Saturday, October 30, 2010

Where are We?!?! Part 2

As a continued post to our last one, this will keep you all on the edge of your seat! These are pictures of our KAUST apartment! Honestly Saudi Arabia is way too good to us. All the furniture came with it and we love the size, color, EVERYTHING!! Included with our apartment was pans, silverware, dishes, couches, pretty pillows, IKEA furniture and everything else we could possibly need. We are in a great location as we are close to the smaller of the 2 grocery stores, right near the gym, 1/4 mile from the beach and walking distance to every coffee shop. We're blessed to call this place home for a bit longer!

The upstairs open loft and study where Carly does her classes everyday...

Our beautiful kitchen! Love the colors...

The enormous family room--our favorite room!!

Our Colorado Stairway-calender pictures are on the wall to remind us of home!

The dining room. The table has a turning 'lazy susan' that is AWESOME for serving dishes to every corner of the table at dinner time...

So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
2 Corinthians 5:9

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Where Are We?!?!

People are STILL asking us "How is Iraq?" and "What in the world are you doing in the desert?" Well #1 We aren't in Iraq fool we are in Saudi Arabia and #2 We wonder what we are doing here too...
So this post is to clarify where we are and what we are doing until 2011! We are in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia right on coast of the Red Sea. KAUST stands for King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. It is a graduate research institute that wants to develop Saudi Arabia's energy/technology resources as well as the world's. Ryan is on a full ride scholarship where he will eventually get a Master's degree in Environmental Engineering. Carly is finishing her bachelor's degree in psychology on-line while Ryan plays with water in the research labs. We are 100% safe and just a an hour or so drive from the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Here's the best part: KAUST is basically our sugar daddy for the next few months! High five Middle East!

A View of Campus:

"The Beacon of Wisdom" out in the Red Sea:

Campus Housing:

Campus Library and Research Center:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Peach, Plum, Apricot Crisp + Community

Here is one thing Saudi Arabia is really good for: developing sweet community! We have been beyond blessed to be surrounded by people here who have developed into friends and essentially family. Once a week there is a guy's night at one house and a girl's night at another. Following Arab culture and tradition, this makes sense to keep the men and women separate. The girls all come to our house and the guys head over to another house. We really enjoy this time of delicious dinner, good conversation and encouragement. It is rare that we ever eat a meal without a guest here. This is the dessert I made tonight that was a HUGE hit with all the ladies! We're excited to keep developing relationships with people in our remaining 2.5 months...

Peach, Plum, Apricot Crisp


* 4 1/2 cups sliced peaches
* 2 cups sliced plums
* 2 cups sliced apricots
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
* Cooking spray
* 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 3.4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup butter, melted
* 4 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream


1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; let stand 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Spoon fruit mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until bubbly.

4. Combine oats and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl. Drizzle with butter, stirring until crumbly. Sprinkle oat mixture over fruit. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and fruit is bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream.

"By yourself you're unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped."
Ecclesiastes 4:12

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Learning Guitar

The classy fellow seen below is actually a very talented musician believe it or not! He is absolutely brilliant at guitar and singing--he woos me daily with it! Ryan often leads worship for our small house church and really blesses people with this gift. I have always loved piano but seeing Ryan's passion for guitar and worship made me decide I needed to learn too! Here is my new favorite song to play (or attempt to play anyway)...

Unashamed Love

Verse 1
G ................................C
Your calling me to lay aside the worries of my day
To quiet down my busy mind and find a hiding place
Worthy, You are worthy

Of a childlike faith and of my honest praise
And of my unashamed love
Of a holy life and of my sacrifice
Em7 .........C
And of my unashamed love

Verse 2
I open up my heart and let my spirit worship Yours
I open up my mouth and let a song of praise come forth
G....C..... Em7...C
Worthy You are Worthy

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Garden Cake

I have found it!! A way to combine my love for baking into a healthy and 'good-for-you' snack. My favorite recipe book More Vegetables, Please! by Elson M. Haas and Patty James is AMAZING!! I use it most nights of the week. This recipe is full of veggies and YES it is delicious and will not disappoint. Promise! Here is the Garden Cake Recipe with my own adjustments:

1 cup organic applesauce
3 eggs (you can substitute 1/4 cup banana per egg if you like...I did!)
1/2 cup sugar (I substitute with 1/2 cup raw/unfiltered honey)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups whole wheat organic flour
2 tsp nonaluminum baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unpeeled and grated carrots
1 cup unpeeled and grated zucchini
1/2 cup unpeeled and grated beets (shocker!!)
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C). Grease a 9" X 13" pan.

In a large bowl, mix the applesauce, eggs, vanilla and sugar, beating well with a hand mixer or whisk for 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir into wet ingredients. Add shredded carrots, zucchini, beets, chocolate chips (optional), and walnuts. Stir until well blended and pour into prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Summer Flashback

Our short, wonderful summer in the U.S. in pictures...

Camping with our amazing friends, The Jetts and their very adventurous dog!

Botanical Gardens...everyone should visit this place!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


We went to Uganda in September after being invited by our friends Fred and Liz who are from there. We spent time with their church and families. The church, River of Life, is an amazing ministry with a heart for kids on the street, orphans, widows and the oppressed. Check out their website: We were blessed to spend 10 days with them. We fell in love with the country and everyone we met!

Ryan playing basketball with some of the guys

Hanging out at the school

Pastor Duncan and Ryan eating MASSIVE avocados!!

What we woke up to every morning!

Our amazing anti-malaria protection

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Month 3 in Saudi

Our 2nd post from Saudi Arabia! I (Carly) keep getting asked what it's like to be a woman living in the Middle East. The words challenging and frustrating come to mind. But so do exciting and adventurous!! Remembering to wear an abaya when I leave the campus, or not to shake some dude's hand after he just washed for the holy prayers is a new world for me. Ryan can attest that in my least grace-filled moment I silently cussed out a man or two who refused to shake my hand, simply because I am a woman! *loud sigh* Oh well, I know it's not me but simply a culture worlds away from the one I grew up in. On the bright side Saudi means I get to meet sweet people from every corner of the world: South Korea, Brazil, Canada and Nigeria to name a few. Plus I'm learning modesty on a WHOLE new level and embracing it to the fullest. This is where God has us and I rejoice to be in a desert!
If there was ever a more applicable verse than this I have yet to find it: "The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father's family, and go to the land that I will show you.'" Genesis 12:1
God called Abram from his home country Ur, which translates to mean "Usual Routine". We were definitely called out of our usual routine, away from what was comfortable and out of the mediocrity the world calls us to. W was blessed enough to know WHICH country I was headed to, but poor Abram just had to wander around until God felt like showing him. Poor sucker. Today we are rejoicing that our scandalous, amazing, outrageous God chose to take us to Saudi and shake up our life a bit.
Excited to post more pictures soon but for now here are a few of our apartment, new friends and the amazing view we get every night at 6:30 pm. Love from Saudi!


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