Tuesday, May 31, 2011

happy birthday Grandma B

May 31 will always be my Grandma B--Margaret Lucille Houselog Blomgren's birthday.  Here is a snippet from her obituary on "findagrave.com"

Margaret L. Blomgren was born on May 31, 1905 in Grant County, Wisc. to Henry and Lena (Demuth) Houselog. When she was five years old the family moved to a farm near Hatfield where she attended school for eight years and then attended Pipestone High School and also one year of normal training at Pipestone. Margaret taught school for six years east of Hatfield and later substituted at Elkton. On June 16, 1930, she married Clarence Blomgren at Woodstock and they lived on a farm near Pipestone until 1937 when they moved to a farm northeast of Elkton. Clarence preceded her in death on March 15, 1970 and she moved into Elkton in December 1970. She entered Riverview Manor in October of 1994.
Grandma B is the lone female in the back row a rose between four thorns

glad to see after the fact

I have no idea how close to camp this photo was taken, but I'm glad I didn't know Anders and Brad were this close to the three little bears...Momma on top and babies on lower branches.

wind in our hair

Spent a lovely weekend "up north" at Bud and Betty's.  Yesterday, Anders and Kate got a chance to drive the boat around the lake.  They were permitted to drive at low speeds, but when Brad got behind the wheel, we were able to let our hair loose and let it get snarly.  Humid, overcast day, but great memories were made!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

morels and asparagus

today we are spending time with Brent, Molly, Siri, Ivan and Grandpa Bud up at the lake.  The kids decided to ask the next door neighbors to play in their treehouse.  As Siri departed from the treehouse, I spied the first of seven morels.  Mrs. McPheeter told us to help ourselves and we found a total of seven morels. 

Earlier today, Brad found some wild asparagus...love wild foods!

Friday, May 27, 2011

home gardens of May

cold frame with lettuce--brocolli and cabbage in pots
This morning I was out for my five miler and noticed how vegetation has exploded!  Fields are starting to grow, the first alfalfa cutting has happened, leaves on the trees are almost full sized.  Here are some photos of our backyard gardens...they are only going to get bigger--YUM!

climbing beans emerging

tomatoes/carrots in three forward boxes, cucumbers by the teepee looking apparatus and asparagus next to the cucumbers

raspberry bushes flourishing compost in the corral like structure

oodles of impatiens

petunia row and my new hydrangea near the egress window cover

Thursday, May 26, 2011

group photos from Boundary Waters 2011

Anders, Riah, Austin, Garth front row Jerry, man, Brad and Riah's Dad back row

3 generations, Jerry, Austin and Garth

Riah, Anders and Brad

the boys--Riah, Austin and Anders

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


3 boys in a camp with trees and an axe

pulling together

concentrated effort

felled tree

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

graduation day

This evening we will be attending Katie's Preschool Graduation and Picnic.  She has been looking forward to this evening all school year as she will get to see all of her student teachers from throughout the year.  The class also has been working on some music to make the Mommy's tear up.  I am going to be sneaking over to spy on her in a few minutes as this opportunity to visit will be over very soon as she will be enjoying her final day of class on Thursday.

Thank you Mrs. Kaiser, Ms. Sheila and everyone for a fabulous year of learning and growing.

with Mrs. Sheila and Ms. Jaquie

with buddy Kenny in cap

taking the graduation walk to get diploma
ready to take on the University

Monday, May 23, 2011

little man standing

On Thursday, May 19th, 2011, Kathryn, Osten and I attended our first High School Girls Soccer game.  Kathryn's dear friend, Kenny invited her to go with him, his Mom and friend Kieran at 5pm and then Osten and I joined them after work.  What a fun event!  We were able to cheer on a young woman who has been working with the kids in preschool, Miranda Kaiser and support a cancer kicking event!

