Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kickin' It in Chicago

A weekend in Chicago kicked off Reagan's 8th year of soccer. As I tried to count up the years, I reminisced through the different clubs she has played for. She started in Grand Island where she and her friend Kristi dominated the field. You know, 4 year old soccer at it's best. For a couple of years she played for a club with pink game jerseys, that was her worst nightmare but still had a great time. Now she is on the best (or one of the best) teams in the state. It's a blast to watch them grow and learn. Team sports create a platform for a child to learn to become a leader as well as take instruction from coaches. They are pushed physically and mentally. There are some difficult situations they are put in as well but for now I'm concentrating on the positives of this obsession of Reagan's.
Reagan's soccer team
My girl in action

Bringing the power!

Reags and her Papa
Chris' dad made the 8 hour drive to Deerfield, IL with us. We all had a great time. I know Papa had fun, one night he didn't even come back to the hotel. There's a story but it sounds better leaving it at that. It's a real blessing to have grandparents involved in our children's lives. We love you Papa!

It was a tough weekend of play. We faced top teams from our region... St Louis, Dallas, Ohio, Minneapolis. I am so proud of how hard these girls played and can't wait to see what they do in St Louis later this month.

LAKE MICHIGAN
 In our down time I took a few girls to Lake Michigan. After sticker shock of the entry fee TO THE BEACH (geesh) we had a great time. The down side of the afternoon was when I dropped my phone in the lake and soon after Reagan got hit in the head with a rock. Luckily both my phone and her head still work.

The Littles enjoying the waves

Friday, June 20, 2014

Annual Raabe Reunion


Here we are, the Raabe (sounds like Ray-be) crew minus Uncle Lou. I love that we still make this event a priority every year. We even headed home from our vacation a day early to make it out to the lake. I will admit, a group this big can have it's issues sometimes but at the base of it all there is love.

Activies include...
GIFT EXCHANGE
BUG COLLECTION
JUGGLING
BIKES . SCOOTERS . RIPSTICKS
ARCHERY

PAPER AIRPLANE CONTEST
BINGO
FRIED CRITTERS
CAMPFIRE & SMORES
Each year is a little different from the one before, we have been in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and way back when we even went to Missouri to a KC Royals game. The common denominator is family. For the most part there's no electronic devices so we spend time together catching up, taking nature walks, swimming and boating when the engine works. Make time for the ones you love, it is important.

If a picture is really worth a thousand words than we can all pretend that I wrote a very long blog post.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Home. Sweet. Home.

And how sweet it truly is!

The last time I blogged we were still living at Nana and Papa's house, anxiously awaiting being home owners again. Spring is finally here and we are now in our home, loving every minute of it. I know we are incredibly blessed to have family who would take us in. We are loud, messy, crazy, busy among other things and they embraced all of that with great grace. Thank you just doesn't seem adequate.

I. Love. To. Paint. With that said, I have never painted this much in such a short period of time. I'm kind of OVER IT! Hours after closing the sale of this home I began wiping down walls and priming. No rest, I didn't stop for 10 solid days. Now 6 weeks later I still have a little bit to do but I'm not painting every day anymore.  whew!  The walls looks great! I have a few thank yous to dish out. Uncle Jim at Sioux City Painting and Decorating helped us with our paint selections. Kelly, Krista, Tracy, Nikki, Susan and Ingrid all pitched in a variety of ways while I had the paint brushes out. You girls are all a blessing to me, thanks!
Twenty-four (24) gallons of paint is a little overwhelming. Turns out I bought a little bit too much but it will be ready and waiting for me when we get our basement finished next year.

Creativity is too often squashed for one reason or another. I just hate that! My girls pick their room colors and designs, no matter how crazy. They did a great job. Reagan's room was really fun because it was quick and turned out great! Emma's room is nearly done (sorry no picture) and I'm feeling good about it. Olivia's orange wall took seven (YES 7!!!) coats of paint. Now it's time to decorate.
 

M. O. V. I. N. G.   D. A. Y. was better than anyone could have imagined. All credit due my husband. This guy makes a plan and sees it through. We had one moving truck and two storage units. Most everyone showed up by 9:30am and I was feeding the crew before 1pm. (I have to mention that Aunt Helen made all the food...so good!!) Boxes and furniture flowed through the house with minimal breakage while I stood in the entry way directing traffic. Thanks to a few practical jokers we had some kitchen stuff in the basement and boxes relabeled with items I can't even mention on a PG rated blog. All in all it was fun and again we are so thankful for the outstanding turnout. Love you guys! I'm a little afraid to mention names as I may forget someone, there were so many.
Birges, Kellers, Blacks, Bitters, Ratliffs, Wimmers, Glecklers, Meyers, Eastridges, VanSurksum, Jensens, Snyders and Kruses.
It looks like Joe Jensen is the only one working, pretty funny!

