Saturday, July 30, 2011

growing growing growing

This is a photo of Osten and I admiring one another about a year ago.  What a wonderful growing boy he is!  Yesterday when we took his weekly photo he did a fair amount of toddling.  He has such a proud look on his face as he's taking those little steps.  I would love to freeze time, but it just keeps marching on and that's just how it goes.

Friday, July 29, 2011

in the blink of an eye

Life can change in seemingly a blink of one's eye. 

The Olsons of River Falls will soon be the Olsons of St. Croix, Virgin Islands.  This past Wednesday (two days ago), I had a Skype interview with a lovely school on the Caribbean Sea and received an offer that we couldn't refuse.  The past two days have been a whirlwind of activity and planning/praying/decision making and we are going to accept the offer.

Here are some photos of the school where I will be teaching Kindergarten...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

boat on a hot, steamy weekend with ian and shannon

glamour girl
The weekend that we dropped Anders and Ryan off at Luther Point bible camp, we got to spend time with a dynamic couple--Ian Swanson and Shannon Richter.  They are fun loving, intelligent and always ready to embrace a challenge.  With temps in the 100s and record heat indexes, we enjoyed time on the lake to the most. 
windblown hair--Katie and Shannon

Brad driving and Karen skiiing

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

anniversary dinner

This was our anniversary dinner on July 11.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate our union.

Brad and I did end up going out on a date later in the week to San Pedro in Hudson and then on a Sam's Club run to purchase an iPad. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

perfect day

Sunday, July 24, 2011 was one of the most perfect days EVER.  Church, Osten nap, hanging nappies and bedding on the clothesline, brunch, water fights, slip and slide, Osten in his lobster pool, Osten nap, opening up the house to lovely cool breezes, playing Dominion, burgers on the grill, watermelon, chocolate pudding pie with a homemade graham cracker crust.

Anders another week older--533 weeks to be exact.
Lovely in every way.

Monday, July 25, 2011

regliar bagel

Before I forget this, I am going to document Kathryn's way of saying regular bagel.  REGLIAR bagel.  I'm hoping she will continue with this pronunciation because it just melts my heart every time I hear it.

and for the record...onion bagels are her very favorite.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

mature beyond her years

Kathryn Grace is so mature.

I arrived home from work the other day and she was wearing a lovely little frock that Grandma B bought for her first day of Kindergarten.  I had washed the dress and carefully hung it in her closet.  Katie finds it difficult to have a lovely dress hanging in her closet and NOT wear it.  I told her she looked beautiful and that we should keep it in her closet for the first day of school.  She proceeded to ask me where the dress came from.  I told her "Grandma B bought it for your very special first day of school"  her response "Grandma B must really love me, that was so kind of her to think of me."

She gets it on so many levels.

Friday, July 22, 2011

camper curtains

photo of me...Katie kept trying to take my picture, so I had to do a self portrait

fabric for Apache camper curtains

starting the sewing of the curtain and lining

adding the snap strip
Getting ready for our upcoming trips with the Apache Camper circa 1979.  We are heading to Door County in early August and then to Montana mid-August.  Once I have the curtains installed, I will snap some more shots. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011


What a wonderful reprieve this morning from the heavy air that has been around town for the past several days.  Went out for a short jog this morning and enjoyed the sunshine and beautiful air.  I'm guessing it was about 72 degrees with 50% humidity.  It's currently 75 and it's warmed up just a little bit since then.

When I returned home from my leisurely jog, I discovered a crusty little boy awakening...

 and he manages to have a warm smile for Momma
 and had his sister crawl into his crib to help him transition to the day.

After cleaning crusty nose and eyes, I shared a bowl of oatmeal with freshly picked raspberries from our raspberry bushes...

and then went outside to inspect my Mother's Day gift--a new hydrangea bush.  It's starting to flower!  Please note the volunteer tomato that sprouted and has flowers right behind the hydrangea, but don't pay any attention to all the little clovers also volunteering. 
Oh what a wonderful time of year!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

cool front

Last night as I was journeying north to retrieve Anders and Ryan from their Luther Point camp experience, I drove into Cushing, Wisconsin where the temperature was a oppressive 94 degrees.  Just a mile or so north, I started to feel the air conditioning finally overcoming the intense heat.  I glanced at the navigator/themometer in our van and it read 87 degrees.  Upon entering the grounds of Luther Point (about 10 miles from Cushing) the temperature read 72 degrees.  I was expecting severe weather as I saw tornado spotters out scanning the skies, but did not personally experience anything other than very large raindrops. 

