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, December 30, 2008


One of Luke's Christmas gifts from his Grandma Koehn (my mom) was a food grinder as Luke is now old enough to begin vegetables. He's been eating cereal for over a month now.

First, I cooked the frozen carrots.

Then, I placed them in the food tray to freeze.

Then, Luke got to try some (not frozen, though). What do you think he thought of them?

I think it was the texture that was actually bothering him, not the taste. I finally mixed some with cereal, and that worked much better. The second night, the carrots were a little bit more of a hit. We told him, "Luke, you have to start with these vegetables to eventually be able to eat big boy food with Daddy." OH NO! What will he eat if he eats like Marc?
On a totally different note, we felt we must share this photo. Luke hasn't cried during his bath since he was a couple of weeks old. However, he still hasn't figured out the joys of bathing. So, when he does get a bath, we usually get this look -- not upset, but not happy either. Someday very soon, when he can sit up, we're sure he'll enjoy his bath with toys and all. In the meantime, we just chuckle when we see this face. And, as usual, the fingers are in the mouth. They must taste good or something.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning....

Several wise, mature Christian people we know told us after we were first married to start new "traditions" as a married couple and new family. So, one tradition that Marc and I have started is to always spend Christmas morning at our house -- it was just us up until this year. Now, we have Luke as well!

If you read my previous post about Christmas Eve (do so first if you haven't yet), you read that Luke was a little sick last night. This morning, after getting a nice sleep last night, he still wasn't feeling too hot. He was running a low-grade fever, and we've had some tears. You can tell from this sad photo below.

Fortunately, so far, he's managed to keep his food down other than the usual spit-up that we always have day in and day out in our home. Marc somehow did manage to get a very smiley Luke with me -- right after eating. Notice my lap is covered with a blanket, just in case.

Most of you know that Marc is a Texas Longhorns' Fan. I gave him a new TX sweatshirt. As you can see, he didn't mind modeling it for the photo.

One thing I really wanted (and I did receive from Marc) was to have Luke's birth announcement professionally framed -- you know, with the special glass and all to protect it from light and the double-matting. This picture doesn't do it any justice, but it turned out beautifully. The frame matches the frame that our wedding invitation has. They'll be hanging on the wall side-by-side....
One of the best gifts I received from Marc was this homemade gift from Marc and Luke. It's a certificate for a day to myself. Yep, Marc will watch Luke for me all day....Hmmmm....what will I do? I'm sure I can find something. I do want to make sure that when I have my day, it's well planned out and not wasted.
Shopping, pedicure, sleep.... I'll have to figure out the perfect day to do it. I may wait a little bit.

Despite all of our wonderful gifts, we are celebrating the true meaning of Christmas -- the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Wow! What a special gift from God -- a son whom would later be sacrificed for our sins.
We're so very thankful that we have Jesus in our lives!

Christmas Eve....

Christmas Eve was spent at my parents' house. First, we attended a Christmas Eve service at their church. Luke and our nieces, Grace and Natalie, behaved wonderfully!

Then, we headed back to their house for dinner and gift opening.

Here's a photo of Luke with his Grandpa Koehn.

Each person in the family has a stocking hanging above their fireplace. Luke is the newest member of the family, and here's his stocking!

Because our family isn't too large, we all buy gifts for each other. However, the adults do draw names for stocking stuffers. Marc had my mom's name. He bought her some Diet Pepsi as well as this KU rock -- could be used as a desk "ornament" or a door "blocker." Though my mom teaches at WSU (and also earned her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees there), she earned her PhD from KU. Therefore, she is also a KU fan!

Our nieces, Grace and Natalie, each received Cabbage Patch dolls. Here is a cute photo of Natalie getting ready to feed her "baby." Natalie is just over 18 months old and is already quite the "mother."

