Thursday, June 30, 2011

home gardens of June

As the month of June is about to close, here are some photos of our gardens for us to enjoy in the long cold winter's supposed to be 90+ degrees today!
flowers chosen by Lisa Owens from the UW River Falls greenhouse

my "Amanda" lily from Amanda Kunde spring 2009

the beans and peas

tomatoes, cabbage and pretty flowers

lovely flowers from UW River Falls Mothers Day plant sale (purchased on behalf of AKO)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the blues

It's quite nice having a family of blue teams this summer!  Last night was Kathryn's 2nd t-ball game.  She was able to play infield which was much better for her attention.  She made a nice field/throw to first and didn't pause to think about it.

Tomorrow night is supposed to be close to 100 degrees and Anders will be playing and providing snack for his team.  I'm thinking popsicles are in order!

Kathryn is off to camp and uncle Bruce is visiting.  He and Brad are spending the day working together on the porch...sounds rough, huh?

Another excellent laundry day today---happy happy joy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

5K kings and queen

Adam, Kyle and Kim Blomgren after the William Irvin 5K 2011
With pride we watched Kyle Jr, Adam and Kim cross the finish line on Friday, June 17.  The evening was brisk and they ran like the wind.  Thanks for an always wonderful weekend with the Blomgren clan!

we also got to see our kids' pediatrician--Dr. Campbell striding in with a great finish in the 5K

happy laundry day!

Today is a lovely lovely day to air our laundry on the line...I just wish I had more to put on the line today.  I didn't think I would ever utter that wish, but days like this can make a clothesline girl giddy!

biblecamp bound

Our sweet Kathryn is getting ready for a super fun three day stint at Luther Point biblecamp.  I have a feeling we will be pretty quite around the homeplace without her charm and wit--but she will have the time of her life.

Thanks Grandma Betty and Aunt Julie for leading the four 2006 Swanson/Olson/Quintana cousins.  Looking forward to fun stories!

Kathryn posing on our front steps with her luggage--notice Dad in the background with head in hand...

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Just got home from the Pierson Rebellion where we celebrated the Pierson family at the St. James park.

Ruby, Eldon, Doug and Michelle
Kayo, Christina, Erika, Anders, Sheila, Lucas, Seth and Ryan
Vivian, Clarence, Kurt, Jen, Jen's son, Vance, Stuart, Liana, Ryan, Karen, Brad, Anders, Kathryn and Osten
Loie and Tammi
Butch, Marilyn, Missy, Aliah, Adam, Jennifer, Greg, Nick and Sydney


Loie and Tammi

Kathryn and Ryan

Melinda and Aliah

Eldon and Ruby

Our family

Mom and Dad Blomgren
Mom brought photos from their wedding 50 years ago and we served ice cream sundaes.  It was wonderful getting together, playing ladder golf and bean bags and playing baseball.  Thanks to my family for a wonderful day!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Anders has been studying wolves this week in his summer school class and today his class will be visiting the Wildlife Science Center near Forest Lake, Minnesota and visit wolves who are living at the center.  Thank you to Ms. Lyons and your incredible enthusiasm that has spread to our enthusiastic learner!

WSC was founded as a federally funded research facility in 1976, in order to observe and document the physiology and behavior of a captive population of gray wolves. Although the Center no longer receives federal funding, its distinctive research continues. However, since achieving 501(c)(3) status in 1991 it has concentrated its assets and knowledge on educational programming. It offers both on and offsite interactive presentations and overnight camping experiences to Minnesota youth by partnering with school and community-based organizations. Through its research and educational efforts, the WSC’s expertise is often sought by international, national, and regional institutions, regarding the care, handling, breeding, and ecological significance of wolves.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

sick boy

raw booty for our sweet little Osten John.  I think this 8th tooth is giving him a run for his money. 

