Thursday, December 31, 2009

Family Matters

Spending time with my brother and his family was the perfect way to finish up this year. We don't get to see our Arizona family all that often so we jumped at the chance to have some quality time together. Thanks to Mother Nature we missed the Family Christmas at mom and dad's.

Family does matter! We don't get to pick our family but God did. What we choose to do with all those relationships is up to us. When we knew that we couldn't make it "home" we made the choice to do whatever it would take to see Eric, Karen and Regina. I am so glad we did!

Happy New Year! Many Blessings in 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Not a Holiday

Back to the grindstone, I think!
Christmas is over, New Years Eve is several days away and I'm not really sure what to do. The girls and Chris are home for Christmas Break but still the laundry needs to get done and everyone thinks they need to eat. It is an odd week. Honestly I thrive with a schedule. It is 1pm, only 2 loads of laundry have been started and my morning began about 2 hours late...which I did enjoy.

Chris is helping a friend of a friend move today, apparently they didn't know you are suppose to have everything (or almost everything) packed before the movers get there. The 2 older girls are jamming out on Rock Band...I think we need to find something with better words. The "baby" has a friend over to play. And I am gearing myself up to babysit 2 evenings a week. Yes, you heard that right.

Some of the Christmas decorations will come down this week. I love having my house filled with Christmas but ditching some of the clutter is much needed.

In the last few weeks I have heard several friends and family members comment on money issues. Let me plug Dave Ramsey for a second. If you live like no one else one day you will be able to live like no one else. Learning to live on a cash budget that you review every month is not a bad thing, just tell your money where to go don't let it control you.

You can catch Dave on tv and radio. Go to his site listed below and see if you really want to change the way you live or if you just want to complain about the stresses of your finances.

Enjoy your family while they are home this week because before you know it they will be grown up and out of the house. (I might be talking to myself right now!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas

Never mind the terribly snowy day we are currently having which has us all cuddled up in blankets playing games and watching new movies. To tell you the truth, I wouldn't have it any other way. Chris may not share my thoughts since he is outside (as I am typing) trying to clear the driveway. Uncle John and Aunt Angie are the heros with my girls. our faily will be rocking out with the Wii for months to come. And Livie was "bought" with new lipgloss. :)
Anyone who knows my mother-in-law very well will be surprised to read this...she has been cooking for 2 days straight. Yes, here it is in print and it is the truth. I am so glad to see her rest for a little bit. Nana made our family Christmas very special. Some how she always knows just the right gifs to buy and the right food to have ready. We all really do love you nana!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Signs of Christmas

Emma's 5th grade sang, danced, played guitars, played recorders and threw candy. It was quite the program.

Since I was sitting on the wrong side of the gym all I could get was this picture of my little blondie. The second graders sang with beautiful smiles and proud voices. We even got to see Reagan do a little dance.

This ice is beautiful but kept us home instead of traveling down to Kansas to see mom, dad, Eric, Karen and Regina.

I love cordinating wrapping paper and big bows under my christmas tree. Last year I bought some cheap paper and can't wait to get it all used up...I have even tried to waste it this year. :) All that said, I still tried to make it beautiful and fun for the girls.

I love this wreath made by my cousin Kelly.

My last picture tells the real story of Christmas. There is no christmas without Jesus Christ coming to this Earth in the most humble of circumstances, born to a virgin teenage girl. If you don't know this story I would love to go into great detail with you about the truth of unconditional love that came down 2000 years ago.

Merry Christmas from my family!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's That Time Again

As you can see, Vincent is quite calm and despite the fact that cats don't like water he really doesn't mind bath time. He loves the attention!

This morning Olivia said, "He (Vincent) stinks, I think it's time for a bath."

The key to this event is LOTS OF KITTY TREATS!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Learning to Give

Giving to others does not always come naturally so I want to do everything I can to teach my daughters to consider others and their needs as well as their own.

Olivia has been asking to get her hair cut for a few months. All it took was a little research into Locks of Love and found out that she needed a 10 inch ponytail to donate. Finally this week she had enough length.

Here it goes....

And the final product....oh how cute.

Olivia has been excited all evening to show as many people as possible. According to Liv, she and Reagan are twins.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Heard His Message Today

Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel, the former award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune, is a New York Times best-selling author of nearly twenty books and has been interviewed on numerous national television programs, including ABC’s 20/20, Fox News, and CNN.

Described by the Washington Post as “one of the evangelical community’s most popular apologists,” Lee shared the prestigious Charles “Kip” Jordon Christian Book of the Year award in 2005 for a curriculum he co-authored about the movie The Passion of the Christ. He also has won awards for his books The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary.

Lee was educated at the University of Missouri (Bachelor of Journalism degree, 1974) and Yale Law School (Master of Studies in Law degree, 1979). He was a professional journalist for 14 years at The Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, winning Illinois’ top honors for investigative reporting (which he shared with a team he led) and public service journalism from United Press International.

After a nearly two-year investigation of the evidence for Jesus, Lee received Christ as his forgiver and leader in 1981. He joined the staff of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL, in 1987, and later became a teaching pastor there. He joined Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, CA, as a teaching pastor in 2000. He left Saddleback’s staff in mid-2002 to focus on writing. He is also a contributing editor and columnist for Outreach magazine.

I took notes as fast as I could this morning but still my head was spinning with great information. If Lee comes to your area take the time to listen to what he has to say. If you already believe that Jesus Christ is your personal savior he will challenge you to know more about why you believe. If you don't know Christ as your savior he will challenge you to do some investigative work. Know the truth!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lots of Snow

We all got outside to play in the snow. Chris was almost giddy to just break out the snowblower. Unfortunately, within a few minutes the ground was totally covered again.

