Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How fast they grow...

Chris and I have been amazed lately at how fast our children are growing up.

Let's start with Taylor- As you know she began kindergarten last week but I have had the privilege of watching her go from a basic reader to a more advanced reader this summer. We joined a couple reading programs in the community and she loved they idea of getting rewards for her work. Really who doesn't? She got a zoo ticket, IMAX ticket, $10 to the Christian Berean bookstore and a few other prizes. Chris and I wanted to join but we were told it was just for kids. The thing that I have loved about Taylor reading is how much she loves reading. She literally will ask all day long to do school. I've continued with sing, spell, read & write and we've gotten through the letter clusters, two vowel rule and silent e and I add in new sight words weekly. I have so enjoyed seeing her reading light bulb go on. With our new school schedule I have had her get up in the mornings and read a bible story with me. The other day I wasn't finished with my reading yet so I gave her God's big picture bible and she began to read it aloud to herself. Again I was amazed at how far she's come!

Trevor- Well he caught me off guard last week on vacation with how much he has learned without me directly teaching him. While waiting for food at restaurants I'd take the crayons or different color sugar packets and we'd play games of counting and colors. He was able to count to 15 (granted 12-15 were a little garbled but he'd yell 15) and he could correctly give me each color I named... blue, red, pink, orange, green, white & black! I even made it harder by asking him to count the red crayons in the midst of all the other colors and he could separate the reds (or whatever color I said) correctly and count them. I know he's a genius like his father :-)

Rylee- She's not counting or reading but she did take a step! She doesn't seem to be in a hurry to walk though. And as of a week ago she is my latest walker. Not that I mind... she can crawl as long as she'd like :-) She will however climb up onto anything! Here are a few places I've found her:

The other thing that has given us the sense that our kids are growing up is that we moved Taylor & Trevor into bunk beds this past week. Yes, in the midst of all the throwing up we got bunk beds built and their first night in the beds I awoke to Taylor puking on the top bunk... I wasn't so grateful at that moment for bunk beds. But since, I have loved having the two share a "sleeping" room. That's important to note. Taylor would want you to know that she does not have a boy room, she just sleeps in there at night and plays in her pink, girly, room during the day! But they both love being together- particularly Trevor. And I love Rylee not awaking early because of her sister :-)

Here are a few pictures of the bunk beds... I don't have all the bedding yet so Trevor just sleeps on a bunch of sheets tucked in.

One morning I hung sheets from the top bunk to make a fort... they loved that!

Here's a picture peeking into the fort:

Monday, July 30, 2007

Leaning upon Jesus

This past week was filled with many temptations. Chris did end up getting sick, all night actually, then after a few hours of sleep I woke up to Taylor throwing up and Rylee continuing all day with her, well how to put it nicely "loose stools". It was a hard couple of days! My biggest temptation when it's gets hard to "suck it up" and try harder. I was convicted in this passage of my lack of "leaning". What happens when I don't lean? I fall into sin. Grumbling, complaining, I get impatient with the kids and angry at the world in general. Thankfully God doesn't leave me in this state!!!

Morning Thoughts: July 29th
Octavius Winslow

Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? Song of Solomon 8:5

Was ever a poor pilgrim more honored? Was ever a lonely traveler in better company? How can you be solitary or sorrowful, in peril, or suffer in need, while you are journeying homewards in company with and leaing upon Jesus? ... This leaning upon the Beloved, then, is a daily coming up out of ourselves in the great matter of our salvatiotn, and resting in the finished work of Christ- more than that, in Christ Himself.

You are to lean upon the fullness of your Beloved. He is full and sufficient for all the wants of His people. A circumstance in your history canoot possibly occur, a necessity in your case cannot arise, in which you may not repair to the infinite fullness which the Father has laid up in Christ for His church in the wilderness. Why then, seek in your poverty what can only be found in Christ's riches? Why look to your emptiness when you may repair to His fullness? "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 2:19) is the cheering declaration with which Jesus meet every turn in your path, every crook in your lot, every want in your journey. Distrust then your own wisdom, look from your own self, and lean your entire weight upon the infinite fullness that is in Christ. The posture is expressive of conscious weakness and deep self-distrust.

