Monday, November 11, 2019

thank you Veterans!

Huge thank you to all the Veterans who have made our freedom possible. Thank you Clarence Jr., Chuck, Bud, Brad, Brent and Stuart. We salute you.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

photo album complete

After bringing in the dock sessions yesterday, the boys and I went for a walk down to the local park at the lake and played for a little while. Then, I took the girls and Ike to Siren to do a little shopping. I purchased a photo album at the scrapbooking store.

When we got back to the house, Ibby and Molly helped pick what photo studio made a nicer product. We chose and then I made a photo album out of the photos so I can show to loved ones so they can choose which pictures they would like for their collection.

Here is the front cover...

Saturday, November 9, 2019

good day sunshine!

The temperature is currently 30 degrees and the high is expected to be 41. We are planning on heading north and bringing in the remainder of the dock and doing some more work to get ready for winter. I plan on getting as much outside time as possible because these days are getting shorter and shorter.

We made it to the lake and got all the dock sections onto shore. It was looking a little precarious as we were driving and seeing a lot of water that was frozen. Big Wood Lake was looking just great though!
 our brave Brad with his waders in the water
 Ike helping as much as he could...tried to lift a plank all by himself
 father Bud and son Brent on shore discussing strategy
grandpa Bud and grandson Ike running the winch to pull in the two boat lifts and end doc section

look at where they were

I was dusting the other night and found Anders Kindergarten year book. I took pictures and sent them to friends whose children were featured. It's pretty incredible how quickly time passes. Anders is in the bottom photo. Many athletic, music and theater stars are included in the group. So fun!

Homecoming Queen Alex

and Division I NDSU football recruit Joe Stoffel #6

Wildcat marching drum major Dominick Jackson--first on left

and my personal favorite Tuba, Euphonium, Bass, Actor, Swimmer and Tennis player Anders Olson

first official university visit to UW Eau Claire

On Tuesday, Brad, Anders and I traveled east to visit the campus of UW Eau Claire. It was a visit day dedicated to students interested in music or theater. The Blue Gold Marching band is 450 strong and if Anders chooses this option, it would be truly amazing if he chooses to march for the Blue Golds.

The campus was lovely, the music and theater departments look strong and a big group of RFHS students were there together to check out the campus--Jackson, Wes, Natalie, Aaron, Anders and Mitch all explored together. They saw some alum of RFHS in the journeys and they all said they would love to give them more information about campus.

Here is Anders as we getting ready to have our visit

As we walked around campus, we saw a photo of our friend, Mike who is on the Athletic Hall of Fame as a Blue Gold

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

she's 39 again!

My dear brother wishes his beautiful wife a happy 39th birthday today. I know it's not the first time he's made this wish for her. She is a pretty special lady and I'm so happy Kyle wooed her many years ago.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

happy 11th birthday Ivan George!

Our sunshiny, smart, funny and fun Godson and cousin, Ivan George Olson is 11 years old today. We love you to the moon and back.

school photos 2019

There have been some delays in receiving our school photos this year. Osten and Katie had their photos taken in early September and I had my photo taken in late September. I have had my photos for a few weeks...we are still waiting for Osten and Katie's photos. Evidently there have been some processing issues with their photos but I have received their digital images so here are the four Olson's in 2019

spirit award winner

Yesterday was a big day for RFSD. The Cross Country team placed 12th in the state. The bands played beautiful music and Anders was recognized with the Wildcat Spirit Award at the marching band awards banquet. 

I will miss having a student participating in marching band, but will continue to support River Falls music and arts. Such incredible hard work and dedication. 

Anders is just right of the right microphone

Performing a full field show on a tight gym floor

Anders with his section as they receive their senior gifts

Saturday, November 2, 2019

end of season for football, Wildcat boys at state cross country today and Anders and the Marching Cats in exhibition this afternoon

Culmination of a lot of hard work today.

We watched the Wildcats lose 16-14 to Merrill in a heartbreaker last night. We were lucky to be curled up in our cozy living room by the fireplace.

