Thursday, January 3, 2019


Every year Chris is on a mission to cut our expenditures. One of the expenses he strongly dislikes is the Christmas Card, postage and letter printing costs. We send over 100 cards yearly, many of those people don't send cards back. I love the whole darling hubby sees it as unnecessary. Our compromise in 2018 was a postcard (seen above) which was cheap to print and cheaper postage. The Christmas letter will first be seen HERE at the end of this post.

Christmas Eve at Christ Community Church

Family Christmas
Not everyone has the blessing of family and some don't appreciate the blessing of family. ;)
Chris' sisters, their husbands, parents and our family of 5 have always made it a priority to get together. My side of the family does not get together for holidays, or much of anything really. I have friends who have parents fighting over who gets which days. We don't deal with that chaos, fortunately and unfortunately.

Christmas PJs
Christmas PJs almost didn't happen this year...thank you Old Navy for the last minute $5 jammie pants. Yes, Olivia has the same pants but opted for last years pants instead.

Click HERE to read our Raabe Family 2018 Christmas Letter

Thursday, December 27, 2018

MelKate Creations

Click HERE to explore my blog of signs.
The funny thing is...I actually started it over 2 years ago and FORGOT!! Yes, I forgot that I had started another blog. Now that I have people asking me where they can find my work I have decided it's time to make my work a little more visible.

If you have a saying, quote, scripture or name you want on a sign let me know. And if you can think of something outside the box that will challenge me...go for it. Tonight I was asked to create a soccer crest for Liverpool. This will be a new feat, the spirit is willing, who knows about the skill. I love to create one of a kinds. You will see, occasionally I make duplicates but that is not what I enjoy. My prices are usually too low because it's not realistic to charge for my creative time. If Reagan was my business manager she would remove me from talking money. That girl is no-nonsense! Gosh, I digress. Anyway, you will see my prices are lower than etsy or the local craft fair and you will receive in return a piece of my heart. Check out what I have made right here. Come back often as I hope to keep new fun seasonal signs coming you way.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Wrapping up December Activities

Just a random post of pictures and comments from December.

The biggest change to the Raabe home this year is the addition of little Luna. She is a 4 month old kitten from the Human Society. She's from the streets and able to take Bella to task. This bundle of energy is driving our 8 year old resident kitty crazy! We love her!
Reagan being brave with Bella and Luna
Olivia's ice skating birthday party

Emma is home for Christmas break!!!!!!
Our girl needs some down school, no work, no drama just lots of hugs, lots of laughs and some good home cookin'. 

After she had a couple days of R&R the wisdom teeth came out and it hasn't been all that easy of a recovery. She woke up angry and hasn't been all that happy for the last five days. Today she actually felt good enough to get out of the house for a few hours, that's a good start.

Emma kicked off all our surgeries in early 2017 and now I declare she has ended the Raabe MASH unit. Time to pay off the medical bills and discard all that leftover pain medication.

 Liv was the best munchkin, old lady, monkey and OZ-ian in her middle school musical, The Wizard of Oz. The amount of extra time these kids put in was remarkable. I didn't even have to do anything but was exhausted by the final day of rehearsal! Our girl had 4 costume changes and one line but lots of singing and dancing. Proud of you Liv!

The Secret Santa reveal middle school style
It was a last minute proposal by Olivia which meant I spent an entire day preparing but it's worth it. I love getting to know the girls' friends and hosting a party is the perfect way to do it. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

December is Upon Us

The 12th and final month of the year is filled with so many goodies...Christmas decorations, Olivia's birthday, baking peppernuts, Christmas concerts, Christmas cards and if we are lucky, the first snow fall. 

Today, December 4, 2018, marks the 13th year of our youngest daughter's life. The baby, how is it possible that the "B-A-B-Y" is a teenager? All those years of baby seats, toddler toys and board books are over. In this house it's full on hormonal outbursts, having nothing to wear and running late for a very important date...and that's just me. Add in 2-3 other young ladies and one might say Chris has his hands full. 

I remember back in the day (1998 for example) Chris and I decided we would have 2 children, preferably one boy and one that order. After our first one came along it was clear that we were going to be amazing parents. She was basically perfect, slept through the night, seldom threw fits and was cute as could be. I guess this is where I admit that we dropped (not really "dropped" but sounds more dramatic that way) our 18 month old baby girl through bleachers at a high school football game. Do we still get the title of perfect parents? Baby #2 came along and she was nothing like #1. Those first 13 months of crying were hard on all of us. That's when we knew the book deal for perfect parenting was not going to happen. After nine years of declaring we would play man-to-man defense we made the move to zone defense, baby #3 was on her way. She is a beautiful mixture of her two sisters and yet Olivia is her own person. Looking back over the years, I can't even imagine life without our #3. 

Happy Birthday Livie! 
Birthday Gift...Mom/Daughter date at the Orpheum

First Showchoir concert
On her birthday

This was our life for her first 21 months

Just precious

She is strong & can do anything!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

I Have a Sign For That!