It was a great evening except for one incident. During dinner, Luke was sitting with us at the table in his high chair. He had been acting kind of "different" over the last couple of days. Well, during dinner, he proceeded to vomit almost his entire bottle. Yep, right during dinner -- talk about changing the dynamics of the dinner. We felt sooooooo sorry for him. He had to be changed, of course. Afterwards, however, he was in a decent mood for awhile (in fact, the earlier photo of him with his Grandpa was taken after the incident). Then, by 8:00 P.M., he was tired, and it was past his bedtime. Marc and I finally got him to sleep in his carseat. We finally left. Luke slept the entire way home. He then slept all night long. So, he must have some little "bug." Who knows?
Out of new parent worry, we stopped at a Wichita Walgreen's that was open all night -- even for Christmas. It was packed with business! We picked up some Pedialyte just in case.
My point to the Walgreen's stop was that there were many people in there just buying some basic groceries. I had to wonder if many of them had families to go and spend time with on Christmas. As I was standing in a very long line to make my purchase, I realized just how thankful I am to have families (Marc's and mine) to spend time with all times of the year. We have so much to be thankful for....I did take time to thank the cashier for being there that night. She couldn't have wanted to work that night. I just said to her, "I really appreciate you being here. We certainly didn't plan on having to make a Walgreen's trip, but things happen." She just responded with a cheerful, "You're welcome."

It's Been Cold, But Not Anymore....

This blog post is a little bit more for our "out-of-town" readers, and since I put this blog address in our "Friesen Christmas Letter," there could be some of those readers....

Over the last couple of weeks, we've had some cold weather -- temperatures way below normal. Last week, we got a nice snow. Here's a photo of our home. We love how it looks after it snows.

That particular day, Luke and I just stayed home. Yep, we both got a little bit of cabin fever, but it was probably safer for us to just stay home.

Because it's been so cold, Luke obviously has to be bundled up every time we go somewhere. We LOVE how he looks in this hat. He never cries or "fights us" when we put it on him, BUT we definitely don't get a smile. We just get this look of seriousness.

Too cute to not photograph....

So, Tammy and Reynold, if you're reading this blog (they live up in Manitoba where it gets really cold), you're probably both thinking that we're all a bunch of whimps down here. Well, you know, as I always say, it's all relative. Our coldness down here is much different than your coldness up there....

Fortunately, it's warming up again. So, enjoy this weekend as it's supposed to be warmer.....

In Case You Were Wondering....

The last Santa that was pictured was that of "Iceland." So, if that's what you guessed, you would be correct. And yep, that country is nearly bankrupt (don't ask me the details, though -- that would be a question for Marc).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Five Months Already....

Today, the 21st of December, Luke is a whopping five months old. All you parents talk about how fast kids grow up. So now, it's our turn to talk about it.

Here are the photos.

At one month....

At two months....

At three months....

At four months....

And today, at five months....Those of you who have been around us know that Luke likes to spit-up. Well today and yesterday has definitely been NO exception to that. Hence forth, the bib and extra blanket in the photo. Gotta love the spit-up....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All Tuckered Out....

A couple of days ago (Sunday), we had two different family gatherings, at the same time. So, we went to both of them, though we weren't able to spend very much time at either one of them. The first one was the "Friesen Christmas." This gathering would involve Marc's Dad's siblings and their kids. This year, it involved getting together in the afternoon for finger foods. Luke actually slept the entire time we were there. That could possibly be because he no longer likes to sleep during church. So, we went to this gathering with Luke on very little sleep.

Thank goodness he slept during this event, or his mood wouldn't have been very good.

Second, we went to my Grandfather's 90th birthday party. Again, because of time, we weren't able to stay very long. During this party, Luke got a bottle, had his poopy diaper changed, and rolled over a couple of times for his grandma (Yeah!).

Then, it was time to leave because we had small group at our house.....What a day!

On the way home from my grandfather's party, Luke was merely playing with his little links that he likes to play with. Then, all of a sudden, I noticed he was asleep -- with the links still in his hands. Too cute!

This picture just had to make a blog post!

Very Creative Gift....

For those of you who know me well, you know that I'm not really that crafty. It's just not my gift. I'm more of the straight-forward, cut to the chase, business type. Our house is even decorated that way. It's not trendy or anything...it's just a house made into a home the best way that I can.

