Last night's event was probably one of the most special things we do in youth group. Every year we have a banquet to honor the parents of the teens. We call it the H.A.P.P.Y. Banquet; it means "honoring, appreciating, and praising the parents of youth."
My husband and I, along with a few helpers, put everything together for this banquet. Q does the majority of the cooking and I take care of the set-up.
For the past week or so, I painted twelve pots like this to use as centerpieces and gifts for the evening. I painted four pots red, four pots a dark purple and four pots brown. I found matching ribbon to tie around the pots. I placed tape on a few spots on the ribbon to secure it onto the pots. Q found three kinds of perennials to fill the pots with. The one in the center is a strawberry plant. Two pots were placed on each table, then given as gifts to the parents at the end of the evening.
I've been taking pictures of teens and their parents for the past couple weeks at church. I used these to put on photo holders that were placed in the center of each table. On one side of the base of the photo holder, I printed the quote, "The family is one of God's greatest masterpieces." On the other side, I printed the verse, "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." The parents were able to take the photos home with them after the banquet.
Our dinner consisted of turkey devan, cheese and garlic potatoes, frog-eye salad, proscuitto pinwheels, pineapple wedges and ice cream sandwiches. Quentin made three types of ice cream sandwiches for everyone to enjoy: double chocolate chip cookies with chocolate ice cream and walnuts, macadamia nut cookies with snicker-caramel ice cream, and chocolate chip cookies with reese's peanut butter cup ice cream. They were so huge and delicious! Of course, the teen boys went back for seconds. They seem to be always hungry!
This is one of our families enjoying the evening. After our meal, we had a program in store for them. A picture slideshow showing all the teen activities of the year was followed by a story-telling competition, a video in which the teens expressed their thankfulness to their parents, and a quiz entitled, "How well do you know your parents?" The teens filled out the answers before hand and the parents checked the answers and even shared some of them. They were quite hilarious!
We also had special music. The teens all sang in a choir, and then a few of the girls sang in an ensemble. My husband gave a short challenge to the teens about following their parents in the things that they are teaching them now--those things that the Lord describes in how a young lady and young man ought to be like.
The banquet was a blessing and encouragement to the parents of our teens. This is a such a great thing for our church to do year after year.