Pinterest can be my worst nightmare but also a very useful tool. So often friends will ask me to make a sign but they don't have a clue what it should look like. Let me start by saying, I think that is very odd. Typically, when wanting to hang something on my wall I can see something in my mind or I found it in a store or online. In either case, I know what I want. Anyway, it's easy to direct friends to Pinterest, it it's there I can probably make it. I took my own advice this fall and started making signs for a craft fair. (Let's not talk about the craft fair, it was an epic failure) Once I found a few ideas, it got my creative juices flowing and then it was hard to stop. 
Below are a few of my favorite recent creations. 

I sold 6 of these signs. 10"x48"
Now I need to find a new design for my own front porch.

I thought about doing the "and" in red, probably should have.

I love this one! It's a cabinet door off an old Hoosier cabinet.
Chris' dad is now on the hunt for more of these door at farm auctions.

I made Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, UNO and Chicago Bears boards like these.


A Joanna Gaines recreation. You can find others on Etsy for $119, I would never charge that! This was fun to make but much more time consuming than I anticipated. I can't wait to give it to my friend Amber this week. 

I guess it's time to start thinking about spring and graduation signs. I also decided to redo all the table center pieces for Millard West Girls Soccer Banquet. The existing decorations were good in their day but people they can only be reused so many times. I assume they are 4-5 years old. Holy Moly!! You can expect blog or instagram posts in April or May.

December and the official start of winter is right around the corner. Break out the coats, mittens and scarves, the midwest was hit with blizzards last night. It's time to turn up the furnace a couple degrees and make sure the pantry is stocked with hot cocoa. Christmas decorations are going up's the best time of the year. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

2018 Season Ends

This should have been posted last month, I was waiting for a team picture.

The Falcon's Season ended October 4th in the District Tournament

Chris joined the DC West/Concordia Softball family last year.
I can truly say he has resurrected this program. Not only is Chris a tremendous coach fundamentally but he also understands the female athlete. He knows he isn't just a hitting coach, play caller and defensive specialist but he is a mentor, teacher, encourager, problem solver and sometimes a father figure. Chris took this team to an impressive 19-12 finish, a season best for the program. There may be some who are disappointed in their playing time but Chris goes above and beyond to teach these ladies what it means to play your role. Whatever your role is, you do it to your best ability. When a leader gets a group of individuals to believe in a common goal, good things happen. Well, it's also when weird cults develop but that's not what we are talking about here. They believed we are "ALL IN" this together and they won games.

The Seniors

Coach Grandpa addressing the team one more time after the final game of the season.

It's been such a special opportunity to have Chris and his dad coaching together. Their skills are different but compliment each other well. 


the right note
a pose
the ball
This is what the Raabe girls have been up to in November
Middle School Band Concert
This may be my last picture of Olivia participating in band. I have mixed feelings but she decided to drop band for this hexter of school and possibly for good. Her real love of music is choir, show choir and musicals which doesn't leave much time for band. No matter what she does, I love watching her perform.
Inspiring Women Event
I felt so honored to be asked by Emma to participate in her sorority's Inspiring Women's Day. Em loves the girls, the opportunities, the camaraderie, the expectations and the events of Gamma Phi Beta. Lois and Molly (pictured above) are her two besties.

School is going well for Emma although she reports it's harder than last year. She gives tours to new students on campus, recently started working at a Developmental Services Home for 3 lovely ladies and was elected to the executive board for G Phi. This girl is going places and doing exciting things!

Family Husker Day
We love the HUSKERS, we always have! The last few years have been pretty brutal on the football field but that doesn't keep the faithful down, we keep cheering. This year it's getting better but not going to lie, all of Nebraska is looking forward to the next couple of years of growth under Coach Scott Frost. November 17th the 4 football fans in our family braved the elements to watch a very exciting Nebraska vs Michigan State game. It was cold, it even snowed but we loved it all!

In July 2016 HUSKER punter, Sam Foltz and Michigan State punter, Mike Sadler died in a car crash. I mention this because last Saturday was the first time since that tragic accident, these 2 teams have met up on the gridiron. In a game that is known for touchdowns, neither team could manage to score even one TD the entire game. The final score was 9-6 HUSKERS, 5 field goals were scored that day. That means the only scoring was done by kickers. to be honest, I really dislike field goals, but looking back on the day it feels good that we accidentally honored these kickers with 5 field goals.

Sidenote: we did not leave Olivia out. She hates football. While we were at the football game she was at Sing Omaha rehearsal, eating out with Nana and Papa and then had a show choir bonding event. The girl was happy to be in Omaha instead of Lincoln.

