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Contest follow up: Hightlight Reel Winner!  by Tara

July5

In January we asked you guys to share with us your Highlights of 2012. We even made it into a contest, because we’re cool like that. :o) The photo you picked as the winner was of a beautiful engagement. Taaaah dahhh:

Chris Farrell

“This was such an emotional and amazing day! Marvin McNutt is a beautiful person and watching my granddaughters shear joy as he presented them with “daughter bracelets”, after he proposed and gave their mother a gorgeous engagement ring, was a moment I will never forget…captured in this picture.”

After chatting with the winner, we discovered that there is so much more to the story, guys.

As mentioned in the caption, the proposer pictured is Marvin McNutt. Does that name ring a bell? If you live in Iowa or are a college football fan, you’re probably familiar. He is the all-time leader in receiving touchdowns at the University of Iowa (Wiki’s sports lingo, not mine!). The young woman above is Brittney, the daughter of one of our fabulous members (and the winner) Chris. And, don’t worry, we made Chris SWEAR that should would use the gift card on herself! We know how you moms are – so selfless! ;o)

Since we are all about the warm fuzzies around here, so we asked the now bride-to-be to share with us all the details of that beautiful day. Because Britt writes a little blog of her own (cleverly named “Mixed McKnutts”, I thought it would be perfect to welcome her as a guest blogger on the one year anniversary of their engagement. And, head’s up, it is chock-full of pics! Enjoy!

I still remember the roll of my eyes and the belly laughter from my gut when my sister said she wanted to introduce me to an Iowa football player.  I immediately dismissed the idea citing every reason why I thought it was ridiculous – he’s younger than me, he’s an athlete (that screams trouble, right?), I have two children, and just NO, not gonna happen!

Well, it happened and I thank God every day that it did.

It wasn’t long after I met Marvin that we fell in love. How could I resist such an amazing man? The athlete stereotypes I was bombarded with went right out the window once I met him. He’s genuine, goal driven, patient, loving, hilarious, educated, and a man of God. He is the perfect dad to our daughters. Marvin’s energy is electric. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of having a conversation with him will tell you, he’s just a GOOD person. Period.

It’s only fitting that this vibrant and bright man was born on the day when fireworks light up the sky – the 4th of July!

Last 4th of July, Marvin, Paris, Sophia, and I all went to St. Louis (Marvin’s hometown) to celebrate his birthday, the holiday, and say ‘goodbye’ to his family. The following week we were moving out of state because Marvin was drafted to the NFL (yay!). My mom and siblings came to St. Louis as well, so that they could spend as much time with us as possible before our big move.

Marvin’s family all came over to his parents house for a big BBQ – I’m talking, like, 50 people! Which is completely normal for a McNutt gathering. We all squeezed into the living to watch Marvin open his presents (all 2 of them!). His mom asked him to tell everyone about our new house we were about to move into. Marvin stood up and starts telling his family about the house and when we were moving. He starts telling everyone about how fabulous I am and in my head I’m thinking, “Oh, that’s sweet, honey, but the dramatics are a bit much.” Marvin is always very vocal about the love he has for me, so I figured this was another declaration of his love for me (swoon!). Until I heard, “… But the present I want most for my birthday is…”

Ibritt2n the millisecond between him catching his breath and continuing, I thought, “THIS IS IT. This is the moment I’ve waited for since we fell in love!”

Gasp.

“…for Brittney to spend the rest of her life with me.”britt3

Marvin dropped to one knee and says in the most perfect way :) “Will you marry me?”

Ahhh!  At this point I’m crying, shaking, but somehow managed to say “YES!”

Marvin handed Paris and Sophia each small box with a bracelet that says “daughter” on it. I’ve never seen the girls so happy! Paris later said that she was fighting back tears of joy and did not want to cry in front of everyone.britt5

 

I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal – our daughters, parents, siblings, Marvin’s grandparents, and extended family were all there to witness this beautiful moment with us. There was one more special person that was there without my knowledge. Marvin had coordinated it so that my best friend, Alynsia, from Seattle flew in to witness and celebrate with us. She had been hiding out at a neighbor’s house!  It doesn’t get much better than that!

britt6Oh, but it does.

