Critical Junctures Timeline
August 1999
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August 15 (Sunday)  
Started College

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It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do after high school.  I finally decided to become a teacher because I wanted to help children and make a difference.  I knew every day would be something different and would always be an adventure.  I chose this college because it is where our church synod trains its pastors and teachers.  I thought it would be awesome to tell little ones about Jesus every day.  Going away to college in Minnesota was so scary and hard because it was the first time I was really away from my family.  However, going there was also a blessing because I met my husband, Scott, at this college.

June 2000
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June 22 (Thursday)  
Grandma Jane passed away

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Grandma Jane lived only two houses away from me when I was growing up so I spent a lot of time with her.  She taught me so much about working hard, having a sense of humor, and keeping God first in your life.  Her sudden passing also taught me to cherish the times I have with loved ones because you do not know how much longer you will have with them.

July 2003
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July 12 (Saturday)  
Got married

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Shortly after Scott and I were married, we moved to Omaha, Nebraska so he could do a one year internship before becoming a pastor.  I also got a job offer to teach preschool part-time at the same church and school.  While it was difficult to move away from both of our families for a year, it really helped us figure out how to work together as a team to run our household. 

September 2004
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September 25 (Saturday)  
Became a Mom

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Our oldest son, Caleb, was born after a very difficult labor.  Thankfully he arrived safely.  Some of the first thoughts and emotions I had were ones of amazement at what Scott and I had done together and also how anyone could hurt something so precious and innocent.  It really hit home how much children of any age need to be loved and taken care of.

July 2005
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July 1 (Friday)  
Moved to Portage

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When Scott graduated from the Seminary, he was assigned to a church in Portage, Wisconsin.  This congregation has been such a blessing to us.  They have been so loving and supportive to our family as Scott has grown as a pastor and as we have grown as a family.  

July 2006
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July 10 (Monday)  
Started a Daycare

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When our oldest child was younger, I was able to work part-time as a secretary at our church and bring him with me.  When Scott got the job to come to Portage, that was not an option.  I worked outside of the house part-time, and Scott took care of Caleb while I was working.  After our daughter, Chloe, was born, I really did not like missing things and wanted to be home with them.  Since I needed to contribute an income, we felt running an in-home daycare was the best solution.  Running the daycare has been such a blessing for us.  We have made so many great friends who have become a part of our family.  This is nice because we do not have immediate family close to us.  Eventually a lot of my daycare families were ones that worked in the local public school district.  I learned that it is a great district to teach in.  Now that I am pursuing my Wisconsin licensure and my Special Education degree, I have a lot of people I can lean on for advice.  One of the moms in particular has been a Special Education teacher at the local high school for many years.  We walk together every summer and hearing her experiences really inspired me to get my Special Education degree.  Our oldest child is in 6th grade, so my goal is to get my degree and get hired at the local high school before he gets there.  

February 2010
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February 3 (Wednesday)  
Phoebe passed away

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 When I was pregnant with our fourth child, we went in for a routine ultrasound.  We took our older kids (Caleb, Chloe, and Eli) with us.  Having been through numerous ultrasounds before, I could tell something was not right. I expected there was something wrong, but we could fix it.  I was not prepared to hear that the baby had already passed away and that I would have to go to Madison to deliver because it would be a high risk delivery.  Even though this was a really bad experience to go through, there were so many good lessons that came out of it.  I learned that when I really needed God, he was there for me (that night and all the days I grieved after).  I learned how much we are loved by each other, our family, and our friends and that we can depend on each other for anything.  I learned how it feels to lose a child and that even though you are tremendously sad, things do get better.  I learned that even though people have never met her, they are still touched by Phoebe's life just by us telling her story.  I also learned how this experience has given Scott a lot more credit when he counsels people in his ministry.  I wish we did not have to lose Phoebe to learn some of these lessons, but I can see how it was necessary and how it has made us more approachable, more empathetic, and more compassionate when we talk with people who have lost loved ones.

 

February 2011
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February 17 (Thursday)  
Our Family is complete

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Our youngest daughter, Naomi, was born a little over a year after Phoebe passed away.  It was a really happy event that helped heal our hearts even more.  Now that we are done having children, we cannot imagine our lives without any of them and are so thankful for them.  

February 2014
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February 26 (Wednesday)  
Mom diagnosed with Cancer

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Scott, the kids, and I had recently returned from Disney World.  We had saved for three years to do this once in a lifetime trip, and we had an amazing time.  The night we returned, Mom called to say her local doctor had found a mass in her abdomen, but she was going to Mayo Clinic to get a second opinion and find out what it was.  The day of her surgery was one of the worst days in my life.  My dad, my sister, and I got the news that even though they got everything, the cancer would come back and she would probably die within three years.  This was the first time I ever saw my dad cry.   As awful as that day and the following days were, things got better and we as a family got stronger.  Mom and Dad let my three siblings and me take care of them.  We came together and worked wonderfully to accomplish the same goal.  We value all of our contributions so much more and take the time to talk and spend time together.  We also learned how to be mom's biggest advocate even though at times were questioning some of the smartest doctors in the world.  One of the many lessons I learned from this experience is how to research something thoroughly until I find the right solution and how to assert myself to make that solution a reality.  I learned how to work with each of my siblings and the strengths they have to help mom.   I can see how many of the things I learned from mom's journey with cancer (researching and working together to apply the solution),  will benefit me teaching my own students someday.  

November 2014
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November 3 (Monday)  
Started Coaching

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I love sports.  I love playing sports, and I love watching sports.  I love that my kids like sports and play them as well.  I was asked to coach basketball at St. John's, which is the school my children attend.  I knew I would like spending time with the kids while teaching them the fundamentals of the sport, but I did not know how much I would love it and how much it would teach me.  One of the most satisfying lessons it taught me was how to find each child's strengths and weaknesses and put them in positions to succeed as individuals and as a team.  I love when girls make their first basket because they were playing in a position they could succeed at.  I love when a runner finishes in a good time because they can run a mile better than a sprint.  This is another reason Special Education is so appealing to me.  I want to get to know the students and capitalize on their strengths while improving their weaknesses in order to put them in the best position to succeed.  A lot of times you have to think outside of the box to find these strengths and weaknesses and places for them to be successful, but that challenge is very appealing to me.



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