Saturday, December 30, 2017

farm Christmas

Today we celebrated Christmas at the farm with the Blomgren clan. Stuart and Kesleigh joined us on FaceTime during the gift exchange. Ross' star was looking down on us and we got to hear Dad's voice on a recording that he and Mom made several years ago with the Twas the Night Before Christmas book.

Kurt was the proud new owner of the mask:

Osten got a new Vikings sweatshirt, Katie got a book from the Cinder series, Anders got $20, I got the gift I brought (an apron, cookie cutters, sponge and egg timer) and Brad got a box of tools. We all received money from Grandma B and will use for either college funds or for other projects around the house. 

There was quite a houseful at the farm.Grandma B-- Kent, Anna and Abby--Kurt, Vance and Kaitie--Kyle, Kim, Kyle, Adam, Keyanna, Liana and Ryan--Cory, Joan, Thomas, Evan and Trenton--Karen, Brad, Anders, Katie and Osten. We ate two meals and snacked most of the day. It was a fun and entertaining day with family. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

heading home today

Today we are headed to St. James to prepare for the Blomgren Christmas celebration--just putting some finishing touches on packing, heading to the classroom to pick up some grading for the ride home and then jumping in the Prius.

I did get Christmas dismantled on Wednesday and it feeling like the house has gained a few hundred's really nice ;).

cheap skate, pp3 take 2 and icy roads

Yesterday I got a great opportunity to spend time with friend Julie, sister in law Ibby, Abby, Libby, Katie, Osten, Joe, Isaiah, Henry and Dehlia (got to see Bruce and Julie briefly) at Cheap Skate in Coon Rapids. I had heard tales of Brad's childhood at Cheap Skate. How he would go there, buy licorice whips and hang out with friends. They no longer serve licorice whips, but they do have great skating/blading and scootering opportunities. We skated from 1pm until 4:45...I started with a skate trainer because it had been a few years since I'd been skating, but it didn't take long to skate around unassisted. We had a blast and I loved seeing Osten use a scooter and Katie roller blade.

After skating, I took Henry with us and we made a return to Barnes and Noble and then drove to Hudson so Osten could see Pitch Perfect 3 and Henry and Katie could see the Greatest Showman. All the kids looked pretty pooped out after the movie so we headed home and hit the sheets not long after playing a few video games.

Reference to the icy took us roughly 2 hours to get to Cheap Skate...normally would have been a 1 hour trip. We saw several cars in the ditch and one that was on it's roof in the middle of 35E north. Yikes...hopefully no one was critically injured. Be safe everyone!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

heading home

In a few short minutes we are going to hit the road so Anders can make it to swim practice, I can help Katie and Osten find new homes for their Christmas treasures and I can do a whole bunch of cleaning.

I also plan on heading over to my friend, Laura's house to check on her home to make sure it is enduring this extreme cold.

What a great first round of Christmas!

Monday, December 25, 2017

movie night

We took the kids to the movie theater after we witnessed the sinking of the vehicle. I took Katie and Henry to Pitch Perfect 3--Ibby took Osten, Dehlia and Anders to Ferdinand the Bull--Brad and Bruce took Isaiah and Joe to Star Wars.

The outside temperature was -7 as we were driving home...YIKES. So happy for heat, a home and a car that isn't in the lake.

sinking vehicle

This beautiful and frosty Christmas Day we saw a vehicle go through the ice. We noticed several people running on the ice and then went out to look and saw a vehicle partially submerged with people near the vehicle.

Then we saw the vehicle raise vertically and then slowly sink into the frozen lake. I'm going to keep an eye on the news to see more information, but I pray that no one was in the vehicle went it down.

eve of Christmas 2017

We had a great experience watching a beautiful Christmas Eve service at Faith Lutheran in Grantsburg. We heard beautiful singing and a lovely message.

