Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving snuck up on us once again. I swear the older the kids get the faster time goes. It seems like it was just summer and now Thanksgiving. I have so many things to be thankful for. I really believe we dwell on what is wrong in our lives. We are blessed with so much and we have to consciously think about these instead of complaining.

Wednesday night our church takes place in an ecumenical church service. It was very low in attendance but was just what I needed to hear. It brought me to tears. I needed to hear those words tonight. I was asked to share a testimony for our church. The following is what I talked about on Wednesday.

About a month ago Kathy approached me asking if I would share at tonight’s service. I was a tad hesitant but it didn’t take me long to say yes. Kathy asked me the question of “What has God done in my life lately” I can answer that question. He has done a lot this past year.

I will start last February. I received a phone call; I should note I am notorious for not picking up the phone unless I know the number. I did answer the call and it was truly a life changing call. I was alerted to an opening at the local radio station, KSCR. I had worked in radio before in Willmar. I loved it but hated the hours and the drive. This was 5 blocks from my house. I quickly texted a couple friends and family members and asked what they thought I should do. I talked to Chad when he got home and he gave me a smile and said well hurry up and print your resume and get it in. I sent it in and I guess the rest is history. I heard back, had a couple interviews and offered the job. It was truly answered prayer. “The Lord will guide you continually…” Isaiah 58:11

One tough conversation I have to have with an employer is letting them know about the hearing loss I have. It is like there is an elephant in the room with this until I bring it up. This task was so easy at the radio. A couple years ago I was on Kathy’s radio show, Best Life. I talked about my hearing loss on her radio show, who happened to be the producer for this show, my new boss. He knew about the hearing, he knew I could speak on the radio. Going into this new job was stressful, mind boggling but also a calm had come over my soul. I had worked these other little jobs to make ends meet. I had worked in Willmar horrible hours but I had learned from the best of how to be on the radio. These things all came into play until a job was open in town. God was paving a way for this job. I truly believe from being a guest on Kathy’s show, to working in Willmar to answering the phone that day was all in Gods big plan for my life.

I currently have two paid jobs. I am the program director at KSCR radio in Benson. I am also the morning show host which I have titled Sunrise with Sara. I love my job. What I love is that I have say on my content. I can interview people that I think Benson would like and benefit from hearing about. I can have a morning show with morals. In a bigger market that isn’t something you usually see together.

I also work for Hands and Voices of Minnesota. Hands and Voices is an organization that supports families that have children that are deaf/hard of hearing. We put on family events. To see children that usually are one of the minority at their school or town be with all these kids that are like them is a beautiful thing. We also have mentors which I am one of them. We want kids to know that they can do anything they want in life. There are very successful and well adjusted adults that are out there that grew up just like them. I have worked for Hands and Voices a little over a year. My son has had issues with his ears since a baby. We just had his 4th surgery on his ears. It helped but not to the extent that we hoped for. So again God has placed wonderful resources and families in my past with Hands and Voices that I can lean on now that it is personal in my life now. Another coincidence I don’t think so, it’s a God thing.

This past year is one that I listened for God. I waited to get his guidance and in doing that I have found joy. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5

I was blessed to talk at the service and it put the whole Holiday on the right track.

Thursday, Turkey Day, I hosted the big day. We had Chad’s family over for the meal. I am excited to host. I really enjoy cooking and am new to hosting. I was able to use my grandmothers dishes. I have so many memories of dinners at her place using these apple dishes.

Friday we headed to the farm for a little more family time. Chad welded and I helped him and enjoyed being with the farm cats. I love being out there.

Saturday we got Christmas up at the house. Always enjoy the warmth that Christmas lights and decorations seem to bring. Always a fun family memory making time.

What a fun filled family weekend. What was also nice was getting up later than 4:45am. Morning sure came early this morning.

I am BLESSED!!

