Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Hen-dog and K delivered cards to our neighborhood and also helped me deliver cards and gifts to my friends at the University.  It was super cold, but super fun to catch up with friends.


On Sunday, we picked up cousin Henry at the Brent Olson household.  He is spending time with us as his Mom is spending time studying the flora and fauna of Cuba.  He is a delight to have in our home.  Great manners and we have spent time at the pool watching cousins at swim practice, at the library and also at the park sledding.  It's been really fun so far.  Here are some pictures:

little Cory

Cory got a hold of my camera and took a lovely photo of his wife and an extreme selfey...Here is a photo of O crawling into my crib and getting ready for bed.  He is such a delight.

celebration in Mountain Lake

On Saturday and Sunday, we celebrated Christmas with the Blomgren clan in Mountain Lake.  We were missing a certain smiley faced boy, but the gift exchange went well and photos were taken to commemorate the occasion.  Apples to Apples was a popular game and K and A are excited to head back to River Falls and play.
playing Apples to Apples

Grandpa and Grandma enjoying grandchildren time

boxing day

Our boxing day was spent going to a movie in Siren and just relaxing/digesting.  Here is cute little Molly and Ike taking a snooze.

german Christmas

This year Molly, Brad and Brent were in charge of preparing Christmas dinner.  They elected to cook and serve bratwurst, kraut, scalloped potatoes and ham, mac and cheese, reuben balls, spaetzel and a German chocolate cake.  I was the maker of the German chocolate cake.
It was delicious and my very favorite was the spaetzel and the kraut...YUM!

the eve of Christmas

Because we still had school on the 23rd, it  was a bit of challenge to get everything wrapped up before heading out for Christmas at the Olsons.  Santa did stop by our house on the evening of the 23rd and left some really fun gifts for our family.  O loved his new knight costume the most.

last school day of 2014

The 23rd was the last school day of 2014--the kids were great, but the day went way too fast!  We made applesauce, we said goodbye to one of the coolest kiddos I have ever met and our staff went bowling.  It was a fun day and I am thankful for a nice eight school day break.

Monday, December 22, 2014

happy 42nd birthday to my dearest

Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy x7 to my hard-working, handsome and wonderful husband Bradley Cole Olson!

catching up

School was great today--the kids were so happy to have me back and they got some really good work done.  We worked on some projects for one of our classmates who will be moving to Milwaukee just right after Christmas.  Noah is a bright and shining student.  We made a book and a really neat poster for him and his party tomorrow morning.

Another catching up moment for me was this evening when I called Betty to get an address--I just started crying because I am so sad that Ross is no longer here on earth.  Joan so appropriately stated on FaceBook:

From Our Home to Yours.... May your Christmas be filled reflecting on the many memories of the past year. Our hearts will be heavy this Christmas as we will be missing our nephew/cousin, Ross. I know his infectious and radiant smile will be shining down upon us. Remember to give your loved ones/friends that extra text, snapchat, hug, kiss, knuckle bump or whatever it may be. We have learned in this last week how very short life can be. Our hugs go out to all of you this Christmas!

I know it will be a very long time before my heart is healed--probably will never be exactly the same, but I will acknowledge my sorrow and remember the wonderful.
this is another snag from FaceBook--Kelly posted this of Ross at the StateFair this year.  What a bright and shining boy.

ezekiel program

Sunday was our Sunday School Christmas program.  O wasn't in the mood to separate and go with his class and I just didn't have the heart to argue so I just had him stay with me.  K did a beautiful job singing the second verse of Silent Night.

prepping for Christmas

Saturday was spent putting cards into envelopes along with our annual Christmas letter and rushing them to the post office.  I'm hoping loved ones will be receiving soon!

Friday, December 19, 2014

celebration of life

Thursday was a beautiful service at Butterfield High School gym.  It was overflowing with people wanting to say goodbye to a special young man.  Dennis Stade and Kyle gave especially wonderful tributes to Ross.

Then on the cemetery to have a brief family service and final goodbye.  He is now resting very close to Aunt Beverly and Uncle Larry.  Kurt's cousin Johanna is nearby and I went over to her grave site and asked her to give Ross special pointers in being a younger member of the heavenly choir.

