Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What Are You Reading?

Do you have a list?  I do and it seems to be growing.  What a funny idea for me to have a "Books I Want to Read List".  Can I just say, that is totally out of character for me!  Less than 10 years ago I could count on one hand the number of books I had read for enjoyment.  Today, I am willing if only I could have a 25 hour day.

I really enjoy Francine Rivers as an author.  She has a new book, maybe even 2 out, I'm on the waiting list at the library.  My other favorite Christian author is Karen Kingsbury.  The Redemption series is wonderful which leads into the First Born and Baxter series.  The Shack has been on my list for about 2 years and as soon as I can get it from my mother-in-law I'll be diving into that story.  My friend Vicki has my interests up about a book titled, "So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore".  Too bad they couldn't come up with a longer title.  On top of those I have 3 Debbie Macomber books on my night stand.

Geesh, my high school English/reading teachers would be shocked to know that I read books.  I'm pretty sure they knew I read the Cliff Notes and tried to get detailed info from all my friends before every quiz.  You see, I just didn't have time to read in high school.  My life was packed full.  If it weren't for some fun/laid back classes, school itself would have messed with my social life.  Phone calls, sports and boys really did occupy way too much time after school to focus on something as boring as sticking my nose in required reading.  :)

Now that I have a nook color I have my nook books and my "physical, hold the paper & turn the page" books. I like the Nook but I seem to read faster and get less distracted when I read books printed on paper.  I don't know why that is.  One a positive note, it is hard to find time to read and when I do, often it is late at night. Often a few pages in I fall asleep.  The Nook saves my spot every time.  Love it!

I have 3 books to plug today.  The first isn't surprising...THE NEW PHENOMENON by Chris Raabe.  In the near future author Chris Raabe will be speaking at Peru State College.  I don't see this as a venue that will sell lots of books but it's great exposure and I'm praying that the novel is incorporated into their reading choices for YA lit classes.  Another note worthy comment is we have our own domain.
http://chrisraabe.net  will take you directly to Chris' blog.  This is just a starting place eventually we will do more with it.  One more comment, it you have not gone to the facebook page for The NEW PHENOMENON and liked it, please do so now. CLICK HERE We will be doing a book give away in the next month.  You must like the book and make a comment on the post to be entered in the raffle.

The second book that I plan to read soon is THREE BURNING BODIES by Brian Bogdanoff.  He is a retired local police officer who wrote a non-fiction book about a case he helped solve.  We met with Brian today for tips.  His book is doing very well and has even been a number one seller on Amazon.  His book is available in e-version as well as printed form.

Last but certainly not least I've gotta send out a shout for my Daily Bible in Chronological Order.  We are reading it together as a family.  There are many stories already (we're only in Exodus) that I have read or heard many times over the years but suddenly they make more sense when you know what happened 400 years before and after.  The girls are asking great questions too.  When I don't know the answer we look it up or I say, ask your Sunday school teacher.  LOL!

This week I'm sending up some special healing prayers for Evan and his mom at Mayo Clinic, Dylan at UNMC, Klint at Lakeside Hospital and Dad.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Celebrating for Months

Life gets crazy.
Sometimes it is necessary to plan to procrastinate.
Our sweet little pink princess was born in December.
For a mom with unrealistic, over board party plans
this is a problem.  December is a busy month!

 As you can see the Christmas tree in the background, we really did do a little family celebration in December.  Emma spent her own money to buy Liv a pink frilly skirt from the dance store and Reagan made a cute pink visor but we hit the bulls eye with our gift...a PINK Nintendo DS!
I'm not sure about the outfit she's wearing...

 I do spend quite a lot of time at the elementary school so it
is only natural for me to hang out with the birthday girl for a little while
on her big day.  We went out for recess...burrr!  We had lunch...Panda Express.
And most importantly, we had treats.  She asked for cupcakes from the store.
(secretly I was sad, I like to MAKE treats but she wanted to be like everyone else)
6 weeks later......

Here we are at Bounce U
It's one of those fun places with inflatables for the kids to bounce in, on & through.
The plan was to invite 6 friends since she was turning 6.
Bounce U's smallest package was for 15 kiddos so we invited 12 (plus my 3 girls).
We had 9 friends show up, it was a perfect number.  Now to get going on the thank yous.
 Max is one of Liv's buddies.  The poor guy was there without any other male backup. 
Two boys didn't RSVP or make it and the other little boy got sick right as they were heading
to the party.  He was so mad at his mom for keeping him home.

Chris and Melanie on the balance beam.
We were trying to switch places without falling off.
We fell every time.  My friend Stacey enjoyed getting
some rather unattractive pictures of us...those won't be posted here.

This was Olivia's first party outside of our home.  No, I didn't do this for the other two at this age but I've gotta say it was worth the money we spent to avoid the mess at our house.  Next year we'll probably go back to something like pizza and cupcakes at our house and then I'll wish I spent the money on bowling.

I love birthdays (even my own).
I love celebrating the life God has give us.
It nearly killed me to take an entire year off of birthday parties last year (sept-feb)
So now I am back to making cakes and going over board and I LOVE IT!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Toro Magic

What a crew!
Soccer crazies...they were every where.  I am afraid the Raabes could be included in that group.  Our 10 year old soccer team traveled down to Kansas City for the Winter Magic soccer tournament.  Toro Fusion was formed just 3 weeks ago. I am very pleased to say that these little girls worked hard to become the tournament champions beating out teams who had played together for 5-6 years.  Way to go!!

