Thursday, September 21, 2017

art fair

On Sunday morning, Katie and I drove to Marine on St. Croix to the annual art fair. Got to have lunch with my dear friend Julie, her daughter Libby, friend Trish and her Mom Libby. We then strolled around the fair. Perfect weather and wonderful company.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

brace yourself

Sweet 11 year old Katie Grace had her braces installed today. I just got home from school because I prepared for a sub tomorrow so I didn't see her before she headed to confirmation, but I'm looking forward to seeing her smile in about 1 1/2 hours.
before school and no braces

after school/with braces

and she chose MN Vikings colors for her rubber band choice. Go Vikes!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

grade 1

and here he is...

healthy kids fall 17

Little man ran the 1/4 mile at the Healthy Kids Running Series on Sunday. He placed 2nd with a time of 1:39. Go Osten go!

Monday, September 18, 2017

thermometer plummeting

So the hazy skies and hot humid weather has left our region for the moment. We spent the day inside for recess. I couldn't figure out why we had a tough time concentrating in library, and then I remembered...temperature drop and indoor recess=tough time concentrating.

Tomorrow will be another day.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

art fair in Marine

Today was a bright shiny day that Katie and I spent together going to the Marine on St. Croix art fair, going to her 3 on 3 tournament and then ending the day at my friend Abby's essential oil party.

We got to spend time with friends Julie, Libby, Trish and her Momma Libby.

Great day.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

3rd field show

The River Falls marching band is performing this evening at Cumberland Wisconsin their 3rd field show of the season. I'm thinking of jumping in the Prius and heading to the show...

Friday, September 15, 2017

and his face lit up

Today I was on bus duty at school when a handsome man and his equally handsome son start walking toward me on the sidewalk. I waved to them, the son saw me and his face lit up like it was Christmas morning. He ran to me and we hugged.

Thanks Brad and Osten for making my day shine.

what a difference a year makes

Here's Beata getting sworn in as safety patrol. She's now a big grown up 6th grader.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Our little sweetie Katie Grace started confirmation tonight. Her teacher is her darling daddy Brad. Go forth and learn about Jesus' teachings and prosper!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

the heat is on!

August was one of the most pleasant weather months I've ever experienced. Today, the heat crept up and our classroom was just plain HOT! The kids came in from recess and their flushed faces had a hard time returning to normal with our classroom temps lingering near 80. We will probably be thinking fondly of those temps in February, but right now it is downright steamy.

Monday, September 11, 2017

music music music

Anders has be immersed in music this year. He is a part of the RF Marching Band and spent Friday night and all day Saturday marching. Then yesterday he spent a fair amount of time rehearsing for his part in the RFHS production of Beauty and the Beast. Last night I just hugged him so tightly because I had not really seen him all weekend.

I am thankful for his musical interest, but I hope all goes well for him in his wellness.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

3 on 3 basketball

Today Katie and the  River Falls black team had their first 3 on 3 basketball league day today. Brooklyn, Makenna, Savannah and Katie make up the team. They lost their first game and won their second. This league goes for several more weeks...I'm anticipating she will get some good experience with some really fast basketball.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

first football game

Our OJO had his first official football game. He is playing on the Pikachu's--wearing #2 on the navy blue team. He carried the ball a couple of times. Perfect weather for his first official game.

Go big O!

Friday, September 8, 2017

picnic night

Tonight was our school picnic. I LOVE OUR SCHOOL community. Got lots of hugs, got to be silly and hang out with my beautiful daughter Katie Grace. She played with some really great kids and I got to chat with some really great friends/parents. I didn't see everyone, but the ones I saw, were delightful.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

thinking of our friends in the VI

Praying for safety for all in the path of hurricane Irma. It appears that Puerto Rico is currently affected, so she is past St. Croix, but still thinking of our experience 6 years ago with Irene and how scary it was to see the trees bending and the wind howling. Also remembering all the dead stray animals that were left behind. Quite an impression was made.

this image is from

1st day elementary in the rear view mirror

On Wednesday, Osten and I started our first days of school together. We both had really nice's going to be a great year!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

1st day middle and high school here we come!

This morning, the traditional first day muffins were baked.

Anders ate his before he drove to River Falls High School to start his sophomore year.
Katie ate hers before her walked to Meyer Middle School to start her 6th grade year.
Osten ate his before heading to Mary Jo's for his speech/language tutoring.

The two elder got their photos taken and then I scuttled off to RFPME to start my 5th year of parent teacher conferences. I am so excited for a great year!

Monday, September 4, 2017


After photos we got home, ate dinner and then celebrated Ibby's birthday with cake, singing and a bonfire that Brad made.
traditional farting noise birthday song... 
the three Olson kids enjoying the fire and conversation

a beautiful moonlit night

a roaring bonfire...great night

happy birthday Ibby Gina!

