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There’s always something new to collect

Moms often give the best advice

Marathoner keeps healthy even on the darkest days

a guide for living in siouxland

It’s all about MOM Moms leave indelible impressions on children


Home brings fond memories

May 2012

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DOUGLAS A. WHEELOCK, DDS, PC BRIAN B. BURSICK, DDS LAURA E. GIESE, DDS 4100 Morningside Ave. • Sioux City, IA 51106 Phone 712-274-2038 Fax 712-274-0648 2

May 2012

Siouxland Life

Contents May


10 Moms say the

darndest things Kids remember what mom always says…and the advice sticks.

22 On the cover Shop owner Eva Nieto displays a tattoo in tribute to her mother at Maya Modification in Sioux City, see page 22. Photograph by Tim Hynds

features 4 Feature home: Barn sweet barn 8 Collection: There’s a little of everything 10 Moms say the darndest things 14 How to clean like mom 16 Adoption is an option 20 20 Questions with a mother of the year 22 Say it with ink 25 Moms build things, too


Mother of the year Joan Burney answers 20 questions about life as a mom.

26 What new moms need to know 33 Those soccer moms 36 When mom’s away, daycare is at play 38 Military moms 40 Working moms 43 Families: The bigger the better 45 Monday marathoner 47 Parting Shot: Life with mom

Publisher Steve Griffith Editor Bruce Miller Editorial Joanne Fox, Tim Gallagher, Earl Horlyk, Nick Hytrek, Laura Johnson, John Quinlan Photography Tim Hynds, Jim Lee, Laura Wehde Presentation editor Amy Hynds Advertising Sales Nancy Gevik Advertising Design Stacy Pajl, Jill Bisenius


©2012 The Sioux City Journal. Siouxland Life is published monthly by The Sioux City Journal. For advertising information, please call (712) 224-6275. For editorial information, please call (712) 293-4218.

Monday marathoner What does it take to keep running and running.

Siouxland Life

May 2012


Home renovating

Clayton and Deb Korver in their Orange City home.

the barn


Text by Joanne Fox Photographs by Tim Hynds

heritage Is a barn


ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Sometimes referencing your house as a “barn” is a good thing. It’s also a reality for Clayton and Deb Korver. Although from the curb, the Korvers’ home in this Sioux County burg looks like any other neighborhood house, its heritage is quite different – as is its decor. “I like to call it ‘Indiana Jones meets Architectural Digest,’” Deb quipped. Everything in the Korver home is a glimpse into who these Orange City residents are, because it reflects the history of their lives, including the structure itself. Clayton purchased a 100-year-old barn near Ashton, Iowa, in 1988 and spent 10 days dismantling it. “I had planned to use one as an art studio,” he said. But after meeting and marrying Deb later that year, those plans changed and the barn was on its way to becoming the couple’s future home on a cul-de-sac. “With the help of family, we laid a basement foundation in the spring of 1989,” Deb said. “It was covered for the winter and work began again the following spring.” With his own small crew, Clayton finished the exterior of the home during the summer of 1990. “However, we ran out of funds and the house sat empty until 1992, when we finished part of the interior and moved in,” Deb added. Work continued for the next seven years, with siding added in 1994, a master bath in 1998 and the piece de resistance – a back patio/garden room, completed in the summer of 1999. The home’s exterior designer was Bob Visser

Above: The Clayton and Deb Korver home is a renovated barn. Right: Decorative items are shown in the living area of the renovated barn that serves as the Korvers’ home.

of Sioux Falls, S.D. The original timber barn forms the centerpiece of the 4,500 square-foot home as a great room, dining area and kitchen. Two contemporary additions on either side form the garage and the master suite. And in the loft area of the house, hay has been replaced with a studio/office area. Adding to the home’s Old World style is a special collection of art and antiques from throughout the Midwest and the world. Many of the pieces have personal meaning for the Korvers, making this barn-turned-house a place to call home.

Entering the Korvers’ home, one is struck by the sensory aspect of the decorations. Under one’s feet is a blue-hued wood floor. Off the entryway is an oversized armoire made from remnant barn wood, designed by Clayton with Ironwork by George Shimek of Waterloo, Iowa, who

Siouxland Life

May 2012


Clockwise from top left: Clayton Korver leaves a potting shed at his home in Orange City; Decorative items are shown in the kitchen; Decorative items are shown in the living area; Clayton Korver shows off a walk-in pantry at his home.


May 2012

did the iron work for the movie “Amistad,” and built by Irwin De Jong. Many of the items were held in storage until the house was ready for them. For example, a very large light fixture that hangs from the ceiling in the great room came from an old theater. “I found the hanging stained glass window at Frank’s Folly Antique Shop,” Clayton said, referring to Frank Bogenrief, the longtime Hinton, Iowa, collector. Another focal point is a cozy sitting area with a brick chimney that literally goes from the basement to the rafters. “I think it’s about 26 feet high,” Clayton estimated. “And it’s a brick chimney with a ceramic interior which allows fires to burn much hotter.” Hanging from one of the rafters is an unusual boy’s size “bone shaker,” a two-wheeled bicycle crafted of wood and steel in the early 1870s. The home’s master suite sports Indonesian hand-carved artwork, which blends with a bright, relaxing Caribbean ambiance. A marble-and-glass block master bath was designed by another friend, Larry Leslie, to be a welcome respite. The kitchen continues the home’s eclectic style with an island countertop that mirrors the color of the hardwood floor. Baskets and decorations hang from the barn’s rafters, while contemporary

Siouxland Life

white appliances accent the advertising art. A huge walk-in pantry serves as a holding area for nonperishable items and small appliances. The dining area features many Dutch pieces. Outdoors is a Garden Room, which reflects Deb’s passion – gardening. The back patio room was completed in the summer of 1999 through “lots of sweat and creativity,” Deb said. Friend and artist Anne Plageman, along with Larry Leslie’s inspiration and Irwin De Jong’s hard work, helped with the design and construction of this inviting backyard spa. “We both love gardening,” Deb pointed out. “We prefer it to spending time in front of the TV.” The lower level of the house was previously inhabited by the couple’s three sons. It features Mission style furniture reminiscent of the early decades of the 20th century, simple and rugged. “Since the basement was intended to be the family home for the first few years, it was built to be warm and comfortable with a full kitchen, heat-in floors, high ceilings and a walk-out to the back garden patio for easy access to the pool and hot tub,” Deb said. “It was a great space for the boys while they were growing up.” Every room in the Korver house has art, antiques and artifacts, which enliven

National EMS Week 2012 is May 20 - May 26 Each day, Siouxlanders rely on emergency medical service (EMS) systems to help them in their hour of greatest need. Caring men and women are only a phone call away from treating injuries sustained in a car crash, responding to a cardiac emergency or helping a child with asthma breathe easier. When accidents and illness strike unexpectedly, EMS personnel are the first on the scene, and their timely actions often make the difference between life and death. Working with emergency dispatchers, fire and law enforcement, physicians, and nurses, Siouxland Paramedics is proud to serve our fellow citizens for the last 30 years.

the living spaces. Clayton began his “collection” days in college at Southern Methodist University when he started an antique business. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, the 6’9” center was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL after college, but ended up playing for a Hawaiian team. His desire to explore and see the world led him to Africa, where he considered a career in leading tours. Those plans were set aside when Clayton met Deb. After marrying, the couple decided to settle in Orange City, following Clayton’s dad and his business, MED-TEC, from Dallas to Paul Korver’s hometown of Orange City in 1989. “Dad wanted to retire so he sold the business to me in 1996,” recalled Clayton, who served as CEO of the company until “retiring” in 2003. “I must have traveled to more than 100 countries as a distributor and that allowed me to get many items to add to my collection.” At that time Clayton and Deb, also an executive with MED-TEC, announced they wanted to pursue other projects and passions and thus, their restaurant business, Blue Mountain Passport Club, Smokehouse Grille and Lodge was born. Another work of art is the Korvers’ boutique resort Hermosa Cove in Jamaica, where each villa is again filled with art and antiques and eclectic style.

Siouxland Life

May 2012



little bit of everything

Ana Kuhm pictured here in her Rosalie, Neb., home, collects beer steins, blue porcelain dishes and dolls, just to name a few.


brings ‘cheers’ to Rosalie resident Text by Joanne Fox Photographs by Jim Lee


May 2012


ROSALIE, Neb. – Although Ana Kuhm has an extensive collection of beer steins, she didn’t get them by drinking beer out of them first. “No!” she phrased her words amidst a very contagious, joyful laugh. “Occasionally, I am a beer drinker, but I prefer red wine.” Kuhm added with a twinkle in her eye and cheeky grin, “It is better for our health!” Although she’s lived in this Thurston

Siouxland Life

County village for more than 20 years, Kuhm grew up in what was previously Yugoslavia and today is Serbia. She came to the United States in 1974 through her first husband’s employment with Mercedes Benz. Kuhm moved to Rosalie in 1990 with her second husband’s truck driving job. “I’m most proud of getting my citizenship 12 years ago,” she insisted, with a slight Slovakian accent. “I’m proud to be an American, so I look for American

“I set my limit. I can’t afford to be a true collector of any item. Instead, I like to collect different things I know I can afford. Sometimes when you’re looking for one thing, you find something else than what you’re after.”

Ana Kuhm’s favorite beer stein, purchased in Germany.

items to display, such as some shawls from American Indians.” Q. When did you start collecting the steins? A. I bought my first one 40 years ago at Octoberfest in Stuttgart, Germany, where we were living. I just fell in love with it. Q. What did you pay for it? A. Seventy-five American dollars. I thought it was absolutely worth it. Q. How many steins do you have now? A. Don’t ask me that! I have never counted! Q. How did you go about acquiring the steins? A. I traveled in different countries and was always looking for the unusual ones. There are also marks on them that tell where they were made, either on the outside or inside. But it’s becoming almost impossible to find true German steins. Q. But don’t they gather a lot of dust? A. That doesn’t bother me. I love the

collection, so when you love something, you don’t mind taking care of it. It’s not a chore. And I really only dust it once a year. That’s probably because the steins are enclosed in a cabinet. Q. Do you collect other things? A. I have dolls in every room in my house. They make me smile. Q. What about the items in your hutch? A. That’s my blown-glass swan collection. I started that 18 years ago when someone gave me one. Back then, Rosalie had an antique store and I found some there. I think I have almost all the colors of the rainbow. Q. Where else does one find blown-glass swans? A. Auctions. Other antique stores. I think the most I ever paid for one was $25 and the least cost $8. All of them were produced in Arkansas. Q. Is there anything else you collect? A. I have blue porcelain dishes. I love the artwork on them. I have a cabinet with shot glasses from every state I’ve visited and some from other countries. Those are interesting because the ones from the United States are larger than the ones from overseas. And no, I didn’t have to drink a shot out of each one before I bought it! Q. Why so many different collections? A. They are not only meaningful to me, I just enjoy displaying them. I even have two mannequin outfits, one is German and the other is Slovakian, because I find them to be beautiful and they remind me of my heritage. I have a cradle in a bedroom that was mine and my brothers’ and sisters’. I loaded it up with stuffed animals because it is meaningful to me. Q. But doesn’t all this collecting get costly? A. I set my limit. I can’t afford to be a true collector of any item. Instead, I like to collect different things I know I can afford. Sometimes when you’re looking for one thing, you find something else than what you’re after. Q. Any thought to ever stopping the collecting? A. No. When I walk into a room, I want to see a collection of beautiful things.

