Thursday, July 18, 2019

Back to School Dinner: Rise Up!


For our 2017 school year our family theme was: 
RISE UP!


A quote from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
{From THIS General Conference talk}

Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we RISE UP, dust ourselves off and move forward.


We had a RISE & SHINE menu aka breakfast for dinner and the kids LOVED it!


At the beginning of our dinner I asked my kids to write down their thoughts on what it means to RISE UP.


We then went around the table and shared our thoughts.

I showed THIS short clip and then Joe and I talked to the kids about how things aren't always going to go our way {unfortunatley!} and how we have to always RISE UP from disappointment and distraction in life.

Sometimes {ok most of the time} it's not easy - - but RISING UP makes us stronger. I shared a couple of personal experiences that related to this very topic.  

Place settings were super easy and the lemons with everyones names on them served as an object lesson.

I told each of the kids to pick up their lemon and lick it.

Their faces cringed as they did this and I told them that sometimes......life is gonna be sour - just like the lemon. 

But.....you know the saying....when life gives you lemons...you make lemonade AND MAKE THE BEST OF IT!

We also talked about the sunrise.
No matter how bad our days and nights may sometime seem....the sun will ALWAYS rise the next day. And that should bring us HOPE! 

Just like the sun RISES UP - - so should we!

Great blessings come from RISING UP and doing our best!


At each place setting I had a brown paper polka dot bag and inside of each bag was a set of vinyl for my kids.

The sun = RISE
The arrow = UP

I had the kids each pick a folder or notebook from their school supply stash to put our motto onto. 


This way....they'll have a small reminder each day of what our family motto is for the year.

I also made 2 {slightly} larger sizes for our home...


One for their bathroom mirror to see every morning and night and one for our refrigerator door.


It was such a great evening.
My kids truly look forward to these dinners. They always have fun guessing what our new theme will be each year.

I feel so blessed to be able to teach these sweet children of mine alongside of my husband.  I know that things won't always go their way and sometimes...they might not make the choices in life that I want them to.  I do however, pray with all my heart that they'll always remember these basic principles that we teach them in our home - - and I hope that that will carry them thru life.

Afterall:

"The way we talk to our children, becomes their inner voice."
-Peggy O'Mara

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

To recreate this dinner:

I'm offering 3 printables for FREE right here on my blog...

Theme HERE
Menu HERE
Worksheet HERE

In my Etsy Shop right now I'm offering my RISE UP banner HERE and my RISE UP vinyl stickers HERE.

Please let me know if you have any questions! 
xoxo

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Back to School Dinner Idea: The ROCK.

School starts next week for us and I've been busying planning our annual Back to School family dinner.

I'm SO excited about this year's theme.
I can't WAIT to share ALL of the details with you next week!

For the rest of this week I'll be sharing ideas from years past.
  
Enjoy and please let me know if you have any questions about how to DO one of these!  It's super simple and just takes a little bit of prep on your part but the lasting effects with your children and what they take from it are priceless!

{Yes, even though I'll have a high schooler, middle schooler and elementary schooler this year...they STILL get excited!}


The theme we chose for our 2018-19 school year comes from a scripture in 


"And now, my sons, remember, remember that is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."


These are critical years for our children.

I feel, more so now than ever, that our kids are about to face temptations and challenges like we can't even begin to imagine.

I'm a firm believer that you can't shelter your kids from these things. I wish like crazy you could...but you just can't!  

No matter what school they go to...
what activities they choose...
who they hang around with...
they will eventually face adversity.  

It's just a matter of fact.

I'm also a firm believer in TEACHING our children IN OUR HOME what is RIGHT...and what is WRONG.  

I hope with ever fiber of my being, that my kids will REMEMBER the things that they've been taught in our home.

That they'll REMEMBER why it's SO important to CHOOSE THE RIGHT. 

 And that they'll REMEMBER that is upon our Savior Jesus Christ that WE AS A FAMILY choose to build our foundation.

Because...our Savior Jesus Christ is OUR ROCK!


Because of all of this...I chose to do a ROCK themed dinner.
{I'm all about the symbolism, puns...you name it. 
 Anything to help them REMEMBER!}


Each place setting had a large rock on it with each member of the family's name on the front - - and a scriptural reference of our theme on the back.



{When our dinner was over I had the kids place these in their bedrooms on their nightstands as a daily reminder.}

I also filled clear plastic tubes with chocolate ROCK candy and placed them by their utensils.

Our menu for the evening was:



I'm all about the daily reminders in life and so I made up a set of vinyls and allowed the kids to choose where they wanted to place it in our home.  I told them that it needed to be a place where we could all see it daily.




They chose the garage door in our laundry room.
{Last year, they chose their bathroom mirror and our refrigerator}.


I even made up ROCKS for Joe and I.
Joe took his to work yesterday and put it on his desk.
I placed mine on my nightstand.

