Showing posts from 2018

Thank goodness for Christmas!

This year has been full of new beginnings and endings in my family and now at Christmas time I see things starting all over again!   This, I’m finding, tends to be difficult for a mom.   In the past year my husband and I have watched our oldest wrestle his last match, run his last race in track, attend his senior prom, graduate from high school, go on college visits, show his last steer and goat at the county fair, choose a college and we’ve moved him into his first apartment.   At the same time our daughter attended her first prom, took the ACT, got her first part-time job and her first car.   Then our sixth-grader attended his last elementary fine arts night and finished sixth grade to become a junior high student.   If that wasn’t enough to take in, my step-son got married! Now as we are nearing Christmas and the end of 2018, I find myself reflecting on more “simple” times when the biggest decisions I faced were making sure Santa delivered the coolest Spy Gear, the correct Americ

Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving 2018 is in the books and Emilee and I have a lot to be thankful for this year. We have been in our new home almost a year now and we couldn’t be more pleased with the decision we made to buy this house. The location is great, and the house has plenty of room to start our new family. Emilee is pregnant, and our first child is due in February! We are grateful to have such a great home to raise our family in and be close to both of our parents as well. This year, we volunteered to host Emilee’s family for Thanksgiving. So, a few weeks ago my wife broke out the To-Do List to prepare for hosting Thanksgiving. Let the work begin!   We started doing all the deep cleaning and making sure we had enough tables and chairs for everyone. Then came the grocery list and assignments on who would be making what for Thanksgiving dinner. I do not think initially we realized how much work goes in to hosting 19 people for Thanksgiving. Even though there was a lot of work that went into prepa

Just “Roll” With It

Thanksgiving will soon be upon us.   Roasted turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, side dishes galore, pumpkin pie, and time spent with family. What part of the meal is your favorite? For me, I’m all about the carbs from a “fresh out of the oven” dinner roll smothered with butter.   I’ll be honest, the roll hits my plate before the turkey! So, it is no coincidence that one of my memorable Thanksgiving meals, involves a dinner roll.   It was 1995 and I was roommates with my younger sister at the time.   We couldn’t travel home to be with family because of snow and poor road conditions, so we decided to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner on our own.   Our mother was an excellent cook who always prepared a traditional Thanksgiving feast, and after years of helping her in the kitchen under our belts, we were optimistic we could pull off this culinary endeavor. We planned our menu, purchased Tom Turkey and a cart full of groceries, and invited my boyfriend (now husband) to join u

Learning From a 6-Year Old

Throughout my life and career, I have had many people that have taught me things and many that I have looked up to and considered role models. Those role models have changed and evolved over the years, and I am always finding new people to look up to and learn from. In the last couple of months, my oldest son Jackson has hit the top of that list. Since he started Kindergarten at the end of August, he is always coming home with words of wisdom for us. The second week of school, he came home and was extremely excited because he was a “CAPS” winner. When he first mentioned it, I thought it was probably a game they played in gym class or something, so I asked him what CAPS was. He replied, “Dad, it is Considerate, Appropriate, Prepared and Safe!” I was shocked to hear that response, as it was not what I was expecting at all. Over the past few weeks, he has come home and told us about “CAPS” he has won at school and is always so proud to tell us the reason he won it and what CAPS attrib

Clues From Cash

KnowBe4 Security Tips - Hovering over links How can you tell if an email is safe? Even if you catch red flags in an email, such as typos or poor grammar, an urgent demeanor, or even a spoofed domain, how can you truly decipher the safety of an email? An immediate step you can take is to watch out for one of the most critical tell-tale signs of a phishing email—a mismatched or fake URL.   Why is hovering important? What can it do for you? Hovering not only allows you a moment to think before proceeding, it allows you the opportunity to see where a link is going to redirect you. This is especially important because not all links lead to where they appear, or insinuate they'll go. When you hover, check for the following to ensure you're staying safe and secure: If the email appears to be coming from a company, does the hover link match the website of the sender? Does link have a misspelling of a well-known website (Such as Does th

