Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pray without Ceasing

Last night while you & I and slept soundly in our beds, the singles group at our church were praying. Praying for you, for the local church, universal church, for unbelievers, those who are suffering or sick and much more. Beginning at 7pm and concluding with breakfast at 7am they prayed and worshiped in shifts all throughout the night. You can read my husbands thoughts and see more pictures on the church's blog I was so encouraged by these singles and my husband who lead them. Thank you for sacrificing a good night's sleep to pray without ceasing! What a wonderful example you are for the church.

I brought the kids in the morning to join them for breakfast! The group picture below does not reflect all that were involved, just those who were there at 7am.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Taylor brought Toffee

After a little bit of this:

(I burned my finger... so with one hand I was stirring and the other was in ice)

and a little bit of that:

It finally turned into this:

It was my first attempt at making candy. I'm just so thankful it turned out in the end otherwise Taylor would've brought "Trader Joe's Toffee"!

Toffee Almond Crunch

1Cup sugar

2 sticks butter

1T. white caro syrup

1T. water

pinch salt

3\4 c. diced almonds

3-4 Hershey bars ( I used milk chocolate chips, 6 oz)

ground almonds for garnish

In heavy sauce pan, cook first 5 ingredients on high, stirring constantly with wooden spoon till boiling. Once it begins to boil turn it down to a medium heat. When mixture turns color of brown sugar or a bit darker (8- 10 minutes) remove from heat and stir in 3\4 c. diced almonds.

Pour mixture into greased 9” cake pan. Top with milk chocolate pieces . When melted, spread to edges with knife. Sprinkle with extra almonds ground in food processor. When cool, break in pieces. I put it in the fridge to speed up the process!

This really is a quick delicious treat! My friend who gave me the recipe forgot to put in the part of turning the stove down once it begins to boil. I think she thought I was as smart as she is and would've just known this oh so important detail :-)
So basically I burned the butter and sugar black within minutes. I'll post about Taylor's school separately.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Day at the Zoo

Yesterday we thought we'd enjoy the new beautiful weather so we packed up and took a trip to the Zoo. It's been awhile since we've been there. I guess having a baby will do that to you. Well, we made sure it wouldn't be another year before we came back and became Zoo members. I'm so excited for the many trips will take this upcoming year! The kids loved seeing & petting the animals. We had a few unique encounters with some of them.

Our first stop was the to see the giraffes. Usually you can see them off in the distance but not today. When we arrived one came up to grab a bite to eat right in front of us!

At the Phx Zoo they have something called Monkey Village. It's a place where you can walk inside and get up close with the monkey's. Last time we were there we hardly saw any monkey's let alone one. Well today they were out and ready to play! We saw the most precious sight. Two mommy monkeys walked along a rope right in front of us with their babies on their back! It was amazing! Taylor loved seeing the mommy's and babies! Check out this picture Chris captured:

We stopped and ate lunch on a picnic bench by the lake. Things were going fairly well until Rylee dropped one of the sandwiches I gave her. The geese and ducks were all over that and once they finished her sandwich they started begging for more. There was this one that started pecking at the stroller where Rylee was. Yeah, that was our cue to leave. Here's a picture of that mean geese. Or maybe we were the mean ones...

Our final stop was the petting Zoo. Chris' favorite place, not really. I don't mind it too much so usually I'm the one in their petting the animals with the kids. Taylor & Trevor both got a brush and brushed the goats hair. Rylee really couldn't care less about the animals. She just wanted to walk up and down the little hill that was in there. It's purpose was to catch the pee from the goats. I learned that fact a little to late... anyway she would go down the hill and turn around and smack into this goat. She kind of just stared him down and turned the other way to try her up/down again move. Smack, their he was again. She cracks me up. She has really turned into this focused, determined little girl. If that had been Taylor at her age she would've cried or laughed at the goat... some sort of expression. Rylee just gets a little startled and then gives this look of "You thing, you're in my way, move."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sad Day For The Bears


Last night we went to Cowboy's Country to watch the Bears game. It's a little well known fact that the Richardson family are die hard cowboy's fans and the Daukas' are devoted Bears fans. So the two met up for some fun.

And fun we had. Until about the fourth quarter where everything fell apart for the Bears and they were destroyed. Ah they have their work cut out for them if they are going to make it to the playoffs. We haven't given up yet! But I do think, after sustaining more injuries last night, I'll need to pull the bears defense off of my fantasy league!

Notice the difference in Rich & Trey's face after the game... suddenly they are excited to get their picture taken!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ready for four?

