Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Summertime Victor-isms

Mariana to Hope: Have a great time at camp. Make some new friends.
Victor: Yeah, make some imaginary friends.

Victor: Mom, I found the flip flop phone.
(Yeah, we still have one of those dinosaurs.)

Victor: Does the baby love me?
Mariana: Everyone loves you!
Victor: Even Dolly Parton!

Victor: I just want everyone to talk to me.
Mariana: Well, what if I just wanted everyone to talk to me?
Loooooooooong pause...

Victor: Well, that doesn't make any sense.
Mariana: I have to share my mom just like you have to share your mom.
Victor: No, you don't. You have a mom in New York.

Mariana tried to explain that she does not have a mom in New York.

Victor: What about a dad?
Mariana: No, I don't have a dad in New York.
Victor: Did they die?
Mariana: No, this is my mom right here.
Victor: I don't believe you.

Thus ensued 2 minutes of arguing this point...

Victor: Well, I love you anyway.

Mariana walked away to get ready for work.

Victor (with a sly smile): Mom, now I get you all to myself.

Victor: Mom, remember when I belched?
Me: Yes.
Victor: Dream about it tonight.

One of Victor's favorite pretend play activities is drive-thru window. His second favorite is food truck. Miss. Jackie got stuck playing the second. Of course, Victor is always in total charge of the scenario.

Victor: We're at the playground! Let's play food truck. Miss Jackie, stand right here and order some food.

Jackie: I would like some ice cream.

Victor: No, you are in line. It's not your turn to order.

Victor: Now it's your turn. What do you want?

Jackie: I would like some ice cream please.

Victor: We don't have ice cream. And we don't have donuts.

Jackie: Well, what do you have?

Victor: We have French toast.

Jackie: Ok, I like French toast. I'll have French toast and bacon.

Victor: We don't have any bacon.

Jackie: Do you have ham?

Victor: No.

Jackie: What kind of meat do you have?

Victor: Meatballs.

Jackie: French toast and meatballs???

Victor: Sure, that will be $5.99.

Later that same day...

Victor: Miss Jackie, do you want some bacon?

Jackie: I thought you don't have any bacon.

Victor: I just bought some.

Jackie: Oh, good. I would like some bacon.

Victor: I'm putting it in the oven. It will be cooked in 23 hours.

Jackie: Oh my! If it's going to take that long, I'm going to take a nap.

Victor: No! You can't! We don't allow customers to take a nap. You can take a little rest.

Victor: Ok, Miss Jackie, your bacon is all ready.

Jackie: How much does it cost?

Victor: Just about $26.

And I think this is my favorite...

Victor: Miss Jackie, Mommy went to bed to sleep last night.

Jackie: That's good. I'm sure she was tired. Mommy works hard.

Victor: No, she doesn't work hard.

Jackie: Well, what does she do all day?

Victor: She stays at home with me and she talks to God all day.

(We're guessing the first part of the statement is part of the reason for the second part.)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

He wants a drone for Christmas

When Big Brother comes to visit, that's exciting.

But when Big Brother comes to visit and brings a drone, that's impressive (Victor's word).

Scaring the neighbors who were simply out for a nice, quiet walk

And now Little Brother wants a drone for Christmas.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Victor-isms when we need them

Isaac: Victor, how long will you be in the bathroom?
Victor: Ummm, I'm washing my hands so... about an hour?

Ana: Yeah, Victor said he was gonna kill me yesterday.
Jake: Oh no, that's terrible.
Victor: Eh, it all worked out.

Victor: What am I going to be in Jesse's wedding?
Ana: You're going to be Victor.
Victor (after some thought, whispered): Do you think I can be a super hero?

Johnny Cash died. I feel bad for Johnny Cash. He's buried in the dirt with the rolly pollies.

Thanks, Mom. You're my favorite, only helper.

Victor (to me, as I helped him get dressed): You know what, Old Timer?