Dehlia looking at 8 tooth with wonder

Anders has completed 12 hours of reading so far this summer--well on his way to his goal of 60 hours.  He is now on the 3rd book of the Harry Potter series.  It's so fun to discuss characters with him. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

bluers and buzz

Last night we were so lucky to get two ballgames in before the torrential downpour and severe weather sirens of the day with the most daylight in the northern hemisphere.

Ibby, Joe, Henry and Dehlia watched Kathryn and the Buzz hit off the tee, run (and sit on) the bases, play outfield, getting in a dogpile after a ball and asking Mom to take a photo while on 3rd base. The Quintana's did a great job spectating, but did have a long drive to Grantsburg so had to leave the game a little early.  It was great to have them here!

After the Buzz game, Osten, Kathryn and I headed over to Westside to watch Anders hit a nice grounder between shortstop and second base and scurry to first base.  I heard from Michelle Madsen that Anders had a great play in outfield by catching a pop fly similar to how a Minnesota Twin would have made the play before our arrival.  The Bluers did great and ended up winning the game.  I believe their record is now 2-2 for the season.

Here are the Bluers!  Thanks to Missy Huppert for taking the photo:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Happy SUMMMMER!  Last night we had a thunderstorm, not a big whopper, but nice strong thunder claps and some heavy rain.  I was so surprised that we didn't have a bed visitor as Katie slept through it all!  The vegetation in here in River Falls is getting quite large--our tomato and bean plants grew like weeds while we were on our northern journey.

Tonight we are hosting the lovely Quintana family for an evening of dinner, t-ball and baseball.  Ibby, Joe, Henry and Dehlia will be hanging out with us.  I will hopefully get  3 miler in as I'm starting on my Twin Cities Marathon training schedule. 

Sunrise today:  5:24am
Sunset today:  9:00pm

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

July 11, 1998
Thank you, Clarence Blomgren Jr. for being the best Daddy on the planet!

mission accomplished

Garry Bjorkland 1/2 marathon 2011 is on the books...beautiful day for a race, not so beautiful for spectating.  Thanks so much for my wonderful family in standing in the bitterly cold temperatures to watch me finish in 2 hours and 15 minutes! 

Woke up at 4:15am to rain pelting on the camper top--Kim drove Kyle and I to the buses.  We discovered a lonnnnng line to drop off, so jumped out of their van and ran to the buses--about 3 blocks.  I was winded running those three blocks, so got a little nervous for the upcoming 13.1 miles.  Found a bus and toodled off to the start.  Cold raindrops were falling and the garbage back Kim gave me worked wonders for my warmth and spirits.  The lines to the portable restrooms were also long and I did manage to use before starting the race.  I didn't hear the gun go off, but I did start following the pack and started the race about 6 minutes after gun time. 

Best race EVER!  It wasn't my fastest time, but my goal was 2:20 and I beat that by five minutes. 

Along the route, I ate an orange, banana, strawberry, lifesavers and a slice of bacon.  At the finish line, I enjoyed bagels, chips, water, milk, strawberries, bananas, yogurt, dippin dots and an apple.  YUM!  After the race, our family retreated to a lovely little three story shopping area to warm up our bodies and for me to stretch before we made it to Famous Dave's for our lunch with the Blomgren's.  Kyle finished in 1 hour 35 minutes.  I am so proud of his amazing running--he's my hero!

Thanks Garry Bjorklund and to Kyle and Kim for helping me get into the race!

Here is the story of the full marathon from another website, I didn't see first hand, but it would have been a nailbiter!

Christopher Kipyego, 37, won with an unofficial time of 2 hours, 12 minutes, 16.36 seconds, beating Teklu Deneke by 0.20 seconds. The previous closest finish was a 4-second margin of victory in 1999.
Kipyego won $10,000 for the victory, plus a $1,500 bonus for finishing under 2 hours, 13 minutes.

