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!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Getting Our Christmas Tree....

Since we've been married, every Thanksgiving weekend, we've gone to Nativity Pines to pick out and cut down (Marc cuts) our Christmas tree. This year, we're very happy and thankful to go once again -- this time, with Luke.

Here's a photo of the hayrack ride we take to all of the trees.

After doing some walking around, we find the tree we'd like. The next photo is one of Marc on the ground, working on cutting the tree down. This tree farm always has the most wonderful teenage guys helping out. In the photo, you can barely see one of the guys (in the orange vest) "catching" the tree once it fell.

Here's our family photo in front of our tree -- before it was actually cut down (I guess I put these pictures on this post backwards).

Since we don't have a pick-up, the tree gets tied to the top of our Escape. It works out really well! Here's the photo of the Escape with the tree in our driveway.

The owner of this tree farm is wonderful, and for the last two years, he's remembered us and welcomed us back. This year, after our tree was cut, I was sitting in the back of the car with Luke -- giving him food (his favorite). During this time, the owner and Marc were talking outside. The owner was telling Marc about the importance of establishing traditions with your family. He then talked to Marc about the importance of prayer for your children. He mentioned that it's been great to see his 19 year-old son grow and mature into a Godly man with developing leadership characteristics.
Wow! What an amazing conversation for a new father like Marc to have. It was also great to hear how wonderful it's been for him to watch his son grow into a Godly and mature man -- the very thing we pray for Luke.
The owner of this tree farm highly recommended a book. It is.....
The Heart of a Tender Warrior: Becoming a Man of Purpose By: Stu Weber
So, if any of you ladies need a Christmas idea for your husbands, there's an idea :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Thanksgiving....

Since we've been married, we've been hosting Thanksgiving at our house. Our families aren't huge in numbers, so it works out well to have Marc's parents as well as my parents, brother and sister-in-law and two nieces, and my grandparents all over for one big dinner. For our wedding, we received a turkey fryer, so each year, the guys spend time outside frying the turkey. Everybody else chips in with food, so I'm only left with preparing the mashed potatoes, a salad of some sort, and usually at least one pie. Not too bad....

This year, however, we did something a bit different. Marc and I "signed up" at church to host an international student from Wichita State University. So, Srinivasa Perumal Velu joined our family for dinner. Srinivasa is from India, and he's a graduate student working on a master's degree in aerospace engineering. It was great having him join us, and I think we all learned something about India. He seemed to get in on all of the activities.

Here's a photo of Marc, Joel (my brother), and Srinivasa -- getting the turkey ready to go into the fryer.

While the turkey was frying, Marc, Srinivasa, my brother, and my dad played Corn Hole -- the game with which our boards were constructed by Joel Smith.

The two teams were Joel/my dad and Marc/Srinivasa. They played several rounds, both before and after dinner. Marc is proud to say that he and Srinivasa won every round.

Here's another shot of the Corn Hole game.

Here's a shot of the turkey, frying in the big pot.

After our large meal (which Srinivasa said he got to try some new foods as part of Thanksgiving), the guys once again played Corn Hole. They also did their tradition of shooting BB guns off of our back deck. Even Srinivasa shot the BB gun -- a new activity for him.
We've got to think that he had to have been thinking, "This is all a bit different than what I expected.
It was interesting because after he came in from all of the outside activities, he said to me, "It's not fair that all of the women seem to be doing all of the cleaning up while the guys are outside having fun."
How did Luke take to his first Thanksgiving? Well overall, he didn't too bad. It helped that we were at our home, where he could take his usual naps in his own bed. Luke's a very scheduled person (you think he might get that from his parents?). He doesn't exactly do real well off of his schedule. Considering all of the people at our house and his young cousins making noise, he did fairly well until the end. I think, at point, he had enough.
After everybody had left, he was playing in his little gym. He fell right asleep in the middle of playing.
Thanks Srinivasa for coming over and joining our family on Thanksgiving. If you're still in Wichita next year, we hope you will join us again.
We have so very much to be thankful for. Thanks be to our God for all that He has provided.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Wonderful New Product I Must Promote....

Perhaps some of you have tried these, but I feel I MUST promote these.

These have been on commercials lately. I was inspired, and so, several weeks ago, I bought some for Marc and me to try.

