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!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Eve, Part 2....

If you'd like, you can click HERE to read the first part of our Christmas Eve day.

Continuing on....

After Luke's nap, we headed to church with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, and their three girls.

We went to my parents' church -- which happens to be the church I was a part of through almost all of my 20s, AND it was the church where Marc and I were married :)

The Christmas Eve service was crowded and nice, HOT (from all of the people) and peaceful....

After the service, we all went to my parents' house.

Because NOBODY was really hungry for supper yet (thanks to all of the snacking we ALL did before dinner), we opened presents.

My dad was in his true form (this wouldn't be my parents' house without my dad doing this) -- he had his video camera out.

We have a tradition where the adults in the family draw names for stockings. My mom takes care of the kids' stockings. Marc and I drew each other's names, but we truly kept it from each other until that evening -- kind of funny.

Sooooo, here's a photo of my parents' Christmas tree....It sits in front of their fairly big staircase. If you look closely at this photo, you can see Marc and Luke coming down the stairs. The mantle (which isn't pictured) held all of the kids' stockings. My mom hung the adults' stockings on the stairway....Marc and Luke are getting the stockings down.

In Luke's stocking -- which, if you would have given him nothing else but these, he would've been perfectly happy....sunglasses.

My mom (Luke's grandma) completely hit the J.A.C.K.P.O.T. with these.

Luke also received, from Papa and Grandma, a little "pull" storage case for his cars....A very practical, and fun, gift for Luke.

My brother and sister-in-law have three girls. At one point, during all of the chaotic, but fun, opening of gifts, I looked over at their family.

We may be surrounded by cars, trucks, and other boy things with Luke, but they are completely surrounded by pink.

Our nieces -- Grace, Natalie, and Maddie -- are all very girly. It's pretty cute to see.

After opening gifts, we all ate supper of chili and cinnamon rolls (rarely at my parents' house do we have "traditional" Christmas meals).

In this photo, Luke's back (in the green shirt) is to the camera. Look closely -- you'll see the new sunglasses on his head. Yep, they went to dinner with him.

After supper, quite a bit of interesting discussion (I mean that in a good way), and a few games that my sister-in-law came up with (she's good at that), Luke wanted to, once again, play "Boom Boom" with Marc. Click HERE and read down the post a bit to find out about what exactly "Boom Boom" is.

After awhile, Luke told us he was ready to go -- yep, he has a FUN time at my parents', but when he's tired -- he's ready to go.

It was late; therefore, we headed home. Nearly always, when we go to my parents' house in the evenings, we take Luke's pajamas with us. He's quit falling asleep on the way home (even if it's late), but at least he's ready for bed when we get home.

Several times, on the way home, I peaked back at Luke. He wore his sunglasses the ENTIRE way home in the dark, all the while, sucking his thumb and smelling his blanket (and of course, wearing one of Marc's hats).

Ah, Luke....You make us smile so much.

And, stay tuned for my post on our Christmas Day....

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Little Peak at Christmas Eve....

The three of us got to spend a very nice, relaxing day together for Christmas Eve...

Here's a glimpse.

First, this morning, Marc went to our local donut shop, Druber's, and picked up some donuts for us.

We had planned on going to visit Santa this morning, but since the weather was slightly crummy, I personally didn't feel like getting out. And, since Luke is young yet (and doesn't fully "get" what's going on), I figured we'd be O.K. not physically taking Luke there. Next year, it'll probably be another story.

Luke and Marc PLAYED A LOT!

But, they did have some quiet time as well....

We knew we'd be eating B.I.G. at my parents' in the evening, and so, we took it "easy" for lunch. We went to Arby's....We always like it, and Luke does well there.

Luke got a GOOD nap in....in fact, we had to wake him up to leave for church and my parents' house in the late afternoon. Luke's a great napper in general, but today was exceptional. I guess it had something to do with Marc's "hard" playing that tired him out.

