Thursday, April 28, 2011

A beautiful family

Fortune cookies are not Chinese, in case you hadn't heard.  They're American.  I was quite surprised when Cocoa, a Taiwanese girl, handed one to me recently.  It was imported from the States, I quickly discovered.  Anyway, I love to read the fortunes more than eat the cookie.  I wondered if I should be offended by this particular fortune I got, "You will have a beautiful family."  Does that mean we're not beautiful now?  Or, should we get excited about a new addition?  Don't we usually read what we want into those things anyway?  Well, our family has been beautified this past week with little Nini staying with us, and she will be joining us again tomorrow for a few more days.
She fits right in, and if we had it our way, she'd become a permanent member of the family.  She did a great job expressing herself to us with her limited English, and loved drawing various works of art, and having me take a million pictures of her designs.
She also motioned for all of us to watch her perform a mini concert of winging it at the keyboards playing Row, Row, Row Your Boat.  Kelly made the job easier by putting some sticky strips on the keys where the notes are.  She soaked up the love and attention from being part of a regular family. 
Nini enjoyed all the new clothes I had bought her from and which I had Lindsey stash in her suitcase before she joined us in Taiwan.
Dying Easter eggs was completely foreign to Nini, and she wanted to know if she could help crack the eggs open until I showed her that they were cooked, and Christopher, Lindsey, and Kelly demonstrated what to do with the huge bowl of hard-boiled eggs.
She did well adapting to our foods that we eat, and enjoyed an evening out on the town for Japanese food on Friday night with us.  Kelly's iPhone kept her entertained when she was tired of eating.
Nini never wanted to have her picture taken before school, but at the end of the day, she was happy to pose, Asian style, as always.  It was a big change for me to get up every morning at 6:30 am and get her ready and drop her off at school, then take Kelly to work. 

Lindsey and Christopher helped with the pick up times, and she is always super happy when she sees us.
She is really hung up about getting her lunch dishes washed and put back into her school bag.  They feed them each day, but everyone brings their own bowls, chopsticks, and spoons, which they take home to clean for the next mealtime.  I could tell that it really made her day when I would wash everything for her, since she normally does it herself.
We found out that she is like other typical 7 year olds and starts to self destruct at about 9 pm, and this one night out after we attended the family dance, she had exceeded her limit of congeniality.  We knew she felt comfortable with us by knowing she would not hesitate to have her moments of crankiness around us.
After a good night's sleep, she was all smiles again the next day, and was not exactly sure about this Easter Bunny business, but seemed to like it.  The Easter Bunny in Taiwan has it rough since it's not really merchandised or recognized here.  A little plush, stuffed rabbit or doggy would have been nice, but no luck.
Kelly and Lindsey were the egg hiders for the big hunt.
We have a nice area outside our apartment building that was very convenient for the festivities.
She caught on quickly and was excited about all the eggs she had gathered up.
She loved it and the rest of us enjoyed watching her.

We had Kent and Nikki, a married couple who are students from SUU that had been teaching English here for four months, over for dinner.  Kent and Christopher played some XBox 360 games while dinner was getting prepared.
Kent was a missionary in Taiwan a couple of years ago, so this was an excellent journey for the two of them.  They flew back to the USA this week and we'll miss them.
Kent is hilarious and was posing here for me.  He really should be a drama teacher since he's a funny guy and the teenagers love him.
With Lindsey here, I thought it would be nice to invite Lisa to join us. She's a 17 year old young woman we know from church too, and is the only church member in her family, and I thought she'd enjoy celebrating with us.
Following dinner, we went to the big movie theater in our complex and played our new movie, Tangled, which is the story of Rapunzel.  It had Chinese subtitles, so Lisa and Nini could follow that.  It was a wonderful Easter.


Robert Choate said...

It looks like you guys did a ton of eggs. And I bet there was not spilled green dye everywhere either. And yes you do have a beautiful family.

Kellie said...

Beautiful family indeed!

Dianne said...

That's for sure, you do have a beautiful family! You can see the joy you are bringing cute Ni Ni and the love she has for your family, even if she has her cranky moments (which we're familiar with :). It's great how involved you are with those around you.

Julie said...

NiNi looks so happy with you guys. I love the picture of her and Kelly and I really love the picture that says, NiNi's first Easter. That is a great shot. Her little furry vest is so cute, so fun for you to spoil a little girl! I'm glad you guys had a nice Easter with fun people to share it with. Will NiNi get to come again any time soon?