Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More of Christmas

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Well Christmas was not all about trains. Taylor got a fisher price digital camera from Chris and I. She's already taken over 200 photo's! It's so fun to see all these pictures from her level. She is still learning how to take a good picture. Most of them are fuzzy because she doesn't keep the camera still. But she has always loved taking pictures and we are excited for her to have a camera of her own to carry around. Trevor also got a really cool basketball hoop from the daukas grandparents. Him and daddy have had a lot of fun shooting hoops together.

We enjoyed our christmas festivities with both families, celebrating Christ's birth together and lots of good food!

Here are a few photo's. Looking back I wished we had taken more pictures. We took tons of video but not many pics. Here are a few of my favorites.

Rylee had the cutest dress on, compliments of nana. This picture doesn't totally do it justice. There were these white tights that had black shoes embroidered on them.


Rylee's stocking was as big as her!


Taylor got a cute apron that she can wear when she bakes with mommy from Uncle Keith & Aunt Carrie


Trevor and his new hoop!


Thanks to everyone for all the great gifts!! But more importantly we loved being with you all!

Trains, trains and more trains

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For the past six months Trevor has been obsessed with trains. I don't think obsessed is a strong enough word either. I get concerned at times but am assured that it is normal. I not sure when it began. Chris blames me because I went with a train theme for his bedroom. But I remember he began loving trains before he noticed his bedroom. I walked in one day to get him out of his crib after his nap and he was looking at his quilt hanging behind him and he pointed at the quilt and exclaimed "TRAIN". He had finally discovered the trains in his room. Which became a problem in my mind. I had all these little wooden trains that I used to decorate with and he'd beg for me to get them down. I even have a Trevor the steam train book that sits up on a self. He loves the book and wants to take it to bed with him. Well up until Christmas he only had a few small trains that he'd play with around the house. So for Christmas we decided to feed his obsession.

His first present he opened was thomas pj's. He insisted they be put on right away.


There he is with all his new "train" stuff.


At my parents house he got a train book and that was it he didn't want to open any more. He kept going to Ryan to have him read it to him.


His great- grandma and grandparents got him a train table and train set.



The obsession continues!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Prep & Bumbo seat

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Everyone getting ready for Christmas? I've been busy all week shopping, baking and cleaning. Rylee has spent a fair amount of time in her new bumbo seat:

It's a great invention. Something I didn't own with the other two. She loves sitting up and Trevor loves getting down on her level and playing with her. On thursday I spent the entire afternoon baking cookies, brownies, peppermint bark etc. and had Rylee in the bumbo seat in the kitchen. Trevor was on the ground entertaining her. I went on with my baking and before I knew it she looked like this:



What a sad look. Oh yeah and don't mind all the spit up on her.... I think she was traumatized by her brother. The joy of brothers!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Grateful

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Some elves have been at work in my house. I returned from the Singles Christmas banquet to a house full of blessings. And trust me I did not leave this place nice when I left. My house reflected the crazy week it's been. The other thing that has been neglected is food. So to return to a clean house, laundry put away, fun goodies on the counter, fresh fruit on the other counter and tomorrow nights dinner already on the fridge I am overwhelmed and grateful. Like it wasn't enough to watch my kids so I could go and be with Chris and the singles! Thank you friends!

It is weeks like this where I am humbled and realize I can't do things on my own . Not only do I need the Lord's help but he has put people in Chris and I's life to help us out as well. In my pride I am often slow to ask for it. So whether that's our friends who have helped us with discerning our hearts when we are discouraged, my parents who have been here pretty much daily to help with the kids, bring Chris swedish fish and a dinner for us all, my one sister in law taking the kids to McDonalds for lunch to give me a break and my other sister-in -law bringing over a well timed meal, also the many of you who have called and been praying, we have been blessed by you beyond measure this week. Thank you all for your prayers and support. You are a means of God's grace to us!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Sweet Moment

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We saw something in Taylor today that we had never seen before. Taylor has always been a sensitive girl. She's been known to drama and maybe going a little overboard with her emotions. She is passionate.

