Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Date night on the beach


My parents and Brother & Sister- in -law were gracious enough to give us an hour or so off duty from the kids last week. Chris had arranged it without me knowing so while I'm in the middle of chasing the kids on the green, with my back done in from all the walking we had done at legoland the previous day and having an oh such a great attitude, Chris walks out with some beach chairs, a bag and said to me let's go. It was a welcomed surprise. We camped out on the beach and went for a walk, sipped a little wine and watched the sun go down. So romantic! Thanks guys for giving us some time to catch up just the two of us- it was definitely a highlight for us!

Train Station


There is a train station in walking distance in Carlsbad. Each year we've been blown away (literally) by the trains that will come zooming past. Watching the train go by became a daily thing and on the last day we decided to surprise the kids by joining in on the fun. We took a little train trip down to another beach city, walked around for an hour, and took it back. The kids had a great time!

Would you believe this is only picture I have of all three of them together... trust me it's not that I didn't try either :-) Oh and if Rylee's nose looks dirty in any upcoming pictures it's a leftover scab from one of her many falls she had last week.

They had a bazaar going on in the town we visited and it was well... bizarre!

My parents & Ryan and Danae drove down and meet us in the town. Then my mom & Danae rode back with us. Trevor did you just love your first train trip?

Fun On The Green


As you saw in the first picture the resort has a large green area surrounded by the condo's. Next to the beach, this is the place we spent the most time. Eating dinners, playing, making new friends. Within day one of being there the kids discovered that there were snails in the garden planters surrounding the green. They had lots of fun collecting the snails and letting them crawl up their arm :-)

The other thing the kids like to collect was flowers. I got flowers from my kids all day long. I don't think there are many left on the green either.

Rylee got in a fight with one...

but she won...

We did just about everything we could to try to contain them to the green so we could relax too. One afternoon we brought out bubbles and that kept their attention for awhile.

We also brought our stroller out to try to contain rylee... but that was one big joke all week long as she kept finding ways out!

The green also provided a great spot to take pictures. Here's one of Taylor sitting by a little pond filled with fish. When we lost Rylee on the green this is usually where we'd find her.

Here's another picture of Rylee & Daddy, I thought it was a sweet pic.

Next post will be on the kids first train ride!

Trevor the Philosopher


Trevor cracks us up pretty much daily. Vacation was no exception. One morning Trevor woke up next to daddy, he made a habit of coming to our bed most mornings at about 5am and sleeping a few more hours with us, anyway Chris told Trevor about his cool dreams and asked him what he dreamt about. To which Trevor replied in a serious voice:

"Dad I don't close my eyes to dream, I open them to see".

We didn't know whether to laugh or cry or ponder deeply about what was said. Chris asked him where he heard that from and he laughed and said I made it up dad. Thankfully he went back to his usual self later in the day when he said:

"Daddy you want to play a game with me outside?"

"Alright dad but I win and you lose."

Now that's a daddy's boy speaking if I've ever heard one ;-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008



We had a wonderful family vacation. It's hard to return back to normal after having my husband around for ten days! We made lots of memories with the kids- beach days, legoland, chasing the kids on the resort grassy area, which we affectionately call "the green" (see picture above), outlet shopping, golfing and much more. But those of you with little ones will know what I mean when I say it's a different type of vacation these days. It's still work, just work away from home. Chris lead us in preparing our hearts before we left knowing from previous years that temptations abound and I'm happy to say that God poured out much grace to our family and our hearts! This was the first vacation though that I came home exhausted :-)

I have so many things to write about and pictures to post that I think I'll just devote separate posts to different memories.

Friday, July 18, 2008

We're Off

Bags are packed... still yet to be shown if it will all fit in the car but my husband assures me that where there's a will there's a way. Does anyone else's husband think that figuring out the best strategy to packing the car is the most intense, exciting, challenge ever?

We are headed off to perfect 70 degree california weather, where we can once again enjoy the outdoors! So for the next week there will be no computer, internet, e-mail, cell phones, ok so maybe cell phones but only if it's an emergency :-) I'm looking forward to a break from the normal day in and day out. We are praying the Lord would bless us with a fun memory building vacation together as a family. We are also praying that this year everyone stays healthy. Last year the kids got strep throat and we ended up coming home early. Either way we thank God for this opportunity to retreat away together and trust him for all that he has in store!

See you all when we get back :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Potty Training...


Well it's been a busy few weeks for the Daukas'. Lots of library going, swimming, visiting with friends, play-dough creations, cutting out all sorts of shapes from construction paper and gluing them on to cardboard to make collages. Trevor has learned how to navigate the computer and is having lots of fun practicing his alphabet on As for me, I've spent most of my summer days in the bathroom. Yep I'm pretty much camped out there all day long. If I ever don't answer the phone or door you can take one guess where I am. Got a stack of books and a nice comfy seat in there now too :-) We finished up with Trevor a few weeks ago. By finished I mean he's telling me when he has to go, very few accidents and no longer needs any assistance from us. Oh how great it feels to have that boy out of diapers... what a mess it was in the process though! And now we are on to Rylee. I haven't been one to potty train my kids young. Partly me but mostly them. They just weren't ready. Rylee has shown interest all summer while I've been working with Trevor but nothing ever really came of it. About a week ago she woke up and said "Mommy I have to go potty". I put her on and potty she went. I left her diaperless for the rest of the day and each time she'd tell me when she had to go potty. Even though I didn't have intentions of training her this early I'm not going to deny it to her either. There have been a few messes here and there... she's still figuring out the big one. The first time it was hilarious. She looked into the potty and said "Oh no, Mommy it's a mess!" She immediately flushed it before she could finish her potty business all the while crying over her "mess'. Then today she went a little bit and insisted on being done. I helped her off, washed her hands and she ran off... knowing she would be right back I plopped myself on the bathroom floor and grabbed one of those good books I mentioned earlier. Sure enough just moments later she came running back in with a little present for me. Yep she had gone on the floor, picked it up and plopped it into the toilet. She exclaimed, "ip, ip, ooray!" Copying my earlier celebration.
We leave on vacation in a few days so I'm hoping I don't lose too much ground on all the hard work I've put in with her while we are gone. I confess it's hard to imagine a diaper, wipe free house! It's been been six years straight of having a kid in diapers. I've begun imagining where all that extra money can go :-)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Celebrating Eight