Who is more feeble than a child of God? Taught the lesson of his weakness in the region of his own heart, and still leaning it in his stumbling, falls and mistakes, many and painful, in his self-inflicted wounds and dislocations, he is at length brought to feel that all his strength is outside of himself. He has the sentence of death in himself, that he should not trust in himself. " I am weak, yea, wekaness itself", is his language; "I am as a reed shaken of the wind; I stumble at a feather; I tremble at an echo; I jump at my own shadow; the smallest difficulty impedes me; the least temptation overcomes me. How shall I ever fight my way through this mighty host, and reach in safety the world of bliss?

By leaning daily, hourly, moment by moment, upon your Beloved for strength. Christ is the power of God and He is the power of the children of God... Lean, then, upon Jesus for strength. He has stength for all your weakness; He can strengthn your faith, strengthen your hope, strengthen your courage, strentghen your patience and strengthen your heart for every burden, for every trial and for every temptation. Lean upon Him, He loves to feel the pressure of your arm; He loves you to link your feebleness to His almightiness, to avail yourself of His grace. Thus leaning off yourself upon Christ!

AMEN! I pray that God would grow me this day in leaning hard into him for all my strength!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Vacation Slideshow

Here are some shots of our vacation... the last day we were going to do some family portraits but alas that did not happen. Thankfully we still got some great shots of the kids, just none of Chris & I.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Cold,Croup & Strep throat

What do these things have in common? All were apart of our vacation. Since being home you can now add stomach flu for me & Rylee. This is not to say there weren't any fun times inbetween the sickness starting off and getting worse. By God's grace there were! I reminded myself often "well they could be sick at home in 115 or here by the beach in perfect weather". But with an already short vacation it was such a disappointment to have all three kids get sick. We ended up coming home early and drove straight to the pediatric urgent care by our house. I was tempted to despair with thoughts like "this is it? Chris's vacation time is spent this way?" I'm still tempted to despair as he had taken the rest of the week off to work on house projects. I'm praying for a quick recovery so we can redeem some of the time left. Gods grace has been present throughout this week. Thankfully for most of the trip they were only sick enough to be in bad moods but still ok to go out and do things. It was only the last night where I was up with Trevor all night and Chris was up with Taylor, that it become obvious that we needed to get home. Thank you to all who have offered up help and brought meals. We are so thankful to be apart of this amazing church family at Sovereign Grace!

Here are some highlights from our California trip:
Beach highlights- Trevor loved the water. At first he was scared but Chris held him and took him out into the ocean and he laughed and screamed at every wave that crashed on him! Rylee liked the sand- she crawled all over trying to eat the sand and anything else she could find. It was cute but a little challenging. At one point I replaced the seaweed she kept wanting to chew on with beef jerky. That kept her occupied. Could also be the reason why she threw up later that night... I had gotten her a blow-up play pool but she would have nothing to do with it- way to much to explore. Taylor did great at usual. She had a whole day on the beach with the McKay girls. Some friends from our church, we stayed in their condo for the first night. They built a sand castle with her and played catch!

Other highlights-
*We saw lots of trains! There is a station in walking distance from our condo. Trevor was in awe of the fast trains that would fly by! A big bummer for me was we had planned to ride one with him on our last day but alas he was to sick.
*We had a great shopping day at the outlets. I had a lot of fun getting time, though not enough, with my sister-in-law Danae. I also got to see my cousin Corbin who lives in CA. She's planning her wedding and it was so fun to hear all the details. So great to see you Corbin! And of course I can't forget my cousin Michelle, who is local, but our kids don't get to play together all that often. I so enjoyed seeing the next generation of cousins play together.
* The weather is always a highlight in California. In AZ the weather reads "VERY HOT" everyday for months, whereas in CA it reads "Practically perfect in every way!" We spent nearly all of our time outdoors playing or walking the boardwalk.
*There was an afternoon where live music was played on the green area of the resort. Taylor and I went out to listen and she decided to get out in the middle of the area and dance. She put on quite the show. She amazes me... my girl who gets shy in front of adults has no problem dancing for a big group of people she doesn't know. At one point this elderly couple came out and asked it they could dance with her. It was so sweet to see her hold hands with the couple and dance with them!
* Also Rylee cut two teeth while there!

