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Monday, May 5, 2014

Best Mom Essay Contest winners: 1st



Sandy Westra with her mother Diane Frohwein.

Mom has a great attitude for life


Kari Baseman and her grandson.

Mother raised grandson as her own during daughter’s military deployment I have the best mom for many reasons. The biggest one is when she stepped up to take care of my then 9-month-old son when I was getting deployed. She helped me be the best mom I could be even though I was thousands of miles away. I was there for his first birthday party, that I planned and she and my sister executed. The same goes with every other

“I could never thank her enough for this.” — Leslie Willaby

holiday that followed. She had him ready to talk to me every time I called on Skype. I got to see a few of his first steps but not THE first steps. I got to watch my son grow up because of her. I could never thank her enough for this.

Prize: An elegant women’s timepiece from Fisher’s Fine Jewelers Shortly after I got home from my deployment, I was diagnosed with MS. My mom was the first person I called. She didn’t say the “I’m sorry” lines but offered me words of encouragement. She went to every doctors appointment

and asked questions I didn’t even think of asking. In both huge hurdles of my life she told me “WE’VE got this,” meaning I’m not alone in this battle. Leslie Willaby Mother: Kari Baseman

When I think of my mother immediately the words “I can” come to mind. She has taught me those words are real and apply to all of us. I was in kindergarten with two younger siblings when our family changed drastically with the death of my father in a farming accident. As mom struggled to stop the grief overwhelming her, she chose to whisper “I can” and became both mother and father, to we three children, at 25. Several years later mom was struck by a drunk driver and sustained life-threatening injuries. I remember the feelings of uncertainty swirling in my mind as I contemplated being an orphan. Once again she reached deep inside and brought up the “I can” attitude I had witnessed in the past. Mom survived to nurture my baby sister who underwent brain surgery and radiation treatment at Mayo in Rochester. She never hesitated to put others first as she lived the daily “I can.” I remember school beginning while mom


place was still needed at the hospital. It was her example that gave me the resolve to champion each day no matter what the circumstances. As I visit my mom today, at 84, I see a woman who underwent two surgeries for brain bleeds and lives to spread the “I can” to those her own age. She has been in assisted living for a few years now. Still, mom’s resolve to overcome shines beautifully and clearly. She is the best because she is led by the best: her faith. She walks by faith and not by sight in her typical “I can” fashion.   Sandy Westra Mother: Diane Frohwein

Prize: Large sterling silver Mother & Child Pendant from Fisher’s Fine Jewelers

Mother cares with her whole heart, loves her children unconditionally


place There are a lot of good moms out there, but I believe that I have the most wonderful mom God ever made. Her name is Judy Olson. She is always there for her family — my dad, us

kids, grandkids, greatgrandchildren and the whole family — but she has also been there for many other kids. She was a para in the Albert Lea School District for many years and to this day there are kids (who are now grown) who she worked with who will come up to her and tell her what a positive influence she made on them — which makes me realize even more just how

lucky I am that God made her MY mom. What an amazing and wonderful gift to have a loving, kind, gentle, caring, beautiful mom — and that is exactly what I have. She loves us all unconditionally and is always there for the whole family. She is there in good times and trying times. She speaks the truth — she will tell you how it is and what you need to hear and you know she

is right. She truly cares with her whole heart what happens to you. She makes you want to become the person you are meant to be — she encourages dreams. She brought us up to believe in God and always have faith. What better gift could a person ask for? She taught us to have compassion and help others. She is strength and courage and love and patience and

Prize: Small sterling silver Mother & Child Pendant from Fisher’s Fine Jewelers

Judy Olson

hope and beauty and all things wonderful. She is my mom and to us she is the best mom

and friend ever. And for all these things I love her so much! Thank you, Mom, and I love you! XO Happy Mothers Day! Gina Gullickson Mother: Judy Olson

