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!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Car Show...

Way back in May, our little family of 4 went to our local car show (this was before Emma left, but Emma went to Kansas City that day to World's of Fun -- an amusement park).

I'm not quite sure *why* we'd never gone to this local car show before.  It's a neat little community event.  Our neighbor has a car in it.  And, it's an event we can walk to with the kiddos in the stroller.

We now know that, especially for Luke, we'll go again next year!

Kate did pretty well in the stroller, but toward the end, she wanted out!  I ended up getting a great pic of her pretty face!

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Little Nature Walk With A Friend...

Luke wanted his friend, Lily, to come over.   They hadn't seen each other in over a month.

Lily came over yesterday, and so, we all quickly darted out because rain was coming (saw it on the radar).  They both wanted to go on a nature walk (poor Kate had to ride in the stroller)....

Luke & Lily each took a bag along to collect rocks, flowers, sticks, etc.  Luke also had a jar to attempt to get an insect or two!

Lily is MUCH more of a risk taker than Luke.  So, she was generally waiting on Luke to climb on rocks, etc....She's pretty good about waiting on him.

I REALLY like this pic!

These two have been in preschool the last 2 years together.  They will be in different schools for kindergarten.  I think Luke is a little sad about that, but I also know he'll make new friends!  And, you know, since their parents are friends, they'll still see each other some (and probably fight -- Ha)!

In the meantime, hopefully, they can get together a few more times this summer!

Here they are catching bugs together (or at least attempting to)....(they did ultimately catch a whopping ONE ladybug after multiple attempts at other insects)....

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How About Another Race With Luke???

SO, apparently this summer (I'm not sure about previous summers), the Wichita State University track team (organized by the assistant track coach) puts on these "open track meets" at Wichita State's Cessna Stadium.  ANYBODY can show up, pay $5, and participate in various track & field events.

Marc wanted to run an event or two.  Marc noticed on the event schedule that there were some shorter, kid-friendly races.  So, without getting Luke's hopes up, we decided that I would drive the kiddos into Wichita, and Marc would meet us there after work.  Knowing Luke would want to do this, we did tell him the night before -- when we noticed the weather forecast *should* hold up.

So, this afternoon, after Kate's nap, Luke changed into a "running shirt" and his running shoes.  (I have NO clue how Luke designates his running shirts).

On the way to Wichita, Marc called me.  He had arrived at the stadium and found out that they cancelled the track and field evening.  NOW, it *had* indeed been running a good portion of the day.  However, it was clearing up, and if one checked his or her smart phone, one could see the rain was moving away from us.  Nonetheless, it was cancelled.  On the phone, Marc & I decided I would keep driving into Wichita and Luke could run around the track anyways.  (And for you legalists out there -- no, I did not check the radar on my smart phone while driving).

SO, in the car, I told Luke there'd be no race.  I could tell he was disappointed, but he seemed to take the news ok.

By the time we got to the stadium, there were quite a few people there, hoping to run BUT finding out things were cancelled.  Nevertheless, people were still out running.

At this point, upon seeing Marc, I think the true emotion of disappointment (of events being cancelled) came out in Luke.  There were tears from our tender-hearted boy, and I believe Luke's face in this pic says it all....

But, I did still capture a good sibling pic....

At this point, someone whom Marc knows (amongst the Wichita running community) came around and stated they were going to still have a few events -- not formally organized)....At first, Luke didn't want to do it (too many plans being changed too much for our *planner* boy)....Then, Marc convinced him to do it AND to do his best.

Just for fun (and to interrupt this long post)....a cute picture of our "go more with the flow" girl -- with her beloved baby....

Then, after a brief explanation to Luke (from Marc) about running in the lines and staying in your lane on the track, Luke ran a 100-yard race (at Luke's request -- with Marc)...I actually don't know what place Luke came in.  It was toward the end; he was the younger one.  But, if he did his best, that's all I can ask...

I'm learning that running is something that makes Luke smile.  He's smiling in this race, and because of his initial disappointment about his race being cancelled, he wasn't smiling much before it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Nice Little Family Evening....

Shorty before Emma, our foreign exchange student, left to return home to her country, she offered to take our family out to eat.  Marc & I chose Red Robin because a) we like it b) Emma liked it while here in the USA c) the kiddos like it d) Luke likes to take family walks around the water behind the restaurants in the area.

I took along the wagon that evening so Kate could have a wagon ride after supper. Kate LOVES the wagon.

Luke, of course, was WAY ahead of us and had to be reminded repeatedly to not get so far ahead -- which involved Luke sulking because he couldn't do what he wanted....Good Times!  Keepin' it real here, folks!

BUT, nonetheless, it was a nice evening, and I'm grateful to Emma for treating our family to supper!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Luke's Big Race....

