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, July 28, 2015

South Dakota -– Part 3 of Who Knows....

Continuing on....

After eating a home cooked meal with friends (Yay), we got two tired kiddos ready for bed.  Our kids had the awesome opportunity to do something they don't get to do in our house: sleep in bunk beds!  They knew this before we left for our trip.  Kate, of course, had no clue what a bunk bed was, obviously.  Luke knew what bunk beds were, and he was pretty excited!  (If you can *sort of* see, Kate is on the bottom).

Our kids are pretty good sleepers, and they know to stay in bed.  The vacation was no exception, BUT that first morning, Kate woke up earlier than she has in quite awhile...uugghh!  This waking up early manifested itself later on in a crying bad mood.

BUT -- it was vacation, and there were things to do and see.

That first morning in the Rapid City area -- we went to the famous Mt. Rushmore....

I love all of the states' flags hanging along the walkway.  Luke *had* planned on bringing his state flag book to compare, but he forgot it at home.  (#booknerd)  But -- Luke did well looking at the various state flags without the book.

Honest Moment of Sarah: Probably because of being woken up by his little sister early, Luke exhibited a *wee* bit of an attitude problem at this point.  AND, to top it all off -- this Mama didn't handle it in the most eloquent of manners.

Fortunately, and I have to remind myself of this daily, we serve a God who pours a limitless amount of grace on us; therefore, I must move on and simply not beat myself up on it.

Luke ended up doing quite well and changed his attitude.  It ended up being a nice visit to Mt. Rushmore.

This next pic is obviously of our Kate!  Her "getting up early" really manifested itself at this point (it ultimately first manifested itself at breakfast that morning).  Kate was being stubborn and was crying quite a bit.  This was the best pose I got.

After a snack and a brief nap in the car (after Mt. Rushmore), Kate's mood did improve!

I *think* this was my 4th trip to Mt. Rushmore in my almost 40 years of life.  I KNOW it was my favorite, despite the bad start to it.  I KNOW that is because it's pretty awesome accompanying my husband with our own kids to such an awesome place.  There's just something memorable about watching your kids experience new places and things.

I need to remember to be grateful to our awesome God for our little Friesen Family of 4 as well as our awesome trip experiences.


After Mt. Rushmore, we went and ate lunch at a pizza buffet, "Pizza Ranch," which totally and completely impressed Marc and the kids.  While I didn't think it was too bad, I didn't and still don't feel like it was a life-changing event (insert your laughter here -- that was meant to be funny).


After "Pizza Ranch," we went to a "zoo" called "Bear Country USA"! This "zoo" is a drive-thru zoo, and at the end, we could park and get out of the car and briefly walk around and see a few more animals.

To say that both if our kiddos enjoyed this place would be an understatement.  It ended up being a terrific experience!

An arctic wolf on a rock (took the pic from my car window).....

Luke had his own map of "Bear Country USA". He had a great time following along in the car!

Bighorn sheep (also taken from my car window)....

Finally -- we got to the actual bear section...we saw probably 40-50 bears in a very large enclosed area with which we drove through.  Yes -- we followed the simple directions of keeping our doors locked and car windows shut!

There is a bear on the large log in the next pic!

After finishing our drive-thru adventure (around 1 1/2 - 2 miles taking well over an hour), we parked and went through the "walking" part of "Bear Country USA".  (The animals in this section were all caged -- like a typical zoo)...

Luke was VERY excited to see a live badger in person (badger underneath the log in this next pic).  We visited this badger display, I think, 3 times that day.

We also saw 5-6 bear cubs.  They were most certainly cute!

And -- another fun animal the kiddos saw up close was the beaver....

We splurged on ice cream at this point and went through the gift shop where we managed to only purchase one decent item -- a Christmas ornament!

At that point, our day was fairly done.  We headed back to our friends' house for yet another home cooked meal -- Yay!

That evening, Luke was brave enough to go to our friends' church for their last night of VBS!  Go Luke!

We then spent a bit of time at a park watching some church softball games!  It was so nice to be in warm, DRY (non-humid) weather!

