Sunday, October 26, 2014


I am a member of Ravenclaw, A is Griffindor and K is Hufflepuff.  A got points for Griffendor and was awarded Snapes lab helper.  I saw Grimm in my tea leaves.  We all loved.  Thanks Heather at Fox Den for a wonderful evening!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

party and Potter!

Today we are getting our work done early so we can get to the annual Mitchell Halloween Party at 2:30 and then head to Potterfest at 6pm.  Potterfest is where Fox Den Books in downtown River Falls turns into Diagon Ally and Hogwarts and we depart from platform 9 3/4 at 6pm.  The two eldest Olson kids and I will be heading there.  I hope to get some photos to post tomorrow...

he's home!

Brad is wonderful to be together again!  We went out to dinner at Luigi's Pizza (2nd time in our ten years in RF) and saw a lot of people we know.  We got to see the Bond family and two families from church.

holler for Halloween

Time to get your costume on, the Littlest Pumpkin, talk of costumes, witches, bats, ghosts, monsters, fairies...all topics of great interest for Mr. O and the Olson family.  It's so fun to see his excitement!

math core progressions

The teachers at our school are participating in a grant that is diving into Common Core Math practice standards.  We meet on Wednesdays after school nine times during the school year and three Saturdays in the school year.  This past Wednesday we explored different methods to answer division questions.  It's pretty fun to see how math is a lot more based on having conversations about your problem solving instead of just focusing on algorithms.

child as a Guide

O led his brother, sister, Mom and grandma around his classroom on Child As a Guide Night at RFPME.  He got out a chowkie, a mat and work of pom transfer--picking up small pom poms with a tweezers and transferring from one container to another.  Next he brought out a work where he swept beans.  He was most excited about introducing us to his buddies.  It was pretty sweet!  Afterwards we dined at Burger King--it was a nice evening.

back after a week of no computer

My honey was gone for a week for a trip to Denver so I was out of commission to document our lives.  It was a nice week with Grandma Betty taking care of us, but it is really nice to have Brad home!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

happ-e-hill pumpkin farm

Today three Olsons met up with 3 Thibodeau girls and went to Happ-E-Hill pumpkin farm near Prescott to find the Littlest Pumpkin.  O, K, Abby and Libby picked out great little pumpkins for Halloween.

One of our favorite stories is called the Littlest Pumpkin by RA Herman.  O was determined to bring home that pumpkin so it wouldn't feel sad on Halloween night.  I think he may have found the smallest of all.  We also went on the little train, a hayride, through a Spruce Maze and ate the most sugary carmel apple ever known to man.  It was a great day!

Thanks Thibodeau's for hanging with us!

loving the train ride

Saturday, October 18, 2014

cleaning up

Today Brad and I were pretty busy cleaning up the house and the outdoors--the beautiful fall backdrop was just the right motivator.  A was out of town helping a friend celebrate his 13th birthday at a waterpark, but the rest of us were here and enjoyed the gorgeous fall afternoon.

Brad cleared and tilled all of the gardena

neighbor Charlotte watching O run through a leaf pile

neighbor Andrew helping K and O stomp down leaves in the back of the truck

awesome fossil field trip

On Friday morning, the Rock Doctor, Bill Cordua addressed 80 children at an assembly before our field trip.  The excitement was over the top.  We then boarded the busses and were wowed by the number of fossils we were able to glean from the Decorah formation just outside River Falls.  I got one really great specimen that was loaded with sea lilies and fossil shells.  It was pretty incredible.  The kids had a blast and the parent chaperones kept saying it was the best field trip they had experienced.

So thankful for experts who love to share their love of learning with others.

Dr. Bill helping one of my students identify a fossil she found

Thursday, October 16, 2014

blazing beauty

One of my friends here in town made this beautiful collage...I think this fall is probably the most incredible colored falls I have ever seen.

Sandy Waletzko's photo collage...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

fossil excitement!