Anders long time friend, Joey Madsen is competing with his fellow River Falls Wildcat runners at State Cross country today. This is the first time since the 1980s that the team qualified for state. Run Joey, Mason, Grant, Jason, Brandon, Dustin and Marcus. They run at 2:30 and Michelle, Joey's Mom assured me she would text me when the race is complete.

This afternoon, we will be treated to a band concert at the River Falls High School. I will work the spaghetti dinner and then this evening, we will see the state champion Marching Wildcats perform an encore in the gym.

An exciting day for certain.

Friday, November 1, 2019

he's home!

After a week in the Denver area, our wonderful Dad and husband is home! I will be leaving shortly to pick up some pizzas and we plan on watching the River Falls Wildcats football team in their second round of the playoffs. Go Wildcats!

photo from last week's win--Joe Stoffel in foreground and Osten's favorite player, Peyton Flood in the background

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween 2019!

Grandpa Bud, Osten and I met at Mariachi Loco for dinner tonight and then dashed to get Osten's costume on and to the meeting of friends at Brad's office. We met up with Marci, Coulter, Tim, Maggie, Wil, Jennifer and Patrick. We made it quite a ways, but ended up packing it in around 7:45 because fingers were getting cold and the kids were ready to head home. I could have gone a little longer, but I am now thankful we called it when we did.

In a few minutes, I'm heading to Quinn's house to pick up Katie. She spent the evening with some good girlfriends--Quinn, Mya, Shirin, Aili, Stella and they dressed as fraternity brothers.

Anders is spending the evening with his friend, Maddie and another couple.

Happy Halloween 2019!

pumpkin carving 2019

Without our resident carver at home, we had to bring in the reserves. Anders and I spent some dedicated time on the 30th emptying four big old pumpkins and carving them. We had some hand dandy tools from Good Will along with a template so we weren't going in blind, we also had some battery operated candles to make them glow. This is this year's Olson jack o lanterns:
one of the pumpkins I carved

my pumpkin
Anders other pumpkin

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

trick or treat 2019 round one

Tonight, Osten, friends Wil and Rose of Sharon joined Michelle (my friend) and myself for Trick or Treating in the residence halls. We visited May, McMillian and Grimm halls here on the UW River Falls campus. He has started quite the candy collection already.

Round Two is coming on Thursday.

Simba, Scooby and Black Panther ready to go

Black Panther's favorite costume of the night

thank you Grandpa Bud!

Grandpa Bud to the rescue! He is down south taking care of the family. He picked up Osten from school on Monday and has been taking care of us the past two days. Katie is currently down with a sore throat and fever and I can easily go to school while Grandpa Bud is here to care for her. If he wasn't here, I wouldn't be able to go to school. Thank you Grandpa Bud!

a day with my loves

On Sunday morning, I drove my dearest husband, Brad to the airport to catch a flight to Denver. Back home to spend time with my wonderful children and get ready for a busy week of school. On Sunday night, we enjoyed a nice dinner together and then turned it in for the day.

Thank you for precious time with my loves.

