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, July 30, 2009

A Visit from Luke's Only Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins....

Since Marc is an only child and I only have one sibling, Luke only has one uncle (my brother), one aunt (my brother's wife), and two cousins (their kids). Last night (Wednesday), the four of them came to visit.

We ultimately had one purpose....to play Joel and Amber (uncle and aunt) in this game....

I don't know if we should admit it or not, but we are all Seinfeld buffs. Between Joel, Amber, Marc, and me, we can usually come up with a quote from an episode for many situations in our lives.

But, we'll get to that in a bit.

We started out with Marc grilling bratwursts for supper. We also had my baked beans, potato chips, grapes, and of course, Oriental Salad -- a family favorite. Then, for dessert, I had made a very GOOD chocolate cake that just happened to be Duncan Hines. Since it was soooo nice outside, we ate on the deck.

Luke's cousins, Grace and Natalie, were mostly interested in running around on the deck and on the patio. Fortunately, no accidents....no trips to the ER. You see, we have a good-sized deck, but right below the deck is a brick patio. It makes me fairly nervous ANY time we have kids over. Also, since we now have Luke, I'm even more nervous.

Here's a photo of Natalie running. Natalie's two years old, and she has LOTS of energy.

And, here's a photo of Grace doing the same thing. Grace just turned four years old this past Sunday. It may seem like these photos are of nothing but running, but they CLEARLY illustrate what went on during supper. It's amazing how long kids can run -- the endurance they have.

During this time, since Luke is not yet running, he ate his supper nicely with us. I know, I know -- I better enjoy this time, before he's running all over the place.

Then, after eating, he was content playing with dead leaves on the deck. A few times, he, of course, tried to eat them.

His cousins do like to talk with him, though. A year ago, when Luke was first born, Grace referred to him as "Cousin Loop." We all laughed pretty hard because it was so cute. She doesn't say that now, but we all still bring it up. Luke will probably be "Cousin Loop" for awhile.

We hadn't yet given Grace her birthday present yet, so she to to open her present from Uncle Marc, Aunt Sarah, and Cousin Loop.

Grace LOVES dresses and the color pink. I found this very cute, fall dress at Carter's recently. It's actually courderoy, so she'll be able to wear it on a warm, fall day.

And, just for fun, Amber presented Marc with a gift -- a Hillary Nutcracker. It's a nutcracker. You actually crack nuts with Hillary's thighs. It's pretty funny! Amber's been known to find Marc some pretty good gifts like that -- all in fun.

At that point, we decided to get the three kids in the strollers and walk a bit to the park nearby our home.

All three kids had to swing....look closely at this photo. Luke, on the left, is smiling. That smile didn't last too long, for some reason. Normally, he LOVES to swing at the park. But, for some reason, he decided to be a "cranky pants" that evening.

After swinging, Grace and Natalie went to the slides. Even though Luke was basically screaming at this point, I did snap a few photos before taking him home.

First, here are Grace and Natalie going down the slides.

And, Marc joined in on the fun. Marc chose to go down the "bumpy" slide. I think his face says it all.

At that point, I was tired of holding a crying child, so I went on home with Luke. Shortly thereafter, everybody else joined me there.

Luke went to bed, and then, Joel, Amber, Marc, and I began playing the Seinfeld DVD game. We played the girls against the guys. We actually managed to play three rounds, and unfortunately, the guys did beat us 2 games to 1 game. Perhaps next time, Amber?????

The two cousins did GREAT while waiting for us to play our game. By the end of the evening, they were very tired. It was time for them to go home, and Luke was LONG ASLEEP by that time.

Thanks Joel, Amber, Grace, and Natalie for coming over. Thanks, Amber, for making the obligatory Oriental Salad.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sprinkler Park....

Wow! I haven't posted in almost a week. Shame on me! I thought to myself today, "If I'm going to do this blog, I need to keep on it. I need to be much more intentional with it." So, that is my new goal -- to be more intentional with it. The business world would say that goal wasn't defined enough. But, this blog is not part of the business world (Yeah!). So, it's not going to be any more defined than that.

So, moving on -- my good friend Andrea plans playdates at the park each Thursday morning this summer. She plans it for all of the kids in our Young Married Sunday School class (though others are most certainly welcome). Since Luke's not walking yet, he just likes to go and swing and watch the other kids. A couple of times this summer, however, it's been sooooo hot even in the morning that we've met at a "Sprinkler Park" (part of another park) in a town near us. I wasn't sure how Luke would react to it, but I wanted him to at least try it. It turns out that he didn't mind it at all.

BTW -- these photos are from almost three weeks ago -- shame on me for the delay.

Here's one of him crawling around in the "sprinkling" water. Sorry -- that is indeed my lovely leg on the right side of this photo. I just didn't take the time to crop it out.

A couple of times, though, the water sprayed out a bit too hard for Luke. So, he fussed just a bit and crawled back to me. Then, once the hard spraying water stopped, he crawled back out there.

