There are traditions in our family that I love, and this happens to be one of those. This is one of those nights that I couldn’t give up. This tradition is worth the work involved.
We have normally done our dinner the night before school starts. This year I decided to do it a couple of days before. The kids all happened to be out and about as I got it all ready.
And when the kids came home, they each let out the most pleasing sound, the kind of giggle or sigh that tells you they are excited and happy.
This is what they came home too:
An important dinner requires a beautiful setting.
Let’s face it, summer is busy. Back to school time is even busier. So, keeping it as simple as possible is important. Candles on the table can make anything feel special, and lighting a candle is as simple as can be.
This scrabble light banner is something I picked up at TJMaxx. It is awesome. It comes with reusable letter stickers so you can change what it says.
In order to follow through with those important traditions, I think it’s key to make them feel special without spending more time than necessary. Like simply rolling wrapping paper down the middle of the table for a unique table runner. Use what you have, shop your house, and keep. it. simple.
I kept our dinner simple this year. I put dinner in the Crockpot in the morning, and then it was all ready at dinner time. Easy Peasy.
This year we had roast, potatoes, and carrots. This is such a delicious and easy meal.
I make our roast with a nice roast, some potatoes cubed, some baby carrots, a can of beef broth, a can of beefy mushroom soup, and an onion soup packet. All of that thrown in the crockpot in the am, cook low and slow, and wa-la; an easy peasy meal.
In year’s past, Jonathan and I decide our family theme just a few days or weeks before back to school. This year, we had it picked out several months in advance.
We just felt so strongly that this was to benefit our family. I thought that it was picked out special for one child in particular. Little did I know, that this theme would prove to be more for me than anyone; more on that little later.
Our theme this year is:
Our Scripture to go with it:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Phillipians 4:13
I wanted the kids to have something with them this year at school to serve as a reminder of our theme. I made these guitar pic key chains to hang on their back packs.
You can tell I am no pro at this, but they are made by me with love.
How: I bought the guitar pics in the jewelry section of Hobby Lobby. Then I bought a metal stamp set from Harbor Freight. I used my hammer to stamp it out on the metal. Then I used a black sharpie marker to fill in the letters. Rubbing Alcohol takes off the excess marker.
I used a small jump ring to attach to their zippers on their backpacks.
I also made each family member a journal to record their thoughts on what is hard, and how they got through it. We are taking a moment each week to record and think about what is hard in our life, and how we will conquer it at our regular Monday night Family Home Evenings.
Journal How to: A small notebook from Walmart, printable made by me printed from local print shop, washi-tape to adhere the print to the front, and a fun pen to go with it.
Click on the image to take you to the FREE download. Download will not say Swenson Family Theme at the bottom. This is a 4x6 size.
No party is complete without a party favor:
A little bowl of delicious “hard” candies, and a tag that reads:
Click on Photo to take you to the FREE download. This particular download will actually have 6 to a page and should be printed as an 8x10.
Once our meal was complete we talked more about our family theme, and how we can be strengthened through Christ to do what we think is impossible.
We also watched this clip:
I then shared my thoughts on the atonement of Jesus Christ, and how I know that he already suffered for the hard things that make us feel sad, upset, or worthless. He knows what we are feeling. He can help us through all of the hard.
We wrapped up our night with our tradition of Father’s blessings. Jonathan gave each child a beautiful blessing that gave them counsel and guidance on how to have a successful school year.
This is such a special and sacred tradition. I know it is a great way to start the school year.
I love my Family.
After the blessings, we went out for ice cream.
It’s moments like this that I hope our kids remember. I hope they see that there are extra ordinary moments in their life that they will look back on a realize they helped make them extraordinary people; which I get on my knees each night and pray they will become.
Some beautiful thoughts on how we get through the hard things, and what hard things can do for us.
As I said before, this family theme applies to me a whole lot right now. I plan to share more about that soon.