We had our back to school dinner last week, the night before school started.

Steve and I introduced the family theme for the school year. We talked about it for a bit, and a couple ideas were circling but in the end we chose, “Be Kind and Stand Up.” Hallie and I had just finished reading The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, an older book that won the Newberry in 1945. It’s an easy read, with a very powerful and touching message about friendship, peer pressure, regret, and courage; all things I wanted to teach my incoming third grader as she starts to navigate relationships at school. We read together for several nights and talked about our thoughts and feelings as we went along and I looked forward to my time on her bed each night with the Hundred dresses. It seemed appropriate it be part of our theme this year. Hallie stood up at our dinner and gave the rest of the family a summary of the book and what she learned about standing up. I hope it resonates with them. I hope the more we talk about it the more they see situations at school to “Be Kind and Stand Up.”
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme

The kids were home with me during the day and helped significantly with the decorating.
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
This has to be my favorite dinner to decorate for because it’s easiest on the pocket book – I didn’t have to spend a dime. We used some of their new school supplies and scoured the office for decor. The table donned some red checked wrapping paper and a writing roll of paper we had. This proved to be fun entertainment during dinner as pictures were drawn as we sat around and talked.
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
We got creative with placemats and found clipboards to use.
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
Life with Fingerprints: Back to School dinner; decorations and theme
The kids picked the menu which is always interesting. They have little concept as to what foods “go” together, they just throw out whatever foods they like and it’s the perfect meal for them. There was white sauce macaroni, garlic bread, sugar snap peas, finger jello and sparkling cider (they love the sparkling cider because that justifies us using the “fancy” glasses we rarely see on the table!) and sugar cookies. Whats not to love about that meal?

We went over safety information and important phone numbers. We quickly realized we had never taught Hunter our phone number and spent 5 minutes saying it to him over and over again. I think he’s got it now. Steve gave each of the kids a blessing – one of my favorite moments of the night – and each child beamed with confidence and love afterwards. There was excitement brewing and nerves creeping through and we sent them off to bed to dream of school days ahead.

Check out last year’s back to school dinner.

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