Monday, September 17, 2018

Another ECNL Winning Weekend

So much to remember, gain and learn in the midst of club soccer season.
The long trips, early mornings and cruel environments create opportunities for building special relationships. I love listening to Reagan and her carpool buddies laugh, do homework and recap the game on those long drives home. No one really wants to wake up early but remembering the time we got to the field before the lights were on and there was still frost on the grass creates a vivid memory of soccer in KC. What about the time we got lost in downtown Chicago during the marathon or the time the van windows were smashed and all the soccer bags were stolen. It's not all good but memories are made. And then this weekend watching the girls play honorably in horrible heat against a team who was coached to play dirty makes this mamas heart swell with pride.

This weekend our club played FC Wisconsin and Eclipse Lunar (Chicago). Reagan's team finished up yesterday with two wins which translates to 6 points in the league. (Scores: 3-1 and 1-0 respectively)
win = 3 points
tie = 1 point
loss = 0 points
These points determine our ranking and placement for the end of the year tournaments.

Reags continues her #RoadtoRecovery. She is getting stronger, faster and has a determination to be better today than the day before. She had a great weekend scoring one goal in each game. I wish you could have seen the teamwork on each of those goals, so cool. Don't get me wrong, it's exciting to watch her create a breakaway, beat the defenders and punish the goalie by placing the ball in the back of the net. However witnessing 3-4 girls pass the ball with such great precision around the centerbacks that it creates a flurry of confusion is impressive. The opportunity is created and the last touch is a shot on goal landing in the corner of the net...this is special. It's like a well choreographed dance but really it's all split second decisions coming together because they have learned to work together and trust each other. Teamwork makes the Dream work!

Team Prayer

Reagan #8 battling to win the ball

Going up for a header

And She Scores!
The only pictures I have from this weekend are soccer related however that's not all our family was doing.
CHRIS: DC West Softball went 2 and 1, losing in the championship game 4-3 in extra innings.
EMMA: I made a quick trip to Kearney on Thursday to see Emma before heading out of town Friday. As always, love giving that girl a hug and having some mom-daughter time. It was Homecoming week at UNK which means all kinds of activities on campus. The Gamma Phi Beta float won first place and unfortunately the Loper's football team continued their homecoming game losing streak. Ouch!
OLIVIA: A quiet weekend for this one. Liv has found herself in showchoir, sing omaha, the school musical (Wizard of OZ) and band so one quiet weekend is a good thing.

Be A Blessing

Monday, September 10, 2018

Baptism on the Green

I had the pure joy of baptizing Liv.

Thank you Christ Community Church for making baptism the biggest celebration of the year.

 Last week I asked Liv if she had a verse that she would like to use for her baptism verse. This girl has a hard time making nearly ANY decision so I was fairly certain this was going to be a long process. To my surprise, I barely got the question out of my mouth and she said, "like Exodus 14:14 that says, The LORD with fight for you; you need only be still?" Well yes, just like that. 
My girls continue to surprise me and I love it!

Look at this little one Worship!

Sister . Sister . Sister
Knowing that our three daughters love the LORD brings joy to my heart.
Now Chris and I encourage, nurture and continue to model a relationship with Christ. And then most importantly...pray, pray, pray

Best Friend

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Back 2 School

New Classes
New Teachers
New Outfits
New Schedules
New Opportunities

The first couple weeks month of school is full of new things and depending on your outlook it can be a really great time of the year.

My girls dread waking up early and homework but everything else about school is exciting, even going to class. Let's celebrate the kick off of Middle School, High School and College 2018
Liv celebrated back to school with a small gathering of friends eating pizza, throwing water balloons and making stress balls. You know, 7th graders need to keep stress under control.
She was also asked to carry the local high school marching band banner in the Millard Days Parade. If it wouldn't have been so hot I think it would have been a big hit.

The Back 2 School dance at Reagan's high school is the biggest deal in town. :) I love the group of girls she hangs out with from school. They are smart, hard working, basketball and volleyball. We've also made it to a couple University of Nebraska soccer games. Now that she is committed to play Husker soccer, going to the games take on a whole new level of enjoyment. 
Emma is back at school too. One of the highlights of college and sorority life is rush/recruitment week. Em loves being a Gamma Phi. Classes are going well and she is very happy with her campus tour job. Seeing Em leave for school was a bittersweet day. I doubt she will ever live at home again but then I am reminded that our goal is to raise confident strong young ladies who will go figure out the world and then come home for a visit. I'm so proud of some of the tough decisions she has already made, this girl is going to be a champion!