The race wouldn't have been as close had Kipyego not stopped short of the actual finish line. He pulled up at an electronic timing mat about 60 feet from the finish line and seemed ready to celebrate until he saw race officials urging him to continue.
He took off at a sprint, matched stride for stride by Deneke. They crossed the finish line together, producing the first photo finish in the 35-year history of the Grandma's Marathon, according to a Duluth News Tribune report.
"If I hadn't miscalculated the finish line, I wouldn't have had to worry about winning. When it was over, I looked over at (Deneke) and I didn't know. (A race official) came over and told me I had won," said Kipyego. "Sometimes things happen like that in competition and if you don't win, you have to accept it."
Deneke said he had victory in his sights.
"I was thinking I was going to win. Every race you enter you want to think you're going to win," he said. "I was pushing, trying to get ahead during that last mile, but I was going to be happy with whatever happened."
The finish was a little less dramatic on the women's side. Yihunlish Delelecha, 29, of Ethiopia finished with an unofficial time of 2 hours, 30 minutes, 39 seconds. She beat Everlyne Lagat of Kenya by 53 seconds.
With the win, Delelecha takes home $10,000 plus a $2,500 bonus for finishing under 2 hours, 31 minutes.
Saul Mendoza of Wimberley, Texas, successfully defended his title in the men's wheelchair race, beating Jorge Jimenez of Spain by a wheelchair length.
Running conditions were cooler than usual, with temperatures of 54 degrees and a 13 mph tail wind for the 7:30 a.m. start. Within two hours the temperature dipped to 48 degrees.
Runners could see their breath along Lake Superior, although they were spared rain that poured down in the early morning but stopped about 30 minutes before the race.
""It was too cold for me at the start and that's why I ran in a pack behind some of the other runners," Kipyego said. "It took me until about 20 miles, until about 90 minutes into the race, before my body felt warmed up enough to respond to a faster pace."
Kipyego, who took second place last year when he finished 16 seconds behind the winner, needed every bit of warmth to win this year.
"At the end I was trying to push and (Deneke) was right there," he said. "But I'm very good at sprinting. I'm very good at the finish line."
He broke the finishing tape with his shoulder and his left foot hit the timing mat first, giving him the victory by a single step.



One day a woman's husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't "anymore". No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one minute." Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye, say"I love you."

So while we have it, it's best we love it, care for it, fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick. This is true for marriage.....And old cars... And children with bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.

Some things we keep -- like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what.

Life is important, like people we know who are special.. And so, we keep them close!

Live today because tomorrow is not promised.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

it's coming

my half marathon day is soon to excited to run by Lake Superior and be with my wonderful family once again.  Happy "39th" birthday big brother Kyle! 

de ja vu

Brad and Kathryn August 2009 on Rocky Branch Court

Osten June 2011

Brad and Osten in motion on 6th street

starting the journey from our garage
This morning, Brad and Osten traveled to Liz's house via a mode of transportation that Brad and Katie used to enjoy...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

daycare provider, thunderstorm and zumba

Jenny is going to be coming to our home this summer to care for Anders and Katie and give Brad a little reprieve/ability to get work done.  Small world incident.  Jenny graduated with my cousin, Randy's son, Marcus.  She grew up on a dairy farm in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota.  She will be student teaching in math education this fall and has a minor in Spanish so will be working a little bit with the kids on Spanish

Last night, a thunderstorm cancelled evening activities--t-ball and baseball and gave our little family a little time to relax and enjoy.  Anders and Brad went to the movie X-Men while Osten, Katie and I  had fun at home together. 

Tonight ZUMBA resumes!  aye aye aye! arriba.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

long days and short nights

I love summertime--I'm going to document the length of daylight versus the length of darkness as I tend to forget how good we have it when December rolls around.  5:25am sunrise and 9:01 sunset 15 hours 35 minutes and 18 seconds of sunlight.

I am a bit melancholy and reflective today as one of our delightful college students was dealt a cruel blow yesterday.  His 51 year old father was killed in a motorcycle accident--an apparent collision with a wolf in Western Wisconsin.  Max is going to grow up in short order.

