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. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

1st day of the rest of our lives

First of all, a disclaimer.  I am fairly certain that the designers of E.T. had some experience with preemies and created the little alien after that image.  But hey, lots of people fell in love with E.T., right?  And boy, have we fallen in love with this little guy.

So, here's a recap of our day yesterday...

We arrived late at night to our apartment so had no idea of the beauty around us.  We opened our door to find this beautiful sight.  What a tangible reminder to start our day, a reminder that the same God who created majestic scenes like this, also created the teeniest, tiniest among us.
And then another breathtaking sight as we arrived at the hospital.  Or should I say, my home away from home for the next few months.

We met the social worker at the hospital who gave us some disappointing news and that was that Victor's birth mother was requesting that she be the only one to hold him until she leaves later in the week.  Our hearts were broken to honor her request, knowing that would mean we would go home in a few days, missing out on something special, but recognizing her pain, we agreed.

He was all covered up, resting and growing, but they uncovered him a little so we could peek.
All of the nurses kept coming to meet us.  Apparently little Victor has been quite popular in the NICU with everyone wanting to keep him.  They had been hoping for a family for him so were overjoyed to finally meet his forever family.  We had a wonderful discussion with the nurse practitioner.  She was so helpful in recapping his first two weeks for us.  So many gaps have now been filled in.  Bottom line, he is doing extremely well and she said that in her opinion, if there's going to be a micro preemie to adopt, this is the one.  While there are no guarantees, this was so good to hear.  Throughout the day we met so many of the wonderful staff who have and who will care for him.  I am impressed with their expertise and loving care.  They are cutting edge with technology and practice.  Victor is in the right place.

We had lunch with his birth mom.  What a sweet time and such a beautiful and strong young woman.  Her love for her son is so evident.  They had just begun kangaroo care last week and she was able to hold him Sunday night.  In her pain and tears, she has given her son such a beautiful gift, life.

Then back to the hospital to sign paperwork.  The first step has been taken and we officially have physical custody of Victor Noah King.  Now the process of post placement and passing ICPC and eventually finalization, can begin.  Some day there will be no more, "He's ours, but..."

By early evening (but late evening PA time), we were feeling the effects of jet lag so decided to pack up and head home.  But then the nurse asked if we could stay just a little while longer as she was going to change the bed and needed someone to hold Victor.  Not wanting to step in after I had promised his birth mother I wouldn't hold him, I explained this to the nurse.  She smiled and said that this wouldn't technically be holding, it would just be transferring.  That sounded good to me.

He smelled so good!  And his little squeaks of protest to all of this moving around were beautiful sounds to my ears.

Prayer needs:
Victor's biggest danger at this point is infection so please join us in praying against that.

Pray that he has no major complications so he can continue to grow and develop, slowly but surely.  Everything in the NICU is slow and quiet so the babies can mature without sensory overload.

Pray that we can have strength for today and can rest well tonight.  Neither one of us is sleeping well, a normal occurrence for me, not so normal for John.

Pray for the kids at home.  HopeAnne had a little missing-Mommy time at bedtime but she was able to tell my mom this morning that she knew I said I would come home.  We just keep reassuring her of this.

Monday, April 29, 2013

This is family

Yesterday morning was such a sweet, sweet time of prayer.  We opened it up to whoever was available and willing, to meet us immediately after church to pray before we needed to leave for the airport.  Even before that, the hugs, the encouragement, quick prayers in the hallway, all were special.  My Sunday School class prayed for us as well.  But here, after church, friends kept coming in.  I wish it could have been recorded in some way for sweet Victor to see someday.

In church yesterday morning I clearly saw a picture of Jesus standing at Victor's incubator (food cart, as Andrew called it when Mariana was a baby), loving him, kissing him, stroking him, breathing life into him, and holding his healing hand over Victor's tiny chest.  That picture came back to me throughout the day as we flew from PA to Utah.

