Little House on the Prairie: Week 5

Once again our week has been marred by illness, although we seem to be out the other end, thank God.  Nothing I had planned happened and the children were unusually apathetic to any Little House suggestions.  I left it until I was sure everyone was better and then proceeded to get momentum going again.  Bearing in mind this was only yesterday, and you will understand why this post will be necessarily shorter than previous ones!  However, I was still pleased with everything we did achieve, and I have to say that it was all in no small way down to their wonderful Daddy.

Here is our Little House at the beginning:

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And now five weeks later:

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And the inside at the beginning:

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And a different view (upstairs) five weeks later:

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First up was the baskets, which the girls and their daddy finally finished.  Gary, it seems, has hidden talents in basketry and finds the whole process relaxing and quite therapeutic.  Me?  Well I need therapy after just five minutes of weaving.  I’m quite good with my hands and enjoy most hands-on activities, so was surprised to find out that basket weaving is one of the single most frustrating exercises I’ve ever had the misfortune to experience.  For what it’s worth the girls agree.  It takes forever to do just one or two lines, and it is so easy to make a mistake and miss having made it (so merrily continue on) and then have to unravel a whole load to go back to the original mistake and start again……and again…..and again.  I’d rather muck out the chickens.

That said, even I have to admit that the final result of two gorgeous home-made baskets was well worth the frustration (next time I shall be making sure it’s not my frustration).  Look at these:

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Cool eh?  And all dressed up and filled, they are just perfect.  We intend to use one as a toy basket upstairs and one for the table to keep spoons, knives, forks and napkins in:

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Whilst my three basket weavers were weaving away, T11 was busy turning a broken box into a stove.  He has not finished yet, but here it is in its near glory:

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He turned the box on its side, reattached the broken lid using three small hinges and wood-glued a wooden toy block on as a handle.  This made a workable stove door.  He also used a magnetic fastening, so that the door shuts firm.  To make it easier to open the door, he also raised the stove up on four toy blocks, gluing and screwing them in place.  At the top of the stove was a hole which was used to carry the box.  This he covered with a flat toy block, stating he would use that as a means of controlling the temperature.  He is going to paint the whole thing black (Hammerite paint – the only black paint we have).  He will also paint a long block of wood to represent a flue.  These will both be attached to the inside wall of the Little House.

A4 and I made a house sign together from the head of B2’s old cot and some permanent felt tips.  You can see it attached to the house in the picture at the start of the post but here it is close up:

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We also made a simple hanging for the inside of the Little House.  It was created using cot sides, ribbon and a heavy-duty stapler, with the writing in felt tips.  I hung it on the banisters in the Little House:

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L10 was the last to become ill, and last weekend (before she was stricken) she managed to squeeze in some prairie cooking – Molasses popcorn balls.  Nobody was particularly impressed and the smell of the molasses now makes everyone feel a bit nauseous:

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And last night we picked some green beans from the Little House Kitchen garden:

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And I stuffed a ‘prairie’ hen, fried some parsnips and carrots, roasted some new potatoes and served it all with creamed sweet-corn and our green beans.  All recipes from the Little House Cookbook and it was delicious:

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Tonyia, a home schooling mummy and reader of angelicscalliwags, left me a comment saying she had settler family stories going waaay back.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity to hear some real life stories and she has kindly allowed me to pop them into a post.  Check back tomorrow for some great 1800’s tales!

I’m linking up to some of these great parties.

38 comments

  1. The baskets turn out beautifully! I never thought basket weaving could be so difficult. Now I’m having second thoughts about even whether to start attempting it… Given my lack of patience, I’d probably give up at the first mistake!

    1. Have a look at Julie’s comment below. She had someone teach her and her daughter and that seemed to work out really well. Maybe you could find someone who weaves to teach you. I have to admit, it has been one of my least favourite activities so far, but maybe if someone in the know had been around to help me I might have enjoyed it.

  2. C(9) and I have been “wow”ing over the girls’ baskets. Beautiful! Well done for persevering through the frustration 😉
    The stove is looking great too.
    I hope everyone’s over the lurgy now. (Why do I find myself using the most peculiar British words when I comment on your blog?!)
    The little girls are going to have the most magnificent house to play in 🙂

      1. Oh yes, the curtains… ahem! Actually in my defence I don’t think we’ve all been home long enough to do any sewing. Although the other day I did have a tidy up and found the sewing things under a pile of stuff. It’s a start.

        Ah you can’t tell anything by spellcheck – after all it doesn’t recognise “homeschool” without a bit of prompting. 😉

    1. Thank you! It is becoming a much more in-depth project than first planned, but that’s the beauty of having time over the summer-it was able to become as much or as little as we wanted it to be!

  3. I am glad that it looks like things are getting better in terms of illness. The little house has certainly gotten some homey touches this week, with the signs, the baskets and the stove. I am not sure about one thing….this is a modern-style toy stove, right? At first I thought it was going to be a Prairie-style stove, but then it didn’t look too much like that, and then I thought you were making a real stove you could cook on somehow, but lastly I settled on the idea that he was making a modern-style toy stove. Am I right? You meal looks wonderful. I am not sure how Molasses Popcorn balls would go over here either. The kids didn’t like the smell when I attempted to make Molasses Candy, even though I think of the scent of Molasses as heavenly. I am glad you did not do this while we were reading the series to the boys or they would have wanted to have a little house in their backyard, too.

  4. Awesome post-you all would make the pioneers proud-persevering through illness! I love the baskets, wish I had that skill-and as for the stove well, life will be much easier with a nice stove to cook with instead of a campfire! Good luck and again-a wonderful inspiration!

  5. Awesome! I love the baskets! Have you tried making baskets with pine needles? The little house is stunning! My kids has been pining for a treehouse … I can’t wait to show them this!

  6. When my daughter was six she wanted to weave a basket and asked me all the time. Then we visited my mom and she happened to have a friend whose hobby was basket weaving. She agreed to teach us. I was surprised by how time consuming it was. She visited for 6 hours and taught us how to make the simplest basket she could. We enjoyed it and have actually made a few since. I think if we had attempted it on our own I would have given up and never completed even one and my daughter wouldn’t have either.

    I think your girls did a beautiful job and admire their perseverance.

  7. Everything looks great! The baskets are beautiful – its funny isn’t it, what can be desperately frustrating to one person is calming and therapeutic to another. Love your homemade signs as well.

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