Siouxland Life

May 2012


All About mom advice

“If you don ’t have something nice to say, don ’t say anything a t all.”

Jacob M eans’ mo m

Jacob Means, left, Gloria Robles, center, and Morgan Montgomery take stock of what their mothers have told them over the years.

Mom’s advice

is being taken to heart Text by Joanne Fox Photographs by Tim Hynds


May 2012


Siouxland mothers, take heart. All those words of wisdom you spout are being heard. Sure, dads got a lot of play with the book and television show “$#*! My Dad Says,” but moms just seem to have the knack of knowing what to say and when to say it, so it sticks with us. Third graders at Hinton Elementary School weighed in on what good advice they could recall from their moms. Jacob Means, 9, said his mother,

Siouxland Life

Stacie Means, often tells him, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” “I do it,” he said with a nod. “You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.” Taylor Reuter’s mom, Cheri Reuter, has a similar maxim. “‘Be kind to everyone’ is what she says,” said the 9-year-old. “I think that’s right because if you’re kind to others, they will be kind back to you.” Kris Stoeffler tells her 8-year-old

ays in w l a e r ’ u o Y “ orever. f t r a e h y m that to y a s l l ’ e h S I go to e r o f e b e m school.” TATE LINTON

daughter, “You will always be with me and I’ll always be with you.” “I like she says that when I’m going away from her,” Pypr Stoeffler said. Tate Linton’s mom echoes that sentiment. “She says, ‘You’re always in my heart forever,’” the 9-year-old shared. “She’ll say that to me before I go to school.” Angie Neal has a couple of insights for her daughter, Gloria Robles, “You can shine brighter than the stars” and “Always be on the sunny side.” “That’s really bright,” mused the 8-year-old. “And it’s a play on my middle name, Sunshine.” Hinton third grade teacher Kate Ortegren was not surprised by the Mom-isms. “A lot of the things the students are saying are things I heard when I was growing up,” she admitted. “The other commonality I noticed was about how you should treat other people.” Western Iowa Tech Community College student Ricardo Vazquez recalled his mother’s advice concerned hygiene and faith. “What mom doesn’t have a few helpful cleaning tips on how to remove a stain or washing up before dinner?” he asked. “One weird and now funny piece of advice went like this, ‘Bringing food into the bathroom is a horrible, dirty sin.’ Granted taking any kind of food into the bathroom is gross, but my wonderful mother, being the faithful Catholic she was, had to drive her point home by attaching it to the salvation of our souls.” After Kayla Dreessen celebrated her

18th birthday, her mom, Karen enlightened her with advice about entering adulthood. “’If you’re asking yourself if you should have one more drink, the answer is no,’” the Lawton-Bronson High School senior said. Listed some of the top insights: “‘If you haven’t worn it in a year, give it away.’ ‘Read the fine print.’ ‘Your signature means something.’ ‘It’s OK to say you don’t know.’ And ‘Count your blessings. At the end of every day, close your eyes and give thanks. It will make your dreams much sweeter.’” Bishop Heelan Catholic High School student Alli Martin stressed that “mom” is that one person who will always be with you. “Moms always have the best advice whether it’s about being successful, heartbreaking boys, or just about life in general,” she said. “I know that I can go to my mom with anything I need help with or if something is bothering me

Above Derek Ludwig, a third-grader at Hinton Elementary School, writes about the advice his mother has given him during a class at the Hinton, Iowa, school. Top Claire Kasperbauer, a third-grader at Hinton Elementary School, pauses in thought while writing about the advice her mother has given her. Top left Tristan Lundy’s advice from mom: “Don’t yell at the animals.”

Siouxland Life

May 2012


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Siouxland Life

Taylor Reuter, a third-grader at Hinton Elementary School, makes a list of mom advice.

“‘Be kind to everyone’ is what she says. I think that’s right because if you’re kind to others, they will be kind back to you.” Taylor Reuter

and she will always be there to help me along the way.” One of Marcy Martin’s insights to her daughter is to make the most out of life. “Time goes by fast, and a minute wasted can never be made up,” Alli Martin said. “Mom is always reminding me to live each day like it’s my last and to never look back with regrets. With that being embossed into my brain, I never go a day without telling my parents and other close relatives that I love them. You really never know what could happen, and you should always let the people you care about the most know that you love them unconditionally.” Of course, not every Mom insight is a Hallmark one. “Save that fighting for when you move out” is the axiom that 9-yearold Brooke Breyfogle recalled from her mother Tanya Breyfogle. And one boy wrote on piece of paper the words of wisdom of his mother, who might possibly be a Bill Cosby fan: “I brought you into this world. I can take you out.” “Yeah, she says it a lot,” this third grader confessed, although he preferred his name and his mom’s name not be publicized.

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May 2012


All About mom how

to clean

Joyce Harstad has worked as an independent housekeeper for 15 years.



a little every day


Text by Dolly A. Butz Photograph by Laura Wehde

There isn’t a “magic” tool on the market that will make cleaning a messy house any easier or less time-consuming for mothers. “Basically when you dust, you dust,” Joyce Harstad said as she sat at her kitchen table, brushing a tiny speck of debris off the glass top with her finger. “You take everything off and you dust.” She would know. She raised four sons and has worked as a housekeeper for 15 years. Harstad, who said she has always been organized, cleaned with her two sisters for five years. Then she worked with her husband, Bill, cleaning carpets for his business, Harstad Carpet Cleaning Inc., before returning to housekeeping solo. She recently teamed back up with sister Diann Greiner. They regularly clean 15 homes on Sioux City’s north side and in Morningside and Dakota Dunes, S.D. Some jobs are Harstad’s favorite: “clean homes.” Others, she described as “ungodly.” Imagine tables, counters and floors littered with pictures, homework,


May 2012

toys and dried-on food-covered dishes. “We go to one that has kids and they’ve got stuff everywhere,” she said. “It’s hard to clean around that stuff.” Most people, Harstad said, want someone to clean, not organize. Those clients, she said, will have their belongings put away. She prefers to pick up toys on the floor and then vacuum, but she said there is a “fine line.” Every client wants something different. “If there’s toys around, I like to clean them up,” she said. “You’ve got the people who don’t want you to clean it up and you’ve got the people who do.” When she tackles a home, Harstad said she starts at the back and works her way to the front, regardless of which room is the messiest.

“Clean at least a little bit almost every day. If she doesn’t have time to do it all that day, then do it every week.”

Siouxland Life

“Usually the bathroom is the worst,” she said. Today, with only an 18-year-old son left at home, Harstad describes her cleaning habits in her own home as “relaxed.” “Once they got older, (cleaning) got easier,” she said. She recommends that busy mothers clean a little daily, rather than pick a specific day during the week to overhaul the entire house. “Clean at least a little bit almost every day,” she said. “If she doesn’t have time to do it all that day, then do it every week.” If the situation gets out of hand, Harstad said there is no shame in calling a professional. She said her clients are young and old. Some have families and full-time jobs and would rather not do their own cleaning. “They just don’t want to do it, plain and simple,” she said. “They want to spend time with their kids.” After one family hired her, Harstad noticed that they improved their overall organizational habits. “After I started, then they started picking up more. They started getting things more organized,” she said.

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MoM will love These hoMe Design TrenDs Each year at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show, the Best in American Living Awards (BALA) provide recognition to builders and design professionals who have accomplished outstanding design achievements. Awards are given in all sectors of the residential housing industry, including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international. Here are a few of the top trends home buyers can expect to soon see in new home designs: Classic yet Contemporary Homes that are hot sellers on the market right now are those that successfully blend old styles with new. Timeless and elegant spaces are created by blending modern and traditional elements such as crown molding with fewer or less fancy pieces. Elevations are clean and simple and interiors are fresh and light, not ornate and heavy like the formerly-popular elements such as ornamental columns, complex crown molding and cabinetry with additional applied decorative pieces. Multigenerational Living Given the increasing cultural diversity in America as well as the state of the economy during the past few years, many families are all living under one roof. To save money, young adults are living at home after they graduate school, and retired parents are sharing homes with their

grown children and their families. Single-family home designs accommodate multigenerational households, such as homes with two master suites, often with at least one located on the ground floor to be more accessible. Cost Effective Designs Rectangular home designs are more cost effective, so new homes no longer have the “exploding house” look with multiple, odd roof lines or the unnecessary interior volumes they create. But home designs can still be visually stimulating with creative and innovative modifications that reduce construction and system costs to the home owner. For example, mixing materials such as metal, wood and stone in the façade give a home a modern look. The Family Triangle Open floor plans is a trend that isn’t new, but has expanded. Ground-floor focused, open floor plan living spaces used to be specific to certain regions and generations, but now it is desired by all buyer profiles across the country. Many designs eliminate the living room and add a flex space or den adjacent to the kitchen or family room to allow for privacy when needed, and still accommodate flexibility for many different uses. Kitchen Entertaining with a View The kitchen remains one of the most important rooms in the house. Yet kitchens are still a modest

size as the average overall square footage of new homes has decreased in the past few years. So designers are incorporating creative storage solutions to both suit the home owners’ unique needs and to allow more windows above the countertops rather than cabinets to retain a feeling of open, light space. Green Design Elements that Consumers Understand and Want Green technologies such as tankless water heaters and highly efficient HVAC systems that directly impact and reduce operating costs are commonly installed in new construction. To find a professional home builder or remodeler in the Siouxland area visit members.