I am so thankful for the hope we have in Christ.  I am so thankful for redemption, mine and Victor's.  I am thankful that, as one friend remarked afterward, "this is family."

As you pray today, please remember these needs:

Pray for the children at home.

Pray for Victor's birth mother who we are to meet at the hospital this morning.  Pray for her heart.  Pray that she would find HOPE.  This is just as much about her as it is about Victor.  I so much long for an on-going relationship with her so we can speak truth to her.  She is loved and admired.  Our family will pray for her daily.

Pray for us as we begin to talk with the doctors, that we would fully understand his status and coming milestones.  Pray that we would know the questions to ask.

Pray for miracles in Victor's life.  Words that have already been spoken over him are that he will be victorious and a world changer, he will amaze and God will use him in significant ways.

Amen.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

If you see me dancing

If you saw me driving along 81 on Thursday, please excuse my actions.  If you saw me yelling at no one in particular, when I was the only one in the vehicle, you may have questioned my sanity.  But if you were in my shoes, you might have done the same thing because you see, after a week of one attack after another, I spent that whole ride yelling at Satan to leave me and my family and this little baby alone!  I do not swear by nature but it got as colorful as I could muster.  I told him that the victory had already been won by the blood of Jesus and that he was going down.  I reminded him that I had a blog and that because he continued to attack, I was going to go public with us; I was going to tell the story of his cheap shots and his demise.

My breast cancer scare started about a week before April 20.  Of course it did.  We knew something was going to happen that day.  Looking back, I realize that it all began about the same time that Noah's precious mother was having complications and delivering her baby.  I started to have pain and my self-examination led me to several diagnoses, all of which were most definitely fatal.  I decided to leave it in the hands of the doctor so I made myself an appointment.  I explained the pain, an overall achy feeling and fatigue.  She told me I had spring allergies and scheduled a mammogram for Monday, April 22.

Of course this was all very distracting to the adoption discussion so I asked my dear praying friends to cover the situation in prayer.  I went to the appointment thinking all would be well.  The next day I received a call telling me that I needed to return for a follow-up and to be prepared for an ultrasound as well.  I explained that we were considering an adoption situation and that I might possibly need to be out of state for a period of time, could they please give me their earliest appointment to get this over with.  So I was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

The distraction and fear were overwhelming.  It was only the prayers of my prayer warriors that kept me from sinking further down the well of anxiety.  I felt like I was carrying weighted backpacks of fear, distraction, pain, and anxiety.  How could we discuss adopting when at my worst moments I was sure I was dying?  A whole lot of faith there, huh?  As I prayed on Wednesday morning, I saw myself walking along the beach holding Jesus' hand.  He looked at me and said, "You don't have breast cancer.  Now go."  I had such an overwhelming peace.  But because of my frail humanness, it was short-lived.  A praying friend wrote to say that she sensed she was to tell me that our decision about adoption was not to be dependent upon the results of Thursday afternoon's appointment.  So we decided that we would make our final decision Thursday morning.

One friend wrote back to our SOS call for prayer, "UNVELIEVABLE!  Satan takes such cheap shots!  He's a liar!"  She wrote back and said, "This is a big deal and the enemy is threatened.  Noah has a destiny and a purpose that will blow us away.  I always feel so amused that Satan gets so bent out of shape about the 'least of these', the weakest of the weak...it's because he knows, HE KNOWS that there is power in life redeemed.  You will NOT be shaken today, my friend.  Jesus goes before you and He s your rear guard too!"

In the midst of this we called our personal out of state physician, the one who has actually made more correct diagnoses in my life and given me the best medical advice on numerous occasions, compared to my local doctors.  Without telling her all of my symptoms, just mentioning the pain, she diagnosed an infection.  She called in a prescription and we waited.

Thursday morning we knew that we had to say yes to Victor.  We prayed, we made the phone call to Utah, and we waited for my appointment in the afternoon.  The pain was still there so I prayed that they would find nothing in the first test and that I could go home immediately.

