Suburban Soiree

Something to Celebrate

Back-to-School Dinner

Something to CelebrateAmy WileyComment

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Back-to-school time is a big transition and deserving of a celebration to mark the passage into new grades and new beginnings.  We did a fun little dinner after the first full day of school for both kids.


I know apples are common for this time of year, but cherries are relevant to us and the area we live in.  They also go well with the primary colors of school time.


I cooked up a simple meal and we spent the evening talking all about the day.


We gave our daughter this book and our son this book (he absolutely loves the whole series) as a fun surprise to start off the school year.  Our daughter told us she already got to read a devotional to her class this week... so these were a big hit.


It was a sweet time together and of course we had to have a sweet ending.  Grocery store cupcakes for the win!


I'll leave you with one of our favorite back-to-school traditions... reading The Kissing Hand.  Oh, it gets me every time!


I'm praying for all the kids out there to have a fun, safe, blessed school year!

Shark Week Dinner

Something to CelebrateAmy WileyComment

Shark Week really reeled us in this year and it's made for some fun family evenings.  We've learned things, been grossed out, and of course a little scared!  All this excitement inspired me to put together a Shark Week dinner.


I picked up shark gummies and two varieties of Swedish Fish.  Other than that, I used things we already had.  I asked my kids to round up any shark toys and in just a few minutes we were swimming in sharks.  Ha!


My son crafted shark fins out of paper and added them to the table.  


For dinner I served one of our favorite summer meals:  grilled bbq bacon shrimp and smoked gouda grits, with a chopped salad.


The candy began to disappear the minute it went on the table.  


The little bit of extra effort that went into this dinner made a regular Wednesday night an extra fun occasion.  


Of course now I'm already scheming to go BIG for Shark Week next year!

Summer Snail Mail: Why Your Kids Should Write Letters

Something to CelebrateAmy WileyComment

I absolutely love to receive mail... in fact I get excited every time I see the postal delivery truck at the end of my driveway!  I also love to send mail and I'm doing my best to pass that joy on to my kids.  For as long as I can remember, I've tasked them with writing letters in the summer time.  Here's are my top reasons why this is a great practice for children...

Keep those writing skills up

Letter writing is a fun way to keep up their handwriting, spelling, grammar and creativity.  All those skills they use in school can easily fade during the summer months and writing a letter keeps them in practice.  Before my kids could write, I had them draw pictures to mail to others.  Whatever their skill level, put it to use.

Be a blessing to friends and family

My kids have three great grandparents who are still living and they are all out of state.  They are always thrilled to get a letter from the kids.  We also write to other relatives near and far, as well as friends.  My daughter actually has a friend from preschool who moved away several years ago... they still exchange letters now and then and it's so fun to see that friendship endure through elementary school.

Give and you will recieve

Once you start mailing letters out... you'll see letters start to come back to you!  It's a joy when the recipients of our letters return the favor.  My children are always overjoyed to see something addressed to them in our mailbox.

Preserve a charming part of the past

I love to text as much as the next person, but you can never replace the delight of a handwritten note.  In a world of "LOL" I want my kids to know how to write someone a meaningful letter or card.  Our summer letters are my way of keeping the fading tradition of snail mail alive in our family and for others. 

I encourage you to pick up some stamps, print out some addresses of those you love, and get your kids writing.  They'll soon be racing to the mailbox awaiting those sweet replies!