Monday, June 13, 2011

8 tooth on the loose

number 8 is emerging--poopy pants, but very little wimpering encountered.  Little O is officially a tough cookie. 

this photo was circa five tooth, but an excellent chompers shot
GORGEOUS morning encountered--58 sunny degrees, lovely strawberry rhubarb pie baked last night by yours truly, nappies in the wash, sleeping Anders, Katie, Ian, Erin, Judah and Ella left when I ventured to work EARLY.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

10 miler

Map my is pretty great.  You go there and type in your zipcode.  If there are runners in your area who have mapped running routes, you are in luck.  I found a 10 mile course on this website and it took me to an area around town that I've driven a number of times, but the experience of running was incredible. 

south on 6th street to east on Cascade, north onto Wasson, east onto Division, north onto Liberty (turns a few times), west onto River Drive (turns a few times), west onto Quarry, south onto Main Street, east on Cascade, north on 6th.  GORGEOUS weather, saw wildlife with crow buzzing my head near the hospital and five deer.  It was fun to see the corn pushing up through the earth and to hear the wonderful noises, smell the wonderful smell and experience nature. 

Thank you to the people who update this site--I really enjoyed my run.

brother and sister

brother sister talk back in the day
 The beautiful Batstone family of Compton, California is currently visiting our family on the first leg of their midwest tour.  Erin, Ian, Ella and Judah came to our home last night, ate dinner, played in the yard, had breakfast this morning, went to worship with us, ate lunch and are now visiting the Weaver-Olsons in St. Paul to watch Natalie in her dance recital.  The whole clan is very interactive with our family and Erin is especially great at asking questions.

In a conversation, Erin asked Anders if he liked being a big brother.  His response was "most of the time".  Erin asked him why not all the time and he said he liked his little brother, but not being a big brother to his little sister.  Just hours before that they had spent a fun afternoon playing hide and seek.  I think Anders and Katie have their moments, but overall, I think they kind of like one another.

Friday, June 10, 2011

in a weeks time

We will get to see the Quintana's of Montana--Ibby, Joe, Henry and Dehlia that is (Darrell will be in Montana and Angel in Colorado) next week!

Ibby and Betty will be driving the family cross country when Ibby is finished with her school year and will be staying here until early July.  Excited to see everyone and get better acquainted!  This weekend, Brad's cousin Erin and her family will be visiting us from Los Angeles area, next weekend we are heading to Duluth with the Kyle Blomgren family so we can run Garry Bjorkland on Saturday the 18th.  Exciting travels and visiting in the near future!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

summer cut

This photo was taken exactly two years ago when Anders received his summer haircut.  He has been wearing his 2011 cut for nearly a month.  That short style came in handy two days ago on his last day of third grade when the thermometer topped out at 102 Farenheit.   The Bluers suffered their second loss of the season, but as previously stated, they are enjoying playing and building friendships.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

sayonara 3rd grade

at the end of day today, Anders Cole will be moving on from third grade to fourth.  Mrs. Nelson was an incredibly positive influence on Anders.  He does still struggle with paying attention and trying to be the funny guy, so I hope he has not put Mrs. Nelson over the edge!

I think he really enjoys school--calling lunch his favorite time of day and claims that he doesn't enjoy reading.  He has just started the Harry Potter series and has his nose buried for 30 minutes or more per day in a book, so we're hoping he just claimed his dislike of reading to look "cool". 

When Anders is 21, he hopes to be a football player.  He calls himself talented at music.  His favorite restaurant is Marachi Loco and wishes that he could eat nothing other than tacos.  Anders is kind, intelligent and thoughtful--I love being his Mom.

With lighthearted illustrations and a sweet, reflective tone, best-selling author Karen Kingsbury encourages parents to savor not only their children's "firsts"—like first steps and first words—but the "lasts" as well. With the tenderness of a mother speaking directly to her child, Karen reminds us not to miss last days of kindergarten and last at bats in Little League amidst the whirlwind of life. Adapted from a poem in Rejoice, mothers and grandmothers everywhere will identify with the tenderhearted reflections in Let Me Hold You Longer. An ideal gift book for special occasions from baby showers to graduations.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Yesterday Anders, Katie and I went shopping for Father's Day gifts for Brad.  The kids thought Dad needed a water gun, which wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but I think was an excellent idea with the high humidity and temperatures that are expected. 

