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!
With my active participation on Facebook, I sometimes wonder if blogging is necessary. Then, I think, "Yes, it is...people read this blog who are not friended with me on Facebook. PLUS, not everybody is on Facebook." Also, with blogging, I can expand descriptions of pics a bit....SO, here goes....
I took a six-week (3 times/week) childcare job here at home. It's for some friends of our's. SO, it's all good...BUT, 4 kids is my limit. I know it will challenge me. I know I need to be organized in my facets of this job. Luke & Lily (one of the children I'm watching) are a bit like siblings in that they tend to fight and sometimes make me want to pull my hair out. Because of the snow this past week, it only ended up being one day to have the extra kids. SO, that wasn't bad at all.
Most of you know that we're a family of 5 this year. We have a French foreign exchange student, Emma, living with us. She's been delightful to have here. Kate especially has really taken to her. This week, Kate did something super cute. She walked up to Emma and pointed at her hair. Kate wanted Emma to fix her hair. Emma did, and Kate sat really nice for her to do it.
If you're local, this is obvious, but if you're not, we received a bunch of snow this week (relative to where we live). Schools were cancelled for 3 days. It's been abnormally cold as well....so, everything is frozen. Our limited road crews have had a hard time getting the streets cleaned. I'm not complaining about the road crews; I'm GRATEFUL for them. I just know this winter storm was unusual enough that quite frankly, we're not equipped to handle.
Probably about a year ago, someone older and wiser than me commented on a Facebook post of mine (probably griping about the weather) that "complaining about the weather is ultimately complaining to the One who created it (God)." For some reason, that statement was really convicting. SO, though I'm not perfect at this, for the last year, I've been really striving to not complain about the weather. After all, God did give it to us. (AND, admittedly, I really struggle with this in the summer because I struggle with 100-degree heat day after day). And seriously, if you think about it, we all, at least in this country, for the most part, choose where we live. If we truly don't like it, we do have the ability to move. SO, if we're going to live where we live, we need to expect the climate that goes with it. ANYWAYS, off of my soapbox now -- With all of that in mind, God also gives us the change in seasons. SO, this week with all of the snow, I made a "spring" cake to keep us plowing through the winter. We were thinking good thoughts. This cake turned out quite lovely -- thank you very much! It was tasty to all five of us in this household.
Over the last week to 10 days, Kate has had a runny nose -- nothing too unusual with a young kid in the middle of winter. And, for the most part, it didn't seem to bother her. BUT, in the middle of this winter storm this week, she developed a nice barking cough -- many of you know this as croup. The croupy cough didn't concern me too much. I know it's not terribly uncommon. My mom reminds me I had it as a kid. I know plenty of other people who have had kids with it. BUT, yesterday (Thursday), her breathing seemed a bit labored. SO, to be on the safe side, Marc & I decided I should at least call the doctor to see what he thought. Well, he wanted to see her, and we were able to get in very quickly (which surprised me since it is cold and flu season). He ended up prescribing her a steroid for the cough (which has drastically helped already). To top it off -- I'm glad I took her in -- she had an ear infection with which she was showing no symptoms. SO, she's on an antibiotic. I know ear infections are very common with kids. I personally feel fortunate that neither of our kids have had them very bad nor very often.
What a difference 24 hours makes! Today, Kate's been fine. She still has a little bit of a barking cough, but overall, she's much better. I even took her out this evening to an event we had planned on attending for over a month.
Luke has pretty much always been really good at entertaining himself -- so good, in fact, that I sometimes (O.K. -- many times) take it for granted. I've recently realized just how much more time I probably could've spent with him doing activities instead of leaving him to his own devices. BUT, he's just always been that way. Now, however, we're preparing to send him to kindergarten in August....so, this Mama's going through the stage of "I'm really going to miss him." In the pics above, he was doing quite a bit of work with his tools -- between working with his little workbench inside to being in the cold garage, fixing his lawnmower and weed-eater.
Tired of reading yet? One more description (which wasn't on Facebook)...Back on Monday evening, one of our local TV stations broadcasted, LIVE, a naturalization ceremony in Wichita. (By broadcasted, I mean "streamed LIVE" online). The actual ceremony was open to the public; however, that was the evening the snow was to move in. I wasn't going to drive in it for the ceremony. PLUS, it was good to simply be home with everybody for the evening. ANYWAYS, Emma & I watched it stream LIVE. While we couldn't see any of the 88 people who were becoming US citizens, we did hear the oath being read. We did watch the "official" part of the ceremony where the judge declared them US citizens. AND, we watched a video of others who had previously become US citizens. Being a US citizen is most definitely something I have taken for granted. While I was taught to be a little bit patriotic, I definitely can say I wasn't taught completely what it meant to be a US citizen. Like I said, it's something I've taken for granted. As a college student and as an adult, I have been exposed to Americans who like to "bash" the USA. Admittedly sometimes, it's easy to get "sucked in" (if only for a bit) into thinking that things are just terrible and non-progressive here. Then, and fortunately, I come to later realize just how good we have it here. Watching something like a naturalization ceremony compounds my thoughts as to how wonderful we really do have it. Nope -- we're not perfect. Nobody in the human race is (other than when God himself came to earth a little over 2,000 years ago). BUT, to listen to some of these naturalized citizens talk about the freedoms and liberty they have by being a US citizen -- WOW! It was powerful....tearfully powerful. That evening, in the comforts of our warm home, on my iPad, I witnessed 88 people from 30-some countries denounce their own citizenship and become US citizens. When you really stop and think about that, it's pretty amazing!