Welcome....Here's a glimpse of our happenings!

The verses that have REALLY spoken to me (Sarah) lately....



"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." Matthew 7:24-25



Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. I Peter 5:8-9



From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' Acts 17:26-28



May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14



So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Deuteronomy 5:32-33



God, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It's up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this Revelation. Deuteronomy 29:29 (The Message)

About the Friesen's....

We are Marc, Sarah, Luke, and Kate Friesen. We were married June 5, 2004. We have one son, born July 21, 2008, named Luke Andrew -- now 4 years old. We also have a daughter named Kate Christine -- born June 6, 2012. Marc is working at Cessna as a Senior Accountant, and Sarah stays home full-time with Luke. Sarah also gets to work very part-time at home for Graber Backhoe -- an excavation company AND VERY part-time at our church. We LOVE being a part of Grace Community Church here in Newton, KS. We lead a Community Life Group of other wonderful couples. Marc thoroughly enjoys long-distance running and Taekwondo. Sarah thoroughly enjoys walking -- especially when the weather is nice to take Luke and/or out in the stroller. Thanks for reading our blog!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

January...

I'm SO very grateful our little family's Christmas break was fairly relaxed with free playtime for the kiddos, quite a bit of extra sleeping time, etc.  God obviously knew we needed that because once school started back up for Luke and work started back up for Marc, I feel we haven't slowed down much.

Luke wasn't extremely thrilled about starting school up again because he "was having so much fun playing at home".  He's a little homebody.  I like that he likes being at home & obviously is secure here, BUT part of life is simply "doing".  We do our best to give him ample free time to just play and be a 6 year-old kindergartner. Fortunately, once he got back into the school building, all was, and continues to be, just fine!

The early part of January was COLD!  So, the kids entertained themselves inside...


One day, I walked into Luke's room to get some laundry, and I found a toolset opened up on his bed...I never did figure out *exactly* what he was doing -- Ha!


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My friend, Alissa, invited me to join her at a basketball game (Wichita State).  I was thrilled to go to yet another college basketball game!  So fun!  (But the walk to and from the game was a wee bit cold).


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Kate's little friend, Brahm, resumed his time here.  Fortunately, there have been some planned playgroups and library story times to go to!



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We were hit with a few car issues....sigh....my car had an oil leak which was quite expensive to repair (insert clearing of throat here).  But, God's providing us a few ways to hopefully help pay for it.

About two days after we got the news that my car was going to need this expensive repair, Marc discovered an oil leak under his car...big sigh...

To fix the oil leak in his car was going to cost only *slightly* less than what the car was worth (his car was a 2003 Ford Escape with 225,000 miles).  SO, we made a relatively fast decision to buy a "new to us" car for Marc.  Here's the proof of the 225,000 miles.  (The Ford Escape has been oh so good to us)...


Luke, who doesn't like change and must transition slow, needed one last pic of himself with the car which is now gone...


AND, I guess I need to get a pic of the "new to us" car....

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Our family participated in an event at church called "Passport to Nations" (which was a part of a weekend event called "The Mission").  I volunteered to put together an information table about the country of Spain!


Marc & I, along with another couple (who happens to be very close friends of our's) also, that same weekend, participated in a service project which was simply AWESOME!  I won't put a report on the evening on this very public site since it ended up involving some serious needed prayer requests of some local people, but I will simply say "I was touched" by the evening.

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Instead of pics from that evening (because I have none), I'll post another pic of the kids....simply walking out of church, hand-in-hand :)


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Once the weather did warm up, the kids & I went to the zoo (of course) with my friend, Alissa, and her son, Ian.



It was all fun at the zoo until Luke made a poor choice with something he said...sigh...at that point, I was so mad, angry, frustrated, and disappointed.  Then (and since that time), I have spent time trying to discern how much of our kids' poor behavior comes from something they're imitating from their parents vs their behavior which is simply their innate sin nature.

#parentingisnotforwhimps

I'll move on to a more light-hearted topic -- Ha!

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Actually, this next topic is not light-hearted, but it's a biggie right now for us.

Marc's parents are elderly (ages 90 and 82), and Marc is an only child...his parents still live at home, independently. Starting last summer, Marc & I have been working *somewhat* diligently on getting them into a retirement facility.  Their names have been on a waiting list for several months.

About 1 1/2 weeks ago, I received the AWESOME phone call that their name was at the top of a list for an apartment!  WOO-HOO!

Last weekend, an official decision was made to take the apartment.  Two days ago, Marc & I accompanied his parents to sign the papers.  Sometime within the next 4-5 weeks, we'll be moving them into the apartment.  Then, we'll be cleaning out their house to put on the market.

