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, April 29, 2011

Jesse's tribute

Jesse's homeroom teacher informed the class yesterday that they'd be viewing the royal wedding during homeroom today. They were instructed to wear tiaras or other royal wear for the occasion. Jesse did pack a tiara for school (don't tell Eden that her tiara is in his backpack) but also decided to take it a step further. Of course he did, this is Jesse we're talking about.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quote of the day

So it's not wordless, but it's my quote of the day . . .

"They do so interrupt me that night or day I can hardly snatch a moment to be refreshed by {my} readings."

King Henry VI, after being released from imprisonment in the Tower of London to be restored as King. Yes, King Henry, I can relate! So many readings, so little time, and so many interruptions!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

By Eden

You gotta love a child who spends her free time writing stories. I wonder who she takes after?

You also gotta love a child who makes books to help her sister learn her numbers, but who writes her numbers incorrectly.
Like I said, I wonder who she takes after?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter revisited

On my way home from church yesterday I passed 2 different people outside doing yardwork. I thought how sad it was that to them, Easter Sunday is no different from any other day, except that maybe it's a day off and a chance to get things done. How sad to live life without the hope of resurrection.

We have friends who no longer celebrate Christmas (as in no cards, no gifts, no decorations, nothing). Their belief is that we have so much more to celebrate at Easter, so we need to downplay Christmas. From the commercialization standpoint, I understand where they are coming from, but I'm not ready to stop celebrating Christmas. Instead, it makes more sense to me to take our Easter celebrations up a notch.

We have spent the past several weeks preparing for Easter, admittedly probably not as much as we should have. This was a good story to ponder: http://www.crossroad.to/Victory/stories/TheSon.html And this a thought-provoking video: http://www.ignitermedia.com/mini-movies/1923/Follow But one of our favorite recent traditions, Communion in our home, with friends around the table, got pushed out due to poor planning. Next year that has to be the first thing on our calendar when we look ahead to Easter month. This was a good story to ponder: http://www.crossroad.to/Victory/stories/TheSon.html And this a thought-provoking video: http://www.ignitermedia.com/mini-movies/1923/Follow

The one tradition I miss is sunrise service. I remember when it was outside and was truly a sunrise service. There's just something about celebrating Easter first thing in the morning, while the sun is coming up.

I also miss my first graders reciting the Easter story from Matthew, and sometimes acting it out to help us remember better.

But we do have a few traditions of our own.
At our house, we do have Easter baskets. (See March 9, 2011) Some years we fill them, and others we don't. Some years it's one big gift for everyone, like the year we promised a trip to Sight and Sound Theatre. Sometimes it's a scavenger hunt, one year it was yarn crisscrossed throughout the entire house to find the Easter basket at the end. This year it was plastic eggs filled with notes about where to find the gifts, most of which were family gifts.

Like this fad which the kids have been asking us to participate in.

Or this video chair for the basement.

Or a snack drawer stocked with snacks I usually don't buy.

A few years ago, when our church had a newsletter for small groups, I read about a small group that always meets for breakfast on Easter morning. What a good idea. Not exactly a sunrise service (at least I don't think they sing "Up From the Grave He Arose" in four-part harmony) but a fun way to welcome in the day. And now we do this with our small group. It's us and the police officers and the same waitress, Jen, who start Easter morning at Cracker Barrel.

And this year, imagine our surprise to come home and find buckets filled with goodies for the kids.

Then on to Souderton for Easter dinner

and an egg hunt.

Today we washed up the Jell-O egg molds, bagged up the Easter baskets for attic storage, returned the "Resurrection Eggs" to their correct places, and ate Ham Chowder for dinner.

Let us not forget in this coming year, the hope that Easter brings. He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

And the winner is . . .

My current favorite in the category of:

Please-Sign-On-The-Dotted-Line-So-The-Teacher-And-The-School-Don't-Get-Sued is . . .

