Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dinner for 20 +

Jacob and I have been trying to come up with ideas of how to get to know his students better.  Someone gave us the idea of trying to have everyone in his class over to our home by the end of the first semester, so that we could get to know some of them more deeply the next semester.  So, we went with it, and Wednesday night we had 20 students from his second class over to our apartment for dinner.  We were a little nervous, very excited, and maybe a little crazy, but we had a blast.  So, how does one prepare dinner for 20 students and your family in China?

We thought we would go with Mexicanish food.  The night before, I soaked pinto beans in the crockpot.  The kids did homeschool that morning, and a friend helped watch Xavier while I hand chopped ingredients for fresh salsa, and fried tortilla chips made from corn tortillas that we bought at the western store.  Later, I hand grated cheese (one block mozzarella, the other white cheddar because we can't tell the difference on the packaging) bought at another store.  I baked two loaves each of pumpkin and banana bread.  I cooked spanish rice in the rice cooker, then fried it in the wok, and individually heated each frozen flour tortilla.  Then, voila!  The meal was ready.

Ephraim and Eden were excited about playing games with the students.  Eden prepared a banner to welcome them, and drew pictures of each student on a piece of paper from the notecards we have with their pictures stapled to them.  We talked to Father about our evening, and put music on.  Another family loaned us inside shoes since we only have about 5 pairs.  Then, they arrived, bringing gifts of fruit including, pomelo, apples, oranges, bananas, and roasted chestnuts!  I had never had them before, and they were delicious!  We showed them around our home, and they crowded around Eden and Ephraim, whom I couldn't see at one point because of the sea of people.

I quickly told the kids they could go in my room and close the door if they needed to escape from all the attention at any piont.  They never did.  It blesses my heart to see Father use my children to be a light, and to see my children enjoying our Chinese students.  They were fascinated by the food, especially the breads.  They asked to hear how Jacob and I met.  Xavier got held a lot, which most of the time he didn't mind.  The highlight of the evening was when they played games with the kids.  Eden enjoyed teaching them Uno, Operation, and drawing pictures for them, and Ephraim enjoyed teaching them Crazy 8s and Candyland.  Ephraim was the life of the party, of course, and Candyland was the biggest hit, surprise!
Jacob held Xavier, and interacted in the games, while I sat at the table, and got to know some of the girls.  Some of the things they said were as follows:  "Are your children not afraid of strangers?" "I want to marry a foreigner so I can have a cute baby like Xavier," "How old were you when you married.  Ah, I think it is good now to marry when you are young," "I like to travel," "I like to watch American TV like the Big Bang Theory and Vampire Diaries."  Can you tell most of them are girls?  There are only 3 guys in this class of 22 students.  Many of them get their perspecitive of Americans from the TV shows they watch.

One student told me at a separate event that they thought all Americans were promiscuous till they met another teacher and us.  To many of them, we are the only foreigners they have come in contact with.  Many of them remarked that night with giddy smiles on how much Jacob loved me from hearing him talk about me in class.  The girls were talking about finding boyfriends, and they would discuss who was pretty, and therefore they would have one.  I had gone to the bedroom with Xavier for a few minutes.  Jacob was in midconversation, and, all at once, they announced it was time to go.  The kids called goodnight to them from the window upstairs as they left.
Overall, we all had a wonderful time.  The kids said they wanted to do this every night!  My thought afterwards was how all of them were so endearing, and I'm going to need wisdom in knowing where to invest the most.  When they left, Jacob and I were beaming, and talked about it late into the night.  This time really blessed us, and we look forward to the next class next week.

Showers of Blessings:
Children eager to interact with students
Don't have to buy fruit this week!
Chestnuts for the first time
The teacher who went before us with this class, she is a blessing and a seed planter
New friendships and potential

Sea of Shoes!
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire!
Party's Over!


  1. Wow! What an exciting evening! All of our requests during MIP for the children to adapt are being answered!!! Love you all!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful evening! Thanks for sharing :)