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!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Meal-Planning Monday and A Few Miscellaneous Photos....

Soooo, I'm going to take a one or two post break from our vacation. I hope you all don't mind.

It has come to my attention several times recently (by my husband) that I haven't been posting our meal plan out each week. Yep, I have still most definitely been meal-planning, but I haven't posted.

You see -- Marc likes to check this blog at work so he can look forward to certain foods when he's driving home (and if you know Marc, this should NOT surprise you)....

So, here's this week's meal plan....

Monday, August 30, 2010
Lemon Chicken Piccata (a Macaroni Grill fix-it meal)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sarah and Luke: Will be going to zoo with grandparents -- will pack supper to take along

Marc: Will eat out with little remaining money in "Eating Out/Entertainment" budget for August

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Macaroni Lasagna

Thursday, September 2, 2010
Fish & Chips

Friday, September 3, 2010 (Marc is taking the day off -- YAY!)
Lunch: Taco Tico

Supper: Tater Tot Casserole, Vegetable

Saturday, September 4, 2010
Lunch: Reception at church

Supper: Baked Chicken, Beans, Vegetable

Sunday, September 5, 2010
Lunch: Eating with Community Life Council at church

Supper: Pizza with Community Life Group


And, just for fun....

Luke, in recent months, has REALLY taken to wearing sunglasses, playing with sunglasses, and nearly always having sunglasses with him. He mostly wants to play with our sunglasses, BUT both Marc and I have some pretty good quality sunglasses (costing a bit of money to purchase). Therefore, Luke is NOT allowed to play with our sunglasses.

Thankfully, we have a Dollar Tree here in town where I can purchase sunglasses for a whopping one dollar. Then, if they're lost or broken, it's not such a big deal.

Marc took these photos last night...He took them with his iPhone; therefore, even though we both LOVE our iPhones, the photos aren't the best quality.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Our Vacation -- Day 2....

If you read THIS POST, you'll know that we recently returned from our vacation to Minnesota.

If you read THIS POST, you'll know about the first day of our vacation.

The second day of our vacation wasn't too much more exciting than our first day (mainly driving); however, it ENDED on a GREAT NOTE -- getting to see our friends face to face.

So, we took off in the morning from Kansas City....In that city, we crossed into the state of Missouri.

You'll have to take my word for it....I didn't have the camera ready in time for the official cross-over.

We drove and drove some more....

Then, we ended up in Iowa.

Finally, in Des Moines, IA, we saw signs to MINNEAPOLIS! YAY!

Iowa has a few too many casinos, in our opinion....But actually, in our opinion, one casino is one too many (but, I digress)....

This one, however, is absolutely worthy of making fun of....Terrible's Casino.

Oh my -- it's quite an eye-sore for the interstate. It's located very near the Iowa/Minnesota line.

I hope you appreciate the bug juice on the windshield as much as we did.

And voila -- the Minnesota state line!

We started out in Kansas City that morning a little after 9:00 A.M. We arrived in the Twin Cities right around 5:00 P.M. (on a weekday) -- just in time for the 5:00 traffic. So, once we were in the cities, it took us a bit longer than expected to actually get to our hotel.

So, it ended up being a little after 6:00 when we arrived at the hotel. Yep, it was a long day with a 2 year-old in the car; however, Luke did O.K. -- all things considered. We were quite proud of him for being such a trooper.

Our friends, Tammy and Reynold, and their two boys, Caleb and Jesse, hadn't quite arrived yet, at that point. So, we walked next door from the hotel to a Chili's.

Yes, I realize we do have a Chili's in Wichita, and yes, Marc and I typically like to try new restaurants when we visit places.

But, here were our thoughts at the time -- 1) We don't visit Chili's often AT ALL in Wichita. So, it was sort of a new experience for us. 2) We were traveling with a fairly tired 2 year-old. We knew they'd have some yummy chicken strips for him.

It worked well! I'm glad we ate there.

Can you see the "weary traveler" look in Luke's eyes? Yes, food made it all better.

After eating, we went back to the hotel, and our friends had arrived at this point. So, after a quick "Hello" and some quick hugs, we discussed our game plan for the next two days....Then, the boys all went to bed.

Tammy and I then went to a local grocery store to pick up some staples.

