I grew up on a dairy farm outside of Maynard, Iowa. We had plenty of work to do for my parents and two brothers between the cattle and fieldwork. In 1987, I graduated from West Central High School in Maynard along with 44 other classmates – we were the largest class at the time.
Having an interest in cars during high school, I attended what was known then as Hawkeye Institute of Technology for automotive mechanics. Upon graduation from that program in 1988, I worked at a Ford Dealership for 13 months.
I decided to go back to school the fall of 1989 for teaching. During the fall of 1990, I took a Children’s Literature class and we all had to write a story. This is where the original version of “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t” began.
I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a double major in Early Childhood and Elementary Education in the spring of 1993.
My first teaching job was in 5th grade in Galena Park, Texas – a suburb of Houston. I spent two school years there from 1993-1995, but missed the Mid-western life.
My second teaching job landed me at Manning, Iowa where I taught 5th and 6th grade and also was an assistant football coach from 1995-1997. While I was at Manning, I submitted the original manuscript to a couple of publishing companies, but they didn’t seem too interested, so I put it aside.
At the end of the school year in 1997, I moved back to Northeast Iowa to do some crop farming. In the spring of 1998, I met my wife Paige, who was a high school math teacher at Nashua-Plainfield Schools and we were married in the fall of 1999. While farming, I worked at Pro Farmer out of Cedar Falls and worked my way up to Program Manager for a division of their satellite delivered farm information system called Globalink.
Our first child, Mitchell, was born in August of 2000 and that fall, I jumped back into teaching as a Special Education teacher at Bremwood Lutheran Children’s Home in Waverly. Our second child, Miah, was born in October of 2002, third child Maci in December of 2005 and fourth child Matthew in June of 2008. I remained teaching at Bremwood until the spring of 2013. In the fall of 2013, I began teaching Special Ed at Charles City Schools.
During the spring of 2014, I was cleaning some things at our house and I came across the original manuscript of The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t. I revised a few sections of it and searched for potential publishers to send it to. I was fortunate enough to have it accepted and put into publication by 2015.
The story is meant for children and their parents to see the magic, fun, and excitement that surrounds the Christmas holiday despite the tough times we might have faced during the year.