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, May 21, 2015

Park Visit #2....

Today, Luke, Kate, and I actually visited two parks; however, I'll only make this post about the first visit (I'll post about the second one another time).

We visited "Depot Park" first. For you local folks, this park is basically the fountain in front of the train station (5th and Main).




The kids thoroughly enjoyed running around the fountain.  Luke even wanted me to time him AND time his sister.  Luke ran around the fountain in 5 seconds.  Kate ran around it in 9 seconds, in case you're interested.  One thing I LOVE about young kids is how easy it can be to entertain them (running).



I let the kids throw some pennies in the fountain.  Luke & I had a great discussion about how throwing pennies in a fountain while making a wish does NOT make a wish come true.  We then discussed how God gives us what we need.  Pray to God rather than depend on wishes when throwing pennies in a fountain.  But, throwing pennies in the fountain, regardless, was a good time for an almost 3 year-old and an almost 7 year-old.


Lastly, we read the plaque with the history.  This fountain used to be a well with the city's only drinking water source for awhile (this was back in 1871).  Believe it or not, Luke was fascinated by that fact, and I actually *think* he understood it.  He said, "Boy -- that would've taken a lot of water pails".


Per Luke's and my discussion after our visit today....

Good about this park:

**Fun to throw pennies in the fountain
**Can watch trains
**Cool water would feel good on a hot day (despite the fact you do not swim in the fountain)
**Nice benches to sit on

Not-So-Good about this park:

**No picnic tables
**Quite a bit of traffic to hear
**No playground equipment

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Park Visit #1....

I completely took (read: stole) an idea from a good friend of mine.  I suggested to Luke & Kate that one of our summer goals should be to visit ALL 18 parks that our fine little town has to offer -- ALL 18 that are listed on the city's website.

Luke thought it would be fun.  Kate, being only almost 3, has no other choice to go with us, AND Kate absolutely loves to do things (especially outside).  Part of the visits are to include Luke taking a few pics of his own (with this Mama's constant taking of pics).  Then, we'll print out a couple of pics that Luke (or Mama) takes, and we'll make a poster.

We're currently having the "anti-summer" weather, but seeing how today is the first day officially of our summer break, we decided to "take the plunge" and do a park visit.

Since we knew quite a few of our parks would be muddy and/or wet AND the fact that it's cold (we wouldn't want to spend hours at a park playing today), we decided to go to "Railroad Park".  This park isn't a true "park" by most of our standards in that it's just a concrete area on the bike path with a few benches.  Nevertheless, it's a "park" funded by taxpayer dollars and maintained by the city.  It's on the list.  We went.


If one was a railroad enthusiast (likes to watch trains), this would be the park for you!  We just ate our lunch in the cold on a blanket, and the kids ran around for a bit.






As I posted on "Facebook," NO park visit would be complete without Kate crying, with or without a valid reason.  Today, the reason was valid.  For unexplainable reasons, she fell on the concrete.  Fortunately, she was ok, but snuggles with Mama were a must.  (I must admit truthfully that I probably will someday miss this.  Right now, though, the seemingly constant crying gets annoying).


You locals know how it seems like there are ALWAYS trains to stop traffic.  Today, we wanted to see a train while we were at the park, and not one came until we were loading up into the car.  Luke asked if he could get back out, and I said, "Of course -- this is what we've been waiting on".


After we left (and I told Luke we'd do this after each park visit), Luke & I talked about the good things and not-so-good things about the park.  He was great about coming up with lists with me.

Good:

**Can watch trains easily
**Concrete area when there's a lot of mud
**Nice benches to sit on
**Trashcans available
**Plenty of parking

Not-So-Good:

**No playground equipment
**No restrooms
**No trees -- will be hot when summer finally does appear

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Last Day of Kindergarten....

