Tuesday, July 31, 2012


This morning I woke up thinking about a blog post I wanted to write. It was about the relationship between my desire to be in control (especially of things over which I have NO control) and worry. You know, like I can't control the things that the mean boy on the bus says, so I worry about Lamb riding the bus. I'm not explaining it well, I fear, but that is why it's an idea-in-progress and not an idea-in-print. :-)

But little did I know that God intended to teach me a lot today about worry--and about who is in control.

If you "like" Diary of a Zookeeper on Facebook, you already know that I ended up in the ER with Roo today. He has croup (Who gets croup in July, anyway?!?), and it took two breathing treatments and the steroid before they consented to let us go home--and even then his breathing still didn't sound great--but it was improved enough that the doctor was comfortable to let us take him home. 

In the grand scheme of things, this is not a major thing. But today I knew without a doubt that I was not in control, and I was definitely worried. At first. 

And then I remembered who IS in control. And then I was able to look at the day and see just how in control He really is, and how He watched over us throughout the day. 

My parents (who yesterday kept the two boys while I took Lamb in for x-rays) kept the two big kids for me, so I didn't have to take all three. 

There was almost no wait at the ER. 

Our nurse was great--friendly, perky (but not annoyingly so), helpful, and knowledgable. 

While our resident was a total... Well, I won't go into my thoughts on that guy and how on earth he made it this far into a medical career... But our attending physician was PHENOMENAL, and I was so thankful for him. 

My wonderful husband had a day with no appointments, and came and sat with me in our little ER room for 4 hours. 

Roo was quite lethargic, which obviously isn't a good thing, but it made it SO much easier to hold him for 4 hours straight. 

We got to bring him home instead of being admitted. 

And my personal favorite... I stopped by Giant Eagle to pick up some medicine for Lamb (which is a whole other story) and decided to pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner because I was just too worn out to cook, and they were all out. Well, they had more cooking, but they weren't going to be ready for another 35 minutes. And this wonderful manager, this angel in disguise, had the kid behind the counter get an 8-piece chicken dinner ready for my family (a meal that costs $13.99), walked away, then came back with a $15 gift card and said, "Dinner is on me." I just about cried right there in the store. 

Those were the blessings in my day, the reminders that God IS in control and that He is watching over us. And now, as Roo sleeps peacefully, I know that we might have to make another ER trip... Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow, maybe one year or five years or ten years down the road. And I won't be in control. But I know who is. 

And I'm not worried. 

Monday, July 30, 2012



  • Roo got up at 3:30 AM
  • There is a large bees' nest in the ceiling above the boys' room (and the exterminator can't come until Monday)
  • My big kids were supposed to go to a sleepover that got rescheduled
  • I ran out of laundry detergent (and it's laundry day)
  • I took Lamb to the hospital for x-rays for some ongoing tummy issues
  • Monkey got disciplined for a meltdown over a sticker
  • Roo is running a fever, coughing, and not sleeping well
  • I fell down while standing still (yes, really)
  • I lost my patience with Lamb at bedtime. 
Must be Monday. 

And today...
  • I got to snuggle my baby, who normally won't sit still
  • I watched Lamb and Monkey put on a darn good puppet show
  • My parents graciously volunteered to keep my boys while I took Lamb to the hospital, even though my mom and Roo are both sick
  • My day wasn't run by laundry 
  • I went for a beautiful walk with my family on a new (to us) trail
  • My kids told me that I'm the best cook ever, even though I only served them cereal and leftovers all day
  • I am going to bed with a clean kitchen (this is a big one for me)
  • I am going to bed feeling loved and blessed, and knowing that God is in control. 
It may be Monday, but it's a good day. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adventures in a Minivan

Are you familiar with Adventures in Odyssey? My kids love it, and so do I. It's a radio program for kids, and it is just fantastic. Well-done, interesting, thought-provoking, conversation-starting, and biblically-based. A+ from this family.

Recently (as in, 3-4 months ago) we learned that Focus on the Family (the organization that produced Adventures in Odyssey) is holding a contest for someone to "Get in the Show"--to have a part in one of the shows and be the "spokesperson" for Adventures in Odyssey for 2013. If you have ever met Lamb, you don't need me to tell you that this is right up her alley. She is BESIDE herself with excitement. According to the announcement on the radio--and to the information on their homepage--auditions are being held at select bookstores throughout the month of July. I did a little research and assured her that we would take her to try out.

Well, here we are on July 26, and we haven't made it to audtion yet. She was starting to get a little desperate... so I promised her we would do it TODAY. This is the day! Woo-hoo! Let's go audition!

I tried to get on the web site before we left to print out the address of the bookstore closest to us (45 minutes away), but our internet was acting up... so our first stop was to Daddy's office (about 5 minutes away). There I found some scripts for her to use and printed them out, then I went to the bookstore list to jot down the address. And then I noticed something else... something I hadn't seen before... a little line that said, "Dates"... and it was followed by the words "July 7 & 14."


