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, September 21, 2010

Applesauce Bars and Papa....

Yesterday, I made THIS POST with the "Friesen Weekly Meal Plan." In that plan, I mentioned that I was making applesauce bars for my Tuesday morning Bible Study group. My friend, Carolyn, suggested I share the recipe...So, here it is.

I must be honest first. It's not AT ALL my original recipe. It's actually from my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. It's kind of hidden, though. It's actually under "Pumpkin Bars," but instead of using pumpkin, you use applesauce.

Here goes....

2 C. All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 C. Sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
4 beaten eggs
15-ounce applesauce (I used the unsweetened variety)
1 C. Cooking oil

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cloves. Stir in the eggs, applesauce, and oil until combined. Spread in an ungreased 15 X 10 X 1-inch baking pan.

**Note: I used a 9 X 13 baking dish, and it worked just fine!

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 2 hours on a wire rack. Spread with cream cheese frosting. Cut into bars/pieces.


**This morning, when I was making the yummy cream cheese frosting for this cake, I realized I had ACCIDENTALLY purchased Fat-Free Cream Cheese (I absolutely didn't mean to do that). My frosting did NOT turn out as I had wanted. It was a bit runny, and I was disappointed. So, sorry ladies! I'll do better next time!


Luke has developed a VERY SPECIAL relationship with my dad (i.e. Papa). This is a relationship absolutely NOBODY could've explained to me before Luke was born. It actually has been one of my top 10 favorite things to watch with Luke. The whole thing makes me just tear up with joy.

If we tell Luke Papa is coming, Papa better be close. Luke doesn't like to wait. He runs to our front window or door and just waits. When Papa arrives, Luke runs out into our yard to greet him.

Luke typically spends quite a bit of time with Papa when he arrives.

Needless to say, I have quite a few photos of Luke and his Papa.

The other day was Grace Community Church's Run for Hope. Since Marc directed this race, Marc asked my dad (again, i.e. Papa) to volunteer. So, Luke was pretty excited (and a bit surprised) to see Papa when we pulled into the church parking lot before the race.

Papa's always a good sport. He lets Luke play with his hats -- letting Luke put on and take off his hats.

My parents live about 40 minutes away, and they do attend a different church. So, the next morning after the race (a Sunday), Luke was VERY disappointed when Papa wasn't there. Upon pulling into the church parking lot, Luke just sat in the backseat asking for Papa. I had a hard time explaining to a very young 2 year-old that Papa just wasn't there that day -- unlike the day before (which is what he remembered).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekly Meal Plan and Lugging a Backpack....

Here's the "Friesen Meal Plan" for this week...

Monday, September 20, 2010
Beef/Bean/Cheese Burritoes

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Chicken Enchiladas

**Take breakfast to Tuesday morning Bible Study (will be taking Applesauce Bars with Cream Cheese frosting -- sounds healthy, doesn't it?)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Sloppy Joes

Thursday, September 23, 2010
Chipotle Macaroni Casserole

Friday, September 24, 2010
Baked Chicken
Baked Beans

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Lunch: Marc's Choice

Supper (also Marc's Choice): Homemade Pizza, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

And because I just mentioned their ice cream, here's a goofy photo of Marc and me at the Ben & Jerry's "factory"/"headquarters" in Vermont in 2003 :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lunch: Rummage/Leftovers

Supper: Baked Fish, Fries (our version of "Fish and Chips")


Luke really likes to play with Marc's things...Marc, I think, is a very generous Daddy in regards to what Luke plays with. One thing Luke really likes to have is Marc's backpack...He even likes to wear it with things in the backpack -- to the point of almost tipping over.

It's pretty funny for us to watch.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Little Reminiscing -- Part 1....

I realize I've left you all hanging for the finale of our vacation a month ago....But, as a woman, I multi-task. I have MANY things going on in my mind at once.

So, I haven't forgotten about finishing up our vacation, BUT I need to do something else first.

I actually meant to post about reminiscing a month ago. But, you know, times gets away from us all.

10 years ago in August (So....August, 2000), three of my good friends and I took a little trip to Ireland (yep, the country).

I was 24 years old at the time -- had been out of college two years; had a great job with International Dairy Queen, was VERY single (no prospects at the time).....Perfect time to take a trip like this.

I don't exactly completely remember why we chose Ireland -- I'm guessing that it had something to do with us liking the accents (remember -- we were 24 and single at the time).

Soooo, with a little planning compliments of Budget Travel Magazine....we were off.

Before I show a few photos, here are a few things to remember.