Marvin made reservations at a restaurant in St. Louis to celebrate. We ate on the rooftop with the Gateway Arch on one side and the St. Louis Cardinals playing a game on the other side of us. We were surrounded by our best friends and family. We ate, drank, danced, and watched fireworks from the rooftop.

I can’t tell you which team won the baseball game, but I can tell you that I felt like I had won the World Series that night!

I fall more and more in love with Marvin as each day passes. I absolutely cannot wait to say “I do” to my best friend when we return to good ol’ Cedar Rapids, IA to join in marriage in March 2014!

Time to GLOW!  by Tara

June24

four balloonsWe are big believers in family traditions. Every year we share one of our favorite Linn Area family traditions with our community – the Balloon Glow. This well-known event is part of Freedom Festival (it’s our favorite part, but we’re a little biased!). Heck, nearly 13,000 people enjoyed it last year alone!

For the 15th year in a row, we are the sponsors of this FREE family evening. Do note that it’s only FREE with your Freedom Festival button and buttons can be bought at the gate. Kids age 5 and under do NOT need a button! Balloon Glow will be held Monday, July 1st at Brucemore (it was originally on June 25th, but we had to postpone thanks to rain). Gates open at 5:30 pm. Additional details can be found here (parking, shuttle buses, etc.).

To say that this event “is for young and old alike” may sound super cheesy, but it’s the honest to goodness truth! I remember going on one of my first dates with my now husband to Balloon Glow. I packed us a picnic basket full of yummy treats and some choice beverages and away we went for a lovely evening of music and picturesque views.

And I can’t even explain to you how much the kids LOVE this event. Whether it’s running up foGreen Shirt cutier their 5th Linn Area hot air balloon tattoo, grooving along to the music or ohh-ing and aww-ing over the hot air balloons, kids totally dig this family night out.

This year you’ll be entertained from 7:00-10:00 pm by the foot tapping, chair dancing, make you want to DANCE sounds of the Lonesome Road. Voted KCRG A-List, Best Music category 2011 and 2012, this country band will surely impress even the toughest music critic. Their Facebook page has a ton of videos on it, so if you’re interested in getting yourself psyched up, go here for a listen!

Don’t forget to say hi to all the familiar Linn Area faces as you come in through the entrances! We’ll be the ones putting the hot air balloon tattoos on all willing participants! Around 40 of us will be there that night – even some of our very own family members will be lending a hand, as well!

Feel free to take pics and post them to our Facebook Page or Tweet at us with them.

Tell us in the comments below: What’s your favorite Balloon Glow memory?

Not just a bunch of hot air!  by Tara

June21

LACU Balloon The summer sun brings out all sorts of things: funnel cakes, sweet corn, carnies, flip flops, and (my personal fave) hot air balloons. Specifically, our Linn Area Credit Union hot air balloon!

But to call it “our” balloon isn’t entirely accurate. Maybe you’ve seen our colorful balloon soaring through the sky and thought to yourself, “Dang, those LACU employees sure are lucky to be able to ride in that gem whenever they want!” Not to take the hot air out of your balloon, but *sigh* we don’t get to ride in it. But wouldn’t that be the coolest way to arrive to work???

Here’s the real scoop:

Linn Area Credit Union basically rents space on the side of the balloon for our logo. The hot air balloon itself is actually owned and operated by Kevin Kamp of Balloon Travels, along with his father-in-law. They treat the hot air balloon as a for-profit hobby and they charge for rides. Linn Area Credit Union employees would have to pay $400 for a one hour ride just like any other passenger. Our executives have never been up in that sucker and, believe me, have no clue how to fly it.