After spending much of the day on Saturday in my classroom, Anders working and Katie resting after a fun sleepover, we drove to Grantsburg to the lake for a bit of a end of summer celebration on Saturday night.

Sunday morning we woke, spent time on the lake, wished Ibby Happy Birthday and then dressed up for family photos at a friend of Ibby's. The day couldn't have been nicer. Nell (not a professional photographer) did an amazing job of wrangling the family and capturing some really beautiful photos. I also took some photos during down times that ended up being pretty cute.

The photos I took
Ike and Anders

Osten and Ike

Dehlia Grace

Osten sticking out his tongue

Osten and I 

Katie and Siri

Anders and I 
 Now the photos by Nell...
Our family--Osten, Anders, Brad, Katie and I 

Siri, Brent, Molly, Ivan and Ike

Ibby's family--Henry, Ibby, Joe and Dehlia

Grandparents and grandchildren--Dehlia, Joe, Henry, Anders, Katie, Siri, Ivan, Ike, Osten and Grandma and Grandpa 
The grandkids--Osten, Siri, Katie, Ike, Joe, Anders, Dehlia, Ivan and Henry

smiling at someone you like

Betty and Bud

Katie and Dehia

Joe and Henry

Saturday, September 2, 2017

freak accident

On Wednesday, our family found  broken window on our Prius. We believe it was a freak accident where a small rock or other object hit our front passenger side window. Nothing valuable was in the vehicle other than the vehicle, two other windows were open and we feel pretty safe in River Falls.

Osten did believe it was a robber and did share that with our neighbors and friends that evening. I believe he knows that it wasn't a robber now, but that may be a residual impact from this incident.

Here are some photos of what we found:

The window has been life can continue ;)

Friday, September 1, 2017

1935 was a fine year...

from wikipedia...
A pastoral letter was read in every Catholic church in Germany defying the Nazi regime. "If the laws of the state are in contradiction to those of the nation and to God's commandments, then God's word must be heeded by the faithful", the letter read in part. "There is lots of talk in official Germany against 'political Catholicism', but there is little talk of politicians who interfere in church matters. There is a danger that the slogan 'political Catholicism' will make some official elements believe they can do as they please, forbidding processions and the ringing of church bells, and arresting nuns and monks without legal investigations. This is in open contradiction to the concordat."

Also on this day, Seiji Ozawa, a world renowned musician was born in 1935.

So was one of the most important and influential persons in my life. My Momma--Vivian Grace. Thank you Mom for being there for us all and for your love and guidance.

closing down August

One of my very favorite months of the year, was great to spend 2017 with you! On the last day of August--49 years ago, my in laws officially tied the knot. Happy Anniversary Bud and Betty and wishing you continued joy and happiness!


For the School District of River Falls, I am on the wellness committee. My friend, Abby and I planned an event with the River Falls Pickle Ball Association. We played the game three times on Wednesday afternoon. After much sweating and losing all three games, I found that I find pickleball very enjoyable!

Thank you River Falls Pickle Ball Association! You were great teachers and very encouraging.


My sister in law Kim sent a message that she is grateful. Grateful her son, Adam (shown here on left) survived a scary car accident this past week. "He was rear-ended on Wednesday in Mankato as he was stopped at a stop sign in a long line of cars. He was the first car hit. Four vehicles were involved. His trunk ended up in his back seat and his airbags deployed. Praise the Lord!"

Miracles are witnessed every day and I'm so grateful that a miracle was demonstrated on Wednesday.

Monday, August 28, 2017

back to life, back to reality

Today was my first official day back to school at RFSD. Meetings and making really cool nesting boxes for the story of the universe to the atom.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

happy happy happy birthday beautiful Betty Jean

The generous, kind, beautiful, helpful and excellent Betty Jean Swanson Olson was born this day in 1945. Enjoy the anniversary of your birth. We are thankful for you.

this is from Betty's cousin, Dave. It's my handsome husband, brother Brent, Daddy Bud, sister Ibby and beloved Momma Betty

great MN get together and records day

On Friday, Osten had a play date at his buddy Coulter's house. We then picked him up and went to the MN State Fair. On our way there we discovered a new grocery store called Restaurant Depot--Brad is planning on making a big fish boil for church as had the ability to purchase on behalf of the church. It is like Sam's Club but even more bulk! We bought a bunch of red potatoes, onions, cod, butter, salt and even more for the fish boil.

The store was right across the road from the fairgrounds, but we would have had to pay $20 to park there while not shopping. We drove to a park and ride where we got shuttled to the fairgrounds. We arrived at about 5pm and found Ryan right away in the dairy barn. We then walked out and saw Jim and Darla Hoppe who directed us to a great stand that sold delicious chicken, egg rolls and rice. 

Katie, Brad and Osten drove go carts, Katie and I went on the space needle while Brad and Osten went on the sky ride. Rain was on its way so we hurried back to the shuttles to get back to our car. Osten had a long conversation with a fellow bus rider about his day. He talked about the food, the rides and about all the people he saw. It was fun to listen to his recounting of the day. As we were riding on the shuttle, the rain started. We arrived at our car and drove back to River Falls. 

