Archive for Sunday, May 13, 2012

Readers share why they have the world’s greatest mom

May 13, 2012


Caring. Funny. Nurturing. A great cook. Awesome.

For Mother’s Day, the Lawrence Journal-World asked readers to tell us in 250 words or less why they have the best mom in the world — and we were not disappointed.

Some responses were adorable. Some funny. Some touching. Some all of the above. Thanks, moms, for everything you do for us.

• • •

I have the best mom ever. She cooks, cleans and does laundry. Like a normal mom. But then you put in everything else she does. She is a real jokester, plays and does laundry. Then the out of the ordinary things she does. She takes care of eight people (including her). And cleans my room for me! She goes to work almost every day, even on weekends. She keeps the house CLEAN! I don’t know how she fits everything in her schedule. She is working 24 -7! I love her so much. She is beautiful inside and out. Even without make-up. She buys me so many toys and takes me so many places. She has got talent and is super smart. I don’t know if she can get any more awesome than she already is. Stand back citizens, here comes the awesome train. The conductor is my mom. She has the prettiest smile and the most beautiful blue eyes. She is so sweet and caring and I love her so much.

— Fiona Swaggerty, 9, Sunset Hill School

• • •

My mom is awesome! Does she make mistakes? Yes, but that’s part of being human. My mom does a lot for me — she takes me to softball practice, volleyball practice, basketball practice, friends’ houses and so much more. She does her best to keep our house clean, take care of me and she helps me take care of our animals. My mom doesn’t just have a loving and kind heart to me but also to her students. When I am down she picks me up and gives me a shoulder to cry on when I need it. I know I don’t say it or show it near enough but I love you, mom. People say no two mothers can be alike, but that’s not going to stop me from trying to be like you as a mother. How do you do it all? Be an awesome mother, friend and teacher! No matter what I say, no matter what I do I really do love you!!

— Ellie Hill, 10, Sunset Hill School

• • •

What My Mom Means to Me

My mom means a lot to me. She makes us dinner, helps me to clean my room, and gives me rides to soccer practice. Mom has a great sense of humor, and loves to hear about things that happen to me at school. She is very open-minded, because back when I was begging for a pet hamster, I was sure she would say no. But mom said I could get one if I read up about them and found one I liked. I was very grateful, and have really enjoyed this last year because my hamster is by far my favorite animal in the house. Without mom, I wouldn’t have been allowed to keep her. If mom weren’t here, I wouldn’t have made a single decent grade on any of my tests, because she helps me study and work on the difficult parts until I have them memorized. I love her a lot, because she is devoted to family. She loves us more than anything, and I believe that if life could last a million years, she would never once think of abandoning dad, my brother and I. When mom and I get to be alone, I always feel comfortable telling her about everything that’s happening or bothering me. She’s a great listener, and I appreciate that. If there’s one person I trust with secrets, it’s her. Mom does not even have to promise, because I know she won’t tell. She is everything good, and more, all put together, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mom.

— Sabrina Eicher, 11, Sunset Hill School

• • •

Mom you’re the best thing in the world to me and dad. You’re very nice mom I love you. Mom and dad u take good care of me so I might do a lot of chores for you. Mom this is your son Koby good bye.

— Koby Aldrich, 10, Sunset Hill School

• • •

The Best Mom Ever

My mom is the best mom in the world! She does everything really good. Everyone who meets her loves her. She cooks and cleans. But that’s not the best part. She will never give up on you. If you need help, she will help whoever needs it the most. I love how creative she is. She is really funny and she tells the best jokes. What she really is good at is being a mom. She tries to do and be the best mom. My mom is worth a million bucks. But I would not sell her for any price. If you ever meet my mom you will love her. I love her because she’s my mom… and she cares about me. If you get hurt she will come and help. Now you know how important my mom is to me. She is the best and when I say best I mean it. I will always love her no matter what. But the reason I love her is because she my mom and she loves me.