On Friday, our Lower Elementary classrooms are going on a fossil hunting expedition near River Falls.  One of our retired Geology professors, Dr. Bill Cordua will be giving us a tour and lead us to a nice fossil finding location.  Tomorrow I will be teaching a lesson on fossils and make some impressions with real fossils that were donated to our classroom.

The excitement is building for the teachers and the students!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Our dear friend Shumair is getting married in January.  I sure hope we can make the trip to Colorado to witness his happy day.  Congratulations Shumair (and to your very lucky bride as well)!

work period

In Montessori classrooms--there is a three hour work period each day.  Typically a teacher is presenting lessons while students are working on practicing lessons or follow up work related to the lessons during the work period.  They may be working on a piece of artwork, they may be reading about animals, they may be enjoying the community snack.

O has been working in his classroom and doing a lot of observations during this three hour work period.  Generally he is choosing 0-1 lessons to participate in each day.  Today, he chose four lessons.  He is growing and learning.

He is currently working on mastering the a, m and t sounds with the sandpaper letters and was just introduced to the hard c sound today.  I hope his growth just continues throughout the year!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

beautiful day in the neighborhood

Today was a glorious sunshiny day.  I am so thankful for the beauty of the crisp fall air--just wish I could rewind...


The 7th Grade Wildcat Blue team (and yellow too) went undefeated this year!  Way to go team.

Friday, October 10, 2014

a school photo fav

Here is the digital download we just got from LifeTouch...this will be an all time favorite for our family.  We do plan on getting a retake on that day, but this will be treasured for years to come.

hi Ms. Ruthie!

O was out on the lawn last night when dear Ms. Ruthie--his next door Children's House teacher came walking by with her dog.  She was greeted with a big "Hi Ms. Ruthie!" from O ;).  I love that his world is expanding and he is recognizing people outside of his school.  Growing up.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

blood moon

If I would have had my wits this morning at 5am, I would have arisen to see the blood moon.  It was a hot topic of conversation at school today and the effects of too little sleep started to be evident by 3pm...hopefully there will be some sweet dreams tonight!

The image was found online...not my photo credit.

SAO is 8!

Siri Bear is now an eight year old along with her three cousins born in 2006.  Welcome to the 8 club sweet girl!

Siri is in the lead of this group who was watching a deer at Luther Point this summer.  K  in pink, Isaiah in red and Joe in green--the rest of the 2006 gang

Monday, October 6, 2014

sluggish betta fish

Our class recently adopted a Betta fish named Finnigan.  When I got into the classroom this morning to prep the class for a day of learning, I noticed Finnigan was swimming near the bottom of the tank.  I also noticed that our room temperature had dipped about 15 degrees since Friday.  I hope we don't lose our beloved pet due to freezing him to death!

dolphin tale 2

Yesterday afternoon was overcast and the perfect day for a matinee movie.  I took the three kids downtown to watch Dolphin Tale 2.  It was a charming movie and very well attended by the residents of River Falls.  After 4 admissions, a very large tub of popcorn, 2 pops and 2 candies, we paid $20.  What a deal!

We love The Falls Theater!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

snow snow snow

Last night, I ventured out to the River Falls High School homecoming game to pick up A who had gone to see kick off.  When I arrived in the middle of the 3rd quarter--went late because the cold wind was blowing pretty hard.

The Wildcats won the game 21-7 against Eau Claire North.  As I was watching the Wildcats score their second touchdown, I noticed that the sky was filled with was snowing.  Yikes, not mentally prepared.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

colorful trees

The trees in River Falls are cloaked in their beautiful fall appearal.  I love this time of year!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

happy October!

October is upon us!  The weather is chilly and the kids in my class had indoor recess today.  When we were reflecting on our day, I was asking kids to try to figure out why our classroom was not peaceful in the afternoon--lo and behold, the biggest talker said "I think we may have been that way because we had indoor recess."  BINGO.


They won another game!  They defeated Cottage Grove 20-0.  A said they played really well and he snapped the ball right.  Way to go Wildcats.

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...