Bob Wilcke President Bob Wilcke Construction

Siouxland Life

712-255-3852 May 2012


All about mom adoption

Adoption JOY

provides for parents, agency staff


Text by Joanne Fox Photographs by Jim Lee and Joanne Fox

There are many reasons why couples and individuals choose adoption as a means to become parents. When Julie and Steve Elbert married in 1988, both knew they would eventually adopt. “When I was growing up, my family knew of families who had done international adoption,” Julie said. “As the middle of five and my husband the youngest of eight, we knew we wanted a large family, not only of our own children, but adoptive children.” When the couple experienced some infertility issues, adoption surfaced, Julie explained. “But it was never a second choice for us,” she clarified. “We had always talked about doing it.” Catholic Charities has provided adoption services to birthparents as they make decisions about an unplanned pregnancy and guidance for prospective adoptive parents for many years. The adoption process is a responsibility that is not entered into lightly by either of the adoptive parents, the birth parents or the staff at Catholic Charities.

Steve and Julie Elbert are seen with their children Sam, 19, Isaac, 4, Olivia, 17, Noah, 13, and Sadie, 15.

“We really view our role as a sacred trust,” said Jerry Eaton, director of Catholic Charities. “When someone is choosing to make an adoption plan for their child, they are giving us the responsibility to find prospective parents who will provide for the needs of the child and give him or her what the birth parents may not be able to provide at the time of the child’s birth,” added Carol Hawes, clinical director at Catholic Charities. When someone calls Catholic Charities expressing an interest in adoption, the receptionist gathers information and sends an initial packet of paperwork for the couple to complete and return to the agency, Hawes explained. “This information will be reviewed and a therapist will meet with the couple to assess their motivation to adopt, their marital relationship, their relationships in general and their ability to provide for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of a child,” she said. During the assessment process, information is gathered to assure that adoptive parents recognize the importance of raising their child knowing he or she is adopted, Hawes continued. “We also discuss the similarities to raising a birth child and also the uniqueness,” she said. “We find that prospective adoptive parents and their families are generally very open to adoption and loving the adopted child as they would a child born to them.” Once the paperwork is in place,

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May 2012


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May 2012

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“This [placement day] is a day of great joy for the new family and awareness that the birth parents’ decision to have the child and to place the child for adoption is remembered by all.” Carol Hawes visits are completed, and a couple is approved to adopt, they are placed on a waiting list, with “waiting” being the definitive term, as brief as a ninemonth pregnancy, but possibly extending to years. “There have been many changes in adoption over the years and the number of infants we placed is significantly lower,” Eaton said. “Because the waiting can take years, we encourage prospective adoptive parents to explore other resources as well.” The Elberts chose to work with Holt International, one of the more established agencies for international adoption and the agency Julie Elbert’s friends had used. “It went by pretty fast for us, about nine months,” she estimated. “The agency sent us a picture of the baby and we showed it to everyone, just like a mom does with an ultrasound.” In 1993, Sam traveled from Korea to join the Elberts’ family. “I wanted to be a parent so badly and I was so happy for our baby, but I felt such sadness for the birth mother,” recalled Julie, who is a licensed independent social worker. “For the birth mother to make that choice to release her child couldn’t have been easy at all. I considered myself so fortunate to have this child. People would say it was such a nice or kind thing we were doing, but I felt, no, we’re the lucky ones. We felt so privileged to be Sam’s parents.” The Elberts didn’t have time to work on another adoption. They were blessed with two biological daughters, Olivia in 1995 and Sadie in 1996. “However we wanted someone else in our family who looked like Sam,” Julie said. This time the Elberts used the Children’s Home Society of Minnesota in St. Paul, for their international adoption. “Because the agency had no Iowa branch, we had Catholic Charities do our home study,” Julie explained. “It is kind of nerve-racking when you’re sitting in front of someone being scrutinized, but I understand it. You are getting a lot of focus on your family,

Jerry Eaton, director of Catholic Charities, and Carol Hawes, clinical director at Catholic Charities, are shown at the Sioux City agency with the manual that outlines the adoption process.

and you are getting a big sense of the responsibility of being adoptive parents.” Son Noah was almost a year old when he joined the Elberts in 1999. “The biggest difference between Sam and Noah was with Sam, we got a picture,” Julie said. “With Noah, we received a packet of information and a video.” The Elbert family wasn’t complete, yet. “I think our biggest surprise was finding out I was pregnant with our fifth child,” Julie laughed. “Isaac was born in 2008, so now we have a 19-yearold college student and a child in preschool.” Hawes acknowledged the adoption

process can seem intense, and the waiting for the call saying that a baby is born may seem endless. “However when the adoptive couple receives a call that they have been selected to adopt and can pick the child up that day if possible, they drop everything and come to meet and accept their new son or daughter,” she said. “Placement day is a very emotional time for the adoptive couple, the foster parent or parents who cared for the infant until the termination of parental rights is complete and for the staff as Catholic Charities. This is a day of great joy for the new family and awareness that the birth parents’ decision to have the child and to place the child for adoption is remembered by all.”

Siouxland Life

May 2012


All about mom 20

questions with Joan Burney

20 questions with 1991 Mother of the Year

Joan Burney Text by Nick

Joan Burney, Hartington, Neb., was named the national Mother of the Year in 1991 by American Mothers Inc. What has the syndicated columnist been doing since then? Nick Hytrek decided to find out.


May 2012

Hytrek | Photographs provided

1. First of all, what have you been up to since you stopped writing the weekly column? Several things. I retired and then I called some of my editors and asked if I could do one a month, so I’m still doing that. (Joan fell and suffered a brain injury in 2007 and has aphasia, making it hard for her to find the right words to say sometimes, though she still gives speeches.) 2. You were named National Mother of the Year in 1991. What was it like to win an award like that? I was really surprised. There were some really great gals there I thought could do a really good job. 3. How many women do you know personally, who never get nominated for something like that but would be just as deserving of the honor?

Siouxland Life

Lots of my friends could do better, I think. 4. Did the award give you any extra clout with your kids? I think they were really tickled about it. 5. Did the award cause you to reflect on motherhood and what it means? I suppose. For 10 years I was really involved working with them (American Mothers Inc.). They really are a great group. I was amazed. I think there are so many wonderful mothers in the world. I realized how important all the other mothers are. 6. What’s your philosophy on mothering? I always felt the most important thing we had was our children. Everything else that happens in your life is wonderful, but not as important as your children. 7. Where did that philosophy come from?

I had seven kids in my family, my mom and dad’s family. They were people that were crazy about us, but they had other interests in the world. They wanted us to get out and help others. 8. How has your philosophy on mothering changed as your children grew up? You learn all the time. All mothers, we wish we had done something better or were smarter at the time. 9. How big of an influence was your mother on the type of mother you are? Entirely different in a way. When my mother was young, the mother stayed home. I was probably one of the first of the women my age who went back to school. 10. What was your mother like? She was a teacher and she played the piano. She was very clever in a lot of ways. She was a very impressive woman. 11. What’s the best advice about being a mother she gave you? She wanted us to work with things like music, and it was important to get an education. She was pretty sure that all of us were going to do something. 12. What advice would you give to mothers? I do think it’s most important they take care of their kids. It’s so important. 13. There are obviously millions of

types of mothers. What would your definition of a good mother be? I think it’s important they take care of their kids. Make them well-rounded. I worry about kids being spoiled. 14. How big of an impact does a mother have on how her children turn out? Oh, my gosh. I think it’s a tremendous impact. The fathers, too, of course, but I think mothers are terribly important. 15. Can you tell what kind of a mother a person had when you talk to them?

“I always felt the most important thing we had was our children. Everything else that happens in your life is wonderful, but not as important as your children.”

Oh, yes. It’s how they work with their children. You just can see it. They need to be a good role model. 16. What’s your favorite thing about being a mother? When we get together at Christmas, we sit around and talk about what happened, all the funny stories. It’s just touching when they talk about something their dad did or that we did. It’s just being together, just loving each other and having fun. 17. What’s your least favorite thing? Probably cleaning. 18. What’s the most challenging thing about being a mother? Anytime one of your kids is hurt in some way or another. You always want to be there when they need you the most. 19. Have you gotten a lot of crazy advice over the years from your readers or people you talk to after your speeches? Actually, it’s mostly me telling them (laughing). Of course, I’ve gotten lots of advice. 20. Do you have a favorite “momism” – one of those things you always told your kids that they hated to hear? The latest thing that they go nuts about is when I bonked my head and they were around, if something would go wrong, I put my hands to my head and say “You know I’m not well.”

Siouxland Life

May 2012


All About Mom say

it with ink

Mom can still

make an indelible

impression Text by John Quinlan | Photographs by Tim Hynds

Tattoo artist Fish displays an ankle tattoo in tribute to her mother at Maya Modification in Sioux City.

“It’s not taboo any more to have tattoos, and people will go more elaborate with them. So portraits and symbols that remind them of their loved ones are common. Or just a traditional heart with mom, or a flower with mom, we still do those.”


The timeless “I Love Mom” tattoo – that bright red heart with “Mom” splayed across it on a ribboned scroll – is so deeply ingrained in our culture since its boom years of World War II that its origin could probably be traced to prehistoric times. Celebrities as diverse as Sean Connery, Kelly Osborne and even Bart Simpson have one. And the traditional “I Love Mom” tattoo isn’t going anywhere, according to local tattoo artists. But in today’s graphically more interesting (and technologically accomplished) world, portraits of mom have supplanted the more traditional tattoos. And it isn’t just servicemen and bikers sporting the mom tats. “It’s anybody ... everybody ... men and women,” said Eva Nieto, owner of Maya Modification, 606 Pearl St. “Anyone who has a mom and loves them, right?” Nieto, who opened her shop in 2000 as Maya Tattoo and Body Piercing, has a large tattoo of her mom on her upper right arm. And “Fish,” another artist at Maya Modification, has a small mom-and-dad tattoo modestly located on her right ankle, under a larger Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle design. While mom tattoos are not as popular as the stereotypes would suggest, people still memorialize mom more than any other family member, with children trailing in second place, Nieto said. And few tattoos make customers happier than the mom memorials, which is a big plus, she added. Tattoos have progressed to the point where memorial portrait tattoos are much more popular these days, as are tattoos in general, thanks in large part to the improvement of the artists’ abilities, she said. Nieto noted she gets a request for at least one mom tattoo a day. “If it’s not a mom tattoo, it will be a tattoo for somebody else or a loved one, a child or a parent or someone they’ve lost recently,” she said. Nieto also has other tattoos that represent her mother, things her mom liked

Eva Nieto

something – something I’ve done, someone I’ve met, somewhere I’ve been in my life. It’s like a timeline, not just because it’s cool. But moms are always cool.”

