Monday, August 31, 2009

Rylee's Party


This is a little late in posting but I wanted to get up some pictures from Rylee's little friend party. My parents were kind enough to open up their house so we could swim. Swimming has been one of Rylee's favorite activities this summer! She's quite the swimmer too. What a great feeling it is to watch your child jump in the pool, not drown, but rather swim her way over to the side! She remains our athletic girl. I have to say having that many 2 & 3 year old in the pool makes you count heads over and over :)

The kids worked up quite the appetite.

Taylor had the idea of dressing up as tinkerbell and surprising Rylee and the girls for presents & cake. She ate it up & the little ones kept calling her tinkerbell.

Rylee got some wings as a present:

Who wants cake?

A final one with the girls and their party goodies:

And what party would be complete without Rylee getting naked & jumping in the pool... ah I love my little free spirit!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Death & Grace Church


I was reminded again this week how much I hate death. Really hate it. Sometimes I walk around in denial that I and everyone I love will one day die and other days, like this week I'm faced with that reality all over again. Death goes against our very created nature. We were made to live & enjoy God forever and for a short time that's how we lived. There was no such thing as death, grief, mourning, tears, until the dreaded day in the garden where together Adam & Eve disobeyed God. They did the one thing they were asked not to do. At this point I can be tempted to hate Adam & Eve until I take a good look at my own life and admit that I'm no different. I probably would've ate the apple a lot quicker then they did. From their disobedience sin & death entered the world and we see the results all around us. I'm thankful that the Lord did not let the story of humanity end there. No Christ came, took on my sin and the sin of his children, died and three days later rose from the grave. He conquered death. Yes there is still death in the world but it is just a shadow. We no longer have to fear being eternally separated from God. He has made a way!

This week our dear friends found out that their baby of 37 weeks had passed. They asked me to come when she was born and take pictures so that they could remember over the years that way that the Lord had fearfully & wonderfully made her in her mother's womb. From behind the lens I wept, prayed & took pictures of little hands & feet. I also witnessed the most remarkable faith. "God is still good" my friend cried. "God we don't know why, but we trust you." They prayed through tears. Who says these things?! One who believes with all of their being that God is real & that Christ has conquered the grave. They say "God is still good," because they know that nothing can separate them from the Love of God that they have in Christ. (Rom 8) They can say, "I trust you" because the gospel, forgives them of their sin & promises them eternal life with Christ. They have the hope that one day they will be united with Adalia in heaven.

They had chosen the name Adalia for their baby girl prior to knowing that the Lord would take her. Adalia means "God is our Refuge". My friends are walking through this trial living like "God IS their refuge".

In the Lord's providence this tragedy happened the week leading up to our church plant kick off. Tomorrow we begin. God has used Adalia's short life to remind us of why we are planting Grace Church. There are hurting people that will come into our building who are grieving but not like ones who have hope. They don't know how or where to find hope in the midst of pain & suffering. People who are physically alive but spiritually dead will come to our church and we can point them to a God who forgives sin and makes men alive again! This is our prayer and we in faith, believing God wants to do these very things, will open the doors tomorrow at 4pm.

Pray for our friends and pray that Grace Church will be know as a place where the dead are made alive.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


This week my baby turned 3. What a joy Rylee Grace is! She is a bundle of energy, athletic, extremely tough, yet still has a girly side. She loves playing with her baby dolls & dress up like a princess with Taylor. She will pull you close and whisper something inaudible in your ear, then pull away and laugh! You end up laughing with her because her laughter is infectious. She is tenderhearted, always wanting to pray for someone when they are hurt. She'll fold her little hands and scrunch up her eyes tight to pray. And although it was her birthday, she gave her mom a nice present too :) The Daukas' home is officially diaper free!

Rylee is beautiful, quite stunning I think. But to appreciate Rylee is to know her high pitch voice. The other week Chris was playing guitar in his office and Rylee came in wanting to sing with him. They started doing this back and forth thing and Chris hit record. I'm so glad he did! I'll treasure this little voice for a lifetime!

The first song is one Chris wrote for a children's scripture cd our church put out a few years back and the second is God of This City. It was used in a sendoff video for our church plant team. I think Rylee has watched this video close to 50 times :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I've been reading through Comforts from the Cross, Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time by Elyse Fitzpatrick the past month. It's been outstanding food for my soul each morning as she helps her readers to apply the gospel in fresh ways.
A few days ago I read a section where she expounded on John 18:4-8

"Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, "Whom do you seek? ... I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let theses men go."