Of course when we were in that section, we decided that both Anders and Katie needed arsennel to protect themselves from attack...super soakers for all!  We got home at about 5pm at 5:15, two guns were loaded and swim suits donned.

Great cooldown on a sticky day.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

from webnursery May 21, 2010

Osten O.
Day of Birth May 21, 2010
Time of Birth 5:17 AM
Weight 8 lbs, 1 ozs
Length 21.25 in

Baby's Proud Family:
Karen and Brad
Can't wait to meet little Osten!! He is soooo cute!
He is perfect!! Congrats to your family! Hope to meet him soon! Maybe Tuesday?!?! Hugs, Nicky and family
Babies are so amazing. It is hard to believe he had been in a belly for nine months. SUPER CUTE. I can't wait to meet him. Love you guys!
What a beautiful (handsome) boy. Congrats to all of you.
Karen and Brad, Osten's ADORABLE! I love all the hair. When I looked at the third picture I immediately saw Katie. She's got to be a proud big sister. Congratulations Olson Family!
Welcome! You are very SPECIAL!!!!! What a precious baby. God's gift to all!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


our sweet Isabele, the big black bunny who was nesting all day yesterday in preparation for the delivery of baby bunnies passed away in the early evening hours.  We don't know if she died in childbirth (no bunnies were born), but we did find her lifeless body at about 7:30pm last night. 

Midnight did seem a little agitated and even broke free from his cage this morning.  I hope he will recover well. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

first birthday

Here is the show from KARE 11 where Osten was featured on the First Birthday's segment.  I'm not sure how long the link will be active, so I've attached the photo and am writing what was said about sweet Osten.

Diana Pierce announced:

Let's start off by wishing Osten Olson a Happy First Birthday.  Osten likes to laugh, play with puppies and play with his big brother and sister.

By the way, the Bluers won last night!  YESSSS.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

growth chart

This morning Osten had his one year appointment with Dr. Campbell.  Kathryn came along to be of assistance as she helped Dr. McNallan place the stethoscope at a prenatal appointment to hear Osten's heartbeat and she thought she should come along to assist Dr. Campbell with whatever was needed.

Katie and Dr. Campbell had matching black polka dotted socks and that was very exciting to Ms. Kathryn.  Osten performed well and with Kathryn's hand holding, tolerated his three shots well.  Kathryn answered questions regarding development:
  • walking around objects (especially attracted to the toilet)
  • crawling well
  • waving bye bye
  • saying Mama and Dada, Anas (for Anders), H (for Hi)
  • starting to sign "more"
  • so big
  • go guy go
  • mushy face
  • drinking from cup
  • pulling self up on objects
  • letting go of objects and balancing
  • eating pretty much anything offered--sometimes loves watermelon, sometimes not
  • fine motor coming along nicely with picking small bits off floor (or off birthday cake)
statistics as far as physical development goes:
  • weight:  22 pounds (between 25-50%)
  • height:  30 inches (50%)
  • head circumference:  47.5cm (75%)
Osten with his sweet cousin Liana on his big day
the weight percentage was a little surprising as he is a great eater and looks like it too, but now that he's motoring around more, he may be slimming down more. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

baseball season blew in

Anders and the Bluers had their first baseball game of the season last night in the strong western wind almost blew the Bluers off the field!  Thank you to Sarah for bringing an extra blanket for our sweet Osten so he could endure the very chilly wind.

The Bluers were up 10-7 going into the last inning and a series of errors and good hitting by Braedon Harer's team left the Bluers with a 10-12 loss and a record of 0-1 for the season.  We hope the season will see a few wins, but I think Anders is going to have a great time with his team--it's stacked with friends from Greenwood. 

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...