Oh my goodness -- they are wonderful! They're peeled and cut potatoes. You merely "steam" them in the microwave for 10 minutes. Then, add your milk and butter (I also add sour cream and pepper), and mix them. Voila! Mashed potatoes!!!!! No more peeling, no more boiling, no more washing big pans that you boiled potatoes in...

So, for Thanksgiving this year (I'm always in charge of the mashed potatoes), I bought a couple bags of them and my potatoes were wonderful and much much much quicker and easier.

Can you tell I'm a fan? They're found in the frozen potato section of the grocery store. They also come in "garlic" and "cheese"potatoes.


So, Shannon tagged me....So, here's the information on my husband. And, at the bottom, I shall tag some other lovely ladies.

Name? Marc Allen Friesen -- Here's a little known fact. Apparently, Marc's dad wanted to name him Abraham John -- after each of his grandfathers. His mom said "No" to that idea. What if he would have been named Abraham? Then, we'd have Abraham and Sarah :)

How long married? Almost 4 1/2 years -- we were married June 5, 2004.

How old? Marc is now a whopping 34 years of age. He was born September 25, 1974. He is older than I am as I am only 32.

Tallest? Definitely Marc, but not too many men are taller than I am.

Who can sing the best? I'm going to say that I can, and I'm fairly sure that Marc would agree.

Smart? Yes, Marc is very smart. Any of you who have spent any time around Marc know that he is absolutely FULL of trivial "nuggets." His father is the same way. Also, when I told Marc I was doing this on our blog, he wanted me to point out that he once scored in the 97th percentile on some intelligence test (isn't that like Marc to point that out?) Seriously though, Marc is very smart, but I also feel that I can add some smarts to our marriage.

Laundry? I do nearly all of the laundry. Marc, however, is capable. It's just one of those thing we settled into when we got married. He does some other things that I definitely don't do.

Paying Bills? I pay the bills and keep track of our bank accounts. When we first got married, I discovered that I couldn't very well read his writing in a checkbook. So, I just kind of took that job over. On the financial front, however, Marc definitely takes care of long-term investing and retirement savings.

Right Side of Bed? If one were to stand at the foot of the bed and look at how we sleep, Marc is on the right side of the bed.

Mows Lawn? Most definitely Marc. I absolutely cannot stand mowing the lawn. So, I'll take laundry anyday over mowing the lawn.

Cooks Dinner? I cook nearly all of the dinners. However, Marc does do all of the grilling. Again, that's one of the things we settled into when we got married. Marc is capable of making a few things. We were 28 and 29 years of age when we got married. Therefore, Marc had lived alone for a few years before. He had done some cooking.

Admits wrongness: I would honestly say that he admits wrongness better than I do. Neither of us like to do it, but he's a little bit more humble about it than I am.

Kissed First: He kissed me first in my apartment; however, I certainly didn't stop him. It was nice because I didn't have a roommate to bother us.

Wears the Pants: I honestly don't like to say who "wears the pants" in our household. I think there are some things that I probably make more of the decisions on (dinner, groceries, etc.). I do consider Marc to be the leader of our household, and I think he does a wonderful job at that. I hope I always show my respect to him as my husband in that way.

Here's a photo of Marc and me from a little over two years ago. We were up in Manitoba (Canada) visiting our good friends Tammy and Reynold. There just happened to be the Manitoba Marathon that weekend, and so, Marc ran the marathon. It was a nice rainy day.

I hope everybody learned a little bit about Marc that you may not have known.

So, I tag Lindsay Frasier, Alisha Wallace, and my sister-in-law, Amber Koehn.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Out of Sorts....

Luke has been "out of sorts" over the last several days or so. Here's our story....

This past Saturday night, Marc and I went out on a "date." Sadly, we hadn't been out on a true date since Luke's birth. So, several weeks ago, we asked my parents to come over and watch him so we could go out. They graciously agreed and drove up here to watch him.

Because of Marc's "bum" foot, there were several things we couldn't do (i.e. bowling, ice skating). So, we started out our evening at this great place -- Abuelo's!

We went early to avoid a wait -- thankfully, we did because when we left, there were a lot of people waiting. Of course, Marc got the "Grande" Plate -- you know, the one many of you probably share with somebody else but Marc eats by himself.

