Wednesday, November 30, 2011

40 oz

the big 40 is here and so far so good.  Starting off the morning with a "Happy Birthday" from my wonderful husband followed by being greeted this morning by Kathryn with her bleery eyed mussed hair sunshine smile--"Happy Birthday Momma".   Osten chortling and Anders smiling all the way to school.  Upon arriving at Good Hope, I was welcomed by 12 amazing Kinders and superstar Miss Haley with lovely cards and songs.  Yummy lunch courtesy of the Ramsdell family.  It was a super day.  I have also received an outpouring of lovely birthday greetings from the midwest--funny and sweet.  Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and know that we are missing you all. 

a favorite photo of my lovely niece Liana and I at Mom and Dad's anniversary celebration

Happy Birthday Jenna Louise Baboon

24 years ago, I lifted my voice to heaven and said "Thank you, God!"  He had delivered a beautiful blond blue eyed 16th birthday gift to the Blomgren family.  Jenna Louise.  Happy Birthday lovely lady.

Jenna meeting Osten John and cousin Anders close at hand

Monday, November 28, 2011


This morning while Osten's dresser was pulling his Robeez on, she noticed he was trying to sing a familiar song...Zumba song from a Zumba video I frequently use while working out. It was so cute because he was so incredibly close. We also were reading several books this evening and he kept grabbing them, opening, and "reading" them to me. He is using a lot of different sounds, but not many words...I think he is going to be quite a talker once we can figure out his language.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oliver Fred Olson

Today, we welcomed a new member into our family. Osten couldn't contain his squeals when we met Oliver (from Oliver & Company) Fred (Frederiksted) Olson a lovely male cat that closely resembles Brad's favorite pet ever, Kitty. Anders is taking excellent care of our new addition. Today I also purchased a small table top tree and led lights so we can have a small Christmas tree. I also purchased a star ornament and we fashioned it into a star for the top of the tree. Osten again could barely contain his glee when it was assembled. He has so much emotion at the stage of life...wish I could bottle it! One it's back to school and reality after a nice Thanksgiving weekend as a family. I am so thankful for the gifts I have been given.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

BUCK Island

Today our family went on a glass bottom boat to Buck Island.  The boat had a captain and a first mate that could have been twins with our friend, Garth back in River Falls.  Both Brad and Kathryn made that comment independent from one another.  Anyway, there were several tourists from Denmark, a newlywed couple from Boston and another island family on the charter.  We snorkled for a while and then went to the beach. 

When Anders and I were out, we saw a Lemon Shark.  Anders kept motioning for me to look over and I didn't see anything.  Then our guide, Adam (Garth's twin) pointed out the shark and there it was...kind of crazy.  There were tons of great coral and sealife on the reef.  What an experience!  We saw a Hobie cat on the beach so are toying with buying one so we can make the trip again.  It was incredible. 

jump up

Last night we attended JUMP UP--which is the kickoff to the Christmas season here on St. Croix.  The  stores are open for business in downtown Christiansted and local food vendors are out selling their Roti, Johnny Cakes, Gyros, Tamarind, Sorrel and Ginger Beer.  We did a little shopping--buying new hats for Kathryn and Karen and Pokemon cards for Anders.  Karen also picked out a St. Croix hook bracelet ;). 

We saw Moko Jumbies and steel drum bands.  It was fun and something that we have now experienced.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

school photos 2011-2012

Row 1:  Jace, Zach, Dominique
Row 2: Karrington, Nash, Kani, Hayden, Brionna, Nathan, Mrs. Mault
Row 3: Jimmy, Arial, Anders, Emily, Justin, Naiama, Hunter

Row 1: Kathryn, Shenell, Isabella
Row 2: Miss Haley, Kaiden, Kai, Sean, Carolyn, Mrs. Olson
Row 3: Maddox, Giselle, Joshua, Charlie, Bethany

Giving Thanks

Studying the first Thanksgiving to present to Kindergarten has increased my knowledge and piqued my curiosity about early American history. The Virgin Islands, known at that time as the West Indies, has a rich history to be explored. That is next on my list to study. Today we are thrilled to have Dad home! We picked him up at the airport yesterday at about 4 pm. He prepared his famous eggs and bacon and we sat down to watch movies. We usually have popcorn, but we have discovered that you need to refridgerate popcorn as it get a moldy. Live and learn I guess. We are currently planning our weekend activities. Friends from church have invited us for Thanksgiving this evening and we will be attending JUMP UP in Christiansted tomorrow. On Saturday, we would like to take a glass bottom boat to Buck Island and do some snorkeling. We will keep an eye on the forecast as there has been some heavy surf lately, and we don't want to take any risks. Happy Thanksgiving and our love to all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

terrific 2s

Happy 2nd birthday to lovely, irreplaceable, sassy and sensational Dehlia Grace Quintana

