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!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

That time again

It comes around once a year. I don't even need to look at the calendar to know it's coming. 24 hours (or less) prior, my loving husband will pile all the children into the KingZoo bus and take them off to Wal-mart. A few hours later they'll come home with secret glances and lumpy packages. The mouths of the younger ones will be held by the hands of the older ones, trying to keep their "secret" mission under wraps. I, of course, will feign oblivion.

This year HopeAnne was the child voted most likely to give it away so she was terrorized and threatened with all sorts of horrible things if she gave anything away. They went even farther and told her that no matter what I said, she was to reply "a candle." So when they came home and I came up the steps from the basement, Hope said, "If you ask me what we got you for your birthday [insert dramatic pause and lower voice to a whisper], it's a candle and it's in the car." I wanted to see how far the brainwashing went so I woke her up in the middle of the night and asked her what she got for my birthday. She opened her eyes long enough to say, "a candle" and promptly went right back to sleep.

Yes, it's my birthday. My loving husband celebrated by saying, "I am so glad I get to grow old with you." I told him he might as well say he's glad he gets to look forward to smelling like a nursing home with me. He did get up early to take me to breakfast (my favorite meal of the day) and he's also taking me to dinner. Well, actually he's taking me to the wedding reception after the ceremony he had to officiate. But I'll get a meal. And it'll be good. And if we had just gone to dinner, I wouldn't have gotten appetizers and dessert. No dancing either.

Jesse was kind enough to transcribe Hope's birthday wishes into a birthday card. It went like this, "Happy birthday to you! I love you mommy. We can't talk about ghosts because they aren't real. I love you mommy cause I really love when you invite... I love you mommy. I love you forever. I love you mommy because you bring us to ice cream places and Frosty to get ice cream. I like when you take pictures but it is hard because I have to go to the bathroom sometimes when you take pictures. I like watching TV mommy, and I love watching TV with you doing your hair. I love to make silly faces at the mirror in the bathroom. I think I like sleepovers when [Eden's friend] comes some day. Not cry because [Isaac's friend] has staring eyes. I like monkeys and puppies and turtles and snakes. I love you mommy." Jesse only needed to add, " Happy birthday mom. I'm not going to rant on and on because there is no way I could do it better than Hope.

My aunt thought it'd be nice if I got to celebrate my birthday with a cozy blanket, a cup of tea, and a good story. I did have a cozy blanket but it was at Isaac's soccer game and there was no tea involved. No book on my lap, either. But I did get to see the story of a comeback soccer team and a mother who survived her son's goal-keeping. All on her birthday. There should be a special gift for that.

And my dad made my day with a note that made me cry. Thanks, Dad.

It was a great day.

***11PM addition: As if the day wasn't great enough, it ended with picture-taking at Allenberry's Murder Mystery Weekend. During birthday introductions I was introduced as celebrating my 22nd birthday today. (Thank you, Mykel! I owe you). To top it off, one man stopped me in the lobby to ask me if photography is my full-time job or if I'm in college full-time. Later during dinner, one table stopped me to wish me a happy birthday and to ask about my life as a 20 something. Ahh. My birthday day is complete. Time for bed.

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