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you know quite a bit of what has been going on in our little Friesen Family of 4. BUT, once again, I've really "stunk" (if that's really a word) on getting posts on here. Well.....I'll try this again. I'll make a whopping ZERO promises on how often I'll post this summer, BUT I'd really truly like to do better. But, here goes.... Today was Luke's last day of kindergarten -- his last day. May I be permitted to let out a HUGE "Sniff Sniff?" I'm not kidding. I did not realize I'd be more sad on the last day than on the first day. As I stated on Facebook awhile back, there's just something so cute and innocent and sweet about kindergarten. Nearly everybody remembers at least something about kindergarten, and hopefully, those are all good memories for most people. This year of kindergarten for Luke has had mostly all good points. There have been a couple of challenges (insert clearing of throat here) OR learning incidents for Luke. My ultimate prayer is that through ALL of these kindergarten happenings (both positive and challenging), God ultimately is glorified. First, and please do NOT ask me my secret to this, Luke did not miss a day of school this year. Not a day. It was a terrible year for sickness for many, and somehow, our family missed it. (Don't freak out -- we're GREAT at getting sick in the summer here in our home). SO, almost everyday except for maybe 3 days, Marc drove Luke to the bus stop. This morning, after getting to work after dropping Luke off at the bus stop, Marc texted me some pretty sweet pics.
It's so cute to watch young kids walk to the big bus....
He only was at school a couple of hours this morning before parents arrived for their final assembly (kindergarten through 6th grade). At this assembly, the kindergartners were promoted to 1st grade, and the 6th graders were promoted to Jr. High. I like this pic that was posted on the school's Facebook page of all of the parents and students.
After pledges and prayer, the whole group (parents and students) sang a couple of songs. Awesome. Then, the kindergarteners all lined up and were called up individually to receive their certificates. Cute. Simply Cute.
When Luke's name was called, I could tell he was nervous, as usual. But, he walked over to this teacher, Mrs. Burkhart, with a bit of confidence; confidence which I've seen increase this year. Then, as several of the boys did, Luke gave her a "high five" after receiving his certificate.
All of his class....
After the assembly ended, the chaos began with all of the elementary kids leaving at the same time with their parents. There was no bus transportation available so nearly every student had somebody with them to take them home. Yep -- quite a few people + wound up kiddos = chaos. Luke, who's not one to hug other people other than his parents and sister did pose with his teacher (whom he's already said he's missing).
And -- to not forget Kate -- well.....she did fairly well through the short assembly. BUT, toward the end, she needed to simply sit on her dad's lap and then her mom's....She's doing better than she used to. I can't complain. She is only almost 3.
I KNOW Kate will enjoy having Luke home this summer; however, it's obvious it hasn't "sunk in" with her yet that he'll be home with her more. This evening, as she always does, she asked if I'd hold her tomorrow morning after her Daddy and brother leave. I *think* she'll be happy in the morning when at least her brother is home with her. She certainly was a happy camper this afternoon when her brother let her in his room for awhile to play. She takes advantage of that opportunity whenever it presents itself. And today, she simply crawled under his covers for awhile.
AND now, summer can begin, despite the weather acting like fall. Seriously, fall....(I fully realize you know about this weather phenomenon if you're local to us). I will close this post with the school's "theme verse" for this year. We've had it up on our kitchen bulletin board this year. It's a goody. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:18

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sibling Differences....

On one of the incredibly nice days last week, I took the kiddos to the zoo after picking Luke up from the bus stop and eating lunch.

Now, I'm well aware that our going to the zoo is nothing new; therefore, my objective of this post really isn't about the zoo. It's about our two kids, as siblings, and the differences between them.

I feel like, as with most of our friends in the same "life boat" we're in right now (you know -- married with young children), we have two children who are different.  I would not call our children polar opposites, but I would say they are indeed on different sides of the spectrum.

Recently, Marc had to write a very *brief* autobiography about himself (obviously as that is the definition of an autobiography).  He wrote briefly about our marriage, our kiddos, and his job & hobbies.  The description of Luke was "a serious kindergartner".  I honestly don't remember exactly how he described Kate (and I can't ask Marc at this point because he's already gone to bed), but I can say for sure that the word "serious" was not used to describe her.

Marc & I are both firstborn children (Marc's an "only" even).  Luke is obviously a firstborn.  As I have stated on Facebook AND in person, Kate is a second born child with whom we sometimes don't know what to do with.  In her short 2 1/2 years of life, we can most definitely say she is much less serious.  She is much more free-spirited and joyful appearing.  She appears to have a lot more ambition (though I know appearances can be deceiving).

Back to the zoo last week --

Upon entering the zoo, I told the kids, "Let's take some pictures of you two together".  Luke thought that sounded like a good idea.  Kate, of course, was up for anything in the familiarity of the zoo...I ended up getting some great pics of the kiddos together, and though I didn't plan this, I ended up with some great pics which I think accurately illustrate their personalities.  Count how many times Kate's mouth is opened -- Ha!

But first -- I did get a GREAT pic of the kids at "Subway" -- right before heading to the zoo that day....


Finally -- the zoo....






I am completely and utterly loving this next pic of Luke with the "forced smile".  (The wallaby is right behind him)...


Luke really likes the anteater, and admittedly, I do also find the anteater to be an interesting part of God's great creation....The anteater is often hiding; therefore, when it's out, excitement follows.  But again, seriousness defined right here, folks! (And, I'm realizing *slowly* that Luke is whom God created him to be.  This seriousness in him is something he comes by honestly...insert clearing of throat here).



I'm not going to post the next picture I have in my collection.  It's one of the kiddos (with Kate's mouth open) in front of the rhino.  The rhino is not exactly doing something that would improve the look of this blog, and quite frankly, I'm too lazy at this point to edit it.  So, just trust me on this one that the pic does indeed epitomize our kids' personalities....

Moving on to more of Kate's wide-opened mouth and Luke's seriousness -- Ha!



Even the "selfie" shows personality traits....


In this next pic, you can see all of the construction happening on our zoo's new and upcoming elephant exhibit!


Kate was on a mission at this point.  Luke decided he wanted to see the entire remaining part of the zoo through binoculars -- even when walking.  I assured Luke that he could do that now, but in a couple of months, when the weather turns nice again (for the season) and there are more people at the zoo, the "binocular walking" wouldn't be happening anymore.





There are days when my curiosity gets the best of me, and I become a bit irrational with anxiety.  I worry about what this vast and sometimes ugly (yet strikingly beautiful) world will off our kiddos and their personalities.  And then, I'm promoted by the Holy Spirit to spend time in Psalm 139.  These kiddos of our's were created with a purpose in this world.

I simply must trust God to do His work through them and their personalities.

I must trust that He will take care of them.

I must be completely obedient to the command of teaching them in the way they should go (excellent readings in Deuteronomy and Proverbs).

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!


*****

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).


*****

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



*****

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....

*****

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.

*****

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 :)


*****

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!

*****

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)...

*****

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!