Ryan reported that at their closing campfire, a bolt of lightening hit Wood Lake as they heard a large splash.  The boys had a nice time and didn't think it was too hot.  They enjoyed carpet baseball, soccer, singing, swimming, canteen, meeting new friends, taking a shower outside and their counselors. 

Outdoor worship and camping is such an amazing experience.  I was afraid the hot temps would turn the boys off from this experience, but it all worked out. 

sink the counselor in water olympics July 18, 2011

enjoying the water on 93 degree day July 18, 2011

mud volleyball--one of the boys' favorite activities

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

summa summa summa time

it's not hazy

my camera is just steaming up

a clear streak appearing in the middle
These photos were taken this past weekend when we enjoyed Big Wood Lake in the EXTREMELY hot temperatures.  Yesterday's dew point was the highest recorded in Minnesota since Ibby's wedding day in 2005 when the dew point was the highest in St. James, Minnesota at 86.

Monday, July 18, 2011


gymnast in training

Following through after work on bar

climbing the rope

Kathryn, Maiya & Ian Magnuson

proud Momma and daughter
Today, Kathryn had her "SHOW DAY" at summer gymnastics.  I decided the theme for the day should be more descriptive of the sticky heat where the little show people performed--GYM-NASTY-ICK!  Very fun to watch and great to see that the teachers were sensible and asked their students to take very frequent water breaks.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


this is Kathryn's drawing of that adorns my work cubicle

our princess

Ms. Jennifer is THE best dance teacher.  Both Anders and Kathryn have enjoyed her classes.  Here are two photos one from 2009 camp and the other from the 2010 princess camp.  It's amazing to me the transformation of princess Kathryn.  If we could have fit in our schedule for 2011, there would be another photo to scan.  We are planning on Ms. Jennifer dance camps this fall.

Friday, July 15, 2011

twins game

Anders attended the Minnesota Twins game last night where the Twins were victorious over the Kansas City Royals.  Also in attendance was my cousin, Nels Pierson III and his lovely wife, Nicole.  It's coincidental and seems whenever an Olson attends a Twins game, so does a Pierson.  Uncanny.
cousin Nels at the same game Anders' attended

stock night photo of Target field

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

trend setter

I realize that all parents are enamored with their children for a variety of reasons.  One of the reasons Kathryn is my ideal is because she has a sense of style that can not be taught.  She comes up with combinations that I've never conceived and makes it look like something to emulate.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

travel plans

We have a couple of busy months ahead with traveling, visiting, swimming, fishing, water skiing, tubing, tanning, jogging, bike riding, walking, toddling, eating, cooking, fish boiling, movie watching, gas buying, gardening, weeding...

We are headed to Grantsburg this weekend to spend time with Ian and Shannon, Bud and Betty, Molly, Siri, Ivan and our nephew Ryan B.  Then Anders and Ryan and heading to Luther Point Bible Camp for a few days.  Saints game, girls weekend, Brad's class reunion, Door County, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, maybe Idaho, North Dakota and Minnesota, Hibbing, Twins game, Mountain Lake.  Lots to pack in and much fun to be had. 

We are blessed!

Monday, July 11, 2011

lucky 13

On July 11, 1998 at 4pm Brad and I were married.  Thank you, Brad for being my partner in crime.  If the next 13 like the first, I'll be over the moon.
photo by Ivy LeFaive Langeberg in the basement of Augustana Lutheran Church in St. James, Minnesota minutes before our vows were taken

lovely weekend with the family

The Olson family returned from a wonderful 50th wedding anniversary celebration with Clarence and Vivian Blomgren.

add from Observer Advocate

Festivities started at about 2:30pm on Saturday, July 9th at Voss Park near Butterfield, Minnesota.  Potluck, visiting, walking around the great lake path, playing, watching an enormous tree branch crack off the canopy above us, looking at photos from C&V's wedding 50 years prior and E&R's wedding 58 years prior, fireflies and a bonfire with s'mores was the perfect way to celebrate Clarence and Vivian's union.

with 14 of 16 grandchildren

with five of five children Karen, Kyle, Kent, Kurt and Cory

On Sunday, all the Blomgren kids went to First Lutheran Church and we filled up the sanctuary.  I took a photo of Mom and Dad at the front of the church as they had been in 1961.
50 years and 2 days since C&V took their vows at same location

Love you all!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

update on founders day parade...

