Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Jacob's 8th Grade Graduation Party

Jacob's 8th grade graduation ceremony was on May 24th, so we decided to plan a really fun graduation party for him and all his friends the next day at our neighborhood pavilion + playground. The 8th grade class spent the whole day on Wednesday having a field trip picnic at the park, so Scot picked up all the boys (and Brooklyn) at school while I finished cooking some things and decorating for the party. (My sister Tiff and Isaac came by that morning to pick up Connor and take him to the science center for a few hours, so I could get things done more efficiently without kids. Amazing.)

We invited close to 60 of our families and friends, including Jacob's dad Matt and his wife and all their families, but there were about 40 who could come. Even though we were missing some, it was so nice to have everyone together in one place celebrating our special kid Jacob and just how far he's come!

The photo table:

I had all of his school picture photos from K thru 8th framed + displayed, along with a graduation keepsake inflatable ball for everyone to sign.

These huge collage foam boards were my personal favorite:
(A ton of work, but something I'll keep and hold onto for his high school graduation party too.)

Up close and personal:

The food:
My parents weren't able to come, but they were so sweet to order food from Jim + Nick's for everyone. It was a huge gift, and we were so thankful! We had barbecue pulled pork + beef brisket, mashed potatoes + gravy, mac-n-cheese, cheddar biscuits and rolls. I made pigs-in-a-blanket, tortellini pasta salad, black bean salsa with tortilla chips and bagged chips for the kids on the main table. 

I made slush punch and there were coolers full of soda, bottled water and plenty of other drinks.

The cookie bar was my favorite! Jacob's favorite dessert is cookies, so I couldn't resist making his favorite cookie cake and serving a lot of fun cookies that I made. (Linda made snickerdoodles and all of mine were different cake cookies - chocolate M+M, blue velvet, red velvet, strawberry, lemon and chocolate chip. Yum!) And it wouldn't be a party without his favorite candy - Skittles!

We got everyone together when they arrived at 5pm and I introduced all of Jacob's family who were there. Scot blessed the meal and prayed over everyone, and then we ate!

Too bad I was too busy talking and serving people to take any family pics. Boo.

Here are a few sweet faces that were there:

Jacob and our sweet neighbor Peggy from our old neighborhood. She got there early and was such a huge help to me in setting everything up. Thank God for Peggy.

Jacob and Scot's cousin Mary Beth + Mike who drove up from Huntsville, AL.

Our dear friends Chris + Susan - she was the awesome realtor friend who sold us our new house. So, we literally wouldn't be here without her!

Jacob with Matt and his family before they left for Ohio.

It was such a great evening. There was the playground for the kids to play on. Jump rope, hula hoops and bubbles for the kids. We had corn hole, 2 ladder golf games set up. And Jacob's surprise graduation/birthday gift - a ping pong table set that he's been wanting. It was just the best evening, even in the midst of some awkward and crazy moments, but I knew that God was right there with us and the whole evening was incredibly blessed.

Everyone left around 7-7:30pm, right when the rain hit as we were cleaning + packing everything up. But, the boys still had fun going night-swimming afterward in the neighborhood pool until 10pm and staying up late watching a movie with chips and candy, all spread out on the bonus room couch and floor. It was neat to have all of Jake's friends together, including his cousin Isaac from Ohio.

The boys the next morning (minus Max, who had already left):

It was a fun, fun night for all. I was thankful and proud that Jacob was so well celebrated and loved.

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