Wisconsin Farm Story

Here is more on Allison’s farm and the backstory..i am working on her town home for now but she plans to keep the farm and I hope to be a part of helping her restore it further and even the barns…. Barn restoration is much needed throughout the Midwest I have found out and very expensive.. God saves the barns!  Seriously, what a national treasure they are! But for now I just want you to hear the love this woman has for her family farm.  Roots matter y’all.  Her connection to this land just oozes so i want you to hear it in her own words.

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“I grew up in a rural community in central Illinois. My Dad was an Engineer for CAT, but we lived in the country and went to a small church filled with the best salt-of-the-earth farmers. Close friends of ours lived on their family’s farm that had been passed down from generation to generation. We didn’t have a tv. I grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books and dreaming that I was Laura on the prairie. I wanted roots, I wanted land. I knew about our family’s farm way up in Wisconsin. My Grandma was raised in Eau Claire and she could remember taking the sleigh from town out to her Grandparents farm (our farm). They had to stop halfway to water the horses and get fresh warm bricks for their toes. When I was young I did visit here, and I used to ask my Dad if there was any chance that the farm would come down our side of the family. (It had been passed down from father to son since homestead, but my family line was through a daughter, not a son.) I can remember him patting me and saying “No. There are too many Olsons.”

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Family picture around 1911. My great-grandma Marie (pronounced Mary is sitting in front of the door with my grandma Olive Harriet on her lap.

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This is the homestead document signed by U. S. Grant. His signature is the large one near the bottom.

“I talked about the farm when Glen and I were dating. My love for old farms, family history, land and all that beauty drove us to look for the perfect place throughout our early marriage. Glen is an entrepreneur.  He is the hardest working man I know and we moved all over, working and building our family and businesses. We have lived in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Illinois again, Minnesota and finally Wisconsin. While in Minnesota he started a company called MyNextHome. It was originally a FSBO realty company. We started flipping houses the hard way. Living in them while doing the work ourselves and raising four small kiddos. We would move in, start renovating, work through to the end, God would bless us with a sale, we would move into the next house and start again. Our farm was our 19th home in 17 years. Then we got a phone call from my Dad’s cousin. His folks had passed away and they were going to auction off the family farm. I remember telling him “DO NOT AUCTION IT OFF!  We are coming down!!” In 2007 we moved to Eau Claire and into my dream home.

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The Mills family . . . Chelsea 22, Lane 21, Gabi 18, Aidan 15

This little city instantly felt like home to us. After a couple years Glen was renovating properties to use as rentals and he remade the MyNextHome name into a properties and consulting company with a rental property side, a contracting side and a realty side. His company has grown leaps and bounds and I am so proud of him!!

So that is the story of our farm and how we came home to be here on this piece of land where my great grandma was raised.  Raising our four children here, bundling together to stay warm by the fire in the winter just like she did with her family.”
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“Baking in the same kitchen and trudging up the same stairs.”
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“We added this barn garage recently and I love how Glen and his crew made it blend with the barns and house that had been there for so long.”
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“Living at the Farm has been such a blessing for me. For my children and my husband, however, the distance from town is a problem and also the lack of modern amenities in the home. I noticed I was hearing frustration in my children’s conversation about not being able to just hang out with friends after school and not being able to be involved in activities. My husband too was bothered by the time spent on the road and the amount of money we spend just in gas. At first I heard their complaints with a hardened heart and perhaps an eye roll or two. But the Lord spoke quietly to my heart about what was truly important. This place or my family.  I knew i didn’t want my children to resent living on the Farm and see it as a negative in their lives instead of a positive. So Glen and I began to work on a plan to move to town till our children were done with school. We also decided that the house we built would suit as a parade house for MyNextHome. So we broke ground and began to build the #farmhouseintown. “
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“Our plan is to renovate the Farm while we live in town for a few years, and return to the country when our kids have grown. Perhaps this is the best of both worlds.”
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         I love this place. Will be so hard to move out. Even for six gas burners and multiple bathrooms. The Farm is where my heart is. ❤
Me Holly here, I am so glad I have been able to share in all of this and see Allison’s heart for her family farm and help integrate parts of it whether it’s an old piece of wood or photographs for the wall, a piece of a windmill, whatever….into their #farmhouseintown.  I can’t help but feel that God has blessed Allison in her obedience and heart not just for her desire and stewardship of the farm but her love for her family as well.
And here it is … the farmhouse in town, more progress pictures coming..the open house is coming like a freight train..like two weeks y’all! I will be on a plane to St. Paul soon to help style it out…you midwestern girls watch for details and come see us!Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 8.43.30 AM
The Mill’s business website MyNextHome.com will be live soon with a new website.  In the meantime follow Glen on facebook and Allison on Instagram @wiscogirl71

