Little House on the Sort-of Prairie

I'm going to go ahead and say it. Maddie just had one of the best birthday parties ever. (Especially compared to her brothers' parties. I can't help that girl parties are so much more fun!) She starts planning her birthday party about five minutes after her most recent one ends, so she's been coming up with ideas for her ninth birthday bash for a while. I started getting a little worried when the trend seemed to be expensive and/or LOTS of girls at my house for a very long time. So, after a little brainstorming session with my amazingly brilliant sister-in-law, Emily, we came up with an idea that Maddie loved and I could actually execute without losing my mind. Thus, Madeleine had a Little House on the Prairie party.

The girls were instructed to come in homemade prairie attire. Long dresses, bonnets, and braided hair were the look for the day. Look at these sweet things. Don't let their demure little pose fool you. These pioneers can get wild.

Not only is Emily a great brainstorming partner, she is unbelievably selfless. She volunteered to host the party at her "little house" on a pretty flat piece of land that closely resembles the prairie AND she was the game partner for the odd girl out (and she didn't freak out when a very full glass of tea spilled about 1/8 of an inch away from her new white curtains). Because there had to be games, and I wasn't smart enough to invite an even number of people (or to only serve water to drink).

We started the day with pioneer coloring pages. A little later on, we threw in a little pioneer word search as well. Let me say that I don't know how the pioneers managed life without Google. Running water and electricity are nice modern-day amenities, but Google is a lifesaver.

So, Matthew and Emily may as well be Pa and Ma Ingalls. Like I mentioned, little house, prairie-like setting...and a real garden in the backyard. All they need are a few kids, a dog called Jack, and a stuck-up little girl neighbor named Nellie.

In my brilliance, I entertained the guests and paid my debt to the host and hostess by having the girls water the garden. They started out with a relay race where they filled buckets with water and ran and dumped it in the garden. After the race was over, we just let them loose with the hoses to finish the job. Don't you think for a second that they didn't love it. Now I just have to figure out how to get my kids that excited about watering my flowers at home.

Some other fun and completely FREE backyard games included a potato sack race, a three-legged race, and an impromptu game of Red Rover. Because I'm pretty sure it was the pioneers who came up with Red Rover.

After we ran them half to death, we let them have a little craft time. There were button strings (Don't ask me. Evidently it's in the book. Google.) and, the one I'm so impressed with but was so involved with that I didn't even take a picture of , the genuine, homemade cornhusk doll. I am not a crafty gal, but I really did this one all on my own (because Google doesn't count in this case). They all turned out so cute, which you will have to take my word on since I don't have an actual picture.

Then it was time for the best part of any party...the food. Let me say that I've recently come to the realization that Maddie likes old lady food. Her pick for the day, much to a few guests' disappointment, was fried chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, and fried squash. She wanted german chocolate cake for dessert, but after I assured her that no other girl there would eat it, she consented to plain old chocolate cupcakes. (Her other dessert pick was blackberry cobbler. All good stuff, but not exactly popular with the elementary school crowd.) We then closed down the night with an episode of Murder She Wrote Little House, which nobody really wanted to watch. They wanted to role play the whole show, but I was kind of done with the craziness and ready for everyone to sit like a zombie in front of the tv and veg out like any good little prairie girls would do.

All in all, it was so easy, inexpensive and FUN that it was almost too good to be true...kinda like Maddie. As far as daughters go, she's pretty much too good to be true. I am so proud of her and still so in love with my firstborn. The fact that she is halfway to eighteen and striking out on her own is threatening to tear my heart out. I know I don't deserve such an amazing, talented, lovable child, but I'm glad God saw fit to bless me with her just the same.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl.


  1. So fun! Do you think we could have a grown-up girl Little House on the Prairie party minus the games of course?!The dressing up, food and watching the show would rock. And sign me up for the coloring!

  2. I'm with Jill. Let's have a grown-up LH party! And I'm with her-no games!

  3. What a cute party! I love Little House on the Prairie, except for the episode in which Alice Garvey and Adam Jr. die in the fire at the school for the blind. I am still emotionally scarred by that one. I hope that's not the episode you showed to the girls. ;)

    Happy birthday, Maddie!

  4. Love it! They all look so cute! The girls had a great time at the party.

  5. I'm really disappointed that Emily didn't have on her prarie garb. I'm mean, how do you host a party and not evern dress the part?? Looked like tons of fun though!! :)


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