Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie

Monday, October 31, 2011

"To the Dells we will go..."

Disclaimer:  The following post has an occasional wise crack about Wisconsin.  These comments are made in jest only.  Please don't be offended if you're a Wisconsin native.  :)

The farmer in the dell
The farmer in the dell
High-ho, the derry-oh
The farmer in the dell

Good Monday Halloween morning y'all!  I hope everyone had a splendiferous weekend, as did we.  We were able to make it into the  State of Wisconsin and get back home in one piece - and without killing each other.  Thank the Lord for small favors, right?  ;)

We didn't get on the road until 4 p.m. on Friday, which was a full two hours passed what we had planned.  Ugh.  I spent Friday running around like a chicken with my head cut off...  The diva went to my sister-in-law's since taking along Ian's friend Luke made us short a seat in our Yukon XL.  She was excited to go since Aunt Nancy always spoils her rotten.  Then I had the packing to do that I procrastinated on (Will I ever learn?  Probably not.), the car to shovel out, and the little man kept hiding from me (a new game that is NOT fun)...  Yeah.  By the time we got in the car to go, I felt like I had been rode hard and put up wet...  And we hadn't even begun the "fun" part:  Four hours and two minutes in a car with 4 of the 5 boys hyped up on adrenaline.  We tried to drown the noise out with music, but they just got LOUDER.

I'd like to say I told them to act obnoxious in this video just for ratings, but no...  It was pretty much like this the entire time we were in the car...  Unless God smiled down upon us and they fell asleep.  WARNING:  You might want to turn your volume down.

Here's a taste of the chaos:

Yes, they have seat belts on.
They just have the bad habit of pushing the chest belts behind them which
led to A LOT of what I like to call threats of death
"forceful encouragement" to put them on correctly.
Yep.  Fun times.  For four hours.  
(Where's the liquor Excedrin Migraine when you need it?)

As we made our way northeast through Iowa, we crossed the Mississippi...

And made our way into Wisconsin:

And were treated to breathtaking views like this:

Aren't the fall colors amazing???

If you haven't had the "opportunity" to visit Wisconsin, let me tell ya...  There's LOTS of cows.  TONS of cows.  Dairies.  Everywhere.  Guess it takes a lot of cows to make all that cheese.  ;)  And not much else.  And I guess they've never heard of straight roads either because pretty much every one was winding and twisting.  We kept joking that there are a million different ways to get to the Dells, but once you get there you'll never find your way back out.  LOL!  We figured we'd stop and eat on the way, but there was NOTHING.  For HOURS. (And I can make fun of this because I'm from Iowa - Iowa doesn't have anything either.  LOL)

Okay, maybe it wasn't hours, but when its dark and you've got 5 hungry kids in the car, even a minute feels like eternity.  Poor little Landon was crying.  And since they had devoured all the snacks I had brought, I was beginning to wonder if they would resort to cannibalism.  The cheese curds we picked up at a little gas station outside of Prairie Du Chien didn't do much to tide them over.  And here's a question...  When you chew cheese curds, is it supposed to squeak?  That entertained them for about 15 minutes.  LOL

I made the mistake once of pointing out a McDonald's sign and saying we were close, only to realize that we had to turn before we ever reached the town.  I even felt like crying at the point - along with Landon who was screaming, "McDonald's! McDonald's!"  LOL!  Note to self:  There is NOTHING after Prairie Du Chien.  Except a lot of unincorporated villages - which means no McDonald's there either.  :P  When we finally saw the lights of a good size town to our left, which turned out to be the town of Reedsville, the entire car erupted into spontaneous cheers of, "CIVILIZATION!  WE'VE BEEN SAVED!"  LOL!

So, we stopped and devoured two trays worth of artery-clogging goodness and realized we were only 15 minutes from our destination.  Thank you, God!  Once we corralled everyone back into the car, we were on our way to Wilderness Resorts.

WOW!  What a place!  Massive!  Unfortunately, it was dark when we got there and raining when we left, so I have no pictures of the outside. I did however take lots of pictures of our accommodations inside Wyndham Resort, which is a timeshare community inside Glacier Canyon Lodge.

