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, September 25, 2009


Today, my dear husband, Marc, turns 35. Yep -- the big 3-5. He could be President now. He's halfway to 40.

Yes, sometimes, he still likes to eat like he's 16....

**That photo was actually taken back when he was a mere 29 years old. But, it definitely still represents Marc. The photo was taken at his most favorite pizza place in the entire world -- Chico's Pizza in the big ol' metropolis of Moses Lake, WA. It's in eastern WA state. Some very good friends, Doug, Melissa & Andrew, live up there. This particular pizza is an all-meat pizza topped with bacon.

But, he's still my Marc -- the Christian husband and father, the leader of our household, my greatest fan, the best earthly Daddy for Luke, the ultra-runner, the Taekwondo person heading for the big Black Belt, the ultra-conservative who can answer and defend nearly any political question, the man who enjoys eating fried foods and drinking copious amounts of Pepsi, the trivia nut who knows an incredible amount of useless information, and ultimately, my best friend here on earth.

Luke and I love you bunches, Marc!!!! Happy 35th!

And, just for a little fun on this blog -- here's a photo of Marc about two months after we met -- he was only 28 then. Has he aged a bit? Not too much....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A New Driveway....

Nope, it's not our's...it's our neighbors', Willis & Joan.

I've stated this before on this blog, but I'll state it again. We live in a WONDERFUL neighborhood. Our little cul-de-sac is secluded from the main road in town. There are many trees, and it's quiet. There are only eight houses on our street, and we know each family in those houses. Everybody on our street is wonderful and trustworthy.

One thing about a small neighborhood like our's is that when something major is going on, everybody in the neighborhood must be outside to watch and KNOW what's going on.

Yep, I've become one of T.H.O.S.E. people since living in this neighborhood -- yep, the one who MUST know each and everything that's going on within the neighborhood.

Last week, our next door neighbors, Willis & Joan got a new driveway. Willis had told me about a month ago they were going to have this done, but I couldn't remember when.

Then, one morning, Luke, Ollie, and I went outside during Lily's nap. (Remember -- Ollie and Lily aren't our kids. They have wonderful parents. I'm just the caretaker of them 1-2 mornings a week).

Here was the site we saw from our driveway.

Luke just sat in the driveway and watched for a bit. Then, he couldn't have cared less. He went on playing with his toys.

Ollie was a bit different, on the other hand.

First, he just stood at the edge of the garage, holding the open bottle of bubbles and a ball.

He kept saying, "Sarah -- the tractors are scary." I kept telling him that I wouldn't let anything happen to him and that Jesus was right beside us. It was O.K. to come in OUR driveway. We just wouldn't walk over to the other driveway where the tractors were.

That didn't seem to help any.

Finally, he inched forward just enough to come right up beside me.

This whole driveway process went on for several days. So, Ollie got to see the "tractors" a couple of times, and both times, those tractors were "scary" (according to Ollie).

Another neighbor, Wayne, who is retired and lives alone, is one of those neighbors who definitely knows what's going on....So, he "supervised" this entire process each day.

Finally, late last week, the project was completed, and everybody went home.

Earlier this week, when Ollie came over, he asked immediately about the tractors. He wanted to go and see them. He seemed disappointed when I told them they weren't there anymore.

I think he might've forgotten they were S.C.A.R.Y....

Now, the driveway is still curing. Willis and Joan can't drive on it for a little over a week. So, they park in the street. Fortunately, we have virtually NO traffic on our street.

Here's the finished project -- as viewed from our driveway.

It's too bad they couldn't have just swung on over and fixed our cracked concrete driveway -- without charging extra, that is :) It's too bad life doesn't work that way.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fourteen Months....

Believe it or not, Luke is fourteen months old today (the 21st). It's a little hard for us to believe as time has gone SOOOOOO fast!

Here's a photo of him exactly one year ago today.

And, here he is -- just today....

He sure has changed a lot!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Half Marathon Finish & Cora's Playground Dedication....

You've heard me mention our friends Seth & Sarah and their two kids, Collin & Natalie. Well, Seth has recently taken up some long distance running with an ultimate goal of completing a marathon next month. Today, however, was the Wichita Half Marathon. Seth decided to run it as a training run, and Marc ran it with him. Just to be clear for any of you non-runners out there -- a Half Marathon is 13.1 Miles or 21.097 km (for you non-USA readers).

Marc & Seth left early this morning for the race.

A little while later (we didn't get up quite as early), Sarah & I loaded up three small children into our "New" Trail Blazer and headed to Wichita to watch the two guys finish.