Thank you God for sending your son Jesus!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

family Christmas

Last night, we celebrated Christmas with just the 5 of us. We all opened our gifts to one another.
Osten's favorite gift was a Sith statue
Brad's favorite gift was a new staple gun
Mom's favorite was her new camera
Anders' favorite was Call of Duty and a new cover for his comforter
Katie's favorite was a lap desk Osten chose for her at Treasures

We then went out for dinner at Dad's favorite restaurant--Buffalo Wild Wings

We are blessed!

happy birthday Bradley dearest!

Happy 45th birthday to my sweet, kind, generous, musical, thrifty, interesting, funny, silly and amazing husband Bradley Cole Olson!

amazing Daddy Brad reading with Osten this week


The winter solstice was a picture perfect day...we went on a nature walk at school, had our staff Christmas party at Maggie's house and enjoyed relatively warm temperatures.

The sunrise in River Falls: 7:45am
sunset: 4:32pm

Sunrise St. James: 7:50am
sunset 4:44pm

Sunrise Grantsburg:7:49am
sunset: 4:29pm

Sunrise: Fredrikstad, USVI: 6:46am
sunset: 5:50pm

patiently waiting for Christmas

Our Osten has been so excited for Christmas and is watching the advent calendar tick down every day. It has been a good exercise in counting and in patience. Way to go Osten!

school winter program

On Monday, I got to hear the sweet sounds of music at the River Falls High School choir concert. Anders performed with the Symphonic Choir (10th through 12th grades) and his friend, Emma performed with the women's Chamber Choir (auditioned choir).

I enjoyed the experience--Osten was engaged for Anders' choir only, so he exercised out in the commons area for the other choirs. It's really nice to have that option for kiddos that have an abundance of energy ;).

the RFHS costumed carolers also performed (photo taken at our school the day after the program)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

sunday school Christmas program

Osten was a shepard this morning in the Sunday School Christmas program. He wasn't very excited, but he looked great in the part.

bailey's party

Last night, our friends, John and Gretchen hosted their 8th annual Bailey's party. It is now an adults only invitation, but we still had so much fun hanging out, telling stories, laughing and being merry. I'm now spending time delivering the makings to our neighbors and having nice conversations.

So far I've delivered to the Zalusky's, Dolly and Madeline, Laura and Charlie and Nancy.

Still have to deliver to June and Briana, John and John and the Whipple's.

Thanks John and Gretchen for your hospitality and for making it all possible.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

a little "me" time

I have two hours to spend with myself! I am going to try to knock present wrapping out of the park and maybe pamper myself with a soaking bath. I just received some bath salts from one of my Sunday School students...sounds like a winner to me!

Anders and Brad are in Eau Claire at a swim meet.
Katie is at her friend Ellea's
Osten is at his friend Coulter's.

the last Jedi

Wow. My mind was blown by the most recent installment of the Star Wars franchise. It was really well acted, the scenes were incredible and the plot line twisted in ways that haven't in the past. Nice job and I am definitely going to try to see this movie again.
here is the marquee outside the Falls Theater where we saw the amazing Star Wars

winter program

Osten is the gentleman in the striped shirt near the mural of an orange kid kicking a ball
On Thursday morning, I got a sub and attended Osten's school program. They danced/sang one song and then sang 2 more songs. He was so happy to see me and made me feel like a million dollars when his face lit up and he waved "hi Momma!". He was also delighted to be standing in the 2nd row. He's typically in the first row for everything, but he's starting to catch up in stature to his peers.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

3 years and new life...

This writing is from my incredible brother...My three sons. Today marks three years since the third was called Home. Some experts say that it can take three years after a tragic loss to gauge the full depth of loss. I would agree. You can see that I have so much to be thankful for, and I am. The second son is soon to be a father himself. Take a moment today and smile, thank those you love and are proud of. Tomorrow isn't promised to any of us, but God's love is.

