Join Us 4/28/17 at The Weber Center!

Meet the cast!
Tickets on sale now! 

Join us behind the scenes and get to know our amazing cast of 13 women and men with mother stories to share! We asked them to tell us some of their funniest moments, hope-filled wishes, what their favorite books, music, and shows are, and more!

Come see them LIVE on show night, April 28th at 7:30pm at the Weber Center. Get your tickets today!

Maureen Freedland

La Crosse, Wisconsin, 2006: Justice, Education, and Opportunity were the dreams my mother had in the USA, her new home.

La Crosse, Wisconsin, 2006: Justice, Education, and Opportunity were the dreams my mother had in the USA, her new home.

What are some fun facts about yourself?

Fact #1: What made me the person that I am (besides, of course, “listening to my mother” or “not-so-much listening to my mother”), was Girl Scout Camp.

Fact #2: I once laughed so hard at the dinner table with my older brother, Russell, that a piece of spaghetti came out of my nose.

Fact #3: My college BFF, Dianne, and I were the freshman girls underwater distance swimming champions. I travelled from Miami to Atlanta in the trunk of a car one Spring Break and during a law school break I bicycled solo from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco.

What do you collect?

I don’t collect anything. My husband Robert collects PEZ and that’s enough even though they are small. When we first married he tried to get me to collect snow globes (we called them shaky-things) but I gave that up. Kids were plenty to keep after.

When did you start resembling your own mother?

When I realized I was taking over my daughters’ closets!

A picture is worth a thousand words:

My mother’s European flair and a memory of the furs stolen from her; here in her new life in New Orleans wearing white gloves while pushing a baby stroller with a handmade sign that said “Clocks for Repair.”

Jirina young mom copy


Nancy Heerens-Knudson


Tell us a story about your family. 

Imagine five scrubbed til shiny little girls with Sunday best dresses sitting in a wooden church pew flanked by well dressed parents. The hymns start and rising above the congregational voices is the unmistakable flat, loud and undulating voice of Mrs. Lunde. The snuffles start, followed by a snort. My mother’s gimlet eye sweeps over us trying to identify the perpetrator before it gets out of hand. The snorts multiply, followed by squeaky guffaws, then smothered giggles rise out of the five and kaboom –  explosions of frank and loud giggling. My mom and dad try loud shushes, evil eyes, random grabs to make us stop. The giggle contagion is rocking the pew! Oh no! It’s THAT kind of giggle and the older three of us have to run to the bathroom!! Whew! We made it! (kind of)

My family of origin loved to laugh. My dad told frequent puns and jokes and we thought he was so funny. We also tickled each other while wrestling and playing like little cubs. My mom had a silly side too and we loved it when she laughed with us. We also knew that there was a certain kind of laugh or giggle that would make some of us wet our pants if we weren’t careful.

When I went to PA school, I learned that there was a genetic condition called “Giggle Micturation” in which an important sphincter gets the wrong message when a certain resonance is received (due to THAT kind of giggling). In my family it affected my grandma, mom, and three of five sisters (although I think the other two just aren’t telling).

Somehow growing up, the “giggle issue” got better. Perhaps I was more serious and didn’t giggle as much. But after my daughter and son were born, the giggling returned as everyday happenings. They were so funny! When Laura dumped baby powder all over Nick, herself, and everything in the bathroom, my first impulse was to laugh at the powdery ghosts, then grab the camera.

My daughter is a family physician with children of her own now and occasionally recognizes her “resonant laughter” a little too late. My son is an artist and a comedian and their goal when we get together at our family reunions is to get me to laugh until I have to dash out of the room. When that happens my children high five each other that they “got me” once again (the snots!).


Sylvia Jimison

Sylvia and her Mom

Sylvia and her Mom

Tell us two fun facts about yourself. 

Fact #1: I start a new diet every Monday.

Fact #2: I once interned at Saturday Night Live in NYC when Chris Rock, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, etc were in the cast and I was able to go to all the SNL tapings for years afterwards.

What’s something you collect? 

I collect autographed books by not so well known authors and a few well known authors.

Favorite movie and why? 

Favorite movies: “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and “Ray”. I like autobiographies and how people overcome adversity in their lives. The characters in each of these movies had to overcome dire adversity and were able to move beyond poverty to riches.  That is my desire to do in life.


Jonathan Lamb

20161229_160917Tell us two fun facts about yourself.  

Fact #1: I was a Zumba/Spin Instructor. I taught lots of fun classes.I still have people tell me they hear certain songs and remember the moves.

