Thursday, September 08, 2011

Back To School Eve

Tuesday night was our Annual "Back To School Eve" family dinner party. It's a tradition I started a few years back when the girls were both going to be in preschool for the first time. Matt and I really like to make this night fun and exciting. We want our kids to grow up knowing we thing school is important, respected, and something to celebrate! I also think it's a great way to take away those first day jitters.

Last year's decorations were very neutral, classy and vintage. So this year I decided to get a little more colorful and whimsical, but still keep the vintage. 'Cause I love vintage! Here's what I came up with.

I used yellow chevron fabric for the table cloth and made a table runner out of old book pages. I just sewed a zigzag stitch down the middle of a bunch of pages positioned every which way. It was easier than it looks! For centerpieces, I took hardcover books off our shelves and tied them with twine. I also filled turquoise Ball jars with white roses from our yard and some sunflowers. Then I put apples and votive candles around the books and flowers. 

The turquoise and yellow window frames hang outdoors year round. To "school" up our normal look, I made a burlap bunting and added alphabet flash cards with clothes pins.

I glittered a World Map with our Family Theme for the 2011-2012 school year. Part of our tradition is to come up with a new theme every year. These next 9 months, we are excited to focus on the sentiment that Being You goes hand in hand with Believing in Yourself! 

Each person's place was set with a yellow cloth napkin tied with alphabet bias tape and a #2 pencil. I printed our menu onto old library cards and set them on the napkins.

For "favors" each child received a black and white Composition book and a cello bag filled with cut up book pages, a glue stick, erasers, taffy, and a little vintage toy. 

Part of our family tradition as well, are the CROWNS! Each year, I make the kids different ones. I went with felt again this time, since the kids loved them so much last year. 

Each year, we go around the table and discuss things the kids are anticipating in the upcoming school year - as well as ways they think they can live out our Family Theme. (Notice everyone has wet hair, as I had to drag them out of the pool to eat dinner. We've had a heat wave this week!)

Megan is wondering who will be in her class. She is very excited to have the same lunch and recess times as her sister and is looking forward to making a diorama and going on field trips! She thinks she can best "be Megan" by being a good friend to everyone.

Molly hopes she'll get the same teacher as Megan had last year. She is also excited for field trips and looks forward going to the computer lab. She wants to do cheer after school with Megan and wonders if 1st grade homework will be harder than Kindergarten. She thinks she can best "be Molly" by working hard and being helpful to her teacher. 

Wyatt is excited to play on the playground! He's still grasping the concept that it will be the same school - but a different classroom and teacher and probably some new friends. He says he thinks he can best "be Wyatt" by doing art (this kid loves to color!)
(Yes. I let him paint his fingernails. HIMSELF! His toenails are turquoise blue.)

For dinner we had Grammie Susan's lasagna with green salad and garlic bread. 

And since I can't eat lasagna without cold milk, I thought the glass milk bottles went perfect with our old school theme!
(they are just recycled Starbucks frappachino bottles with the labels soaked off!)

After dinner, as the kids blew out the candles, I was both happy and sad that another year had commenced. It's so fun to watch them grow, but it does seem to be going by fast!!

CLICK HERE to see all our Back To School Eves


Janna said...

OH MY GOSH!!!! That is the most gorgeous, amazing family dinner party ever! I must be adopted by your family immediately!!!!

haleyv6 said...

I look forward to this blog post EVERY year. You are so creative and a wonderful mom!!! Can't wait to do this for my munchkins :)

the tichenor family said...

This is BY FAR one of my favorite traditions I have ever stumbled upon in the blog world. I love what you do for your sweet kiddos. No doubt they will cherish these memories all of their lives. I hope you don't mind me borrowing this precious celebration for our crew when the time comes! What a blessing you are as a mother! So fun, so thoughtful, so creative!!

thetwistedruffle said...

this is such a great idea! i just ran across it somewhere else just the other day, and i hope to do something fun like this next year! i love your table runner. i've never seen one like that and it's awesome!

i just love your blog too!!

Heather :: AFD Jewelry :: said...

Erin, you've outdone yourself!! Evey single detail is perfection and SO sweet!! You are the sweetest mama and your lucky kiddos are going to have nothing but happy, happy memories!! xoxo!

Ashley said...

ERIN!!!! Oh my word!!! It is just fabulous :) You are such an awesome mom to make such wonderful memories for your babies:)
Hope you're having a good Thursday!
Are you back to being a football widow?! ;)

{} said...

love love LOVE! every single bit of it. you're one awesome mama!

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Oh my gosh, Erin...this is AWESOME!!!! Love your theme, love your decorations, love your kids! We also had our Back to School Feast on Tuesday, but it was very simple because I was still recovering from Claire's bday party. Great job, as usual...I always look forward to your Back to School eve posts!

jules ... said...

so cute, what a great idea, love it!

ragamuffinbeauties said...

This sweet gift you give to your babies will last long into their adult years! I love the fun vintage feel...making my crafty wheels churn with fun new ideas for our classroom! LOVE it! And you! XOXO

Simone Howell said...

Oh my GOSH! This is amazing!! what lucky kids you have! And such a labor of love for you. Really beautiful. Great job! LOVE that tablerunner!

Amy said...

You're at {the head of the class} with this fiesta! Gorgeous usual. You're my inspiration to start this next year when both my chickadees will be in elementary school.

Marta @ Haus of Girls said...

all I can say is WOW!
Love every detail.
You are the BEST party planner EVER!!!!

Andrea said...

such a great job you did! i look forward to reading this post each year. it inspires me to think about these things when my kids start school someday.

Mique (as in Mickey) said...

Adopt me!! NOW. LOVE it Erin!! Thanks so much for linking up to my Pity Party. Just FB'd this. xoxo

Jen said...

This is way too awesome. What lucky kids!

Tracy Rogers said...

OH-WOW! What a great idea to celebrate Back To School Eve!! I'm so doing this next year!


Jodie Mac said...

Wonderful Erin! Love the night and the documentation of it! I'm starting next year with my first going into Kindergarten... Can't wait!

Four Flights said...

Erin this is amazing. I love the decorations so much, but what I especially love is the theme for the year. Pinning this, stealing it, the whole nine yards! Can I steal your theme too?!?! XOXO you are wonderful mama!

Jacqui Marie said...

Stop. It. How the hell am I supposed to beat this?
Trying to throw something like this for my little cousin.

You. Are. Amazing.


Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke Photography said...

LOVE your theme!!!

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