Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fun With The Suns

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For Christmas Chris & I received four tickets to the Suns game last night. Not just any kind of ticket either. Our seats were in the sixth row! We shared the wealth my brother Ryan and his wife Danae.

It was a great game. Much closer than it should've been considering who they were playing. But in typical suns fashion it came down to the last few minutes.



There was this referee last night that was just horrible. Not only was he making awful calls but he called a foul against the clippers with 1.8 seconds left. The suns at this point were up by 8 or 10 so it was just a crazy time to call a foul. You could see a few of the players mouthing, "there's only 1.8 seconds left!" Anyway Ryan had no problem yelling at the referee. And really you have to when your in the sixth row :-) I wonder how Danae felt about this...



Ryan actually had us laughing a couple of times. We had the most annoying fans sitting in the row behind us and a few seats over. I don't want to sound mean but there really is no other way to describe them. Not Suns fans either, clipper fans. College aged, girl clipper fans, with the high piercing screams and all. They yelled at everything! From the beginning of the game all the way to the end. At one point Ryan turns to us and said, "They do realize who it is there cheering for right? It's the CLIPPERS, they've done nothing all year." That's probably one of those, you have to be there to think it's funny, but it had us laughing! And hey we won after all... they weren't yelling then :-) Thanks twentyfour:seven creative team for great gift!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Birth of a Savior, The Death of a Saint

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1 Corinthians 15:12-23

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

These verses have brought me so much comfort this past week. Chris and I were up late talking last week and I was sharing with him some of the struggles I have related to death. I made the comment about how everything I believe and put my faith into is in God's word. Which is kind of a no duh I realize but particularly when a loved one passes the only comfort I have is in God's word and I wouldn't know what to do if it wasn't true. Chris took me to 1 Corinthians and read the above verses to me. See the Corinthians struggled with the resurrection of the dead so Paul made it very clear that IN FACT Christ has been raised from the dead and those in him will be as well. Those three words, but in fact, comfort my anxious heart. I can know for a fact that Christ was raised from the dead, not just as a spirit but body as well and that I too with my loved ones who believe in the Gospel will also be raised again with him!

A few days later our Sr. Pastor preached the most amazing
sermon from these verses on Sunday morning entitled, The Birth of a Savior and The Death of a Saint. It was by far the most impactful message I've heard on death and Heaven! I sat in the front row with Chris and cried through the entire thing. I'm sure that was encouraging for Rich :-)

Yesterday was Joneen's memorial service. Chris and I had the honor of playing music. As I stood up there playing piano while people walked in, I was well aware of the impact she had on so many. At one point I looked back and there were probably at least a hundred people in line waiting to get in. I realized I better start finding some new songs to play because it could be awhile before everyone found a seat! Someone pointed this out to my dad yesterday and I couldn't agree more. See 25 years ago Joneen quit her job as a nurse and became a wife and stay at home mother. I know I can often be tempted to think how staying at home with my three can make an impact in the kingdom. Well I saw yesterday how it could. Joneen was a faithful mother to three, served her church with passion and without reservation for 25 years and on the day of her memorial hundreds and hundreds of people piled in to thank God for the gift of her life! Oh I pray that my life could have that same kind of impact on others. I pray that my children would be sitting there at my memorial service as believers in the Lord with their Christians husbands (or wife in Trev's case) leading their families in the way of the Lord. And by God's grace alone he will use me to make his will come to pass.

It has been a sobering week indeed.

Chris and I closed the service singing Happy Day. I know what your thinking, you did what? That was my first thought but it was what was requested of us and one of Joneen's favorites. Once the time came for the song I thought it was so appropriate to rejoice in the fact that she was with her Savior face to face because he washed her sins away! Here are the words to the song by Tim Hughes.

