I *try* to have tea with the girls regularly and in my ideal world all afternoon tea times would look like this:

Our finished table

or like our beloved Tea House:But today it looked more like this:

Afternoon tea; you may notice that our tea is steeping in a jar...I wasn't very thankful for my old and not pretty tea pot...until it broke and left me without one.

Oh wait, that is not right either. Here is how it looked:

The real afternoon tea!

Yes, we had our tea amidst the mess of all my afternoon projects, supper prep, scone making, and preparing pumpkins for the freezer. I have this (annoying) tendency to think that if I am not going to do something right then I would rather not do it at all. Which means that many things are left undone. Even today as I took the scones out of the oven and scanned my cluttered table, I wanted to stop and clean every thing up. But, I knew that meant that I wouldn’t be done until it was supper time. And so I forced myself to clear just enough room for our tea things and we spent some time sipping tea and eating scones.

And the truth is that I don’t really wish for my children to remember my charmingly decorated table; I want them to look back on the afternoon tea where we sipped and talked about child things and one day teen things and then one day, woman things. When a rag was handy for mopping up and life direction was gently given and friendship and respect was grown.


I still managed to have the table cleared and dishes mostly washed by supper time.

Once our guest house is up and running, we actually want to offer afternoon tea for our guests to join our family; I imagine that I will have to have a clear table then but doubtless it will still reflect our busy, not-always-organized, young family.