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!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A *Tiny* Bit More On Kindergarten...

As I said in the previous post (as well as multiple times on Facebook), Luke was extremely nervous (and now I realize -- very stressed out) about the first day of kindergarten.

Waking up & getting ready on Day #2 was completely different -- like 180 degrees different!  Luke got up.  He fully ate breakfast (as opposed to only 4 bites the day before).  We told him he'd be riding the bus.  He willingly did so, and he said he absolutely knew where to go when he got off the bus at school (and we gave him strict instructions about asking an adult if he couldn't figure it out).

I had previously made plans with a friend on the 2nd day of school.  I did this for several reasons, one of those reasons being that I would not be tempted to follow the bus to school.

SO, we made a family trip on the 2nd day to the bus stop. Marc, on a regular basis, will be the one to take Luke to the bus stop.  With Marc walking to the bus with him, Luke climbed on & waved "Good-Bye"!


Since that day, he's been doing just fine!

Kate has adjusted well to her brother being gone in the mornings.  She does periodically ask about him, and she is excited when it's time to go & get him.

One evening, however, Luke was in the bathroom (with the door closed) taking a shower!  Kate simply sat outside the bathroom door & waited!  It seriously was a bittersweet moment to watch!


It's been HOT (hotter than it really has been all summer) for the first two weeks of school.  Fortunately, the sprinkler park is still open.  SO, we have taken advantage!


Kate is not nearly as an "independent player" as Luke was/is.  So, when Luke's at school, she requires a little bit more entertainment from me.  Fortunately, she likes to follow me around the house & "help".


If you can't tell in this next pic, she has on her little apron that my mom made her.  Apparently it's easier to help in the kitchen with one's "Nigh Nigh" (her favorite blanket) and one's fingers in her mouth.


But today, I actually found her stacking blocks on her own!




Kate is constantly busy.  So, when we're at the bus stop to pick up Luke after school, Kate *must* get out of the car.  She runs around.  I closely watch her.  It's simply the life of a two year-old and the mother of a toddler -- Ha!

Today, while I was standing there watching her run around, I was standing up against a "pillar" with one foot on the "pillar".  Kate attempted to imitate -- you know, with the balancing skills of a 2 year-old :)

(In her right hand -- and then left hand -- is something she brought from home).




Some of you have kindly asked how I'm doing with Luke now being gone each morning.

Honestly, I'm doing ok.  Yes, I miss him, and each day, I'm truly excited to go & pick him up at the bus stop & hug him & hear about his morning at school.

BUT, I would say I'm not missing him as much as I *thought* I would.  I am thankful, however, that he'll only be going to kindergarten 1/2 days all year.  I fully realize that 1/2 vs full day kindergarten is up for debate and is somewhat controversial, but you'll have a hard time convincing me that all day is the answer.  So, please don't even try :)

When Luke was nervous the first day, I didn't cry (I shed a few tears on the days leading up to the first day).  Instead, I walked out of his school after dropping him off, also very nervous -- nervous for him!

Now that he's not nervous anymore & is excited to go, I'm not nervous.  I'm simply grateful we're off to a good start to his school career!  Luke is VERY motivated to learn to read so he can read to his sister! I'll take it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Day of School -- Ultimately for all of us...

Yesterday (Tuesday) was the first day of school.  It was the first day of kindergarten for Luke.  But, it ultimately was the first day of school for all of us, our little Friesen Family!

Luke is ultimately the one who will be traveling out to school each day.  Luke will be the one learning in school.  Luke will be the one who has to do the work to get through school.  But, the rest of us, his parents & sister, also had a first day of school.  You see, if it weren't for his family at home and definitely our One True God above, Luke cannot & will not be fully successful in school.  Yes, in this world, there are exceptions in this world about what I just stated, but we are choosing to not let Luke be that exception.  Therefore....

A) The first day of school (and for the most part, the rest of his school days this year -- with sickness being an exception) required us and will require us all to be up & ready early.

B) The first day of school required us and will require us all to change our breakfast routine and actually eat breakfast together.

