It was obvious to me when I first met my in-laws that I would be marrying into a fantastic family.
That fact has been confirmed to me many times over the 16 years of my marriage, but none more so than at the tea party Oma threw for the little girl cousins while we were in Utah. (Which, mind you, she throws monthly for the in-staters).
I have heard the tales of the famous tea parties, but scarcely could have imagined the complete and utter genius that is the Oma.
First on the agenda at the tea party, is decorating a large banner. Crayons, markers, and colored pencils await the creative minds and hands of little girls. There are no lines that need to be stayed in. There are no rules. The more colorful and garish, the better. Little scribbles are at home next to neat, detailed words.
And what could possibly be better than hanging your masterpiece with tape onto the mantle?
After all, a tea party must be properly decorated.
Next, the girls are divided into teams of two, with big girls happily partnering with little girls. Every pair is handed their very own scotch tape and several rolls of crepe paper. Decorating of furniture is highly encouraged.
Next, the girls are whisked off to the beauty station. Each girl competes for space at the full-length mirror where hair do's are coiffed and created using the ribbons, bows, and curlers from Oma's stash. Pink foam curlers provide the ultimate in ladies hair fashion and magically are "ready" in about eight seconds.
After the proper time has been spent in the beauty salon, it is time for the fitting of the gowns. Stylish traveling trunks have been brought for the occasion and somehow eight girls manage to find just the right outfit without any fighting or tears. There are shoes, accessories, hats, and gowns enough for all.
This Oma knows what she's doing.
Once all the divas are properly attired, it is time for the fashion show, complete with runway walk and color commentary by our hostess.
Twirling is highly encouraged.
souvenir du jour in the 10-year-old boy crowd.
Sadly, I am not sure any of the girls even noticed.
The brief interruption over, and it is time for tea. Every girl receives her own pitcher of cream, a tea cup, and saucer. Tiny treats and bite-sized fruit delight even the pickiest of palates.
And one must always remember to raise her pinkie when drinking at a ladies tea.
Tea-time entertainment is provided in story form by the seemingly tireless Oma. Quite fitting, naturally, that all the stories are tea party related.
Once the food and drink have been devoured, it is time for the clean up. Eight little heads bob happily into the kitchen for dish washing. That task is completed, and they return with disposable wipes for the tables.
Cleaning has never seemed so fun.
The grand finale is a game of artistic freeze dance, after which everyone is declared a winner and receives a bracelet and some lipstick.
Is it wrong that we're considering moving here, JUST for the tea parties?
These are the memories that generations are made of.
Bless you, Oma.