Happy Pioneer Day

Today is July 24th, the date that Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley after being expelled from their homes and businesses in Illinois and Missouri. One of my great, great grandfathers, Chauncey Webb, a blacksmith from Nauvoo, was with President Young’s company. I suppose bringing your blacksmith with you was like having your favorite mechanic on a cross-country move. 

Fresh Baked Honey Wheat Bread

I read yesterday about some of the foods the pioneers enjoyed after they were established in the valley for a while. I always pictured the pioneer experience as sparse and desperate, but started looking at things differently when I learned about the abundance they eventually enjoyed as their crops and orchards matured. http://archive.sltrib.com/story.php?ref=/sltrib/entertainment2/58169927-223/cheney-utah-pioneers-mormon.html.csp

The eight currently in our household are anticipating our holiday celebration tomorrow. My daughter’s family has spent some time with us as they prepare for her husband to enter the CHP Academy in a few weeks. He will become another first responder helping protect the innocent and upholding the law like our soldier, our son who recently completed EMT training and our son who takes the Bar in California this week. What a great crop of men we have been blessed with. Because we have 3 young children at our home we will enjoy a child-friendly celebration with pioneer games based on authentic activities, a homemade chili and bread stick picnic and (non-authentic) smore’s – come on you have to have a bonfire at some point, right?

So here’s a cheer for Pioneer Day with a nod of gratitude to the hearty faithful souls who helped settle the wild west and build temples so families could be sealed together forever. 

How could you look at this, and not want to get married there?? #LDSTemples #MormonTemples #Gospel:

McMurtry Pioneer Day 2016

Picnic near the stream on our property
Games – Bean-GO (Could you have bean a pioneer?)
Stick horse racing with squirt guns for prairie fires and bison
Bean bag Toss
Musical Chairs
Indian Pictographs
Cookie making

Pioneer activity: Write with Indian symbols/pictographs and celebrate diversity. Draw on brown paper "pelts". A 72 character guide is available to download on Etsy:

A homemade chili and breadstick picnic on the grass with cold watermelon, grapes, peach crisp and coconut cookie s’mores. 

Maybe a pioneer scavenger hunt with activities that pioneer children did (if the mood strikes.) Happy Pioneer Day! 

Pioneer Day scavenger hunt game based on the activities and chores of pioneer children; hide the items and have children hunt for them or do the activities. We used a toy cow and fake eggs :) Digital image of game available to immediately download and print on Etsy.:

Happy Birthday America!

I love this land of the free and the brave. After years of enduring a sluggish economy, government leadership I often question and watching our culture slip farther and farther from its moral moorings, I have once again found a reason to celebrate being American.

I have been contemplating human rights as I’ve worked on one of my holiday books and have come to the conclusion that the Old Testament and the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights are the greatest documents promoting Human Rights that were ever written. Between the laws of ancient Israel, the Ten Commandments and our code of law, we have been granted freedom and protections unknown through much of the history of the world. And even though our laws and hearts have had to be updated from time to time, we are still a beacon to the world.

So thank you Heavenly Father, Founding Fathers, our parents, soldiers and lawmakers for giving us the opportunities for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Congratulations Kaysville Rotary Club for another great 5K race to raise money for humanitarian youth projects! 

We talked to Andrew and Annie from their 3-year assignment at their new duty station. It seems the 4th of July is not as big a deal  in Europe. No fireworks, races, parades or barbecues for them this year. Thanks for foregoing the celebration to keep the flames of freedom burning bright for the rest of us. God Bless America.