After the cemetery, it was back to the school for cake and coffee and I snuck upstairs of the school to take a look at Ross' locker and around the school to see evidence of how students were remembering my special Godson.  I found his reserved seat at the front of Dennis' classroom.  A board in the study hall of special writing to Ross, a board announcing that Ross was the #1 scorer on the ACT prep exam and photos of Ross on his locker along with a note that was liberally taped to his locker.

I am sure he is going to leave a gaping hole in the community.  I pray for those who will miss him the very most.

I love you Ross.

overwhelming outpouring

Wednesday evening was high emotion.  Countless people gathered at Sturm funeral home to support my loving brother, dear niece and nephews and former sister in law in their shared grief of the passing of Ross Isaac.  Ross' step brother made a power point presentation of photos of Ross over the years.  Heart warming and wonderful.

My heart broke for Jenna, Vance and Stuart as they were really trying to wrap their minds around the passing of their very dear little brother.  Kurt and Kelly were also very evidently grieving, but the kids were definitely expressing their feelings of sadness more openly.

What struck me most about seeing Ross in his casket were his beautiful hands.  I had not noticed that they had changed from little boy hands into man hands until I viewed them on Wednesday evening.  Kurt bade me the opportunity to touch his hands, stroke his beautiful brown curls and at first I was a bit reticent, but I am so happy that he gave me that permission and that I was able to connect with his earthly body a last time.  I also noticed how much his hands look like his Dad's and brother Vance's hands...what a strong trait to be passed along.

Tears flowed freely from my eyes and from many in attendance.  The visitation was scheduled to last from 4-8pm, but I didn't leave the funeral home until about 10:30pm.  Kurt and kids first went to personally say goodbye, Kelly followed and then Mom went forward.  I decided to join the group along with the rest of the family still assembled.

I love Ross.  He will forever be sweet little RIB in my heart and his wit, charm, smile and personality is going to be remembered by the many people who payed tribute to him Wednesday and Thursday.

This is a picture I took of Kurt and Ross when they visited us in St. Croix.  A copy of it was placed in his casket.  I will forever remember our hike to the Carambola Tide Pools sweet boy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

more reflection

Later today will be a big event in the remembrance of Ross.  Here is another one of my favorites:
what a neat kid


A kind person from Mountain Lake is putting together a power point slide show of Ross.  I went through my Shutterfly account and also scanned some favorites.  This is my all time favorite:

Sunday, December 14, 2014


When A and I were talking about his cousin today, he said "when I heard Ross' name, all I could imagine was his great smile".  Ross possessed and used a smile that could make the sun shine on a rainy day.  May God bless him and all those who are missing that smile.


I am numb.  Mom called at 1:05am.  Chances are the news is not good.  Devastating is the word I will use.  My heart is crying.  Ross Isaac Blomgren has left our world for a better place.  I don't have any other details other than he was coming home from Mankato with friends.  He was not driving.  My brother Kurt is the best Dad in the world and now has to mourn the loss of his youngest son.

I love Ross--our precious Godson.  I love Kurt my beloved brother.  I love Ross' sister and brothers.  I love Ross' Momma, his grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends.  That is all I can say right now.


I think this is the last cool number day we will have in a LONG time.

Friday, December 12, 2014

the most wonderful time of year

It is truly the best time of the year!  Merry Christmas all!  Photo from last year's Christmas program at Ezekiel Lutheran.  Ms. Megan and Ms. K.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

long day

I love being a teacher but getting to school at 730, having a short lunch due to parent meeting, 10 minutes between saying so long to students & leaving at 10:00 pm in prep for a sub is a long day!  Fun, but long.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

puppy socks #3

One of our traditions is to have socks above our fire place for Christmas--one sock for each day of December leading up to Christmas--it's our version of an Advent calendar.  This year I found a really cute pair of puppy socks at Target.  This is K's third pair of puppy socks (one of Brad's affectionate nick names for her).  It warms my heart that she is wearing those cute little socks!

the reason for the season

Thank you God for sending your only son, Jesus Christ to save us from your sins.

sick boy

Little O was sick on Monday--breaks my heart when he's feeling icky, but he is much better now.

take your mark

A swam three events in just over an hour on the 7th.  He three strong swims.