Page 2 • MOTHER’S DAY • Monday, May 5, 2014

Mom loves hockey and always takes time for us My mom is the best ever! She cooks for me, helps me through my tough times, but most of all, my mom is a hockey mom. Hockey moms mean a lot to me. Also my mom is the best mom because she tries to help my family members to get over the thought that they have cancer. Every time I go to my mom for help she always knows what to say or do. When I feel down my mom always finds a way to pick me back up so I feel great. She is always there for me even when I really want to slam the door in her face. That’s what makes me know she loves me more than ever. My mom supports me in everything I do. When I want to earn money to donate to my family members with cancer, she says, “Totally, why not start now?” That makes me feel like my mom absolutely hates cancer. When it comes to hockey my mom hardly knows much, but she always learns more and more each day. My mom watches hockey with me ALL THE TIME! She stays up past her bedtime just to watch hockey. Whenever the teams we are not cheering for scores, she treats it like we’re really at the game. My mom is so great, whenever I want to go hang out with just her, she always makes time for us to hang out or go shopping, which I love! My mom loves me to the moon and back. My mom hates yelling at me until I really do something wrong. Then she still doesn’t want to. That’s what makes my mom the best mom ever! Thanks for being AMAZING, Mom! Laynee Behrends, 11 Mother: Tracy Behrends

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My mom is kind, generous and caring My mom is the most generous, kind, thoughtful and caring person to family and friends! She always thinks of others and is full of endless love and faithfulness! My mom has shown her love for me in so many ways. One special way was 8 1/2 years ago when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and I lost my hair from chemo. She knit lots and lots of chemo caps for me, along with matching scarves. The yarn she used was so soft, and hats made by my mom were a much needed comfort to me.

My husband teased her that with each new color of hat, I had to go shopping for clothes to match — so my mom made me more colors! We still laugh about that today. She’s the best cook ever! She’ll call me at work and leave a message “come for dinner”! Who doesn’t love a home cooked meal at mom’s after a day at work … I am so blessed. My mom has always been there for me and my family. When our daughters were in

school, she and my dad were always at their sporting events and music concerts showing their love and support. She is generous with her time and talents, knits hats for the hospital nursery, sews quilts for church and makes the best soups and cookies for friends that aren’t feeling well. I am so proud that Bernice Moreau is my mom! Happy Mother’s Day Mom, with all my love, Sally. Sally Skrlin

The old saying ‘You’re just like your mother’ isn’t so bad afterall Growing up, every time I got in trouble my mom would always curse me with the words “I hope you have kids just like you when you get older.” And I thought she was nuts because she would have to babysit eventually. Why would she want to have to go through this twice or more? When I was pregnant with my first child my mom moved back to Arizona where I grew up. I thought to myself well played mom, well played. I’ve had two more children since, three altogether, two girls and a boy. I talk to my mom almost everyday about everything from our laundry soaps to how big of a pain our husbands are but we love them anyway. Every time I start to


Justina Barber and her mother, Debbie, when Justina was a teenager. gloat about how great I think my kids are, she always says in the same shaky voice she used to curse me with. “It’s because they are just like you.” I’ve realized as a mom we always want the best for our children, and what I had thought was a curse was really a gift. My mom gave me an ap-

preciation for my kids that’s unimaginable. And when I hear the other said curse words “you’re just like your mother,” I think maybe that’s no so bad. I can only hope when my girls are older they will feel the same. Thank you Mom, I love you. Justina Barber Mother: Debbie Barber

Mom looks up to me, pays for cruise

202 S. Broadway • Albert Lea, MN

507-373-3925 • 1-800-339-7115

My mom is the best because she paid for a cruise with her own money. She looks up to me. Her name is Trice. She’s the best!  

Mothers day 2014

Mother’ s Day is Sunday, May 11

Whitney Studier, 7, Glenville Mother: Trice Studier

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Monday, May 5, 2014 • MOTHER’S DAY • Page 3

What I have loved about my mother

Wendy Weiss and Amanda Irvine

Daughter cherishes moments with mother

I’m thankful to call my mom my friend; she always knows what to say and what I need to hear. So many memories I look back on and am so thankful to have the mom that I have. From play-

ing catch in the yard, shopping trips, girls weekend trips, sharing clothes, wedding planning and to just spending time together, I’ll always cherish those times and hope one day to be just as good

of a mom as you are! Picking out my wedding dress with you and getting to wear your wedding veil the day of my wedding will always be in my heart. You have always been my biggest supporter

and always are willing to help with anything. You are caring, you are kind and you are a hard worker! Love you always. Amanda Irvine Mother: Wendy Weiss

Mother taught daughter to never give up Hi, my name is Ana Diaz, and I’m writing this essay to say why my mother deserves the best mom award. My mother name is Migdalia Diaz. My mother has always been a hardworking person even with everything that she has being through the last few years. My mom always stands up tall and always tells all seven of her kids to keep

“My mother has always been a hardworking person.”