Reagan has decided to hang up her softball glove to go full speed with soccer.  This was our first out of town soccer event.  We did it big...Friday through Monday!  The girls and the parents had a great time getting to know each other both at the games and in our down time.  I am excited to continue the season and watch the girls grow into stronger, quicker athletes.

Staying in a hotel with a pool is a pretty exciting thing for a bunch of girls.
It was a little disappointing for them to find out that Coach Chad was concerned
their little bodies would be worn out before the weekend was over.  His famous
saying for the weekend was, "you have 30 minutes to swim."  I couldn't help
myself...doesn't it look like the girls are getting the "bad" news. 
This was actually a pre-game pep talk. 

The march into the walls, game #1.

 There's my girl, full speed ahead zipping past all the defenders.
We started out the tournament with a loss to Agape Xtreme. The Fusion girls lead the whole game
(in spite of all the bad calls) and with 40 secs left in the game we were still up 5-4.  Those big girls from
Pleasant View scored twice and sent us back to the hotel knowing we had our work cut out for us
in the remaining 2 games.   Our goal was to make it into the winner's circle on Monday morning.

Nothing says bonding like making duct tape flowers.

 #8 might be small but she is mighty.
Reagan knows how to bring her power to a penalty kick.

The Raabes had the best following thanks to our KC family.
Aunt Angie, Uncle John, Uncle Rodger and Aunt Laura we appreciate
you driving all over KC to support our Toro girls.  Love you guys!

The Tebow
It's a craze right now but seeing my daughter do this gave me an opportunity to talk to her about the platform that she has right now.  If you have followed Tim Tebow at all, which I had not until recently, you have heard of his faith in Jesus Christ.  He recognizes that he is no better than the next person just because he can throw a football with a certain level of accuracy which enables him to make millions of dollars a year. Instead he uses his celeb placement as an opportunity to speak to the lost and for those who are without food and shelter.  We all have an opportunity to do something for the greater good.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Chris was just starting to think the male:female ratio was getting a little better and then we added another female to our home.  I'd like to introduce Bella our baby kitty.

Vincent and Bella
Oh she might look sweet but she's a little feisty thing!  She has
become well acquainted with the water spray bottle.
She likes to bite and scratch and even though Vincent doesn't
have front claws he can hold his own.  I've seen him smack her across
the face when he's taken all he wants.  Makes me laugh.
The first few days were touch and go but now the two run around playing
all day long.  Vincent might slim down a little with his new exercise program.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Red Oak, The Home of The New Phenomenon

On January 3, 2012 the newly published young adult fiction author (and his smokin' hot wife) traveled to Red Oak, Iowa to share his novel with the home of the fighting tigers. Red Oak holds a special place in Chris' heart, after all it is the setting of the first book in the Phenomenon Trilogy. We were thrilled with the excitement that was generated by the five book talks in the schools.  At the end of the school day we zipped to the public library to find a crowd already waiting to purchase THE NEW PHENOMENON by Chris Raabe. 

In case you are not from a small town, let me explain something to you.  The people of towns such as Red Oak, Ia support the school, the city and the interests of the community.  If only we had known there were so many distractions already on the calendar that day we might have changed our date. 
1. High school boys basketball game at home
2. High school girls basketball game away
3. High school wrestling
4. City Council Meeting
5. THE IOWA CAUCUS...how did we miss this one????

We still had great sales and met so many wonderful people. (funny side note: chris' old girlfriend stopped by but sent her son in to buy a book, she wouldn't come it.)  We want to send out a shout to the Red Oak community and say THANK YOU!  So many of you asked about book #2.  It is still being edited and revised but we will let you know when it is available, we hear there's a possible October 2012 release. 

We gave away a bunch of these shirts
If you didn't get one we left some at the library.

Chris speaking to the middle school students
He saw about 280 kids at the first stop of the day.
Chris gave some tips about the writing process.
1. have a plan
2. write on
3. revise revise revise revise
4. edit

 5th Graders took in every word the author had to share with them and then eagerly peppered him with questions about the cover, the characters, making money and book #2.

 Our last group of students for the day was a bit of a surprise.  Chris thought he was going to be speaking to two small groups of 9th and 10th grade students which turned into several hundred 9-11th grade high school students.

It was fun to watch Chris give the same presentation to each group but change it just enough to capture the interest of the student.  Some may say he pushed the envelope just a little at Red Oak High School but the kids loved it.
What use to be Red Oak Jr High is now Red Oak Middle School.
In general it is the same building with some minor changes.  Thank goodness they got rid of the pink walls.

You may recognize the name of these streets from the book. 

Here it is...the house where Christian grew up.
He really had his bedroom in the basement and really hit his head going down the stairs on numerous occasions.
Notice the wrap around drive way and there's even a boat parked  back there.

This picture is one of my favorites from the day.
Red Oak is the home of the fighting tigers and you bet, the water tower is bright orange...there it is in the background.  This picture should have been on the back of the book.  :)

I also want to say "HEY" to our friends the Brownlees.  It was fun to see your parents...hope you enjoy the book.  We miss you!

Good are always the way of the Lord.
It's embarrassing that I have to admit again my lack of trust...ok probably faith.  I told God what we needed and then I doubted we could do it.  He exceeded it because it was Him and not me doing the work.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?  He always has our best at heart.  Thank you for loving me and coming to my rescue time and time again!
Great are you Lord!!!