So we'd appreciate your prayers for the remaining time of our vacation week here at home. Rylee and I are the last left to get well. Pray for continued health for Chris-he's the next in line to go down. When I can do more then sit in bed and type on Chris' laptop I'll post some pictures of our vacation.

Taylor's First Day of School

Today was Taylor's first day of school! It was very exciting. We got there and all the kids were lining up against the wall for her class. The school has a playground just for kindergarten and during this particular start time it was just her class. That was so nice- there weren't hundreds of new kids around that she didn't know. Just 18. She walked over and lined up with her class. There were a few minutes of downtime in which one student started crying. Taylor looked at me and said "I don't want to go" and I could tell she was about to lose it. Thankfully it was then the teacher said "let's go inside kids!". Again, Thankfully, I was wearing my very big sunglasses so she and others couldn't see my tears. I jumped in the van and cried to Chris. So glad he was there so he could calm me down! It definitely felt odd to hand her off.. I told Chris I didn't know anyone there! For preschool she was in a class with two of my friends kids. So the whole first day event we went through together. Chris reminded me why we thought this would be best for our family and for Taylor this year and we can re-evaluate that at anytime. Well the two and a half hours went by very quickly and it was time to pick her up. She had a big smile and told us all about the day. Which apparently was mostly about learning where things are in the school. She was so excited to learn that the school had a Dr's office ( nurse's really but I guess all the same to her). She had made some friends and said she "showed respect to her teacher by doing what was asked of her." One of the things we had prepped her for in the morning. While waiting to pick Taylor up I changed the whole "I don't know any of the other parents" dilemma. I introduced myself to a few of the other moms, all had girls in Taylor's class, they seemed really nice. One was wearing big sunglasses like me to hide her tears as well :-)

Here are some pictures of the morning. I'm kind of disappointed with the shirt I chose... let's face it, isn't how you dress really what's important for the first day of school :-) It's a really cute outfit but the pink didn't "brighten" up her face in pictures like I would've hoped. Oh well there will be many more first day of school picture opportunities.

This is her "MOM- no more pictures face!"

Taylor how did you like school? I loved it!!"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Leaving on Vacation


We are off tomorrow morning to Carlsbad CA, a yearly tradition for the Jones/Winters family. We will be with my family and some of my mom's extended family. Rylee will have her first "beach" experience. I am so excited for the perfect 70 degree weather! Finally I can let the kids run around outside. They'll need to get enough energy out to last another month or so before they can play outside here at home. We'll return Tuesday night just in time for Taylor to have her first day of school on Wednesday! Pray for us if you think about it. Pray that God gives us the gift of sleep... five of us in a one bedroom!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

You can pick your own nose but...

Yes, she's doing what you think she's doing! They were being all loving and cute together on the couch, so I grabbed the camera to catch this rare moment between the two of them. Instead I caught this:

maybe I should ease up on the whole preparing her to be a mom one day :-)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Gospel Story- The End

Last night at dinner Taylor began asking Chris all these great questions about the Gospel. She asked "Do all moms and dads go to heaven? Once you are a christian can you not become a christain later on?" Great theological questions! Chris was doing an amazing job explaining the gospel on her level. Trevor, still buckled into his seat, starts chanting "train story, train story". Chris would say, "after I'm done buddy." Well he got tired of waiting and as Chris is explaining the Gospel loudly interrupted demanding "TRAIN STORY!". Chris turned and said in a loud funny way- I'm trying to share the gospel with your sister Trevor you need to wait. To which Trevor says:


"Train story?"