Rob Scott displays a tattoo in tribute to his mother at Maya Modification in Sioux City.

when she was alive and remind her of her mother. “It’s not taboo any more to have tattoos, and people will go more elaborate with them,” she said. “So portraits and symbols that remind them of their loved ones are common. Or just a traditional heart with mom, or a flower with mom, we still do those.” The traditional or old school style of tattoos still has its adherents. “There’s lots of young people, middleaged and old people that love that traditional heart tattoo style,” she said. In today’s world, however, style often trumps tradition, both tattoo artists said. “It’s more like what did my friends have? What’s cool? What’s on TV?” Nieto said. Added Fish: “People just come in and get something cool because it’s cool rather than because it means something. Everything I have means

AT THE FLESH FARM Josh Bush, owner of Flesh Farm Tattoo, 120 W. Fourth St., said he has also done a number of mom tattoos over the years, “especially after they have passed away.” Memorial mom tats are as popular as ever. He and Flesh Farm tattoo artist Jeff Olson said only the Harley Davidson tattoo still trumps mom in the marketplace. It has been that way for years. Bikers get the Harley tattoos often as their first tattoo, with mom the second most popular pick. When he got into the business eight years ago, Bush said one of his main focuses was on portraits, moms and kids mostly, though he has done a couple dad tats. Many customers prefer hearts, ribbons, butterflies or something else that reminds them of mom. “You try to find something a little fancier than just a standard Johnny Sailor tattoo,” Bush said. “Most of them don’t get too big. They’re not like full back pieces. It’s enough to cover a shoulder or the bicep or the inside of an arm.” People bring in photos that they want copied onto their bodies, along with some artistic flourishes, and no one has ever complained that the likeness wasn’t good, he noted. “I’m usually the one that I’ve got to satisfy,” he said. “They’re always happy.” Neither Bush nor Olson have mom tattoos on their own bodies. Yet. Olson said that, should his mom die, he plans to put a big, bleeding heart on his ribs. “And it’s just going to be a symbol. It’s not going to say Mom or anything like that on it. It’s just a picture that when I look at it, I’ll remember my mom by it,” he said. With a body half covered with skin art, he made a point of setting aside some skin for his mom memorial.

Siouxland Life

May 2012


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Siouxland Life

3/12/12 12:02 PM

All About Mom build,

build, build

This mom knows


how to do projects

Crystal Rettinghaus doesn’t mind being outnumbered. Being the sole female in a class with two dozen guys, she’s used to sticking out. “I work well with guys,” said Rettinghaus, a Western Iowa Tech Community College carpentry student. “In fact, I think it’s easier working with men than it is with women.” The Hinton, Iowa, resident is one of more than 20 carpentry and electrical students honing their skills on a ranch style house located at 1620 Ingleside Ave., in Sioux City’s mid-city district. Through a partnership with the Home Builders Association of Greater Siouxland, Project Home gives WITCC students hands-on training while providing affordable housing for Siouxland families. The 1,530-square-foot home, which Rettinghaus began working on at the start of the 2011-12 school year, will eventually go to a family through Sioux City’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program. “This isn’t just any school project for me,” Rettinghaus said as she grouts the flooring in the four bedroom house. “When you know somebody’s family will soon being living here, you make sure that everything is perfect.” Family means a lot to Rettinghaus. After all, she grew up in a family of home builders. “On the one hand, carpentry comes easy for me since I’ve been around construction sites my entire life,” she said. “But on the other hand, my family were surprised this is the major that I chose to pursue.” Rettinghaus explained she had never

Text and photograph by Earl Horlyk

done things like drywalling a wall or installing the flooring in a basement before. “Nope, that’s all new to me,” she said, wiping perspiration from her brow. “It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be.” Especially hard was taking four tons of gravel into the home’s lower level. “We took it down by wheelbarrow,” Rettinghaus said, shaking her head at the memory. “I’ll never have to join a health club because I get enough of a workout here.” Rettinghaus said her mom Georgeanne never doubted her abilities. “My mom said a girl can do anything a boy can do,” Rettinghaus said. “I believe her, too.” Well, what about Rettinghaus’ boyfriend, Joseph? “Oh, he’s been supportive, too,” she said with a smile. “Joseph may not like me being in a classroom full of guys but he knows I can carry my weight.” In fact, Rettinghaus wants to pursue home building as a profession after she graduates from college. “No matter what happens to the economy, people will always need homes,” she said. Rettinghaus also wants to set a good example for her 3-year-old daughter, Marah. “It would be awesome if Marah wants to follow in her mom’s footsteps,” she said. “The only thing that matters on a work site is if you’re good at your job,” Rettinghaus continued. “And I’m as good as any man here.”

Call her a goddess of grout or a diva with a drill, but Western Iowa Tech Community College student Crystal Rettinghaus doesn’t mind being the school’s sole female carpentry student.

“The only thing that matters on a work site is if you’re good at your job. And I’m as good as any man here.”

Siouxland Life

May 2012


all About Mom becoming

a mom

The final week of a 40-week pregnancy is vitally important to your baby’s overall development, said Siouxland Women’s Health Care physician Kevin Hamburger.

For pregnant moms,

labor is merely a matter of time


Text by and photograph by Earl Horlyk

Timing is everything when you’re an OB/GYN. When Siouxland Women’s Health Care PC’s physician Kevin Hamburger was still in medical school more than 20 years ago, he was instructed to learn as much as he could because it would all be outdated in five years. “That absolutely turned out to be the


May 2012

case,” he said with a smile inside his near Northside office. Another thing that Hamburger learned in med school? The most important week in a mother’s pregnancy is often the final week. “Moms may not like hearing this because they’re tired and sore and in pain,” he explained, “but carrying a baby for

Siouxland Life

the entire 40 weeks is preferable to an induced labor.” According to Hamburger, scheduling an induced labor for non-medical reasons may put your baby at risk. “Important organs, such as the baby’s brain, lungs and liver, take time to develop,” he said. “For instance, a baby’s brain at 35 weeks weighs only two-thirds of

“Moms may not like hearing this because they’re tired and sore and in pain, but carrying a baby for the entire 40 weeks is preferable to an induced labor.” what it will weigh at 39 or 40 weeks.” After 39 weeks, the baby is less likely to have vision or hearing problems after birth. Also, babies born too soon are often too small. “Babies born at a healthy weight have an easier time staying warm than babies born too soon,” Hamburger said. An early birth may also put a mom’s health at risk. “Even with ultrasound, due dates are hard to be exact,” Hamburger explained. “If you schedule to induce labor or schedule a Cesarean birth and your date is off by a week or two, your baby may be born too early.” Medicines to induce labor may not work, meaning a mom may need a Csection, which can be harmful. “Babies born by C-section have more breathing and other medical issues than babies born by vaginal birth,” Hamburger said. In addition, C-sections may cause problems in future pregnancies. “Once a mom has a C-section, she is more likely to have C-section for subsequent pregnancies,” Hamburger said. “The more C-sections a mom has, the more problems she and the baby may have, including placenta and inducing problems.” And don’t forget a C-section is major surgery for moms. “It takes longer for a mom to recover from a C-section than from a vaginal birth,” Hamburger said. “She can expect to spend two to four days in the hospital and four to six weeks to fully recover.” For these reasons, Hamburger said the March of Dimes has begun a “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait” educational campaign advising parents and obstetric care providers to wait until 39 weeks to induce labor, if no medical problems exist. “By the end of many pregnancies, many moms aren’t in the mood to wait,” Hamburger admitted. “But being able to hold off just a little longer may prove beneficial for both the baby and the mom.” Sometimes, it’s all about the timing.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Siouxland's Project Home, 1620 Ingleside, is nearing completion. Selling Price: $73,950 (income restrictions apply). Ranch Style, 4 bedroom, 2 bathrooms. Equal Housing Opportunity. Contact the Home Builders Association for information regarding the purchase of this home. 3900 Stadium Dr., Sioux City, IA 712-255-3852 email:

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Siouxland Life

May 2012



all About Mom becoming

a mom

A big misconception:

Prenatal care follows pregnancy


It’s never too early to get good advice from a physician when it comes to prenatal care. It should even come before you need it. A preconception office visit, that is. “The best piece of advice to give somebody who is planning a pregnancy is to actually be seen (by a doctor) before they get pregnant. That way they can assess their fitness for pregnancy,” said Dr. Al Fleming, a perinatologist with the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center who has more than 20 years of experience. The center offers services to women referred by their doctors for various reasons such as prenatal diagnosis, genetic counseling and expecting multiples. Women often see their OB/GYN with medical conditions already existing that could be harmful to a developing fetus. Maybe they are taking certain medications that should be switched before they are pregnant if they knew the dangers, Fleming said. “Taking additional vitamins can be helpful to prevent some of the damage from certain medications,” he said. “I’m speaking specifically for women who have seizure disorders. Some of the medicines can cause spina bifida. But with an additional vitamin B supplement – folic acid, in particular – they can lessen the likelihood of that happening.” Unfortunately, the preconception visit doesn’t happen nearly enough “The ones that should, don’t,” he said. “But the ones who are very conscientious, do. And sometimes you find out things that they didn’t

Text and photograph by John Quinlan

even know they had. They might find out they’re diabetic and not know it.” A preconception visit is especially advisable for smoking cessation or women who find out they have high blood pressure. “It’s better to know that before you get pregnant because there’s sometimes diet and exercise that can lower your chance for developing high blood pressure or diabetes in pregnancy,” Fleming said. Usually the women who need to do this, women who have seizures or diabetes or other things that put them at risk, know enough to come in before getting pregnant, he noted. “Then their diabetes can be adjusted or made to be well-controlled, so that when they get pregnant, there won’t be that risk of malformation. It’s the same thing with the anti-epileptic drugs that can take additional folic acid to prevent things like spina bifida from occurring,” he said. Women should always take prenatal vitamins as long as possible to prevent birth defects. “It’s a big deal,” he said, noting that even women without a history of spina bifida or diabetes will normally get enough folic acid through the prenatal vitamins they take to prevent birth defects. They are available over the counter, but they can be bad for you if you take too many, he added; and if you just need more folic acid, take folic acid specifically and not more vitamins. “So knowing to take a single prenatal vitamin every day as long as you’re capable of becoming pregnant is a good idea,” he said. “But avoid excessive amounts of vitamin A because that could be damaging to a developing embryo.” Women with very serious cardiac disease should probably avoid pregnancy. “And it’s really specific on the type,” Fleming said. “It they have valvular heart disease, that’s something that should try to be repaired before they get pregnant. Metal (heart) valves are not good in

