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!

Friday, October 31, 2008


Marc is spending Halloween at Judgement House (see previous blog entry). So, Luke and I are merely hanging out at home. We don't get too many Trick-or-Treaters in our neighborhood, but we did have a few.

Luke was a "taekwondo kid" (in a Black Belt already). Marc actually bought this outfit for him before he was born. So, we've been waiting for a long time to put him in this outfit. He actually didn't mind being in it!

Fortunately, Andrea and Ava came over so Ava could get some candy. We worked on getting a photo of Ava and Luke. This is the best we got. It was rather difficult to get them both to pose perfectly (those of you with more than one child know this already).

Don't eat all of the candy at once!

Judgement House

Many of you reading this blog know all about Judgement House as many of you are a part of it.

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

I just typed in the "Great Commission" -- as opposed to just the "ordinary commission."

We are commanded as Christians to spread the good news of Christ Jesus. Our church is working on just that -- with Judgement House -- for the second year in a row now.

Judgement House is an eight-scene walk-through drama which effectively presents the gospel through a relevant and gripping story about people whose lives have been cut short by tragedy (this would be straight off of the Grace Community Church website). Individuals are confronted with a life decision about where they will be spending eternity.

Judgement House is a MAJOR undertaking for our church body. I'm not sure how many people it takes to "pull it off," but it takes many people.

Marc and I decided we should be a part of it this year. Marc is one of the "security" guys. They make sure parking is taken care of, make sure groups are walking through the various scenes without problems, etc. etc....Since Luke is young, my job this year with Judgement House is to stay home and be with him so that Marc can be at Judgement House without worry about home.

It truly is a major commitment on the entire church body. Every job counts in Judgement House, from registration, to acting in various scenes, to providing of food for the cast, to security, to nursery workers for those kids staying in the nursery each night, etc.

I'm not sure yet how many people have accepted Christ (or made life-changing decisions), but that's what the whole object of Judgement House is -- changed lives for Christ.

End of an Era....

Beware! There will be no exciting photos with this blog post -- only words to read (and it could get lengthy).

Today was an exciting yet hard day. You see, it was my last day with International Dairy Queen -- a company I've worked with for 10 years. Yep, I first got the job about two months after graduating from college. Now, 10 years later, I've been married over four years, and we've finally had our first child (now three months).

It's funny because over the last 10 years, I've definitely had some frustrating moments in this job. There are aspects of it that I know for a fact I will not miss. Then, there are aspects of it that I know I will definitely miss -- most of all, the people I work with.

Here are some things I remember, good and bad, from the last 10 years -- in no particular order.

1) I haven't counted exactly, but I have probably spent nearly 700 nights in hotel rooms over the last 10 years. I can tell you exactly what I like about various hotel chains (and what I don't like). I can tell you which hotels in my normal travel area have the best internet connection :) I know what types of rooms I like (for instance, Hampton Inns tend to have the best beds). I have stayed in old dumps (in Ulysses, KS, for instance). I have stayed in fabulous suites (at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, for instance). I have joined many different hotel chains' frequent stay programs. Marc and I have taken many vacations, and frequently, we don't pay for hotel rooms because of my accumulated "free" nights.

2) This job has taken me on trips for three weeks at a time. I had the wonderful opportunity to spend three weeks, all-expense paid (albeit working) in Seattle -- a great city! I also had the "opportunity" to spend three weeks, all-expense paid in Chattanooga, TN (beautiful in the fall, but definitely a cultural experience for me). In Chattanooga, unfortunately, I learned about some of the racism that still occurs in this country. In January, 2006, I "got to" go to Hawaii for work. Marc joined me, and we had a wonderful vacation as part of my job. One of the prettiest sites I've seen on the east coast was crossing over the Chesapeake Bay at sunrise (absolutely beautiful).

3) This job has allowed me to witness the excitement of teenagers (in their first job) when they finally mastered the famous DQ curl on a cone. What an accomplishment for them (it's really not an easy task).

4) Very importantly, I have met many friends for life. The DQ system is filled with some fabulous people.

5) One of the most memorable times for me was when I was having a conversation with a particular store owner. Her family had just been involved in a tragedy (involving a car accident). She was merely talking to me about life events and why she believes they happen. She finally said to me, "Sarah, I'm telling you this not in a professional sense but because I believe you're a Christian." The cool thing about this was that she and I had never had a conversation about Christianity. She realized I was a Christian because of my actions and words. Isn't that what we all should be doing?

The list could go on and on and on....

