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, December 31, 2017


I recently went back and re-read my post from January 17, 2017. It was the day I finally went public with my One Little Word for 2017. If only I had known then what I know now.

It's a good thing I didn't know then what I know now.

But somehow I did know. At least a glimpse...

"It was actually back on December 18th, when our Sunday School teacher ended class by suggesting that we ask God this question: What do you want me to do for you in 2017? I scribbled the question down on the back of my bulletin and was about to pack up when the answer immediately came to me so I added it: Let my heart break for what breaks yours. Give me the strength to bear it. Remind me to allow You to bear the burden for me and with me.

And then I wrote one more thing because I knew what my word had to be for 2017: Break

I think I may have rolled my eyes at God.

Break? Really? Doesn't my heart break enough for the vulnerable and broken? Does it have to break more?

But I already knew the answer. And thankfully I know the One who will hold my heart just as He asks me to allow my heart to be broken even more...

I've been challenged recently by testimonies and stories of friends and strangers who have been able to successfully and totally surrender areas of their lives to Christ - areas of temptation and sin, and bad habits that weighed them down. I'm humbled by their commitment to changing themselves for Christ, rather than changing Christ to fit them. This is what I'm seeking this year as God works with me to break down the areas of my life that I have not surrendered to Him...

And during a time of prayer, God spoke these words to me: Break. Together we'll break chains this year - yours and others. Give it time..."

Time. He was right as always. Because breaking chains, my own and those of others, has taken time. There have been victories, one occurring just this month. But there are other prayers for freedom which are going to take much longer.

At one point this year my heart broke so heavily for the inner turmoil and social injustice surrounding a new friend at a place I volunteer. I knew it was all part of God's plan to break my heart even more for what breaks His. But I didn't know if I could take much more breaking. I told God that there was enough trauma in my home, I shouldn't need to break for the trauma outside it as well. I didn't know how to break so deeply and still go on.

I asked my friend, Susan, whose heart also breaks for the vulnerable and broken. She told me that she once asked God the same thing and He gave her a picture of a road with a ditch on either side. One ditch was of detachment, of giving up, and not caring anymore. The other side was of unhealthy co-dependence and trying to help on your own strength. Down the middle was the path with Jesus.

This was the answer I needed. I thought more about that picture during the next few days. In my mind, I saw that middle road in greater detail. I saw how narrow it was. Few people choose that path. It's easier to detach and look away and it feel good to have a Savior complex. It's more difficult to step onto that road, following Jesus all the way. I also saw how dark the road is. The only light coming from Jesus. He doesn't promise to show us what is ahead. He only promises to show us the step ahead. If we will follow Him on that road.

The year of break might be over for me but I pray that I never leave the road of brokenness and that I never try to go it alone.

Walk with me, Jesus. Here we go, 2018...

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmases #3 and #4

The next two Christmas celebrations kept us on the road a good bit from the 26th - today. Some Kings are still on the road while some of us are already home. Our first trip was to Zionsville, IN (Cindy's brother and family) and the second to Wapokeneta, OH (John's siblings).


Beautiful family photos will be forever memories of our time in Zionsville. And a special photographer who let a special little boy explore her camera (and lens).

Nadya and Victor enjoyed cousin time. Potter the dog, and Victor, not so much.

Hot Potato and lots of games with the cousins...

Enjoying gifts...

The return of Octocat (MomMom's drawing from a few Christmases ago) and a new Octocat pillow tradition (with HopeAnne being the very first Octocat Pillow Winner).

A crocheting partner...

"Drinking games": Have you ever tasted Grass Jelly, Pennywort, Soursop, Lychee with Aloe Vera, or Basil Seed? We have. The results of a trip to the International Grocery Store.

For our final Christmas, we had some cousin fun, singing (of course), Grandma taught us how to bake a pie, and I took a memorable tumble (but nothing that a little super glue, a few days of soreness, and a lot of black and blue can't heal).


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas #2

Christmas Day = Christmas #2 with MomMom and PopPop

We always start with the true meaning of Christmas

Waiting patiently

Mary's name was drawn first so she had to open her gift with oven mitts

PopPop made a bird house for Daddy...

Jesse's name was drawn last for gifts, so he had to be wrapped up in all of the paper...

Lots of reading...

Gotta try out those Christmas gifts...

The first of many hairstyles...