Friday, May 29, 2009

Our Church Location

Since moving to Peoria we've only come to more appreciate our church's location starting fall. It's such a beautiful park full of things to do with the family. Fishing, splashing, batting cages, sand volleyball, excellent barbecue locations, parks for the kids, lakes to walk around, baseball fields and the best part in my opinion, Starbucks! Come September this park will also host Grace Church on Sunday nights. This place is ALWAYS packed with hundreds of people and evangelism opportunities abound!

We were down there last night with the Pastor's & wives from Gilbert and I snapped a few quick shots:

Hopefully the Lord will fill those empty chairs with people who don't know the Lord for us to proclaim the gospel too!

Today this park leads the pack for Best Park in AZ! If you live in AZ, do us a favor and go vote for this park!

Monday, May 25, 2009

One Week Away


We are a week from our church plant send off. In many ways it feels like we've already left but then sitting in church yesterday it hit me in a fresh way that we are only a week away from officially leaving the church we love. A week away from officially starting Grace Church.

It's been an amazing month so far in Peoria. Mark Driscoll says to be prepared to give up all hobbies when you plant a church. I've felt that already. Notice the lack of blog posts. I have had scarce time to edit photo's and it took us over a week to watch the LOST finale. Our house has been nothing but busy. New and old friendships are being built and man it's fun! We've had a couple community groups here and a few overnight guests. I guess you can say we've hit the ground running. There are however a few boxes that need unpacking. So give me a couple months before you go looking through my closet :)

For all the fears, doubts, insecurities I've had over the past year, I can honestly say that I couldn't be happier in Peoria. On a personal note I love this city, the community and the beautiful mountains that surround us. We've begun building with our neighbors and others we've meet along the way and I see God's grace everywhere as we do His kingdom work.

So for me you can say faith came in doing. Doubts are gone, fears are fought with scripture and there's now no looking back.

*picture taken by my friend Luz at Rio Vista, soon to be our church location

Sunday, May 24, 2009



My Sweet, beautiful girl turns 7 today. Really? 7? Where did the time go? This was a big year for her. She learned to ride a bike in a day. She had her first year of homeschool. And somewhere along the line she decided she was too old for princess stuff and didn't want a themed bedroom anymore. Just pink & brown. Chris and I were talking last night and we feel 7 more than 6. She is truly growing up before our eyes.

This year she began consistently journaling and it is full of her humor, pictures, thoughts on the days and beautiful prayers. She loves sharing her journal with her Dad on Sunday nights. It's become a special time between the two of them. A week ago she wrote this out in her journel and was excited to share it with us. I'm trying to get it scanned but haven't succeeded yet. So I wrote it out exactly as she had it:

"Dear Lord, Please help anut Michall and please help every person who needs help, inside and out. And lord please help grace church be a sucsess. And we know that you are always with us and we can never run away from you. I also pray that I be a Christian. I think I might be now.
And in Jesus's name.... AMEN"

This is all written out with no help from us and there are prayers like this all throughout her journal. Truly God is at work in her and we give Him all the praise and pray it only continues as she grows in age and understanding.

Taylor you are such a gift to your family! After I recover from her little sleepover with a few friends last night I'll post some pictures.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Long Live The 80's

You find all sorts of stuff when the majority of things have been packed up for a few months. One box we brought over, that up to this point I had yet to go through, was labeled: TARA'S HIGHSCHOOL STUFF. Now that's a scary thought! Could be why I've avoided it all these years. Well I ripped it open and found all sorts of stuff. Boxes of cards and pictures from old boyfriends. Those have since been burned and thrown in the trash by my husband. Pictures I drew in elementary school, diploma's. etc. Trevor found this dinosaur report I did in the 2nd grade. He thought it was the coolest thing ever. He asked if he could finish coloring some of the pictures in the booklet. I told him that if I've had 15 years to finish it and it's still not done then it's all his.

