Wednesday, June 1, 2011

an eighth grade graduation {or} I might have to pretend my son is really my younger brother, just so I don't feel so old

Gotta start this out by saying, man, I feel old looking at this picture and thinking about my little dude. 8th grade {for me} seems like it TRULY was just yesterday. Not 20 years ago. Because if anyone is counting? I did in fact graduate from 8th grade in 1991. {and also if anyone is doing the math- this kid skipped 5th grade... so, in my defense, he cheated me out of an entire year...}


Notice my blood shot eyes? I had many late nights whipping things together for this shin-dig. You KNOW how it is anyway, at the end of a school year. Adding a party to the mix just crazied it up, hard core. I cannot imagine what life will be like the year Kennedy is graduating from 8th grade and Brighton is graduating from high school. Good times. {Or? poor planning....}
jen and kids

My budget for this soirĂ©e was small. Very small. Painfully small. I am lucky to have spent so many years hoarding dishes and craft/party supplies. Hoarders, take note. Keep crap organized and DON'T ANSWER THE DOOR if you suspect someone is coming to stage an intervention! {hint. if you see cameras and trash bags, lock your door and HIDE!}
puff balls and banner

So, I created the requisite tissue paper puff balls and a cardstock paper bunting banner {sewn together on a length of double fold bias tape}for decor. Boys are pretty easy, that way. He would have been embarrassed had I gone much further with the deco.
No party {at my house} is complete without little boxes of sweet popcorn. I purchase my popcorn at the grocery store but am ALWAYS freshly amazed at what can be purchased on Amazon! The little containers were long ago purchased at Hobby Lobby {when that section of the store was 40% off.} and hoarded to be used for occasions such as this.
chocolate fountain
Because we are on a gluten free diet, I struggled for what to do for a dessert. GF flour is EXPENSIVE and feeding 40 people a GF cake or cupcake option would have been pricey. I opted to break out the chocolate fondue fountain, instead.  We had GF pretzles, jumbo marshmallows, gummie bears and {not pictured} frozen strawberries and banana chunks. Note: EVERYTHING tastes better when eaten off a stick.
camden aint no dip

Chocolate dip station was not complete without a Camden-related pun.
plates napkins flatware

I found this A.W.E.S.O.M.E. wire basket thingamajing {I have NO IDEA what it is} and realized it is the PERFECT size for styro.i.hate.the.environment.plates.  I almost ALWAYS use glass plates for parties but there were too many guests for this one. I was forced to hate on Mother Nature.  I did, however, have plenty of flatware.

I made almost all of the food. {I stuck to mostly cold salad-type side dishes, for ease of serving and timing aka cole slaw and potato salad} I like to figure out the tablescape before the food comes out of the fridge so there is no last minute juggling when it's time to eat.

And then, when it's time to eat, I just transfer from tupperware out of the fridge to serving dishes. Does anyone else do this? It makes my life easier. And less stressful. Amen.
camden is a smartie

The kids made these little 'diplomas' as favors. I found the idea here. SUPER cute and SO EASY.

camden is a smartie02

I had a couple of candy dishes of them. {I just printed the signs off of my computer, used puffy letter stickers for the word 'smartie' and glued them into non-heirloom aka thriftstore candy dishes. I wouldn't use hot glue on a treasure, but on something I don't care about? Its a good solution.}

graduation candy pops

I also made candy pops, courtesy of Bakerella. I used Ghirardelli squares instead of Godiva and the Reese's cups. I opted to make them just as she showed, stick them in the freezer and then when NICE and FROZEN, dip the entire things in melted red dipping chocolate. For tassles, I used sour cherry straws and an edible pearl bead for the button. {That light bulb is just glued to the end of a wooden dowel and stuck in the stand. I wrote my funnies on it with sharpie.}

graduation candy pops 02

How could these not be pun-tastic as well? {Poor Camden and his mom's ridiculous sense of humor, right?!}
kids getting foog

The party was super fun. Food was delish. {Main dish- bbq chicken. Yum!}


The weather was beautiful, which I was thankful for. Arizona in May can be HOT! I know I look like a total dork in this picture. Judging by ALL the pictures of my from the party? I was pretty dorky the entire night. I hate cameras. I love my friends and family for accepting me.

camden brighton chocolate fountain

All in all? A fun evening. {I bet the boys would say the chocolate fountain was their favorite part!}


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