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, March 31, 2010

A Warm Day and a Budget Meeting....

We had a good day today. Of course, a nice warm March (almost April) day and a child who wakes up in a good mood (despite having potty all over him because of drinking A LOT before bed) does indeed help.

So, first things first -- the previously mentioned potty was cleaned up and one happy boy came forth....

After breakfast, Luke and I took one of our 4-mile power walks uptown. Did we see any of you?

Notice in this photo how Luke is drinking from his sippy cup...He does that all of the time -- drinks from the side of his mouth. We're not sure why, but we do find it kind of funny.

After the walk, playtime, and lunch -- it was naptime for Luke and all kind of miscellaneous things on the "To Do" list for me.

After naptime, we met a mom I have gotten to know this semester in our Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class. We met at a park. She and her husband have three children with which Luke got upset with when everybody wanted to play with bubbles at the same time (sharing is hard for a 20-month old only child. Do you think he needs a sibling)?

Upon returning from the park, Marc was home and had supper baking in the oven -- the tuna enchiladas that I had already put together. Thanks, Marc!

After supper, I made a brief trip to the grocery store. Marc suggested I pick up this....

Yep, Marc's even a fan of the company's product -- despite their liberal activism.

After our little guy, Luke, went to bed, Marc and I had our monthly budget meeting. Since we're HUGE Dave Ramsey followers, we do have this monthly meeting to "determine and direct where our money should go."

A calculator, stack o' bills, and a notebook are necessities for this meeting....

The part of the budget meeting that made this day sooooo great was that for once, there was more month than money, and we didn't have to spend time figuring out where to cut. Of course, it helps that April is one of two months this year where Marc gets paid three times instead of just twice :)

And, to conclude this post -- I will type out a couple of verses I read in my quiet time with God today. Forgiveness is not always easy, but forgiveness is SO CLEARLY directed in the Bible.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:13-14

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bible Study and Menu Planning Tuesday....

On Tuesday mornings, I'm involved in a Bible Study with 7 other lovely women. During the fall semester and partway through this semester, we read and studied our way through Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas -- an excellent book on marriage if you're looking for one. But beware -- it's challening in a personal way.

Now, we're going through the study, Draw Near to God. Click HERE if you'd like to download it at no charge.

It's been a good study. I find it extremely helpful to hear how the Scripture applies to these other seven ladies' lives.

Lately, I've been going through a bit of a struggle -- a struggle in my heart and in my mind.

I don't want to vague, but at this point, I'm not ready to share this personal struggle publically on this blog.

BUT, I will state publically that through this study and my own private quiet times with God, I have been taught many things. I have been shown many things. I'm coming to realize that I'm not abnormal.

I'm just in a season of life right now that isn't quite as carefree (for lack of a better term) as it used to be.

But, God is so good. He never fails me. He never leaves me. He always continues to show me His goodness -- despite the fact that I'm a bit of a mess right now. And really, we're all messes all of the time. I just happen to be a M.A.J.O.R. mess right now.

I've always been told this, but I'll say it again....If you are currently NOT routinely in God's word, do it immediately. It's an amazing experience.

Today, I was reading through some scripture. I came upon a verse in Psalm 119.

It describes how pain can be used in a good way -- and this case, it's my mental anguish that is causing my pain.

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. Psalm 119:71

Another verse that is helpful right now to me...just a page over from this last verse....

Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Psalm 119:37


And on a completely, much lighter note....Our meal plan for the week (a day or two late)....

Monday, March 29, 2010
Pasta with Olde Westport Spice seasoning

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Creamy Chicken Pasta Carbonara

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuna Enchiladas

Thursday, April 1, 2010
Lemon Chicken Piccata (from Macaroni Grill)

Friday, April 2, 2010
Sarah & Luke: Will be eating supper at Sarah's parents' house

Marc: Will be eating spaghetti & meatballs at Kanopolis State Park

(On Saturday, Marc is running in a 50-mile race. The Friday night meal is an organized "night before the race" meal at the park).