Overall -- the sprinkler park was a hit for Luke. If it gets really hot yet before the sprinkler park closes, we'll have to go again.

Here are some very cute photos of some other kids from the Young Married group that day. Thanks Andrea for taking the photos with my camera while I tended to Luke.

First, it's Ava, sporting her two-piece. Ava LOVES to be in photos.

And now, here's Ava and Ollie.

Here's Gracie and Ava. They are, I think, about a month apart in age.

Finally, here's Ollie, Gracie, and Ava....

After getting a bit tired of the water, most of the kids trotted right behind the water to the regular park. Of course, the swings were an attraction.

Here's Luke in the swing -- thinking he's "hot stuff" without his shirt on.

Ava likes to swing next to Luke, and that day was no exception.

Little Miss Ellie was on the swings as well. She wanted her mom, Rachel, to do an "underdoggy." Rachel does great "underdoggies."

After leaving, I had to satisfy my intense addiction for "Sonic's" Mango Limeades (if you haven't tried one, you should). Unfortunately, the "Sonic" in this town doesn't do as good of a job as the "Sonic" close to where I live (at least that's my opinion). That day, when I stopped there, I ordered a Medium Mango Limeade, and I paid for a Medium Mango Limeade. However, what I got was a....

Yep, a LARGE Mango Limeade -- fortunately for me, the teenagers who were working were not paying attention to what they were doing. They made the wrong size. When I brought it to their attention, they didn't care.

On the short ride home, Luke did fall asleep in the car. He was all "tuckered out." He's used to still getting a brief morning nap, and that morning, his morning nap was in the car.

**And no, he's not just in a diaper (as somebody pointed out to me). He's in his swimming trunks without a shirt on -- again, thinking he's "hot stuff."

Thanks Andrea for planning all of this!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 21....

First off, thanks to those of you who wished Luke a "Happy Birthday" on my previous post.

Today, July 21, was Luke's actual birthday. This blog post may get long and much of it will be for our memories, but please enjoy reading and looking at the photos :)

Here's a photo of me, taken in the morning one year ago today. I was induced, so this photo was taken about 10 minutes before going to the hospital. Wow! Was I really that big? Apparently, I was.

After arriving at the hospital and the pitocin getting started, labor progressed at a nice slow pace. But, I did dilate O.K.

I remember all day being HOT in the labor room! So, the nice nurses kept the room cold and even got an extra fan. Then, everybody except for me was COLD. Here's a photo of Marc that we laugh a lot about now. He was so cold that he ended up with a blanket around him during all of my pushing. The nurse took this photo between contractions. Some might say that was tacky, but really, if you would've been there, you'd laugh like we are laughing.

Finally, after waiting all day to dilate to a 10, I started pushing around 7:00 or so in the evening. That's when things went south.

I pushed for several hours. Luke did not want to come out. So, around 10:00 P.M. one year ago (almost to the minute as I'm typing this), the dr. said we'd need to do a C-Section. Though I was disappointed, I didn't protest. I was EXHAUSTED. I was emotionally drained from things not going too well. So, Luke was born at 11:02 P.M. via C-Section.

Here's one of the first photos of our little boy.

I remember seeing him for the first time. It had been such a long day. I was still lying on the table while they finished up on the C-Section. I couldn't see him real well, but I do remember having tears come down my face -- out of joy as well as thankfulness that he was out and safe. The nurse anethescist at my head wiped my tears at that point.

The next four to six weeks or so seemed like a bit of a hurricane. Breastfeeding didn't go well at all, and I made many trips to the hospital to visit the lactation consultants. Because Luke didn't feed well, he didn't sleep well -- even for a newborn. I was exhausted. Marc had started a new job two months before, and so, he didn't have bunches of time to take off.

Then, things started to improve. By 8 1/2 weeks, Luke slept through the night, and he has done very well with that ever since. We're SOOOOO thankful for that.

Even through the challenges, we have THOROUGHLY loved and enjoyed our son. He's such a gift from God, and we're amazed that God has entrusted him to us.


Now, to his big birthday (or our big day since Luke didn't realize this day was any different than any other day)....

Marc is currently home on a required furlough for his job. So, even though he's not getting a paycheck for a couple of weeks, it was nice to have him spend the day with us on Luke's birthday. I don't go into work on Tuesdays, so I was home as well.

This morning, we took his usual photo in the chair. Also, he wore his "1" shirt from his Grandma Koehn.

A little flashback, though....

Luke, at two months....

Luke, at four months....

Luke, at six months....

At eight and ten months....

Tired of photos yet????? Here's today's photo!

After the photoshoot this morning, Luke played with some toys -- how many of his days go.

Now, if you know Marc, this won't surprise you. Marc said, "I think Luke would like to go and get pizza for his birthday lunch."

So, because Luke said so, we went and got pizza for lunch -- a buffet, nonetheless. (We did have a coupon, though -- that always helps).