Pets’ Hea r u



Both dogs and cats can get internal parasites, heartworms and intestinal worms: they can also contract external parasites, fleas and ticks. All of these parasites are capable of causing serious diseases in your pets, and they can also infect your pets with other contagious diseases. For instance, ticks can transmit Lyme Disease and fleas can transmit feline leukemia and cat scratch disease. Some parasites cause problems for you people, too. All of these parasites are common in this part of the country. All of these parasites are preventable by safe, inexpensive, easy-to-use byhave Robert Billiar, Presented Robert Billiar, medications. We some newDVM products And Brooke Brooke Gilbert, Gilbert, to offer. When you buy fromDVM us you know what you are getting is the best and we provide professional service for your pets, Your Petswe Don’t Them! Your Pets Don’t Want Them! 24-7. For us, knowWant disease does not and can catsget caninternal get Both Both dogs and cats parasites, observe thedogs calendar and theinternal holidays parasites, and instances intestinal heartworms intestinal worms: they can also or time of and theheartworms day. In some we worms: they can also contract external contract external parasites, fleas and ticks. All are cheaper than Internet and catalog of these parasites arethe capable causing serious parasites, fleas and ticks.ofAll of these diseases in your pets, andof they can serious also infect prices; also, we offer free products with parasites are capable causing your pets otherpets, contagious diseases in your andothers, they diseases. canbringing also For some andwith rebates with instance, transmit Lyme Disease and infectticks yourcan pets with other contagious the cost down further. fleas can transmit feline leukemia and cat scratch diseases. For instance, ticks can transmit Dogs overparasites 6-months age feline need to disease. Some cause problems for you Lyme Disease and fleas can of transmit people, Alland of these parasites are common haveleukemia atoo. heartworm test in our hospital, cat scratch disease. Some in this part of the country. problems for youHeartworm people, a parasites simple cause blood test. Alltoo. of All these parasites are preventable by of these are common in safe, preventatives areparasites alsomedications. effective against inexpensive, easy-to-use We have this part of the country. manynew intestinal They best some toworms. offer. When youare buy from All products of these parasites are preventable us you know whatinexpensive, youbut are at getting isthrough the best and used around, least the byyear safe, easy-to-use we provide professional service for your pets,fl24mosquito season. It is also best to use ea medications. We have some new products 7. For us, we know disease does not observe the to offer. you buyaround, from us you know preventatives year but atday. least calendar andWhen thethe holidays or time of the In what youwarmer are is the than best and Internet we some instances we getting are cheaper the during the months. Please note: provide professional for your and prices;about also,service we offer free pets, products we catalog are talking PREVENTION, we know not not with 24-7. some For andus, rebates withdisease others, does bringing the waiting until is exposure or chance observe thethere calendar and the holidays cost down further. or time the day. In some instances we have ofDogs exposure. overof 6-months of age need to are cheaper than Internet and catalog a heartworm our hospital, a simple We have test twointhe newer products that prices; we offer preventatives free products with blood test. also, Heartworm areboth also are some effective preventatives for and rebates others,worms. bringingThey effective against many with intestinal heartworms and fl eas. Once is a once-athe cost are best useddown year further. around, but at least through Dogs over 6-months of to one month topical liquid is age applied in the mosquito season. Itthat is also bestneed to use flea preventatives the around, but least during have a heartworm test inregion ourathospital, place over theyear shoulder or top of the warmer months. Pleasetest. note: Heartworm we are talking a simple blood the neck, it is called Revolution. Thethere other about PREVENTION, not waiting is preventatives are also effectiveuntil against preventative for of heartworms fleas is exposure chance exposure. manyorintestinal worms. They and are best called Trifexis, andbut it atisleast a once-a-month year through the Weused have twoaround, newer products that are effective preventatives for both and mosquito season. It isheartworms also new best toproduct use fleafleas. chewable tablet. Another we One preventatives a once-amonth topical but liquid that is the year around, at least haveisavailable is aover once-a-month topical applied in one place the shoulder region during the warmer months. Please note: or spot-on called and it has extra top ofwetheare neck, it isCertifect called PREVENTION, Revolution. The other talking about not preventative for heartworms fleas is called protection against asand well as fleas. waiting until thereticks is exposure or chance Trifexis, and it is a once-a-month chewableabout tablet. of exposure. We welcome your inquiries AnotherWe newhave product we have available isthat a oncetwo newer products these newer We are and hereit a-month topicalpreventatives. spot-on called Certifect are effective preventatives for both has extra protection against ticks as health well as fleas. to provide you with the best care heartworms and fleas. Once is a once-awelcome your inquiries these newer forWeyour dogs and cats we know they month topical liquid that is- about applied in one preventatives. here to provide place overWe theare shoulder region oryou topwith of the are family.


Dr. Al Fleming, a perinatologist, says getting checked early is the best advice he can offer for prenatal care. The photos are displayed outside his office in the new Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center.

pregnancy because of the blood thinners you need to take, which can be associated with birth defects. And if you don’t take a blood thinner and you’ve got a heart valve, it can lead to stroke, throwing off a clot to the brain.” Additionally, women who have been treated for cancer should be tumor-free for at least three years before getting pregnant, he said. The ideal body weight for a motherto-be should be close to her normal Basal Metabolic Index (BMI). Women who are overweight can have adverse pregnancy outcomes, getting diabetes of hypertension. So an average woman should gain about 28 pounds during pregnancy for a single baby, 30-35 pounds for twins. And women who are starting a pregnancy overweight should probably gain 15 pounds, Fleming said, because if they are overweight and gain 50 pounds, they are more likely to have a big baby, more likely to get diabetes or other complications. Conversely, underweight women should gain 40 pounds because they risk having a smaller, growth-restricted baby. All of these things, of course, can – and should – be addressed before pregnancy. As for gestational diabetes, if you have a tendency to develop Type 2 diabetes when you are 50 or 60, sometimes it shows up because of the stress of pregnancy on the pancreas.

In some cases, he noted, this can serve as a wake-up call: Women should pay attention to their diets and lose weight before the onset of diabetes again at 50 or 60. Hair dyes used to get a lot of press, but that is not a major concern. And fluorocarbons in the workplace are equally hazardous to all women, pregnant or not, he said. One exception would be radiation exposure, but even folks working in radiology today are protected to the extent that what exposure they get is not likely to harm them. “Even diagnostic chest X-rays and things like that are safe in pregnancies. There’s a shield anyhow. So very minimal exposure would not cause any fetal damage,” he said. Women should also pay special attention to family history. “A woman who’s pregnant for the very first time, if her family history is strong for diabetes, it’s not surprising to see her develop it while she’s pregnant. And she doesn’t necessarily have to be overweight,” Fleming said. “A family history and genetics play a role in that, too. The same thing goes for hypertension.” Genetic history is important when it comes to such diseases as cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs disease. It’s one more reason to get that prepregnancy testing.

best health care for your dogs and cats - we know the neck, it is called Revolution. The other they are family. preventative for heartworms and fleas is called Trifexis, and it is a once-a-month chewable tablet. Another new product we have available is a once-a-month topical spot-on called Certifect and it has extra protection against ticks as well as fleas. We welcome your inquiries about these newer preventatives. We are here to provide you with the best health care for your dogs and cats - we know they are family.

301 W. 29th 29th St., 301 W. St., S. S.Sioux Sioux City, City, NE NE


402-494-3844 May 2012

Siouxland Life


all About Mom becoming

a mom

Dena Bridgeford, a nurse clinician at St. Luke’s Hospital, holds one-day-old Maddox while mom, Casie Leckband of Sioux City, looks on.

Hospitals teach, offer resources for

new moms Text by Dolly A. Butz Photography by Laura Wehde


May 2012

Siouxland Life

“Hopefully we can encourage them to learn how to nap and take turns watching the baby. Schedule people to give them relief when they’re at home so they can get some rest as well.” kathy Noble


They’re so excited. It’s the day they’ve been waiting for. Then suddenly, Dena Bridgford said, fear creeps into the minds of first-time moms who are leaving the secure setting of St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center’s Birth Center to care for their babies at home. “They look forward to going home, but I think as it gets closer to that time, they realize that it’s just going to be them and the baby,” said Bridgford, a nurse clinician for the hospital. Both St. Luke’s Regional Medical

Center and Mercy Medical Center - Sioux City offer free childbirth education classes as well as one-on-one infant-care training for new parents in their birth centers. Kathy Noble, an obstetric nurse for Mercy Medical Center, said the majority of new parents don’t attend childbirth education classes before the baby arrives. “They think of it as an old-fashioned thing: ‘Oh, my mom did that. I don’t need to do that,’” she said. “Because of TLC, because of the Internet, because of all the resources we have now, they think it’s not necessary.” Nurses generally have about two days to teach new mothers the basics: how to breast feed, change diapers, how to hold, wrap and bathe their baby and how to care for their baby’s umbilical cord. Skin-to-skin contact is important after birth, so Noble said mom is encouraged to rest her baby on her chest. She is also told that it’s normal for her baby to cry. Noble said studies have shown that “purple crying,” a period of crying often described as colic, is a normal phase of development. “We do a lot of little bursts of teaching,” Noble said. “If you just do it all at once it’s very overwhelming and they don’t remember hardly anything.” Breastfeeding is a task that Noble said new moms generally find the most challenging because the baby continues to change. “So often if they’re not taught about the growth spurts they’ll think their milk isn’t adequate enough for the baby,” she said. “With education and encouragement they can realize, ‘It’s normal.’” Sleep deprivation, Noble said, is also quite an adjustment for new parents. “Hopefully we can encourage them to learn how to nap and take turns watching the baby,” she said. “Schedule people to give them relief when they’re at home so they can get some rest as well.”