Kate worked really hard at pushing her daddy on the swing!

Another fun day in the books....

Stay tuned for more South Dakota fun!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

South Dakota -- Part 2 of Who a Knows....

On the second day of our lovely little Friesen vacation, we got up and had a nice breakfast in our hotel! Then, we packed up the car and started the long drive from east to west across South Dakota.

It was a long drive, and the kiddos did a good job -- even *without* DVD players (we travel the old-fashioned way).

About 70 miles east of Rapid City (our ultimate destination), we got off of I-90 to take the "Badlands Loop".  At the exit, we noticed a newer historical site -- the "Minutemen National Historic Site".  So, we made an extra impromptu stop.

This site represents a bit of U.S. history.  It is about the nuclear missiles that the U.S. started to reduce back in 1991.  This site represents the history and significance of the Cold War.

Since it is a newer site, it's still a work in progress.  I think I'd like to stop there again if we're up there in a few years -- when more is completed.  This particular day, it was more of a restroom/drink break for us.

After that brief stop, we continued on the "Badlands Loop" -- then heading on to Rapid City.

The Badlands are quite interesting and pretty to see.  We highly recommend seeing them should you make a visit to the area.

There were some areas where climbing was allowed, and Luke really liked that!  He and Marc climbed for a bit.  In this next pic, Marc's in the bright yellow shirt.  You can *kind of* see Luke in the blue shirt.

Poor Kate wanted to climb, but we felt (and knew) it would have been too treacherous for her.  So, she was stuck hanging out with her Mama near the parking area.  Fortunately, it was a quick climb for Marc and Luke as we really needed to get to our destination, and thunderstorms were coming! Kate did quite well despite not getting to climb.  Her "Nigh Nigh" (favorite blanket) helped!

After seeing the beautiful "Badlands," we continued on toward Rapid City.

We were rained on HARD.  I was driving, and it had been awhile since I'd driven in that heavy of rain.  It was the type of rain where we were slowed down to 30 mph for awhile.

Our Great God protected us.  We were/are so grateful for His protection.

Finally, after a long day, we arrived at our friends' house in South Dakota -- just outside of Rapid City.  After a yummy homemade supper (nice to have a break from eating out when traveling), the kiddos all went to bed.  The adults were able to stay up late and chat and catch up!


Stay tuned for more South Dakota fun!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

South Dakota -- Part 1 of Who Knows....

For our little Friesen Family 2015 Vacation, Marc and I made the decision to go up to South Dakota, specifically the Black Hills and Rapid City.

Marc and I actually took a trip up there 10 years ago. I had been up there as a child a couple of times. We figured the kiddos (especially Luke) would enjoy it.  We knew Kate, being only 3 years old, would merely be along for the ride but could certainly benefit from travel and learning to adapt to new and different situations.

To really make this trip hopefully awesome, we asked some high school friends of mine (who now live up there) if we could stay with them in Rapid City.  They most graciously offered their hospitality.  Admittedly, I was *slightly* nervous about staying with a couple whom I hadn't talked with in years (other than on "Facebook").  My biggest prayer was that their kiddos and our kiddos would do ok together.  Now, as I look back at our week, I can honestly say it all worked out -- Yay!

Anyways -- we left home last Tuesday morning.  Our family vacationing tradition is to stop at "Druber's," our little awesome donut shop, on the way out of town.

A little side note -- Last summer, we started a little thing called "renting a car for vacation to avoid extra wear and tear on our own vehicles and our big car has too many miles". (I hope that intensive run-on sentence makes sense).  It's as fun and exciting for the kiddos as it is for Marc and me to drive a newer car.  We ended up with a "Kia Sorento" -- a mid-sized SUV -- for this trip.

Rather than taking ALL of the 10-12 hour trip in one day, we decided to break it up into two days (both going and coming home)...we *slightly* veered out of our way and stayed in Sioux Falls, SD, the first and last nights.

Back to basic travel...

Luke lost another tooth in the car as we were approaching our hotel.

