Back to School

I'm sure by now, many of you have heard of the terrible airplane crash that befell Nie of the Nie Nie dialogues. I have been following her blog for a while, it is beautiful, and I love her ideas. I was deeply saddened when I learned of the accident. Even though I don't know her personally, I feel a connection. We share the same faith, the same number of children that are similar in ages, and the same love of life. It has been wonderful to see how the blogging community has rallied around her and her family during this difficult time. So when Gabrielle from one of my favorite blogs, Design Mom, designated today as Nie Nie day, I thought I'd join in.

Since I now have two kiddos in school, I was looking for a fun new tradition to send them off in style. I planned this back to school dinner for my kiddos after seeing Nie's post about a similar dinner she had for her girls. I waited to post about it until today so that I could make it a part of Nie Nie day. (Give credit where credit is due, I always say.)

So on to the festivities...

I love pennant banners, so I made this cute one out of scrapbook paper and raffia. It's hard to tell what it says in these photos...even though I took pictures of it from all different angles...but it says "happy first day". I cut the triangles out of 12 x 12 paper (I was able to get 3 out of each piece). Then I printed out the letters and cut them out in circles (boy, it really made me wish that I had one of those giant circle craft punches or a scrapbook circle cutter.) Finally, I punched holes in each flag and tied them with raffia. It turned out really cute!

I don't know about you all, but the beginning of the school year always feels more like a new beginning to me than the real beginning of the year in January. So, borrowing another idea from Nie, the Hubby and I decided to introduce a new family theme. Our theme for this year is "kindness begins with me". And as long as I was stealing, ahem, I mean borrowing ideas, I decided to make a similar table top banner to the one she made. I used a piece of ribbon that coordinated with the pennants, and some sticky letters to spell out the theme.

Finally, I'm all about paper crafts, so when I saw this cute little idea in this month's Family Fun magazine, I was all over it! I used the leftover paper to make these tiny three dimensional stars. They added a really fun look to the table - and they were easy-peasy!

Our menu was not overly fancy, but consisted of some of my kids favorites...parmesan chicken, lemon pudding salad, and a green salad (not their favorite, but necessary to get in those vegies!)

After dinner I presented the kids with new backpacks full of school supplies AND their nifty new clipboards! It was so much fun! And by the end of dinner, the kids were EXCITED to go back to school! This will definitely become a new tradition at our house.

For those of you that saw yesterday's post...did you "spy" the baby food jar votives and the chalkboard? Yes, I really do use them ;-)

And look at this! As I was cleaning up after dinner I put the little stars in this jar...don't they look cute? I think I'm going to leave them like this.

Thanks Nie for all of your wonderful ideas! I wish you and your husband a speedy and successful recovery. I know many of the blogs participating in today's Nie Nie day are offering silent auctions with the proceeds going to the Nielson family recovery fund so I urge you to check them out! Gabrielle at Design Mom also has links you can use to find other ways to help the Nielson family. Thanks for visiting!

Update: It came to my attention that the link to the clipboards I made for the kids wasn't working earlier...I have fixed the problem. ;-)


Darlene said...

What a cute theme and banner for the school year. I love the little stars you made and they look adorable in the jar! What a fun idea!

I haven't heard of that family but I will be keeping them in my thoughts and is amazing that they even survived a plane crash.

Little Sweethearts said...

I found your post through the list on Design Mom. Since learning about the Nielsons I have scrolled through so many of Nie's post and I remember seeing the table banner.

I love the theme you chose.


Anonymous said...

Found your blog thru Design Mom. I thought the back-to-school dinner was such a beautiful idea when I saw it on NieNie Dialogues, and I think you're wonderful for carrying on the tradition. When I have kids of my own, I'll definitely do this, too! I also think your family motto could not be more wonderful. I'm inspired!

Likely said...

darling! Nie would be proud.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Your kids are so lucky to have such a great beginning-of-the-year celebration! I love your ideas! :) As for NieNie, I had not heard of her blog, but thanks for the heads up...I will check it out and say a prayer for her recovery.

Kendra@My Insanity said...

You did a beautiful job! I'm sure Nie would approve! What a great note to start the school tear on. Maybe I'll join year.

Love the banner!

Immeasurably More Mama said...

Oh, my goodness! I love your blog!!! I found you on Organizing Junkie. I'm adding you to my list of blogs to read. Thanks for all of the creative and oh, so stylish ideas!

Shell in your Pocket said...

Right now, I wish my kids had not started school already b/c Your Back To School Idea is truly the best and so creative. I even emailed my girlfriend and told her to check it out! I was scrolling down your the toile tin star! So cute.
Sandy Toes at
p.s. what were the clipboards?

Bridget said...

Oh, wow! I just found your blog, too! I love it! I can't wait to have some quiet time with a cup of tea and look at everything! Great ideas! :)

Lisa Marie said...

I just love crafty stuff beautiful photos,,your blog is lovely, Lisa

Sun and Sea said...

I've just discovered your blog and love the things you make, Could you describe how these are made as I live in Australia and that magazine isn't available here.

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