C) The first day of school was only the beginning of many complete changes in our household.

I could go on & on, but I'll stop for now & post pics!

*****

As I've already stated multiple times, Luke was NERVOUS about starting school.  Several weeks ago, we added to our regular family prayers to "please help Luke not be nervous about kindergarten".  

He did finally get excited (until the morning of)....

But, the night before, per Luke's request, we all indulged in a "Good a Luck Luke" cake -- chocolate cake per Luke.


The morning school started, Luke woke up relatively easy early; however, we could tell he was at least *slightly* nervous.  Our family morning routine of getting ready on time was 100% successful.  I even made pancakes & sausage for the first morning.  Luke ate approximately 4 bites (first huge sign of nervousness).

Before heading out, I snapped a few awesome pics!!!  (This is where you address Luke as Marc, Jr)....





Routinely, Luke will be riding the bus to school.  But, for the first day, we ALL went to school with him for a bit (in the car -- we didn't all climb onto the bus -- Ha)! Luke was SILENT on the drive to school (2nd clue on the extent of his nervousness)...

Once arriving, we went to the gym where all of the elementary kiddos meet each day (with their respective classes; it's very organized)...


After the bell rang, the elementary principal said a prayer, and the kiddos with their classes filed to their respective classrooms.  The parents and younger siblings all followed (Kate had not yet figured out her brother wasn't coming home with us).

In the classroom, the kindergartners were instructed to hang up their backpacks & find their name by their desks.


Then, Mrs. Burkhart (their teacher) had them get together for a group pic!


THEN, Mrs. Burkhart gave them each a heart sticker -- from the awesome book, "The Kissing Hand"....a delightful book about a raccoon who didn't want to leave the comforts of home to go to school.  The heart sticker represents a kiss.  During Luke's first year of preschool, when he was having a difficult time adjusting to being away from his Mama, his teacher, Ms. Karri, recommended this book.  We read it, seriously, 1-2 times each day he had preschool for 2 years.  Now, we're reading it multiple times for kindergarten.  Secretly, though reading it is one more step in our getting ready process each morning, I don't mind. I'm guessing when I'm old & gray, I won't at all regret reading it so many times.

My friend, Amanda (whose son is in this kindergarten class), unbeknownst to me, snapped these pics.  I'm glad she did!  Thanks, Amanda!



At that point, all of the parents & siblings left.  We gave one last hug and kiss & darted out!  Luke still looked nervous, but we had to do it! Not 5 feet out of the classroom door, Kate asked for her brother.  I just picked her up, & we kept moving.

After coffee & coffee cake with the other parents, we headed back home so Marc could get to work!

Some very awesome friends have asked how I did or if I cried.  Honestly, yesterday morning, I did not cry.  I was close, but I held it together.  Luke was SO unbelievably nervous that it made me nervous (Luke comes by his anxiety naturally).  I was very concerned about how he was doing.  I made plans to run errands with Kate so we would both be distracted.  Luke's only going to kindergarten 1/2 days (thankfully).  SO, the morning actually went by *fairly* quickly.  Admittedly, I was glad when the clock told me it was time for us to go & get him.  We did have him go on ahead & ride the bus back to the bus stop on the first day (in other words, I didn't go & pick him up).

SO, when I saw the bus pull up at the stop & he was smiling & waving, I was RELIEVED!!!!!


He was all smiles.  He told me about his day!!!!  He said he was only a "quarter nervous" about going back!

This morning, there was a 180 degree difference from the first day.  He woke up, not appearing nervous at all!  We did have him ride the bus to school.  He did so completely willingly!!!!  

He had a great 2nd day!!!!

I have a feeling that Luke's school career will bring us all 4 in our little Friesen Family completely to our knees, praying to our gracious Heavenly Father, many times.  This thing called starting kindergarten is only the beginning! And, that in & of itself is a pretty awesome thing!  Honestly, nothing beats it!

