That's Me

That's Me

Friday, August 9, 2013

Prairie on the House 2013

Every year, I take my kids to "Little House on the Prairie Days" at the historical park. The park has the author of the Little House on the Prairie books & 1 or more actors from the show come for a day. You can meet the actor(s) & author, get autographs, & join in activities that Laura Ingalls would have done, along with touring the historical houses. The volunteers are all dressed up in clothing to go with each house's era & they tell you the history of the family that lived in each house, along with some Wisconsin history.

My kids love "Prairie on the House" as they've always called it. When my kids were little, they played Prairie on the House by wearing long dresses & bonnets, & each of them played the same role. Amazing Grace was Mary. Blondie was Laura & Ginger Girl was Carrie. If they were playing this game at my parents' house, my mom was Ma ("Maw" as Ginger Girl said it when she was 4 & 5). Boy Teenager was Almonzo & was always off hunting for dinner. I guess when you're a prairie girl, the only use you have for any males is to provide you with food.

My girls played this all.the.time. Seriously. On our farm, they had a whole tiny town set up in our field. They would go play in that for hours. If my parents were babysitting, it was not difficult to talk Grandma into playing along in the garage or barn or kitchen. At home, it was not uncommon to have a child run up to me to tie an apron over a dress, while they were wearing boots & carrying a basket with books & a piece of bread in it. I'd go in their bedroom or the basement or the bathroom, anywhere, to find them making bread over a fire they fashioned out of colored paper & sticks or bathing "Baby Carrie" in a big tub with a holey rag as a towel (because apparently towels you couldn't see through didn't exist in the olden days).

Little Blondie has asked at least once a week since school let out, what day we were going. I always told her, "The last Saturday in July." The last Friday of July, when hubby picked her up, Little Blondie burst out, "Is tomorrow the last Saturday in July??"
On our way.
Yes, it's the end of
July & she's wearing
a jacket. Brr.

About 16 hours before we were to be at the event, Little Blondie dropped a bomb on me. She wanted to be in the costume contest. She wanted to dress just like Laura Ingalls. She wanted to win first place. And I had 1 night to accomplish this. Thanks, child.

But like any other good parents would do, hubby & I took Little Blondie on a shopping trip to find the perfect outfit. Of course, at 6:00 a night, there aren't a whole lot of options when you've only got a few hours till stores close.

Now that Little Blondie has given me a heads up that she wants to be in the costume contest again, I have a full year to plan & put together next year's costume. No last minute shopping trip for me next year! Famous last words? Time will tell.

It just happened to work out that 5 of the kids could not possibly go with us that day so it was just 3 of us. I missed having all of the kids with us. It just felt so weird to go from 6 kids to 1. I'm not used to that at all.

The morning of our fun day, Little Blondie was literally vibrating with giddiness, she loves this family tradition so much.

Little Blondie loves the boat hanging above the entrance & asked if she could take a picture. Something about that hanging boat has always fascinated her & she was so excited to get this picture. It was like she got away with something when she handed me back the camera, giggling & looking around to see if anyone saw her do it. 

The promenade.
When we got into position for the promenade, she was so nervous to go in front of "all these people" so we sat with her for a while so she could warm up to everything. Once she saw all the other kids walking up to the front, how nice the program directors were, & that she'd be able to see us the entire time from where she would be, she wasn't as nervous. 

When I told her that she'd be able to see me the entire time, she took it quite seriously. All the way around the huge circle of parents watching, she never once took her eyes off of me.
She's coming our way!
Lining up for pictures.

Lined up for judging. Isn't she just the cutest??
Little Blondie didn't get first place, but she got a participation ribbon. Thankfully she's still at the age where that is just as good as first place.

I just like this picture.

Little Blondie with her
purple ribbon.

Contemplating where
each "log" goes.
Her log house.
One of the activities was to build a mini log home, complete with fire place & chimney, like the one the Ingalls family lived in.

Daddy helping. 

You definitely don't want to
mess with that teacher.
We were walking along the path to go back to our truck for our picnic lunch when a woman clanging a bell looked at Little Blondie & asked, "Are you on your way to school?" Little Blondie looked very confused & felt that, based on the look the woman was giving her, she should probably say 'yes' but knowing that she wasn't & that it's July, didn't answer. The woman asked her again, "Are you on your way to school?" Little Blondie looked up at me, so confused. I said, "Tell her of course you would never skip school." In we went.  
Hubby's turn to
read a chapter.

Writing a math problem on her slate.
I think if someone would have taken a picture of hubby & me when Little Blondie raised her hand & answered a tough question, you would have been able to put our faces under the definition of 'pride'. The teacher read a short story & asked what the moral of the story was. Little Blondie confidently raised her hand, stood up when she was called on, & clearly said, "We are to be ourselves & be nice to others." That was exactly it. I know it wasn't real school, but dang, I was proud of her that she listened so intently as if it was real. She raised her hand & correctly answered other questions without hesitation. They weren't easy questions either. Smart cookie, she is.

Answering questions, old
school style.

Grinding wheat by hand.

Washing clothes by hand.

She actually enjoyed this!
Sack races!
She laughed more than
she hopped.

At the old-fashioned dance, Little Blondie had grabbed my hand, wanting me to dance with her. With 3 of us, that would mean someone would be with a random person for a partner, so I told her I'd help her out. I stood behind her for the first couple of rounds, coaching her on what to do next until she got the hang of it.

I got probably a hundred pictures of Daddy & Daughter dancing together. It was so cute! You couldn't have gotten the smiles off either of their faces if you'd paid them to stop smiling. I loved watching them.

Laughing at the directions for the
Virginia Reel. 

"This is how we say 'cheese'."

I've got another Goofy Picture Poser!

Gettin' closer...

...there we go.

At one of the events, we could try on a yoke to practice carrying water from a creek. Little Blondie was not impressed with the idea of doing that every day for daily water & how many trips it would take to supply our family with water.

You carry that water,
Parking at the historical park is very limited, so we always take the shuttle bus. On the way back to the truck to eat lunch, I should have known better than to move over for hubby to sit next to me...

This is becoming a habit.

...& before we got on the bus at the end of the day I should have learned my lesson...

He thinks he's
so funny.

What is up with this boy sitting somewhere else when I make room for him & then acting like he has no clue that he was to sit by me?

Apparently a day of walking & playing causes my reading comprehension to completely leave my brain, because I looked at the sign...

...and thought it said the bus held 647 passengers.
(yeah, it was a bouncy bus)

It's best if I not sign any important documents or make any life changing decisions when I've had a long day. If I can turn to hubby & exclaim, "What, are they stacking people to pack that many in here?!" while in a school bus, then I clearly need a nap.

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