Thursday, July 31, 2014

modular woodshed

Brad has been working hard at preparing for winter with installing a tile platform in our living room and now is busy building some modular woodsheds to keep the wood that we will be burning this winter.  The wood stove was installed on Wednesday and today Brad finished one of the two sheds.  ACO spent time this afternoon stacking wood...I am looking forward to smelling and feeling that warm wood fire this winter.  Thanks Brad and A!

water park Wednesday

A, K and I went to Red Wing with the River Falls Park and Rec.  It took a little longer to get to the park because the bus overheated, but we got there and enjoyed an absolutely perfect day at the water park.

My friend, Brenda took some photos and sent them...thanks Brenda!

gymnastics camp

K went to gymnastics camp and almost made a kip!

from wikipedia:  "The kip is an important skill that is used as both a mount and an element or connecting skill in a bar routine. The kip allows the gymnast to swing below the bar to arrive in a front support on the bar. From the front support, the gymnast may then perform any number of skills. The glide kip is the most commonly used mount on the women's uneven bars."
picture of a young girl doing a kip with assistance

pool day

On Monday, we invited K's friend Anika to the Glen Park pool.  The day was slightly chilly, so there weren't a lot of people there, but the sun was shining and the kids had fun.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

fill my cup and let it overflow

I'm hearing K sing the bible camp song, fill my cup and let it overflow...that is how I'm feeling about her energy and zest for the Lord!  Keep the oil in your lamp and let it burn!


Last night, our family went to the new River Falls ballpark to watch the RF Fighting Fish.  We arrived in the 3rd inning and enjoyed watching the Fish defeat the St. Paul Hops 12-2 in 8 innings.  It was fun to see all the people from town and to see Kenny as the bat boy.

photo from River Falls Journal


It was a wonderful evening and afternoon when 80 River Falls youth performed Peter Pan.  We especially liked watching the character who was cast as the namesake of the play.  It is so fun to watch you shine on stage, dear son.

Thanks to Mom and Dad Blomgren, Mom and Dad Olson, Ibby, Joe, Dehlia, Henry, Trish, Taylor and Sarah for coming to the play especially to see Peter on stage.  
Wendy, Tinker and Peter

Thursday, July 24, 2014

throwback Thursday

I just posted a photo on Throwback Thursday--it's when Grandma Grace met her first born greatgrandson, ACO in July 2001.  I also love seeing the four generations in one photo...pretty sweet.
Ibby, Betty, Grace enjoying baby Olson July 2001

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I am at Luther Point Bible Camp as a grandparent at grandparent/grandchild camp.  It's really fun and the atmosphere is very relaxing.  We just finished with free time and K and Siri took showers.  We will now head down to the patio to enjoy some games.

Here are the kids getting ready to present their play at the talent contest tomorrow night.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Grace Nadine Spearman Swanson has returned to her heavenly home.  Yesterday afternoon, I called my Mom to tell her the great news of A getting the part of Peter Pan in the Prairie Fire Theater production of Peter Pan here in River Falls.  While we were talking, I told her of Grace and her limited time here on earth.

As we were talking, I was looking at our mantle and the beautiful Harvey Dunn landscape of a woman on the plains with a young girl right next to her, a hand full of flowers loosely held in her left hand, a knife in her right, another child stooped near her gathering more flowers, and a simple shanty and farm site in the background.  This beautiful picture had been Grace's and she had gifted it to our family.  As I looked at that picture, I thought of the sincere, strong and lovely person that Grace Nadine Spearman Swanson is and will be in her heavenly home.  I think the woman bears a strong resemblance to Grace and Grace thought the woman looked much like her own Mother.

Shortly after Mom and I were done with our conversation, Brad got a call from Betty.  Grace had passed away.

