Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jack O Lanterns

Ryan didn't grow up celebrating Halloween.  He claims it's because his family didn't like to celebrate "the devil's birthday".  Haha!  His mom refutes that statement.

Either way, we love to laugh about it now and we live up Halloween because it is SUCH a fun holiday to live in community, have fun, and eat some yummy food.  

And carve pumpkins!!

On Saturday we had Hannah and Daniel over to carve up some home grown pumpkins, eat breakfast for dinner, and just hang out together!

Daniel didn't celebrate Halloween either growing up and this was his FIRST ever pumpkin carving experience.  He did an owl which was very skilled.  He did a great job,

You can't see in this picture but Hannah is preggo and due in January with their first baby and we are SOOOO pumped for them!!

A little blurry photo but there we are!

Husband carving up his pumpkin

Ryan's pumpkin: can you guess what it is?  A minion.  So cute right!!

My traditional jack o lantern--kept it simple this year!

Happy Halloween!  We will be eating loaded chili dogs and making caramel apples.  And hoping for a few trick-or-treaters too!

...who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Titus 2:14

Sunday, October 26, 2014


A little fall family picture

October has been full!  Here's what we've been up to lately:

-Ryan just went to a local Great Comebacks event for the new 2014 west region winner!  I was of course at home sick (see below) but he was reunited with his favorite person Rolf Benerischke and met the new winner, Perry.  They all went to dinner after the ceremony and it sounded like a very meaningful event.

-I (Carly) have been mega sick for about two weeks straight.  No, Anna Decker, I am NOT preggo :)  I had a cold for awhile, then got hit with the flu earlier this week which has really been terrible.  Something about clinicals with sick kids and working with sick kids means my immune system gets knocked out!! 

Graduation in 7 months.  Enough said.

-I am in week 4 of 11 in quarter 5 at school. We're studying pediatrics and OB (not a personal favorite of mine) and I'm filling my brain to the brim with new info.

-Matt and Katie had their last of three receptions in Colorado last weekend.  We have been so blessed to celebrate them all over the country and this time it was just a short 10 minute drive away!

Friday night we went to a KAUST reunion with six other couples.  They were all in town for the reception and it was a major blessing to see some faces we hadn't seen for about 4 years and relive KAUST memories!  We grilled out, caught up, and were in awe of where God has continued to move and work in all of our lives across the globe.

Matt & Katie vs. Ryan and Chris (Matt's brother) in some crazy lawn game

 Saturday for the actual reception the Bolts set up a Pinterest-worthy chili bar and served homemade apple cake and chocolate pie.  I love southern people!  Sunday we went with another couple from KAUST, Kyle and Bridgette plus some of Matt's family and went rock climbing that afternoon.  It was the most relaxing, filling weekend that was MUCH NEEDED!

This is Aiden, Matt's nephew who is a STUD of a rock climber.  He loved it.

-Last but not least here is Grumples in a bow tie.  Stud.

We had professional family photos done this morning in Golden.  It was perfect!  Lots of leaves, Clear Creek, and two doodles who were very well behaved and patient.

You are so handsome my little Grumps

So that's a little snapshot of our lives lately-some little details I want to reflect on later and not forget what made our weeks tick when I look back in the future.

This should be a glorious week as we celebrate my father-in-law's birthday, I have two days off from school, and we are hosting a Halloween/Birthday party at our house on Friday!!  Have a happy week :)

joyful heart is good medicine...

Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Last Harvest

This mid October Saturday was the last harvest for our little garden.

Eight pumpkins, four dozen roma tomatoes, bundles and bundles of rosemary, and a few little sweet little potatoes were the last of the goodies.

Beautiful still covered in dirt!  Anticipating carving these orange beauties next weekend.

Some were not so ready to be picked but it made for gorgeous picture taking

The beds were weeded, pruned, tilled, and cleaned.  Now just to fertilize to make way for next year's planting.  Happy fall! 

...And be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Q Commons

We had the incredible opportunity to attend Q Commons last week.  Q's mission is to advance the common good of a city by engaging faith and culture through guest speakers and lectures.

Ryan's work invited us and it was an absolute gift to be there.

 About 100 other Jesus seekers who have a heart for Denver all met to watch the live broadcast of the sessions and then begin conversations that hopefully expand past our evening together. 

