Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Our Back to School Feast

The first day of school has always been a big deal for us here at Shenanigans Inc., but over the past two years we have taken it up a notch.  What was once a simple cake and a belting out of  "Happy School Days to You" (sung to the tune of Happy Birthday) has become a full-blown feast thanks to one of my favourite bloggers Nie Nie.  She has the best ideas, and I love stealing them!

The first thing I had to do was figure out the evening's menu, and this took some time because I knew it had to be something special but also something that could be whipped up between our homeschool lessons and piano lessons.  Well, I did it, and, thankfully even though it was not lobster as Elliot had requested, the kids were thrilled.  Everything was made from scratch except for the mozzarella sticks, which I bought from M&M Meats.

The kids did not find out what I was making until they read their menus.

Then I had to come up with our theme for the year.  This year I chose a quotation from the book "Stand For Something" by Gordon B. Hinckley, one of the past presidents of our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

"Work is the miracle by which talent is brought to the surface and dreams
become reality . . . The process of stretching our minds and utilizing the skills of our hands lifts us from the stagnation of mediocrity.”
-President Gordan B. Hinckley

I chose this quotation because 1) I love the line: "stagnation of mediocrity".  Doesn't that just make you want to get up off the couch and do something with your life?  LOVE IT!  And 2) because Mr. Level-Headed and I always stress to our kids that God has blessed them each with unique talents and it is their responsibility to seek them out and to nurture them.  I also love how this quotation points out that talent is only part of the recipe, and that you need to work hard to get what you want in this life.  Dreams can come true if you are willing to put the work into it.  Yes, us Mormons do believe that life can be all sunshine and unicorns.  Aren't we annoying?  Tee hee!

Then I found some scriptures to enhance our theme.

“Neglect not the gift that is in thee . . .”
(1 Tim 4:14)

“For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.”
(D&C 46:11)

“Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known”
(D&C 60:13)

And proudly displayed it as our centre-piece.

Okay, do you love my candelabra or what?  Funny story:  When I was a little girl, I went on a shopping trip with my Allie (my mom's mom), and I begged her to buy this candelabra. She asked, "Krista, what am I ever going to do with it?".  To which, I responded: "Use it for our Christmas dinners, and when you die, give it to me because I really want it!".  As a testament of just how awesome my Allie was and how much she really loved me, she did buy it, and sure enough, when she passed away, it became mine.  Thanks, Allie!  I miss you.

Anyhoo (as I wipe away my tears . . . sorry about that) . . .

I also made smaller versions of our theme, laminated them, and gave one to each of the kids as keepsakes for the year.  I am such a geek! 

Although the theme is always my highlight of the evening, the kids' highlight was having their very own can of pop!

Even Zoe was excited for our feast to begin!

Beautiful like her mama . . . I can't stop myself!

Poor Avery was having a hard time waiting for Mr. Level-Headed to finally sit down and offer a blessing on our meal.

In spite of my countless attempts to make this a fancy affair with civilized discussion, there were plenty of shenanigans going on at the table

A little chicken drippings in one's hair never hurts . . .
What am I going to do with these two?!

Finally, it was time for dessert.  Zoe had made the cake the night before, and Avery decorated it.  I have the best kids!

Mmm  . . . rainbow cake.

Then Avery provided the accompaniment to "Happy School Days":

Really?  Is it too much to ask for just one night of civility?

tee hee!

Here's to another fantabulous school year from your friends at Shenanigans Inc.!

Happy school year to you . . . cha cha cha

Happy school year to you . . . cha cha cha

Happy school year

Happy school year

Happy school year to you  . . . cha cha cha!


  1. I love it! I especially loved the theme. It's a good thing there are people like you (and Nie Nie) to steel good ideas from. You know, for the rest of us "uninventive" people out there.

  2. Wow! What a night to remember. I especially like the cake Zoe made. Looks DELICIOUS!