HELP AT HOME St. Luke’s offers the Newborn Channel 24 hours a day in-house. The TV programming provides information on various care topics such as bathing and SIDS prevention. Upon discharge, mothers receive a booklet with information about caring for themselves and their baby, as well as a code that allows them to continue to watch videos from the Newborn Channel on St. Luke’s website for six months. “That’s a great way for them to feel confident that there’s places that they can get the information again if they need help,” Bridgford said. Noble said she likes to highlight important topics in Mercy’s handbook for new moms. Handouts with instructional photos and a list of staff phone numbers are also provided. “We are awake all the time, so once they get home if it’s 3 or 4 in the morning, they can certainly call us,” she said. The most important thing new parents need to remember, Bridgford said, is that there isn’t necessarily a right way to care for their baby. She said it’s OK for them to make mistakes and ask for help if they need it. “Taking all the information you get from us, taking what your parents might tell you or your friends might tell you and just formulating your own way that works best for you, most of the time that’s going to be OK,” she said. “Just because when I change the diaper I might fold it over a little bit differently, doesn’t mean that my way is perfect.”

Pregnancy and parenting programs To view a list of childbirth and parenting classes offered at Mercy Medical Center and St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center or to register visit: or

Siouxland Life

May 2012


ask a professional Does your constantly crying baby have you singing the blues? Is your 5 year old getting their fair share of cuts, bruises, and “Boo-boos”? Many parents who walk into our clinic in pain don’t realize that treatment is just as important for their little ones as it is for them.

Q: What conditions can chiropractic care help with?

A: Many new moms and veterans alike have

Dr. Joel Pistello, DC

sung the praises of chiropractic care not only when dealing with colicky babies, chronic ear infections, breastfeeding difficulties, bedwetting, and scoliosis, but also with their pre-and post-pregnancy aches and pains. Will it hurt my little one? They may fuss initially, however after a few minutes, they will settle down and typically take a nap! Infants and children respond quickly to Chiropractic care—typically only requiring only a

few treatments. When is the right time to bring in my little one? We have adjusted babies as early as one to two hours after they are born! Childbirth can be an extremely traumatic event to a newborn’s body – and though they are built to handle it, occasionally it’s a little more stress than a little body can overcome. By adjusting a newborn and relieving any pressure on delicate soft tissue structures around the spine, we can start our little ones off on the right track! I feel so stressed caring for my newborn! Any tips or suggestions? While spending every moment with your child is important, it’s also essential to take time for yourself. Take 20-30 minutes a day to relax and do something you would enjoy! Taking time for yourself allows the time you spend with your little one to always be quality time. Additionally, if you can find a sitter, a relaxing massage can help melt away muscle tension! Remember – you have to take care of yourself so you can take care of your little one – or little ones! As usual, always feel free to come in and talk to us about you or your little ones’ postpregnancy aches and pains. We even have the perfect play area to stimulate your little one(s) mind!

Call 276-4325 today for an appointment

3930 Stadium Drive. (Between Wal-Mart & Explorer Stadium)


May 2012

Siouxland Life

All About Mom soccer


Alison Benson sits in her vehicle as she watches her daughter Sophie practice with other girls during soccer practice at Headington Park.

‘Soccer moms’

balance career, family and youth sports


Alison Benson is her daughter’s No. 1 fan. On a cloudy March night Benson sat cross-legged in the passenger seat of her red SUV, her feet dangling out the open car door as she watched 10-year-old Sophie kick a pink soccer ball down a green, grassy space with several other girls at Headington Park. Benson, director of community engagement & communications for the Sioux City Community School District, is on the move throughout the school year taking Sophie and son Luke, 11, to basketball, soccer, football and soccer practices and games. She will add another sport in the summer if Sophie goes out for golf. Benson is part of a group of moms who’ve dubbed themselves “The Psycho Soccer Moms.” They cheer for Siouxland Soccer Foundation team Blue Thunder and even their opponents, according to Benson. “We’re just really loud and we cheer really hard for both teams,” Benson said.

Text by Dolly A. Butz | Photographs by Jim Lee

“We’re just very excitable. We love soccer.” Although Sophie admits that all the hooting and hollering coming from the sidelines can be a bit embarrassing at times, she said her mom’s support means a lot to her.

Alison Benson is pictured with her daughter Sophie prior to soccer practice.

NEW SOCCER MOM Being a “soccer mom” is a little easier than being a “baseball mom,” for Mindy Pflanz. Pflanz’s 8-year-old son, Colin, traded in his bat and glove for a soccer ball when he started playing on a Siouxland Soccer Foundation team last fall. “I was out on the baseball field for three hours,” recalled Pflanz. “We love soccer. It moves faster.” Keeping 2-year-old daughter Carly entertained during the long baseball games, Pflanz said, was a challenge. “She basically could have whatever she wanted at the concession stand to keep her busy,” she said. At soccer games this spring, Carly will have a little chair to sit in. Pflanz also Siouxland Life

May 2012


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bought her daughter her very own mini soccer ball. Carly is happy, as is Colin, who Pflanz said is excelling at the sport. “He really needs to release that energy,” she said. “I noticed that with soccer he really works up a sweat and moves nonstop, so it’s really great.” MAKING IT WORK Benson says a calendar on her refrigerator door is the key to keeping track of her kids’ busy schedules. “Everything has to be written on the calendar. You have to be very organized,” she said. “You have to be committed to it.” Pflanz, who works as a senior living consultant at Stoneybrook Suites Assisted Living facility, echoed Benson’s sentiments. “You have to be very organized to keep on top of your schedule,” she said. “Today I’m going to take the schedule and put it into my phone and send myself reminders.” Balancing a full-time career, family time and a hectic youth sports schedule isn’t easy for these “soccer moms” but they do it because of the benefits they believe their children are reaping from it. “We think it’s important for kids to be physically active, and I think sports teaches valuable lessons to kids,” said Benson, who also played soccer growing up. Another benefit, Benson added, is meeting other children who will someday be in her daughter’s and son’s classes when they reach middle and high school. HELPING HAND Benson and her husband, Justin, a teacher at South Sioux City High School, split the chauffeuring when they can. When Benson had to attend a school board meeting for work on a recent Monday night, Justin shuttled the kids to where they needed to go. After feeding them, Benson said Justin dropped Sophie off at practice on the north side. Next he drove Luke across town to Morningside for his practice. Then he drove back over to Headington park to pick up Sophie, before returning to Morningside to get Luke. Benson said she’s not sure how many hours a week total that she’ll spend at games and practices once the competitive season officially kicks off. Fridays and Sundays will likely be the only soccer-free nights of the week, as Luke also plays for Gateway City, a traveling soccer team. “It’s a lot. That’s the way it was with basketball. We had basketball every night except for Friday,” she said. “If we didn’t love it, we wouldn’t do it.”

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May 2012


All About Mom substitute


Day care providers:


Offering support for busy parents

Text by Earl Horlyk Photographs by Earl Horlyk and Laura Wehde

Don’t call Donna Oldenkamp a babysitter. Instead, the Indian Hills Apple Tree Preschool & Learning Center employee describes herself as an early childhood professional. Oldenkamp’s job: caring for the personal and educational needs of your kids when you’re at work. And since the children in her charge are ages 2 and under, potty patrol is a major mission. “When you’re dealing with small kids,” Oldenkamp said with a harried laugh, “it’s all about the potty.” And Oldenkamp, herself the mother of three grown children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, is the right woman for a stinky job. “Believe it or not, I think I have the best job in the world,” she said in a roomful of ankle-biters. “These kids are the lights of my life.” With 25 years of experience – the majority of which has been with Apple Tree – Oldenkamp is a potty training pro. Likewise, Brenda Thelen – with more than 21 years of experience – knows a thing or two about preschoolers. Caring for kids from newborn to 4 years of age inside her Northside Sioux City home, Thelen didn’t intentionally set out to be a day care provider. “I spent 10 years selling jewelry for a living,” she said. “It was only after my two sons were born that I decided to work from home.” Yet Thelen knew child care was a profession that ran in her family. “My great-aunt Mary Ann ran a day care in Morningside for 30 years and my mom is still a ‘mother hen’ when it comes to her kids or anyone else’s,” she said. “I was taught by the best.”


May 2012

According to Diane Merchant, director for the Indian Hills Apple Tree, her young charges are also “taught by the best.” “With so many children being raised by working parents or grandparents, quality child care is truly a necessity,” she said. “Parents demand the best for their kids and we are here to provide it.” Merchant said the first five years are important to the development of children. “Everything that we do is designed to shape the social, emotional and cognitive skills of children,” she explained. “The type of person a child becomes is often determined before age 5.” Kathy Bertrand knows that and it’s one of the reasons the Apple Tree early childhood educator is determined her classroom serves as a “safe haven” for her kids. “Whether it’s because a parent is

Siouxland Life

Apple Tree Preschool and Learning Center teacher Donna Oldenkamp helps Jessica Palmershine paint an Easter bunny.

separating or experiencing unemployment, kids are not immune to household stresses,” she said. “We’ve developed a relationship with parents to know when someone might need a little extra attention.” Bertrand’s happiest memory: teaching 2-year-old Tommy Nguyen to speak English. “Tommy speaks Vietnamese at home and English at Apple Tree,” she explained. “His mom is amazed at having a bilingual child.” Yet Merchant is quick to point out that day care providers can never take the place of parents. “What we do is a supplement to anything that’s done at home,” she insisted. “It takes a team to raise a child.”

Sharing her love for art, Brenda Thelen encourages her day care charges to draw with chalk.

For Thelen, it also takes plenty of colored chalk to raise a kid. Thelen, herself an artist, enjoys having children explore their inner Picasso by drawing on the sidewalk. “Kids should be allowed to develop their creative side,” she said while supervising four knee-high artists. “You don’t do that in front of a television set. You do that while playing and through personal interaction.” Thelen acknowledges that she is sometimes the one who witnesses a child’s first steps or first words. Yet, like Merchant, she knows she will never be a substitute parent. “To my preschool kids, I’m never ‘mom,’” she said. “I’m simply Brenda or Brinnie or Brin-Brin.” Thelen pauses for a moment. “Although one of my preschool kids has been calling me ‘Grandma,’ lately,” she said with a raucous laugh. “I’m not

“With so many children are being raised by working parents or grandparents, quality child care is truly a necessity. Parents demand the best for their kids and we are here to provide it.” Diane merchant a grandma in real life so I guess it’s time for wrinkle cream and Botox.” Even though she knows it’s not for everyone, Oldenkamp said she wouldn’t trade her job for anything in the world. “I spend my mornings with kids at Apple Tree and, then, I’m sometimes called on for babysitting duties for my

own family,” she said. “I can’t stay away from kids.” Oldenkamp insists she wouldn’t have it any other way. “They keep me young,” she said. Thelen said in order to take care of children, you’ve got to be a bit of a kidat-heart yourself. “You have to see the world on their level,” she said while putting on a pair of oversized sunglasses. “Another thing is you can’t be afraid of making a fool of yourself.” Thelen said her dream is to take on a second generation of children. “Some of the kids I initially took care of are now in college,” she noted. “It might be fun to provide day care for their children some day. “I’d love to see it come full circle,” Thelen said as a gaggle of 2-year-olds pound on blocks in the background. “That would be so cool!”

