Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Giving Life

This is one of my favorite things to do...Donate Blood!
It's either something you CAN do or CAN NOT do.
My friend Liz would like to but can not because of the places she lived in her youth.
My friend Amy can't even look at this picture without getting woozy, so actually donating might send her over the edge.

The first time I gave was in college and it gave me a great feeling of helping out those in need.  With every whole red blood donation you save 3 lives.  That's amazing.  I make my appointment for 1pm on Monday, every 8 weeks.  That means I could be saving 18 lives a year.  Woo Hoo!!  This post isn't to pat me on the back, it's to show how easy it is to do something HUGE for a total stranger. Talk about RAK (random acts of kindness)  In less than an hour (40 minutes usually) I am in and out of there...the paperwork takes the longest.  Actual giving time this week was 5 minutes and 14 seconds.

If you are able I challenge you to add this to your routine.  I don't wait around for the Red Cross to call, I just sign up and then plan around my appointment. In Nebraska I call...
To learn more about blood donation opportunities, visit www.redcrossblood.org/ or call
1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733 2767).

BTW, yep that's my nook in the bottom of the picture...love that thing.

I'm a Slacker!

I know, I haven't done my best in the world of blogging lately but I just don't have time. It will get better...one day.  :)  I have been doing book orders, digging out the Christmas decorations, loving on my kiddos, getting rid of more Aunt Delma stuff and realizing my baby has a birthday coming up and I haven't planned a party.  YIKES!!

Today I'm sharing a quick book update.  All is going well.  Praise God!  Funny how we can plan, scheme and think we have it all under control and then God steps in to take care of everything that we couldn't.

THE NEW PHENOMENON got another GREAT review today. 


I'm telling you (all of you) this is a must read.  If you haven't bought the book yet, go to our publisher's website and purchase it at a reduced price while it lasts.


Our calendar is starting to get filled up with speaking engagements and book signings. 
*December 20th we have a signing in Omaha. 
*January 3rd we hope to be in Red Oak IA, where the book takes place. 
*January 4th we'll be back in Omaha at a school.
*January 7th a signing at The Book Worm in Omaha. 
Exciting stuff going on.

The bible tells us that He (God) can do immeasurably more than we could ever hope or dream of.  So true!  Don't forget to give God praise for the amazing blessings you see every day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The New Phenomenon Has Been Launched!

It's our new record (ok we have nothing to compare it to) we sold out of books in 50 minutes.  I do recall a convo about the number of books we would need for the book signing.  The publisher ordered 100 books.  We said we'd need more. 
The final count was 127. We probably would have sold more if we would have had them there.  Still an amazing night.
God is Good!
Kelly was our first purchaser tonight.
Kelly and I go way back to when we played volleyball
together in college.

Look at this cake!
Hy-Vee Bakery at 144th and Stony Brook in Omaha.
Tonya rocks!!!

We had so many friends come through tonight, it really isn't fair to put just one picture on here but it's the only one I got on Emma's little camera.  I will load more pictures in a few days.
The Foleys are dear friends from Grand Island.
Some of our other travelers were...
Kelly from Lincoln
April from Table Rock
Tami from Grand Island
Julie from Des Moines, IA
Mom and Dad from Smith Center, KS
I guess the people who drove over from Bellevue probably feel like they need a shout out too.  (Bellevue is part of the Omaha metro but a bit of a drive.)

Thank you Abby Snyder for taking pictures tonight,
can't wait to see them.
Thank you Susan for your cake cutting expertise.

Chris you rocked the book signing.  Love you babe!

The First Review

Here we are!  Today is the day!  Chris' book has been available since early November but today is our launch party for the book.  I am so excited!!! 

All the feedback we have heard on THE NEW PHENOM3NON has been positive.  We've had friends, colleagues, family, students, editors, etc. read the book and everyone liked it but they all had some kind of connection with us.  Today a review came out from a 20 year old gal who does not know us, we don't know her...there is no connection.  She liked the book!  That stamp of approval confirms what we already thought but couldn't be sure if we were just biased.  I have included her review below.

Nancy's Review from TumblingBooks.blogspot.com
This book was surprisingly good! I completely thought that it was about aliens, which I am not too fond of (they scare me a little), but it wasn't. The concept of "phenomenon children" was very cool, they had special talents that no one else could do and the government was after them to kidnap them and use them for experiments. At the beginning of the book I wasn't sure what was going on and so I was a little confused. It didn't take long for me to fully understand, as everything was explained very well as the story progressed. The book reminded me a little of Twilight (in a good way!) and I Am Number Four. The phenomenon children were amazing, their talents were very unique and the plot of the story was very exciting! I really grew to like Christian as a character. At the beginning of the book I saw him as the jock-type of person, but he wasn't like that at all. He was actually very down to earth and smart! He was completely different from how I thought he would be and it made me enjoy the book so much more. I'm thinking that there's a sequel to it and I really want to read it if there ever is one.

It's important to remember (I'm talking to myself) that there may be negative reviews as well.  It happens to the best artists, directors, authors and people in general.  So taking what one person has to say about your work/creation and focusing on it too much is dangerous. But for today, I am happy to share these great words. 

"This book is surprisingly good!...I really want to read (the sequel) if there ever is one."