After eating, we decided to go and hang out at Barnes and Nobles. We were there ten minutes when my dad called my cell phone. When it first rang, it didn't even occur to me that there might be a problem -- I just assumed my dad wanted to know where something was in the house. Nope, there was a problem. Luke had been crying and crying and crying some more. Apparently, they tried just about everything they could think of, and nothing worked.

So, we drove home. Of course, by the time we got home, Luke was happy on my mom's lap. Who knows what his problem was?

Then yesterday, Monday, Luke was cranky at Andrea's -- for no apparent reason.

Last night, he woke up twice, crying. This is really abnormal for Luke since he's a GREAT sleeper -- we've been blessed with that.

So, he's already been crankier and fussier than normal lately. Then, this morning, he had a dr's appointment -- his four-month check-up with shots! You can imagine what that did!

He was cranky even when the nurses walked in the room -- ready to give him his shots. In fact, one of the nurses even said, "Gees, I hope he's not coming down with something. Are you guys going to be with him at home for this long weekend coming up?"

Fortunately, I was able to say, "Yes, and I'll be home with him the next two days as well."

After the stressful appointment of fussiness and crying, we went home, and he took a great nap! Then, he got up and ate. We took a short, yet uneventful, trip to the grocery store. When we returned home, I once again layed him down for a nap. He fell asleep but awoke about 30 minutes later. I went in to get him, and he would not settle down.

Finally, I opted for this...

Yep, the opportunity to fall asleep on Mom and Dad's bed. I'm sure all of you parents have done this once or twice -- you know, the thing you say you won't do.

But, it worked. He took a somewhat decent nap this way. It's a good thing he doesn't roll over just yet :)

I can't say the whole day's been cranky. I did manage to get this "happy" photo of him, playing in his favorite place -- the infant/toddler "elephant chair" -- as Marc and I call it.

I'll keep you posted as to whether he gets sick or something....We hope not, but it's going to happen sometime.

Movie Critique....

Last week, I started to watch "Dan in Real Life." It stars primarily Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche. Today, I finally finished it while feeding Luke. I won't give the story line, but I will give my critique.

I personally thought it was a very slow moving movie. I actually wouldn't even recommend you rent it because it is slow moving -- you can add a comment to this blog post if you disagree. Some of you may recommend it to others.

Anyways, even though I don't really recommend it, there is a line at the very end of the movie that I really appreciated and will remember.

Steve Carell's character, Dan, is talking about "plans." He talks about teaching his kids about making plans. Then, he says, "Always simply PLAN to be surprised." In other words, our plans don't always go as we think they should.

I thought to myself, "How true is that?" Marc and I are planning freaks (for lack of a better word to use). We plan and plan and plan some more. Then, we get discouraged when our plans don't work out.

Whenever that happens, I'm reminded that God ultimately has our best in mind -- so, His plan is what's best. Often times, I am surprised about His plans. I just need to remember that more often -- not to get too upset when my plans are not His.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

So, my ultimate purpose with this blog post is to go on ahead and make plans, but plan to be surprised. God has your ultimate plan in mind (Sadly, the movie didn't mention anything about God's plans).

Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yuck or Ouch!!!!

If you've been following this blog, you'll know that a little over a week ago (look back at previous posts), Marc had foot surgery -- a bunion removed.

Just to "jog" your memory a bit....here's the "before" shot of Marc's foot.

This past Friday (a week after surgery), they took the big bandage off. This is the "after" shot of Marc's foot -- while still recovering. Remember, the surgeon broke two bones to make the correction -- henceforth, the black and blue. Plus, the stitches don't get to come out for almost two more weeks.

If you've seen Marc, you'll know he's still wearing the big boot. That too will be worn for almost two more weeks. Then, he'll try wearing a regular shoe. We'll see how that goes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Four Months....

Luke was four months old yesterday. Can you believe it? We hardly can. Here are the "comparative" photos.

One Month....

Two Months....

Three Months....

And finally, four months....

Wow! What a change each month!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1

There are many verses on "Giving Thanks" in the Bible, but that is one of my favorites. It's also one of my favorite praise songs!

Anyways, we are glad we have the Thanksgiving holiday. It remind us of what we should be doing all of the time -- that is, giving thanks. We don't do it enough.

I (Sarah) am thankful for so many things, but the top three have to be 1) I have a God who loves me for who I am, and I have the freedom to worship him in this country 2) I have a wonderful husband who also loves me for who I am, and 3) I have a very cute and wonderful son whom we love very much.