Siouxland Life

May 2012


All About Mom military


Amy Trucke of Danbury, Iowa, holds a picture given to her at Christmas 2010 by daughter Alexis Trucke when Alexis was home on leave from her tour of duty in Afghanistan. The picture shows the night-time sky where Alexis served.

Military mom Keeps thoughts for other sons, daughters overseas

Photo from Afghanistan drives point home


‌DANBURY, Iowa – Amy Trucke kept her composure each time she spoke with daughter Alexis Trucke while Alexis served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Talking about it now, she lets down her guard. “My emotions were a roller-coaster,” she says, wiping a tear. “I had to be strong for my kids.” Amy Trucke, 41, and husband Doug Trucke, 47, of rural Danbury have six children. Two are soldiers, and both Alexis Trucke and son Luke Hesse spent tours of duty in war zones. While Alexis served in Afghanistan, her brother was in Iraq. “I did not listen to a lot of news,” says Amy Trucke, putting her head in her hands momentarily. “That kind of kept me together. Listening to reports from there (countries where conflict raged) made me wonder more.”


May 2012

Alexis Trucke shared a hug with nephews Hunter Trucke, 4, and Tyler Trucke, 6, after a welcome home ceremony.

The Truckes used Facebook and Skype to communicate with their children, Alexis more regularly than Luke, who, as a prison guard for the U.S. Army, was often on his feet for 16 hours. “Luke would respond over Facebook after two weeks and tell us everything was going fine,” Amy says. A particularly tough time for Amy and Doug Trucke came when these truck drivers were on a vacation cruise near

Siouxland Life

Text and photographs by

Tim Gallagher

the Cayman Islands last December. They were in the midst of the cruise when word came from Danbury that son Luke was coming home from Baghdad. The Truckes booked a flight for the following day from the Cayman Islands to Kansas City, as Luke would be welcomed home with his unit at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. “We ended up not being able to leave the boat because of rough water,” Doug says, still frustrated. “We could see the island we needed to get to, we just couldn’t get to it.” The ship allowed the couple to use its phone service for free. Amy called home, urging Luke’s siblings to drop what they could and drive south to Fort Leavenworth to welcome him home. “I was devastated,” Amy says. “I had not held my son for a year.” Luke stayed on his base for two weeks before coming home for Christmas. Doug and Amy worked for a couple of weeks trucking in Texas before coming north. They all reunited at Christmas, joined by

at least 30 family members and friends. They had all a family seeks at Christmas: Turkey, ham, presents...and one another. While Alexis mingled with Afghani nationals as part of her duty with the Iowa Army National Guard, Luke guarded prisoners. He didn’t mingle. Alexis brought home gifts for Mom and Dad, ranging from ornate Afghani jewelry boxes to a prayer blanket handmade by an interpreter who worked with Alexis. She presented a photo to her parents at Christmas in 2010, one that showed the December night-time sky over Zormat, Afghanistan. It’s the sky Alexis slept beneath, looking at the same heavens shining above Woodbury County. The picture, again, provided an emotional punch for a family in this critical time. Now that both Alexis and Luke are back and serving stateside, the photo remains in a prominent place in the kitchen. “That picture stays up,” Amy Trucke says. “As long as other young men and women are over there serving us, that picture will stay there. We may have our kids here, there are other parents saying, ‘Goodbye.’ “That picture reminds me there are other kids looking up at that sky right now.” coupon

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All About Mom working


Working moms

need a plan to reel in all that

stress m Text by John Quinlan


May 2012

Moms have a lot of stress just being moms. And in today’s world, that stress just gets magnified because not only does mom work in the home, she may also be her family’s primary breadwinner or more likely helping to carry half the load. Women now make up half of all workers in the United States. Mothers now make as much or more than their spouses or are doing it all on their own in nearly 4 in 10 families, according to the Center for American Progress. In 2009, 71.4 percent of women with

Siouxland Life

children under 18 years of age were in the labor force, either employed or looking for work, and 65.5 percent were employed. Chances are good even more moms or working in 2012 – or unemployed but looking. “And when they do have families, they continue to do about 80 percent of the traditional mom/female household role in the home,” said Kim Jorgensen, liaison for the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for Mercy Medical Center - Sioux City, who works out of the Singing Hills office of Mercy Business

“Have meetings with your family. Assign children tasks, jobs, responsibilities. And work with your spouse/partner, if there is one, to identify how we can more fairly divide up some of the roles. Kim Jorgensen

Kim Jorgensen, liaison for the Employee Assistance Program at Mercy Medical Center - Sioux City.

Health/Urgent Care. That leaves mothers with the kind of stress that gets diagnosed by Mercy’s EAP program. EAP does assessments, brief counseling and referral services for all covered employees and their family members when they may be experiencing some sort of personal problems, said Jorgensen, who noted that EAP services are provided not only for Mercy but for 25 other businesses in the tri-state area. Quite often, the stresses are selfinduced, Jorgensen said. “I think a lot of times it’s women having maybe some unrealistic expectations of ourselves of needing to do it all and do it all well,” she said. “Letting go is difficult for women, meaning that they like to have that control in the home and sometimes just even delegating and teaching children responsibilities, having them do chores or tasks (isn’t easy)” because they want easier lives for their kids. Balancing work and home is typically the No. 2 or No. 3 stresser, according to most surveys and studies. “There are also gender differences between men and women, and women that are married and have children report higher levels of stress than single women do,” she said. So what advice does EAP have for working mothers? “First and foremost is looking at those expectations in the home,” Jorgensen said, noting that in the workplace, employers set the expectations

and the employees have less control than they do at home. Working mothers need to learn how to take care of themselves. “Most people know what they need to do to take care of themselves and effectively manage that stress, but they aren’t doing it,” she said. “A lot of them report lack of time. Lack of motivation and energy are other chief complaints that people have – and will power. It’s why people say they have difficulty taking care of themselves.” The remedy? “Plan! I think in the homefront, doing a lot of planning, trying to be proactive,” she said. “Have meetings with your family. Assign children tasks, jobs, responsibilities. And work with your spouse/partner, if there is one, to identify how we can more fairly divide up some of the roles. Why am I the one doing all of the cooking, the cleaning, the shopping? And then with that, I think, comes that expectation – lowering some of your expectations. While it may not be done that way, I would like it done and is it really that important that it’s done?” Women also report money as another huge source of stress, with the husband often clueless about household expenses. “So women protect other people in the family from some of those realities by taking it on themselves,” Jorgensen said. Ironically, in times of stress, people do not do the things they need to take care of themselves. “They just don’t practice all this great self-care,” she said. Which brings us to the core wellnesss screenings done through Mercy Business Health. Unfortunately, women suffering high stress levels are often reluctant to participate, saying they don’t have the time, Jorgensen said. “But once they come here, we look at it, and if it is a family related stress, we ask, what’s going on? What’s their support system like? How connected are

they?” Based on that, they devise a plan. Among the remedies EAP offers is a call to exercise. This helps alleviate the concern over low energy. It also helps break through some other barriers, such as lack of will power and motivation, Jorgensen said. While a good relationship with a supervisor/manager can serve as a buffer to stress or lessen its impact, employees today don’t believe that employers are doing enough to help them manage that balance between work and home, she noted. “Offering them flexibility is one thing that employers could look at,” she said. And working mothers who may find their problems insurmountable and need more intervention will be referred to physicians or therapists and agencies in the community that can help them.

Balance work/family Organizing your time: 1. Develop a family calendar. Put it where everyone can see it. Mark down all appointments and meetings when you won’t be home. Also include family plans. 2. Establish a routine. This helps family to use time wisely. 3. Exercise as a family. 4. Plan time with each child. Even 15 minutes a day of individual attention increases self-worth. 5. Decrease the morning rush. Ask children to set breakfast table, shower/bath, prepare lunches, pick out clothes. 6. Have regular family meetings. You can catch up, discuss problems, family events, assign household chores. 7. Take time for yourself. 8. Consider hiring help – Kim Jorgensen

Siouxland Life

May 2012


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All About Mom big

families Beth Karpuk, pictured at home with a photo of her siblings, comes from a family of 19 children.

Six-pack mom

hails from family of 19 Carol Brady, at least, had a nanny to help care for her bunch


Text by John Quinlan | Photographs by Jim Lee

Forty years ago, a family of 12 was a big family, but not unusually so. Today, a family of six might qualify as big. Sioux City’s Beth Karpuk, the mother of six grown children, ages 20-37, knows both worlds inside out. So when we called Beth to ask if she could talk about her “large” family, it drew a lot of laughs from her children. They knew better. “I’m a child of 19,” she said. “My mom and dad had 19 single births. So I grew up in a huge family, and (husband) Fred’s family had six kids.” When their children were all at school at Blessed Sacrament, where she now teaches, she said there was a group of like-numbered Catholic families “and we called ourselves the six-pack families because we all had six kids. And there

were quite a few who had six kids then.” She doesn’t see many families that size today. One family surpasses hers, and she knows of one current six-pack family, but the six-pack is now a rarity, she said. Right after she and Fred were engaged, they had one of their first arguments. She wanted 12 children and he, who grew up in a six-pack, panicked. “He said six was fine. So we were arguing over why we couldn’t have more. Then when we started having children, four sounded real good,” Beth admitted. “After the fourth one, I went back to work and God gave us those two surprises at the end. At the time, both of us wondered what He was doing, but now we’re just so grateful for those tail-enders.” With 18 brothers and sisters of her own and growing up right in the middle,

she kind of knew what to expect. She had all those siblings, first at their house in Leeds and later in Lawton, Iowa. Mom would have had 22 kids, but three miscarriages dropped the number to 19. All of them were the result of single births. “You grew up poor but you didn’t know much better because back then you didn’t have all the technology. People didn’t have all the toys that the kids have now, and we were just happy. Mom and Dad provided for us and we had each other. People were great.” She never felt neglected by a mother who was clearly juggling a lot of responsibilities ... and children. “But we all ended up taking care of each other. I think that’s the close-knit part. We just all knew we’re all ready to take care of each other. If we needed it,

Siouxland Life

May 2012


we could always go to a sister or a brother,” she said. Their home never had to hold all the children at once. As the youngest kids came along, the older ones were gone to school and adult lives. So they never had more than 13 kids at home at one time, Mom told her. That sometimes meant four kids sharing a room with two sets of bunk beds, but what could you do? “I remember when I went to college and we moved back to Sioux City and I got a room of my own in this big five-bedroom home. Mom gave me a room of my own ’cause I was going to Briar Cliff, And it was just like, wow! I couldn’t believe it,” Beth said. Beth’s mother was an only child, an adopted one. “And when she got married, she said she just wanted people around her. So I like that, too. I like people around me. And Mom was just so accepting. She stayed pretty calm. Dad had some alcoholism problems at one point, and Mom just stayed so calm and so loyal. It was just awesome to see, how she stuck by him. And then she had trouble medically later and had to have a colostomy. And my Dad, who couldn’t even change a diaper (much like husband Fred), he took care of my mom, and that was inspiring to me ... just that they take care of each other, and you stay loyal to your family.”

