Friday, July 31, 2015

historical hosts at Fort Snelling

Our family has a great experience at Fort Snelling and when reflecting on why it was such a great day it was agreed that the historical hosts made it so memorable. The artillery, the hospital, the mansion, the cooking demo, the eating demo, the tower, the store, the Dred Scott house, the school lesson, and the marching lessons were excellent. We also were treated to a drive on a golf cart to the entrance gate.

We love our MN Historical Society membership!

level 5 in her sights

KGO passed her swimming lessons and looked really strong on her last day of lessons. So happy that you love to swim!

kayak day

julie and I went for a paddle down the St. Croix on Wednesday and were interrupted by strong winds. We paddled about an hour and then doubled back and went to Willow River for a hike. We went to the falls at Willow River and I was amazed at the beauty and majesty of the power of the water.

It was a beautiful day in all respects.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

skipping stones

Our family had planned on heading to Fort Snelling today to learn about the rich history re-enacted there. The skies were threatening, so we opted to stay home. After doing some housework and noticing the skies were looking ok, the kids and I headed to Willow River State Park near Hudson.

We ended up spending time on the shore and skipping stones on Little Falls Lake, the lake that is being drawn down so the dam can be repaired. A was able to show his sister how to skip stones and they were both successful!

Then we went to the Ranger Station and both K and O got some Wild Cards. It ended up being a fun day ;)

large rock in mid-air 

Monday, July 27, 2015

mr sun, sun mr. golden sun, please shine down on me!

Tonight, after dinner, I asked the kids if they wanted to go for a walk. They decided it would be fun to go to the ballfield and do some pitching/catching/hitting. We walked down and the sun was absolutely perfect and we had a ball (pun intended) playing a little baseball. A couple of students from my school joined in the fun (their Dad lives right by the field).

Here are the pretty photos that define the beautiful golden sun of late evening in Wisconsin.

on our way to the field

getting grounders from her brother

switched gloves with sister so she could use a glove that still fits

an excellent and patient teacher in action

swimming lessons

Our kids love swimming and K is taking her level 4 swimming lessons this week. I have a strong suspicion she will be moving on to level 5, but here are some photos of her putting on a life jacket in open water and also of her diving.

I love her confidence!

she's the one with yellow life jacket

top down hair is blowing

Last night, my friend Jennifer stopped by in her little black convertible 1970 Ford Mustang and took myself and our friend, Michelle for a spin. We ended up in Prescott and picked up Michelle's cousin and arrived home 3 1/2 hours after we started our adventure. It was a beautiful night for a ride and the time flew!

Here I am admiring a pastoral setting with the golden sun rays and three beautiful horses

Here we are outside of Michelle's house

wonderful wizard of oz

They were off to see the Wizard! A and K did a beautiful job portraying the tin man and the munchkin coroner in the Prairie Fire Theater Production of the Wizard of Oz. Bud and Betty came to the Friday performance and Brent and Molly came to the Saturday afternoon performance. Grandma & Grandpa B and cousin Ryan were planning on driving up on Saturday, but there were no rooms available in all of River Falls due to a large number of weddings.

Here are some photos from the performances:

after the Friday show in full makeup

Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, The Lion and The Wizard

The Munchkins

Two Munchkin Coroners--one from River Falls production and the other from Mankato with the director (who recognized Siri in the audience and said hello)

The Scarecrow and the Tin Man

The Coroners with the Wicked Witch

Siri and Molly getting a ride in the Model A after the show

Friday, July 24, 2015

farm family of the year

Brother Kurt and his family have been honored as the Watonwan County Farm Bureau family of the year at the Watonwan County Fair.

According to a post by Watonwan County Farm Bureau:

Congratulations to Watonwan County Farm Bureau's Vice President, Kurt Blomgren, and his family on receiving Watonwan County's Farm Family of the Year Award!
"The Blomgren family farm was purchased from Kurt’s parents, Clarence and Vivian, in 1993. Up until 2006 the farm included a 60 sow farrow-to-finish operation. Currently Kurt buys feeder pigs and raises them to market. The family also produces beef from 4-H project cattle which Kurt says is a family hobby. The crop enterprise includes corn, soybeans and oats on 640 acres.
The Blomgren adult children, Jenna, Vance and Stuart help out the farm when they can. The family tragically lost their son and brother, Ross, in an auto accident last year.
Kurt graduated from the MARL program in 2002 and currently serves as Watonwan County Vice President and has served in various leadership positions with Farm Bureau on the state level. Kurt is also involved with the MN Pork Producers Association and is a volunteer firefighter with the Butterfield Fire Department.
Kurt has also been an adult leader in 4-H for the past 20 years." (Story from U of M website) Kurt Blomgren Jenna Blomgren Vance Blomgren Stuart Blomgren

Here are some photos from the post:
Jenna, Cody, Stuart, Clarence, Kurt, Vivian, Vance, Kaitie, Kyle and Kim

Stuart, Jenna, Vance, Kurt, Kathy Svalland and ?