Haha, nope not quite yet... but we did have fun adding baby Ellie Payne to the mix this morning! It was our first chance to babysit our friend Ellie. The kids loved having her. For the first hour Rylee was asleep so Taylor & Trevor had her all to themselves. They shook toys, sang songs, knocked over blocks, basically overstimulated her in every way possible. It went really well until Trevor decided to strip himself down naked in the other room and then come running out exclaiming "I HAVE TO GO POOPY!" But we made it through that and then Rylee woke up and had her chance to play with her friend. In effort to keep Rylee from constantly hitting her face I showed her how to pat her back gently. Rylee caught on right away, not so much the gently part, and pretty much patted Ellie's back for the remaining time. She'd follow Ellie wherever she crawled to and rub her back.

Ellie is such a sweet, sweet, baby! Maybe I could have a fourth if she was anything like her.... will just stick to babysitting for now :-)

Can you tell the one in the middle is not mine?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

We shall meet again


Heaven will be no strange place to us when we get there. We shall not be oppressed by the cold, shy, chilly feeling that we know nothing of our companions. We shall feel at home. We shall see all of whom we have read in Scripture, and know them all and mark the peculiar graces of each one. We shall look upon Noah, and remember his witness for God in ungodly times. We shall look on Abraham, and remember his faith; on Isaac, and remember his meekness; on Moses and remember his patience; on David and remember all his trouble. We shall sit down with Peter, and James and John and Paul and remember all their toil when laid the foundations of the Church. Blessed and glorious will that knowledge and communion be! If it is pleasant to know one or two saints and meet them occasionally now, what will it be to know them all and to dwell with them for ever!

There is something unspeakable comforting, more over, as well as glorious in this prospect. It lights up the valley of the shadow of death. It strips the sick bed and the grave of half their terrors. Our beloved friends who have fallen asleep in Christ are not lost, but only gone before. The children of the same God and partakers of the same graces can never be separated very long. They are sure to come together again when this world has passed away. Our pleasant communion with our kind Christian friends is only broken off for a small moment, and is soon to be eternally resumed. These eyes of ours shall once more look upon their faces, and these ears of ours shall once more hear them speak. Blessed and happy indeed will that meeting be! Better a thousand times than the parting! We parted in sorrow, and we shall meet in joy; we parted in stormy weather, and we shall meet in a calm harbour; we parted amidst pains and aches, and groans and infirmities: we shall meet with glorious bodies, able to serve our Lord forever without distraction. And, best of all, we shall meet never to be parted, never to shed one more tear, never to put on mourning, never to say good-bye and farewell again. Oh! It is a blessed thought, that saints will know one another in Heaven!

...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!”

*Taken from Shall We Know One Another in Heaven? JC Ryle

This post is dedicated to a precious saint, Amy Wilhoite, who went to be with the Lord this week. I hope this encourages all who have lost loved ones and long for the day to be reunited with them.

Pasta Delight

I was eager to try something different this week for dinner. I went to my favorite place for new recipes and found this. It was delightful and delicious. Even my kids ate every last bite! In addition to what the recipe calls for I added 1/2 t of basil and 1 t of oregano.

Angel Hair Pasta Delight

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup water
1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach, chopped
2 cups chopped plum tomato
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1/2 pound)
1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon (about 2 slices)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 cups hot cooked angel hair (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded Asiago cheese

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add water and spinach; cover and cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts.
Stir in tomato, chicken, bacon, and vinegar; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve over pasta; sprinkle with cheese.

4 servings (serving size: 1 cup spinach mixture, 1 cup pasta, and 1 tablespoon cheese)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Debtors To The Triunine God

"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh" Romans 8:12

We are debtors, but the flesh is not our creditor. What are its demands with which it is incumbent upon us to comply? Do we owe anything to sin the parent of all our woe? Nothing. To the world, ensnaring, deceitful and ruinous? Nothing. No; to these allies of flesh we owe nothing but the deepest hatred and the most determined opposition.

And yet, the saints of God are "debtors." To whom? What debtors are they to the Father, for His electing love, for the covenant of grace, for His unspeakable gift, for having blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus! We but imperfectly estimate the debt of love , gratitude, and service which we owe to Him whose mind the Eternal Son came to reveal, whose will He came to do, and whose heart He came to unveil. It was the Father who sent the Son. The wondrous expedient of our redemption originated with Him. He laid all our sins on Jesus. It was His sword of Justice that smote the Shepherd...Thus we have overlooked the source that originated our salvation, and have lost sight of the truth that the mediation of Jesus was not the cause, but rather the effect, of God's love to man.

Equal debtors are we to the Son... He left no path untrodden, no portion of the curse unborne, no sin unatoned, no part of the law uncanceled, nothing for us to do in the matter of our salvation, but simply to believe and be saved... Oh, how deep the obligation we are under to Christ!