This sight welcomed us when we opened the door:

With a neat little dining area to the left of the kitchen:

A master suite with jacuzzi and walk-in shower:

You know I was checking this out to see how they made it. LOL!

And then an additional bedroom with 2 double beds:

Didn't quite get in there before the boys used the beds for trampolines.  :P

And a guest bath:

Of course, the hubs made himself at home and got acquainted with the TV remote:

While I was checking out the furniture:

LOVE these drawer pulls!

I had Scott checking out the mantle to figure out how to make me one.  LOL!

Although the decor was a little "rustic" for my taste, it definitely added to the  "woodsy" atmosphere.

Here was our view:

We lucked out and weren't overlooking a parking lot.  ;)

I don't have a lot of pictures of the different water parks because it was hard keeping track of the camera, our stuff, and the boys, so it got locked up in a locker - for $6.00 (OUCH!).  Here's two I did take:

The large bucket up on the top would fill with water and dump on everyone below...  The hubs, the little man, and I figured that out the hard way.  LOL!  The green tubes up at the top were pitch dark tube rides that shot you through them at the speed of light.  The hubs talked me into going into one of them.  I felt like a fish that had been flushed down a toilet.  It was so dark you had no clue what was coming next.  There was a lot of screaming...  No, not the hubs.  Me.  But I think he wanted to.  LOL!

Of course, children being children...  The water rides held their attention for a split second and then they were all about the 3 arcades.  Four different FREE water parks and they want to do the one thing that costs money!  And they couldn't understand why we cut them off after $80.00!

We took a break from all the walking and swimming on Saturday to watch the Iowa v. Minnesota game.  Being I wasn't going to be stuck inside watching football when there was tons to do and I was completely overruled by the testosterone in the room, I snuck off to do some antiquing.  I'll tell you about that tomorrow.  ;)

I would have to say that Wyndham Resorts were fantastic.  We had a wonderful stay and the accommodations were outstanding.  I know I've been staying in the wrong places when their complimentary toiletries were all travel-sized items from Bath and Body Works!  No generic mouthwash, lotion, and soaps and shampoos for this place!

Sunday morning we headed south towards home, with a quick stop by the outlet mall which scored the hubs a $267.00 Under Armor coat for $145.00 on clearance!  Ian, Noah, and Luke weren't really impressed with anything, but Greyson did find a shirt at the Nike Outlet he liked, and then I found him an Under Armor sweatshirt on clearance for $30.00 that just happened to be in our school colors.

We swung into Cabella's in Prairie Du Chien for the hubs' "all things manly" fix and Ian used his Visa gift card from Luke to buy Buffalo and Elk Jerky.  It was surprisingly good when he let us all have a taste.  And we hit another little "junk" store that I found a few things at, as well.  In fact, I think the name of it was "Junque - One man's trash is another man's treasure."

And since we were going right by Gunder, Iowa, we had to stop in here:

What's a "Gunderburger" you ask?  Well, it's this:

A ONE POUND burger of unimaginable goodness.  The boys' eyes bulged at the sizes.  At $8.75 for a plain "Gunderburger" and $11.75 for "loaded" one, they left stuffed.

We finally made it into town around 6:30 - all exhausted.  I think we were all glad to be out of the confines of the car, as we walked stiff-legged into the house.  We all retreated to separate corners of the house, ready for a little alone time - well, except for Momma.  I had laundry to do and a school day to prepare for.  Ahhhh...  Back to real life.  Fun, ain't it?  :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday's Finds... #07

Its Friday and time to start the weekend.  Hip Hip Hooray!  And its also time for this week's Friday's Finds!

For the last couple of weeks, I've been doing some local thrifting.  I go in whenever I get a chance.  Sometimes I'm lucky, sometimes I'm not.  I did pick up a few things here and there, so I've got some stuff to show you.

This is like an adult version of Show and Tell.  LOL!