As part of our contract with Balloon Travels, Linn Area Credit Union is allotted 5 rides a year to use at community events and give to charities. We use one of thoCSC_0182se rides each year at Balloon Glow, a Freedom Festival event we sponsor. (Go here to see pics from last year’s event!) Balloon Glow attracts between 13,000 and 14,000 community members each year for an evening of watching staked out hot air balloons, free kids activities, and a free live band on the lawn at Brucemore. (It’s actually on Tuesday, June 25th this year featuring Lonesome Road – click here for all the info!) We feel it is good advertising to have that many people aware that Linn Area Credit Union is sponsoring this wholesome family event and to have them looking at our logo for hours.

We also donate a hot air balloon glow each year during the Tanager Place “Summer Fest” fundraiser, which is a free event for kids in our community and raises money for children who are helped by Tanager Place’s services. Over the years we’ve also donated rides as a silent auction items for charities such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the American Cancer Society, and to area schools for their fundraisers. We promise that the hot air balloon being used for all good things and that our investment in it is limited to much less than the cost of running a billboard.

Whenever you see our hot air balloon in that blue sky, we want to know! Post a pic or video on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LinnAreaCU or mention us (@LinnAreaCU) in your Tweet!

Tell us in the comments below: If you had the chance, would you want to ride in hot air balloon??? Have you ever riden in a hot air balloon? We want to hear your experience!

Contest Winner: I Mustache For Your Advice!  by Tara

June17

And we have a WINNER in our Father’s Day “I Mustache For Your Advice” contest! Congratulations to…

Steve

“Whenever there is trouble, you can always come home.

I will ALWAYS be there.”

Well, Steve, we think Anna is pretty lucky to have you as a dad. :o) Enjoy your $200 Visa gift card!

Contest: I Mustache For Your Advice!  by Tara

June6

Father's Day Email image

Did your Dad ever give you advice that made you bristle, but once you had time to mullet over, you saw the wisdom? Then we mustache you a question…

What is the most memorable advice the dad in your life has given you? We want to hear it! One lucky papa will win a $200 Visa gift card.

Simply enter here and make sure to attach a picture of your dad (it doesn’t have to be related to the advice – unless the advice is to always have a mullet and then we insist!).

And, no worries, you can enter any guy who has been a father figure in your life (so you can nominate your husband, for example). Also, you do NOT have to have Facebook in order to enter. Heck, we don’t even  make you “like” us, even though we certainly like YOU!

You have until midnight on Sunday, June 16th (a.k.a. Father’s Day!) to get everything submitted! The winner will be selected on Monday, June 17th through a random drawing using on random.org. (Click here to enter!)

Don’t make it a close shave – enter today!

 

Step by Step: Updating your eBranch security  by Tara

June4

Hey eBranch users – yeah, we’re looking at you! (And you look fab, by the way!)

At Linn Area Credit Union, we are always looking for more powerful ways to secure your online data. As an additional security precaution, we just enhanced our eBranch authentication process. (Don’t feel like reading and want someone to just show you? No worries – we made a video. Click here or scroll down!)

This means that the first time you log in after May 30, 2013, you will be prompted to do the following two things:

  1. Select new security questions
  2. Choose a Security Phrase – The Security Phrase is a memorable phrase that YOU choose and will be completely visible on the Security Code page to verify that you are not on a phishing site. Make sure when you choose this phrase you do not use any sensitive information (account number, Security Code, or social security number). You know the image that used to pop up right before you got into your account? Well this phrase will REPLACE that image. I sure will miss looking at that soccer ball… we were tight.

There has been some confusion as to the difference between a Security CODE and a Security PHRASE, so let’s get that cleared up! Your Security Code is what most of us call our password; your Security Phrase is to verify the authenticity of the website (we don’t want you do be putting your info into a fake site!) and will be displayed in full each time you log into your account.

I made a quick video to walk you through the process – hope it helps!

Now wasn’t that fun??? As always, if you have any questions, we are happy to help! Please send us an email at hello@linnareacu.org or call 378-0101.

2013 Nom the Mom Adventure (Part 2)  by Tara

May20

It was about 10:30 on Friday the 10th of May and I had just finished surprising the winner of our 2013 Nom the Mom contest (click here to see the video). It was time to hand deliver gorgeous flower arrangements to our two runners up, Esther and Pat!

