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!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Worry Box....

WARNING! This will be a long post....I hope my loyal readers/followers will see it through to the end. Go on ahead and grab a cup of caffeinated coffee or your favorite caffeinated pop (yep, we say "pop" here in Kansas). You might need it....if you're in it for the long haul.

This post is one I have debated even posting, but I decided to write a bit from my heart...decided to get a bit personal...I'm doing this in hopes of helping somebody else.

Before I get to the point of this post, I must give two points of background information about myself....So, here they go.

1) The summer between my sophomore and junior years in college, a very good statistics professor at Wichita State University helped me figure out that I was very much a visual learner. I was struggling with something in that class. One day, I was down in her office, and she helped me with a visual exercise which in turn very much helped me get through that class with a very decent grade. Since that time (this would've been the summer of 1996), I have used that same technique in many other avenues of life. Yes, I am indeed a visual learner.

I do think that, because I am such a visual learner, sometimes I do struggle a bit with prayer, why I should pray when God already knows what I need/want...In other words, I can't see God. Why do I pray to Him? In fact, sometimes I think that if I didn't see clear evidence of God's creation (people, geography on earth, etc.), I would seriously wonder a bit more.

But, I do know for a fact that God does exist...not only because of His miraculous creation but because of how much my heart has been changed over the years by His Spirit within me.

Also, it clearly states in Hebrew these words....

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

2) I am a worrier. I come from a family of worriers. I have made fun of my grandmother in the past for being such a worrier, though I know that, in this case, the "apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

My husband has told me I worry too much. When I was pregnant with Luke, the nurse-practitioner who works with my doctor told me I was a worrier.

The list about worrying goes on and on and on....

I recently read in a devotion book that "worrying" is a sin because it is clear-cut evidence of disbelief in God.

Whoa! That one sentence hit home to me BIG TIME!

Here's a photo, a self-portrait even, of me this afternoon....It's kind of a weary look. It's a look I think I have quite a bit. I can tell by looking at this photo that I have A LOT on my mind.


O.K., to the point....

This summer, I've been going through this previously mentioned devotional book with a long-distance friend, a blogging friend whom I've actually never met in person (you know who you are -- you live way too far from here, on the east coast).

One of the chapters mentioning creating a "God Box." I've been saying for probably six weeks now that I was going to do this. Though my "To Do" list was quite long today, I did still carve out time during Luke's nap today to actually make this box -- finally.

It's something visual (remember -- I'm a visual person)...It's something that I think could work GREAT with children. In fact, I will remember this for Luke someday if he takes on worrying like me.

This is something I wish I'd thought of for VBS a few weeks ago....One of the lessons was on "giving your worries and cares to God." This would've been a FANTASTIC little visual project for the kids.

First, I took an empty shoebox I didn't need....

Second, I found some wrapping paper I had in my collection. I had this cute polka dot paper....

Third, I taped the shoebox completely closed!!!!

Fourth, I wrapped the shoebox....

Fifth, I took a razor and cut a small hole in the wrapped box....

Sixth, and I know some of you would get WAY MORE decorative and fancy, I took a permanent marker pen and wrote some of my favorite verses on the box....I picked mainly verses about anxiety and worry.

And, on top, I wrote "Not My Will, but Your's."

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2

O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to hear my cry. Psalm 88:1-2

And, Voila -- the finished product! It really didn't even take that much time to make.

And tonight, I wrote out several slips of paper for this box....

And tonight, I released several HUGE worries of mine right now to God....

Now, the book (where I got this idea) suggests to NEVER look at these worries/requests again....They're given to God, after all. However, I did date them. When the box is full, and I haven't fully decided on this yet, I may look back. I'd like to see how my worries and prayer requests were answered. I know my friend, Debby, journals all requests and then keeps track of answered prayers. This could be my way of doing just that.

Who knows, though????

At first, when I read about this, I thought it was sort of silly to have a "God Box." After all, God is everywhere -- He's not just in a box. But, after I thought about it for awhile AND I also remembered just how much of a visual person I am, I realized that this was a good idea for me.

