Saturday, October 31, 2015

pumpkin seeds, haunted houses, pumpkin cookies and slime

That is what is part of our agenda today according to O. K is currently at a birthday party. Brad and kids carved Jack O Lanterns this morning. I sorted through "the guts" of the Jack O Lanterns and roasted three batches of pumpkin seeds.

Next O wants to make a haunted house, bake pumpkin cookies and make some slime. At 6, A has a party to attend, the rest of us will go trick or treating and then go to our friend, Sharyl's house for her annual party.

It's going to be a fun day and I'm still scratching my head to see how we are going to make a haunted house...I'll report how it goes tomorrow.

culture day

On Friday the 30th, our school celebrated culture day. Our friend, Shumair has a lovely Mother who once gave me a beautiful Pakistani dress that she had beaded. I finally had the right occasion to wear:
Michelle, Abby and I on culture day
On that same day, we celebrated the Virtues of Kindness and Respect. O was recognized for his kindness to our lunch lady, Ms. Deanna. He spied her in the hallway one day and told her how much he missed her the day before. She told me it brought tears to her eyes. I love the kindness of our little O.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Today, we had scheduled a field trip to the Gibbs farm. I was ultra pumped. Yesterday, the farm called and recommended we reschedule our trip. It was not fun telling our classes the field trip was cancelled. They were thankful today when we didn't have to be outside all day and eat lunch in the cold driving rain.

We made predictions about the first snow fall and this kids were attuned to the weather because many of them predicted it would snow before midnight tonight...they were right. There were several flakes in the air on my way home from school this afternoon.

home again!

It was so great to see my two biggest boys last night. They had a great time hunting together. Here is a photo of A with some of his hunting friends:
MJ, AO, PN, AM and MT

grandma to the rescue

Thank you so much Betty for coming and picking up kids, making dinner and taking care of us for two days. I have classes this semester on Monday nights and it was really helpful and lifesaving to have Betty come stay with us and take care of children and transport on Monday evening, night and Tuesday morning, day, evening. I don't know what we would have done without you!

formative assessment

For my preschool curriculum class, I was on a team that presented on formative assessment. I always get confused when people ask me about formative vs. summative, and I thought this was a very good illustration of the purpose of formative assessment--it informs your instruction.

2 confirmations

On the 24 and 25, K, O and I attended two confirmation services. So did my Mama, brother Kyle and brother Kurt. We (Mom, the kids and I) left Kyle and Kim's house at about 3:30 on Saturday afternoon, arrived in Albert Lea and bummed around Walmart until Kyle and Kurt met us in the parking lot. We then piled into our van and drove to Ames to sleep at a lovely hotel with a terrific breakfast. Got up early Sunday morning and drove to Huxley where we saw Abby Rae be confirmed. Her faith statement was outstanding and it was great to see that both of my nieces received faith forming confirmation instruction. Went to Kent's apartment and out to lunch at the Pizza Ranch to celebrate. Abby wasn't able to join because she was at her Mom's, but we did get to talk to her and almost all of Brenda's family at the service. We got an opportunity to meet Anna's boyfriend Josh and he seems like a really devoted and kind companion. Back on the trail north where we dropped Mom, Kyle and Kurt off at the Walmart parking lot and then on our way home. We took a detour through RedWing due to really congested traffic on I35, and found a really fun restaurant. Maybe that will be a route we take again in the future.

Abby and Grandma B

Grandma B, Abby and Kent

Grandma B, Abby, Kent and Anna

O and K after our long journey on Friday night

At Liana's party--Cory, Kyle, Grandpa, Kurt and Ryan

Grandma B, Abby and Anna

happy birthday Abby Rae!

Abby Rae is now 15 years old. Her cousin Liana Marie was confirmed on her birthday and we were able to observe the rite at her church in St. James. On our way to the service, we stopped by Ross' grave to say hello and let him know it sure would have been nice to see his face today, but I knew he was watching the occasion from up above and celebrating.

with uncles Kurt and Kyle at her confirmation


Long day with teaching, writing newsletter, packing the kids, driving home and seeing my beautiful Mama greet me at her door in Mountain Lake late late at night. My dear KGO stayed up for the trip and we had fun conversations about life. I can't tell you the specifics of any conversation, but I sure do love my little liebchen!

the 22nd

I am loving these lingering lovely fall days. I didn't get a chance to leave the classroom on the 22nd, but it was great to head outside after school!

October 21

A large reason this is the first day I've posted in so long is that my sweet husband has been traveling for a very long time. He and A returned last night and I can finally breathe and catch up on stuff.

First, he went to a conference in the Denver area and then he and several guy friends and their sons went hunting in the Aberdeen, SD area for pheasant. They had a great time, but it is sure great to have them home.

catch up

Here we go, I didn't realize it had been THIS long since I posted here. Last time I posted we went through a corn maze. It was a really fun experience and Julie took some really great photos:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

corn maze bound

Today, my three children and I will head to a maze of maize with friends Julie, Abby and Libby. I am looking forward to the adventure and hopefully taking some breathtaking photos!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

year 2

Today, the two eldest children and I headed to our 2nd year at Hogwarts. We departed platform 9 3/4 at 11:20 and spoke with the sorting hat, had a lesson on changing pincushions into hedgehogs, tried to battle Cornish pixies, had a lesson on changing the phases of the moon and also learned how to play quiddich and got a chance to play a game. Potterfest is so well done! Brianna, our neighbor was playing the role of Hermione and Nate, one of my classroom parents, played the role of Hagrid. One of my students was also in our class. I love living in a small town and having such and incredible bookstore with inventive owners!

fun night

Our school has a gathering every fall where people bring soups, breads and play in the great outdoors. We had a lovely opportunity to play and gather with friends on Friday night. K and A had a blast playing soccer and O loved buddying around with his school friends. We live and go to school in a great community!