Love this picture of Liv. I was surprised how long she was able to stay out in the cold. At her very first complaint I offered to take her inside. It's rough being the mommy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Love Must Be Sincere

I saw this on my friend's blog today and had to share it with you. Everyday is a struggle and yet everyday is a blessing. I pray to become more like Jesus in action, thought and words. The scripture below is an incredible message for all of us. You may or may not name Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior but you certainly can try to be a better person tomorrow than today. This verse encourages me to be the person I was created to be.

Romans 12:6-21
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


My girls will be so excited when they wake up tomorrow morning and find out that mom and dad are still in bed. No, it's not even snowing yet but will be, a big nasty blizzard is suppose to hit at noon. Guess we'll be hanging out at home all day. Hope it's not overly cold so the girls can play outside for a few minutes. They are so excited to finally have some snow on the ground.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


No matter how you say baby is four years old.

cake colors picked by Livie herself

Monday, November 30, 2009

All Glory to Him

I'm busting at the seams, just gotta tell someone. Today Chris was notified that his book will be published by Write Life Publishing. You need to know this so sometime around fall 2010 you can be ready to run to the bookstore and purchase as many copies as you can. This is going to be a fast seller, one you will want to get your hands on ASAP!! Remember the Cabbage Patch Kids craze? What about Tickle Me Elmo? Even this year's Disney Princess Keyboard Vanity? Here it is a few days after Black Friday and I can't possibly get my hands on one. That will be the case for the new Chris Raabe book, right now titled Phenomenon (likely to change).

Regardless of the chart topping sales, I want to be the first one to publically say that I am so proud of my husband. Goal accomplished! Now my prayer is that we glorify God in every aspect of this deal.

In All We Do and Say

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

~ Colossians 3:17, NLT

This spoke to me today.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Redmen Football Stopped at 79

It's been an incredible run, 79 straight wins for Roger Barta's high school football team. That ranks the Redmen 3rd in the nation for the longest winning streak. Being the state runner-up is a great accomplishment but a sad day for the kids who just lost their first ever football game. The last time this program lost a football game was in November 2003 against Heston.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Grateful for family who loves me
Grateful for family who will take a million pictures & not get irritated with me
Grateful for beautiful weather on November 26th.
Grateful for more food than we really need
Grateful for time to sit around the table looking at Black Friday Ads.

Most of all GRATEFUL for a personal savior who loves me, protects me, provides for all my needs and died for me.

Give thanks in a personal way this Thanksgiving weekend.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Crazy about my Chiropractors

We are so thankful for the great health care we have gotten over the years starting with Dr Chris Koch in Phoenix then Dr Pomajzl in Grand Island and now we have Dr Koch and Dr Nicole.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Old Friends

What is the test of true friendship?

I'm sure there are several indicators so hang with me if I miss some of the big ones.

Loyalty, trust and honesty: I lump those all together because often it seems that if you have one you have the others.

Longevity: So what happens if your don't talk every day, month or what if you don't see them for 13 years? Can you pick up where you left off? Real friends can do that.

Transparency: Being the person you really are without fear of rejection.

Yesterday I met up with my college roommate and setter of our volleyball team. Julie and I were best friends for 9 mos and then parted ways. She transferred to an Iowa school, I stayed in Nebraska then before I knew it we were in another state, married and having children. Here we are 14 years later and chatting like the old days in Hoover Hall. I loved it!

This friendship warms my heart. I don't wonder for even a minute if we'll keep in touch. Julie, Thanks for the laughs and memories. I love you and will be praying for you, Dave and the kids.

I am so grateful for my friends. There are some great girls who fall into these categories, you know who you are. Love you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Created to Love

These unique flowers are called Bleeding Hearts. I had never seen them until I googled the phrase "bleeding heart picture" since that is my subject of gratitude today.

When God created me he placed an extra dose of mercy in my heart. I guess that means I have a bleeding heart, or so I've been told. It is true that my heart breaks when we watch the news most nights. I can't stand the thought of a step mom treating her sweet teenage step-daughter as an object rather than a person. Even the little girl being treated poorly by her grandmother in Kohl's today prompted me to pray for that family. And seeing an ambulance drive past us on the road starts a prayer in my heart instantly. Mean isn't right and it is not funny! What can I do about it? Some times there's nothing physically I can do but I can pray!

What a blessing it is to have a heavy heart. How do injustices get corrected? Who loves the unlovable? This world needs some bleeding hearts to offer love. I will admit, I've been burnt from time to time. Standing beside a friend who is morally in the toilet because you know she needs love can bite you in the butt. Believe me, I learned that the hard way. Even so, it is better to love and lose it than to never have loved at all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grateful for a Great Man

I noticed this evening that I do not have many pictures of my handsome husband, most of them are with the girls. What looks like an angry look on Chris' face is really just a squint while we were out on the water this summer.
Oh how I do love my man! There are some things in life that are just too good to have orchestrated them yourself. My marriage to the best man I know is one of those things. God introduced us to each other so many times before we really submitted to the idea of becoming friends. I sometimes wonder if God was yelling "duh" from the Heavenlies. I am so grateful that this handsome pitcher from Peru was willing to take a chance on a girl who already had baggage. Our life together is nothing less than divine intervention on a daily basis. Thank you God for my man!