I want to take a moment to reflect on Luke, our son. Keep reading -- this could get long. It may be one of those posts for "true friends."

Thankgiving weekend, 2007 (specifically, Sunday, November 25) will always be special in my heart. That was the day we found out I was pregnant with Luke. I look back on that day with a heavy heart, however. When the pregnancy test was positive, I was actually crying when I told Marc, and sadly, they weren't necessarily tears of joy. They were tears of not trusting God in the way I should.

Most of you reading this know that just four months before Thanksgiving, Marc and I went through a miscarriage. That miscarriage happened after trying to get pregnant for 18 months -- thinking that pregnancy may not have even been an option for us (we were starting the process of fertility testing at that time).

The miscarriage absolutely tore me apart. I don't think most of you realize just how much it did tear me apart. I was a mess for several months. Looking back on it, I realize I probably should have seen a counselor or been a part of a support group. It was extremely difficult always seeing other women (especially at church) pregnant or having babies.

However, we persevered. I realized that God allowed it all to happen (infertility and miscarriage) for some purpose. I'm not completely sure what his entire purpose was, but I have since realized that God did teach me some things through the experience -- it made me realize just how much I wanted a baby, it made me realize that I worked too much and put way too much focus on work and money, etc.

I remember telling Marc that I want to always "be there" for other women or couples when they go through miscarriages. Miscarriages are all too common. More people than we know have been through them. Since last summer, God has given me the opportunity to have very long conversations and offering of support with two different, very strong women who too suffered miscarraiges -- one of them even lost twins. I hope that I was able to offer encouragement and support to both of them. Sadly, I'm sure it will happen to somebody else we know. I hope that I will again be able to offer that support -- even into my old age.

Anyways, back to Thanksgiving, 2007....my tears on the positive pregnancy test were indeed not trusting God. I didn't trust that this pregnancy would be successful -- and it couldn't have been. Many women suffer through multiple miscarriages.

Over the course of the next month, I was in and out of the dr's office many times for blood work -- constantly checking hormone levels. My confidence went up slightly as the hormone levels continued to rise. My nausea, though not fun at all, was actually a welcome sigh of relief. We told a couple of close friends, and we practically begged them to keep it a secret. We have some wonderful friends who did keep it all a secret!

December 31, 2007, was another day of tears -- this time, happy tears as we saw Luke's beating heart on the sonogram. Even though we saw that beating heart, however, I (especially) still had doubts about telling people our good news. We finally shared the news with our parents over the next couple of weeks, and by 13-14 weeks, at the persistence of Marc, we started to tell other people. If Marc wouldn't have persisted on telling people, I would, out of fear, probably still not told people for another 4-5 weeks. It's funny now when I think about it, but the not-so-funny part was the lack of trust in God.

One of my points to this blog post is to not make blog readers feel sorry for us. I just merely want to share our story out possibly helping somebody else. I also realize that we have a fairly "easy" story with a happy ending. Infertility and miscarriage are actually very common, and many times, couples' stories end up completely different than our's.

Another point to this blog post is to share a new meaning of Thanksgiving to us -- it was the Thanksgiving holiday weekend where our lives started to change forever -- in a great way.

A third point on this blog is that this experience did teach me to trust God. I know that He ultimately has the my very best in His plans. It's just so hard to see sometimes. Trust is something I will always be working on in my spiritual growth. I'm sure many of you are also working on that. If you have any good advice, please let me know!

My last point to this blog post is to simply say that Marc and I are extremely thankful for Luke -- born July 21, 2008. I hope we don't just express that on Thanksgiving, but we express that each and every day he's with us.

Here's an updated photo of him -- taken just the other night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

As Promised...More Saturday Fun!

This past Saturday evening, my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and our two nieces came over to celebrate some birthdays. We had this celebration at our house because of Marc's "resting" foot.

Marc chose steak tacos, and our sister-in-law, Amber, agreed on that meal as well (It's a tradition for the birthday person or people pick the meal). We also had "Strawberry Whip" salad, cobbler, and ice cream.

Here's a photo of my mother working on the meal.

Many times, even at Luke's young age, he doesn't much care for "strangers" to hold him. He's already become a bit of a "Mama's Boy." Well, he must have realized that family was around, because he definitely let Amber hold him without any problems. In this photo, our niece Natalie (17 months) was attempting to play "Peek-a-Boo" with Luke. He didn't quite yet get the point of the game.