Because our Trail Blazer is the extended variety, we have the third row seating. It worked out well for what we needed it for today. Here's a photo of Collin clear in the third row and Luke & Natalie in the second row -- right behind the front seats.

Though the trip to Wichita isn't far from out little town, the kids still did WONDERFUL on the drive there. Once we got near the finish of the Half Marathon (which was in the beautiful Central Riverside Park area of Wichita), we walked the short distance from the vehicle to the finish line with a couple of strollers. Again, it all worked fairly well.

We got there in plenty of time to watch the guy finish. So, the three kids were fairly content watching other runners come in, clapping with the crowds of people, and ultimately, playing and getting dirty.

I LOVE this photo of Collin, standing up in the stroller and clapping. Is he a 4 year-old boy or what?

Eventually, Luke and Natalie wanted out of their respective strollers. This is where the dirt part came in. All in all, though, they really didn't get too dirty -- for being outside near a park.

Luke continued to clap whenever he heard or saw other people in the crowd clapping.

There were over 1,000 people entered in the race -- in fact, there were 1,060 finishers -- not too bad at all for a Wichita race (Wichita's not THAT big of a city). So, needless to say, there were quite a few spectators -- quite a few people and quite a bit of activity with small children.

All of a sudden, amongst all of the chaos, Sarah said, "I think the guys are coming in." So, I quickly picked up Luke, grabbed the camera out of my pocket and turned it on, and moved forward to watch.

Yep, they were coming in with a vengeance.....Here's the best shot I could get. I feel very fortunate to have even snapped this photo because I discovered that it's not quite as easy to get a good photo with a squirming toddler in your arms.

**FUNNY story (or at least it was to Sarah and me) -- Natalie saw her Daddy running in and wanted to go and see him. So, she darted straight out into the finish line area -- where the runners were sprinting in. Sarah was unable to get a photo because she was desperately trying to keep Natalie out of the way -- basically so that Marc would not fall over on her. You can see her head a bit on the photo above.

Seth finished in 175th place, and Marc finished in 177th (somebody got between them). Marc just said to me, "I couldn't keep up with Seth's sprint at the end."

Their finishing time was around one hour and 45 minutes -- GREAT JOB Seth -- for your first half marathon! There's only more fun to come next month with the full marathon (26.2 miles).

Afterwards, there's always the obligatory food line of which both Seth & Marc went through -- I think more than once.

There was a live band -- "Mumblin' Jones." I'm sure it was a local band (correct me if any of you readers know about this band).

Both Seth & Marc received finishers' medals. Collin proudly wore his Dad's medal.

Luke was content just inspecting and playing with his dad's medal.

Here's a cute photo of my two guys -- Usually, Luke smiles well for the camera. But, I think there were way too many distractions at this point.

And, here is a photo of the two guys -- after the finish. They look pretty good (not too sweaty) after running 13.1 miles.

At that point, the guys moved carseats around to the proper vehicles. Our two families went home separately. I'm assuming that Seth, Sarah, Collin, and Natalie went straight home.

But, Marc, Luke, and I ultimately decided to make a quick lunch trip to DQ -- yep, the DQ I just quit a couple of weeks ago. Nope, I'm NOT at all having withdrawals. BUT, my brother does work there, and so, it's a good opportunity for us to see him. Also, because he works there, we qualify for the "Friends and Family" discount. SOOOO, we can eat VERY affordably.

We didn't stay long, but we did stay long enough for Luke to have a cone after his chicken and applesauce.

At that point, we headed home so that all three of us could take naps.


Now, skip ahead to after our naps today...It was the "Cora's Playground" Dedication. Yes, it was indeed a busy day for the Friesen's.

(And, let me say first that I know there will most likely be quite a few blog posts on this event with probably much better photos -- but, I definitely wanted to share what I thought was special from the dedication).

We got there fairly early. Fortunately, the weather was very nice, and so, the dedication could be outside as planned. We were actually one of the first to arrive (not usually the case for us). Luke had to just play on the parking lot (for those of you not there, this parking lot was blocked off for the dedication -- I didn't want anybody to think we just let Luke play in parking lots).

Finally, some others began to arrive.

Musicians were warming up at this point.

Pretty much right on time, the dedication began.

The first thing -- I didn't feel was an appropriate time to take photos at this point -- Joel and Jess got up and personally thanked those who were heavily involved in the design and construction of the playground. What a special time for Cora's parents to thank those who helped bring a way to remember their precious little girl.

This sign is wonderful -- hanging right around the equipment!

Next, Pastor Dave gave a brief devotional. What I remember best from this devotional was his analogy of the playground to our spiritual lives. I hope I don't butcher this, but I feel like I must repeat it -- at least in some fashion.

