January 30, 2009

Hilary and I, we like to party. And since we have fifteen children between the two of us, we bring them along for the ride. We both just finished reading the Kit: An American Girl series┬áto our children, and decided to host a penny pincher party. This involved (for my family at least) several trips to the library, and stacks of books on the Great Depression, FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt (Kalina’s hero for the last year or so) and the thirties in general.

As always, my children jumped on the bandwagon, and threw themselves into the topic. The photos of Tilly yesterday, were in fact, her dressed as Ruthie for our party. She wanted me to take photos of her, and I was more than happy to oblige. I knew my photos at the actual party would be less than stellar (due to the minor chaos of having 18 children in our house and hosting a party). So I also dragged Hezekiah and Mordecai out for some early pictures as well.

Kit: An American Girl party
Doesn’t he make a sad little sight? What you can’t see in this photo are the cute little knickers I made for him (and Cai and Tucker). I bought the material for $1.50 a yard at Wal-Mart.
Kit: An American Girl party

Handsome Fella!

We invited our friends to join us at 11:30. As they arrived my little boys headed outside to circle the deck with their signs.

Kit: An American Girl party
These posters were on our front window. As preparation for our party, we scoured books and the internet for posters put up during the Depression Era. As part of the New Deal, FDR commission artists to make posters as sort of “public service announcements”. I just realized I forgot to photograph the posters in the house, but Boaz made a “Don’t Waste Water” poster, Adalia chose, “Nurse the Baby” and Tilly painted a “Keep Your Teeth Clean” poster (as well as the NRA poster you see). Now just stop and think for about this activity for a moment. My children read books and searched the internet for Depression Era posters, chose ones to paint, studied them carefully and reproduced them. Many discussions were had (why would the government put up a poster reading “Nurse the Baby” or “Keep Your Teeth Clean”?) What I love about these activities is it lodges the information in my children’s (and my) brain. We’ve read about it, listened to it, seen it, and recreated it. It becomes a part of us.
Kit: An American Girl party
Hilary and I set up a soup kitchen, and served lunch. Lacking an authentic thirties era costume, I wore my WWII shirt instead ­čÖé I made a pot of chicken noodle soup, and Hilary brought Hobo Soup (something mentioned in the Kit books). Each guest brought something to add to the soup (beans, onions, etc). It was a big hit. We also served day old bread and coffee.
Kit: An American Girl party

Sam, age 7

And I have to mention that Hilary made his hat. Can you believe that?!

Kit: An American Girl party

Kalina, 7┬á(she does make a convincing hobo, doesn’t she?)

Kit: An American Girl party

After lunch, the children washed their dishes and earned a nickel which they spent at the Cincinnati Cinema to buy tickets for the Kit movie.

After the movie, we had a scavenger hunt to find dessert (which consisted of items mentioned in the books such as: apple pie, broken cookies and day old doughnuts).

All in all, another successful party.

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