While sitting on a blanket and toddling around, young Osten pulled himself up on my knee and let go--he stood there for a few seconds with a HUGE mushy grin on his face.  HEART WARMING and exciting.

crazy weather

We had some crazy weather this weekend!  Yesterday the day started out with overcast skies.  As we were listening to MN Teen Challenge in church, the skies opened and we were dumped on with rain.  We proceeded to walk home, drive to Perkins with Liana and Ryan, eat dinner with Mom & Dad (great to be together!) and drive Kate to Ian's Fifth Birthday party at The Crossings swimming pool and gather back at home to finish our Osten celebration at home.

Mom and Dad, Liana and Ryan left our home at about 3:00pm--Brad, Osten and I all fell asleep.  I woke at about 3:45 pm to go out for an eight miler.  It was extremely humid/windy/still/sunny/cloudy during my run.  Seemed like a teenaged girl and her mood.  Found out while driving with Sarah to the movie Bridesmaids that there had been a tornado in Minneapolis while I was out for my run!  After the girls night movie (Angie, Sarah, Michelle Johnson, Kim and I) and much laughter, Sarah and I drove home and it poured on us once again.

cleanup after Minneapolis tornado 5/22/11 (scitimes.com)

Hopefully today will be a non-dramatic weather day!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

first birthday

I will be updating this post throughout the day, but Osten John is a year old today!  He woke with a bright shiny smile, but is currently down for his morning nap.  Brad is making bread, Kathryn is helping, Anders is playing DS and I am going to get some weekend cleaning done. 

Osten's birthday cake is thawing and we are going to be celebrating with Grandma and Grandpa Blomgren today!  What thrills and chills!

update:  Anders, Kate, Pete Noreen, Alex Samargia and I drove through a torrential downpour to a skating birthday party for Braedon Harer today.  Anders did great on the ice and learned so much from Braedon's Dad--working with hockey stick and puck.  Anders was outfitted with skates, helmet, gloves and helmet.  Thanks so much for everything Harer's!  Katie had tons of fun skating with friend, Gracie.  They are going to have lots of fun in Kindergarten together.  

Back to River Falls and then to Hudson (the place of Osten's birth) to celebrate Osten's day with the Blomgrens--Grandma and Grandpa B, Liana and Ryan.  We ate pizza in the party room at the Quality Inn with approximately 20 ten-year old girls and their families who were in town for the soccer tournament in River Falls.  Noise levels were very high, but Osten took it all in stride. 

Back to the room for cake (loved the Chip/Osten cake Grandma Betty) and presents.  We are so blessed with loving family!  Osten received a Gopher's hat, blue bibs, Twins sweatshirt, 2 puppy books, lime green and navy polo shirt, tub of vehicles, nesting birds, bird book, 3 piece luggage and Dr. Seuss birthday book

Photo of Osten just a few hours old--I was still in recovery and got to bond with this sweet baby boy just minutes after this photo was captured

Friday, May 20, 2011


Kathryn and I just got back from watching Anders run the mile at Greenwood Fun and Fitness day.  He looked strong and crossed the finish line at the exact time his buddy, Peter Noreen.  WAY 2 GO ANDERS!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

fish tales

Anders and a nice catch

Anders and Austin

the boys--Austin, Riah and Anders with keepers

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

they are home!

Brad and Anders returned from the frozen north with sunburns, smiles and fish.  We are so thankful that they returned safely and had a fantastic time together and with friends.  Kathryn, Osten and I are looking forward to the "fish tales".

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

celebrating Anders 8th birthday

Two years ago we celebrated Anders' 8th birthday at Pizza Ranch in New Prague with cousins, Siri, Liana, Evan, Ryan, Kyle, Adam, Trenton and Thomas.  Many inches have been grown since this photo was taken and one more cousin and one more brother has been added to the total population.

Thanks to everyone for loving our sweet Anders!

Monday, May 16, 2011

8 degrees?