The greatest day in history, Death is beaten
You have rescued me
Sing it out Jesus is alive
The empty cross, The empty grave
Life eternal You have won the day
Shout it out Jesus is alive
He's alive

Oh happy day, happy day
You washed my sin away
Oh happy day, happy day
I'll never be the same
Forever I am changed

When I stand, in that place
Free at last, meeting face to face
I am Yours Jesus You are mine
Endless joy, perfect peace
Earthly pain finally will cease
Celebrate Jesus is alive
He's alive




Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

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I hope everyone has a wonderful day celebrating the birth of our Savior! Thank you Lord for coming to the earth to die in my place for my sins. The gospel is truly the greatest gift I could ever receive.

Here's the picture on our Christmas card. If you find our card on your friends refrigerator but not yours don't take it personally. More than likely it's still sitting with the big stack on my counter! With the events of the last week Christmas cards were one of the things that I just had to let go. So look for it in the mail in the new year :-)


Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

When it Rains it Pours

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Styrofoam pieces that is. My kids have had a hard time getting their hands around what was happening this week. Pretty much since Monday night they have had non-stop babysitters. And when I was home, I was getting ready for the next babysitter. So it's early Thursday morning and Chris gets a phone call and goes back to our bedroom. I eventually follow him in. We both come out crying and quickly getting ready to go to the hospital again and walk out to this:

video







If you've never had the privilege of trying to pick up tiny Styrofoam pieces- it's near impossible. It's full of static so every time I'd sweep it would just blow around in circles. For the kids to clean up the only way was to throw them in the bath... to which there's still some in there. Thankfully my vacuum's suction part took care of the rest. We are still finding random pieces here and there and probably will for awhile. But hey at least the kids can say they saw snow this winter!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hope of Heaven

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A dear family friend, also being my brother's mother in law, went to be with the Lord yesterday. The hope of heaven once again becomes something real and greatly anticipated. Pray for the family.

"Think, Christian believer, of seeing your Savior, and beholding your King in His beauty. Faith will be at last swallowed up in sight and hope in certainty. Think of the many loved ones gone before you and of the happy meeting between you and them. You are not going to a foreign country; you are going home. You are not going to dwell amongst strangers, but amongst friends. You will find them all safe, all well, all ready to greet you, all prepared to join in one unbroken song of praise. Then let us take comfort and persevere. With such prospects before us, we may well cry, “It is worth while to be a Christian!” JC Ryle

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday Fun

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Friday night my parents and I took the kids to the holiday kickoff at Scottsdale's McCormick train park. Chris had a work obligation so I talked my parents into going there with us. Upon arrival there was a live band playing Christmas music, then we counted down from 10 and the Christmas tree was lit. As we were admiring the tree the train came around the corner with Santa, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Clifford, Barney etc. and they all got off to greet the kids. You would've thought we were at Disneyland with how excited Taylor and Trevor were! At that point my dad graciously stood in line for almost an hour for the train while the kids played around the area. Finally it was our turn to take a ride. I have to say I was quite impressed by the light display! At one point as you come out of the tunnel you were greeted by snow (by a machine of course, this is the desert). So far it's become one of my favorite things to do this Christmas. For you locals I thought it was up there with Zoo lights but much cheaper! As we rode the train throughout the spectacular light display Taylor sat by nana and squealed over and over with delight, Trevor rode with his eyes wide and Rylee was bundled up in a blanket in Papa's arms. It was a sweet moment. Here's some pictures from the night.


My Aunt Susan and her grandaughter (the kids 2nd cousin) met us there





Thank you so much Dad & Mom for making this night possible!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Just had to join in the elfin fun

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My three elves

Jon Troast- Taylor's First Concert

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Last night Taylor went to her first concert. We took her to see the man who sings her favorite song, Was It Ever Really Mine. Jon Troast came to the Lambros house and sang in their living room. No joke! We stumbled upon Jon's music from our friend Luz this summer and have been listening to him ever since. He has a great sound and writes wonderful creative lyrics. I can now also say he sounds just as good live as he does on recording.