so long beautiful Kim--I'm linking a beautifully written article

RIP Kimberly Weaver Olson

About thirty years ago, I got to know a fellow middle schooler named Kimberly Weaver. She was both smarter and funnier than me, and while we went to different schools, I was glad that church gave us twice-weekly opportunities to connect. But she went to college at Bethel, while I headed east. Coincidentally, I joined her alma mater’s faculty not long after Kim’s dad retired from it, the same year that Kim and her husband Nate moved to Bolivia to do community development work with the Mennonite Central Committee. A few years later, they returned to Minnesota, and I heard that Kim went back to school to become a nurse. Then our twins ended up on the same youth baseball team as Kim’s son, and we reconnected.
But we saw each other rarely enough that I didn’t realize until this August just how sick Kim was. Like her daughter, our kids participated in our school district’s summer orchestra camp, but we didn’t see Kim at the closing concert. That night, we read a Facebook message from one of her friends explaining how advanced the cancer was. A few weeks later, she was dead.
Program from Kim Weaver Olson's memorial service, with a Bible opened to Micah 6:8
“There’s something profoundly wrong with today,” said the pastor at this morning’s memorial service, “something profoundly backwards.” After all, a mother of two was dead at age 44. Worse yet, Kim had lost her battle with cancer just eleven years after her dad did. “This whole dying-decades-before-your-time thing is utter bullshit,” said Kim’s brother this morning. It’s not a message you often hear from Baptist pulpits, but he was exactly right.
“I wish I weren’t here,” the pastor admitted. But he continued, “And yet there’s nowhere else I would rather be.” Clearly, many people felt the same way. The old church was filled.
And I realized yet again that the church is never more the church than at a funeral.
First, it gives us a chance not only to proclaim our belief in the Resurrection, but to practice resurrection.
That’s what I had called it in a short “Meet the Faculty” video that Bethel happened to release earlier this week. “For a Christian,” I had said, “history is a way of practicing resurrection… a way of saying that death does not have the final claim, that memories can endure, that people’s lives matter long after life has ended.”
As Nate (a historian himself) urged us at the close of his eulogy, we should “remember Kim’s stories; let them become your stories… If you do that, she will continue to be with us.” Truly, Kim came more and more to life for me as her husband, daughter, brother, and friends from high school, college, church, and work shared distinctive memories of the multi-faceted woman they knew.
Listening to those testimonials, I marveled at the grace that lets people find eloquence in exhaustion and turn pain to poignancy. Throughout the service, and in many private moments before and after, I saw people speaking and singing words of sorrow and anger and humor and lament and celebration and distraction and, above all, comfort.
But for once, I found myself at a loss for words. (“He’s never had an unpublished thought” is how one retired colleague introduced me to a friend.) Greeting Nate before the service, I mumbled platitudes and stumbled through questions that I hope were only inane, but probably closer to stupid.
And I’ve felt similarly awkward in my prayers concerning Kim and her family. God is never harder to approach than when the problem of evil comes to life in someone’s untimely death. The day before I preach and teach for Reformation Sunday, attending this kind of funeral reminded me again of Martin Luther’s observation that God is sometimes a “hidden God,” his purposes utterly beyond knowing.
So I felt more sympathetic than usual with the frustrated questions that preceded our scripture reading for the service:
“With what shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
What do you require of us, God? What words will you hear? How should we live, knowing that our lives can be cut so short?
Here’s the prophet’s answer, the verse that the pastor read this morning:
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? (Mic 6:8)
I don’t know if this is a good enough answer to the problem of Kim’s death, but remembering Kim’s life reminded us mortals to do justice, whether in rural Bolivia or urban America; to love kindness, as shown to everyone from her kids to her patients; and to walk humbly through it all.
We will find comfort, the pastor explained, “in taking up the unfinished work of her life.”
Peace be to Kim’s memory.

it's a sunshine day!

On Friday, I took an opportunity to take a nice long nature walk with these amazing kiddos. What a terrific day!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

one of my favorite pictures

This is a photo of my dear friend Maggie and her Mom, Beverly. Maggie has this photo in her classroom and I just couldn't resist taking a picture of her photo. It just makes me smile.

good day sunshine

It's amazing what a day brightener a blue sky in October is! It was a perfect day to enjoy outdoor recess and have the children out of the school and in the fresh air for 30 minutes. We had our fire safety training and also had tremendous guidance lessons by our new counselor, Mr. Kayden.

Hope we see some sunny skies again today!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

on to choral music

This evening, the River Falls High School music program presented a concert with beautiful a capella pieces by the two high choirs. Once again, I could hear the beautiful sound of bass from our handsome 18 year old.

our bass is in the back row third from left--standing next to his really tall buddy Wes.

posts from the weekend

It will be a while before I settle down about the excitement of a magical weekend where the Wildcats took top honors for division III at the Wisconsin State Marching Band competition.

Top photo is from school website and bottom photo is a good photo of all the Seniors at their rose ceremony.

thank you Veterans!

Huge thank you to all the Veterans who have made our freedom possible. Thank you Clarence Jr., Chuck, Bud, Brad, Brent and Stuart. We salute...