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A Mother’s Worry

My son and his ears… these two things bring me worry and concern. My son has a fluctuating conductive loss and it is frustrating beyond belief. Henry is 9 years old and this has been ongoing since he was 2. So 7 years of doctors, ENT’s and our audiologist. My son loves going to the audiologist and he does about 3 plus times a year. 

Let me go way back. Henry didn’t talk when he was a toddler. He also didn’t babble. He was quiet and reserved. I started getting concerned he didn’t talk and the doctor jingled his keys and Henry turned so I was told, “He can hear but maybe speech therapy would be good”. Henry started speech therapy at 2.5. I still wasn’t convinced he could hear well but was told not to worry. I had tons of ear issues as a child and it turned into a moderate severe hearing loss so I was no dummy on this subject. I also happen to have a B.S. in Communicative Disorders so I have taken many audiology classes so pretty well versed. Finally a public nurse in our small town said to me, “your son can’t hear”. She referred us to an educational audiologist and sure enough a conductive loss. Tubes were put in and his tongue was also clipped at that time. Glue ear was discovered and his ears were cleaned out. His hearing did improve but it is this roller coaster we are riding. 

A few years ago we noticed Henry was saying what all the time. Took him back in and the cycle continued. His hearing has dropped to a moderate loss. This time T tubes were recommended. These are a long term tube that are surgically removed when done. They don’t fall out and can cause a lot of damage so we really had to weigh the pros and the cons. This worked well for about 3 years. 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Henry’s hearing has now dropped to a moderate loss again with the T tubes in. This loss is comparable to having foam earplugs in your ears all day. This was concerning and I could tell the audiologist was much more concerned this time and something had to be done and quickly. We saw the ENT and it was decided surgery would be done the following week. Henry had the old T tubes removed his middle ear scrapped out and new T tubes inserted. It was a simple and quick surgery. He was put under so there is still that risk of surgery. As simple as it is I have to admit I cried when he was taken back. Everything went well,and now we wait and heal. We will find out in a couple weeks if his hearing has improved and how much.


It is really hard for me to see my son go through this. I know there are much bigger trials in life but to him these are big. He comes home from school exhausted. Have you heard of listening fatigue? It is real and it is tough. Trying to hear and make since of conversation all day is taxing on the brain. He comes home crabby many days and I get the brunt of his frustrations. He loves school but it is hard and exhausting. 

Now if Henry was found with a sensorineural hearing loss he would be given hearing aids and we could learn to deal and go on from there but instead I feel we are on this hamster wheel that just never seems to end. I pray that his hearing improved with these new T tubes but if not I would love to go to the next step and address the issue and go on. 

I am a mother with hearing loss. I feel I can help him with these issues but I also know what it is like. I hate that he may have some of these feelings I have had. I have felt embarrassed, left out, not fitting in. I sure hope I can help him through these things. 

School conferences were last week and we heard he needs to learn to self advocate for himself with his hearing. That is so hard to learn but will try to teach him every step of the way. 

A mom can worry and there are always things that can worry you. This is just one thing that consumes my mind, but I am also consumed with pride for both of my children. They are kind, creative and loving. They are my heart. 

The Feel of a Concert 

A week ago or so I got to take my daughter away for a little get away. We have never done anything overnight alone together so this was something we were both looking forward to. 

A perk of a radio job is tickets. I was able to get tickets for myself and Greta to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. We got a hotel room and made it a night away in Fargo North Dakota. 

We shopped, we dined at a Hibachi restaurant. That is always a fun place to eat and it is an experience also. We ended up eating with a woman who was so full of herself and couldn’t seem to read a menu. It made for an interesting and memorable dinner experience. 


Off to the FargoDome for a great concert. We had great seats. I loved seeing the people around us where listeners I was able to give tickets away to. Everyone looked like they were having a great time. 


