Friesen Talk

Writing about all the big & little things


Elliptical, oh elliptical, you have served us, very well,

But today is the day we have to say, our fond farewell.


Auntie Jen gifted you to us, many years ago

in hopes of letting me exercise without hurting my heels or toes.


You saw us through the hard times of online and Covid-crazy,

When Chloe, Josiah and I were able to run, so we didn’t get lazy.


Josiah really loved running on you, so screen time he could earn

to watch Super Mario Bros. shows, to which his heart does yearn.


I loved the time away from kids, where I could quickly jog

and enjoy a show about organizing, baking, or eggnog.


So, thanks for being there, all winter season long.

Tomorrow I’ll be sad, that our fine machine is gone.



Well, I thought I was on a roll with posting again… and I even had a great game plan of writing using a different letter of the alphabet… and then I got derailed at the letter “D.” Good golly, I sure didn’t make it very far, did I?

D proved to be a tricky letter for me. I started a post about how I’m loving DESIGN more lately and how I’m using Microsoft Publisher more. I really love the flexibility that it gives me and how I can keep a bunch of stuff on the clipboard in my project that doesn’t actually show up on my created document. I also love how I can easily overlap different pictures and words. Apparently I should have been using Publisher a long time ago. I’ve been making Microsoft Word do all of those things, but it took me SO much more work to get it the way I wanted.

I also thought about writing about DATES and how Tim and I are starting to go on Friday night dates again. This year I adjusted my schedule so I’m done teaching at 6:00 on Friday nights, which opens up being able to schedule that time in with him. Even though we see a lot of each other in his off season, I’m not always great about making time for him specifically, so I’m excited about this window of time. Plus Chloe has been more willing to babysit than she was a year ago, so that’s great.

And finally, I also thought about writing about DEMONS and how they have become a regular conversation at our house. This was a particularly hard one for me, but I really felt the urge to write about this. I am generally careful to avoid writing about heavy topics or controversial topics. However… we are fighting an unseen battle that rages all around us, all the time. I used to be scared of talking about it and avoided conversations about it–until we were forced into the topic this past year. Chloe has had to deal with real demons in her life and we all had to rally with her to help her fight. The devil does not play fair. He never has and he never will. And while I think that kids should be off limits, he doesn’t see things that way. I have cried more tears over the past year than I ever have–and so many angry tears over how I wish I could fight the battle for her. I’m older. I’m stronger. I should be able to fight for her. But I can’t. She has fought and grown and pushed through in ways I cannot even fathom doing when I 14 years old. I am so proud of her. Someday God is going to use her for something big.


Last Friday night Chloe hosted her first ever friends sleepover with her D-group (which is her discussion group in youth group). There are 7 girls total in the group, and 4 were able to come. Not a huge turnout, but it’s hard to arrange 7 girls schedules! They had fun staying up most of the night and eating junk food and talking and doing all the fun teenage girl things.

It’s so much fun to see Chloe blossoming in social situations. Last year was very dark and hard and she didn’t have any of these experiences. I am so thankful for the youth group she is a part of and the community of girls that she has around her. Oh, and her leaders! I’m super thankful for them too.

She’s been able to go on 2 retreats this year–Fall retreat for 5 days and then Winter retreat for 3 days. It’s so amazing to hear all about how she’s growing and becoming more sure of herself after each trip. Her D-group leader was able to go along on both trips and I really like her–we’ve had a few nice LONG conversations about some heavy topics and I am thankful to have her in Chloe’s life.

She’s also really enjoying being homeschooled this year. We pulled her out of public school in October and we are very pleased with our decision. She’s doing phenomenally better mentally–which was a big hurdle. Plus my fear of her missing out on being social (since she wouldn’t be seeing kids her age every day) is gone. She has more friends now than she’s ever had.

I am so thankful for the people God put into my life at the right time to help me through navigating moving to homeschool. It seemed so daunting but now that I’m here, it’s really not as hard as I thought it would be.

Here is a picture I snapped on our first day of BSF together. She’s in the school aged program (she was able to join right after Christmas).


I love breakfast.

I love everything about it. I love the smells and all the variety of delicious foods and the cozy feeling of eating all the yummy food with a hot cup of coffee in the morning. I could really eat breakfast foods for every meal of the day. But I don’t. Because, let’s face it, it doesn’t really scream “well-balanced diet!”

However, I also know that I love breakfast. And that it can be my absolute downfall to eating right… all those delicious pastries & donuts & French toast & orange juice & waffles and syrup…. yum! So I’ve convinced myself that I ALSO really love plain oatmeal cooked with a handful of blueberries or for a special treat, frozen cherries with pecans.

So, that’s how I start my day. Every day. Ok, almost every day. It’s a great way to fuel my body and not be sugared up or on a path of eating whatever I want for the rest of the day. That’s dangerous for me.

This week was extra special–I got to meet Stacy for a Belated Birthday breakfast and we enjoyed some great food and fellowship! And now that you know how much I love breakfast foods you know how fun this was! 😉

P.S. my second go-to breakfast is scrambled eggs with sautéed onions and peppers with a slice of ham diced up.


I have decided that I’m going to write a post with one word at the title, starting with each letter of the alphabet. I have no idea how this will go, but I love having a plan, so there it is!

I’ve had a few “plans” over the years with this blog: Wordless Wednesday, 13 Thin thoughts, Food Friday… I seem to have a fondness for word alliterations! I just love how they roll off the tongue.

