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, July 27, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Luke!

I'm a little behind here, but our ultra-sweet Luke (a.k.a. "Little Sir" or "Little Guy") turned 3 back on July 21 (I'm not even a week behind here)....

I know this has become cliche', but I "really can't believe he's 3 already....time has gone so fast."

We had a little party for him a few days before -- on Sunday, July 17. We kept the party small -- only family. We both come from small families....so, the party consisted of us, my brother and sister-in-law and their 3 girls, my parents, and Marc's parents.


And, because I can NEVER leave out a "sleeping Luke" pic, here's one from that morning. He had to be woken up for church that morning....

After church, our Sunday progressed as a typical Sunday....lunch and then naps. We had mentioned to Luke that grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins were coming over later, but we did NOT make a big deal about it. We wanted him to NAP. And, being the great and wonderful sleeper that he is, he did indeed nap.

After his nap (but before everybody showed up), Marc and I gave Luke his gift from us -- an indoor tent. Luke thought it was great, and I personally LOVED seeing his smile when he saw it.

Luke immediately had to have his "after-nap" snack and juice in the tent.

Here are a couple of facts about this tent....

a) We found it at Target way back in January. We weren't looking for it. We were on one of our "date nights." We were browsing the "After Christmas" shelves -- the ones where things are super cheap. We saw this tent for $7.48 (yep -- you read that correct) when it was originally around $30. We said to ourselves, "Luke would like this." I, of course, was going to immediately buy it and give it to Luke the next day. My VERY WISE and VERY RATIONAL husband said, "He has enough stuff....how about buying it and saving it for his birthday in July?" I agreed, and I'm glad I did.

b) Originally, when we bought it, we were thinking he could sleep in it on occasion (vacations, etc.). Then, once Marc had it set up, we realized that was not going to be possible. Even at only 3 years old, he's too big to sleep in it. It's really not very big. I guess that's why it's an "indoor tent."

c) This tent was all we gave Luke (as a tangible gift anyways) for his birthday. I know, I know...GASP! But yep, that's all he received from us. I actually had something else in mind for him, but once again, my VERY WISE and VERY RATIONAL husband rescued me from my selfish thoughts.

"Luke has plenty of stuff....he's going to get more stuff for his birthday....he doesn't need to develop a sense of entitlement....we buy him other things throughout the year."

Soooooo -- contrary to what some might thing....this was all we gave him for his birthday. And, guess what? He's super duper content with that!


Moving on....

After we gave him the tent -- our family memebers started to show up.

I didn't take very many photos from the evening AT ALL (a little disappointed in myself). Marc did take a few.

We had a fire truck theme. I'm not at all a decorator, and I don't get into decorating. But, I did purchase a few plates, cups, napkins, etc. for this party.

Marc grilled burgers and hot dogs. I baked beans. I made a salad. Marc's mom brought her super duper potato salad.

I baked cupcakes, and we had ice cream.

S.I.M.P.L.E....I was sort of feeling disappointed in myself for not decorating a bit more. But, once again, my VERY WISE and VERY RATIONAL husband reminded me that Luke didn't really care about the lack of decorations, but Luke did indeed have a wonderful time.

We did indeed celebrate his birth and his life!

(Luke is wearing my dad's hat and my mom's sunglasses -- a definite "trend" in his little life).

Luke did receive some thoughtful and practical gifts from family. He also received some fun gifts from some friends of his.

We feel so incredibly blessed to have family and friends around that love Luke so very much!

Luke's 3 years of life have truly been a bless to us as well as to others!


After the party, we all took Luke and his cousins to our local sprinkler park. Again, I didn't get too many photos, but here are a couple.

And, what is it with kids at the sprinkler park who like to sit on the water? I see this ALL OF THE TIME, and that evening, Luke's cousin, Grace, was no exception.


After everybody left, we headed home to clean up after our fun evening.