When Luke was 2, almost 3, he ran in a race -- the Wichita River Run Tot Trot.  He actually won the race.  Luke has ZERO recollection of this race -- other than he has a medal from it so we tell him about it.

Several weeks ago, Marc once again entered him in this race.  Unfortunately, Kate & I stayed home & missed the race because Kate was recovering from an illness.

But, Marc captured some great pics.  NOTE: Luke has race #5443.

My favorite pic!!!!  (Compliments of "The Running Connection" Facebook page)....

Luke finished in 2nd place!!!!  It was an exciting day for all of us!!!  We didn't tell him to "try hard".  We told him to "DO his best".  We think he did as he ran his little heart out!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Luke and a couple of his boy interests....

If you know Luke, you know that he's really not the sporty type.  He did like going to some basketball games this past winter, and he recently has expressed interest in watching baseball.  BUT overall, I wouldn't call Luke a rambunctious, sporty boy.

HOWEVER, Luke does enjoy anything with wheels, anything mechanical, etc....

A few weeks before school was out, the kiddos & I just happened to drive by one of our city's fire stations.  A couple of firefighters were outside with a truck -- clearly NOT on a fire call -- which persuaded me to stop so Luke could see the truck.

The nice firefighter then talked with him a bit about the truck.  Needless to say, Luke enjoyed the experience (and this wasn't his first time in a fire truck)!  I appreciate the firefighters taking their time out to talk with Luke!

Luke, like many boys in Sunday School finds the story about David & Goliath quite fascinating!  Luke asked his Papa Andover recently about a sling shot.  Like all good grandparents, Papa went out & bought one.  The rules are, however, that Luke may only shoot the sling shot with a trusted adult, Luke must wear safety glasses, and Luke and the adult must be COMPLETELY away from other people!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spring Sport....

One "American" thing that Emma experienced while here in the USA was being on the high school swim team -- one of the spring sports offered here (and if you don't know who Emma is -- please see my previous post).

She had never been on an organized sports team before.  So, the practice schedule and the meet schedule were new to her.

Because of Marc's work schedule vs the meet schedule AND the fact that we have relatively small kiddos, we only went briefly to a couple of home meets.  But, at both of those meets, we did get to see Emma swim!

At our local high school's pool, there's not a whole lot of spectator room.  SO, our kids had to learn to squeeze in & sit close to others.

As you can see from these next pics, Kate definitely held close to me.  Though Kate is more of a risk taker & more of a "go with the flow" person than her older brother, the crowds & noise were a bit overwhelming.  Honestly, I thought she looked sad.

And, on "Senior Night," Marc & I got the opportunity to be "Senior Parents"... Unfortunately, your's truly (me) missed Emma being called down & introduced.  I had taken Kate out for a bit and missed it!  Oh well -- it goes with the territory of parenting.  Fortunately, we were able to capture this family pic!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

May 28....A Sad Day....

I think most of you, my few loyal readers, know that during the 2013-2014 school year, we hosted a foreign exchange student here in our home.  Her name is Emma.  She is French.  We decided to host a student for a whole variety of reasons....Yes, hosting a student was a great experience, and if you have room in your hearts and home, please talk to us.  We'd love to hook you up with a coordinator.

Anyways, May was tough in a way because we, including Luke, knew Emma would have to leave and return to France and her family.  As her departure date approached, Luke really became more sad.  So, one day, upon the advice of Marc, Luke decorated an envelope to start saving his money for our family to travel to France.

May 28 was Emma's departure date.  It truly was a bittersweet day.  We know Emma needed to return to her family, but we would've preferred she would've been able to stay.

My parents went with us to eat lunch one last time together & take Emma to the airport.

At Emma's request, we ate lunch at Freddy's!!!!

Then, we went to the airport to say, "Hope to see you again soon"!

Our last family pic with Emma....

And -- a pic with my parents....

And, this is a pic of Emma & Pia....Pia was a German exchange student.  Pia's host family lives fairly close to our house.  Emma & Pia got to be great friends over the course of the school year.  We enjoyed getting to know Pia as well!  Pia left about 5 days after Emma....So, she was able to come to the airport with our coordinator to say "Goodbye".  (Really -- Pia was able to see "See you soon" to Emma as Pia & Emma will be together for a couple of weeks in France in July).

Luke sometimes is a child who can be very hard to read.  Up until the last month of Emma living here, I wouldn't have told you he'd be that sad when she left.  But, he grew SAD in the weeks leading to her departure.  At the airport, the day Emma left, Luke bawled. It was SO hard for me to see, but at the same time, I was happy.  I was happy because of how worth it I realized it was for us to have Emma be a lasting part of our family.

In this pic, you can see Luke's sadness for Emma's leaving....

I debated about posting the previous pic as I don't ever want to embarrass Luke intentionally.  BUT, I want it to be a "plug" for at least praying about & considering being a host family.

