Category Archives: Family

Arnold Flessner

Update 5/11 – funeral info, visitation details, and a place to share memories & photos can be found at It would be a welcome blessing to see any photos you have or to read any stories you share there. Thank you!

Update – 5/10 – Dad went to heaven this afternoon, peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by family. We’ll have details about services hopefully by Wednesday afternoon.

Quick update – as of yesterday afternoon, my dad Arnold Flessner entered into hospice at Allen hospital. He’s been getting treatment for cancer for the last year and a half, but a couple of other conditions and an infection brought him to the hospital a week ago. One treatment after another failed to correct what was going on, and yesterday he was just ready to stop being poked and prodded. In his words – “I’m ready to go to heaven.”

Throughout the last week, he’s been bringing smiles and laughter to everyone coming to the room, from family and friends to the nursing and custodial staff. Stories and memories are shared with everyone. Winks, smiles, and nods communicate when words don’t. We’re sad to see him go, but we also know we’re not saying goodbye, just “see you later”.

We’re requesting only family try to visit, and please drop us a line first. We know Dad was well-loved by many, but our family time is precious right now. Thanks for understanding.

We’ll post updates here or at

Why We Are Moving

We’ve told this story to a few people personally, but enough have asked something along the lines of “why in the world are you moving to Iowa??” that we figured we’d break the year-long dry spell and tell the story on the family blog. Aside from the fact that we’re both Iowa natives and we want to be closer to family, there’s a much more personal reason behind the move. Continue reading Why We Are Moving

Conversation with my 2-year-old

As a parent you have the joy of experiencing great exchanges like this every day with your minions…I mean children:

Me: Would you please bring me a tissue for Lilly?
Naomi: Over there.
Me: Yes, could you get me one, please?
Naomi: Over there?
Me: Yes, they’re over there. Can you bring me one, please?
Naomi: Over there.
Me: Yes. Can you walk over there and get one for me?
Naomi: (Walks past the tissues to the corner of the room)
Me: No, they’re on the couch.  (points)
Naomi: (wanders over to me)
Me: No, the tissues are over there. See? Right there. (points emphatically)
Naomi: Here?
Me: Yes, that’s it!
Naomi: These?
Me: Yes, would you bring me one?
Naomi: Just one? (holds finger up to eye)
Me: Yep, just one.
Naomi: (brings me a handful)
Me: Thank you. I love you so much!

Too Cute!

The other night I went out to eat with a group of adults, which was great considering I’m always with my girls. But before I left the house, my oldest daughter insisted that I take one of her Pollies in my purse “to remember her by.” Maybe she was afraid I wouldn’t come back. Too cute!

Girly Girls

We have two very girly girls. They love all to do with princesses, fairies, barbies, and pollies. The last few days they have been listening to the same Barbie movie soundtrack over and over again. They now know most of the songs by heart and have been singing them constantly. Unfortunately, now both Ben and I have the songs stuck in our heads too. Is it cruel to want to hide the CD?

Happy Easter

My girls must be learning some things in Sunday school, but all week my three year old Samantha has been singing “Hosanna, blessed be the king of Ariel!” We got right away that she should be saying “Israel,” but with her three year old vocabulary, it came out as “Ariel” (a favorite princess mermaid that she likes). Still, it’s pretty awesome that Samantha and Hannah are running around singing Hosanna even if they are confusing an important word or two.

Speaking of Samantha’s vocabulary: it is awesome! She turned three in February and is speaking in full sentences already. I am constantly amazed. This morning she was telling her favorite story time teacher, Miss Judy, all about her Easter weekend. She told her that she had more than one egg hunt and that she went to Grandma Barb’s house. That she fell on the rocks and that her cousin Jossalyn got bigger. I can’t do it justice, but I wished that I could have had a tape recorder.

School Begins

This fall is going to be busy busy in the Flessner house. Hannah has started her second year of preschool and is going four days a week in the afternoons. And the one day that she doesn’t go to school she will have a dance class. This is her very first dance class and she is so excited for it to start. Hannah is definitely our little ballerina!! This week we got her ballet slippers and she wears them every chance that she gets.

I don’t know if this busy schedule is harder on the two youngest who try to nap in the afternoons or on mom who has already had to wake them up a few times in order to pick up big sister from school. Late afternoons are always the hard part of the day for all of us for some reason anyway and now it is even longer. Gone are the naps until 4pm, since Hannah needs to be picked up by 3pm. It’s so tempting to just let them sit in front of the television all afternoon. I guess this is just another change that we all have to adapt to.


I have spent a lot of time at our city pool this summer. Which is funny considering that we only went once, maybe twice, last summer and never before that.

At the end of June, Hannah had her first swim class, which consisted of lessons Monday through Thursday for 2 weeks. Hannah was a little uncomfortable in the water at first, but she really started to enjoy it by the end. Didn’t quite get the courage to jump off the diving board yet.

