It’s Almost Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 150th Birthday

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Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on February 7, 1867. In celebration of her 150th birthday, you are cordially invited to an online . . .

Happy Birthday, Laura Party

. . . this coming Tuesday, February 7, 1867, with your hostess, yours truly.

Actually we are planning two birthday parties for Laura that day so more mamas and children can participate — daddies, too, if they would like to come. Join us to have fun with Little House trivia, learn songs that Laura’s family sang, and maybe even win a prize!

This is an interactive party for all ages!

Register here for the time that is best for you.

2:00 PM Central, February 7, 2017

 7:00 PM Central, February 7, 2017

Or register at each link and have twice the fun.

Laura was just a little older than I am when Little House in the Big Woods was published in 1932, the year my mother was born.

Replica of the Little House in the Big Woods, Pepin, Wisconsin
Replica of the Little House in the Big Woods, near Pepin, Wisconsin

Laura went on to write eight Little House titles that were published in her lifetime. The final book found in many sets of Little House books is called The First Four Years. Laura had begun the book before she died on February 10, 1957, three days after her ninetieth birthday, but she never finished it. Her manuscript was discovered among the belongings of her daughter Rose after Rose died in 1968. Harper Collins published it in 1971.

Laura thought about what a wonderful childhood she had had. She realized she had seen “all the successive phases of the frontier, first the frontiersman, then the pioneer, then the farmers and the towns” and understood that her life represented a whole period of American history. Laura wanted to share that whole period of American history with American children.

Laura became a celebrity among children. They sent her pictures, presents, and cards for her birthday, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas. She became a celebrity among educators, too. In 1954 the first recipient of the American Library Association’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for lasting achievement in children’s literature was Laura herself. In 1993 the U.S. Postal Service honored four classics of American children’s literature with a set of commemorative stamps. Those books were The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by  Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Surely Laura became weary writing in her little room in the home she and Almanzo built with their own hands on Rocky Ridge Farm at Mansfield, Missouri, as she wrote her books. Sometimes, after writing, she lay down on a little cot in that room and Almanzo came in and put a quilt over her.

Near the rocking chair where Laura read was a table where she kept her small Bible. Inside the Bible was a list of Bible references in her own handwriting. Beside the words, “When very weary read,” she wrote Matthew 11–28 to 30. Whether this is a weary day for you, precious homeschooling mama, or a restful, triumphant one, I hope these words encourage you as they did Laura.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

And don’t forget to join us to celebrate Laura’s 150 birthday on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

Source of some facts in this post: Historic Missourians, “Laura Ingalls Wilder,” The State Historical Society of Missouri

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