Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Tonight, my friend Sharyl hosted some friends on her patio for conversation and mojitos. It was a lovely evening on her patio ;). 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

willow river

Today our classes took a field trip to Willow River State Park. We lucked out BIG time. We had two hours of naturalist programming, spent several hours free playing in the field and then arrived back in school just in time for a nice rainstorm. I hope to spend time at Willow River State park with my family this summer.

Monday, May 28, 2018

one year today

A year ago right now, Dad was removed from life support. I miss hearing his voice. I miss his generosity and the way he made my Mom laugh. There are many things I miss about my Dad and am so happy that I have had the time to spend with family on the anniversary of his passing.

Here's to you Dad!

remembering Dad

On Sunday, we left the north woods, drove home to see Anders for a few hours and then packed up again to head south to the Blomgren casa. We got to Kyle and Kim's house at about 2:30pm and then all loaded up to go to the cemetery to place Dad's military plaque.

Kurt and Mom had been to the Veteran's office to order Dad's plaque and received the plaque to install. Kurt then set the plague in concrete, loaded it on a pallet and brought it the cemetery. After measuring placement, digging the sod, compacting the ground, putting in red rock from Cory and Joan's farm and compacting that, placing the plaque and measuring the placement with Kent's gps and Dad's headstone and finally filling in the edges with displaced soil, we placed the plaque. We took several minutes to silently observe his grave and plaque and all slowly departed from the extreme heat of the day (I believe it was about 99 degrees fahrenheit).

The sod that we had removed was lovingly placed on grandson/son/nephew/cousin Ross' grave by his cousins and Dad.

After our time at the Butterfield cemetery we went to Kyle and Kim's farm for dinner and conversation. Kurt left to do farm work. Kent left to drive many miles home to Iowa. Cory, Joan and Trenton left to go home to Lamberton. Brad, Osten and Katie went with Kyle to see a nest in the road ditch. Then Osten and Brad helped Kyle pick eggs. Then we went home to Mom's apartment here in St. James for the evening.

It was a wonderful day for certain.

sun day Saturday

Blazing hot Memorial Day weekend! We spent the day outdoors as much as possible. The kids minus Anders because he had to work :( spent the day on paddle board, paddle boat and the pontoon. Katie and Natalie played well together as did Micah and Osten as long as Osten wasn't yelling in Micah's ear.

We are very lucky to have such as relaxing place to hang out.

lake time

On Friday after school our family headed up north to the woods by Wood Lake to the Casa de Olson. First things first, we greeted Bud, Betty, Nate, Kimberly, Natalie, Micah, Ibby and Mike and then went for a pontoon ride.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

brace yourself

We have two minors with braces in our family now. Anders was applianced yesterday afternoon. Katie is giving him tips on how to endure the pain. Thinking of our sweet Anders Cole and hoping he will feel like smiling again very soon.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

green day on the river

Today was our school's Green Day on the River. What a magical day to learn about our environment--we made seed bombs, played a bird migration game, made paper from recycled paper, learned about pervious and impervious surfaces and then went back to school for lunch. Second part of the day, we walked to Glen Park to learn about pollutants of the Kinnickinnic, capture and identify macroinvertebrates that live in the Kinni, collect insects and arachnids in the grasses near the Kinni and lastly do a puppet theater with the Lorax.

What a full and fulfilling day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

what she will do for homework

Last night, Katie's social studies teacher gave them some options for homework. One was to wear a mustache for 24 hours (girls only). Here was Katie's response...

6th grade concert

Tonight was the last concert of the school year for our family (other than Marching Band on Memorial Day and playing at graduation). Katie introduced one of her songs--Gifts of Life and sang and played her clarinet very beautifully. We are proud of our Katie Grace!

just over Mrs. Moe's right shoulder in the 2nd row

introducing the song Gifts of Life

first row second from left

right smack dab in the middle

Monday, May 21, 2018

birthday blessings

The most plentiful birthday blessings to our special 8 year old, Osten John! Thank you for making our family complete and bringing so much joy to our lives. We love you to the moon and beyond!

on your birth day with Grandma and Grandpa Blomgren

Our family of 5--Brad, Karen, Anders, Katie and Osten

first birthday with cake featuring Chip

I'm 2 and I don't like getting my picture taken

this was before meltdown

I like birthdays at age 3

getting a hang of this by age 4

simply great now that I'm 5!

construction cake by Grandma Betty at the Giggle Factory for 6th birthday

simple family dinner for #7

Mariachi Loco for great 8!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

birthday party birthday party

Osten was invited by his friend Gracie to her birthday party yesterday at the YMCA in Hudson. The party featured pizza, a dance party and slides down the water slide. He had a BLAST!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

dinner show

Last night as I was pulling out of the Kinni, I found out Anders was performing at the Dinner Show for choir at the same time. I didn't realize he was performing so wasn't able to make it to the show. They are performing again tonight, so I look forward to seeing him on stage!