Saturday, April 3, 2010
Lunch: Sarah & Luke will rummage at home; Marc will be running -- will be eating appropriate foods during race

Supper: Sarah & Luke will take a packed lunch to the finish line of the race; Marc will be eating the post-race meal provided at the finish line

Sunday, April 4, 2010
Lunch: Quizno's with a coupon OR Subway

If NOT, we'll figure something out (Marc generally CRAVES some calories the day after a BIG race)

Supper: At Sarah's parents' for Easter

**Am preparing a ham loaf for Easter supper

Monday, March 29, 2010

Some New Toys....

Last night, we went to our friend, Oliver's, birthday party. He's getting ready to turn the big 3 this week.

I actually didn't take any photos at the party...Hopefully, one of Oliver's parents will post some photos (Hint Hint).

But, to the brilliance of Oliver's mother and/or father, they requested no gifts. Instead, each child was to bring a wrapped used toy for a toy exchange amongst all of the kids. WONDERFUL IDEA!


This morning, Oliver and Lily were here.

Oliver showed up with his "new" toy from the exchange.

I'm actually not sure what it's called, but there's a magical little switch inside the ball. When it's turned on, the ball moves uncontrollably. The little animal is attached to the ball. So, it spins as well....

Oliver & Lily think it's funny. Luke was scared of it :(

So, I picked it up for a bit to avoid crying. I put it on the table.

After awhile, Luke saw it. He pointed at it and said, "a ba."

Since he wanted to play with a "ball" so badly, I took it down. He promptly threw it down on the tile floor in our kitchen -- probably not the best for it.

So, I picked it up again and distracted him with one of his balls.

Lily then managed to find this toy. She too promptly threw it on the floor -- again, the tile floor.

So, I hid it.

I hope it still works, Oliver....


A very sweet little girl named Ellie brought another toy for the exchange.

Luke got this toy from Ellie. It's a battery-powered steering wheel that has a horn, a gear shift, and a bunch of buttons that make noise.

This morning, A.L.L. 3 children were amazed with this toy.

While this photo is sweet and cute, it really didn't last long. Shortly after taking this photo, a fight ensued.

So, the toy ended up being taken away for the morning.

Ahhhhh.....the fun of "new" toys!


Being the 20-month old that Luke is, we frequently have a mess of toys in our home. You parents know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

But, when there are two extra children here (as there are here 1-2 mornings/week, it gets especially messy.

Many times, it's worse, but you get the point. Fortunately, Oliver's pretty good about helping me pick up toys if I sing one of two "clean-up" songs with him. Luke's getting the hang of picking up toys -- especially if he sees Oliver cleaning up toys.

Lily's not so much there yet, but she'll get here -- especially with two older boys showing her "the ropes."

And, just for fun -- Luke has been really into playing with these plastic cookie cutters lately. He makes a nice mess. You certainly don't want to step on them with bare feet. But, he does do a good job of picking them up when he's finished.

I'm not sure what the thrill is, but they do keep him busy for a bit.


On a completely different note -- Do you ever have those stages in your life where you feel God is really trying to teach you something? God is always teaching us all things. It's just whether or not we choose to listen to Him and learn.

But, over the last five months or so, I feel God has been teaching me sooooo many things. I almost don't know where to begin. It's one of those things in life I really can't full describe. I'm not sure you can fully understand until it's happened.

So, periodically, I may start posting a few things...I certainly don't want to promise a certain number of times a week or anything, but you know -- when I feel like sharing.


So, here goes....

Like all of us, I periodically do get angry over something -- usually something later to be deemed stupid.

I've been going through The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie. Our friend Jess has mentioned it a couple of times on her blog, and I know several people around here are also going through it.

Anyways, I've been on the chapter titled "Joy Robbers." One of the joy robbers mentioned is anger.