Elyse says, "What a Savior we have! What a good shepherd! The wolves were circling, and he stepped forward, arms outstretched, keeping his little flock behind him. The wolves would attack; he would bear their attack himself. He would continue to guard them in ways amazing and unheard of. He bravely guarded their bodies; he would eve more courageously watch over and protect their souls."

"His great heart was filled with love, and this love empowered him to place himself between danger and those he cherished. Even though his friends weren't worthy of his protection, of his sacrifice for them, he was determined. Take me. Let them go. That's been his theme throughout all eternity. Take me. Punish me. Let them go. His love for us is our guarantee that we'll make it all the way to heaven. He interposed his body between the wrath of the religious leaders and his weak disciples; he interposed his precious blood between the righteous wrath of his father and his sinful bride. What a husband! What a Savior!"

"He sees your heart today. He know what you fear and how you continue to try to take matters into your own hand and protect yourself (so true). He sees when you cut off you enemy's ear, as Peter did, lashing out at those who threaten you, seeking to hurt them before they can hurt you. He sees when you flee naked into the night, hoping to hide yourself from failure, censure, disgrace, judgment. He sees when you swear that you don't know him, denying him by word or deed, afraid that you'll seem foolish or be persecuted. He knows when you fear the doctor's reports and try to ignore his voice speaking deeply, comfortingly to you. And yet he interposes himself between you and your enemies simply because he is determined not to lose one of those precious ones his Father has given to him!"

"Draw near to him today, won't you? He'll cover you with his strong arms and keep your soul safe. Don't hid; don't try to cover up. Just come as you are and thank him for his courageous love. "

I find it so freeing that I will make it to heaven not based on my works but on God's great love. So great that he said, "Take me. Punish me. Let her go." What a Savior!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Just Add Oreo

If you're looking to spice up your chocolate chip cookies just add oreo. I did.

and boy it was yummy

but watch your oven mit or this might happen...

back to yummy...

Add 8 broken pieces of Oreo to your chocolate chip recipe or check out the one here at Cafe Zuplas.

Monday, August 03, 2009



Yesterday marked the last day of hosting Grace church in our home. Last day of moving out the couches and setting up chairs. Last day of setting up the kids rooms for Children's Ministry. And sadly the last day that someone else vacuumed my house for me :)

Grace. That's the word to describe the past couple of months. I've counted it a sincere joy to host Grace Church in our home during it's early beginnings. Often as a Pastor's wife and a mom of three young kids, my role on Sunday's doesn't go beyond getting the kids dressed and to church on time. And trust me I'm not minimizing that role! But it's been exciting to play a different role in addition to getting the kids ready. I will miss being there for the set-up and all the excitement before the meeting starts.

But yes there has been grace for backaches, grace in the form of the kids excitement to host church and their eagerness to pitch in, grace in others coming early to set up, grace for the spills and paint that's gotten chipped. And when I wake up monday morning wondering if I could possibly do it again the following week, grace. Loads of Grace! But it is time for Grace Church to move on and time for this family to start living like it's a house and not a church. After doing it week after week we'd found it easier to leave as much as we could set up for Sunday to minimize the work. Chairs left in rooms, sound equipment left in our living room and craft supplies on my dresser. But last week when we left the "Nursing Mom's" sign on Taylor's door I knew it was probably time we head to the Rio Vista :)

After we finished the meeting we had our first Grace Church baptism!

We'd appreciate your prayers as we gear up for our kick off on August 30th!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Carlsbad Is... Family


Well these posts could go on for quite awhile. Like Carlsbad is walking to the donut shop. Getting frozen yogurt from Linda's. The kids searching for snails. Playing cards. Of course I left that one off because Chris & I kept losing :) Shopping trips, guys poker games, walks in the morning, buying new reefs from the surf shop. But what makes Carlsbad Carlsbad, is family. My parents have been building memories with Ryan and I there since we were young kids and it's such a joy to go back with our families and see the tradition continue.

Here are a couple family pictures from our last night:

Until next year!

Carlsbad Is... portraits

This year I was able to rent a lens that I've been coveting. Yes, sinfully coveting :) But the next best thing to owning a lens is the ability to rent it! Carlsbad has always provided opportunities to get lots of pictures of the kids and they are able to do something there that they haven't been able to do for a couple months. PLAY OUTSIDE :) And well this photographer has missed taking pictures under the sun! So here are some hang-er-upers from this year trip:

Doesn't she wear this rad hat well?

Ok so I probably won't hang this one up but it captures a side of trevor that makes me laugh :)

Of course I couldn't resist this little guy who's almost 1 & walking :) Owen brought us lots of joy on this vacation!