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!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Beatles go to school

This guy was ready for his first day -
and it was FINALLY here!

I was a little concerned when he told me that Johnny Cash was coming along to pretty school with us this morning. And then the Beatles joined us, too. You never know which way these things are going to go. Bringing a few dead guys and live celebrities could be a distraction or it could be a positive experience. Nothing to do but wait and see since telling him that his favorite performers had to stay home would definitely not have ended well.

We pulled into our parking place and I unbuckled him from his seat. Then came the mass exodus as first Paul, then Ringo, John, George, and finally Johnny jumped out after Victor.

The transition went great. We were still all the way at the other end of the parking lot when I told him I thought I saw Ms. Sally (TVI) standing by the front door.


"Victor, I don't think she can hear you. We are too far away."


"Victor, I think we're still too far away. Wait until we get closer."


This time she heard his voice and waved to acknowledge us. She was still too far to hear what he said.

Finally, we were within range, "MS. SALLY, I BROUGHT THE BEATLES!"

"You did?"

"Yeah but they have colds."

"Oh, so they won't be singing for us today?"

"No, they have colds and they don't want you to get their germs."

"Oh, I like that."


And the end of day report? He did great! He played with friends for an hour, didn't have any potty accidents, accepted correction well when banging, and sat (backwards - but he was sitting) with the group at circle time.

Victor says one of the Beatles had a little trouble at pretty school and had to go to the office but he came back. So all in all, I think it was a win of a first day!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Extended family

When of the greatest joys and blessings of my life is having a very large extended family. Growing up, every Friday night was spent at my maternal grandmother's house with aunts, uncles, and many cousins. We were often at my paternal grandparent's house as well, being entertained by an aunt and uncle just a dozen or so years older as well as the usual assortment of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

As an adult, this means an on-going number of weddings, babies, and other life-event celebrations.

This long Labor Day weekend brought my mom's family together for a wedding of one of my cousins and the annual Labor Day camp-out with my dad's family. And now it's not just aunts, uncles, and cousins, but also the children of all of those cousins. I think that my children often don't know the difference between their first cousins and second cousins. Sometimes they see their second cousins more often than their first!

I think that the highlight of Friday night's wedding was that my 96 year old great-grandmother could be there, front and center.

Cara's country, casual, and cowboy boot themed wedding was the perfect place
to wear the dress the Good Doctor deemed "loud". It was originally intended 
for Andrew's graduation but that day was too cold for sleeveless and sandals.

And onto Labor Day with all of its Bauman traditions and new memories. We missed some members, and enjoyed a surprise visit from Lalan and Daya, first time Labor Day campout attendees, and Uncle Leon introduced us to Char for the first time. 

We bridged the ASL/voice gap and played games together and figured out how to put up the tents. And I can vouch for their work as it did not fall down on us in the middle of the night. Of course, once I sent Aunt Ellen in to supervise, I knew we'd be fine.

Teaching Farkle to the next generation, always played
better with a few good bottles of homemade Root Beer.

Nostalgic singing around the campfire by Uncle Leon.

We helped Kirsten find the bottom of her ground cherry pile and answered the weekend's most popular questions, "What are those?" and "What are you going to do with them?"

Coloring for those who needed some therapy.

And of course, the weekend wouldn't be complete without transforming Uncle Carl's man cave into a quilting bee. Another comforter ready to be bound and sent to Mennonite Central Committee.