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Mothers look forward to various gifts on their special day

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Posted: Friday, May 6, 2005 10:00 pm

Last year on the first Sunday in May, Alison McGregor delivered her second child.

"That was a good Mother's Day present," she said.

This year, with two children under her charge, she has a different gift in mind.

"What I really want is free baby-sitting," McGregor said as she buckled her son in her car in the parking lot at Lakewood Mall.

The same goes for mother-of-two Jalynn Sherman, whose husband's gift to her is a night to herself.

"I have to admit, my husband's present is well needed," she said.

Whether it is a night free from motherly duties, jewels or a hand-hewn gift from a loving child, area mothers say it is the thought behind Mother's Day gifts that make them memorable.

Pictures or handprints of 10-month-old daughter Payton or 9-year-old son Michael are what mother Tiffani Meinecke enjoys receiving for Mother's Day. Gifts like those are a good keepsake and are more meaningful, she said.

"Something that (Michael) could hand-make would mean more than anything from a store," Meinecke said.

Sometimes a little recognition goes a long way.

Elsie LaPorte, 83, recalls that her most memorable Mother's Day was in 1949. She had just given birth to her youngest daughter, which made her the winner in several categories of a Mother's Day contest at her church in Felton, a small town outside Santa Cruz.

"I had the newest baby, the most children (and) I was the youngest mother," recalled LaPorte, who had four children and was 28 years old that year.

The pastor awarded LaPorte a potted plant, among other items, she said.

"It was quite a thrill," LaPorte said.

This year she doesn't know what her three children, seven grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren might spring on her.

"I don't have any idea at all," LaPorte said. "I don't care, though. I'll enjoy anything they do."

At 97, Zola Dicks said she has had a lot of memorable Mother's Day moments. But the moments that stood out the most were when her sons surprised her. Now, she's happy "just having them around me."

"Some people want to get rid of their kids. But I didn't want to so I could know what they're up to," she said.

Tammy Snowden will celebrate her first Mother's Day this Sunday. Her daughter, Natalie, will be 19 days old then.

What does Snowden want?

"Diamonds," she said without pause.

Though the gem has long been regarded as a girl's best friend, a diamond would have a special meaning for Snowden and her daughter: It's the birthstone for people born in April.

June Orndorf, whose mother Marie turns 94 years old this Mother's Day, shouldn't have much difficulty selecting a present.

"She likes anything," June said of her mother. "She's not too particular."

June Orndorf said she gives her mom two presents -- one for the birthday and one for the holiday.

Marie Orndorf said she has always been grateful for any gifts she receives.

"They've always been so generous with me. It's usually money, which is always appreciated."

At 93, Marie Orndorf recently received a clean bill of health from her doctor, which is a gift in itself.

"I'm just so grateful to God for my health," she said.

Contact reporter Jake Armstrong at jakea@lodinews.com.

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