Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tea - My Excuse for Not Blogging

You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging as much lately. Well, I finally have the chance to show you why!

Three months ago, I started planning for our church's, Ladies' Spring Tea. I was so excited! When I was about 10 years old my family went to a very small church and a lady there (Renee) would give teas each spring. My mom and I would help out at them and I absolutely loved it. They were a lot of work with so much attention to detail. Everything was so special and carefully planned. I remember that Renee treated me as one of the ladies, I felt privileged and helpful. Ever since then, I knew that I wanted to give teas someday and here was my chance! I couldn't believe it. These pictures are from 1998 .....and 2000.
Wow, that's all I can say to those pictures.

My mom and I (and Josh too!) faithfully looked for items I would need for the tea and I am pretty sure that between the three of us, we have traveled to every Goodwill in the valley. (several times a week). I needed so much stuff though. We were planning on 120 ladies, and 15 tables. That meant I needed 15 serving teapots, 15 centerpiece teapots,
15 tablecloths,
(each was a vintage sheet from Goodwill, cut square, hemmed and ironed.)
15 creamers, 15 sugar bowls,
15 glass bowls for lemon curd
15 for clotted cream
15 platters or tiered servers
120 china plates, (not shown)
and 120 of these 1950's "hospitality sets". They were remarkably easy to find at thrift stores I never spent more than $1 on a plate and most of the cups were .69. I found just under 100 so I borrowed the rest from a friend. (Thank you Mrs. Lumpkin!)

Not to mention, cloth napkins, flowers, and table # signs for each table. I felt like all I did for a week was wash dishes from the thrift stores. After that week, I had a strict 'wash it as soon as it comes in the house' policy.

I also had the menu planned out. Since the baking would be done by 19 different ladies who graciously accepted when I asked them to make 120 tiny foods, I needed to have recipes that showed pictures of how the food should look when it was done - just so there were no surprises and we were all on the same page.

That was a huge undertaking, baking everything, taking pictures of each step, and noting how many items each recipe would make. Here is the menu.

1st course served:
Orange Cranberry Scones with Lemon curd
Sweet Rose Bread with Clotted Cream
Chocolate Banana Muffins

2nd Course Served:
Chicken Salad Croissants
Raspberry Ribbon Sandwiches
Cucumber Sandwiches
Fruit Cups

3rd Course Served:
Blueberry Pound Cake
Lemon Rose Madeleines
Fudge Truffle Cheesecake
Butter Cookies

This is how the tables were set. Each table had a hostess who was responsible for getting the food, beverages, and plates for the ladies. This cut back on traffic and makes it more enjoyable to be served. I am so thankful for every person who had to work to make this tea possible!

I was so excited for the day of the tea, (May 7th) but I also was dreading it as not only did I have all these preparations to worry about but I also was the speaker. I did not want to speak, any one who knows me can testify to that, but I knew that God wanted me to. The theme of the tea was Joy, so I knew that I had to talk about having joy even in life's trials. I had hoped my talk/testimony would be about 10 minutes and it was just over that. I didn't cry nearly as much as I did when I practiced at home either so that was a relief. I guess I was too nervous:) Over all, the tea went off without any major hitches and I think it was a great success. I had every intention of taking pictures of the actual event but we were all so busy that I never had the chance. I was in the kitchen with Josh and 3 other brave helpers from our church. What a huge job it was to wash all those dishes and prepare the trays for each table hostess!

I am so sad that it is over! I still haven't put everything away - mostly because I have no idea where to store it. What a great husband I have to not complain about the boxes and boxes of china and tea pots to store in the garage, (or how much money that was spent on them - which I refuse to add up the receipts to find out). I know we acquired everything at the lowest cost possible and they will be used and appreciated for years and years to come. What a blessing planning the tea had been for me. It kept me recklessly busy for at least 2 months, keeping my mind off the pregnancy and making the time fly by. I can't wait until next time! (and yes, I have already started planning for it.... a little.)


  1. Kathleen I wish I had known you were "searching" for so many items. I had a few of those stands, some I was getting rid of and some you would have been more than welcome to borrow - AND I live so close to one of the Goodwills you, your mom, or Josh undoubtedly frequented!!! Next time you do a tea I want to come, pretty please?? It sounds like a wonderful time!!

  2. Thank you for taking all that time. It was easy to see how much love and attention you had spent in every detail and was a wonderful morning. Not to mention, the food was extremely yummy! You spoke gracefully and so sincerely that I think everyone was touched by your testimony and I have loved that quote you shared about This life - in fact I have shared it with many people since. Thanks again!

  3. @ Mrs. Pinner. Ugh! I knew I should have asked around more. Oh well, I'll definitely let you know when me next tea is!

    @Heather - Thanks for coming! I was so busy I didn't see you! Glad you could make it:)

  4. Kathleen,
    That is wonderful - both the memories with your mom and continuing the tradition so other moms and daughters can cherish such wonderful times together! I'm so amazed and proud of you for having the courage to share your story! What a gift you gave to so many women! I know your Father is beaming with pride over you for your willingness to step out in faith out of your comfort zone and bless others! I would love to hear what you shared!

  5. I was so sad to have missed it! By your description and your pictures it looked outstanding! I'll be sure not to miss the next one! Better yet, if you need help with the next one, I'd love to help! Michele