Mom I can go to kindergarten, we just won’t tell Dad

A few weeks ago, our little girl got on the school bus for her 1 st day of Kindergarten just a few short weeks after her 5 th birthday.   Even before she was born my wife was harassing me about whether we would let her go to school at 5 or wait until she turned six.   I don’t view myself as ultra-authoritarian but that was a topic that I wasn’t open to discussion about.   She’d wait until she was 6.   My stance wasn’t based on gaining an advantage in academics or athletics, but simply a protective stance to ensure that she would be mature and capable of standing on her own, particularly in her later school years.  As she has grown older people ask her how old she is and what grade she is in school.   Cylee is a little outspoken thing and pipes right up.   At a mid-summer doctor’s appointment, she was asked by the nurse if she would be going to kindergarten?   Cylee promptly responded with a “yes” while her mother politely informed them she’d be going to pre-K.   There was a short ar


Earlier this week I came walking into my office to find this amazing welcome sign.   My sister Laura, with some help, had it made out of old barn siding – from a barn we use to play in as kids.   It brought tears to my eyes.   I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm south of Libertyville.   My dad loved horses therefore we all had our ponies and would ride for hours over the hundreds of acres, checking cows and fences and playing all kinds of games.   Dad was also a big believer that if you couldn’t ride bare back you didn’t know how to ride, and with that the first 16 years of my life I was riding bare back. On a farm south and east of our house and about a mile through the pasture and down the pig trail was an old house and this old wood peg barn.   My sisters and I played for hours in that old barn, making hay forts in the mow, swinging from the ropes on the pullies and stabling our ponies.   I remember sleeping overnight in that old barn.   We hosted Halloween parties, and

Breaking My First Horse

As summer is coming to an end, I am reflecting on how I spent it. This summer flew by fast as usual, and I spent a lot of my time breaking a very stubborn horse. Looking back, I sincerely do not know who learned more from it, me or him, but it was a learning experience for both of us. I bought my horse as a weanling straight off his mother out in a pasture. When I first got him home the time was mostly spent sitting in the lot hoping he would come close enough to catch him, because he had never been around people before. We figured a lot of things out the hard way, from having to get stiches before we were even halter broke, to refusing to load on a trailer.   There were probably more angry moments than fun ones. I even had a few moments where I was positive this was a waste of my time, and I should just sell him. We had multiple days with me hardly being able to catch him, not being able to saddle him, or even of him dragging me around the lot a few times. The whole “do not let g

How do you know when Shi*t is out of control …

Is it when you can’t see your desk at work anymore? Could it be when there’s no more silverware in the drawer, cause they’re all in the sink? Or is it when one child has dance at 6:00, the other has a game at 6:00 and both parents have meetings at 5:30? All the above constitute a bit of chaos, but that seems to be the world we live in. Well, my wife and I survived all the above from earlier years and are now what they call “Empty Nesters.”  W e seem to have lost control in a different way…Our Dogs. Now, I’ve had dogs my whole life, my wife, only since she married me, so 30+ years now for her.   We’ll call her a rookie.   For several years now, we’ve had two dogs.   A couple of years ago, the oldest one passed away.   Up until this point, our dogs always lived outside and were allowed in the house, occasionally.    I’d like to stress, occasionally!   Well, the rookie felt sorry for our lone dog and thought he should become a house dog.   This is coming from the woman that said,

Picking Favorites

Do you have a favorite pet?   Maybe it’s your current pet or a childhood pet from days gone by.   Being an animal lover for as long as I can remember, picking a favorite is impossible for me. In my husband’s family, the immediate answer would be Prince.   Prince is a legend in the Mitchell family and carries the title “Best Dog Ever”.   That’s a hard act to follow.       I have plenty of “favorites”.   The hierarchy of our farm, our 12-year-old golden retriever Lucy, passed away recently. How can the loss of our cute, crazy, gimpy legged rescue dog bring the farm down to its knees upon her departure?   She was a great dog and owns a very deserving spot on the top of my list. Wonderful memories and stories pets leave in our hearts are a testament of their unconditional love, dedication, and the power they have on our lives.    They teach us about loyalty, forgiveness, the pure joy of reveling in the moment, and about giving more than you take.   Powerful lessons for all of us.