She knew today that daddy had to go to the dr for his face and wasn't feeling well. My mom had informed her as she brought her home from preschool for me. When she got home daddy was asleep. A few hours later when Chris walked out she saw him coming from behind and got excited. " Daddy" she exclaimed! Chris turned around and she took one look at the large bandage on his face and ran to him and openly wept as she threw her arms around him. She cried while hugging him for a few minutes and said I'm so sorry Daddy. It was the sweetest moment of genuine concern, love and care that we have seen from her yet. The moment of course left us all in tears.

Casting Cares

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It's been a long week in the Daukas household. This summer Chris hurt his wrist somehow and tore a ligament. He saw a specialist a few months ago and was referred to a top surgeon in AZ. He actually handles all the sports injuries for the Diamondbacks and Cardinals. He is the best but with the best comes a wait. Chris has been quietly living with the pain and last thursday the surgery was performed. Both of us admittedly didn't really factor in what the surgery would mean. In the busyness of the season it was just another date on the calendar. So when he came home with his right arm ( he is right handed) completely bandage up it started to sink in. He can't drive his car (because it's a stick), grill, change diapers, type (fast at least). It's been hard to button his shirts, discipline the kids, eat sandwiches etc. Now, if you know my husband you know that he has a huge servant's heart. It has grieved him this week that he has been unable to serve me in ways that he used to. He thinks of me, not how this affects him. I meanwhile think of me too. What can I say, it comes easy for me. Thankfully God quickly showed me my selfish heart... one circumstance he used was when I broke my toe tuesday night in the midst of complaining about the situation. I wish it stopped there but today Chris had some more surgery done. This time it was to remove skin cancer on his face. It was a long, complicated procedure and in the end he had received 20 shots on his face! He however continues to trust God and is casting his cares onto the Lord. What an example he is to me. Not only do I have an amazing leader for my family but one who is humble and focused on applying the Gospel! Thank you honey!

Please pray for him.

From Beside Still Waters:
Our prayer is, " Lord be my helper" (Ps. 30:10)
Our experience is, " The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses" (Rom 8:26)
Our expectation is, " I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth" (Ps. 121:1)
Our song will be, " You, Lord, have helped me and comforted me" ( Ps. 86:17)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

She can read!

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Something very exciting happened today. Taylor read her first word! I have these Bob Jones first reader books. She has known her letters and sounds for awhile now but has been unable to connect that knowledge to sounding out words. Well today on her own she picked a book up and brought it over to me. She sounded out one word and then proceeded to read a whole sentence! She was so proud of herself. You can tell it takes all the mental energy she has to figure out one word but in the end she gets it. As she was getting tired she would start to make up her own story. For example the sentence would be something like:

Ted is sad.

Taylor would read:

(struggling through) Ted is sad, then add confidently, because he wants a dog.

It was quite funny. I'm so proud of her and pray that she will come to love reading!

I Serve

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"The Very Motto of a Christian should be I Serve" Spurgeon

Often when I'm cooking or getting the house ready for hospitality Taylor will come up and ask " how can I serve you mommy?" Very sweet. Usually I'll tell her how and she'll run off joyfully and do what task I asked of her. The other day I was doing the dishes and she asked "mommy can I serve you?". I replied yes sweetie I would like for you to go clean up the kitchen bin in your room. She asked hestitantly "how else can I serve you?". I half chuckled and said "ask again when your done with the kitchen bin". I was reminded how often I come to the Lord thinking I'm ready for service. "Here I am Lord, ready to serve you!!" And usually the task I'm given isn't exactly what I had in mind. Nothing like the winter season to remind me of my selfish heart. The kids have been taking turns being sick. There have been alot of runny noses and runny other things. I have had to miss church two weeks in a row. I caught what they had and as my mommy friends know being sick doesn't mean you can take a day off. There have been cancellation of play dates with other friends and late nights up with the kids. Not exactly what I had in mind for "service". I'm thankful for God's grace and the reminder that he is served when I care for runny noses, when I'm up late at night with a crying toddler and that he will care for my soul when church is missed.

