Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Caddies, tenderloin and a rabbit

We hosted another group of caddies on Monday night and had a good time as usual.  I'm getting more and more used to having these larger groups (and having a helper to assist me with the food and house preparations) so my stress level for the evenings is very low.  I really get to enjoy them being here.  This group was very sweet and so kind.  They always want a group photo with Stan and Xan (I'm always the designated photographer :)'s the group.

Stan usually plans some kind of fun game or icebreaker activity and this time is was the "who am I" game where you ask "yes" and "no" questions to try and figure out what name is on the sticker you are wearing.  It was a bit of a challenge for us this time b/c all the names and characters were famous chinese people and we weren't familiar with most of them.  Stan's assistant, Carol,  is always so helpful to  him in getting the activities translated and planned.  (In the photo above, she is the one in the striped sweater with her hand on Xan's arm).


Our menu this time was beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, green beans, deviled eggs and yeast rolls.  They were all well received and the only leftover we had was some beef and a few rolls.  These girls may look small but they can put away the food.  It's interesting b/c they usually all go thru the line and serve themselves with very small portions and then they taste all the "different" foods and come back thru the line and serve themselves man size portions.....some even return for third helpings.  Of course, making them happy with my food makes me happy so I'm always glad to have them leave with a full stomach and smiling face.  

The other thing that these evenings result in is's a cultural thing here to give gifts for everything.  We've told them over and over to not bring us anything but they always do.  This particular night we received a very large fruit basket...emphasis on large.  They also brought Xan an extremely large stuffed bunny rabbit....again-emphasis on the large.  Oh yeah......they also brought her another bunny.  One that is not stuffed. heard me correctly.  One of these sweet young girls bought my daughter a real- live- breathing - hopping - eating - pooping - peeing rabbit.  I thought for a brief time that she had brought her pet with her to just "show" Xan but I was corrected and warmly and graciously thanked them for such a "thoughtful" gift.  

So.....everyone....please meet Charlie. you will see here my daughter is already in love with this little thing so I guess he'll get to hang around a while.  *sigh*

????Any guesses on what is going through Stan's head right here?  :)

Chat with ya later.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dancing with Dong Mei

Dong Mei spends a lot of time at our house.  She is our ayi (pronounced ahh yee) and we love her.  One of the blessings of expat living is having someone help me around the house and with Xan when we need a sitter.  It is one of those things that is still so very surreal but also very nice- I must admit.  She is a sweet woman and we view her being in our home for so much time as a perfect opportunity to just be Christ in her life.....every day, day in and day out....when noone else sees what we are doing, what we are saying, and how we treat her and others.  Her native language is of course, Chinese, and mine of not.  Therefore, we have some very interesting conversations that consist of pantomimes, broken english and very poor chinese and when necessary good ol' google translator on the laptop.  All that being said.....we have become very dear friends.  It really is amazing how much can be communicated without the same language.

It is also fair to say that the relationship between Dong Mei (pronounced ding dong, may) and Xan has been one that has grown from Xan's awkward acceptance of this strange person in our home into a sweet, caring one that has them each giggling, playing tricks on each other and most recently acting as the other's language teacher.  Xan really does enjoy her time with Dong Mei now and Dong Mei is absolutely wonderful with Xan.  Here are a few pictures I snapped of them after school yesterday during an impromptu dance session b/c Xan wanted to show me her "new moves" and she just happened to have on a great twirly skirt.

Chat with ya later.