It is amazing...I did put some serious things in there tonight. I do feel them lifted off of me right now.

Thanks for reading about something deeply personal to me!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Evening Ramblings....

I haven't felt much like blogging over the last sevearal days....I'm not really sure why. I guess I'm in a "blogging funk."

But, to not disappoint my readers (how ever many that may be), I am making a post about odds and ends.

1) I took Luke to the doctor the other day for his 2-year check-up. He did such a FANTASTIC job at the dr's office. I was VERY proud of his behavior.

Once we got into the exam room (which, fortunately, was not long at all), Luke patiently read a book while waiting for his doctor.

And, because some of you have asked....Here are Luke's stats from this very appointment.

Height: 35 inches (67th Percentile)
Weight: 29 lbs. (63rd Percentile)
Head Circumference: 20 inches (93rd Percentile)

2) A little known fact about Marc and me -- We both REALLY ENJOY watching the Tour de France cycling race in July. For those of you unfamiliar with this race, it's the three-week cycling race in Europe -- primarily in France. Many of you reading this blog would perhaps find this race incredibly boring. We, however, enjoy it for many reasons -- the team strategies behind it, the sheer endurance of it (the riders pedal nearly 2,200 miles in a three-week time period), and of course, the European scenery. Both Marc and I have been in Europe, and we one day hope to go back -- hopefully, to watch part of this race. Each July, when this race is on, we get a strong "itching" to travel to Europe.

And, you might know this -- this is the race that famous cyclist, Lance Armstrong, won 7 times (1999-2005) -- even after fighting a cancer battle.

Today, cyclist Alberto Contador officially won the race...He's from Spain. It wasn't, unfortunately, a stellar year for the US riders. Perhaps next year????

So, this is what our TV looks like throughout a good portion of July...

3) Tomorrow (Monday, the 26th), our oldest niece, Grace, turns 5. Last night, we traveled to my brother and sister-in-law's home for her party.

Like a good grandmother, my mom gave each grandchild a little something -- even though it wasn't all of their birthdays.

Luke received a cute little Thomas train. It was a HUGE hit! He wasn't so much interested in watching it move across the floor as he was in how the wheels worked. I'm starting more and more to see signs of Luke being really interested in how things work. He'll probably someday be the child who takes apart something and works for hours putting it back together.

4) Marc is directing a 5 km race (run or walk) on September 18, at 5:00 in the evening. It is via our church....It is called "Run for Hope." Unfortunately, I can't give away too much more information at this point because some of the details are still "being ironed out." But, if you're local, we'd love to have you come out. After the race, there will be a BBQ and a concert. This race will be in memory of and in honor of cancer patients.

I will post more on this blog when more information is available. Also, our friend, Jess, will most likely be posting something on her blog as well....Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Big T.W.O....

Today is Luke's second birthday. It's been such a great and wonderful two years with him. We're so very grateful for the gift that God has given us in Luke.

I remember the day two years ago so very well....But, I won't put all of the details into this blog post. You can certainly look in the archives of this blog for those details :)

But, here are some of the very first photos of Luke....

And, just for memories sake...Here's a photo of Luke one year ago today.

And, what you've all been waiting for, I'm sure...Here's Luke today.

Now, you might notice something...There's no "2" to be seen on his shirt.

Well, he does indeed have a "2" on his shirt. However, our friend, Kendall, came up with this very cute idea for a birthday card. Since Luke is SOOOOO into lawnmowers right now, Kendall found some lawnmower pictures on the internet (I think). Then, she glued them onto a card.

Let's just say that Luke REALLY liked his birthday card. He liked it so much that he would NOT pull the card down for this photo.

So, we are going to get another "2" photo....But, we'll have to do it another day when the lawnmower card is NOWHERE to be seen :)

Thanks, Kendall...It was a HIT!


I recently finished reading THIS BOOK....