1) This trip was, by far, the BEST trip I took before I was married. Though I LOVED this girl trip, I do also LOVE traveling with my husband.

2) Ireland is a beautiful country, and I personally found the people to be extremely hospitable. We always felt safe (four single women traveling alone). We were able to get directions and such when needed. The food was good. None of us got sick. I highly recommend it. Marc and I definitely plan on getting there someday together.

3) Tonight's photos aren't probably the best, BUT I'll show morein future posts. I have quite a few I could show, but I won't show all of them to you.

4) And, the friends I traveled to Ireland with include Tammy (my very close friend who lives all too far from us in Manitoba), Alissa (the friend who ultimately fixed Marc and me up), and Libby (a friend I don't see real often though she does live in the same town as us).

5) We did rent a car there. Yep, it was a stick shift, and the Irish do drive on the left side of the road. Because my stick shift driving is definitely NOTHING to brag about, I didn't think it was smart to drive a stick shift in all of the hills on the left side of the road. Alissa did most of the driving, and both Libby and Tammy also drove some. They all three did a great job, and none of them beat me up for being such a "backseat driver" even though I never once drove the car.

6) As I've already stated, we were all single at the time, though Alissa was dating the man she married a year later. Since that time, we've all gotten married (I was the last to do so)....Tammy and Libby have two children each, and Alissa and I both have one child each.

So, here goes....at least for now.

We saw LOTS of sheep....They were just what you might possibly picture in Ireland -- grazing on hillsides and sometimes in the road. There were several occasions we had to stop to let the sheep get off of the road.

We stayed at all Bed and Breakfasts -- Nope, we didn't do one hotel in Ireland. They were all pretty awesome, and I would say we had great experiences with them.

This pic is of me -- 10 years younger and about 20-25 pounds lighter. This photo was taken right after we arrived (thus, jet-lag) and had showers. Yes, we were tired, but that first night, we did the smart thing and got our bodies on the right time schedule immediately. By the next day, we were all good to go.

That next day (after arriving), we actually took a rather bumpy fairy ride (nobody puked, but one of us came close -- and that person was NOT me) to the Aran Islands -- just west of the main part of the country. These islands are really known for their authentic Irish woolen sweaters.

We ended up renting bicycles and cycling around the islands nearly the entire day. The bike seats WERE NOT comfortable at all (you know what I mean), and we were fairly windblown by the end of the day thanks to the cool, but strong, breezes off of the Atlantic Ocean.

We had to climb up a VERY STEEP hill with our bicycles to get this pose with the ocean behind us. Yep, we were slightly fatigued at this point. I can personally see it in our faces.

This photo is of Libby, Alissa, and myself (your's truly).

I LOVE this photo. It was also taken on the Aran Islands. I managed to snap this photo of this Irish gentleman who was waiting to take folks around to various sections of the island with his horse and cart.

And, when you have 4 squirly girls in their mid-20s traveling together for over a week, you do get some stupidity, some lovely made-up songs, and into some deep, personal conversations....

And, I truly can't believe I'm showing this, BUT one of these travel companions (I actually don't know which one did this) took this very LOVELY photo of me walking out of the bathroom. I guess I left my camera in too close proximity to one of them in the car.

Lovely, isn't it? Does my face show any disgust at all?

And, stay tuned for more Irish scenery and reminiscing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Weekly Meal Planning and "Tats"....

Again, a date late -- But, better late than never...Here's this week's meal planning for the Friesen Household....

Monday, September 13, 2010
Chicken Fajitas

**We had some friends over for supper -- one of which was a friend whom I've known for a VERY LONG TIME (we went to the same baby-sitter as children) -- she was in our wedding even :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Sarah -- Mom 2 Mom Leadership Dinner at church
Marc -- Hot Dogs, Pasta Salad, Chips

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Pizza Hut Buffet

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tater Tot Casserole

Friday, September 17, 2010
Sloppy Joes

Saturday, September 18, 2010
Lunch: Leftovers/Rummage

Supper: Pork BBQ Dinner at church

Sunday, September 19, 2010
Lunch: Rummage/Leftovers (if any)

Supper: Baked Chicken, Beans, Salad

**Bake Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese frosting (to think of fall) for small group meeting


I've mentioned before on this blog about how Luke's really into hats right now -- especially if their his Daddy's or his Papa Koehn's (my dad's)....

Luke calls them "tats."

We find it cute, but then again, we are his parents :)

Luke recently received a new "tat" from Debby at church....Debby -- I know I sent you these photos, but this post is for you :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kansas State Fair....

