Friday, June 29, 2018

Raber Vacation 2018

This year the Raber's decided to stay close to home and rented a lodge at Elk Ridge Ranch, which is near Rusk, Indiana. We wanted something laid back and were able to find that here - we made breakfast each morning in the huge kitchen and relaxed on the front porch. There was lots of time for bonding and relaxation, which was just what we needed. My favorite part is waking up in a home with your entire family around you! 

We went to the indoor water park in French Lick on one day, then the next we did indoor go-carting, the Escape Room, some shopping, got ice cream, and ate supper at 33 Brick Street. Wonderful memories were made and I will always cherish the time spent with family. Max wasn't able to go with us, since he had basketball camp. That made us sad, but we still ended up having a great time!

Our summer has been flying by with lots of baseball, work, swimming at Gina's, and lots of time outdoors. 

I can't believe my boy is going to North Daviess Jr./Sr. High next year… he had an amazing 6th grade year and loved being with his Uncle Clay everyday. The teacher's in 6th grade are amazing and Max learned so much this year - not only academically, but more importantly, about being a good person in general. I have gotten so many compliments this school year and summer about Max's attitude and smile. He is an amazing young man and I'm super proud!

Bring on 7th grade for Max, 1st grade for Callie…couldn't love these 2 any more!!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Summertime is finally here and we are enjoying every moment of the sunshine. It has been two years since I've had the summer off with my kiddos, but it is still hard every single time school ends for the summer and I have to leave my kids each day to go to work:( 

Callie will be 7 years old in 2 months and just finished Kindergarten. She keeps me on my toes every day with her sassiness and is growing up fast. She is involved with cheerleading at Champion Force in Washington and also playing baseball this season. She had her first cheerleading competition a few months ago and has so much fun being out on the mat and competing!
She's also playing baseball again this year and Gabe is helping coach her team. She can be such a girlie-girl, but can also play baseball in the dirt and do chores with her daddy! She is obsessed with JoJo Siwa, loves to draw pictures and do anything artisty, and still sleeps with Gabe & I on nights that Max goes to his dads. Here are just a few photos of what she's been up to lately. 

Maxwell Carter just finished sixth grade and will be going to Jr. High when school starts in August. I can't even imagine how that happened so fast, but somehow it did. When I think about Jr. High, I have so many wonderful memories with friends and it was such a special time in my life. I know Max will make new memories during his time at ND and I am excited for this time in his life. He is still crazy about basketball, plays tennis and baseball, collects tennis shoes, plays Fort Night, begs me to push back his bedtime, works hard in school, and makes me extremely proud. I just really count it a blessing to be a part of his life and watch him grow into a young man who makes good choices and lives life with no worries (so differently than I do).  Here are a few photos of my little man!

My brother Clay and his wife Hanna welcomed their second daughter about a month ago - her name is Everlee Ann and we are so in love with her and her big sister Harper. I love it that we live so close and Harper is always asking to run down to our house, and my kids can ride their 4 wheelers up to Uncle Clays. 

I started a new position at Crane as a Curriculum Design Specialist and things are going really well - I have a wonderful group of women that I work with and have become close to. They make going to work each day alot of fun and I'm excited about the work I'm doing. 
I feel so very blessed with the family and friends I am surrounded by and thank God for them everyday. Here we are celebrating my birthday this year - I told my family all I wanted for my birthday was a family photo! Here's to year 37, making lots of new memories, and counting my blessings every single day!!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Birthday Week

I'm sitting here on the first Friday night in a VERY long time that I have NO plans. And if you know me - you know this makes me very happy!! We have been super busy around here and I've completely fallen behind on my blog…which is something that doesn't make me happy at all. I love to keep this blog going in order to print it out into books for my kids to read some day. It's worked really well so far, until I became SUPER behind and stopped blogging all together. That won't make for a very good book, huh? Here is what we've been up to lately: 

Callie and her Daddy went to their 2nd Daddy/Daughter Dance. They had a great time - they ate, took pictures in the photo booth, danced, and visited with friends. Callie looked adorable in a little black & gold dress with gold high heels. She is my little fashionita and is always wanting to get dressed up - she hates the clothes I pick out and we have daily fights about what she is going to wear, already at 5 years old!

Max is in 5th grade and 11 years old now - it is so surreal that I have an 11 year old! His dad bought him a phone, so he is always on that. He has started collecting shoes - he is obsessed with cool tennis shoes. He probably has 10 pair right now…he uses all the giftcards he gets for every holiday to buy a new pair of shoes. He's even started making YouTube videos about his shoe collection. He is a great little basketball player and we have been winning tournaments each weekend. His little team is so fun to watch!

