When we all sat down to eat, I explained all of the foods I had prepared to everyone. My opening line was, "So in the South of the States, we take healthy foods and make them unhealthy but delicious. And that's basically what Thanksgiving is all about." Other than turkey, none of them had ever had any of the other foods, and they really seemed to be baffled at the thought of putting marshmallows on sweet potatoes! In fact, most of them had never even had marshmallows before. It was really fun introducing them to new foods from our home, and they brought several traditional Romanian dishes to share with us, as well. Our kids did some painting crafts and played together. The older kids enjoyed playing on the xbox, and we all really enjoyed getting to know one another better and sharing in conversation (of course mostly in Romanian).
Since the families who joined us are teachers at our school and know English, their children know English really well, as well. At one point we were sitting at the table and Ionut was watching into the living room and started laughing. Apparently Elin was speaking to the other little boy in Romanian, and he was answering her in English. Hilarious! And we had no idea that Elin knew how to say that many things in Romanian. Granted, they were obviously learned from preK, with such phrases as "No, that's my toy!" and "Atticus, you can't do that!" And it's so funny to hear Elin say Atti's name with a Romanian accent now.
It was a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving in our new home!
A few days later we FINALLY had a Saturday with nothing planned, decent weather, and we were all healthy. So we finally took Atticus on his birthday-gift outing to the Dinosaur Parc in nearby Rasnov. For those who know me and my childhood fascination with dinosaurs that has carried into adulthood, you might think that this was a very self-serving gift for our son. Yes, it was. Definitely, it was. I thought the life-sized dinosaurs were AWESOME! But thankfully, it could be both self-serving and a truly gift for my child who loves dinosaurs and is obsessed with The Good Dinosaur movie. Win win!
It was interesting that Elin was suddenly scared of the dinosaurs when we got there. Dinosaurs have only ever been positive creatures in our home. Even movies like The Good Dinosaur portray the scariest ones, like the TRex, as good characters. But just seeing the sheer size of these creatures understandably induces fear in any person! It took us a long time to encourage Elin to finally touch one of the fake dinos, and she settled on the Iguanadon as her preferred dino. But notice in the picture below that even while finally having enough courage to touch it, she's still sucking her thumb through her mitten. It was a wonderful family outing for us that cold November morning!
Finally, we had a team meeting with all the missionaries who work together and the elders from the church. This is the second time we've been able to get together for this time of encouragement, fellowship, and prayer. And this time, they threw us a baby shower - complete with games and all! It was so much fun, and Derek and I felt so encouraged and loved by our fellow teammates as we prepare for Baby Denton.