It has long been the understanding that Wells, Minnesota was named after a member of the Wells family.  However, according to Morene Wisdahl (who is considered the most up-to-date relative on the Wells family) Wells, Minnesota was not named after one of our relatives but another Wells family.  So, now no one knows which is correct.  However, if it is a our Wells family, it most likely would be George Wells.

So there you have it!



Friday, July 8, 2011


Happy Anniversary to Clarence Edward Blomgren Jr. and Vivian Grace Pierson Blomgren.  Thanks to your union:

Kent Edward Blomgren
Kurt Martin Blomgren
Kyle Dean Blomgren
Cory Lee Blomgren
Karen Grace Blomgren Olson
Jenna Louise Blomgren
Vance Andrew Blomgren
Stuart Martin Blomgren
Kyle Dean Blomgren Jr.
Adam Joseph Blomgren
Anna Grace Blomgren
Thomas Matthew Blomgren
Ross Issac Blomgren
Liana Marie Blomgren
Evan Lee Blomgren
Abigail Rae Blomgren
Ryan Edward Blomgren
Anders Cole Olson
Kathryn Grace Olson
Trenton Anders Blomgren
Osten John Olson

were made possible.

Thank you Mom and Dad and Happy Anniversary

Thursday, July 7, 2011


To Stride Rite in Woodbury we went.  The woman who works there is so positive and does an excellent job of fitting our kids' feet.  She gave Katie a tutorial on shoe tying which was outstanding and right up her ally.

Katie found and fell in love with her first pair of light up shoes--she wanted to be just like her cousin Siri and her "hot lights"

Osten is the proud new owner of his first "real" pair of shoes--he even kept them on his feet during our Super Target run after our shoe shopping trip. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

founders day parade

That has always been one of my quirky nicknames for Anders.  Now I have new knowledge that proves Anders is the descendant from at least two founders of communities.  Here is the 411 on the one I found out about today:

History of Springfield (Nebraska)


