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!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

"Claws and Paws"....

About a month ago or so, we were planning out our summer a bit.  We already know we'll be taking a little family vacation to the Black Hills in South Dakota.  Luke will be taking swimming lessons.  We knew we had a goal of visiting all of our city's parks.  Lastly, we gave the opportunity for Luke to take a one-week class. He was given the choice of a class either at the zoo or one at a local museum.  Not surprisingly, Luke chose one at the zoo.

The class was "right off the bat" for our summer.  It was this past week.  It was called "Claws and Paws".  It was a class for 6 and 7 year-olds, learning about big and little cats.

Before I go any further in this post, let me say that nearly all of the pics will be of Kate, despite this post being about Luke's class.  That would be because this was a non-parent class.  So -- Kate and I dropped Luke off each day & did not see the class.

Also -- before I go any further, I will promote these zoo classes.  They were seemingly well organized, and I felt very safe leaving Luke for the class.  Good security systems were in place.

Each day, Kate had to give her brother hugs & kisses before he went to class.

Three of the days, I loaded up Kate in the blue jogging stroller, and we went for a walk.  Our nice long walk took up most of the class time.  One of the days, Kate so sweetly went to sleep in the stroller.

The other two days, Kate and I went to "Target" and to "Natural Grocers".  Then, I gave her ample time at a local park!

And -- much like all of the last school year, there was a lot of happiness when we picked up Luke after class....

Also, each day, Kate enjoyed hanging out right outside of Luke's classroom -- where there were plenty of "kid-friendly" things for Kate to get in to.

On the last day, Luke came out of class with a couple of "workbooks".  Each day, the class had focused on one particular cat. Besides learning information about the respective cat as well as being out in the zoo to see the cat, the students learned how to draw each cat.

NOW, I fully realize that Luke is *only* almost seven years old, BUT I will very kindly say that I'm seeing signs that Luke has received his parents' drawing skills.  That would simply mean that Luke probably will not draw well.  Ha!  (I'm being fairly serious on this one).

BUT, I have been EXTREMELY impressed with his drawings...

Day 1 -- Lion

Day 2 -- Tiger

Day 3 -- Jaguar

Day 4 -- Cougar (Puma, Mountain Lion)

Day 5 -- Caracal

BUT -- the "thing" I'm most excited about from this class is that Luke knew NOBODY in this class.  He went in this class only slightly nervous but very confident (if that makes sense).  This class was VERY good for him in that sense.  Admittedly, it was equally as good for me to drop him off in a class where I didn't know anybody either.

It was a good maturing opportunity for both of us!

On the last day, after the class was completed, I took the kiddos for our "routine weekly zoo trip"!  We had a great time, as usual!

In this last pic on this long post, Kate is holding up her stuffed tiger that Papa Andover (my dad) bought for her at a previous zoo visit.  She insisted that the tiger be in the pic!

Thursday, May 28, 2015


How's that for a riveting title?

This morning, while Luke was at his zoo class (another post coming on the class on another day), Kate & I went on a nice 4-mile walk around Sedgwick County Park.  When we were right near the Sedgwick County Extension office, I suddenly noticed this small animal in a "desert" type plant display....

It was the size of the palm of my hand.  It was not a rat.  It was too big to be a mouse.  Kate & I watched it eat for a bit.  Then, I noticed "burrowing" holes in the "desert" display.  So, I figured out that possibly this animal was in the prairie dog family, possibly?????

Kate & I then watched this animal go in & out of this hole.

When we went & picked up Luke from his class, I told him we had a surprise for him, knowing he would want to see this animal, if possible.

We arrived back at the extension office.  Luke, Kate, and I walked over to the little display.

Unfortunately, we could not find the animal again.  I told a somewhat disappointed Luke that we'd stop by there again to look.  I looked the animal up on my phone.  From what I can kind of tell, I *think* the animal might be a "cony" or a "pika".  It's a desert-burrowing animal.

Anybody else have any ideas????  I'd appreciate the help.


My parents (aka Papa & Grandma Andover) are avid bird watchers in their yard.  They *patiently* let the grandkids help feed the birds.  Luke has taken quite the interest in the birds that visit the feeders.

Luke asked us very politely if we could get a bird feeder.  Since we're definitely novices in bird-watching, we bought a cheap one to get us started.  This evening, after Luke & Marc finished mowing the lawn (henceforth any sweat shown on said people in the pics), Luke & Marc put up the feeder.