I just heard from my work buddy, Lisa that it was 8degrees this morning in northern Minnesota.  Hopefully our sweet Brad and Anders stayed warm last night! 

Katie, Osten and I have been well taken care of by Grandpa Bud since Thursday and Grandma Betty on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Betty and Katie came and visited me at work on Friday, Betty took Katie to her friend, Lief's birthday party on Saturday, Betty and Bud watched Osten while I went out for a 7 mile run on Saturday in the grey/misty coolness, Bud sat with Katie at church after she sang at the contemporary service yesterday, Bud watched Osten as Katie and I went to the church picnic and on a Mother/Daughter walk last night.

Today, Bud is taking Katie to school and will be picking her up.  Thank you for taking excellent care of us while our boys are gone!

Side note, I planted the hydrangea and the rest of my bedding plants yesterday--so exciting to see green again!

pen pals

    • Several days ago, I received a message from Facebook from a long lost 4-H friend, one that I met when I was 10 or 11 years old.  Here is a brief interchange between myself and Stacy Hull from Mankato: 

      WOW!  Great to get your message! I believe we originally met at 4-H camp and then also reconnected at the science fair. My niece, Liana and nephew, Ryan were just competing at the same science fair. When I learned of their attendance, your face popped into mind and then coming into work this morning/getting your message WOW!

      You look amazing, exactly like you did 25+ years ago and have two great looking kiddos. You have my dream job--I would love to get into teaching, but am currently working at the University level in the Dean's office in the College of Agriculture.

      Again, great to get your message and it was a little twilight zonish to get your message ;)


    • OH MY GOSH!!!! I am so excited to get your message, I am at my computer just giggling away and actually getting some tears in my eyes-too exciting!! I am also really happy to know that you remember me! I had forgotten about the 4H deal-no wonder I remember being in touch with you quite a bit via letters etc. I have a couple things to tell you about:
      First of all, I have many relatives in S. Dak-so thought of you often when driving through Butterfield. Then, I remember seeing your engagement photo in the paper several years ago (how long ago were you married), and I saw the picture and knew it was you before I read the info. I saved that for a long time bc I was going to try to contact you, but there was not Facebook, so it was not so easy.
      Tell me what you are up to?? Working at the University level has to be pretty interesting. How far are you from Hudson? I have a sister who lives there. I teach 3rd grade-have been teaching for about 15 years. I love it!!!! I bet you would be an excellent teacher, and never too late! It looks like you have kids-one? I have a daughter, Sarah who is in 5th grade, and a son, Patrick in second grade. They keep me busy!!
      Thanks for the compliment-and you look awesome too - I knew it was you right away-look the same:>) This so fun!! Staci :>)
    • great example!
      Thought I would share: My class was writing a last letter of the year to their pen pals on Friday. Many of he letters that we had received from them (they are not from far away-just a different Elem. school in Mankato) and were now responding to said things like "I wish I could meet you" or "I wish we could be friends", and many included home addresses and phone numbers. Anyway, I was trying to impress upon them that they should really make an effort to meet their pen pal over the summer, and stay in touch. It was a perfect time to tell them my great story about my pen pal Karen, and how we recently got in touch with each other after what? 25-30 years!! They were amazed!! So cool :>)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

bongo baby boy

Yesterday, Osten took his 51 week photo.  We captured his photo as he was playing his new bongo drum and playing with a little muscial book that Godfather Kurt gave him for Christmas this year.  I believe he will be musical and that is super cool.

Friday, May 13, 2011

farewell and happy fishing!