Provided by Springfield Historic Society

As the surge of civilization and building of homes pointed to the west, another town followed in the steps of the newly recognized territory and county. A young farmer-adventurer was responsible for the organization of Springfield, Nebraska. Capt. J. D. Spearman, was born in 1833, near Jacksonville, Ill., of Kentucky parents who moved to Illinois and then to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, before they came to this area. His significant early contribution has formed the major historical background of the town of Springfield.
In the fall of 1862, this young captain was commissioned to raise a company of volunteers. Within five days, he had 105 men, known as Co. H 25th, Iowa. As a captain, he served under Generals Sherman and Grant. In April, 1864, Capt. J. D. Spearman, a wounded, crippled veteran, was honorably discharged, and returned to Iowa.
In 1871, he settled on a farm 1.5 miles south of Springfield, (the Elmer Zeorian farm), later farmed for him by Frank Adair, Sr. and wife. When he learned that the Missouri Pacific railroad would be built through our area, he purchased, in 1873, 160 acres for $822.68, from John and Bridget Cotter, who held a land grant, dated July 7, 1857, and signed by President James Buchanan.
Captain Spearman immediately platted our village, naming it Springfield, because of the numerous springs, one of which has been preserved on the Neitzel property along Highway 50. Sarpy Center was another early town platted by Capt. Spearman, but he was sadly disappointed in his speculations and hopes for Sarpy Center - a town that never materialized. In a sense of word, the town of Sarpy Center was removed to Springfield. With the aid of Frank Adalr, Sr., Solomon Zeorlan (an early settler from Switzerland), Rev. S. J. Stewart, and others, Capt. Spearman transported the buildings from Sarpy Center to the new village of Springfield. The new town began life on October 1, 1881. On its first birthday in 1882, it had a population of 300.
One of Springfield's early settlers, Jacob Fackler, born in Ohio in 1825, came with his parents to Iowa in 1836. On April 17, 1858, he started to drive to Sarpy County, arriving on May 8th. From the national government, he purchased 120 acres at $1.25 an acre. The next year he bought another 120, but in 1865, he sold these farms to purchase a new 120, not far from the Platte River, and soon added another 120 acres. In 1876, he replaced the old log home with "anelegant stone house". It you look for it, you can find it, now occupied by the Robert Keyes, Jr. family. He made cattle raising his chief pursuit, and became successful.
Another successful Springfield farmer, was Clarence Keyes, Sr. of Chippewa Falls, Massachusetts. When he came to Sarpy County in 1868, he "had no thoughts of farming, nor could he even harness a horse." However, with his brother-in-law, he bought a farm in the La-Platte precinct. In 1874, he disposed of it and purchased 160 acres in the Richland precinct from the Union Pacific Railroad. Later, he bought an adjoining 160 acres - all untilled land. Mr.  Keyes served as a representative in the 1893 legislature. The farm which has never left family ownership, is now owned and farmed by Chester Keyes son, Donald Keyes.
Among other notable Springfield names, W. H. Peters of Trumbull County, Ohio, came with his parents to Sarpy County in 1856. He followed the wagon and carriage-making trade at his father. In 1879, he purchased 80 acres at $8 per acre, where he built the home now occupied by the William Beck family. That home was finished when Springfield was one year old. A number of business enterprises had sprung up by 1900. Two buildings were the pride of the town - the large hotel owned by the Biakewell family, and the Opera House. 
Before automobiles changed the pattern of living, traveling salesmen were numerous, coming by train and staying at the hotel, which had a large dining room, lobby, and parlor, in addition to the bedrooms. When twenty Negro Jubilee Singers made their annual appearances at our Winter Chautauquas, there was no color line for them at the hotel. Our Opera House, situated where Mrs. Anna Armstrong built her home, was truly a community center. It was the place for graduation exercises, for alumni banquets, church bazaars and dinners, home-talent plays, the "Clint and Bessie Robbins" road shows, the Winter Chautauqua, Farmers' Institute, Lodge meetings, and public dances.
Among the earliest merchants were David Brawner, who opened a general store in December, 1881; the J. D. Spearman and Sons general store; Louis Bates of Xenia and A. V. Rogers, who handled merchandise and drugs; W. E. Miller, a druggist who had transferred from Sarpy County, and much later, in 1891, for $2500, erected the first pressed-brick, two story building, now occupied by Kreifel Brothers.
In February, 1882, in partnership with M. Brown, Charles E. Smith opened the local harness and saddlery shop. All goods was hauled from Omaha by team and wagon. As business grew, he employed two men to assist in the making of harness by hand. His customers came from all parts at the county, for he carried a stock of collars, lap robes, blankets, saddles, buffalo fur coats for men, and stock food. He was the only original business man still operating in 1929, when death called him. 
Before 1900, we had two barber shops, each with three chairs; a jewelry, watch repair, and gift shop, owned by Mr. Frank Comte, a native of Switzerland, who was our only mortician; two drug stores; a hardware store; two implement houses; two butcher shops; two banks; a post office; three rooming and boarding houses; a creamery; a bakery; a large flour mill; a millinery shop; a green-house; a hospital started by Dr. A. G. Hamilton in 1898; a boot shop where Mr. Mumford made boots and repaired shoes; two blacksmith shops; two livery and feed stables; two elevators where coal was also sold; two lumber yards; two general stores and one grocery; one dray service, owned by Mr. Wick Ellis, our Confederate veteran from Mississippi; one "ice-house", owned by John Schaal, who delivered ice to homes and stores; one small jail, referred to as the cooler, a print shop, where J. C. Miller first published the Springfield Monitor in 1882; two saloons, whose licenses had to be voted upon each year since the license money of $1000 each went into the school funds; a pool hail; a restaurant. There were carpenters, painters, and masons to do the building. 