Today, after Luke's nap, we traveled the whopping 30 minutes to Hutchinson, KS, to attend the Kansas State Fair.

Prior to Luke coming along, Marc and I went to the Kansas State Fair every year -- I think we even always went with my parents.

Sadly, and I really can't give a good reason why, we hadn't been since Luke was born.

Tonight, we went to the fair with my parents as well as my brother and sister-in-law (Joel and Amber) and their three girls, Grace, Natalie, and Maddie.

I won't show photos from every single thing we saw, but I will show quite a few photos of Luke having a good time -- which was the highlight of my evening, at least.

First, here's a photo of Marc and Luke -- my new favorite pic of my two favorite guys. (And, in case you're wondering, Luke is wearing his Papa's hat [my dad's] -- Luke LOVES this hat).

After walking around for just a bit to look at a few animals, we decided to eat supper. Because of one particular rude woman, we weren't able to all sit together.

The big thing at the fair is always the food. However, in our family, none of us go too crazy with all of the "junk" -- even Marc. (Marc's very content if he gets his Pronto Pup). But, the sheer amount of food vendors at the fair truly does amaze me.

Luke finished eating and was ready to get going again sooner than anybody. Fortunately, Papa was able to walk around a bit with him.

This trip to the Kansas State Fair was most definitely a "kids 5 and under" centered event. So, after eating, the kids wanted to go and ride some rides. So, that's what we did...And, since they were all kiddy-rides, we didn't have to worry about the fact that we just ate.

The first stop was the carousel....This was Luke's second time on a carousel in less than a month. If you check out THIS POST, you can see photos of Luke's first carousel ride (this happens to be my previous post). This time, instead of Marc riding with Luke on the carousel, I got the privilege of riding with Luke. Marc did the picture-taking.

Unfortunately, only one photo turned out decent to post....You can tell, however, that Luke did enjoy the carousel...You can kind of see me in this photo -- I'm right behind the horse in an orange t-shirt. Actually, I think you can see my legs more than anything (Whoo-Hoo)....

Grandma (my mom) rode the carousel with Grace and Natalie. They too enjoyed it a lot!

Then, Grace and Natalie rode a ride together, and they both really seemed to enjoy it.

Then, it happened -- Luke got to ride a "Big Rig" ride again -- this too was something he did at the Mall of America in August. This ride was right up Luke's alley.

I, once again, got the privilege of riding with Luke (which I'm very grateful I can do). Marc, once again, took photos....This time, many more photos turned out.

**As a side note -- on this particular "Big Rig" ride, it was a good thing I rode...There was NOT much space for adults. I'm a short individual, and even I had to really squish my legs to sit in this ride. Marc, at 6' tall, wouldn't have made it.

Not sure what the problem was with my facial expression, but look at Luke -- he's much cuter :)

And, a couple photos of my goofiness during this ride....And, Luke's still cute in these photos :)

And, just in case you're wondering, two of Luke's cousins, Grace and Natalie, were riding in front of our "Big Rig." Luke had not a clue about that little fact. You can't even see short little Luke in this photo.

After that excitement, we told the kids that we needed to take a bit of a break from the excitement....So, we headed off to some of the exhibit and vendor buildings....

I didn't take any photos.

Soon, it was getting late, and Marc, Luke, and I were needing to head home. So, we, as a big family, took a train ride together.

Keep in mind that my dad is a train-a-holic -- in other words, trains are a HUGE hobby for him. And, if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably know that Luke really likes trains....

So, this was right up Papa's alley as well as Luke's alley.

(It was dark at this point).

After the fun of the train ride, Marc and I (along with Luke) decided to head out. Luke was getting pooped out, and we knew it because he asked for his "ah-dah" (his blanket). And, we saw him like this in the stroller -- sucking his thumb and hanging his head low :)

It turned out to be a gorgeous evening and a fun time with family....

The rest of my family, after we left, went on to ride some more rides and play some games with our nieces. We would've have liked to stay, but we have a big day tomorrow.

1) Our 3rd Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class starts tomorrow (we're co-leading) at church. Therefore, Luke will be in the nursery for quite awhile in the morning, and we really don't want him to be cranky for other people (i.e. nursery workers).

2) Tomorrow is "promotion Sunday" at church...Luke will move to a different classroom in the nursery. We wanted him to be ready for this move -- even though, he's young enough that he has absolutely no idea what will be going on :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Our Vacation -- Day 3 (Part 2)....

Click HERE to find out a bit about our vacation.

Click HERE to find out about Day 1 of our vacation.

Click HERE to find out about Day 2 of our vacation.

Click HERE to find out about Day 3 (Part 1) of our vacation.