Because...PARENTS NEED THIS REMINDER TOO!

A couple of other things worth mentioning about our theme:

I found and showed a couple of short video clips explaining the importance of this scripture.  I starred the ones I showed. They can be found here:





I also stressed the fact that in this scripture...it doesn't say....IF the devil shall send forth his mighty winds.

It says WHEN.

I wanted my kids to be warned that temptation can and WILL happen.  And that they NEED to be ready by REMEMBERING where their foundation has been built.


I love these children of ours.
Oh. So. Much!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

DETAILS on how to replicate this dinner:

My 8x10 THEME and MENU can be downloaded for FREE!

Theme HERE
Menu HERE

You can find....

Rock vinyls HERE
Name // Scripture vinyls HERE





Monday, July 15, 2019

This Weekend:

* Friday morning began at the high school.

YES.....I said HIGH SCHOOL and I can hardly believe it.


I have a FRESHMAN this year!!!
Class of 2023? What the heck?!?

A) When did I get so old and B) How did this happen so fast?

Grant had his 'Bear Down' {whatever that means?} Day and got his schedule and was able to walk around the campus and check out where all of his classes were going to be.  

He's so nervous and my momma heart is nervous FOR him!
I know he'll do GREAT things though.
That first day IS just nerve racking...for EVERYONE involved! 

* Afterwards, I had promised each of the kids a day to themselves with me so we could do a little school shopping + one on one lunch.  

In true Grant and Carson form....they wanted to go TOGETHER.  It melts my heart that they love spending so much time together.  You couldn't have paid me to bring along one of my siblings when it was one on one time with my parents.
😳😂

* We shopped for school clothes...


{This is what Carson thinks about Grant starting high school.}


.....and shoes.
{I'm pretty sure we ALL should've bought stock in VANS}


And then the boys got to pick our spot for lunch.

I'm not a huge fan of In and Out.
I know, I know...everyone LOVES it but I think I've finally discovered why I don't like it so much...


I feel like their actual hamurger patty is SO thin and you end up finishing it way before the bun and all the veggies.  
It's never an even eat - ya know what I mean?
😂😂😂
{Yes, I recognize I'm a weirdo}.

* We picked up Cubby afterwards from the groomer...


Fresh NEW DO with a bandana to boot! 
Doesn't he look sharp?

* Joe brought home take-out Friday night from one of our favorite taco spots...Elmer's!


Of course 20/20 and Dateline were involved with our Friday night activities as well...because I mean....come on!

* We spent part of our Saturday at the temple.


I'll never stop gushing about how much I love this place.
I had a specific prayer answered while we were in there that day and I wouldn't trade my time spent in there for ANYTHING! I always feel like a better person when I leave and who doesn't need that?!

* Saturday night we had a fun FIESTA for our dear friend who just turned 50!
{Try saying that 10 times in a row!}



SUCH a fun time.
Thank you Buist's for inviting us!!

* Churchey-church on Sunday.


I LOVE this whole entire quote, but ESPECIALLY that last line.

* We headed to Joe's brother's house for Sunday dinner with the Coombs fam.


We had a yummy burrito bar {complete with Carolina's tortillas!} and it was so fun to get together and catch up on everyone's previous summer vacations.

* * * I just realized after typing all of this that I basically ate mexican food the ENTIRE weekend and I am AOK with that! 
😂😂😂💃

Friday, July 12, 2019

Utah Day 8.

Sadly, day 8 was our last and final day in Utah.
Coming back to the heat in AZ is never any fun so we really tried to live it up big.

We had kolaches for breakfast...


Why have these not caught on in AZ?
THEY ARE SO GOOD!!!

My kids played with the little kids...



And then we took the most gorgeous drive up into the mountains of Heber.



Our friends humored us and let us stop at the big patch of snow up there.  My kids NEVER see snow so this was BIG!


We had so much fun tooling around together on the bumpy roads.  It was windy and chilly and oh so refreshing.


We left the kids at home around dinner time and headed into Park City for a date night.


We ate at a spot called Billy Blanco's and it was DEE-lish!
{They even served a cilantro ranch dip with their chips and salsa.  GENIUS!}


Their fried chicken and mashed potatoes were bomb-diggity.
It was SO MUCH FOOD!


Back at the house we lit off some fireworks to finish off the evening.  Nothing quite like 2 grown men trying to get some fireworks to go off. 
😂

Oh! I almost forgot....how darling is this front porch?!?


Isn't that the absolute CUTEST with that mint green door?
It was the house across the street from my friends' house and I could not get enough of it!

THANK YOU Lori and Adam for another memorable stay.


We LOVE hanging out with you guys.
It's so nice to just always pick up right where we left off - - even if it has been a couple of years.

We can't WAIT for you to come and visit us this fall!