Today the church celebrates the birth of Our Blessed Mother, Mary. We knew that with cousin Addie's birthday party going on, it would get lost in the rush today. So we ended our school with a liturgical tea time yesterday and invited some friends to join us. It was such a wonderful afternoon.
We went with a blue theme because it is Mary's color. We have been using this table setting for Marian celebrations this year, blue table cloth, Mary and the rosary in the center of the table. We moved the baby for tea! The boys enjoy preparing the table and being the one to choose which statue and rosary will go in the center of the table.
These photos are a little blurry, my camera battery was dying! But here are our tea items all ready. Cupcakes with blue sprinkles and blue birthday candles, grapes, and cheese cubes were on the menu. There was blue juice for our non-tea drinkers (my boys) and a selection of hot teas for those of us who enjoy it. Here is everyone enjoying their tea time. I invited my friend Catherine, because her five girls create a great balance to the testosterone at my house! And because every now and then, I enjoy seeing a pink dress at my tea time! The kids really were sweet all drinking and eating and politely asking for what they needed (except Brendan of course, who can't help but command me to get him more of such and such....but with some reminders, even he enjoyed a civil few moments at the table, drinking out of his "pretty cup".)
After tea, each family decorated a box with a Happy Birthday message to Mary and an opening in the top. Throughout the year we can fill it with notes of love and devotion, prayers and sacrifices offered to our Blessed Mother, and we will have it hopefully filled up to offer Mary on her birthday next year.
What a gracious and fun time it was. I am so thankful for the brilliant moms who have helped us all incorporate this idea of living and celebrating the feasts of our church in our homes. It brings such a sense of piety and grace to our weeks, and creates a sweet rhythm to my kids embrace wholeheartedly.
To top off such a great day, our accountant ;) and dear friend had made an appointment to stop by in the evening, so I phoned and told him to bring along his wife and kids. The kids so enjoyed one another's company, we rarely saw them throughout the evening, and the husbands were chatting away so much, that Alice and I hung out in relative peace for most of the evening. Alas, the camera was dead by then, but you'll have to trust me when I tell you it was fabulous evening. As we finished our current read-aloud at bedtime , it felt a little bittersweet, we were going to miss this story we had all fallen in love with. Then Quinn piped up excitedly, "But it's okay, there's more books (in the series), and the Cantrells are reading the next one, and when they finish it we can go borrow it and play at THEIR HOUSE! Sorry, Alice, it seems as though we've invited ourselves over! Then my sleepy-eyed boys offered good night kisses and choruses of "Thanks, Mom, we had a great day." You're welcome, my little ones, quite welcome. And by way, so did I.