Thanks to some of the lovely media in our country as well as my listening to negative talk about the USA, I had the idea that many people outside of the USA dislike us.  I couldn't understand why a teenage student would want to come here.

I'm by no means implying we're perfect in this country, BUT by having a foreign exchange student in our home, I have learned a lot.  I have learned about how open these students are to learning more about our world.  I have learned that family is important and needed in ALL cultures.  I have learned that none of us are perfect (kind of a "duh" statement).  I have learned to let go of some of my selfishness by taking on another "kid" in my home (though Emma obviously is in a different age range from our kids)....I could go on & on....Just know we miss Emma!

Since Emma has returned to her country, we're re-establishing ourselves as a family of 4. Fortunately, the kids & I have been able to FaceTime with Emma 3 times already.  Unfortunately, because of the tine difference & schedules, Marc hasn't been able to yet :(

And, Lord willing, we'll go visit Emma in France someday.  I just want Kate a little bit older first.  I know people do it everyday, but traveling across the "Big Pond" (Atlantic Ocean) with Kate right now would be daunting & possibly unbearable.

Friday, June 20, 2014

It's Hot Dog Day -- Woo-Hoo!!!!

Each summer, there's one particular Friday in June where one of our local banks, First Bank, hosts a customer appreciation day -- with the entire community invited.  It's also dubbed "Hot Dog Day" by many, including by our family.

In my constant and ongoing effort to educate others that "there is no such thing as a free lunch," (in other words, nothing is free) the bank and other generous donors (I think -- including our local hospital) make this fun event for all to enjoy by making everything "No Charge" to attendees.  So, before I go any further, "Thank You to First Bank, Newton Medical Center, & other generous donors for this fun family and community event".

This event is held at our local "Military Park" -- or in "Luke-Speak" -- "the park with the steam engine by the library".  My parents joined us this year...so, while we were waiting on them to arrive, I took some obligatory pics of our kiddos next to the steam engine.

I have personally always found this event to be organized. We've never had a problem with the hot dog line moving slow.

After my parents a arrived, Luke wanted to jump in the bounce house.  Personally, I think it's a good idea to let kids jump in a bounce house BEFORE eating!  (In case you missed it, Luke is in the blue & white striped shirt).

Next, we ate -- which I failed to get a pic.  I was too busy contending with a 2 year-old while sweating profusely -- Ha!  Then, we all went to get sno-cones. (And in this pic, you can see Luke's Anerican flag tattoo he received -- but absolutely wouldn't pose with earlier).

Next up, the kiddos wanted balloons...Kate LOVES balloons, BUT she doesn't like to have them tied to her wrist.  The simple solution would be to let a natural consequence happen & have the balloon blow away.  BUT, since Kate only sometimes receives balloons (and since she is a young 2 year-old), I know she will NOT remember the consequence next time she receives a balloon.  So, for now, this Mama insists her balloon be tied to her wrist.  Yep -- this was the first of the "tired & hot 2 year-old meltdowns".

It's a good thing we had her "Nigh Nigh" (favorite blanket) along because nothing else would comfort at this point.

We ended the event with Papa Andover (my dad) teaching Luke a few more facts (trivial knowledge) about steam engines.  If you don't know, my dad is a train enthusiast -- BIG TIME!

Again, thanks First Bank, Newton Medical Center, & other sponsors for this fun and HOT event.  (Kate had to even have a de-dirting and cool down bath before nap).

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A First and a a Third....

First, a first....Luke received his first haircut, from Marc, at 10 1/2 months.  Since that time, he's received a haircut, from Marc or myself, on average of once a month.

A couple of weeks ago, Marc was at the barber getting his monthly haircut.  The kiddos & I were out running errands so I took Luke to the barber to hang out with his dad.

When my two guys showed up at home, Luke had received a haircut at the barber.  And, in my opinion, he looked even more like his dad than he already did.

Marc said Luke did really well EXCEPT the barber found a bunch of sand in his hair.  Luke, as he frequently does, had been out in his sandbox that day; however, I have no idea how he got all of the sand in his hair!  Boys!  That's all I can say.  That evening, Marc spent quite a bit of time helping Luke get the sand out of his hair in the shower.

Second, a third....Today, Luke had an eye appointment.  It was not his first eye appointment, but rather it was his third.  We've known since his first appointment that he was far-sighted.  But, we were told it wasn't that bad; that he could possibly outgrow it.

Well today, we were told Luke needs glasses to help his farsightedness.  So, we picked a pair out, and they're ordered.  He should receive them next week.

Luke is actually seemingly ok with having them.  Hopefully, his awesome attitude sticks.  (And, he wouldn't smile for this pic -- it was well BEFORE we were told he needed glasses)....

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