Max & Bella

We have many employees that are pet lovers, some are raising them for sale, Labs and Great Danes. Others are rescuing them and giving them a loving home, here is my story.   I never ever thought about owning a dog. My friends tried to get me to take their Great Pyrenees as he needed space to run and I have plenty of that, but I have a couple of cats that I would like to keep around for mice reduction. Then my son called and said he couldn’t keep Max (my grand dog) as he didn’t want to keep him tied up all the time. For some reason I said I would take him with the stipulation if he didn’t get along with the cats he had to go. Talk about being stressed out the first few weeks! I don’t think I lost as much sleep worrying over my son after he was born as I did over this dog. Was he warm enough, he wasn’t drinking much, he didn’t eat much, would he be ok shut in the barn all day? And that look he gave me when I closed the barn door, I could hardly take those sad eyes. Oh, but the joy of b

Clues From Cash

KnowBe4 Security Tips - "Google" Yourself W ith the rise of the digital age, it is difficult (if not impossible) to remain totally anonymous on the internet. Having an online presence and maintaining your social networks can be a wonderful and valuable tool, but sometimes we are unaware of how much personal information can be obtained about us over time. When was the last time you typed your name or your email address in a web search like Google or Bing? You may be shocked at the results. You may find that old photos of yourself pop up, or an old user account from a forgotten social network or blog that is still associated with your name. You may even want to search for your work email, to make sure it has not been compromised and made available on the internet for the bad guys to find. By searching and analyzing your online presence often, you can take steps to remove those things you may not want strangers to see. Like that embarrassing photo from college. You know th

To Sell or Not to Sell?

       The 2018 Jefferson County Fair has come and gone. I have attended this fair for the past 39 years, but have never experienced what I did this year. My youngest daughter, Lauren, decided that she wanted to join 4-H. As a parent I am always willing to allow my kids to try something new and see how it goes.   So, after talking to my niece who has shown cattle since the day she was old enough Lauren decides she wants to show livestock.   First it was a bottle bucket calf, then maybe just a rabbit, then goats. Goats stayed on the list for quite some time and we started to figure out what we needed to do to make this happen. On February 14 th the first goat was born and the next on February 15 th . After one visit to see them Lauren was connected and made up her mind that this was what she wanted to do. A few months later Romeo and Apollo got to come home with her and make take up residency at our house.   As June quickly approached, we all learned a lot about what it takes to care

County Fair

When I was first asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was quite simple. I wanted to be a farmer or a veterinarian. I was never one to be inside playing with dolls, Barbies, or helping my mom cook or clean. You could find me in the barn lot with my dad, the cows, or riding down the dirt road on my beloved horse, Bonfire.   At a young age, my siblings and I could all drive the equipment, back a trailer up better than most grown adults, butcher a pig in less than 20 minutes, and tell when a cow was going to calve. We didn’t have the distractions that we have today, we were told to go outside and play and use our imagination. We found all kinds of fun things to do. We built forts in the hay mow, swam in the cattle tank, did some creek stomping, caught snapping turtles, played with the new calves and piglets to name a few. One of the fondest memories of my childhood was the tradition of showing cattle at our local county and state fair junior shows. This was our time as a

50 Years in Banking!

In June of 1968 JR Helscher, then Farmers Savings Bank President, asked Sandra (Weber) Williams who was working at the local grocery store if she would come and work at the bank for the summer. Fifty years and many changes later she is still happy to come to work each day.             Sandy has always worked on the deposit side of the bank.   She started as a proof clerk matching up notches on checks, learned many bookkeeping applications, was a teller and is currently the cheerful voice that greets you when calling the Libertyville Savings Bank, Fairfield office. When asked which position was her favorite she simply replied, “I don’t have a favorite. I just like the contact with the people.” In July of 2014 Farmers Savings Bank sold to Libertyville Savings Bank. Many assumed at that time that Sandy would retire, but instead she took on the challenge of learning and has excelled in her position as receptionist. She noted relocating from the comfort of knowing almost everyone to

33 years at LSB

I started working summers at the bank as a teenager back in the early 80’s (I know this ages me!)   doing teller and bookkeeping work in Libertyville, when it was the only office of the Libertyville Savings Bank.   I started full time in the spring of 1985 and have never looked back or had many regrets.   I mean living on a ranch in Montana would have been awesome, other than the winters. I moved from teller, to loan clerk, to loan officer, to compliance officer, office manager and manager of many people and departments over the years.   Compliance officer, sounds glamorous, doesn’t it?Well, I must have thought so or didn’t know what I was getting into back in -----.    They asked, I said yes, I went to Compliance School in Norman Oklahoma and have been the compliance officer of the bank ever since.   For those of you that don’t know, the compliance officer oversees making sure the bank and its employees are following all the Federal and State Banking Compliance Regulations.   Le

