Saturday, May 3, 2008

What an Event!!!

Yesterday was the 8th Grade Formal Dinner for the class of 2012 in our tiny little town. This is a tradition the public school has been doing for 16 years. I explained about it in my post yesterday, so please scroll down to read it if you have not already done so. I am so happy that I have been able to host a table for all four of my sons.

It is a lot of work, but it is so much fun. They hold it at our town's community center. We start out with a big empty, sterile room with 15 empty banquet tables set up. All the mothers got there about two hours before the event started. You just claim a table and start decorating.

Hayden and I got to the community center at 8:00 am with my four laundry baskets of dishes and accessories. He helped me carry things in and then he walked to school with his friends. All the students arrived at 10:30 for the event. We got a great table this year, front row, center.
Here are a few mother's getting their tables together. The atmosphere is so magical and full of eager anticipation. I'm all finished, here's my table!
I took pictures of some of my friend's tables. This is Shannon's, isn't it pretty! I love the light and airy feel it has. There are cute dragonflies on her napkin rings.


Above is Peggy's table. She has really nice crystal and china from all over the world. Her and her husband used to travel a lot and she has picked up things as she traveled.
This is Barb's, isn't it bright and cheery! I love how she put flowers in front of each plate, so fun and cute!
I am not sure who's table this was, but it is really pretty!
This red, white and black table belongs to Jan. I loved how bold and wild she got! She is a girl on a budget and she told me the tablecloth is just a big piece of fabric and it only cost $5.00! She bought a knit fabric, so she didn't even have to hem it because the edges didn't fray ~ very clever!
She made her napkins and the napkin rings are old film canisters cut in half! What an ingenious girl! The square candle holders are from Goodwill! I love it!


This is my friend Paula's table! She is an artist........can you tell?! She did a fun and playful tropical theme. I love how brave and bold she is.
She is so creative and fun. She mixed her nice china and silverware with cute dollar store plastic pieces. If I was a student, I would want to be at this table, look at the candy straws in the goblets!
Look at the cute crab salt and pepper shakers! They are so festive!
This is Karen's table, isn't it elegant! She used silver chargers.....I think it looks so beautiful.
Here is a close up of my table. I am very traditional and feel a little boring compared to the rest, but that's okay. I got really inspired today!


Here's a picture of all the hostesses. Most of us are mothers of the students, but a few are grandmothers. Our kids are lucky to have such great and giving mothers! I have known most of these women for nine years, we all met when our kids were in kindergarten. These are the "regular" moms who always go on the field trips and go to class parties.


Our kids have always gone to public school and I have always felt like it was a very safe and warm environment. We did not feel that God called us to home school our sons, as I know some of you out there have been called. I went through a stage when I really wanted to home school, but my husband did not want us to. I prayed about it and asked God to speak to me about this through my husband. I waited and prayed, and then prayed some more, and then I talked again with Eric about it, and he said no. I listened to my husband and I feel like God has blessed our household because of it.

We have two sons who have graduated from public school and both of them are living wonderful, productive, happy lives and they are both very strong Christians who are living for the Lord and are both in the ministry. We still have Grayson and Hayden and they both are on the right track, walking with the Lord and doing very well at school. We know we are not done yet and we stay right on top of our younger kids in all areas, and above all, lift them up daily in our prayers and helping guide and direct them in their walk with the Lord. Our kids have had the best experience at public school and I think what helped us the most was first, because we prayed over them every single day and second because Eric and I both were very active and supportive in our kids education and I was a very involved mother in all of their classes. Also, we obviously have raised our sons in the Lord and have taught them to have their own active prayer life and to seek God's wisdom for their lives.

I think also for us what really helped is that we do live in a small town and each class on average has about 100 kids in it, so you get to know the other kids and parents really well. This helps a lot with accountability and we all watch out for each other's kids. I feel that the public schools need Christian kids and Christian teachers to be there, and I am glad that our kids were there. Jesus calls us to be out with the people, the sinners, which we all are, and the sick people, not the well people. Our sons have touched many lives by being there in many different ways. God has truly blessed us.


I have felt pressure and a sense of disapproval over the years from other mom's who home school, which I don't understand (I am not talking about any of my blogger friends who home school). It has been very hurtful to me. I am a Christian woman who loves the Lord with all my heart. I love my kids with all my heart and want the very best for them. I love my husband with all my heart and I listen to him as God calls me to do. My feeling is, this is our life and we have to live it the best way that we see fit and God is the center of our lives and our decisions that we make. We have to be WISE, we should not do things because of fear or pressure from someone else. We have to make wise decisions by being smart about things, gathering information, being sensible, praying and discussing things with our husbands.