Our other niece, Grace (3 years) absolutely loves to play with Grandma. So, she spent some time playing with Play-Dough with Grandma (my mom).

Because of Marc's "bum" foot, he, my brother, and my dad sat at the table, talking politics, and drinking Pepsi....Isn't that the life? If you know Marc, you probably know how the political discussion went. Well, my dad and brother have the same views. Just imagine the conversation....

To end the evening, Joel and Marc spent time on the deck, shooting their bebe guns. Don't ask me why....but they like to do this when they're together. They merely shoot at the Pepsi cans that were recently emptied by themselves. My dad also likes to shoot bebe guns with them (usually), but this time, he stayed inside with the rest of the group.

That's many times how our family time goes....Simple and casual family time is the best!!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Random Saturday...

Marc spent Saturday recovering from his foot surgery. Since he's on crutches, he can't carry around or lift Luke. So, he gave (and still is giving when he's home) Luke most of his bottles. Luke also spent some time on his lap, watching football....oh, the bad TV habit we've started.

Luke enjoys being on his dad's lap.

In the evening, my family came over to celebrate some belated birthdays -- Marc's (which was back in September and Amber's (which was back in October). Amber is our sister-in-law. My mom was very nice and brought over a meal to fix -- steak tacos.
First, however, Luke was fed some cereal by Grandma (my mom). Luke is a little bit young to be doing cereal (not quite four months); however, he eats a lot. So, we figured let's just get him started. He's actually doing quite well for it being a new thing.

More photos are to come....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup....

Not too long ago, Andrea put a challenge out to "fellow bloggers" to put a favorite recipe on their blogs. So, here's mine. This is actually a recipe I made for the first time yesterday -- for after Marc's foot surgery. We both really liked it, and my parents were here (watching Luke during surgery). They both liked it as well.

I realize there are quite a few chicken tortilla soup recipes out there. Here's one variation.

This recipe is not a "Sarah Original" (like my baked beans on an earlier post). It's from a cookbook we received for our wedding (or should I say I received -- Marc hasn't used any of the cookbooks "we" received).

Anything good for the crockpot is worth taking note of, in my mind!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
4 chicken breast halves (cut up into pieces)
2 15-oz. cans black beans, undrained
2 15-oz. cans Rotel tomatoes
1 C. Salsa (mild, medium, or hot -- whichever you prefer)
4-oz. can chopped green chilies
14 1/2 oz. can tomato sauce
Tortilla Chips
Grated Cheese
**We also used sour cream for the top

1) Combine all ingredients except chips, cheese, and sour cream in crockpot.
2) Cover. Cook on low 8 hours.
3) To serve, put a handful of chips in each individual soup bowl. Ladle soup over chips. Top with cheese and sour cream.


Friday, November 14, 2008


Unfortunately, surgery is a familiar word in our household. It's definitely not something we're proud of, but since being married 4 1/2 years ago, we've both had some surgeries.

Well today, Marc had foot surgery. Don't panic! It wasn't a "major" surgery, just the removal of a painful bunion on his left foot.

Many people ask both of us if his bunion problems were caused by all of his running. The answer is "No." Bunions are actually genetic, and his mother, Ann, has them as well. However, running, especially Marc's long distances, does cause the pain and blisters.

Here's the before photo of Marc's left foot -- Nice, huh?

The surgery was performed at the surgery center (behind the hospital) here in town. It didn't require complete anesthesia (with the tube down the throat and all). It was just the "conscious sedation" -- the one where you're basically asleep and you don't remember anything. The doctor also used A LOT of local anesthetic to avoid too much pain.

As Marc described the surgery, the doctor actually broke two bones in the foot. Then, he screwed them back together in the correct position (Marc now has two screws in his foot). Then, he ground off the calcification on the inside of his big toe -- where there was excess bone growth.

Sounds fun, doesn't it?

This next photo is Marc's foot right after surgery. It will remain wrapped up for about three weeks, so we will not see the "finished product" until then (we'll get an after photo at that point).

