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, October 31, 2014

Creating costumes

Most years my mom would make my Halloween costume. Sometimes it coordinated with my brother's costume, like the year we were Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. I bet some of you don't even know who they are anymore.

For a few years I continued this tradition, making the costumes for my children. And then I realized that it was a whole lot cheaper to buy second-hand costumes than it was to buy the fabric and pattern and accessories to make our own.

This year, however, Eden made her own costume. When she showed me a picture of a milk and cookies costume and told me that is what she wanted, I told her there was no reason she couldn't make it. While it could have been glued together, it seemed to me like the perfect project for a beginner sewer. None of the seams had to be straight so it wouldn't matter if she had a little goof.

I think she did great!

We also had a little monkey complete with banana, a kitty cat who couldn't leave the house without her pink sneakers and the chaperone who decided to roam the neighborhood as two slices of bacon.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I know it's my birthday when...

...everyone gathers bright and early and stares at me at the breakfast table

...my kitchen is replenished, most of which I placed on my wish list myself

...my sons look guilty because they didn't make the obligatory card their father reminded them to make last night

...the under-the-bed bin of wrapping paper and gift bags is out and its contents are strewn all over the floor

...my college son calls me

...The Good Doctor finds it necessary to write a Facebook post about me and this day

...I don't have to do any work thanks to a lovely rule my children made up a few years ago so that they would have one day a year work free.

...The laundry, dishes, toys, junk, and dust pile up around me due to the lovely rule my children made a few years ago so that they would have one day a year work free. Unfortunately, they also seem to think they get a free pass on my birthday.

...I have extra work the next day because of that lovely rule... you get where this is going...

...I feel very loved

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Guest post from a new friend

Hello beautiful people!

My name is Kerry and I am so appreciative to Cindy for allowing me to share my heart in this space today.  Cindy is a new friend and I am so thankful for this online community that brought us together.

My husband and I are adoptive parents to two little people.  Our littlest, Toby, just came home about 6 months ago.  As many of you may know, adoption can be very expensive and most people who feel called to adopt don't have a huge amount of savings to use for the adoption.  So we have to get creative.

Before bringing Toby home we researched fundraising options and my husband and I always loved the idea of selling t-shirts to raise money for our adoption.  We looked at some online tee companies but never really loved the designs plus we kind of liked the idea of printing our own.  So a few months before we found out about Toby's situation, when we were still waiting, we ordered a screen printing kit and started playing around with and learning about screen printing.  We had a lot of fun with it but then things with Toby happened so fast, we never got around to actually making any shirts.

On our way home from Florida, where Toby was born, we talked about the press and the other supplies we had in our house and what we should do with them.  We decided we wanted to start a little business and help another family on their adoption journey.

One thing we learned from our journey to get Toby is that even though the adoption journey can feel lonely at times there is a large adoption community (online and in our churches) and they are some of the most generous people on the planet.  We literally could not have adopted Toby if it had not been for so many generous people.  With that in mind, we decided that as a family we wanted to come alongside another adoptive family and support them on their adoption journey.  We decided we wanted to walk with them until their child came home.  And we wanted to tell their story and pray with them and just be with them on their journey.

livi joy is the small business that was born out of this.  Livi is what we call our oldest daughter, Alivea - the one who stole our heart 6 years ago when she joined our family through adoption.  I had no idea how adoption was going to change my life when she was born.  I had no idea how adoption was going to draw me closer to Jesus.  And now it's our family business- standing with another family because ONE matters.  We believe that.  We believe that ONE family, ONE orphan, ONE child matters.

Within a few weeks of coming home we found out about the Ludwig's, a super sweet family from Alabama who had answered the call to step out on their adoption journey.  Their story was a lot like ours.  A step of faith with no safety net.  Just wanting to be obedient.

We have developed a friendship with the Ludwig's and it is our desire to bless them on their journey and walk with them until their little one is in their arms.

We opened our shop two months ago and have been designing and selling tees to benefit the Ludwig's adoption fund.  A large portion of the sale from every tee goes directly to them.

Today, we are giving one away.  There are so many ways to enter.  Simply use the entry form below to be entered to win a tee of your choice.

To read more about our family please visit here.  And thank you so much, Cindy, again for allowing me to share my heart today.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 27, 2014

Redemption wins

Last night was a tough conversation with a child. He struggles. He doesn't want help. He doesn't want me. And he certainly knows how to push my buttons. Yeah, calling me an idiot is a definite button-pusher.

