Summer Tea Time At Cotillion

One of my favorite parts of Cotillion is getting to watch the students experience something new for the first time. Aside from my daughter, none of the other students enrolled in Junior Cotillion had ever participated in an afternoon tea. While our tea time was a bit later than traditional tea (class begins at 4:15pm), they were all too thrilled to get to try it!

Their sweet, puckered faces told me that, while they didn’t love the taste of hot tea without additions, they were willing to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new – a trait that will take them far in life.

By far, their favorite version was the hot peach tea with both honey and a spash of milk added.

My own daughter is participating this summer, so I know too well how, even with correct teachings, kids can be when at home. Put them in a different atmosphere, though, and they really grow and mature. Each student placed their napkin on their lap, and they all did their very best to not splash or clink the glass when stirring. Mouths were closed when the delicious scones and tea sandwiches (avocado ranch and strawberry cream cheese) were devoured.

Give them an opportunity to meet your expectations, and I promise they will.

A few questions were brought up during tea, and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to teach on more than what was on our class agenda. One of the questions I felt worthy of sharing with everyone, as there is a common misconception on high tea.

Isn’t high tea very fancy? This was the simple question that spurred great conversation, and I’m happy to share my answer with everyone today!

No, high tea actually refers to the high-back chairs around a dining table. Commoners often ate “high tea” on Sundays after work was completed. It is more like our supper today. It was also referred to as a “meat and potatoes tea.”

A low tea is what most Americans think of as traditional tea. It refers to the low tables one might find in a person’s home, such as a coffee table.

Teas were meant to be an informal way of entertaining. While teas may be “formal” in today’s viewpoint, you would never wear a formal gown to one. The term “tea length” originates due to the time of day. Since it’s mid-afternoon, the length isn’t full length, but it would still be considered “nice,” which isn’t a synonym for “formal,” at least in the etiquette world.

Other common terms are afternoon tea or cream tea. An afternoon tea would usually offer both sweet and savory options, and a cream tea may have only scones with clotted cream to serve with the tea.

The students learned so much while trying something new, and I truly think I enjoy as much as they do each time. The next time you’re thinking of having friends over, consider a tea!

Bonus info: When drinking tea, the pinky never goes up!

Ball Field Etiquette

Welcome, Summer! This time of year brings long evenings, cool swims in the pool, watermelon and baseball with friends. Each year I notice an increase of parents acting less than, um, parental at the ball field. It’s almost as if something happens at the ball field where their brain no longer knows right from wrong. Winning is their sole obsession.

Winning is wonderful. I’m a Type A perfectionist. I want to win. It’s fueled my desire to work hard and succeed.

To my disadvantage, though, I have let that desire to win stop me from trying if I didn’t think I had something in the bag. Learning to lose gracefully is a sign of emotional maturity. It’s also a gift that many do not possess.

The desire to win is not evil.

The desire to win at the expense of anything else is wrong.

I usually don’t write in absolutes. However, I wholeheartedly stand by my statement. We have gotten away from grace. We don’t allow ourselves the grace to fall, so we don’t feel the need to extend grace to others. But, oh, how we’re missing out on a full life when we miss out on grace. Coaches, parents, fans, players – we all have a responsibility at the ball field, regardless of whether it’s Little League or MLB.

  1. Be a good sport. Calls will be missed. Players will make mistakes. Coaches will play the wrong player. Yelling at whoever messed up will not fix the mistake. The only thing is does is add fuel to the fire. Also, keep in mind everyone there is human, including you. That call may have looked a little different if you had been in a different seat. More than anything, be a good sport.
  2. Do not belittle anyone. This includes anyone who is in the stands, any player and any coach. Anyone. It is perfectly acceptable to cheer for your team. However, booing for the other team does not make your team any better. (It also doesn’t make their team any worse, just for the record.)
  3. Appreciate the talent. Some people think that their team or child is just God’s gift to this earth and that no one else could possibly ever find favor. A good fan will appreciate the talent and hard work the opposing team shows. Again, no one is saying you can’t cheer for your team. But by appreciating their talent and work, you understand you aren’t entitled to anything. Also, as a player, by realizing the talent the other team has, you’ll be able to better train and play your absolute best.
  4. At all times show respect.