Now, I'm a mother to Luke (after being a child of God and wife to Marc first). Luke needs me at home. I'm fairly certain that he would not want me being gone 70 nights a year, and I certainly don't want to be gone from him for 70 nights a year. My job as a mother is and will continue to be far more important than my job at IDQ.

But, I must not forget my last 10 years. In a lot of ways, these 10 years have shaped who I am today.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Chain Saws Were A'Roaring....

If you've ever been in our backyard, you know we have quite a few large trees in the yard. Almost four years ago, one of them fell over during the "ice storm." Now, another one has died --from some sort of "tree disease." To avoid the disease spreading to other trees, Marc decided that it should come down. One day awhile back, I was talking with my good friend Abby. I mentioned this tree dilemma, and she promptly volunteered her husband, Clint. Clint apparently really likes to take down trees. He's had to take down quite a few trees with his job.

So, this past Saturday, Clint and Abby showed up to take down this tree. Since I was going to be inside most of the day with Luke (and tree-cutting is not my calling in life), Abby was very good to stay inside and "chat" most of the day. Thanks Abby! I hope you weren't too bored.

Here's the "before photo" of the dead tree.

Here's a photo of Marc, Clint, and Abby -- I think Marc and Clint were trying to figure out what to do next. At this point, Abby had been "roped into" helping out a bit.

After the tree was down, Marc and Clint used their chain saws to cut up the branches. Yes, they both wore their safety goggles.

Here's another photo of Clint using his chain saw.

Nobody was hurt! The tree is gone (the guys hauled off the branches to the dump). When the tree fell, it did cause a small "indention" in our neighbor's yard. This neighbor spends a great deal of time on his yard, and he does have one awesome yard. Fortunately, he wasn't too upset.
Thanks Clint and Abby for your help! We'll be asking again in the spring because we do have one more tree we'd like down -- the big one beside our driveway.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Too Cute....

Some of you who have been around us with Luke know that Luke will not take a pacifier. We've tried about five different types, but none of them work. Older mothers tell me, "That's not such a bad thing, Sarah." Yep, there are advantages -- 1) We'll never have to get him off of it. 2) If he loses it in the middle of the night and can't get it, there's not screaming -- we don't have to get up to give it back to him. Yep, there are disadvantages -- 1) Sometimes, he really needs to be soothed. We've had to rely on him sucking on our pinky fingers for that. It's annoying, but it generally works. 2) In church, because he won't suck on a pacifier, he's not really quiet (even if he's not upset, he chatters).

Fortunately, Luke has definitely found his fist, and he sucks on his fist to go to sleep (we see him on the camera monitor). So, if he wakes up, he can get back to sleep himself.

Though he actually found his thumb several weeks ago, last night, he sucked on his thumb for quite awhile. I had put him on his tummy for "tummy time." He's still not a real fan, though the crying is starting to stop during that time. When I did this last night, he was tired. So, he just sucked him thumb for awhile. Too cute....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Quarter of a Year Old...

Today (the 21st), Luke is three months old -- or a quarter of a year old. It's been a very fast three months! Here's the comparative photo...

I'm not sure if it's his outfit he's wearing or the angle of the photo, but he almost looks smaller in his three month photo than the two month photo right below it. Trust us -- he's not any smaller. In fact, he's about 2 1/2 pounds bigger.

Last week, he weighed in at a whopping 14 lb. 3 oz.

At two months...

And, at one month...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yet Another Race....

Yesterday (Sunday, the 19th), Marc ran in the Wichita Marathon (26.2 miles). The interesting this is that he actually participated in two separate events. A runner can run the entire distance himself or herself. Or, two people can run it as a relay (13.1 miles per person).

Well, Marc and our friend Matt ran it as a relay (Marc running the 1st 1/2 and Matt running the 2nd 1/2). At the trade-off, Marc kept running to finish the whole thing. So, he ran in the relay as well as the entire marathon.

Marc and Matt should be very proud. They actually finished FIRST in the men's relay. Their total time for the 26.2 miles was two hours and 59 minutes.

Marc finished the entire marathon in three hours and eight minutes -- second in his age group!

This race starts in Derby and finishes in Wichita's Old Town area.

Here's a photo of Matt, almost to the finish line!

Here's a photo of Marc, less than a minute from the finish line. I think he looks great for just running 26.2 miles!

Here's one photo of the finish line. As a runner comes in, he or she is facing the Warren Old Town Theater.

Luke and I got to the race in plenty of time to see Marc and Matt finish. As you might recall from a previous blog entry, Luke did not enjoy being out at a race in the Flint Hills. This weekend, he didn't necessarily smile much, but he didn't cry at all. Perhaps this weekend, being out at a race wasn't so bad.