When I told Taylor yesterday where I was taking her, after her excitement died down, she asked if she could bring her money. I said sure and asked her why? She replied, you know to put a dollar in his jar. Too cute. Well sure enough while he played her favorite song she got the dollar out and when he was done she brought it over to Sussy who was collecting money earlier for admission. I don't know where she got that from!

Thanks Luz and Andrea for making this happen and thanks Jon Troast for coming out to rainy AZ. I look forward to the new cd's coming out in the spring.

You can read a little more about Jon and hear some songs at www.jontroast.com.

**image taken from Jon's website

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Taylor's Cottage Fair

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Last night was an open house at Taylor's school. My parents came along at the last
minuted and joined us for the fun. We got to walk through her classroom and she showed us all that she'd been working on this quarter. This school just excels in creativity and hands on activities. They don't talk about how other countries celebrate the holidays. No they travel with passports and all. The past couple of weeks their classroom has changed into various places and the kids have learned and created new things associated with that place. Lanterns for China, boots for Holland and trip to the North pole where the kids came in wearing hats, mittens, jackets etc.



Aren't they sweet and don't you just love the new boots my parents gave Taylor as an early Christmas present?


Taylor standing behind some of her creations for the farm animal unit they did in the beginning of the quarter.



While standing out in the hallway looking at Tay's work I saw Trevor off in the corner talking to some kid. I went to tell him we were leaving and he said "Wait mom I'm showing my friend my work". It was a random kid and he was showing him his sister's tradition creation calling it his school work!


After we walked her classroom we took the kids out for ice cream. It was a fun rainy night!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Treasure The Word Promo

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Today we began pre-ordering for the memory verse cd that will be out next week. It's been so much fun being apart of this project and we can't wait to share it with you all! You can take a listen to a few of the songs that my husband put together for this mornings announcement. And yes that is my precious daughter singing the last song!

If you attend our church you can purchase a CD at our bookstore. All others can contact our church through the website to purchase your copy. The cost is only $5 and will make for a great present or stocking stuffer :-) I can attest to what a help putting scripture to music aides in memorization for both kids and adults alike! Our family now has 13 key verses of Ephesians down pat! I used Taylor's picture as a place holder for the song in imovie so I could put the mp3 up... so sorry you have to look at her cute face during the promo :-)
video

Thursday, December 06, 2007

How To Make Daukas plural

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Guess I need to teach how to make something that already has an "s" plural pretty quickly...

Here's a cute picture Taylor gave me yesterday... note her efforts.

Mmm, Cheese

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Did I mention I have another toddler on my hands? Last night while we were cleaning up dinner, Rylee apparently decided she didn't get enough. She climbed onto the chair, the top of the table got a 1 lb bag of cheese, sat back down on the chair and dumped the entire bag all over herself and began chomping down. I knew it wasn't good when I heard Chris yell... Tara get the camera!

A top view...



Mmm... cheese



a little cheese stuck to the chin..

Monday, December 03, 2007

Rylee Update

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It's been awhile since I've posted an update on Rylee. As she nears 16 months her personality seems to grow daily. She is fast one. Walking, running, climbing, she's quick and if I'm not careful I could lose her in a flash. I actually did lose her a few weeks ago. It was after life 101 at our church and I set her down because she was begging to get to the baby in the stroller at my feet. She got down and began to play with the baby while I engaged in a conversation. Well within a matter of a minute I looked down and she was gone without a sound. I'm not really a freak out person. I stay pretty calm but after 5 minutes of not finding her I started to freak... men were outside walking our pitch dark campus, others in bathrooms etc. Chris, still thinking clearly, remembered how much she loves the stairs in the lobby. So he walked up,turned the corner and sure enough all the way down the hall, there she was laughing and playing in Rich's office (our sr. pastor). So needles to say I've kept a tighter leash on her these days :-)

She loves to play with her brother and sister. Calling them by name now, tata and tevor. She'll chase them, laugh and as of last week, if one of them tries to take something from her, she'll push em. That's right I've got another full blown, tantrum's and all toddler on my hands. It's hard not to laugh though... you'll take something from her or say No to her and she'll just burst out into the biggest cry fit like her world is over :-) I think she is preparing to be dramatic like her sister!

