Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An Early American Pioneer Birthday


This past Friday our little Chiquita turned 7 years old!   The day didn't start out as I had hoped, and we ended up spending the first half of the day at doctor's offices, then ran a few errands while we were in town, but we arrived home after lunch and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the beautiful sunny day!

Chiquita had asked for a Kirsten themed Pioneer Birthday, inspired by their Early American History Lap Books and Unit Studies this year!   I didn't get to all the ideas/plans I had come up with for our little family party (I'll save the others for another time, especially since Twinkle Toes is hoping for a "Little House on the Prairie Party), but despite my lack of organization everything fell into place.


I just love how my children do their best to dress up for some of our various themed parties! The girls found their longest prairie skirts, bonnets, and had me braid their hair (just like Kirsten's for the birthday girl), and the boys put on long sleeved shirts, with vests, and their Daddy's old Rodeo hats!




.: A Friendship Quilt :.

"When they laid them together on the grass, the squares made a lively pattern of blues, reds, greens, browns and white."  Happy Birthday, Kirsten!

Decorating Friendship Quilt Cookies


I wanted to try and find a way to tie in the quilt that Kirsten and her friends made in the book Happy Birthday, Kirsten!  As much as I would love to be able to sew a real quilt, I am not at all talented when it comes to sewing.   Someday I would love to take some more classes...  maybe when my girls are a little older we can do so together.

Instead, I made some square sugar cookies and frosted them white.   I had each of the children decorate their own square with decorator icing and candies. We placed them together on a tray to form a friendship quilt!


The kids enjoyed this so much, they just kept asking to decorate "just one more!"   I removed the quick "sample" Happy Birthday Square I decorated to make room for Captain's 2nd cookie...

Top row:  Tree by Snuggles, Chalkboard by Captain, Embroidered Heart by Twinkle Toes
Middle row: Mountains by Captain, Little House by Twinkle Toes, Snowy Path by Rascal
Bottom row:  Flowers and Butterflies by Chiquita, Daisy by Chiquita, Tree by Rascal

... but the "Quilt Squares" just kept coming so I started making a second quilt.   It looks like I forgot to take a picture of that second quilt completed, but I did get one of the finished cookies on the cookie rack:

From left to right - top row:  Chiquita, Twinkle Toes, Chiquita, Twinkle Toes
Bottom row: Twinkle Toes, Rascal, Rascal, Captain


.: Frontier Fun :.

"Kirsten thought about picking wildflowers and playing games."  Happy Birthday, Kirsten!


Kirsten played games that featured things she saw around her farm every day-baskets, barn cats, and honey pots.  The American Girl's Party Book

We choose a few fun, old-fashioned, game ideas from The American Girl's Party Book.   Puss in the Corner was definitely the favorite.

Puss in the Corner
(This has become a new favorite game around here.  They were having SO much fun!)

To play, you'll need 5 players.  Four people, with one person at each corner.  The fifth person stands in the middle.   She is Puss- she wants a corner too! The object of the game is to change places without letting Puss get a corner.  When Puss yells "Change!" all the players scramble to change corners.  As they change, Puss tries to run to an empty corner.  Whoever is left without a corner becomes Puss.



I Have a Basket

All the players stand in a circle.  The first player begins the game by saying, "I have a basket." The player besides her asks, "What's inside?" The first player names something that starts with the letter A.  the second player then names something that starts with B, and so on.  If a player can't think of an object, she sits down.  The last player standing is the winner. 

Here I Bake, Here I Brew

All the players but one join hands to form a circle. That player is held prisoner in the middle.  She touches a pair of joined hands in the circle and says, "Here I bake." Then she touches another pair of hands and says, "Here I brew." Suddenly she tries to force her way out of the circle at another spot as she says, "Here I mean to break through!" If she succeeds, she picks a new player to be the prisoner. 

An Egg Basket Pinata

I purchased this Pinata for a couple dollars after Easter a few years ago...   We filled it with some old-fashioned candies and peppermints.



.: Daisy Chains :. 

"Pick as many daisies as you can!" Anna told everyone.  "We're going to make daisy chains."  ~ Happy Birthday, Kirsten!


This past week Michaels had all of their American Girl Crafts 50% off!  So, on our way home from taking the baby to see the doctor we picked up this fun little craft kit.   The girls needed a little bit of help, but were mostly able to make their bracelets on their own.  




