Thursday, March 1, 2012

The silence breaks!!!  We are still alive and well and we have been hanging in hammocks as of late.  Here is a clip from our micro-adventure this past Sunday.  A near-by park, two hammocks, two Eleys and one big mug of hot chocolate :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Eley House Roasting

So Laura and I have been doing some research recently on how we could roast our own coffee at home.  The first thing we realized was that we don't have to buy a $500+ coffee roaster, which means that it was actually a financial possibility for us to dive in head first to home roasting.  We were relieved to find out we had the option to buy a $15 air popcorn popper or a $20 stove top popcorn popper.  Being more of a fan of the drum roasted coffees I have had rather than the air roasted coffees we got the stove top popper and started learning more about coffees, roasts and suppliers. is the website for a coffee shop and roasting company out of Oakland, CA.  They are a wealth of information on home roasting.  They have a YouTube channel that covers the look of the coffee bean at different stages of roasting, the sound it makes during roasting and many other useful topics.  One their website you can learn more about the stages of roasting and about their wide variety of coffees that you can roast.

Being excited and a little impatient I looked around the Springs to see if we could get unroasted coffee. So I found a place Friday and Saturday morning Laura and I headed out to pick it up and begin our roasting career :)
Unroasted Columbian coffee beans

Here is what the process looked like...

We ended up doing two roughly half pound batches.  I was a little gun shy on the first one and erred on the side of caution and pulled it right when the second crack started to make sure I didn't burn it.  That caution ended up with a roast that is roughly a Full City or a Full City+ roast.

When I went to make the second batch I felt a little more comfortable so I knew how much smoke to expect and how dark the beans will look in the pot compared to how dark they will look out in the light so we went for a darker roast.  This batch ended up being roughly a Vienna or Light French Roast

Now we just have to let it rest for a day to let the full flavor develop and allow all of the CO2 to release :)  We will report back with the taste test ASAP

Friday, November 4, 2011

What we have done recently

Here is some footage that finally got put together.  Aspen leaves changing, coffee on a camping stove, picture taking, hammocks and a drive through snowy mountains :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Update on the Eleys' life

Here is a long over due update on things that have happened since the wedding. We had asked some people to be praying for some of these and have yet to get back to them but we figure everybody can rejoice with us about these things with us now.

  • Safe travels to CO- We had a couple hiccups on the way out here but nothing to change our schedule too bad. We were blessed by the generosity of family and friends through the wedding to have the funds to make the trip as comfortable as possible with good meals, coffee stops, and comfortable hotel rooms for our two nights on the road. When we arrived in CO our friend let us stay her until we fot our feet on the ground and found a place to stay while another friend let us store our things in his apartment until we moved in.

  • Getting jobs- We had a little over a week out here to rest up and get settled before I got a full time, salary job with benefits. Soon after that Laura transferred her part time job from back home. This helped the financial cushion and kept us both busy through the day. The week after we moved into our apartment Laura landed a full time job where she was working allowing her to work more and use some of her HR training in her new management position. This past week we found out that Laura is the top performing Leader on Duty in the whole district! We still don't exactly know why we are here but good things are happening so we are continuing to move forward.

  • Finding a place to live- We were looking at apartments for the better part of a month. Laura did the majority of the leg work in finding the complexes to look at. After searching and looking at a lot of places that we really weren't excited about we found a small 1BR+1BA apartment on the north side of town. It is the perfect size for us at this point and Laura has done a great job at making it comfortable and very "us" :)

  • Finding furniture- While Laura was working part time she was milking Craigslist for all it was worth, and it paid off! Not only were we able to get furniture that is good quality that we really like but after all was said and done we saved roughly 50% compared to buying all of our furniture new. Laura even found the same sofa that she really wanted from the furniture store on Craigslist and we ended up getting the sofa with matching chair and ottoman for about the same cost as the sofa would have been brand new. She's a keeper :)

  • Strong marriage- Marriage has been wonderful. We certainly have had times when we've looked at each other and asked "what were we thinking?" but so many things have proved that this is where the Lord has us for this time. We have both been faced with the ugly sides of ourselves at times. In those times the Lord has given us grace to be humble when faced with ourselves and grace to handle the other person with compassion. We have experienced honesty and openess in communication that has made coming together to function as one a beautiful thing. A variety of things have raised their head at different times, but we've learned first hand that those things can either come between you or they can push you together. I am grateful that Laura and I have stayed committed to pulling together and not allowing things to come between us. Functioning as one and not leaving any negative emotion on the table at night have shown how essential those pieces of wisdom are.