There is always loss in adoption. For some children, the loss is greater than for others. For some, loss didn't just happen once but multiple times and for others, it happens in multiple ways. Some children, for various and often unknown reasons, handle loss better than others. Some periods of life can make loss more pronounced.

As a parent, it can be so difficult to watch the healing process. You want to fix everything for a child who doesn't want to believe that fixing is necessary or that you are the best person for the job.

Sometimes I don't feel like the best person for the job. So I read another book, we attend another counseling session, we talk to those who know.

This morning my quest for wisdom involved a lunch bag, a passage of Scripture, and a song.

I was awakened in the wee hours of the morning and couldn't go back to sleep. I decided I might as well get up and get something accomplished during my insomnia. I remembered that this child's lunch bag handle was detached and unraveling. I recently learned that I connect best with God when doing something for someone else. This may not be news to you, but it was to me. You mean I don't have to sit quietly for an hour praying for someone while my mind spends more time wandering than praying? I can pray as I serve? Eye-opening and releasing for sure.

So that's what I did. While the rest of the house slept, I gathered needle and thread and the lunch bag, and started sewing. And as I sewed, I prayed. I prayed that redemption would win, that the struggle would end, that God would do the work of mending a heart that's frail and torn. And maybe that heart is mine as much as his.*

I prayed through 1 Corinthians 13, so familiar yet so full of truth. As I read each verse, I added my own request, for greater kindness, perseverance, and yes, full and complete love. I prayed that my flawed attempts at perfect love would be seen as love that first comes from the Father, perfect love. I don't want to be a clanging cymbal, an annoying, repetitive noise from which one just wants to run as far as possible. I want to be patient, unfailing, complete love to him.

And my morning ended (or began?) with the reminder that we know the end of the story.

Spoiler alert: Redemption does win! The struggle does end! And torn, frail hearts are mended!

Praise God!

*Tenth Avenue North, Worn

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mommy time-out

I have long been a proponent of Mommy Time-out as a means of discipline.  You know, the kind of discipline where you put yourself in time-out before speaking to a child or addressing a situation. I go to my safe place (ie. the bathroom), shut the door, and calm down. Then I'm ready to return.

Or I used to think that's how it works. Recently, a friend of mine shared some of her experiences with Mommy Time-out. They were very similar to mine but only to the point of leaving the room before talking with a child or children. After finding her safe place, she spends time in prayer, asking God to show her how to proceed, and not leaving the room until He has spoken.

Boy did I feel stupid! Of course! Mommy Time-out is indeed for space and time to calm down, but it is also a magnificent opportunity to gain wisdom from the One who knows my child, and me, best. Just as I know my child can't change any behaviors on his or her own strength, neither can I.

And it didn't take long for an opportunity to present itself. To protect the innocent and the guilty, let's just call them Party A and Party B.

I returned home from taxi service to find a very frustrated Child-in-Charge. Apparently Party A and Party B had been arguing over a pencil and an eraser. Yes, you read that correctly, a pencil and an eraser. Each one claimed ownership. Party A claimed it was his. His proof was that it had been found near his school books and that it had a crack he knew he had put in it. Party B claimed it was hers and that it just happened to be found near his school books. She claimed that the crack could have come from anyone or anywhere.

I tried Solomon's approach, suggesting that we just break the two items in half and distribute them evenly but that wasn't going to fly.After a short conversation, it was clear that the pencil belonged to Party A and that Party B just didn't want to concede.  I dismissed Party A at this point because we were at an impasse. I believed that the issues of control and refusal to give in when she was clearly in the wrong still needed to be dealt with.

I asked to excuse myself for a moment. Needing to make a quick taxi trip, I told her that I would be back to talk.

I spent that car ride in prayer. On the way back, I felt like I was supposed to stop at CVS and buy her a pack of pencils and a new eraser. It didn't make any sense. Even more, I was supposed to take a Sharpie and write, "You are loved," on each of the items.

I did all of that. She looked at me, terribly confused. She knew she was in the wrong yet she was so far in she couldn't get herself out. She expected to be put in her place. Instead, she received a gift, free and unexpected. That's grace.

And that's how I knew it was a word from the Lord. I wouldn't have thought of that. I wouldn't have carried it out on my own strength. But I did and two of us learned a lesson in grace.