This was all this evening.  Since that time, Luke has seen a whopping one bird so far on the feeder.  He's really hoping to see a meadowlark -- our state's bird.  But, a friend just left us a comment on "Facebook" that meadowlarks are more "field birds".  Another friend mentioned she's seen them on her feeder in the winter -- when snow is covering the ground.  SO -- I will give Luke those facts tomorrow since he's currently sleeping peacefully as I type this post!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Hello Kitty".....

Kate will turn the big THREE on June 6.

Since Memorial Day is a great day to get together with family AND the fact that one of Luke's and Kate's cousins has a birthday on June 10 (creating close together birthday parties), for the last two years now, we've held Kate's birthday party on Memorial Day.

If you happen to be reading this blog post for birthday party decorating ideas, you might as well close out this page now -- Ha!  This Mama is not a decorator and does not even have a "Pinterest" account. Gasp!  Sigh...

A big shout out to those of you who are awesome kid party decorators.  It's just not me.

Therefore, "Mrs. Dillon's" made Kate's cake (read: our local grocery store).  (And, I failed to mention earlier that Kate LOVES "Hello Kitty").

And, I have a whopping ZERO pics of decorations because there just weren't any (other than "Hello Kitty" - themed plates and napkins).

And -- compliments of our niece, Grace, we have a fairly nice pic of our family!

We hosted the party at our church (read: no clean up at our house).  We catered in "Hog Wild Pit BBQ" to eat (read: none of us had to cook).

We invited both sets of grandparents as well as Uncle Joel & Aunt Amber and our kids' 4 cousins (read: we don't have big families).

It was truly a good time, and we *think* Kate enjoyed herself.

Kate enjoyed opening presents with help from her Mama and big brother.  And, her Uncle Joel helped with some assembly!

After presents were opened and food and dessert was eaten, the kiddos (and guys) enjoyed a friendly game of kickball in the gym.

Of course, it started to rain when we were all cleaning up and moving stuff into cars (wet and memorable May this year).

This morning, the day after the festivities, I had Kate in the stroller for a walk.  The party obviously tuckered her out because she snoozed for a good portion of my walk.  So sweet!  And, as a side note, her caring older brother, Luke, gave her the "Hello Kitty" shirt she has on.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Park Visit #2....

Today, Luke, Kate, and I actually visited two parks; however, I'll only make this post about the first visit (I'll post about the second one another time).

We visited "Depot Park" first. For you local folks, this park is basically the fountain in front of the train station (5th and Main).

The kids thoroughly enjoyed running around the fountain.  Luke even wanted me to time him AND time his sister.  Luke ran around the fountain in 5 seconds.  Kate ran around it in 9 seconds, in case you're interested.  One thing I LOVE about young kids is how easy it can be to entertain them (running).

I let the kids throw some pennies in the fountain.  Luke & I had a great discussion about how throwing pennies in a fountain while making a wish does NOT make a wish come true.  We then discussed how God gives us what we need.  Pray to God rather than depend on wishes when throwing pennies in a fountain.  But, throwing pennies in the fountain, regardless, was a good time for an almost 3 year-old and an almost 7 year-old.

Lastly, we read the plaque with the history.  This fountain used to be a well with the city's only drinking water source for awhile (this was back in 1871).  Believe it or not, Luke was fascinated by that fact, and I actually *think* he understood it.  He said, "Boy -- that would've taken a lot of water pails".

Per Luke's and my discussion after our visit today....

Good about this park:

**Fun to throw pennies in the fountain
**Can watch trains
**Cool water would feel good on a hot day (despite the fact you do not swim in the fountain)
**Nice benches to sit on

Not-So-Good about this park:

**No picnic tables
**Quite a bit of traffic to hear
**No playground equipment

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Park Visit #1....

I completely took (read: stole) an idea from a good friend of mine.  I suggested to Luke & Kate that one of our summer goals should be to visit ALL 18 parks that our fine little town has to offer -- ALL 18 that are listed on the city's website.

Luke thought it would be fun.  Kate, being only almost 3, has no other choice to go with us, AND Kate absolutely loves to do things (especially outside).  Part of the visits are to include Luke taking a few pics of his own (with this Mama's constant taking of pics).  Then, we'll print out a couple of pics that Luke (or Mama) takes, and we'll make a poster.

We're currently having the "anti-summer" weather, but seeing how today is the first day officially of our summer break, we decided to "take the plunge" and do a park visit.

Since we knew quite a few of our parks would be muddy and/or wet AND the fact that it's cold (we wouldn't want to spend hours at a park playing today), we decided to go to "Railroad Park".  This park isn't a true "park" by most of our standards in that it's just a concrete area on the bike path with a few benches.  Nevertheless, it's a "park" funded by taxpayer dollars and maintained by the city.  It's on the list.  We went.

