I am so proud of my husband! He stuck it out and saw it through! Going back to college in your 40’s is no walk in the part but he was determined to show our children it is never too late to dream and never too late to learn! With the help of family and friends we threw the biggest surprise graduation party I’ve ever been to! There were around 90 family and friends there to celebrate with us! In 19 years together, I’ve never been able to surprise the hubby. He always figures it out if I’m up to something and often can guess exactly what it is I bought him for his birthday or Christmas…it’s quite annoying! But no more! I got him good and he was so humbled by the show of support and love! Just wanted to share a couple of goodies I had made for his party and also what went into his Thank You baggies!
First I have to throw up a picture of the 3 loves of my life! When you graduate from nursing school, it is all about the pinning ceremony. It is during this ceremony that someone you choose who is important to you pins you officially making you a nurse. Steve from the beginning wanted our sons to pin him! It brought tears to my eyes seeing my 2 1/2 men on stage! A very proud Pack moment for sure!
No grad party (or any party I have anything to do with, lol) is complete without cake pops! I found these awesome Wilton mini cupcake liners that went perfect with my famous dip and drop cake pops. I made the personalized flags to complete the cake pops!
I had to come up with some centerpieces for the large picnic tables. I try to always make something functional and making the centerpieces edible did the trick! I made thermometer rods! They are pretzel rods dipped in white candy melt with a drizzled red line and drizzled black hash marks. They were so easy to make! Literally took a total of an hour to make over 60 of these! The hardest part was finding 60 intact pretzel rods! I used 3 squeeze bottles (like for ketchup and mustard) to make these. I filled one bottle with the white candy melt discs. Popped the plastic bottle in the microwave for 60 seconds. Then I squeezed the bottle and put it back in for 25 seconds. Although I filled the bottle to the top with the candy melts, once they melted down, it was about 1/2 full. I just put more candy melts inside and gave it another two times in the microwave at 25-30 second increments squeezing the bottle between cycles. Make sure the white candy melt goes all the way to the top! Do not put on the lid. Lay out wax paper. Dip the pretzel rods straight down into the bottle. Gently swirl the rod in a circular motion over the bottle opening to allow the excess candy melt to drip back down. Lay flat on the wax paper. Repeat until all rods are dipped. I had to refill the plastic squeeze bottle one time with candy melt discs and put it back in the microwave. Toward the end, I would dip the rod and gently squeeze the bottle (don’t squeeze so tight that you are touching the rod inside) and the candy melt would come up the rod and cover it. Repeat the same steps in melting the red and black candy melts in their own bottles. Squeeze a dollop of red (to create the bulb) and pull down the length of the white. Repeat until all rods have red bulb/lines (be sure the white is fully set before squeezing on the red). Once the red is fully set, squeeze black hash marks in even increments up the rod). These were so easy to make and so cute. I did wrap each one individually for the party. I used wide mouth canning jars filled lightly with foil shredded paper on the bottom. I was able to get about 5-6 in each mason jar. It was so cute and I received a lot of compliments on them. Be sure to check out my other post on how to turn these thermometers into an awesome Mother’s Day gift HERE.
Lastly, with that many people who attended his party, I knew I wanted to have the Thank You bags ready for guests as they were leaving (saving us time and money sending out Thank You cards in the mail). Also, it gave me the chance to personalize his Thank You gifts with a nurse theme! Enclosed in each bag was a tiny bottle of bubbles found at Dollar Tree (you get 6 for only $1.00). The bottles each had these cute graduation caps on top for the lids! Next there were 2 band-aids, 2 antibiotic packets and a lifesaver inside. I found these awesome thank you cards at Flower Factory. They were only $10.00 for 50 of the cards with envelopes! The inside was blank. I made a tag using Word. If you read the card, the Lifesaver candy really completed the bags! With fancy scissors the tags were cut out and taped down using double-sided tape. I also had a small wallet-size photo of Steve in his scrubs. The red bags themselves were purchased at Flower Factory and were around $3.00 for 12. A total of 48 bags were made and laid out on the end of the gift/card table. The Thank You bags were perfect! Big props going out to Rhonda who was the one who actually put the bags together for me! I couldn’t have done this surprise graduation party without the help of family and friends! Thanks to Beth, Rhonda, Lamira, Tami and Steve’s parents, Ingrid and Chuck, who provided all the food! Grilled Italian chicken breasts, boneless marinated pork, hotdogs and several different salads! What a wonderful memory we will always have!
Congrats Steve, we are really proud of you!