Esther was next on my list.

To be honest, Esther had the shortest entry to ever make it to the a finalist spot and the one that I knew the least about. Her son, Dale, nominated her, but he now lives in the Philippines so wasn’t able to be part of our surprise. I really wasn’t sure what to expect.

I pulled up to her driveway and instantly felt like I could have been outside my own Grandma’s house. On the porch sat a half dozen flower pots with blooming buds and a brightly colored rocking chair with a decorative pillow.

You know how walking into a stranger’s home can feel a wee bit, um, awkward? Nope, not at Esther’s house! Esther’s son, Charlie, met me at the door with a smile. As I stepped inside, it seemed as though I had popped into a regular family gathering. The woman of the hour, Esther, was seated in what I imagine is her favorite chair, covered with a light blanket. Her daughter, SharEstheron, and granddaughter (who doubles as her caretaker) were there as well. Oh, and we can’t forget Julie, Esther’s granddaughter’s adorable pup.

Esther’s family was so excited that she had not only been nominated, but was a finalist. They weren’t very familiar with the contest, so I pulled out the entry and read it out loud to the group. As I read the simple nomination, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Well, maybe Julie. ;o) (Read her nomination here.)

Esther Parents

Esther’s Parents

It was time to start digging in to learn more about this wonderful woman, 94 years young.  Esther was born on December 24, 1918. She came from humble beginnings on a German settlement in Missouri. Women didn’t have the right to vote, welfare was nonexistent, but people in this very poor settlement joined together to help one another. (Hmm… that sounds A LOT like our credit union’s entire foundation!)

Esther Kids

Esther’s 7 Kids

Esther gave birth to 7  – YES, SEVEN – kids: Charlie, Dale, Sharon, Doug, Vicky, Van and Denny. Extra bonus points go to Esther because Vicky and Van are twins. As if having 7 kids wasn’t a challenge in itself, their father was an alcoholic and left them.

But our heroine wouldn’t let that get her down. In 1954, she moved her family to Cedar Rapids to make a better life for the kids. She got a job working at Farmstead Packing, which was a meat packing company. For nearly 30 years, you could find Esther there packing pigs feet. Looking at this small framed woman, it is next to impossible to imagine her in that line of work. But she did what she needed to do to provide for her family.

She achieved quite an American dream in 1956 when she was able to buy a home for her family. In fact, this was the very home I was sitting in. Sharon began to talk about how when they moved in, they had no running water. She even went on to show me the bathroom that they later added on. It was a very monumental occasion!

5 Generations!!!

No matter the challenge Esther was faced with, she handled it with grace, something her children took to heart. Sharon recalled a story from her childhood. Though Esther’s family was poor, their neighbor was really, really poor. Around Christmas, a young neighbor so badly wanted to bake a cake for her parents, but couldn’t afford the sugar. And guess what? Even though money was scarce, Esther helped that little kid fulfill her Christmas wish. This story seems to perfectly sum up this amazing, selfless woman.

Esther 80 Bday 2

All 7 kids celebrating Esther’s 80th birthday

When you looked around Esther’s tidy little home, the very first thing you notice are pictures. She is literally surrounded by those who love her at all times, even if they aren’t there physically.

 

 

 

Let me break THIS down for you: Esther has 7 kids (ranging in age from 57 to 76), 26 grand kids, 33 great grand kids, and 22 great, great grand kids. That is a whole lot of limbs on her family tree, folks!

Esther had a tradition of making every single grandchild a quilt. The first Esther Quiltsthing you probably thought was, “Oh my goodness, Esther! That’s a pant-load of quilts, girl!” Okay, maybe that’s just me. But they showed me two of her quilts and, honestly, they were more like works of art. Every stitch hand sewn with intricate detail. Charlie had a very wise idea to start embroidering her name on each of the quilts so they can continue to be passed down for generations and generations to come.

