Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to School!

My how the summer flew this year. But I seem to find myself saying that every year. I guess when you are having fun, time does pass faster.

This year I have four boys in four different schools. Skyler, my oldest is attending the University (darn, no back to school photos of him!), Bryce is a senior at the high school, Taylor is a freshman at the middle school, and McKay is a big 6th grader at the intermediate school.

Here are some shots of the first day of school last week:

McKay ready to tackle a new school.

Taylor just ready to tackle. He is anxious to get the day over with so he can go to football practice.

Bryce the big senior this year.
I shot this as he was leaving...his last first day of school.

McKay and Taylor ready to cruise.

In keeping with tradition, we had our annual Back to School dinner last week. I have been doing this for at least 10 years or more. The night of the first day of school I prepare a cafeteria style meal complete with a typical cafeteria style menu.

First I make a tablecloth out of the large paper that comes on rolls. I find it at our UPS store. I buy about three yards of black. Then I place it on the table and use chalk to write on it, so it resembles a chalk board. I write all kinds of math problems, science formulas, anything that will impress my boys. Hee-hee. They are always blown away that I know things like e=mc2 (squared). I always put some heavy duty (at least to me) algebra and geometry problems on it now. When they were little, I just put the basic 2+2=4 and the abc's etc.

I found some real cafeteria trays years ago and so we get them out each year. I pull up my hair (I've always said I was going to get a hair net to wear, but still haven't done that!) Then I always put on an apron (something I rarely ever wear) and occasionaly I will wear rubber gloves.

I make lunch tickets for the boys and they have to give them to me before they get their food or it's no dinner.

I try and make the meal as cafeteria-ish as possible. Our typical menu consists of:

  • Meatloaf (which is the best part of the meal because I do make a mean meatloaf)
  • Lumpy mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Canned peas (yes canned! - ooooh such yummy little morsels that we all love! Bleh!)
  • Fruit Cocktail (also canned...mmm!)
  • Rolls (my school's rolls were pretty good and so these are allowed to be yummy too)
  • Chocolate cake made with zucchini (at least I use zucchini - MY school added sauerkraut to our cake....TRUE STORY!)
  • Cartons of milk (choice of regular or chocolate)

    Basically I try and make it as unappetizing as possible. Ya know, like the real school lunch. I have some great shots over the years of my boys pulling all kinds of faces at the non-palatable peas and mysterious tidbits in the cake.
    Oh, I just LOVE doing this each year! I have such a great time watching them turn up their noses and be all picky. If nothing else, it makes them appreciate my real cooking much more that's for sure!

Here is the tablecloth

Me getting ready to "dish" it up...hee-hee!
The delectable meal...mmm...mmm....MMMMM!

Bryce already looking sick (actually he really was this year - but not from this food ---not yet anyway!)

No thanks, I don't want any peas please.

Sorry boys, you have to take everything!

I think the lunch lady is having waaaaaay too much fun!

"Oh no, not those too!"

Looks like even the 'principal' supports school lunch.

Bon appetit!

Can I go out to recess now???

Smiles? Finally!!!

I downloaded some photos from a few of our past Back to School dinners.

Here's Taylor....looking very hungry!

Don't you love the faces on these boys! (They are trying to figure out what is in the cake)

"Can I bring "home lunch" next year???"

This was taken when Skyler was on his mission. Bet he wasn't eating any better out there!

McKay handing over his lunch ticket.

"Do I have to Mom?"

Trying not to think about it.

Tyson. I love this picture!!! It pretty much says it all!

"I am going to shove all this inside my milk carton when the lunch lady isn't looking!"

"At least the chocolate milk is edible."

Click to enlarge this one.....
The lunch lady caught some peas flying across the room this year.

This is one of my all time favorite photos of Tyson.

Click to enlarge ...
"We ate it and lived to tell about it!!!"

I am playing this today instead of Friday because it went so well with my post.

1. How far in advance do you start getting ready for back-to-school (whether for your own kids, or for yourself when you were in school)? I start as soon as I see things on sale. Sometimes I buy things on clearance even a year before.