After arriving at/checking in the hotel and going to grab supper, Kate and I dropped Marc and Luke off back at the hotel to watch the baseball All-Star game.  Kate and I then headed down by the river in Sioux Falls so Kate could walk with her baby.  The baby's stroller actually was permitted to come along on the trip, but Kate thought her baby needed to be carried this particular evening on the bike path.

Kate had to show her baby the water....

And, as babies seem to like to do, Kate's baby had to have a diaper change RIGHT on the bike path....

Ohhhh, Kate and her #littlemama abilities and pretend play....  (Oh -- how I love watching this in her personality)....

AND -- more "normal" vacant pics are coming...I just want to document, for our family, even the seemingly mundane (though not mundane to me) aspects of our trip!

Stay tuned...South Dakota in the Black Hills really does have a lot to offer!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Park Visit #10...

Park Visit #10 took place just over a week ago.  It was to "Military Park".  The kids and I coordinated this park visit around "Hot Dog Day" (or what we call "Hot Dog Day").  This is the day when a local bank ("First Bank") has their annual customer appreciation day for the entire community (not just their customers). Hot dogs, chips, drinks, and sno-cones are handed out at no charge.  There is a bounce house.  There are "freebie" things (pens, etc) handed out as well as balloons for the kiddos! Our family is very grateful for this day.  It's a nice little family event, and it's a great community event.

Marc is always working during "Hot Dog Day".  Several years ago, Luke started inviting my parents (Papa and Grandma Andover).  My mom was unable to make it this year, but my dad came!

Aanndd -- the official picture (Kate was being "Kate" and wasn't wanting to pose for the picture)....

Enjoying our hot dog lunch together...

And, probably as is typical with a lot of families eating at a park which has playground equipment -- the kids finished eating quickly. They were both promptly begging to go and play.  Ordinarily at a park, I let them play while I finish eating.  But, because there were a lot of people and we weren't able to sit close to the playground for supervision, they had to endure waiting for my dad and I to finish eating...such a hard life -- Ha!

And, this park is one of the few parks around anymore with a merry-go-round...so fun for the kids!

Both kids got the ol' fake tattoos...

Luke jumped in the bounce house...

And, the kids and I got our sno-cones!

Lastly, as all of you locals know, this park houses an old steam engine.  My dad happens to be a bit of a train expert.  So, Luke and my dad spent a short time discussing the steam engine.

Thank you "First Bank" for the fun day!  Our family does appreciate it!

And finally -- this park is called "Military Park". There is some military "stuff" in the park, but honestly, I have yet to take the time to explore it.  I better take a re-visit to this park and figure it all out!

Kate has since already asked my dad over the phone to come to "Hot Dog Day" next year!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Park Visit #9...

For Park Visit #9, I set it up as a surprise to Luke and Kate.  Don't get too excited.  They're young.  It doesn't take much to surprise them -- Ha Ha!

I obviously didn't tell them what we were doing.  I merely got them out of bed one morning and had them get dressed.

We then headed to our local, AWESOME little donut shop, Druber's, and then took the donuts "to go" to eat at "Midtown Arboretum" -- our 9th park visit.

For you locals, this park is at 8th and Main -- across the street from St. Mary's Church.  It's the little walking path/arboretum next to "Midtown Towers" apartments.

It was slightly drizzling that morning.  In the park, there's a nice little gazebo.  It was a great little place for us to eat our donuts and stay dry.  (Kate was being "Kate" and was not wanting to pose for the picture with her compliant older brother -- Ha)!

After the donuts were eaten, the kids spent quite awhile running around the paths.  There is no playground equipment at this park.  Look closely in these pics to see the kids running in the distance.

Most of the plants in this park are labeled.  I had a hard time getting Luke interested in plant names.  That's ok because honestly, I'm not super interested in plant names.  Kate, of course, had zero interest as well -- which is also ok since she's only three years old.

I was thinking that the kids probably wouldn't very much enjoy this park since there was no equipment.  Admittedly, the donuts helped, but the ability to run free around the park helped just as much.  They had a good time just being kids outside!  I was proven somewhat wrong in my thoughts.

And now, when we pass by this park on an almost daily basis -- even Kate says, "we went there and had donuts".