Monday, August 29, 2011

Full time walker

In the midst of everything, Osten has become a full time walker. He's into everything pulling out pans, knives glassware, splashing in dog dishes you name it and he will probably get into it, the more dangerous, the more likely.

Osten and Moose

Kathryn is doing well. She played well with a girl today, but still prefers to play with boys. I think the favorite part of her day was playing with a boy named Kai. He's definitely a ladies man, preferring to sit with girls as opposed to boys when we had free seating choice and during quiet time. Katie may have met her match.

First day

12 of my 13 students were at school this morning. They are so sweet and wonderful. Lots of energy in a few of the boys and girls. Quiet time turned into hard nap time for a few as we had a busy morning and they were up early as school starts at 7:40am. I have to admit that I entertained the thought of pulling up a blanket and catching some sleep. Then it was time to send them home for the day. Haley is an excellent assistant, I just hope that I'm using her fullest potential.

More tomorrow...

Bright and early Anders heading to 4th and Katie and I to Kindergarten

Katie and our classroom door

view from our classroom (yes, that is the Caribbean)

quiet time in the Kindergarten classroom day 1

Sunday, August 28, 2011

more boxes!

More boxes arrived including some very much anticipated school supplies.  It was almost like Christmas finding our "home" stuff in our new home.  Went to the classroom to put the finishing touches and am anxious and excited for the year to start tomorrow.

More tomorrow...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happiest of birthdays, Betty!

This evening, we had the distinct pleasure of skyping with Betty Olson and singing her Happy Birthday.  Betty just spent part of her birthday in River Falls harvesting from our garden.  She got some nice tomatoes, green beans, carrots and onions. 

Happy Happy Birthday to you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

first box

Our first box arrived from home. I don't believe it's the much awaited school supplies, but we will open it when we arrive at Caren's tomorrow night. Tonight's our last night at c&e's. It has been a wonderful stay, but will be nice when we get "home".

Registration Day today. I met 3 of my students and their Moms, so exciting. Also received my health card which enables us to have lunch with our kids. An experience for sure (stool sample required).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Tomorrow morning is registration day at Good Hope. This is the day that all the kindergartener parents are going to come to my room to meet their child's teacher and to see if I am qualified to educate their wonderful children. Today I met Haley, who will be my teacher assistant. Haley grew up in Eagan, Minnesota and moved to St. Croix last September. I am looking forward to working with her as she is a very artistic soul.

one of Brad's new favorite beverages served with coke ;)

The cool breezes are blowing and I'm heading to bed shortly.

Over and out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Electricity is almost recovered on the island now that Irene has left the island and nOw heading to the mainland as a hurricane. Another news item is that there was an earthquake in Virginia. During my orientation today I was given instructions on tsunami awareness. That doesn't happen in Wisconsin.

Here are some photos of us hunkering down during the blast of winds...

shutter application

Anders excited to help by holding shutter clips

Katie "helping" get shutters on with Mom's running shoes

Anders turned another week older and was eating popcorn/watching Shrek

Katie and I did one another's hair

Monday, August 22, 2011

anders growth

Before we started our great adventure, Anders had a physical to make sure he was well.  He received a tetanus booster along with his general physical and he tolerated very well.  His statistics:

Weight:  73.8 pounds (50%)
Height:  58.25 inches (90%)

This was all completed on August 4, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy birthday Trenton Anders

Sweet Trenton Anders Blomgren turns 4 today. We love you so!

tropical storm Irene

Today we attended church services right near the ocean.  Great service with the sermon speaking of the keys to heaven.  We had communion and also had a hurricane prayer.  Right before communion, the winds came up quickly and it was looking a little scary, but then we were able to finish the service and enjoy some outstanding Cruzian cuisine.

Brad ate some pigs feet.  I loved the rice and beans, sweetcorn, banana flatbread, lasagna with peppers and okra.  Then we enjoyed pumpkin pie for dessert.  As we drove back to C&E's we realized it was time to get the hurricane shutters on as there were advisories on the radio.  Anders, Brad, Matt and myself got the shutters on and now we are feeling more comfortable. 

Here is the information from weather underground:

...Irene approaching the Virgin Islands...

summary of 200 PM AST...1800 UTC...information


location...17.5n 63.7w

about 70 miles...115 km...ESE of St Croix

about 185 mi...300 km ESE of Ponce Puerto Rico

maximum sustained winds...50 mph...85 km/h

present movement...WNW or 290 degrees at 18 mph...30 km/h

minimum central pressure...999 mb...29.50 inches

watches and warnings


changes in watches and warnings with this advisory...

the government of Antigua has discontinued the Tropical Storm

Warning for Antigua...Barbuda...Montserrat...St. Kitts...

Nevis...and Anguilla.

Summary of watches and warnings in effect...

a Hurricane Warning is in effect for...

* Puerto Rico...Vieques...and Culebra

* the Dominican Republic from the southern border with Haiti to Cabo

Frances Viejo on the north coast

a Hurricane Watch is in effect for...