— Ana Diaz

fighting for our dreams. My mom has had it really tough. My father got into a car accident about seven years ago and unfortunately lost his right leg and ended up in a wheelchair with many health issues, and she has taken care of him and always taken care

of her kids and works as well. She has been in and out of the hospital with medical issues and suffering with pain, but to this day she won’t give up. She has helped all her kids get through school and now helps us out raising our kids so we can continue our

education. I believe my mom deserves the best mom award because even though God has put many challenges in her path she has fought hard to always show her children and grandchildren that no matter what you shouldn’t give up and always fight for what you want in life.

Ana Diaz Mother: Migdalia Diaz

Albert Lea mother and son find other ways to communicate than through words

I love my mom. She wanted me. She says we chose each other. She learned many things she would not have known or experienced if it weren’t for who I am. I am her child. That is all that matters. She loves me unconditionally. She is happy to have me. She shares interests and experiences with mothers who are experiencing the same things she is. Sharing is not only educational but therapeutic. Mom designed and sewed special diapers that grow and expand as I do. She makes special foods, toys and things that help me.

I had a number of seizures. She discovered foods from the nightshade family, and some other foods, weren’t good for me and changed my diet and that made a difference. She let other mothers know this was a possibility and wrote a cookbook about changes she made in my diet. We communicate by

body language. I am really an intelligent child. I understand everything but my condition keeps me from talking or signing. I’ve only said one word, “Mom,” once, a most precious gift for her. My mom does things to make me happy, which helps me grow in many ways. We find love in our experiences.

We read together. She tells me stories and talks about all sorts of things. It is one of my favorite times. I love Mom’s history book, my “First Encyclopedias,” my “Scholastic Discover More” books and story books. Mom hugs, holds, teaches, reads and helps me like all mothers should with their children, regardless if challenged or not. When she smiles and says she loves me, I know she means it. She says she is the luckiest person in the world, but I know I am!

What do I love about my mom? EVERYTHING!  I am blessed to have Diane Willaby as my mom. From the last time we spoke on the phone to thinking back to my earliest memories, there are thousands of things I love about my mom. When I was little, my mom would rock me to sleep for my afternoon nap. We would listen to records and sing or hum until I fell asleep. After my nap, my mom always had something fun planned — playing outside, baking cookies or learning the alphabet. One of the craziest things we used to do on rainy nights was pick up night crawlers.  We would grab our flashlights and coffee cans and head out for the big hunt. We used up a lot of night crawlers when fishing — many times “fishing left and right.” LOL! As a teenager, what I loved about my mom was her helpfulness (even when I didn’t think I needed it.) My mom taught me how to drive, cried with me over break-ups and always gave me advice versus telling me what to do. Even in the worst moments, my mom always managed to make me giggle.  Now that I am an adult, my mom and I are just as close. I look forward to our daily phone chat — how is it that we ever run out of things to talk about? We still have fits of giggles over the silliest things! The thing I love most about my mom is her modesty. She is much smarter, kinder and generous than she gives herself credit for. Even though she will deny it, my mom is the very best mom a girl could ask for. You are still my “best buddy.” I love you, Mom! Amy Ketchum Mother: Diane Willaby

My mom loves cheerleading stunts

“My mom is special because she knows how to do cheerleading jumps and stunts. She practices them outside when we are working on the lawn. My mom’s name is Tabitha.” Ruby Page, 7, Glenville Mother: Tabitha Page

Mother’s Day Brunch MOM

Sunday, May 11th 10am-2pm

Wide Variety of Entreés

Reservations Strongly Recommended

Adults $1995 • Seniors $1795 Kids ages 5-12 $795 • Kids under 5 FREE includes soda beverage

Albert Lea’s Craft Beer Hot Spot!