Luke's school's theme verse for this year is II Peter 3:18.  After I'm finished with this post, I'm going to print it out & post it on our family bulletin board!  We'll etch it in our memory as a family!  Even Kate, by the end of this school year, will most likely be able to recite at least some of it!

"But grow in the grace & knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and forever!  Amen".  II Peter 3:18


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pure & Simple Randomness....

I haven't posted in close to 2 weeks -- OUCH! So, here's some random pics from our lives the last 2 weeks!

As most of you know, we frequent the zoo.  One thing about going every. single. week is that if you don't see what you want to one week, you simply see it the next!  Even I will admit, I'm more fascinated by the zoo now that we go more (though, sometimes, it's simply exhausting being there in the heat with 2 young kiddos).

Luke is extremely, and I mean extremely, interested in the anteater.  The anteater is frequently sleeping, and Luke has been known to be discouraged at the trait.  But, the last time we went, the anteater was moving around & eating.  I'm a bit surprised Luke didn't wet his pants with excitement!



The anteater can eat up to 30,000 insects in one day.


If you had 10 anteaters in a farm area (in its native South America), that would mean that up to 300,000 insects could be controlled in one day. This fact simply amazes me!!!!  God knew what He was doing when He created the anteater.  If the anteater population were to be destroyed, what a problem it could be for farmers/land owners!

We also are ALL fascinated by the hippo (Kate included).  We *finally* actually did see the hippo out of the water.  Shortly after I took the following pic of Luke, we watched, up close, the hippo climb into the water.  Admittedly, it was interesting to see this giant, awkward animal rather gracefully climb into the water.


Luke will start kindergarten in a few days.  I've made it fairly well known (and honestly, Luke has as well) that he's very nervous about kindergarten.  To be completely honest, this Mama's a little sad he's nervous because I want him to be excited (did you catch the selfish "I" part of that statement).  I know he will like school once he adjusts, and I absolutely trust the teachers & administration at his school.  But, if he wasn't nervous at this point in time, I wouldn't be able to use his nervousness as an opportunity to point Luke toward Jesus Christ to help him.  I will say it brings me to almost tears when Luke prays several times a day for Jesus to help him to not be nervous about kindergarten.

In the meantime, Luke's been spending even more time looking at maps, preparing for school. (He may or may not be surprised when he doesn't have a full-fledged map lesson on his first day of kindergarten).


Last night, we went to the school for a parent meeting/ice cream social/take your supplies to your classroom night.  Luke, of course, was pretty quiet.  I could tell he was ner-vous!  Toward the end, he even complained of a stomach ache. It magically disappeared once we got outside (especially disappeared suddenly when eating ice cream) -- Ha!  But, this Mama thinks he looks rather handsome & studious with his glasses and backpack.


We've all dealt with a weird viral sickness this past week (NOT at all how I wanted the last week of summer to be).  Such is life, right?  Anyways, we're definitely on the upswing.  So today, the kiddos & I needed OUT of the house -- especially since Marc had to work!  So, the kiddos & I went to a playground at a local church (we'd only been there once before about a year ago).  The kiddos had a grand time, being able to play more freely than they have in over a week, and honestly, I had a grand time watching and participating in their pure, child-like joy!  I'm so glad we went out in the heat this morning!














Monday, August 4, 2014

Family...

I wouldn't call the family I came from the "tightest" of families.  Yep -- we get along.  Yep -- my parents have been married for 42 years -- Yay!  Yep -- we get together a fair amount.  But, compared to some other families I've been around, we're not that tight.  I'm certainly not bashing my family. I love them.  They're a big part of who I am. God placed me in my family with a purpose.  BUT, Marc & I would like to at least attempt to keep our little family of 4 tighter.

The other evening, our little family of 4 walked in our little county fair parade together -- all in support of a political candidate.  NOW, I don't post much about politics on this blog because quite frankly, I don't want the controversy on here.  So, please don't leave nasty comments if you disagree with us or I might just be deleting them.

The whole point of this post is about what we did as a family!

