The guests begin to arrive and gather in the den, or rather, "dining room".
Emily's sweet sixteen tea party was truly a special, special day. We had a total of about thirty-five ladies of all ages sipping tea, laughing, and having an all around good time.
Waiting for our guests........
My sister-in-law, Patty, brought numerous teacups, teapots, platters, scones, clotted cream, and even sugar cubes she hand decorated with "E"'s, "16"'s, and flowers. She brought all these things the night before on an almost two hour drive down from Columbia, SC. She spent Friday night running around doing last minute errands with me before the big day (like, uh, actually buying TEA for the tea party) :)
Hayden was a busy big sister. Here she and Miss Amy are getting the quiches out of the oven.
A full house
See these more "mature" ladies? Don't let this picture fool you. This turned out to be the rowdiest table at the party! (Apparently, Miss Harriett is quite the riot.)
Some of Emily's lovely friends.
I actually got to sit near my birthday girl.
Hayden and good friend, Rebekah.
The amazing Aunt Patty and my mother-in-law, Pat. My mom, Carol, is sitting next to me in the background. My stepmother, Shirley, also attended, so we had lots of Grandmas!
More lovely friends.
Miss Karen, Miss Linda, and Miss Betsy sit near Emmie while she opens her presents.
Order of events:
- Ladies arrive, put on name tags, and drop off gifts at entryway table.
- Introduction to Patty, our special hostess
- Patty explains tea table options - tea table had boxes of tea bags, lemonade, ice water, and coffee and was located in our converted "dining room". Dining tables had two sets of sugar cubes, cream, and teapots of hot water (one for each end).
- I explain food tables (served in our actual dining room)
- We brought in Emmie's cake and sang Happy Birthday right away so the ladies could have dessert as soon as they were ready!
- The blessing.
- Everyone eats, talks, and giggles. Eat some more, talk some more, laugh some more. While ladies eat, men and boys (Daddy, Poppa, and brothers) sneak downstairs, fix their plates, and sneak back upstairs to finish playing "Risk".
- Ladies gather in the living room where three, lovely Titus II ladies take turns praying for and blessing Emily while ministering to us all. I cannot say enough about this time. It was my favorite part. To see young ladies literally sitting at the feet of and listening intently to such worthy mentors was so incredibly moving. I made sure I had a box of tissue on a nearby table because I knew I was going to need it! Each lady prepared some special words of wisdom, her personal experiences, and verses to share; then asked for something very specific from the Lord for my daughter. Emily's gifts and talents, submission to the Lord, her parents, and future husband (if the Lord so chooses), and her prayer life were prayed for. Thank you Miss Karen, Miss Betsy, and Miss Linda!
- Emily opens presents while her sister, Hayden, records names and gifts for thank you notes.
- More fellowship
- Saying good-bye
- Clean up!
What is a Titus II lady? She personifies the Scriptures below. Prayerfully surround yourself and your daughters with them! Seek to be one yourself someday! It seems that so few women in the church today encourage our young women to be busy at home and obedient - but that is what the Scriptures command!
...the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things - that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
Thank you, Dear Lord, for surrounding my daughters and me with Your amazing and wonderful women!