First event (we missed because I was working out at an Anytime Fitness in Northfield) was the 100 freestyle where he was 4th with a time of 1:13.89.  The next event was the 100IM where he placed 2nd with a time of 1:22.6 seconds.  His last event was the 200 breast, the one he was most concerned about because the distance was long.  He placed 4th with a time of 3:14.24.

A fun weekend of swimming.  In between everything, we finished decorating the house for Christmas and did some good cleaning.

he's in lane 8

ribbon man!

swim meet

K and A competed in a swim meet in Northfield on December 6 & 7.

K just swam in the morning on the 6th and she looked GREAT!  She placed 8th in the 50 breast stroke with a time of 1:10 and 9th in the 50 freestyle with a time of 54.27.

A swam on the 6th and placed 3rd in the 100 breast with a time of 1:26.94 and 4th in  the 50 freestyle with a time of 33.69

take your mark (she's in lane 5 nearest to the diving platform in multicolored suit

with Saturday ribbons

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

thankful part 3

Thank you for being your joyful and creative selves my dearest children!

thankful part 2

Thank you Mom and Dad for your incredible love and guidance

so thankful

Thank you Bradley Cole for our adventures together!

decorating for Christmas!

One of my favorite past times in the Christmas season is decorating! Brad found a great little tree and we have decked it out in lights and ornaments.  Such an exciting time of year!

happy birthday to me!

I was able to spend my birthday with some of the most incredible people of my life...my Momma, Dad, three brothers, two sister in laws, our family and many nieces and nephews.  What joy they bring to my life!

happy birthday nenna Weiss!

I had the distinct privilege of spending the eve of my 43rd birthday with the best 16th birthday gift a girl could ever dream of having.  Jenna Louise was there for a Blomgren family photo shoot.  Unfortunately our eldest brother Kent wasn't able to attend as he was down with a nasty virus, but here is a photo of myself and the best birthday gift I've ever received...

black friday!

Black Friday was a fun event for Ibby and I.  We departed Grantsburg at about 4:30am and arrived at a Caribou Coffee off 35W about 5:30.  We strategized and then hit Target, Kohl's, Dick's Sporting Goods, another Kohl's (departed because too long of a line), Play It Again Sports, lunch at Noodles and Company, Target again and then to a store called Planet Thrift as the Olsons are doing Thrift Shop Christmas this year.

We got back to the house while the sun was still shining and ended up going to bed quite early.  WHAT A DAY!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

turkey day!

Thanksgiving day was a beautiful day on Wood Lake.  We drove to Bud and Betty's house and celebrated Thanksgiving with Bud, Betty, Ibby, Henry, Dehlia, Joe, Brad, our kids and myself.  It was a wonderful evening to spend together.

the 26th

On the 26th, I spent the day lesson planning on getting some work done on school work.  Report cards are fun, but do take a fair amount of time and preparation.

november 25---giving Thanks!

We headed to Grantsburg on November 25 and stayed at the hunting shack.  What a fun snug little place!

Monday, November 24, 2014

back to the basement

Yesterday, all the snow melted and today, the bottom dropped off the temperature again.  I'm about to head to Anytime to get some exercising in, but I am going to have to wear multiple layers!

and a beautiful niece

and here is our sweet Dehlia Grace who turned 5 on November 23.  Happiest of days and years to you!

a third handsome nephew!

Here's to Isaac Michael Olson.  As I spent Saturday putting together family calendars, I happened upon these sweet photos of Isaac Michael:

the Boxcar Children

The big boys from our family headed up north for deer opener.  The two youngest and myself stayed home to catch up on laundry, sleep and cleaning.  On Friday night, we watched a really great movie called the Boxcar Children.  I think maybe we have to start reading that series!

another handsome nephew

My brother Cory and sister in law Joan have a son named Thomas who will soon be leaving the nest.  I found his photos on FaceBook and want to share with Grandma and Grandpa B--what a strong and handsome son, grandson and nephew!  I like how his photographer has the same initials as our sweet niece Liana Marie!