— Cameron Kent, 10, Sunset Hill student

• • •

My mom is nice, awesome and smart! When I eat my mom always cleans up the dishes off the table, when I don’t want to clean the dishes. My mom keeps a roof over my head and when I walk home to my house I do my chores. My mom helps me clean stuff out of my room. What my mom always says is she wishes she could be rich. But stuff doesn’t always happen. To me I think her cooking is good. I like it when she makes that homemade chicken noodle soup — it is my favorite! I am thankful for the Xbox 360 she got me and it is fun to play. She cleans my bathroom and she does my laundry. She lets me go to my friend’s houses to play games or talk and she lets me walk home. She gets me new clothes and new shoes. When I get home I let my mom sleep or she watches her shows on TV, and I watch my shows or movies on TV too in my room. I love my mom a lot and I think she is the best mom ever!

— Christian Holding, 10, Sunset Hill student

• • •

In my mom’s garden, what grows?

Love grows!

In my mom’s oven, what bakes?

Love cakes!

— Jadelin McLeod, 10, Sunset Hill

• • •

My mom is amazing I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because she is gentle or possibly because she cooks wonderful food. I know she is amazing, wonderful and intelligent inside and out but that’s only half of what she is. She is many more wonderful things. My mom means the world to me because whenever I am having a hard time I know she is there to help me. She also does fun things with me she also has a great sense of humor. My mom always goes over and beyond with everything she does. That’s what my mom means to me.

— Emma Harris, 10, Sunset Hill

• • •

Impossible Task

How can you describe a mother whose career was her children,

Who tended scraped knees and listened to dreams with utter absorption? 

How can you put into words how she battled nightmares and bullies,

And teenage phases with unflappable wisdom and grace? 

What can be said about the family glue that bonded three children,

With vastly different personalities, interests, ages together?

That even as adults, love and respect each other,

Though they don’t always agree. 

Is it even possible to thank a mother,

Who has given of herself so completely that plans are forgotten,

Personal interests put on hold, everything is dropped,

In order to provide help to her grown child 2000 miles away? 

Who cares for a new grandchild- leaving home for days at a time-

So the baby does not have to be in the care of a stranger. 

How can you explain a mother who listens without judgment,

Offers advice without condescension,

Nods and smiles even when she must be dying inside? 

When circumstances turn out the way she feared,

Never says I told you so,

Even though she would probably like to! 

A woman who gives so entirely of herself,

That her children’s friends often remind them of how fortunate they are. 

Not because she is a ‘cool’ mom, or a snappy dresser,

Or gives them everything they want. 

But because she is what a mother is supposed to be….

Forever and ever….



How can you portray a mother like ours in 250 words?

— Clark, Craig and Courtney

• • •

My mom is the best because she loves me so much,

she reads me books, pushes my swing and takes me for pizza lunch!

My mom always has a smile on and knows how to make me laugh,

we have so much fun out in the yard and taking a bubble bath.

She even gave up a job she really liked to be at home with me,

Lawrence Free State students miss her a lot but it’s obvious you see.

That no matter how much time we’re together it’ll never be enough,

because she’s the only one who understands my games and all my goofy stuff!

You’re the best mom I could ever ask for and even when I’m mad,

I know you want what’s best for me, giving me what you never had.

So while you finish up your graduate degree at our favorite school KU,

please know I love you mom, now and forever, thank you for being you.

— Noah

• • •

Mom died two years ago this June. The most important thing she taught me is that women can be strong. She was a working woman but still managed, with Dad, to raise eight children. We were a military family and Dad was assigned to Poitiers, France, in 1960. When it became possible for us to join him some months later, Mom single-handedly took six of us, the youngest an infant, from Washington, DC, to Paris, where Dad met us. After several years at Ft. Riley, Dad went to Vietnam for a year and Mom, for the first time, learned to drive.

Dad returned safely but after several more years at Fr. Riley, Mom again became a temporary single parent of eight for a year when Dad got orders for Korea. For the first time since France, our family had to live off-post and my parents bought a house in Junction City. I know it was a difficult year for her with the combined pressures of first-time homeownership and solo-parenting teenagers and younger children.