But Satan was not finished.  After the first scan they sent me back to the waiting room to wait.  Then the radiologist wanted another scan.  Then I waited again.  Then yes, he wanted the ultrasound as well.  I've had enough ultrasounds in my life to realize that she wasn't finding anything.  After a little while she left the room saying the radiologist himself might want to come back for more pictures.  So I waited again.  I lay there for 15 minutes, alone.  Hoping there were no hidden cameras in the room I just whispered the name of Jesus over and over and over again.  Finally, the technician came back into the room and announced, "You're free to go.  They found nothing."  I think I might have offended her slightly when I explained that I knew it, I knew that Satan was just using this to distract.  I told her about the adoption and we had a lovely discussion on the topic.

If I could have, I would have danced the whole way home.  But the van made the 15 mile trip a whole lot faster.

About an hour later we got this sweet message from our case worker:
From Noah's birthmother: "Ok they won my heart and I am more than happy to choose them."

Jesus, thank you that the victory is already won.  Thank you for holding me up when I couldn't do it myself.  Thank you for each twinge of pain that reminded me to pray for our birthmother and her son, even when I didn't know who she was yet.  Thank you for teaching me to let others help carry the burden.  Thank you for teaching me so much about prayer.  Thank you for once again demonstrating to all that we have power through your shed blood.  Thank you for the power in your name.  Thank you for this experience that has grown me so much in my faith.  Amen.

We'll join in singing with all the redeemed
'Cause Satan is vanquished and Jesus is King!  (Listen here)




Friday, April 26, 2013

Victorious

Way back at the beginning of February, I was praying over a potential match.  As I prayed for the birth mother, her child, and the uncertainty of adoption, I clearly heard the phrase, "Your child will be victorious."  I've clung to that, particularly in times of being presented to situations that were riskier than others.

In March, we asked our prayer warrior friends to pray for us concerning a potential match involving a 6 year old boy.  We were torn.  We know it's harder to place older children but we had decided we didn't want to mess with birth order this time around; we wanted a child age 5 or under.  As our friends searched God's heart with us, one friend came back with an interesting word from God, "Disabled."  Confusing, to say the least.  While I had grown up with the passion to adopt 20 or more special needs children, the Good Doctor had no such passion.  And by this point, I wasn't sure that adding a disabled child to a home with such large numbers was the greatest idea.  But like any word that comes from these trusted Christian friends, I pondered it in my heart and added it to my word - disabled but victorious.

We did decide to present to the situation with the 6 year old but another family was chosen.  And as only Jesus can do, it was sealed with a Heavenly surprise: The chosen family "just happened" to be on their way to a spring break vacation, traveling through the area where this mother and her son lived.  They were able to stop in and meet them right away.  So I tucked both of these words away and they became part of my prayers for our future child.  I wrote the word VICTORIOUS in the center of a page in my journal and circled it.  I told God I wasn't going to stop praying until our victorious child was home.  Little did I know what was coming.

1 Samuel 1:27 - I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.

When each of our children was little I chose a Bible verse to pray over them.  For some, the verse came to me when they were very young.  For others, I went through several verses before settling on "the one."  It's amazing to pray each child's verse over him or her and to see how fitting it is for his or her situation.  Their verses are posted on their pictures that hang in the hallway so we can all be reminded of God's promises to them.

As I started to explore verses for Victor, I found several that speak to victory.  Someday I'll narrow it down to just one, but for now, please join me in praying these over Victor.  The neat thing about the Psalm 20 passage is that during our wedding ceremony, John and I shared Bible verses that would guide our marriage and verse 7 of this passage was one of the verses we read that day.