Fact #2: I have been to Japan for an amazing theater festival with La Crosse Community Theatre. I learned how to make Washi paper. Also, I met some wonderful people from around the world.

What’s a crazy story about your family?

One crazy story about my family happened when we were on a summer road trip through New York. Well what happened is we were coming out of McDonald’s and my sister stuck her finger in my back in the form of a gun. I was carrying the bag of food. She then whispered in my ear, in her best Godfather voice, “Give me the bag NOW!!!!” And I did. Quickly.  She is also an expert at a Dead Fish Dance!

What do you wish most for your niece and nephew?

What I most wish for my niece and nephew is a world full of people that love. I wish them all the confidence to conquer all their dreams. I wish them the strength to be happy with who they are and the love to proudly lead this world to all things grand.


Susan C. Schuyler

IMG_2720What’s new with you? 

I love being a grandma!

What’s the best part about it? 

I’ve been a grandmother since July 23, 2016, and it rocks! Being a grandma is almost as good as being a mom. The best part is it really makes me think about my children differently. Mostly it makes me even prouder of my sons–if that’s even possible.




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Join us behind the scenes and get to know our amazing cast of 13 women and men with mother stories to share! We asked them to tell us some of their funniest moments, hope-filled wishes, what their favorite books, music, and shows are, and more!

Come see them LIVE on show night, April 28th at 7:30pm at the Weber Center. Get your tickets today!

Livia Johnson

Livia and her husband, Torben

Livia and her husband, Torben

Favorite album and why:

My favorite album is “Graceland” by Paul Simon. I used to watch a lot of music videos when I was little and the video for “You Can Call Me Al” was my favorite. If you haven’t seen it, it is Paul Simon and Chevy Chase running around, playing instruments. I was shocked when my mom told me that the short guy was actually Paul Simon.

When did you first start thinking about your mother as an individual person and not just “mom”?

The moment I thought of my mama as a real person was the summer after my first year of teaching. My dad was on a fishing trip so I went to my hometown to hang out with my mom. She found a recipe for grilled veggie sandwiches with feta cheese and we made them for supper. We read in bed together and took a few long walks. When I was driving home to La Crosse, I realized my mom was my friend. I had so much fun just hanging out with her. We were just a couple of grown-ups, gushing about how much we love “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” and enjoying a weekend together.

What do you wish most for your child?

My big wish for my son is that he is always the kid who is nice. I hope he is creative and hardworking and knows how to play at least two songs on the piano really well, too, but if he could only be one thing, I want it to be nice. I hope he is the kind of kid who teachers can put next to weird kids because they know my kid is going to find something to love about them. I hope that when he thinks of a hilarious, but really cutting, remark, he has the courage to keep it to himself. I hope that when he walks away from a new group of people, they all think, “Man, that is a really nice kid”.


Amy Sanwick

Amy Sanwick_blog

Amy and the Sisters, Daughters, and Granddaughters of her Family

Tell us about an interest you have.

I love musicals. All sorts. I still believe in unicorns and faeries.

When did you first know that your family wasn’t quite like other families?

When my child was licking the shopping cart handle at Wal*mart and a lady gasped all horrified, I replied “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt.” And rolled away.

What is the craziest thing you remember saying to your children?

Sometimes…. I tell my children that adoption is still an option.


Michael Scott

image1What do you like to do for your kids?

I was a full time Dad for over 10 years.  Aside from a long list of culinary achievements, my resume includes constructing a Whiffleball field.  There is a raised mound, a permanent home plate and carefully painted white foul lines.  It is complete with lights for night games and a chalk scoreboard.

In the winter that space used to become a 40×60 foot skating rink.  I don’t build rinks anymore and prefer to skate on the marsh at Myrick.  If you’ve never built an ice rink, know that equal parts water and swearing go into the endeavor.

Tell us about your hobbies.

I am a lover of the outdoors.  I have done touring sea kayaking trips in the Pacific Northwest, the Apostle Islands, Mexico, and the Lofoten Islands off the coast of Norway, 200 miles above the arctic circle.  My absolute favorite place to paddle is right here at home in the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge.

I also love hiking, backpacking and bicycling.  My youngest son and I also do winter camping with our lowest overnight coming in at 8 degrees Fahrenheit.

What do you wish most for your children?

I am an amateur ornithologist and am proud to say my daughter holds two medals, a silver and a bronze, from an Owl Calling competition.