Shortly after he wrote this, I got a message that his 2nd son became a Dad on the anniversary of the tragic passing of Ross. Congratulations Kye and Stu on a beautiful Kesleigh Rae weighing 8lb 10 oz and 20" long

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

splitting duties

Tonight, Brad is heading with Osten to Anders' swim meet. I am heading very soon to Katie's choir concert. Such an exciting time of life!

wow--the days are flying past!

We are already on our 2nd row of socks for our advent calendar. I have most of my gifts purchased, now just have to wrap them! Just need to make Bailey's and cookies and then we are set...

6th place

The Wildcats played at UW Eau Claire on Sunday and won 1 lost 2. We ended up placing 6th out of many teams. The other River Falls team placed 7th so we are an evenly distributed talented team.

Go Cats!
the combined 6th and 7th placed teams

Katie andQ

Sunday, December 10, 2017

buzzer beater

The 6th Grade Gold team for River Falls Girls Basketball Association played four basketball games on Saturday in the 2017-2018 League Championships.

Their schedule:
Won against Assumption 42-14
Lost to Onalaska Suns 25-35
Won against Holmen Maroon 29-21

Last game was against Steven's Point Black team. We were down most of the game and then pulled it together in the last few seconds as Lily Burke shot a 3 pointer and made it as the buzzer rang...
The score was 30-29

What a day!

Friday, December 8, 2017

dinner with the kids

Tonight I got the opportunity to go out to dinner with the three loves of my life to the new Mexican restaurant downtown. It was yummy, but I was sad when they were out of ice cream. Now we're watching a couple of Redbox movies. Leap! and Ms. Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children.

Then it's off to bed to have some rest before Katie's all day tournament tomorrow.

winter wonderland

Winter has descended upon us and we enjoyed a lovely winter walk on Thursday.

addressing cards

Wednesday night was dedicated to getting cards finished and out in the post. I am so excited for the Christmas card season to get even more flurried!

Here are a couple pictures from our cards.

pizza day!

I had a terrific parent volunteer come in on Tuesday to help make pizzas with the students. We turned it into a math activity with polling the ingredients used on our pizzas.

We took English muffins (gluten free too), added pizza sauce, grated mozzarella cheese and added other ingredients. Wow, they smelled really tasty and all the pizzas were completely consumed.

prefixes and dictionaries

On Monday, we had a lesson on deconstructing words that have prefixes and finding their definition in a dictionary. It was amazing to me (an now on reflection no so amazing) that children really had no concept of using a dictionary. It's very simple to find definitions of words on wikipedia, but using a dictionary is a valuable skill to refine.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


Today, I plan on spending the day working on report cards, doing some cleaning, addressing Christmas cards, working on the 2018 calendar, just keeping busy. I also want to do some cooking with my Katie so we can eat some good nutritious meals after eating out on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

swimming and basketball oh my!

On Saturday morning, Katie and I started for Altoona, Wisconsin for her first 6th grade basketball tournament of the season. We arrived at the school at 9:15 and they played three good games of ball.

The first game was against Onalaska where Katie scored 6 points! The final score was 36 to 22. The score at the half was 18-8--our team was down but we rallied in the 2nd half and kept their team to just one bucket per quarter.

The second game was against Menomonie--they were BIG girls who we beat last year. They looked like a well oiled machine and beat us quite handily. Katie reports it was 30 something to 12.

The third game was against Hudson. Again, I didn't keep track of the score, but we did win with Katie scoring 4 of her 10 points in this game. She did a great job rebounding and putting the ball back up for her scores. Great job Katie! Katie reports the score was 32 to 12.

River Falls Gold and Blue both received 2nd place finishes for the day...River Falls Blue played an Altoona team who had a 6'3" 6th grader--she was the tallest 6th grade girl I've ever seen!

