Sunday, March 27, 2011

Days of our Lives

You won't find demon possessed therapist or moms who disappear for years and then come back as someone else in this household.  Nope, we are just a "normal" family but we do have our own style of drama.  Lucky for us it isn't anything exciting enough to put on day time television.  Below you will find a strange combination of photos from the days of our lives.
Our pretty pink kitten, who knew she could "meow" for over an hour straight.

I had one more picture in here but Emma made me delete it.  She's growing up before my eyes.  When the kids were in their first few years of life there were so many milestones.  Again, Emma is in a stage of life that includes many changes but not really things I can photograph and blog.  (Well I photograph them just can't talk about 'em...that's too embarrassing.)

The snow is gone (only to get more tomorrow) so we dugout the Frisbee for a little backyard playtime.  The girls are a little rusty on their aim. 
Emma above.  Reagan below.
Apple Crisp to go along with the roast I put in the crock pot before church.  YUM!

This morning I commented to a friend at church that I have seen a real change in Chris lately.  My husband has been a man with strong christian values and a heart to help others but recently there's more.  Personally, I pray for God to help me see people the way HE sees people and that I will love people the way HE loves people.  I don't know how well I am doing but I see Chris growing in those areas.  The funny thing about me making that comment about Chris this morning is that when we went into the service, our pastor began a series called "Word on the Street" and addressed those subjects.  We all have friends, family, neighbors or coworkers who don't call Jesus Christ their Savior.  I'm learning that is more normal than not.  What I want is to have a heart that aches so much for people that I will step out of my comfort zone & tell them that Jesus loves them. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Colorado Bound

It was a beautiful afternoon in November of 2008, I was about to be late to pick up the girls from school.  One small problem, I had a huge mirror in my van (that I got for a screamin' deal but that's a different story) and lacked the strength to take it out by myself.  As luck would have it, a lovely couple and their youngest child was walking by so I asked them to come help me.  It was a great opportunity to meet the new neighbors.  Now 2 1/2 years down the road and my friend Paula is moving to Colorado.  What a blessing it has been to call Paula, Al and their three handsome little men friends of the Raabes.  Life gets busy and I am sad to say we have not spent as much time with them as I wish we would have.  On the bright side of this move: Colorado is going to suit them just fine and I can't wait to make a trip out there to see our friends.
Paula, Liz and I became friends and have enjoyed playdates in the park, lunches together, birthday parties and great conversation.  Today we had possibly our last lunch together before our friends move.  It's hard to be sad when you know your friend will be so happy but leaving Paula's house today I felt a tug at my heart.  Good friends are a rare special gift.  Thank you God for blessing this season of my life with Paula's friendship.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Activities All Over Town

To say "All Over Town" might be a slight exaggeration but I am doing lots of running today with the girls and not really getting to see anything.  This weekend Reagan has her first softball games of the season, it's indoor so it doesn't feel like real softball to me. 
7:15 am Chris and Reagan left for the first game at 9am. 

9:30 am Emma has an all day orchestra clinic today that started at 10am. 

10:00am After Emma and Andie (friend) were settled in Liv and I raced over to where Reagan was playing just to get a text that said they lost 6-4.  (DISCLAIMER: one hour time limit, the winning team batted in the top of the 3rd inning and scored 3 runs but we didn't get to bat...the score should have reverted back to the end of the 2nd inning in my opinion but no one asked me.) 

10:15am Since I missed all of the game I went to a soccer parent meeting.  Reagan will be missing lots of soccer practices (some games too) this season, this morning was the first of many. 

11:30am I walked in the house to one of my favorite scenes....Chris making lunch.  The only thing better than that is Chris cleaning.  :) 
Emma and Andie getting ready for the clinic.
Reagan and teammate Olivia with some goofy downtime between games

1:00 pm Emma has a concert which Olivia and I will attend

1:30 pm Reagan has her second game which Chris will be coaching.

4:30 pm Reagan has a soccer scrimmage but we are skipping it for a birthday party.

No big plans after that...Praise the Lord!

Emma had a solo and sounded great!

Yikes...I'm Late

Verse #6

Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.  Psalm 14:31 (NIV)

This scripture challenge on Beth Moore's Blog is to be updated the 1st and 15th of the month.  I guess I'm late this month because I did not work on my verse much the past 2 weeks.  So I am starting fresh today, no reason to fret over what I didn't get done.

Our church is in the middle of our Global Summit.  It's a week when we invite in our missionary teams in to talk about their ministry.  It's a great learning time.  Last night our family went through "Project Experience" which was an interactive museum dealing with the struggles of every day life for many people in third world countries.  As an example, we had an opportunity to carry jugs of water (40 lbs each) just like they do in Africa if they are lucky enough to find clean water within 5 miles.  Can you imagine doing that every day?

Anyway, I saw this verse last night and it really spoke to me.  I have so much and usually want more when there are so many who do not have the minimums.  It's not that we should feel guilty but we should be moved to help others.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bible Study...Dance...Softball

That all goes together, right?  I have a variety of pictures to share.  It's been a fun last couple of days. 
To be honest, Tuesday didn't start out very fun, my sweet Reagan woke me at 3am, 4am, etc all night long. However, what mom can complain about being tired when their little darling is sick? 

Tuesday nights we host journey group, some call it small group, others may call it bible study, whatever you call it, we just love having friends in our home talking about real life and the love letter written by God.  Some weeks we are more focused than others...not sure what you would say about this week.  We did two studies but then finished up with Wii Just Dance.  It was a hoot!
The little kids...aren't they cute?
The big girls...oh I have them on video too.  :)
Livie just loves Wednesdays!  Time with mom and dance class. 
Husker's Home Opener today
Look at our girl Heidi Foland...she's got some ups!!!
Heidi had a great day in the field and at the plate.  We were lucky enough to see her first homerun of the season in game one.  Thanks Heidi and Julie for the tickets.  Love you!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bieber Fever!!