Anyways, our good friend Stacy (whom we know through ultra-running) made Luke this wreath. Perhaps some of you have seen this before (or even made one yourself). It's a wreath with diapers all around it. Then, she attached toys, socks, etc. on the diapers.

Very neat and VERY practical...

Thanks Stacy!

More Ornaments....

If you read the post below this one, you'll know I talked about our Christmas tree ornaments.

Here are a few more that I'd like to share. They are from some of our favorite trips we have taken.

HAWAII...This was a big one. In January, 2006, my job took me there. I was very honored to be selected to go. So, I went down there by myself for four days for work -- we were VERY busy during that time. Then, after the business of my job slowed down, Marc joined me. We stayed about 10 days to vacation without work! It was a very memorable trip -- a trip we'd like to take again -- just not with small children. The flight wouldn't be very fun with small children.

Our good friends, Tammy, Reynold, and their two boys, Caleb and Jesse, live up in nice cold Manitoba. We went up there to visit them, in JUNE! It wasn't cold then. It was very nice. We actually haven't been up there since 2006, and their two boys weren't born yet. Next time we go up there, there will be boys all around.

Our good friends, Doug, Melissa, and their son, Andrew, live up in eastern Washington. They live outside the small city of Moses Lake, WA. We couldn't exactly find a Moses Lake ornament, so we settled on a Spokane, WA, ornament -- thanks Melissa for finding this one.
I guess we have to say that we have the ornament because when we visited, the Spokane airport is where we flew into.

One of our most favorite trips had to be the one we took two years ago -- December, 2006. We went to New York City! What a great time to be there! All of the Christmas lights, etc....
Boy, it was cold, but it was sure FUN!
We hope to be there sometime again. Marc would like to run the NYC marathon. I already told my mother that she'd have to go along if we had small children. I definitely don't want to battle that city with small children. She didn't tell me "No" to that one :)
That's all for now! I'll blog more after a bit!

O Christmas Tree....

Our Christmas tree has been up for over two weeks now -- decorated for a week (it took us awhile to get it decorated this year -- we must still need to learn time management with a child).

Anyways, we always get a real tree as Marc refuses to have a fake one. We don't have any sort of "matching" with our ornaments as some people do.

There is an assortment. We do, however, try to get at least one photo ornament every year. I always put our Christmas letter photo with that ornament.

One other type of ornament that we have several of is an ornament from each of the places that we have traveled to throughout our marriage. We absolutely love to travel, and Christmas ornaments are one way to treasure those memories from our trips.

For this year, we were up in Minnesota. This trip was back in March. I actually was there for two straight, very cold weeks in March. Fortunately, Marc joined me for a few days during that time. We searched and searched the Mall of America for an ornament. We finally had to settle on this moose ornament.

Earlier in the year (specifically right after New Year's, 2008), we traveled to the Florida Keys with our friend Tammy, Reynold, and their son, Caleb. Our condo was in Key Largo, and we did find a decent ornament from Key Largo. It's kind of hard to see in this photo as a result of bad lighting. You can tell that photography is not my strongpoint in life. But, I like to take photos anyways.

I will take a photo of the completed tree in the evening -- with all of the lights on. It'll be a much better shot.

And the Answer is....

So, I haven't blogged in awhile. Shame on me. That just means I have a lot to catch everybody up on!

Well, the answer to the last Santa was....Ghana! Perhaps that's what you guessed but didn't publish a comment.

Here's another one. Is it....

a) Finland
b) Greenland
c) Iceland
d) Norway

Hint: Recently, there have been articles (at least in the Wall Street Journal) about this country. This country is nearly bankrupt.

So, if you want to "Google" search that one, you might find the answer.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Kitchen Recommendation....

Marc and I both really enjoy eating fajitas, but I particularly don't enjoy all of the cutting and chopping -- especially if time is limited.

Well, I recently found, in the frozen foods section of Wal-Mart, a fajitas kit --available in beef or chicken. It includes the seasoned meat, veggies, and the tortillas (6) -- all for $5.28. So, we decided to give it a try.