In the book, Nancy (the author) talks about how feeling a flash of anger isn't necessarily a sin. But, anger does become a sin as we entertain it -- as we stir it up and allow it to drive our emotions and steer our actions. (page 278)

I've thought about some times in my life I've been angry. I've thought about those times that the anger expressed caused other sins. Yes, the devil did win in those cases.

The Bible C.L.E.A.R.L.Y. states that anger can cause other emotions or can cause us to sin in other ways.

Whoa -- that's something I need to work on....

Just my "learning" for the day.

In your anger, do not sin; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and DO NOT give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27

Nothing too deep there -- just something to pray about, think about, study about, and remember.

Bye for now!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Messy Boy Hair....

Before I get to the point of this post, I will say that I don't officially have our meals planned out yet for this week. Shame on me! I'll get to that tomorrow.

I know you're all JUST DYING to know what the Friesen's are eating this week. Seriously though, even you don't care what we're eating, it holds me accountable to have a plan in place :)


Well before I ever even THOUGHT of having children (well before Marc came into my life), I admit I have always kind of chuckled (in a VERY LOVING way) about little boys who have messy hair.

You know, the little boys who have short hair and have a certain part on their head that will NOT stay down; the little boys you see at a children's music program with hair sticking up.

I do realize that little girls sometimes have wild hair, but for some reason, I've always liked it when I see little boys' messy hair.

Well, Luke does have short hair, and for right now, we intend on keeping it that way. But now, he's getting to the point where somedays, his hair is sticking up, and there is absolutely NOTHING I can do, aside from using hair products, to keep it down. Someday, you'll see Luke in a children's music program with hair sticking up. My mom and I will be merely laughing -- again, in a loving way (my mom too thinks this phenomenon is cute).

Today was one of those days I was just referring to.

Here are a few photos -- I realize photos don't give the full effect, but you know what I mean -- especially you parents of little boys.

And, to add a little "flavor" to these photos -- it helps that Luke was making somewhat of a mess with his daily dose of yogurt.

Sorry for the ever-so-slight blurriness of this next photo.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ear Infection #2 and A Perfectionist in the Marking....

Wednesday (two days ago), Oliver & Lily were here (they're the two children I watch 1-2 times a week). When they're here, Luke generally does pretty well with "sharing his Mom" with other kids (he didn't at first -- but now, we're all good).

This Wednesday, however, didn't go as smooth. For most of the time Oliver & Lily were here, he was clingy to me and very whiny.

Shortly before their mom came to pick them up, I was holding Luke. He felt warm to me. So, I took his temperature. Yep, he had a fever. That would explain his behavior.

Admittedly, I wanted to scream and/or cry. I'm just sooooo tired of winter and sickness in this household this year.

But, nonetheless, I comforted my sick child and took care of him because I am his mother, and I do LOVE him quite a bit. And, truth be told, I did feel bad for him. No parent ever wants to see their kid sick.

That evening, however, after Marc got home, I did get out of the house for a bit -- I desperately needed out. I was gone for maybe one hour, but this is the cuteness that I came home to....

Yep, my two guys, whom again, I love, had fallen asleep together on the floor. Personally, Luke's position didn't look comfortable to me. But, he didn't seem to mind. It was actually S.A.D. to wake him up to put him into bed.

And, for your information, I did take him to the doctor on Thursday. He does have, once again, an ear infection. I guess I shouldn't complain. It's only the second one in his life. It's just that the two he has had have been awfully close together.


I'm really loving seeing aspects of Luke's personality come out.

This week, I noticed a "perfectionist" side of him.

He really likes to build tall, tall towers with blocks. Here are a bunch of photos....

The tower gets started....

And then, sometimes, the tower falls over. Here's where the "perfectionism" comes out. I've never seen Luke get sooooo frustrated as when the towers fall over before he wants them to. I didn't get a good photo of him really upset, but I promise you, after this tower went over, he was mad.

Fortunately, he is persistent. Even though mad, he does start over and DOES NOT give up. That's a "Marc" for you -- Marc doesn't give up easily, at least not as easily as I do.