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sea life

Living near the ocean has distinct benefits. Just gaze into the distance and see a passing freighter. Snokeling, going to the beach. We are blessed and I am humbled and thankful.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving in Kindergarten

We are going to celebrate Thanksgiving in our classroom tomorrow. We are going to attempt making butter, cornbread and drinking apple juice. I'm putting Haley in charge of crafts. Today when I went to make sure the oven was working, I set off the alarm...heart stopper for a minute. We have been having a lot of rain here on island and a very kind soul cut back the major jungle that had been making visibility onto the highway difficult. Thank you kind stranger.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

tech crafting

As you can see by my previous post, I have been busy tech crafting this weekend.  It is that time of year to reflect upon the year past, create a Christmas greeting card and compose "the letter".  I'm also hard at work finding just the right shots for family calendars.  They are so fun to create and view throughout the year.

The sun is shining in St. Croix and the temperature is a sweet 80 degrees and we JUST had a little cloud burst. So far, the skies are looking good for a return of Brad on Wednesday :)

We did go to church this morning and Anders and Katie participated in the sermon.  Pastor Love does a great job with all ages.  I am thankful for her talents and passion.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Photo Card

Joy Love Family Christmas
Shutterfly has elegant Christmas party invitations for your holiday party.
View the entire collection of cards.

Happy 18, Stuart Martin Blomgren

Uncle Stuie is 18 today.  I will never forget getting the call announcing his birth.  I kept it on my answering machine and have replayed many times since then.  Priceless.

Stuart on July 9, 2011--celebrating Grandma & Grandpa's 50th anniversary at Voss Park

Friday, November 18, 2011


Every morning Osten likes to climb in the shower...he really enjoys the warm water and getting clean. This morning was a typical day with him begging for a shower. We got cleaned up and dried off. Shortly after getting dry, he squatted "in the position". I ran to get a diaper and came back to a little pile of poop and pee on the bathroom floor. In retrospect, I should have positioned him on the toilet..that would have been something if our soon to be 18 month old went potty on the toilet.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The boys

While Brad is out of town, I have been having kids in bed with me. Tonight is Anders and Osten. We watched an episode of Biggest Loser and now to sleep. Love these moments.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

hey there pilgrim

Today our class discussed what we are thankful for. Big ideas were generated including, air, good dreams, the earth, God and Jesus, clean air, Good Hope, family, the ocean, fire fighters, ice-cream. We then decorated ourselves as pilgrims and made speech bubbles of what we are thankful for. One of the highlights of my year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On a jet plane

This morning, Brad left for a conference in California. It's his first time off island since we moved. Miss him much, and looking forward to his return.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy 92

Happy 92nd Birthday
Grace Nadine Spearman Swanson!  
Te quiro mucho.

celebrating Great Grandma's 91st birthday on November 14, 2010 at the Golden Valley, MN Red Lobster--Anders, Grace, Betty, Brad and Osten--4 generations

a plethora of love

My mailbox was brimming has been brimming with love in the past week.  Kicked off with Anders receiving a letter and photo from his friend Alex back in Wisconsin--very sweet.  Next we received a letter and school photos of the handsome trio of Thomas, Evan and Trenton Blomgren.  We then received another letter from Anders' friend Austin.  Next was a letter to our family from the Odegards complete with a card and a preserved maple leaf from Wisconsin.  We have been studying symmetry in nature in our Kindergarten class, so it was a perfect tie.  Lastly we have been receiving Butterfield papers that always brighten our days. 

It's wonderful to receive love from our loved ones.  We need to get busy and send some love back in return.

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spain 2009

Bed and Breakfast in Girona Spain--the coolest city and apartment that we visited on our trip
It's hard to believe that we were in Spain over 2 years ago.  It was an incredible experience--we are living an incredible experience now as well. 

Girona was the most beautiful city on our trip.  Barcelona was lovely, metropolitan and upscale, but our apartment there paled in comparison.  We are saving our pennies for another trip--this time with the whole family and are aiming for 2019.  Perhaps another part of Europe will be our focus, but it's fun to plan and dream...


WOW!  I love numbers and it just happened that the week ending 11/11/11 was our 11th week of school.  Cool. 

It just so happens, we were invited to a birthday party for a young man with that birthday and that being his golden birthday.  Jack Patrick Ramsdell turned 11 and his Mom Roxy told me he was born between 11&12 on 11/11/2000.  It didn't take them long to realize when his golden birthday would be and since that day they have been planning a BIG party.  We were very priviledged to  be invited and had a wonderful time.  Anders and Katie didn't eat a thing as they were running around with friends, but good times were had by all. 

waltzing mathilda

Anders was inspired to waltz as he and his class attended a classical music presentation at Island Center.  The classical pianist asked for volunteers before approximately 200 students and Anders volunteered.  Great memory and very brave 10 year old boy.