stuie the ghost is 21

Our ring bearer, Stuart is now 21 years of age.  He celebrated by competing in the World's Toughest Mudder.  We love you and wish you continued health and happiness sweet nephew!

quietest day in the classroom

Tuesday, November 18 is one of my most favorite days in the classroom.  It could be related to the fact that six students were out--not good because they had the flu--but it was quiet, kids got lots of work done and our principal, Mr. Schurman dropped in for a walk through.  He pulled me aside afterwards to tell me that my class was WONDERFUL.  It was nice to hear, but I did tell him of the circumstances and he smiled.  I am not going to get my hopes up for a repeat performance, but it was still quite nice!

funny kid

O is enjoying his time in Children's House and his teachers are so kind to him.  Here is a photo from Ms. Becki, who was watching him the other day--he was working with the knobless cylinders.

swim meet day 2

Day 2 of the swim meet was really great!  A did get three C times and looked super strong in the 100 breast stroke--almost getting a B time.  I think he had a lot of fun swimming and it was a lot of fun watching.  Way to go big guy!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

big hero 6

Yesterday our family attended a really sweet movie in shifts.  O and Brad went to the matinee while A, K, the Thibodeau girls and myself went in the evening.

Super sweet show and now our family has identified themselves as characters:

A as Wasabi,
Mom as Honey Lemon
O as Hiro
K as GoGo Tamago
Brad as Fred

We decided no one should be Baymax because he was just so cool, everyone wanted to be him.

Highly recommended movie.

swim meet

Yesterday was K's first swim meet and she swam 3 events.  She won her heat of the 50 freestyle and posted a time of 56.14 seconds.  She swam the 50 backstroke and got 1:02 seconds which gave her a "C" time.  She will be able to swim some other meets because she has a C time.  She also swam the butterfly leg of the 200 IM relay.  She was DQed because she started doing the breast stroke and you can't mix strokes.  I was very proud of her tenacity in doing a relay with a stroke she just learned last week.

A swam in the afternoon and did 100 freestyle and the first leg of the 400 freestyle relay.  He looked great and just missed a "C" time by .16 of a second.  He did shave about 20 seconds off his previous best time though!

Today he is swimming 3 events--all breast stroke related so I will report his progress later on.  Happy Sunday!

Friday, November 14, 2014

remembering Grace

Today would have been Grandma Grace's 95th birthday.  Remembering a strong woman today and always.
The Spearman sisters--Martha, Norma, Nellie, Grace and Jean back in the day


November 11 was Veteran's Day.  Here is to our nephew and cousin and our ring bearer Stuart Martin.  Thank you for serving our country.

holiday crazy

O was digging Halloween and now he is busy singing Christmas songs...adorable!  He wants it to be Christmas right NOW!


It has hit--the swirling whirling snowstorm hit the upper midwest on November 9--it is beautiful, but I'm not quite ready for winter yet.


I am so thankful that I don't have to drive into the twin cities on a regular occasion for work.  On Monday, I had arranged to observe a Montessori classroom in St. Paul to watch a master teacher in action.  I had arranged this about 3 weeks ago before I knew it would take about 2 hours to get from River Falls to St. Paul.  I am so thankful that is not a regular commute--it would shorten my life for certain...

Turned into a beautiful observation as she is just so wonderful at her life's calling.  The day will come for me with lots of practice and reflection.

baby shower!

Another week has flown past!   Lots has happened, so I'm imagining that is why I have been absent from blogging.  Sunday night, I went to a baby shower for two of my lovely co-workers and one is O's teacher.

Markell is expecting a baby on January 1 and Abby is expecting a baby in March.  It was so fun to get together and celebrate two beautiful women who will be Mommy's very soon.

Friday, November 7, 2014

great heat

Brad has worked really hard to get wood cut and ready to keep our home warm this winter.  Here is our little wood stove and surround and some photos of the prep for it...
professionals making sure the chimney can accommodate the new wood stove

the hearth pad, the stove and the mantle--the clock was purchased from monies from my Grandma Blomgren's estate

Brad and O loading the nice little wood stove

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...