She made sure in our family that boys did dishes and washed clothes, and girls mowed lawns. She and Dad were equal partners as spouses and parents. Years ago, an Italian friend told me I was only the second male feminist she’d ever met (the first was her husband). I told her that was thanks to both my parents, but especially Mom.

— Rich Crank, Lawrence

• • •

Better with age…

She moved with her family from Oklahoma in 1913 to Eudora. She graduated from Eudora High School, taught in a one room school, worked at the Eudora Cash Market (before women worked “out of the home”), she played the organ at church, got married, moved to Lawrence and raised three children. She was a “lunch lady” at CJHS for 25 years. She mourned the death of her parents, her husband, countless co-workers, siblings, neighbors, friends, and two of her children.

She taught me honesty, loyalty, generosity, sewing, gardening, reusing, friendship, love, how to pray, how to be thankful, how to laugh, and the value of hard work, and she is still teaching me these things every day.

She is my friend…..and in August she will be 105 years old.

I luv U Mom.

— Joyce Halderman, Lawrence

• • •

My mom homeschools me and she is the best teacher ever. I like that she homeschools me especially when we get to read books on the couch together. My favorite book series to read with her is the Hardy Boys. I like to go on errands with my mom because she is lots of fun and sometimes she gets me a little treat if it’s not too much money. My mom makes the best hamburgers and tacos in the world. She cleans and organizes better than any other Mom or Dad. I love my mom because she smells good and she loves me.

— Samuel Fox, 7 home school (mother: Laura Fox)

• • •

To Whom it May Concern,

I’d like to nominate my mom, Kay Grosshans. She truly puts others first before herself. We’ve lived in lovely Lawrence, Kan., for all my life, but my mother was born in Littleton, Colo. She is the oldest of four siblings, three other brothers. In 2007 my mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer, had surgery and radiation, a radical change of diet and yet her outlook is positive still today. She and my father raised my brother and I here in Lawrence, we love her to pieces of course. Growing up she helped with my Girl Scout troop, church activities, and her kindness is always apparent.

In the last five years, my mom and her friend Colleen have directed and organized the Operation Christmas Child donations at our church, Christ Community Church. Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is a gift-giving, gospel sharing program that gives children in countries all over the world presents for Christmas that would otherwise not receive any gifts. OCC is operated by Samaritan’s Purse, a non-profit international organization for giving. So not only does she love and nurture her own children, grandchildren and friends, my mom helps children in other countries she hasn’t even met, in hopes that they would have some joy from opening a present on Christmas morning.


Sarah Grosshans Harris, Lawrence

• • •

My Mom!

My mom is so cool! Her job is that she is a part-time lawyer, but she also loves to run marathons! She likes to eat fruit and veggies! She loves me and takes care of me! So as you see my mom is awesome!! PS - My mom is running a marathon for her anniversary!

— Ian Haas, fourth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

Dear Mom,

I know I sometimes complain,

but it’s plain to see how you really love me.

I know I’m sometimes bad,

but you’re not mad.

I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s left to say,

but I love you anyway.

I’m going to strain to see your plane.

You are also loved from above.

I know it’s not very clever,

but you’re the best mom ever.

I’ll love you forever and ever.


Charis Arielle Nadvornik

— fourth-grader, Veritas Christian School

• • •

Moms are.....

Mom’s kind, caring, always sharing.

Mom’s cool, nice, hates mice.

Mom’s loving, sometimes embarrassing,

but I always love you in my heart.

— Andrew Windheuser, fourth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

Poem for Mom

Moms are great.

Moms are neat.

My mom is going to beat your mom’s beat.

You need to see those feet.

She wants a jeep.

I think that is neat.

She wants a boat.

I hope it will float.

— Harrison Hartzler, fourth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

My mom is the best mom. She always allows me to have a snack and play, and she buys toys for me. She is the best cook. She makes meals like roasted chicken, rice, potatoes, and Greek salad. She is also a good Christian and has a company called Joyful Noise Music Academy. She is also a good musician and a good singer. My mom is the best mom ever.

