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!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Two children received piano lessons as a Christmas gift this past year. It may seem like a strange gift as you don't ever hear commercials touting, "Piano lessons, the gift that keeps on giving as they have to practice...and practice...and practice..." And I think our children are getting used to slightly strange gift getting since we've tried to simplify the seasons. But for these two children, this seemed like the perfect gift. At least one of them plans to major in music and I knew from my own experience that music theory made so much for sense as a pianist than it did as a violinist.

The other night as I sat on the sofa listening to one of them practice his lesson, I was taken back to my own days of piano lessons. I didn't start at the piano until I was in 8th grade. I can imagine my parents' thoughts in reaction to my constant begging, "We have to remind her to practice her violin everyday, why would we add another instrument?" So I was told I would have to wait until 8th grade. At that time I could also choose to discontinue the violin if I wished.

I went to a local music store to study piano with Jane. Unbeknownst to me, the girl who was to become my best friend took flute lessons from the same woman. Poor Jane; once Kym and I met, her life was never the same. She was the perfect teacher for me; understanding that I didn't plan to be a concert pianist but just wanted to play for personal enjoyment. But sometimes she was probably too easy on us, turning the other way when it was obvious we hadn't practiced and allowing us to take her on tangents with colorful stories when we were trying to avoid a lesson for which we weren't prepared.

My favorite story about Jane was the year she decided to have a contest. I can't remember the exact nature of the contest but I believe it included a practice chart. With little work on our own part, Kym and I were neck and neck the whole way through the contest. And at the end? We both won in a tie which I'm certain Jane orchestrated from the start. I still remember that my prize was a t-shirt with a piano and Kym's had a flute.

I've often thought it would be fun for the two of us to reconnect with Jane. We were trying to do that about ten years ago but her husband was in the midst of a serious illness and it didn't work out. Maybe t's time to pursue tat again. Jane not only taught me to play the piano but she modeled a love for life.


  1. Your post reminded me of my own piano lessons and my daughters' piano lessons. Some good memories and some bad. Ha. I love that you got them for your kids for Christmas presents. They'll be glad you did! By the way, I've never visited your blog before. What a beautiful family you have! I love finding new blogs during this challenge. :-)

  2. I wish I'd been more aware back then to the true privilege and blessing it was to be surrounded by such good role models who did much to mold my life. Good Memory! Kym