Gabe and I both celebrated our birthdays this week - Gabe turned 31 and I turned 36! He threw me a surprise party last night and I was totally shocked - all of my friends and family were there to celebrate with me! We had pizza, I got some sweet and thoughtful gifts, lots of visiting went on, and ended the night with a photo with all the ladies. What a great way to begin 36!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summer 2016

It's been so long and I don't have any idea where to start. It is the Summer of 2016 and the months have been flying by. This was the first summer in my children's lifetimes that I had to go to work everyday, instead of having the summer off with them. To say my heart was broken is an understatement, but we managed to squeeze in a family vacation and fun on weeknights and weekends. August will be here in just a few weeks, and it seems odd to not be preparing my classroom with lots of colorful supplies for upcoming students. I still question myself daily on whether or not I made the right decision - leaving the classroom after 13 years of teaching. There are pros and cons to my decision and I'm just trying to take it one day at a time. One thing is for sure - I miss the lazy summer days that I had with
my kids. Here is what we have been up to all summer:

Playing lots and lots of baseball! Callie played T-ball for the first time this year and did a great job - and paid more attention in the game then I thought she would! 
Max moved up to the major league and was the youngest on his team - but ended up having a great season and even made All-Stars!

We spent time with close friends and family...

We had a baby shower for my sweet sister-in-law…and I will have a brand new niece in just a few weeks! I can't wait to hold her and see my brother become a daddy!

 We visited Destin, Florida with Gabe's family for a week and had such a wonderful time bonding with family!

Relaxing in the sun...

Fishing in the pond in front of our home...

And having some unforgettable moments of fun!!

Friday, June 3, 2016

News stories...

I lay in bed while the news articles I have read earlier today jumble up in my head. As I read each story I felt physically ill. That feeling didn't leave as a trudged through my day. It kept nagging and nagging at the edge of my emotions.
Children being beaten and starved and raped and I just don't understand. Details and phrases are stuck in my head - the agony these children experienced without reason.
I think of my own babies tucked tightly into their beds and feel guilt. Guilty that they are so loved and so taken care of...when there are so many children who aren't.
I feel such a desire to GET UP and do something that will make a difference. Something that will make the horrible news stories stop. The only viable option I can see at 10 pm on a Thursday night is pray. I pray for the mothers and fathers who are ravaged by drugs, I pray for the children who only get a meal when they go to school for the day, I pray for the babies who are beaten to death for crying, yet aren't even old enough to form words for what they need or want.
And I cry. I cry for those kids who have never known what it feels like to be safe.
To not be afraid when they go to sleep.
To not wonder when they will eat next.
To not worry about making mommy or daddy mad.
For those who suffer and have done absolutely nothing wrong.
I pray.

Our world is filled with sadness and scariness and hit-you-in-the-gut stories every single day in the news. The only thing I can cling to is my HOPE in Jesus. And I know how He feels about children:

Matthew 18:2-6
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.
3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Please join me in prayer for the children who are helpless to the abuse and suffering they endure each day. "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. " Matthew 18:20

Friday, July 24, 2015

Okaloosa Island - 2015

Over July 4th (Gabe & I's 5th anniversary) - we traveled to Okaloosa Island, FL, with my parents, my brother, and his fiance, Hanna. Cole, Melinda, and Nate couldn't come - we missed them like crazy! It was a 10 hour drive that I was VERY nervous about, but everything went extremely smooth & the kids did great with all the traveling! We stopped about every two hours for restroom breaks and snacks - Max kept busy on his iPod, while Callie watched movies on the DVD player. 
Neither of my kids had ever seen the ocean - so I was SUPER excited to see their faces when we arrived at the beach! Max is 9 years old - and the last time I was at the ocean, I was pregnant with Max! He didn't know what to expect, but ended up LOVING it!

We stayed in a condo called "Sea Oats 106" and it couldn't have been more perfect! We literally walked out the sliding glass door right to the pool, then just had to walk over the short boardwalk and onto the beach. 

The location was perfect and the island was quaint & family-oriented! There were no fast-food restaurants on the island, but just over the bridge (about 3 min.) - there were all kinds of fast-food, grocery stores, or anything else you needed! The island is also just 15 miles from Destin - but we never even made it over there!  
Some of our favorite places to eat on the island were Rockin' Tacos, The Old Bay Steamer, and FudPuckers. I even had some yummy drinks!

Each morning we would head out to the beach and play in the ocean all morning! The kids really loved the water - I was afraid Max wouldn't get in because of all the reports of shark attacks this summer (none where we were), but he swam more than anyone else! We spent each morning soaking up the sun - then would go back to the condo for lunch!

After lunch each day, we would spend the afternoon in the pool, relaxing, and sometimes taking naps:) It really was the most relaxing vacation I've ever been on!

In the evenings, we would do something fun for the kids and go out to eat. Sometimes the kids would want to take an evening walk on the beach. There was so much beautiful white sand and clear, blue water!!

The kids LOVE their Uncle Clay - he is such an amazing role model in their lives!

The kids loved The Gulfarium - there were lots of dolphins, crabs, penguins, sharks, birds, and alligators to see. 

I even had the opportunity to take some engagement photos of my favorite couple - I mean, come on- there is no way to get a bad photo of these two!!!

I tried to convince my family to just forget about little Odon, Indiana and move to this little island…but it didn't work! I really did want to stay - it was the best vacation I had ever been on! I will never forget the look of amazement on my children's faces when they realized there is more to see besides cornfields and 1 stoplight towns. I hope we can return to this same location some summer soon!