Friday, November 30, 2007

For your consideration

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


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'

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'

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...


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

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

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


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

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!!

Funny Things Trevor's Said


Trevor just gets cuter and cuter by the day. His little smirks when he asks for something he knows he shouldn't have and the way his vocabulary seems to ever expand. This morning as Chris left Trevor broke out into tears, as he often does, because he doesn't want daddy to go to work. I sat down by him and tried to give him my usual speech of how daddy is called by God to go to work and that by daddy working he can provide things like clothes, food & toys for us. Trevor looks at me and said, " I don't need clothes, I have clothes already". As he pulls at his shirt. Maybe I should work on my speech.

Also miracle or miracles, Trevor has given up his pacifier. It was much easier than I would've anticipated. I began having daily battles with him over the pacifier and his desire to have all the time. It had totally became an idol for him. So Chris lead us in taking it away. At one point in the beginning days Trevor asked for his dinky, as he affectionately calls it, I replied that he is a big boy now and does not need the dinky. He looked at me with his big blue eyes and said " I don't want to be a big boy, I want to be a small boy, give me back my dinky!". It didn't work but he sure was cute!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Chicken and Asparagus

Here's a new recipe I've made a couple of times from Cooking Light. It's been a huge hit in my house!

Chicken and Asparagus in White Wine Sauce
4 (6 oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
2 T of butter
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C dry white wine ( I used Pinot Grigio)
1/2 C fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pd asparagus spears, trimmed
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T fresh lemon juice

Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4 inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. (I skipped this part as my chicken breast halves were already thin enough.) Sprinkle chicken breast evenly with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add wine, broth, and garlic to pan, scarping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 minutes. Add asparagus; cover and cook 3 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and juice. Serve asparagus and sauce with chicken. Yield: 4 servings

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Little Bo Peep Lost her Sheep...

Little bo peep...

has lost her sheep...

so the train conductor went off to find them...

leave them alone and they'll come home

crying cause you tried to stop them

So a miracle happened last night and rylee not only wore her hat but did so for part of the time without crying! I was very blessed :-) After saying hi to some of our neighbors and bringing them candy, kind of a reverse trick or treating thing, we headed off to our friends the Ziegler's house for a chili cook off party. The kids ran around and played, broke a pinata full of candy and the adults ate lots of yummy food! And well I hate to brag but my chili came in second place! See if I came in first place and I was telling you than it would be bragging but to come in second and announce it is not bragging because you are just admitting that you are only second best :-) If anyone every needs a second best chilli recipe let me know!

Here's a few more pictures of my little lamb. I could've held and cuddled with her all night!