I checked the other ones in the state of Ohio, none of which were anywhere near us, and almost all of them said "July 7 & 14". I was starting to get desperate. Finally I found one (about an hour and a half away from us) that said, "Call store for more information." I did. The lady there said that they hadn't even scheduled their auditions yet, but took my number and said she would call me back when they did. Whew, at least there is hope.

I also found two others that were less than two hours from us, both in Pennsylvania, that looked promising. I jotted down the numbers and got back in the van to explain the situation. I told Lamb that we WOULD be able to audition, but it might not be today. The other stores didn't open for a few more minutes, so I would call as soon as I could. In the meantime, we decided that Plan B for today would be a trip to a semi-local (45 minutes away) spray ground... so we drove back home to grab bathing suits and towels.

Back on the road again, I started making calls. First I called the store closest to us, on the off chance that we could still audition there. No luck. I called one of the stores in Pennsylvania, where I was told that their auditions were done, but she thought after August 1, auditions would be opened up to be videotaped anywhere. Hmmmmmm. Interesting. I made one last call to another store in PA, where I was told, "Absolutely! Just come on by--we have it set up, and you can come in and record any time." YAY! Pennsylvania, here we come!

But first, one more stop. He mentioned that we would probably want to take some pictures. So...... I drove BACK HOME to get my camera.

While I was home, I decided to give our internet one more try. It was working (yay!), so I checked out the official rules, just to see if I could find out anything about not needing to go to PA to record the audition.

It turns out... we don't even need to wait for August 1.

The official rules state, "Entries may be recorded either at a participating Christian bookstore or at a location of entrant's choosing. Record your entry with your phone, camera, or another audio/visual device." SCORE! We can do this without a two-hour drive! Woo-hoo!!!!

Of course... at this point, we had been in the van for approximately 75 minutes... and had never left our hometown. Oy vey.

But hey, Lamb gets to do her audition, and we decided to forget the trip to PA AND the trip to the sprayground, and we went to Target instead. One small Squinkie set for Lamb, one small Lego set for Monkey, and one peaceful afternoon for Mommy.

I'll let you know if she makes it to the semi-final round.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's official...

You are looking at the newest Mommy Blogger on MOPS International's Mom-ology blog! OK, well, you're not really looking at her... but you're... well, you know... reading her words.

Wait, let me try this again.

It's official! I am now a regular blogger on MOPS International's Mom-ology blog! (Whew, that was better.) My first post is up as of today! :-) Hopefully my bio and photo will be added to their "Meet our Mom Bloggers" page by the end of the week. This is such an incredible opportunity for me--I am so flipping excited!!!! Twice a month I will have the chance to share a little bit about our zoo with the whole MOPS reading audience, and hopefully encourage other moms in the process. God is doing amazing things through our little Roo.

So anyway, you can find my latest post here. Would you hop on over and show a girl some love? We writers don't tend to be the most secure bunch, you know. We need affirmation. ;-)

Thanks friends!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lessons Learned

Today was a good, good day. I needed a good day. Yesterday I called my mom and told her that if she wished to continue to have the same number of grandchildren, she should probably come pick up the youngest one and keep him at her house for a while. She didn’t buy it. She was right—I didn’t give him away, although I had moments of wanting to offer him up to my Facebook friends. But I did endure a long, hard day with a boy who is VERY two.

So I was glad for a good day. A visit with a dear, dear friend who I don’t see nearly enough. Some quality time with my kids. A dinner meeting with another friend to chat over women’s ministry stuff for church. A trip to Target all by myself. And as I drove home tonight and reflected over the events of the day, I realized that I learned a few things along the way…

1 – Getting up at 5 AM is not my idea of fun, but it really does make my day go much more smoothly when I can get things done before my kids are up.

2 – When I mix an adrenaline rush with caffeine, it makes me shiver. And gabby. I talked a LOT at dinner tonight. A lot a lot a lot.

3 – Target is open later than Michael’s and Pat Catan’s. So if you happen to need things from a craft store and Target, especially if you live 30 minutes from these particular stores, go to the one with the later closing time LAST.

4 – Remember in school when teachers would say, “If you have a question, ask it. Chances are someone else has the same question.” That still holds true. So often we keep our thoughts, feelings, struggles to ourselves, certain that we are alone in them. We aren’t. If you are feeling something, chances are the mom next to you is, too.

5 – Your closest friends, those you see and talk to and interact with regularly, aren’t always your kindred spirits. Sometimes your kindred spirit is the friend who you don’t see nearly enough, whose voice you rarely hear over the phone, whose life you observe on Facebook. Sometimes that friend is the one you can see every couple of years and yet pick up like you just came back from getting a cup of coffee.

6 – God really does have a plan, and He really does know exactly what we need and why we were created. (He’s the one who created us, after all.) If we just trust Him to lead the way and bring it all together in His time, He’ll be faithful. Life is so much easier if we hand over control to Him and go along for the ride.