Pioneer Days and Prairie Princesses

Ideas for Pioneer Day celebrations and family 
reunion heritage events from my 

A Holiday Handbook II

Happy Pioneer Day!
This vignette is from a scavenger hunt with pioneer items and activities: milking a cow, making butter and cheese, growing crops, and reading scriptures. Those that finished the hunt received a bag of taffy treats. 

My womens’ group made butter,  had freshly-baked breads, honey butter, raspberry butter and ice cold watermelon. Also fresh lemonade (I don’t think pioneers had that, but it sure tastes good in July.)

Some of the members of the Mormon Battalion were working at Sutter’s Mill when gold was discovered. We let the children pan for gold (shiny pennies) in a sand box and use them to buy treats if they wish. 

We hosted a wild beanbag toss competition, you should have seen the arms on those gals… 

Stick horses for racing and squirt guns for putting out prairie fires and bagging buffalo. 

Sharing stories and testimonies written in 
Indian pictographs. 
We used cut-out brown paper pelts for the structures. You can recycle grocery bags or buy a roll of brown paper.

Do you have what it takes to be a pioneer?

Sign up as a follower on my website and I’ll send you the pictographs, just drop me a note at


pioneers with style

July 24th is the anniversary of the day my ancestor, Chauncey Gilbert Webb, entered the Salt Lake Valley, Utah with Brigham Young and the first company of Mormon pioneers in 1847. Chauncey’s great…great grandmother and William Shakespeare’s mother were sisters. You never know who you’ll meet on the plains. 

Prairie Party Menu 
Serve this on a quilt picnic blanket; use bandanas for napkins and enamel-ware dishes, canning jars for glasses.
Bread bowls for the chili could be another treat!

Honey lemonade
Chili beans
Cornbread muffins with homemade butter
 (let the children shake a jar of cream with a sprinkle of salt to make butter – they love it)
Cold watermelon
A crock of crudites and dip
Butterscotch haystacks
Saltwater taffy
Midwest Prairies
Children’s Scavenger Hunt
Hide items around the yard that represent activities and chores of pioneer children:
Tend animals (a small stuffed animal)
Make cheese (wrap string cheese in brown paper and tie with a string)
Sew on a button
Gather firewood
Hunt for eggs
Make a quilt
Sing a song
Pick fruit
Make candles
Make soap
Plant potatoes
Milk a cow (bucket)

Teen Challenge 
See how many points you can get by completing these challenges:

Say the alphabet backwards: 1 point for each correct letter in backwards order.
Name 10 flowers: 1 point each.
How many buttons are on your clothes?: 1 point for each button.
Write your name and phone number. Count the letters in your name for 1 point each. Add together the digits in your phone number then add the number of letters in your name.
How many large marshmallows can you stuff in your mouth? 1 point each,
no you don’t have to swallow them – ewww.
Blow a bubble with bubble gum, 2 points for each piece you can chew

BEAN For Adults (could you have bean a pioneer?) Its like a bingo game – use dry beans for markers and move the activities around to different places on each card, cut one up to call with. To win, get four in a row

Last summer, for Pioneer Day, I invited my 2 year-old granddaughter Ellyza to have a treasure hunt in the yard. She took her tiny basket and began collecting oak leaves, flowers and small pebbles. A two year-old knows what treasure truly is. 

bluebonnets, stone farm house, and antique farm tools
Need a bit more Pioneer Day eye candy? Check out the cuties at:

Here’s a super-simple no-bake treat
Butterscotch Haystacks
12 oz. butterscotch chips
1 C. peanut butter
10 – 12 oz. chow mein noodles

Melt butterscotch chips over low heat, stir in peanut butter. Add noodles. Drop by large spoonfulls onto wax paper. Form into haystacks.


Please Share and Support My Entry in Martha Stewart’s American Made Competition

Dear Family and Friends,

I’ve entered Martha Stewart’s competition for American-made products to promote my art, designs and the events I’ve created. This is a great opportunity to move my work forward into the national arena. 

I’m featuring my A Harvest and Halloween Handbook and would so appreciate your help in sharing the following link on Facebook to increase my chances of winning. The prizes are a trip to New York to meet Martha, promotion of my books and $10,000 cool cash. Sweet.

Thank you for your support.

Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime!

(This is a recycled post,but the beach tips are still wonderful)

I love the ocean. I believe that the beach is one of the places Mother Nature is at her finest.
I spent my growing up years at, near or in the ocean and would like to share a few tips
to help make your day even more pleasant. For all you lucky ones who will spend your day frolicking in the surf, enjoy!

Taking children to swim at the beach? Get a tide chart and plan your trip for low tide, the waves are smaller and usually more gentle. For tide schedule predictions try


You can go on their website, select your beach and get a schedule for the days you’ll be at the ocean.

Flotation devices make the day safer and much more fun!
Look for a beach with lifeguards- they are trained to spot unsafe water conditions; such as rip tides and sharks. They keep an eye on everything happening on their beach, and are worth their weight in gold.

Watch for warning flags near the water; some warn of unsafe conditions, others delineate surf and swim areas.

Say a little prayer for me; don’t forget a little prayer of thanks and help for a safe and fun day.

Near the water, the tiny v-shaped marks in the sand mean sand crabs. If you dig a hole and let the waves swirl in, sometimes you can see sand crabs swimming around. Pick one up, they tickle!

Buckets, shovels, sieves and molds make building a blast!

Bring bags for shell collecting. The earlier in the morning you go, the better the selection. You probably don’t want to take home crabs and seaweed, they don’t live very long and get stinky. Some places, such as tide pools, have restrictions on taking things from nature. Just watch for signs and follow the rules. If you can’t find shells you like, there are often gift stores nearby that sell them as well as post cards to help you remember your summer fun.

Jellyfish – leave them alone. Most are not lethal, but if you do get stung, white vinegar applied to the site for 15 – 30 minutes quickly will neutralize the toxins and ease the pain. Remove tentacles and stingers, you can use a credit card to scrape them off. If the victim experiences difficulty breathing get medical help immediately.

A final word of advice, don’t shave before going in salt water – ouch!

Have a wonderful day the beach – God’s playground for children.

photo courtesy of