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!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Meal Planning Monday....on a Sunday....

Here is our meal plan for this week. If you follow our plan closely (don't worry about offending me if you don't), you'll notice a few things are repeated from last week. That would be because there were several things last week we never had -- you know, plans change sometimes....

Monday, February 1, 2010
Beef Enchiladas

Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Marc: Leftover Beef Enchiladas
Sarah: At Mom 2 Mom at church (supper is a part of the event)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Grilled Hamburgers
Baked Beans

Thursday, February 4, 2010
Chicken (recipe from the Rakow Family)

Friday, February 5, 2010
Dinner at Graber's

Saturday, February 6, 2010
Lunch: $5 Footlongs at Subway
Dinner: Grilled Lemon Herb Pork Chops, Cheesy Potatoes, Oriental Salad

**Our friends, Jerry and Shirley, were supposed to come last week for dinner. They weren't able to make it. So hopefully, they'll be able to come this week. We haven't yet "confirmed" that, and so, this dinner is subject to change.

Sunday, February 7, 2010
Lunch: Rummage
Dinner: Will be at "Big Game" party with Sunday School Class from church -- am taking Taco Soup

**Also, on Sunday, I am "signed up" to take breakfast to Sunday School. I probably will take some banana bread and some muffins as well as some juice.

Have a fabulous week. If you have any questions, leave me a comment :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Luke's Train Day....

This morning and a little into the afternoon, we spent some time together as a family....

Each year, Marc really enjoys going to the Pancake Feed in a town near us (that he grew up in). This Pancake Feed is a fundraiser for the Lions' Club -- which Marc's dad is a part of.

We got to the middle school this morning (where the fundraiser always has been), and there wasn't any fundraiser going on....We drove by another place in town where Marc thought it also might be -- no such luck, though. So, we ended up eating breakfast at the local donut shop -- since we hadn't eaten anything this morning yet -- thinking we were going to get pancakes and sausage.

Lo and behold -- Marc's dad happened to be there -- he goes there everyday for "coffee" with the guys. He explained to us that the pancake feed was last weekend, and he wasn't sure why they changed it.

Oh well -- we couldn't have gone last week anyways. Marc had something going on, and Luke was sick.

But hey -- at least Luke got to see his Grandpa Friesen.


After the donuts, we headed into Wichita for the annual Train Show and Swap Meet.

Now, you might be asking, "How did you guys know about that?" Well, it just so happens that my dad has an intense hobby of trains. As long as I can remember, he has enjoyed them as a hobby. Perhaps it's genetic since Luke has taken such an interest in trains?????

It's basically a bunch of model trains set up -- which I will admit isn't too bad to look at. Also, there are vendors selling "train" things -- model trains, etc.

Luke, even though only 18 months, did, we think, enjoy looking at the model trains. Here are a couple of photos of Luke and my dad looking at the trains. In the second photo, you can certainly see a smile on Luke's face.

We did pick up a "paper hat." It's a conductor hat from Amtrak. As you can tell from this photo, Luke wasn't the most fond of it. He also received a train whistle (which is in his hand). We tried to show him how to get a sound, but he doesn't quite get the whole "blow a little bit harder thing" yet. Perhaps next year....

And, just for fun...here are some photos of some model trains that were at the show.

Soon, my mom joined us with our two nieces -- she was watching them this morning because their parents were both working.

Here are both of our nieces, Grace and Natalie, watching the model trains. Natalie is barely seen in this photo...She's right beside Grace.

They had these little "hand trains" as I'll call them. Basically, a child gets in and uses his or her hands to make the train go around the track. Grace really enjoyed this....Natalie said she wanted to do it, but then, when my mom went to buy her ticket, she wouldn't do it. Keep in mind that Natalie is two years old :)

Luke was too young for this this year (and too small). But, perhaps next year, he'll be able to do it :)


After the train show, we went and ate at DQ. But, we didn't just eat at any DQ. We ate at the one Luke's Uncle Joel works at....So, that was fun to visit him. But, I didn't take any photos -- shame on me!


And, just for fun --

Some of my former coworkers and friends from my ten-year employment with International Dairy Queen are down in Cancun this weekend. They're there for a convention. If I was still employed with International Dairy Queen, we could potentially be down there this weekend. The warm temperatures would certainly beat this cold.