A friend of mine from JJ Hill in St. Paul stopped by my classroom to observe. It was humbling to have him, a master teacher come and observe my history instruction. I'm looking forward to discussing what he saw when we meet again.

cold snap

riding bike into school is a definite eye opener. The temps are in the upper 30s, lower 40s. In a few months, that will feel warm, but right now EYE OPENING!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


So A's football team played their last game of the season tonight and remained undefeated. I was unable to attend the game because I had night class, but I am so incredibly proud of you buddy. Go WILDCATS.

Monday, October 12, 2015

cold day

Today is very different from yesterday. I felt like it was going to snow as the drizzle was coming from the sky as I was leaving school this afternoon.

hot day!

Sunday was really really hot. The thermometer on the van said it was 90 went we went to Hudson for some supplies for a project for my class. I think that will be our last hot day this year.

eagle and anchor 5K

On Saturday morning, K and I drove to the U of M campus to run K's first 5K, the Eagle and Anchor 5K. Stuart had invited us to run the race and we took him up on it. It was pretty incredible because as I arrived at the race, my former boss from Pii in Illinois was there! I asked if he was Keith Herwig and we visited for a short time. I visited with his wife more than I did with him and we realized that their son is in ROTC with Stuart. Small small world.

The race started and K looked like she was a veteran runner. She ran the entire course and finished 3 minutes ahead of me. She clocked 25 minutes and I clocked 28 minutes. She's my running ideal!

We then had lunch with Kurt, Jenna, Stuart and Kyenna at an Irish pub near the U of M campus and then went shopping and to Pan at the MOA and finally made it home after the sun had set. We had a pretty amazing Momma daughter day.

now 7-0

The blue team for River Falls 8th grade football is now 7-0 for the season. I got to watch an entire game and see some really nice plays. Go Wildcats!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

bountiful share

Today we picked up our final share from our CSA, Hogsback Farm. WOW! The beauty of their produce is staggering. Brad prepared a lovely stir fry of our last week's share. Thank you Melinda and David for sharing your talents and craft.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Siri bear is 9 tomorrow

Siri A. Olson will be joining her 2006 cousins in turning 9 tomorrow. I believe she was born shortly after midnight. Happy Birthday to you.
Siri and K making cereal bars at our last family get together


The River Falls Wildcats 8th grade blue team is now 6-0 for the season. There are two games to go...I'm looking forward to seeing them on take on Hudson this Friday afternoon. Go Cats Go!

evacuation Tuesday and singer man

This morning, our school will be practicing our evacuation drill. We will depart school at 9:30 and journey to Westside Elementary to take shelter in their gymnasium. The skies are a bit overcast, but I'm looking forward to the jaunt.

A just left the house to practice for select choir. He is in a special choir this year that will be performing at various events. I will keep people updated as to his performances. He is also involved in madrigals--a group that practices on Wednesday mornings. It is wonderful to see his involvement in the activities where he enjoys. The man that said "that boy is going to be a singer" at his baptism was right ;)

student again

So I'm taking my last two classes to be certified to teach children from birth to age 6. Monday nights and Tuesday nights I'm heading to campus for a Special Ed class and a preschool curriculum class. It is fun to take classes again and feel the energy from all the teacher's in training.

visiting Hotel Transylvania 2

The two youngest and I headed to Hudson Theater on Sunday afternoon after prepping the classroom for another week. We watched Mavis, her husband, and her son, Dennis navigate the world. It was clever and cute and O giggled for the last five minutes of the movie due to monster fights--he loves ACTION. Nice date with the kids at the theater!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

busy Saturday

We had a busy day today--all 3 kids had different places to be at 10am. O had mini-kicks, K had soccer for team France and A had his first marching band experience at the UW River Falls Homecoming parade. He thinks he might try marching band in the future.

Here is a photo of A (near center with baritone) and K and O in their soccer photos

Katie Olsen and Katie Olson team France


go OJO

happy 17th Evan Lee!

in 1998, three beautiful Blomgren babies were born. First came Ross Isaac, next came Liana Marie and last of all was a sweet little brown eyed boy named Evan Lee. With much love and admiration, we celebrate you and wish you a lifetime of love and happiness.

this photo collage made Momma Joan Lee

Thursday, October 1, 2015

hello October

The morning was very brisk, but the beautiful sun warmed the earth to make a glorious afternoon. My walk home after school was getting a bit chilly again, but it quicken my pulse and made me very thankful for the coming of fall. One of my dear classroom parents stopped to offer me a ride home but I politely declined because of all the things I saw on my walk home. Thanks though, Sara!

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...