Just breathe, Sarah.  Breathe.

It's a daunting job, but it simply has to be done....

(No real interesting pictures yet here)...

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And, pure randomness to finish off this long post....

I gave the kiddos donuts the other day in the car after Luke got off of the bus.  I needed to run an errand for Marc's parents, and I wanted them entertained. Neither child refused the donut...


I did a "Make Your Own Pizza" thing for lunch the other day while Brahm was here.  I failed to get a pic of the oldest child (Luke) -- which is sad because he required the least amount of assistance which *would* imply my hands were the most free for picture taking -- Ha!



I like this next pic...


I like how kids like forts.  We haven't built nearly enough in this home.  I need to change that.

This fort was built almost a week ago AND is still up as I type this post.


SO, that's a quick synopsis of our January!  Perhaps I'll get around to posting again sometime soon!


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Little Bit of Basketball....

Team sports are something I NEVER participated in unless I had to in a required PE class.  Team sports are also something I really never enjoyed watching.  In high school, I was the music geek who was always in the group singing the "Star Spangled Banner" before the event AND playing in the marching & pep bands during events and at halftime shows!

Fast forward to my meeting Marc -- a wonderful guy who liked and still does like to watch sports.  Then, I married Marc (10 years ago); therefore, I live with sports on TV quite a bit -- particularly on weekends!

CONFESSION: I have learned to really enjoy and even *somewhat* follow college basketball.  It does help that my alma mater, Wichita State University (WSU), has done quite well in basketball in recent years.

Before Luke & Kate were born, Marc & I, if we were able to get a hold of some tickets, went to a fair number of WSU games.  Once kiddos came along, we began to stink at getting to games.

Last year, I had a bit of an *immature* (insert clearing of throat here) breakdown about not getting to a game in awhile.

So, in the last month, my really nice and full of grace husband has taken us to not one, but two, college basketball games.  

Earlier this month, Marc & I went to a WSU game!  We had pretty good seats!

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Watching the teams warm-up...


Players' introductions and getting the crowd fired up...



The Shockers had a great win that night!  They won 81-52.


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Last night, we went all out.  The kiddos spent the day AND night at my gracious parents' house.  Marc & I booked a hotel (to make a night of it) and drove a couple hours to Lawrence, KS, to watch the University of Kansas (KU) Jayhawks play Kent State University!

I hadn't been in Allen Fieldhouse for close to 20 years.  Marc hadn't been in there for 12 years. We're in the middle of probably one of the colder weeks of our winter.  In other words, walking the 1/2 mile from where we parked to Allen Fieldhouse was a *wee* bit on the cold side.

Quick funny story: When we were on the 1/2 mile cold walk, I said to Marc, "I wonder if we'll see somebody we know".  Roughly 5 minutes later, once inside, we pretty much immediately ran into somebody from church we know.  Ha!

We got there before the KU basketball players were out warming up.  So, we were able to stand in the "hallway" and watch the players come out.  Enjoy my bad pic that I took behind people taller than me -- Ha!


Once we got to our seats way up high (I *think* three rows from the top), I was able to take some pics!




The Jayhawks won 78-62!  Yay!

It was fun to be there, and I'm grateful for both games Marc & I were able to get to this month!  Fun dates to end the year 2014!


And -- just for fun -- while we were gone and the kids were at my parents' -- my mom texted me this "guilty-looking" pic of Kate....


Apparently, Kate had snuck into my parents' pantry.  My mom heard her doing something.  When she went to check on her, Kate was eating "Ritz" crackers.  The evidence was a full mouth and crumbs all over the floor.  #twoyearolds

And, to not leave out Luke -- this afternoon, after we all returned home, in the cold and somewhat snowy ground, Marc & Luke went sledding briefly!  Marc took this cute selfie of themselves.  It's weird looking at Luke in a pic without his glasses!  

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Day....

This year, for Christmas Day, our little Friesen Family of 4 was home all day.  Just the four of us.  It was absolutely wonderful!  I don't want to make it sound like I have bad days & I dislike my life, BUT I told Marc that Christmas Day was the best day I've had in a long time -- very little responsibilities (other than the normal feeding my family & all) and no place to go.

The kids slept in until well after 8:00 AM.  Marc & I were up before them & waiting.  When they got up, however, they were ready to open gifts.  And, to be honest, I was ready to give our gifts to them.

I made the comment to Marc that it's been very obvious that Kate is a 2nd child.  She opens gifts so much easier than Luke did at age 2 since she has an older sibling to imitate.