"Like all of us being created special by God, the playground equipment was created special by people with the gift of creativity. The playground has a soft floor so that when kids fall (which they will), the fall is softened or cushioned. Like kids falling from playground equipment, we all sin and FALL short of God's glory. BUT, because of God's never-ending grace, our sins are forgiven. There's a canopy over some of the equipment for protection. Just like that canopy, we have Jesus -- God's son who came to earth as a man to ultimately die as an atonement for our sins."


After that devotion, Pastor Adam led us in some worship songs. After that, a bunch of guys handed out balloons -- 341 one of them to be exact.

While the balloons were being handed out, another worship song was sung. Luke (as well as some other children) stayed content through this whole process by playing with the balloons.

At Pastor Adam's count of FIVE, all 341 balloons were released. It was a BEAUTIFUL sight.

The 341 balloons represented all 341 days that Cora was with us here on earth -- the 341 days of her life here on earth.

Afterwards, everybody ate cupcakes....all to honor Cora!

I know that Joel and Jess as well as the rest of us would give anything to not have this playground to have Cora with us, but that was not God's will for her little life. But, what a legacy has been created in Cora's name.

This playground will be wonderful! It will be used to teach other little children about Jesus. It was such a bittersweet sight to see the children playing on the playground after the dedication.

One of these days, Luke will be walking and running around. Then, he too can do a bunch on this playground and ultimately learn about the love of Christ.

This final photo of the playground was about a month ago -- before it was all completed. It's a photo of Marc and Luke, looking at the playground. It's the best one I have with the equipment.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Bicker, More Child-Proofing, and A Walk....

As you all know by now, I am watching two other little kiddos (Oliver and Lily) -- one to two mornings a week. Oliver is almost 2 1/2 years old, and sweet little Lily is 8 months old. PLUS, Luke is 13 months old. This all makes for interesting mornings when they're all here.

I am amazed at how this one little toy can cause such a bicker. Most of you probably know this toy, and most of you probably have one if you have small children.

It's really a great toy! There are many developmental things worked on with it.

Luke's enjoyed playing with it each day since I bought if for him some months back. Now, 2 1/2 year-old Ollie really enjoys playing with it as well. Though Lily hasn't figured out how to open the "surprises" yet, she does enjoy closing them if somebody opens them for her.

I don't have photos from yesterday morning (that was impossible at the time), but believe me when I say that at one point in time, all three children were trying to play with it.

Oh my....it might just have to be put away when Oliver & Lily are here. We have baskets of toys, but this one toy seems to be the ONE.


All of you who have had or currently do have mobile babies and/or toddlers know what it's like to child-proof your home. You can take all of the "expert" advice: cover outlets, install child-proofing devices on kitchen cupboards, cover doorknobs, etc. etc. etc....

It seems like, however, you do all of that, and then, your child finds something else.

I was WARNED of that before Luke was mobile, but I didn't fully understand it at the time.

In our kitchen, we have this stainless steel shelving unit that we really LOVE! It modernizes (sort of) our out-of-date kitchen decor. It's been great for some extra storage. It's handy and easy to get to.

We bought it shortly after we were married, and we even said then that this will be interesting with children someday.

I don't have a full-blown "before" shot of this shelving unit -- we've child-proofed this several times. But, here is what it looked like this morning.

I've been saying for several weeks now that something will need to be done. Luke keeps trying to get all of the cereal on the second shelf from the bottom. (BTW -- this shelving used to have quite a bit more on it, with all shelves filled. Luke has changed that).

I turn my back for a mere 10 seconds this morning, and Luke once again has knocked some boxes of cereal down. Only this time, cereal has come out. I find Luke eating cereal off of the floor.

GROSS! Now, for those of you who have been in our home, you know I'm not the cleanest and tidiest person around, but I do my best to keep it somewhat sanitary. I mean, we're not gross here in the Friesen Household. We're just not necessarily immaculate.

I also, by having a child, have had to learn to "let up" a bit on keeping Luke always properly cleaned and sanitized. I mean -- he is a BOY, afterall.

So, this afternoon, as he's been napping, I've been searching for the PERFECT place to put cereal. I searched and searched...BUT, I really couldn't find a decent place without reorganizing my entire kitchen (not going to happen now).

SO, I know this is quite a boring end to this part of this blog post, but ultimately, the cereal simply ended up on the top shelf for now....

I told you -- B.O.R.I.N.G. But, I also know that someday sooner than later, Luke will once again find something he shouldn't be getting into. So, we'll once again be doing some more "child-proofing."

