Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Difference In A Decade

I remember this day 10 years ago.  Chris and I lived in Peoria AZ with our 2 year old and I was about to pop with baby number two.  It was over 100 degrees and I had an ambitious to-do list that day. Not only did I get everything done but I took a trip to the hospital and delievered our second daughter.

Around 5:00pm I had just sat down with Chris on the couch for our daily mommy and daddy time while Emma played quietly on the floor. (Those are the things you do when you have only one child)  My hair looked great, we had food in the kitchen, the house was clean and I needed a nap.  Emma saw a dead cricket on the floor which she insisted I pick up.  Right as I bent over, my water broke.  With great surprise I announced, "Either my water broke or I just peed my pants!"  Being that Emma was 2 yrs old all she understood was mommy probably peed her pants.  She comforted me and told me, "It's ok if you potty your pants." 

It's fun to recount the events of that day and think about the changes our family has seen in ten short years. 

From day one, Reagan has been her own person. As a baby, she cried and cried and cried.  It was Reagan who helped us find the blessing of chiropractic care, due to her colic.  However, I am pleased to announce she has grown out that chronic fussiness and we find her to be a delightful child.  Reagan is a silent leader and very well liked by her peers as well as adults who know her.  She is also a determined child.  There is nothing that will stand in the way of this girl...unless it requires wearing a dress.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude that God picked us to be Reagan's parents.  She brings humor, love and new ideas to our family.  I love this girl!  Happy Birthday sweet Reagan.  Your family loves you more than you could ever know.

Birthday morning at the Raabe house is all about eating whatever you want for breakfast, even if it is a school day.  Usually they pick a donut.  This morning Reagan wanted to go out for breakfast, don't you know to a donut shop.  Tonight we are having spaghetti.  What a kid, she makes it easy on me.

Another tradition at our house is late night decorating so the birthday girl will awake to a room full of balloons and streamers.  I'm pretty sure they all expect it by now but love it just as much as they did the first time it happened.

H        B          R
A         I          E 
P         R         A
P         T         G
Y        H         A
           D         N

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Birthday Week

Again, I will say this is a big year for me.  My baby started kindergarten.  My middle daughter enters the double digit years.  My oldest becomes a teenager.  While I talk about how hard it is on a mama to see her children grow up and hit all these milestones at once it is also exciting and a real blessing.
I made these invites...they turned out so cute.

This week is birthday week for Reagan.  Chris has teased me for years that I tend to go a little over board on birthdays.  I have NO idea what he is talking about.  (ok, maybe I do.)  Need I remind him that last year we did not do birthday parties for any of our children...that should even it out for the next several years.

Saturday we had 10 sweet little friends over to celebrate Reagan's 10th birthday. Right now she really does have a neat group of girlfriends.  Our afternoon party was spent out at Platte River State Park on the paddle boats, eating ice cream and then running all over the place.  The girls had a blast while Chris and I sat back and relaxed.
 What a crew!
Green and blue cupcakes topped with fantastic whipped frosting.
In case you are wondering, yes those are long candles.

Stay tuned for more birthday celebration.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Terrific Tuesday

I've got all kinds of things on my plate so this is going to be a quick post...probably won't proof read it which will drive my friend and avid reader of my blog crazy...sorry Vicki.  :)

Tuesday morning I go to women's bible study at our church.  We are studying Jonah which I started last year before Aunt Delma died but didn't ever finish it because I got too bogged down.  I love to restudy a lesson, funny how I am dealing with some of the same stuff and what a blessing it is to see how God has healed or allowed me to let go of other things.

Tuesday evening Chris and I host our couples bible study in our home.  Side note:  I just love this group of people.  I have been really struggling for the last year looking for solid friendships.  There are some great girls in my life and maybe I am just afraid to trust.  Getting burned really bad by a close friend leaves scars.  Anyway, it's time for me to invest in these girls.  Can't wait to see them all tonight...oh their hubbys too.  ha  After all that friend talk I almost forgot the main point I was going to make...I need to clean up my house a little.

I have another Norwex party in Grand Island tomorrow so I'm busy getting everything ready for that.  Some times the day before the party I feel a little stressed but once I'm there I love every minute of it.  Thank you Tonya Ratliff for helping me find Norwex!!

Since I'll be out of town tomorrow I moved our Chiro appointment to today so I'm going to whisk the kids out of school 10 minute early.