Try it the next time you need a Mommy Time-out.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Backpacks of Hope

If you fallow my mom's blog than you probable know that last year our entire family went to Utah to visit our mom and Mr. Victor (my brother) in the nicu and when my sister was haeing her turn to meet Victor the lady at thedesk gave me a bag and said that one day people droped these of here and said "Give the bags to the children who have sibling in the nicu." the bags had coloring books, games, puzzles, and stickers. they were really fun to play with. this morning I thought about that, and how it was so fun and helped me to realacks a little bit and I said to myself "What if I made bags like that for children in foster care becouse most of them have hardly anything. and I told my mom about that and she said "that is a perfect summer project. So that is what I am going to be doing this year. if you want to help, the help will be needed. So you can donate money to us to be able to buy everything for the bags. than k you everything is helpfull you can contact my mom by email or her phone number. thank you.  Eden

Eden wrote this note in the spring at the ripe old age of 9 and gave it to me with a request to post it on my blog and on Facebook.  I just love her heart and compassion for others and her desire to make a difference. She's not going to "let others look down on her because she is young" but instead wants to see wheels turning toward justice right now.

Right or wrong, I held on to her note for a time. Would people want to help a 9 year old? Was there a need? 

So I contacted our county's Children and Youth services and asked them if there was interest in a "backpack" drive. They very quickly agreed. They try to send each child into foster care with a backpack or bag, pajamas, and a stuffed animal or book. This project fit perfectly with their need for these items to be readily available. With their approval, I approached the members of Victorious Hope, a newly formed missional community of which we are a part. This project seemed like a good fit for our mission which is to care for orphans and those who love them.

Eden designed a brochure and we announced the project at the beginning of the month. What an excellent response. She already has more than a dozen backpacks and bags, about the same number of pajamas as well as various other items to place in bags to bless children.  If we end up with more than our county can use, we will contact other counties and private agencies as well.  Every child deserves something to call her own.

This project is on-going and we will deliver to Children and Youth as often as we have items to give them.  If interested, there is more information below.

Backpacks of Hope Project

Items to be collected:
1. Backpacks and bags - they can be used if in like-new condition
2. Pajamas - any size from infants through juniors but they are more in need of larger sizes
3. Stuffed animals
4. Children's and teen's books
5. Misc. items to bless a child - school supplies, lunch bag, clothing, toy or game, coloring book, etc.

Please contact any member of the King family if you would like to donate, kingzoo@comcast.net

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

White Cane Day

As if all those October birthdays aren't enough reason to keep us celebrating, I just learned that today is White Cane Day.

That probably means nothing to you, and 2 years ago, it wouldn't have meant much to me, either. But now it does. And because it means something to me, I'm asking that it mean something to you, too. Especially if you have kids.
Victor's first cane arrived in February

Kids can be really mean. Even if there is nothing obviously out of the ordinary "wrong" with you, kids (and some extremely rude and disrespectful adults whose mothers never taught them to be kind and compassionate) will find a reason to ridicule and reject. But we can do something about this. We can teach our children that every person is fearfully and wonderfully made. We can remind them that when they see someone who looks or acts differently in a certain way, they should respond with kindness and respect.
Victor loves pushing this can around - pre-mobility training

So, parents, please, take advantage of White Cane Day. If you don't know what to say, this post will help. Show your children pictures of children and adults using a white cane. Tell your children why. Talk about independence and how everyone strives for it.

For Victor's sake.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 14

My grandfather died October 14, 1992.

My second son was born October 14, 1996.

My grandfather did not live long enough to meet any of his great grandchildren. Just being in an enclosed area with his children and grandchildren caused him to turn his hearing aids down. I know that my household would elicit the same response from him

But if he and Jesse had been able to find a quiet space to chat, I think they would have found some common interests. Most notably, teaching and ministry.

Today, I have another adult living under my roof.

I no longer have to accompany him to medical appointments. I don't have to co-sign or sign his documents.

Like his older brother before him, this young man is ready for adulthood. He has proven himself well.

I look forward to the next chapter in our relationship.

Happy birthday, Jesse!

Monday, October 13, 2014

18 months later

18 months later...God is faithful - 

Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deuteronomy 6:12)

Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who matched you with a precious baby boy and who continues to write your story.