* U.S. Virgin Islands

a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

* U.S. Virgin Islands

* British Virgin Islands

* northern coast of the Dominican Republic from the Haiti border

eastward to Cabo Frances Viejo

* Haiti

a tropical storm watch is in effect for...

* southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands

for storm information specific to your area in the United

States...please monitor products issued by your local National

Weather Service forecast office. For storm information specific to

your area outside the United States...please monitor products

issued by your National meteorological service.

Discussion and 48-hour outlook


at 200 PM AST...1800 UTC...the center of Tropical Storm Irene was

located near latitude 17.5 north...longitude 63.7 west. Irene is

moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph...30 km/h...and this

motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days with a

gradual decrease in forward speed. On the forecast track...Irene

will pass near or over the U.S. Virgin Islands later today...near or

over Puerto Rico tonight...and approach the Dominican Republic on


Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph...85 km/h...with higher

gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or

so...and Irene is expected to become a hurricane by Monday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles...240

km...mainly to the north of the center.

An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft reported a minimum central

pressure of 999 mb...29.50 inches.

Hazards affecting land


wind...tropical storm conditions are expected in the Virgin Islands

and Puerto Rico including Culebra and Vieques today...and in the

Dominican Republic early Monday. Hurricane conditions are expected

over Puerto Rico including Vieques and Culebra tonight...and over

the Dominican Republic on Monday.

Rainfall...Irene is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations

of 4 to 7 inches in the Leeward Islands...Puerto Rico and the

Virgin Islands...with isolated maximum amounts of up to 10 inches.

Total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 10 inches are possible across

the Dominican Republic and Haiti...with isolated maximum amounts of

20 inches possible. These rains could cause life-threatening flash

floods and mud slides in areas of steep terrain.

Storm surge...a storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 3

to 5 feet above normal tide levels along the coast of the Dominican

Republic in the Hurricane Warning area. A storm surge of 1 to 3

feet above normal tide levels is expected along the coast of Puerto well as in the Tropical Storm Warning area. Near the

coast...the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.

Next advisory


next complete advisory...500 PM AST.

and a photo from site:


Forecaster Pasch

Saturday, August 20, 2011

frog and bug

Tonight our family was watching Goonies when Anders announced there was a frog on the window. Sure enough there was a green frog watching a large green bug and dreaming of a tasty meal. We didn't witness the feast, but I'm hoping froggy will enjoy dinner soon.

The wind is starting to pick up and it is raining again today. So far, it has rained at least once per day since we landed. We've been here a full week and in some ways it seems much longer and in others it seems like it can't be a full week already.

Brad and the kids and I spent some time getting my classroom ready today. It's so exciting to think of all the possibilities. It's probably a good thing I don't live so close to a school supply store :). Our family also stopped by the Fredricksted beach where the snorkeling was sweet. Anders and Brad got to see a sea turtle. A cruise ship was in town which was fun to see.

Sweet dreams and more later...

Friday, August 19, 2011

shoy's beach

After workshop today, Brad and Osten picked us up and we ate lunch at Wendy's at headed to Shoy's beach.  Ellie told us about this nice beach for snorkeling.  This weekend we are planning on heading to the west for snorkling, but it was very fun finding this spot.

I just looked up photos online and a brief description of the beach.  We saw some rather big waves coming into shore...super cool.  Saw a few fish snorkling, but did see great coral and shells.  I just pinch myself sometimes that we're here.

Shoys Beach

Just to the East of Christiansted. Turn in at the Buccaneer Hotel and then make a right before entering the gate to the Buccaneer Hotel; after checking in with the guard in the small booth, proceed to the parking lot at the end of the road. Follow the small sandy path along the fence, through the trees, to a sandy beach. No facilities. There are private residences that border this beach, please respect the owner's privacy.

dinner guest

Chris and Ellie are out of the country and their renter came up to our place for dinner last night.  His name is Matt and he's great with the kids.  Matt is native to St. Thomas and is spending time at an internship here on St. Croix.  It was fun visiting with him and picking his brain about being a native of the islands. 

Brad served his freshly baked bread, roasted a couple chickens and served mixed veggies.  We sat out on the porch a little too long as the noseeums started to attack with a vengeance.  Some day us northerns will learn ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Room design

Today after my classroom training for responsive classroom, Brad stopped by my classroom to help me with room design. It will be fun to set my classroom once I've worked out what resources are included with Rita, the wonderful PreK teacher I will be working with.

Anders opted to stay home with Brad and Osten today. Tomorrow he plans on coming to Good Hope with Katie and I. New friends were wondering where he was today and that made him feel good.

We went car shopping today and found our way around another part of the island. I stopped at Kmart for some things and it wasn't as expensive as I had anticipated. A night swim after supper was very refreshing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

night swim, rental house, lime pie & centipedes

This evening our little family went over to Caren Martin's house to say hello, see the home we will be calling home and to have a lovely piece of lime pie and freshly whipped cream.  Katie was delighted to see her yellow room, Anders likes his room (with attached bathroom) and Osten toddled all over (didn't go into his little room off of Anders').  The kids climbed into Caren's bed, (the room where Brad and I will be staying) which requires a footstool to climb into and we all took a dip in the pool.  Anders showed off some excellent swimming skills.  Both of the children whose speaking is easily understood are very excited to move in.  There is a great future football field, baseball diamond and basketball court to be used.  We also found three hands of bananas, some ripening papaya trees as well as a piano that are waiting for us!