If you can't read the title in the somewhat blurry photo, it's called That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys To Become Men of Character. It's written by Rick Johnson.

It's slightly written toward single moms -- moms of boys who don't have any sort of father figure around. But, I will say that this book was pretty good for any mom. Though Luke has a wonderful and very involved father around, I still learned a few things -- very insightful, overall.

At the very end of this book was a paragraph that was really touching for me to read. It was so touching that I actually personalized it and wrote it out on an index card to hang up somewhere in my house that I will see often.

I'd like to share it (personalized to me)...

God loves me, and He loves our son, Luke. God has wonderful things in store for Luke. He purposely chose me, out of all the women in the world, to be Luke's mother. God knows the struggles and challenges I have faced, I do face, and I will face. He knows all of my faults and failures as a human and as a mother, and yet He still chose me as the right person to raise His child -- because He also knows all of my strengths and skills. Truly, I am worthy to be Luke's mother, an awesome woman.

From that point, in my daily devotion time the other day, I was reminded of a few verses in Acts that I think go with that paragraph. So, I want to end this blog post with these very important verses.

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....'We are His offspring.' Acts 17:26-28

Happy 2nd Birthday, Luke!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Luke's Birthday Party....

Luke's 2nd birthday is tomorrow, the 21st. But, we had his party this past Saturday evening, the 17th. We decided to just keep his party to just family again this year -- we'll see what next year brings :)

Just for fun -- to start out the morning, Luke, about 2 hours after breakfast, asked for "nacks" (a.k.a. snacks). I pulled out some crackers. Usually, he'll sit on the floor and eat "nacks." But, out of the blue, he wanted to sit at the table -- NOT in his booster seat. I guess he did actually know that his birthday is coming up, and he wanted to be a big boy.

In all seriousness, though, this is a good photo of Luke in his "2" shirt -- my mom once again made his shirt for his birthday!

Marc and I both come from small families. Marc is only child. I only have one brother. So, the party consisted of Marc's parents, my parents, and my brother and sister-in-law and their three girls (Luke's cousins)!

For supper, we had grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, oriental salad (a family favorite), baked beans, strawberry whip (another family favorite), and of course, potato chips (Luke's absolute favorite).

Sooooooo, on Luke's plate, I served up a bunless hot dog, some strawberry whip, and some potato chips. Guess what he ate?

If you guessed potato chips only, you'd be correct. Nope -- Luke did not touch his strawberry whip or hot dog. I decided to not FRET over it. After all, it was his birthday party.

I did something a little bit different for dessert this year. I didn't go with the traditional cake. I ordered cookies from Connie's Cookies.

Since we all know Luke LOVES trains, I went for the train cookies. I actually asked them if they could do some lawnmower cookies as well (because Luke also really LOVES lawnmowers of any kind right now), but they said they could not. Nevertheless, the trains turned out cute.

So first, we all sang "Happy Birthday" to Luke. I think he enjoyed the singing, though I know he still didn't totally get what we were doing.

Then, we all indulged in the wonderful cookies!

And, as most kids do, neither Luke nor his cousins stayed at the table very long after eating. They, however, convinced their grandmother (my mom) to entertain them while waiting on everybody else to finish up. But, at least the entertainment involved quite a bit of reading :)

Then, Marc and I decided it was time to open presents. Luke's two older cousins, did a pretty good job at sitting still and watching Luke open his presents -- with Grandma, of course.

Luke received some savings money (VERY important) and a little pull-dog from Marc's parents. Sorry, I didn't get a great shot of Luke's face with his little dog.

From Uncle Joel and Aunt Amber (and Luke's three cousins), Luke received a truck...Yep, Luke LOVED it! In fact, this photo was actually taken the next day in the car. Yes, it went in the car with us to church.

And, from my parents, he received a couple of bags of potato chips (Yep, Luke was truly indulged here), some new clothes, and the ultimate -- a little 4-wheeler!