— Ethan Bernet, fourth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

My Mom

My mom loves hugs

not ugly, ugly rugs.

My mom mows

in nice neat rows.

My mom takes me out for lunch

and lets me go munch munch.

My mom tucks me in for the night

and says, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

My mom makes nice warm stew

and gives me candy too.

My mom likes making a shake

and then we go eat a cake.

My mom lets me go Nom Nom

I really love my mom!

— Ben Burger, fourth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

My mom is the best mom in the world. My dad is the best dad in the world because they really work hard to get a roof over our heads and to get us food and water and to get us toys and games and cars and electricity. My parents are so nice. They buy us all sorts of things, and they take us to fun places. I think my parents are the best.

— Josh Monarez, fourth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

My Mom

She helps me with my math homework

(which is totally boring)

She cleans up my mess when I spill

on the flooring.

She helps me when I’m in fights with peeps

and buys me cool stuff (which, sadly, is sometimes cheap).

She helps when I’m mad

and always comforts me when I’m sad.

She plays board games with us

She wins all the time, which makes us fuss.

She cooks really good spaghetti and bread,

so then we all go to bed well fed.

My mom is great, she’s the best.

She loves me, my brother, my dad and all the rest.

Except when she embarrasses me,

she is a really good mom, can’t you see?

I love my mom!

— Hope Gregory, fourth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

Three Reasons I Love My Mom

I have three reasons why I love my mom. Those three reasons are she’s nice, cool and loving. The first reason is my mom is nice. She is nice because she hardly yells at me. The second thing is that my mom is cool. She is cool because she never embarrasses me. The third reason is she is loving. She loves me because she always helps me when I’m hurt. I love my mom because she takes care of me.

— CJ Van Donge, fourth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

My mom is nice, loving, cool, awesome, caring, the best, and I love her. My mom lets me watch PG-13 movies. She helps me when I need help. My mom lets me play video games. She comforts me when I’m hurt. My mom lets me eat lots of pizza. My mom buys my favorite things at the store. She buys me baseball cards, video games and my little pizzas. She gives me nice presents. My mom is amazing, good, and the best mom in the world.

— Den Jackson, fourth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

My Mom

She makes me food.

She takes me out.

She is not rude.

She gives me money.

She likes me alot.

She calls me honey.

She likes warm peaches and cinnamon.

She takes me to games.

My mom’s not lame!

— Lydia Bond, fourth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

Mother’s Day message about my mom:

Mom makes me smile. When I was a child, she encouraged me. She still does.

Mom was always positive and helped me see that God created me for a purpose. She still does.

When I was down, mom always made me feel better, either with a warm word or a helpful hand. She still does.

She scratched my back to relax me, tucked me in at night to comfort me, held me when I was sick to soothe me, and told me every night that everything would be all right to calm me.

Mom never tires, giving herself fully to her children, and as we grew up, our spouses, her grandchildren, and of course her husband of 48 years.

Mom is a reflection of what God desires for each of us here on earth, living a life devoted to love and the service of others.

What a blessing to be called my mother’s child.


Craig J. Campbell, Olathe

(Mom: Kay Campbell, Lawrence)

• • •

A-mazingly fast

N-atural runner

N-o one can compare

I love my mom so much. There are many reasons why I love her. She is always nice. She cares for me when I’m sick. She helps me with my homework. She is very generous. She multi-tasks all of the time; my mom is amazing. I could not have asked for a better mom.

My mom is an awesome runner. She helps me to run and coaches me for distance. She ran a marathon once and was very fast. She also has run in many half-marathons. My mom has a full schedule. First thing in the morning she gets me ready for school. Then she will run a short 3-5 mile run. After that, she goes to work. She owns her own store. After work she picks me up from school. She will take me to soccer or track practice. She helps to coach my track team. After that she makes dinner. Then she helps with homework and puts me to bed. My mom is awesome, and I love her very much.