EGA ECNL 00/01
This season's impressive record: 11-1-1
Reagan's team has traveled quite a bit in the last 6 weeks. Chris drove her to Detriot, MI for league games in late October. Over Chris' birthday weekend they flew to Phoenix, AZ for a national event. This week during the Thanksgiving break she is in Ontario, CA playing her last 3 club soccer games until late June when they will play in the ECNL National Championships for the second year in a row. (Note: I say "the last 3 games" but I am secretly guessing her coach will add something in January or February before the high school season starts) This afternoon after the HUSKER - Hawkeye football game is over we will watch Reagan's club soccer team play on periscope. I am thankful for parents who stream the games.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


How did that happen? Wasn't I 28 or maybe 32 yesterday?
Don't get me wrong, I have no hang up on my age. It's just a number representing the years I have lived on this earth. It has nothing to do with my worth, beauty or intelligence. It can't be anything more or less than what it is. In fact, I love my birthday. I love celebrating and remembering God's goodness. Some of the stuff I did in my youth could have prevented me from making it this far so a celebration of life is in order. It's just that I can't believe so much time has gone by, to be exact, sixteen thousand eight hundred and one days. I don't remember them all. (Sometimes I don't even remember two days ago.) Those are just my days breathing air, somewhere around 268 days before that my life actually started. I don't remember those days either.

October 1st Emma called me from college and this is how I answered the phone, "hello, it's my birthday month how are you?" It got a laugh. A few days later I started reminding each of my girls and eventually Chris that my favorite cake is Carrot Cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes or Strawberry Wedding Cake from Wheatfields. Specific...yes. But I have learned if I don't say exactly what I want, I get a box cake from the grocery store that I may or may not have to make myself. My sweet husband got the cake from Wheatfields and my mom got me a piece of carrot cake from The Cheesecake Factory which is also AMAZING! Wow! It's not about eating all that sugar, it's about people knowing me. I feel loved and cherished when someone goes out of their way to get the one thing I really like. Iced tea from McAllister's is another one of those things I LOVE but the candle just doesn't stay lit.

This morning I woke to a balloon in my sink and a sweet HBD handwritten message from my hubby. All day I have been getting SnapChat, Facebook and text messages of happy birthday wishes. 
I love it! 

Yesterday I celebrated by having lunch with mom, dinner with Chris' parents and our family. Tonight while the girls are busy with activities Chris and I will go out for dinner. With all that edible celebrating I've gotta take small bites and get a workout in.

Today's YouVersion Verse of the Day is perfect for a birthday!
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, 
before you were born I set you apart. 
Jeremiah 1:5
It doesn't have to be your birthday, go ahead Celebrate today! It is another day that God gave you to love His creation. He created you to be His messenger to a hurting world. You are pretty awesome...make today great!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

HOCO 2018

She cleans up well! 

Dress from$45
Make-up & Hair done by mom...$0
Borrowed shoes...$0
Dinner at a Friend's house...$0
Event Ticket...$10
A great night with the girls...PRICELESS

Friends since 1st grade

The Big Group

Friends . Teammates
Future College Roomies

Gotta get these heals off!!
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
Proverbs 31:25

Friday, October 5, 2018

Celebrating the Last 17 Years

~~Happy Birthday to you . Happy Birthday to you . Happy Birthday Dear Reagan . Happy Birthday to you~~

I love birthdays, yes I do. It's such a cool day. 
When I give the HBD shout out, what I am really telling that person is something like this...
"I am so glad you were born, your life is special!"

When it comes to my children, the celebration of their birthday is just that...I am remembering the pregnancy, the day before, THE BIRTH, being in the hospital, coming home and the early days afterwards. Obviously, some of those memories are a little brighter than others. Take Reagan for example, the early days weren't the good ones. However, we have made it 17 years and she is a keeper! Her smile, her zany behavior, her humor, her passion, her thought processes, her heart, they all make me fall in love with her everyday. God's creativity is beautiful!

Fall is by far the best time of the year but it's a hard time to get us all together for a birthday celebration. First, Reagan got sick the week of her birthday which put a kink in our plans. We still made some good memories...
Dinner at Olive Garden
Emma came home
Dinner and cake with family plus Oma and Larry
(hmm, years later will I wonder who that is???) 
Starbucks and Pepperjax at school

Big Sis Came Home 

I love Birthday decorations
 I'm still putting balloons in their room, streamers on the door frame, messages on their mirror, a special breakfast and living room decorations. I just can't help myself. This banner was made at with a 50% off coupon and it was even ready in an hour. Love it! Believe me, I will be using it again next year! 

Husker Shirts
Kendra Scott Necklace
50% off your bday month
"New cleats smell good"

 We love impromptu drop-ins by friends
They must have known there was homemade chocolate bundt cake

Oma and the Birthday Girl

She doesn't look sick but she is. Mono or a mono like illness is better than shingles (last year's bday). I'm so proud of her for resting and taking all the suggestions I had to help boost her immune system. God created our body with an innate ability to heal. He's a pretty smart guy if I do say so myself.

No friend party but she topped off her birthday weekend scoring the first goal in her team's 3-0 ECNL win over the Chicago Eclipse U19 team. This girl is on fire! Happy 17th birthday Reagan. 
We love you forever~