As a four-year-old, I spent hours in front of the TV mesmerized as I watched “Little House on the Prairie,” my favorite show. My twin sister, Brenda, and I would giggle and point every time Baby Grace came on the screen. It was thrilling to see ourselves on television. I grew up thinking we were the luckiest twins in the world.
The four seasons on the set of MGM Studios working with Michael Landon, Karen Grassle, Melissa Gilbert, and the rest of the cast were magical. The set was our Wonderland. We spent our toddling days wearing bonnets, taking naps in our dressing room, and thinking we were movie stars.
Wendi Lou Lee as Baby Grace, Season 7 Episode 19 – Blind Justice
Our stint of stardom ended when Charles and Caroline Ingalls moved away from Walnut Grove, taking Baby Grace with them. The show continued with Laura and Almanzo’s family taking center stage.
Not sure we were done with Hollywood, we auditioned with McDonald’s but ended up landing our first and last commercial for a bank. It didn’t take long for my mother to realize how different this acting environment would be; not all directors and producers were as fun-loving and patient as Michael Landon and Kent McCray. Our TV family loved us as real families do—no other job in Hollywood could compare.
My sister and I left acting and went on to kindergarten, the best parenting decision my mom ever made. Leaving Hollywood allowed us to live ordinary, full lives. The only drawback was that we lost contact with our Little House family, but time would return that gift to us.
Almost twenty-five years later, nervous and elephant-sized pregnant with my first child, I saw my Little House family once again for a reunion at the Hollywood Race Track. The cast couldn’t believe their eyes. How could Baby Grace be having a baby? And I couldn’t believe mine. These people opened their arms to us, as warm and welcoming as I remembered them—like a real family.
My sister and I started traveling to Little House events with the cast. I’ll never forget signing my first autograph. I was amazed that people remembered me. Being a Little House star again, even for just the weekend, was unbelievable. I’d return home and tell my family all about my exciting adventures in places like Tombstone, Arizona; Beatrice, Nebraska; and Keystone, South Dakota.
My two children knew all about “Little House on the Prairie”; we had read the books, but they had never seen the show. With both of them finally in school, we started watching Little House together, beginning with season one—laughing as Laura, Mary, and Carrie run down the hill in the opening credits.
As my family watched, the lessons woven into every episode surprised me. I found myself quoting lines from Caroline and Charles to remind my children to be honest and kind. Laura’s stories encouraged me to control my temper, forgive my enemies, and admit when I was wrong. There was so much to learn from that hour of television, for me and for my family.
Charles and Caroline had their share of hard times, and our family could relate. In 2015, I began to experience excruciating headaches and confusion. Shortly after, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. To keep my family and friends updated on my health, I started a blog. Sharing a story each day allowed me to gaze into my heart. Writing what I saw meant I had to become vulnerable, transparent. I’d never done anything so brave before, but knowing my future was uncertain, I felt free to be myself and free to tell my stories. Like Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I headed into surgery with an overwhelming peace that God had a plan for my future even though there were no guarantees that I would wake up or remember my name. Surprisingly, the first story out of my mouth after I woke up from surgery was about being Baby Grace on “Little House on the Prairie.” You should have seen the look on my recovery nurse’s face! Not only were my memories intact, but also a desire to tell my story took root.
Although I had planned to write a memoir, God changed my path, and I’m very grateful. My first book, A Prairie Devotional, is a collection of stories about my life, about the ups and downs, and about the episodes of Little House—the joys and sorrows that we all face. My hope is to inspire us to live the way Charles and Caroline Ingalls did—devoted to their faith in God, dedicated to their families, and determined to spread kindness to those around them.
The stories in “Little House on the Prairie” overflow with examples of walking by faith, telling the truth, and holding on to hope even when all seems lost. For the first time ever, A Prairie Devotional unpacks the spiritual lessons of the beloved television series in an entertaining, yet meaningful way. Sharing behind-the-scenes memories from the set and reflecting on time spent with my Little House family as an adult has filled me with unexpected joy, one that I hope is contagious for readers walking their own journeys of faith.
There’s one question that nearly everyone asks: “How much do you even remember?” It’s hard to say if my memories are based on my actual experience or rather on a lifetime of my mother’s commentaries as we watched episode after episode. In a way, her stories help me remember.
That’s the power of story. Laura Ingalls Wilder told stories, and if we are brave enough, we can too.
Watch our Facebook Live with Wendi Lou Lee – Baby Grace. Wendi Lou Lee answers fan questions about her role as Baby Grace and chats about her new book, A Prairie Devotional.
Wendi is a Jesus follower, a former child actress, and a brain surgery survivor. The four seasons she spent on "Little House on the Prairie" playing Baby Grace Ingalls are among God’s greatest blessings. Sharing her story of God’s goodness through life’s most difficult circumstances brings Wendi the most joy.
I came across this blog and I have to share that I am a brain surgery survivor as well! I experienced a brain aneurism at age
13. Now at age 46, I am so grateful for the life God has given me. Thank you for sharing your story ???? I watched little house throughout my childhood. It came on after school and I tried to never miss it!
God bless you Wendi. I had 2 strokes at the age of 36 leaving my left side partially paralyzed survived 2 major blood clot removal surgeries thanks be to God. I so very pleased to read you are also a believer!!
