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)
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!
Oh Me, Oh My...I'm making a switch! I'm switching to Tumblr. I'm tired of Blogger being weird. I'm tired of spending way too much time simply making a post! AND, mostly anymore, I'm simply posting pics of our daily happenings. I can do that faster and easier with Tumblr (once I figure it all out). I can even do it on my iPad with an app! SO, go HERE to find my new blog! We'll see how this goes!
Last Thursday evening, and you locals obviously know this, but we had a NASTY thunderstorm roll through. It wasn't at all tornadic (YAY!), but oh my -- it was W.I.N.D.Y. I was SO grateful that a) we were home and b) Marc was home with us. We had warning, but if one wasn't paying attention, it could've easily slipped up. We're a family who frequently pays attention to the weather. SO, we were ready! I'm not sure what the wind speed was here, but I'm guessing it was around 80 mph. There was a lot of tree damage and power outages. Amazingly, we only lost power for about 10 seconds -- NOT normal for us. Usually, we're the ones without power. I am grateful. The corn in our garden was SAD after the storm. All of us were sad, quite frankly!
We were convinced our corn was done. But, several people who clearly know more about gardening than we do suggested that it would probably come back up in a few days! These smart people were absolutely correct! Yesterday (Monday), Luke and I went outside to find our corn revived! Hopefully, we'll have yummy corn -- that comes up when it's supposed to. AND, we can eat it in remembrance of that storm -- Ha!
If you remember MY PREVIOUS POST, I mentioned that Luke and my dad (a.k.a. Papa Andover) would be at a steam engine together this past Friday. Well, they were! First Bank, here in town, has their annual "Customer Appreciation Day" on the last Friday each June. One doesn't have to bank there to join in on the fun. They're just generous to the community. We're grateful for their generosity. There are free hot dogs, pop, and chips. Sno cones, a bounce house, etc. for the kiddos. It's always hot -- you know, part of the fun! This year, Luke & I invited my dad to join us. A free hot dog and a chance to see his grandkids easily persuaded my dad to spend WAY MORE in gasoline than the meal was worth to join us! SO, Luke did jump (he's in his "work shirt" -- his plaid shirt).
While jumping, Kate sat with my dad, and I was FINALLY able to capture a decent picture of Kate and my dad! Kate's usually an extreme Mama's Girl if I'm around. Therefore, I've never been able to get a decent pic of the two of them! Go Kate, Go!
AND, drum roll please -- Luke and Papa Andover spent quite a time looking at the steam engine together. Luke may or may not remember this moment, but I know my dad will (my dad has quite a hobby in trains)....
Yesterday (Monday) and forecasted this week was/is VERY nice early July weather. Usually, it's HOT! Nope, it's warm, but it's not hot. It's been such a change from last week's heat! So, yesterday morning, I loaded the kiddos up in the double stroller, and we comfortably walked to and from the park for a play date with friends! Glorious!
We had a lot of fun at the park, and then, for lunch, we were even able to eat lunch outside -- something we just don't do in July!
Last night, Luke & I were happy to see a couple more glimpses of the end of the Kansas 2013 Wheat Harvest....yep, there is still some wheat being cut!
More on our weekend -- the good, bad, and ugly....in a future post!
If you read MY POST FROM YESTERDAY, you might remember that, after we were finished at a wheat field on Tuesday, I drove the kiddos to our local grain elevator. You locals know that our grain elevator here in town is located right next to Military Park -- where there is an old steam engine parked. My goal was to teach Luke a bit (in other words, my very limited knowledge) about grain elevators. BUT, Luke has an INTENSE interest in trains. He has had that interest for quite awhile, but lately, the interest has REALLY soared! Oh my....I hear quite a bit about trains, especially steam engines, each and every day! So, the little trip to the grain elevators proved to be about one minute of watching the grain trucks, and the rest of the time was spent looking at the steam engine.
Tomorrow, the kiddos and I will be spending time at this park with my dad. Luke DOES know about this plan. AND, he has told me several times today that "he and 'Papa Andover' will be looking at the steam engine together." (my dad has an intense hobby in trains)....(And, Luke addresses my parents by the town they live)....
Kate & I will simply have to people watch during that time, I guess!
