Friday, September 5, 2014

Flash Back Friday ... 1st day of school

How is it possible that these girls are growing up so quickly?
For the second year we have 3 girls in 3 different buildings. It can be overwhelming but this year I don't have to battle as many crazy parking lots. My baby is riding the bus to and from school. This is a first for me but already I have embraced the beauty of this freedom. LOVE IT!
Sophomore
7th grade teacher and 7th grader
3rd grader at a new school


Back to School Dance
Em and her fellow group of firefighters had a great night!

This is what middle school girls do after the first day of school.
I love that my girls invite friends over, it's a fun way to get to know their buddies.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Taking Her Faith Public

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  Proverbs 31:25

After our children were born we had them dedicated to the Lord just like Jesus' parents did with him. When our children become the age of accountability and want to make a public affirmation of their faith they are baptized. In Acts Peter tells a crowd, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ." Acts 2:38

Every August our church has a fantastic even called Baptism on the Green. For the last several years I have wanted to attend but it just hasn't worked out in our schedule. This year, Reagan chose this event as her time to tell the world that she loves Jesus and He is the Lord of her life. As you can see in the pictures below, it is a great celebration that is casual outside. There were 105 baptisms on this particular day. Praise God!





Chris, Reagan & our youth pastor Klint



Just looking at these pictures brings back such emotion.
I can't even explain how full my heart feels.

Just dunked!
On of Reagan's very dear friends, Kate
What a gift to have so many people invested in Reagan's life. I've said this before and I will probably say it again. It's a wonderful thing to move away from family when you first get married. We did it, not because we thought it was a good way for us to become a family on our own but because Chris' employer moved us. However moving back to Nebraska and being surrounded by family is such a great thing for our girls. Thank you Grandparents, Helers, Birges and Eric for making this day a priority. It was one of the most important days of Reagan's life and we were so pleased to share it with you.

We Love
There just happens to be a soccer goal in the background

My sweet friends Kelli and Tracy
Thank you Kelli for taking all these pictures...250 in all.  Whew!

My favorite little man!
The symbolism of baptism is so beautiful. Christ died for us and rose on the third day, cleansing us from sin and hate. When we die to self as we are buried in the water we are accepting Christ's cleansing blood to wash over us and then we rise out of the water victorious. We are clean, we accept His salvation but we are not perfect. We will stumble and struggle in this life but know one day we will be in the presence of the Lord who sits at the right hand of God the Father, creator of all. Oh the blessing!

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.