After what was possibly the most odd/frustrating/unnerving summers ever, we started back to school today.
One of my favorite parts of homeschooling is being able to declare any day I wish a class-party day. And the first day of school always seems to be worthy of a tiny celebration, even if we've only taken two weeks off!
In our front yard is a beautiful flowering crabapple tree. The kids named it "The Treat Tree" while in kindergarten because while inedible to us, the bird & squirrels seem to think that the tiny crabapples are a wonderful treat. But once a year on the first day of school, I turn the tree into the backdrop for a special treat for my kids.
From its branches I hung a tiny banner made from gingham & ricrack. Then underneath the tree, I set out our little card table with a matching gingham tablecloth. For a centerpiece, I took alphabet fridge magnets & tucked them into a mason jar full of sunflowers.
Lunch this year was grilled cheese sandwiches, mixed veggies, caramel-covered apple slices, (I use fat-free ice cream topping... it pours so well, is great for double-dipping, AND lower in fat & calories!!!) and an extra special bottle of chocolate milk. I surprised the kids this year with thrifted vintage school lunch-trays. They LOVED them and were absolutely ecstatic to learn that they were dishwasher safe so we can use them every day!
HERE and they were so easy to put together!
Usually we eat lunch inside without any kind of ceremony but the kids really seem to like our first-day picnic. For the past month I've been being asked "We ARE gonna have a special lunch this year, RIGHT?!?" I had considered skipping it this year since both kids are in high-school and I didn't want to embarrass them, but after being asked several times by BOTH kids - well, I just couldn't NOT plan something special.
This is one tradition I'm glad we've kept up.