Then -- to bed....More on the next fews days in later posts.

But, very quickly....

Many of you know that I worked for International Dairy Queen (the headquarters for Dairy Queen restaurants) for a whopping 10 years of my life -- right after graduating from college until right after having Luke.

I'm reasonably certain I've mentioned this before on this blog, but the home office for Dairy Queen is located in Minneapolis. So, in that ten years, I spent a fair amount of time in Minneapolis. I figured I've spent, all together, probably 4 months of my life in Minneapolis. I've visited the cities in all four seasons, and I can honestly say that the spring, summer, and fall beat the winter.

I will also say that it was more fun to visit these cities without work commitments.

BUT, even though I wouldn't trade my position in life right now for anything (being a stay-at-home mom to Luke), there is a part of me that is sentimental.

So admittedly, I was somewhat excited when our GPS took us right by the home office building to get to our hotel. Yep, I took a photo.

If you've ever wondered what the big ol' DQ headquarters looks like, here it is....Notice the DQ logo on the upper right hand side of the building.

And, the "official" entrance on the other side of the building....

Marc first saw this building when he visited me up there almost 2 1/2 years ago. Marc wasn't that impressed because it isn't that exciting.

While I would agree that the outside of the building isn't that exciting, the inside is a bit more....I mean, after all, the inside of that building is where burgers and treats are created. It's where commercials are decided on. It's where ideas are formed.

It was a company that treated me well for 10 years. It was the company where I met some great people -- some of whom I still keep in contact with. It was a job which shaped me quite a bit over 10 years.

So yes, I am sentimental -- even to a building in Minneapolis.

But, I'm even more sentimental to this little guy....

And, of course, I'm sentimental toward my husband/Luke's Dad as well!

Thanks for reading....Stay tuned for more of the Friesen Vacation to Minnesota! Whoo-Hoo!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Our Vacation -- Day 1....

If you read my previous post, you'll know that we just returned from a vacation to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota. We met our friends, Tammy & Reynold, and their two boys up there. They had driven down from Winnipeg, Manitboba, to meet us there.

We left on Wednesday, the 18th, after Marc got home from work. That first evening, we just drove from home to Kansas City....we wanted to break up the drive a bit from here to Minnesota since we were traveling with a 2 year-old...Though Luke, overall, did VERY WELL in the car, we're glad we split the drive up.

I spent most of the day doing final packing and such....Luke quickly learned how to pull luggage....A task we definitely want him to learn (though right now, he's not quite ready to do it all on his own)....

**And, just to give you fair warning -- the first two days were NOT the exciting part of our vacation, but I feel like they should be documented -- at least for us.

Soooooo, we headed out. Since supper time was quickly approaching, we didn't get far before we stopped along the highway (at a designated little "park" area) to eat. I had packed supper to take along. All was fine and dandy except we quickly had the first tears of the trip (it didn't take long, of course) after Luke had fallen between a picnic table and a park shelter post. Yes, he was fine...But, some much needed "Mommy Time" did make it all better.

From that point on, we didn't stop again before reaching Kansas City. I had packed some "new" things for Luke for this trip.

Pipe cleaners....

Honestly, the pipe cleaners didn't entertain Luke very long. But, I'll save the remainder because someday, he might just be interested.

I then pulled out something Luke didn't realize we had brought along -- a borrowed DVD player for the car. S.C.O.R.E.!!!

I realize there are MANY varying degrees of opinion regarding DVD players in the car. I don't necessarily want this post to be a sounding board for those opinions, but for us, the borrowed DVD player worked out well. Somebody once told me, "Well, they're sitting in the car anyways (as opposed to running around), they might as well be watching something fun and/or educational.

(And thanks, Seth and Sarah, for letting us borrow your DVD player(s))....

Anyways, Luke really enjoyed watching Elmo in Grouchland as well as I Love Big Trains all the way up and all the way back from Minnesota (with a few small breaks from the DVD player).

Thanks to my pickiness and insistence (is that a word?), we stayed in a "suite" instead of a regular hotel room. That way, we were not sleeping in the same room as Luke. That was the BEST THING we could have done. Luke moves around a lot in his sleep (therefore -- he is loud). For me at least, it's hard to sleep in the same room as him. Also, he could go to bed and we could be up with the TV on, etc....Plus, if you do a little research, you can find a suite for the same price as a moderately-priced hotel.

