Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tea For Two

Well, it was more like tea for twenty, but it was loads of fun! In fact, I think the only people we were missing were Mic and Mike, which was too bad, because there was lots of yummy food and tea and treats. All in all, there were about 17 of us. Not bad for one family, huh?

We had the tea on the back patio, early in the morning so that it wasn't too hot (even so, it was a bit warm if you sat in the sun). We had tables under the porch roof and under the newly-shade-clothed pergola, and on the red brick patio under an umbrella. Some of the little kids ate on the grass on a blanket and then played in the grotto area. I have to say, Momma's done such a good job planning her back yard. When we moved into the house it was just desert all around (except for the plain back porch and the garage pad). She planned the around-the-house pergola, the cement patio out the back door, the grotto for Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the flower beds. Of course, she also has relied on the help of her many children to realize these plans, but I think she was the leading master mind behind it all.. it's simply beautiful outside now!

I should explain why my family has High Tea now (it was not something we did growing up). When Momma and Summer went to Alabama to attend Joella's (my oldest niece) First Communion, Joella had chosen a tea house for the reception. There were many different kinds of loose-leaf tea to order and several assortments of tea snacks. There were also all sorts of hats for people to wear as they had their tea. They all had so much fun that Momma and Summer decided to continue the fine tradition with twice-monthly High Tea Parties with the fam! Normally they do it on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, but Momma made an exception since T and I were there :)

Another fun thing about having a tea party is that Momma gets to use all her pretty china. I know it may seem very worldly to enjoy using pretty things so much, but I have grown up with an appreciation for true finery. When we were younger, our birthday parties would be tea parties and we got to use Momma's fancy china--the small teacups and saucers, dessert plates and the sterling silverware. For holiday meals we pull out all the stops--fine linens (including cloth napkins), crystal stemware (even cognac glasses for the small children to hold their Martinelli's sparkling cider!), Momma's and Daddy's wedding china (with the real-gold rim around the edge), and the bronze silverware. We didn't have family dinners or big parties very often, but when we did have them, it was a beautiful occasion.

After the tea party, Ray and his family left to head back east (via Vegas where Heather's family is). It was so good to see them! I'm glad that Heather and the kids decided to come along as well. I know we would have seen Ray even if the rest of his family hadn't come, and that we would have seen the rest of the family over Christmas (though Ray will be gone). But it was still nice to see them all together. Families are just better when they're all together, I think :)

The rest of our Sunday was pretty lazy.. the way Sunday afternoons should be!

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