Monday, May 20, 2013

Ellyn's Graduation Open House

Ellyn's graduation party was 2 weeks ago and we are finally catching our breath. May is such a whirlwind month for seniors (and their parents).  Graduation was yesterday, so we are done with her school events and I have a little time to catch up on the blog.

We had so much fun preparing for her party. As a matter of fact, Ellyn decided not to go to college, so that we can become party planners! Not really... but we both really like planning parties.

Ellyn had been collecting ideas for her party for a long time. One of her ideas was to have a "cookies & milk" party rather than a meal. I loved the idea for it's simplicity. I knew I could bake yummy cookies ahead of time and freeze them, which would help with the last minute rush of the party.  Ellyn also chose her color scheme: dark coral, apricot orange, light pink and teal.  I started gathering cookie serving pieces that matched her colors from around the house or while shopping.  We baked snickerdoodles, monster cookies, chocolate chip, lemon crinkles, peanut butter with Reese's miniatures, strawberry shortbread cookies, Oreo balls (400!), and bought Oreos and wafers. The final cookie count was 1200 homemade cookies!  We ordered square cardboard milk cartons from our grocery store and cute striped straws. I think these helped us all feel like school kids again. :) And just in case our guests needed to dunk their cookies in milk, we had cups available with extra skim, chocolate, and almond milk.

The three-tiered stand with Oreo balls was made from plastic dishes from Target and a tube of Krazy Glue. The aprons were also homemade for our kitchen helpers.  They baked cookies during the party which made the house smell wonderful.  Goodness gracious, we love these three ladies!

Ellyn did a ton of work planning the photo display. We went through a lot of paper and ink!
I was so glad to have our own little printing shop, since she was sometimes working late at night.
I let her cover a big wall with chicken wire.  What am I saying??? Her idea...but I am the one who stood on the ladder with the staple gun, screwdriver, rolling pin, and hammer! It was hard work.

I sewed miles and miles of bunting from fabrics Ellyn picked out. I had help from some high school girls, so it really only took a few hours. Ellyn made a bunch of tissue paper balls and used some older ones from her bedroom. This ceiling display required quite a bit of time on the ladder as well!

She pinned lots of pictures to the chicken wire with clothes pins and we hung several framed prints with nails in the wall.  She sewed Mandie a coordinating bandana for the party--isn't she such a cute pup?

Ellyn had around 250 people come to her party and we only had about 50 cookies left over! We were shocked to not have an abundance of leftovers, but very happy with the turn out. She was so happy to have her grandma, uncle, aunt, and cousins from Missouri here for the weekend. They were great help!!

It was such a great party, but we all felt a little like this by the end. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Five: It's been three weeks

Just a quick post to say I'm still here!

1.  It's track season, except that it's still like winter much of the time. Meets and practices are cancelled left and right. Track season in Iowa is already so short.  It's really sad to barely have any meets.

Last week,  Ellyn and a good friend ran against each other. The friend was our neighbor girl when the girls were little, but moved when the girls were in early elementary school.  They have so many fond memories together. (So do their older brothers, who are also the same age and are both now attending Iowa State University). Even though their family only moved about 10 miles away, we just don't see them very often. It was a beautiful evening to reconnect with their family beside the track.

2. It's also "end of senior year" season, which has our calendar and job list pretty full. Ellyn has such a great class of students and teachers. The list of "last ever" events, like prom, band trip, chorus concert and band concert are coming quickly.  The reality of it all hasn't really sunk in yet.
This is senior night at the last band concert:

3.  My senior daughter's graduation party is Sunday afternoon, and we have been consumed with a to-do list that is a mile long.  It has been fun to plan the party with her--we could plan parties full-time and not tire of it. :)  This was a picture from our big project day last weekend.

4.  Our driveway/sidewalk project is finished. It looks amazing. While the project was in process, we had to park in various other further away places, which made grocery shopping a pain. We very much appreciate the use of our garage again and the added pavement to drive in and out on.
I guess I will have to take some new pictures. This is what it looks like covered with snow--white!

5. The snow across the midwest has been a surprise and a hassle.  I watered sod in 80+ degree weather all day Tuesday and watched it snow all day Thursday. We probably have 5-6 inches this morning. The kids had a two hour delay. Their last day of school is in 4 weeks.