In my short 60 minutes with Esther, I felt like even I became part of the family. She is warm, calm, and carries a strength in her eyes that you know is product of every challenge she’s ever conquered. It was nothing short of an honor to meet such an awe-inspiring woman.

PatMy final stop of this 2013 Nom the Mom adventure would be at Pat’s work. Unfortunately, she was very busy and unable to talk for very long. Though Pat and I didn’t have the opportunity to chat, I did talk with her daughter, Katie, a few times and know for certain that Pat has been an incredible mom. (Read her nomination here.)

On behalf of Linn Area Credit Union, thank you to all of you who have been part of this Nom the Mom adventure. Whether you nominated, voted, or just read along – THANK YOU! Start thinking now of who you want to nominate next year. ;o)

 

2013 Nom the Mom Adventure (Part 1)  by Tara

May16

Nom the Mom 2013 finalists blogOne of my favorite things about Linn Area Credit Union is that “We Are Family” isn’t just a tagline, but really, our lifeline. Family is our pulse.

Though we run lots of contests throughout the year, Nom the Mom is the one I look most forward to. Over the last three years we have been introduced to some extraordinary women and the people who love them. This year was no exception. (Click here to read about our our finalists from 2011, 2012 and, of course, 2013.) We had nearly 30 ridiculously wonderful moms nominated, which is actually a record number of nominations. (Want to see our other 2013 nominees? Go here!)

Just like you, when I woke up on Friday morning, I had NO clue which of our deserving finalists had won – Esther, Kaci, or Pat. The race had been too close to call the night prior. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I raced to my computer to pull up the contest software and – AHH – there she was. In the tightest race in our Nom the Mom history, Kaci emerged the winner by only 3 votes.

I hopped into my trusty car, pulled out my GPS (lovingly referred to as Lady Garmin), and began to plug in addresses. My 2013 Nom the Mom adventure was about to begin! Weeeeeee!!!

My first stop was Covington & Company, a fabulous little flower and event shop right by the Paramount in downtown Cedar Rapids. Because all of our finalists were outstanding, we wanted each these jaw-droppingly superb ladies to get something. Covington & Company designed stunning flower arrangements for the two runners up. Now, when I say stunning – I’m not over exaggerating, pinky swear. I was literally squealing with delight inside the shop!

You might be wondering how I go about tracking down each of the ladies. The day before the contest ends, I always contact each person who nominated a finalist and work with them to determine where their mom will be the following morning so I can surprise them either with the grand prize or flowers. The nominator is, of course, invited to be in on all the fun.

The first finalist I was scheduled to meet with happened to be Kaci, the WINNER! What a FUN way to kickoff the day!

Kaci has what I refer to as the “Unicorn Situation”. What on earth is that, Tara? When someone is nominated by their *wait for it* mother-in-law. Yeah, I’ll let that just soak in for a second.*pausing* Yep, totally my idea of a Unicorn Situation because that kind of thing just doesn’t happen.

Kaci was at work on that Friday morning, so Jan, her mother-in-law, met me in the parking lot of her workplace. Naturally, Jan’s first question was, “Did she win?!?!” I simply smiled, opened my trunk and showed her the beautiful City Looks Salon & Spa gift basket. She teared up, now knowing that her daughter-in-law had indeed won the Pampering Prize Package.

That’s when I found out that somehow my new chatty friend Jan had managed to keep the whole contest top secret. She didn’t even tell her own son (Kaci’s husband) or Kaci’s side of the family in fear that it would get back to her. That alone is amazing! (Read Kaci’s nomination here.) Jan reached out to everyone she knew, including her pastor. When he didn’t respond right away, well Jan went ahead and followed up with a “Hey, are you ignoring me?” email. Don’t worry – he ended up pulling through! Shoot, maybe he was one of the 3 votes that helped her win?? Can I get an Amen?!?

