Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Book Is Here

Well that's a word but not one that sufficiently describes our emotions today.

Over 2 years ago, Chris began this literary journey.
In May of 2009 an author visited Chris' middle school. While he was a successful writer he was a terrible speaker.  Apparently, he was pretty proud of himself and wanted everyone to know it.  I remember Chris coming home and telling me about the visit. Chris said, "If I ever write a book I will care about my audience and be more willing to answer their questions."  Within the week, Chris started writing
Six weeks later the novel was done.  It was at that point we realized the writing of the book was the easy part. How on earth would we ever get it published?

We thank WriteLife Publishing for taking a chance on a "nobody author".
So far it's been a journey of many unknowns.  We anxiously step into the next set of unknown twists and turns.  All the while we ask God for His guidance and wisdom. 

Looks like our book launch party is set for November 22, 2011
We will have books for sale and autographs for free.  :)
You can pre-order books at as soon as Chris approves the proof copy.
Ten to fifteen days after that, the book will be available on a variety of sites.  The best place to order is through the WriteLife website listed above.  Please remember to write a review of THE NEW PHENOM3NON.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Monsterous Music

 This monsterous event was simply freightful delightful.

WHAT IT TAKES: Practice Practice Practice
RESULTS: Hauntingly Beautiful Music

Getting Emma to practice is like pulling teeth but the results are impressive to
say the least. It's exciting to watch Emma grow in her musical ability and her desire
 to learn. This year Emma is taking part in an honors orchestra OAYO that meets every
Saturdaymorning.  I wasn't sure if she would like giving up her mornings (when
she could be sleeping) but not once has she complained, in fact she looks forward to
playing with talented youth from all across the city.  She's even learning a little more
about  what productive practicing looks and feels like.  YAY! 
Turns out, mom isn't so dumb.  My idea of practicing actually works. 
Gotta love it when they find out you know at least one thing.  Ha

This collabrative event was sponsored by a local high school which meant each
middle school orchesta student had a high school partner to shadow and learn
from all day. You can't see many of the costumes from the pictures I have included,
the high schoolers  were verycreative with their costumes while most of the 7th/8th
graders skipped dressing up all together.

A good word for today...
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbors and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven....If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Matthew 5:43-48

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Forty Minus One

 This is what THIRTYNINE looks like.

Tomorrow I start my 40th year of life. I'm not at all hung up on my's just a number.
I remember as a young 20 something year old hearing a friend's sister say she was 28 and thinking, "geesh, that is so old".  What would that "young Melanie" say about me now?

If you know me, you know I LOVE celebrating birthdays. 
From time to time I might set my expectations so high that
it is nearly impossible for Chris to meet them.  This year we
both did a better job.  Today was a great day!

Chris came through with a very tasty cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes 
Carrot cake is always my cake of choice to celebrate my new year of life.
It all started our first year in GI, a dear lady from our church supplied us with the most fabulous carrot cake.  Since that year, it's been a must...GOTTA HAVE CARROT CAKE!

 A month ago, I sent Chris, Em and Reags a text with a very specific birthday request.
I wanted a silicone cover for my Nook Color (which by the way, I love my nook).
There were other covers that I liked but they are ridiculously price.  My dear
hubby went above and beyond to get me the newest, coolest cover.  Now my Nook
can stand on it's own.  Thanks Christopher!

...was spent at the softball fields in Lincoln.
 Reagan's fall softball season came to an end today.
She had a great catch today as well as a great collision. 
Reagan is a pretty versatile player but spends most of her time in the outfield because she is so quick.  As the coaches daughter, she is the first one pulled out when parents complain about playing time.  It's a hard spot to be in but she takes it so well.
The Boo Bash is a fun tourney that allows the girls to dress up as a team

 A little pep talk from Coach Gerdes before going to the plate

Chris and I have always said (and plan to stick to) that church comes before sports.  Friday and Saturday was pool play then today was the tournament, working towards a championship game.  God worked out the details for us...Thank you God!  Our first game was at over by 9am which left us enough time to drive back to Omaha, go to church and still get back to the fields by 1pm for a 2:00 game.  Nice!  The girls didn't make it to the championship game but they played well and had a great time. 
Kuddos to Pastor Mark...GREAT message today, what a blessing. I think this week was #7 of the Future Shock series.  If you are interested in a great series on the end times CLICK HERE

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Owl Cupcakes to Celebrate

Good Morning Blog World! It's Thursday and I couldn't be happier. Today is a down day for me...I'm still in my jammie pants and sweatshirt at 9am.  LOVE IT!!  The girls are at school, the house is quiet, my bible study is done, laundry is going, the dishwasher is going and I have some whacked out hair.  You know, the "bedhead" that doesn't come in a bottle!  My coffee (even though I don't like the flavor of the beans I bought this time) is warm and soothing and now I am ready to blog.

There's a blog that I frequent, The Idea Room.  I don't know how that girl does it, she creates, finds and knows the coolest stuff.  Today when I stopped by I found a link to another blog with these super cute cupcakes and I had to share.  I know it would be better if I had actually made them, taken a picture and then posted my creation but to be honest, I'm not sure if I'll get all that done.  I'll let you know if I do.  Heather at Raising Memories also has some super cute ideas. 

