Friesen family blog

May 29, 2014
by janette


Let me put it right out there. Sometimes being brave sucks.

Well, not actually being brave, but feeling like you have to be brave.

We’ve been talking a lot about bravery at our house lately, and I’ve been reminded how in some situations as a parent I have to put on a brave face even though sometimes I don’t feel like it.

I feel I have to be brave when my husband isn’t home, and I have to tuck the kids in at night with all their fears and insecurities about the dark, open closet doors, etc…trusting that nothing bad will happen to us and we’ll all wake up the next morning, safe in our own beds.

I feel I have to be brave when there is a spider…or a frog…or really anything else that I’m scared of…and I have to deal with it. Heaven help me if it’s in my house…(okay, so the frog thing only happened once…but according to my daughter I screamed like a little girl).

I feel I have to be brave when my kids get a bit sad about moving. No that it’s not okay for them to show emotion about it – I surely have…and think it’s healthy. But let’s face it, if we’re getting through this, mom can’t be a blubbering mess.

We’re all excited. We’re all apprehensive too. It’s hard for me to explain to people when they ask if we’re excited about our new adventure. Of course we are, but at the same time we’re leaving behind 18 years of memories in Waverly.

I find that even though we’re starting something exciting, I have to remind myself not to think about it too much. Although my time for not thinking about it is coming to a close…as I pack up everything in our house, pay final bills in Janesville, and say so-long to friends who live here. (not goodbye mind you…just so long for now…)

I’m afraid even though we know people close to where we’re moving, and even though we have family near there, I’ll be alone. My husband will have this great new job, my kids will make friends in school and I won’t find anyone who understands me like my friends do here.

But I put on a brave face and I tell my children it will be an amazing adventure. I can’t tell who I’m trying to convince more…them, or me.

This post is not meant to be sad…It’s just a way for me to process the new and different we’re coming up on. It’s also a way to let you know if you see me out and about in the next week or so before we leave, and I look a little bit sad, nothing is wrong (and I’m completely excited for the new adventure) it’s just my brave face slipping a bit.



April 14, 2014
by janette

My semi-annual blog…and big changes

Apparently I’m a twice a year blogger now.

I’m always hopeful this will change and I’ll find something fantastically exciting and noteworthy to blog about.

Well, I guess this makes the cut on both of those levels.

The Friesens are doing something I never saw coming. We’re moving. Not just moving houses in the same community, or moving to a nearby community…like moving, moving. Nathan was sought out by a company in West Des Moines looking for a software developer. We decided there was absolutely no harm in interviewing with them and seeing where it would lead. It’s led us to this…selling a house, buying a house (which has proven to be way more exhausting than I ever thought possible…although we have a fabulous realtor helping us out!), choosing a new community, a new school, and an eventual new job for me.

Emotion check: scared, terrified, excited, nervous, apprehensive, anxious, excited (oh, wait…i said that already). But to sum it up: OVERWHELMED

Then “Why are you moving?” you may be asking.

My answer…because we’re jumping and trusting we’ll land. ┬áBecause we believe in seeing signs around us and following those signs (which I truly believe to be divine) to where we need to be.

But, for as much as we believe, we still have fear. Which seems absolutely ridiculous to me…but we do. It’s in our nature. Mine for sure.

I’m still clinging to hope that we’ll see this in our yard very soon (I’m told it helps if you list your house first though…baby steps)…and then we’ll be truly on our way.

October 28, 2013
by janette

It certainly has been awhile.

I know this not because I looked at the date of my last post…but I notice that I posted at day 98 of my 100 day challenge. That was well over 100 days ago…

I’ve lost count of the new number…I just know that I’ve missed working out less than 10 days so far this year. I’m thinking #307 (this year’s goal) is going to happen easily. I, fingers crossed, hopefully will not have the same anxiety about meeting it as I was at this time last year!

So…since April, huh?

What have we been doing since then?

Well the list goes something like this:

Disneyworld, Dance Recital, Finishing first grade, Finishing year one of preschool, Trips to the hospital with Evan, Mom turned 35, Evan turned 5, Trips to grandma’s, A Trip to the State Fair, Swimming lessons, The Color Run, The Dirty Girl mud run with my sister, several other 5k’s, One fabulous trip to Arkansas with friends, a grand total of 8 lost teeth, fishing, The first day of second grade, The second first day of preschool, Wartburg homecoming

and here we are in October…almost the end of October.

Just in time for Halloween – my absolute favorite holiday! Nathan and I didn’t get much into the spirit of dressing up this year – honestly, I think it just got away from us. The kids are having fun with their costumes though – and it’s making us all want a return trip to Florida!

I can’t promise that I’ll update any more frequently…although I know there are family members and friends who read this blog and tell me they enjoy seeing what we’ve been up to. I’m a whole lot better at posting pictures and updates on facebook!

April 4, 2013
by janette

How’s your 100 day challenge?

Did you start one?? Did you commit to being active at least 30 minutes everyday for 100 consecutive days?

My streak right now sits at 92 days and I have every intention of finishing it. It feels good to have that first 100 days out of the way when I’m aiming for 307 this year! almost 1/3 of the way there!

Progress also feels good. When I broke my foot in September, I gave up eating right, I had to give up exercising like I was used to…and I gained some of those pounds back I lost last spring…well, no more. Today, I have officially lost 10 of those 12 pounds.

This does not mean I’m 2 pounds from my eventual goal…it just means I’m 10 pounds closer! :)

Now, I only wish the days I did 2 workouts counted for 2 days. :)

March 4, 2013
by janette
1 Comment


This time of year, we love to throw something in the crock pot on a Sunday morning before church and come home to delicious smells and a nice warm meal for dinner on Sunday night. Lately, we’ve been craving soup! Last week we made a white chili – I was at work and came home to the 1 bowl my family saved for me…I think i was lucky to get some!

I didn’t think it would be a problem this week, seeing as we decided on Vegetable and bean soup…but Ellie loved it! We did manage to have leftovers of this one, though…so I guess I know what I’ll be having for lunches for a couple days!

It is so easy to make, very tasty, and only has 210 calories and 18 grams of carbs in 1/6th of the recipe!

Enjoy! I hope you like it as much as we did!

Vegetable and Bean Soup

1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

2-14.5 ounce cans chicken broth

1 cube vegetable bouillon

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1-15.5 ounce can kidney beans, drained (or other favorite bean – I used white kidney)

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped (didn’t have red…used green)

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 summer squashes, about 1 lb total (I used 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash) quartered lengthwise and chopped.

1-7 ounce can sliced mushrooms (left these out!)

1 T. minced garlic (3 cloves of fresh here…but would add more next time!)

1 T. olive oil

2 T. butter

1/4 t. kosher salt

1 t. black pepper

1/2 t. Tabasco sauce (about 4 shakes – optional. I left out)

1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker crock and mix well.

2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir well before serving. If desired, stir in Tabasco sauce before serving.