I have enough to do but this is something fun that I have been wanting to attempt...

I know you can't tell what this is going to be...let's call it a sneak peak.


The party was going to be on the 30th and then the place we are going is closing after this weekend, guess that means it's this weekend or nothing.  YIKES!!!
See, I have lots to do.  Hope to show you the finished products tomorrow or soon after.

Be a blessing to someone today.  It's really as simple as a smile and a hello to a stranger.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Watch D.O.G.S.

One proud daddy with his elementary girls.

Every morning Chris goes to school with our oldest.  He sees her in the hallways, sometimes embarrassing her but always enjoying the fact they are in the same building.  Once a year Chris takes a day off from teaching 7th graders to go hang out with a bunch of kiddos ranging from 5-11 years of age.  (It reminds him why he teaches 7th graders.)  The girls love seeing him in class, at lunch and "high fiving" kids in the hallways.
Our school, along with many others across the nation have adopted a program called Watch D.O.G.S.  (Dads Of Great Students).  Go HERE to read more about the program.  If your school does not currently have Watch DOGS I encourage you to bring it to their attention.  So often you see moms running around the building with their students but seldom dads.  Last year this program came to our school right after a neighborhood high school had a student go on a shooting rampage in the office and hallways later to end his own life.  The parents at our school are so great, we have every day covered with at least one dad and sometimes two.  Children NEED to see their parents take an active role in their lives, this is another important way to meet that need.

Now to piggy back off of that...today was my first day volunteering in Olivia's classroom.  What a joy!  I love seeing her interact in a completely different environment.  Soon I'll be in alternating between her class and Reagan's class.  Kindergarten might be one of the hardest classes to teach.  The kids come in at such different levels. 
*Some kids have learned how to sit and work at a desk and what it means to share...some have not.
*Some kids have been read to and encouraged to discover and learn...some have not.
*Some kids have are 5 and some are 4...that's a HUGE difference at this age.
*Some kids still cry when they come to school...some don't care if mom or dad ever come back.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. 

Truly, teachers take children of all backgrounds, races, behaviors, disabilities and intellectual levels and teach them.  HOW DO THEY DO IT?   I thank God that He has gifted these very special people to come along side my children and share knowledge that will shape them for years to come.  There are few professions that pour so much time into other people; teachers are under appreciated and certainly under paid.

Let me challenge you 
If you know a teacher, do something special for them.  They aren't use to big fanfare or fancy things but they do like to know someone notices their hard work.  For instance, my husband is thrilled when he gets a note of encourgagement, especially when it's connected to a Diet Coke or Reese Peanut Buttercup.  See, he doesn't need much.  (I love it when his encouragement comes in the form of a Starbucks card...then I get it.)  Don't over think this, just let a teacher know you appreicate them.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mean Money???

To quote Oprah, not because I hang on her every word but because I like this and can see some truth in it.

Money isn't good or bad.  Money doesn't change you...it makes you more of who you already are.

Can I hear an "amen" to that? 

Right off the top of my head I can't think of an exception to that rule but I could list several names (I won't) that prove the above statement.

I don't need pity or even a pat on the back but I do want to say...

S T O P   B E I N G   M E A N ! !

Sure, if the quote above is true, I guess they can't help it.  They were mean all along.

I just needed to vent. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Food Glorious Food

Oh My Gosh, I just found this post in my drafts but didn't ever publish it.
It's time!!

Below I have compiled pictures of several restaurants we enjoyed while on vacation in Florida in July.
The first 3 are all Darden Establishments, my friend Danielle works for Darden so don't you know we needed to try them out. 
Even in this time of economic down turn the restaurant business sure seems to be booming.  I don't think Danielle will be out of work any time soon.