So, he starts over again....

Keeps going....

Notice the lip -- it's sheer "determination."

I think it'll be sooooo interesting someday when he's older -- to see what aspects of his personality I will still see.

And, just for fun -- here's my new favorite "cute photo" of Luke.

Bye for now....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Nice Walking Day and Menu Plan.....

Around here, spring break was last week. Since neither Marc nor I are teachers and we don't yet have kids in school, spring break doesn't mean much to us (yet).

But, I did feel kind of bad for spring breakers around here last week. The weather wasn't that great other than maybe a couple days. Then, the week ended with cold and snow.

Of course, today, it was beautiful outside -- just when everybody went back to school.

Nonetheless, Luke and I went out for a walk -- which was MUCH needed.

I didn't take too many photos, but I did get one very cute one of Luke. Truthfully, Luke makes himself look almost pathetic in this photo. Really, he was happy and in a good mood. I guess the thumb and blanket were just more important -- as they frequently are in his little life.


And, here are our meal plans for this week. Last week ended up as a flop. Several evenings went as NOT planned. So, we're doing some repeats this week since I have all of the stuff for the meals.

Monday, March 22, 2010
Turkey Chili
Cinnamon Rolls

(Yes, I decided to do chili ONE more time for this year. This will be it until next winter. We're moving onto more spring-type food. Get the grill ready)!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Chicken Fajitas

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
BBQ Meatballs

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken (from Macaroni Grill)

Friday, March 26, 2010
Beef Enchiladas

**This meal is actually for my parents -- who are watching Luke. Marc and I will be out.

Saturday, March 27, 2010
Lunch: Fish Sticks, Tater Tots

Supper: Salmon, Pasta, Vegetable

Sunday, March 28, 2010
Lunch: Rummage

Supper: Rummage

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Twenty Months....

Today, our little guy, Luke, is twenty months old. Marc and I have really been talking about how much closer he keeps getting to two years (and lately, he sometimes has been acting like he's getting closer and closer to two).

But, nonetheless, we absolutely LOVE this guy.

Marc thinks it feels like we've had him 20 months. I, on the other hand, feel like we've had him 6 months. In other words, time has really gone fast -- at least for me.

Anyways, here are a couple of photos of him in the usual chair.

**And, just so you know -- the very handsome orange shirt he has on is actually his official "Easter" shirt. I realize Easter is still a couple of weeks away, but I was thinking this past week. If spring does hit (which -- it eventually will), he may not be able to wear this long-sleeved shirt very long. And, by next year, he'll have outgrown it. So, Luke will now be getting as much wear as possible in this shirt (per my decison).

Today, in church, he received several compliments on the shirt. "Oh, he looks like such a little man in that shirt." "Oh, he looks like such a little Marc in that shirt."

Yep -- it was worth it to wear even two weeks before Easter. He sure does look nice in it.

And, one more thing....just for fun....

Here's a photo of Luke at eight months old, in the same chair -- exactly one year ago today.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

House Tour -- Part 3....

Remember THIS post and THIS post -- way back in January?

Yep, they were the first two installments of the tour of our house.

I obviously haven't done the greatest job in the world of keeping of with that tour. But, I have a good excuse. Other good things to post about have kept on coming up.

Well, to be honest, I haven't had anything earth-shattering to post about this week. So, here is Part 3 of our house tour....and I'm not doing this because I think our home is anything than less exciting to post about.

So, here's a photo of the front of our house from this past December -- on a snowy day. We have a two-car attached garage. It's on the left side of the house. The garage doors are just hard to see in this photo.

When you walk in our front door, this is what you see....

It's a narrow entrace. I like it except when we've tried to move large pieces of furniture into the house. We've had to get creative.

Anyways, after entering, if you look to the right, you see our long hallway.

