POTTER – While trying to rearrange her schedule to make time for an interview, Lynn Enevoldsen pulls what her children say is one of her signature moves.
She reviewed her day aloud in a way that made it easy to visualize her rescheduling events while ticking them off on her fingers, all very quickly.
With confidence that comes from knowing their mom well, Donica Enevoldsen, and her sister, Talia, agreed, with loving smiles, that planning and re-planning is something she does.
Lynn admitted, with a laugh, that when she needs something from the store she will call them and then go through the entire contents of their refrigerator in her head and out loud while they listen on the phone.
It is obvious the minute one meets them, that the Enevoldsens are a close-knit family and they enjoy the company of one another.
Three of Lynn and Hal Enevoldsen’s children live at home. Talia, 16, Donica, 14, and Leif, 9, all gather in the family dining room and watch their mom as she begins the interview.
Grins break out on the their faces when she gets teary-eyed and she appears to gather strength from the sparkle in their eyes.
The four older siblings of the seven Enevoldsen children, Drew, 26, Erika, 22, Jentz, 21, and Hunter, 19, live as close as possible too.
The Enevoldsens have educated their children at home and Lynn said they felt encouraged in the things the kids were not exposed to while being educated in the home.
“We just felt led by God, that it was our duty as parents to be responsible for their education, whichever decision we made. We are the ones who were responsible for that decision,” Lynn said. “And at that particular (decision-making) time I kept getting signals that this is what we needed to be doing.”
The Enevoldsen family builds their lives and their education on that foundation of faith. They begin each day with Bible studies, Lynn said, but their choice to homeschool hasn’t been without some drawbacks.
“Drew and Jentz were the ones who really missed out on sports,” Lynn said. “They’re very competitive and they love sports. So they missed out on that, but we all just accepted it.”
Leif also expressed some interest in public school, he said, but really only so he could ride a school bus.
Lynn describes their education as non-traditional. Because the family runs both a motel and a landscaping business, the kids have all been educated while helping with the family’s endeavors.
“Our philosophy in home schooling is more practical,” Lynn said. “Hal and I both feel it is more important that they learn a trade and can function in the world regardless of what life throws at them. They work outside the home and are responsible for providing most of their own personal items, and they learn that way.”
They are educated to be able to support themselves as adults in whatever they choose to do.
“We wanted the kids to realize the importance of the family unit, working together. It may not have been fun for them, sometimes working until the sun goes down,” Lynn said. “The family works together and we just enjoy being together. That doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of squabbles, we are a normal family with normal family dynamics.”
Socializing comes in many forms for the Enevoldsens, as they interact with many customers, suppliers, family and friends.
“My kids have never had trouble socializing and meeting people,” Lynn said. “And they are not limited to only associating with their own age group.”
The children also attend community college, something Lynn insists on, to ensure a traditional education and so they can see what is required outside of her own requirements.
“I started them in community college out of a lack of confidence in my own teaching,” Lynn said. “I needed it for confirmation that they could do it.”
Community colleges offer the Enevoldsen children the chance to transfer to four-year colleges as well.
All of the Evevolden children agree they have an amazing mother who supports each of their interests and strives to help them achieve their own success.
What makes her mom one-of-a-kind, according to Donica, is that she is very understanding and very loving as well as a good teacher.
“It’s hard to find just one thing,” Donica said.
Talia agreed, and said that some of the traits she would like to inherit from her mother would be her strength in her faith, her patience and her ability to be so caring and understanding.
“She is more than just a mom, she is our best friend,” Talia said.
Nine-year-old Leif, who sat close to his mom through most of the interview, nodded his assent to everything his sisters said and added that she makes great homemade bread.
Lynn takes little credit for the poised, confident and intelligent children she and Hal have raised, and she is sure she expects more of them than is required of most kids.
“I have been blessed with some of the most fabulous children I have ever seen, I constantly hold the bar way too high for them. That is probably the hardest thing I do to my kids,” Lynn said.
But her expectations give the children something to strive for, according to Talia.
“At some point, you just say to yourself, I want to achieve that,” Talia said.
Lynn said she sees not only intelligence and strength in her family but also forgiveness, love, encouragement and especially acceptance.
“They would not be the great kids they are, but by the grace of God. It was not anything I did at all. He raised them in spite of me,” Lynn said. “When I get down as a mom and a wife, it is usually my kids who lift me back up. In one way or another, the things they do or say, they get me through it all.”
What really speaks volumes, Lynn said, is that after they graduate college, her children have all wanted to be close to home, right where the entire family wants them.
“Reading this, I just don’t want ... it is going to sound like somebody better than I am,” Lynn said. “I am just truly blessed.”
The Sidney Sun-Telegraph thanks Lynn Enevoldsen and her family for sharing their story. We hope you’ll join us in wishing Lynn and all area mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day!