On Saturday our family had a graduation party for Lauren, our oldest. Knowing that we are moving, we decided to have it at our quiet park around the corner. It was a beautiful day with a little wind and some bigger gusts through the evening.
We had about 150 guests ranging from teenagers, to families, to relatives and neighbors.
Lauren's friends were wonderful. They are such a diverse group. Some she has known from her AP classes, some from swimming, some from all of the years living here, and some from church. We were thrilled at the support she was given. She even had friends who had driven from as far as Boulder City, NV to be there! All of her friends and classmates who came were so nice and fun to be around.
During the evening as I glanced around I was so happy to see everyone visiting and kids playing. Out on the grass it looked like 2 huge groups of teenagers playing football, tag and then our waterballoon fight at 7pm which cleared the playground of about 30 more enthusiastic kids. We had a badmitten game going at one point that looked pretty intense.
The playgrounds were full and bustling. The area around the food was full of chatter and good eats.
For dinner we had Famous Dave's BBQ ribs and wings as well as Honey Baked ham platters. We also did all of the other food ourselves- Oriental Green Salad, shrimp Salad, fruit salad, Salmon Riette, Pico de Gallo and a ton of chips and crackers to chose from. I have a sister-in-law, Amanda, who made some preparation suggestions that helped with all of this. I was prepping for 3 days beforehand with the help of our kids and Mark.
I was so excited about the cake that I decided to make. It was a bulldog for the mascot of Lauren's high school. It stood 4 cake layers high and 18" long. I think I did a pretty good job by the time I was done. It took me about 6 hours. I even figured out how to make the actual honors awards that Lauren will be wearing when she graduates and added those! I also added swim goggles, a congratulations sign and some hearts and butterflies. The cake was chocolate cake and a great hit! Lauren was so pleased that she told us not to cut it until after 7pm.
When she went to cut it, she took the knife and said, "I am a Cougar now!" and stuck the knife in the cake. It was pretty cute.
We are so blessed to have neighbors and friends close by who care about our family. It makes the move very hard but made this celebration a lot of fun. One family, the Rankins, came early and helped us with some set up items and then with replenishing the food! Lisa and Jim were so kind. They've been there, so they knew what we'd need. We are so grateful for them. We have some friends, the Laytons, that we've known since college who were there. He's a canine officer and had his car parked out in front. I kidded around with him that he was there for crowd control. The Woolsey's came with their beautiful group of adopted children from all circumstances of life. They are amazing. I could go on and on. We have amazing and really fun, real friends. I think that's worth it's weight in gold and then some.
All in all we as a family feel like all of our hard work paid off with a very fun evening with our friends, neighbors, and some family. Let's do it again! Tomorrow! JK