An uneventful Sunday

I usually post the drama on here. Let's face it, it's more fun to read and tell funny stories than ordinary ones. However, I wanted to take a post to say that I had a totally uneventful sunday morning yesterday! Praise God! The morning passed with few bad attitudes, Taylor took a shower (something new) and let me brush her hair without any tears and the kids didn't fight. We made it to church with time to spare and I even had a chance to pick up the house a little before we left, amazing! Then Trevor went into the nursery without any tantrums, it helped that Aunt Danae was working there. Whatcha doing for the rest of the year Danae? To top the morning off Rylee slept in the back through the entire message in my Mai Tai! I was so thankful for this kind of sunday!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Swim Days

It's hot. It's really hot lately. There have been a few ways we've been fighting off boredom during these summer months. One has been regularly going to my parents and swimming. The only way you can be outside in AZ. The kids love it! Even Rylee- she has actually taken to the water without any fear! A first for a daukas baby. She loves going underwater and splashing around on my parents big step. These are two video's are of Trevor & Taylor. Trevor loves to swim if he's holding on to someone. He still has a little fear swimming around by himself. His absoulte favorite thing to do is to dive for rings with someone. I've actually got it to where I can hold him on my hip, go underwater and push him down to grab the ring himself! The one of Taylor breifly shows how far she's come with her swimming skills. She truly is a fish!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Celebrating Seven


Chris and I returned today from celebrating our seven years of marriage. He surprised me a week ago by informing me that he had not only planned where we were going but arranged places for our children to go as well. What a blessing it was to not think about who would take our children! Originally I had thought we were going away for a night but again he surprised me with two nights! We stayed in a suite at a resort in Scottsdale, AZ. We had many quiet meals, just the two of us, walked around different shopping areas and played lots of cribbage. One of the things that I have always enjoyed about our marriage is the friendship that Chris and I share. We have so much fun together! He truly is my best friend. It's amazing to look back at how much life has happened in seven years:

In Seven Years...

we have had three kids
owned three homes (lived in five)
moved five times
chris has had six jobs (some within the same company)
lived in two different states
four churches (if you include our year at Cov Life in Maryland)
one church plant

God's faithfulness was with us through it all and there is no one I'd want to walk through all these changes with then Chris! However, for the time being, we are quite settled and I have to admit it feels really nice :-) I love you honey- thank you for an amazing past few days! I am already eager for our next getaway!

**Thanks also to the many people who made this trip possible by watching our children- papa/nana, the richardsons, miss ruth, james & summer, scott & stacy, and the english family!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th Of July Pictures

Last night we went to my parents and swam in the afternoon and barbequed on my dad's, very sweet, new grill! It was a lot of fun. After all the swimming and eating we put Rylee down for bed and took the other two to go see fireworks. We went to this park nearby a firework show and meet up with the singles from our church. When the show started Trevor got so excited! He would say small firework as it began and when it exploded he'd yell "Big firework!" A few minutes into the show another one began a mile away. It was awesome, we had two shows going at the same time!

Here are some pictures from the afternoon. I'm going to save the swimming pictures for a later post. Also in the last photo Trevor had just finished eating a popsicle so his mouth is all blue :-)

Isn't her dress so cute! She looked like a big flag!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Date night disaster