While Luke was taking a nap, Marc and I enjoyed a short nap ourselves. Then, Marc assembled a certain little guy's Christmas present for tomorrow.

We went to church with my parents and my brother and sister-in-law (and their kids). We then went to my parents' house for the evening. But, I'll save all of that for another post (I have quite a few photos).

In the meantime, there's a Christmas Story marathon on TBS.

Admittedly, Marc and I really like to watch this movie over and over....It's a tradition.

But, we have Luke's Christmas present ready -- under the tree and all.

In case you can't see it, here's a photo with the flash....Yep, Luke's getting a tricycle, and I can't wait to see him try it in the driveway tomorrow. Knowing Luke, he won't mind the cold at all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

3 Topics in One Post....

Topic #1) I need a little advice from you more experienced parents out there (and if you have a child older than almost 2 1/2, then you're more experienced than us).

Our sweet and cute little guy -- who can play oh so very nicely....

has entered into a stage of being quite disrespectful at times -- especially toward me.

I know this is normal, but I really want to lovingly teach Luke how to be respectful in his talk toward anybody -- but especially toward his parents.

To be honest, some of his disrespectful talk comes from what he hears from me....that is, raising of the voice (please tell me the rest of you do this from time to time). So, I'm praying for God's help in this area. I'm diligently working to do better.

But, in the meantime, how do I lovingly work toward more respectful talk? Luke is just learning to talk, and I want to really work on this now (I realize this will be a process, but I don't want to wait until he's 16 to work on this).

Luke does spend time out in his room (when being disciplined), and I have to say that almost every time it happens, it's because of talking disrespectful to me.

Any advice out there????

I'm reminded of this verse in Hebrews....

God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. Hebrews 12:8-11 (The Message)

Topic #2) This year, for Christmas, I have been the procrastinator -- at least relative to how I've been in the past. Usually, I have ALL of our Christmas letters/photos out the week after Thanksgiving. This year, I finally got them all out this week.

Sure, I NEVER have all of the wrapping completed until Christmas Eve, but I haven't even yet started.

It's not that I'm not in the "Christmas Spirit," because I am. In fact, November and December are my favorite months of the year.

Yes, I have been sick this past month, but I'm better. That's not an excuse for being this behind.

We send packages to our friends in Washington state and to our friends up in Manitoba (Canada). I managed to get the package to Washington last week. They should receive it in time.

As far as Canada....These photos were taken this morning....

Yep, that's a box that's NOT yet sent.

Last week, I even picked up two customs' forms to fill out -- not knowing exactly which one I'd need for this package. So, I filled them both out -- to make things easier at the post office with a 2 year-old.

Yep, Luke and I did get to the post office this morning. The package has been sent off. (And, in case you're really wondering -- it was the bigger customs' form that was needed).

Nope, our friends in the country up north will NOT get their package in time. But, they've been informed of that.

(But Tammy -- if you're reading this, it's on its way).

Soooooo -- what is my problem with procrastination here? Is anybody else in the same boat?

Topic #3) If you've been reading this blog for any length of time OR you know Luke, you know that Luke REALLY likes hats -- especially Marc's hats. He wears them nearly all of the time. He takes them to bed (if you look at this photo of Luke sleeping closely, you'll notice a hat near his head that he did fall asleep with the night before).

Even with Luke's limited speech capabilities (which is growing everyday), he tells EVERYBODY (whether he knows them or not) about the fact that he's wearing Daddy's hats. And, Luke's even been known to tell complete strangers that they too are wearing hats (if he runs into somebody who is wearing a hat).

Anyways, recently, Luke's hat collection has increased to include Marc's stocking hats.

Admittedly, it's very cute. This photo was taken a couple of Sundays ago....Luke wanted Marc to look at a magazine with him (and, Luke's wearing shorts because his Daddy wears shorts around the house -- even in the winter. Luke must do everything Daddy does).

And, here are another series of photos taken of Marc and Luke, playing an invented "game" called "Boom Boom."