But, I have absolutely NO regrets about leaving my job after having Luke. Luke needs me home more than what employment at International Dairy Queen could've or was willing to offer.

Cancun will have to come another day.....only, not for work :) Vacations without work are much better.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snowy Day....

I had originally planned on posting "Part 3" of our house tour, but this afternoon, I failed to get all of the photos I wanted with daylight...So, it'll be another day.

Instead, I'll show some photos of our snowy day and talk about our day....

It did snow 6 inches here today. Marc JUST measured this evening. And since he's an official "weather spotter/tracker" for the National Weather Service for the city of Newton, KS, that's the official amount that will be reported (I bet you didn't know that little fact about Marc).

Since you don't get a tour of anything inside of our home -- how about a couple of outside shots -- taken this afternoon?

Yes, one of the garage doors is open in this photo. I went outside through the garage in this mess :)

And, here's a photo from our family room -- looking onto the deck. I just LOVE how snow sits on our table and chairs. You can see the bottom parts of the chairs buried in snow.

We live on a intimate (and cute, I think) little cul-de-sac with eight houses and WONDERFUL neighbors. One of our neighbors, Wayne, is ALWAYS immediately out with his snowblower when it snows (and not too many people have snowblowers around here).

Here's a distant photo of trusty Wayne -- with his snowblower. He always clears the street just in front of his driveway. That way, he has good traction when he backs his car out.

This morning, Luke and I ventured out in the snow. On Fridays, I take Luke to our local library for Toddler Story Time.

I generally get there early. Luke tends to be a bit shy, and he never seems to want to go into the play area before the story time starts to play...I think he's overwhelmed by too many other kids.

Instead, he INSISTS on walking back and forth across the alarm sensor -- you know, the things that buzz off if you steal a book.

But yes, he does like to sit and listen and watch during storytime. But, as soon as it's over, it's back over to the alarm sensor.

Whatever entertains an 18-month old....right?

After the library today, we ran to the bank and post office....you know, general errands.

Then, I called my friend Andrea....I said, "Can we come over? We need something to do since it's so yucky outside."

Fortunately, Andrea said, "Yes."

So, we spent some time over there...Luke LOVED playing with Ava's toys. They're different than home. It was probably the most content I've seen him all week since being sick.

Thanks Andrea for letting me "pop in."

After that, it was lunch and then naptime....

Luke and I then quickly ran to the grocery store to pick up a couple little items.

Then, dinner with Marc.....

Luke's now in bed....We're ready to watch Numb3rs.

There's our day.....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January 27....

Yesterday was January 27. January 27 was the due date of our first baby -- the one we lost to miscarriage.

If that baby had not been lost to miscarriage and had been born to breath oxygen on its own....that baby would now be a two-year old toddler (somewhere around now anyways).

I decided (with Marc's full support) to have a very small and intimate "Celebration of Life" at our home last night.

Some might be saying right now -- a) "Sarah, get over it...you have Luke." OR b) "That's corny."

You see, I am over it mostly. But, I do still occasionally wonder if that baby would have been a boy or a girl. Or, what would that baby's personality have been like? Would he or she been at all like Luke? What would that baby grow up to be?

But mostly, in going through the process of a miscarriage (both physically and emotionally), I have discovered that miscarriage is something that is almost "taboo" in our society. We don't talk about it much. I think too many people think that sadness ends over a miscarriage quickly because "it's never a baby you met."

When Marc and went through the miscarriage, we had A LOT of support....mostly from our Sunday School class at church as well as some distant (geographically speaking) friends. People brought us meals when I was unable to cook since I was recovering from a surgery (and brief hospitalization). Several women called me just to see how I was doing. People sent cards. A few visiting me at the hospital. Some sent flowers.

Then, after I was physically recovered, the hard part started....

People didn't want to say anything to me out of fear of upsetting me(at least that's what I think)....People thought I was doing better....People said things to me like,

"All women have to just get a miscarriage out of the way." (Well, we know that's not true because not ALL women have miscarriages. And, what about the fathers in that statement? Apparently, they don't exist).

And, after about 6 weeks or so, the miscarriage was rarely mentioned to me again....

But, time does help bring joy back....I did get better.

And now, a little over a year and a half after the actual miscarriage and at the point of that baby "would've been two years old now," I can honestly, truly, from the depths of my heart say "Thanks" to God for that baby and for what happened.