I'm sure you remember these wooden blocks from earlier this week:

If you somehow missed them, I scored them for $0.25 each.  A little sanding, primer, paint, distressing, and glaze and Viola!

And now onto the never before seen stuff:

First up:  This little sailboat sat tucked behind a bunch of shelves, all forlorn in its ugly coat of paint.  I, however, saw some potential. Plus its a sailboat, so what's not to love?  Oh yeah, it was only $2.00.  Holla!  

I gave it a little sanding and pried it away from Greyson who thought it could float and he could put a motor on it to put it in a pond and gave it a coat of Fairytale Blue with some Smooth Slate for some depth.  Now she's very happily at rest propped up with the kids' shell collection from our month on the coast this summer.

Did you notice that the pumpkins are gone from my ladder?  Yep.  They started to rot.  Note to self:  Use faux pumpkins next time.  LOL!  Live and learn, peeps.

Next up is a little tin bucket for $.50.  Add a few silk (Yes, silk.  Ssshhhhh!  I couldn't find any dried ones) hydrangeas from Wally World and you've got a cute indoor arrangement.

I think it makes a nice addition to my cow tank table in the office...

And even my kids are getting in on the finds and seeing how found objects can be used to decorate in a new way...

Ian found the rusty old railroad nail during our picture session.  "Mom?  Do you want this?"  YES!  What a great memento from our family pictures!

I also scored a couple of candleholders for $1.50 each...

Hmmmm...  I just noticed how the designs on the sides look like mummies.  Do you see it too or do I just have Halloween on the brain?  LOL!!!  Dang it!  Now every time I look at it I'm going to see a mummy.  I'll have to put it away for next Halloween now.  Yeesh!

The only question with this one is:  To paint or not to paint?

And then I scored this chenille hobnail bedspread for a mere $4.50. Did you hear that noise?  Yeah.  That was me smacking myself.  I paid $40.00 plus shipping and handling for the same stinkin' thing on Ebay 2 months ago.  DOH!  Of course that one was vintage Bates, but who's ever going to be checking my bedspread for a tag???!!!  Oy vey!

And then there was this little grapevine wreath for $0.25.  Its just hanging out until I figure out what I want to do with it.

But I kind of like it there so much, I might just leave it.

And since its never too early to start thinking about Christmas (Errrr...), I scooped up this cute little winter nest for $2.00:

I didn't do too shabby, did I?

I'm looking forward to seeing what I can find up in Wisconsin this weekend.  When I mentioned it to the hubs, he just laughed.  I wonder if I could get away with taking off for the day and scrounging while they play...  Hmmm...  Probably not.  LOL!

So, what have you found lately?  I would love to hear about it!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Goin' Away on a Vacay!

This morning I am drinking my morning coffee in my handy-dandy design-it-yourself travel coffee mug...

Pretty nifty, huh?  My hubs found it for me at Wally World and gave it to me in the anticipation of the early morning weigh-ins for wrestling tournaments that are right around the corner.  I started to decorate it with pics of the boys wrestling, but got a snide comment from our basketball player, so I went with a decidedly generic grouping of our family pics to be changed out with the wrestling one that I secreted away in the filing cabinet hehehehe.  Gotta keep the peace around here.

I need a lot of coffee this morning to kick this boo-tay into high gear because this momma has got lots to do!

I am super excited because a much anticipated weekend is drawing nearer. Of course for me, it means a lot of work finding clothes, washing, packing, and double checking to make sure we have everything we need.  But who cares?!  After 13 years, we are finally taking a family vacation!

Now, that's not to mean we haven't ever taken one, but we've have never gone on one with everyone and the hubs.  He and I have scooted off for a weekend here and there and usually business related (I think the last one was in 2005 to Savannah, GA, if you don't count our 3 weeks away when my father died) and the kids and I have taken off together, but we've never gone somewhere with all of us.  I'm not sure whether to be excited or scared.  LOL!

