Back to School Dinner

8:26 PM

It's that time of year again.  Back to School.

I always have mixed feelings about my children going back to school.  On the one hand, I love having them home with me.  We love staying up late, playing games, going on bike rides and hanging out.  We spend our summers at water parks, soccer tournaments and family activities.  I hate to see our fun come to an end.

On the other hand, I crave order and routine.  I enjoy letting go of it during the summer, but I do get a little excited about the thought of schedules again.

Every year I like to plan a little Back to School dinner.  I make it a special occasion, one that we look forward to and each of the kids can participate in.  I use it as a night of planning and goal setting for the upcoming school year.   I pick a theme I want to focus on and then go from there.

This year my sister, Hollie, and I were talking and we really liked THIS TALK by President Gordon B. Hinckley.   It's the B's talk.  We were trying to find a way to focus on the the "Be Smart" part of his talk.  After all, it's Back to School.

Then we found a follow up talk he gave,  and I really liked this part.

"For you, my dear friends, the sky is the limit. You can be excellent in every way. You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub. Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you. ........... Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life and look for its opportunities." 

I knew that this was what I wanted our focus to be on.   I want my children to know that they need to not just go through life.   They can't just let life happen, and go with whatever way the wind blows.  They can not become idle in their dreams, and they can do and be anything that they work to be.  They must live their life with PURPOSE!  Anything can be accomplished when they go forward with a positive attitude.

So I put together these bookmarks for each one of my children with excerpts from that talk.

I also found these ADORABLE colored pencils that look like tree branches.  These little cuties are what gave us the idea to use the backyard gazebo as our location for our dinner.

We set the table with lots of candles, burlap, hounds tooth fabric, apples, books, and Mr. Owl!  

Once everything was set I made a yummy dinner, (post to come) and my Husband I talked to our kids about our Back To School theme.  Then my Husband gave our kids their annual Back to School Blessings.   I always look so forward to this tradition.  I am a bit of a nervous Nelly, and hearing him give each child a blessing always eases my mama bear heart.  He even gives me one, so that I can embrace the new School year, instead of being anxious and feeling sad about the kids leaving.

We then had each child write down 3 goals in their journal that they wanted to focus on for this upcoming school year.  We encourage them to think about this before our dinner, that way they are inspired and can take this process seriously.  We encourage them to think beyond passing tests, and reading a set number of books.   We want them to remember that back to school is about relationships with friends, choosing the right paths, and making the right decisions with their time as well as good grades. They need to seek out knowledge and truth, and to build on their relationship with their Heavenly Father.

I am now looking forward to this upcoming School year with so much excitement!!  I am excited to see what my kids can accomplish now that they have a clear understanding of our expectations and with their goals they set for themselves.   We are ready to Go Forward with Purpose!!!


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