  • Finding a church- After a long, and often discouraging church hunting experience we finally found a church to settle into. Woodmen Valley Chapel is one of the larger churches in the area but it has everything we have been looking for in a church. They value excellence and do a phenomenal job with their media, classes, communication, teaching and with their worship. They are a contemporary church that steers clear of putting on a concert. Their music is done well enough that is is not distracting but rather engaging and facilitating of worship. AND, on top of it all, the head teaching pastor is committed to the doctrines of grace, something that was very important to both Laura and I as we were looking for a church. So grateful to have a church to call home.

  • Finding community- The week after our first visit to Woodmen Valley Chapel they were starting their 3 week Small Group Launch class so we joined in. That class has turned into a wonderful group of young married couples that we are meeting with weekly and has been such a comfort to be able to look for faces at church on Sunday morning and have a list of phone numbers to call if we want to do anything with someone else. We have already been challenged and encouraged by these wonderful people and we are looking forward to growing with them.
Lots of great stuff going on out here. Thanks to everybody who has been praying for us. We just want you to know that so many prayers have been answered already.

Fall Favorites in the Eley House

This is an Eley family tradition that I always remember and it is one that we will continue on for as long as there is apple cider :)  Here is the recipe for our family's spiced cider.

First you will need: 
4 cups apple cider
1/2 orange 
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger 
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

First pour the cider in a small sauce pan and then zest the 1/2 orange with a normal peeler or zester/microplane if you have one. Then throw the zest in the pan, cut the orange in half, squeeze the juice in the cider and throw in the orange.
Next get your cinnamon sticks and cloves and throw them in the pan along with the nutmeg and ginger.
Let it simmer for a little while to make your house smell good and then enjoy a hot cup right then or store it in a pitcher to warm up quickly later.  If you put it in a pitcher, be sure to stir or shake it so you get all of the flavors before you pour a cup.

Next food post will be about our homemade granola :)

Sorry the photography is a little rough. Low light and a shallow depth of field makes for tough shooting.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

No wife at home :(

Things I have realized since Laura has been out of town...

  1. Coming home is not nearly as exciting when your aren't coming home to someone.
  2. Making the bed is a pain in the butt by yourself.
  3. I have missed bumping each other while we get ready for work.
  4. Even if I do a lot of the things that I really enjoy in one day I still wish Laura was with me.
  5. I have almost mastered the pillow chop when I make the bed.
  6. I have become a much more tidy person since May.
  7. I have gotten used to splitting a french press in the morning and have wasted a half of a press each day I have been home alone.
  8. Skype is great but is no substitute for being with somebody.
  9. A half empty bed is an uncomfortable bed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Husband List

As a husband I have learned to make a regular habit to…
…always give attention to emotion, no matter how you feel or how little energy you have.  Don’t stop at being reactive to emotion but work to be proactive to emotion, thinking about how something could cause emotion to arise in your wife.
…always look for a way to serve your wife.  Both big and small acts of service are appreciated.
…learn what means a lot to your wife and deliver on it.
…tell her what you appreciate about her, both character traits and actions.
…take her on a date, she IS still your girlfriend too you know J
…pursue unity, do not allow distance to creep in.
I used to believe that distance came by neglect to a mentionable degree or by one actively pursuing distance or one choosing not to go with the other.  Establishing and maintaining unity is more like driving a car that is out of alignment.  If you aren’t intentional about staying between the lines the car will drift away, even if you don’t mean to.  We live, and are married, in a fallen world and all things that are good have an inclination to disaster since the fall.  That means it takes work.
…not go to sleep with any negative emotions regardless of whether they are isolated to one of you or they are mutual or between you, you are now one so now emotion belongs to both of you.  Talk them through right then, always yielding to the one that needs some time before talking things through.  You will sleep better and it continues to foster unity and intimacy.
…kiss her.
…touch her.
…affirm what she does.  She needs to know that what she does means something to you and that it is significant.  That extends from her work to decorating and cleaning, it all matters.
…pay attention to detail and be intentional. 
Wear clothes that she likes to see you in.  Ask her to wear a particular outfit if you are going out for a meal or out on a date.  Be open to other suggestions J Know what her favorite flower is.  Know how she likes her coffee.  Know something that she specifically likes and ask her if you can do that together sometime.
…BE A STUDENT OF YOUR WIFE.  You will never finish the course but it is a fascinating class J
…deliver truth in love.  Never let things that need to be addressed go without being addressed.  I am to assume the leadership role so this is my initiative.  Never succumb to the “just say ’yes dear’” or “happy wife, happy life” mentality.  Calling things as they are may bring uncomfortable situations but it brings unity, better times and catalyzes humility.
…pursue compliment.  You do not become the same person upon becoming one but rather you become one higher functioning unit.  Discuss strengths and weaknesses and partner together in them.  Rather than dividing tasks according to each person’s strengths, it is best if one person assumes the leadership in tasks they are strong in and the other should follow, learn, and be involved. Through this involvement conversations will arise from the topic and issues can be discussed.  This ranges from finances to cooking and cleaning.