Rivalry existed between Papillion and Springfield as to which should have the County Fair. Dwindling finances forced the fair to be given up for a time, but 4-H clubs and exhibits renewed interest and lead the way to our present Fair Grounds. The Fair was returned to Springfield, September 3-4, 1937. Rodeo facilities and fine new buildings now make up our attractive Fair Grounds. 
Considering the history of our churches, we find a great change. The Methodist and the Congregational Churches had completed wooden structures and were holding services by August 1882, The Baptists erected a church home (now the Masonic Temple) and the Christian Advents built their church, later converted into a home by Lester Ball, and now occupied by Otto Nielsen. In 1927, the Methodists built their new brick church. The Baptists now meet in the old Congregational building, and the Lutherans in the Community Hall. The Community Building was built in the thirties by a W.P.A. labor project. 
Springfield's early school was on the outskirts of town. In 1884, a brick building on the hilltop was erected for ten grades. Because of Mr. J. M. Elwell's leadership, an eleventh grade was added, and soon we became an accredited 12-grade school. We have a new modern elementary school building, constructed in 1964, for kindergarten Through third, and high school students are transported by bus to the consolidated Platteview Junior - Senior High School, built in 1960. 
Every business house and home had its own deep well or cistern. All sidewalks were wooden; street lamps were lighted by a caretaker, who carried his step-ladder from post to post. The streets were lined with hitching posts for the horse and wagon days. To dampen the deep dust, a horse-drawn sprinkling wagon was used. After the destructive fire of 1904 the "town fathers" realized the village should have a water system. At first, Springfield had several trains a day, one passenger train with a pullman car. Mr.J.C.Geib, the station agent for so many years, had relief telegraphers for the day, as well as a night operator. Special passenger service was provided to the Ak-Sar-Ben night parades in downtown Omaha. By the time the train from Falls City had reached Springfield, there was usually "standing room only". 
Memories bring back recollections on the Memorial Day parades that ended at the City Park, where orations were delivered and patriotic music was sung. Active in heading up this parade was the Kirkwood Post of the G.A.R., organized by Captain Spearman. Carrying the flag proudly and wearing his blue G.A.R. uniform, Mr. Jim Johnson (a settler along the Platte in 1858) led the procession, year after year. Another G.A.R. member always present at this celebration was I. V. Cornish, who was one of the village Mayors after he retired from farming. 
The first citizens of Springfield managed many years without telephones and electricity. Oil lamps were replaced by gasoline burners and a few homes had their own acetylene plants. Telephone switchboards and office were installed in the rear rooms of the old brick bank building (now the Grell apartments) with Miss Ethel Saling as head operator for many years. As the years passed, garages and filling stations supplanted the livery stables; mechanized farm machinery drove the blacksmiths and wagon-makers out of business.
Through a generous legacy left to the town by Mr. Taylor Jar man, in 1965, a brick concrete building, in the city park, now houses the fire department and rescue equipment. There is space for a new library and a meeting room for the town board and Woman's Club. The Taylor Jarman Memorial building has been well planned for future growth and is attractively furnished.
Another legacy was given to the town of Springfield, an every day gift, handed down through the years. The pioneer-settler bequest of determination, hope and faith that these men had when they built Springfield, has been turned over to the people of the town. Proof of this same spirit are the fine new homes in the two new additions Springfield has built for her growing "today". This gift of spirit will give Springfield her courage, enthusiasm and growth in the future.
Reference for Biographies: Biographical Record, Saunders and Sarpy Counties, 1900. EARLY SPRINGFIELD SCHOOL.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

wind storm

we dodged a bullet on Friday evening when we opted to stay in River Falls to make sure our basement didn't flood.  HUGE wind storm in Grantsburg where trees were pulled out of the ground as if God were weeding his garden.  Visited Grandma Grace on Sunday and the trees around the Care Center were well established with big roots exposed.  She didn't remember the storm, but it looked like it was quite scary.

Katie was with Grandma after a wonderful biblecamp experience and received a lot of hugs and snuggles during the gale.

Here are some photos from other sites about the storm:

tentative steps

Osten John otherwise known as Smokey Lonesome is starting to take tentative steps.  He gets a smile that reminds me of the sun rising and then he slowly descends to the ground.  That little butterball is about as sweet as you can be.

take me out to the buzz game

Maiya Magnuson holding Osten with Joe in the background

Kathryn up to bat with coach Jeff Olson watching

a connection was made

"Mom take my picture!"  while on third base

Two super cute Bangston kiddos cheering their brother Cayden on
Kathryn Grace and the Buzz are enjoying a fun t-ball season.  Ibby, Joe, Henry and Dehlia made the trip down to River Falls--it was great!

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...