(Basically, Marc bounces Luke up and down while saying, "Boom Boom." Then, Marc proceeds to life Luke HIGH up in the air).

Notice the stocking hat....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Friesen Meals for the Week and The Park....

Even though it's Christmas week, I still came up with a plan :) In case you're interested....here it is.

Monday, December 20, 2010
No planned supper needed....Marc once again had a big lunch at work -- for his supervisor's birthday. Luke and I will rummage :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Chicken and Noodles over Mashed Potatoes

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Fish and Chips
(a.k.a. Fish and Fries)

Thursday, December 23, 2010
Cheesy Potato Soup from Olde Westport Spice

(will be following directions on package to make a Cheeseburger Soup)

Friday, December 24, 2010
Breakfast: Druber's Donuts

Lunch: Arby's (probably)

Supper: At my parents' for evening....I will be taking veggies and dip.

Saturday, December 25, 2010 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!)
Breakfast: Egg Casserole and Gorilla Bread

Lunch: ????

Supper: At Marc's parents for evening

Sunday, December 26, 2010
Lunch: Rummage

Supper: Hamburger Goulash over Mashed Potatoes


And, just for fun....

Today, here in these "neck of the woods," the weather is quite nice for December -- mid 50s....

So, this morning, Luke and I went and played at Athletic Park here in town.

Of course, Luke spent quite a bit of time on the steps. (Keep in mind all three of these photos were taken with my phone).

Last summer, at this park, Luke went down one of the slides. It was very hot, and the hotness hurt his poor little legs. Since then, he hasn't been down that particular slide. Today, however, he went to this slide. I encouraged him to go down the slide. Of course, he remembered the "hot," and he told me "hot" over and over.

Finally, with some more encouragement, he did go down this slide. I didn't get a photo, though :(

But, at noon, the tornado sirens were tested (as they are all year round here on Mondays at noon). They're fairly loud. Luke wasn't at all scared, but he did give me this very serious look for quite awhile.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekly Meal Plan and Christmas Program....

Here's our meal plan for this week....Marc has a Christmas party and several luncheons at work this week; therefore, I don't have to cook much in the evenings. And, in case you're wondering, whenever Marc has a BIG luncheon at work, he generally requests that I don't make supper because of such a big lunch. Then, when he is home in the evenings, he just finds something "light" on his own. Though I do enjoy cooking meals for our family in the evenings, it is kind of a nice break.

Monday, December 13, 2010
No Supper Needed -- Marc's Christmas Party in the evening.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Beef & Bean Burritoes
Chips and Queso

**Take breakfast to Bible Study at church in the morning....Will be taking Gorilla Bread

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
No Supper Needed -- Marc's departmental luncheon at work

Thursday, December 16, 2010
Chicken Salad on croissants (with bacon -- at Marc's request)

Friday, December 17, 2010
No Supper Needed -- Marc, once again, has a luncheon at work

Saturday, December 18, 2010
Lunch: Rummage

Supper: DATE NIGHT! (Last week's planned date night was postponed thanks to my sickness -- see PREVIOUS POST).

Sunday, December 19, 2010
Lunch: Rummage OR Taco Tico (depending on previous evening)

Supper: Supper with small group -- will be taking cream cheese/salsa roll-ups


Yesterday, at church, the small children (nursery - kindergarten) performed during our services.

Soooooo, Luke made his debut on stage.

Admittedly, I was a bit nervous. Is this normal, or am I a crazed and neurotic parent? I was nervous because I didn't know what he would do. I wasn't worried about him crying on stage (which he didn't). I wasn't nervous that he'd run around (which he didn't). I was just nervous. And, Marc even admitted to me he was slightly nervous as well :)

My good friend, Andrea, took photos for me -- I did NOT want to risk him seeing me because then, I knew his peformance would've been over as "Mama" would've been shouted. And, shouting, "Mama" would NOT have kept him on stage. He then would've run right toward me.

Anyways, Luke did just fine. He did end up hanging out toward the BACK of the group; therefore, it was hard for us to see him, and it was hard for Andrea to take photos.