So let's not forget...
Entering the world 15 weeks early weighing 1 lb. 13 oz. and prognosis unknown, the family his birthmother had chosen for him decided the risks were too high. A week later and an email that started with, "I know this is a longshot but..." and our lives were forever changed. Proof that in the waiting game of adoption, God does not allow us to miss the right child, nor does He allow us to say yes to the wrong one. Victor Noah has done more than prove the value of his name. At 6 months the ophthalmologist told us that Victor was completely and permanently blind. At 18 months we know he can see light and objects to some degree; there is definite and miraculous improvement since that initial diagnosis. Once again, victorious. We have a beautiful birth mother who loves this boy dearly as well, sending us pictures and updates just as we do for her. Just another reminder that God writes beautiful stories that we could never imagine. He's writing yours, too!

As always, it's a bit difficult to photograph a child who is blind. Things you don't think about until you live it. So why not have some fun with those 18 month photos and allow Victor to speak his mind.

Pictures? Of me? What are pictures? I'm so confused.
Look up? Why do I have to look up?
What does that even mean? Look up?
Ohhhhhhhhh, I get it now. Look up.
Have I told you about the time that I... 
How 'bout this? This is cute? Right?
Could we please be done soon?
Mom, we all know I'm cute. Do you really need all these pictures?
Okay, that's a wrap, people!
You are not listening to me. Why are you not listening to me?
Oh, goody! A prop!
A prop that doubles as a snack...
...and a juice box.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mascots have parents, too

I grew up going to Phillies games. A lot. The part I hated the most was having to take a nap the afternoon prior to the evening game. Long after I was too old for naps, I had to go to my room "just for a little rest" so that I could stay up for the game. Yeah, I think I usually fell asleep during those "rests." I also disliked having to dress up to go to the games. Did people really do that way back when or was that just my family? I don't know but I didn't like it.

I also wasn't really into the games. I always had a book with me, though, and it was a great place to finish a story or two. Until that time a foul ball hit the empty sit right next to me. That was a wake up call. I learned to keep one eye on the game and one eye on the book after that too-close-for-comfort incident.

I did have a favorite player but only because my brother had one. And because he picked Mike Schmidt, I had to pick Greg Luzinski. Surprisingly, I knew a lot about my favorite player. I knew he wasn't as good as my brother's favorite player, but I was pretty used to that kind of second place feeling. I liked The Bull all the way until my dad just happened upon him in an airport once. In response to, "You're my daughter's favorite player," he just grunted and walked away. Fan no more.

So when the Phillie Phanatic was created (born?) in the late 70s, I ditched that whole favorite player thing and turned my ballgame attention to the big green mascot who got cool things like four wheelers for his birthday. Later, the Phanatic's mother appeared on the scene, looking equally green and being just as fun to watch.

Who knew that 30+ years later I'd find myself sitting at football games, again with eyes only for the mascot (but with my book at home). This mascot couldn't stick out his tongue, is not known for wiggling his butt at the opponent, and did not receive a four wheeler for his birthday even though his birthday did fall on the night of a game and he did ask for said gift.

It was during one of those football games probably three years ago, as I was watching the mascot and daydreaming during the rest of the game, that I got a great idea. Better than great, it was probably the best idea I've ever had. Just as the Phanatic has a mother, and just as she shows up during special occasions, wouldn't it be fun for King Kat's mother to show up on a special occasion? And his father, too? And wouldn't it be great if it just happened to be senior recognition night? And wouldn't it be even better if it was a total surprise for the Wildcat?

I shared the idea with the rest of the family and we all kept it a secret, waiting til the mascot became a senior and this year it happened. We asked the cheerleading coach if we could borrow the two old costumes. We told her that we would like to wear them, add a dress to mine and a suit coat to The Good Doctor's (we knew we could likely borrow the set that the homecoming mascots wore), and surprise King Kat when it was our turn to escort him during senior recognition.  She loved the idea but had to ask the higher-ups.

Now, just as I have preserved the identity of King Kat in this blog, I am going to preserve the identity of the high school's assistant athletic director who apparently has never seen the Phillie Phanatic with his Phanatic mother, who seemingly has little understanding of school spirit, possibly has little creative ability, and who has no idea that most of the fans at the high school's football games do not come for the game, but rather, like me, to see the antics of the mascot.