When we arrived back at Chris and Ellie's, Anders spied a large and fast centipede crawling on the area right outside their door.  Brad grabbed a large rock and disposed of the quick creature.  Then we came inside and another stealthy, stinging beast was discovered and destroyed.  I wonder if we will grow to find them just annoying or will react the same way every time they are discovered?  Millipedes are currently very abundant and we are kind of getting used to them, but we shall see about their relatives...

Monday, August 15, 2011

responsive classroom

Today was my very first day of teacher training.  I met some really interesting people who I will be working with this year and got a glimpse of my classroom.  The windows out onto the Caribbean are quite breathtaking.  Now it's onto planning what my classroom will look like and plan lessons--daunting, but do-able.

Anders and Katie spent the day with caregivers and meeting some of their new classmates.  They both verbalized that they miss home.  Anders misses walking to school and also wonders why people are driving on the wrong side of the road.  He misses knowing where he is and where we are going while driving.  It will be interesting to see if we continue to miss home or if we will have a new "normal". 

After school, we drove to Osten's new daycare which is modeled after Waldorf schools.  Very charming and great caregivers and kids.  When we had found his daycare, we drove to the beach and spent some time in the surf.  Brad and Anders took a snorkeling adventure.  I think next time they should probably stay a little closer to shore as it wore Anders out. 

Tomorrow we plan on making our menu and getting routines a little more in place. 

Over and out and still searching for photo upload cord ;)

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Ostens ability to get around is improving daily. He is walking more than he is crawling. His love affair with Chip has transferred to include Moose. One of the conditions Ostens potential new daycare is that he is a walker and that will work great. Brad and Osten will check it out tomorrow while Anders, Kate and I are at workshop for responsive classroom. More later...


I think unpacking will be quite an adventure with the crazy packing that took place in the past couple of weeks. Looking for matching sets and clothing that is nice and cool will be fun.

Island here we are

We landed here yesterday afternoon and are so far really enjoying ourselves. We have incredible hosts in Chris and Ellie. The kids are out in the pool with Matt, Chris and Ellies renter and playing a game of Marco Polo. We took some time this morning to check out the
drive to Good Hope. I will post some photos after I find the photo upload cord.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Tomorrow night our friends and having a party for us at Glen Park.  Here is a photo of the kids on our final Glen Park adventure of 2009...

Joey's 10

A good friend of Anders, Joey Madsen, is celebrating his 10th birthday.  He was so incredibly sweet to ask Anders' to his sleepover birthday party last night.  Joey is an incredible kid and has a wonderful family--Randy, Michelle and Abby.  We will miss the Madsen's while we are on our adventure.

Great Grandma Grace

Brad and Grandma celebrating 91st birthday at Red Lobster November 2010
Great Grandma Grace is in our thoughts and prayers.  Her health has not been well.  We would love to see her one more time before we leave, but I don't think it will work out.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers as well.

nisse or tomte

Liana trying on the nisse hat after asking Betty if she could be considered a grandchild to receive such a hat

Katie's turn to try on the hat

Anders' turn while enjoying a bowl of cheerios

2 hats on 2 bumps on a log

nisse in progress

Happy belated to an outstanding Dad and Grandpa!

Happy belated Birthday, Grandpa Bud! 

Happy Birthday Lili Sobiesk!

Our wonderful, incredible, intelligent, outgoing, athletic, thoughtful, playful and articulate Liana Marie Blomgren is now a teenager.  Love you so much, my darlin!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Knier time

We are going to be getting together with the Knier family this weekend in Door County for our annual fishing trip.  Here are some photos from our 2009 trip to their cottage. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy birthday, Cory!

To my brother Cory who terrorized and made me the resilient person I am you much and so excited to spend the weekend in Door County together with our families! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy 21st birthday, Vance Andrew!

21 years ago today, our wonderful, handsome, charming and incredible nephew, Vance Andrew Blomgren was born. 

Vance as Lil Abner at Butterfield-Odin production spring 2009

Happy Birthday.

Independence Day 2009

Ivan doing "SO BIG" with Grandma Betty

Grandma Betty and Kathryn

Goofy Olsons!  Kathryn, Molly, Ivan and Siri

Anders hugging friend Abby--he took quite a shining to her!

These are photos from a wonderful weekend on Big Wood Lake.  It was already two years ago which if difficult to imagine, but time does fleet away when you're having fun!

acorn invite 2009

Katie and Trenton playing in the sandbox

Anders hanging out after ladder golf

Kurt kicking back

Thomas and two members of his fan club

Grandma B adding sparkle to the evening

Anders toasting a lovely marshmellow

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...