Taylor found another little treasure of mine from Jr. High. My crimper. Wow that brings back bad memories for sure :) Well I plugged it in and good old vidal sassoon produces quite the product, it still works. We had fun crimping her hair and she assembled this little outfit all on her own:

Long live the 80's!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Soakin' In My Mother's Day

This year for Mother's Day I got what every tired, weary from moving, mom wants.

Ah.... paradise :)

A few days before moving in I was surprised to find my Master Bedroom tub/shower combo gone and a separate shower & Jacuzzi tub in it's place. I don't know but I think that should win him a husband of the year award or something!

He also had these beautiful niches built in around the tub. A total of four. I love it!

Here's a blurry before:

and one during construction:

It was quite the transformation.

Thank you Love! If you ever can't find me... you'll know where I am :)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Church Plant Barbeque

Two weeks ago we had a Grace Church Peoria barbeque in the park near our meeting location.

We had quite a few new faces come to the barbeque that night. Some who are friends of Sovereign Grace and interested in learning more about our new church that has come to their city and a few others who are not sure what they believe about the Gospel yet. Chris and others on our team got to share the gospel with the them and they were eager to hear and know more! Praise God! It made us all the more excited to go and see how the Lord would use us!

This is the only picture I had time to snap but my friend Sara took lots of pictures and posted it on her blog:

check it out here

New Kitchen, New Recipe


Well we are totally settled in and unpacked here in the Daukas house. Ok so not really, but close. I woke up this morning and had this strange feeling. Something I remembered having once about a year or so ago. Settled. Ah, so nice. Then I had another familiar feeling shortly after, exhausted. Yep, we've pretty much killed it this week and hosted our first Community Group for Grace Church last night. What a joy to have them all in our new home worshipping God and praying together!

One of the favorite places in my home, among many really, is the kitchen. It's big, spacious and lots of counter space (guard your hearts those of you with a small kitchen I was once there, like last week there). So standing in the kitchen this week I had a strong desire to cook and bake like never before! I walked down to the new library by our house and checked out a Barefoot Contessa cookbook. Lots of possibilities. Here's a keeper from last night:

Chicken Piccata
4 split boneless, skinless chicken breast
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 C all-purpose flour
2 extra large eggs
1 ½ C seasoned dried bread crumbs
olive oil
3 T unsalted butter at room temerature
1/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
½ C dry white wine
sliced lemon for serving
chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of parchment paper and pound it out to ¼ inch think. Sprinkle both sides with salt & pepper.

Mix the flour, 1 t salt and ½ t pepper on a shallow plate. In a second plate, beat the eggs and 1 T water together. Place the bread crumbs on a third plate. Dip each chicken breast first in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip in the egg and bread-crumb mixtures.

Heat 2 T olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium to medium- low heat. Add 2 chicken breats and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Place them on the sheet pan while you cook the rest of the chicken. Heat more olive oil in the sauté pan and cook the second 2 chicken breasts. Place then on the same sheet pan and allow them to bake for 5-10 minutes while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, wipe out the sauté pan with a dry paper towel. On medium heat, melt 1 T of the butter and add the lemon juice, white wine, the reserved lemon halves, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ t pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 T of butter and swirl to combine. Discard the lemon halves. Serve one chicken breast on each plate, spoon on the sauce, and serve with sliced lemon and a sprinkling of fresh parsley

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Feels Like Starting Over


Today is moving day.

No I'm not huddled in a corner with my little boxes refusing to move. But there have been a few tears this week as I've thought about leaving my hometown. Mostly at odd times. Like driving to sprouts the other day. Who knew driving to your local sprouts for one last time could make me cry? Or dropping my mom off at her house after storytime with the kids. Or sitting by my best friend watching a silly movie in the theater. But as I've processed the why we are going and the who we are going for, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I love our little group of Grace Church people and count it such a tremendous blessing to do life and mission work with them. More than that I love the Lord. I've been bought with a price. The price of His shed blood. My life is not my own it is His to use as He sees fit. I do not live for this world but the world to come.

"And it feels like giving in
It feels like starting over
It feels like waking up, and you know it’s coming
It feels like a brand new day" jars of clay; two hands

Next time I'll be live from the west side.