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!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas, 2016

The King Family year brought to you in a 25 day countdown…

25 – On June 29th we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a day planned out by the kids and my parents. The day ended with a meal prepared and cleaned up by them and with all of us (and even a few significant others) around the dining room table.

24 – The number of words in one of my favorite quotes from 2016, spoken by one of my favorite speakers, Christine Caine: “God takes highly unlikely people, takes them into highly unlikely places, gives them a highly unlikely strategy, and gives them a highly unlikely outcome. “

23 – The approximate number of trips the King Taxi takes weekly, to and from various activities like viola (Isaac, HopeAnne), violin (Eden), Messiah College orchestra (Isaac), voice/keyboarding (Mary), swim team (Shoun), dance (Mary), running (HopeAnne) and sign language (Eden).

22 – The approximate number of times I say don’t in the first five minutes of the day as in, “Don’t lick the drain,” “Don’t throw your potty down the stairs,” and “Don’t play drums until at least 6AM.”

21 – The age of our oldest. That makes us old, too. Andrew will graduate from Asbury University in the spring with a degree in media communication and an emphasis in film and TV production.

20 – The age of our second oldest. Jesse is at Eastern University for his second year, studying middle education with a focus in math and science.

19 – The number of days between today and Christmas – time to get this letter finished!

18 – And the age of our third oldest. Mariana is a freshman at Marymount Manhattan in NYC studying theatre arts with a concentration in theatre performance and a minor in musical theatre.

17 – The number of King’s Strings concerts this year. The group is constantly evolving as children graduate and new ones join us. The number of concerts has gone down but so has our need to fund lessons and purchase new instruments. God has it well-orchestrated.

16 – Mary and Shoun turned 16 this year and John has the unenviable task of teaching them to drive.

15 – Isaac is 15 but turns 16 in January. That’s three who need to learn to drive. Pray for John.

14 – The number of days I spent at the beach this year. The family joined me for most of them but it’s always refreshing and relaxing to spend a few days alone at my favorite place.

13 – The number of years we’ve lived in Mechanicsburg. It’s hard to believe that this is the longest we’ve lived in one home. The move in 2003 was difficult but we know that we are right where God wanted (and needed) us to be. Our encouragement to you is: If God calls you to go, you go.

12 – Eden is 12 years old and in 6th grade at Infinity Charter School. This is her second year there.

11 – The number of people around my dining room table this Christmas.  Sometimes more if we’re joined by a significant other or two.

10 – HopeAnne turned 10 this year and after struggling this summer to do the thing that she loves most – run – was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma. Now she runs with a smile again.

9 – The number of King kids. John might think it’s the new number of completion. I  disagree.

8 – In August, John, Shoun, and my dad traveled to Kenya to serve on a missions team. Shoun was also able to visit with many family members. A highlight of the trip was lion sightings while on safari.

7 – In July Andrew left for Brazil to serve as a camera intern for the Olympics. He was able to enjoy several events along with seeing many athletes through the lens of a camera. He is hoping that connections there may lead to a position at the winter games.

6 – It was in June that our family grew again. After HopeAnne’s sister lived with us for a few months last year, we asked that our home study be kept open. It didn’t take long for our agency to call us about a 15 year old in need of a home. God and I have had many talks about why He keeps sending me teenagers but we have been so blessed to have Mary in our home. She really did fit right in.

5 – It only took 5 hundred and eight days but Victor is finally, officially (barring yet another setback) potty trained. This has been an issue as he has transitioned into preschool (“pretty” school to him) this year. Now if we could just get him to sit still, to be obedient to teachers, to stop spitting, spinning, and self-injury. Never a dull moment.

4 – April was the month of Victor’s third birthday. He was pleased that we were able to resurrect Johnny Cash to join us for the day. We are thankful for friends who are willing to bring joy to a special little boy, even by playing a dead country singer for an evening.

3 – And about that 3 year old, Victor. We would be fooling ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge the frustration and discouragement that have come from parenting a child with special needs. However, we can also say that Victor has truly been a blessing to us. He is teaching us more about loving like Jesus, with compassion and grace and expecting nothing in return, than any other life situation could. And what joy his successes bring!

2 – The number of adoptions we hope to see finalized in our family in 2017 – for Shoun (finally!) and Mary (who surprised John on his birthday by announcing that she had told her caseworker she wanted her goal changed to adoption!). Home study #????? here we go…..

1 – The reason for the season is the One in whom we put all of our hope and trust. Twenty five years of marriage has brought us a number of ups and downs, but through it all, we can praise God for all that we have learned and the ways in which we have grown closer to Him and more like Him. We don’t know what the new year brings for any one of us but we are not anxious and we do not worry; the baby born in Bethlehem so many years ago died so that we might have life and freedom in Him. Daily we make the choice to put our hope and trust in Him and not in people or things that will ultimately fail us. And with the love and grace that we receive, we strive to always pass the same along to others.

We are thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you for the role you have played in our lives and in our hearts.

Merry Christmas!
Cindy,
For the whole King Family








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