Sunday, April 29, 2007

Strawberry teething

Rylee is working on cutting her two top teeth. Poor girl she started in Maryland and they still haven't broken through. I went in to get her one morning this week and there was blood on her sheets and dried blood on her gums! So they're coming....
I bought this teether and she has enjoyed the various things I'll put in there. However, I don't think she has enjoyed anything as much as the strawberry. Here are a few pics:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Family Worship


We picked up a lot of new resources at the Leaders Conference. Mostly books (some recommendations to come soon). One resource I grabbed from Covenant Life was a kids CD. It is various scripture put to music in an outstanding way! I was very impressed with the quality of this CD and Taylor and Trevor took to the songs instantly. It's called Seeds Family Worship and we purchased the Faith CD. It really is for the whole family. My soul has been minstered to in listening to the songs over and over at home and in the car. I'm eager to get my hands on the others! I highly recommend it to all.

**To those from the Gilbert church, Chris is going to pursue getting the CD's for our bookstore.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's My Call and I Can Cry If I Want To

Ok so I'm not crying yet but there has been a bit of an adjustment this morning. We got home wedesday night from Maryland and Chris had taken the rest of the week off foreseeing that we'd need some time to get caught up on life again. He was right and it has been a wonderful couple of days having him home (really a full two weeks of being with him) For one we have seen a lot of fruit in Trevor. Their have been fewer tantrums this week and he has been quicker to respond to instruction. He has also learned his first scripture verse, Eph 6:1 and has come to love a book that is not about trains! God's Big Picture Bible! He brought it to me last night and said "Mommy read Jesus please?" Chris has also been busy fixing things up around the house. Ask him about the new shower head... it's amazing and he'd love to tell you about it :-)

All that to say, today was his first "real" day back to work. And it didn't start out slow either. He had a 7am morning meeting so I began real life early. After a couple hours of tantrums, wiping a constant runny nose (taylor has a cold) and cleaning up spit up pile after spit up pile, I was left wondering how on earth I've done it without Chris before today! So in desparation I grabbed some scriptures and mothering quotes that have encouraged me in the past. I pray that God would give me strength and endurance to manage my home today with grace. Here are a few reminders of the high call of mothering, just in case some moms out there need them too:

"No job on earth takes more physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual strenth than being a good wife and mother. If a gal's looking for the easy life, she might try teaching tennis, cutting diamonds or joining a roller derby team. There is nothing easy about good mothereing. It can be backbreaking, heart wrenching and anxiety producing and that's just the morning." Stephen Bly, How to Be a Good Mom

"Being a mom is more than being cook, chauffeur, maid, counselor, doctor, referee, disciplinarian, etc. (just to name a few). It's about modling character, building confidence, nurturing, training, and guiding. There is nothing like the influence that a mother has on her child. A mother's influence ahs enormous potential to shape ther person a child becomes, for good or ill." Ginger Plowman, Don't Make Me Count To Three

I seldom feel like much of an adventurer- standing in this kitchen, pouring ceral into bowls, refilling them, handing out paper towels when the inevitable cry comes: "Uh Oh. I spilled." But sometimes at night the thought will strike me: There are three small people here, breathing sweetly in their beds, whose lives are for the moment in our hands. I might as well be at the controls of a moon shot, the mission is so grace and vast. Joyce Maynard, Domestic Affairs

2 Cor. 12:9 "My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"

Friday, April 20, 2007

Home, Warm, Home

That's right we've returned and all in one piece. The plane trip both ways went very well. Thank God for portable DVD players! There's really so much I could blog about. I will try to highlight a few things.

Conference Highlights:
Being at the leaders conference is always nostalgic for Chris and I. I still remember our first conference in 2002 as guests. We were defintely affected by what we saw and heard and left wanting to know more. So to return, no longer as guests, was a wonderful feeling. I marveled at God's grace and His sovereign hand in bringing us there. As in typical Sovereign Grace fashion we checked in and received gifts! I got a cute brown and blue tropical like bag filled with goodies. Chris also got more "manly gifts". The messages given by R.C. Sproul, David Powlison and CJ Mahaney were outstanding. I highly encourage all to check out the messages here. Caroyln Mahaney gave a message to the ladies on how to bring correction to your husbands. Chris joked that I didn't need to attend this seminar. I'm not really the shy, keep my thoughts to myself, person. Joking aside I was very glad I attended and recommend her message to every wife.