I have lived in Kansas all of my life. If you're not a native Kansan, you may or may not know that Kansas is a very large wheat producer in the USA -- as well as other important crops. Admittedly, growing up, I spent very little time paying attention to the wonderful wheat harvest in our state. I did not grow up in a farming type community (to my knowledge -- nobody in my high school class farmed). I had pretty much ZERO interest in farming, though I did realize that if farmers didn't exist, we'd be in a world of hurt, food wise. As a kid, I did "help" with a few summers of wheat harvest -- at my great aunt's & uncle's farm....and when I say "help," we probably went out there a handful of times growing up. I'm talking about one day every few years. I somewhat remember helping my great-aunt take food out to the fields. And, I somewhat remember riding in the grain truck with my great aunt. Obviously, this vague memory of mine did not shape who I am today. My dad actually was on a custom cutting crew in the late 60s/early 70s (before he was married). Honestly, I don't remember him talking about it very much -- maybe a few conversations here and there. After Marc & I were married and "settled" in Newton, KS -- well, we were around a few farmers. We have surrounded ourselves around quite a few people who know A LOT more about farming and such. And, I love that I have had the opportunity to learn a bit. With that in mind, I TRULY want our kids to learn MUCH MORE about farming and agriculture than I ever learned or cared to learn. Sometimes, it takes some simple growing up AND having one's own kids (and figuring out what important things you would at least like to teach them) to realize what all there is in this world with which to be grateful -- in this case, farming and farmers. With that in mind, right now, wheat harvest in our glorious state is happening. For the last two days, after Kate's afternoon nap, I've been very intentional about taking our kids out to a field or two to watch some wheat harvest. What I've done is simple -- I've packed them up in the car and driven out into the country. I've driven until I've found a field where they're harvesting. I've then pulled the car over, and we've all gotten out and watched! On Monday, it took a little bit to find a field where they were cutting (I was later told I should have gone a different way than I did -- I'd have found more -- but, oh well)....
This first stop involved a SUPER nice grain truck driver walking across the street to see what we were doing. I simply explained to him that we were not farmers at all, but I wanted to show my kids (mainly Luke right now) all about wheat harvest. He seemed very pleased, and he offered Luke a chance to climb up on the grain truck to see bushels of wheat in the truck. At first, Luke hesitated, but I think it boiled down to the fact he didn't know what the farmer was talking about. SO, we all walked over there, and once Luke figured it out, he had ZERO issues with climbing up to look! I LOVED the fact that this farmer took time for us. (The combine was still out cutting at this point)....
After our little "tour," the kids & I (at least Luke & I; Kate was busy trying to play with things in the back of my car) continued to watch everything in the field for a bit....I worked HARD at getting Luke & Kate to both look at the camera for a cute brother/sister pic, but that didn't happen. Kate was NOT interested at all in my camera. So, here are some out-takes.
Finally, I told Luke, "Just you pose for me." And, he gladly did! Go Luke!
After watching for just a bit more, the farmer walked over and handed Luke some "souvenir" wheat from the field....which Luke thought was pretty neat!
Tuesday was a different story. It had to be one of the WINDIEST days I've been out in for a long time. Goodness, it was WINDY! Farmers have definitely earned my respect because I know they work in ALL kinds of weather conditions. BUT, the awesome thing was that I drove a different way out of town, and fortunately, I found a field RIGHT on the edge of town where wheat cutting was happening!
We didn't talk with any of the busy farmers this time, but we braved the wind and stayed out for quite awhile....Kate was getting into EVERYTHING in the back of my car. I finally put her in the stroller, praying that she didn't blow away. Luke posed cute for me!
Then, I took this pic of Luke, watching the combines in the field. I personally think, with a little editing, it belongs on a Kansas calendar or something -- Ha! (Photography is not a great skill I have....so, when I get a decent pic, I am excited)!
When driving back into town, we actually made another stop near the grain elevators to see ALL of the grain trucks bringing in their wheat.
Here in our little town, the grain elevators are located right next to a park which has an old steam engine. The steam engine BY FAR trumped Luke's interest (as compared to grain trucks). So, I was unable to keep his attention very long on the grain trucks. But, that's for another post!