And not less indebted are we to the Holy Spirit. What do we not owe Him of love and obedience who awoke the first thrill of life in our soul; who showed us our guilt and sealed to us our pardon? What do we not owe Him for leading us to Christ; for dwelling in our hearts; for His healing, sanctifying, comforting, and restoring grace...

Thus are all real believers debtors to the Triuine God- debtors to the Father's everlasting love, to the Son's redeeming grace and to the Spirit's quickening mercy. To the flesh we owe nothing but uncompromising hatred; to Jehovah we owe undivided and supreme affection!
Morning Thoughts
September 6th

What a great reminder this was for me. Not only do I constantly need to be told to put my flesh to death but I love the beautiful picture of the Trinity at work in salvation.

In the middle of writing this up, Trevor, whom I'm still potty training, pooped all over the kitchen chair, leaving me indebted to the inventors of bleach cleaner as well :-)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Tagged for recipes

I've been tagged by my friend Lory to list my four recipes. This is a little stressful for me because those who have gone before all are gourmet chefs. Don't deny it! So I'll give you four, very easy, basic recipes that are staples in my home. You know ones I can make with three little ones underfoot. If they bore you, feel free to follow back the trace of tags to get more "interesting" recipes. You won't be disappointed!

So hmm... which one to list first. Let's start with a great breakfast meal in honor of Lory. I made this for her baby shower and it was a hit. It also makes a great breakfast for dinner meal. Thanks to Chris' mom for the recipe!

Special Breakfast:
1 10oz pkg sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
3 1/2 cups cubed ham
15 to 20 slices bread, crust removed (removing crust is opt. just how his mom does it)
6 beaten eggs
1/2 tsp salt
3 c milk
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 c crushed cornflakes
1/2 c melted butter

Spray a 13x9 inch pan. Cover bottom of pan with bread slices. Sprinkle with cheese and ham. Cover with remaining bread slices. Mix together eggs, salt, milk & mustard. Pour over bread. Cover with foil & refrigerate overnight, or throughout the day. Bring to room temperature, remove foil and top with crushed cornflakes. Pour melted butter on top. Bake at 350 for 1 hr.

Black Bean Enchiladas- I love this meal because it's simple, high in fiber and well the kids will eat it.

1 c Monterrey Jack Cheese (or some mexican blend)
1 c cooked brown rice
1 c sour cream
1/3 c green onions
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 15oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 19 oz (give or take) red enchilada sauce- My favorite is Trader Joe's.
4 burrito size whole wheat flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1/2 c cheese, rice & next six ingredients in a large bowl. Spread 1/4 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of sprayed 11x9 inch baking dish. Top with 2 tortillas, then 1/2 bean mixture. Add 2 more tortillas, then with remaining bean mixture. Finish with enchilada sauce and remaining cheese. Bake for 40 minutes.

Seven Way Chili- Just typing this makes me long for fall! Brown 1 lb ground beef with 1 small onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1 ckn. bullion cube
2 tsp cumin
3 tbsp chili powder
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can bush's chili beans
Add 2/3 water

Simmer for 2 hours.

Top with fritos, cheese, sour cream, onions or jalapenos. We eat it with spaghetti noodles on the bottom- which I highly recommend doing!

Taste good hot or frozen cookie recipe-
This is my all time favorite cookie recipe but it bakes about 11 or 12 dozen cookies. I throw some bags in the freezer for late night cravings :-)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together:
4 sticks softened butter
2 c sugar
2 c brown sugar
4 eggs
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 t vanilla

Slowly mix in:
4 c flour
4 c oatmeal
2 c coconut
4 c (2 12oz pkg) chocolate chips

Bake 10-12 minutes

Well I hope someone out there enjoys these recipes :-) I'm off- all this talk of food has made me hungry!

Oh yes and I tag my sister-in-law Danae, Heather, Luz & Shawnda
I know you are only supposed to tag four but I couldn't pick between you all so one last tag to my other sister in law, and fantasy football opponent (along with Heather) Jessica

Trevor Singing


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Let the games begin


This isn't going to be just "another" year of enduring fantasy football. Oh no, this is THE year for fantasy football. Why you ask? Well because it's no longer Chris playing while I try my best to understand and act interested. This year I will have my own team in my own all girls league- Pigskins & Purses! It has been intense training with my husband for the past few days. Cheat sheets were not satisfactory... I had Chris sheets with notes of his scribbled everywhere and specific instructions of who/what position to draft in each round. We drafted last night and it was intense. You had 90 seconds to draft your pick and every other pick I rushed frantically to try to find the name and cross them off my list. Phew- two hours later I was ready for a bubble bath. I'm excited to have this in common with Chris this year... I'm also excited to win :-) Watch out girls!