Luke, once again, played in his tent -- this time, in his jammies. He insisted on having a little snack and his milk before bed IN HIS TENT!

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Meal Plan for the Week and Some Slide Pics....

Here's our meal plan for this week....Perhaps you retrieve some ideas!

Monday, July 25, 2011
DiGiorno 4-Meat Pizza

(really original, I know)....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Frozen Fruit

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Chicken Enchiladas
Frozen Fruit

Thursday, July 28, 2011
Taco Salad

Friday, July 29, 2011
Marc -- Eating in Wichita with friends

Sarah & Luke -- Rummage

Saturday, July 30, 2011
Lunch: Rummage

Supper -- Marc: Eating at Men's Ministry (from church) Event

Sarah & Luke: Eating at Sarah's Parents' House

Sunday, July 31, 2011
Lunch: Pizza Hut

Supper: Meatloaf Minis, Corn on the Cob


Tomorrow (July 26), our oldest niece, Grace, will turn 6.

Last night, Luke and I went to her birthday party at my brother and sister-in-law's house. (Marc had a previous commitment with our small group's guys).

I actually didn't take any photos, but my dad did (as he always does).

Joel and Amber (my bro and SIL) borrowed (from some friends) an inflatable slide.

At first, Luke had ZERO interest in it as he was much more interested in "mowing" their backyard (because the grass has grown soooooo much lately with all of this dryness and heat -- insert sarcasm here).

Then, he realized there was a slide. And, after a bunch of the kids he didn't know cleared out (Luke is by no means a risk taker), he was ready to try it.

He had a great time! And, thanks for my dad for these pics!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Roof....

I mentioned in my PREVIOUS POST that we're currently in the process of getting a new roof on our house.

Here's the story....

We knew we had some missing shingles and POSSIBLE a little bit of damage thanks to some VERY STRONG Kansas winds over this past winter and spring (you who live here know what I'm talking about)....

We noticed one very small leak in our kitchen.

So, I was given the "charge" (from my husband) of calling a roofer to come out and look at it.

I procrastinated a bit -- which turned out, for once, to be a good thing.

In the middle of that procrastination, we had a little hail storm (this was several weeks ago). The hail storm consisted of ping pong ball sized hail.

Honestly, I didn't think much of it. It didn't seem that big.

Two of our neighbors then told us that they had a bit of damage on their roofs.

So, at the encouragement of my dad as well as a couple of neighbors, Marc called the insurance adjustor.

He (being an outside person from the insurance company) came out and spent A LONG time on our roof on a VERY HOT day (honestly, I was kind of worried about this guy being up there so long on that day, and I even went out a couple of times and checked on him).

When he came down, he immediately said to me, "Your roof is old....Blah, Blah, Blah."

Soooooo, Marc and I knew at that point, without even seeing the full insurance report yet, that we'd need a new roof....now, to wait to see what insurance would pay. Knowing we had this OLD roof, we honestly prepared ourselves for having to "let go" of some "emergency money" we've been saving.

During that same time, we found out that our friend, Dave, and his partner (and crew) did roofs (though their primary business is framing). (Dave is the husband of Amanda of THIS BLOG).

Marc IMMEDIATELY called Dave upon finding out that information. Fortunately for us, Dave and his partner could do the roof fairly soon.

Then, the next week, we received some FABULOUS news from the insurance company. They totaled our roof!

Several days later, Dave called Marc to say that they could start on the roof the next day (this was late last week).

So, Marc, Luke, and I made a VERY QUICK trip to Menard's to look at colors of shingles.

They started the following day!

Soooooo, we've had a bit of a "mess" going on here at our house since past Friday.

I also mentioned in my PREVIOUS POST that truly, my heart has been filled with gratitude over this whole ordeal because honestly, it's a hassle to get something major done to your house (but most of you probably know that).

1) Marc and I didn't realize how bad our roof was. Because it's been SO DRY around here over the last 3/4 year or so, we don't have any major leaks. Had it been a really rainy season, we would've had bigger problems that included the inside of our house.