We have four bedrooms -- all down this hallway. The first door on the left is my office (or potentially another child's bedroom someday). Luke's bedroom is the first door on your right. Looking straight ahead (at the yellow and white towels hanging up) is my bathroom. Yes, Marc and I have separate bathrooms (we're different like that).

Pretty typical 1970s ranch-style house so far, isn't it? (Our house was built in 1972).

Moving on....

If you look slightly to your left, you'll notice the view into our kitchen (again, this is right after entering our house).

We'll do the kitchen tour (and how much updating it could use) in another post.

If you look straight to your left (after entering the house), you'll notice our nice and cozy (but small) living room.

This room serves several purposes: the piano room, the "entrance" room to our house for guests (where we store people's coats when they come over), the room for Luke to look outside in, and most importantly, my Quiet Time with God Room.

This is my MOST favorite chair in the house. We bought it after we'd been married a couple of years. I hope we have it until we have to move to the nursing home. And, maybe it could possibly go to the nursing home with us. Maybe nursing home rooms will get bigger?????

It's where I read my Bible everyday. It's where I read other times throughout the day. I LOVE it when the house is quiet when Luke's napping in the afternoons. It's oh so cozy :)

We do have a piano. It used to belong to my parents. Then, my mom went and bought a grand piano for their living room. She sold this one to us -- at a great deal.

Yes, I do play the piano, but I don't really feel I play well anymore. I took lessons for many years. After graduating from college, I took a job that required travel. Also, I lived in apartments until I got married. So, between the lack of time and not having a piano in apartments, I didn't play much. My skills went downhill quickly. Someday, I'd like to play again everyday. I think it would come back to me.

In the meantime, I do play some, and I do enjoy it.

This is the part of this post of "keepin' it real." If you look closely (and you really don't have to look that close), you'll notice the thick layer of dust on this piano. That would be because truthfully, I CANNOT STAND to dust. So, it literally is one of the last chores I do. I'm embarrassed about it, but I don't do much about it. I mean, come on, I didn't even dust for this photo for the world to see.

Also, in general, I'm fairly organized. But, for some reason, things I don't know what to do with tend to get stacked on the piano. I think it's because this section of the room doesn't get used much. Therefore, the stacked "stuff" is "out of sight, out of mind," right?

So, to know that I am human and certainly not perfect, just take a look at this piano.

Did you notice that big book shelf in the first photo of this room?

We had that custom-made not too long after we were married. We have quite a few books (and we've downsized our enormous book collection A LOT since we've been married). We wanted somewhere to keep the books. We also wanted to display photos. We also wanted a place to keep board games, card games, etc.

That's how we ended up with this bookshelf. So, if we ever move, this bookshelf WILL go with us. It's not a "fixture" of this house.

In this corner of this room (between the bookshelf and the piano), we have these candles.

Let me try to explain these candles in the least confusing way possible....

We didn't do a traditional unity candle at our wedding.

Instead, we did something that Marc named "Giving of the Light."

We used these candles. Now, here's where you'll have to use your imagination a bit.

At our wedding, behind these candles, we had a single tall candle standing behind these candles.

The single tall candle represented God. Then, the center candle represented our marriage.

The two candles on opposite sides of the center candle (representing our marriage) represented our two families.

Then, the outer two candles represented our friends.

So, during our wedding, when what would have been the "unity candle" time, we had these candles instead.

The pastor lit the single tall candle -- representing God over us (that's why it was taller).

Marc and I lit the center candle -- representing our marriage.

Each of our parents lit the next two candles representing our families -- as supporting us in our marriage.

Both Marc and I chose a close friend (not already in the wedding) to come up and light the outer two candles -- representing our friends who were supporting us in our marriage.

Are you confused yet?

I hope not -- I did the very best to explain the importance of those candles in our home. The taller "God" candle is actually at my parents' house. Since my parents purchased those candles, my mom chose to keep that single candle as a decoration in their house.

Lastly, and this IS NOT the best photo -- here is the front of this living room. We have three fairly large windows looking out into our front yard.