Just in case you are unaware...this is my pre-birthday week. Some of you may not know about "pre-birthday weeks" they are big around here. For my actual birthday I like carrot cake but I'm thinking these cute little owls might hit the spot for a little early celebration.

Even Chris would not describe himself as a gift giver.  I mean if I tell him what I want, where to get it and when to give it to me he'll do it but it's not something he ever thinks of on his own.  On Monday I told him it was my "pre-birthday week" and I would really like some gifts. (it's my love language) He has come through like a champion. Keep in mind, I did not tell him what to purchase.
I love mums and it really added something nice to my outside arrangement.
I enjoy water bottles.  It's the only way I can get myself to drink enough fluids
It's a stretch to say Chris got this for me but he did approve the purchase
and in fact said something like, "Would you quit talking about it and just go buy it?" 
I'll take that as a gift.  :)
This weekend Reagan has a softball tournament which will give me lots
of opportunities to try out my new toy. 

The external proof (book cover) arrived in Chris' email inbox on Tuesday.  He had just a few changes to make.  We are about to have a book ready for each of you to purchase.  I can't give you any links as of yet but trust me, we will supply the information to you as soon as we know it ourselves.  Plan on giving  THE NEW PHENOM3NON by Chris Raabe for Christmas gifts.

We have planned the day of the book release party but not that actual date...keep your Tuesday evenings open.  As soon as we know, you will know.  You all are invited.  It'll be a great opportunity to get a first edition signed copy of what I'm sure will soon be a New York Times Best Seller!  Hmm, wonder if we can get Oprah to "like" the book. 

Happy Thursday to each and every one of you.  May you look for and recognize the blessings God has instore for your life.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

We Are Excited to Share...

What I was starting to think would never happen is getting closer.  This week we heard from Chris' publisher, WriteLife.  There's is good news.  We currently have the digital version of THE NEW PHENOM3NON which Chris needs to do the the final proof edit on 368 pages of text.  Don't you know he's a little busy this week with teaching, parent-teacher conferences, district softball and oh yeah he has a family too.  We are super excited so it will get done, just not this week.  I wish I could do it for him but he's the writer, I'm just a reader.
As soon as Chris approves the interior layout the book will go to the production queue.  The next step is finishing the cover of the book.  Above you can see the artwork created by Bruce McCorkindale they will soon be adding text and whatever else goes on the cover of the book.

Chris has a copyright and ISBN.  It's really happening.  This month, two years ago we sent the digital manuscript into the publisher praying that God would do something with this work to glorify Him.  It has certainly been in His hands the entire way.  I have been frustrated and impatient but my husband who usually sees the big picture better than I, kept reminding me that God has a plan.  Looking  back over the last year we had too much on our plate to be also marketing a novel. 
Thank you God for knowing what we need even when we are asking for something different!

Last night Chris and I again began to dream and brainstorm about the future of THE NEW PHENOM3NON.  We need help with marketing, again praying that God moves.  We had a great location for our book release party...they closed.  :(  So what is plan B?

Last night I finished reading THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett.  Just a little plug for is a GREAT book!  I'm sure you have heard of it, there is also a movie out based on the book.  When I finished the novel there was information in the back about the author.  This is her first book.  Wow, way to hit it big the first time Kathryn!  I decided to research Kathryn a little bit and got sidetracked.  Apparently her brother's maid was the inspiration for a character in the book and sued Stockett because it was "embarrassing and degrading."  I'm not a black female maid so I can't speak as one but I can speak as a woman in general.  The way the white women in this book treated their help, even when they were nice, was not good.  If anyone is embarrassed it should be all  people who see themselves as better than another because of the color of their skin, among other things. 

Ok, I'm done talking about that.

Back to Chris' novel.  We really don't know how long these last few steps will take but we now know it will happen.  Go to Chris' web page or his facebook page The New Phenomenon to keep updated.  As we know, you will too.

Chris, I am so proud of you.  I love you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pooley's Pumpkin Patch

Four Classes (about 80 kiddos) of Kindergarteners at a pumpkin patch...that's a lot of little ones running, screaming and having the time of their life. Thank the Good Lord our school has parents who like to volunteer.  My group was 2 moms and four little girls.  I can handle that.  :) 

The girls all really liked holding the chicks, bunnies and kittens.
I couldn't help but wonder how these tiny creatures lived through all the well meaning but tourturous handling. 

 Olivia found the perfect pumpkin to bring home.

 Mom and Liv

What a blessing it is, that I have the freedom to enjoy time with my daughters both in and out of school. I am also thanking God for the quiet 20 minutes I have had to myself.  Now it's time to go watch Emma play volleyball, run to the chiropractor, Reagan has soccer tonight and we host couple's bible study.  Hope I have some time to vacuum before everyone comes over.  If not, I guess they will still love me just the same and maybe be relieved to know our house is messy too.

Take a moment today to thank God for the simple blessings He so generously gives you.  Even the roughest day has at least one pleasant spot...thank Him!