I had to take this photo after Marc's surgery -- still in the surgery center. It would only be Marc (and probably Joel McClenahan if this were him -- right Jess?) to be smiling with a Pepsi and food after waking up. On a side note -- Marc also had me make soup for him in advance, warming in the crock pot during surgery. He also had me get him a strawberry shake later in the day. He claims that strawberry shakes "make him feel better." Also (and this one is for you Joel McClenahan), he had a corn dog for dinner.....
Hmmmm.....do you think this surgery might be milked for all it's worth?

Anyways, Marc will be on crutches for a week. So, when you see us on Sunday at church (as most of my fellow bloggers are), you'll see me carrying everything (Bibles, diaper bag, and of course, Luke). I might require some assistance :)
He will be wearing the "boot" on his foot for basically three weeks. He won't be able to run or do taekwondo for six weeks.
Wow! What a recovery....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans' Day....

Today is Veterans' Day. Today is one of those days that, as a child and even partway into adulthood, I didn't realize (or care to learn) the significance of.

Now, I realize it's a day to honor those who have served in the military for our country. It is because of these men and women that we have the freedoms we have. I really don't think your "politics" matter when it comes to this day. Even if you don't always agree with our country's military actions, we, here in the USA, do have many freedoms that others around the world don't have.

Here are the names of some men Marc, Luke, and I honor on this day....We realize there are more, but here's a start. We typically try to get Veterans' Day cards for them; however, we couldn't find any this year.

--Alvin Friesen (Marc's Dad) -- Served in the Korean War
--Jerry Sheffler (former coworker of Marc's) -- Served in the Vietnam War
--Jeremy Rupprecht (husband of one of Sarah's former coworkers) -- Served in Iraq just last year
--Mel Gray -- A soldier Marc and Sarah supported in Iraq -- Mel also served in the first Gulf War in the early 90s. Mel and his family live in Kansas City.

The list could go on and on, but we want to take the time to thank those who have served for our country.

Today is also the day that my late grandfather, Lewie Becker, would have turned 92! He passed away at age 85. He too was a veteran. He served in World War II. As a child, I always thought of this day as his birthday! He used to always say "that the flags are flying today because it's my birthday."

I miss my grandfather a lot! I know that he thought war was ugly. During World War II, he was involved in combat, and I know that he did not talk details about the war. He, however, did talk about guys he was in the military with. He talked about places in Europe he saw during the war. I could always tell that World War II shaped a lot of who he was.

Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away before I met Marc. I really wish he could meet Marc and now, I would like him to meet Luke. They'll just have to meet in heaven someday!

Again, Happy Veterans' Day! Take the time to honor those who have served our country!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tummy Time....

Everybody knows that "Tummy Time" is important for young babies. It helps with muscle development for both holding the had up as well as eventually rolling over.

Most parents have told us that their babies hated tummy time. Well, we could put Luke in that category. That is until recently.

While he still doesn't thoroughly enjoy it (he's not yet rolling over though we figure he's getting closer to that point), he is getting to where he doesn't scream. We can actually leave him on his tummy for some time now.

In this photo, you can even see a smile.

I figured I better document that one.

Baked Beans

This blog post has no photos, but it's worth reading -- I promise!

Last Friday evening, our Sunday School class had a fall party. It was really a lot of fun, and we really had a perfect fall evening (very little wind and cool temperatures).

We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and had chili. We all had a big shed to hang out in at a couple's (from our church) farm. There were, of course, also plenty of sweets.

Since most couples in this Sunday School class now have young children, there was plenty of room for the kids to run around.

Luke was an excellent baby that evening! He hung out in his stroller and then hung out on me (his mother) in a Snugli carrier. He didn't even get too grouchy -- which he usually does in the evening.

Anyways, I made my baked beans. People are always asking me for the recipe. It's really nothing special, but it is my own creation. I don't mind sharing, so here it goes...Keep in mind that I really don't have specific amounts for anything (I just dump ingredients in), so these are merely estimations.

Sarah's Baked Beans

5 Cans Pork and Beans (generic kind works great) -- drained (I remove the pork pieces)
1 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 C Brown Sugar
1/3 C Molasses
5 strips bacon, cut up in pieces and sauteed
1 C onion, minced and sauteed with bacon
Black Pepper, to taste (I use a lot of pepper -- you can see it well in the finished product)
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1/4 C Ketchup
2 Tbsp. Yellow Mustard
2 tsp. Worchestershire Sauce

Mix all ingredients together in crock pot. Cook on high for four hours or on low for 8 hours.

