Monday, December 31, 2012


My grades have been posted for the semester.  4.0.   Time to ring in the New Year.  I resolved to brush my teeth 4 minutes per day in 2012.  I kept my resolution.  I also swam 10 lengths of Caren's pool each day 3,660 lengths.  Feeling great!


Our family is recovering from 2 different rounds of cold/cough/fever episodes.  We are snuggling down to watch a movie on Netflix and hope to usher in the New Year as healthy and happy Olsons.  Its been a memorable year for sure.

Christmas with the Blomgren's

Tonight we celebrated Christmas with the Blomgren family.  All 16 grandchildren were was very special!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Our family had a lovely Christmas spending time with one another, sharing illnesses and delicious food.  It was also great to spend the first part of our Christmas celebration with the Olson's, Swanson's and Quintana's.  We are looking forward to spending time with the Blomgren's this coming weekend.

We received so many gifts at this special time of year...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

all she wants for Christmas...

is her two front teeth!  On Christmas morning, I was helping K get her pajamas off so we could get dressed to go to the house and in my haste, loosened her front tooth to the point that it was bleeding.  I am not so good with pulling teeth out so sought assistance from another adult at the B&B.  Brent willingly offered to pull her tooth, but K said "I can do it myself" and sure enough, she tugged at her very loose tooth and out it popped!

That little lady continually amazes me and she has such a sweet little grin!  

silent night

Our family attended Christmas Eve service at the church where Anders was baptized, Faith Lutheran Church in Grantsburg. 

It was a nice service with the message being centered around Silent Night.  The pastor talked about the multitude of angels that were there on the night of our Savior's birth and how the angels were not sweet little cherubs, but the members of God's army, how unlikely it would be for the night to be actually silent.  The pastor linked silent night to the current event of 12.14.12 and how there are now many angels that are sleeping in heavenly peace. 


We have been so spoiled by spending our holiday at a lovely bed and breakfast near Bud and Betty's home and this year was no exception.  We enjoyed delicious breakfasts of egg bakes, ham, scrambled eggs, fruit, cake, cookies, tea ring, bread and liquor. 

Our family spent time in the Gold room.  It was warm and wonderful to spend the holiday weekend with Brent's family & cousin Christina at the sweet Smoland Prairie bed and breakfast with our hosts Virginia and Joe Hennessy. 

ice ice baby

For Brad's birthday, he and I went for a kick sled ride on Wood Lake.  The time together was really cool and the ice was perfect!  We then walked towards the two little islands which was over 1/2 way across the lake.  There were parts of the ice that were frozen so evenly, that it was like being on a skating rink.  The ice was also so clear, that if you watched very closely, you would have been able to see fish.  It was a memorable experience.

On Sunday, Molly, Ivan, Siri and I played on the ice for quite a while with the kick sled and ski poles.  I just love playing together and giggling/smelling the fresh, clean air! 

On Monday, I took a solo trip out to the islands on the kick sled with ski poles.  It was a chilly trip back to the house, but it was great exercise.  I took photos and will be sending them to St. Croix to share with people who have never seen a frozen lake ;). 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

happy 40 my love

Happy birthday to my wonderful and marvelous husband Bradley Cole.  We were together on your 24 birthday and 16 years later we are still celebrating.  Much love to you sweet BCO.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

double rainbow

This morning, I found this absolutely beautiful picture from the Stonehouse Preschool.  It was such a magical place for O to spend his time, it was so appropriate.


O's teacher sent some really sweet photos of he and his class hitting the slopes of the CHILD Center yesterday.  They had a blast bundling up and sledding.  It was so cool. 

he's the one with the Thomas hat...

coo coo chain

Our little O has been articulating coo coo chain quite a bit in the last two weeks.  I am a little slow, but this morning when he opened his advent stocking, he discovered a new train car.  He started exclaiming "coo coo chain!" the code has been cracked!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I LOVE that Anders has swimming at the High School pool.  I am able to walk/jog while he has practice at the High School indoor track and watch a little boys basketball practice while exercising.  It is incredible to get the body moving especially with all the calories that I will soon be consuming in the near future. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

sweet 16

16 years ago today I spent the day with my dear dear friend Ivy while she became a Mother for the first time.  Happy 16th Birthday Alazae.  You are a dear person and I am so happy that I was there when you made your appearance.


The darkness that must have invaded the young man who took so many lives and so much innocence on 12.14.12 is incomprehensible.  I pray that anyone who is facing that amount of dilusion seek and find mental health assistance.  I pray that we help build affective development of young people and guide parents in making the right decisions in raising their children.

I don't know the circumstances of the situation and can't even think of what the motive may have been, but I WANT to feel safe and not have conversations with my six year old about her principal announcing a lock down drill.  Talking about statistics and what to do if there is an active shooter in her school.  It feels like we are at war and who is the enemy?

Friday, December 14, 2012

when what to my wondering eyes should appear?

While perusing FaceBook this morning, I found two familiar faces of Saint Croix:
Chris Finch/Kringle along with a little lass from GHS.  The little lass is the younger sister of a boy A played soccer with last year.  What a fun little find!

The bookstore where the photo was captured was such a nice little niche on the island.  Brings back fond memories.


Last night was my final night of class in 2012...oh what a wonderful feeling!  During class, my bestie Julie texted and said she was outside.  She had been in Tomah for a sales visit and stopped by to say hello.  We had a 5 minute interchange and it was incredibly fun!   Our class shared our final projects and enjoyed a little pizza from our instructor.  It was a great way to finish the semester.

Now it's on to rest and relaxation and prepping for the holidays...YIPEE!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

mystery reader

I was so fortunate to be the mystery reader in K's classroom yesterday!  What an attentive group of first graders who were immersed in two of my favorite winter/Christmas stories, A Gift from the Lonely Doll and Winter Days in the Big Woods.  I hope I will have the opportunity to work with these lovely people again very soon. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


My number geek is freaking today! 

