Thursday, July 25, 2019

High School Graduation Party {Class of 2019}

This past Saturday we hosted a graduation party for our two high school graduates! They actually graduated Kolbe Academy at the beginning of May, but we just didn't have an opportunity to celebrate until now...


One morning in June, when I was looking at the calendar for July, trying to figure out a date, our eldest son said "Why don't you just have it on the 20th?" as he was heading out the door to work. With my sister's wedding in Oregon on July 6th, I didn't think I'd be able to pull it together for either the previous or following weekend, and I didn't want to push it out any further than the weekend of the 20th due to my approaching due date... I went with the 20th and mailed out all the invitations. He got home from work, saw the invitations, and said "MOM!!! I was kidding!" Apparently a huge graduation party isn't our (introverted/melancholic) son's idea of the best way to spend his 19th birthday... Whoops!

I planned the party as an afternoon BBQ Open House in our backyard from 1:00-4:00. Some guests came for the whole party and others popped in for a little while depending on their schedules. We grilled hot dogs and sausages, plus we had lots of drinks (including IPAs and Peach Sangria for the adults), snacks and desserts. To make it a little easier I asked everyone to "please bring a side dish to share if you are able" and we ended up with more than enough food. 

Knowing that I would be nearing full term (almost 36 weeks pregnant, I delivered our last baby at 37 weeks) I did my best to keep the party "small" but we still ended up with around 80 guests! I spent the previous weekend creating decorations and shopping lists, and it all came together somehow. It was such a lovely day with a wonderful group of friends and family! 

The boys Diplomas and Tassels from Kolbe Academy had arrived awhile back, but I saved them to give them at the party. I love that Kolbe's Tassels have a St. Maximilian Kolbe medal attached to them. (He is our oldest son's confirmation saint!)

{download my Black Board Graduation Banner here}

One of the girls updated the letter board with a quote we used on their Graduation Announcements. 
(Costco did a great job on the announcements!) 


I also printed out all of their End-of-School Interviews from over the years to use as decorations!

We only had a couple benches and folding tables, but a nearby friend kindly loaned us a bunch more. I also picked up table cloths at Party City during a one-day sale when they were priced just 4 for $1!

The boys were introduced to Kan Jam during Experience Christendom Summer Camp last year and we picked up a couple sets during a Buy-1-Get-1 sale to pull out for the party, along with Spikeball.

My parents also gifted the graduates with a Cornhole set for the Graduation party! 
(Thanks, Dad and Mom!!) 

Graduation Candy Buffet
(You can download my free printable at the above link with all the signs.) 

The birthday boy and my dad

Me with my mom, Father Gordon (my husband's youngest brother and our oldest son's Godfather),
and my Uncle Tom (mom's oldest brother) and Aunt Toni
We definitely need a larger grill the next time we host a big BBQ!

Father Rapoport, Father Terra and Father Flick (below) also were able to come to the party!

The little kids version of Kan Jam!

"Most loving Lord, Grant me a steadfast heart which no unworthy desire may drag downwards; an unconquered heart which no hardship may wear out; an upright heart which no worthless purpose my ensnare. 

Impart to me also, O God, the understanding to know you, the diligence to seek you, a way of life to please you, and a faithfulness that may embrace you, through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen." 


  1. Congratulations!!! I love that your boys are called after the sons of Zebedee. By the way happy St James day! God bless you.

    2019-07-26 01:02:16

  2. What a wonderful day! Congratulations to your sons and to you and your husband! Parenting isn't always easy and you are doing a great job!

    2019-07-26 01:47:06

  3. Congratulations to James and John! May God bless all of you!

    2019-07-26 04:09:30

  4. Congratulations to your boys. The party looked like such fun. My oldest son graduated from a catholic high school and was accepted at the Coast Guard Academy when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter (only daughter). I was an emotional mess. He had to report on July 5th at the Academy and my daughter was born Aug 17th. You truly are amazing. When I see your family I always have a smile in my heart thinking "God must be truly pleased with your family." God Bless

    2019-07-26 13:00:26

  5. God bless you and your beautiful family! Your blog has been an incredible blessing to our family...I thank you so much! Congratulations on your graduates! We just graduated our first, too...May these young men be soldiers for Christ and use the talents and gifts He has handcrafted them with for the glory of God! You all are in my prayers.

    2019-07-26 13:30:53

  6. Congratulations James and John. Blessings to you in your future endeavors. God Bless. Marilyn

    2019-07-26 19:14:50

  7. Blessings to James and John. Wishing you both success in the future. Marion

    2019-07-26 21:08:22

  8. Congratulations James and John on your graduations. Blessings to you and continued success in the future. God Bless . Joan

    2019-07-26 23:19:25

  9. God be praised! What a joyous celebration. I am so happy for the graduates and all that God has in store! I’ve been reading your blog so long that I recognized the photos in the background from end of school interviews and had a very sentimental moment of joy at this wonderful accomplishment. Deo Gratias!! Praying for lots of blessings ahead!

    2019-07-27 01:00:00

  10. Y'all are all just amazing but especially you to do this at 36 weeks. Reminds me of the LARGE family gatherings we had here for Christmas with hubby's family. We usually had about 80 or more people inside and outside. Congratulations to your young men. Praying for their futures. Every prayer for you and the baby.

    2019-07-27 15:05:01

  11. Oh congratulations, your first and second grads, bittersweet xx How many more friendships your children have in your new parish!

    2019-08-01 22:52:33

  12. Congratulations to your wonderful sons! Their graduation party looked like such fun celebrating with family and friends. You are amazing Jessica hosting a big celebration so close to the end of your pregnancy. All of the party decorations and food details are so creative! Your home and the country setting are just beautiful. Much success and happiness to both of your sons as they begin a new exciting chapter in their lives. They will do very well because you and your husband have given them the proper foundation...a Catholic home filled with so much love and devotion.

    2019-08-12 19:35:35


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