.: Kirsten's Birthday Cake :. 

"Mama was already coming from the kitchen, carrying a heart-shaped cake." ~ Happy Birthday, Kirsten!


After a yummy dinner of Roasted Chicken, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Garden Salad, and Lemonade, it was time for cake!

I am pretty sure that this was the easiest birthday cake I have ever made, and it still tied in perfectly with our theme!   It was inspired by Kirsten's party treats and the picture of her birthday cake, in Happy Birthday, Kirsten!

Chiquita choose a Gluten-Free Applesauce Cake Recipe, and I baked it in a 12" Heart Shaped Cake Pan.   After it had cooled we just surrounded it with Strawberries and served it with some Fresh Cream!   For Ice Cream she choose Old Fashioned Vanilla and Rocky (Prairie) Road.



.: Birthday Gifts :.

"Where there's a will, there's always a way." ~ Happy Birthday, Kirsten!


Despite Kirsten being discontinued a couple years ago, I was so excited to win an auction (at a fair price) for a new doll on ebay.    Her other gifts included the darling Kirsten Prairie Dress, a gray cat (purchased at Costco), and Sari (Kirsten's doll, also from ebay).



The birthday girl also used the gift from her grandparents/godparents to purchase her first and very own scooter, and received a doll sized Bonnet from her big sister!


"Happy Birthday, dear."

19 comments:

  1. Just perfect! It looks like everyone had a great time!

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  2. What a delightful party! I like how you tied it in so nicely with Kirsten's story.

    Kirsten is such a lovely doll, too. It's such a shame that American Girl discontinued Kirsten, Felicity and Samantha. Now you need to track down the St. Lucia day outfit for Kirsten!

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  3. So fun! You take party themes to the NEXT level every time! SO fun for your kids. They will all remember these special days forever!

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  4. Happy Birthday to your sweet girl. Perfect party, too! Those cookies were so puuurty.

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  5. Happy Birthday! We have Kirsten too! Watch out for the hair! My girls love brushing the hair and it gets matted looking pretty fast! Not the same quality of dolls as they had when I was little! But the are loved just the same!!

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  6. I love your cookie quilt idea! You have such a beautiful family--your faith and love shine in them.

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  7. I know I am being nosy but I just had to ask. I have noticed that you have been using a lot of gluten free recipes lately and was wondering why? Is there a gluten intolerance in the family? If so how did it manifest itself? Like I said just being nosy! :)

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    1. I do have a sensitivity to gluten, but nothing serious. It takes getting off gluten and dairy for me to lose weight, so I have been trying more alternatives lately. :) I think a couple of my kids might be intolerant too, and that either the gluten or dairy causes some eczema on their arms.

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  8. So that's what parties could be like if I had a girl! My boys prefer sports themed craziness! Such fun!

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  9. Kirsten was my favorite when I was little too! I also only have boys so I am SO jealous of your awesome party theme! :)

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  10. Jessica, you are just amazing. I am so impressed with all you manage to do for your family. Peace!

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  11. She looks so happy. :) I love the picture of them in their outfits, you oughtta have that printed in black and white or sepia like one of those old timey photo place.

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  12. What an amazing looking birthday. Thank you for sharing it.

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  13. What a wonderful party!! I love the bonnets and those quilt cookies, look really fun!! You are the greatest Jessica!

    Happy birthday again to your sweet girl1

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  14. What a wonderful birthday! Our little princess turned 7 on Friday too.

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  15. Shandi Alegre-HuntApril 26, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Jessica if you are ever down my way there is an adorable american girl doll store down the street from me and it has a cute restaurant you can take your dolls to and everything and I would love to take you and the girls there so let me know if you are ! This party is adorable and I totally think Nova needs a bonnet too now haha! The party is adorable !
    xo

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  16. lovely. i have always wanted to do a prairie girl party. i didn't know there was an american girl doll story. i'll have to get those.

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  17. Your Chiquita has now inspired my 8 yo, as she wants an early american pioneer party now. May I ask if you made the "Kirsten" dress for your daughter, and if so what pattern you found for it, or if you purchased it? And if purchased where you found it?

    Thank you for always inspiring me.

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    1. I purchased it from the Etsy Store Ashley's Attic. It was very well made and I actually just ordered two more outfits to give my girls for Christmas! :)

      I hope your daughter has a wonderful birthday!

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