(After I got over my shock, I realized it's a line from his current favorite movie, Cars.)

Great Aunt Mim, leading a family reunion's Sunday morning service: ...and there will be some times for the children this morning...
Victor, while clapping excitedly: Oooooooo, do you think there will be Nerf guns?

And when the service got a little too long for his liking (but I thought it was perfect)...
Victor: I just can't take it anymore.

Me, after Victor had yet another accident in his pants but he was refusing to admit that's what happened: Well, then, why do you need new underwear?
Victor: (pause) So I can look fancy?


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Outdoor shower or rabbit house?

While at the beach, Victor told me that he wanted out outdoor shower like the one under the beach house. I told him to ask PopPop to help him build one.

And when Victor spent a few days with my parents, they did, indeed, need a project to work on together. Except that I really don't have a place for an outdoor shower. So we decided a house for the rabbit would be a good idea. A wooden one that she can't chew through as quickly as the cardboard boxes we give her. Especially since her new trick is to sit on the top and chew. One of these days she is going to fall right through.

Got to look out for the family pets, right?

So then the texts started to go back and forth. After determining the measurements of the space available for said house, we needed to discuss details.

It came pretty close to the original design, don't you think?

Friday, June 29, 2018

27 years

First photo of us together, December 1987.

Most recent of us together, September 2017.

Not much has changed.

Ya think?

Happy anniversary!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Food trucks and hiking

Another Friday, another Family Dinner. I love summer and having more of the kids home. I also love that when they are home, they still want to join us for Family Dinner, that they make it a priority, even. And when available, the significant others come, too.  And some of the other kids choose to come, too.

This week we decided to venture out from home and eat Family Dinner with most of the town at Third Fridays, food trucks and all.  What could be better than everyone choosing their favorite foods?

Meeting up with so many friends from church, school, and the community added to our enjoyment of this evening.

Victor's favorite spot was dancing in front of the DJ, especially when he was allowed to choose the next song.

Oh dear.

Then off to the Appalachian Trail for hiking. The AT is one of the best parts of this area of the country.

Victor actually handled all that walking pretty well, with a little help from his friends. But when ya' gotta go, ya' gotta go.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

No surprises, problems, or mistakes

There are a few inspirational writers that I follow on social media. Ruth Simmons Chou is one. Christine Caine is another. Jason Johnson. Jen Hatmaker. And Ann Voskamp.

Yesterday, she wrote these simple, yet beautiful-to-me words:

As some of our friends and family know, we are walking through some very tough situations with two of our children. There always seems to be something. And that's okay. I've come so far and learned so much. I've learned to sit with my friend, Jesus, who also calls me friend, and to give it all to Him and I'm learning to give up control. Funny, the lyrics on my lips as I woke up this morning were,

God You don't need me
But somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me
Somehow that frees me
To take my hands off of my life
And the way it should go.
(Tenth Avenue North, Control)

There are so many things I would not have learned about myself, about this journey of life, about others, and about God, if I had not surrendered my life to whatever God asks of me. Control, it's not mine really. Results, they aren't about me. Success, the definition isn't mine.

A good friend, another special needs momma, showed me how personalizing Voskamp's statements can be an excellent reminder on the rough days and in the tough times. Maybe you have a child or situation you need to give to God today. You can't control your child, you can't choose the results, and God's definition of success is a whole lot better than yours. I promise you!

Try it for yourself...

*Child's name* is not a surprise to God!
*Child's name* is not a problem to God!
*Child's name* is not a mistake by God!
Anything is possible for *child's name* with God!

They were never ours from the beginning. They have always been God's and they do not surprise Him, they are not a problem to Him, they are not mistakes by Him, and in His great plan everything is possible for them!

Train up your child in the way he should go. She's not a surprise.  He's not a problem. She's not a mistake. Remember that the results are in God's hand and in Him nothing is impossible.

Proverbs 22:6. Kind of.