Get to know the authors behind the parenting column

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.

Laurie Gauger-Hested WriterRead Full Bio

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

Rev. Rob GuentherWriterRead Full Bio

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.

Ann JahnsWriterRead Full Bio

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.

Wendy HeynWriterRead Full Bio

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.

Rev. Jonathan BourmanWriterRead Full Bio

I have been married to Tad for almost 18 years. We have 5 children—4 biological and our niece, who we welcomed into our family in January 2017. Our children range in age from 8-16. Sometimes we have other children under our roof  as well because we are licensed foster parents. Our children have attended parochial school, home school, charter school, and public school depending on their needs. I am a life coach, Bible study leader, and speaker.

St. Mark, DePere, Wis.

Jenni SchubringWriterRead Full Bio

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.

Mary ClemonsWriterRead Full Bio

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.

Dan Nommensen WriterRead Full Bio

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.

Kerry OgnenoffWriterRead Full Bio

Married since 1972 to Sharon; three daughters and eight grandchildren

Siloah, Milwaukee, Wis.

Rev. James AdermanWriterRead Full Bio

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.

Sarah ReikWriterRead Full Bio

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.

Ann M. PonathGuest writerRead Full Bio

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.

Sheryl CowlingWriterRead Full Bio

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.

Aaron BauerGuest writerRead Full Bio

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.

Carly SeifertGuest writerRead Full Bio

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.

Rachel LearmanGuest writerRead Full Bio

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

Brian HeinitzGuest writerRead Full Bio

Emily and her husband, Johnold, have been married for 17 years and have four children–Lydia, 13; Julia, 9; Kurt, 4; and Claire, 2. They are members of Crown of Life, Hubertus, Wis., where Johnold serves as pastor.

Emily StreyGuest writerRead Full Bio

Sallie Draper and her husband of 24 years, Kevin, live in New Ulm, Minn., where they both work from their home for the WELS Technology office. Parents to three sons, they are excited to add two daughters-in-law to the family during the summer of 2017.

Sallie DraperGuest writerRead Full Bio

Gail and her husband, Phil, have three adult children—two daughters and a son—and eight grandchildren.

Gail PotratzGuest writerRead Full Bio

Kristi is in her twelfth year of teaching mathematics at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, Wis. When she isn’t in the classroom, Kristi enjoys assisting with worship planning and communications at St. John, Wauwatosa, Wis.

Kristi MeyerGuest writerRead Full Bio

Dave and Joyce Payne are blessed with an active family of four children and two grandchildren. Dave just finished his 36th year of ministry at Fox Valley Lutheran  High School in Appleton, Wis., where he serves as the Communications Director.

Dave PayneGuest writerRead Full Bio

Rachel spent the first seven years of her career teaching first, second, and third graders in the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District. She and her husband, Matt, decided that she would start staying home with their children when they had their third child in 2016. Avery is age 6; Levi, age 3; and Haley, age 1. Matt took a new job in Green Bay, Wis., in May 2017, so the family is chasing its dream of living in the country and having some animals.

Rachel BlumGuest writerRead Full Bio

Sarah and her husband, Frank, live in Merton, Wis., with their four children—Mateo, 11; Zoe, 9; Adalyn, 6; and Lucas, 3.

Sarah HaeuserGuest writerRead Full Bio

Rev. Stephen Geiger and his wife, Anna, have been married for 11 years and have been blessed with six children – Eliana, 10; Isaiah, 9; Micah, 7; Josiah, 5; Mariah, 3; and Elisha, 1.

Rev. Stephen GeigerGuest writerRead Full Bio

Amanda and her husband, Frank, are high school sweethearts, and she notes, “We wouldn’t have believed you if you told us where we would be today. God works with simple people in unexpected but glorious ways! Through many adventures and life lessons God has led us through the country and even China to serve his kingdom.”

Amanda RoseGuest writerRead Full Bio

Liz Schroeder declares herself “one of God’s messy children who has been shown grace upon grace.” Her mountainside retreats include CrossFit, journaling, and hiking . . . on mountainsides.  She lives with her husband, John, and five kids in Phoenix, Ariz., where they passionately serve as lay leaders at CrossWalk Church.

Liz SchroederGuest writerRead Full Bio

Adam and his wife, Stephanie, have been married for 14 years and have been blessed with four children–Samuel, 12; Joel, 10; Alexis, 8; and Micah, 5. They are members at St. John, Wauwatosa, Wis. He is supervisor in the Ministry of Christian Giving office at WELS Center for Mission and Ministry.

Adam GoedeGuest writerRead Full Bio

David is a member at Christ, North St. Paul, Minn., and a graduate of St. Croix Lutheran High School. He is currently in his last semester at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he is working towards a Health and Fitness Promotions degree. He is pictured with his mom, Ann, and dad, David.

David PonathGuest writerRead Full Bio

Anna Geiger and her husband, Steve, are raising their six kids in Mequon, Wis. Anna is the creator of The Measured Mom, an education website for parents and teachers. The Geigers are members at Bethlehem, Menomonee Falls/Germantown, Wis.

Anna GeigerGuest writerRead Full Bio

Ann Zuleger and her husband, Matt, have four children—Zachary, 18; Faith, 16; Isaiah, 13; and Ellis, 10. 

Ann ZulegerGuest writerRead Full Bio

Linda and her husband, Greg, have two daughters and a son. She is a writer, Bible study leader, and retreat speaker. Her voice is heard regularly through her writing and blogging for Time of Grace.

Linda BuxaGuest writerRead Full Bio

Casey Holtz is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Wisconsin Lutheran College, Milwaukee, Wis.

Casey HoltzGuest writerRead Full Bio

Amy and her husband, Charles, are raising four children (fourth grade through high school senior). They both serve at Northdale, Tampa, Fla.–Amy as a middle school teacher and Charles as a pastor.

Amy VannieuwenhovenGuest writerRead Full Bio

Laura Reinke and her husband, Matthew are raising three teenagers–Samantha, Joshua, and Daniel.

Laura ReinkeGuest writerRead Full Bio

Mel, a member at Bethlehem in Menomonee Falls, Wis., wears her heart on her sleeve as she passionately strives to discern the Lord’s anything-but-predictable blueprint for her life.

Melissa Anne KreuserGuest writerRead Full Bio

Pastor Donn Dobberstein and his wife, Beth, have four children ages 15-22 (Caleb, Lydia, Aleah, and Levi).

Donn DobbersteinGuest writerRead Full Bio

Nicole is an ordinary woman who loves Jesus and trusts him to get her through this broken world. Wife to Chuck and mommy to Olive (called home to heaven in 2014), Abner (3.5 years), and Orson (almost 1), this season of life is teaching her a few lessons in humility and grace.

Nicole SmithGuest writerRead Full Bio


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