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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Smarty Mom – Jenna Guldberg

By Guest Blogger, Rachel H

I am thrilled to introduce Jenna Guldberg as this week’s Smarty Mom. I met Jenna about 5 years ago when I decided to bring my 6 month old son to a group called Power Hour at Star of Bethlehem church. This was a social group for moms and children that Jenna was running at the time. We sang, danced, did crafts, and got to know other moms and kids. Jenna was such a warm, welcoming person, and was great with the children. Jenna still helps with Power Hour at the church where her husband, Fred is a minister. She also helps him with his ministry. She has five absolutely beautiful children. Nate (9), Lauren (7), Luke (6) and twins Addy & Emmy (2) are full of life, well-mannered, and are a joy to be around.

The Guldbergs have lived in the Triad area for six years now, after moving here from Milwaukee, WI. Jenna is a stay-at-home mom and also home schools her children. On top of all her mommy obligations, she has also taken time for herself and decided to begin running. She is training for her first race this year.

So let’s get Smarty with Jenna.

Tell us more about Power Hour. Is it open to new members?
Power Hour is basically an hour long class for moms and kids to play together, sing songs, read stories, make crafts and hear a Bible story. It’s a ministry of our church to share God’s word with children and is free for anyone who would like to attend. While I don’t run the program anymore, my good friend Ronda has taken it over and is absolutely wonderful. It’s so fun to take my own girls and see how much they love playing with the other children, not to mention the enjoyment I get from visiting with other mommies! Classes are Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 10:00 and you can call 794-0260 for more information.

You helped start a preschool at Star of Bethlehem. Tell us more about it.
Our preschool started out as a half-day program in the fall of 2007, but quickly changed to a licensed, full-day program as we got more and more calls looking for full-time childcare. The mornings are very structured with lots of learning activities, while the afternoons are a bit more laid back with naptime and play. I can’t rave enough about our wonderful teachers. Every once in awhile I have the privilege to substitute teach, and I love it!

How do you organize your day in order to home-school children of four different ages?
I truly could not do it without my husband’s help! We try to start our schooling at 9:00 am and usually the twins go downstairs and play while my husband works downstairs. We work hard to get the heavy learning out of the way by lunchtime and then have a little playtime. The twins take their nap at 1:30 and usually the older kids read, do their projects, etc. during that time. We sometimes joke that we miss being the typical relaxing couple at night. Once our children are in bed, we usually separate and get caught up on our own things…laundry, grocery shopping, school planning, and so on. It’s a sacrifice, but we know our family benefits from it in the long run.

What is your best Smarty Tip for moms with three or more kids?
Be flexible! When I think back to how I used to freak out when Nate was a toddler and would get dirty – YIKES!!! I think by the time you have your third child, too many of the everyday mishaps are out of your control and you can either fight against that and be miserable, or go with it and be happier in the long run.

What is your favorite family activity?
We love to have family game night. Even if it’s just a quick game of Go Fish, it ends our day on a positive note and sends the kids to bed with a smile.

What is your favorite mommy time activity?
I love to catch up with friends, especially when the kids are not around begging for snacks. Usually we meet at Panera and just sit and visit and enjoy the quiet atmosphere. Not exactly a wild night, but it rejuvenates me for getting back to the crazy family life!

What is the funniest thing your kids have ever said to you?
The summer I was pregnant with the twins, we were visiting my family in Milwaukee. My dad had been outside mowing the grass and was quite hot when he came into the house. As he walked to the sink for a glass of water, he pulled his shirt over his head. Lauren’s eyes got wide as saucers and she asked in disbelief, “Is Papa going to have a baby too?!?!?”

Favorite date place in the Triad?
We love going to Cities and the Macaroni Grill.

Favorite place to eat out with the family?
Jason’s Deli – yummy, healthy food for everyone, and free ice cream for dessert!

Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
Honestly, I probably find my best deals at Kohl’s. However, I have many shopper savvy moms who tip me off to anyone having a good sale!

What’s the Smartiest way you save money?
I don’t usually buy anything unless it’s on sale. Because I love to shop, I have a pretty good knowledge of what’s a good price for something. Even when I find something l love, I’ll watch it until it does go on sale before I buy it.

Favorite park?
Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury – well worth the drive for a cheap day of fun!

Favorite birthday party venue?
Well, between my five kids, we’ve pretty much done everything imaginable for birthday parties. My favorite is probably at home – even though it’s way more work for me, the kids seem to have the most fun in their own environment.

Mini-van or SUV?
Mini-van…between soccer, dance, violin, piano and everywhere else we drive, I need the good gas mileage!

I could not live without…sweet tea. It’s my one addiction!!!

What do you like best about raising a family in the Triad?
We absolutely love that the Triad has a small town atmosphere, but any big city attraction you could want. When we first moved here I was convinced that I would never like living in the south, but now we love our home and can’t imagine living anywhere else!

Thanks, Jenna for all your Smarty answers!

Do you know a mom who goes above and beyond the call of duty for others, someone who does incredible work for her family and a charitable organization, runs a company and a marathon, or is just simply living the daily grit of motherhood?! Then email me here with your “Smarty Momination”!


Anonymous said...

Great person to run as a "Smarty Mom"! Jenna is a wonderful mom and friend. Her family is very giving. They are raising their children beautifully. Thanks for all the tips, too, Jenna!

Anonymous said...

Jenna is a very warm and caring person, she always goes out of her way to make sure she can help in anyway even in her busy schedule.
She is an inspiration to me and I know to may others.
They are all a God loving family.

Anonymous said...

Jenna is a delightful gal and a true inspiration! She really connects with both children and adults, and her love for God and others shines through. Thanks for being a part of our community!

Hanna O said...

Your Power Hour class sounds perfect for my two year old! Thanks for sending the information.

Kristin said...

Jenna -- You rock!

Kristie said...

Although I don't know Jenna that well, she is someone I have admired since I met her through the Mothers of Multiples Club.She is a wonderful example of someone who inspires others to focus on the positive!

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