Monday, July 27, 2009

Oh The Places You'll Go! Back to School Dinner

The Evening: School is starting. To my little ones, this annual ritual is fraught with some nervousness but mostly excitement. They must have at least a few token new outfits, a new backpack, and we shop the sales for all the crayons, pencils, sharpeners, glue-sticks, and markers we will need for the year. So many musts. . . so many rushing preparations. We took an hour or two to stop, to ponder, to dream, and to mark the passing of another ritual, the upcoming first day of school. We invited some friends who were also starting school (with year round,some friends start a month later).


  • A dollar store sign greeted our guests and will stay up till after the first week of school.
  • Tables set up in the library were covered in brown paper. Problems of various skill levels were drawn all over the paper waiting to be solved by the guests of honor. Self adhesive alphabet name tape for desks ($ store) lined the edges, while crayons, colored pencils, and markers tied in smart blue ribbons marched down the center of the table.
  • A hall pass ($ store) hung by the door for bathroom runs.
  • Name tags ($ store)

  • Brown bagged lunches included all the packaged foods kids love so much, fruit kabobs, ham salad sandwiches, and zebra doodles.

  • Each child was given an Honor roll certificate ($ store) filled out by Mom to honor the accomplishments of the past year. One by one we honored them and presented their certificates with a ribboned school supply.
  • We read Oh, the Places You'll Go. Must READ. Really. The adults liked it better than the kids.
  • Each person, including the adults made a page for our "Places You'll Go this Coming Year" Book. Some drew pictures, others simply wrote their plans.
  • Played the Game Oh the Places You'll Go which is great for thinking about the future and life possibilities.
Today there is only one because who can't make a decent brown bag lunch?

Lunch Bag Zebra Doodles:

Snickerdoodles (purchased or home made)
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2-3 ounces Carmel topping
4 ounces chocolate chips

In small bowl, mix cream cheese with caramel topping. Frost on half the bottom of half of the snickerdoodles, cover with the other half. Microwave chocolate for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Dip sandwich cookies in melted chocolate. Place on rack to drip dry. Can place in the refrigerator to cool quickly.
Favorite Snickerdoodle Recipe
This recipe is made with butter instead of shortening. This makes it soft and chewy but with a better flavor.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter for 30 seconds. Fold in sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat well. Add half of the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Beat until thoroughly combined. Fold in remaining flour mixing thoroughly. Cover and chill 1 hour. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into balls and roll balls in cinnamon, sugar mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-11 minutes.

Loved the evening. It got me thinking about new starts and my goals as well as thrilled the kids. My friends were a complete delight as usual. Great way to spend the evening!!!!


  1. way to celebrate at the dinner table!

  2. What a fun evening! You always make it special and fun for your family. I hope they know how lucky they are to have such wonderful dinners. What a dull life your husband would have without you.