Luke LOVES to look outside. We think it's cute when he does.

So, here's a photo from last week of Luke looking outside. Keep in mind I don't have a fantastic camera to work with every different changing light source.

Now, I must go...maybe I'll go and dust my piano. Then again, maybe not :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Meal Planning Monday and Some More Randomness....

Here are our meals for this week....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ulimate Chicken Fingers (from Bisquick)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pasta with Olde Westport Spice Seasoning

**Also, I'm taking Unusual Arizona Bean Dip as a snack for our Dave Ramsey class

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken & Pasta (from Macaroni Grill box mix)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lunch: Quizno's

Supper: BBQ Meatballs, Potatoes, Vegetable

**Marc is taking 1/2 day Thursday and all day Friday for NCAA Basketball

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lunch: Chicken Salad on croissants, salad

Supper: Will be with friends for NCAA basketball -- will be eating pizza and other foods that aren't healthy

**Will be taking chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips to basketball party

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lunch: Fish Sticks, Tater Tots

Supper: Will be eating at Marc's parents (Marc's mom will be making tacos)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lunch: Rummage

Supper: Eating at Chipotle with Community Life Group

**Our group, after supper, will be heading to Winter Jam 2010


This past weekend, we entered into Daylight Savings Time. So, as you all know, we LOST an hour of sleep Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Luke did O.K. with the time change, but I did have to wake him up for church (not usual).

Marc had to be at church early this past Sunday because he was on "lights" for the services.

I walked in to Luke's room to wake him up, and this is what I found....a very sweet sleeping boy that I really didn't want to have to wake up. But, I did anyways.

Rarely can I walk into his room in the morning and NOT wake him up just merely by walking into his room -- let alone, take a photo :)


And, also at church, each family, upon request, has a mailbox for communication, cards, etc.

After taking Luke to the nursery on Sunday morning, I went to check our mailbox. This is what I found....

Is somebody trying to "drop one of us a hint" that our breath(s) stink? I really hope not.

Do any of you who go to church with us know about this toothpaste in my box? Did any of you get any as well?

We sincerely apologize if our breaths stink!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Randomness....

Here are a few random things for this Friday evening....

1) The other evening, I baked some salmon, specifically Gorton's salmon. We've had it before. It's not the world's greatest salmon, but it is a very quick, healthy dinner for us.

Anyways, when it was in the oven, I, all of a sudden, heard a loud CRACK.

I opened the oven, and this is what I found (only with salmon in it)....

I'm a little disturbed this happened. This was a really good, hearty (obviously not that hearty) baking dish we received as a gift for our wedding. I've used it many times.

Nope -- I'm not going to glue it back together. It's not that worth it. It's already in the trash.

But, I was also a little disturbed because our salmon didn't bake in near the time it was supposed to. In fact, I even thought maybe something was wrong with our oven. Then, I baked cookies today, and they turned out just fine. So, it wasn't our oven.

Fortunately, I have other salmon in our freezer for next week :) Perhaps I'll have better luck.


This week, we tried a new "box" dinner -- from Macaroni Grill. Perhaps you've tried one of these....

Marc and I cannot emphasize ENOUGH just how YUMMY this was....Wow! For a box dinner at home, it was pretty good. We highly recommend it. Plus, it was super easy to make and fairly quick as well.

In fact, we're going to try a different one for next week. I already purchased it today, and we have chicken waiting in our deep freeze for us to use.


Last night, Marc was at a "weather" meeting. So, I took Luke to a Parents as Teachers playgroup/activity evening.

Admittedly, since having Luke in Parents as Teachers, we've done a POOR job at getting to these events. And, I really have ZERO excuses as to why we haven't been to more of these events.

Nevertheless, I'm glad we went last night.

The theme was "animals." So, they had a little "pasture" set up, complete with tools. Luke discovered a rake. He had a hard time putting it down. He raked for awhile, and then, he went over to the "puzzle" table to work on puzzles. The rake went with him. When storytime came, the rake sat down with him to listen to the story.

