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!
Last week, I had one of these pics on Facebook and Instagram (with a brief description), but there are a few more pics where that one came. PLUS, I have a few more words -- of course.
Marc is an only child. Marc's very kind when he says this, but MANY times, I have heard him say, "I didn't like being an only child." I've known Marc 10 years, and I have learned many things from him -- one of the biggest is that I shouldn't take my sibling for granted (I have one brother).
After Luke was born and was through the baby stage, we wanted to give Luke a sibling. It's not a huge secret that pregnancy wasn't easy for us. Though we certainly don't have the toughest infertility story around, getting pregnant quickly and once pregnant, maintaining a healthy pregnancy, wasn't a cake walk in our lives. SO, there was a time period where we thought (and had come to terms with) Luke would be an only child. Through friends in our lives, I have most certainly learned that giving a child a sibling just certainly doesn't always happen. I have most definitely learned to be grateful for Luke and now, for Kate. SO, I write this post with a grateful and most humble of heart.
With that previous paragragh taken into consideration, I emphatically say that I am most grateful for our two kids -- as siblings. We're not even through Kate's first year, and already, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching their relationship develop. Our kiddos are 4 years apart. I know that EVERYBODY has their opinion on spacing of kids. Quite frankly, I don't care what psychologists, other child development "experts," and other parents say. God gave us our children 4 years apart. Some have actually said out loud to me that our kids won't play together -- they're too far apart. Our kids won't have a relationship. Blah, Blah, Blah....BUT, I can say that the last almost 11 months (since Kate's birth) has been an amazing journey. Luke is not the same person he was before Kate. He loves his sister. He is gentle with her. He kisses her when she's upset. He likes to make her laugh. He wants her to get dressed in his room in the morning -- at the same time as him. He wants to eat breakfast with her each morning. When I pick him up from preschool, after saying "Hi" to me and running to the car, he wants to see Kate. This past weekend, he stayed a night with my parents. When he came home, he wanted to see Kate. Kate was taking a nap. We made him wait until she woke up. When she did, he was SO excited to see her. He told her he missed her the night before. He prays for her each night before bed. I could go on and on....For this final pic -- they sometimes like to hold hands in the double stroller.
I fully realize they will fight at some point (I certainly did with my brother). I fully realize they will, at some point, get annoyed with each other. They will get jealous of each other. They will probably have a complex relationship as adults. Don't most siblings? They also will have each other to help take care of their elderly parents someday -- because, you know, Marc & I will age. They might both marry and have kids. Then, their kids will have cousins (Luke and Kate don't have cousins on Marc's side since he's an only child). Their kids will at least have the respective aunt or uncle. Again, I fully realize siblings are not always possible. Paul clearly tells us I Thessalonians to be thankful in all circumstances. I have always been and will always be grateful for Luke -- even during hard parenting moments with him. I am grateful for Kate and have been from the moment the positive pregnancy test. But, more and more, I'm finding myself simply grateful for them as a sibling pair. (I hope that makes sense).
There's been a whole lot of "everyday life" going on around here this week. Here are some pics...most or all of them have been on Facebook and Instagram.
As stated previously (in THIS POST), Luke absolutely loves to ride his bike. Over the last week or so, Luke has gotten into this "thing" where he likes Kate to eat lunch (or supper even) in the garage so she can "watch him ride his bike." I've obliged with this request a couple of times, and I am VERY grateful I have. Luke loves it, and Kate does as well. It's one of those sibling memories I'm hopefully creating (at least for Luke).
Though Kate doesn't really like to be in her Exersaucer anymore, she will be in it in the garage if she's watching her brother -- which is NICE!
If you remember from THIS POST about last weekend, Luke was sick. You might also remember my parents were here. During that time, my dad had brought Luke a magazine FULL of pictures of combines, tractors, skid steers, etc. Luke wasn't interested when he was sick (don't blame him), BUT once he was better....it was GOOD magazine to have around.
This past Wednesday, we had ICE. Gross! But, we survived, and I'm not going to complain. We needed the moisture, and God definitely gave us that. As a result, though, Luke, Kate, & I stayed home all day. It did get long, but we survived, and I even got a few things done! In the afternoon, when Kate was napping, Luke & I took a "quiet time" as we do each day he's not in preschool. Within 15 minutes of a movie, he fell asleep. I guess staying home all day because of ice is exhausting.