**As a side note, these beans are GREAT if you mix them all up and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight before putting them in the crock pot! That's typically what I do -- if I'm on the ball. I had done that for the Sunday School party.


Ah, Exercise....

Most of you know that, in our household, we like to exercise -- especially Marc. Marc's exercising consists of running an "insane" (for lack of a better word) amount of miles and doing taekwondo. My (Sarah) exercise, right now anyways, is walking, though I will get back into running eventually. At this point in time, Luke's exercise consists of lying on the floor and kicking his legs and moving his arms around. He also enjoys sitting back in an infant seat, batting at the toys that are hanging down.

We've been questioned how we manage to work in exercise with a new baby. Well, many couples do work exercise into their daily routine. Here's how it works in our household -- at least right now with only one child. It'll change someday again, I'm sure.

Marc gets the morning, and I get the evening. If Marc doesn't get up in the morning, most likely then, he will miss his running opportunity. Likewise, if I don't use my time wisely in the evening, then I miss my opportunity.

Last Saturday, we had quite a bit going on. So, we tried something different. Marc took one of our vehicles into the dealership for some routine maintenance. He merely went there in his running clothes and ran 10 miles (yep, 10) while the car was being serviced.

I, on the other hand, was at home with Luke.

So, here's how my morning went.

We have a monitor with a camera. So, I got Luke down for his morning nap. I took the monitor with me into our "servants' quarters." (For those of you who don't know about our "servants' quarters," it's where our servants live -- just kidding).

Here's a photo of the camera monitor showing Luke asleep soundly in his crib.

We belong to "Netflix," so I had a movie in our DVD player which is in front of....

The treadmill....
Now, we have this most wonderful treadmill that only got used occasionally before Luke. Now, it gets used a little bit more (which I have to say it was purchased for really bad weather and when we have little kids around). So, while I would have much rather been outside, this worked fine -- the monitor, a movie, and the treadmill.

Unfortunately, Luke did NOT take a good nap that morning like he usually does. So, I only walked 2.89 miles -- my goal was to walk at least 4 miles.
Oh well -- that's part of having a baby (or older kids) around.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Texas Longhorns....

Those of you who know Marc well know that he is a HUGE Texas Longhorns Fan. Nope, he didn't go to school there. He is a fan, though.

When I was pregnant with Luke (early pregnancy even), Marc started looking online for some TX Longhorns paraphernalia. Unfortunately, there wasn't too much to buy for newborns and small babies.

Marc was in luck, however! When my mom and I were up in Omaha back in May, we were in some fabric stores (trying to find good "car" material for Luke's bed sheets). In one store, we found some TX Longhorn material. My mom decided that she would make a little outfit for Luke. She even made it 3-month size so that Luke could wear it during football season.

Since it's been so nice here over the last several days, we've been able to have Luke in the outfit -- even out of the house.

Here's Luke in his new outfit....

The really funny thing is that this photo was taken a day after TX lost to TX Tech in a bit of an upset. Luke is demonstrating (by wearing the outfit) that he is not just a fair-weather fan. He's loyal to them all of the time!

So, it's O.K. Ollie if your dad "forces" you into being a Cubs fan. Luke's a TX Longhorn fan -- whether he wants to be or not :)

Congratulations....from the President....

When I was finally getting around to sending out birth announcements for Luke's birth, Marc had me mail one to the White House. I was thinking, "What are they going to do with it?" But, Marc insisted.

Well, sure enough, not too much later (a matter of a few weeks), Luke received a "Welcome" from George and Laura.

So, the White House (at least with the current administration) really does send "Congratulations" out for new birth announcements!

This will definitely be put into Luke's baby book!


For me, fall is the BEST time of year. Even here in Kansas, the fall colors are tremendous. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity (through my job with International Dairy Queen) to spend the week of Halloween down in the Missouri Ozarks! That was one of the best drives I've ever experienced.

Anyways, last night, all three of us went for a nice walk -- well, Luke was in the stroller seeing how he can't exactly walk yet. I took the camera along to take some photos of the colorful trees. These pictures don't exactly show the true perfection of the color, but you get the point.

I'm sure some scientists would be able to explain it to me perfectly just what causes the color. Quite frankly, I don't know that I care how it happens. I just enjoy looking at God's creative coloring.

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