1) I truly believe we would not have Luke had it not been for the miscarriage. When my doctor was conducting surgery on me, he did discover some problems with me that were fixable. Those problems ultimately did help with some infertility problems we had been having (but I won't go into details on this blog, BUT I am willing to talk about them on the phone or in person if somebody wants to know).

2) I discovered a level of compassion that I don't think I had before the miscarriage. My compassion level was NOT at an absolute ZERO before the miscarriage, but it's certainly increased now. I come to tears a lot easier now because of others' hurts in this world. I think I used to be somewhat "cold." I could blame the job I had, but it wasn't just that.

Without getting too much more wordy on this post -- I want to also say that the MAIN reason we had this "Celebration of Life" last night was because life is worth celebrating. If we claim to be pro-life (which, in our opinion, there is no other option), then we should be celebrating life -- no matter how small it is. Life DOES begin at conception, and so, why would we not celebrate the brief life that was inside of me?

With all of that in mind, I did make cupcakes yesterday -- some pink and blue cupcakes because we don't know if the baby lost was a boy or a girl (actually, my blue cupcakes ended up green because I didn't use enough food coloring).

(My "Cupcakes Upon Completion" photo didn't look great -- so, I'll spare this blog that photo).

I also spent some time last night reading Psalm 139. If you've never read it and really studied it and prayed it, I encourage you to do so. If you DO NOT have access to a Bible, please leave me a comment with an e-mail address. I will get in touch with you about that. I'd love to help get one to you.

And finally, let me say one more thing -- if I may.

I do realize that many couples go through multiple miscarriages in an attempt to carry a baby to term. And, we realize some never are able to carry a baby to term. I certainly don't want to leave any of those couples out. We happen to know one of them -- and they may be reading this blog.

Please know that miscarriage is VERY dear to mine and Marc's hearts. While I wish I could tell you every medical reason why miscarriages happen and miraculously give you the piece of advice that works, I am just certainly not that knowledgeable, and many times, medical personnel don't know either. Just know that Marc and I are praying for you guys.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dave Ramsey -- Session 2 and Another Luke Update....

Tonight, we had Session 2 of our Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University.

You might recall from previous posts that Marc and I are co-leading (or co-facilitating) this class with friends Joel and Kendall and Eric and Karla.

We discussed relating with money and how good money management can help a marriage. We also discussed teaching children about money and the importance of work and earning a living...GOOD AND IMPORTANT STUFF!

A couple verses stuck out to me this week....They're great verses to pray.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Here are a couple of darker photos from this evening -- they were taken during the video section of our class.


And as for Luke....He has done much better today. He's actually been picking at his left ear -- something I haven't really noticed until today. He hasn't had a fever today at all. I did skip my Tuesday morning Young Moms' Bible Study -- which I was VERY bummed about, but that's part of being a parent. I did, obviously, make it to the Dave Ramsey class this evening. PRAISE God on that one.

The challenging part of today was that Luke, all of a sudden, decided to act "toddlerish" today. Yep, we had some fits...We've had them before but not as many as today. I couldn't decide if he was a) tired of being cooped up as I am, b) still didn't feel real well, or c) simply acting like he's 18 months old.

The good part of the day was meeting my friend Andrea and her two girls, Ava and Marin, at McDonald's. Because we virtually NEVER go to McDonald's, it actually tasted pretty good. It was fun to have lunch with Andrea, and Luke LOVES to be around Ava.

In fact, here's Luke watching Ava in their car as they were backing out. He was sad to leave.

(And, you'll notice he doesn't have a coat on even though it was rather chilly outside today...That would be because as I was trying to get his coat and hat on in McDonald's, a fit occurred. We were making way toooooo big of a scene. I simply needed to get out for my own sanity).

We're praying for an even better day tomorrow. Oliver and Lily come over tomorrow, and hopefully, that'll be fun for all!

Monday, January 25, 2010

House Tour -- Part 2 and Another Luke Update....

If you remember two posts ago, I started a Miniseries -- A Friesen Home Tour.

I ended with the lower level of our Servants' Quarters.

Right behind the door of the entrance to the Servants' Quarters are these....

Yep, stairs -- and no, they're not crooked. I just can't take a straight photo.

After going up these stairs and making a left....

You go up a few more stairs and turn left to....


