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!

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...