But, she captured one for us, and I'll definitely hold onto it.

Luke is the one in the red shirt and in the hat (yep -- he wore a hat absolutely did NOT want to take it off). In this photo, all of the children are placing their Baby Jesus' in the manger....they rocked them back and forth while "singing" Away in a Manger.

Pretty cute from this Mama's perspective....And, I'm reasonably certain Luke's Daddy LOVED it as well.

Thanks Debby (nursery director) and to ALL of the other nursery workers who helped with this venture. This Mama (and Daddy) LOVED seeing it!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Train Show....

Before I get to the main point of this post, let me just say that the lovely Sick Bug hit our home again this week. I (Sarah) was the host.

Back in October, Marc had bronchitis. Luke and I were spared.

Back in November, I had a brief bout of the stomach flu. Marc and Luke were spared.

Then, again, the other night, I had a brief bout with the stomach flu followed by a bout with the intestinal bug (sorry if that's TMI). Fortunately, so far, Marc and Luke have been spared. Hopefully, that sparing continues. I'm praying it does.

Marc's recently missed 1 1/2 days of work -- all because of me (he's stayed home and taken care of Luke so that I can get rest and feel sorry for myself while sick).



O.K. -- onto better things....

I think I've mentioned this before on this blog, but my dad has a train hobby. He calls himself a "railfan." Therefore, I better stick to that label.

This hobby hasn't gone on all of his life. My dad recently told me that he photographed his first locomotive in 1975 -- the year before I was born. Thus, I've ALWAYS known my dad to be a railfan.

Well, as many of you well know, Luke LOVES trains. Does he have the perfect Grandpa for this love or what?

Earlier this week, my dad called and wanted to know if Marc or I could bring Luke to McPherson, KS, on Saturday. I originally had told him, "Yes." Then, when I got sick, I wasn't so sure.

Fortunately, though I wasn't 100%, I was well enough (and hopefully not contagious anymore) to take Luke to this show. (And FYI -- Marc couldn't take Luke because of a prior commitment, and my dad couldn't take him himself because he was staying in McPherson for the rest of the day).

So, this morning, Luke and I headed up to McPherson -- a 30 minute drive.

We beat my dad, and Luke very patiently, but excitedly, waited on Papa. And, just for fun, I dressed Luke up in his "Choo-Choo" outfit from Halloween. Let's just say that he did get a few positive comments today -- cuteness and all :)

Here's Luke waiting on Papa.

When Papa arrived, the two of them (with me in tow) immediately started looking at model trains.

In case you're curious, the train show had model trains....

Model trains for sale....

The show also had magazines and books -- which my dad took advantage of looking at.

My dad ended up buying Luke a train magazine -- for adults! Luke looked at it on the way home as well as some this evening here at home -- the pictures, that is!

And, when you're only 2 years old and you tire out (which doesn't take long when you're 2), you ask for your blanket and enjoy a "blankie break" right in the middle of the train show.

After the train show, my dad treated us at my favorite Dairy Queen -- the McPherson Dairy Queen....This was my most favorite DQ to work with during my 10-year reign with International Dairy Queen....And, I'm not just saying that because the owner(s) sometime(s) reads this blog :) Seriously, they were good to work with.

But, I didn't get any photos there....Maybe next time :)

Overall, this train show was quite a bit smaller than the show we took Luke to back in January of this year. We'll be taking Luke to another show (with my dad) sometimes early in 2010.

I'm sure I'll post photos :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Because I Feel I Need a Blog Post....

I don't have any substantial blog post at this point in time. Basically, we're just living life here in this household -- trying to get ready for Christmas while truly taking the time to prepare for what Christmas really is (Christ's birthday), Marc's job, my home duties, watching Luke grow up, etc. etc. etc.

I've had A LOT on my mind lately, but I don't feel anything's formulated enough to write out in a blog post. Hopefully, after the first of the year, something will appear on this blog.