As I was on a lovely walk from home to work, I remembered that as a sophomore in high school in 1987 that the next time there was a year with four unique numbers, I would be a middle aged adult.  We are nearly there, 2013!  All but one of my 19 beautiful, talented nieces and nephew were born during that time span.  My three incredible children and amazing husband were also introduced to me in the time between age 16 and 41. 

and it just keeps ticking, into the future...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Our elf, Finnley was found this morning hanging from our reading lamp...K looked up as we were snuggling in our reading chair and discovered his presence.  Her response was "Good morning, Finnley!"  I'm thinking he will have a nice report to Santa tonight. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

winter wonderland

Winter is here!  We left the Bailey's party at midnight on Sunday morning and the snow hadn't started.  By the time I was up at 7am to prepare my Sunday School lesson, there was a good 3 inches of snow on the ground.  Went to Sunday School and church and came out at noon and there was a good 6 inches on the ground.  Took the kids to a Kids Day Out on the University campus and it dumped more inches on the ground.  Shoveled for a few hours yesterday afternoon and it dumped even more on the ground.  I don't know the total, but the world is now transformed into a winter wonderland.  It is truly beautiful!

I am thankful to report that Brad and O waited to drive home until this morning...the roads are not easy to navigate with all of this snowfall. 

bailey's party

Saturday night was the Stoeffl's third annual Bailey's making party.  It was an incredible evening with friends.  Brad and Osten were up north with Bud and Betty, so we missed their presence, but I had a great time blending eggs, vanilla, chocolate syrup, sweet and condensed milk and almond flavoring while Angie/Sarah/Michelle/Michelle/Sharyl/Gretchen/Dawn/Jennifer/Kim mixed the rum, vodka and other ingredients.  Super fun and I will treasure our time together...especially when enjoying a special flavor in my coffee over the holidays ;)

shady grove

After work on Friday, we took O and K to the CHILD Center for babysitting night.  A, Brad and I drove through the snow and a little bit of ice to a very nice little restaurant called the Shady Grove near Ellsworth.  Fresh local ingredients and cozy little restaurant provided delicious food.  It was really special to be able to spend time with two of my best guys.  I ate the cheese curds, a pork tenderloin appetizer, a delicious garden salad and Alaskan cod.  YUM!  To top it off, an order of creme brule was shared. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

pearl harbor day

just a few minutes ago I realized today is Pearl Harbor Day.  I can't even imagine what happened that day.  One of my dearest elementary school friends, Joanna Wentzlaff, had a grandfather who happened to be involved in the events of the day.  Ed was just featured on the front page of the Twin Cities + Region in the Minneapolis Star Tribune today.  Ed is 95 years old.  Powerful. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

happiness is...

  • Finishing a huge school project and turning it in a week early
  • Being able to leave work to spend 30 minutes in your daughter's 1st grade classroom
  • Seeing your daughter's amazing 1st grade teacher at the local Walgreens and witnessing a genuine mutual respect and happiness to see one another between your daughter and her teacher
  • Greeting your husband after a five day pheasant hunting trip
  • Ordering poinsettia's in November and having them delivered to your desk on December 6
Life is good

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


My mode of transportation to work is typically via bicycle.  This morning was no exception.  The exception in my morning was not wearing a cozy comfy scarf.  This exception made the journey very cold with the 18 degree temperature. 

As I walked into my building, I thanked God for living in a time and place where the building has a heat source that is being used.  I have been here for a mere 20 minutes and the cold is already a distant memory. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

swim Mom

Last night, A tried out for the River Falls Swim Club.  He looked really good in the pool.  Starting next Monday, he will be heading to practice three times per week to perfect his form and eventually participate in competitions.  Super fun. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

calendar making

One of my favorite activities is to make calendars for Christmas gifts.  It gives me a chance to review all the lovely photos from the year in review.  This is a favorite from Mount Victory Camp last May...The Ramsdells were staying there and we went to hang out with them during a lovely spring/summer evening.  I felt like we were in paradise. 

Little Nisse

My heart melted when I found this little photo of our little Nisse from early 2011...aren't they precious?

great night

I had a lovely birthday evening with dear friends.  First, Sharyl and I went out for free appetizer at West Wind and then we drove to Shanghi Bistro in Hudson to meet up with Michelle M., Gretchen, Sarah and Angie for a delicious dinner.

I then drove separately to the Dugout in Mahtomedi to meet Julie, Trish and Bob for a night of dancing to Kurt was a truly memorable evening.  Thank you to Betty for taking care of the kiddos while we were out on the town!

Friday, November 30, 2012

jingle bell

This message is from O's was just too fun not to share:

Good Afternoon Families!

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Thursday!  I know that we are!  We have had another wonderful and busy day in the starfish room! This morning we played in the sensory table again, and used our math activities.  In or math activities we did some matching, clothes pin counting, and counting to 5 along with color sorting.  We enjoyed it very much!  Another new things we liked today was our new colors and shapes that were made!  Not only did all those exciting things happen but we also have a new friends with us.  Overnight our Elf on the Shelf appeared!!  Our class named her Jingle Bell.  So if your child is talking about Jingle Bell its our Elf who looks over us to make sure we are being good for Santa.  Each night Jingle Bell will return to the North Pole and report to Santa.  When she comes back in the morning she will be hidden in a new place to watch the children.  It makes for a very fun game!  Everyone ate lunch SUPER well again today!!!   

Happy Thursday!!
Miss Molly :) 

P.S. Take a look at our picture!  See if you can spot Jingle Bell!

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...