1 Corinthians 15:54-58

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[a]
 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”[b]
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


1 John 5:1-4
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.And his commands are not burdensome,  for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Psalm 20: 1-8

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
    may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
 May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and grant you support from Zion.
 May he remember all your sacrifices
    and accept your burnt offerings.[b]
 May he give you the desire of your heart
    and make all your plans succeed.
 May we shout for joy over your victory
    and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
 Now this I know:
    The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
    with the victorious power of his right hand.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,

    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
 They are brought to their knees and fall,
    but we rise up and stand firm.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

We stepped out of the boat


Dear Friends and Family,

We are writing this note to let you know that we said yes!  As you know, we’ve been in the midst of our third adoption journey.  It was January 2012 when we both felt God’s call to pursue another adoption.  By July we had started talking with an adoption consultant and found a local home study agency.  We were home study ready at the end of Nov. and the first weekend of Dec. we prayed over and sent out our first round of applications to agencies.

Almost immediately possible situations started coming.  It was heartbreaking to choose which birth mothers we wanted to be presented to, to turn some down, to say yes to others, only to find that we had not been chosen.  It was a definite emotional roller coaster, not for the faint of heart.

A little over a month ago, while we were in the midst of Mark Batterson’s 40 Day Prayer Challenge, Eden came to me and said that she felt like we were to pray more specifically for a baby.  She decided to choose a date and to ask God to either give us a child or a match by that date.  April 20th was chosen and a few days later she told me that she had added 5PM to her prayers.  So, as I physically circled the block praying for birth mothers and our future child, she would join me, sometimes simply repeating, “Baby.  April 20.  5PM.”  I had a feeling God was going to honor the prayers of that child.

We waited expectantly for Saturday, April 20.  That day we had a concert in the afternoon and arrived home at 4:00.  I immediately checked my inbox and found three potential situations from an agency in Utah.  Two were more typical scenarios with expectant mothers due in a month or two.  The third situation was a baby boy who had been born April 13 at 25 weeks gestation, nicknamed The Little Fighter by the nurses.  Noah, as his birth mother had named him, had been matched with a family, but when he arrived early, the family changed their minds.  His birth mother was waiting in Utah, feeling hopeless for a family for this little boy.  We presented our profiles to the other two situations but we just couldn’t close the door on the third.  We continued to receive updates.  We asked questions.  We prayed.  Oh, how we prayed.  Several of our prayer warrior friends stormed Heaven’s gates with us, asking for clarity and direction.  And the answers came, one after the other.

But it wasn’t without battle.  The spiritual attack has been so strong, particularly to me (Cindy), physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  When we could no longer lift our hands in the battle, our friends surrounded us, holding us up as Aaron and Hur lifted Moses’ hands.  We can’t thank them enough.  In the same day, two friends had the same idea, sending messages that said, “Noah must be a world changer.  The fight to get him to you has been a big one!” and “He will amaze and God will use him in significant ways.”  Redeeming a life never comes without battle and pain.  Jesus suffered for me, I am willing to do the same for this little fighter.

Noah’s fight is far from over.  Starting life at 1 lb. 13 oz., he’s currently around 1 lb. 10 oz. but tolerating small amounts of food and receiving some oxygen support.  We’ve spoken to one of his NICU nurses who gave us every possible life-threatening situation common to premature infants.  We’ve never walked this path before but we know those who have.  We know the risk is great.  We know that his future health is not secure.  We know that we could come home with empty arms.  But after a week of wrestling, we can’t say no.

We know this is crazy.  We know that it makes no earthly sense. Like Noah building a boat on dry land, like David offering to slay a giant, like Peter stepping out onto the water, we're trusting the hand that's leading us onto the red carpet with a tiny, barely 2 pound baby boy on the other end..  Through the years we’ve been learning to put action to our faith and this is just another step of obedience, albeit a large step. 

So many signs pointed us to saying yes.  Those will be subjects of blog posts for months to come.  In the meantime, we have the task of trying to organize life for 7 children, with a major upheaval on the horizon.  We will both need to be in Utah for 2 – 3 days signing paperwork.  John will then return home while I stay in Utah.  My stay is indefinite.  The case worker mentioned the possibility of transferring him to a PA hospital once all adoption paperwork has cleared and he is stable but we know this is an expensive longshot.  We are prepared for me to be away for several months.  I will definitely fly home for Andrew’s graduation in June (but Eden has already begun to pray that her little brother is home by May 28 so that I can be home as well).