" As long as there is breath in our bodies, let us serve Christ. As long as we can think, as long as we can speak, as long as we can work, let us serve Christ" Spurgeon

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My Angel

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Last night was Taylor's christmas program at school. It was so cute! She's been singing her songs for two weeks all around the house so I was eager to see it all come together. Each kid was assigned a costume and Taylor was given the "part" of an angel. So appropriate huh? Anyways, she came home last week after preschool and told me that the teacher hadn't given her speaking part to her yet. That was news to me so I asked Taylor do you have one? She said yes I do. So the next day I asked the teacher about this so called speaking part. Her exact words " Oh no Taylor doesn't have a speaking part.... she thinks she does... but she doesn't." I laughed! Turns out she just really wanted a speaking part and thought she should have one. That gave us an opportunity to talk to her about her heart and wanting to be center of attention. ( Just like her dad... LOL... alright, alright... just like her mom) We helped her see that she has a chance to be excited for her friend who has a speaking part and encourage others with their parts. She responded well and did a great job singing her heart out last night. She took this program very seriously and was such a performer! During the performance it became a little more clear as to why she thought she had a part. There were two little girls who wore angel costumes and the other little girl was given a speaking part. However poor thing totally froze and just stared at everyone and walked away. Afterwards I turned to Chris and whispered in his ear " Taylor wouldn't have froze" Haha, like mother like daughter.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Rylee's first laugh

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Well this is my first attempt at a you tube video... Rylee has been giving my dad a few giggles for the past few weeks but on Saturday Grammy ( Chris' mom) got her to all out laugh for the first time. I was quick to get my camera and caught a few laughs on video! She has the cutest giggle! I guess she finds her grandparents pretty funny.

Listen closely in the beginning the video starts with her giggling.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Goodbye's and Hello's

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Last night we said goodbye to our friends :-( Our efforts to convince them to move to AZ failed. But I do hope and think they'll be back to visit again! It was a jam packed week! I think we all need a vacation to recover from the vacation... ever have that happen? Here's one last picture of the 11 of us:



In other breaking Daukas news.... Chris and I woke up to Trevor this morning walking into our room. He walked right in and said "Hi Mommy". Chris looks at me and says" Did you get him out?". "No, I've been sleeping next to you all morning", I replied. In walked Taylor and she informed us that Trevor walked into her room this morning and the two of them played for awhile and did who knows what else?(need I mention that he also apparently knows how to open doors) What did sweet Rylee do? She slept through it all while they played right next to her. I'm so thankful for at least one child who loves sleep as much as I do. So the day has come, it's been long coming, Trevor can officially climb out of his crib. Goodbye sweet, constraining crib, hello toddler bed! Oh God help us!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Beautiful Arizona

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Chris and I have had a lot of fun seeing Arizona with fresh eyes. The drive up to flagstaff was spectacular. God is truly a beautiful creator. We stopped in red rock Sedona, Arizona and then drove the scenic route up to Flag. Here are a few pictures of the mountains:





Here are few more pictures from our trip:





We are off to enjoy our last day with the Dustin's.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The trip continues

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The Dustin's visit continued today with some amazing fun at amazing Jakes. Our fearful daughter turned fearless continues to surprise us. She rode the teacups all by herself AND enjoyed it! Chris took her with the Dustins while I stayed home (napped) with Trevor & Rylee. Amazing Jakes is the perfect place for kids and the kid at heart. Today was family day at Amazing Jakes so there was only one cost for food, laser tag, bumper cars, goat cars, carousel, train ride, arcade games... the list continues. I told you this place was amazing!

Another cute picture of Rylee... aren't they all though :-)

Taylor and Hannah had a sleepover. They love being pretend sisters together!

Trevor really took to Jacob last night, Jacob even shared his gun with Trevor. I loved how the gun was almost as big as he was. Trevor didn't care he still carried it around!

Daddy and Taylor on the Carousel

Jacob and Hannah climbing the rock wall


Tonight, thanks to Sussy, we are getting a date out with Danny & Liz. That's right no kids! We are looking forward to having some uninterrupted conversation with them.

Tomorrow we'll all head up north to see Sedona, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon! More pictures to come.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Roasting & Dancing

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We are having lots of fun with our friends the Dustins. After church we took them to In-and-Out burger. We have built it up over the years and thankfully the cheeseburgers lived up to their fame. Last night we went to San Tan Flats. It's about a 45 minute drive south. The restaurant sits at the bottom of the San Tan Mountains. You can order food and sit outside around campfires while live country music plays. It gave the Dustin's a "real" taste of the western life! Heading back to our car we were able to look up at the clear sky and take in a breathtaking view of the stars.

