Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Month of June

I think I've started to regain my sanity again! Though it has been a long time coming and I'm still not 100% sure.
Well let's move right into this we have a lot to cover!

Saturday, June 15th my cousin got married in South Dakota so I took the 14th off of work. The kids came back from my Mother-in-Law's on the night of the 13th. We left early the 14th and drove to Brookings, SD where the wedding was being held and checked into the hotel and met my parents who had drove from Oregon.
The wedding was pretty I suppose. I'm not much of a wedding person and the reception was very involved but we survived it.
The next day my parents left and headed up to my Grandpa's house about 3 hours north to Aberdeen, SD. The girls and I took a day trip before heading north.
Since I didn't know where things were the first thing we did was drive towards Mitchell, SD and along the way there was a great rest stop with tourist information and a very helpful lady at the desk. I was going to Mitchell for a very specific reason and that is the Corn Palace but it did help me find other places and find out how badly I had to cut back on myself so we only got to make two stops.
Us stopped at the Rest Stop
Our first stop was the Corn Palace like I said above. This may not sound very interesting to some but as a kid I thought it was great and I wanted to share that with my children. They really had fun so I'm glad I took them.
Now the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD actually teaches about corn products inside of the building but that's not really the big attraction people come to see. I'll explain.

People really come to see the building itself! Now the building changes every year and I won't post up all the pictures I took of the different frames (seeing how on this vacation with the girls I took I believe I took somewhere around 600 photos).
So I'll show you one of the last pictures first so that when you are looking at these pictures you can have an idea of the work, time and planning gone into each one. Each picture is made of CORN! Full ears of corn that are specially grown for single colors meaning these are not dyed ears. Even the trim is corn husks and other parts. All the designs other than the roof is corn!

So I would like you to keep that in mind as we go through some of these pictures.
There were other parts of it that weren't finished yet because as I said every year they change so we got to see some of the planning, lines and sketches on the building. 

The inside of the building was large and they do not change the pictures of corn other than when the corn itself needs to be replaced but the design is always the same.
There was a huge gift shop area I didn't really remember that when I went in but then again I was very little the last time I was actually inside. There were also many learning things inside that the girls enjoyed.

From Mitchell we headed back north and to De Smet, SD where the Laura Ingalls Homestead was located.

It was a beautiful day to be out the sun was shining and the wind was blowing. The first place we went was an overlook to see the farm. The girls were very excited about this because they love the books.
So here is a very good question. A dug out or a shanty! Could you imagine living in either! I was talking to my mom later and found out one of my grandmothers actually lived in a dugout! I never knew!
So here is the reproduction of the little shanty that they would have lived in. Could you imagine a one room home for your family? It's amazing families didn't kill each other being so cramped up but I suppose they were always busy so they were too tired to squabble. 

Next we have the dugout. I was amazed to later find out from my mother that one of my grandmothers used to live in a dugout long long ago. I couldn't imagine! It'd drive me batty trying to keep it clean and I'm sure it did the women back then too. 

The kids also go to play on a covered wagon and stage coach. It was great they had so many things for the kids to climb on  and actually interact with!

Naw they aren't enjoying themselves at all are they! I really can't think of anything that was really off limits to the kids and that was great. There wasn't a bunch of yelling, "Don't touch that!" 

 The kids practiced trying to rope a calf. It's harder than it looks!

They also had a lot of fun pumping water! You wouldn't believe how excited they were!

The Ingall's home. It looks much larger than the two homes above though you would be surprised! Could you imagine I believe it is 4 children and 2 adults living here?

Keep thinking about that as you look at the pictures below. 

This was their bedroom. We are all so used to sprawling out I just couldn't imagine how a family could live in this little bedroom.

This was the kitchen area. The bedroom and the kitchen area were the original rooms to the house. 

Later a third room was added to house the pipe organ (also shown below you work it with your feet to pump air through the pipes). 

The girls got to play with an old sewing machine, make button toys and scrub laundry! Now why won't they do the laundry at my house!

The kids got to drive the wagon on the way to the school house.

Each kid got a chance and they were so excited that's a big deal!

It was a pretty big wagon for all the people! 

I really liked this that was wrote on the chalkboard in the school house. And they had a teacher there that explained many things about school life back then.  