Little House was a staple during my youth and young adult life! The Ingalls are the family you want to be… they had such faith in God, and made it through life’s storms because of that faith. They had alot of fun, too! I recorded every episode on VHS and labeled everything so that I could show them to my children one day. Although my husband & I didnt have any, we are strong as we approach our 40th anniversary… and I still have the tapes, LOL. LHOTP is showing on COZI right now so I am able to watch it all again…and I love it as much as ever.❤ Michael Landon has always been my favorite tv actor. I have old TV Guides that he was on the cover of, as well as Melissa Gilbert. I have so enjoyed learning about Wendi, and her journey! So thankful for her life and her strong faith. Blessings!
I have been binge watching Little House On the Prairie for weeks now. I couldn’t agree with you more. They don’t make shows like this anymore. The Waltons are another favorite! Good, clean fun. And always a wonderful message.
Continued blessings to you, Wendy, and I’m so glad to hear all went well with your surgery.
I met you a few years ago at ‘A Little House Christmas’ in Sierra Madre, (I had come as a guest of another cast-member) and you were sweet and delightful.
To whom much is given, much is required– you are fulfilling that quite well!
Love to win the book. But I am living in Holland, this might be a problem. I love Little House on the Prairie since I was a child. I am now reading the last two books by Laura Ingalls -Wilder. Started to collect them, and now have the whole series. Often I sat crying in front of the television and I love the simplicity of living as they had. Being so thankful for just the smallest things. And of course, their belief in God and warmth between each other.
Love Little House!!
What wonderful stories ‘Little House” left us all. I am older now & love coming home in afternoons to treasure watching the series over & over again. My sister always says I was like Melissa & her with auburn hair was like Laura. She has a brain tumor now, but still remembers & enjoys the show too. Bless you, all and all the gifts you have given so many.
I love little house on the prairie. I still watch it today.
I loved the show and have the books of little house on the prairie. And some video too i watch over and over. I would love to win this
Love watching Little House On The Prairie !!!
Great tho hear about your life post LHOTP, Wendi! God bless you!
I bought the devotional book. It is soooo good
I loved Little House on a The Prairie.
I grew up watching this show, and I had the books too. When I was teenager I thought I had outgrown them so I let them go in a yardsale. Biggest regret I have ever had. Recently someone had a box set for sale for ten dollars and I bought it right away.
I am watching Little house reruns every afternoon. I watched all the original shows when they came out. These were good clean shows with a message. I’ll watch them over and over.
I like how you can relate your experiences on set with faith in God and Jesus. I like how telling the stories about your time on set and in your real life helps lessen perhaps the impact of your brain tumor diagnosis just a bit. I like how the people you knew on set were warm and real people, not just cogs in a Hollywood empire. Glad you had time to spend with those individuals in your adult years as well and reconnect with them.
When LHOP was on TV back in the ’70s and ’80s, I was ready every Monday evening at 7PM to watch the show. I so looked forward to it!
Still love the reruns–they make me both laugh and cry. Living here in MN, I’ve been to Walnut Grove several times and enjoy it each time. The staff there is so friendly and helpful, too. A visit there takes me back in time–so relaxing!
Would love to add this book to my Laura collection.
I love your stories that is amazing that you survived a brain tumor. This shows how strong you are and the Lord was with you Wendi. God does work miracles Amen
read every book about lil house.enjoyed them so much.
Love my little house when raising my family, it was our family show.. I enjoy watching it now the little house never gets old!
I loved the books as well at the show…
Best show ever. I have all the dvds, all five generations of books, autobiographies, any book pertaining to Little House Or Laura Ingall’s Wilder. I even have the McGuffy readers.
Me too!! Have you also toured all the home sites and museums throughout MO, KS, IA, WI, MN, and SD ? Wonderful wonderful wonderful!
Great character she played
I love everyone in the cast thank you so much for the story. I love watching every episode.
Love every episode ❤️???? ????
God is great ! He can do anything & thanks for sharing.
Little house on the prairie is not just a TV show , it has a soothing effect & innocent touches.
My family has watched the LHOTP shows; we own the whole set and still watch episodes when they are on TV. My daughter and I read aloud the whole set of books. Took a while but very worth it! I am excited to add this devotional to my collection of other devotionals.
I was so excited to hear that you are a Jesus follower! That thrills my heart. I am grateful that Jesus healed you after your brain tumor. What an amazing God we have. I started watching Little House as a child but still watch episodes on TV today. It’s one of my all time favourite shows! I think you and your sister did a great job, especially at your ages. I hope to be able to order your devotional next month. I am sure you did a great job on it. Thanks for doing it.
So touching, so priceless–thank you for sharing your inspirational story.
I love Little House. I am 75 years old and watch it everyday. It’s the life I always wished I had. Living in a log cabin has always been my dream. My husband and I did lived in the country for awhile . He passed away a number of years ago. And it was too hard to live alone. I just think it was a sweeter simpler time during the era of The Ingalls. I know it was hard financially but the family and faith was the center of it all.
I am looking forward to getting some and giving them as gifts for Christmas this year. Of course, I must get one for myself as well! : ) Our family often discusses the show and the connection to a bible point. All good stuff. So happy to be able to share my love of LHOTP with my kids. Our daughter was blessed to have my mom sew her a perfect replica of Laura’s blue gingham dress with a matching bonnet, a set for her doll too, for Trick or treat. My mom did the same for me when I was 8.
I love storie baby grace
Wow! I can relate to this. My husband is a brain tumor survivor as well. The Lord is wonderful!
This book is a beautiful addition to my collection. It is without a doubt something every Little House fan should read since Wendi offers such a personal and in-depth view into her and her sister, Brenda’s life on and off the LHOTP set.