So, for the first night in Kansas City, we stayed in an Embassy Suites.

Luke enjoyed the new "exploring territory."

And again....Our "bedroom"

SEPARATE from Luke's Pack 'n Play....

And, that was our "exciting" first day (I promise -- it gets better)....I am happy to report that Luke slept very well....No getting up in the middle of the night for these two happy parents :)

Stay tuned for the more exciting parts of our vacation....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Bit About Our Vacation....

Two days ago, on Monday, we returned from our family vacation to Minnesota (specifically, the Twin Cities)....

This trip was Luke's first official trip...Yes, it took us that long to take him anywhere substantial. For being the traveling fools we once were (before Luke), it's a bit sad we hadn't been anywhere very far with him.

I'm not really sure why...Some of it's money reasons, some of it was because we didn't want to "hassle" with it, but mostly -- we did A LOT of traveling before Luke....so many of the places we want to travel now would require Luke NOT being with us (many of the places we want to go are far away or not very small-child friendly).

Excuses, Excuses, I guess....

BUT, we went up to Minnesota to meet our friends, Tammy and Reynold, and their two boys, Caleb and Jesse.

Tammy and I go way back....to like our freshman year in college (16 years ago)...Now, we live way too far apart (they live in Manitoba)...But, these trips are a great way to connect.

This trip, however, was a bit different than some of our previous trips together. This time, there were three little boys to tag along -- an almost 4 year-old (Caleb), a just turned two year-old (Luke), and a 21 month-old (Jesse). Needless to say, the dynamics changed a bit from previous trips with Tammy and Reynold.


Being Luke's first BIG trip (we've taken him on a couple of small overnight excursions), we weren't totally sure how he'd do. I wasn't at all extremely concerned; however, there was a bit of uncertainty.

I'm pleased to say that Luke did FABULOUS. Marc and I were recapping some of the trip to ourselves last night. We both said that, overall, Luke definitely EXCEEDED our expectations (we sound like a survey result, don't we?)

A good portion of the trip, he was like this....

(And no, he didn't soak through a diaper -- as it appears in this photo. He was having way too much fun with water -- I'll explain in a later post).

But, please don't think I'm making Luke out to be perfect. Though he's mostly a pretty content little guy and we love him to pieces, we did have some of this on the trip....After all, he IS TWO.

Sooooo, rather than loading MANY photos to one post, I'll break up our trip in to several different posts -- COMING SOON!

**I hope you don't get too bored with a replay of our family vacation!

**And, THANKS a whole bunch for my previous post's comments. There are a few of you out there who do read. I'll work on a few of the suggestions :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Debate in My Mind....

I've been debating something in my mind recently, and I'd like a bit of help.

I don't know how many people routinely look at my blog. Is it just a few? Or, is it quite a few?

Is my blog interesting?

I realize I'm not crafty or anything; therefore, don't look for that to start up soon.

I originally started this blog so that friends and family could see Luke (I started it shortly before he was born).

For some reason, though, I feel like God is telling me to do more with it....like making it a bit more purposeful for Him.

I don't know....

Soooooo, with all of this rambling in mind, do any of you have any ideas?

Several people I know have done this in the past, and I think I'll try it (it'll be a way to see how many people read this blog or care what goes on in our lives or in my mind).

Besides ideas for this blog, what questions do you have for me? Ask anything...I'm willing to answer nearly anything at this point (within reason, of course).

Leave comments, please.

And, because I don't want to break the "rule" of a post without a photo (whatever that rule means)...Here's a photo of our Little Guy that I took today....There will be more explanation next week about where this photo was taken.

Lastly, I have an "app" on my iPhone that pulls up a random Bible verse each time you launch the app....Here's what just pulled up.

Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Little Bit of Thursday Randomness....

Marc frequently laughs at me or laughs at any suggestions I might have. Some would say he's quite rude because of just that, but I disagree with that statement. Admittedly, I do sometimes tell Marc he is rude, but in all seriousness, Marc's not rude at all.

But, I also do know that when he laughs at me, he does it in an endearing way, and many times, I truly do deserve it.

This was the case today....

