Saturday, February 28, 2015


Last night, A hosted two friends for a sleepover.  In my previous post, I mentioned that I pretty much collapsed on the couch with O and K.  The boys were in the basement, ate pizza and chips, played Risk and talked.  They are still sleeping and I will soon be making some eggs for them.

right to sleep

After a long, wonderful week of school and staying warm in the chilly sub-zero temperatures of Wisconsin, I curled up in front of the cozy wood stove last night with O and K and fell fast asleep...ahhh!  That is living.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

remembering Ross

we are approaching Ross' 17th birthday on April 2.  I know it's a ways off, but here is a post his Momma Kelly put on FaceBook today.  He sure resembles my children...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

kindness of teachers

Yesterday, K brought home a card from her gym teacher for A--she had been his gym teacher for his entire career at Greenwood Elementary.

Thank you Ms. Linehan for making a difference in our lives!

plant stands

My industrious husband has been busy with his building projects.  Here is his plant stand for growing new plants for our garden.  It also holds a beautiful plant that we received from Ross' funeral.

Monday, February 23, 2015


This is a FB post from my friend, Carrie.  "Watching your two boys together this afternoon was so heart warming. What an amazing closeness they share... and what an amazing teenager you have in Anders."

makes a Momma smile.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

a pause for reflection

My Mom's dear friend, Marge has been so kind to collect my hometown newspaper and share with me when she has finished reviewing.  I am pretty backed up on issues and sat down last night to get a little more caught up.  I found the October 8, 2014 and started to read.  On the front cover is a larger than life photo of our beloved Ross Isaac, in his element performing with friends.  My heart first was sad, but then was very joyous.  Ross had a God given gift.  He shared it with so many people even after his untimely passing. 

I continue to learn great lessons from his short life.  Thank you Ross for sharing your gifts and talents!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

daddy daughter dance

One week after taking his wife to prom, Bradley Cole took his best girl K to the Daddy Daughter dance.

Here they are:

her pretty dress ready to be worn

on their way to the dance

rock around the block

Meyer Middle School music department and cast of about 50 students put on a wonderful production of Rock Around The Block, a 1950s Musical Comedy on Thursday, February 19 and Friday, February 20.

Cast of Characters (in order of speaking)

Donald Spinney--Isaac Gabriel
Louise--Grace Redmond
Virginia Segal--Abby Fry
Ann Collier--Natalie Simpson
Jane Connolly--Lindsey Myhre
Muffin Mansfield--Olivia Szatkowki
Jughead Jarvis--Elijiah Arneson
Gracie Stanley--Dana Craig
Rose Marie Farniano--Elsa Putzier
Evelyn Weber--Iris Van Eeckhout
Bob--Jackson Califf
George Bullock--Logan McLaughlin
Sinbad Gallucci--Ari Silver
Riff--Nathan Johnson
Misty--Carolyn Decheine
Lennie King--Grant Herfindahl
Ziggy Springer--Anders Olson
Beverly Griffith--Sylvie Craig
Officer Moore--Jacob Richardt
Waitress--Miranda Kieren
Basketball team--Thomas Cariveau, Liam Egan, Micheael Kerr
Cheerleaders--Raena Bents, Hannah Campus, Kyndra Lindquist, Christina Rolf, Erin Syverson
Teen Queens--Kaye Anderson, Katy Myers, Evelyn Okal, Ellisha Ruele, Lindsey Skogen
Student Council--Marlayna Diel, Cecilia Downey, Claire Egerstrom, Sydney Fleming, Eliza Tool
Biker Boys--Brody Culver, Xander Klein, Aiden Olson
Biker Girls--Hannah Friedman, Kate Lindsaay, Scarlet Montgomery, Alex Samargia, Martha Soward
Ziggy's Singers--Kaye Anderson, Hannah Friedman, Katy Myers, Lindsey Skogen, Ellisha Ruele & Evelyn Okal

LOVED the production.  We saw both performances and had friends attend each night.

Bud and Betty, Joe, Henry and Dehlia made it to the performance on night two.

Here are some photos:
opening act--A over on far right

Ziggy Performing with his backup singers and screaming fans

Ziggy coming in to save the Hippity Hop

Ziggy joining the cast for the final number

full cast shot at the end of the play

Beverly, Lennie, Ziggy and George

Gracie and Beverly--sisters who do a wonderful job of acting

encore shot

2 kids that started out in Ezekiel bible school 10 years ago...

side shot of Ziggy's wig and look--my friend Sharyl found his whole outfit!


On Monday,February 19, 1934 Bob Hope married Delores Reed and Clarence Blomgren Sr. and his wife, Margaret welcomed their second born child Clarence Blomgren Jr. to their family.  His big sister Audrey was so happy to take care of her sweet little brother.

I am so thankful that this day happened and that my intelligent, articulate, kind and handsome father was born.

I love you to the moon and back!

Dad and one of his look alike sons, Cory.  

family in the Dominican Republic

It's kind of interesting that three of my relatives are in the Dominican Republic at the same time.  Two of them are mother daughter--my cousin Diane and her daughter Sara.  The other in my nephew Vance and his lovely girlfriend, Katie.  It is a small world after all!

origami animals

I have two students from Zizu University in China helping out in my classroom once a week.  This week, I had them working with the kids on an art project for our annual Chili Cookoff.  Each child made an animal for the cookoff silent auction and one for themselves.  The kids loved the activity and the Zizu students are so much better at teaching origami than I!  Here are a couple of the animals made:

I put the photos on notecards and we will be selling sets of 20 notecards.  I hope to make some good proceeds for our natural playground set to be built this summer.

teacher in service

The kids had the day off school on Monday but I got to attend teacher in-service on the UW River Falls campus.  We did some vision work and the former superintendent of the RFSD was the facilitator.  It was a fun day of getting to know one another in a different manner and define and common vision.

eat my bubbles

on Sunday, February 15-- A and K both competed in the Pre C Finals at River Falls High School.  One tradtion when swimming is kids have their swim lanes and event number inscribed on their arms in permanent marker.  K also had a special inscription put on her back from a my bubbles.