Her langugae ability continues to take off as well. She'll say cheese for the camera, night, night at bedtime and her favorite word is cracka, accent on the ah sound in a real high pitch voice. She'll walk around the house saying, cracka, cracka! She loves books, music and talking on the phone.

She eats like nobody's business too. I'm always amazed at how much she can eat being just a little thing! But after two fairly poor eaters I enjoy cooking for her. She'll eat anything I make.

So we love our Rylee and are enjoying her like crazy! Enjoying every moment as time continues to fly by past us!

Friday, November 30, 2007

For your consideration

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Recently I've been reading a book on Hilary Clinton, A Woman in Charge. Why in the world would I do that you ask? The upcoming election has peaked my interest and well so has she. I've found the book very intriguing and it's helped to remind me that she is a human being with real emotions and cares even if I disagree with her political stance. I must admit I haven't finished the book. It honestly peaked my interest so much so that I found myself wanting to read that before other books that I should be reading. At this point I just don't have time for both. So I've put it aside for awhile. But I read enough to know that Hillary is a brilliant women and she has just a chance as any to win next year. It has also put fear in me as to what could possibly happen if she is elected. Particularly with her support of the UNCRC. It comes off as a wonderful protect the children treaty that many nations have adopted but in reality does not take into account parents knowing what's best for their children. Now I'm not against the ways it seeks to protect children from abuse, violence, drugs, child labor etc. However it can go much farther than that.

Here's an excerpt from an article I read recently:
"If this treaty becomes binding on the United States, the government would have the power to intervene in a child's life “for the best interest of the child.” Currently, the government can intervene in this fashion only by going to court and proving that parents have been abusive or have neglected their children. (This standard also applies in divorce cases on the presumption that the family unit has been broken.) This means that whenever the UN-dominated social services system thought that your parental choices were not the best, the government would have the power to override your choices and protect your child from you. If this treaty becomes binding, all parents would have the same legal status as abusive parents, because the government would have the right to override every parental decision if it deemed the parent's choice contrary to the child's best interest"

You can read the full article here:

and another:
"Parents would be in specific violation of the treaty if they were to restrict their child from watching a pornographic video or from reading a book with objectionable content" (Article 17).

the incredible shrinking parent

also check out this news report my husband sent over to me today:

Parenting while poor, you might lose your kids

I guess in the end it's about who really knows best for children, their parents or the government?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Retreat Away

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Chris and I returned last night from a little getaway. Pastors at our church take two to three retreats a year to refresh their souls, plan for the upcoming year and think for an extended amount of time on their ministries etc. Wives are welcome to attend although with an already busy travel schedule and our season of babies I never have. Well my husband worked very hard to make it possible for me to come with him on this one and have a retreat myself! To which I am so grateful! Some friends of ours own a place about three hours east and offered it to us to use for the retreat. All I can say is wow, this place was absolutely unbelievable! Once I got there I knew why he worked so hard for my being up there with him. We had such a great time together! It was romantic, productive and our souls and marriage were immensely refreshed. I got some extended time in the word, read some outstanding articles and with Chris' help, I was able to identify sin areas in each of our children and write up scriptures that speak to that particular area for us to memorize together throughout the week. I also came up with a master schedule for my day and each of the kids... now I've just got to get to the implementing part :-) I have been gathering a pleathera of homeschool materials for quite awhile now and took part of a day to just sit, look through and think upon each one. It was so fun! Oh yeah and I also got some sleep. Trevor's been in a "waking up in the middle of the night" phase again. Although I can't remember how long exactly we were out of it :-)

So thank you my love for taking me away with you, and giving me one of the most memorable times together, thank you to all who served in watching my three darlings and thank you friends for letting us use your AMAZING mansion in the woods!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving with the Jones'

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We had a wonderful thanksgiving yesterday. One of the best in my minds. In the middle of my making garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and homemade rolls, I helped Taylor make place cards. Each person at the table had a name card and inside Taylor finished the sentence, "I am thankful for you because..." It was very fun! Some of the finishing lines were because you are so cute, you are funny, you pick me up from school and Danae's favorite, you are pretty. For Chris it was because you play giant with me. Here's a picture of my mom's gorgeous table with Taylor's cards!




