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!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trunk or Treat....

I know I posted this pic on yesterday's post, but I'll do it again.  This non-creative, non-sewing Mama found a cute "Strawberry Shortcake" costume.  She really liked holding onto it in the store AND at home -- inside one of my reusable shopping bags.  Who knows why???? Remember -- she's 2 years old.  When I wanted to take this picture, she intentionally hid her face from me!

I wasn't sure if Kate would wear the dress or not.  I assumed we *might* have tears.  Amazingly, we did not!  We went to a "Trunk or Treat" at church tonight.

Kate did cling to her daddy at first.  But, once she figured out how to get candy, well, let's just say extra close supervision was required.

Luke dressed up as a construction worker.  He's never been great with Halloween.  In fact, I just told Marc this evening that this may be the last year I spend time on a costume for him. 

He's been wanting to wear his REAL construction hat since April....then, when I wanted a pic, Luke refused to put it on for me.  (As a side note -- I do think Luke looks rather handsome in his manly construction worker shirt AND in his glasses)!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

3 Years Ago Yesterday....

I have so many more *serious* posts in my mind.  But, I always seem to find excuses to not write.  Does anybody read them?  Do I make sense? Am I speaking Truth?  I'm tired.  Is this a repeat of what I already posted on Facebook?  Blah, Blah, Blah...So, I guess I will write tonight instead of making excuses.  And, whoever reads, reads.  Period.

And, as a forewarning -- my topic tonight involves both Kate & one of my grandmothers.  I have very few pics of my grandmother.  SO, I will be intermittently posting random (and recent) pics of Kate!

3 years ago last night (10/28/2011), I figured out I was pregnant with Kate.  When I saw the "positive" sign on the pregnancy test, honestly, I didn't jump for joy.  Instead, I laughed -- in a fairly hysterical), manner.  

(This pic is from the other day when Kate became either stubborn and/or camera shy.  In her bag is her Halloween costume.  She is going to be "Strawberry Shortcake".  Who knows if she'll wear the costume without tears???  I'm guessing there will be some serious tears).

At the time, Marc was not home.  He was serving at our church's production of Judgement House that evening.  When he got home, I asked him if he wanted to hear something funny.  When he said, "Sure," I told him I was pregnant.  Let's just say that Marc's response of excitement was more appropriate than my laughter.

Why was I laughing?  Well, we'd been wanting a 2nd child for quite awhile, and it simply wasn't happening as planned. I honestly had grown very content with having only one child.  Looking back, I think God wanted me to learn to be content in that situation before creating Kate!

So, I ultimately laughed because God's plans clearly superseded mine -- which is a very good thing!

(This next pic is of Luke and Kate during our 2nd visit to the pumpkin patch of the season)!

The surprise pregnancy with Kate goes right along with her personality -- always surprising us -- whether it be with behavior, emotion, or actions.

One reason I think the timing of the pregnancy with Kate is significant is because the day after that positive pregnancy test, we went to the funeral for the last of my grandparents' passing.  I was 35 years old at the time, and I distinctly remember feeling grateful I lived to 35 with at least one grandparent still living.  At the same time, since then, I have had no grandparents alive.  Marc's grandparents passed away years ago...so, it really was significant to have no more grandparents living.  So, I think it's a wee bit awesome that God added a family member just as another one passed away.

(Last week, Kate & I visited Luke's kindergarten classroom for their class fall party...of course, Kate had to have the snacks as well)!

At my grandmother's funeral, I did stand up & share.  I won't subject you all to the whole "speech," but I will give a brief snippet...

"My grandma & grandpa lived on a farm, and I truly have great memories from that farm.  Grandma talked about a lot of different things, but I don't ever remember her talking about anything church-related or spiritual".  (My grandparents left their church a long time ago -- never having returned)...I never knew quite what was in her heart.  In other words, I never knew (and still don't know for sure) where she is spending eternity.  Yes, I ultimately pray it's heaven so I will see her again.

(Prior to this week, we've had some WARM fall weather.  Kate spent some nice days in shorts and with her shoes OFF at our many park visits).

Now, my grandmother spent the last several years of her life in a retirement full-healthcare facility.  Dementia set in heavily at the end of her earthly life.  Honestly, I didn't visit her nearly as much as I should have (don't worry -- I'm not walking around with full guilt).  At her funeral, after I spoke, a woman whom I did not know stood up & talked.  I will forever be grateful she did.

The woman was a CNA at the retirement facility my grandma lived.  She talked about how she didn't know my grandma pre-dementia; only knew her AFTER dementia set in.

She went on to talk about how at the end of her life, she would often start singing.  Singing is something I had NEVER heard her do -- EVER!  So, as the woman was talking, I was most certainly intrigued.