When it was time to leave and he did have to put the rake down, he screamed and cried.

Perhaps we'll have to get him a cheap set.

Enjoy the overload of photos from one event :)

We MUST do better at getting to these events. Luke had a great time, and they do hand out a complimentary book to all of the kids. You can never have too many books, right?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Fun Little Activity....

I would by no means call myself creative. I mean -- I have a business degree. I worked as an accountant for awhile. Then, I spent 10 years in the big ol' business world...NOT as a marketing person.

In other words, I probably see things probably more black and white rather than a little gray and creative.

So, sometimes I need a little help when it comes to being creative with kids.

Fortunately, we are a part of Parents as Teachers with Luke. I make every effort to read their newsletter -- which often times has ideas of things to do with kids.

I recently came across an easy idea...this was something I could do with Oliver as Luke wouldn't quite be old enough. If you don't know, I have the privilege of watching Oliver and his sister Lily 1-2 times a week. Oliver is almost 3, and Lily is 14 months old. Lily entertains herself pretty well. Oliver has a great imagination and LOVES to talk. He's very curious and eager to learn; therefore, I knew this activity would work well with him.

Basically, you take cream cheese and spread it across graham crackers. Then, you use other "snacky" type foods to make faces or pictures on the graham cracker. We used grapes cut in half, raisins, pretzels, and peanut butter chips (as I didn't have any chocolate chips).

First, I showed Oliver a face.

Then, he took off on his own with this project....

He was very precise....

And, he came up with this (not too bad)....

He ended up doing 3 more faces for a total of 4. And, you include the one I did...we had five faces fairly quickly.

In the end, I let him pick one to eat (Ollie LOVES to eat). He probably would've eaten all of them, but I told him he had to take the rest home to eat later -- with his mom's permission.

After that, I suggested we make letters our of pretzels (Ollie's really into making letters now). He didn't quite understand at first, but one I showed him, he was all over that activity.

He wanted to make a "K" for Kendall (his mom)....

Then, of course, we made his name and his sister's name....

And, of course, Lukey's (Ollie calls Luke, Lukey)....But, we left the "Y" off of Luke's name with pretzels....

Ollie likes to talk with me about all of his friends. This day, however, he wanted to specifically make Ava's name out of pretzels (so Ava -- this is for you)....

In case you're wondering -- Lily was sleeping during this time. But, to not leave her out, here's a VERY CUTE photo of her I was able to catch after her nap. She's such a content little girl. She mostly wonders around our home -- finding toys and carrying them around while jabbering to herself.

And, during this graham cracker/pretzel time with Ollie, Luke found things to play with while occasionally joining us in the kitchen for a pretzel snack. But, here's a photo of him I caught later in the morning. This photo is so "Luke." He has his blanket (the one he wouldn't survive without) up to his nose with his thumb in his mouth.


And finally -- this one is specifically for Ollie and Lily's parents --- here's my "funny" Ollie story from the morning.

Ollie tends to notice everything around our house. He asks MANY questions, but I'm very amazed at how he remembers things and also how he notices if something's out of place in our home.

Anyways, Marc has these cereal containers on a top shelf in our kitchen.

Ollie's noticed them before, but this day, he noticed they were empty. He asked me where the cereal was.

I told him that the cereal was in bags way up high -- behind the containers.

I then explained to him that the containers were empty and that Marc needed to fill them up again (it's Marc's cereal -- I just stay out of it).

Then, Ollie proceeded to give me some instructions.

He said, "Oh -- well then, could you please tell Marc to fill up the cereal containers. Then, ask him if I can have some of his cereal next time I come here."

I promised Ollie I would do that, and I did just that last night after Marc got home.

After a few chuckles ourselves, Marc promised he would comply with Ollie's request.

So Ollie -- next time, you can have some of Marc's cereal as a snack.

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