In this loft, you'll find....maternity clothes, baby stuff, and baby clothes.

And many of Marc's metals and such from running....

You can also find some stuff we hope to eventually garage sale....Anybody in the Young Family Sunday School Class up for the 5th Annual Garage Sale? Please, tell me "Yes."

When we bought this house, I thought to myself, "This loft would make a great 'hideaway.' Or, it would make a great 'kids' playroom.'"

Or, "If I was an artist, this would be a perfect space." (Don't worry -- I'm not an artist, and I don't have any aspirations).

Now, I think it will make a great office for me someday :) It would make me nervous to have kids playing where I don't see them or hear them (unless some monitoring device was installed).

I'm sure our kids will want to spend the night up there someday with their friends. That can probably be arranged.

But, there is no bathroom in the Servants' Quarters. You have to come inside for that one.


With all of that storage up there, one might ask, "What about a basement?"

Yes, we do have a basement. But, it's not a full basement. It's basically a yucky one-room, mechanical area/storm shelter.

Remember THIS POST from back in April?

Yes, even though our basement is small and yucky, it does function well as a storm shelter. One wouldn't want to live too long in Kansas without an available shelter.

But, here is a small part of the house tour -- our basement.

That's all the time we're going to spend down there.

Yes, this really is the extent of it. But, we like it this way...Basically, everything is on one level in our home.


Another update on Luke....

Well, we thought he was getting better. In fact, for most of the day today (Monday), he was pretty good and fever free. So, I did not call the doctor.

Then, he woke up from his nap crying (most unusual). I held him for awhile to let him calm down.

Finally, as 5:00 P.M. neared, he started to feel warm again. I took his temperature. It had once again crept back up to 101 degrees -- hadn't been that high since Friday.

I called Marc (he was on his way home) and told him to just meet me at the Urgent Care. Four days with a fever on an 18-month old was enough -- even though it wasn't a high fever.

We got right in. The pediatrician took one look in both of his ears and said, "Yep, he has an infection in both ears."

Well, that certainly explains a lot.

So, we were sent home with some numbing ear drops and an antibiotic. We've been extremely fortunate that this is Luke's first ear infection.

I never really did notice him pulling and tugging at his ears or anything. Though, when we were at lunch with my friend Helen last Thursday, she did at one point notice him tugging at an ear. Perhaps I should've taken that as a sign?

(Glad you noticed it Helen).

We hope Luke is finally on the mend....

But, just for fun, here's a photo of him from today -- playing at our coffee table with the coasters -- a daily dose of fun for Luke.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Meal Planning Monday (on a Sunday) and Luke Update....

Here are our meal plans for this week...

Monday, January 25, 2010
Meatloaf Minis

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Cinnamon Rolls

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Shake 'n Bake Chicken
Pasta with Olde Westport Spice Pasta Seasoning

(You might recall this meal on last week's plan. We ended up having to "rummage" that night. We never ate this last week. So, we'll try it again this week).

Thursday, January 28, 2010
Sugar-Glazed Salmon

Friday, January 29, 2010
Grilled Hamburgers
Baked Beans
Potato Chips

Saturday, January 30, 2010
????? (We'll be in Wichita that morning, and so, we'll most likely eat lunch out).

Grilled Pork Chops
Oriental Salad
Cheesy Potatoes

**Our friends, Jerry and Shirley, are coming over for supper. They are bringing dessert.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Marc: Beef Enchiladas
Sarah: Will be eating at Applebee's with Community Life Group Women


How is Luke doing? As you might recall, he started running a fever this past Thursday night.

Well, since then, he has maintained a low-grade fever -- never above 100.8 degrees. He has a slight runny nose, a VERY slight cough, some crankiness, and this morning, a small amount of diarrhea.

Marc was gone all day yesterday (Saturday), and I was home with Luke all day.

This morning, I stayed home from church with Luke because Marc was scheduled to run the lights for all three church services. Then, this evening, we had an event we were both supposed to be at church. I ended up missing it because of Luke. Marc was there for both of us.

This evening started out as "cranky." I was thinking that "I really NEED to get out of the house when Marc gets home this evening." Then, shortly after that, Luke suddenly was better than he had been the last four days. It must have been an answered prayer. We ended up having a great evening after 7:00 P.M. I'm hoping this illness stuff is on its way out of our home :)

I'm going BONKERS from being home too much.