25 Years at LSB

It’s hard to believe I am celebrating my 25 th year with Libertyville Savings Bank. I can’t believe the years have flown by so quickly. At the time I was hired, LSB had just one office and it was in Libertyville.   I started at the bank as the drive-up teller. I loved working the drive-up window, helping file checks and working up statements (at that time we still had to physically count the checks and put them in the statements to be mailed out). In those days, we weighed the statements on a scale, made piles based on postage needed, and physically put the stamps on the statements. My co-workers instantly became my second family as we bonded while working on these projects.   In 1996, I moved to Fairfield to work in the temporary trailer that we used as an office until our new Fairfield location was complete. At that time, I was pregnant with my first child. The teller line in the trailer was just big enough for me to wait on a customer at the drive then I would literally

Clues From Cash

KnowBe4 Security Tips - Top 5 Facebook Scams Facebook now has over a Billion users, that's a mind-boggling thousand million people who check their page regularly. The bad guys are irresistibly attracted to a population that large, and here are the Top 5 Scams they are trying to pull off every day of the year.   1.         Who Viewed Your Facebook Profile lures you with messages from friends or sometimes malicious ads on your wall to check who has looked at your profile. But when you click, your profile will be exposed to the scammer and worse things happen afterward. 2.         The Facebook Color Changer App tries to trick you to personalize your Facebook page, but it also leads you to phishing sites, deceives you to share the app with friends, and infects your mobile devices with malware. Stay away from it. 3.         Fake Naked Videos There are tons of fake naked videos being posted all the time using the names of celebrities like Riha

Money Smart Tips

In honor of Money Smart Week April 21 st through April 27 th we shared a tip each day from different members of our LSB Team on our Facebook page!      Day 1.) Money Smart tips from CEO, Jill Burnett, “1.) When I am considering any purchase, I decide is this a need or a want? All wants have to be paid for in cash, and many times I make myself wait a week or longer to see if I still really want it. 2.) Pack your lunch. Not only do you eat better food, you don’t waste $10.00 a day eating out. That can really add up! 3.) Complete at least an annual financial statement. I do one semiannually. This allows me to see how my net worth is progressing.”      Day 2.) Money Smart Tips on home buying from our Real Estate lender, Deb Troutman. "Homebuying is not what you see on television. Stop looking for perfection, the perfect property doesn’t exist. As long as you have more pros than cons you are headed in the right direction. Be prepared to make compromises as you may not get every

Music Man

     Music is a universal language that we all connect with. It doesn’t matter where we live, work or play.   Music evokes all kinds of emotions including happy or sad, excited or disappointed, connected or removed, carefree or burdened, relaxed or stressed, all depending on what we hear and when we hear it.   Music has been a journey of a lifetime, presenting a wide variety of opportunities to share it with others.      Singing and playing a trombone in high school was the beginning of the journey, being in band, chorus, and small groups at contest.   High school musicals including The Fantastics were fun to participate in as an actor and singer.   With encouragement from my parents, I continued with music classes and lessons along with being in the Hawkeye Marching Band while majoring in business at Iowa.      After entering the working world, expectations were the music was going to end.   Somehow, those expectations were wrong.   Over the past forty plus years, I became in

Clues from Cash - Are Free Trial Offers Really Free?

When signing up for a “free trial” please keep in mind that if they request your credit or debit card information it is likely you will be charged automatically after the free trial is over. If you have any questions feel free to contact us! See the following article from February 18, 2016 by the Better Business Bureau for more information. For centuries, consumers have believed when they were told something was 'Free' that it really was. Not always true in today's world. Free trial offers are used by many companies to sell everything from books to CDs, from magazines to Internet access. Free trial offers can be a great way to try out new products or services without making a long-term commitment. You should be aware, however, that by accepting a free trial offer, you might be agreeing to buy additional products and services,  if  you do not cancel within a specified p