We can’t do this alone.  Many people have told us that they don’t feel led to adopt but they want to help.  You’ve already been in prayer for us, you’ve bought cookies, and supported other fundraisers.  So, if you’re wondering how you can help now, here’s our initial list:

Prayers.  Please pray!  Pray like you’ve never prayed before.  Pray for the spiritual warfare that’s going on around the King house and in my body and mind right now.  Pray for Noah and his birth mother, who we hope to meet when we get there.  Pray that he defies the odds, and displays miracle upon miracle to his doctors. Pray for this life that is to be redeemed.  Pray for the finances that need to be collected.  Pray for strength for Cindy who will be alone in Utah (with our good friend, Katrina, not too far away), fielding medical reports from doctors and bringing the love of 8 family members far away in PA.  Pray for the timing of us going to Utah.  John’s graduation is the first weekend in May so we could potentially wait until after that to fly out to Utah but that also means an extra week of this little boy being without his family.  It may also mean we don’t get to meet his birth mother.

This weekend (or whenever the two of us are gone).  Our flight plans are still up in the air but will be sometime this weekend.  We will need help with childcare (in your home or ours) and transportation while we are both gone.  We may need transportation to and from the airport.

Flexibility.  If we’ve made plans with you in the next few months, these may need to be changed or postponed.  If our children take lessons from you, their practice may not be as regular or as structured with Cindy gone.  We may have a week where we just can’t find someone to transport to two places at once.  Please be patient with us.  We will try to work out our schedule a week at a time and notify you of any pending changes.

Ongoing Childcare.  John will continue to need help with childcare during the day and possibly some evenings when he has meetings and the older children aren’t home.  They know how to do much by themselves but we’d like someone to supervise (crowd control).

Ongoing Transportation.  With seven children, it sometimes takes three drivers to get everyone where they need to go.  He will need people to take a shift driving a child or two.

Financially.  Adoption is not without cost.  It can be argued that if you can’t afford it, why are you doing it?  Unlike having a biological child, adoption comes with steep upfront costs (agency fees, birth mother expenses, medical bills, lawyer’s fees, etc.) and then will come the typical expenses of raising a child.  There are very few people who could afford all of the upfront fees without help and there are too many children waiting to expect the extravagantly wealthy to raise them all.  Thanks to our fundraising efforts to this point we have paid for the home study, application fees, and have a small portion of the initial adoption fees saved up.  But we’ve only just begun.  We hope to set up an adopttogether account through which donations can be tax deductible.  We will let you know when that happens.

We thank you in advance, knowing that words cannot adequately thank you.

Oh, and one more thing, since we already have a nephew named Noah, we’ve decided to use that as his middle name.  From here on out he is Victor Noah King.  God has promised that he will be victorious!  He will have a story to tell to the nations.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Lunchtime Blessing

Sometimes blessings come wrapped up in the nicest surprises.

I took HopeAnne to lunch today.  We enjoyed a nice time together while she wiggled and squirmed and kept up a running commentary.  As we finished up, I got the little bill holder thingie (does that thing have a name?) ready for the waitress.  But then Hope had to go to the bathroom.  So, we trotted to the other side of the room while I hoped the waitress didn't think we had left for good.

When I returned to the table the waitress was standing there with my credit card in hand, no bill holder thingie.  She told me that my bill had been paid.

I was speechless.

I wanted to stand up and look around the room, to see who looked the most generous.  I refrained.  I wanted to make a public announcement thanking the anonymous donor.  I didn't.  I cried.  Well, not exactly right away.  I hurried Hope along so I could cry in the privacy of our own car.