If Luke's not better in the morning, I will call the dr. That'll be four days with a fever.

But, here's a cute, but sad, photo of Luke yesterday (Saturday). I did take one little trip out of the house yesterday -- just to get out. We went and got a Sonic drink and went to the post office to mail something. It felt GREAT to get out.

Then, this morning, when some Tylenol was working, he was playing in our bedroom. He started really being animated with himself in our wall mirror. It was cute to watch for a bit -- before he realized again he was sick and resumed some crankiness.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Luke Update and House Tour -- Part 1....

If you read yesterday's post, you might remember that Luke was a little sick last night. We put him to bed with a 102.8 degree fever.

He did wake up a couple of hours later. We gave him some Motrin that time. He slept all night (Yeah); however, he was kind of "rustling" around between 5:00 and 5:30 this morning. I was up listening to it. He then went back to sleep and slept until 8:30. So, I really can't complain.

Throughout the day today, his temperature has only gone as high as 100.8 degrees. He took a somewhat decent nap. He has been a bit clingy to me all day, and he has been somewhat whiny. So, we know he doesn't feel 100% just yet. His appetite has been minimal, but what he has eaten, he's kept down (another Yeah). He has been VERY attached to his blanket today -- more so than normal.

Here's a photo from today....We think his eyes look a bit sad.

We're praying he continues to get better. We'd like to go to church on Sunday. Plus, it's so very difficult to see your little one sick. You can't explain to him at all that there is sin in this world, and that's why things aren't always perfect.


I have decided I am going to a "mini-series" on this blog....It's a house tour of our home.

Now, don't get your hopes up in anticipation of decorating ideas. I am certainly NOT a decorator, and I will never claim to be. I just think a family's home says a lot about them, and hopefully, this will be a way to get to know our family a little bit better.

We live in a town of roughly 18,000 people in central/south central Kansas.

Our house was built in 1972 with some add-ons in 1993. It has some uniquenesses about it.

We bought this house in 2004. We've done some work to it, and it will always be a work in progress. Originally, when we bought this home, we bought it thinking we'd be in it 10-15 years -- 20 at the most. Now, we've learned to be completely content with it. Unless our neighborhood goes completely to pot or if we must move for a job or something, we plan on being in this house as long as possible.

It has A LOT of potential. BUT, we have committed to doing NO improvement with debt. In other words, any improvement we make MUST be done on a cash basis....So, some improvements we have in mind may not happen for awhile :) But, that's O.K....We're most thankful for what we have. Plus, this home completely works for our family with some growing room.

First, our driveway...(Remember -- this series will be done in parts).

Our two-car garage is on the side of the house. So, if you see our house from the front, you don't see the garage doors (I'll put a photo of the front view of the house in another post).

You'll notice a trailer. This trailer actually is not our's. It belongs to Kansas Ultrarunners' Society -- the running club in which Marc is the treasurer. We merely "house" the trailer. The trailer holds ultrarunning race supplies.

Behind the trailer is an "out-building." But, we actually jokingly and lovingly refer to this out-building as our Servants' Quarters. Please don't get too excited. Nope, we don't have servants. We just find the name funny. Marc deemed it the Servants' Quarters before we even moved in.

From the backdoor of our house, you'll notice the door to the Servants' Quarters.

Notice the little brick area between our house and the Servants' Quarters? We call that the Courtyard.

Does our home sound rather fancy? It's really not so much, but it's certainly home.

O.K., moving on inside the Servants' Quarters....

The bottom floor could technically be used as a garage because it does indeed have a garage door. However, it would only fit a compact car.

But, it is carpeted and climate controlled (heated and air-conditioned). So, we use it for this....

It houses our treadmill, punching bag, bicycles, and TV/DVD Player (for when on the treadmill). It's our workout room. Remember -- it's climate controlled!

Plus, our deep freeze is in this room -- and, you can't completely see it in this photo, but Marc stores his golf clubs in this room as well.

Also, in this same room is a bunch of "sporty" type storage -- sleeping bags, a tent, coolers, camping supplies (I do NOT camp, but Marc does occasionally). Also, we store one of Luke's strollers in here.

Pretty neat area on our property, and we haven't remodeled ANYTHING in here. It came this way -- perfect for our lifestyle. This Servants' Quarters was a pretty big selling point on this house for us.

