A Belated Mother’s day

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We spent Sunday in Ohio.

My sister, Kelly, and her daughter, Lydia, had driven down to my parents’ house for the weekend. They had traveled 7 hours south from their home in northern Michigan to celebrate Gracie’s 18th birthday with her at her Downton Abbey tea party.

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Because our family is spread from Michigan to Texas whenever we do get together we take advantage of that rare treat and celebrate all the birthdays and holidays that fall around that time. This weekend we celebrated Grace, Molly, and Kelly’s spring birthdays as well as Mother’s Day with my mom.

Since Grace, Molly, and I needed to be in Ohio on Monday for the tea party we decided to drive two vehicles out to the Homestead and then at the end of the day Toby could drive back home with the boys and the girls and I could stay and begin Gracie’s celebration.

It was a perfect day. The sun was out and the temperature was ideal. We ate lunch outside and then opened gifts.

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The kids each painted Mimi a flower on a canvas for Mother’s Day. (Grace is holding the rose Tyler painted since I couldn’t get him to come over for a picture. He is still self conscious about his new hair-do.)

 It was nice to be able to celebrate Mother’s day all together (I just wish my brother, Travis, could have joined us.)

Molly and Grace also received their birthday gifts from Aunt Kelly…beautiful necklaces that were so personal and perfect for each of them!

The remainder of the day was spent enjoying family time outside:

Playing with the farm animals…

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Tyler challenging Bobby to a duel.

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 Blowing BIG bubbles…

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And playing our traditional game of badminton….

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Around 5:00 the boys headed back home and the girls’ night began.

The first item on the agenda was hat decorating. I had picked up some inexpensive straw hats for us to decorate for the tea party. The girls had fun raiding Mimi’s ribbon and flower stash to create lovely tea party hats.

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While we created we had fun taking Downton Abbey personality quizzes online to determine which character we would each be.

When the hats were done the girls put on swimsuits and hopped in Mimi and Pop pop’s hot tub for a soak.

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Then it was time for party favors!

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Mimi had found a beautiful antique tea set that she purchased for the big day. She had filled each tea cup with treats for every girl to take home, and then gave Grace the tea pot, creamer and sugar bowl as part of her gift. The set was charming and was just Gracie’s style.

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My party favors for the group were Downton Abbey paper dolls that I found online and wrapped with a pair of scissors for each girl. (Thank you, Pinterest!)

We ended our evening by watching an episode of Downton Abbey to set the tone for our tea party the following day and to introduce Lydia to the characters and story since she had never seen the show. Gracie carefully chose an episode that would be entertaining and appropriate for a 10 year old, as well as one that highlighted all the main characters. She chose Season 1 episode 4 when Branson comes to Downton Abbey to be the new chauffer and Sybil wears pants.

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It was a perfect way to end a wonderful day with family,

as well as a perfect way to start Gracie’s Downton Abbey tea party birthday celebration.

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