So, this weekend we are off to Wilderness Resorts in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.  A dear friend of mine's brother's wife's father cousin's, uncle's, step-daughter's friend's sister has a time share up there with a 2 bedroom condo.  A month ago she had posted on Facebook that they were selling two nights with 8 passes to 4 indoor watermarks for $150.00.  SCORE!!!!  I immediately called the hubs to tell him and he said to get it.  YIPPEE!

Wisconsin Dells is fabulous!  I have never been, but my friends all say it is awesome.  And from these pics that I scrounged off the internet, it sure looks like it!

Sorry for the quality.  
As I said I pulled them online via Wilderness Waterpark Resort.

In celebration of Ian's birthday, we're bringing along his good friend, Luke.  Those two are a couple of hams...

They've already got every last minute planned out - from hitting the Arcades tomorrow night to taking time to chill and watch the Iowa football game Saturday afternoon...  They've been plotting for the last two weeks.  The only question I have is:  When are they going to have time to swim?  I guess they've got it fit into there somewhere.

And being we're going on Halloween Weekend, we've got lots of activities to chose from...  A Flick and Float movie where you watch a movie while you float in the waveless wave pool, Halloween Duck Races,  Wagon rides to pick pumpkins, trick or treating, and a Monster Mash Dance Saturday night.  Do I dare think up a quick idea for the hubs and I to dress up?

I have a feeling I'm going to come home more exhausted than rested from our "vacation".  LOL!  Do you think anyone would mind if we stop at a few antique stores?  We could always strap my finds to the top of the Yukon channeling the Beverly Hillbillies.  ;)

Speaking of finds, I've got to type up tomorrow's Friday's Finds #07 today, so it'll be ready to post tomorrow.  Can't be disappointing y'all, now can I?

So, I'm off!  Y'all have a great day now and say a prayer that I get it all done in time to leave tomorrow!  :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Find "Our Prairie Home" on Facebook and Twitter!

'Scuse my ghetto slang, but technology is in da house!  This Old Prairie Home, that is.

Today is dreary and cold in Iowa, so what better opportunity will I have to finally add a few things to promote my blog?

First, you'll notice that I've added Twitter.  Now, I don't know a twit from a tweet, but I guess I'm gonna learn.  I don't get all the # this and @ that, but bear with me as I figure it out.  If you've got a twitter account, be sure to follow.  :)

Secondly, Shannon @ Fox Hollow Cottage will be thrilled to know that I have finally set up a Facebook page.  She's been nagging me like an old fish wife ;), to set one up and its finally done!  I'm currently uploading pics to  my albums of things that I've finished and will be sure to update it daily with items of interest.  If I can ever figure out how to connect my blog with my Facebook page, you'll be able to "Like" me on here to "Follow" me on there, as well.  Tech geek, I ain't.

Its amazing how far I've come in a few short months.  I was scared to blog, but I'm blogging.  I had no clue what a "pin" was and now I'm a prolific pinner.  I don't know how to tweet, but I'm going to start twittering.  And now I'm going to show my stuff to the Facebook world as well.  Scary stuff to put yourself "out there" like that.


I wanted to give a shout out to Kammy @ Kammy's Korner for featuring my wallpaper buffet.  I am still flabbergasted at all the attention that my buffet has garnered and to think I was scared to start it!  It still makes me LOL and I am just tickled that Kammy thought it was worth featuring!  Thanks, girl!  Kammy and I got to talking because one of her blog buttons wasn't working and lo and behold, we realized that she grew up a mere 15 miles from where I live!  How about that?!  And we even know a few of the same people!  Talk about 6 degrees of separation!  Wow!  I can't wait until she comes back to visit family, so we can get together and maybe do some thrifting!


Today I plan on being busy getting everything all set up and ready to go over on Facebook.  I'm also still noodling which family picture(s) I'm going to choose for our Christmas card this year.  Thanks to your awesome input, we've narrowed it down to these:

Cropped to bring us in closer.

This is my personal favorite.

The hub's favorite.

And just because this showcases their personalities perfectly and isn't "perfect".

And but of course, this one.  :)
Scottie too hottie!
(Scott is "the hubs" name.)


Be sure to follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook!  It'll be great "seeing" you there!