Topics included Christians makings culture with Tim Keller, the virtue of gratitude from Ann Voskamp (favorite!!), Shauna Lott of the local The Long I Pie inspiring through her business' commitment to giving at risk youth a first chance at employment, and other legit local faith leaders.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the evening that have me still processing and stirring:

To think is to thank.  When we don't give thanks to God, it may be that we don't think enough of Him.
-Ann Voskamp

The people known by gratitude are the ones who can make God known
-Ann Voskamp

If you do anything, you make culture.
-Tim Keller

Christians unavoidably make culture, but will they do it well?
-Tim Keller


After watching the live streams we heard from the local speaks and in between discussed and shared opinions, action steps, and ideas.  Grateful for the ways we were challenged and stretched as well as encouraged and lit up for Denver and what God is up to here.

We are waiting expectantly for February for the next Q Commons.  God is moving!

For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.

Hebrews 13:14

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chicken Spaghetti Deliciousness!!

I think the last real recipe I posted was of pumpkin bread in 2012.  It's been awhile!

My friend Katie taught me how to make this amazing chicken spaghetti recipe and I needed to share it here.  This meal will blow your mind!  It's super flavorful and a crowd pleaser-literally everyone loves it.  

Unless they hate tomatoes, or chicken, or happiness.

We made this for her in-laws when we were in Texas and it was a hit.  Today it's our dinner on this rainy day which is a very good life choice :)

Chicken Spaghetti

1/2 onion
4-5 cloves garlic
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Handful fresh basil
Approximately 24 roma tomatoes
3 cooked chicken thighs (I've used breasts too though)
Salt and pepper to taste

All from our garden minus the garlic.  The fresher the better!

Start by boiling or sauteeing your chicken in a seprate pan as this will take about 10 minutes.  Dice up the 1/2 onion along with the garlic cloves.  Saute both in a hot pan in 1 tbsp of olive oil until translusent.

Turn the heat down to medium-low so they don't brown as you prepare the next steps.  Begin adding the diced roma tomatoes.  I cut them up as I go, but you could have them all diced up beforehand.  Once you add the tomatoes, finely chop the basil and rosemary and add to the mix.  Stir well and turn the heat back up to medium so everything is simmering.

Now dice up the chicken into bite size pieces and toss in.  Let everything simmer together for an hour.  Secret: the longer it simmers, the better it tastes later on!  Pour over pasta of choice.  We eat ours along side a big tossed salad and garlic bread.  Yum :)

P.S.  This could totally be vegetarian, just sub the chicken with veggies of choice-maybe zucchini and red pepper. 

The finished product!  It smells amazing and makes your whole house smell delicious 

Hope you make it and love it!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Whiskey Disc Champions!

I've mentioned before that Ryan's plays Ultimate Frisbee and is crazy about it!  He was captain of his college team and has kept at it on rec teams over the years. 

 He says it's how he stays in shape so he's healthy when he's an "old man dad" haha  NO babies on the way, but the dude is just preparing apparently.

Their league had the championship tournament today and Ryan's team DOMINATED!!  They came in 1st and were so stoked.

It was fun to watch Ryan interact with and love on his teammates, share his wisdom, encourage, learn, show off his awesome throws and run to the point of exhaustion (which he loved!).  So proud of him and his team, the Whiskey Discs!

Phew, he was tired!!

Ryan in action and looking studly

Serious shot of the champions

A little more realistic of who they REALLY are-this group is wild!

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Halloween Cookies w/ Rilyn

On Sunday night Ryan and I headed down to Castle Rock to hang out with his family.  We bought four bushels of roasted green chiles to clean and bag as a gift to his mom.  You buy the chiles on Federal (sketchy main street in Denver) and they roast them fresh in front of you, but that means you have to also clean the burned skins off and clean out the seeds at home so they can be eaten.

 My MIL loves to cook and can with them so it was a fun afternoon hanging out and working.  Fresh green chile casserole is our new favorite way to enjoy them!

Some of Ryan's siblings came for dinner too and we had a VERY fun night together.  We brought Ryder some toy trucks we came across recently and so of course had to get Rilyn a little surprise too.

We decided on pull apart and bake sugar cookies with Halloween prints on them.  

Spooky black cats and little jack o' lanterns!

I have to say, it was a hit!  I got some aunt/niece time with my sweet girl and Ryan played trucks with Ryder.  

Also, these were SO not cookies to decorate but that inventive, creative little niece of ours decided all colored sprinkles were necessary :)  

This is her masterpiece...

Little girl LOVES her some sprinkles.  At one point I said, "Rilyn, please don't drink the sprinkles!

#37 on the list of things I never thought I would say to a little kid someday, haha

She was so proud and happily watched each person force down enjoy their sprinkley creation!

