so… this past tuesday night was a “last” for me. it was my last time babysitting (at least on a regular basis) the [chris and tara] daukas kids – taylor (almost 7yrs), trevor (4yrs), and rylee (3yrs). chris and tara are stepping out in great faith and following God’s call for them to plant a sovereign grace church in peoria and they moved out there this past weekend. ::sniff:: it’s been over 4 years of every-other-week babysitting. wow.
these kids are so special to me. taylor was 2 when i started… and now she’s almost 7. during the earlier years, taylor was very, um… “sensitive”? haha! she was easily upset and didn’t handle change very well. she was unbelievably dramatic and over the top about everything. my, how things have changed in 4+ years. taylor has grown into a beautiful little girl, a responsible older sister, a thoughtful friend, and a delightful daughter. she’s still dramatic and does much better with more structure, but she has matured so much and it’s been amazing to watch the transformation from week to week before my very eyes as chris and tara faithfully parented her and trained her, all the while encouraging her strengths and talents.
trevor has got to be one of the cutest little boys on the planet. we often joke that it’s the only reason he’s still around, since he has got quite a will and isn’t always the most compliant of children. haha! oh, but you just can’t help but love him to pieces. the ratio of power struggles to fun memories has – for me, at least – become more and more balanced as he’s grown and developed and responded to chris and tara’s admonishment and encouragement. one of my favorite memories (and a crowning moment in my babysitting history), was getting trevor to go to down (as in, to bed) as an infant when no one else could get him to fall asleep at night without wailing for at least 30-45 minutes.
and then there’s rylee. rylee has been the quintessential third child. she’s just along for the ride, tough as nails, wants to do anything and everything her big sister and brother do, and yet still loves to be the little baby of the family who will cuddle and giggle with you and sleeps with her blankie every night. she’s one of the cutest and sweetest little girls you’ll ever know, and she’s been so fun to hang around and play with as her personality (and will – haha!) have started to really emerge.
so before tuesday i told the kids we would have a little party on my last night to commemorate the ending of an era. well, when i showed up tuesday night, i discoverd that THEY had actually planned a surprise party for me! 🙂
i was greeted at the door by the kids holding green roses (since taylor knows that green is one of my favorite colors).
taylor had drawn me a picture with an acrostic of my name:
(arguably the best one is “red” – haha! i love it!)
and they had even made me a green “[future] mrs boomsma” cake, which totally made me smile. as tara said, what engaged girl doesn’t love seeing her name with her future last name?!” haha! yep!
while we were out playing and riding bikes, trevor picked a flower for me too. aaawww. very sweet. (even though i had to tell him afterwards not to pick any more flowers out of the neighbor’s yard – :: )
chris and tara, you will be so deeply missed. you’ve been such a large and regular part of my life. from poking fun at me being on the phone with a “certain someone” when you’d come home from date nights, to singles retreat memories and conversations, to leadership conference bonding time with trevor, to late night jokes and laughs that i can’t even remember now and that i’m sure weren’t actually all that funny, we were just all super tired and a little loopy, to overnight stays and girl times with tara when chris was out of town, to awesome spaghetti, to TFS prayer and creative team meetings in your living room. so many memories. in particular, one of the most impacting effects your lives have had on mine is the example of your marriage. one of my secret longings was to have a “married to your best friend” type marriages like what i saw in yours. the kind where you laugh at joke with each other and take texas hold’em cards/chips with you on your date night, or are totally ok with going to IKEA or Costco on date night, just because you love doing anything together. you were best friends first, before you became lovers, and the dynamic that it then brought to your marriage was one i admired and wanted. i’m so happy that God not only blessed me with a man who was one of my best friends before he became the love of my life, but He also gave me a fantastic example to observe and learn from and enjoy and respect for several years beforehand.
you both have been good friends, a faithful pastor (and wife), caregroup leaders, and amazing examples over the last 4+ years. the seeds you planted in my life are bearing fruit already and will continue to do so for years afterwards.
may God bless you both, your family, and Grace Church. i love you all.
(note: pictures taken by tara, who also blogged about this memorable evening here.)