— Kristian Andersson, sixth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •







I have the best mom ever. She can bring a smile to my face. She helps me when I am hurt or am having trouble. She buys me things I need. She puts wonderful food in my stomach. My mother is such a great helper. She gives me advice. I LOVE my mother!

— Paxton Brittingham, sixth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •


A-lways there



My mom is the best

She drives me to school each day

She is a great mom

— Andrew Burger, sixth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •





Moms are great

My mom is too

If you were her child

You’d love her too

— Micah Burman, sixth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •





There are three reasons why my mom is the best. She is great because she works so hard, she finds time for kids, and she’s very funny. One reason she is great is because of how hard she works. She is dedicated to her job and loves doing it. She also is very organized when she does work. Another reason why my mom is the best is because she always has time to talk with my siblings and me. She always comes to our sporting events and does activities with us. The final reason she’s the best is because she is funny. She can always take a negative situation and turn it into a positive one. These are the reasons my mom is the best. I hope you think she’s great too!

— Ike Dwyer, sixth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •



N-ever selfish


My mom is always nice

Her love will more than suffice

She helps me study for tests

To have her, I’m so blessed

She loves me through and through

And tells me, “I love you”

She never gets too mad

And she really loves my dad!

— Remington Eakin, sixth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

M-akes me smile

O-utstanding person

T-errific on the inside and outside

H-as a caring, tender heart

E-xcellent in everything

R-eally cares for me

My mother is like the stars

dazzling down at me

watching my every step

saying, “I love you, my dearie”

My mother is like a book

so many stories on every page

no matter where I go

her words will never fade

My mother is like an eagle

Soaring high above

From the sky to earth below

She covers me with love

Happy Mother’s Day!!

— Katelyn Hammer, sixth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

T-ogether forever

A-very good listener

R-eady to help

A-lways a great mom

When I’m having a bad day

She says it will be okay

When I have a frown

She turns it upside down

When I have a need

She’s always there for me

When I do a wrong

She’s who I depend on

I’m very glad to have her

My awesome mom forever

— Chloe Holland, sixth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •




D-a’ best mom ever


Moms are amazing

Moms are great

Mine is the best

And that’s no fake

— Elisa Jalenak, sixth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •








My mother is very nice

And helps me when I’m sad

She’s patient if I ask twice

And even when I get mad

— Jessie Swisher, sixth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •


N-ever leaving




A-lways there for me

I love my mom. There are many reasons why I love her. One reason is because whenever I need her, she is there for me. If I’m sick, she knows just what to do. The second reason is just because she loves me. I think that makes her really awesome. I love her too. The final reason she’s #1 mom is because she lets me do lots of different things. She teaches me lots about God and helps me with my homework. I love my mom a lot.

— Emma Wilson, sixth grade, Veritas Christian School

• • •

My mom is special because every May she gets the pool ready. Every birthday she will get water balloons and a bouncy house

for my party. My mom also lets me ride my horse sometimes.

— Hunter Clifton, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is special because she is nice and she buys me ice cream

Bars. When I get an A+ she gives me root beer. Last summer

We went swimming.

— Carl McCoy, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is a number one mom because she helps me with my

Homework; yesterday she did it with me. I love my mom very much.

Sometimes she pushes me on the highest swing in my backyard and

I jump off.

— Ella Besler, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is a number one mom because she buys me special

Shoe laces. They are cute.

— Kaylee Moseley, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is special because she buys me new clothes every year.

She also takes me out to eat. My mom taught me how to tie my

Shoes and she will buy me an iPod. I love my mom.

— Emily Hetherington, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is a number one mom because when I am sick she takes

Care of me. She gives me food and water and covers me up and lets me

Watch TV, it is fun. I love my mom. When I have a nightmare she gives

Me a hug.

— Tera Meyer, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is a number one mom because she helps my booboo and

When I have nightmares, she makes me feel better. My mom loves

Me very much and I love her very much.

— Christian Conklin, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is special because she plays with me outside. When I have

Nightmares, she makes me feel better and gives me a drink.