Here is the picture and how I will always remember Grace:

Monday, July 21, 2014

the trip is complete

Brad got home at about 1pm on Sunday with Ibby and Dehlia in tow.  He had gotten everything unpacked and returned home which was so wonderful!  We went swimming at Glen Park and then had dinner of pork chops and sweetcorn.  Summer is so sweet!

como zoo and MOA

On Saturday, the kids and I ventured to the Como Zoo and to the Mall of America to keep on our summer schedule.  We parked at the MN State Fair Grounds and took a shuttle to Como.  At the fairgrounds we saw a classic car show and the kids thought that was pretty cool.  We ate dinner at the MOA and then the kids picked out Disney stuff at the Disney store (cheaper than buying at the actual grounds).

Favorite part of the zoo for the kids was the black faced monkeys.  Favorite part of MOA was either Lego Land or the Disney Store.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

montana on my mind

Brad and Bud are currently in Montana, for a limited number of hours.  Right after we deplaned in Minneapolis, we headed to Famous Dave's for dinner and the kids and I headed straight east and Brad, Bud, Betty, Ibby and her kids headed to Grantsburg for the night.

The next morning, Bud and Brad (B&B) headed out to Montana to collect Ibby's/her kids' belongings for their move to Wisconsin.  Ibby started work on Thursday and Betty stayed with the kids on Thursday/Friday.  B & B spent the first night in Miles City, Montana and got up early the next morning to drive to Livingston, rent a UHaul, load up Ibby's belongings (she had them all packed and ready to go) and then headed back to Miles City, Montana for the night.  I talked to Brad both last night and this morning and things are going really well so far.

He should be to Grantsburg later this evening and then Ibby will drive him home tomorrow!  Then the journey that started on June 11, 2001 when Ibby, A and I headed out from Mountain Lake, MN with a UHaul to move to Idaho Falls, Idaho will be complete; we have all returned home to the midwest. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

eight and one half

Ms. KGO is now officially 8 1/2 years old.  It has been a tradition to have a small party on the big day.  This year was no exception.  She received a new Zoe doll for her big day--a doll I had bought when she was 3, but finally realized she was able to take excellent care of now when she is 8 1/2.  


We ate yummy chocolate brownies and dined in a newly cleaned breakfast nook.  Awesome.  

baseball game

A & the red team played the first round of the playoffs for Pony River Falls Parks and Rec last night.  They won a nail biter 4-3 so will be in the championship next Thursday evening. 

little brother practicing on the sidelines

eastward ho!

Bright and early Wednesday morning, we drove on the 10 and the 101 to get to LAX, Brad was a wonderful driver in the busy traffic all week.  We boarded the plane with a few more passengers as Ibby, Joe, Henry and Dehlia traveled home to relocate to Wisconsin. On the plane ride, Joe managed to lose one of his front teeth...super memorable!

cars and tar

On Tuesday, we ventured downtown LA to see the Peterson Car Museum and the La Brae tar pits.  It was so fun to see into the future and into our past...

wonderful world of walt

Ok, I never thought I was into commercialism, I didn't think Disney sounded like a great value for our family.  I was pleasantly surprised to have a WONDERFUL time in the land of Disney.  The kids have said Disney was the highlight of their trip...

starting the day bright and early

cousins at Tom Sawyer's Lair

K attending Jedi training

after a LONG day, he crawled up on a concrete bench and fell FAST asleep

he's 8!

The second day of the official family reunion, we celebrated Joe's 8th birthday.  It was a nice party with yummy cake and pizza.  Happy birthday Joe!


Brad, myself, our kids and Natalie Weaver-Olson headed to Hollywood on Saturday, July12.  We parked near Grauman's Chinese theater, looked at the stars on the sidewalk, dined at McDonalds, and toured Ripley's Believe It or Not.  

We saw a Samuel Jackson look alike and lot of other wide eyed tourists.  The best room at Ripley's was the dancing room at the end.  Great day!


