Friday, July 29, 2011

Laura's Graduation Celebration

Our daughter finished the requirements to receive a high school diploma earlier this year from an online high school.  As I wrote in my last post, this was quite an achievement for her.  There were times when it looked like she wouldn't finish.  And after working on it for so long while she struggled with other issues, she was kind of burned out from the whole situation. 

One of the things that helped her push herself to finish those last two classes was the knowledge that she would be having a celebration party when she finished.  There isn’t much Laura wouldn’t do to be able to throw a party. 

Growing up, she was known for her parties.  There were numerous birthday parties and a few Halloween parties, and they were all painstakingly planned and beautifully executed.  And there were always elaborate decorations involved – that was the most fun for her.  She loves to decorate!

We live two states away from family, and we would be asking our family to travel here for this celebration. After considering everyone’s schedules, and what would be involved with hosting a large event at home, we settled on two smaller parties instead of one big one.  This would allow Laura to spend more time with each guest than if everyone were there all at once and would be less overwhelming for her as well. 

It would be easier logistically too, since one big party would require renting tables and chairs and could be a problem if it rained on party day.  Our house isn’t very big, but we have a nice sized yard and were planning to have the party outside.  The weather here in Bellingham is unpredictable, and rain was a real possibility, even in July. 

The party preparations began weeks in advance.  Many blogs were viewed and many ideas considered.  One of Laura’s favorite decorations were tissue paper pom-poms.  She found lots of colors of tissue paper at our local “dollar” store, and we worked on pom-poms for weeks. 

We also made pastel paper bunting with wrapping paper from the “dollar” store.

She made some little pom-poms for the table, too.

Since Laura and I are gluten intolerant, she decided to make the desserts gluten free.  We made delicious chocolate cupcakes with Pamela’s Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix.  Laura and her Zia frosted cupcakes with homemade buttercream icing then decorated them with sprinkles.

They were almost too pretty to eat.

We also “made” some pretty pastel cookies.  Well, we didn’t actually make the cookies, we just decorated them.  We used Mi-Del Gluten Free Vanilla Sandwich Cookies that we dipped in pastel candy coating, then decorated with sprinkles.

When God assigned families, we were truly blessed.  Traveling here required a long (20 hours each way) drive for some family members and expensive air travel for others.  There are not words to express my gratitude to our loved ones for their willingness to travel so far to make Laura’s graduation celebration such a special event.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t so supportive.  Rain began falling as we were setting up for the first party.  With the help of a portable tent-like shade gazebo with multiple shower curtain liners pinned to the sides and patio umbrellas covering the ends, we were able to continue with our plans.  There would be fewer decorations put out, because paper bunting and tissue paper pom-poms just don’t do well in the rain, and it was a little chilly, but we had a lovely party anyway.

The day of the second party was sunny and warm, and all the decorations went up in the yard. 

I especially liked these little lanterns we made by wrapping wire around the tops of canning jars, dropping in a candle, and hanging the jars from the trees.

We enjoyed playing some croquet around the yard, got to visit a little, and we again shared good food, laughter, and love.

Congratulations, Laura!


  1. LAURA!!! I love this post - what a pretty setting. Congrats on this giant accomplishment. I see wine on the table (heheh) so I assume it was a fun celebration:)

  2. It all turned out so beautiful! Well done girls! Congratulations Laura on such a great accomplishment!