We all have only one chance to raise our children, we each have different family dynamics, different values and belief systems and different reasons why we do things. For us, God is the center of our home, we have a strong faith and ask that God directs us in all of our decisions. We pray for God's wisdom and He is faithful and does give us wisdom with our decisions. God directed us to put our kids in public school, so I don't know why that should be anybody's business but ours and I don't see why anyone should feel that they can judge us for that.
I think it would be far more productive to love and encourage and build each other up with our personal choices than to judge and tear down. I am not necessarily against home schooling, it was just not right for our family. I don't think any of us has the right to judge or make comments that their way is better than someone else's way. You are not a sinner or a lower person because you have educated your child differently than I have mine and vice-versa. We are so blessed, we live in America! We have so many choices, you can public school, home school, send your kids to a private school or a little of each. I think we need to each come to our own decision and the decision should be based on our faith and trust in God and our direction from Him, not by fear or pressure from our peers.

Wow...I did not intend to write a speech there! I think some of these feelings have been bottled up in me and I have been wanting to blog about it for awhile and it just came out. Now, back to the dinner.
They had all kinds of entertainment and guest speakers. Here is the 8th grade jazz band playing for us. It was such a lovely afternoon!
Here are the guests at my table, from left to right, Arron, Ericka, myself, Hayden, Malia and Amber. They all were very gracious and polite. They have been studying proper manners for a couple of weeks now and they were all so pleasant.
Here is my main reason why I did all this. My sweet Hayden, my baby, oh, it is so sad, he will be graduating from the 8th grade in just a few weeks. Where did the time go? I had such a beautiful day, I will hold these memories in my heart forever.

“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God." Mark 10:14


Love, Sharon


22 comments:

Rosemary said...

what a FUN tradition! You are such a good mom! Don't let anyone make you feel bad for your choices about schooling. I homeschooled my kids for a few years, then put my dd into a christian jr high, then plunged her into a huge public highschool, and you know what, she blossomed! She will be a sr next year, lt major of her dance team, and is dating a wonderful boy. Life is good, and public school did not ruin her :)

Feathering My Nest said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Honest to Ya~Ya said...

All of the tables are gorgeous! I've never heard of this tradition but it is a lovely one from what I can see!

As to the schooling issue. My poor daughter catches such flack from others about her decision to home school. It's a shame really that anyone would stand in judgement in either case. Each family must decide what is right, and just like you say, the public schools need Christian examples too.

I think you are an awesome mother!☺

cherished*vintage said...

Your table looked beautiful! Thanks for the orange salad recipe too. Our first daughter starts public kindergarten in the Fall. We've prayed a lot about it. I'm not a teacher so homeschooling is not a good choice for us. I just plan on being like you, very involved!
-Karoline

Joy said...

All the tables looked beautiful and it looks like you ladies did an awesome job. Lucky kids!

Donna Lynn said...

Dearest Sharon,
This is really awesome to be able to do this dinner, we did one at our church for the women, it was just like this, each table was a masterpiece, such fun to look at them all!
I love the fact that you wait on the Lord and for him to speak through your hubby to you, I do the same and am always blessed!
I homeschool, but I don't ever look down on anyone for choosing not too! HEAVENS!
Josh is 16 and in 10th grade now, he is 6'6", and is in a lot of joint and muscle pain from getting so tall so fast, so he needs extra sleep, so homeschool is best for him at this stage!
I can tell that you are a wonderful Mother, wife and homemaker and on top of it all you are working! (are you a card carrying super hero?)
Thanks for sharing your heart with me today, I am so sorry that these other people have hurt your feelings you did not deserve it one bit! Remember, who cares what other peoples opinions are if you have peace in your heart...and some sage person once said, "opinions are like, (I will not say the naughty word), rear ends, everybody has one!"
XXOO, Donna Lynn

Mimi said...

the banquet turned out very beautiful...and you look like you were a very gracious hostess...
such a great idea!!!

Sondra said...

Oh your table look so pretty! I love those deep reds. All of the tables look nice and I also like the lime green one. That sounds like such a fun tradition and I love how it involves the parents. Our public schools are so overcrowded there is nothing good like this. There are 49 elementary schools in our county alone! The high schools are not as crowded-it is not quite as bad. I think you are right about the home schooling issue. You have to do what you feel God wants you to do. It is not for everyone. Your boys have turned into wonderful men. You have done a great job!

Kim said...

It looks like all the tables had a lot of thought and work put into them. I think all the moms and grandmas should get a big hand for their creativity.
I love to see when people are given a table and little direction then see what amazing ideas can come out of it.
I loved the deep colors you used in for your table- very elegant. It also stands out in the pictures against all the white tablecloths.
It is wonderful that you have been able to share this wonderful time in your sons lives with them.

Bax said...