Perhaps some of the most encouraging time came from conversations with other Pastor wives. It was great catching up with our old Pastor College friends, reliving our year together and rejoicing in what God is doing now. I was particularly encouraged by those wives with young children. All who are more Godly than I! I talked with one girl who has four children under six and began asking her questions about her sunday morning routine. She gave some helpful advice and briefly mentioned that it had been four years since she sat through a full sunday meeting. She said it without a hint of complaining in her voice and I could sense the joy she had in mothering her four. She reminded me that sometimes it's just in having an edifying conversation with another that makes the sunday morning craziness worth it! Thanks Jen, I was very encouraged by our conversation!

Vacation Highlights:
We had a few unexpected opportunites to spend time with our friends the Smiths. Chris and I were blessed by their hospitatlilty. We shared one lunch and two dinners together! There's nothing like a homecooked meal after eating out for days straight. Their son Carson and Trevor are the same age. Jenni and I have e-mailed over the year about how fun it would be to get the boys together one day. And fun it was! They played together and like typical two year old friends, fought together. Mostly Trevor and yes, mostly over trains.

As expected we had a great time catching up with the Dustin's. We love them and were once again served by their hospitatliy and care for our children. We kind of underestimated how hard it would be on Trevor and Rylee to fly accross the country only to be left by mommy and daddy with people they really don't know. Liz had a hard job and I think Rylee has officially hit the "I want my mommy and only my mommy" stage. She cried pretty much nonstop until I came and took her with me to the conference on friday. Trevor also surprisingly missed mommy very much. He would ask the Dustin's for Mommy and throw himself on the ground when he realized I was gone. What can I say my kids love me- it's flattering really... except when you need them to be good so you can attend a conference :-)

Here are some pictures from our time....

Park Day with the Smiths:

To beat the cold rainy day blues we took the kids to a number of indoor places. One being Chucky Cheese.
Trevor hung out with "trickle" Jacob a lot while we were there.

See what Trevor is riding...really is anyone suprised?

Taylor also enjoyed the rides there. Here she is with her uh...what the heck?

We found a gymnastic place that had open gym for an hour each day. Taylor and Trevor LOVED that place. They were able to jump on the trampoline, walk the low balance beam and slide or jump into a foam pit. The pit was by far the favorite!

For our final night we took the kids to Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

She really is cute and sweet... when I'm around!

One last picture of the two girls!

Well we are off and running full force into life again. Welcoming the warmer weather after a very cold week in Maryland and praising God for His sustaining grace to us through our trip!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Goodbye for now...

5 packed to the max suitcases- check
1 toy filled Thomas the train backpack- check
1 book filled pink backpack- check
1 computer laptop bag-check
1 diaper bag- check
2 portable dvd players fully loaded- check
2 car seats-check
1 double stroller with baby bjorn- check
Dad's written out strategy of how to get through security with all of the above-check
One very good sense of humor and loads of Tylenol.... uh, check

That's right the Daukas' are heading to Gaithersburg Maryland tomorrow. Which means we are taking all of the above AND our three little ones and boarding a plane for just under 5 hrs! Before you start questioning our sanity let us explain. Chris and I have our highly anticipated leader's conference Wednesday through Saturday. We LOVE this conference and it was five years ago that we attended as visitors and met with Steve Shank to talk through applying to Pastor's College. And our beloved friends The Dustin's have so graciously offered to take all of our kids while we stay at the hotel with the pastoral team and attend the conference. It gets even better... we return to the Dustin's for another four days for some catching up with our friends and vacationing! So we would love your prayers for safe travel, calm quiet kids on the plane and that God would teach us new things about himself while we are there! Until next week...

Easter Fun

We had a rare sunday morning yesterday. Due to our air conditioning being broken, daddy did not go to church early like normal. He stayed home to wait for the mechanic. So, we took full advantage of him being home and had a nice breakfast with the kids which entailed him reading the resurection story to them. It was so fun to see how much Taylor is learning. She was able to recount all that happened from good friday to the resurection. And even little Trevor showing some interest in something other than trains. He was really excited to pray after daddy at breakfast. He bowed his head and said "Dear Jesus... blah,blah,blah... trains, Amen". Trains has just had to make it's way in there. It was so cute! After breakfast the kids opened their baskets and we all peacefully got ready for church! The bad news is our air condionting unit is broken but even in that we've seen God provide the last few days. It should be fixed by the time we get back. Here's some pictures from the day.