If you read this blog regularly, you know I haven't blogged too much in the past year -- that is up until the last several weeks or so. Because of that little fact of not blogging much, I'm playing catch up. SO, these posts are definitely not in date order, but honestly, I don't care....I just want to share a bit of our family with you. **** Many of you know I have the awesome privilege of doing a small bit of work (payroll) for an awesome excavation company located outside our little town. It gets me out of the house a few hours each month. It's keeping me in the "loop" on technology, etc. And, let's be honest here -- EXCAVATION and MACHINERY -- Luke's dream. Luke loves to go with me so he can see machinery -- even if it's evening when I work and the guys have gone home for the day and the equipment's not even running (pardon the run-on sentence here). And, since Luke is inching closer to being 5 years old (Sniff Sniff), I actually don't mind him going. He doesn't get into things. He plays nicely by himself, etc. etc. Sometime last year, one of our friends who works there (Clint) promised Luke a bulldozer ride. So, right after Christmas, when Marc was home, Luke & Marc took a little trip right outside of town for a bulldozer ride. Unfortunately, the bulldozer "didn't like the cold weather." (Luke's words) It wasn't starting correctly that day. So instead, Luke AND Marc got to ride in a loader.
Despite the bulldozer not running correctly, Luke was on "Cloud Nine" when he got home. The loader ride was fabulous for him! AND, Marc ended up getting to drive the loader around the property for just a bit. Honestly, I'm not sure who was on a higher "Cloud Nine" when the boys arrived home....Luke or Marc! Thanks Clint for the opportunity!
1) An Event: If you read THIS PREVIOUS POST about Wichita State University, you know that we, in this household, we're slightly pumped up about this weekend's game. And, (I'm talking to you locals here) unless you're living underneath a tree, you know that WSU did lose their game this weekend in the Final 4. I was sad about the loss; however, I'm not going to let it get me down. This year's WSU men's basketball team did something for the city of Wichita and the state of Kansas. As my friend Amanda put it on Facebook, (and I'm not quoting exactly) "for once, we're not divided among the University of Kansas and Kansas State University...everybody's come together to cheer for the Shockers. This was so very true....it was SO MUCH FUN over the last week to see everybody all over the area cheer for the same team! Marc & I (and Luke & Kate) invited my parents over Saturday evening to watch the game. We ordered pizza, and this Mama SPLURGED big time on some "Shocker" plates & napkins (they were expensive as paper goes). Then, I really splurged. Our local grocery store had cupcake cakes....yep, it was 7 cupcakes with A LOT of frosting to make it look like a cake!
2) A Happening: Right before my parents came over on Saturday to watch the game, we SUDDENLY and RANDOMLY noticed that Luke was very warm (despite the fact he was acting fine). I went on ahead and took his temperature, and he had a fever. I dosed him up with Ibruprofen, and we kept going with our evening. I could start to tell (once I knew he had a fever) that he was indeed acting a little bit different. But, once the Ibuprofen kicked in, he was BOUNCING off of the walls. I'm thinking it had something to do with Papa & Grandma being here -- Ha! After the game, my parents left. It had been 4 hours since the last Ibuprofen. It was then that we could tell he wasn't feeling well again. I walked into Luke's room to check on him as he was getting his pajamas on. He was crying. I felt him. He was warm again. He asked us if he could sleep on the couch, and he asked his Daddy if he would sleep on the recliner beside him. Marc did :) After Luke finally fell asleep, this is the pic I captured. Poor guy! And, that meant he couldn't be in Sunday School the next day. I ended up going to church by myself. Marc graciously said he would stay home with both kiddos. (And, if you're curious, Luke spent Sunday recovering with no fever. Today (Monday), he seems fine)!
3) A Minor Milestone: On Saturday (the 6th), Kate turned 10 months old. 10 months is a milestone (just like every other month the first couple of years of life), but I will call it a minor milestone. I think it's a milestone to me because I remember REALLY enjoying 9-12 months (or so) with Luke. AND, I'm finding this same feeling with Kate. I love our kiddos with all of my being no matter what age/stage they're at or in. BUT, for some reason, this time on the baby stage -- I really have enjoyed and am grateful to be enjoying again.
This past Christmas (2012), we gave Luke a bike. It was his first bike. He had a tricycle since he was 2. I had wanted to buy him a bike at age 3, but Marc suggested we should just wait -- not get him everything right away. I'm thankful I didn't "argue" back and simply went with what Marc said (I need to work on that). I'll write more in another post about giving that gift to Luke and what I learned from it, but for this post, the pics will tell just how much Luke LOVES his bike. He has a goal of getting his training wheels off this summer (when he turns 5) and getting a kick stand on the bike. I think he just might accomplish this goal!
AND, I posed this question on Facebook this past week, and a couple of guys responded with the answer....If you didn't see the question, it was, "Why do boys think it's so funny to make skid marks with their bike tires?"
Nearly every evening, if Marc gets home at a "decent" time (before it gets dark), Marc & Luke ride up and down our little street together (we are grateful to not live on a busy street)....
