July 25, 2009

Pioneer Celebration

In the mid 1800s, my ancestors crossed the plains of the United States on foot. They carried all of their belongings in covered wagons or handcarts. Their journey was thousands of miles and many others traveled along side them. These pioneers sought religious freedom to live according to their beliefs. The early members of our church moved often due to severe persecutions in New York, Missouri, Ohio and Illinois. Through their trials and travels to the Salt Lake Valley, they learned many important lessons.

We were able to share some of these lessons with our children this afternoon at an activity our church sponsored. Here is my Dad with Jocelyn. It's his birthday today. Happy birthday Dad!

Lesson #1

Work comes before play. We got to the church this evening pretty hungry and Elliott was starving. We found out that we couldn't just eat. Just like the pioneers, we needed to work for our supper. The celebration was arranged with tons of booths. Some gave you an opportunity to work for pioneer pennies. Others required you to spend your pennies to participate. Dinner was 5 cents and we had to pound nails, tote water, churn butter and wash clothes to earn enough for it. I just loved the money. It was thin wood that had been pressed. Tymon kept finding "buffalo chips" in random places.

For my readers who speak English as a non-native language, buffalo chips are dried out buffalo poo. It's not like stinky fresh poo, though. It's old and has been dried out on the plains. It actually makes for good firewood and there are several other uses for it. When I worked as field staff at a camp for delinquent youth in Southern Utah, sometimes we'd play around with the cow chips...it makes a good frisbee. Uh, that sounds gross. And it is. But not as gross as if it would be if it were fresh poo.
So, our kids learned about all sorts of things that the pioneers did and they earned enough money to eat. Elliott got 2 cents by learning to hammer nails.
Lesson #2
Sometimes, you will get paid more to do the same job as someone else. Jett lucked out with 3 cents from the activity.Lesson #3 The world needs many movers and shakers. Graeden and Jett are shaking cream into butter.
Lesson #4
No one is too young to work. Here is Jocelyn washing a shirt with a wash board.
Lesson #5
Some may push and some may pull. Tymon pushed most of this loaded handcart around the course. Our boys all have the blue hats on.
Lesson #6
Some parties are worth the rain. Here I am with Jocelyn. She just wouldn't look up! It started raining toward the end of the evening and many of us stuck around. It helped that it was pretty warm out. I loved feeling the warm rain on my arms as I ate my dinner. I think we left about 20-30 minutes after it started raining. It was light at first. I thought it'd let up. But no. We got drenched. We had to go fishing though and pull taffy. We missed the scone booth and a few others, but overall, it was the best pioneer activity ever.

We also had fun dressing up. I hope that the organizers of this party make it a yearly festival. I just loved it...especially pulling taffy. That was good.

4 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. Has Jocelyn finished making my shoes yet? She needs to get on that.

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  2. That looks like an awsome activity! I love that you had to earn money to eat, very creative and well organized. Seriously though, how could you miss the scones? I LOVE scones. Glad you guys had such a grea pioneer day.

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  3. That is such a great idea. It looks like a lot of fun.

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  4. That is amazing, and also an inspiration. I was just thinking that Pioneer Day was getting to be a lost art as it is not regarded as a big holiday around where I live any more. They had the childen's parade, but that was it. I think that is a great idea!

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