It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter Hosting Day 22 (1/8)

Today the girls were able to participate in their first field trip! Once a month we take part in a wonderful nature-focused class at Douglas-Hart Nature Center. The teachers and volunteers who run this class do a great job of employing all sorts of hands-on learning activities that they engage a classroom of children from ages 3-high school. In today's society this type of one-room-schoolhouse learning is a dying practice. (I will stop before I get all the way on my soapbox about how we all benefit by multi-age learning experiences...even though we still need them as adults...especially in the church...but I am not going to get off on this rabbit trail, right?) This makes is the perfect place for a family like ours!

First we met some of the other families for lunch at one of my very favorite restaurants "The REAL Burger King in Mattoon". Yes, the kids are playing Pac-Man! I haven't even mentioned the jukebox full of music from the 90s! I told you this place was awesome. 

Many of these faces were familiar to N2 from her last visit and N1 had a chance to get to know one before today. I love seeing them smiling and laughing together. So I got to introduce the girls to one of my favorite foods: the french fries here. Seriously, that is all I order for myself to eat. They have pronto pups (aka corn dogs) so all the girls were happy! 

The nature center has a variety of live animals on display. 
I can't wait to take the girls back when it isn't quite so busy so they can explore more. 

The topic for this month's class was Wolves and Coyotes. 

N1 showing off her new stole. Okay, not really but she pretended it was. Remember they are Eastern European: wearing fur isn't a bad is a necessary thing! 
N2 was a little more scientific about things. She tried to match up the correct skull to each pelt. I think she is going to be our studious one...if I can find a way to help her learn while moving! (Feel free to throw any tips for advice my way for teaching ESL!) 

The girls had a few minutes to create turn themselves into wolves for the next few activities. 

Believe it or not N2 was the quieter one today. I think part of that is because she was able to sit next to her old friend, Eliana. This was the first time that had been able to hang out this visit. 

N1 showing off her #1 card. That means she gets to be the alpha of the pack. Can you see her smile!?!?

Check out Jo and her BFF Asher. Yes, she is getting into the game and ordering him to get into his place in the hierarchy of the pack. No, Wait...that is just her usual bossy personality.

Another game where the girls are hunting! 

Pretending to be a veterinarian. She tells me that at the orphanage there is a list of jobs on the wall you can be when you grow up. For girls there are like 6 things on the list and they all involve caring for children (not even being a teacher), food service, or cutting hair. Oh, I can't wait for this girl to learn to dream past that list! What does God have in store for her?!?! 

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