The last melon's graduation party

Graduation parties are a lot of work, even though I keep telling myself that we'll just keep it simple. I've realized it takes time, energy, and preparation just to keep things simple.

Fortunately, Matt had picked out his grad party menu years in advance. I think back when Hayley's grad party was happening, I asked Matt if he knew what he wanted for food at his party, which was still 2 years away. He shrugged and said, "burritos and strawberries." So I've held him to that.

Burritos are easy, especially when you have dehydrated refried beans and an Instant Pot. I made pork filling and chicken filling in the Instant Pot several days in advance. The IP makes quick work of meat. We also made a ground beef filling, but just browned the beef on the stove. It all went into disposable aluminum pans and then into the freezer until the day before.

The refried beans were reconstituted only half an hour before the party started. I was originally going to do pinto beans in the Instant Pot (which I've done before and really like doing) but Jim found several cans of the dehydrated beans in our food storage so we used those instead.

The cake was baked on Wed, crumb-coated on Thurs, and decorated on Friday. I made the frosting red because Matt wanted his robotics team colors of red and gold instead of school colors blue and gold. I was afraid the red wasn't going to be red enough, but I added some cocoa powder after the two bottles of Wilton red gel coloring and it deepened overnight to a nice maroon, which is actually the color of the team capes. So it worked.

We spent Sat morning before the party cleaning and setting up, and I was starting to get panicky, but thankfully, had great help from Katie and Jen and Jen's girls, who tended to Jackson and Emma. The men were outside setting up a canopy, the tables and chairs, and the music (Thanks for the music, Christian!).

I was just putting finishing touches on the food table when the guests started to arrive. Once the party started, I calmed down and was able to enjoy it.

I later added some words on the sides of the cake

yummy cupcake

Katie was a big help with cupcake decoration

Before the party, Matt procured the 2017 robot as a display item for our party. Jackson was interested.

So was Emma
Matt explains the robot to an interested person

more robot explanation

It was hot and windy out, but we did have some shady seating

Matt talks to the founder of KING TeC robotis team, Joe Passofaro

Matt and Mr Beiers

Grandpa and Matt

Matt knew I was going to take a picture so he quickly turned around and made sure he looked fabulous

I'll call it a successful party.