We gave Kate a cute little pink "IKEA" table.  Kate really wanted (and still does want) her big brother to sit with her.


We gave both kiddos WSU "Shocker" shirts.  I may be biased about these kids as well as the university, but I think this pic is CUTE!


We gave Luke a desk.  The desk had to be assembled; therefore, Luke & Marc spent time doing just that!


The goal is that this desk will last Luke through high school!  In the meantime, Luke has started his "work" at his new desk -- which entails counting money and reading books (today, Luke was caught reading at his desk -- reading his Bible about Moses & Noah)....Marc's parents, the day after Christmas, gave Luke a chair to go with his new desk!



Kate spent a good part of her day playing with the new "Melissa and Doug" toy my parents gave her, and Luke played with his "money machine" (aka coin sorter) that his Uncle Joel and Aunt Amber (and cousins) gave him.



Luke gave his sister a new baby doll.  This baby makes crying sounds when squeezed.  Kate's an awesome little Mama and comforts the crying baby when she cries.  Awesome.


Luke promised his sister he would have a tea party with her, and he stuck to his promise.  It was pretty cute even though, to keep it real, crying always ensues...sigh...The crying ensues over Luke taking part of Kate's tea party set away from her.  I can't figure out if this action is a result of jealousy or of just being a mean big brother (which, fortunately, 95% of the time, Luke is not mean to her)....


This Christmas of 2014 is one I hope I remember.  By "worldly" standards, it was absolutely nothing special.  But, by my "Sarah Friesen" standards, it was simply awesome to celebrate Christ's birth, at home, as our Little Friesen Family of 4.  Simple.  Simple just like Christ's birth.

The next day, we were once again home, but Marc's parents came over in the evening.  It was a nice, simple evening.  Marc's parents gave Kate a cute little rocking chair.  Unfortunately, Kate did not want her pic taken in the rocking chair.  SO, in this next pic, you must simply use your imagination that you can actually tell Kate is in her new rocking chair -- Ha!  (If you're curious, Marc's dad is in the background)!


Also from Marc's parents, Luke received a train set.  Oh. my. word.  Luke has spent quite a lot of time since Friday evening with this train set.


And, just for fun -- here's a pic of Luke with his new watch Marc & I gave him.  He asked me to take a pic of him with the watch :)


Lastly, one of Marc's & Luke's "projects" has been for Luke to learn how to tie his shoes.  Luke can now tie his own shoes, BUT it takes him a bit.  SO, the task needs to be perfected, but the project has been completed!  It's exciting to me as his Mama to see his accomplishment. And, Marc's parenting has a lot more patience than mine.  So, it worked out that Marc has been home to teach him (Marc's off work for this entire break)!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve....

Our Christmas Eve is generally simply yet full of "traditions" that are just that -- "traditions" for our family.

I didn't take very many pics today, which, a small part of me is sad about.  The bigger part of me is just fine with not too many pics because that means I wasn't hidden behind my camera (read: phone) excessively.  I was simply enjoying the day with my family.

But, here's what I have...along with some basic narration of our day!

***Christmas Eve Tradition #1....Our local and awesome little donut shop here in town (Druber's) always does it up well on Christmas Eve.  Every person that comes in on Christmas Eve morning gets one donut and one drink at no charge.  Also, Santa is there for a few hours for pictures with the kids.  Yes, it's nuts in there.

Because I wasn't ready to go AND neither of our kids do well in big crowds AND we're not into the "Santa" thing, we decided that just Marc (and Kate because she was sad at the prospect of her daddy leaving without her) would go & pick up our donuts.  That eliminated the "no charge for donuts and drinks" for two of us, but that was ok.

SO, our little Friesen Family of 4 thoroughly enjoyed our donuts in the quietness of our own little kitchen table!

After breakfast, I had a couple of errands to run.  Then, Luke & I ventured to Wal-Mart so he could pick out a small gift for his sister (which hopefully I'll get a pic tomorrow)!

***Christmas Eve Tradition #2....Lunch at Arby's!  (You may insert your laughter HERE if you would like, but honestly, it makes for a nice tradition)!


What is it with boys & horsing around?  I realize it's the sheer essence of boys, but sometimes, honestly, it gets old.  In Luke's case, it gets old because he nearly always hurts himself.  That little fact did NOT let me down today.  I'm not *exactly* sure how it happened, but somehow, Luke bit his tongue, and of course, it bled....Sigh....