The Servants' Quarters tour is not yet complete. But, I'll wait until another post. This one is getting long.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Half Birthday....

Today (the 21st) was Luke's half birthday. Yep, he was the big 18 months old today!

What did we do today?

1) A visit from our Parents as Teachers educator, Melissa

2) Lunch with our friend, Helen, at Applebee's

3) A short nap on Luke's part (thumbs DOWN on that one)

4) A short visit from a former coworker of mine from International Dairy Queen

5) A cranky Luke late afternoon/evening, resulting in a fever of 102.8 for Luke. We gave him some Tylenol and put him to bed before 7:00. He only ate a few bites of applesauce. (Helen -- I hope Luke didn't give you anything today. I'm not sure what's wrong).

It was a fun day up until the last few hours. I'm not sure what's up with Luke. He was very cranky for a few hours. I knew something was wrong, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure it out (welcome to parenthood, right?).

Finally, I noticed he felt very warm. When we saw what his temperature was, we gave him some Tylenol and changed his clothes for bed. I sat down with him in the glider/rocker in his bedroom. Within one minute (I'm not exaggerating on this one), he was asleep. Now, he's sound asleep in bed.

We're hoping this is short-term.

But, on a good note....I did get his 18-month photo in the chair today. Here it is....

And, just for fun -- here he is one year ago today...Wow! Has he changed or what?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Session 1 -- Super Saving....

WARNING! WARNING! This post is one of my long ones...Grab a Pepsi. You'll need some endurance. But, I promise it'll be worth it. It won't let you down :)

If you aren't familiar with Dave Ramsey and his financial advice, please click HERE!

Marc and first started following bits and pieces of Dave Ramsey's financial tactics (for lack of a better word) several years ago. We used his debt snowball plan to agressively pay off all debt except for the house (the house will take a little bit of time). We can honestly say we're debt free except for the mortgage!

We have a few of his books.

I used to spend quite a bit of time talking with a coworker about finances and Dave Ramsey -- when I was working full-time -- before Luke.

We had a budget, but we honestly can say we didn't stick to it real well. You see, before Luke, Marc and I were true DINKs -- you know, Dual Income No Kids....We had a great household income. Our bills were always paid. Our excuse was that "we didn't really need to stick to a budget." (We KNOW MUCH BETTER than that now because even though we had money and bills were always paid, we have learned that we could've been MUCH better stewards with God's provisions for us).

Then, last summer, our friends, Joel and Kendall, asked us if we'd want to help lead a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class at our church.

We prayed about it and talked about it, and then, we decided we'd do that with them. Another couple, Eric and Karla, also joined us in leading this class.

So, last fall, we "kicked off" the class at our church.

It's not like Marc and I didn't realize this class was really needed in people's lives (as well as our own), but our eyes were opened to just how desperate some people are to change their financial habits -- in a God-honoring manner.

We also didn't realize how much we needed to "fine tune" some of our own habits. Like I said, we had all debt (except the house) paid off. We had a budget that just needed to be used a bit better.

The first class last fall was a success. People were interested in making changes. We saw goals being made.

At the same time, Marc and I fine tuned our finances a lot. We now have a budget we use. We have a "budget meeting" each month -- without fail. We are using Dave's cash envelope system.

Have we attained complete Financial Peace yet? Nope. But, I feel as if we're getting closer each month.

And, I can MOST definitely say that I would not be staying home with Luke full-time if we weren't following Dave Ramsey's plan.

We're believers in Dave's biblical finance plan!!!!!

Last night, we began another Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class.

We have roughly 25 household represented this time....Yeah God!!!!

Here are Joel and Kendall -- leading at the front of the room. (We take turns with them in leading).

The first session was on "Super Saving."

Last night, as we were going through the class, I just really felt a nudge from God to really pray this semester for this class -- specific prayers for each session.

So, that's my goal....

My specific for the session last night is that attendees would have open hearts and open minds to what Dave teaches. He emphasizes the fact that change is VERY HARD. It's incredibly easy to make up excuses for not doing something he recommends -- not even trying something.

That's where Marc and I were several years ago. We had excuses. Then, we tried some new things. Guess what? They worked for us and worked for us well.

It's just that hard first step.