We were talking about going to Subway for lunch. I wasn't really that hungry, and so, I suggested that he and I split a 6" sub.

This was the look I got....

For those of you who know Marc, you would know that what I said (about splitting a 6" sub) is pretty much ridiculous. Marc would NEVER split a 6" sub with me....even though he does occasionally split a foot long sub with me.

Sooooo, yes, Marc does laugh at me sometimes. But, when I make suggestions like that, I think I deserve it.


I've mentioned before that Luke LOVES to wear Marc's hats....

This evening, we were eating at Chili's....In an effort to entertain Luke while waiting on food (we did not order an appetizer and it was getting pretty late -- especially for Luke's supper), Marc nicely gave Luke his Texas Longhorns visor.

When the food did finally come, Luke HAD to leave the visor around his neck.

We thought it was cute anyways.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Cute Little Song In My Head....

Some of you regular readers of this blog might remember THIS POST back in July....

Just a very condensed recap...

1) I taught at our church's Vacation Bible School...I taught in one of the second grade classes, and my good friend, Kendall, was one of the helpers.

2) We used the curriculum from the Saddle Ridge Ranch series. It was a lot of fun!

Anyways....during that time, I had purchased the CD that went along with the curriculum. It's been great to listen to some of the songs in the car -- especially with Luke.

One of the songs in particular, I have become VERY attached to....I'm not even sure of the exact name, but I call it, "I Know What I'm Gonna Do." Here are the lyrics -- at least the lyrics that are completely in my head (so, I hope I'm typing them out correctly)....

I know what I'm gonna do, I am going to live in ways that honor You.
I know what I'm gonna do, I am going to live in ways that honor You.



These are the qualities I will seek....

Giving Thanks

In Everything

Letting the promises of God protect my heart and my mind
Fixing my thoughts on what is true and right....


As a side note, the 4 and 5 year-olds sang and did motions to this song at the VBS program -- VERY CUTE!

So, I don't know if it's the catchy tune, the cute kids doing motions, or the words that grab my attention, but I REALLY like this song.

In all reality, I hope it's the words that caught my attention....

Nevertheless, it's REALLY had me thinking over the last month about whether or not my actions in life are honoring to God.

Sadly, I can think of times when my actions have NOT been honoring to God. Those were times that my actions probably were not inviting to non-Christians to seek out Jesus.

Fortunately, God forgives us -- each and everytime. Because NONE of us are perfect or sinless, God sent his only Son, Jesus to live a sinless life here on earth and then die on the cross for each of us. And, should be choose to believe in Jesus with all of our hearts and confess with our mouths that God raised Jesus from the dead (see Romans 10:9), we are saved from death -- we are promised a glorious life in heaven with Jesus after our physical death here on earth.

In the meantime, I will strive to have all of my actions be honoring to God. That's what He wants from us....That's what will help others seek Jesus here on earth.

That song actually goes with the last day's lesson (from VBS)....The lesson was based on Philippians 4:4-9...Here is that passage.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me -- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9

And, just to finish off this post....Here are some random photos that I took during VBS that week....Because I didn't get permission from any of the parents, I will not put any of the kids' names with the photos....But, trust me, they were all very sweet kids, and it was a fun, but exhausting, week.

Game Time:

Craft Time:

And, classroom time:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sarah's Dad's Birthday....

Yesterday evening (Sunday), we headed to my parents' house in Andover (KS) to celebrate my (Sarah) dad's 61st birthday. His birthday actually isn't until Friday, the 20th, but this particular weekend worked best for us all to get together.

Admittedly, this won't be the most exciting blog post because of my lack of photos. For some reason, I didn't get too many. But fortunately, my sister-in-law, Amber, got a few to share.

But, contrary to my previous paragraph, I don't want to make it sound like it wasn't fun or exciting last night...My Dad's birthday was certainly worth celebrating.

So, as part of my family's tradition -- the birthday person (in this case, my dad) gets to choose the meal. My dad chose grilled steak (which he actually grilled himself), broccoli salad, strawberry whip, au gratin potatoes, bread, grapes (for the kids, mainly), and my mom's famous (and quite YUMMY) German Chocolate Cake for dessert.