Maybe we should have signed one of these a few years ago when Jesse was using the potato slicer at home and took out a hunk of his thumb. Oh well, he survived. And no one sued us. And he learned how NOT to slice potatoes with the potato slicer. Sometimes that's how we learn best.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Count your blessings

Back in November, as our family was considering a significant change, we heard a speaker by the name of Eileen Mestas talk about God's amazing goodness in the life of their family (http://jobsdaughters.blogspot.com/). I was so struck by her faith and reliance on God. In her obedience and trust, God has provided for their every need. I found myself in tears throughout most of her story, and hungered for stories just like hers, those moments when God clearly steps in to provide.

Well, in part due to her testimony, our family did step out in faith. And since that time, I have been brought to my knees in tears as I watch God provide for us in much the same way. I know that we are not supposed to talk about finances, but I have been so blessed by the stories of others when God steps in to fill physical needs, and we have been so blessed by God, we can't keep silent.

After a very large van repair bill (a very large van often needs very large repairs, but this was over the top), I found myself in a place of laying that bill down and asking God to take care of it. We weren't in dire straits, but it was definitely an unexpected expense. Amazingly, within a short amount of time, we were able to see the blessings pour in; and God's hand behind all of it.

We performed a concert where we did not charge but a gift from those in attendance equalled more than three times the amount we would normally have charged. Soon after, John received two gifts from people, expressing their thankfulness for his influence in their lives. Then one of our music instructors surprised us with the announcement that because she appreciates what our family stands for, she is not going to charge us for all of the children who take lessons from her. Yesterday, once again, we were humbled by the generosity of others. We played a concert that again was given free-of-charge. The event sponsors surprised us with a gift card large enough to feed our entire family (that's saying a lot!) at one of our favorite restaurants. At the end of the meal, the manager came over to John and was clearly confused as she tried to explain to him that a portion of our meal had been paid by someone in the restaurant. I have replayed this over and over in my mind, realizing that this surprise gift not only blessed us, but spoke volumes to the restaurant manager and to the waiter who had served us that evening.

Donald Miller, in his book, The Hole in our Gospel, says, "The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is, 'Do not fear'…That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn’t let fear boss us around.

We are learning that when we act in faith, and take a risk, God is still good. We don't need to be afraid. He will reveal Himself to us in miraculous ways. It will knock your socks off. It is for us.

God is good.
All the time.
All the time.
God is good.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Back by popular demand

I never thought I'd see those words in print, in reference to me. The King's Strings, maybe, which by defaul includes me. But ME? And believe it or not, it's all because of the presentation I did in February. Now I'm back on the speaker circuit for April. Go figure.

So, there you have it. Back by popular demand. That's exactly what the advertisement said. Really. Word-for-word.

Cindy King

Speaking on the topic of God's Great Story and how we are all called to play our role - individually, and as a family. And a few thoughts thrown in on how to help our chilren find their role in Gods Story.

If my high school English teacher could see me now. She'd want to know who I am and what I've done with Cindy Bauman.

I think it's all because of a friend who prayed with me one day in November and at that time gave me some words from God. She said that I was to "Do the unexpected" and "Be the unexpected." All of a sudden I start getting asked to speak at retreats and workshops.

I don't think I should have her pray for me anymore.

Or next you'll see me singing on stage.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ode to a lost job

I few weeks ago I was told that I didn't take the trash out properly.

No problem, I said. I wasn't really all that into the job in the first place.

Wonderful! was the reply. We'll take over. We can do it better than you, anyway.

Great! That's a load off my shoulders. Think of what I can do with all my extra time now.

I think Linus is all over the new arrangement, though, wouldn't you agree?

Friday, April 1, 2011

April the First

The first day of April is one of my favorite days. Well, if I were totally honest, I'd admit that I don't need a day on the calendar to give me permission to play a good prank of two, but it is nice to have someone say it's almost mandatory to trick someone today.

Of course I do also have to put up with the little ones attempting to tell me that my hair is purple (April Fool's) or that my shoes are on the wrong feet (April Fool's) but it's all because they're learning and at least they are making an attempt. They could, like some people, grow up to be ignorant in the way of fooling others. Some people have just not been reared in the fine art of prankstering. I know. I married one. Don't feel bad for him, though. He has all kinds of other talents like getting good grades, earning degrees, and teaching teen-agers how to drive. We compensate for his lack of skill in the area of trickery by keeping him in the dark about our plans. It also means that he's also pretty easy to fool.