You see, it was a rough week.  We felt spiritual attack on so many fronts.  The enemy doesn't like something that we're doing.  Maybe it was the Good Doctor's dissertation defense or maybe it was his two weeks of preaching on sexuality and purity.  Maybe it was our talk at Diversity Day.  Maybe mountains are moving for our adoption?  I don't know.  Our Good Samaritan Angel didn't know either but chose to follow a nudge to bless two people at lunch.

I made it to my car.  But then I lost it.

Thank you, Jesus, that you care so much about us that you would take the time to bless us in this way today.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monsters and jeans, oh my!

My teen boys say that Pinterest is evil.  I suppose it could be.  On the other hand, as I've said before, it sure beats keeping lots of great ideas in file cabinets and overflowing out of notebooks all over the house.

So when I saw the creative ideas for patching jeans, I knew this was one I could use.  I was just waiting for the right moment.  And the right jeans.

Yesterday I saw Mariana wearing jeans with holes in them.  I inquired as to whether she actually wanted the hole in her jeans, just testing the water.  She reminded me that I had bought them like that.  Now, lest you judge me for spending good money for hole-y jeans, let me just say that they came from the thrift shop.  At a price that reflected the fact that the jeans looked previously worn.  Where, in fact, we expected the clothes to be previously worn.  And coming from another member of the human race who is height challenged, I can attest to the fact that when you find a pair of jeans that fits, you are less inclined to care what they look like.  Especially if they are just a few dollars.

Going on.  I casually asked if she minded if I would patch her jeans.  She said it'd actually be nice because then she could wear them to school and the teacher with the I'll-lecture-you-if-you-wear-jeans-with-holes-to-school-because-that's-not-very-professional philosophy (Since when is high school professional, for that matter, when do college students dress professionally for class?  I don't want my kids to be slobs, but all in due time.) would not lecture her.  I asked if she cared what kind of patch?  She didn't.  Good.

Later, when she went off to youth, I set off on the adventure of her room to find said pair of jeans.  Wasn't too difficult, thrown as they were on top of the pile of clothes (not sure if it was a pile of clean or dirty clothes?) in the middle of the room.

I headed to my sewing table and an hour and a half later...

I then deposited the jeans right back where I'd found them (although a little more folded and with both legs pulled through right-side-out).  When she came home I reminded her that the weekend was almost over and she had an obligation to clean her room.

Then I waited.  For the elephant-like stampede down the steps.  It came.  She was thrilled.  And determined to wear them to school today.  With red Converse since they match the little guy so well.

Who's next?  Andrew?  Jesse?  Friends?  Classmates?  Enemies?  This was so much fun I think I'll be emboldened to approach strangers on the street just to ask if they'd like me to patch their jeans.  For a donation to our adoption fund, of course.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Silly Putty incident

Over the years, we have acquired quite a few incidences.   You know, those events that evoke feelings of terror, sometimes bordering on Post Traumatic Stress Disorders.  Incidences that only those in the family can really understand.

One such event is the Maple Syrup Incident of Aught Four.  We had just embarked on a 10 hour trip to visit the relatives.  Having awakened the kids out of their slumber at an unearthly, still-dark hour and bundled them in the van, we traveled a few hours before stopping for breakfast at a fast food restaurant.  The kids all ordered pancakes and as soon as we were situated in the van and on the road again, someone spilled the contents of their breakfast thus causing syrup to be deposited all over the carseat, van seat, and seat belt.  It somehow hid in areas unknown to us and recurrences would mysteriously appear months apart.  To this day, the mention of pancakes and syrup can cause Andrew to have weeks of flashbacks and nightmares.