He is also working from 11-6 today at DQ...poor guy is running, running, running. Both he and Katie also got spacers in their bottom teeth this week for their dental procedures. Not the best week ever, but hope the results are great!

By the way, Anders had a solo in the concert during the song Man of Constant Sorrow. Gave me chills.

Emma had two solos was pretty amazing.

Friday, May 18, 2018

staff development

Today our staff had a wellness activity of kayaking the Upper Kinnickinnic. Brad was an angel husband and helped us put in and picked us up at Veteran's Park here in River Falls. I love my husband and really enjoy working with all these talented women...
me, Michelle, Anna, Sara, Abby, Courtney, T (Sara's daughter) and Maggie

missing Grandpa B

This morning, Osten told of how he misses his Grandpa B...he misses seeing him and watching New York Giants games with him. I don't remember them watching the Giants together, but it made my heart smile that my little boy misses my Dad.

Here's my family when it was Mom, Dad and three little boys...Kent, Kurt and Kyle guessing in 1966?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

breaking in the porch

This evening, we broke in the porch with our first meal of 2018. Last night, Brad and I cleaned/vacuumed and tonight we--Katie, Brad and I--ate Mac and Cheese and hotdogs on the porch. Osten was hanging out with a buddy after school and Anders was at work.

After dinner we played a game of cribbage and we hung these cool porch lights I got for Christmas and did some raking in the backyard. Now it's time to hit the hay for another day of school tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

home again!

Brad is home and he reports a great time up north. I can't wait to hear his fish tales. I did find these photos posted by his buddy Garth...

Monday, May 14, 2018


Today after school I picked Osten up from my friends Robert and Michelle's home and carted him to Great Clips. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Osten's conversation with his stylist. He kept the conversation rolling by asking her children's ages, guessing she was in her 20s and announcing that his Mom is 46. He also asked what her favorite football team was and if she had any big plans for the week. I was beaming with pride.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

happy Mother's Day!

To the best Momma in the world...Happy Mother's Day!
and to an incredible Mother in Law...Happy Mother's Day!


Brad is away fishing for opening this weekend in the Boundary Waters with some of his good friends. The rest of us where home for the weekend, so why not empty Katie's room, paint and refresh? We had found a dresser about 8 years ago--a cast off from a college student moving out of their apartment. I'd endured the nasty finish but this weekend, we needed to make a change!

Here is a rundown of the process
1. Empty room
2. Scrub Floors
3. Empty drawers and put outgrown/not wanted clothing in a tub for Goodwill
4. Drive to Goodwill with a shopping list
5. Buy a nice soft desk chair that fits  Katie's desk at Goodwill ($20)
6. Buy paint for dresser from the Chip and Joanna collection at Target (we bought Weekend), some fuel (smoothie, cold pressed coffee and chocolate milk), throw pillow for the Goodwill chair, painters tape, energy efficient curtains, a succulent plant and some Avenger PJs for the soon to be 8 year old (total $104.91)
7. On to Home Depot to purchase paint Behr French Silver PPU18-05, white ceiling paint, a Edison lightbulb for her ceiling light fixture, paint tray, new paint roller refill, TSP, 3 new outlet covers, another little succulent and command picture hanger (total $96.56)
8. Home to wash walls
9. Make and eat dinner while walls drying
10. Paint ceiling with Katie/Karen tag team
11. Tape moulding, windows, doors
12. Katie on roller and Karen on brush painted first coat of wall color
13. Put away work so we could apply second coat on Sunday
14. Up at 7:30am to do first touch up before Sunday School and church
15. Home for last touch ups
16. Lunch at DQ with Anders, Katie, Osten and me
17. Home to remove tape
18. Sand dresser and remove hardware
19. Remove dust with damp cloth and let dry
20. Katie and I each took a brush and applied the Chip and Joanna paint (LOVE IT!)
21. To Healthy Kids running series for Osten's race
22. To Ace Hardware to buy new hardware for dresser ($31.17)
23. Home to start loading room/putting hardware on dresser.
24. The long process of cleaning paint brushes, putting things away...

It was a gratifying day. Katie just came running in and said "I JUST LOVE MY ROOM"


Katie running the ceiling roller

the Edison bulb

all done painting!

the beautiful paint color

the dresser drawers before paint and after sanding
view from north side of room

view from south side of room (Dad's wolf puzzle picture matches the colors of her room perfectly)

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...