Here are some pictures of our trip so far:
Taylor made this sign for the Dustin's. It hung on our door so it would be the first thing they'd see as they walked up

Here's Taylor & Ryan in the parking lot at San Tan Flat

They had a dance floor at San Tan Flats and my fearless daughter got the dancing started. She kind of surprised me because often she comes off shy in front of people. But not last night. She got out there and danced like there was no one else in the room. You can see that Trevor got right in and joined her.

Roasting marshmallows

The Clan.... Matt looks tired there in the back! Actually they all are looking tired :-)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Dustin's Are Coming!

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Our long awaited visitors are on their way!! The Daukas' met the Dustin's three years ago in August. Shortly after getting accepted into Pastor's College we found out that our host family would be the Dustin's. We were told from our contact person that this was the best setup they've seen for a PC student and boy were they right. The Dustin's gave us their basement but their basement was not much smaller than the 1400 sqft house we left behind. We had a room for Taylor, our own mini kitchen, living area, master bedroom area and bathroom. And that's just the house. Chris and I would've lived in any condition as long as we were with the Dustins. What an amazing family they are. And really the first family we meet and got to know within Sovereign Grace. They were Sovereign Grace Ministries to us. Chris and I were rare in the sense that he left his Pastoral position outside of Sovereign Grace and went straight to the Pastor's College. So living with Danny & Liz and there four kids, Matt, Jacob, Hannah & Ryan was a dream come true! Maybe not so much for them....boy do we have stories! Like when Chris defrosted their deep freezer with all there special buffalo meat, or when Chris left the gate open and their beloved family dog got out (twice). Notice how I said Chris :-) thankfully she returned and thankfully they let us continue to live with them! There were many late night games of Settlers of Catan drinking Chai Tea. Improtu meetings in their basement where they gave us counsel on parenting issues we were having with Taylor. They took us in as family and remain family to us today! So this is THE big trip. The Dustin's are coming to AZ. The hillbillies come west. Sorry guys no luscious green rolling hills here, just dirt and hay! We'll have fun nonetheless! I will post pictures throughout the week of our time together.

Here's Taylor and their three youngest during our stay at their home:

Happy 3 Months Rylee

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Well we have made it to the 90 day mark! It's hard to imagine life without Rylee. She continues to be mommy's sweetheart. She has fallen into a real nice eat, wake, sleep cycle. Taking three good naps during the day and sleeping 10hr stretches at night. All which I'm so thankful for. She will break out into smiles very easily and laughed for the first time this week. I'm excited to see her personailty grow in the next three months!

Here are a few shots I snapped this morning of her:




Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The funny thing is...

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The funny thing is I was going to post today about the blessing of having a clean home. I received a wonderful gift when Rylee was born. The gift of a housecleaning service. I have taken this gift very seriously. Thought a lot about when I could best utilize this gift and almost three months ago I settled on this week. I'm coming off of the women's conference. Where we hosted some guests in our home and due to my responsibilities for the conference, I was unable to keep up with the house for four days. The other reason why I chose this week is because in two days we have some more very, very special guests coming. So you can see why this was THE week to have help cleaning. Yesterday two gals came from Merry Maids and did a wonderful job of cleaning my home. It's been awhile since every room and bathroom was clean all at the same time. Now I knew it wouldn't last long, I expected to have to do some minor cleaning Friday before our guests arrive but I wasn't expecting this:

The source:

The Mastermind:

My new cleaning project:


Here's Taylor at Trevor's age... what can I say my kids like dumping boxes when I'm not watching!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sleek Mama