First, you sautee the veggies.

Then, you add the meat. This whole process takes around 10 minutes or so.

Then, you microwave the tortillas. I went by the instructions, and I microwaved them for 1 1/2 minutes -- too long! I will go with a shorter time next time.

Then, you fix your fajitas. We simply added sour cream and salsa (things I always have on hand) to the fajitas. VERY SIMPLE!

On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best), Marc gave them a 3. I have them a 4. This is on taste. Marc felt that it was missing the "fresh" taste.
On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the easiest), I give it a strong 5 on being easy to fix.
Overall, we highly recommend them -- especially for it being a complete meal in itself for only $5.28 (with everything chopped).

Luke Update....

Right before Thanksgiving, I made a blog post about Luke being "out of sorts." Well, he was in that he did end up with a cold -- actually, we all did. The evening after I made that post, Luke had a fever of 101. With some Tylenol, he did sleep through the night. The next morning, he had a fever of 100. Fortunately, throughout that day, it did go back down to normal, and it stayed down. So, for Thanksgiving, he was feverless. He's definitely had some congestion since then, but he's on the mend. The humidifier in his room and the humidifer in our family room definitely do help.

Here are some stats from his four-month appointment --which was two days before Thanskgiving.

Height: 26" (84th Percentile)
Weight: 17 lb. 0 oz. (85th percentile)
Head Circumference: 17" (73rd percentile)

Everything that day was fine with Luke, and we are so very thankful for that.

He has started to eat rice cereal now. He's doing fairly well with it. Here's a photo of the "eating."

The other really nice thing that Luke is doing now is sleeping a full 12 hours at night. He goes down around 7:30 or so, and he gets up around 7:30 or so. Marc and I certainly do appreciate him doing that. I really appreciate my mornings with him. He's generally very happy when he wakes up -- especially after he has his bottle. I'm so incredibly thankful that I am able to spend each morning with him.

And the Answer is....

Last week, I posted a couple of photos of an international Santa. Two of you guessed, but unfortunately, neither of you were correct. The answer was....Greece.

Now, here's another one. This one is from the continent of Africa. So, here are your choices:

a) Ghana
b) Nigeria
c) Ethiopia
d) South Africa

The answer will come soon! Take a guess.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Guess the Santa....

Think back 10 years ago. For me, May, 1998, was when I graduated from college. That year, during Spring Break, I, along with a group of students, took a trip to France. On that trip, we spent time n the south part of France -- French Riviera (the city of Nice) as well as the north part of France (the city of Paris). We also went to Monte Carlo as well as the edge of Italy.

Later that year, at Christmas, my mom was shopping in Dillard's. She found some "international Santas" -- each for only $8. She bought me the one from France since I had been there that year.

Every year since then, I have made a yearly trek to Dillard's to buy another (or two or three) Santas. After Marc and I were married, he too got into the "international Santa" collection. The beautiful thing is that the price for one always remained at $8.

We now have 24 Santas from different countries to have on our mantles. Fortunately, we have two fireplaces in our house for these Santas :)

Last Saturday, Marc, Luke, and I made our annual trek (Luke's first) to Dillard's. So, we get there, get Luke in the stroller, walk in, and to our surprise, the Santa collection had greatly diminished. They had very few, and the only way you could get any was to buy a 6-pack of Santas. Well, we didn't want six (we didn't like the six that were boxed together). Plus, six was out of our budget. So, much to our dismay, we didn't get any this year. So, we'll just be satisfied with the 24 we have.

Marc and I thought it would be fun throughout December to have a "Guess which country the Santa is from" game for our blog.

So, here's the first one.....It will be multiple choice. I'll post the answer in 1-2 days. You can answer via the comments on this blog, or if you want to go to the extra unnecessary step, you can always e-mail me the answer.

These Santas are all representative of a place either Marc and/or I would like to travel to -- that's not really a help because we have HUGE travel goals for our lifetime.

So, which country?
a) Italy
b) France
c) Greece
d) Spain
Again, the answer (with another Santa) in 1-2 days.

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