Here are some pictures of the house...
View from pantry before painting began

My kitchen

I really like my doors
 
Chris added shelves to the pantry

I made this and will add to it... love it

In the midst of moving we still have daily life... work, school, concerts, soccer, family fun, church, friends and snow. I know eventually both vehicles will fit in the garage, the donation pile will get taken to the shelter and all the boxes will be emptied. I'm not stressed. We are so blessed to have a home and family. God is good to us, better than we deserve. I mean those words. Thirteen months ago our family was teetering on the edge of a very dangerous cliff. None of us knew what tomorrow would hold. Each day we take a step on the journey of our new life together but only because we trust God.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New House Timeline

It has been fun the last 6-7 months to watch this house building process. Usually once a week after picking up the girls from school we drive by "our dirt." The waiting has been challenging for all. Each of us have had our less than pleasant moments but I do want to say that our girls have done a great job adapting to different living environments. Thank you girls for remembering there is an end in sight. Now that we have only a few days left I am about to go out of my mind.  I want to move in NOW!!! (3 yr old tantrum right there)

I have a series of pictures below with dates. We have hit several holidays and milestones during this process...
School started
All 5 of us celebrated birthdays (Chris turned 40)
Thanksgiving 
Christmas
New Years
Presidents Day...that's a big one right?
But we will be in before St Patty's Day. I might even want a green beer. Wait, no I won't. HA


We signed the builders contract on August 1st, one day before we had to vacate our home.
An interesting sidenote: the new home owners on 162nd Ave already have the house on the market. I hope everything is okay, probably just a job transfer. I wish them well.
October 11, 2013- digging began
Digging the Hole 10/15/13
October 18, 2013- Poured the footings
Basement Walls then wait 30 days 10/23/13
November 11, 2013-Garage floor poured and pipes in basement
November 16, 2013- Driveway, sidewalk and basement floors poured
Liv on the backside of the house
November 19, 2013- The wood arrives
Wood Dropped, now 90 days from completion
November 26, 2013- Opa makes a visit to the building site
Opa and Olivia on the main floor
December 2, 2013- we sneak in for a photo without the roof (can you tell it's unseasonably warm)
upstairs close to the laundry room
December 6, 2013

December 8, 2013- Windows installed
December 10, 2013
Backside of the house
Nothing significant, I just think this is cute.
December 14, 2013- We write scriptures and prayers on the floors and wood beams of our walls.
John 3:16

Isaiah 40:31
Romans 12:21
Our Happy Family
Writing scriptures on the walls of a building has nothing to do with magic, instead it has everything to do with the foundations of our new home being built on the Word of God and His promises. We will use this house to honor and glorify our Lord, Jesus Christ. We laughed as we froze our fingers trying to write on rough wood. I wanted to have something in every room of the house. There really isn't much in the bible about laundry so I may have taken that scripture out of context. :)

December 19, 2013- Siding & Garage Doors went on
December 28, 2013- I walked around the inside of the house video taping the walls so we would know what was under the dry wall, where pipes and wiring were.
First week of January- Drywall and mudding
January 10, 2014- Back deck was completed
January 14, 2014- Interior Doors and trim was installed
January 22, 2014- Cabinets through out the house were installed and exterior lighting
kitchen cabinets
January 31, 2014- Tile and hardwood installed
February 4, 2014- Counter tops installed & fireplace stone completed (love both of these!!)
February 11, 2014- Carpet guy came back to finish the install
Carpet
February sometime the door was painted. The house will be painted when the weather warms up.
Oh I have a brown door...I like it!
February, 17, 2014- A pre-walk through with the agent.
They approve
All that's left now is a few appliances and a some touch ups.  
February 24, 2014- Official Walk-thru
February 26, 2014- We close (hopefully)
March 8, 2014- is our official BIG move in date. Aunt Helen is making food for the movers, so it will be yummy. If you are reading this you are invited to come help. (Vicki, I know you won't make it.)

There are several things that we want to do to the house in the next year. I will give you before and after photos as they are completed.
-painting, upgrading light fixtures & ceiling fans, seal the deck, landscaping, finishing the basement, more stone on the house and new front porch posts. Chris says "we'll see."  Oh yes we will.  ha
  


Monday, February 17, 2014

You Had Me At Bacon

My daughter is obsessed with bacon. It started with wanting to eat more than her fair share at breakfast. Then she began asking for it as a side to some odd combinations. The next thing I knew someone from church brought a pound of bacon to TO CHURCH for her. It's not an illness but we are keeping close tabs on the situation.
BIRTHDAY GIRL AND FRIENDS
Recently our eldest celebrated her birthday with 3 dear sweet friends.[i love these girls] As you may guess there was a theme:
BACON ARTWORK
BACON ROSES
Among other things, Emma received a BACON T-SHIRT and a POUND OF BACON. Very comical!

The beautiful baby girl who took so long to get here (2 weeks overdue and 18 hours of labor) is now a beautiful young lady who still does things in her own time frame. I remember thinking the days with little ones running all over and making messes were long but I do see that they years were short. I enjoy my girls and thank God for the creativity he used in making each masterpiece. Don't try to be something you think the world wants you to be. You are just as God intended! Oh how I love you Emma.