Friday, July 21, 2017

Back to School Dinner Ideas {2013}

2013 was our first ever Family Back to School Dinner and I think that's why it's so special to me. 

Joe and I spent a lot of time thinking about that year's theme.  

We knew that we wanted to create a MOTTO based around a SCRIPTURE VERSE and this is the one that we chose:

Joe taught a little lesson about being STRONG and COURAGEOUS.
We wanted the kids to recognize that WHEREVER and WHATEVER  they did this year...
the Lord was going to be with them.

We showed THIS cute video clip about what it means to be a TRUE hero.
It exemplifies Captain Moroni and explains COURAGE and STRENGTH.
{AND brings a tear to your eye too}.

{The video has a second part to it as well}.

I wanted to give the kids a little present for the evening...
 Something to remind them throughout the year of our Family Motto.  

I decided on making them keychains to hang on their backpacks.
{And when I say 'make' I mean...
I bought everything and my talented friend Chanda put it all together for me}.

Each charm on the keychain symbolizes something from our motto.
Each charm is also something we talked about that evening as well.

Lion - represents Daniel in the Lion's Den.
Daniel had COURAGE.

The Color RED - stands for COURAGE.

2013 - the year

ARROW - the arrow used by Captain Moroni to defeat Zerahemnah.

{Joe also pointed out that ARROWS are STRAIGHT and NARROW.  Just like arrows..we encourage or kids to stay on the STRAIGHT and NARROW path in life..and not be swayed by temptation.}

Each keychain also included the charm from a childrens story...representing someone who had to show COURAGE and STRENGTH.

 It was SO fun watching how excited my kids were when we placed these on their backpacks for the year. 

I decorated our kitchen table and family room with printables found online from HERE and HERE.

We served spaghetti with meatballs {the kids' favorite!}....

....and we toasted the new school year with some bubbly Gingerale.

I printed out the scripture myself and then purchased a 
RED {for courage} frame.

We placed it on one of the bookshelves in our family room where we could see it ALL the hopes of always remembering what our motto was for that year.  

We also challenged the kids to memorize this scripture as well, which we worked on throughout our Family Home Evenings that year.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Back to School Dinner Ideas {2015}

Our 2015 Back to School Dinner + Motto was the year of the BE. Or BEE {depending on how you looked at it๐Ÿ˜œ}.

Our main focus was on

Be Grateful
Be Smart
Be Clean 
Be True
Be Humble
Be Prayerful
Be Positive 
Be Still
Be Involved

{The last 3 B's were added a couple of years later from Pres. Hinckley -- and they might just be my favorite!}

Each month of that year - our family focused on a different 'BE'.

Our Family Home Evening lessons were centered around each topic.  {For example: August = Be Grateful; 
September = Be Smart; October = Be Clean...and so on}.

In an effort to easily help remind my kids about our theme - - I added a bumble BEE themed twist to it all.

Because Be = Bee. 

Our dinner for the evening either had the sound BEE in it or...honey.  

{Except for the rice. I had nothin' for that one}.

My kids gobbled it up.

Oh - - and if you're wondering what a BumbleBEE Brownie sundae entails ===

It's pretty much just a brownie sundae with yellow sprinkles and black and yellow M&Ms.

I decorated the kitchen table with striped wrapping paper from Hobby Lobby. 
I used yellow cardstock for the placemats.

I filled Mason jars with Honeycomb cereal and topped em off with bright yellow flowers.

My kids thought it was SO cool that they got to eat those 4 pieces of cereal BEFORE their meal.
{Chuckle. It's the little things, right?}

While our chicken was cooking on the BEE-B-Q - I had them each fill out one of these sheets - - -

I told them to focus on FIVE things this year that they wanted to BE{E} or ACCOMPLISH.

While we ate our dinner, we went around the table and shared our lists.

{I love that London says she wants BE 7. Haha}

I'll hold onto these sheets now and halfway through the school year, we'll pull them out and see how we are measuring up with our lists.

My framed 8x10 printable hung on the back of our front door all year - - for all of us to see each time we went up or down our stairs. 

We always like to give something to the kids to keep in their rooms as well - - to serve as another reminder - - 

I made up these smaller prints and found the frames at Hobby Lobby. 
They have their own little easel stand on the back.

 It was such a fun night.
We ended the evening by Joe giving
 the kids their Father's Blessings.  
{Father's Blessings = THIS}.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Back to School Dinner Ideas {2014}.

This weekend we'll hold our annual 
Coombs Family Back to School Dinner.

This has quickly become a family favorite tradition of ours.

Our Back to School Dinners are a time to:

* Reflect upon the new year.

* Chat about upcoming events - - what we're excited about - - what we're nervous about


* Discuss our new family motto for the school year 
{decided upon by Joe and I prior to the dinner} 

Because I'm preparing for THIS year's dinner now {School starts MONDAY!}...I've decided to share some of our dinners from years past for the rest of the week.

Today I'm sharing our 'LETTUCE' themed dinner from 2014.


Decorations were quite simple:

*I used Kraft paper for the table covering
{which served as a dual purpose. More on that later….}

*12 x 12 striped scrapbook paper for the placemats

*Mini chalkboard signs purchased at Michaels, 
stuck right into an apple for place cards
*Mini kraft bags with TomKat labels as utensil holders

We served my kids' favorite meal:

Spaghetti with meatballs, green salad and french bread


Joe was in charge of coming up with our family motto this year and he based it off of THIS 10 minute video clip from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

{Such a sweet message. It's an anti-bullying video with narrative from Pres. Uchtdorf.  At the end, he says our motto and as soon as Joe and I heard these words - - 
we just KNEW we had to imply it into our daily lives.}

We told the kids a couple of personal experiences that had to do with this very subject and then encouraged them to work on EACH of the things listed in our motto:

Speaking PEACEFULLY to one another
Doing GOOD to everyone around us

Now if you know me - you know I love a good pun.
Mainly because, puns can serve as a REMINDER of sorts about something you've learned. 

Hence, the head of lettuce in these green vases with our 
'Let Us/Lettuce' theme.
{P.S. These cute vases were scored on clearance last week at Hobby Lobby for $2.28!}

These now sit in our kids' bedrooms 
as a reminder of our motto.

The other half of our dinner was spent coming up with
 ONE WORD that each of us wanted to BE this year.

The kids each wrote theirs down on the tablecloth/paper….

and then we cut them out. 
They now hang on their bathroom mirror as a reminder of what they want to BE this year.


It was SO fun watching the kids think about and then decide upon THEIR one word. 

I sure do love these kids of mine.
And my sweet husband.

Our family brings me SO. MUCH. JOY.

Oh and one more thing - - 


Our framed motto {used as the centerpiece at dinner} 
then hung for the year on the back of our front door as YET another daily reminder to think about and never forget what we discussed.