Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You are the "Apple of My Eye!"...our special celebration

After 84 days of summer break, it is time to start the 2011-2012 School Year. All good things must come to an end....and our Summer has been good. Actually our summer has been AMAZING, and I hate to see it end. We started the summer with our vacation to Destin, Florida...
...and we ended it with a special celebration of summer and the start of the new school year...

Apple of My Eye Dinner
A few days ago I read a blog by a dear friend of mine and she had a post about a back to school dinner that she did for her children. I immediately knew that I HAD to do this for my children too. I immediately began my planning...decoration, menu, and even questions to ask the boys while we ate. For the decorations I created a party collection called "You're the Apple of My Eye". I printed out the entire collection.
I started my decorating with the banner that said "Happy Back to School". I cut out the pieces, punched holes in the top corners, and then threaded a long piece of ribbon through the banner pieces to make 3 layers. I hung the banner over the window in our kitchen eating area where we eat all of our meals.
Next, I started to work on the table. We have one of those tall square tables....and guess what? It is pretty difficult to find a table cloth for that table. So I went to the fabric department at Wal-Mart and found this cute green fabric, I bought 3 yards (I should've gotten 4). I cut the fabric in half, sewed a seam down the edge, opened it up and zigzagged around the entire outside. It's not fancy, but it is cute and it worked perfectly for our dinner.
The center piece was next on my list. I started with a white bowl, a styrofoam ball (cut in half), shredded brown paper, apples, the 4" circles from the printable collection, and some wooden skewers.
I taped the 4" squares to the wooden skewers. Next, I placed the styrofoam ball piece in the bottom of the bowl. Then, I filled the bowl with the brown shredded paper, making sure that the styrofoam was covered. I inserted the skewers into the foam and placed apples on top of the shredded paper. The end result....

I then began setting the table. I took the left over scraps of fabric and made these easy napkin rings. I took a piece of fabric about 6 inches wide and with the right sides together, ran a long seam down the entire strip. I turned it inside out, ironed it flat, and cut my pieces about 8 inches long. Next I folded each piece in half, lining up the long sides and zigzagging around the 3 edges. I then rolled it into a circle, hot glued the ends to the size I wanted and added the button accents. I set the table with my red dishes, placed a white napkin into the napkin ring and began to work on the food.

The Menu for tonight's "Apple of My Eye" Dinner...was centered around what else, but APPLES.
Apple BBQ Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Veggie, Cheese, Cracker, and Ranch Dip platter
Once I had everything in place, I called the boys to the kitchen. I will be honest, that I worried a little that at 9 & 7 that they might think it was a little cheesy...but they didn't! Their faces lit up when they walked in and saw the table and decorations. I said to them (in my most cheesy voice) "Happy Back to School!" They smiled and BOTH of them came running over to hug me and tell me thank you....that was all the payment I needed.
We sat down to eat dinner. Jason said prayer, making sure to mention the start of the new school year and asking God's blessings on the boys, their friends, and their teachers. Then we was all delicious! While we ate I asked the boys to each answer a couple of questions.
Question 1:"What was your favorite thing we did this summer?"
Daniel: Going to Cookeville and getting to see all my friends.
Micah: Going to Arkansas.
Jason was quick to point out that he didn't accompany us on either of those trips...oops, sorry J!
Question 2: "What are you looking forward to the most about going back to school?"
Daniel: Recess, Lunch and Specials....what mom wouldn't see that answer coming?
Micah: he might be kissing up a little, because I am pretty sure that is NOT what he likes most about school :0)
I tried asking them what would help make this the best year yet, and I think it went over their heads a little, or maybe it was poorly worded, but we skipped it and went on with normal conversation.
As I was cleaning off the table, I was shocked to have the boys give me giant hugs and say..."Thanks for doing this Mom, it was fun! Can we do it next year?" ABSOLUTELY! Maybe, just maybe this dinner helped take some of the anxiety of the new year away, and actually made them get a little excited about the start of a new year. Thank you God for blessing me with two amazing sons and one amazing daughter. They truly are the "Apples of My Eye!"
Tomorrow morning, they will be greeted with more decorations and excitement as we welcome in the 2011-2012 school year...another blog post to follow!