Since we only know that he refused the request, and we do not know his reasons, we can only surmise. Being married to a counselor, I've gotten pretty good at figuring out the psychological reasons behind someone's actions so I have a feeling that the unnamed assistant athletic director must have had some type of childhood trauma with a mascot. It happens. King Kat has had to learn to navigate the world of children who cry or scream when he approaches. Birthday clowns deal with this all the time. It would be understandable, then, that if not one, not two, but three Wildcats showed up next week, it could take a person such as this over the edge. It's okay, Mr. Assistant Athletic Director, we understand. If this is the problem, there is no need to be embarrassed and I'm certain The Good Doctor could refer you to someone able to deal with that type of phobia. In fact, if you set up an appointment for Monday, you might be able to get over this phobia by next Friday and we could still keep the persona of the King Kat safe. He could still have King Kat parents rather than human ones. Just like the Phillie Phantatic doesn't have human parents (duh!), King Kat could be introduced with his kind.

Or, it is possible that the unnamed assistant athletic director tried creativity once upon a time. Emphasis on once. And it is possible that it was a traumatic experience. It is possible that somewhere in elementary school, before he became the high school jock, he had an interest in writing. He was assigned a story and he wrote that story, going well past the 1-2 pages assigned and instead created to his heart's content, finally turning in 4 glorious pages of creativity. But alas, the teacher returned that paper with more red marks than the original pencil marks used to pen the tale. His creativity was shot down. Subconsciously he vowed never to allow a creative idea to pass his mind, or athletic director's desk, again. Instead, he would turn to athletics where the game plan is straight forward and creativity is non-existant. He would create a world around him void of creativity and he would, one day, attain a position of importance where he could squash any and all attempts at creativity that were brought to his attention. It's okay. There's healing for that type of wounding, too. The Good Doctor just happens to also be a pastor as well as a counselor.

But that's all supposition and we certainly don't want to start rumors about the unnamed assistant athletic director so please do not go around telling people that he has a mascot phobia or elementary school traumas. That would be unwise and premature and that is between the unnamed assistant director and his healer of choice, protected by HIPAA and never to be known by Wildcats the world over.

Instead, I ask you to use your imagination next week. Conjure up all the school spirit you have so that when King Kat is announced, you can see three Wildcats in the place of one Wildcat and two humans who just happened to claim it as their child.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Round 2

My morning started out with a text from my oldest: 10 years and 1 day ago I was celebrating Eden's birth in an ER. Guess where I decided to celebrate today?

Actually, my morning started out with birthday donuts at 6:45 AM along with 2 very grumpy teenagers. One was more grumpy than the other but I had to remind them that they had been given the choice of whether to wake that early so we could all enjoy the tradition together or wake up later, meaning that Shoun would have to miss out since he was the only one with school in session today. They made the right choice but were definitely second-guessing that choice when the wake up call was a loud, over-excited, you-made-me-wait-a-day-to-celebrate-my-birthday, camp song.

The text came an hour later. My response was that he'd better explain. Fast.

Turns out he wasn't the reason he was in the ER but instead was just fulfilling his RA duties. But 10 years and 1 day ago, he was the reason...

This is one of my favorite pictures from Eden's birth story. When we called my parents to tell them that "the baby" had been born (we were really mean and made them wait til they showed up to find out if it was a girl or boy), their response was, Well, um, we were wondering, does your hospital have an ER?

Andrew had been at a birthday party and was playing dodgeball. His aggressive play caused him to fall backward and land on his elbow. He continued playing so the birthday boy's mom didn't think too much of it until later when Andrew started mentioning that it really hurt. She felt awful and called my parents to pick him up. We should have paid more attention because this was clearly a forewarning into Andrew's future with dodgeball.

John and my dad spent the next few hours going between the ER and maternity. By the time Andrew was discharged from the ER, it was after visiting hours but a very nice nurse who realized that Andrew's tears were not from the physical pain of a broken arm but were instead due to the emotional pain of not getting to see his new sister, agreed to let him in for a quick visit.

10 years and 1 day later we're celebrating Eden's birth and I guess we're also celebrating the fact that it's been 10 years and 1 day and counting since Andrew himself has been a patient in the ER.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Oct. birthday #1

It's that time of year again. Numerous trips to the grocery store for special family meals, packages arriving in the mail on a regular basis, secrets being whispered behind hands, and higher energy levels.

Don't worry, you still have 76 days til Christmas. What I'm talking about is birthday month. Between my family or origin, John's family of origin, and our current family, we have

2 on Oct. 9
1 on the 12th
1 on the 14th
1 on the 27th
1 on the 30th and
1 on the 31st

To solve the 2 on the 9th problem, we decided a few years ago to celebrate one birthday child on the 9th and the other on the 10th, flip-flopping the order of who gets to celebrate first.