Here's a photo of what we like to call "Luke's very serious look." Thanks for letting him borrow your hat, Ollie! It's worked great several times!

A couple of things about this race....

1) There was a very strong south wind. That "south" part is very fortunate since the runners, during this race, run north for a good part of the race. Imagine running against a strong north wind for a little over 26 miles? Marc said the wind just pushed him along.

2) If you attend very many long distance races as a spectator (or as a runner), it's very common to see puking at the end. Yuck! So, I like to not hang out right at the finish line. Yesterday must have been "International Day of Puking at the End of a Marathon." I witnessed it more times than I care to, and I wasn't even standing right at the finish line.

Isn't that a great way to end this blog post?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Community Life Group Activity....

Last night (Saturday), our small group, or Community Life Group, had a group/family activity. We first met at "Skoops Diner" in Hesston for some good ol' fashioned burger and fries (Sarah H. and I both had ice cream as well -- yep, it was tasty).

Here's a picture of our group. Unfortunately, Tim, Johannah, and Tucker were unable to join us. We had everybody else, though -- Marc, Luke, and myself; Mark and Lisa; Adam, Kelly, and Naomi; Seth, Sarah, Collin, and Natalie.

Collin does a great job of entertaining himself. Here he is, in Skoops, playing around a table and bench. I couldn't resist taking this photo. It was too funny to watch!

Sadly, those are all of the photos I took. After Skoops, we all went to Gaeddert's Corn Maze near Buhler. I carried Luke in a "Snugli" for the first time (I was too focused on that to capture good photos of the corn maze, I guess). Collin proudly carried a flashlight to help find our way around it.

We ended up dividing into two different teams (Friesen/Hershberger vs. Siebert/Boyd). The idea was to find all of the "points" within the maze and get back out first. The Siebert/Boyd team won by around five minutes or so.

Perhaps next year...we'll do it again for a second challenge and a new maze.

Ah....The Flint Hills

Most of you know that Marc is an ultra-runner. An ultra-run, by definition, is anything 50 km (31 miles) or longer.

Each year, there's a 50 mile and 100 mile running race put on by the running club that we belong to. Yep, you read correctly -- 50 mile and 100 mile race. This race starts and ends in the little town of Cassoday. To get these miles in, the runners run in the beautiful Flint Hills of Kansas.

This year, this race was last Saturday and Sunday, October 11 and 12.

Periodically, throughout this race, there are "aid stations." These aid stations are for getting beverages and food, changing clothes or shoes, etc. You can also use the "Porta-Potty" at these stations if you don't just use "Nature's Porta-Potty" before getting to an aid station :)

Marc and I have worked the aid station at mile 33 (for 50 milers) and mile 83 (for 100 milers) for quite a few years. Several years ago, my mom started joining us at this aid station. The real "fun" part of this aid station is that we're out there for 24 hours straight.

Well, this year, because we didn't really want to have Luke out there for 24 hours (wouldn't that have been a fun time?), I didn't work the aid station. Marc and my mom (as well as some other wonderful volunteers) still did work the aid station. Luke and I drove out there in the afternoon.

We're sad to say that, for Luke's first time out there, it really wasn't his "thing."

I managed to catch this one good photo, sitting on Marc, in the back of my mom's "Escape."

After that, he decided that he didn't like the wind, and he missed the comforts of home. After a few hours out there (and Luke crying even when my mom and dad held him), I decided to head home.

It was amazing -- as soon as he was in his car seat, in the car, he stopped crying. He slept the whole way home, the rest of the evening, and for the whole night.

Since he wasn't sick, we're assuming he just tired himself out so much with all of the crying in the Flint Hills. Perhaps, next year, when he'll be running around, he'll appreciate this race a little bit more.

He better get used to it. In the Friesen household, there are frequent trips to races.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our Too Full Saturday....

Last Saturday, we had quite a bit of activity -- way too much for Luke -- even at a mere 2 1/2 months of age. Let's just say that it was a lesson for us -- we don't need to do as much in one day with Luke around as we used to do before he was around. Let's also say that we did some calculations at the end of the day, and Luke spent more time in his car seat that day than out of his car seat.

I started out in the morning with Luke in his car seat in his stroller by going on an hour and 15-minute walk. An hour after returning from the walk (and feeding him), we went to Bethel College's Fall Fest -- again, Luke in his stroller.