Katie had found a $5 bill on the way out of the fairgrounds so we opted to drive to DQ in River Falls to order treats from Anders. We arrived at 10pm and ate some really delicious treats--chocolate shake for Osten, smoothies for Brad and Katie and I had a mini blizzard.

Saturday was a rainy day and Katie and Osten started and finished their 4H records...whew!

next stop Red Wing, the Kinni and Hudson

Thursday morning, the kids reminded me that we wanted to go to a waterslide before the summer was over. Mission--Red Wing waterpark.

We departed home at 11:30 and arrived in Red Wing at noon. We ate lunch at Randy's--a fast food place that we believe is unique to Red Wing where we dined on fried chicken. Then to the water park where we were just one of a few families enjoying the sun and water. Osten mustered the courage to go on the waterslide himself which was a big rite of passage for him.

We got back home at about 3 when Brad and I packed up the kayak and canoe and went for a paddle down the Kinni. For the first time, I almost swamped my kayak when I got caught on a fallen stump. I was able to get out and then pull to shore when Brad and I dumped the water out of my craft. The water was running really well and we had a great time! We arrived home at 6:25 when I jumped in the shower to head to Hudson with girlfriends for dinner.

Dinner at San Pedro del Este. Seven of us--Jen, Sharyl, Sarah, Angie, Gretchen, Michelle and myself ordered everything on the menu which had 14 different tapas and shared. Great to catch up with friends and eat really great food.

Home at midnight after a really incredible day.

day in Stillwater

On Wednesday, the 23rd, Osten, Katie and I went to Stillwater for the day. We first went to Teddy Bear Park to climb and explore, then toured the shops, had some treats (popcorn, popcorn ball and a lollipop), went stationery shopping, ran into the Mitchell's and shopped for baby Blomgren at a fun boutique. The sun was shining and great times were had.

Thanks for a super fun day!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

happy belated birthday Henry Loren!

In the midst of Jenna and Cody's wedding celebration, I forgot to highlight the incredible Henry Loren Quintana. You are 9 years old and you are just filled to the brim with life and energy.

I hope we get to celebrate with you Labor Day weekend!

superman Henry holding two of his cousins...

flowers of August

these plants are getting eaten up by those little Japanese beetles, but they are still pretty

the cattle tank is just filled with color and life

my daddy plants from friends Sarah and Kim

my RFPME flower sale plant

Monday, August 21, 2017

happy 10th birthday Trenton Anders!

So our nephew Trenton is so cool that he made a solar eclipse on his 10th birthday!


photo from online source of  today's eclipse

another photo of the eclipse today

goodbye Blomgren hello Hauser

On Friday night, Katie and I drove to St. Cloud for the rehearsal of Jenna and Cody's wedding. We had a wonderful time and I got a chance to visit with the woman who was officiating the service. She had lived in St. Croix USVI in the mid-1980s and had worked for uncle Bruce and aunt Julie.

Yummy pizza and drinks at a bowling alley in Sartell ended our evening with the wedding party and then Grandma B, Katie and I drove back to our fancy hotel suite.

We slept very well, had breakfast and then got Grandma B to the church for pictures at 12:30. Katie and I shot basketball hoops, swam and then got ready for the wedding. We arrived with just 11 minutes to spare and thankfully had a space close to the front to sit. It happened that the other reader and I wore matching colors. The service was lovely and I teared up just a bit when Jenna and her daddy walked down the aisle.

After the service, we went to the hotel and I got to see my Brad, Anders and Osten who drove separately because Anders had marching band and work commitments. The reception area was gorgeous! With a reclaimed wooden heart for guest to inscribe their names and well wishes. We picked our name cards up and proceeded to pick out our seating.

Before the wedding party arrived, there was a social hour poolside where we got a chance to mingle and enjoy beverages. After they arrived, we went into the dining room and enjoyed speeches by the best man, matron of honor and father of the bride. We got to see a few incriminating posters of Cody as a younger man. Cody then wrapped it up by thanking us all for attending.

Then came more socializing and the DANCE! We had a blast dancing and I don't think we spent much time anywhere else all evening. At midnight, we retired to our room and had very sweet dreams.

Congratulations Jenna and Cody. May the glow of your wedding day never be dimmed.
lighting the unity candle

the 2001 cousins trying to be very tall

the royal blue wearnign readers

grandma and granddaughter walking to the reception

Mom and daughter at the reception

remembering those who have passed...

Mom and Kurt dancing

Osten and Stella dancing

guess who caught the bouquet?

grandson and grandma after a long evening...

the happily married couple

Kaitie, Jenna and Kyeanna before the wedding 

Jenna and her wedding party

Kaitie and Vance

Kaitie and Cody

my new great niece Stella and my someday niece in law Kaitie