Anders left home to catch the 9am bus to Chippewa Falls for his first swim meet of the season. I didn't get to see the events, but Emma reported that he did very well with placing 3rd in 50 breast and his 200 medley relay team placing 2nd overall and their team placed 5th overall. Way to go Anders and the River Falls Wildcats!

enjoying a post tournament coffee-less cooler at Caribou

River Falls 6 Gold before their first game yesterday

hello December!

We are still sitting here in Wisconsin with warm temperatures and no traces of snow and preparing for a wonderful Christmas. On Friday, Brad and Osten headed north once again in pursuit of more venison for the freezer. Anders had a pasta feed for his swim team and Katie and I traveled west to spend my Kohl's cash earned on Black Friday. We ended up getting her new tennis shoes (she's now a women's size 8), snow pants, some concert attire for upcoming choir concert, a nice pillow and some new winter gloves for Osten.

Dinner at Noodles and Company and then home to a nice cozy bed.
Fun night with my little lady!
being silly with a Christmas decoration at Kohl's

her new running shoes

Thursday, November 30, 2017


I am so incredibly blessed. My students are so generous, their families are so generous, my family is so generous and I feel so much love all around.

46 years ago today, I was born. I'm incredibly blessed to have been born into my family and given every opportunity to thrive. Thanks Momma and Daddy for everything you've given me.

The day started early with my standard work out at Anytime. Then home to prepare for the day. To school where my 21 sweet students made beautiful wishes, cards, necklace, candy canes, coffee, hand made ornaments and so many hugs I can't even count. Then out to coffee with my dear friend Michelle and then to dinner with my beautiful family where an extremely amazing parent bought our dinner.

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the love, not feeling deserving as I'm sitting here in my cozy little home watching the wood stove and feeling the radiant energy from it's logs. So blessed am I.

Anders hand wreath made in Kindergarten with Mrs. Eggiman

dining table, tree and village

tree from hunting land

advent wreath and nativity 

new tree from Momma B--There's no place like home and angel from Odin Craft Mill circa 2003

the village piece from Anders Christmas 2016

Aunt Ruby's Christmas angel wreath

Finnley in the ornament bowl

star from Grandma and Grandpa's Christmas bingo 2016 and framed Joy Hope Believe 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

30 never looked so good!

My beautiful, talented, marvelous 16th birthday present, Mrs. Jenna Louise Blomgren Hauser is officially the big 30.

Thank so much to my wonderful brother Kurt and Jenna's Momma Kelly for the best gift ever--my precious first born niece. Love you to the moon and beyond!

Kye, Kurt, Jenna, Cody, Kaitie and Vance on Jenna's wedding day

4 down...

yep. Spoke too soon. Shortly after I posted that on Monday, Anders curled up on the couch (never happens) and fell asleep. He missed school on Tuesday and his first swim meet of the season. The clock is ticking for me...

Monday, November 27, 2017

another one down

Katie wasn't able to go to school today. She was down with the same fever Osten had last week. I guess it's a matter of time before Anders and I are victims.

feeling thankful

So much to be thankful for! I got an opportunity to spend time with Bud and Betty, Ibby and Mike, Brad, Anders, Katie and Osten on Thanksgiving day and again on Friday. We went home Friday night and slept in our own beds--so comfy!

Saturday we packed up and drove to St. James to spend time with Brad, Anders, Katie, Osten, Mom, Kent, Abby, Kurt, Jenna, Cody, Stella, Vance, Kaitie, Kyle, Kim, Kyle, Adam, Keyanna, Liana, Ryan, Cory, Joan, Thomas, Evan, Trenton and aunt Jeannie Blomgren. We started our fellowship at noon and made a day of it by going out for a great stroll around St. James and the boys playing a fun game of football. It's so fun to see Osten and Stella play together.

We then went to the Super 8, went swimming and crashed for the night. Sunday morning was a nice morning of visiting over breakfast and then a wonderful meal at the Hometown.

Last night we got home and then the laundry began ;).  I have so many things and people in which to give thanks. I am blessed.