An attempt at getting a picture of my three before dinner...


After stuffing ourselves silly Trevor asked the boys to go play football. He of course was the first one finished and afterwards went to each boy at the table and said "You done? You play football with me?". The kids had a lot of fun playing football with the boys while the girls sat and digested our food :-) I feel a tradition coming on!





Later in the evening we went to my cousin Michelle's house for dessert. My mom is one of five kids and we often meet up for dessert on holidays. We also found out that Michelle (below with me) will be bringing another boy into our girl heavy family!


Cute one of Ryan & Danae


The younger generation of cousins minus Trevor, whose off in the corner throwing a tantrum!



The older generation of cousins minus Corbin, who we missed greatly! Can't wait to see you at Christmas! There are also two babies in belly's in that picture. Michelle in blue with a boy and Amy in brown with a girl! Like our attempt to all fit on one couch?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Week with the Daukas'

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Happy Thanksgiving! This year we are thankful for the opportunity to see both of our families! We have been spending all week with Chris family. Specifically Chris twin and his family who came down from Washington. We've really enjoyed the hang out time with Scott & Jessica and the opportunity to get to know our first niece Addy. Rylee and Addy have been quite cute playing together! Rylee is the active one climbing and running everywhere and Addy will just stand there and babble non stop to you! Yesterday we drove out to the west side to have lunch at Chris' other brother's house. Later that night Chris & I took our date night to hang out with Scott & Jessica and his parents without any kids! We played a mean game of Texas hold em and well I was the mean one and took all their money! If I sound proud it's because I am. If you know anything about Chris & Scott they win EVERYTHING and they pride themselves on being superior texas hold em players! And the final table was: Chris, Scott & Me. That's right I knew when to hold em and knew when to fold em. After the game Scott came back to our house and played wii with Chris LATE into the night. Here's some quick pics from the week.






More pictures to come from Thanksgiving. I hope everyone is enjoying their festivities!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Update of sorts...

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Life seems to have taken off recently.. lots of fun stuff, life 101 with our neighbors continues, two care groups this week, and an awesome date night where we saw Bella. Which I highly recommend to all! Seriously, if you haven't seen this movie yet you need to make plans to do so now :-) This weekend Chris' twin, wife & little girl come into town for thanksgiving! I'm so excited to meet my niece for the first time. We are going to attempt getting pictures of the WHOLE daukas family on Sunday! Also this weekend the Pastor's wives are going on an overnight shopping trip! So fun. I get to hang with some of my favorite people AND shop! So needless to say we are in for another fun, busy week!

I thought I'd pass on an awesome recipe I got recently from my friend Chanelle! It's perfect for thanksgiving week festivities.

Pumpkin Spread Dip

1/4 C pecan halves
4 oz cream cheese
1 can solid pack pumpkin
1/2 firm packed brown sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 C mini marshmallows

Preheat 350
whisk cream cheese until smooth in large bowl. Add pumpkin, brown sugar, spices, mix well.
Spoon mixture into small oval baker & top with marshmallows & chopped pecans. Bake 12-15 mintues, until marshmallows brown. Serve with apple slices!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Zoo Fun

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Yesterday I woke up and began my normal Monday routine. I got Taylor up, ready for school and rushed around to get myself ready as well. Monday's are my day to be a parent helper in her class. Every Monday that is except for holidays... Right as we began to load up the car I realized that the date was November 12th and Taylor didn't have school on November 12th. So there we were up, dressed and ready to go. We called our friends Rich & Tiffany and meet up with them at the zoo. It was such a beautiful day! It stayed cool even during the lunch hour.