Here's Marc, demonstrating his happiness for pizza and of course, Pepsi!

Each time Marc went back up to the buffet (which was several times), Luke had to watch his Daddy -- very cute from my perspective.

Other than that, Luke did very well for our lunch out. I had brought a few things for him, and he also really enjoyed the cinnamon sticks off of the buffet.

After his afternoon nap, Luke's friend Ava came over to bring him a present. It was a NEW BATHTOY -- definitely something he'll use. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of that.

This evening, I made him his favorite meal -- grilled cheese! Then, Luke and I went for a nice walk and even met up with his Daddy, who was on a run.

What a fun day for our family!!!!!

Again, thanks for reading my long post.

Happy 1st Birthday Luke!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's a Party....

Yesterday, we had Luke's first birthday party. Technically, his birthday is Tuesday, the 21st of July, but weekends work better for parties.

We decided to keep this birthday party small -- just family. And since our families are small, SMALL it was.

Both sets of Luke's grandparents made the party. Luke's one and only great-grandparent was able to come, thanks to my dad picking her up and taking her home. Luke's only two cousins made it. Unfortunately, Luke's only aunt and uncle, Joel and Amber, weren't able to make it. They both had to work.

Luke decided (really Marc decided) that he wanted to have a "brunch" for his party. So, we had egg casserole, fruit, coffee cake, and juice. Then, to shy away a bit from the brunch, I did make a chocolate cake for Luke's first cake.

Thanks to Lori J., I made the chocolate cake in the shape of a "1."

Here's the cake....In case you can't read my writing on the cake, it says, "Let's Celebrate! Luke's 1."

I stored the cake in none other than a "DQ" cake box. So, I had a few fooled when they first arrived. Some thought that we might just be having a "DQ" cake. Nope! We had that the night before for a "Community Life" Group gathering.

I didn't want to spend bunches of money on a party that he wouldn't remember or even remotely realize what's going on. However, I didn't want a non-festive party either. SOOOO, I managed to find some 1 year decorations on sale at Target. May I just say that Target NEVER lets me down?

Here is the basic theme of the decorations? See -- nothing special. BUT, it does let everybody know what the party is for.

Here's our table set before everybody arrived. See what I mean -- a small party!

I did go on ahead and buy Luke a "Birthday Boy" t-shirt. Here he is in the shirt. He has another birthday shirt coming for his actual birthday -- yep, there will be photos then as well.

After eating, Luke had some play time with his cousins. Then, Marc helped Luke open some gifts.

One thing that Luke got was a book about "Trains." He seemed to like looking at the photos and of course, putting the book in his mouth. If any of you know my dad, you know that my dad has a train hobby. So, this book is perfect for Luke's grandfather really.

Besides the book, Luke received a new outfit, a bib, and very importantly, some money to add to his savings account (you know, the one Marc and I desperately need to get started). Luke most enjoyed, however, playing with the gift bags. What 1 year-old wouldn't enjoy that?

Shortly after presents were opened, Luke started getting a bit tired. This next photo is so "Luke." In the last couple of months or so, Luke has gotten VERY attached to a blanket that my mom made him. He likes to suck his thumb and put the old smelly blanket up to his nose. I've seen other kids do this before, but when it's your own child doing it, it's really quite funny. So, I had to capture this photo at his own birthday party -- the one of him getting tired. This was taken close to 1:00 P.M. -- you know, naptime.

By that time, we knew we were on borrowed time with Luke. So, we pulled the cake out, lit a candle, and sang "Happy Birthday." He definitely liked the singing -- as he always does.

We put him in his high chair on a mat (since this was all on carpet).

Then, we put the hat on -- which he actually didn't mind.

Then, I put the piece of cake on his tray. No, he's never had cake before.

He looked at it funny. Then, he tried to move the piece away from him -- he just didn't know what it was. Luke's not extremely outgoing, and so it probably didn't help that grandparents were snapping photos of him during this process.

Finally, I crumbled it up for him.

He still looked at it funny. FINALLY, I took a bit of it to show him. Then, he took about two bites before telling us (in his own language, of course) that he was done. That was IT. It wasn't too exciting probably for most, but for us, it was! It was our little guy's first birthday party.

Then, it was naptime. ALL DONE!

Marc is on furlough the next two weeks. So, he'll get to be home all day with us for Luke's birthday. We'll probably do something fun that day with him -- not sure what that is just yet, though.

**On a side note, this past Saturday, the 18th, (the day of Luke's party) it was Marc's dad's 85th birthday -- yep 85th! So, we did also have to wish Alvin a Happy Birthday! I think that in the last year, Marc's dad's been slightly disappointed that his first grandchild wasn't born on his birthday (he's mentioned several times that Luke's birth missed his birthday by 3 days). But, we hope at least he's happy that their birthdays are close. So, Happy Birthday Dad Friesen!

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