Bahama Breeze has a great casual dining atmosphere and the food was very good.
This was our date night with Courtney and Danielle.  After dinner we went to the Bargain Bin.  We laughed so hard I wondered if we might get kicked out.
For an appetizer, 2 entrees and 2 drinks we spent about $60.  Normally we don't get an appetizer or drinks but we were on vacation.  :)

I'm excited to see one of these being built next to our mall in town.  It's a yummy one!
They are much like Outback Steakhouse but better.
Twelve of us had lunch together after church.  We had a crabby server and then suddenly she was as sweet at peach pie.  Can't help but wonder if she was tipped off that a "big wig" was sitting at our table.
I enjoyed the salmon.  Really some of the best I have ever eaten.  To be honest, I have no idea what anyone else ate or how much the meal was.  I highly recommend this Steakhouse!!
How do I say this other than PERFECT
Danielle and I had our girls night out at Season's 52.  She had been taunting me with information about this place for a year.  I must say it lived up to my expectations.  On a funny note, we saw a lady who was a little too friendly with her plastic surgeon.  I don't want to be mean but she looked like a freak.
It was a night of firsts for me...
1st Martini...strawberry basil and I liked it very much
1st (real) sushi...raw tuna and I loved it.
1st Canole...not my favorite dessert of the 3 we tried.
My dinner and flatbread was out of this world.
Just a word of warning, it is on the pricey side but worth saving up for.
Friends in KC, you can find one near the Plaza I think.  Look it up.  :)

This was the spot we hit after our 3rd day at Disney.
T W I S T E D   B U R G E R
The hamburgers were AWESOME, service also was stellar.
Our family of five ate for less than $25...5 drinks and 5 meals.

Always a favorite of mine but haven't eaten at one since we lived in Phoenix.
Their gluten free noodles showed Emma that you can live GF and not hate every minute of it.
Lunch for about $30-35. 
Pei Wei people...please bring one to Omaha!!!!

Breakfast in Cinderella's Castle was by far our most expensive meal and not the best of them but we all enjoyed it.  Olivia will remember meeting her favorite princess (Sleeping Beauty) for years to come.
We ate breakfast at 10:20am and yes we did advise our daughters to "eat up".  It worked out well, we didn't stop to eat again until 4:30pm.  Maybe we did get our money's worth...nah.  Did I mention it was $200?

Again, one of our favorites that Omaha does not have.  No, it's not healthy but oh so yummy. 
We ate on the road only a few times, this was on day 2 heading to Florida.
Chicken and waffle fries for 5 please.
The grease did give me a tummy ache afterwards.  Chris said that's why he refuses to stop eating fries so his body won't reject it later.  ha ha

Then Chris' all time favorite place....STEAK N SHAKE.
Again, I had a tummy ache after consuming such greasy processed food.  As much as I wanted to avoid eating at S-N-S I have to admit, the service there wemt way beyond my expectations and my hamburger and salad was pretty good.
A cost effective meal and the girls got a free shake since we had to wait.  I am a sucker for service.

The Great Outdoors

On September 1st this is what I brought in from the garden.  Since our garden has been a little sad this year you could say I was doing a happy dance as I was filling my arms.  This one lone cucumber is the last one.  We'll eat it for lunch tomorrow.

It's amazing that even though we did not take good care of our garden (gone 2 weeks in July and then we got lazy) we still are reaping a beautiful harvest.  I wonder if God looks at our lives and sees the lack of effort we put into doing things right but decides to bless us anyway.  He loves us.  He wants to see us grow, bloom and produce pleasing fruit.

After being so proud of my harvest, I decided to walk around the yard and share with my blog world what our outside world looks like.

 This pear tomato plant is obviously not done producing and the funny thing is that we didn't even plant it.  It grew volunteerly from last years left overs.  Thank you God for that little surprise.  (Olivia's favorite produce)

 The tomato plant seems to love us or maybe just our garden...usually.  This year our plants didn't produce like they have in the past.  As you can see it's pretty ugly out there.  Lots of rotting and dead plants this year.

Pretty sorry looking, huh?
Far back middle - zucchinni
Far back right - bell peppers
Far left - cucumbers
Front left corner - basil
Everywhere else is some kind of tomato
I pulled the lettuce
The strawberries are hidding behind the basil

If Satan took on a physical form, this is what he would look like.
  B I N D W E E D!!! 
Oh how I loath your existance.  You come to seek and destroy...see just like Satan.
(here that evil plant is growing up my neighbor's beautiful hostas.)

Tis the season for spiders and their webs all over outside.
I caught this little guy in his tunnel web.
This is why I hate those cute little bunnies.
Every year they eat this hosta.
Can you see the butterfly with it's wings closed?
Now starting to open..
And here she is, wings spread while enjoying my Butterfly Bush
(since there's no tail to lift, I don't know if it's a "she" or not)