— Garrett Kuntz, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is special because she takes me to the store and gets me books,

Candy, and clothes. She takes me to baseball games. My mom cooks for me;

She makes cookies and chicken. I like it.

— Jack Golden, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is special because she helps me when I get booboos. My mom buys me

Toys and candy, she loves me with all her heart. She takes care of me when I am sick.

We play games, she also makes me food.

— Ruby Johnson, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is a number one mom because she takes care of me when I am sick and

She cleans my house. My mom cooks dinner for me and my family and she buys

Me clothes.

— Boyd Sollars, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is a number one mom because she gets me toys and DS games. She is a

Nice mom to me and my brother. She is nice to me all of the time.

— Kaylee Spreer, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is a number one mom because when my brother does something wrong

I tell on him because he brings stuff on the couch like food and toys so when I get home

I have to tell on him and my mom punishes him.

— Isaac Spradling, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is a number one mom because she helps me on my homework

And she helps me get it done. My mom helps me tie my shoes and she

Is a nice mom.

— Jessica Hamm, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is a number one mom because she gives me lots of stuff for

Christmas. She even gets nice clothes for me. I love her very, very much.

She loves me.

— Kael Gorski, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is a number one mom because she buys me a lot of clothes and she

Buys me a lot of toys and she will buy me a cake on my birthday and she helps

Me with my homework.

— Telisha Haverkamp, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

My mom is a number one mom because she makes me food and she buys me

Clothes and brings me toys. I put my clothes away to help her. I help her do

Laundry. My mom and I clean the house together.

— Randy Gutherie, first grade, Perry Elementary School

• • •

Mother’s Day

My mom is the best. Because she used to teach high school, and whenever I have homework she helps me. Every day my mom teaches me Arabic because I’m gonna go back to Saudi Arabia and everyone there speaks Arabic. Plus if I write Arabic Mom pays me. Mom cooks for me and when I ever need to buy something, mom drives me there. Mom buys me shirts and pants. Mom cares about me because I’m her son. Whenever I’m stuck mom helps me get out of the problem. If my mom never existed I would never be here. Mom doesn’t like when I’m sad so she cheers me up. When I’m sick mom takes care of me until I get better. When I get good grades mom gives me money or a really cool present! Mom really wants me to be a happy person and if I’m not mom will do anything to make me happy. Mom cleans the house so we can be free. I trust my mom because she never lied and when she promises she does it. Mom tries her best to give me a happy life. Mom makes sure I’m as healthy as I can be. Mom makes sure I’m not fat or skinny. She wants me to be perfect. Mom doesn’t want my life to be normal. Mom wants my life to be awesome! Mom makes sure I’ve done my homework because mom wants me to have a great future.

— Abdullah Alhazmy, fifth grade, Cordley School

• • •


My mom is spectacular because she is my best friend. She always makes me feel better when I am down. My mom does funny impressions and they always make me laugh. Her funniest impression is from the movie “The Aristocats.” She always comes to my softball and basketball games, and she always cheers the loudest for me. My mom also is the best cook ever, like her chicken noodle soup, stirfry, and her fried chicken. My mom helps me when I’m stuck on homework.

I remember a game my mom would play with me. I would hide under a towel, and then she would say “Oh look, a piece of laundry,” then she would pick me up and carry me into her bedroom, then she would tickle me to death. My mom and I have a lot of things in common like we both love to read, we like cooking, we both like to watch movies together, and we always shout when we watch KU games together.

I love my mom, and I hope she knows that too. That’s why my mom is spectacular!

— Olivia Percich, fifth grade, Cordley School

• • •

My Mom

My mom is the best because she bought me my Xbox and my games and she helped me through thick and thin. She has been a great mom. When my dad left for Iraq she held me tight until he came home. Here is a story. When I was a little kid, my dad left for Iraq and I said, “Mom, where is dad going?” She said, “to fight for us, son. For us and the country.” She held me and I cried for the rest of my life until he came back.