She was giddy for having that designation on her back ;) the bottom photo is of A ready to go off the blocks for his 100 breast stroke.  He has such as great entry into the water!  So fun to see.


I finally had a real date to the prom!  In high school, I went with friends my Junior year, my senior year was with my friend Lloyd.  The past two years, Julie was my date, but this year--Brad was my date to prom.  I'm realizing we didn't get any photos of our date, but we had a wonderful time none the less!

My friend Angie had me over to get dressed and my friend Emily did my hair and my sweet daughter K did my makeup.

Met up with Dawn, the Bonds and the Stoeffls for a wonderful evening.  Sarah and Mike Noreen stopped in about mid-evening.

visiting grandma and grandpa

I mentioned this before, but we did get a chance to head down to visit Mom and Dad on February 7--here is a sweet photo of O and his special cousin Thomas.  It was great to spend time together!

such fun

I can't believe I get paid to teach kids.  I shouldn't say that I don't work super duper hard and spend a lot of time away from home in being the best teacher I can be, but I really love spending time with kids and watching them have a-ha moments.  Thanks RF School District for picking me to be a teacher!

math grant

I have loved math most of my life.  I think the day I decided to love math is the day my cousin Chuck graduated from college.  I was a 5th grader and was attending the ceremony with my brother Kurt.  In casual conversation he asked me what my favorite subject was.  I told him that I thought it was reading because at that time I was a voracious reader.  He told me that his favorite subject was math.  I thought highly and still do think highly of my brother Kurt so decided to change my favorite subject that day.

I have been attending meetings on common core math implementation in the 3rd grade classroom.  It has been really exciting and here is something I'm taking back to my class in the coming weeks...teaching subtraction of negative number with integer chips.  I think it will be fun and meaningful.

isn't that cool?

she's in sales

Our middle child and only daughter KGO is quite a sales person.  Her 4H club is selling butter braids and she has been working very hard to make money for our club.  I'm impressed by her tenacity and ability to make a sale.  Could be a chip off the old block with Brad selling peanut brittle for the Cub Scouts...

marching on

February just keeps marching on!  The winter weather is holding, but the daylight hours are getting longer.  The temps can't be below zero forever!

Monday, February 16, 2015

another sad story

It seems like these past two months have been littered with tragedy in my hometown.  Ross' death, the death of a long time resident, Dennis Hempeck, my Dad's illness and now I've learned of my parents' pastor and his wife losing their lives in a fatal car accident on February 6.  We are ready for the some calm times in a small Southern Minnesota community. 

February 8

Was a busy day with going to Sunday school and church, play practice and a birthday party for K. 

visiting home

On February 7, we got a chance to go home and see Dad, Mom and Cory and Thomas.  It was a wonderful experience to be home and see family.  It was a short visit, but I could tell that the time we spent with Dad was a bit taxing as he seemed really tired when we left. 

We love you Daddy B!

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Wow, I was thinking I was acclimated to the northern hemisphere in February, but it is COLD with a capital C.  I haven't been walking to work for a while because I'm just way too cold.  The daylight hours are noticeably longer, so I'm thinking the temperatures will start rising soon.  This morning is was seven below zero on my ride into work.  Tonight is was 15 above when Brad picked me up at 5:30pm.

Tonight I'm going to the Westside Musical to see my friend, Michelle perform with her kids.  It should be a fun evening and it fits perfectly into the swimming drop off/pick up schedule.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

the boy I met the minute he was born

My dear friend, Ivy's son, Alazae just got signed to a track scholarship at Northern State University.  I can't believe that he's a grown up man already.

Go Zae go!

Zae's on the far right.

the third of February

I got a chance to present about Montessori education to a group of University faculty and the administration of UWRF.  It was really fun to see a lot of people that I used to work with and to catch up with them on their careers.

I also heard some pretty grim news about a $150 million base cut on the UW budget by governor Walker.  The cuts are significant and I hope the effects are not going to completely disillusion an already pretty disgruntled staff.  I love UW River Falls and many of the faculty staff that are employed by the institution.

the second

was sunny and active in the classroom.

the first of February

The super bowl was played--the Seahawks vs. the Patriots.  Unfortunately the Patriots were victorious.  I had planned on heading to Southern Minnesota to Mom and Dad, but there was a raging blizzard.  I'm hoping to get down this coming weekend to spend some QT with them...not too much to overwhelm, but just enough to give them lots of love.

and the 31st

was K's 9th birthday party at St. Croix Lanes in River Falls.  It was a really fun day and cousins and classmates were in attendance.  17 kids enjoyed some black light bowling.  Bud, Brad, Brent were super helpful with keeping kids in the right spot and helping with bowling needs.

Here is a photo of the cake celebration:

what about January 30?

K hosted her friend Sylbie at our home for a sleepover.  One of the highlights of the sleepover was going to their beloved art teacher's art show in Hudson.  Emily Gilbertson is her name and as you can see, she is a very talented artist.  The girls were in their element.

It was nice to see the amazing support from Greenwood teachers!

what happened on January 29th?

I taught some really fun lessons on two phylums of animals that I had to do some research about--the first is cnidaria and the second is echinoderms.  The first includes jellyfish and the second include sea stars.  Totally fun and engaging for the members of our class.

a week goes quickly

I really can't believe it's been over a week since my last post.  Last week we were busy getting ready for K's 9th birthday party.

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...