This weekend Chris and I celebrated eight years of marriage! We had such a great 24hrs to ourselves at the Westin in Scottsdale! I grow more and more in love with this man with each passing year. His love, passion, devotion to the Lord & family, the way he can turn my tears into laughter and always knows just what to say to encourage my heart are a few reasons why. Life is better because I have him to enjoy it with! It's hard to think of a day where there was no Chris & Tara and we were two separate people living life. I like to look back to when it all began and well for one I feel a little old and remembering our beginnings always makes me laugh.

Chris and I met in a singles group at a church over nine years ago. I was Tara the keyboard player, singer, feisty girl and he was Chris, worship leader, guitar player, stubborn boy. We both helped start up the singles ministry and I so graciously followed Chris' leading of the band each week... right guys? It seemed pretty much evident to all who knew us that we were "meant to be" but one us of needed a little more convincing than the other. And well since this is my blog I can tell the story my way! (see love another reason you should start your own blog) We were a close knit group of friends/staff and after some talks with my friends it was decided that Chris & I would be perfect for each other. Bad idea. (single girls don't get together and talk about who would be perfect for each other... not helpful) Well it's not like I really needed any help. My heart was already being drawn toward this caring, funny, Godly guy.

He would call me to let me know when band practice was and what could've been a 5 minute phone call turned into a couple of hours. Our friendship keep growing and growing and the pressure to be a couple continued. This lead into a phone call from Chris clarifying that we were "just friends" and I should ignore our friends pressure as we will always be "just friends". "Always?", I asked. "Always", he replied. I was a little heartbroken but decided that I wouldn't let it bother me and that I didn't like Chris that way after all. That was the feisty part in me, "fine I don't like you either!" or maybe immature:-)

For Chris this didn't exactly mean we'd stop being friends like we were. Our deep conversations stayed the same and our friendship continued. After a few months I couldn't deny that my heart was drawn towards this man and there was simply nothing I could do but pray. After about six months from the "just in case your wondering I don't like you" phone call. Chris was at my door. After a conversation with my dad he was wondering if I would be willing to take our ever growing friendship to the next level. "It's about time you asked!" was my response. I was thrilled and excited and all the other adjectives that describes a girl falling in love. What changed for Chris you might ask? He would say that in visiting some friends in Chicago he was up late one night missing me. And he couldn't figure out why he would miss me if I was truly just a friend. The Lord used this to show Chris that the girl he was waiting for was right in front of him the whole time. So after six weeks of dating we were engaged to be married!! A pace we don't exactly recommend to the singles in our life but in our situation the friendship was already built solid so there wasn't much else left to figure out before we got engaged.

It is so fun to look back and see how God continues to take our marriage to new levels. He has faithfully lead us through hard and trying times, through unclear times, through joyful times, all the while strengthening our relationship with each other and the Lord. Thank you Chris for being the greatest gift (next to salvation) in my life! I love you.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

God's Fireworks


We didn't get to see many fireworks last night. It was stormy & windy with some lightning where we were and the ones we did get to see were way off in the distance. Which wouldn't have been so bad if I had not been building up fireworks at the park for the past few days! Someone remind me next year to check the weather before the 4th. Oh well it was a great chance to walk the kids through trusting God even when we're disappointed.. and maybe, well, walk myself through the same thing :-) That being said we still had quite a show! One the Lord gave us...

For your steadfast love is great above the heavens;

your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!

Let your glory be over all the earth. Psalm 108:4,5

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Swimming Days


We've had lots of fun swimming in my parents pool recently. They had their water thing on the other day and the kids had a blast swimming through it!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Rosemary Chicken Salad


We've had a busy week of hospitality. I love having people in our home- it brings me so much joy!! This week we had some neighbors over for lunch as well as our friends the Spencers. It was time for a new lunch recipe so I went to my favorite place... and found this.

Rosemary Chicken Salad

3 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3/4 pound)
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped smoked almonds
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 slices whole-grain bread
Combine first 9 ingredients, stirring well. Spread about 2/3 cup of chicken mixture over each of 5 bread slices, and top with remaining bread slices. Cut sandwiches diagonally in half.
5 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)

It was delicious and sure to become a regular in our family. Minus the stomach ache it gave me :-) Just when I think my stomach is back to normal and I can eat what I want, I go and try something new and bang it leaves me flat on my back! I think I'll have to do without the wheat bread next time but for the rest of you normal people out there be sure to gives this a try and have it on wheat.