This post was supposed to be how my night to plan a home date (our babysitter was out of town) was a beautiful picture of romance and creativity. Alas, it was not so. It all started around dinner time... I was cutting up cooked chicken for our meal and boiling noodles. I go to get all the ingredients out and one, that was there on monday, has since disappeared. I call Chris to see if he can pick up this needed ingredient on his way home and he confirms that it was he who threw the ingredient away. In his defense he was serving our family by cleaning out the fridge.I continue to do what I can with dinner and while putting the bread in the oven I hear "Sorry mom". Two heads are missing from the family room. And no this time it's not Trevor. Taylor left the bathroom door open, again, and Rylee was giving herself a bath with the toilet water. What's with my kids and the toilet? I do a quick damage control and go back to take the bread out. As I go to put the bread back in for a quick broil Taylor and Rylee lean on the gate and it falls down. Rylee makes a mad dash for the open oven. I turn to ask (yell at) Taylor to hold her back and my hot cookie sheet catches a plastic bag of Italian seasonings. Unfortunately I do not realize the plastic bag, that has already begun to melt, and I stick it in the oven. Plastic bag disintegrates, seasonings fall to the bottom of the oven and this horrible smell permeates the kitchen. Just in time for Chris to walk in. Side note, kids have taken over the house with their screaming (some are fun screams, other's are angry) at this point. So my plan to have a nice prepared dinner and the kids joyfully playing went south. Well things calm down a little until I notice Trevor is in the middle of my five nicely folded laundry piles. He has thrown them on the ground and is jumping on them like a pile of leaves. Pay attention to this next point. I pull a knife out to cut the bread... it really isn't wise to pull a knife out when your crying. Now I've never really been the most skilled with knives and tonight was no exception. I bring the serrated knife down to cut the bread and take a slice out of my thumb. Blood everywhere... really who would've thought a thumb could bleed so much? Chris takes over everything, calls my parents who come over and I go across the street to my neighbor who is an ER nurse, nice having one of those close, to get her opinion on if I need stitches. Thankfully she said, although it's deep it wasn't to wide and it should heal up on it's own. Fast forward a few hours... We put the kids down at 8:00 like normal but they decide they do not want to go to bed. Chris leads us in ignoring them and we proceed with our date night. Which included setting up a tent in our family room, part of my creative date night plan. Taylor comes out for a drink sees the tent and gets all excited. She goes back to her room, sings songs about the tent, and gets Rylee all worked up. I don't think they went to bed until 9:30. One last thing... I turn on the oven to bake the molten chocolate cakes I had made earlier forgetting about the seasonings. They start to burn all over again and we decide I should go to my parents to bake them so we can spare ourselves from the smell! To bring an end to the story... date night began around 9:20. And about 9:45 I get a horrible stomach ache, I think from the cakes, and the night had to come to an end.

So the point to my story is to say THANK YOU Janelle and Andrea for how you have sacrificed your tuesday nights so Chris and I can go OUT for date nights!! I have always been grateful for you guys but last night reminded me of just how thankful we are! My kids love you both and so do we.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A tried stone

Isaiah 28:16 "Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone.

This morning I read in Morning Thoughts by Octavius Winslow how Jesus is a tried stone.

"Jesus is fitly compared to a stone for strength and durability. He is a Savor, and a great one, mighty to save... Thou art that tried stone, tried by the Father when He laid upon Thee all His people's sins and transgressions, bruised Thee, and put Thee to grief... tried by poor sinners (like me) who have brought their burdens of guilt to Thy blood, and have found pardon and peace. Tried by believers who have taken their trials to Thy sympathy, their sorrows to Thy love, their wounds to Thy healing, their weakness to Thy strength, their emptiness to Thy fullness, their petitions to Thine ear, and have never, NEVER been disappointed. Oh yes, Thou art that tried stone to whom I would come moment by moment."

What encouraging words! I can come moment by moment to Jesus, the tried stone. In my needs for wisdom, strength, help to turn my eyes off of myself, I can go to Him. He is perfect in every way and His foundation is sure and strong!

"On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand".

Monday, July 02, 2007



If you missed my husband's message on Sunday you can now download it (and others) off of our church's new website! www.sovgracechurch.com Click on the resources page. The message was outstanding if I do say so myself- he's such a passionate preacher isn't he...I loved how gospel centered it was. Just what my soul needed going into this week!

Also check out the cool new video for the upcoming series on our Singles website. Props to Jeff for the great work! The new series will kick off Friday night! www.sgtfs.com