This week my goal has been to finally buy some Sunday church clothes for the kids. They wear these clothes before their concerts Sunday mornings, and then after the concerts when they have lunch with the pastors and host families. When we were in Hickory, NC on Tuesday night, I scourged the mall for outfits that would make the kids look like a Gap ad, and finally found the right thing. And most importantly, the store had enough for ALL 13 CHILDREN! I put everything on hold.
The next morning when the host families dropped the kids off at the church, I sat them down and attempted to explain what a mall was. They were so excited for this surprising adventure! We went and fitted the kids (yes, they look adorable) and then left the department store to walk through the mall to the food court. Thirteen obviously foreign and misplaced children walking in two lines are very inconspicuous in public places. No one ever stares at us ;)
As we approached the escalator, I stopped them at the bottom to explain how to step on, stand still, and let the stairs take them to the top. I can remember loving escalators at the mall as a child, but also being a little bit anxious about getting sucked underneath the little off ramp at the top. It was so much fun to see their reactions! Most of them were so excited...they all squealed-mostly with delight, but several out of fear. We had to pick a couple of them up because they wouldn't step on by themselves. Jay and I thought they should get acclimated to it, so we rode up and down and up and down. It didn't take too long for mall security to meet Jay at the bottom and inquire about the little hoodlums playing on the escalator!
At the food court, we had a wonderful lunch and the kids spent most of the meal staring at the carousel in the center. I had Jay go look at the ticket cost and then we treated the kids to a ride. They were so happy...it was such a worthwhile investment just to see the look on their faces! These first few months are full of special "firsts." We had such a fantastic "Family Fun" day!