(Speaking of Kate and her emotional tears -- on this day, Kate said she wanted her apron on.  Seriously, two seconds later, she wanted it off -- which is ANNOYING!  Marc & I are determined to teach our children to mean what they say.  So, appropriate for a 2 year-old, I made her keep her apron on for 1 minute.  I'm sure the minute felt like a lifetime to her, but hopefully, we're instilling at least something in her).

The woman at the funeral continued that the songs my grandma was singing at the end of her earthly life were songs like, "Jesus Loves Me," "Jesus Loves the Little Children," and other assorted children's Bible songs.  I was shocked and actually very pleased!!!!

"They" (as in the "experts") always talk about patients with dementia talking about things from their childhood. "They" also talk of dementia patients speaking of what's really in their hearts -- in other words, if their hearts are soft, sweet words come out.  If their hearts are hard, angry and mean words come out.

It was so sweet for me to hear about the sweet songs that came out of my grandmother's mouth at the end of her earthly life.  I do wonder now more about her heart.

I pray that I, as well as my husband and kids, plant God's Word in our hearts.  And, if someday, we have dementia (I hope not), sweet, God-affirming words come out of our mouths.

My favorite verse for this post is... 

"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you".  Psalm 119:11

(I'll end on a non-crying picture of Kate because she truly isn't crying all of the time.  I took this pic several weeks ago at dusk at a corn maze.  It's my new favorite pic of Kate.  She really is a delight to have in our family, and I'm so thankful, despite the laughter, the the positive pregnancy test 3 years ago yesterday)!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin Patch...

And, once again, I haven't blogged in a bit over a month.

I need to finish posting pics from the state fair, but honestly, I feel like posting from the pumpkin patch. So, I will do that instead -- Ha!

I *know* there are many awesome, fun pumpkin patches around.  Our little Friesen Family of 4 really likes an equally awesome, yet smaller, pumpkin patch fairly close to home -- Papa's Pumpkin Patch!

There is no admission charge!  You pay for a few of the fun activities as well as the pumpkins -- which are all very reasonably priced!  Nope -- it's not as big, but goodness -- it's fun!

Last Saturday, Marc had to work.  I asked my mom if she'd like to go, and she was able (she's a busy woman).  So, my mom, the kiddos, and I went, and we had a nice morning.  It helped that God provided us fabulous weather for the visit!

First -- the slide...multiple times!  Kate went down once by herself.  Her little body got all turned around -- which resulted in a lot of crying.  So, I took her down with me -- multiple times -- a much better experience for a little 2 year-old!  I'm *fairly* certain that my mom took a pic or two of Kate & me, but I keep forgetting to ask her to send them to me.  So, here's one of Luke.

Then, we headed to the pit of corn.  Both kids had a blast, and I was VERY impressed that neither child freaked out over sinking into corn.  (We won't publicize just how much corn I later found in Kate's diaper)!  Luke asked me to take pics of him in the air.  I actually was able to get some great action shots.

Next -- the playground and tires to climb on...

After the playground, we went out to the pumpkin patch.  I actually didn't take any pics in the patch.  Between looking for that "perfect pumpkin" and carrying Kate (after she fell several times), I simply wasn't able to take any.

BUT, besides the "bigger" pumpkins we picked out, the kiddos picked out a couple of little pumpkins.  I simply liked what I got when I asked them to pose!

A couple days later, Luke & I carved one of our bigger pumpkins.  As I stated on Facebook, having a 6 year-old is awesome!  When this Mama is one who is not super creative nor very good with carving pumpkins, a 6 year-old still thinks his Mama's awesome at it and really enjoys the experience & memory!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

State Fair, Part One...

Our little Friesen Family of 4 really enjoys the Kansas State Fair!  We do our best to go each year.  Marc & I both grew up going to the fair as kids!

Not quite 2 weeks ago, we made our annual pilgrimage to the fair.  My dad (aka Papa Andover) met us there.

The highlight of the day for me personally was to see Luke go WAY out of his comfort zone.  This might be, second only to starting kindergarten, one of the highlights of my year when it comes to Luke!

Before I post pics of this event -- I'll tell about how it happened. AND, know that in a future post, I'll post more pics from our fair visit....

Back to Luke -- my dad first asked if he wanted to try "it".  Luke, of course, said "No".  Marc then asked.  Luke said, "No".  I then walked away for not even 10 minutes to go & change Kate's diaper.  Kate & I went back to Marc, Luke, & my dad.  Sometime during that not quite 10 minutes of time, Luke agreed.  He was standing in line.  I immediately got into position to take pictures to capture this moment!

Here is "it"....

There weren't too many smiles!  When he was finished, he, at first, didn't imply he'd do it again.

But, after a few minutes, he announced he'd do it again next year!

So, hopefully in 2015... 

In the meantime, know this was BIG for our little Friesen Family of 4!!!!

More to come from the State Fair!!!!

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