Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Back-to-School Feast and Family Theme for 1862 (I Mean, 2012!)

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School starts tomorrow!  And you know what that means....

...it means that we should have had our Back to School Feast tonight, but since the university already started and Tuesdays are the Maestro's rehearsals, we had it last night instead.  This starting on Wednesday thing has me thrown for a loop!

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I took this photo before I realized I'd forgotten to set glasses on the table.  Oops!
After visiting both the Ingalls Homestead and Nauvoo, IL this summer and seeing exactly how hard the pioneers had to work, Joel and I wanted our theme this year to center around work.  Because, as great as my girlies are, the work ethic is lacking a bit.  And we won't talk about the whining that accompanies any work they do.

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So, we chose Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel, which is a reference to one of the LDS Hymns and happens to reference both work and pioneers:

Put your shoulder to the wheel, push along!
Do your duty with a heart full of song!
We all have work, let no one shirk,
Put your shoulder to the wheel!

This theme is also a natural extension of last year's theme (I Will Go and Do: I Can Do Hard Things).  I decorated with the rope that the girls made at the Ingalls Homestead, some candles like the ones we learned how to make in Nauvoo, a plate from Nauvoo, and of course, our framed theme.

Feel free to steal....it should be 5x7 printed out

On the menu were beef and potato stew, corn bread and rice pudding.  How's that for a pioneer feast?

On Saturday night, I realized that I had not started on any sort of crown or head gear for the feast, which has been the tradition.  Then I thought I'd just not bother this year.

That was not a good decision, apparently, since Bria (my SEVENTH grader) told me how excited she was to see what kind of crowns I made this year.  Sigh.

So, I whipped up some bonnets.  I realize that I am lucky that I know how to sew and have enough experience to be able to make up a pattern after sort of looking at a few pictures online.  I made them as simple as possible and they did turn out rather cute.  Each one only took about 15 minutes start to finish, so I was happy about that.  I was also happy that I used up some of my endless supply of craft supplies and fabric.

But I was happiest that the girls liked them, and also looked adorable wearing them, even though these pictures are sort of crappy.

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Chloe, going into 4th grade.

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Bria, going into 7th grade.

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And Sophia, going into 1st grade.  With her daddy, who spent dinner talking like he was from 1862 and making the girls laugh at their Pa.

After dessert, we had our traditional time for Father's Blessings.  As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we are thankful that our dad holds the priesthood and can give these special blessings to the girls as they begin school.  Many, many LDS families do the same thing, and I know I always looked forward to the guidance that I received when my own father gave me father's blessings before school started...all the way through college!

And that was our 2012 Back to School Feast.  I can't believe school is starting tomorrow!

I'm not really ready...

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Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. Love it! I can't believe those bonnets only took you 15 minutes...
    Feel free to make one for me.

  2. I teared up a bit when I saw your theme. That was my family's theme growing up (part of this could have been because it was one of the couple of hymns my siblings played). ;)

  3. That is precious! What a beautiful family tradition. Your girls are sure to treasure these memories.

  4. I love the theme you picked! The bonnets are so cute.