After going home for an hour (and feeding him again), we put him back in his car seat to travel to Walter's Pumpkin Patch -- an event we're sure he'll remember (Ha Ha).

After returning home for an hour (and feeding him again), I put him back in his car seat to drive to our friends' (Alissa and Jon) house 30 minutes away. While I'm glad I went (some out of town friends, Will and Sherilyn and their kids, were there as well), I didn't much have a great time with Luke's mood by that point. It took me a little while once I was there to calm him down. Let's just say he was tired and cranky at that point. I guess I would be too being carted around in a car seat all day long.

But, we did get some fun pictures from the pumpkin patch.

First, here's a picture of Luke (similar to Taste of Newton) in his stroller at the pumpkin patch. Once again, he's demonstrating his ability to look very serious.

Since Luke is obviously a bit on the young side to participate in Pumpkin Patch activities, Marc participated for him. The first activity was to sling shot pumpkins across a field. Here are the "Punkin Chunkin Rules."

The target consisted of a Wildcat and Jayhawk. Which one did Marc aim for? I'm not particularly sure; however, he'll always aim for any team that plays the Texas Longhorns (for those of you who know Marc, he's a HUGE Texas fan).

Here's Marc, demonstrating his sling shot skills. Did he hit one of the targets? Nope...Perhaps next year :)

Next, Marc went on the slides inside "Boo Mountain" with Ava. Ava had to go on the slides at least three times with Marc. Here they are -- walking up the hill together.

Notice the big smiles on their faces. Ava really enjoyed the slides, and so did Marc.

Until next year.....

Friday, October 3, 2008

One Favorite Day of the Year....

One of our top favorite days of the year is the "Food Fest" our hometown has called "Taste of Newton." This is the evening event where many food vendors come out and sell food in the middle of Main St. According to the local newspaper, 7,500 people showed up to the event this year -- not too bad for a smaller town.

Generally, there are bands performing, choirs from schools performing, etc. Marc's group from "Ultimate Martial Arts" also did a demo.

My dad actually took this photo of Marc during the demo. My dad is a much better photographer than I am (apparently, it's not genetic).

I did take this photo of Marc from behind.

What did Luke do during this demo? Well, he started off by sleeping. Then, he woke up, and he stayed awake throughout the rest of the evening while we ate.

My dad also took this photo. Luke had just woke up, and he wasn't much in the mood for smiling.

Lastly, my dad also this photo of our friend Ava next to Luke. She really enjoys being around Luke. That's a good thing since Ava's mom will be watching Luke when I go back to work very soon.

Yet Another Parade....

Last Saturday (the 27th of September), Luke attended his second parade (see previous blog post about his first parade). Marc, unfortunately, was not able to attend this parade because of work. So, I went with my entire family to see a parade in my hometown (Andover).

Here's the entire Koehn family (I don't come from a large family) -- complete with my parents' dog, Anna.

If you're wondering where Luke is...well, he slept through this entire parade in the stroller on the left. Perhaps, next year, he'll be a little more alert for a parade.

Here comes the Patriot Guard.

The marching band brings back many memories for me as I was a "band geek" in high school (really, I'm proud of it). Marc typically likes to make fun of my band memories. Since he wasn't there at the parade, I got to enjoy it without him laughing at me.

Here's another classic parade photo -- a kid digging through her bag of collected candy. This photo is of Grace (our niece and Luke's cousin) searching for the perfect piece of candy.

1993 - 2008....

By the title of this blog, you might have assumed somebody we know recently passed away. Fortunately, that is not the case. Last weekend, Marc had is 15 year class reunion. Yep, he graduated from high school in 1993, so, in 2008, it's 15 year time.

The class didn't plan a huge thing for the 15 year (they did a bigger thing at 10 years, and I'm sure 20 years will be big). They started out meeting for the Hesston Homecoming Parade.

Here's a first glimpse of the parade.

Here's another glimpse of the parade.

Here's a photo of Marc (in the middle) with his friends Aaron (on the left) and Keith (on the right). Aaron was an usher for our wedding, and Keith was one of Marc's groomsmen for our wedding.

Here's a classic parade photo. This is Aedan. He is Keith's (and his wife Leigh Ann's) second son. He doesn't much care for loud noises. So, the firetruck noise didn't appease him at all.

Luke basically stayed in the stroller throughout the entire parade, but this parade was officially his first parade.

The next night, after the parade, the class of 1993 attended the Hesston Homecoming Football game. The next morning, they took a tour of the high school and went out for pizza. Unfortunately, Marc missed the tour and pizza because of work.

Until the 20-year reunion....

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