Happy early Halloween fun, everyone!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Late Night and Good Mornings

We went to the Alamo Drafthosue last night to see The Mazerunner and it was FANTASTIC!  Highly reommend the movie and the experience.  You show up 30 minutes early and can order dinner and snacks from your theatre seats.  So fun!

I had prosciutto spinach pizza and a cookie milkshake and Ryan ordered a burger, fries and a peanut butter chocolate milkshake.  Plus we had a Groupon so it made for a very affordable and unique date.

Did I mention the movie started at almost 11:00 pm?!  Ryan kept saying how rebellious he felt and I was like, "Husband, this is what 25 and 28 year olds without kids can do!" HA!

Anyway, Ryan Decker is still fast asleep from his "wild" late night so on this unusually warm 64 degree October morning it was a gift to sit on the back porch, watch the puppies explore the yard, enjoy the comfortable temperature and sip coffee (the BEST coffee in the world).

Yo, just chillin with my squeaky toy

Red rocking chairs still around the fire pit from our friend fall gathering last week

Poppy looks awfully suspicious in this picture..."Waddya want mom?"

PUMPKINS!!!  Post frost last week plus two wild doodle chewers, I officially have 7 legit pumpkins left.

Nothing says fall like book wreaths and chinese lanterns

 I'll be back later with updates about starting quarter 5 tomorrow which includes my pediatric and OB classes and clinicals. Very excited!

We are getting family pictures done on Sunday by our friends at the talented Chasen Grace studio.  Grumps gets a yellow bow tie and Pops gets a yellow flower for their collars ::squeal::

 As for Ryan, he has Remicade on Monday which always knocks him out for the night so prayers for his health please!  And he has an ultimate frisbee tournament on Saturday--he is pumped!

Have a wonderful, refreshing week everyone!

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;
Isaiah 55:6

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Thriving in the Busy

At my school there is a notorious rumor that quarter 4 is nearly impossible.  The hardest, most frustrating, most time consuming, hardest quarter.  And I quickly learned over the last 11 weeks that the rumors were TRUE!

While July through mid-September was fairly rough on us we also found a few ways to thrive and I am proud of us for that.  

Here is what worked for us in a wild season :)

1.  Daily texts and phone calls.  
Throughout the day we were super intentional about texting to say hi, uplifting each other with a quick verse, or just spending our lunch breaks catching up.

It really added up at the end of the week that we were intentional with a few minutes each day.

2.  Laundry one day a week
It's crazy that we have enough clothes to get us through an entire week without even needing to do laundry but we do!  Our rule in the crazy times (and even now) was Sunday evening was laundry time.  

We would watch a show together and on commercials fold or put away laundry a few loads.  It was/is perfection.

3.  Separate laundry
We both know how to run the washing machine so it's not that we did our own laundry; I just divided it up by person to hasten the folding and putting away process.  

If one person's laundry went in, it all came back out.  No more missing socks, dividing up the clothes and running between two closets.  This is simplicity at it's finest.

4.  Costco
Twice a week we have a "Costco dinner".  We make a bulk trip to the blessed store of Costco one per month and bought at least eight freezer meals (2/week).  Lasagna, microwave healthy choice dinners, burritos, and quinoa bowls were favorites around here.  

Fast, no prep, and easily prepared after a busy day = two happy, fed, non-stressed Deckers

5.  10 minute timer
Ry and I have each committed in our busy seasons to complete 10 minutes of clean up or chores a day.  No more, no less.

We each take the initiative to set the timer on the microwave to 10 minutes and clean up one area of the house or complete one chore before the buzzer sounds.  You can accomplish SO much in that tiny little window--plus it's not an overwhelmingly goal and we can realistically do it each day.

6. Letting go
I used to (and would still love to) vacuum and mop several times a week.  I LOVE a clean house because I feel like we can really rest when our environment is peaceful.  But alas, no one can do it all.  
So in the busiest of times, I have let our floors get muddy from two puppies, we have eaten straight out of a pan because the dishes were dirty, and sometimes our home is messy. 


It is all ok if we are ultimately healthy, fed, and dressed!

Small ways to manage our lives still leaves us sane to go out to dinner!

With my parents!  We had Texas Roadhouse and it was delish

We hope these little tips help you and encourage you that you don't have to do it all. 

 Just set up a few goals like "We will wear clothes we usually ignore in an effort to cut down on daily laundry"  or  "Instead of a homemade meal that takes an hour tonight, I will microwave a healthy-ish meal that takes 3 minutes."

Enjoy the busy seasons too and pray for strength to thrive!

She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:27


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