—Tucker Worley, fifth grade, Cordley School

• • •

My Mom is the Bomb

My mom is awesome! She lets me get all muddy in our back yard and have all my friends over. My mom does everything she can for me. When I’m upset she helps me through it. Once I asked her if my cousin, my brother and I could play in the garden, because we wanted to look for worms. But we ended up pouring a bunch of water in it and we were knee deep in mud, but all she said was that we had to hose off before we went in. Another time I fell off my bike and landed on my arm. She told me to sit down and not to move it. She gave me an ice pack, asked if I thought it was broken and if we needed to go to the hospital. She cared for me as much as possible. I love my mom. She loves me no matter what. When I was little I hid from my parents and they couldn’t find me. They looked in the closets, they looked under the beds, they looked in the cabinets, but they couldn’t find me. My mom began to think I had gotten out of the house. But the thing was that we the bathroom door leaning against the wall and I was between the door and the wall. My mom was relieved. That’s why my mom is the bomb!

—Taylor Burks, fifth grade, Cordley School

• • •

My mom is the best because whenever we are together she always makes me laugh. When my mom has time, we like to watch movies together. I also love my mom because she buys me clothes and jewelry. My mom is the best because she always bakes me a delicious cake when it’s my birthday. I love my mom because she is the only one that makes me happy and the only special person to me. Another thing that my mom does for me is that she always makes food for my family and me, and that is what really matters. I love it when my mom sings to me because it calms me down. I love it when my mom has time to be with me. We have a lot of fun together. I like helping my mom in the kitchen. I hope she appreciates my help. I’m just glad to write this letter so I can say THANK YOU MOM FOR ALL THE THINGS YOU’VE DONE AND ALL THE THINGS TO COME, AND I LOVE YOU AND I HOPE WE STAY TOGETHER!!!

—Mariela Martinez, fifth grade, Cordley School

• • •

Mother’s Day

My mom is amazing because she will help with any problem, whether it’s homework or if I’m sick. She is also the best because she takes my sister and I to her office at KU. She supports me. No matter what project or sport I want to do, she is always there. Even though I have to do chores, I think it’s OK because it teaches me responsibility. My mom also cooks, even though my dad is a chef. My mom took my sister and I to Texas. When I was younger, my mom would read stories to me. She answers my questions the best she can — no matter how crazy they are! She helps me cheer up whenever I’m feeling down. She makes sure I know what we should be grateful for. My mom can take care of a crazy 13-year-old (my sister) and myself — a stupendously wacky 10 3/4-year-old (almost 11!). My mom helps me remember that the best things in life are free. I think she is worth more than one million dollars.

— Hannah Levy, fifth grade, Cordley School

• • •

My Grandma

My grandma is excellent. She is friendly, mindful, lovable and respectful in many ways. I remember the time she took me to Worlds of Fun for my birthday and we rode the Mamba together, and the whole time she held on to my hand and screamed.

She is helpful and respectful to the community all around us. She is currently volunteering at the Willow Domestic Violence Center. She has also volunteered in downtown Lawrence to help plant flowers in the plant potters along the streets.

I think the Willow is a very sophisticated and helpful business to the women in need of care.

My grandma was also nominated for a Douglas County helpful volunteering workmanship.

I would really like to give her a great present for Mother’s Day. Because I love and respect her in many ways. Like the time she was sick and I made her food all day that half the time she didn’t eat but I was okay with that. I cleaned up after her, gave her warm and cold washcloths for her forehead.

That’s why I really think she deserves to be published in the newspapers

— Sebastian Brown, fifth grade, Cordley School

• • •


My mom is the best because she bought my gecko Nico. And she’s letting me go to Worlds of Fun with my cousin Grant and maybe my other cousins Micheal and Joshua. Mom also makes awesome chocolate chip COOKIES! that taste so good.

Mom went to Gabon for the Peace Corps. Mom had to learn French because that’s what they speak in Gabon.

My mom’s a teacher at West Middle School. She teached eighth grade science. West is located by Centennial Park.

Mom’s great because she takes care of our house, cooks for us, and works a full time job.

Conclusion time: Mom = Awesome period.