Sorry, no picture of my handsome hubby but he's back to school too.
I've been waiting for a picture with his girls HS softball team...a month later and I still don't have one so time to complete this post. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

A Snapshot of our Summer

The summer of 2018 was filled with trips, grandparents, family reunion, weddings, camp, work, soccer, softball, fishing and friends. Our lifestyle does not support the big family vacation instead we have the whole summer to enjoy each other. The days are flying by, truly, it all happens so fast!

Just days after school was out Nana and Papa whisked Olivia down to Branson with Cousin Levi and his grandparents, Uncle Lynn and Aunt Helen. The six of them had a great time. Olivia's report went something like this...
We ate, we saw some shows, we ate, we swam and then the grandparents took naps, we ate, we did some site seeing and we ate some more. I think she had a blast!

Gotta stop at the cheese store

Great Grandma from Mesa was in Omaha for about 10 days

You may be noticing there's no 4th of July pictures. Note worthy: the first year ever that Chris did not buy explosives. I was relieved at the thought of it but turns out we all were kind of sad. Sounds like next year the party is back on. 

The girls love spending time with Papa on the water

Cabin counselor Melanie
 Olivia's 7th Summer camp

The Raabe Reunion is always a family favorite!
In 20 consecutive years we have been to Kansas City, MO . Yankton, SD .  Lewisville, NE .  Some farmhouse in Iowa . Honeycreek, IA .  Ponca, NE .  Creston, IA (next year). This all began one June weekend in 1999. Emma was 4 months old and back in those days, the family wasn't too concerned about nap times, feeding times or baby comfort...boy how things have changed. Call me a pioneer mom if you want, I didn't have one of those fancy "strap-the-baby-to-your-chest-and-go" deals. I had to carry my baby and all the unnecessary crap in the diaper bag.
(Does it feel like I went down a bunny trail?) 
Baseball and Raabes have a tight connection. Back in the day, as the story goes, one of Grandpas brothers was getting married on a game day which meant two brothers couldn't make it to the wedding...gotta play in the game. Not sure that would fly now. ha!! So it makes sense that we all met in Kansas City for a day with the Royals. Emma was the only great grandchild of Warren and Sylvia Raabe (Ray-be) and I was the only "outlaw" grandchild.  Today we have 12 great grandchildren. Warren and Sylvia would be thrilled to see their big family.
Here are a few snapshot of the weekend.

Oldest and Second youngest

This family LOVES to fish

The 3 amigos

My husband's immediate family
Oma made a brief appearance. If she isn't traveling, she is cooking, cleaning and entertaining Larry. Be watching for a fall return. I can't keep up with her travel plans but I think another cruise is in the works before she heads south for the winter.

Last week we said good-bye to some sweet friends.
We met Brian and Krista before they were married and have done some real life with them. It's been good, it's been hard, it's been faith building and I am so thankful God put them in our bible study group 9 years ago. We love you guys!

We closed down our summer with a family celebration in the Old Market eating Sushi at Emma's favorite spot, Blue Sushi Sake Grill.
Nana wouldn't try it. 
Olivia still hates it but tried it again.
Reagan found one roll that she liked but ordered chicken.
Papa dove right in, trying two very exotic rolls and loved it.
Chris, Emma and I were in our happy spot.
And if you know Papa, we had to get Ted & Wally's ice cream afterwards.

Good-Bye Summer of 2018

I know! I know! Blogs with so many pictures lately but I really needed to catch up. Hopefully I will make time to blog in the mornings after quiet time or in the evenings after everyone is in bed. Don't hold your breath. 
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Back to School 2018-2019

A parent's prayer on the first day of school.

Gracious Lord,
In a season of life when parenting decisions seem to loom larger than life itself, I humbly ask for your guidance. While the shoes still smell new and the pencils point crisply, our hearts sense a need for a stronger connection with your love and a deeper reliance on your grace. Would You help me to remember that You know every thought I have as a parent? Would You remind me that the feeling of having my heart walk around outside my body is one You are ever so familiar with? And would You provide the wisdom from above as I walk this new ground for a new school year. I praise Your name for faithfully doing so.
In Jesus' Holy Name,

Praying for my children is a privilege and honor I do not take lightly. I have seen the miraculous works of our God through prayer. Sometimes the works are more in me than what I am even praying about. Oh He is good!

Emma went back to college last Friday to prepare for rush. She is a Gamma Phi Beta living in the sorority house and excited to experience recruitment from the other side this year. Her major is still Social Work and if all goes well with her Criminal Justice class this year she will add a minor in Criminal Justice. Classes don't start until next Monday for Em. 

