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, December 31, 2010


You don't want to know how much laundry I've done today. And there are still two dryers running. I love vacations but the unpacking when we get home - not so much.

The King Clan rarely chooses to fly when vacationing. In fact, I think I could count on one hand the number of times we've taken the kids on an airplane, and still have fingers left over. Finanaces are an obvious reason. But beyond that, I just could never imagine dragging the children and all of their belongings through all of that airport mess. And since there are more children than we have hands to hold them, the chance of losing someone is rather high. And besides, you lose so much of the novelty of vacationing if you head for the skies.

Take the audiobook, for example. We managed to finish several books on our trip from PA to Indiana. Of course we did take the long way, first to eastern PA, then to Ohio, then up to northern Indiana. My parents, who were traveling separately, apparently enjoyed their audiobook so much that they forgot to spend the night halfway and just continued on to their destination. If you'd like to try their method, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to loan you 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers. It's a good one. I know, I read the book. On our trip, one of the books we enjoyed was Boom! by Tom Brokaw. Great for history buffs. I think it's going to find it's way back into our curriculum for next year.

This year's Christmas vacation was definitely one to remember. It was the year that

Andrew received a bass, Jesse received a saxophone, and we all received nose flutes. Imagine that ride home.

Aunt Shirley gave us all chickens for Christmas and PopPop and MomMom gave us a house (actually the chickens were for Heifer International and the house was for Haiti). We couldn't be happier.

We actually opened our family's gifts on Christmas day. Our tradition has been to do this on Christmas Eve since we spend Christmas Day with my family but this year we weren't all in the same place on Christmas Eve.

We went to Splash Universe in Indiana with the Bauman family. We've never water parked in the winter before. The kids had a blast. We also checked out the Hudson Museum. Wow! What a collection of old cars!

Herb won the jackpot in the King round of Dirty Santa. How come no one wanted to steal his Santa boxers? We also found out that some King family members have it in for others. Why else would Aunt Shirley get the pineapple scented candle when she's allergic to pineapples? And Phil received the Cheese Whiz when he can't have dairy? Hmmm. I'd watch out if I were you.

Andrew's "special" cookies wreaked havoc on certain cousins, causing them to see blue in places blue shouldn't be found. When their paranoia caused them to consult a physician, they were informed that they were either pregnant or had watched too many Smurfs reruns. (Thanks, Marilyn!) It was a great prank but Andrew had better watch out next year.

Of course traveling does have its downsides as well. I, for one, am not a big fan of

Travel toothbrushes. Toothbrushes were meant to be longer than your mouth. If you can fit the whole thing in your mouth, then you have a problem. I can't figure out how to hold the thing. And I don't have extremely large hands. I can't imagine a normal-sized person trying to use one of these things.

Lots of food. I think I've eaten more in the last week than in the whole rest of December combined. Yuck!

Beds and pillows that are not mine. I feel like Goldilocks except that I can never find "just right". It's either too soft or too hard or too low or too high. For this reason I travel with my own pillow. If I could figure out how to travel with my own mattress, I would. I just never sleep well on vacation. I toss and turn wishing for my own bed, my own room, my own air . . .

But distractions aside, we are so thankful for family and the opportunity to see them at this time each year. Just think, we're only 360 (plus or minus) days until we see you again!

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