A key verse Dave talked about in last night's lesson is in Hebrews. It's now at the top of this blog -- at least for this week. It's going to hang above my kitchen sink. It's the verse I'm praying for the attendees of this class.

Here it is....

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

On a final note, several people have asked me about where Luke goes on Tuesday evenings during class...(This photo is merely a courtesy photo because we think he's cute).

Last semester, my parents graciously drove to our home on Tuesday evenings to watch Luke. It was especially nice of them because they both work -- my mom works VERY full-time, and my dad works part-time plus is a caretaker for my grandmother.

We didn't feel like we could ask them again (though I'm sure they would've done it). So, we're taking him with us. Childcare is provided in the nursery. It just gets late, but as of tomorrow, Luke will be 18 months old. He can handle it one night a week. Plus, Joel and Kendall's kids come each Tuesday, and one of those kids is younger than Luke. The three of them will just have to "roll with the punches" on Tuesday evenings.

It's now late too late to start in our particular class this semester as we're very full. But, there may be some other classes in the area which haven't yet started. We'd love to have you in our class if we provide it again next fall (don't know yet); however, if you want to get started on changing financial habits now, see if there is a class....Click HERE!

Otherwise, I'll keep you posted via this blog if we'll be offering it again in the future!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

18-Month Check-Up....

Yesterday, since Marc was off work, I scheduled Luke's 18-month check-up so that Marc could go with us.

The appointment went fine except Luke really doesn't like the doctor examining him. And, he most certainly didn't care for the shots. Fortunately, he recovers quickly, and overall, shots aren't too bad for him. It's just sad in the process.

Anyways, here are Luke's official stats.

Height: 32 3/4 inches (70th percentile)
Weight: 28 lb. 10 oz. (83rd percentile)
Head Circumference: 20 inches (98th percentile)

**I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Could Luke's large head be the reason he didn't come out of me normal and therefore required a C-Section delivery? Who knows? We just laugh about his large head.


Last week, Luke, all of a sudden, decided he wanted to eat with a spoon by himself (I'd been working with him on it -- he had only been doing it with help). So, I let him. Yes, there was a mess, but I haven't had a parent yet tell me that learning to use utensils doesn't make a mess.

Here he is -- eating some yogurt. Yes, some actually did make it into his mouth :)

And, just for fun....

Here are a couple of photos of Luke working on a sucker. We'd been at the bank. They gave him one (as they have in the past), and I sometimes let him work on it in the car -- not for too long, though. It can be a sticky mess.

Does anybody else let their kids do this in the car (at least a kid this young)?

The REAL beauty of these photos is that if you look closely at Luke's right cheek, you'll notice dried snot. It looks like dirt, but it's not. I had been at my Bible Study (on Tuesday mornings). Luke stays in the nursery at church, and that's how he was when I picked him up.

Yes, it's gross, but it's a child :) Those things are to be expected. And, I am NOT at all complaining about the people who work in the nursery with Luke during that time. They do a great job. He's well care for....He likes to play there.

I can deal with the snot. I don't expect them to deal with somebody else's kid's snot.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meal Planning Monday....

Here goes our meals this week....I'll explain a couple of things after certain menu items.

Monday, January 18, 2010
Lunch -- Pizza Hut Buffet
Supper -- Rummage (we'll both be really full from lunch)

**Marc is off work for Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday -- he wanted pizza buffet for lunch.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Breakfast -- Bubble Bread (I'm taking breakfast to my Bible Study)
Supper -- Shake N' Bake Chicken, pasta with Olde Westport Spice pasta seasoning, veggie
**Take tortilla rolls and cookies to first Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Class

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Salmon, potatoes, veggie

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Breakfast pizza, fruit

Friday, January 22, 2010
Chicken and Biscuits

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sarah & Luke (either rummage at home or eat out -- will be shoe shopping with friend Sarah)
Marc (will be at a class with lunch provided)

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Steak Fajitas

Rummage at home after big lunch
**Make cookies for Life Link event at church


I feel as if I haven't posted a photo of Luke in awhile, and I'm sure some of my readers only read this blog for that reason :) (That's O.K., though).

Anyways, here's a photo of Luke from last week -- playing in his puppy pajamas -- we LOVE these pajamas. They are very cute on him, but I know we're biased.

Since Marc was off work today, we both took Luke to his 18-month well-baby check this morning. I'll post on that another day -- complete with updated Luke "stats."

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