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, February 12, 2011

Singing Praises

This was John's Facebook status today:
4 Hopkins kids + 7 King Kids - I King Kid at home + Lots of movies + Lots of Wii + Lots of "good" food - Minus the really good food Cindy made but I left at home + 2 Dads = LOADS OF FUN

Well, actually I wrote it. He had one like it:
4 Hopkins kids and 6 King kids (Minus 1) and two dads = fun.

I just didn't think it was descriptive enough. Mine got more comments, anyway. That's usually the way it goes.

If I had a Facebook account, which I don't, which has already been addressed in a former post, today I would have written:
1 Mom + A massage at Spirit Day Spa + Brother's Pizza with 1 King Kid - Said King Kid soon to leave for a day with friends + Panera Bread + Bruster's + A table full of scrapbook supplies = 1 Happy Mom, good for another year of mothering (but not yet so don't come back too soon) Thanks, John and Kids!

Once a year I sing my husband's praises so loudly that the whole neighborhood can hear me. Kind of like a friend of ours who has his wife sing hymns to him (you know who you are, Dave) such as Amazing Dave, How Great Dave Art, and Praise Dave From Whom All Blessings Flow. I'm not that type of wife. Except once a year, a month or two after Christmas when my husband packs up all the kids, sleeping bags, movies, and Wii games, and off they go. At this time every year, I'll sing whatever you want.

It all started about 5 or 6 years ago when John had this wonderful idea to give me the Christmas gift of a weekend alone. For years he had been trying to get me to go to this retreat or that weekend away. He kept telling me it'd be great fun and that he'd be more than happy to watch the kids while I went away. He never got the hint that sending me away for a weekend "alone" would be sheer torture. But in a burst of inspiration he decided that first year to give me the gift of a weekend at home while he took the kids to the beach for three days. He had no idea what he had just done.

My thanks were so plentiful and continued for such a long time that he was floored. I was practically singing his praises to strangers on the street. He kept asking if I liked his gift, which is nothing unusual, that's what all the Kings do, but this time I didn't make fun of him when he asked. I just honestly told him over-and-over how much I enjoyed my weekend. Realizing that he had hit the jackpot with this one, the tradition continues. Well, it has dwindled from 2 1/2 days to 1 1/4, but hey, who's counting? It's still the best gift he has ever give and it's the gift that keeps on giving. It's gets me through the next 365 days. And since he's found another family with a wonderful husband who understands the gift of alone-time, they now enjoy the equation you see above. Any maybe someday my husband will work Monday through Friday so he, too, can stay for an extra day. Sounds heavenly, doesn't it?

So what exactly do I do during my quiet time? Well, it varies from year-to-year, but not by much. I usually spend most of the time scrapbooking, each year choosing a different child to get his/her scrapbook caught up. Actually, at this point, no King child is entirely caught up, but no one is more than a few years behind so I count that as a win. I always hit Panera Bread for a late breakfast and then Bruster's for an early supper (yes, supper - I get something big so it's hearty). This year I had some money left on my Spirit Day Spa gift card (thanks, kids, for that Mother's Day win last year!) so I started my weekend with a massage by Kim. Then, since Mariana stayed back for a shopping trip with friends today, she and I enjoyed dinner at Brother's and some much-needed mother-daughter time. Then we scrapbooked together for the rest of the evening. This morning, after Panera, I went to Boscov's to use a gift card that I got for Christmas. I stongly dislike shopping but having a gift card, and no kids, makes it a little more palatable, so my weekend alone often includes a stop such as this. More scrapbooking, followed by a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Blast for supper, more scrapbooking, then clean-up just as the crew was arriving home.

And while I'm still in the blissful state of quietness and reflection, in pour my wonderful husband and beautiful children. And somewhere, out of the stillness I heard these words, "Uh, Cindy, I didn't want to tell you this until we got home because I didn't want to bother you, but look at Eden's eyes." Or maybe I didn't hear those words. Because if I did, it would mean that he just allowed Eden to contaminate the whole Hopkins' crew along with the rest of her siblings as she spent the last 24 hours in close proximity to a houseful of kids. And it would mean that it's Saturday night and what am I supposed to do about pink eye now? But because it's Saturday night and I can't do anything about it and because I should be in a relaxed state right now, I'd better take a look. Yup, pink eye.

Welcome home, Everyone! Love you! Thanks for the alone time.

Oh, and feel free to partake of the Chex Mix, 4 dozen cookies, 4 batches of pancake mix, and hot chocolate mix that you left here. It was too much for me to eat - alone.

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