The kids had a lot of fun together. We went to a couple new parts of the Zoo for us this time. One being the reptile/dangerous area, as they call it. We saw rattle snakes, eel's, tarantula's, scorpions, and hissing cockroaches. Basically everything that gives me nightmares! The rattle snake had a thing for Trevor. As soon as we walked up and Trevor put his hand on the window the snake woke up and slithered his way up to the window where he did a little dance. It was really cool!



While looking at the Baboon's one decided to turn the G rated park into PG...


You expect to see their red bums but this was well... onto the next exhibit kids...

It's always fun seeing Jack and Taylor play together. One is all boy and the other is all girl! They work it out though and have a lot of fun together. Here's an adorable picture of the two of them. A possible future sideshow picture one day... you never know! I almost got one of the two of them holding hands, for the all of ten seconds that happened, but Rich put a stop to that before Tiffany or I could grab a shot :-)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Early Christmas

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My husband got me an early Christmas gift. Ok so I kind of called him at worked and asked (begged) him if he could get this for me now as an early gift because he loves me so much... but that's beside the point. I downloaded Sara Groves new cd, Tell Me What You Know, on ITunes. Only $7.99! As has been true of all her albums this is full of wonderful melodies with creative, rich lyrics. The video to the song, Saw what I saw, on her myspace is worth a look too. It gives some background to the song that will make it come alive. It's beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. Listening to her always leaves me longing to be locked in my bedroom playing piano, singing and writing songs. Ah one day I might have time again :- ) But even if I did... I'm no Sara Groves. Check her out!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Children's Books

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Shawnda tagged me to list 7+ of my favorite Children's books. This kind of coincides with a post I've been wanting to do about Taylor. She is my reader for sure. The teacher assessed her last week and she tested at a little over the middle of first grade. She is constantly reading to me, her brother or sister (if they'll sit still) and to herself.

So here are some of Taylor's favorite books to read:

Minnie & Moo go dancing (the whole Minnie and Moo series is wonderful)
Owl+ At Home- We were laughing so hard together at this book, we pretended to make our own tear-water tea. I love this author in general.
Amelia Bedelia series- again she thought this was the funniest thing ever
The Big Picture Story Bible ( she will sit and read that to herself every morning. She calls it her devotions)
My ABC Bible Verses -she will occasionally need help decoding a word but can read it herself for the most part. I love this book- it's so Gospel centered!

The three she likes to read to her siblings are:
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, too?
Three Little Kittens

I'm thankful for how easy reading has come to her, it is such a joy to see her love books! I know from others experience not to expect that from all my children :-)

I'd like to tag two other mom's:
Meg and Heather

Happy Birthday Heni

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Sorry I'm a little late on this...for some reason I've had a horrible time uploading pictures until today.

Who is Heni you ask? Taylor, being the first grandchild on both sides, had the responsibility of naming her Grandma's. For my mom she went with Nana and we were trying to get her to call Chris' mom Grammy. Taylor could never quite get it out, instead the "G" was replaced by an "H" and became hanny or as we've chosen to spell it, heni.

This weekend we celebrated Heni's birthday. It was quite the treat! It's been awhile since we've gotten all the AZ cousins together and well with six kids five and under it got quite loud and crazy at times! I'll admit my two oldest were the ring leaders in providing lots of noise! There seriously have been a few moments lately where we've been places and I'll think, gosh it's kind of loud and crazy right now and then I look around and realize, oh wow all that's coming from my children! I am use to watching other families kids provide the noise, now it's mine.

Grammy playing with CJ & Rylee:



Chris' parents have a pool table which naturally attracts the kids every time we are there!


The kids played a wild game called tackle the giant. Chris took one for the team by being the giant. Again it made sense he would be since it was our kids leading the way.



Here's my poor attempt to get a pictures of Grammy with her grandkids... poor lighting and uncooperative kids turned into this:

We Love you Grandma!!