Luke could NOT wait for the 4-wheeler to get out of the package. He kept trying to get on the 4-wheeler while Marc and my dad worked on getting it out of the package. This was accompanied with very cute and funny "boy noises" (you know, noises like trucks and cars make).


After this point, we all headed over to our local sprinkler park. But, because this post is fairly long, I'll save that for another post :)

But, just to end this post -- the next morning, upon getting up, Luke IMMEDIATELY went to his new 4-wheeler. So, here's a photo of Luke with the 4-wheeler IN his pajamas (just to prove it).

And, after church and lunch, Luke was once again on his 4-wheeler, while holding his new truck from his aunt and uncle....And, if you look closely at this photo, you'll notice Luke is also wearing one of his new shirts he received from my parents.

And no, this photo was NOT set up by us. This is how we found Luke.

MAN -- words cannot describe how much Marc and I love this boy, and neither of us can believe he's 2 already. People tell us all of the time that time just gets faster as kids get older. So, I guess we need to hold on....it's going to speed up!

Stay tuned for more of Luke's party as well as his actual birthday!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vacation Bible School....

This week is Vacation Bible School at our church. The curriculum/program we're using is called Saddle Ridge Ranch. It's based around a cowboy/western/ranch theme. So, it's been fun to see the kids/teachers/helpers in western-type attire.

I've been saying for nearly a year now (to Marc) that this summer, I really wanted to help at VBS -- especially since there are some WONDERFUL volunteers to watch the little kids during this time since VBS is officially for those who have completed kindergarten.

I actually haven't helped with a VBS for probably close to 20 years --since I was in high school.

I had originally signed up to help with 2nd grade. Then, last week, I received a phone call from our Children's Ministry Director that one of the 2nd grade classes was still in need of a teacher. I agreed to actually teach if somebody else would kind of help me in the classroom (especially with the decorating and such)....

So, that's when my friend, Kendall, stepped in. (Thanks Kendall). Kendall taught 3rd grade for quite a few years, and she's now a Pre-K teacher. So, she has slightly more experience than I do (not to mention some good ideas on discipline and such).


the motto for VBS this year is "Need Answers, Ask God."

The "theme" verse is James 1:5.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

What a great verse!

And, to start out, just a few photos -- of our child (I hope you don't mind)....

This morning, my friend, Torri, mentioned to me that Luke seemed to be the only 2 year-old (yes, he's in the 2 year-old class though he doesn't turn 2 until next week) doing some of the "motions" to the song in the opening each day.

Well, I really wanted a photo, but I knew if Luke saw me he probably wouldn't want to hang out with the class.....

So, I gave the camera to my good friend Andrea to take a couple of photos. Andrea said that when she was there with the camera, he'd only do one motion -- Keep in mind that Luke knows Andrea....Apparently, he just kept asking for Ava (Andrea's daughter)....

But, what Andrea got is worth A LOT to me....Thanks Andrea. They are indeed cute and precious.

And, the 2 year-olds do have a lesson each day....The first day's lesson was "God Made Food." Luke came home with a color sheet. I hung this on the refrigerator; not so much because of Luke's artwork but because I truly think that "God Made Food" is very appropriate for our household. Those of you who know Marc know just how important food is to him.

Thanks Mark and Anbeth (and your helpers) for teaching the 2 year-olds for nearly 3 1/2 hours each day during this week! I LOVE that Luke's in good hands while I'm with the 2nd graders.

And, there will be more photos to come -- and not just of Luke :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Father's Day Gift....

Yep, Father's Day was almost a month ago, but I'm just now posting Marc's gift :)

Last year, I used Beki's (@ the Rusted Chain) idea for a Father's Day gift -- and I'm think many of you used it as well.

This "picture of a picture" was from last year....

This year actually proved to be a bit more difficult -- Luke was much more into moving around for these photos....

But, here's how they turned out....

Unfortunately, I can't show you the finished product in a frame. The day after Father's Day, Marc took it to work to hang up near his desk....

But, those were the photos that went toward Marc's gift!

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