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. Have fun!
Thursday, July 30, 2015
In the midst of posts and news reports of hatred and racism, I think it's important that we share positive experiences of acceptance, love, and community between races.
We live in a fairly white community. Our 14 year old son, from Kenya, had an interesting experience recently that not only renewed my feelings of trust in our local police department but also serves as an excellent example that even though the news may be mostly negative, when it comes down to it, the world really is filled with people of good intention and acceptance. It needs to be shared to remind us all that we can find good around us. And each of us needs to be reminded to treat others as we would want to be treated.
Shoun was riding his bike home from work last week and was startled to find himself being motioned over by a police officer parked on the side of the road in front of him. He lives a fairly sheltered life in our home, community, church, and schools and has so far been immune to racism. But we've talked about it, and older friends and relatives have told him their stories. He was so scared that he was still visibly shaking when he arrived home soon after.
Imagine his surprise when the officer, who is white, merely applauded him for wearing his bike helmet when legally Shoun did not need to do so at his age. The officer took down Shoun's address with the promise that he would return at some point to treat Shoun to Italian Ice at a local shop. Though shaken, Shoun relayed this story with a huge smile from ear to ear. Not only did the police officer keep his promise, but the owner of the shop provided coupons for the treat. And every time we ask Shoun to share his story with someone else, the smile comes back, even bigger than before.
I don't know if that police officer has any idea the impression he made on Shoun and on our whole family. He did something that he didn't have to do for a teen-ager, a teen-ager who fits the profile that on the news is too often at odds with the police. This officer went above and beyond in a simple yet profound statement of acceptance and community.
And since wearing a helmet is an argument we've had more than once in the four years Shoun has lived here, well, let's just say it was a win in the reinforcing parental values category, too.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
I'm thankful for children who don't need a lot of expense and entertainment to have fun. We enjoyed the time together and meeting a wonderful group of ladies who just happened to be exploring this area of the state while attending a conference at Messiah College. They asked us to take their photo and then reciprocated for us.
Maybe next year they will attend a photography conference. BUT it is a lovely photo of the tree.
The butterfly house was definitely a favorite and Mariana was a favorite of the butterflies.
Thanks, Ladies, for a fun and enjoyable day.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Monday, June 29, 2015
When it looked like the picture in my head, she helped me transfer the drawing to pattern and we started cutting out the prototype using a little of this and a little of that including (if memory serves me well) a sheet set that had been a wedding gift to my parents. My apologies to the giver of that sheet set whose gift only lasted for 25 years.
The result was this lovely creation.
Which I wore for the wedding rehearsal. Why not?
And then it became this...
Which became this.
It was exactly as I had pictured and what I was looking for - simple, no train to break, get stepped on or ripped at the outdoor reception, and a one-of-a-kind creation that was short enough for my stature and for me to wear ballet slipper-ish shoes rather than heels. My kids make fun of it all the time. They don't realize that their clothes will be just as dated when their children look at their pictures.
So imagine my surprise when, on a whim, my daughter tried it on one day and announced, "Wow! I like this a whole lot better than I thought I would."
And to think it started with a dream to make my wedding dress and a picture in my head.
Happy Anniversary to The Good Doctor and me.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
And for families with blind children, there are plenty of hands-on opportunities; a rare find in these days of don't touch the exhibits or the animals.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
It started on Day 3. Isaac took Victor to the edge of the waves, Victor in water shoes this time. He sat down with Victor in his lap and allowed the waves to just lap at their feet. While Victor continued to be cautious, putting his feet up on Isaac's legs as often as Isaac would let him, he did manage some smiles and laughs. Every now and then a bigger wave would come and Isaac would warn Victor of a big one. If it fizzled, Isaac said, "Oh, false alarm."
Yesterday, as soon as Victor and The Good Doctor joined us on the beach and Victor heard Isaac's voice he asked, "More false alarm?" I had to translate for Isaac, "I think he wants to go into the water with you."
And that was it.
He ran in and out of the waves, getting mad at us each time we touched him, trying to shield him from the bigger waves. He also yelled at waves that came up too high on his body. Knees only, seems to be his mantra.
This time around, it was Eden who scored a private swimming hole. Two lifeguards for one child isn't a bad deal.
And maybe it's something in the air, but these two can rarely be found in the same 12 foot radius without fighting, but here they are, working together.
The result? The perfect spot for a cool dude to sit and chat on his (I use that word very loosely) phone. I did put an end to the phone conversation quite quickly (we did not come to the beach to call friends at home, or to work, ahem, Good Doctor) but it doubled as a good reading spot.