Wednesday, July 31, 2019

last day of the only month without school commitments

As much as I love teaching and the exciting evolution of the school year...I also cherish these golden days of spending time with my great kids and husband. I did partake in a book study today, paving our team's way to goals for the 2019-2020 school year, but otherwise, I slept in, read my book and spent some time at Anytime Fitness.

Now it's on to some binge watching on Netflix and bedtime. Normally during the school year, I'm already in bed, but I'm enjoying my natural tendency toward being a night owl.


I have been called by our church to serve on the call committee for a new senior pastor. Please pray for our entire committee as we are starting the interview process. How exciting to be a part of determining our future--and how scary at the same time. Looking forward to hearing from people who have been called by the Holy Spirit into the ministry.

Monday, July 29, 2019

so this happened today--katydid and Prius II

First, last night, as we were preparing for bed, Osten kept hearing a clicking sound. We discovered it was a grasshopper looking creature that looked like this--just identified it online as a katydid
and then we heard another in the living room...we captured them both and released them outside.

Then today, Katie, Osten, Brad and I drove to Farmington and Katie and I drove this home--

a 2012 Toyota Prius Plug In...we have been shopping for months and are realizing we need another set of wheels heading into the school year.

It has about 113,000 miles on it and was driven in New Jersey. It feels just like our little black Prius that we lost this past spring...we're excited to use and drive around the countryside.

Here's a description of the car..
The 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In is an all-new model. It's based on the standard Prius but adds all-electric mobility for up to 15 miles and 62 mph. Its power train combines a 1.8-liter, four cylinder engine with an electric motor.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

rear view mirror

Now that we've all had a great night's sleep and are easing back into the swing of being home again, I can spend some time thinking about our western adventure. Some personal highlights were

  • stopping at the same spots we stopped in 2018: lunch at the Caribou coffee shop in Mitchell, South Dakota and spending the night in Casper, Wyoming. The lights of Casper after driving countless miles in the dark are so welcoming
  • spending time at the beach several times on our adventure-downside was the sunburns acquired by the kids
  • realizing how small we are in comparison to the enormous redwood forests of northern California. Also realizing that people have an impact on the future of these old growth forests. We need to be mindful of the choices we make environmentally
  • shopping in downtown Salt Lake City with our great kids. A woman commented on how polite Osten was and it made her day that his manners were so well developed. Another woman commented that our family was beautiful and she enjoyed watching us interact with one another
  • shopping for Anders graduation photo shoot...seems surreal but that day is coming quickly
  • shopping with Katie in Eureka. She is a great partner in crime
  • wading in the Great Salt Lake
  • kayak day and watching my brave 18 year old jump off rocks and also doing some diving
  • watching my husband navigate his family over thousands of miles...we put on approximately 5200 miles and he drove at least 4000 of those miles. 
  • going for a 3 mile jog with Katie and watching her run like the wind...way ahead of her Momma

Saturday, July 27, 2019

home again

After saying goodbye to Mom and saying hello/goodbye to one of my high school classmates, Judy Sandberg, we drove home to River Falls. Osten could barely go fast enough...when are we going to get home...over and over was the call from the middle seat of the Caravan.

I got three loads of laundry through the wash--2 loads on the line and one through the dryer, made and cleaned up dinner, went on a walk with my beautiful 13 year old daughter and now will be putting our sweet 9 year old to bed after reading with him. Our clocks are pretty messed up right now, so I'm looking forward to getting back to "normal" in the coming week.

all night long

We woke on Friday morning and that mysterious sound ended up being a repair at the local shop in Wendover--we were very thankful we were able to drive up, the mechanic got us right on the lift, we were able to rent a car and head to Salt Lake to pick up the part, Brad drove back to Wendover while the kids and I stayed and played/shopped near Temple Square.

We ended up having a really fun unexpected day. Katie and Anders dined at Chick fill a while Osten and I ate pizza at Sbarro. Osten played at a fun indoor playground that was installed by the professional soccer team of Salt Lake. We all went shopping for Anders' graduation photo shoot clothing (fun fun fun) and then took at Pepsi/Coke challenge. Osten and I preferred Pepsi and Katie and Anders preferred Coke. I thought I was in the Coke camp, but I guess I was wrong.

Brad picked us up at Temple Square at about 4:40pm Mountain Time and we drove ALL NIGHT LONG pulling into Mom's place in St. James at 12:35pm Central Time on the 27th. Whew! I feel badly that we weren't the best company visiting grandma because we were very tired, but it was really wonderful to see her.

farewell eureka

Thursday morning dawned early and the Olson's packed up the caravan and headed east.  We left the condo at about 7:20am. Our goal was to drive all the way to Salt Lake, but we decided to call it a full day when we got to Wendover at 11pm. Part of the reason our time was less successful than on our way out is because we lost an hour instead of gaining an hour.

First stop was in charming town Weaverville at Mamma Llama Eatery and Cafe. I drank one of the most delicious smoothies ever called a Green Drink (Fresh spinach, banana, apple, orange, strawberry, date, flax, chia and hemp seed, ice and your choice of liquid all blended up into a wholesome drink) and enjoyed the decor of Marvel Comics.

Second stop was in Redding, California for snacks and a gas fill.
 the temperatures are just climbing and climbing

Third stop was dinner at a steakhouse in Nevada.

We pulled into Wendover and had suspicious sounds coming out of the back end of our van...more about that for tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Today we went back up to Trinidad for the day--eating lunch at a sweet little diner and then heading to the beach/pier for Brad crabbing, kids and I playing games/lounging on the beach. I also walked to the post office to mail my postcards to my class.
 fun with filters, Osten and his new chosen toy--Thorny the snake
 artifacts from the Humboldt University aquarium exhibit
 our lunch spot
 the fog lifting from the bay

brothers playing wiffle ball

Katie under the shade of our beach tent

For dinner we went to the Samoa Cookhouse that a high school friend, Garrett recommended. It was a place that served family style dinner...we had bread, salad, beef barley soup, chicken Parmesan, buttered noodles and a dessert of chocolate pudding. We ate our fill and now are back at the apartment watching the Twins/Yankees game. Tomorrow morning we plan on rising early--6am and hitting the eastern road home.

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...