinnamon and butter for a crusty top.  We're attempting to recreate some world famous mashed potatoes that grace every Decker Thanksgiving but not sure how it's going to go...some things just can't be duplicated!


We know there is so much delicious food in our future today and lots of sweet family to fill our home.  Today is a beautiful lull from school and some breathing room in our schedule. 

 Ahhhh.

Happy Thanksgiving--we are FULL of thanks today!

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

Song of Solomon 2:4

P.S.  Remember this  Saudi Thanksgiving (grocery carts filled with homemade goodness being pushed down the street...)  Only in the middle east.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ryan went to Haiti!

My man comes back from Haiti today, thank the sweet baby Jesus!

I missed him big time of course.  He was stretched in so many ways on this trip mentally, spiritually, and physically.  We always learn something new about each other and the Lord when he travels for work-it is not dull!

Skyping was a regular occurrence when he had Internet-he did visit the absolute boonies of Haiti and didn't have running water, electricity, or Internet for awhile. Culture shock!

He was in Haiti for a business trip working with new partners, presenting the Healing Waters model, and building relationships.  So proud of his hard work and steps of faith.

 I'm going to fetch his handsomeness from the airport and can't wait!

Skyping again-look at that rainforest-y magnificence in the background

I'll post pictures and details about his trip soon.  If you were praying for him, THANK YOU!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Christmas with A Purpose

If I'm honest I sometimes find the holidays to be a little discouraging.  What could possibly express gratefulness more than running down others with shopping carts at 3 am the day after professed gratitude for all we are blessed by??

Get it together, America!

There are so many broken aspects of this culture.  And for us, it is our heart's cry to reject the consumerism, and shopaholism, and greediness.  No thank you...don't want it!

In our weak attempt at this anti-culture movement, here are a few of favorite ideas to get outside of ourselves these next few weeks and extend humility, gratitude, sacrifice, and love.

Just like Jesus always did...

Operation Christmas Child-absolute favorite winter family activity


Assemble Ann Voskamp's The Thanks Giving Tree and find the gratitude just flowing from you


Celebrate Jesus with the beautiful rhytmn of Advent

via

Assemble and gift Blessing Bags to those in need with love and awareness


Compassion International
Kevine, is one of our beautiful Compassion Sponsor children.  Click on the link in the left sidebar to love on a child and tangibly extend Christ this month!

Shop mercifully-you have to Christmas shop so might as well benefit the world and avoid inadvertent partnership with human slavery and oppression.

Our favorite shopping includes Feed, 31 Bits,  Mercy House Kenya, Noonday Collection, No. 41, Avodah Coffee, 3 Strands, Light Gives Heat, War Chest Boutique and SOOO many others!
via

Other ideas?  Please share!  Embracing Jesus over these special holidays and what He is about gives life.  We aren't perfect and neither are these organizations, but man does it manifest God's love more than Black out sales and descending mobs for clearance items.

Amen.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child just rocks our worlds!  This is the one of the neatest things that has made its way into our holiday rhythm every year.


There are so many kiddos around the in the U.S. world that won't receive anything for Christmas.  That makes my heart just squeeze up with sadness and a desire to act.

But so many will have a different reality this year and be blessed by a shoebox filled with goodies! This is a tangible way that Samaritan's Purse (the larger ministry responsible for OCC) demonstrates God's love to a child while getting the opportunity to minister to them with the gospel.

Love it all!  


This year we built two boxes, one online (in case you don't have time to get to the store) and one in real life.  Actually, my mom was the generous one behind our real life target shopping trip and should get the credit for that :)

This simple project gets our eyes off ourselves and our wants this Christmas.  We learn about generosity and living open-handedly, God's heart for children, and the simple beauty in extending a gift to a sweet child somewhere.


This box was for 10-14 year old girl. In our box we included a cute blouse, playing cards, Christmas socks, regular socks, a toothbrush, nail files, manicure set, shampoo, conditioner, acrylic nails, compact mirror, Kleenex, notebook, pens, dental floss, hand wipes, small stuffed animal, chap stick, lip gloss, jacks, sidewalk chalk, body soap, a little purse, school supplies, and water bottle.  The sky's the limit!

If you participate in OCC it will bless you more than you can even imagine.  Our small group actually chose to participate in this together and it has been overwhelmingly encouraging to see couples building boxes together and extending Jesus with such a simplistic step of faith.

Beauty all around with OCC.  

Consider joining us in this work?  Click here.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November Thankfulness

Just some particularly sweet things to be thankful for today:

New baby nephew Xander, freshly arrived to the world this week :)

Early morning wake ups 
  
Golden 6:38 am sun streams


Big stacks of books

Opportunities for Ryan at work

Humility and success at school

New Pinterest boards of inspiraiton and simplicity

Exactly 21 days to Thanksgiving jubilation!

Community

This article of truth

Autumn crispiness and holiday anticipations growing by the day!

Happy Thursday everyone!


Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful

Colassians 3:15

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Party!

We only had about 15 tricker-or-treaters which for our block is good!  One particularly lame costume was a high school girl with a sweater pulled over her face and she was obviously..."a sweater face".  Whatever the heck that means!  

I just give free candy out.  There were some ninjas and marines and princesses so that was better.

Our Halloween was SO fun!  16 lovely small group peeps filled our house for appetizers, drinks, games, and hanging out.  There were some crazy costumes that made us laugh like the electric outlet and pregnant nun.  O.M.G.  Loved it all.

What did you do?  Now that Halloween is over we're not too far off now from non-stop Christmas music and cozy Thanksgiving happenings :)  

Happy weekend!

Outlets and sketchy clergy!  These made me laugh.

Ryan was an African lion and I was Pippy Longstocking.  Ryan did my hair for me--legit right??

We had creepy green drinks...

...and put panty hose on our heads...

and oreos on our eyes...it was a fantastically fun night.  Such a blessing!


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