If one was a railroad enthusiast (likes to watch trains), this would be the park for you!  We just ate our lunch in the cold on a blanket, and the kids ran around for a bit.

As I posted on "Facebook," NO park visit would be complete without Kate crying, with or without a valid reason.  Today, the reason was valid.  For unexplainable reasons, she fell on the concrete.  Fortunately, she was ok, but snuggles with Mama were a must.  (I must admit truthfully that I probably will someday miss this.  Right now, though, the seemingly constant crying gets annoying).

You locals know how it seems like there are ALWAYS trains to stop traffic.  Today, we wanted to see a train while we were at the park, and not one came until we were loading up into the car.  Luke asked if he could get back out, and I said, "Of course -- this is what we've been waiting on".

After we left (and I told Luke we'd do this after each park visit), Luke & I talked about the good things and not-so-good things about the park.  He was great about coming up with lists with me.


**Can watch trains easily
**Concrete area when there's a lot of mud
**Nice benches to sit on
**Trashcans available
**Plenty of parking


**No playground equipment
**No restrooms
**No trees -- will be hot when summer finally does appear

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Last Day of Kindergarten....

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you know quite a bit of what has been going on in our little Friesen Family of 4. BUT, once again, I've really "stunk" (if that's really a word) on getting posts on here. Well.....I'll try this again. I'll make a whopping ZERO promises on how often I'll post this summer, BUT I'd really truly like to do better. But, here goes.... Today was Luke's last day of kindergarten -- his last day. May I be permitted to let out a HUGE "Sniff Sniff?" I'm not kidding. I did not realize I'd be more sad on the last day than on the first day. As I stated on Facebook awhile back, there's just something so cute and innocent and sweet about kindergarten. Nearly everybody remembers at least something about kindergarten, and hopefully, those are all good memories for most people. This year of kindergarten for Luke has had mostly all good points. There have been a couple of challenges (insert clearing of throat here) OR learning incidents for Luke. My ultimate prayer is that through ALL of these kindergarten happenings (both positive and challenging), God ultimately is glorified. First, and please do NOT ask me my secret to this, Luke did not miss a day of school this year. Not a day. It was a terrible year for sickness for many, and somehow, our family missed it. (Don't freak out -- we're GREAT at getting sick in the summer here in our home). SO, almost everyday except for maybe 3 days, Marc drove Luke to the bus stop. This morning, after getting to work after dropping Luke off at the bus stop, Marc texted me some pretty sweet pics.
It's so cute to watch young kids walk to the big bus....
He only was at school a couple of hours this morning before parents arrived for their final assembly (kindergarten through 6th grade). At this assembly, the kindergartners were promoted to 1st grade, and the 6th graders were promoted to Jr. High. I like this pic that was posted on the school's Facebook page of all of the parents and students.
After pledges and prayer, the whole group (parents and students) sang a couple of songs. Awesome. Then, the kindergarteners all lined up and were called up individually to receive their certificates. Cute. Simply Cute.
When Luke's name was called, I could tell he was nervous, as usual. But, he walked over to this teacher, Mrs. Burkhart, with a bit of confidence; confidence which I've seen increase this year. Then, as several of the boys did, Luke gave her a "high five" after receiving his certificate.
All of his class....
After the assembly ended, the chaos began with all of the elementary kids leaving at the same time with their parents. There was no bus transportation available so nearly every student had somebody with them to take them home. Yep -- quite a few people + wound up kiddos = chaos. Luke, who's not one to hug other people other than his parents and sister did pose with his teacher (whom he's already said he's missing).
And -- to not forget Kate -- well.....she did fairly well through the short assembly. BUT, toward the end, she needed to simply sit on her dad's lap and then her mom's....She's doing better than she used to. I can't complain. She is only almost 3.
I KNOW Kate will enjoy having Luke home this summer; however, it's obvious it hasn't "sunk in" with her yet that he'll be home with her more. This evening, as she always does, she asked if I'd hold her tomorrow morning after her Daddy and brother leave. I *think* she'll be happy in the morning when at least her brother is home with her. She certainly was a happy camper this afternoon when her brother let her in his room for awhile to play. She takes advantage of that opportunity whenever it presents itself. And today, she simply crawled under his covers for awhile.
AND now, summer can begin, despite the weather acting like fall. Seriously, fall....(I fully realize you know about this weather phenomenon if you're local to us). I will close this post with the school's "theme verse" for this year. We've had it up on our kitchen bulletin board this year. It's a goody. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:18

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