Since this was going to be a Kacicomplete surprise, we had to be pretty strategic. Jan had done some behind the scenes work the day before, collaborating with Kaci’s super cool boss. Kaci was pulled into “a meeting” *wink wink* with her boss, which was actually more of a ploy to make sure we would be able to reach her when the time was right. And, good golly, was the timing ever right. :o)

The receptionist called Kaci and her boss up to the front. Naturally, when Kaci saw her mother-in-law randomly there with a stranger (moi), she looked a little confused. Well, very confused. After I assured her that everything was okay, this is what happened:

Later that afternoon I got an email from Jan. In it she shared the text message that Kaci had sent shortly after we Kaci and Jan2surprised her:

“I am STILL in SHOCK and DISBELIEF and I feel like I should SHARE it with you… how stinkin CUTE!”

It is very easy to relate to Kaci. She is just like you and me – just a really GREAT mom who always, ALWAYS puts her family first. And thanks to the love and tenacity of her mother-in-law, Kaci will be able to put herself first, even if only for the duration of her 60 minute massage.

Congratulations to Kaci!

I figured that it would be pretty hard to top the energy of my meeting with Kaci, but was I ever surprised! My next stop was to meet Esther and, I am telling you, you are going to want to read about this dynamite lady.

Join us Monday for her story and to hear about the rest of my 2013 Nom the Mom adventure.

In the comments below, let us know how YOU spent Mother’s Day!

2013 Teacher of the Year: Tania Johnson  by Tara

May9

Teacher Appreciation Week is in full swing! Our Linn Area Credit Union roots are actually with teachers (see why here or find out about The Teacher Store here), so we especially ADORE this week. But enough about us. We are so proud to have Tania Johnson as a member! You might know her as the 2013 Iowa Teacher of the Year, but we like to think of her as family. :o)

Tania was kind enough to chat with us a little bit about her teaching experience and receiving such a prestigious honor! (Did you like that 50 cent word I threw in there??)

images

Left to Right: Gov. Terry Branstad, Tania Johnson 2013 Iowa Teacher of the Year, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. Photo credit: UNI.edu.

Who was your favorite teacher?
I had many favorite teachers so I can’t list just one. If I think about who my favorite teachers were and why. They were all my favorite for the same reasons, not because of how they taught me but because of the feeling they gave me … the feeling they really cared about me. From my favorite elementary teachers to my favorite middle school and high school  teachers, they all made a connection with me and showed they cared about me.

What made you decide to become a teacher?
I became a teacher because I had the opportunity to visit classrooms when I was in school and really liked helping the kids. I also think that the teachers I had influenced me to go into teaching. I had many experiences at UNI to find out I enjoyed teaching in the primary grades.

What is your favorite part of your job?
The kids and the families.

Where were you when you notified that you were Teacher of the Year?
The day after my interview I had a phone message from someone from Des Moines. I stopped at home to pick up the kids for piano, saw the message and returned the call in the car on the way to piano lessons. I didn’t realize it was “the call” since we weren’t supposed to find out for a week. When the person I was calling said, “Yes, this is Jason Glass, I called you.” I thought it might be and then when he said, “Congratulations!” I knew. I didn’t hear much more of what he said except that I couldn’t tell anyone until they announced it in September. So my family had to keep the secret for a month.

Who is the first person you told?
My kids were the first to figure it out, since they were in the car and heard me talking on the phone. I told my husband next. Everyone else had to wait.

How has this honor changed you?
I hope it hasn’t but I do believe this honor is going to give me the opportunity to learn a great deal about education in Iowa and the nation. I hope I can be a voice for teachers.

Were you nervous to accept the honor?
I was nervous to accept the honor and relieved to not have to keep the secret anymore. The best part about accepting the honor was being able to say thank-you to everyone who has been a part of making me who I am. Being the Teacher of the Year is not an honor that I have earned independently; so many people have encouraged, mentored, collaborated and worked with me over the years. I could not have done this alone.

Besides being named teacher of the year, what is your favorite memory from your career?
Too many memories of students to list ( great field trips, kindergarten excitement, seeing kids in public, getting National Board Certification, teaching overseas).

If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be doing?
I always thought I would be a vet because I love animals but in reality I can’t imagine not being a teacher.