Here is a link to the story on the St. Croix Source

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

class aquarium

Our class has been studying colors and in our reading series, we read a story about tropical fish--very appropriate for our location.  As a project, Kindergarten made a water color background, cut out coral and used crayon for the sand to create a class aquarium.  I took the photo before our lovely fish were added.  It's pretty cool and the kids think it's pretty groovy too.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

engaging activity

Kathryn and friend Carolyn working on full body artwork--we're currently studying our bodies in Kindergarten

Monday, November 7, 2011

sandy point

I believe I saw the most beautiful beach I will see in my lifetime.

Movie:  The Shawshank Redemption

Scene:  Final Scene where Andy D. is working on his boat and Morgan Freeman comes to visit.  That is Sandy Point.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

happy birthday, Kim!

Happy Birthday to one of the most loving, caring and wonderful people we have the priviledge of knowing and loving.

gardens at St. George

In the St. Croix this week magazine, a storytime was advertised at the St. George gardens.  Our family packed up the van and headed West.  When we arrived (on time may I add) we were told the storytime was not happening.  We then parked and paid the $18 admission fee to see the botanical gardens.

LOVELY.  The gardens are set on the ruins of a sugar plantation and are spectacular indeed.  It was a self guided tour, so we did a fair amount of wandering off the path, but we had a wonderful time together.  Turns out, Anders is an excellent navigator.  When we finished our ramble, we unloaded our picnic lunch and dined.  YUMMY.  PB&J pancakes, tuna salad sandwiches, veggie straws, lots of water and a bottle of Presidente. 

Sometimes plans don't happen exactly as planned, but beauty can still be retrieved.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Here is an article from the St. Croix Source from a day that we spent at a beekeeping seminar:

Anders was very interested and I'm enjoying some wonderful beeswax soap that I purchased that day. 


Last night as we were sleeping, I could hear a nasty storm heading our direction.  It started with distant thunder and kept creeping ever closer.  At last, a bolt of lightening, crash of thunder happened almost simultaneously, the storm was RIGHT outside our window.  Kathryn came bolting into our room and then the heavens opened and very large amounts of rain started pelting us.  Our cistern is happy today. The storm passed but the rain remains.

Therefore, we have another Caribbean snow day.  We didn't go into Good Hope at all and are enjoying a long weekend.  The kids are watching Spy Kids on Netflix and then we plan on building a fort in the living room and baking/eating/popcorn and board games. 

Happy weekend!

Trick or Treat at Hovensa

On Saturday, we were invited to trick or treat at one of the Hovensa neighborhoods here on Island, Estate Cottage.  We had heard rumors from the day we moved here to get "on the list".  One of my wonderful kids in class invited our family to his home to a party.  What a party it was!  The house was great--they had done a lot of halloween decorating and were grilling brains, and feet outside on a "grill".  The streets were FILLED with people.  Security had shut down the roads and there were easily 500 people on the street at any given time.  I remember seeing the movie ET as a child and thought trick or treating like Elliott and ET did in the twilight/no jackets/not a huge costume wouldn't be possible,  but now I have seen it a reality.

Anders was a Roman soldier and Kathryn a princess.  Anders donned a sheet, shorts and head dress and Kathryn a lovely princess dress from her friend Ian.  Photos will be uploaded when I get a chance, but it was a great evening had by all.

By the way, Hovensa is an oil refinery here on island that employs approximately 1,800 people.  Many of the employees receive as a part of their salary homes in different "estates' on island.  With their homes they receive free electricity, water and rent--they actually have air conditioning in their home!


Eating some Napolean's Pizza pre-trick or treat

In a Red Corvette with Solei Cedano

Anders playing with a little guest

Roman Solidier Anders with high tech glowing glasses

Osten trying to figure out Dad's vampire teeth

Happy Birthday 3rd Birthday Ivan George

to a handsome Olson happy 3rd birthday plus one day.  Love you lots, Ivan George our precious Godson.

short hiatus

Good morning!

I had a few days without a post and it was due partly to slow computer and partly to a 2nd lice visit to the Olson home.  My head was itchy yesterday morning and when I arrived at school, I saw a small creature on one of the Kinders lusterous locks.  It was soon discovered that both Kathryn and I are still affected.  We came home from school early yesterday and cleaned, treated and combed.  YUCK.  I did miss a birthday yesterday, so I apologize Ivan George, but I will write a post today in your honor. 

Love to all and LOVE THE TROPICS, but not the bugs.

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...