It was fairly hot (but certainly not the hottest ever).  Luke refused to put on a t-shirt to represent the candidate, despite EVERYBODY else wearing one.  (At lead the put on a patriotic shirt at home).  But, you know...it was all good otherwise!  (And thanks to some other people who took some of these pics -- you know who you are)!




Luke's in the red shirt in the pic below....



Tomorrow is primary Election Day!  Get out and vote, please....

And, speaking of close family -- I LOVE, and I mean, LOVE our kiddos' sibling relationship.  I'm well aware they will fight (and do sometimes).  Honestly, I'm "owed" because my brother & I fought a lot!  But, I hope and very much pray they always love & support each other.  I pray that, until they're married, they're each other's biggest cheerleader and encourager!

Monday, July 28, 2014

6

 Monday (July 21), our Luke turned the big SIX!  Yep, Luke is 6.  I feel like it was monumental.  First, he's matured a lot in the last year!  Waiting until he was 6 to have him start kindergarten was a good decision on our part for him.  This summer, he's lost his first tooth & now has glasses.  He's done awesome at taking care of his glasses.

And, like I just mentioned, in just a few weeks, he'll start kindergarten.  In fact, starting this evening/tomorrow morning, we've started working on going to bed earlier/getting up earlier!

Anyways, here's Luke's "6" pic from last week!


That evening, we went into the bigger city (than our's) near us to buy Luke some new shoes for his birthday/school starting.  Unfortunately, the shoes we were wanting weren't yet available.  So, he walked away that evening with only the promise of a pair to come.

Unfortunately for Luke on his birthday, his sister *did* get a pair of shoes.  I hadn't planned on buying her any, but just for fun, I had her feet measured.  Oops...she was seriously wearing shoes 2 sizes too small for her.  So, she did get a pair, and they're awfully cute!


Marc met us for supper, and then, Kate & I headed home. Marc & Luke went to a baseball game -- a first for Luke.  It was on his summer list, and on his birthday, it happened to be dollar night.  SCORE!  So, for $2, Marc & Luke had a fun birthday evening, AND an item was crossed off of Luke's list.

Because of scheduling, we actually didn't have Luke's party until last night (Sunday, the 27th).

Remember, I don't really decorate -- not at all for this party.  We don't have a huge family, and we haven't yet gotten into the "friend" party thing (Luke hasn't asked; we haven't suggested it to him).

SO, our family party was dinner, dessert, and a trip to our local sprinkler/splash park.

No pic of dinner...but, we had grilled burgers/hot dogs, chips, my mom's super-duper awesome potato salad, a hearty vegetable salad....

Then, it was time for dessert.  Luke wanted a school bus on a cake since school's about to start...



Then, it was time for Luke to open his presents....

From his Papa & Grandma Friesen (Marc's parents), Luke received a couple of books on the states of the USA (Luke likes information)....


As a quick side note -- Kate was completely entertained with boxes & wrapping paper during this process.  Can you tell she's an early 2 year-old?



Awhile back, Luke had asked my brother & sister-in-law (and his cousins) for change -- just change.  He said he needed change to jingle in his pocket.  So, they gave him a bag of change. Awesome!


Marc & I gave him a Bible.  It's his first "real" Bible.  He needs it for kindergarten.  He was excited.  He's been asking about which Bible he'd be taking to school.  Well, at the party, Luke got his answer.


My parents (Papa & Grandma Andover) gave him a fishing pole, a box to collect rocks, a book on rocks, and a nature walk bag (since we do a lot of nature walks)....


After the partying was over at our house, the party continued for the kiddos to play at our local sprinkler/splash park.  Our little family, unfortunately, hadn't been there yet this summer -- sadly.  Obviously, Kate doesn't remember it from last summer.  It took her approximately 50 seconds to see her brother & cousins having a good time to decide to join in on the fun!  We're biased, we know, but we found her to be 110% cute at this park!  And, as for Luke, he's come a long ways at this park in the last several years!  This boy used to be the one who'd merely run the perimeter of the park, barely getting wet.  Last summer, he didn't even necessarily want his hair wet.  Now, he was all over & all wet -- including his hair!