Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Fourth Annual Bryan's Summer Gala: the Before Pictures

Every summer for four summers, my offspring have collaborated to put on a dance party on our front lawn, just for the fun of it.  Though there have been excellent excuses to have a party.....such as saying goodbye or welcome to our kids who have been foreign exchange students, there really is no other purpose, but to have fun. Willa's family was to have attended the first annual party, but a terrible stomach flu postponed the date of the party and they missed it.  The Ryans did make the second party, but not the third (I think...I cannot find it in my memory bank at all. 
Were you there, Willa?).  And, they did make this fourth celebration.

This production always involves lights and a sound system. For the Summer of 2012, being the theatrical people that they are, my kids gave it the Casablanca theme.  The pictures below show the kids working on the "set" for the party.  There are pictures of some of the peoples enjoying each others' company while taking a break.  They had extra help with two cousins who were visiting for two weeks.....and later from the Ryans and another friend as well.  Our house had ten extra people to hold for the week of the Gala.  Willa's family was there with five of her offspring, my dad came with one our family friends and then the two cousins aforementioned.  Busy, but it worked. I will load a separate post for the pretty food so this post will not scroll forever, more than it already will.  Unfortunately there are not too many pictures of the actual party.  I was too busy enjoying the party and visiting with the parental-type I find the lighting is not good for photos.  This is the reason I took the time to take photos of the "set" before the party got going.....and the sun went down.

I have to say: 

I am so proud of the kids! 

They made a beautiful party.

It was a formal dance, in the Casablanca style-dress, if so desired. 
I love seeing the kids dress up so nicely.
The following pics taken the night before.....while building the "set."







The next set of shots are a bit strange.
  Let me explain:
From my bedroom window, I found my oldest son, the engineer of the set, cuddling with my youngest daughter late in the night.......after they quit working for the evening.  I am taking the pics from within my there are reflections of my room on the windows.  Yet, you can still see the out of doors.





The chief chef was working in the kitchen while the others were outside working on the set.
The cookie base for a yummy treat.

They used napkins to make some flower decorations for the tables.....which they also made. 

A trio of shots of my youngest daughter, Maddelyn, with her best friend from birth, Talullah.
Both 17 years.



A boy and his grandfather.  And their devices.


The next set of photos are from the day of the party.......
An overview of the party set.......
The inside view of the entrance into the party.
Willa's number four kid, number three son.  Sean, 19. Hanging out.

Set designer and engineer, Matthew, my oldest son, 21 years.  Setting up Rick's Bar.
Non-alcoholic drinks that looked like alcoholic drinks were served.  Clever.


Various table shots......all made just for this party.

Our pair of Golden Retrievers exhausted from the work of setting up the set.  :)

There was a gaming room.......they made the back wall of paper bricks.
There was roulette, 21 and craps.
My professional gambler grandfather would have been proud.  ;)





Details of the bar.......








The lights were hidden in the trees.  Was a clever idea.  Looked great at night!

The lanterns in the trees......their favorite part of the decor!

Dressed up for the party.
A granddaughter and a grandfather. 
My middle daughter, Sarah, 19, and my father.
An elegant photo memory.
Garrett, my 15 year old, Matthew and their cousin Cecilia, 17 years.

My oldest daughter, Anne, 23 years.

Willa's only daughter, Clare, 21 years and her best friend Anne-with-an-E.

Sisters!!!  So to speak.
Clare, Sarah & Anne


Willa's youngest boys:  Sean, 19, Keiron, 16, Aidan, 13 and Patrick, 9.

Dr. & Mrs. LaGro....dressed for the occasion!


My Miss Maddelyn, 17 years, with dear friend Bethany

Friend Gavin came dressed for the occasion......

Sarah created their own wine label for their sparkling apple cider.
This allowed me to use my new copier/printer for the very first time.
The first time I have ever copied anything in the comfort of my own home.
Very cool.

The leftovers.......


     Thanks for sharing this sample of our shared summer memories.  Such a blessing to see Willa and hers so frequently in the last year.......(three visits for a week......and one visit with Sean for two weeks)......hoping we can get just one more in before the full year is up......
      End of summer Blessings,
                                Chari & Willa


  1. It looks like a great party and with a grand preparation. I saw a lot of happy faces. Can you call that reunion of two friend-families? The photos you published will be a memorable photo album
    Thank you.

  2. Wow, that looks like a lot of fun. Loved all the photos.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all.:-)

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