By focusing on only winning, regardless of whether or not that win was deserved, we are instilling poor morals and values onto the next generation. Yelling and belittling is easy. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment. It takes true strength to see the players and coaches as valuable human beings. It takes true strength to see  beyond the moment.

 

If you have a child in a sport, I’d like to leave you with this final poem.

 

He’s Just a Little Boy by Chaplain Bob Fox

 

He stands at the plate with his heart pounding fast.

The bases are loaded; the die has been cast.

Mom and Dad cannot help him; he stands all alone.

A hit at this moment would send his team home.

 

The ball meets the plate; he swings, and he misses.

There’s a groan from the crowd, with some boos and some hisses.

A thoughtless voice cries, “Strike out the bum.”

Tears fill his eyes; the game’s no longer fun.

 

So open up your heart and give him a break,

For it’s moments like this, a man you can make.

Please keep this in mind when you hear someone forget.

He is just a little boy and not a man, yet.

 

 

 

Why I Still Send Father’s Day Cards

If you’ve read this blog for any period of time, you know that I struggle with thank you notes. In most cases, I send them. However, I’ve had to use various “tricks” to make sure I send the notes in a timely manner. For instance, I actually keep stationary and stamps in my car. For me, this is a must.

Knowing this, it may come as a shock that I find it important to send Father’s Day cards (in addition to other holiday cards). Holidays, though, come naturally to me.

I absolutely love all holidays. Before kids when I still had energy, I would celebrate the most mundane of holidays. Pi Day, National Doughnut Day, Best Friends Day. You name it, we did something to commemorate the occasion. I’ve always joked that it was fitting for my daughter to be born on St. Patrick’s Day, since I love holidays the way that I do.

While I don’t think it’s necessary to spend a certain amount on a cards (a $0.99 card is perfect!), I do think there something incredibly special about sending/receiving letters or cards in the mail. You don’t even have to send a traditional Hallmark card! My kids really enjoy making crafts and pictures to send to their grandparents and friends.

Taking the time to pull away from our cell phones and truly put in a little effort for someone else is rewarding for all parties involved. While it’s great that social media is able to connect people the way it does, the mystery of receiving a letter in the mail cannot be replicated.

I hope you’ll join me this Father’s Day in sending your father/uncle/grandfather/father figure a card via snail mail and let them enjoy that mystery, too!

Happy Father’s Day!

 

End of Year Field Trips

Our daughter is finishing up Kindergarten, which I can barely believe. She’s had an amazing year with a wonderful teacher. Each year at her school, they go on a trip to the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum in Commerce, Texas. If you’re ever in this area, I highly recommend this place! We were only there for about 2 1/2 hours, and Katherine could have (and has before) stayed there all day. It’s a 501(c)3, and admission is $6 for kids and $5 for adults.

Katherine riding on the train

They have plenty of options, all of which require plenty of imagination from the kids. There’s a stage with costumes, a train with a station, a bank, a pizza parlor, a grocery store, a pirate ship and many, many more areas. Katherine’s favorite may have been the bubble room!

        Inside of the bubble!

I remember as a child how important these field trips were to me and how many memories I made there. I’m so thankful to have been able to go to see Katherine and her friends at hers.

Garrett and I took off the week of May 14th through the 18th to celebrate our anniversary (which is May 14th). We also decided that for two of the days, we’re go our separate ways (absence makes the heart grow fonder and whatnot). He headed off to Oklahoma, while I stayed more local for a couple of small “daycations,” one of which we took right after her field trip!

Maybe a future banker like her parents?

I can’t wait to share our other trips with you soon!

Getting Outside

Did it just suddenly seem to go from cool to hot where you are? It absolutely did here in east Texas. The only benefit is that we can now officially use the pool we put in! We entertain often, and staying outside during the summer can seem fun in theory, but it’s often too hot to just sit around.

Aside from the pool, I absolutely love to play yardzee…it’s just a much larger version of Yahtzee!

This one has a reusable score board, which makes it fun to truly play. If you’re crafty with tools, you could also try to just make it on your own.

We also enjoy playing corn hole with the kiddos and friends during the warmer months. This set that I found on Amazon is much less expensive than any of the others. I’m not sure it’s regulation size, but it seems to be full size and not a table-top size, which is really all I personally care about. I don’t plan to go pro any time soon.

What are your favorite things to do outdoors?

{This post contains affiliate links, and we will receive compensation for purchases made through the links.}