— Liam Hoey-Kummeron, fifth grade, Cordley School

• • •

Mama’s Mama, on a winter’s day,

Milked the cows and fed them hay,

Slopped the hogs, saddled the mule,

And got the children off to school.

Did a washing, mopped the floors,

Washed the windows and did some chores.

Cooked a dish of home-dried fruit,

Pressed her husband’s Sunday suit,

Swept the parlor, made the bed,

Baked a dozen loaves of bread.

Split some wood and lugged it in,

Enough to fill the kitchen bin,

Cleaned the lamps and put in oil,

Stewed some apples she thought might spoil,

Churned the butter, baked a cake,

Then exclaimed: “For Mercy’s sake,

The calves have got out of the pen!”

Went out and chased them in again.

Gathered the eggs and locked the stable,

Returned to the house and set the table,

Cooked a supper that was delicious,

And afterwards washed all the dishes,

Fed the cat, sprinkled the clothes,

Mended a basket full of hose,

Then opened the organ and began to play,

“When You Come to the End of a Perfect Day.”

— Author unknown

(Submitted by Sherrill Mercer, Lawrence)

• • •

Peggy Lee

Fargo, ND in 1936, I was 6, my brother Duane Lee was 4, my Mom Magda “Peggy” Grant, and my 16-year-old aunt Edna were living in a two-room apartment with a closet that served as a bedroom for my brother and me.

Life became more interesting when a young 16-year-old runaway named Norma Deloris Egstrom rented a small room next door to us. She was pretty, quiet, and shy. Shortly after she moved in, some of the women in the apartment building decided that they wanted her to move. Being too pretty, too young, and not in school, she was seen as a danger and a distraction to the men in the building.

I remember Norma coming to Mom in tears asking for help. She explained that she had had a tough life with a stepmother who was “cruel” and she had to strike out on her own. My mom had quit school when she was 13. Her dad had been killed in a hunting accident and, as the oldest of nine children, the job of running the farm had fallen on her. Mom listened and took Norma under her wing. She stopped the petition that was being circulated by going door to door and talking to the wives who saw Norma as a problem.

As the weeks passed, Mom, Norma, and Edna had many long discussions trying to figure out how best to use the meager resources Mom was so willing to share. With two small rooms I was witness to Mom’s generosity and her concern for the welfare of others, a concern she passed on to me. (Ultimately I would carry my concerns to extremes and end up in prison. Guilty, unashamed and, in some circles, understood.)

My brother and I shared a closet for a bedroom. Norma’s room was on the other side of the closet wall. If Duane and I were noisy or misbehaving, Norma would knock on the wall and say, “Settle down, boys,” and we would settle down. Frequently she would sit with us. Duane attracted women. He had large brown eyes and eyelashes that women always noticed and praised. She would sing for Duane and he loved it. Norma finally got a job singing at WDAY radio, which was only three blocks away from where we lived. In fact, Mom worked nightly scrubbing floors in the Black Building, home to radio station WDAY, a nine-story building that was Fargo’s only “skyscraper.”

One afternoon I was hanging around when Norma came walking down the street like she owned it.

“Is Peggy home,” she asked? She wasn’t.

“Would you tell her to check the marquee of the Powers Hotel when she gets home?”

I waited until Norma went inside and quickly ran the two blocks to Broadway. The Powers Hotel was a block to the right. On the marquee in huge letters was:




Norma Egstrom had changed her name to Peggy Lee: Mom’s name and Duane’s middle name. She had been advised to change her name and again turned to Mom. I recall Mom saying that no one deserved success more than Norma did. In those days nothing was more important than having a job. So many were unemployed and poor. So many were homeless.

Later that day after everyone had seen the marquee we had a little party with cake, coffee, and much hugging and tears. Many years later I asked Mom if Peggy Lee ever contacted her.

“She has called,” Mom recalled, “more frequently many years earlier, but she never forgot those difficult days.”

My Norwegian immigrant mom. Our 100-pound heavyweight. RIP 1904 - 2002

— Joe Grant, Lawrence


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