Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Welcome to Chez Sinclair

Last night we did something pretty crazy and I thought it would be fun to record it in the blogosphere so we could remember it.

The Needham family are fellow missionaries that live about 15 minutes drive from us and they have been a huge blessing to us through the years. In fact, I don't know what we would have done without them! When we first arrived in Cameroon, we lived with them for 2 months while Tom helped Ben look for housing among other things. We have learned SO much from them and to record it all would take a long time! Their family is extremely gifted musically, and their daughters have been teaching my two girls how to play flute and violin.  It has been fun to watch Kate and Emma learn and grow under Sarah and Elizabeth's teaching. They even plan a recital every couple of months. They make it as formal as possible, and we are all encouraged to participate. The last recital, Emma played a flute solo as well as a couple of numbers on her recorder (she is mastering the recorder first since the fingering is similar to the flute). Kate played a few violin specials and I even jumped in with a piano solo.  Here is a little sample of Emma at our last recital.

For all of the hard work the teachers put into teaching our girls, we wanted to do something special for them. And not just for them - but for the entire Needham family since they all deserve our appreciation. So, we invited them to our home for dinner. Not just any normal dinner ... this was a restaurant! Chez Sinclair to be exact. Here was our menu! :)

And here is the back of the menu:

We printed out our menus, and glued them to card stock. Faith Ann met our guests at the front door, and asked, "Welcome to Chez Sinclair. How many are in your party?"  Elizabeth was the first one to enter, and she asked Faith to repeat it a few times before she figured out what was going on. They were then seated in the "waiting area" (we just put our living room furniture in a circle) and then after their places were set, they were led to their seats.  From there the kids passed out the menus and started taking their drink orders.  Ben and I were feverishly working in the kitchen. I was preparing the garden salad while Ben was pouring drinks for the kids to serve to our patrons. After drinks and salads were served the kids got the appetizer orders and began to deliver them. I know that our guests had to repeat their orders several times (Our kids need a little more practice before entering the restaurant business!) but all of the appetizers were served.  While they were eating their appetizers, we began working on the main courses. I worked on grilling the pizzas, while Ben put the fajitas together. We worked together to get the taco salad out. Then I quickly put a couple of pizzas on the grill for the kids, while Ben made up a couple of taco salads for our kids and also made some fajitas for himself. We then joined our guests for dessert! Whew! We were worn out! I had planned on a fancy dessert, but when all was said and done, we just joined them with a pan of brownies and some napkins (since nearly every dish was dirty by then!!!) and ate dessert and visited with them. 

It was a fun evening and so memorable for our kids. They kept commenting on how they felt like this really was a restaurant!  I started preparing food around noon and worked non stop until the Needhams arrived. I didn't think I would get it all ready, but by God's grace I did! I wasn't sure what everyone would actually order. Ben kept telling me, "You know they are all going to get pizza. Why add all of this other stuff to the menu?"  But when all was said and done, every single thing on the menu was ordered by someone. And I had just enough of everything. The only thing left over was pizza dough and sauce, which I'll freeze for a later date! It worked out perfectly!!

And completely unlike a real restaurant, our "patrons" joined me in the kitchen to help me wash the huge MOUND of dishes that had accumulated. It would have taken me a couple of hours to put that kitchen back together. But working as a team it took us about 30 minutes.

I think it was a special treat for the Needham family and I know it was a memorable evening for my own kids. I'm sure they won't soon forget it!
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