The kids baskets

Taylor loves to pose for pictures!

My cousin Corbin got Rylee this adorable outfit. Complete with shoes! Rylee wasn't to fond of them though. They slowed her crawling down.

One of our many attempts at a family photo!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

What A Saviour

I read this yesterday on Carolyn's blog. It is an excerpt from Joni Eareckson Tada's book When God Weeps. It's is a beautiful, heart wrenching account of what the Saviour has done for sinners like you and me.

"The Savior was now thrown to men quite different from the eleven. The face that Moses had begged to see--was forbidden to see--was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20). The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth's rebellion now twisted around his own brow. His back, buttocks, and the rear of his legs felt the whip--soon they looked like the plowed Judean fields outside the city. . . .
"On your back with you!" One raises a mallet to sink in the spike. But the soldier's heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner's wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier's life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do "all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on--he grants the warrior's continued existence. The man swings. . . .

But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being--the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father's eye turns brown with rot.

His Father! He must face his Father like this!

From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes his mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross. Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes.

"Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped--murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, overspent, overeaten--fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh, the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held your razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk--you, who molest young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp--buying politicians, practicing extortion, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves--relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, I loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath?"

The Father watches as his heart's treasure, the mirror-image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah's stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction.

"Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!"

But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply. Two eternal hearts tear--their intimate friendship shaken to the depths.

The Trinity had planned it. The Son endured it. The Spirit enabled him. The Father rejected the Son whom he loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted his sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished."

Thank you Lord for rescuing sinners like me!

Friday, April 06, 2007

An Easter Idea For Kids

At Taylor's preschool on Wednesday they had an "Resurrection Party". She had a blast! But of course Taylor LOVES any kind of party. They did something that I thought was a neat way to illustrate the empty tomb. The teacher had each kid put a big white marshmallow into the middle of a crescent roll and then rolled them up. She said the marshmallow represented Jesus and the roll was the tomb. Then she went and baked (ok so this is where the illustration starts to break down:-)) the crescent. Later on in the day she brought the rolls out and had the kids open up them up to see if their marshmallow was still in there. Sure enough it had disappeared. The kids thought it was the greatest thing!

You can see Taylor's roll in pieces down by her hands.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A Gospel Primer

I finally got my hands on A Gospel Primer booklet. A little slow I know but it was well worth the wait! I have been feasting on the truths in their for a couple of days now and it is outstanding. This week I am focusing on the first chapter "Reasons to rehearse the Gospel Daily" and was particularly encouraged by the paragraph "Stimulated to Love Others". I have been very impatient and well "not loving" my children lately. They are cute, they can be so sweet and sometimes they can drive me absoulutely crazy! Ok I know that it's not them that drive me crazy but the sin that's inside of my heart... they just do a great job of helping it come out:-) So I am helped by reading:

"When my mind is fixed on the gospel, I have ample stimulation to show God's love to other people For I am always willing to show love to others when I am freshly mindful of the love that God has shown me."

now going backwards to My Daily Need for the Gospel I was provoked by these words:

" The gospel is so foolish (according to my natural wisdom), so scandalous (according to my conscience), and so incredible (according to my timid heart), that it is a daily battle to believe the full scope of it as I should. There is simply no other way to compete with the forebodings of my conscience, the condemnings of my heart, and the lies of the world and the Devil than to overwhelm such things with daily rehearsing of the Gospel"

How true those words are! I fall fast into self sufficency, unbelief and impatience when I don't fight that daily battle against the world, the devil and my own sin. And the way to fight it is by daily rehearsing the Gospel! If you haven't gotten your hands on a copy of A Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent I highly encourage you to wait no longer!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Look who's standing!

That's right Rylee learned how to pull up to standing this week. She loves her new skill too. She gets so excited and slaps the couch or chair that she's holding on to. She'll attempt to pull up on anything, people, chairs, toys, couches. Poor thing hasn't mastered getting down smoothly yet. So she has fallen back on her head a few times on her attempt down. It doesn't bother her though. She's get's right back up and tries again. She amazes me with her physical ability! She reminds me a lot of Trevor as a baby. Except she sleeps at night :-)