Nana’s new digs

My mom is in full blown house mode.  Her favorite place to be I think;  My mom was a real estate broker for overy 30 years and she and my dad were flippin houses before “flippin houses was cool” . . .And as I have said before my grandmother was a decorator and my mom’s grandpa was a home builder.  So this house fever stuff, it is in our blood!

And Nana has a new project y’all!

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(First things first, flag and chairs on porch, next up painting doors and cleaning up yard..I want her to keep the haint blue porch ceiling!)

Her new little home to be is less than 1,000 square feet (though she has noted the county has it on tax rolls for a bit more, they must be at least 40 sq feet off y’all);;…four big rooms with a tiny bath and laundry room.  On one of  her favorite streets in our new little town and has tons of potential.  We think it was built in the 1920s.   The same lady lived here for years and kept it in great shape and it seems her children really took care of it and made lots of updates along the way…great roof, insulation, new wiring.  Music to our ears. Nana might not be as into pink as the previous owner but it is sweet to find an entire house painted pink..how cute huh?!

And GREEN ceiling..yes!

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Along the way someone added drop commercial ceiling.  Nana already has that stuff down….she may or may not have removed some herself!

The laundry room is so cute with all of the windows and shiplap ceiling, the day they tore it down she was going to keep it as is…green and all…but as is often the case there are some areas that aren’t in great shape..so we will see what she does!

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She has been in the “getting bid” phase and its enough to make even my head spin! I will say she is a lot nicer to crews and craftsmen than my grandmother was….Joan was more into war department type tactics to keep her work on schedule. My mom is a little more “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” but beware she will turn Joan on you if needed.  It’s time to “get er done” y’all.

Tear out has begun on this sweet little house she scored.

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She may or may not go to BOTH Lowe’s and Home Depot every day! Nice wood floors under that carpet…woohoo…and the paneling could be torn back to the shiplap or she may just paint it, the issue is the drop down ceiling and the various stop and start points on the ceiling if that makes sense.  I see why sometimes people just sheetrock to cover a layer or remodeling remnants.

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I love that my mom can see a diamond in the rough and imagine the possibilities! (lol that look on her face..she is a “lawdy that ceiling what I gonna do…let me go make a list of the possibilities!;;) Not all people can look beyond pink walls and drop down commercial ceiling to see charm and cuteness.

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But she is smart and she realized it had good roof, updated plumbling and wiring and AC….pink walls are easy to fix! And it has some cute little details like old cabinets and built in ironing board and trim around windows…good trim!

And I admire my mom because she is much more frugal than me…. I am all “buy the SMEG fridge, why not!?”

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The little bath has been torn out…i think she is trying to decide about claw foot tub or not..and of course will reuse the cute cute little cabinet with latch..love that detail!  This bathroom is screaming for hex tile and pedestal sink!!

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After school shenanigans, Henry is following in the family tradition of “working on stuff”…looks like he is “programming” the AC for her..not! Drew is doing the first born thing…reading like the good citizen he is!;

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All in all, I know she is not thrilled with the pace things are going but no doubt she will have this whipped into shape soon!

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I can’t wait to see how it turns out Nana, in the meantime we are really enjoying having her with us.  I really mean that (most of the time except when she moves my stuff around but she is a laundry maven so how I can stay frustrated long right?!) . . . my boys are rowdy but she loves them and puts up with them and ME. I know we can’t live together forever y’all but DANG it sure is nice to have your mama in the next room when you are sad late at night or a storm rolls into town and all of your new fire alarms start screeching. God has wisdom (of course duh) in having her with us during this transition. One more thing to be grateful for in what is becoming known now as “the tough season.”;

Oh and it’s MOTHER’S DAY so happy mother’s day nana…we love you more than ‘a cheap bid on fast reno work!’  Truly!

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