Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday ~ Tea Time!

OK, true confession time...last year I dreaded afternoons. Especially from about 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM. The big kids would come home from school hungry, the little kids were whiny and irritable, and no one wanted to talk about school. Afternoons were no fun around our house. :(

This school year, I resolved we'd try something different. I decided we'd call it "Tea Time". Now you need to know, we don't drink tea. (I couldn't think of anything else "catchy" to call it). And then I set out to make "Tea Time" one of the highlights of our day!

I purchased a fun, colorful tray and little appetizer plates from Target. I stocked our refrigerator with yummy, (semi) healthy snacks, and juice boxes. I shared the vision of Tea Time with the kids, and announced that this year, every single day after school, we would have "Tea Time" immediately when the kids got off the bus.

And you know what?? It's worked!! My kids walk in the door and say, "What's for Tea Time, Mom?". If their friends are over, they join us (and comment, "I wish we did this at our house"). We share snacks and drinks and highlights from school and lots of laughter. I learn about what happened at recess, on the bus, in class. I treasure this time with my kids!

Most importantly, my attitude has changed. I look forward with eager anticipation to 4:00 PM. I delight in thinking what fun snacks I can prepare for my kids. I don't answer the phone during this time. Tea Time is a special, sacred part of my day!

Now I do recognize, it won't last forever. My high schooler Jake has hockey practice after school, so he doesn't make it for Tea Time very often anymore. But for my 'little ones' (Benj is 8, Amanda is 6 1/2, and Sarah is 6) ~ we are building priceless memories!
And hopefully when they think of 'Tea Time', they'll think of a home filled with love, warmth, beauty, and belonging. A mom can dream anyway...

Here's 3/4 of my Tea Time Gang! :) Don't they just look like fun?!! :)

Tea Time has Worked For Me! What about for you?? I'd love to hear what has helped your family life run more smoothly.

And for more great tips, head over to We Are That Family.

Have a great week!! Many blessings to you!!


Michelle said...

I love your "tea time" idea. Growing up we actually did have tea time. Obviously, juice for the little ones, but there would be full tea and goodies on the table. I will have to try this one. I know I have used your Sundae's on Sunday and my kids love it. We have started our own Family Friday Movie Night where we watch an appropriate movie, eat in front of the tv (usually pizza or nuggets) and get to relax at the end of our week together.

Wylie said...

I LOVE this Cindy!!! After school is the hardest time of the day for me! Especially Wedesdays, as we have to slam homework to get to church. It is GOOD to be still like you are doing as often as you can do it & talk to your kids!!!!!

3 Blessings said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

sounds like good family fun, Cindy!

Joshlin said...

Great idea! When my little one starts school I will have to remember this tip! Thanks!!!!

Andrea said...

Love this idea! I only have one child still at home. He turned 17 yesterday and he is home-schooled. We have a lot of quality time together and I LOVE IT! I think I appreciate it more with him than I did when I was home-schooling all three boys. I was too busy then.
Blessings, andrea

chellie said...

Cindy, this is so helpful. I have to admit this is the dreaded hour at my house. But, it's mostly because I've been with them all day and they are tired out! This sparks some ideas in me just to create something special at that time. hmmmm, I'll be thinking on that one.
Thanks a bunch!

Anonymous said...

We do the same thing but call it Snack & Chat"! An idea I stole from a veteran mom... Thanks for the encouragement!

Faith Imagined said...

I'm thinking that I will totally steal your idea. I love it! Who wouldn't want to eat yummy snacks and talk about their day?

However, we eat dinner at about 4.30pm, so we'll have to do after dinner tea time! Maybe I'll call it homework/tea time!


Diana said...

Whether it's Tea Time or Snack and Chat the memories will remain forever.

My kiddos always enjoyed oreos and milk at their grandmother's house on Fridays, too. She so looked forward to those afternoons each week after school!

Julie@comehaveapeace said...

How fun! I usually pick my daughter up at school, and our car ride home is priceless.

Tara said...

Stopping by from Friday Follow to say Hi! I am now a follower! ;-)

Don't forget to stop by and link up at Trendy Treehouse for more Follow Me Friday Fun!

Jasmine said...

Hi there. I'm stopping by from Follow Friday. Thank you so much for following me. I hope Far Above Rubies will be a blessing to you.

I am now following you too.

What a beautiful blog!!!

Far Above Rubies

Theta Mom said...

How cute is your blog??? Thanks for the follow, following back!

Sara said...

I love that idea, it sounds like so much fun!!

I am following you from Follow Friday, I love your blog

Ashley said...

I love your blog!

I am here from Friday Follow, & I will for sure be stopping by often!

Michelle said...

Love the name of your blog:) Following you too!

Heather said...

First, I LOVE your blog header and the yellow! So pretty and cheerful!

I'm following you via Friday Follow! If you want to follow me back it's

jj said...

Cindy, This is so important. I learned something last year when I dropped off a carpool kid with her mom after kindergarten. The mom ran to the door and greeted her child enthusiastically, when I would usually sort of sigh when mine got home because the chaos would then ensue. I vowed that day to change my attitude. When my kids get home from school or anywhere, I now greet them like they have just made my day. I hug and kiss them (will do that as long as possible) and make sure I have a feel for what's going on inside their little souls. Love ya!!

sonja said...


I especially love these comments. I'm down the road from where you are, and my kids are all grown, but that time of day was always my hardest too, and I think you've grabbed the 'bull by the horns' and are changing that! Good for you! These years go so quickly, and you are in the middle of 'memory making' right now!

Blessings, loved this.


Angela said...

what a great idea! I am following your blog from follow friday!

'Becca said...

We did something like this when I was a kid: My mom would take a coffee break and sit down with my brother and me while we had our snacks. Even after she started working and wasn't always home after school, my brother and I would snack together and connect a bit.

I'm employed outside the home, and my son attends full-day preschool, so by the time we get home it's time to eat the dinner Daddy made. My son has been having trouble unwinding and reconnecting with us after his long day, and I keep thinking that a more structured and friendly dinnertime would help. Thanks for inspiring me to work on it!

Ree said...

I love this idea! :)

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