So, why spend too much time and effort on something as simple as cereal? Right?


Luke has been taking the "later, but still normal" route on learning to walk. Slowly, but surely, however, he's getting there.

He's now pushing chairs around (by walking with them) on our tile floor in the kitchen (sorry -- I don't have a photo of that).

We've been borrowing this "walker" type toy from our friends, the Smith's. He's always just crawled with it or walked on his knees with it.

Today, however, I once again tried to show him how to walk with it. And, my teaching him FINALLY worked. He's been walking all over the family room/dining room with it -- albeit walking straight into walls and not figuring out what to do from there.

He definitely needs encouragement to do it. If I'm not there encouraging it, he'll go to simply walking with it on his knees.

SOOOOO, Luke is getting there for all of you who keep asking if he's walking yet.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Comment, A Bump on the Head, and Naptime....

1) Several posts ago, I posted a bunch of photos from my (and Luke's) walk through town. Then, just a couple of days ago, I was in Wal-Mart, doing some grocery shopping. I was browsing over the variety of yogurts when a woman (whom I did not know) came up to me and said, "Aren't you the cute gal who walks all of the time with your baby in the jogging stroller?"

I said, "Yep -- I walk all of the time with our little guy."

She replied, "You always look so cute when I see you."


I think I had mentioned at one point in time that we live in a small town, but it's not that small -- around 17,000 - 18,000 people. Apparently, people do watch what you're doing.

I only had to post this as a message to my husband -- he always has to BRAG a bit when somebody notices him or calls him cute, or etc......So, I merely am pointing out that people do notice me as well :) I Love You, Marc!!!!!

2) The other day, Luke got his first "goose-egg" on his head. He's not a real risk-taker; therefore, we haven't had too many falls yet (we figure that if God blesses us someday with another child -- that child will be the risk-taker and will completely make up for Luke's conservative nature). Anyways, it's amazing how fast after a fall, in the midst of the all of the crying, that a goose-egg will form.

This photo was actually taken the day after -- the swelling had gone down substantially. But, there is a nice bruise. Fortunately, Luke hasn't seemed bothered by it since the initial accident.

3) Marc and I feel extremely blessed to have a child who sleeps sooooo wonderfully. We actually think we've done a good job of "training" Luke to do so. He first slept through the night at 8 1/2 weeks old. I actually haven't had to physically pick him up out of his crib at night in almost a year now -- yep, almost a year. And, there have only been a hand-full of times that I've even had to get up at night to check on him -- since he first slept through the night. He routinely sleep 12 hours at night, and he doesn't get up early.

O.K., O.K. -- I'll stop talking about that. Our next child may be the daredevil as well as the "non-sleeper." Who knows?

We'll love them all the same.

Anyways, moving on -- Luke, up until the last 6 weeks or so, has also been a fairly decent napper. All of a sudden, about six weeks ago, that drastically changed. We figured out that he was ready to move to just one nap a day. That transition didn't come easy, but it's slowly, but surely, getting better.

Then, he started only sleeping roughly 30-60 minutes the entire day -- WHOA!!!! That is definitely not enough for a 13 month-old, and our evenings with him were proving that point. Our late afternoons and evenings because not so very fun in the Friesen Household -- all because of Luke's short naps. Can we just say "Mr. Cranky Pants" was with us?

I started talking to other moms. Various pieces of advice were offered. Change his nap time; Purchase a white noise machine, etc. etc. etc.

Marc and I experimented around with naptimes (what time we put him down). That didn't seem to help.

I then purchased this....

A white noise machine -- I know, I know -- a fan will do the same thing, but I wanted something with some real volume control.

That helped a bit, but it didn't help enough. Finally, I started watching some things a bit closer -- like his window.

I don't yet have a curtain in Luke's room, but we do have some new blinds that we put up shortly before he was born.

I realized that there was still a hint of light -- even with the blinds closed (I'm not sure how well this photo looks on this blog, but you'll have to just trust me on this one).

So, I made his window ugly -- just to see if it would work. I hung up some dark fabric as well as a dark towel.

Now, even during the day, his room is DARK with the lights out. It worked for two days. He slept for 2 1/2 - 3 hours each day. We're now on day 3. As I'm typing this, Luke is still asleep, and he has been for close to 2 hours.

Marc and I refuse to believe this is the answer until Luke does this for at least 5-6 days in a row. If this does solve the nap dilemma, I will work diligently to find some VERY DARK curtains.

Do any of you experienced mothers or grandmothers out there have any other suggestions?

I'm praying for answers on this one....


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