Last week one evening, Marc was not home. It was a nice evening. SO, I loaded up both kids in the car along with Luke's bike. I took Luke to our church's empty parking lot to ride his bike. That was BIG fun in his little world!
AND, if you're anywhere near Luke at this point in time and the subject of bicycles comes up, you might have to listen to him tell you each and every PART of the bicycle. (Our fave teenage babysitter, J, has been a SPORT. She's listened to him two different times tell her each part of a bicycle)....
Here's a little known secret about me. When I was in my 20s (prior to meeting Marc and up to our engagement), I taught 3rd grade Sunday School at church. I did this for probably 6-7 years. I LOVED doing it. It's something I hope to be able to someday again. I'm just not able to right now. That age of kids is fantastic. I loved the things they talked about. There's one particular day I remember. One little girl, L, wanted to bring cookies the following week for her birthday. I told if her mom was willing to make them (which I later did ask her mom personally), she could bring some. The reason L game me for wanting to have cookies: "My mom makes the BEST chocolate chip cookies." At that point in time, I was no where near marriage, but I knew I wanted to be married and have kids someday. I VERY distinctly remember thinking, "I hope my kids think my cookies are the best someday and want me to make them for their classes." WELL, that time, my friends, is now. SO, I will soak up this time in life all that I can. At this point in time, Luke LOVES my chocolate chip cookies. He think they're fantastic. He tells me this no fewer than several times/week. Tomorrow, Luke's signed up for snacks for his preschool class. Throughout this past year, I've actually gotten somewhat creative with snacks and made various snacks to correspond with their letter of the week. BUT, this week (Letter "R"), the kiddos in his classes are getting chocolate chip cookies. That would be simply because Luke requested them and told me that he loved them! Being a mom sure has advantages!
And, this pic is actually from back in December, but I LOVE it! Luke likes to eat his cookies just like his Daddy -- leaning up against one of the kitchen counters!
I don't know if my cookies are the world's greatest cookies or not, but my son thinks so! AND, I'm going with that!
I am not a real sporty person. I didn't play sports AT ALL growing up -- other than in gym class. I don't really follow sports much. I'm very uncoordinated. In my 20s, I did go through a period where I ran quite a bit, and I did O.K. with that. At this point in life (I'll never say never), I'm content walking (as many of you know). BUT then, back in 2004, I married Marc. He's an AVID runner, and he follows sports. Now, almost 9 years later, I've really learned to like and appreciate college basketball -- you know, the NCAA Division I type. If you've followed the big "March Madness" NCAA men's basketball going on right now, you'll know that a little university called Wichita State University won a HUGE game on Saturday evening. Yep, WSU is headed to the Final 4 in Atlanta next weekend -- something the men's basketball team hasn't done since 1965. Not only is WSU a little over 20 miles away from here, it's also the university with which I graduated. My mom has a Bachelor's and a Master's degree from WSU. My dad has a Master's degree from WSU. My mom is the Associate Dean with the College of Health Professions at WSU. My dad teaches a class at WSU. AND, back on December 16, my brother, Joel, graduated from WSU. There's just a bit of a family connection at WSU. So, as I've posted on Facebook a couple of times recently, I'm GIDDY about WSU and their progression in the NCAA Tournament. I'm going to be positive and say they'll do well this coming weekend. However, if they don't, I'm still pleased with the basketball team breaking the 48 year drought (for lack of a better word) of being in the Final 4! SO, ultimately, this blog post is about my brother's graduation with just a small plug for WSU....His graduation was in Koch Arena on the campus.
Not to long after getting there, some of the faculty and the graduates "marched" in....
Fortunately for us, Joel ended up sitting in the back row of the graduates. That way, we could see him easily -- which was especially good for his kids.
Finally, after the graduation address (which I honestly couldn't tell you much about other than it was the Lieutenant Governor), the graduates were each called by name. Finally, Joel's name was called. Fortunately, for the big screen, we could see him go across the stage. (Sorry that it's blurry -- I was taking the pics with my phone from my seat with Joel and Amber's 2 year-old daughter asleep on me)....
Then, we watched him (from above) get the "post-walk-across-the-stage-professional-pic." (up against the yellow screen)....
Then, we watched him walk back to his seat -- AND, just like that, he was a graduate of WSU!
If you're curious, his degree was in Accounting. He's now working for an accounting firm in Wichita.
Earlier in this post, I referred to holding his sleeping, 2 year-old daughter...it was pretty sweet!
SO, this coming Saturday evening, April 6, even if you ARE a Louisville fan, please cheer for the Shockers of WSU! Ha! (AND, I just might question you if you're a Louisville fan)....