Happy Monday to each and everyone of you!

Tonight Olivia and I went to the Justin Bieber movie.  They did a great job making me love the kid and hoping the best for him.  There are so many people in this world who need prayer for illness, salvation, family issues, finances, safety, etc so I feel funny saying this but I really believe Justin Bieber needs our prayers too.  We have seen it time and time again, a young person hits it big and before you know it they have been sucked in by the celeb lifestyle and downfalls.  I saw the family pray together several times and give God the glory which gives me great hope that there is a foundation in Justin's life for real life long success (and I don't mean in his singing career).

The Garst Visit

For a girl who likes to take pictures and capture memories on paper I did a poor job of it this weekend.  I did however take a super cute video and wouldn't you know it, I can't get it to load.  Dang!

I grew up in a small town.  One of those places that everyone knows everyone.  No one changes schools because there is only one school.  For the most part, you make friends in kindergarten and 13 years later you walk through the high school gym on graduation day with those same friends.  My three closest friends were Mindi, Julie and Shelby.  We weren't exclusive, basically thirteen different girls were BFF's at some point in time however the four of us stayed close for many years after leaving home.  Now that we are all married and caring for our own children it is much more difficult to find time to get together however once in a while we make it happen. 

Yesterday my sweet friend Julie, her husband Kyle and sweet little girl Adelyn came for a visit.  Chris and I really enjoy Kyle and Julie.  They are kind, giving, successful and yet have known their share of trials but remain joyful and pleasant to be with.  At the tender age of five, Adelyn is as smart as a whip and just a beautiful as her mother.  Last night we enjoyed a great meal at Hotel Raabe and then were entertained by two beautiful dancing princesses.  We had fun catching up on each others lives, playing the Wii and talking about the good old days back in high school.

Morning came too soon and before I knew it, they were pulling out of our driveway heading south.  I am praying for safe travels and not so much time to pass before we get our families together again.  Thank You God for friendships that stand the test of time.

Friends, you all are welcome any time. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A 180 mile Dinner

How about a quick long distance dinner?  Last night we did a kind of crazy thing, especially since the price of gas is above $3.50 per gallon.  We decided to meet mom and dad for dinner in Grand Island, that's a 2 hour drive for each of us.  However how can you put a price on spending time with Oma and Opa?  As it turned out, we didn't make it to GI, I had to stick around town to take some neighborhood kids home from school before hitting the road.  A big thanks to mom and dad for driving a little further so we all met up in York.  The town has a Starbucks, Walmart and Applebees. What else could we possibly need?

I had to giggle when I looked over and saw dad sneaking some cookies for Olivia right after we ate dinner.  Applebee's is in the hotel so after eating we sat in the lobby of the Holiday Inn.  I'm pretty sure the cookies were meant for the hotel customers...NOT us. 

Side note: today my dad was horribly ill.  How do you know if it's food poisoning or not?  Poor guy.  Hope he feels better soon.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Snap Happy

I did it!!  I did it!!  I did it!
I shopped.  I compared.  I researched.  Chris and I worked extra jobs.  I saved every penny.  And then I finally made a decision to purchase the Sony Alpha 33.  I love it!  It's light weight.  It's amazing in low light.  It does great things on this cloudy day.  It's loaded with features.  I can take digital videos which focus instantly. It can do stuff I don't even know about yet.  :)  I will be taking a DSLR basics class this weekend.  I'm sure in no time at all I will want another class and a new lens but one step at a time.  For now...I am snappin' pictures like crazy.  You could call me Snap Happy!

Here's a little side note that made me pause...
Nationally, about half of all homeless women and children are fleeing domestic abuse and violence. Open Door Mission’s Lydia House  provides emergency services for women and families in need of immediate assistance. They provide food, shelter, clothing and other basic needs. The Lydia House also offers life changing programs to address the causes of homelessness such as abuse, addiction, or the inability to obtain and maintain steady employment. The Lydia House has safe shelter available for more than 300 women and families.
I like to support the Open Door Mission and Lydia House in Omaha anytime I can.  Yesterday I did so by taking a van FULL of donations down there.  I had clothing, housewares, you name it, I had it.  When you take donations to Good Will they just mark down 5 boxes, 2 bags or whatever you bring.  At the ODM they weigh your donations.  I took in 303 lbs.  I was amazed.  Please take the time to find a place like the Open Door Mission in your area and be intentional about supporting them in any way you can.  I have included a link to the ODM above (click on Lydia House).  If you don't know what their needs are just call or often they will even have items listed on their website.  If you feel so compelled, a cash donation is always needed, even $5.

Be A Blessing,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Third Sketch  Chris' blog.  Take a moment to check it out and feel free to leave a comment.

Way back when, Cindy, the publisher said it would take a year to do all the editing, revisions, etc but I really didn't think it would take that did.  I thought for sure this book would be released by January wasn't.  The last thing we heard was the book would be released in late March or early April and I fully believed it was coming out in March.  Well, now that we are entering the secomd week in March and the art work for the book cover is not even close to done, I am thinking that I (again) was overly optomistic about the release date.  I am excited but I want this book released at the right time.  I know God has a plan there really isn't anything I can do to change that plan.  Believe I have tried before.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Scripture Challenge

Scripture #5

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:36, NIV

Oh isn't that a gem?  So many of us need to hear, believe and then really let it this truth sink in.  The enemy wants me to believe that I am that sin from years (or days) past.  I'm not!  I have been made clean through the blood of Jesus.  Praise God for His Son!  He set me free so I am FREE!!!