In other news: We had to buy a new section of our sectional this week. The old part was peeling badly on the back and sunk down way too much when you sat down. Although we really wish it had a longer run, we’re overall pleased how it’s held together. We have a lot of people coming and going and the couch seems to be a common place for everyone to come, so it’s had a lot of wear and tear. Plus it’s where the rest of the family primarily hangs out every evening when I’m teaching.

Getting it into the basement was a bit of a struggle. It DOES fit, but just barely. And since our basement staircase goes straight down there’s really no good way to turn the couch when you get down to the bottom. So, after removing the door trim and casing and the railing and squishing it through the doorway and pivoting it over the railing at the bottom of the steps and squishing it again while scraping against the ceiling as we lifted it over the last part, it has finally made it into its new home. 😀

We actually joked after the struggle of getting the couch down the FIRST time that we would have to simply leave that couch there until we sold the house since it was such a struggle to get it down. Ha! I guess, where there is a will, there is a way!


Since January 1st I’ve been on a mission to drink over 100 ounces of water every day. In case you aren’t aware, that’s a lot of water. Ha!

But it’s crazy to me how much I want to drink water now that I’ve been doing it for a month. I love how it helps my digestion and helps me feel more full and has cleared up by complexion. I even had someone comment on how “radiant” I looked after the first week. And the only real thing that had changed at that time was drinking more water, so that’s a true testament to it helping!

All of this was helped because of my new cup I got for Christmas from one of my students. It’s so fun. I love getting gifts and this was an added bonus for being so practical.

See?! So pretty!

Hula Hoop Champ!

It was track and field day today. We were all very excited about this–since they weren’t able to do them for the last 2 years–making this Maddie’s very first track and field day!

It was a pretty awesome day for everyone. Maddie won her hula hoop event. I recorded it (not knowing that she would win, of course) and I’m so glad I did. She’s the one closest to us in the rainbow skirt. I’m sorry I didn’t think to zoom in closer. You’ll have to really focus to see her. Be sure to have the sound on!


When I was younger I remember thinking that adults were so angry looking all the time. I wondered why they weren’t filled with joy like I felt like they should be. I mean, being an adult must be AWESOME, so, why be so blue? As an adult you can go wherever you want, do whatever you want, eat whatever you want and watch whatever you want. Pretty sweet to a 13 year old.

Now that I’m older, life is so much harder than I thought it would be.

Maybe that is because life ACTUALLY is harder and more dark than it used to be. Or maybe it’s just because I was young and naïve. Or maybe this is also just a season.

But the stuff we are dealing with now is so much heavier. We’re praying for healing for cancer, depression, family members we’ve lost, divorce, kids turning away from God, spiritual warfare, and the list goes on. It hurts my heart in so many ways.

Today at church, one of the teens had an grand mal seizure during the worship. They quickly called an ambulance and rushed her to the hospital. We invited the rest of the family over so they could be closer to the hospital where they had taken her. She’s doing fine now, and they’ve run tests–but there are not answers. This was totally out of the blue with no previous history.

As I watched them wheel her out on the gurney I broke down crying. It was like I was seeing Chloe being wheeled out and I could suddenly feel how helpless that Mom must feel at that moment.

But we serve a powerful God. And this was no surprise to Him. And even though we feel helpless and fearful and anxious–He does not. We can take all our worries and pain to him and He can handle it.

Matthew 11:28-30 - I Will Give You Rest - Free Art Download - Bible Verses  To Go

Do you see that? He will give our souls rest. Rest. We can stop hashing over the constant “what if?” scenarios. We can stop stress eating. We can stop lashing out at our family because we are tense. My other favorite verse this week is this:

Christian Wallpaper – Sunset Philippians 4:6-7

The peace of God. I love that. The PEACE of God will guard your hearts and minds. And let me tell you, that is something I really needed today and will probably need every day now.

I choose to live a life of joy. Joy in a fallen world. But in order to do that, I need to fully rest in God and his promises. Join me in praying this week: I pray that you take the burdens that are suffocating me today and help me rest in your peace.



Last night we had a pretty severe storm system roll through our area. The sirens went off a few times and there was strong winds, rain and even hail. The hail is where I got nervous. I was actually still teaching at that time, so we decided to head to the basement for a little bit. Tim was our watch-man keeping us safe and updated. 🙂

Here’s some of the hail we got–and this was after 30 min of melting:

Meanwhile, Chloe was at youth group across town.

Of course, when she went to youth group, it was fine weather out… but she was there long enough for things to really develop and get messy. They actually wouldn’t let the kids leave at 8:00 (when they were supposed to) because the tornado warning was still in effect. They wouldn’t release the kids until the warning expired at 8:30.

Needless to say, she was a bit of a nervous wreck. She doesn’t do well with storms to begin with and then she was in a different place… plus it was a loud storm… plus her phone died (she forgot to charge it) so she couldn’t communicate with us as much as she would like. Don’t worry, though, her friend is my student so we were still able to talk with Chloe through her. 😉

This morning we went out to check on the damage. We do have siding chipped, probably some roof damage and the hail broke a bunch of our screens on the front of the house. Fun, fun. No trees damaged though. And his car, that was in the driveway, also seems to be fine. So that’s a relief!

It was an exciting night for sure!


Remember when I thought it was spring? Well, the weather decided that it would skip spring and go directly to SUMMER!

We had 30 degree weather last week and yesterday we hit 87 degrees. Wowza! Today is on the rise as well–expected to reach into the 80’s all week.

But don’t worry, we should be back to normal Spring next week (with temps in the 60’s again). Weather here is certainly never boring!


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