One thing I learned with music and a hearing loss it doesn’t sound like music I remember. It is muffled, and out of tune. It is very cringeworthy in my mind. In saying that this concert was loud. The bass was cranked. I am not saying I am advocating loud concerts but I loved it. When the music sounded muffled and lousy to me the bass that vibrated our seats, made the hair on your arms stand up made up for it. Lasers, and pictures projected and just watching my daughter completely made this a great night. 

The next day we went to see a couple Fargo sites, some shopping and again find a place to eat. 


Greta picked the Pita Pit and running through Caribou Coffee then the ride back to Minnesota. 


It was a couple days of making memories. I loved our time together and I love my job for giving me the experience. 

How to Talk to a Lipreader

What a great blog piece from my friend Michele.

SayWhatClub

By Michele Linder

I’m teaching my granddaughter how to talk to me… I’ve been doing it from the beginning, but now that she’s older, and getting ready to start school, I’m seeing the benefits of it more.

Yesterday she spoke to me from the backseat of the car, so naturally I looked at her in the rearview mirror. As she held up a flashlight that Pops had given her, she said “This flashlight turns ________.” 

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 9.12.53 AM

I saw her lips move, but just couldn’t get that last word, so my brain ran through the list of possibilities and nothing was right. I finally got it! GREEN. “This flashlight turns green.”

I then reminded her that she could give me more information, if I’m not getting it the first time, and that a better way might have been to say, “This flashlight turns the color green.”

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County Fair 2017

I enjoy being creative and that means art, canning, photography, and writing. I hope these blog posts will be memories in the future. For myself and also for my children. I hope they remember we laughed, created things, loved each other and had fun. County Fair is all of those things wrapped into one.  This past week was the Swift County. Our fair is 5 days and we made it there everyday. It may have been entering our items, working the fair, checking out or ribbons, or catching the entertainment.

This year I entered 30 items into the fair. Greta entered 2 in 4H and 2 in open class. Henry entered 2 in 4H. Chad said his customary line,”I really need to make something for the fair next year.”

We had fun at the fair. From working the 4H food booth.


To seeing the kids projects. Greta had some great drawings which earned a blue. Henry ended up with a grand champion in Aerospace.


We ate well at the fair. From pork chops to pie.


There were animals, balloons and rides oh my! 


I experienced something new at this fair. We went to a demo derby. I took the kids and it was fun. Not what I expected and I couldn’t believe how many people were there.


The big exciting thing at our fair was Marty Stewart and His Fabulous Superlatives were there Saturday night. As a radio person I plugged this event for a month so I was darn excited to get there. It was fun and totally worth the wait.


I faired pretty well with ribbons this year. Came home with a grand champion also which made my year.


The fair is over for the year but my mind is already mulling over what can be made and created for next year. I sure hope this is something that we never say,” Do you remember when we had county fairs?”

Till next year…

40 Years Old

Couple weeks ago I turned 40. It felt freeing. It felt like I hit an age where I can be more my own person, where I don’t always have to try to please.  An age where I can gain more independence. I am sure many people learn these things before 40 but for me it has been the last couple years moving in the direction to get to this point.

A few months ago I decided I wanted a birthday party. I haven’t had a party with a friend since I was probably 13. It was time. I was excited to plan food, decorations and just host people for the afternoon.

I started getting down the day of the party. First my mom got sick and unable to make it out for the weekend. Then people who told me they were coming were no shows. I was bummed but I kicked myself and told myself to look around. My dad and grandma drove out. My sister in law came, a couple friends from town came. I was blessed. I saw my husband laughing and talking with his high school buddy. I was so touched that a friend from church came. I was so excited that a best friend from high school drove 3 hours to surprise me with a birthday cake. I loved seeing her and her husband and brother. A friend that is busy with 3 kids made time. And my best friend that just lost her beautiful daughter came to celebrate my birthday. Yes, I looked around and saw that my cup runneth over with blessings from above. I enjoyed myself, I found myself laughing, playing beanbag toss and loving my life.

I have to share pictures of this cake. It was stunning and an amazing chocolate and cherry.