I hope I pass my love of nature to my children.  Funny story, when my daughter was five years old, she put a caterpillar in a jar with leaves and a stick.  After a few days the caterpillar was hanging from the top of the stick and she came to me, all excited, and said, ‘Dad, look!  It’s about to become a raccoon.”


Clare Wight

14691003_10151110092009953_6055323263605095736_nWhat’s the craziest thing you’ve ever said to your children?

There are so many things I never thought I would say to children. Too many to remember (and that’s why I always wanna kick myself for not having written them down as I said them), but a few goodies that come to mind are: “yes, your teeth are for biting, but brother’s fingers are not food”,  “we don’t throw lego houses at each other, pieces are ok, but if you throw the house you’ll both be crying and I’ll go crazy”, “put that sister-whacking device (aka light saber) away or I’ll break it into a million pieces and not even the force will fix it”, “your grape juice is like mommy’s wine, but my wine is much, much better”, “please climb down from the roof of the car slowly so you don’t break or scratch yourself or it – I don’t know which one would be more expensive to fix”, “dogs lick their buttholes all the time and don’t brush teeth, so remember that when you’re kissing grandma’s dog.”

How do you define motherhood?

The best definition of motherhood I’ve ever heard was “motherhood is having your heart beat outside of your chest”. To me, motherhood is being selfless, to automatically put someone else’s happiness before yours always, because theirs is what truly makes you the happiest. It is constantly wondering if you’re doing the right thing. It is being invaded by this insane wave of overwhelming, unconditional love (and along with it, a series of never-ending worries) like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.  From the second you find yourself responsible for that fragile little life, until pretty much forever.

What do you like to do as a family?

One of my favorite hobbies is geocaching as a family. We always have a blast. Caching (essentially treasure hunting with GPS coordinates) always gets us out of the house, exploring nature, staying active, while having fun and working as a team. We look for caches everywhere we go, which makes road trips a lot more interesting. We also love finding new caches nearby, and are always surprised that we’ve been driving/walking by them for years and never knew they were there because we didn’t know to look for them. And our favorite part is ending up in places (parks, trails, caves) we never knew existed until geocaching navigated us there. :)

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Get to Know Our Cast: Joanne, Beth, Sheida, and Christy

April 17, 2017

Join us behind the scenes and get to know our amazing cast of 13 women and men with mother stories to share! We asked them to tell us some of their funniest moments, hope-filled wishes, what their favorite books, music, and shows are, and more! Come see them LIVE on show night, April 28th at 7:30pm at the Weber Center. Get your tickets today! Joanne Adragna Shird What does motherhood mean to me? The weight of motherhood, its sacred responsibility, truly does not dawn upon one early enough.  There is no greater task then mothering, nothing one undertakes in life compares to the tending and conscious and unconscious molding of a new life.  That one is not only the creator and the nourisher, but the guide, the nurturer, the example by which a new life is formed and will be lived, is so profoundly heavy and holy, it is no wonder it eludes […]

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Our Local Sponsor Spotlight: Mid-West Family Broadcasting

April 14, 2017

We’re proud to welcome back another wonderful local sponsor for our La Crosse Listen to Your Mother show. Mid-West Family Broadcasting has been amazing to work with. They are one of the biggest radio stations and are located right downtown, so you’ll often find their dj’s out and about at events. They helped spread the word about auditions, and now they’re talking about the show! You may have heard our ads which were produced by Mid-West Family and are playing on all their stations. Find the one that fits your mood! Plus, it seems we got them in the spirit of mother stories, and here is one shared by staff member Lori Wilhemson, showing mothers are found in many places. Thank you, Lori, for sharing this story with us all! *** I never knew my mother. She passed away when I was 9 months old. My dad was left with three children, all […]

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Our Local Sponsor Spotlight: Women Writers Ink

April 12, 2017

We’re so pleased to introduce you to one of our local megaphone sponsors, Women Writers Ink! A nonprofit writing organization whose mission is to “reflect its light into words and enrich the world with story.” We couldn’t ask for a better partner! Everyone needs a community and, fifteen years ago, three women decided they needed support from one another as writers.  The result was a magical group called Women Writers that met, and still meets, to have a safe place in which to share writing. In 2013, the group incorporated as the nonprofit Women Writers Ink (WWink), and now they’ve formed three writing groups to bring the written word to more and more people. The key word here is “safe.” More important than anything else, WWink provides a place for people to share their writing, at any level. No one is forced to read their work aloud but, when they do, the feedback is […]

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