2. Do you have any picky eaters who need special considerations for lunches? Not currently, but Tyson was as picky as they come. What does a typical bagged lunch look like in your house? My boys usually have hot lunch, but when they need to take a sack lunch it consists of a sandwich, chips, some kind of treat (cupcake or cookies), a Gogurt, a drink, and even though they don't usually eat it, I always throw in some mini carrots or some kind of fruit. It just makes me feel like a better mom. lol

3. What school supply items do you skimp on and what are you willing to shell out the big bucks for? Generally I shell out the most $$$ on shoes.

4. Do you get your kids up, or do they get up on their own? Any snooze-hitters that have trouble waking up? How about the opposite, any kids that are up at the crack of dawn? Taylor is so responsible and always wakes himself up. In fact I tell him to wake up his bros now since I am sometimes at the gym when they need to get up. Most of the others could sleep through a hurricane.

5. Any cafeteria horror stories? Is school food as bad as they say? When I was in high school, I always got a salad for lunch. They were these really yummy chef salads complete with the whole works...including worms! YES worms! I saw a little tiny white worm crawling on the lettuce in my bowl and that was the last time I EVER ate in the cafeteria that I remember. After that several of my friends also found one too. 7-11 became our new stop for lunch for a very nutritious Barqs Orange pop and a hotdog. The worm probably had more nutritionally value than that!

6. How important is it to you to make sure your kids have the latest styles and trendiest accessories? Depends on how expensive it is. If it is something they really want, but out of my price range, then they have to pay half.

7. Remember the movie Kindergarten Cop? If Arnold Schwarzenegger was your child's new kindergarten teacher, how would you feel? Well in this day and age...I would be very curious what a man of his stature was doing working with little kids. I taught at a preschool once with a male teacher and he ended up getting fired for things he shouldn't be doing. I am not saying all men are that way....of course not, but it still makes me a little suspicious.


LarryG said...

That fav of Tyler.. He looks so much like his mom.
This is a precious post.
Personal opinion is you should publish and scrap book this one.
Y'all are blessed...

Tiffany said...

I love that tradition. It is so great. Would you mind if I stole that idea? And I agree with the previous person's comment. You should really scrapbook your blog. I plan on doing mine. Your boys will look back and just love it.:O)

da Bergs said...

Okay, that is the cutest lunch lady I have ever ever seen!!! And, look at the principle, even he is smiling... must be good student this year!!!

LOVE your idea... I want to copy it... dang, next year, only one left at home... how sad is that??!!!

Yvonne said...

Oh that is the cutest back to school tradition I have ever seen--you are so clever. (Love the canned peas)

The pictures were so great.

I verbally went "oh no" when you said they put sauerkraut in your chocolate cake???

My Wonderful Men said...

What a neat way to celebrate back to school. You are such a neat mom!

Mel said...

fun & creative idea! the rolls were always the best part of school lunch. remember the way the halls would smell? yum!!!

Mel said...

This post made me LOL! I love this tradition.

Hey, we both have 6th graders this year. I will have to ask Stockton if he has a McKay in his class.

You are such a fun mom!

Jodi said...

What a fun tradition you have going on!

Letti said...

What a great idea to have a back to school dinner. I wanted to thank you for putting a link to my food blog on here. I love your blog. I also wanted to tell you that just by reading your blog I can tell your YW are so lucky to have you as their new president. I am the song leader in primary and I thought for sure they were making a mistake when they called me. I am still learning but I know they are inspired.

EarlGirl said...

What a fun tradition! I love it!

Dawn said...

How fun is this?? I love that you all have this tradition. I need to start something fun too. :-)

Jen said...

You go all out in everything you do! I guess that's what makes you SO great! Your kids are so lucky! Love the peas! McKay looks so little in those pictures! I love the picture above the shoving in the milk carton quote. I did that in school. It's a great hiding place!

Stephanie said...

That is such a cute idea, i love it! You're awesome. By the way i love the pink apron. It is way cute! I'll have to remember this one. ;D


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