I don't have a big Blomgren photo, but here are all the Olsons from this past September. 

black Friday

Ibby and I made our annual trek to the northern suburbs to go black Friday shopping. She picked me up at the hunting shack at about 3:45am. We arrived at the McDonalds in Lino Lakes at about 4:58am. The lights were off, but we opened the store at 5am. Grabbed our McMuffins and coffee and proceeded to Target. Discovered that Target opened at 6am, so we went to Kohl's.

I bought my birthday present and some clothes for the kids.

We wandered to Target at about 7am and proceeded to get a little lost by spending many hours and I knocked out nearly all my shopping.

2nd breakfast at a Einsteins bagel--we tried some yummy bagels and refueled on coffee. We then went to a Mainstream Boutique and bought a few essentials.

On to Walmart in Forest Lake where we found Target had better black Friday deals this year.

Then off to lunch in North Branch at Denny's--wow, their bourbon chicken skillet and bourbon burger were really yummy!

North Branch outlet to Bath and Body Works and then to the 2nd hand store at North Branch.

We were very disappointed to learn that our favorite thrift store, Planet Thrift has shuttered its sad.

Thanks Ibby for a great day and I'm so happy that you are my black Friday partner in crime.


On the evening of the 23rd, Katie and I had the opportunity to head to St. Croix Falls to see the outstanding movie, Wonder. I thought I was going to cry more because I'm a giant cryer, but the story had just the right amount of schmultz.

I do know that I'm going to read the book now.

happy birthday Dehlia Grace

8 years ago we got an exciting phone call. Dehlia Grace Quintana made her grand entrance. We love your spunk, your vigor and your wit. Happy birthday DGQ!

scenes from deer camp 2017

photo by Osten as I was playing solitare at the cool kitchen table

photo credited to ??? of a funky lamp at the deer shack

my main squeeze starting to process nephew Joe's nice doe
Deer camp 2017. All three deer were does. Brent got his opening weekend, Joe got his on the 22nd and Anders got his on the 24th. It will be great to have some yummy venison in the freezer.

Monday, November 20, 2017

happy happy birthday Stuie!

24 years ago on the 19th, my sister in law Kelly called with the wonderful news of Stuart's birth. She left a message on my answering machine and I had that tape for years--replaying for Stuart when he was old enough to hear the message.

Stuart will be a Daddy soon and I pray that he stays safe and sound in his life's journey. Much love Stuie!
Stuie in the 1990s

Stuart and Kyeanna/new baby on the way due December 16

down for the count

Tonight I got home from school at 6pm to find our 7 year old out for the night on the couch. I had spent some extra time preparing some materials for my students to find my beautiful little boy unable to snuggle and tell me about his day.

Wishing you good rest tonight my dear OJO and speedy recovery.

On a better note, I made some mean sugar cookies tonight. I am going to sign out here and then go pour myself a cup of milk and enjoy the yummy cookie by the fireside.

remembering a wonderful man

On Sunday, I attended at service for the wonderful man, Paul Mullen. The service started at 2pm and was extremely well attended with people sitting on the floor and standing outside. O stayed with me for a short time during the service but opted to head outside to play on the playground.

Paul was an acquaintance through my work at RFPME. I will always remember him for his dedication to excellence. His son, L, was in my class and will forever be a favorite student of mine. L was a third grader my first year teaching and often stepped in and helped teach some of the first year students when he saw they were needing some assistance. I believe L is a lot like his Dad and I'm so excited to see how he grows and matures.

Paul, you left too soon, but made such a lasting impact on so many lives.

saturday performance

On Saturday night, I got to see the closing show of Beauty and the Beast. Wonderful show and so sad it's over!
Anders and his dear neighbor friend Brianna who came to see him at his performance--she was one of Anders' first friends

my student Claire, who just loved Anders' performance

Anders and his buddies hanging out at DQ after the performance

Osten and I tagging along for the experience at DQ

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...