Another is the Nail Polish Incident.  A more recent incident, this one occurred when the Good Doctor was in charge.  Presumably clueless as to the dangers of a child bearing nail polish, the Good Doctor allowed his 5 year old to apply the substance while in the living room, carefully balancing the bottle on a piano bench, situated in the middle of the living room floor.  On one of the few carpeted areas in our house.  To her credit, she did place the bottle on a piece of paper towel.  In a feat that will never be understood, the bottle fell off the bench, hit the floor with such force that the content flew all the way up to the ceiling, deposited some there, before the rest fell to the floor (carpeted, remember).  A few stray droplets landed on the Good Doctor himself, and for good measure, some made it all the way up to the laptop in his lap.  Needless to say, that one left a lasting impression on the Good Doctor who no longer allows nail polish to be handled by 5 year olds on a piano bench in the middle of the living room.  And lest he forget, any time he looks up, there's a pink patch to remind him.

But the incident of all incidences was actually a series of incidences involving the first four King children and something as innocent as Silly Putty.  Who hasn't enjoyed Silly Putty?  You can stretch it, you can smash it, you can put it on a comic strip.  You can't however, put it on a carseat and leave it in a hot vehicle.  Let me rephrase that.  You can place it on a carseat and leave it in a hot vehicle.  And it will remain there forever and a day.  You also cannot place it on your pillow at night, as a bedtime companion of sorts.  It will end up permanently attached to your pillowcase.  Good-bye favorite pillowcase.  Relatedly, you cannot play with it in bed and leave it on your sheets.  Good-bye sheets.  This series of events has resulted in a familial diagnosis of PTSD that cannot be cured by any medication or therapy.  Silly Putty was forever banned from our home and family members were warned that anyone even attempting to do so would find a whole crate of the stuff on their doorstep when they supply me with grandchildren.

We regret to admit that we failed to warn Shoun of this particular incident.  The poor guy showed up at lunch today with the Silly Putty he had received at a birthday party last night.  Yeah, he never experienced the incidences himself, but regrettably, after the reactions of his family members today, he now suffers from a type of second-hand PTSD.  Poor guy will never be able to handle Silly Putty again.

Just call it family bonding.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Jesus shoes

A few weeks ago we had a snow day.  Although we never really got any snow so it technically wasn't a snow day, it was more of a no-snow day or maybe a threat-of-snow day.  Maybe the best description is cancel-school-because-they're-calling-for-snow-and-we-wouldn't-want-an accident-that-could-result-in-a-lawsuit-against-the-school day.

While sitting at home with no snow, my daughter was bored.  So she started looking at the websites for local theaters and found an audition.  That night.  The show?  Thoroughly Modern Millie at a community theater.  This production being for 3rd - 9th graders, she decided that she should go.  Not only would this be her last year for this youth program, but she had aspirations of being Mrs. Meers.  Twice we've seen this show and twice the actor playing Meersy was brilliant.  Mariana wanted to be them.

She got the part of Millie.  You know you're a drama queen when you have to psych yourself up to be the lead because you really wanted a different role.  Oh, the problems of the extremely talented.

But we're beyond excited for her.  As is she.  Now that she's over not being able to hone her fake Asian accent.

Only we just found out that Millie needs tan character shoes and tan tap shoes.  Originally it was okay to wear black ones, which Mariana owns.  But they changed their minds.  Mariana did have tan character shoes but she let someone borrow them in the last show and a strap broke.  The very kind borrower offered to return the borrowed shoes but unfortunately Mariana really needs a working pair, not a broken pair, go figure.

I love my daughter.  Even before telling us of this need, she started praying that God would provide these shoes.  It's not that we absolutely cannot afford to buy these shoes right now.  It's just that it wasn't in the month's plan.  And usually we have Mariana purchase her own dance wear.  No need to argue this point with me, it's the way our family works and besides, the girl has been getting paychecks for acting since she was 9 years old.

Anyway, she told us about this one night and we also encouraged her to put the request out there on Facebook to see if anyone had a pair to sell.

The next day, someone anonymously offered to buy Mariana a new pair of shoes.  So she now calls them her Jesus shoes.

Don't ever think that God doesn't care about each and every one of our requests.  He cares about us from the top of our heads to the (you got it) tips of our toes.  Even when those tips need taps.