What a wonderful post!
I love the pictures of all the tables! I hope the kids appreciate all the hard work that is done! From the smiles it looks like they do!

Jan

A Pretty Home said...

Loved all the pictures!!!

I changed my blog address last night to
www.aprettyhome.blogspot.com
if youd like to change the link in your sidebar :)
Its the same blog just new address as I came up with a title for my blog finally :) instead of just "Candys"
:)
hugs,
candy

A Romantic Porch said...

Sharon, What a beautiful idea, day, and time with your youngest son. Your testimony to God's faithfulness in your life is a blessing. xoRachel

Jan Parrish said...

Sharon,

What a beautiful table and wonderful dinner.

I'm sorry you've been judged by home schoolers. Some really feel EVERYONE should home school and I will tell you, I met some whose kids would have been better off in public school.

We've done both. We home schooled for 12 years and loved every moment of it. Our daughter graduated from home school. But our son needed more than I could teach him. He needed computer tech classes, higher math, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and sports. When we put him in high school, other home schoolers were appalled. But you know what, it was the best thing for him. And he met his wife there. So, you can't argue with that. In our home, both options were very successful.

Congratulations on following Eric's lead and not giving in to peer pressure.

Mardell said...

Hi Sharon!
I echo what all of these wonderful women have said!! They summed it up perfectly. :o)

Fantastic table setting ~ you have such a knack for that! Looks like everyone had a great time! BTW, who had "dish duty?"

Hope you're having a great Sunday. Brrr ~ we're back to ccccold temps here in NY!

Hugs,
Mardell

Simply Heart And Home said...

Sharon,

I'm so glad that you shared all the pictures from the 8th grade formal dinner. All the tables are so lovely. I do not think your table is boring at all. It is beautiful. What a blessing all you moms are for working so hard!

I am sorry that some homeschooling mothers have made you feel inadequate or wrong or whatever you want to call it. That is just plain nuts for them to do so. God does not ask everyone to homeschool and it is a good thing! I've struggled with whether or not to homeschool for years. When we did put the twins in public school, we were looked at with disapproval etc too from some families but not all of them. You just have to do what you feel is right before the Lord. As Christian women, we should be uplifting each other not being critical. Amen!

Have a lovely Sunday ~ Gina

Daughter of the King said...

Sharon,
The tables look WONDERFUL and to be honest IF I had the chance to PICK the table I would like to sit at and eat a meal, based solely on the style, my choice would have been yours. I LOVE IT...
Now on that HS thing,
Can I openly admit that I have been one to judge, then it hit me, I am not responsible for the way others raise their children, I will not answer for them...so who am I to say what is right....by what authority do I have a right to judge someone. I was putting God in a box of sorts, thinking it had to be my way...and I was not an encourgement. I do not think like that anymore. I just pray that parents make good decisions and live it.....and pass it on, the Lord will do the rest. HE is GOD and much bigger than the to HS or not HS issue, IMHO
Deby

Feathering My Nest said...

Oh Sharon, I'm sorry some have judged you. You are such a wonderful mother and it's so good that you have always asked for God's leading in your life and that you've listened to Eric.

Your boys are such a testimony for Jesus. They all love the Lord and have been leaders.

I have have been on both ends of judgement, and I am just going to keep listening to the Lord. Harrison is doing fine in public school, but we are praying over him and all our children, to stand strong in the Lord. Victoria goes next year, and I am listening to the Lord and praying a lot, and listening to my husband.

The whole day looks like it was so fun and you made so many precious memories. I'm glad things went so well. I love you, Kathi

jennifer said...

Gosh you have been busy! Birthdays, formal dances, decoratong for the dance, shopping trips, just WOW. Love all of the pictures of the table settings. That is such a nice idea!

Be blessed Sharon.

Jen

Cottage Contessa said...

All of those tables look so, so beautiful but.....I do think yours is the best, and I'm not just saying that because I'm your friend either! I like it because it's elegant and very beautifully done sweetie. The night looks like it was a blast and went off with out a hitch! Good for you mum, you're just awesome!
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

nannykim said...

Beautiful tables, I really enjoyed looking at all the unique designs; thanks for sharing it!!

As far as schooling , you are right. God calls each of us to listen to Him and let Him direct us. We did different things for each of our children---We always do have to lean not on our own understanding.

nannykim said...

ps. Tell your sis that I couldn't get on her blog today--it wouldn't load.

Laura said...

I have been there too - the disapproving comments. And we have home schooled in the past. None of it is easy. What a blessing it is for the boys to grow up in a small town. I did and I loved it! I sure wish it was possible for my kids, but the Lord has us in this place for a reason.

I love all the tables! How fun that would be! My oldest is in eight grade and she would have loved that!!

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