After we returned to Atherton, we had a family dinner where Ibby, Kimberly and Nate were surprised with a 40th birthday party.  Also to surprise Kimberly was the appearance of her brother Ethan, who lives near Hermosa Beach.  He had been in Minnesota on a business and came back to surprise her after we spent the day at his house on Friday...I love surprises. 


sweet 16

Brad and I spent the day at the beach on our 16th Anniversary and then went out for dinner at a yummy wing place in Alhambra, CA. 


Thanks Brad for a truly sweet 16 (that's O and I on the right side)

southern Cali style

Wade and Diana's church right across the road from their place and K and I out for a walk in the neighborhood.

westward ho!

We flew from MSP to LAX on July 9...many miles and a lot of smiles.  We landed and were greeted by Wade and Ian and then went to Erin and Ian's home for a fun dinner and conversation.  Then off to Atherton to go to our "home away from home" for the week. 

53 and going strong

On July 8, 1961, my parents were married at First Lutheran Church in Butterfield, Minnesota.  Thank you for being incredible role models, parents and grandparents. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

issac michael is here!

Praise the Lord...Issac Michael Olson is born!  Mom and son are doing well.  He weighed just over 8 pounds and is 22" long.  And he was born just before noon on 7/7/14.  I know its kind of weird of me to think this way, but I think it's cool that his birthday is 7+7=14.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


The Rave has been installed and the two oldest Olson kids have visited it and jumped twice already.  The McPheeter's also gave us access to a waterski trainer--an Airhead EZ Ski trainer.  K did really well as she is just the right size.  A tried, but he is just a little too big so we had to go too fast to get him planing and he actually wiped out.  O tried tubing and just tubed for a very short period of time.

I'm hoping we can get out on the water again today as the water/wind is much calmer.  Late this afternoon, we will head home and get ready for our California adventure.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

water view

Last night, our family loaded up in the boat and we headed out on Wood Lake to watch the magnificent fireworks display.

I kept hearing "Mom, Mom, Mom, look that way!"  "Wow!"  The show did not disappoint that is for sure.  As we were cruising, I realized that it had been 18 years since my first visit to Wood Lake for July 4.  It seems like it was just yesterday.

Many wonderful things have happened in those 18 years...getting engaged, married, moving to Illinois, becoming parents, moving to Idaho, buying a house, selling a house, moving to Wisconsin, buying another house, becoming a family of four and a family of five, moving to the VI for a year, moving back to Wisconsin and teaching at RFPME.  There are many other life events that occurred during this time, but those are the major ones that I could think of at this time.

There is nothing that I would change...thanks Bradley Cole for an amazing 18 years of life's journey.

Friday, July 4, 2014

happy July 4th!

Happy birthday America and Kari Frances Cassidy Koester!


We bid goodbye to the Nel family early in the morning and then spent July 3 playing in the water, going to the park and playing in the water again.

The incessant question of the day was...when are the McPheeter's putting in the Rave?  from Miss KGO.  The Rave is a trampoline that floats in the water and is owned by Grandma and Grandpa's neighbor's the McPheeter's.  They have been very generous with their toy over the years and K is super excited to visit as she is now the right age to swim out (with life jacket) to the Rave.

The Rave is on the shore, inflated and is looking very ready to be launched and placed in it's summer home.  We still have two days of the weekend, so hopefully it becomes water bound soon.

family from UAE

We headed up to Bud and Betty's house on July 2 to visit Brad's cousin Katherine Swanson Nel and meet her husband Etienne and son Barnabas (aka Bear).  They are visiting from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  Bear took a great liking to our kids and his face would light up when they interacted with one another.

Brad, K, O and I went for a boat ride (K on the tube) late in the evening and ended up running out of gas.  We were saved by a kind passerby and towed back to our parking spot.

Here is a photo of the Nel family shortly after Bear was born:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

fun day winner

On our way to the MN zoo, the clouds really moved in so we opted for the MN Children's museum. Total winner for all three kids.  We also stopped at Candy Land for popcorn and a round of candy for all.

Favorites were the Thomas exhibit, the water works, the assembly line, the bus, the turtles, the stream , the restaurant and the  building exhibit.

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...