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. 

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