2) Dave and his partner were able and willing to redo our roof. We feel wonderful knowing that a) we've given their company work in a not so good housing market and b) they've been willing to do it in ALL OF THIS MASSIVE HEAT.

3) Insurance totaled our roof. We're thankful for the hail that God sent and allowed.

4) Because of this massive heat, they haven't been able to shingle in the heat of the day. Therefore, they've been done by 2:30 or 3:00 each day. What does this mean? Luke's still been able to take a nap :) (I'm a sleep nazi in this house).

5) Most likely, as of tomorrow, we'll have a brand new roof. Though we decided to get rid of our cool looking cedar shake shingles, our new roof, so far, looks really nice. Because of getting rid of the cedar shake shingles, our insurance will most likely go down a bit.

6) There's been a "forklift" in our driveway -- to lift the shingles and other materials up to the roof. Luke's enjoyed this little tidbit. On Monday, Dave told Luke he could get on the "forklift" and pretend. (This was on Facebook, by the way). Luke did just that.

Then, yesterday, Dave offered to give Luke a ride on the "forklift." SCORE for Luke....At first, however, Luke was unsure (even though he knows and really likes Dave). Finally, I got out of Luke that he thought it was going to be loud (if you check out THIS POST, you'll see another example).

So, I quickly ran inside and grabbed his earphones.

They did the trick, and he ended up really having fun riding on the "forklift" with Dave. Since then, Luke has talked and talked and talked about this "forklift" ride with Dave.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Couple of Things New....

To you readers who are homeowners out there --

Do you ever feel as if home repairs seem to hit all at once?

This summer, in the Friesen household, it seems like it -- at least a little bit.

We purchased our house 7 1/2 years ago. We like our home. It has A LOT of potential as far as decorating and such. We LOVE the neighborhood it's located in. We LOVE our neighbors.

Somedays, when I fall into comparison mode (which is NOT good and a VERY dangerous place to be -- especially when it comes to spiritual growth), I think to myself, "We really haven't done much to this house compared to what some of our friends have done to their homes."

Then, God reels me back to reality....we've actually done quite a bit in this house (all without ANY debt AND we've still been able to manage my staying home full-time over the last two years -- which wasn't originally planned when we purchased this house)....

**Had one of the bathrooms almost completely gutted and redone
**New carpet throughout almost the entire house
**New water heater and sump pump
**New oven
**New dishwasher
**New refrigerator
**A few new light fixtures
**Added a couple of ceiling fans
**Stripped wallpaper and painted in front living room, hallway, my office, and Luke's room

SOOOOOO, quit complaining, Sarah....


Anyways, recently, our kitchen faucet started leaking. So, we knew we needed to replace that faucet.

At the same time, Menard's opened in Wichita.

To our benefit (and many others'), they had some great deals.

When we went to purchase a faucet, we found one WAY UNDER our budget.

Between that price and the price of a new sink, we were able to purchase a new sink and a new faucet.

Our old sink (in all of its glory of being porcelein, off-white, and VERY stained)....

Getting the new sink in properly proved to be a process, however....

Once the fabulous plumber had the old sink out, he tried out the new sink -- to see if it would fit.

Nope -- it didn't....we needed a bigger hole in our countertop.


(And just for a brief interlude -- here's a photo of Luke -- "supervising" this project)....

I LOVE people connections that we have as well as other people have.

With this little sink problem, our plumber had a connection.

He called a friend of his who was a carpenter. That day, this carpenter happened to be very close to our house and was available for a short period of time.

Within an hour of the discovery of the problem, the carpenter was at our home. He completed the task of cutting our countertop.

Then, he only charged us $25 to complete this countertop cutting project!


At that point, the plumber was able to finish installing the new sink and faucet.

It's stainless steel, and it looks nice! I LOVE it.

(Sorry I don't have one close-up)....