Like that time I called and left a message for him, pretending to be a receptionist from a certain doctor's office he really wanted to visit. He was so fooled by my accent that he called me and had me listen to the message to see if I could help him figure out who it was.

Or the time I showed him a positive pregnancy test that I borrowed from an expecting friend - and told my unsuspecting husband that we were expecting Number 6, when Number 5 was not even a year old. He was ready to call that doctor's office from the previous prank as soon as that conversation was over!

So I realize that since his children have received genes from both of us, I have my work cut out for me. It means that I have to start my April Fool's planning on April 2 so that I'm ready for the next year.

Shoun came down to breakfast this morning and between chuckles told us that when he unrolled the toilet paper, he found a note saying, "Help! I'm locked in a toilet paper factory and I can't get out! Save me!" When I asked him if he had saved the poor guy he came right back with, "Well, I didn't know where the toilet paper factory was." Good guy. Fast learner. The best part was that he assumed Mariana was the culprit so when she came down in the morning (keep in mind that she's not a morning person), and we were all laughing at her good joke, she just stared at us with a sour look on her face.

God helped me out with the next trick. As each child came to the realization that it had snowed last night, I shouted, "April Fool's! It was really me. I just went outside last night with a bunch of powdered sugar and sprinkled it all around so you'd think it was snow. Good one, huh?" Eden thought about this for a while before asking if that stuff I sprinkled outside would be okay to eat. I assured her it would be fine. "Good," she said, "Because someone might think it's snow and start to eat it."

Catching on quickly Shoun then rubber banded the sink sprayer handle so when Mariana turned on the sink, she got a shower. (Unfortunately poor Rachel got this one first. King family members need to put up with pranks, students living here for the year should not have to do so. Sorry, Rachel. Thankfully, she was a good sport about it.)

This must be why Mariana put green food coloring in the milk. Now every time I open the fridge I think someone's celebrating St. Patty's Day. And Eden had to gag down her milk because she insisted it didn't taste right. Sorry, honey. We don't waste food around here. Green or not, you're drinking it. If it's not curdled, it's going down.

Then Jesse squeezed the toothpaste onto his brush only to find that a raisin came out with the paste. He flicked the raisin in the sink which made Mariana wonder why there was a raisin in the sink (and left me wondering why a raisin didn't come out when she squeezed her toothpaste). HopeAnne just nonchalantly told me she needed new toothpaste because there was a raisin in hers. As if finding raisins in her toothpaste is a common, ordinary occurrence. You know you're a King when finding a raisin in your toothpaste is really no big deal.

And that was all before the school day started.

Poor Eden thought she was being tricked. While on a field trip she had to use the restroom. From the stall next to her, Mariana hear Eden reading out loud, "Please do not flush..." Since Eden couldn't read the word "sanitary" she decided to stop there. At this point Mariana heard Eden's frantic monologue, "Oh know, I can't flush in here. What should I do? I can't flush. Maybe I should try another one." Just as she was about to walk out the door to try another stall, Mariana stopped her, explaining that they would all say the same thing but that it would be okay for her to flush. All's well that end's well.

Supper's the next plan. I'm going with a tried-and-true meal from our very first April Fool's Day. I remember it like it was yesterday. Andrew was 4, Jesse 2, and Mariana 1. I told the kids we were having a treat for supper - cupcakes! They were thrilled. Then I placed the "cupcakes", which were really meatloaf with pink and blue mashed potato "icing" on the table. They thought I was the best mom in the world. Then, you could see the wheels turning in Andrew's head. He got a weird look on his face, took his finger through the "icing" and tasted it. His expression was priceless.

And then he cried. And yelled, "It's mashed potatoes!" And then he cried louder.

But he got over it. And this year he's glad to know that instead of being on the receiving end of our April Fool's supper, he just needs to help me pull it off.

Jesse summed it up with this statement (while I was in the midst of a fit of giggles), "Mom, I don't think you've had this much fun in one day before."

And to hear Shoun say, after the meal was over, "Mum (I love how he says that), thank you for supper." Priceless.