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!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


At our house, when we make chili, we call it Mennonite Chili.  It's our way of telling others that it is very mild and not a big hot and spicy.  We're probably the only ones that get it.

For some reason, as Andrew was making stromboli tonight (yes, my eldest son actually made the stromboli for his Super Bowl party), he started to call it Mennonite Stromboli.  It made no sense but to his friends, many of whom don't know what a Mennonite is, it sounded intelligent and they latched on to it.  By the end of the evening they were also drinking Mennonite water and watching Mennonite TV.

For the first time in my life I am living in a non-Mennonite area.  There are positives to this but there are also aspects of the Mennonite community that I miss.  One of these is the community itself.  A close-knit community where everyone knows everyone (or at least can name a relative or two with whom that person is also related) can be both a blessing and well, not-so-much a blessing.

Last night we played a concert in Virgina, about 3 hours from our home.  It was in the area of Eastern Mennonite University so obviously this is a large Mennonite community.  Growing up in eastern PA, in another pocket of Mennonite-ism, and then attending a Mennonite college in Ohio, and marrying a Mennonite from Mennonite Mecca in northern Indiana, we are definitely card-carrying Mennonite community-ites, even if they did take our card-carrying privileges away since defecting to their kissing cousins, the Brethren in Christ.

I guess we've been out of the Mennonite church a little too long because we were totally taken by surprise when the Mennonite games began.

It started within five minutes of our arrival.  We visited with friends from college and quickly found out that my cousin attends their church and had been to their house recently.  Another cousin teaches with our college friend.  And in our friend's role as college professor, he had taught several of my cousins.  We reminisced about many college friends who either live near them or us.  There was also that awkward moment when he mentioned the name of a better-forgotten boyfriend of mine, from Vermont, with whom he now plays softball.

And we hadn't even gotten to the concert yet!

When we walked in the door, John looked at the pastor and said, "I know you!"  They had worked together during a week at a Mennonite camp several years ago.

Three of my first cousins were there, and an aunt and an uncle.

Waiting in the lobby for the concert to begin, in walked our former landlords!  The first, and only, apartment John and I ever lived in, in Pennsylvania, and here were our landlords, now living in Virginia!

Next came friends of my parents from their pre-children days when they lived in Illinois.  They're now in PA and their friends are in VA.

My 7th grade teacher showed up (Look, I am actually a public speaker now!  No one would have guessed that back in middle school!) as well as the man who first taught me to play the violin - in 2nd grade.  Yes, in PA.

Our family was privileged to be in a small group at our church growing up.  Several members of one of the small group families now live in VA and yes, they showed up.  And to think, I used to babysit these children who then used to babysit my children, and who are now all growed-up with children of their own!  And I can't forget the fact that there was a woman in the audience who used to be one of my babysitters.  She still lives in PA but was visiting her son - in VA.

While all these connections made me much more nervous than I usually am at a King's Strings concert, it was fun to be at a family reunion of sorts.

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