But that means 2 mornings of birthday donuts, and 2 birthday dinners of the child's choosing (ie. vegetables are usually not invited), 1 birthday snack for the child who actually attends a real school and whose school hasn't been totally invaded by the party poopers who think you can actually celebrate a child's birthday with celery sticks and hummus) and 2 birthday desserts, all to be consumed between 6:45 this morning and 7PM tomorrow evening. Grocery shopping alone gave me a sugar coma. Then I had to actually prepare the food.  Now I know how my mom felt when she had to do the same for my brother on the 27th and then for me on the 30th. No wonder she requested no sugar for her birthday on the 31st.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think any of the children are complaining. Well, there was one, who along with me has been on a journey of better health. We'll make do.

So today the object of our celebrations is Shoun, 14 years old.  Since his bus is the first to leave in the morning, he should feel very special just by the fact that everyone got up on his schedule to enjoy a donut with him.  Well, to enjoy what was left of the donut after it had been speared by 14 candles.

Here's to another year of growing, maturing, learning, and loving.

And Jesus grew in wisdom, and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52

Sunday, October 5, 2014

OT wins

Occupational Therapy's Goal for Victor: Victor will touch items with various textures, especially those that are sticky and squishy.

OT Observations: Victor not only touched his oatmeal but played with it, squished it in his hand, and used it as a special hair shampoo.

OT for the win!

We will conquer play-doh next.

And someday, the spoon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Alternate Tooth Fairy

The Tooth Fairy doesn't come to our house anymore. It just got to be too expensive. Not only are there eight mouths with the usual amount of teeth falling out, but some of them inherited their father's lack of adult teeth, some of them inherited their mother's overcrowded mouth, and some of them have their own unique issues. These kids don't always lose one tooth at a time and often it takes a little help from our friend the oral surgeon. His secretaries know us by name and though he looks like Santa Claus, well, let's just say the only gifts he gives are little cups with ugly teeth, root and all. Our family record, to date, is eight pulled at once.

Let me digress for a moment to tell a story which you are going to be so thankful not to have missed. So far, only one King child has had his wisdom teeth removed. Another is in the line-up and the other very fortunately is missing 3 of the 4 wisdom teeth. Blessings come in many varieties. When this particular child arrived home wisdom-less, he also had a Disney sticker on his arm. I thought this odd but didn't bother to ask the already-sleeping teenager.  Later, when taking the sticker off his arm, and losing several arm hairs in the process, he blurted, "Why would some idiot nurse put a sticker on my arm?" His father started laughing hysterically and said, "You asked for that sticker!" The teenager in pain questioned,"Well, I think I remember asking for a sticker just to be funny, but why did she put it on my arm?" Again, hysterics, "You told her you wanted it on your arm. You don't remember that?" Nope. No memory. So I guess the real question should be, "What idiot teenager would ask for a Disney sticker on his arm?"

Well, as you can guess, that Tooth Fairy just got a little tired of coming to the King residence. Too many times she completely missed our house while making her rounds. Not just the night the tooth (or teeth) came out, but several nights in a row. You'd think she would be better at this job after generations and generations.

To solve this problem, she just came by one day and dropped off a jar of coins and commissioned us to hand out a dollar each time a tooth falls from a mouth. Only problem, we would forget. So now when a tooth falls out, we just say, "Wonderful! Don't forget to get yourself a dollar out of the jar."  It does lose a little of its luster this way but if a child gets her money, it doesn't really matter how she gets it, right? Under the pillow or out of a jar, it's all the same in the end.

But somehow, our children have found an Alternate Tooth Fairy. This one seems to have kept up with inflation better than the usual one. So by using snail mail, or the internet, or even saving the tooth hanging by a thread and pulling it out when visiting the Alternate Tooth Fairy, the children can do much better than getting their own dollar out of a jar. And if they time it right, with a visit from the Alternate Tooth Fairy, the money may even show up under the pillow after all.

Tonight, this picture was sent to the Alternate Tooth Fairy

and a few hours later, we received this photo and accompanying message:

Show Hope what her tooth turned into.  We will get her the $5 the next time we see her.

We didn't even know the Alternate Tooth Fairy had Photoshop. Or does she? Or is it a he?