Kurt, Clarence, Vivian and Kyle

Cody, Jenna, Stuart, Kurt, Vance and Kaitie

Thursday, July 23, 2015

parking lot

One night, I came home and found O parked in our driveway in his buddy Wil's sports car. Here he is backing up to drive back to Wil's driveway.

Pictured on the outside--Wil, A, Mark and K

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

end of season

The River Falls mini-traveling team had a season ending loss tonight. I am not a big lover of winning, but one more win for the season would have been really nice. A seems to be really excited though to try out some new types of pitches.

May have just lit a fire in his belly.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

homemade laundry soap

My friend, Lisa Owens shared a wonderful recipe for homemade laundry detergent found here:

This past week, our 14 year old helped make the detergent. I have been making for the past 3 years and this is only the 6th time I've made. It costs about $22 for a batch, so it is an economical and environmentally friendly way to clean our clothing.

Here are some photos from the making:

The cheese grater, oxyclean, 3 bars fels-naptha, borax, laundry soda and baking soda

some of the ground borax (used cheese grater)

my helper finishing up the grinding

adding the oxyclean


The finished detergent ready to launder many loads of wash

the wiz

River Falls Community Theater will be presenting the Wizard of Oz this Friday at 7 and Saturday at 2. The Tin Man will be played by ACO and the Munchkin Coroner will be played by KGO. Super pumped for rehearsals and performance!

he actually looked a lot more excited before I got the photo, but he had just gotten his retainer so maybe that is the reason for lack of teeth exposure

whitefish dunes

Sunday was our day at Whitefish Dunes State Park. The tide was up so the beach was shorter, but it was still glorious. The water was much too cold for my liking (52 degrees), but the kids spent a fair amount of time in the surf.

Door county was WONDERFUL!
my sleeping partner in the Apache (see the cool curtains I made in the background from a post in July 22, 2011 )

breakfast nerding around

camp stove pancakes and bacom

a view of our camp site with our canoe in the foreground

the three oldest kids on the sandbar at Whitefish Dunes

sand play is the best

Julia digging with some new friends found at the beach

ocean like

Our stay at Peninsula State Park in Door County was very ocean-like. The breathtaking beach, the cool water, the horizon of water and sky touching, the happy humans frolicking on the shores, the stealthy boats that can maneuver Lake Michigan anchored just off shore...a setting that is so peaceful and life-affirming.
Pair that with time spent with our Knier friends, Jennifer, Jerry, Jillian and Julia it was a pretty great vacay.

The Knier and Olson kids making a big hole

fun with friends

Friday, July 17, 2015

gorgeous day

I just finished up my math grant workshop and will be driving east to Door County. Last night I stayed overnight at Country Inn and Suites here in Eau Claire and went out to dinner, went to a movie, went to work out and did a little Target run. It was so bizarre being alone, and I'm very thankful that I'm back with family tonight.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

door county here we come

Brad and the kids are bound for Door County to meet up with our friends, the Knier family. I will be joining them tomorrow after my workshop. I am sure they will have a great beginning to their adventure and I look forward to joining them.


I discovered a new game at my math grant conference called Set---super duper fun. I also have been talking about partitive and quotative properties of multiplication and division. Math nerd alert!

math grant

This week, I am participating in a math grant workshop. It is so fun learning about new ways of promoting dialog in the classroom! Here I am with my River Falls colleagues.
me, Maggie, Ashley and Jayne

happy birthday Joe PQ

Happy 9th birthday on the 13th to our dear nephew Joseph Philemon Quintana. Here he is with cousin A at our Memorial Day celebration.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

race day

Big and little K went racing this morning for 2 miles along the banks of the Kinne.

Little K finished in 20:30
Big K finished in 18:24

We enjoyed our run and are looking forward to our next race.

17 years strong

Bradley Cole Olson. Thank you for the best 17 years a girl could imagine.

viva la Kinne!

We are in the midst of River Falls Days. Last night was the grand parade where K was part of the Ezekiel float commemorating our 125 years of being a congregation.

O had a blast at the parade and endeared himself to a fellow parade goer. He was playing with her and really enjoying her company. We finally had to ask him to calm down because he was starting to play a little rough. I would estimate she was about 22 years old. 

A scooped ice cream at Ezekiel and we enjoyed a 114 unit parade. A bag full of candy is what we have on our dining room table ;)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

t ball photo

Here is O's team of five year old t-ball friends! We were at the pool this afternoon and O loved playing with his new friend Trevor. Then tonight, we went to the River Falls Royal Ambassador coronation and he saw another friend as a flower bearer...I love his outgoing nature!

he's the second from the right on the bottom row :) His buddy Wil is fourth from the left bottom row

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

happy 54th Mom and Dad!

On July 8, 1961, Nels Pierson Sr., Annie Pierson, Clarence Blomgren Sr. and Margaret Blomgren witnessed the marriage of their children, Vivian Grace to Clarence Edward.

Wishing you a wonderful anniversary Mom and Dad!

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...