But, in the meantime, how about a few photos of Luke?

He started building towers with blocks quite awhile ago. But yesterday and now, today, for some reason, Luke has spent A LOT of time working on towers.

It was a great source of entertainment for him while I did some baking. And, unlike when he was first learning, he gets them quite TALL now -- 12 or 13 blocks.

Luke just looks more and more grown up in these photos -- definitely a toddler approaching preschool age.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Our Weekly Meal Plan and Our Christmas Tree....

I'm a day late, but hey -- better late than never. Right?

Monday, December 6, 2010
Cinnamon Rolls

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Marinated Baked Chicken over salads

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Chicken Enchiladas

Thursday, December 9, 2010
Homemade Pizza

Friday, December 10, 2010
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Caesar Salad

Saturday, December 11, 2010
Lunch: Rummage

Supper: DATE NIGHT! (YAY!!!!!!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010
Lunch: Pizza Hut with parents

Supper: HEAVY appetizers with small group at our house

(The HEAVY part was suggested by Marc -- in other words, don't be skimpy....Sounds like Marc, doesn't it?)


As promised in my PREVIOUS POST -- our 2010 Christmas tree....at least the best my limited photography skills can handle for this blog :)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our 2010 Christmas Tree....

If you once again want to reminisce....

Click HERE for our 2008 Christmas tree.

Click HERE for our 2009 Christmas tree.


Each year since we've been married, we've gone to Nativity Pines to get our fresh Christmas tree.

Initially, back in 2004 (our first Christmas "married"), we found this place by simply looking in the phone book and going there blindly.

It turned out that we really enjoyed it!

We went there each year -- adding Luke in 2008!

This year was no exception.

It was fun this year -- watching Luke for the third year -- this time, having at least somewhat of a clue what was going on (he knew we were there to get a tree).

First, we rode the hayrack together....Luke, of course, wanted to sit by his Daddy.

(And yes, Luke looks very SERIOUS. For some reason, that's the only face I could get).

We then walked along a long row of trees, looking for the "perfect" one for our house.

We soon found one that we liked for our home.

Marc began to saw.

Luke most certainly watched his Daddy. (And Debby -- during this process, Luke imitated the "sawing" motion -- thanks to the song he learned in Sunday School. Thanks!)

(Can you tell we were most definitely facing the sun?)

We then, along with our tree, rode the hayrack back to the entrance. They wonderful guys of Nativity Pines prepared our tree to go home. We then had it loaded onto our vehicle -- with Luke and Marc supervising :)

Finally -- our "routine" family photo in front of the tree -- taken by a very nice teenage guy who helped us with our tree (and yes, obviously, the sun was not in a good position to use with this camera). But, we don't care....it's the family memories that count.

(And yes, this photo will be our family Christmas card photo -- so, many of you are just seeing this early).

And, the final photo of our decorated tree will have to come in another post....Stay tuned!

A year or two ago -- Marc and I were talking about how each tree we've had since we've been married (and they've all been "real") always has some "quirk" or "imperfection." We were talking about the parallels of our "imperfect" trees or our lives -- about how each one of us truly is imperfect.

That "imperfection" requires us a Savior -- if we choose. This world is oh so very broken (see Genesis 3). We're all broken. None are perfect.

Christmas is when we celebrate our Savior's birth....That way, our "brokeness" is fixed :)

Oh -- how I'm so very thankful for that! I can't imagine living this "imperfect" life without a Savior!


One last note....

When I was paying for this Christmas tree this year, I noticed a small sign on the countertop with the cash register. It mentioned that this was the last year Nativity Pines was selling Christmas trees.

It would be an understatement to say that Marc and I are very sad by this news. We don't the reason for this decision -- I'm hoping it's a business decision and not a decision demanded by change in health or anything.

But, publically, we want to say "Thank You" to Nativity Pines for making our first 7 Christmas seasons together very memorable (the last 3 with Luke)!

I guess we'll have to find another tree farm to make future memories!

Thankfully, we have photos!

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