Thank you so much to Tania and all the other AMAZING teachers out there! We appreciate ALL that you do!

 

Nom the Mom 2013: Meet the finalists!  by Tara

May3

MomsHoly buckets, you guys! We asked for stories about fabulous moms and, ohhh boy, did you ever deliver! We were overjoyed by the response we got for our third annual Nom the Mom contest (want to see the pics of some of our nominees? Go here!).

You know how Oscar nominees always say “It’s an honor just to be nominated!” Well, I think that that is particularly true in this contest. What mom wouldn’t want to hear how amazing she is??? So thank you to everyone who shared their lovely moms with us! I wish that we could have selected ALL of those that were nominated! But *sigh* it just isn’t possible.

So once again, I asked for a volunteer committee of five Linn Area employees to each separately review each entry and then submit their top 5 moms to me. A BIG thank you goes out to Jess (Finance), Stacey (Member Services), Debra (HR), Amy (Collections) and Matt (Compliance)! I complied their votes and the top 3 moms emerged to become your finalists in the Nom the Mom contest!

Now YOU have the toughest job of them all – CHOOSING the deserving mom who will win the Pampering Prize Package worth $250 (info on HOW to vote is right after the three stories).

Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Esther

The Mom: Esther

Nominated by: Dale (her son)

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. Prov. 31:10. For most of her 94 years Mom has fulfilled for us her children this proverb. She has taught us by her example good manners, to live quietly and honestly, and to be a faithful wife and parent her husband and children could safely trust. Her name is Esther(Click here to vote now for Ester!)

Kaci

The Mom: Kaci

Nominated by: Jan (her mother-in-law)

The “SPECIAL” in the MOM I NOM is the over the TOP LOVE she exemplifies. She is a MOM whose children are her EVERYTHING. She is teaching them so many dynamic characteristics they will need to face the upcoming challenges of our next generation. She LEADS by example teaching them healthy eating habits , physical exercise and discipline. They have to earn their screen time by eating five veggies a day. Today, she told her 4 year old son she needed to grab a bite to eat before they ran errands and he said: Have a SALAD mom w/tomatoes !! Since a very young age she has taught them to read, spell, and math. She has taken them to the library since they were very young also and the 4 year old has had his OWN library card for several months. He knows what area his books are in and knows how to check them out. She has taught them the value of money and saving. If they see a PENNY in the street they will pick it up and put it in their banks.. They enjoy recycling and going “GREEN”.She has taught them it is important to respect others and their property. I have to say that our daughter-in-law is ABOVE & BEYOND any MOM I could ever dream of to raise our grandchildren ~~ THE NEXT GENERATION… (Click here to vote for Kaci now!)

Katie

The Mom: Pat

Nominated by: Katie (her daughter)

I’m nominating my mom because she has been my teacher, best friend, counselor, provider, and protector. She was a single mother raising both my sister and I as well as holding two jobs to pay for everything. She has had a few health problems but despite it she started a support group and helped others even though she had her own that she was trying to deal with. She always taught us values growing up, right from wrong, and to be nice to everyone no matter what they’ve done. She’s been there for me listening to me rant and rave about life and giving me advice to help me through. She’s always patient and kind even to complete strangers. She has always provided me with everything I needed love, nurturing, clothes, a safe home, and money when I was a little low. She has been my protector through a lot from bad relationships to my health issues that I’ve been going through for the past couple years. I’ve never been able to get her a really great gift and I think this would be the best gift ever and it couldn’t go to a more deserving person then my mom. I love you mom and all the support you’ve given me through my life! (Click here now to vote for Pat!)

How to vote!

To vote, click here! Anyone at all can vote – whether you have Facebook or not (we made sure of it!). Only one vote per person! We will be watching IP addresses and reserve the right to remove any votes we believe are not in compliance with our rules, so please play fair!

The knock-your-socks-off mom that gets the most votes by midnight on May 9th will win a Pampering Prize Package worth $250! So please go vote and help one deserving mom have the best Mother’s Day ever!

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