Whoever came up with the phrase "lazy summer" obviously doesn't live around my house. Or probably yours, either. Am I right? Things have been so busy around here lately, it's hard to figure out whether we're coming or going. But tucked in neatly among the "have to's" (like the constant drive to and from swim team practice and the cutting of grass that seems to grow back over night) are the "get to's" like church camp, time with family and friends, and Miss Manners parties! And it actually took a summer cold to slow me down long enough today to share a little of what we've been up to lately. So today, I'll begin to catch you up by sharing a Miss Manners party we had late last month.
My friend, Beth, graciously offered to host the older group of Miss Manners for a pool party in June. Actually, Beth's father and step-mother, offered up their lovely home for the party, and Beth was the gracious hostess. It was a beautiful summer day, and the setting was equally gorgeous. The girls were all very excited when they got their invitation in the mail and saw that it was a pool party! As usual, each girl was expected to call Beth on her own to RSVP (one of the first lessons we learned last year).
We began with a short lesson called "What to Wear". We started by talking about how if an invitation doesn't tell you exactly what you should wear, it usually at least gives you some good clues. We also talked about wearing the right clothing for the right event. For example, a swimsuit is appropriate for a pool party, but not a wedding. A cowgirl themed birthday party means jeans and not a party dress. Shorts and flip flops would be out of place at a tea party. Common sense, maybe, but society is becoming increasingly more casual and it seems (to me, at least) that people often "come as you are"...and they are usually under dressed.
We also took a moment to talk about modesty, although I didn't actually define it. I encouraged each girl to talk to her mother about what they felt modesty meant, but I reminded them that something that makes you feel self-conscious may be trying to tell you that it's immodest...or at least inappropriate. I also recognized that fashion is probably a bone of contention between them and their mothers at this age (as it was with me and mine), but that they need to respect their mother's opinion and she will be more likely to respect theirs. I assured them that we don't set out to be style dictators or fashion police, but we do want to help our daughters develop their personal style and find things that both look good on them and are appropriate for their age. Can I get an amen?!
After our lesson, the girls hit the pool. While they swam, Beth set out lunch. She had prepared the perfect menu for a hot summer day. Bright and colorful decorations in the pool house reflected the pool party theme.
Cheerful flowers set the mood...
We had chicken salad on fresh, soft croissants, pasta salad, fresh sliced tomatoes, fruit, and yummy, spicy, cheese straws. The pasta was served in small punch cups so the girls simply grabbed one; no muss, no fuss. Chilled mini water bottles were easy to grab and even easier to take back out to the pool after lunch.
The red and yellow heirloom tomatoes were the best I've had all season, and Beth and her two girls had picked the huge, juicy blueberries themselves earlier that morning. The meal and decorations all said, "Summer"!
After lunch, it was back to the pool for more swimming.
I did get them to slow down long enough to capture a few pictures...
We ended the day with the perfect dessert - Italian ice. Beth had stopped the day before at a local favorite, Nancy's Italian Ice, and picked up several to go. She brought them home and popped them in the freezer. They froze solid overnight and stood up well to the heat as well as being abandoned (periodically) on the side of the pool as the girls swam. There was raspberry lemonade (below), blue raspberry, and my favorite, mango!
It was a warm day (it is summer in Alabama, after all) but the Labriola's have a beautiful place in the country nestled among the pines, and between the pool and the cabin-styled pool house, we stayed cool and comfortable. Not all of the girls were able to attend due to vacation travel and other commitments, but we had a great time being together while we enjoyed the beautiful setting and worked a little on becoming graceful, young ladies!
I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!
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