Joined by Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, the first lady took her guests to the White House State Dining Room, the White House said.
There officials set up with three brightly colored skirted stations for cookie decorating, flower pot arranging and tea sachet-making for about about 32 kids who appeared to be between about 5 and 12 years old. The children made presents for their mothers and grandmothers.
The White House said executive chef Cris Comerford helped create the tea sachets, showing kids how to drop in herbs and flowers, and sent them off with tea and White House beehive honey. Executive pastry chef Bill Yosses doled out Purell and instructions at the cookie frosting table, and White House florist Laura Dowling offered ideas and encouragement at the flower table.
Wearing a yellow top and pale gold skirt, the first lady and Biden moved from table to table, admiring projects and greeting the kids.
Then the two women went to the East Room where there was a lunch for military moms and grandmoms, the White House said. The children presented their gifts at the lunch.
Biden spoke, recalling the "difficult year" for her family while her son Beau was deployed to Iraq, and thanked all the military families for their service.
The first lady thanked Biden and first grandmother Marian Robinson, who attended the tea. "My mom is my rock," she said, "she has taught me to believe in myself, pick myself up when I stumble, and she is a shoulder to lean on and to cry on, which I do a lot."
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