I would say I was successful in at least starting to plant a knowledge of Kansas wheat harvest in Luke's little mind! We'll have to probably work a bit harder on Kate someday since she likely (but you never know) will not have quite the interest in machinery as Luke. BUT, I want to end this post by saying that, as I have gotten older, I have become SO VERY grateful for the farming and the farmers in this state (and elsewhere). Farmers do so much for us -- so much of it unnoticed! Farming can be quite dangerous, and it takes a lot of hours. And, by simply watching wheat harvest for a couple of hours, I grew even more grateful! I pray my kids don't take farming or farmers for granted, and I pray they become ever so grateful for farming/farmers!
Several weeks ago, Luke & I went on a "Mommy-Son Date." We've done this before, and we strive to do it somewhat regularly -- probably not often enough. BUT, you all know how that goes. Luke & I went to McDonald's for supper. We then went to one of Luke's most favorite of places -- Menard's -- simply to look at things -- Ha! We then finished the evening with a trip to Barne's & Noble where Luke picked out a book. I didn't take any pics at McDonald's -- Boo! But, I took plenty of pics at the other two places. At Menard's, Luke looked at everything that, if you know Luke, one would think he would look at -- lawnmowers, weed eaters, drills, air compressors, vents, grills, drill presses, sanders, washers, dryers, dishwashers, etc....These pics are in no particular order! I must say that I THOROUGHLY just watching and being with our son! Yes, sometimes he frustrates me (as all PEOPLE, not just children, can do), but I LOVE this boy. My love for our son has given me a small glimpse into just how God loves His children unconditionally!
Luke LOVES to read Berenstain Bears' Books. So, he picked out THIS Berenstain Bears' Book.
There was a little "Thomas" table set up....which Luke was VERY drawn to playing with. Again, I enjoyed watching him. (It sounds like I'm a non-participative parent, but if you know Luke, he talks A LOT! By participating in his discussion, believe me, I participate -- Ha!)
Marc, who is excitedly waiting to take Kate on Daddy-Daughters Dates someday, was home with Kate that evening. I received this pic as a text during the evening -- LOVE IT!
I had some "credit" I needed to use up at our local Carter's store. So, last week, Luke, Kate, and I took a trip there. Luke picked out this shirt...
He chose it because it looked "like a work shirt that Daddy would wear." (Remember -- Luke likes to do everything his Daddy does)....The next day, Luke wore it. That day, after Kate's morning nap, I suggested we all go on a nature walk (this is something I started doing last summer on a somewhat regular basis). Luke asked if we could bring his friend, Lily. I texted her mom...it was fine. So, we picked Lily up, and we were off! I took them to the northern part of a trail here in town. I gave them each a bag to collect leaves, sticks, etc....They were OFF!
Neither of them would really pose for me. SO, you're mainly going to see their backs. But, that's O.K. They're pics of the two kids -- pics showing exactly what they were doing on this walk.
For those of you who are familiar with this trail, don't worry! They didn't pick up any leaves, sticks, rocks, etc. that belonged to anybody (since I know this trail is practically in the backyard of some folks). Luke & Lily both did a good job of obeying that rule.
Luke was collecting "things" to build a hotel. Lily was collecting "things" to build a house. I'm directly quoting these two kids, by the way!
Looking over the bridge, they BOTH had to ponder what would happen if they were to jump off (don't worry -- it's not that far down)...When I mentioned that the fire department might have to come help them out (should they have jumped), they both decided to move on....
This next pic, while it was happening, really showed me just how much of a non-risk-taker Luke is (careful first born). Lily was much more of the risk taker (second born child) as far as climbing on the rocks. But, I appreciated the fact that she wasn't dangerous. In other words, I didn't have to worry about having to rescue her.
The tag-a-long child, Kate, spent time in the stroller -- watching the big kids.
And, because she simply had to be content in the stroller, I even let her have a treat in the form of some juice. Kate has most definitely become our "grouchier, less-contented" child; HOWEVER, if we're outside and/or she has her older brother to watch, she's all GOOD! Kate's also a HUGE fan of being in any stroller or wagon!
After our nature walk, we made the obligatory bathroom stop at our house. Then, I stopped to pick them up lunch. We then went to a park. We had lunch at the park, and Luke & Lily had a brief time to play before it was time to head home. There's something so freeing as an adult to watch kids on the swings....Their smiles are wonderful to watch!