Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back to School Family Night

Sorry once again for the long silence on the blog.  I was preparing this Back to School Family Night when I got word that my Grandma was in the hospital and not doing well.  I went ahead with the Family Night, then booked it up to St. George, Utah to be with her in the hospital.  I thought if I loaded my photos before I left, I could just add the description on my phone and show you what we did.  Unfortunately, that didn't work and I never did find a computer to use while up there.  

Finally, almost a week later, here is our Back to School night.  The idea started with just a cafeteria style dinner.  It quickly evolved to a mini day of school.
To begin with, each student was presented with a student Id.  Here is what they looked like...
I laminated the ID cards and handed them out during Home Room :0)

Our school day was divided into subjects.  Here is what we did for each subject...

Reading:  We read 

So fun.  The kids loved the stories.  Monday was the first day of school for Madison and Eli.  Madison has been doing school online from home the last two years and was horribly nervous about going back to public school.  Eli was terrified that he wouldn't know any one at the new school.  I was singing praises when both kids came home from the new charter school happy and ready for day two.  

For Language Arts we did the word search provided for free at The Activity Village, a totally fabulous website full of activities for kids.  

For Math we played a dice game.  The instructions and printables are available also through The Activity Village.  We played What's Your Number, because Emmalee could play and understand, but there are other dice games that are actually more math related on that site.  I am loven' that site!!!

Apparently the game was a hit because we had happy-dancing winners popping up all over the place :0)

Our next subject was P.E. or gym.  We all got up off our lazy bums and danced a song on Just Dance 2 for the Wii.  The kids thought this was the best.  Even Dad danced!!!  It was so funny to see him busten' the funky moves :0)

Recess was next.  I rented...
Recess: School's Out on Amazon Instant Video for $2.  We have the Roku box that allows us to watch movies on our TV that we rent or purchase online.  Totally Awesome!!!  I turned the movie on and ran to finish up our cafeteria meal.

Now, like I said the idea started with the cafeteria meal.  I went in search of the divided trays they use at school.  I guess, I was looking for the disposable trays, not plastic ones, but had no luck.  I couldn't find the milk cartons either.  That was when we turned the car around and headed over to the school.  I checked in at the office and popped into the lunch room.  The head lunch lady came over and I started to explain my strange request.  I was really just looking to purchase 5 cartons of milk and 5 lunch trays.  That darling lady gave me that, plus the little wrapped plastic utensils.  She asked me what I was going to serve.  I told her maybe baked spaghetti or something.  She said if I wanted to do a hot dog or hamburger or something she would give me ketchup and mustard packets.  I took her up on that offer with a smile.  Then she asked if I needed anything else.  Sheepishly I smiled wider and asked if I might have a hair net :0)
She walked off, and when she returned, she had a hairnet and not one, but two pairs of gloves.  Most amazingly, she wouldn't take any money for it!  What a doll.  She is officially my favorite lunch lady EVER!

OK, maybe this is my FAVORITE lunch lady :0)  but the one from the school comes in a close second!  I had Emmers come and help me load up the trays.

What a natural!

What's for dinner Lunch tonight?
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, fruit cup, chocolate milk and a peanut butter snickers for dessert.  I bought a scoop for $5 from Walmart to scoop the potatoes into that perfectly rounded mound.  I was going to make peanut butter oatmeal bars for the dessert, but trying to pack to head out of town left me a little short on time. 

That dinner was a HUGE hit!  The kids were so impressed they thought we should have school lunch EVERY night.

Dad even liked it.  He was just amazed that I tracked down the trays and the milk.  I think it is cute he still gets surprised by how crazy I am.  You would think after 15 years together he would know better than to put anything past me :0)

I also planned Science: Diet Coke and Mentos
and Art: playing School Pictionary but I was getting anxious to get on the road.  We saved those activities for next time, and Madison and I took off for Grandma.

We sat there in grandma's hospital room with my awesome cousins and Herculean Aunt, basically leaving only to eat or use the restroom.  We teased Grandma, held her hand, kissed her, and gently dripped water into her mouth with a straw.  We laughed and cried, and eventually...finally... said goodbye to my sweet grandma.  She passed away on Thursday night after a very terrifying struggle.  I have to say, she had the best care I have EVER had privilege to witness.  She was in the Intermountain Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George.  I have spent a good amount of time in hospitals and care facilities, including the Mayo Hospital, and I have never seen staff as kind and compassionate as those that assisted Grandma and our family.  I will forever be grateful for the love I felt there as we went through such a terrible time.  

My Grandma taught me many things throughout my life, to love, to be good, that life is worth dressing up for.  My very first sewing project was started and completed seated in front of her own sewing machine, Grandma sitting by my side.  I still pull out my Cabbage Patch blanket she made for me when I was little.  There is something about wrapping that labor of love around my body that calms my troubled heart.  I don't like to get this personal on the blog, but Grandma was so much of who I have become.  I am thankful for Grandmas everywhere, loven' on little ones all through their lives.  What fabulous evidence that our Father in Heaven really does love us...He gave us Grandmas.  


  1. What a fun family night. I am soooo glad you were able to say goodbye to your grandma before she passed. She sounds like she was a wonderful and if she's anything like you (which sounds like she is) then I know she was!

  2. Sorry for your loss...glad your Grandma had such wonderful care. Thankful, she leaves behind a wonderful granddaughter who shares her talent, adventures and humor with us...


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