Frau Meets Mike at Fish Creek Winter Games


Madeline Jalozsynski, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

In 1997 after the Packers’ Superbowl win, the now-married Laaksonens met. Both Mike and Jennie were attending the Fish Creek winter games on the frozen bay.

Exactly four months after the couple met, they were engaged and magically in love. They got married in September of 1998.

“I am not sure the exact moment I knew, but I just knew.  I know it is corny, but I had dated before and this was immediately different.  He is a kind person who would do anything for anyone, and he loves animals and has no allergies to them, which was important to me,” said Laaksonen.

A few years after the wedding, Jennie had their first child Madeline. Madeline is now a senior at Notre Dame Academy. Their other daughter, Sasha, is a sophomore at Sevastopol School in Sturgeon Bay.

Along with two daughters, the Laaksonen family also has five cats, one dog and 11 chickens. (Not having allergies turned out to be very important for Mike.)

The Laaksonens keep their anniversaries very low key. Sometimes they don’t do anything.

“Marriage is a daily thing, not once a year.  We don’t need the once-a-year to recognize what we have,” the German teacher said.

The family is very active outdoors and spends a lot of time camping. They also enjoy binge watching James Bond or Criminal Minds among other things.

However, they do not get to travel as much as they would like. Jennie, of course, is a teacher, and they also own a construction company, but when they get to travel, they embrace every moment of it.

Frau’s construction-company skills are often put to good use here at NDA.

“She is amazing with tools,” said colleague Carolyn Brown.  “Add in her creative mind, give her a hammer, and suddenly she’s built a rolling table for drum sets and the Mr. NDA show.”

“One time I called her when we were traveling through Sturgeon Bay in the summer and teasingly told her we were coming by for coffee.  She told me to give her a minute or two as she was up on the roof of a house putting down a roof,” explained Brown.

The always entertaining Frau said her favorite memories of her husband “revolve around when he is with our daughters–hunting, fishing, playing or having his nails done.”  

“The poor guy,” she added, “he has only girls, so it was inevitable.”