Olivia started school yesterday, no longer is she the baby of the building. Watch out for my much older, so mature 7th grader. :) Liv was ready for school to start. She loves the social aspect and if she was honest she likes going to classes too. Show choir rehearsals begin tomorrow, twice a week before or after school. The first day of band is Thursday. And Sing Omaha starts next week. It feels like a lot to me but she drinks it up. 

Reagan has hit that crazy junior year. If I remember correctly, everything you do this year is about setting the tone for college and scholarships. She took the ACT for the first time in July. Hopefully in round two she will check the calculator for batteries BEFORE the test starts. She's driving again, playing soccer again and extremely busy with social engagements. This is year three on the Student-Superintendent board. She has seen some changes for this school year that the students suggested to Dr Sutfin at their monthly meetings. That's pretty cool. 

Chris has already put in a full week without students. In his 20th year (ok, I actually can't remember how long it has been) of teaching he is trying something new... 8th grade social studies. Our girls are a little freaked out by it. They think of their dad as an ENGLISH teacher not a HISTORY teacher. Chris is back for year two at DC West High School in Valley, Nebraska as the head varsity softball coach. Last year his team made huge improvements and we all look forward to what the girls and his coaching staff will accomplish this season.

There's not much to tell about me. I'm still mom. I still want to craft more than I do. I cook, clean, run a taxi service, drink coffee and pray for my family. I still work for Elite Girls Academy Soccer club, now called Elite Soccer as we have started a boys division as well. Today I started cleaning a rental house. From now until December looks like I have an extra job 3-4 hours a week. That works for me.

My inspiration for today is simple...


Monday, August 13, 2018

Off to Seattle for ECNL Post Season Play

This year was EGA's first season with ECNL. To be honest, I was worried we would get killed by every team. The competition was just superior to any league we had been a part of before. The best of the best play here, our girls rose to the challenge. We finished the season making it into "Champions League" by one point. Never did I imagine we would have the opportunity to play for the ECNL National Championship. The girls played very well but did not advance the following week to Virginia for the finals. (Can I secretly say, Thank goodness? Money does not grow on trees!)

 Reagan and I had the great pleasure of going to Seattle 3 days before the soccer tournament started. This city offers so much, we just couldn't resist. The only thing we didn't do from our list was ride the ferris time! Here we are at the top of the Space Needle. When I was 12 my Aunt Delma took me to the top, we even ate at the restaurant. I can't imagine how much that cost. In 2018 it's $29 per person to have the privilege to go to the observation deck. No drinks, No snacks, No souvenirs, just looking. I was pleased to hear Reagan say it was worth it!

Pearson Family
My dad's brother moved to Seattle when his 3 kids were little tykes. Fast forward 40-50 years, they all have kids and grandkids of their own. Coming from a small family, I really cherish what I have. I am so glad we were able to see the fam.
Ocean Shores, Washington with Marianne

Loved this place
Throwing Fish . Gorgeous Flowers . The Original Starbucks .  Bing Cherries
Plenty of Weirdos . Fish & Chips . Crazy Traffic . Gum Wall . Ferris Wheel
Pike Place Market had it all and we took it all in.

 In October 2017 when Reagan tore her ACL we did the math and knew she was done for the rest of the year, all of high school ball and couldn't be back in time for the Championship Tourney in late June. After all recovery is a 6-9 month span and there was NO WAY we were going to push/risk it. We were very disappointed but our focus wass on the future not one tournament. Low and behold, everything fell into place and Reagan was released to play 10 minutes per half of each game at 7 months post op. WOW! Great job Reags! It's hard to see in this video but Reagan scores in her first game back on the pitch. What a comeback!

 There was about 20 of us players and parents making the drive up to the falls. We didn't hike down to the falls. First of all we were starving but with our handicaps it wasn't advised.
We would have liked to hike Mt Rainer but activities like that just aren't the best on a soccer weekend, especially when one has a bum knee and the other a bum arm. 

All but 4 of the team at the Seattle Reign Women's Soccer game

Jaycie Johnson, a midwest girl, from Kansas City who played college soccer at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and now is playing professional soccer with the Seattle Reign. I was so impressed that she took the time to come up in the stands and talk with these 3 Nebraska commits. She was friendly, very open, told stories about Coach Walker at UNL and gave the girls great encouragement. I don't know her parents but they must be so proud of this fine young lady!

Parent Bonding during Team Bonding

The Gum Wall
Kind of gross but now I can say I was there
This was a very important stop for Reagan. 
Bucket List item checked off.

Teammates and the Needle

Great memories were made with my girl, just wish we could have had the whole family there to share our experiences. All great but the part when we almost missed our flight in Dallas. This out of shape mama running with a suitcase, carry-on and an arm in a sling must have been quite the sight! HA