Four and a half years ago I became familiar with the ever popular blog the NieNie Dialogues. Since that time, I have enjoyed reading about Stephanie Nielsen and her family, and I've even taken to adopt some of her traditions for my own family. The Back-to-School feast is one such idea I gleaned from her posts, and we have done it ever since. It has become a special celebration to signal the end of summer and welcome in the new school year with recommitted purpose.
On the Monday before the first day of school, we enjoy a formal meal, complete with china and real silverware. Jason and I talk to our children and express our expectations for the upcoming school year. We introduce a scripture that we hope will become a guide to inspire the choices our children make when they are away from our direct influence at school. This year the scripture of choice teaches, "Arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things..." This is a message that really resonated with me because I am recognizing that as my children grow older, they are capable of living up to the expectation of being men, or, as I like to encourage them, gentlemen. More than anything, I hope for them to develop a strong sense of unity and commitment to each other and their family. (Only time will tell if any of that message got through all of the goofing-off and disobedient behavior that was displayed at times during our discussion.)
After dinner and our lesson, each of the boys were given a father's blessing as Brevin and Spencer prepare for another school year, and Garrett prepares for the start of preschool. Not to be left out, Ella climbed in the chair and insisted that she, too, have a blessing.
Before I knew it, it was time to send my children off for school and place them in the primary care of their new teachers. I am excited for them as the begin a new chapter in their lives.
Here is Brevin on the first day of 4th grade. His teacher is Mrs. Wride.
Here is Spencer on the first day of 2nd grade. His teacher is Miss Winkel.
They attend Art City Elementary School and the school mascot is the eagle.
On the first morning, the halls were buzzing with children's excited
chattering. Even the teachers looked happy to start a new year.
While I'm not sure how many more years these boys will tolerate a photo
at their classroom desk, I am glad they still seem happy to let me do it.
This post authored by Amber