Because the weather suddenly turned MUCH cooler (of which we are VERY grateful), quite a bit of time was spent outside -- at least by the kids and the guys. My mom and I mainly spent time inside, talking and holding Maddie (our new niece).

My dad, my brother (Joel), and Marc really enjoy shooting their identical BB guns in the backyard. I'm not even sure what all they usually shoot, but last night, I know it was pop cans.

Luke was out there, but I fully trust the guys to make sure he stays out of the way. Also outside were our two other nieces, Grace and Natalie (Maddie's older sister).

I think Luke just really enjoys watching the guys and their activities.

And, my new favorite photo of my dad -- with three of the four of his grandchildren....

After my dad opened his present, it was getting quite late. We decided to head home. Unfortunately, Marc and I stretched it a little too far with Luke being up past his bedtime. The first half of our trip home wasn't very pleasant. Luke cried and cried and threw a fit in his carseat. Ultimately, I think he was so tired, and he just wanted to be held by me. But, safety dictated that I didn't do that.

The whole scenario ended when Marc finally pulled off the highway and went around to Luke's seat. There was some much needed sternness involved toward Luke. From that point on, Luke didn't cry; however, there was still quite a bit of sniffling the rest of the way home.

By the time we got home, all was forgiven. And, our little guy was VERY sweet in my arms as I rocked him a bit before bed. Luke ended up not sleeping in extremely late this morning, but he more than made up for lack of sleep with a VERY long nap this afternoon.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

VERY FULL on chicken....

Last Saturday evening (August 7), Marc and I, along with part of our Community Life Group from church, took the "a little over an hour" drive to Abilene, KS, to eat at the Kansas-famous Brookville Hotel and Restaurant.

In case you've never been to this restaurant, we DO recommend it -- if you're in the area. It's worth the drive.

First off, this was a kid-free event -- which was a nice change of pace. Three couples could go that evening (we missed you, Tim & Johannah); therefore, we all piled into one vehicle with enough seatbelts for all of us. Thanks Mark and Lisa for driving, and thanks Lisa for your FEARLESS and VERY ATTENTIVE driving (Lisa did avoid us being in a major accident at one point in time on this trip).

My friend, Sarah, and I took the very back of the vehicle -- always a different view from that part of the vehicle.

Upon arriving, the Brookville staff had a table ready with only about 2 minutes of waiting -- YAY!

At this restaurant, the menu is the same for everybody -- 1/2 of a fried chicken (per person), mashed potatoes, gravy, VERY creamy (and quite yummy) cole slaw, biscuits, salad, and ice cream. With the exception of the ice cream, everything is served "family style."

So, once you get drinks served, the food is brought out pretty much right away.

**Before I go any further, keep in mind that I did NOT mess with any of my settings on my camera. Therefore, in true non-photographer Sarah fashion, some of these photos are a bit dark...But, at least you'll get a glimpse of our evening.

Anyways, let's just say that Marc and Seth definitely enjoyed their chicken as well as everything else on their plates. They most definitely won the prize for consuming the most! In all fairness, Seth is leaving shortly on an extended business trip. During that time, their extended family will be going to this restaurant for a birthday party. Seth is a bit bummed to be missing the opportunity to go here again...So, he made up for it last weekend when we were all there :)

And, our entire group (in the dark -- again, my lack of changing settings on my camera)....

And, several of us agreed that the ice cream (for dessert) needed to have some sundae toppings included...So, Seth invented his own....a leftover cinnamon apple from earlier in the dinner. He said it was actually rather tasty. Marc used leftover jam on his ice cream for additional sweetness, but I forgot to take a photo of that one.

This may possible be TMI, BUT before leaving, we did converse briefly about which route we needed to take home -- the one which takes us in the middle of nowhere (with no restroom facilities other than the side of the road) or the interstate (which is a bit longer but would include some restroom opportunities if needed)....We, at first anyways, weren't all sure we'd make it home with our digestive systems soooooo busy after this meal.

We opted for the "middle of nowhere" route home (K-15 for your Kansan readers)...We all made it. (Again, probably TMI)....

But, we did stop for some gum to keep the digestive juices flowing....So, to end this post, here's Seth demonstrating just how much gum he can have at one time.

If you haven't ever tried this restaurant, we highly recommend it! It was a fun "group" trip -- especially when the kids are with sitters!

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