Anders and Brad are on their way to the frozen north to capture Walleye and bond as father and son in the Boundary Waters of The United States and Canada.  They started their adventure early this morning with friends Garth and Austin.  I sent clothes and camera with both boys and we will see how much laundry and how many photos they bring back.  Love you both so much and so happy that you will have this adventure fondly recall in years to come. 

woodbury garage sales

yesterday I slipped away for a marvelous morning pounding the pavement in Woodbury for their annual garage sales.  Water and sand table and an air compressor were my quest items and didn't bring home either, but I did score:  bongo drums (little O is in love with them), jewelry box (little K is in love with it), baseball pants, sand toys, and some gently used Hanna Andersson, little Boden, Carters, H&M, the Children's Place, Janie and Jack clothing that would not be a budget line item for the Olsons.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

crazy night...morning

Last night was one of the first nights of severe thunderstorm weather for Minnesota/Wisconsin.  Katie and I were watching "The Biggest Loser" when regular programming was interrupted for weather watching.  Katie was very concerned that this storm was directly aimed at River Falls.  Shortly after we started watching, it was time for her to head to bed. 

At about 1:00am, I heard "Mom, Mom" coming from her room.  I went to her room and she asked "is it past 8:30?"  I think that was the estimated time weather would be hitting River Falls and I told her it was past 8:30 and that we were safe.  After crawling into bed, I heard another "Mom, Mom", another trip to her room and she asked if she could have a kiss--I then proceeded to ask if she wanted to come snuggle with Mom & Dad and she took me up on it.  She is such a sweet little person even if she sleeps sideways in the bed ;).

This morning, I was going to be on time to work when I picked up Osten to take him to the car and discovered a world record "blow out".  I changed his and my clothes, leaned down to get a Katie hug/kiss and received a dose of Nutela on my bright yellow shirt--thank you to Brad for helping me clean up and to my office mates for tolerating another five minute late lady.  I am blessed with a fantastic family, great job and outstanding caregiver of Osten!

Monday, May 9, 2011

7 tooth

I knew it wouldn't be long before I were reporting 7 tooth--just emerging.

breakpast in bed

One of our family traditions is to enjoy breakfast in bed on our birthday.  Here is Anders enjoying his special day...peanut butter toast, rice krispies, hot chocolate with marshmellows and milk. 

The story behind breakpast is that is the moniker Kathryn Grace has bestowed upon the early morning meal.  It has stuck for me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Today was a day for Anders Cole to show his many talents.  This afternoon at 2pm, he presented Linus and Lucy at Ezekiel Lutheran Church for his piano recital.  Brad and I were blown away when he performed without his music as he had the music memorized.

He was also presented with a plaque from Western Wisconsin Music Teachers for the contest he participated in last year and this year.  When students earn points in increments of 25, they are presented with a plaque and then for every additional 25 points, they receive a bar to add to their plaque.  He was pleased with his plaque.

Shortly after his recital, his park and rec baseball team (coached by Mike Noreen and Brad) met at Hoffman Park for spring training.  Anders is excited for the season and said he has high hopes for a competitive and fun season. 

Grandma Betty and Grandpa Bud spent the day with us today and kept remarking how much Osten has matured in the few weeks since they spent time with him.  He ended up waving bye bye and saying bye bye when they left...

Yesterday at Liz's he let go of the pack and play and took a step to another piece of furniture.  I believe baby proofing at our house needs a new level of intensity.  As I'm writing this he is pulling papers out of Brad's desk below me...YIKES.

Anders performing Linus and Lucy

all of the performers at the recital
anders and his new starwars legos & baseball clothes

anders 10th birthday cake on the porch

Friday, May 6, 2011

over the rainbow

enjoying the singing from Mariachi clan

Last night Taylor, Trish, Anders and I celebrated his last evening of being nine by going out to dinner at Mariachi Loco and then headed to the Jason Derulo concert here in town.  As we were driving to the concert a lovely rainbow appeared above Hunt Arena...omen that a fun night was about to unfold.

Jason Derulo singing "Riding Solo"

Taylor was shirt twins with opening act wonder Megan Terese

swimming in Lindstrom

Last night, Osten, Brad and I drove to Lindstrom, Minnesota to see the River Falls Wildcats face Spring Lake Park and the Wildcats of Chisag...