Get to know the authors behind the parenting column

Laurie Gauger-Hested

My husband, Michael, and I have a blended family: my two 20-somethings, Anna and Philip, and his preteen son, Sam.

Anna (23) is pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in painting at Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Phil (21) is finishing his Bachelor of Music in theory/composition at St. Olaf College. Sam (11) plays whatever sport is in season plus piano and trombone. Reggie, our handsome bichon-poodle, offers sweet furry friendship to all.

My present parenting load is pretty light, actually. Anna and Phil are independent, living mostly at school. Sam already has two wonderful parents, so as his stepmom, I simply add to the love, offering whatever he needs, from clean sheets to cheers from the bleachers.

St. Paul, New Ulm, Minn.

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Rev. Rob Guenther

My wife, Becky, and I met in college and married almost 6 years after we met on July 27, 2002, which means that we’ve now been together longer than we’ve been apart. God has blessed us with four wonderful boys: Josiah (10), Jacob (8), Judah (4), and Joel (1). We also have a family cat named August who loves our boys, but me . . . not so much.

Grace, Kenai, Alaska

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Ann Jahns

I started dating my husband, Thad, when we were both freshmen at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, and we married the December after we graduated. We have three boys: Ethan, Micah, and Jonah. Micah and Jonah are both students at Wisconsin Lutheran College, where Ethan recently graduated. Thad is the director of career development at Wisconsin Lutheran College, and I am the director of marketing and communications at WLCFS-Christian Family Solutions in Germantown, Wis.

Shepherd of the Hills, West Bend, Wis.

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Wendy Heyn

Husband Juerg—a German national. We’ve been married 10 years.

Sophia (9)—loves to read, especially historical fiction. Loves science and math and horses. Speaks German and English fluently and has been blessed to spend all of her summers in Germany. 11 trips there and back so far. Liam (7)—A happy, social little boy who learns something new every day. Liam loves books, especially Pete the Cat. Liam has Mecp2 Duplication Syndrome, which causes severe cognitive and physical disabities. Miriam (almost 3)—Miriam is a precious gift to us through adoption. Every day we marvel at the amazing plans of God in bringing her to our family. Miriam loves to take care of and play with her big brother. She works hard to keep up with Sophia too. As a result, Miriam also loves horses, and she pretends to read all the time! Miriam has only been to Germany 3 times, but she hopes to catch up to her older sister some day!

St. John, Lannon, Wis.

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Rev. Jonathan Bourman

I’m married to Melanie nee Rathje now for almost 10 years. We have a two-year-old daughter named Elliana. We also are the happy owners of a 6-year-old Goldendoodle named Callie. We love to read books together, sing songs, take walks, and have dance parties in the living room either to Cold Play’s It’s a Sky Full of Stars or basically anything from Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. Yes, it’s ok to admit that as long you do it only because you have a two-year-old daughter . . . right?

Peace, Aiken, S.C.

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Jenni Schubring

My husband of 15 years is Tad
Silas is 13
Micah is 12
Sylvia is 9
Abel is 6
We are in year 5 of our homeschooling journey.

St. Mark, DePere, Wis.

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Mary Clemons

My husband of 38 years is a pastor at Grace, Tucson. My son and wife, Ben and Karyn Clemons, along with their children Olive, 4; Ramona, 2 1/2; and Julius, 6 months, reside in New Ulm, Minn. My daughters, Bettina and husband Kent Winfrey and Meg and Paul Smith and daughter Azara, 6 months, live in Los Angeles, Calif. We enjoy visiting all three of the very different WELS churches they attend.

Grace, Tucson, Ariz.

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Dan Nommensen

Married to my lovely and patient wife Kelly. We have two awesome and fantastic kids—Josh (almost a teenager) and Kayla (now suddenly a teenager). No pets—haven’t found a hairless animal that we like yet. We love long walks on the beach as long as the garden hose stays in the sandbox long enough. But most importantly we all know Christ crucified and his perfect love for us.

Calvary, Thiensville, Wis.

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Kerry Ognenoff

Married to Andy for almost 11 years; daughter Anna; son Henry; and a cat that fancies himself a pillow with four legs.

Grace, Milwaukee, Wis.

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Rev. James Aderman

Married since 1972 to Sharon; three daughters and eight grandchildren

Fairview, Milwaukee, Wis. (although I recently retired, so Sharon and I are church-shopping in the area because it would not be healthy for Fairview to have their former pastor hanging around)

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Sarah Reik

A graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, Wis., Sarah is a licensed professional counselor. She received her MS in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sarah has 15 years of experience counseling individuals, couples, and families both in her own private counseling practice and as a counselor for WLCFS-Christian Family Solutions. Through her work with WLCFS, Sarah givespresentations on bullying and a variety of other topics.

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Ann M. Ponath

Ann M. Ponath and her husband, David, and their four children, ages 20-11, may be found poolside, courtside, fieldside, concertside, or napping in Stillwater, Minn. They are members of Christ, North St. Paul/Hugo.

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Sheryl Cowling

Sheryl Cowling is a licensed clinical social worker who is also board certified as a professional Christian counselor and expert in traumatic stress. She provides counseling services at Christian Family Counseling, a ministry of WLCFS—Christian Family Solutions.

Crown of Life, Hubertus, Wis.

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Aaron Bauer

Aaron and his wife, Sara, have four children between the ages of four and eleven. The couple has been teaching Love and Logic parenting classes for the past eight years. Aaron teaches at Garden Homes, Milwaukee, Wis.

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Carly Seifert

Carly and her husband, Joel, live in Bozeman, Mont. Joel is the pastor of Shining Mountains Lutheran Church. In addition to teaching piano, Carly is a freelance writer. She and Joel have two children—Ella, who is seven, and Benjamin, who is three.

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Rachel Learman

Rachel is married to Pastor Paul Learman who shepherds Divine Peace Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, Wis. They have four children: Cadence, age 8; Hudson, age 6; Thatcher, age 5; and Everett, age 2.

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Brian Heinitz

Brian and his wife, Sue, have four children and are members of Mt. Olive, Las Vegas, Nev.

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