That is all for now.  Wishing you and yours a relaxing Thanksgiving.  Remembering to give thanks to our Lord and Savior.  He is Good, All the Time!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful for... (part2)

Oh wouldn't the FlyLady be proud of me?  All except for the fact that I actually had all this extra stuff in my house.  I am so thankful to have a place like the Open Door Mission to donate good used items for people who are in need. One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Emma played volleyball for the first time this fall.  She did a great job
and even played in the championship game. I was a proud ex-volleyball
playing mama!  All three of my girls give me great reasons to have a camera. I
enjoy capturing moments of their ever changing lives.

Creativity is important to God...my family is proof of that.
I love my brothers and pray for them daily.

I have an amazing husband who can do it all...well not fix the car.  :)
I know God has special plans for you, he saved you as a baby so that you could
accomplish great things for his kingdom.  Already you have done so much,
all by God's grace. This month marks another great accomplishment...
The New Phenomenon!
To God all the glory!  Christopher, I love you. 

Fifteen months ago Chelsea and Allen (and sweet Naomi) came into our lives along
with several other amazing couples.  It started as a weekly bible study in our home.  It
has turned into a weekly gathering of people who love and support each other.
Friends are a blessing!

 If I could keep my girls in a bubble of protection forever, I would do it.
Looking in those big blue eyes and seeing nothing but innocence
is about the sweetest thing I can think of. 

Spending Thanksgiving 2010 with Aunt Delma was special but I had no idea
it would be our last one.  I am so grateful for the time we had together.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful for...

I started keeping a gratitude journal about a year ago.
There are days that I am down in the dumps and feel like nothing
is going right.  All it takes to change my attitude is to look through
that journal.  How embarrassing it is to think that for one minute
I can feel anything but gratitude for the many many blessings in my life.

November is here and what better time than this to highlight some of those
blessings I journal about.  Keep in mind, these are in no particular order.

I was very excited when Chris asked me to help him pull vocabulary words from his manuscript for the teacher resource section on his website.  Most of my involvement with his novel has been holding down the fort so he could write or doing research.  This was a fun activity for me.

I know there have been years in the past that snow came in October, so November 2nd isn't that bad but I was very grateful to see the snow go away as quickly as it came.  So I was thankful for the beautiful scene and the warmer temps on the 3rd.

Emma loves music whether she is singing, dancing, playing her cello or just listening to the radio.

Not only did God give me a wonderful husband but He also gave me a man who loves his children and is willing to support them in whatever they do.  He even took a day off of work to spend at their elementary school (totally out of his comfort zone).
When I first told Olivia I had signed her up for basketball camp (one hour on 5 Saturday mornings) she firmly told me she was NOT going to go.  I talked her into going just once and then she loved it!

All three of our children are healthy and active.  What a blessing it is to watch them grow.
The girls eat well, exercise through play and have a healthy spiritual life.  Thank you God!

Today is the first day of Chris' birthday week which makes me remember all the nice things he did for my birthday last month.  (Again, he's a great guy!) So today my mouth waters as I look at this picture...I am thankful for yummy carrot cake.  I wish I had some hidden in the frig.  I guess I'll have to settle for a carrot instead.

It's easy to dwell on what isn't going right.
Sometimes I'm a Debbie Downer...I just hate that!
Today I chose to remember the blessings and give thanks for all I have.

Friday, November 4, 2011

"The New Phenomenon" Release

You're invited to celebrate the launch of Chris Raabe's new young adult novel, The New Phenomenon! Enjoy delicious food and of course, support Chris and buy a book (or three).
Chris will be signing the books that night, so remember all the young adults in your life that might like a book signed by the author this Holiday Season. (Babysitters, paper carriers, nieces and nephews will love this book.)
Roja Mexican Grill
171st & Center Rd, Omaha, NE

Come and go, any time between 6 PM and 9 PM.

Please bring a check or cash for book purchases. Sorry, no credit/debit cards.

Books will be on sale for $16 each (NE sales tax is included in the price).

Can't make it to this party? You can purchase it here:



About the Book:

The New Phenomenon

Young Adult Fiction, 368 Pages

Every teenager wants to fit in, and Christian Pearson is no different. He is a phenomenon on the athletic field and in the classroom, but a terrifying accident on a fishing trip with his grandfather changes Christian's life forever. As he enters his freshman year of high school, Christian hides a secret that he plans to take to his grave. When the Pearson family moved from the city to the sleepy town of Red Oak, Iowa, before his freshman year of high school, Christian hoped for a smooth transition to small town life.

Being the new kid in school has been a blessing and a curse. Most of the boys in Christian's class view him as a threat, so Christian struggles to fit it, but as an outcast, his secret is safe. When three freshmen, all from the same family, start school a week late, Christian senses something different about these new students. He reaches out to "The Three" seeking some semblance of friendship in his new hometown. When "The Three" confront Christian about the secret he hides, Christian is faced with a huge problem. Will this secret cost Christian his friends, his family, his freedom, and even his life?

Halloween Havoc

For as much as I love to watch my kids' activities
I have to admit I was pleased to be attending Reagan's final
soccer tournament of the 2011 fall season.
Reagan and teammate Cat went out for the coin toss
Is it just me or does the ref look to be about 12 years old?

 I thought the next 4 pictures were pretty neat.
1. She stops the ball

 2. She pulls back the ball

 3. She Turns

4. She heads for the goal
So proud of the Comets this fall season.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

White Out


Yesterday the temps hit 70 degrees.
Now look at today's weather!!!

My kids will be very happy when they get out of school. 
Momma is not so happy.