Carole Schember on behalf of Kaiden Hoelz Mother: Anne Hoelz

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2218 E. Main St • Albert Lea • 507-377-3000

Mother’s Day 2014 2 col x 4 proc

Patio P ots

Selection Beautiful Bulbs of Spring

Large Selection of Pottery

Intersection of W. Main and Hwy 13 (across from Nelsons) 373-3161 Hrs. Mon.-Fri. 8 to 5, Sat. 8 to 4

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Page 4 • MOTHER’S DAY • Monday, May 5, 2014

We asked Mike Olson’s third-grade students at Sibley Elementary School:

What do you love about your mom?

than I am to her. And she loves me. my Dad got an Ipad for me and my Julianah Vera sisters. And another year my Mom and my Dad got us Ipods. I love my Mom and she loves me. Mom is a ‘cute, sweet, Mom plays soccer, Love, kind and caring’ person cooks for me Makenzie My mom is the best mom because My mom is nice becaus she plays she plays skip-bo and she reads to soccer with me. My mom is nice Mom makes me laugh us at night. She makes good diners. becaus she cooks for me. My mom My mom is nice and she makes me She helps me with things, and we is nice becaus she takes care of me go on walk. She is cute, sweet, when I am sick. My mom is nice laugh. She makes me good lunch. kind, caring. She helps me with my becaus she helps me when I am She takes me shopping and got me a tablet. She is a good cook. Me and homework. having a bad day my mom cheers my mom make homemade pizza. I She has money to take care of us. me up. On my birthday she surShe waches me at my sports. She prises me with a speshal breakfast. love my mom. Kristina takes me shopping and we get are By Ian Latham nails done and we got to the mall. Mom got me a trampoline She buys toy and thing’s for us she Mom makes good food is great at piking out birthday presMy mom is nice becuse she helps My mom is special because she me do my homework. My mom is ents. She dresses cut for work. She waches me learn and grow. is nice to me. She also helps me. sweet because she got me a tramShe signs me up for sports I want My mom pays for my school stuff poline. I love my mom becus she to do. We go out for Ice cream. She like yearbooks or books. I love my is getting me a horse. She makes helps me with problems. She helps mom. My mom takes me shoping me good food. My gave me kindel and buy’s new stuff. She is the best for Christmas. My mom takes me other people. Kaitlyn mom in the world. My mom makes shopping my mom took me to good food. I hope you have a happy floda. mothers day! Mother is nice to me By: Jaci By Marissa Martinez Editor’s note: Responses are printed as written by the children.

and my friends

I love my mom. She is relly nice to me. And to my friends. She helps me do every thing. Like clean my room. Do the dishes. And she helps me do a lot more. I love my mom. A lot i would do so much. For my mom. Every day of my life. I love my mom. By Cadence Anderson

Mom loves me I love when my mom is nice. She helps me with my homework. She gets me stuff I dont need. She’s not mean and she’s more than nice. She does not care if I don’t get her stuff but I think I should. She nicer to me

Mom cooks dinner, helps with homework I love my mom because she is very nice. She gets me anything I want as long as it is not expensive. If we give her something she will love it. One time for Christmas we got her a orange coffee maker and she did not like it, so she took it back to the store and got a black one. I love my Mom because she cooks me dinner. She also helps me with my homework. She makes sure that I get everything I have to do tonight so I don’t turn anything in late. She takes me shopping and byeing clothes. One time she and

Mother helps with


My mom is nice. She makes me breakfast and takes me to school. She takes me to piano lesyns. She helps me with spelling. I luve my mom. Andrew Phillips

Mom is a good cleaner I love my mom because she is good at cooking and take me shopping and she buys me toys. She is good at cleaning our house. She also make me good cold lunches for school. Mya Lembke

Things I love about mom I love my mom because she takes me to school. She makes good food for me. I love her becuse she’s sweet and funny. She’s the best mom in the world. By Jesse B.

Mom helps with catch She makes my bed. She is nice. She helps me with my homework. She dos the dishes. She helps me with catch. She buys me food and patoto chips. By Luke

Why my mom is special I love my mom because cooks me. my mom is nice Becuse she takes me shopping. I love my mom becuse she makes my bed. I love my mom because she wondful person. My mom love me and I love my mom. Love Danielle

Mom gives candy Wen i ask my mom for a toy she says yes. Wen i ask my mom for a peese of candy she says yes. I like my mom cause she buyed me call of duty2 ghost blackops. Kaleb

Mom cleans, cooks good She lets me buy (illegible word) each month. She cleans up the house. She also puts my crazy sister to bed. She cooks me good food. She bought me baby chicks to raise and show at the fair. She lets me play Roblox on my computer. Nolan



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Mother's Day 2014