Beth Karpuk and her husband Fred, pictured at home, have six children and their dog Oliver, the only “child” still in residence.

With seven grandchildren now and four “new kids” (the in-laws), Beth said she and Fred feel like they have a family of 10 children. But none of their children seems interested, in large families, maybe three or four kids at most, she noted. The two late arrivals helped space out the Karpuk family’s needs, though it was


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Siouxland Life

a little odd, they felt, that she was 40 and 41 when the last two children were born. The first four kids bawled at news of the first late-comers. “They just couldn’t believe they were going to have a baby brother,” Beth said. “‘Mom, what’ll we tell our friends in high school?’ You know, they just didn’t want to think of Mom and Dad having a baby. (And what that involves.) And so within seven months, we got pregnant again. And we were walking, pushing Dan in his stroller along Country Club Boulevard and both of us crying ’cause they just said, no way!” Beth was laughing as she said that, now that they have survived the empty nest syndrome. When Chris, the youngest, left for college two years ago, both felt devastated. “We did not like that empty house feeling and waited for the kids to come home for weekends. The second year was easier,” she said. “Both Dan and Chris come home for the summer. So we like that a lot.” Fred, by the way, was a big help, taking the kids off her hands when he could. Thursdays and Saturdays were his nights to get up and feed the babies, so she could get some sleep. “However, he could not change a dirty diaper. You could count on one hand how many times that man did that. And he couldn’t handle vomit. He would vomit right with the children. So I would never let him be with me for that,” she said. Six was a good number. Beth said she couldn’t imagine having just one or two kids. “I think you fulfill yourself by what you become as a mother,” she said.

Health monday


How Iowa’s

Monday marathoner stays healthy Ice baths, hot showers and Clif bars Jim Ellis, of Sioux City, is shown running last fall in Sioux City. Ellis is spending this year running and speaking at stops across Iowa in an attempt to inspire others to follow their passion. His is running.


Text and photograph by Tim Gallagher

AMES, Iowa – Jim Ellis’ recipe for staying upright while running 40 to 50some miles each Monday? He fills a tub with ice-cold water twice each week. He tosses in a Power-Aid bottle that contains ice. He then adds all the ice cubes he can find. Ellis mixes in...himself. Stirs for 20 to 25 minutes, or as long as he can take it. (He reads while in the tub to keep his mind off the big chill.) He then follows with a hot shower. ’Tis the recipe for success for a runner who has logged hundreds of miles on Iowa roadways this year (the total is likely over 500 by now), pushing a cart that contains a year’s worth of personal possessions. Ellis is the Sioux City resident who quit his job last year and set out to run across Iowa, taking stops each week in towns across the state. He shares a message multiple times each week, imploring young and old alike to pursue their

passions, using the gifts they’ve been given to find purpose and meaning in what they do. He dubbed the effort, “Awake My Sole.” You can follow him at www.facebook. com/ Every Monday, Ellis runs to his new city for the upcoming week. Those Monday runs cover anywhere from 31 to 68 miles. The toughest this winter was a 41.6-mile effort from Webster City to Ames. He chugged along, pushing his 150-pound cart in the face of constant 20- to 40-mph winds. How is his body holding up? “My body is really sore after a run like that,” said Ellis, a Northwestern College graduate. “Each week it needs to recover. Running man’s sites Find information on Jim Ellis’ “Awake My Sole” journey at awakemysoul or www.awakemysole.

An ice bath helps blood flow. I take at least one to two ice baths per week; they speed blood flow to help my body recover.” The theory involves oxygen in the blood. Ellis said stimulating oxygen flow with temperature extremes gives his body the nutrients it needs to recover quickly. “It’s preventative so my body stays healthy,” he said. “”I don’t want to suffer an injury as I don’t have the time to recover.” What does he eat or drink during those longer-than-long marathon Mondays? Ellis said he devoured three Snickers bars and two Clif (energy) bars on the run from Webster City to Ames. He also consumed four Clif energy gels. Those are dehydrated sports drinks in a gel form. “When you consume those, you get the four crucial nutrients your body needs to keep from cramping: potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium. You lack one of those and that’s why you

Siouxland Life

May 2012


cramp,” he said. He also drank a gallon of water and two 32-ounce Powerades. When Ellis reached Chantalle Reno and Jim Ellis were Ames that engaged this spring in Costa Rica, evening, he where Chantalle is studying as a dined on Northwestern College Spanish pork chops major. Jim is a graduate of Northand Chicken western College. Alfredo sans the chicken. Throughout a running day, he’ll consume 12,000 calories and burn them all. “Physically, I do feel good,” Ellis said. “Each week I experience a new host family and when I leave on Monday, I miss them terribly. I’m just getting into a groove and then I leave. But I also love meeting new people when I get into a new community.” During the first eight weeks of his “Awake My Sole” journey, Ellis spoke 81 times and personally appeared before 3,900 people. He also became engaged. Ellis said some wonderful friends of his contacted

Jim Ellis is speaking at a number of Iowa cities as he runs across the state in his Awake My Sole 2012 effort. The program aims to challenge students and adults to use what gifts and talents they’ve been given.

him and said they wanted to fly him to Costa Rica where his girlfriend, Chantalle Reno, was studying as part of her Spanish course of study at Northwestern College. Ellis surprised Reno as she got off her bus following a day of school in San Jose, Costa Rica. “Chantalle, I have a question for you,” Jim recalled saying. “Will you marry me?”

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May 2012

Siouxland Life

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She said “Yes,” and Ellis presented a ring and a dozen roses. “I had intended to propose at the end of April, when she was done with school,” said Ellis, who noted that his surprise pushed the question ahead in time by several weeks. The memorable proposal did end up lightening his running load. He’d been jogging across Iowa with the ring.

Parting Shot Bruce


Life mom with

My mother once drove through a parade, stopping two bands, three floats and a color guard. She said it was an emergency. She was sure they’d understand. You see, I wrongly opened my mouth when she asked what I thought of the decorations for their 50th wedding anniversary. “I think they’re a little skimpy,” I said. Before I could recant, she told me to “get in the car” and, like Thelma and Louise, we rushed to the florist to buy every yellow rose we could find. “I’m not having my sisters talk behind my back,” she reasoned. And so, on a warm Saturday morning we were speeding down the streets of a sleepy North Dakota town in search of the elusive yellow rose. Never mind the traffic. Or the parade. We got the flowers. The sisters gushed. The day was saved. But that’s what life with mom was like – an adventure. She was always up before everyone, an agenda prepared for the day ahead. Dad was always game. He knew if he went against our home’s Chief Operating Officer, he’d have to suffer the wrath. So, he always seconded her motion and tried to be cheerleader for my sister and me. Every year, she’d get a vacation idea that promised to be “lots of fun” (her words, not mine) but never seemed to include a visit to Disneyland or Disney World. She was of the mind that we should learn something in the process of relaxing. (She also thought it was good to pack a cooler full of food – which even dad didn’t support.)

Sometime in March, we’d ask where we were going on vacation and she’d drop hints that revealed nothing: “I’ve gotten Triple A to route us,” she’d say (which meant she picked up some maps). “There’s a swimming pool at the motel.” (Duh.) “We’ll stop and see relatives along the way.” (Oh, joy.) No hints. And then, one year, she gave us a one-word clue: Presidents. We guessed Mount Rushmore but that was only a part of the action. While everyone else was going to fun places with miniature golf courses, we were visiting the graves of dead presidents. We topped it off with a wax museum and, yes, a glimpse of Mount Rushmore. But, really, do you want a photo of your family at Dwight Eisenhower’s final resting place? Mom did. But she was able to see fun in things others couldn’t. Sunday afternoons, she’d convince me to go snooping at houses by saying we’d stop for candy bars and root beer. So, while dad and sis took naps, she and I would drive around a dusty little town admiring landscaping, shutters and paint colors. “Now be quiet,” she’d say as we passed one of her friends’ homes. “We don’t want her to know we’re looking.” In order to keep the neighborhood kids out of trouble, she created a “club” that we could join. We had membership cards and made lots of arts and crafts (potholders, anyone?) and, yes, stayed off crack. When I was in high school, she decided the band needed new uniforms. Instead of passing the idea on to the school board, she rallied more parents and decided to sell homemade goodies at basketball games. When that didn’t bring enough money, she staged a concert in the gym and got some old-school country artists to perform. Her perk? “I got to hold Kitty Wells’ fur coat,” she beamed. (Knowing her, I bet she tried it on, too.) Once when I interviewed Jay Leno, I told him she was his biggest

On our last vacation before she died, mom let me pick the destination. I chose Vegas. We learned plenty. She put on the brakes – of the wheelchair.

fan. He got her address and sent her an autographed photo. “Where’d you put it?” I asked her. “I took down your graduation picture and put it there,” she told me. Later, when I told Jay this, he thought it might be fun to call her. So, he handed me his cell phone, I dialed her and she talked with him – for a good half hour. “You better talk to your son,” he said, handing me the phone. “Mom, wasn’t that cool – you got to talk to Jay,” I said. “Put him back on,” she replied. “I have some more questions.” And that’s how she was – full of life, full of fun, full of questions. Even in the weeks before her death, she was planning. “I’ve got a good idea for vacation,” she told me one night on the phone. “But I’ve got to talk to Triple A.” I never found out what the trip was but, knowing mom, it probably was the biggest adventure of them all.

Siouxland Life

May 2012


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Siouxland Life Magazine - May 2012  
Siouxland Life Magazine - May 2012  

A guide for living in Siouxland