THEN, in the midst of all of this sink fiasco, our dining area chandelier developed a short. We knew, for safety reasons, we most definitely needed to have it replaced.

So, Menard's once again came to the rescue.

I don't have a photo of the old chandelier (as I forgot), but you'll have to trust me that it wasn't the most "dated" chandelier. Also, it was VERY dim lighting.

Fortunately, the day after the sink installation, the chandelier exchange went very smooth. It took less than an hour.

Luke once again supervised.

Then, in the midst of ALL of this, several weeks ago, it hailed pretty hard here in this fine little town we live in.

We knew our roof needed some repair (thanks to some strong winter and spring winds we've had here).

We found out within the last couple of weeks that not only do we need a few repairs on our roof, but we NEEDED a whole new roof.

As always, God has been faithful with His provision.

Not only did insurance come through on a very old roof, but we were able to find a VERY trustworthy company to redo our roof. AND, they had availability in their schedule to get it done NOW.

Sooooooo, we have a nice mess going on this week here at our home.

And, Luke has once again done some supervising.....

Stay tuned....I will have quite a few more pics to post with this new roof process.

But, my heart is filled with such gratitude this week over our roof. We're getting a nice new roof which should (barring a major hail storm) last a long time. The four guys who have been working on our roof have done it in this extreme heat we're having in this state this week. Luke has done VERY WELL about staying out of their way as well as staying out of danger (old shingles are flying off of our roof this week).

In the meantime, Luke (and I possibly) will be hopefully napping a bit this afternoon. Because of the heat, Marc told the guys they could start this morning at 6:00 A.M. (which I didn't mind). But, Luke definitely woke up quite a bit earlier than normal as a result of the banging on the roof. And sadly, there were tears involved. Luke was a bit scared to wake up to banging.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan and Catch-Up (Sort Of)....

Here's our meal plan for the upcoming week....

Monday, July 11, 2011
Rummage @ Home

(We have quite a few leftovers from this weekend....we need to get them eaten up).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Chicken Sandwiches

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Homemade Pizza

Thursday, July 14, 2011
Fish and Fries

Friday, July 15, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011
Lunch: Rummage

Supper: Lemon Chicken Piccatta from Macaroni Grill (a DIY kit)

Sunday, July 17, 2011
Lunch: Rummage

Supper: Luke's Birthday Party -- Grilled Burgers, Grilled Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, Oriental Salad, Cupcakes & Ice Cream


Our 4th of July was very low-key this year....

Marc had to work....yep, Mr. Accountant had to work. They were "closing out the books" for the month of June as well as for 2nd quarter.

So, in the morning, Luke and I spent time at my little side job (read "synopsis" of our family at the top of this blog), completing the payroll. Then, Luke and I completed my biweekly task of cleaning our church's nursery's toys -- something I rarely complete on Mondays. It felt nice to have those "things" completed so early in the week.

In the afternoon, we both napped -- which also felt NICE.

After naps, we headed to my brother and sister-in-law's house.

Not only was it the 4th, but it was also our youngest niece's, Maddie's, first birthday!

I didn't take a single photo from the evening -- Shame Shame!

Marc joined us around 7:30ish....he was tired from working ALL DAY!

My brother shot off a few fireworks.

Luke got nervous, and we forgot his earphones to "mute" some of the sound.

He cried.
I took him inside to play.
We left before their city shot off their fireworks.

Since then, he, on several different occasions, has said, "I cry in Joel's garage. It was loud."

The whole "low-key" day must have worn Luke out, though. The next afternoon, he took a long nap, and I had to wake him up at 5:00 P.M.

And, before you "feel sorry for us" or let out a simple "sigh" because Marc had to work on the 4th....understand that it's O.K.

We're SO grateful for Marc's job.

That's all the more I want to say about that one.


This has apparently become the summer of "repairs in the Friesen household."

Oh my....stay tuned....

Let's just say that Luke is soon going to start thinking that extra people around our home during the day is the "norm."

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