And now, Day 3 (Part 2)....

After some afternoon naps by all, we headed to the famed Mall of America....

Just one of the many entrances to the mall....

Now, let me start off by saying all four of us adults had been to the Mall of America in the past. None of us are huge shoppers. But, you really can't visit Minneapolis without going there.

Also, there are some fun kid things...Enough said.

We first split up by families for about an hour to look at a few things....Also, each family ate together.

Since Marc is a HUGE fan of the Minnesota Vikings (you can ask him why), we did go to the Vikings store.

Since truly I couldn't have cared less (football does not interest me at all)....I stayed with Luke outside of the stores....This photo was posted before, but here's what Luke spent his time doing during this time. My job was to keep him from hitting anybody with the stroller (and yes, we did have a few close calls).

After that VERY brief shopping (you don't get very far in only an hour at this mall), we all met up at the amusement park section of the mall (yes, this was for the kids).

Caleb (the almost 4 year-old) really wanted to ride the Big Rigs...So, that's what we did. Marc stayed off of this ride to take photos....

So, we have Reynold and Jesse....

One-half of my body is on the far left of this photo....Caleb is in the front of the Big Rig behind me. Tammy is sitting in the top of Caleb's Big Rig.

Because of where I sat Luke down on this ride, Marc was unable to get a photo of him.

We weren't sure what Luke would do with a ride -- he'd never been on one before. But, let's just say he LOVED it. In fact, when we had to get off, this is what we got (and I also have posted this photo in the past as well).

After Luke was a bit calmed down (but still sad that he couldn't go back on the Big Rigs), we headed to the carousel.

Marc took Luke on this ride.

Let's just say that Luke did just fine; however, you won't notice a smile in any of these photos. Luke took the serious approch to this ride....Marc told him to "Hold On," and that's just what he did. I don't think he ever let go.

Caleb, on the other hand, LOVED the carousel, and he definitely showed his enthusiasm. Caleb's in the green shirt in these photos.

Jesse didn't ride on the carousel, and he couldn't have cared less. He was very excited about the little bus nearby.

After the carousel ride, however, Luke and Caleb also discovered this bus, and it was a HUGE hit with them as well.

And yes, in case you're wondering, there were tears involved when the boys were trying to figure out who would sit in the driver's seat :)

After that, everybody (adults included) was exhausted. It was time to head back to the hotel for night.

Stay tuned for the rest of the vacation!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Our Vacation -- Day 3 (Part 1)....

I will now resume chronicles of our vacation in August....

Click HERE for information about our vacation.

Click HERE for Day 1 of our vacation.

Click HERE for Day 2 of our vacation.

And, before I start on "Day 3 (Part 1)," I shall give a warning. This post may be photo overload of our son....

Anyways, for Day 3 (which was Friday, August 20), we all spent the morning at the Minnesota Children's Museum. It's a museum in downtown St. Paul, and Marc and I personally, overall, thought it was a very well put-together museum with activities for all ages of kids. In other words, we do recommend you going there if you're in the area with children :)

They were quite busy that day, but fortunately, the entrance line moved fairly quicky -- despite ALL of the strollers (which we contributed to, by the way).

After paying the fees, here's kind of what you see....

And, rather than trying to find the "perfect" exhibit to satisfy all three of these children, we just started right in....

Here are the backs of Tammy, Jesse, Caleb, and Reynold -- working with a hands-on exhibit.

Luke -- at the same exhibit....

And, Luke at another exhibit....

Then, we hit the JACKPOT (at least in Luke's eyes)....a WATER exhibit.

And, here's my favorite shot of Luke and Jesse...If I remember correctly, Luke had just splashed Jesse, and the photo was taken at just the right time -- capturing a great face of surprise by Jesse....

And, just to fully prove just how much fun this exhibit was for Luke...here are a couple of photos of Luke after the water. And no, he didn't leak through his diaper to produce this wetness.

Later, we found an exhibit especially for children ages 4 and under...J.A.C.K.P.O.T.

Yes, Luke had a great time, and we all got to experience a major 2 year-old fit upon leaving this exhibit. But, I'll spare you those photos and just post the photos of Luke having a great time -- which truly was a joy for Marc and me to see.

And, a few more photos from yet another exhibit -- fitting for Luke's age...

And lastly, looking at fish....

Luke obviously did have a good time for two reasons....a) the fit that was displayed upon leaving this museum, and b) these photos were taken on the way from the museum to our lunch location....

O.K., O.K. -- enough of the photo overload...Stay tuned for Day 3 (Part 2)....

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