Kate was being super-duper cute sitting on the bench like a big girl while eating her lunch.  Unfortunately, she hid her face from me whenever I tried to get a pic....BUT, this pic does show just how long her hair is getting :)


After lunch, 3 out of the 4 of us took naps.  The 4th person played with "Legos".  I'll let you, the readers of this fine blog, discern which Friesen family member did not nap.

***Christmas Eve Tradition #3....We go to church at my parents' church (which happens to be the church I went to for around 10 years before marriage AND the church where Marc & I were married) with my parents, my brother & sis-in-law, and our four nieces.

Prior to the service starting, Marc & I discussed how long Kate would last in the service thus ending with Kate & me in the hallway.  Marc guessed 10 minutes, and I guessed 20 minutes -- Ha!

I'm very happy to report that Kate made it the entire service.  NOW, I missed a good part of what was said, BUT we made it nonetheless.  I think a new corner was turned in the life of Kate.

Like in many Christmas Eve services, at least in this country, this church has candle lighting at the end. Because Kate was SO wiggly and moving around constantly, I made the wise decision to not participate in the candle lighting.  

But, for the first time, Marc did let Luke hold a candle by himself.  OH, how I wished I would've had my phone out of my bag to take a pic of Luke, a young child, carefully holding a candle on Christmas Eve.  It was a pretty precious sight!  Oh well -- it's at least etched in my mind.

***Christmas Eve Tradition #4....After church, we all (12 of us) headed to my parents' for opening presents & supper.  And, like most American families with PLENTY, the gift-opening was chaos...BUT, it was still fun!


Kate received a high chair for her babies from my parents.  It was immediately put into use -- before she even moved onto other presents.  CUTE, if I do say so myself!


After getting home fairly late, the kids immediately went to bed.  Marc got to work on a present for Kate, and I wrapped one last present!


AND, behind this cute little table & chair set for Kate is a desk for Luke.  Yep -- it needs to be assembled, BUT rather than Marc assembling it tonight, Luke's going to see the box and help his dad assemble it in the morning :)

And tomorrow, we will hopefully reflect on Jesus' birth and what it really means!  And, the older I get, the more grateful I am for God's incredible gift of the birth of His Son to save all of us in this incredibly broken world!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Random....

I haven't done a "random" post in awhile...so, here's one today...

Last week, Luke came home from school with a project they did.  I was told ahead of time (by both Luke and a preceding note from his teacher) that it was breakable.  My curiosity was piqued, admittedly.  I don't know if it was the Christmas season or simply being a mommy, but I honestly teared up when I saw it.  It is a plate with his handprint made into a simple "Jesus in a manger" scene. To say, "I love it," would be a serious understatement!


Yesterday, I surprised our little family with a cake -- a tradition I started a year ago (and I know many of you do this as well).  I'm *relatively* certain all had forgotten about this in our household -- which actually made it a true surprise again -- Ha!  Anyways, it was a birthday cake to celebrate Jesus' birthday...


Today, Marc is putting in a few extra hours at the running store (his little side job)...the kiddos & I were supposed to go to my parents' to make Christmas cookies with my mom.  My dad called this morning, saying we needed to postpone the cookie making because my mom wasn't feeling well!  So, the kids & I are hanging out here at home while Marc is working.

I needed to run a few errands (read: get out of the house).  I ended up surprising the kids with lunch at "Subway".  Kate had brought along her little purse with a tiny little doll blanket stuffed inside.  I was smiling my way inside because I thought it was so stinkin' cute that our little girl was carrying a purse (read: imitating her mommy).  After I took the following pic, I realized she not only had a doll blanket but also puzzle pieces that may or may not have spilled out everywhere at "Subway".  Pure awesomeness.


I learned something from this next *honest,* *this is life* photo.


While I think we have pretty good kids, I'm well aware they're not perfect.  (If you think I'm being proud and lacking humility, ask me personally to share our "keepin' it real" moments).

But, today in "Subway," a fellow Mama (whom I didn't know) came over to me and said, "Your children are really being cute & sweet to each other .  Awesome.  Talk about encouragement from a fellow Mama!

Parenting is hard.  That's no secret.  Encouragement to fellow Mamas is pretty terrific.  So, what I learned from that moment is that I need to be more of an encourager like that to other Mamas -- whether I know them or not.  In my little world, not too many days go by where I don't come into contact with a fellow Mama!

Late last week, I was discouraged as a mother over one little incident in which, about 24 hours later, realized I was foolish for being so discouraged.  We're all human, and our kids are also human.  None of us is perfect.  And, that lack of perfection is *exactly* why God has given us the greatest gift: His Son, Jesus, whose birth we are celebrating in 2 days!