The next day we had my husbands family came over for another party. It was a fun time had by all. I was surrounded in love all weekend.

I am now 40 and for some reason being married over 17 years with 2 children, I now feel like a full adult. I love my job. I love my volunteer jobs dealing with hearing loss, I am loving life right now. 40 will be good.

I love my friends and so thankful for everyone that celebrated with me. It was a great weekend. 

I don’t think I am over the hill. I am just starting to really enjoy life by getting involved in it.

Heartbroken

My mind and emotions are all over on this post so I hope I can make sense and also give a tribute to a very fierce and strong little fighter.

I have a good friend, you know one of those friends that you feel you can pour your soul out to.  This friend has a beautiful family.  She has a husband that is a welder and worked with my husband.  She also has two beautiful children that are similar in ages to my kids.  They love to play and just be wild together.  This beautiful friend became pregnant last year.  I was so excited for her to be a mother to another child.  She is a great mother and her kids glow with the love they are given.  It was early on in the pregnancy that problems arouse but I prayed and trusted all would be ok.  Charlotte Adella was born on February 3rd.  She was absolutely beautiful, little and pink.  Charlotte looked perfect but her heart was far from it.  This little girl had to go hurdle over hurdle from such a small age.  In fact Charlotte never left the hospital.  She lived her whole life in a hospital.  Charlotte was born with Noonan’s and had a rare heart condition she was the 11th case ever recorded in the world and never seen in this severity in a new born.  Charlotte never gave up she was fierce and tough.

When I would receive texts from her mom I loved seeing the pictures.  Charlotte had eyes that seemed to pierce my soul.  She could move mountains with those eyes.

charlotte

Myself and my family feel into a deep love with Charlotte.  We prayed for Charlotte each and everyday.  My first thoughts in the morning was how is the little princess doing and my last thought at night was Thank God she made it through another day.

Charlotte needed a new heart.  With my whole heart I believed that heart would come.  Charlotte would get the heart and her body would start to heal and she would move home with her family.  Her family had moved to the hospital a few hours away so it was months since I had seen my friend.  I missed her and my heart hurt for this horrible rollercoaster her life had become.

charbath

About a week or so ago I was shopping with my daughter and I received a text.  Charlotte wasn’t doing well and she was going to die the next day as machines would be turned off.  I about feel to my knees.  My daughter and I just held each other and cried in the hall of the mall.  How could this be happening.  I think of the pain and the hurt I felt and I know that isn’t a fraction of what Charlotte’s family was feeling in that moment.

We attended Charlotte’s wake and funeral.  She was absolutely beautiful.  I am so sorry I had to meet her finally in that way.  I feel privileged that I got to see her, my eyes and mind will make a memory of a beautiful girl dressed in a little white gown.  I found it not fair.  I was planning on going to see my friends and finally meet their little girl just 3 days before the funeral.  Who would have thought that the road would have turned and I would be attending a funeral instead.

I think of all the wakes and funerals I attended as a child and my dad always put his arm around me and said they are in a better place now.  They lived a good long life.  This funeral last week was my son’s first funeral.  I couldn’t say those lines.  Charlotte’s didn’t have a good long life.  Her life was taken from her way to soon.

Charlotte’s parents, Dave and Nikki are some of the strongest parents I know.  This is the second child I knew that passed away from a heart defect.  My heart aches for the parents and siblings of these children.  The hurt will never go away.  I wish there was a way to make it go away but that would erase that child’s memory which you don’t want to do.  Nikki will always be the mother to 3 beautiful children.

charfamilypic

I love Nikki as a sister and it hurts me so much that she has to go through this hurt and loss.  I pray for comfort but that just doesn’t seem like enough.  Fly high and free sweet baby girl.  Heaven has gained an absolutely beautiful angel.

When I heard the news of Charlotte’s passing this is the song I went and listened to- it seemed appropriate and allowed the tears to freely flow.