Back-to-School Tradition: A Fancy Dinner

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The Purpose:

Our Fancy Back to School Dinner allows us to come together as a family to enjoy a meal and pray for the upcoming school year. We call it a “Fancy Dinner” because it gives us a chance to set the table for a multi-course meal with real dinning ware, get dressed up and practice our manners.

Theme Verse:

Every year I pick a theme verse for our family and Mr. C leads us in a devotion specific to that theme. We discuss what it means and how we, as a family and individually, can live out that verse.

In the past we have studied the Fruits of the Spirit and The Armor of God. This year I decided on Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

It’s the same verse we are using in my MOMs group. Last year was our first year dealing with the kind of busy that comes from juggling several kids in different sports and school activities. I feel like we unintentionally put God on the back burner and I focused more on surviving. This year I want our kids to see our family priorities in action. That starts with us, the parents.

Prayer:

Mr. C opens us up in prayer. He will pray for the school year, the administration, the teachers, safety, etc. Then each kid takes a turn with their prayer request for the upcoming school year. I close by praying for each of the kids individually, by name, reiterating what they prayed for and adding in my own prayer request for them.

Having the kids pray for their upcoming school year gives us an insight on what their concerns are. It’s tough being a kid these days. Because our kids are so different they worry about different things. One might want to make friends and the other just wants more recess time. It is also important, I think, for the kids to know that their parents are praying for them.

Midsommar Dinner

The Food:

We have settled into a four course routine. We enjoy an appetizer or two (normally during or before the devotion), a salad, the main course with two sides, and of course dessert!

I haven’t nailed down our menu yet because I’m a slacker. I like to try out new recipes that allow the kids to help out in some way. You can check out last years menu here.

Remember when I told about that part of my brain that lives in make-believe land? Well, every year I have an idea of how our Fancy Back to School dinner will play out. The truth is, it isn’t as glorious as it sounds on paper. I spend the majority of the day in my apron and pajama pants trying not to ruin our dinner. During devotion we may have to scold the kids for fighting and the baby may climb all over Mr. C as he reads (or break out in a song and dance). On more than one occasion, I have compromised my idea of getting “dressed up” for just wearing something clean to the table! You get the idea. Right?

I could so easily get caught up in the details and make the day about that perfect vision in make-believe land. Instead, I have learned, that it is more important to accomplish your purpose. As long as we get together to enjoy a meal and pray for the upcoming school year, the rest is irrelevant.

Do you have any back to school or end of the Summer traditions?

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