The girls got to make rope which this is not their first time doing it but they always love it!
They got to ride a horse and one got to drive a little buggy. Later on they switched so they both got to experience it. My girls are so good at sharing I love it!

Sorry the picture is really dark! What they are doing here is after they got all the dried corn off the cob using an old mechanical device they wrapped the old cob in fabric with a little bit of yarn to hold it together to make a corn cob dolly. 

There were lots of other things the girls got to do there but like I said I don't want to drown you in pictures! 
Needless to say even though it was expensive to get in I am glad I did that with the girls. When I was a little girl I went to the historical society in De Smet and got to learn a lot about Laura too. Actually the Little House on the Prairie book my girls had originally read was mine from when I was little. 

Up at My Grandpa's House

The girls got to ride a four wheeler. Oh no that doesn't look fun at all does it! I think they made a fully track they went around my grandpa's house so many times! 

This was what they did most of the time other than spending time with their Great-Grandpa watching old westerns. 

Storybook Land, Aberdeen, SD

Now I've been going to Storybook Land ever since I was a little girl and every year it gets a little bigger. The amazing thing about this place is that it is a city park! It's free to get in! Now there are a few rides and those cost but just to go in which is more than enough to do is completely free! I spent many a summer day at this park growing up. I have selected a couple pictures but there is no way I am posting all of the pictures the park is too large so you'd be scrolling through pictures for a very long time. 

I loved this picture of the girls playing with the wavy silly mirrors. I know it's such a simple thing but they were having a great time! 

They actually have a huge Wizard of Oz area where you go through the munchkin village and follow the yellow brick road. You meet that characters and we realized as we took the train around at the end of the day to look at the zoo. (Yes they have a zoo there too.) That we had missed a few places though by that time of day we were tired. It's a very large park!

 The girls got to do a few rides there were only these two plus the train and truthfully they were not that expensive at all! I was really amazed on how honest the pricing was for everything that you could purchase from drinks to things in the gift shop they really were trying to not bend people over the barrel and you just don't see that very often these days.

 A very huge castle. If you go on the right day they actually have plays inside of it.

The next day. 
 The girls went on this bouncy jump set up by the lake we were visiting. After which we went on bumper boats together and then went in the go-carts together.

 The girls went swimming at the lake there and built sandcastles and has the best time ever.

 Eventually we had to go. The girls told their Great-Grandpa good-bye.

And then I told my parents (below) and the girls good-bye as the girls started the next part of their adventure the journey across country. To Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone and Multnomah Falls with my parents on their way to Oregon for the summer.

That was the week from June 14th to June 20th. On The 20th I left that evening to start the trip home. It took me about 20 hours because I decided to leave that night and had to stop to sleep a few times in the car. Actual drive time was 15:08 hours. I timed things out well though because when I called my Grandpa when I got home safely he told me that that afternoon severe storms were passing through where I would have been if I had waited until the morning and that they were spinning off tornados!

Since this vacation I suppose you'd call it though I didn't feel very rested after it I've just been dealing with work. Trying to deal with the home some also.

I also decided to try and make strawberry marmalade. This has turned out to be the oddest stuff I have ever tasted in my life! And tastes nothing like strawberries! I wouldn't really suggest it.

Bunch of other stuff that's gone on keeping me ultra busy and very tired but I think I covered enough. Needless to say until yesterday I haven't stopped and then I just STOPPED yesterday and sat down with a book and said to heck with the rest. That is kind of happening to day too though I do need to get up and go mow the lawn because I'm working Monday because Peter wanted me to take the 5th of July off so we'd have a 4 Day weekend and he's talking about us getting out of town and going to St. Louis or something just to be out of town. 

One of these days I might get back into the grove of blogging regularly but things have been pretty crazy for some months now. 


  1. I love all the pictures! South Dakota has been on my vacation bucket list forever along with all the other places your girls are getting to visit. Hope you are off on a fun 4 day weekend somewhere!

  2. Can you believe you were only a little over an hour from me in all those places you visited? Awesome shots. I also was just intruiged at how they redid that entire facade each year over at the Corn Palace--incredibly cool! One of those things you have to look at once and then look all over again to see how intricate it was.
    Was great to read your blog and I really hope you get to a point where you start adding a couple times a week! Loved to read it!
    Blessings to you and yours,
    Heather <3
    The Welcoming House Blog