Then Samantha got to take swim lessons too; her and Daddy did the Parent/ Child course that is offered for small children in the evenings – also for 2 weeks. Samantha loved having her first school-type activity. Finally she was the star of the hour and Hannah was watching her. Samantha was really proud that she had her “swimming lessons,” and she loved sharing it with Daddy. Samantha wasn’t afraid of the diving board and would even ask to be dunked!

Then we decided to send Hannah to another round of swim lessons. She had gotten the opportunity a couple of times to try the diving board with Samantha’s class, and she seemed a whole lot braver this time around. I’m so glad that we did the second class. Now Hannah loves the water. She had a little scare in the deep end, but she still jumped off the High Dive all by herself. Amazing!

Finally, one more lesson – well half a lesson. I don’t swim myself, so I decided to try out these swim lessons and see if they can help a 27 year old Mom. I took 4 private lessons and I certainly haven’t mastered swimming, but now I have a much firmer grasp on how to tread water, do the front crawl, back stroke, and breast stroke. And I even jumped off the diving board! Even I didn’t think it was possible, but I did it! I still won’t be able to rescue my kids from drowning, but maybe now I won’t have to worry about them trying to rescue me.

Kansas City

This summer has been very busy. Despite not having a “real” vacation, we have done lots of things to keep busy. This past weekend we dropped the oldest 2 kids off at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and traveled all the way to Kansas City to see the newest member of Ben’s family, Oliver, who is still in the hospital there. Ben’s sister and her husband joined us for the journey. It was nice to get away for a couple days. First we made a stop in Des Moines to visit my niece, Armina. Then we headed south to Kansas City. The drive through Missouri was a little too exciting though; someone compared it to being in the Wizard of Oz movie (they must have meant the very first part with the tornado). But despite all the wind, lightening, questionable looking clouds, and the overturned semi truck, we made it to our hotel safely. Saturday we got to visit Amy, Chip and Oliver, do some shopping, and eat at a great Italian restaurant. Ben got to try out a GPS gadget that he had borrowed for the trip. The GPS was really nice to have on a long trip to a city that we are not familiar with.

Our return to Iowa to pick up Hannah and Samantha (and to regular parenting duties) was made interesting by finding energetic Hannah sleeping on the couch at Sherrie and Kenny’s house. When she woke up after about 3 hours she threw up in the kitchen sink. It was a long drive home with a sick child, but thankfully she slept more and wasn’t really complaining much. We were happy to be sleeping in our own beds, and Mom was only up with the sick girl a couple of times during the night.

Huge update to the gallery

I just completed (actually am still in the process of completing) a huge update to the gallery.  I’m filling in some missing holes from previous years, re-structuring some of the albums (‘Family Picture Archive’ got way too huge, so I’ve broken out 2005-2007 into separate years… will probably do older years similarly), and getting our latest albums up-to date.  I have every intention of getting videos up and working in the gallery, but for some reason my trusty FLV video converter is choking on our cameras’ videos.  I put the raw AVI’s up in some galleries, but I’m not sure they can be viewed online.

The other thing I’ve found is the color copiers at work are also super-fast high-quality scanners.  I’ve been scanning baby books and can do 50 pages in around 15 minutes.  I haven’t had a ton of time to work on it (I like to stay away from my family as little as possible), but next up on the agenda are all kinds of old photo albums.  I’ve wanted to digitize them for a long time, but regular desktop scanners are SOO slow.

Anyway, here’s a sampling of albums that are now available in the gallery (all require registration and logging-in; remember, you need to log in at, NOT this page):

  • Monthly albums from May through August of this year including additional folders for:
    • Ben’s work trip to Phoenix
    • Memorial Day Gathering
    • Buenting Family Reunion
    • Our Vacation to Ames and the Iowa State Fair
    • Family portraits from Sears (with reprint rights)
  • Shots from the farm where Amanda grew up
  • Flessner reunions in Madrid, IA from 2005 and 2004
  • 2006 – Amanda’s baby shower, Madison zoo trip, Buenting reunion in Webster City, Theresa & Ian’s wedding, Nick & Maggie Meyer’s wedding
  • 2005 – Ben’s college graduation, Amanda’s HS reunion, Becca Weber’s 1st Communion
  • 2004 – Easter, Thanksgiving, and some cute shots of Amanda ice skating
  • 2003 – Mother’s Day
  • 2002 – Jenna’s Graduation

Other fun things to do include slideshows, viewing albums on a google map (the ones that aren’t right around family homes, at least) and, if I ever figure out why it crashes my editing sessions… the ability to turn any picture into a puzzle!

Go check ’em out!  Feel free to leave comments on any picture.  Let me know if you have any problems seeing any of them.