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No, that's not what people are calling me these days. It's the name of my friends company. I love her product so much that I just had to share it with the blogging world! She has saved my back from constant pain! All my kids have liked being held/carried. And while I'm not into spoiling and carrying them all the time, there are those moments when they just need to be held. For example grocery shopping. Now that I have three there is one in the front of the cart, one in the back and one on me. Or for example during worship. If I want to sit by my husband, I have to carry Rylee up to the front. There is no room for the stroller. And of course babies have a knack of wanting to be held the exact moment dinner needs to get started. With Taylor I used the baby bjorn. Loved it, but it killed my back! Then with Trevor I saw my friend Heather wearing this cool looking carrier at church. Come to find out she made it herself. She got so many requests from other moms to make them one that she ended up starting her own business. Heather makes very comfortable and stylish baby carries. Recently I've been using a sling she made me. Rylee loves to be in there! And it distributes the weight evenly so I no longer get backaches. So if you have a new baby and are in need of a carrier be sure to check out her website. You can pick out your own fabric, give her your measurements and she'll ship you your own customized baby carrier!

www.sleekmama.com

Here are a few pictures of my sling:






When they are more in the newborn stage you can put them in the sling so that they are completely cradled and no one sees their face but you. One day I wanted to capture what I saw when I looked down into the sling. I love this picture!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Time To Die

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This morning I read in Beside Still Waters by Spurgeon this entry:


His Eternal Glory:

Speaking about death and heaven he says, " Well, the body is to be changed. What alteration will it undergo? It will be fully developed. The dwarf will attain full stature. The blind will not be sightless in heaven. The lame will not limp, nor will the elderly tremble. The deaf will hear and the mute will sing God's praises. We will carry none of our deficiencies or infirmities to heaven. There, we will never know an aching brow, a weak knee or a failing eye. "The inhabitant will not say " I am sick" (Is. 33:24). We will have a body that is incapable of any kind of suffering. No heart failure, no depression, no aching limbs, no lethargic soul will worry us there. We will be perfectly delivered from every evil of that kind. Our bodies will be immortal. Our risen bodies will not be capable of decay, much less death. There are no graves in glory."


Next to spending eternity in Heaven worshiping my Saviour face to face, I look forward to this day. The day when the body will know longer know sickness or sin. I think of my mom who has suffered many years with chronic illnesses. And although earthly medicine can sometimes take away pain or temporarily fix her body it will know sickness until her day of Glory. I think of my friend Melinda who in the past five years has suffered through breast cancer and now leukemia. I think of my friend Jenni and her son Chase, who died Monday four hours after birth. Who although was born with deficiencies and infirmities is now in heaven perfectly complete in the arms of his Heavenly father. I highly encourage you to read their amazing eternal perspective here). What a great God we serve who does not leave us hopeless in our sinful states or in our decaying bodies!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Can be dangerous

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It can be a dangerous thing having only sisters! We got to get this boy a brother! One day....not anytime soon.... Please Lord :-) It's so funny the things Trevor will get into. He'll come out with Taylor's pretend lipstick, acting like he's putting it on. Most often he'll wear one of her necklaces she has around. But the tutu was just too much- I think that's wear Chris will draw the line!

Sister Love

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Rylee has had a few bottles in her life. All given by nana. It has been Taylor's dream to feed Rylee a bottle. Today nana came over and Rylee was taking it so well that she gave Taylor a turn. Rylee just stared at Taylor and smiled up at her. It's was a very sweet image!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Harvest Party

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Yesterday was an eventful day. Taylor's preschool had a harvest festival. There was a petting zoo, a train ride, a costume parade and tons of crafts. Thanks to my good friend Lory, who chased Trevor around the grounds, I was able to enjoy the morning with Taylor. Then last night we dressed the kids up and took them trick or treating. We did our street with a couple neighborhood families that Chris and I have been witnessing to and then meet up later with some friends from church. Trevor was so funny! He got the hang of what he needed to do to get candy real quick. He'd walk up to the door and say "Candy please" then they give him a piece and he'd say "more" to which they'd usually reply oh how cute and give him more. Than he'd say "ank you" and run, fast, to the next house. It was great to watch. Here are some pictures from the night.

Chris, as I've mentioned before, is a huge bears fan. He believes this is the year they'll go all the way! So as a way to honor and bless my husband I dressed the kids up as bears fans! Even Rylee was wearing orange!





Taylor and the neighbor girls

Here's cousin Toby and our friend Abby... you don't know what a miracle it is that Trevor stood still long enough to snap a picture!