Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Pics to Enjoy

Ashley and her "Twin" doll and their matching gowns.

Chris and his soccer ref's gear.

Oh, I love those smiles!

Dad and Chris ready for Christmas Eve!

Mom and Dad are too!

My Engineer

I never know what I will find in the morning. As a drummer, Chris makes music with everything. Now, he's making towers with everything.
I went in the kitchen on Wednesday morning, Christmas Eve, and found this tower on my kitchen counter. The base is a water bottle; next his vitamin container, a condiment service piece with tums and glue as counterweights!
Anyone else see an engineer in training?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

With Thanks to Chris and Kayle

Before Chris and Kayle, some of our adopted kids, left for Christmas, they gave our kids gifts. Ashley a baby bear - of course! And Chris an electric helicopter.

To stem he tide of arguement, we had to buy two more - one for Ashley and one for David. Ever try to rest while listening to three tiny helicopters whirl about your house?

Try to cook with them swarming your head! Or, get laundry from downstairs and dodge them on the stairwell!

Thanks, Chris and Kayle. When you have kids, the first gift they get from Aunt Kim? A train whistle!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Dream To Travel

If there were anything I could do - money not an issue - I would love to travel. There's so much of my own country I'd love to see - Washington State, Washington, DC, Wyoming - it's a big country! But I'd also love to go to Scotland and Ireland - my heritage; England and it's castles; Italy and it's food; Paris and it's art. I want to walk through the National Museums and see the art and watach the people. I'd love to stand on the Alps and drink real Swiss chocolate.

But since that's still a dream, I'm getting a kick out of looking up the locations from which people visit my blog!

Today I visited Linköping, Ostergotlands. The 5th largest city in Sweden, it is home to Cloetta Chocolates - just the name sounds yummy! The castles from the Renaissance era really caught my eye - I had never put Renaissance and Sweden together. Coming from Oklahoma where we have wonderful lakes, I was struck with the beauty of the lakes in Ostergotlands. I can see why travelers stopped to settle this land. I must add this town to my list!

Thanks for visiting me from Sweden. Maybe we will meet someday. If not here, in Heaven. How wonderful God is to create a world with such diversity.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Pleasure

In the past 24 hours, I have had the pleasure to love on 4 beautiful children. E and E from Ug*nd* and L and S whose daddy is from Ghana. Sometimes I grieve over the children I have lost and those that I was not able to have. I am so blessed with two wonderful children and I am so thankful for the heart for children that they have. Holding these 4 babies this past day has allowed me to realize how much a heart can love. I pray for them and their families. For these chosen children. For our Chosen children.

Father, let us care for those who have no voice as if they were birthed from my own bodies. Let our heart love them as if we ourselves conceived them. They are your gifts to this world. They are valuable. They are loved by their Father. Let us be your hands and heart.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday - Chris

I am thankful for my son, Chris!

I am thankful for. . .
* his life - doctors told me we would never have children.
* his heart - he loves his family.
* his laugh - it is infectious!
* his humour - he's a pretty quick wit.
* his love of God - he quietly studies and reflects God in his life.
* his athletic ability - it amazes me the way he can run and pass the ball and and stop a ball.
* his music ability - he is a wonderful drummer; he played a pretty mean cello,too.
* his empathy - he has been the best physical therapist for his sister.
* his love of all sports - I love hearing him talk to my dad about football!
* his love of the outdoors - he gets that from his dad!
* his flair for the dramatic - he gets that from me!
* that he is taller than me - something he is very proud of, too.
* his willingness to help others - he gets that from his Heavenly Father.

Father God, thank you for this beautiful child. I see your hand in his life and they way you have ordered his steps. Let his life be a reflection of your mercy and grace.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Texans Welcome!

Did you know. . .
* you can take the Texan out of Texas - and she'll always be a Texan?
* that Bevo is the most beautiful beast in the world?
* that Texas is the only state that can legally succeed from the Union?
* that Texas won the National Championship the year I was born? (1969)
* that I was born with scratches on each side of my face where I had sucked
on my fingers "hook 'em horns"-style before I was even bor?
* that West Texas is beautiful!
* that the only ill-mannered men you meet in Texas are from New York and
* that I miss my Home State even if I haven't lived there in 30 years?
* that my favorite colors are Blue and Orange? Blue for the wide-open skies and
orange for God's favorite color. Why else would sunsets be burnt orange?
(no, it's not a Bronco's thing! They're just a pale imitation of the original.)
* I was born in Waxahachie and grew up in Big Spring?
* that I would love to find my friend Jaccinda Beasley? She moved from Big
Spring when we were kids.
* Amarillo, TX always smells like a stockyard?
* that we eat rattlesnakes after we round 'em up and milk 'em (for venom)?
* that I'd like to go visit my Uncle and Aunt and Cousins in Dallas?

Making A Change

It has been said that we all want Progress but nobody likes Change. Progress does not come without change, but change does not always bring progress.

And why do we want Progress? Is Progress always better?

Look at how schools have Progressed. More computers, more technology, more teaching specialities, more options for upper grades, more in-service, more training.

Yet we also have more struggling students, more isolationism, more troubled kids, more kids needing Basics. Progress has not improved our schools, only showed that Change is not always productive.

As a teacher, it's hard to say that we don't do a good job. But we fail in many ways. We tell parents we value them, and then we condescend to them saying, "we don't expect parents to understand." We say our teaching methods are 21st Century, yet text them on skills that are 18th century and, quite frankly, fundamental and needed but not taught. How can we test what we do not prepare them for?

I want to progess closer to Christ. I want my kids to progress towards being their best. I am wanting change in my life. A change that is life-altering. That brings my family and me closer to Christ. Change that grows my children's hearts and minds.

From research, I know that this world is selling rebellion. Be better than others; better than your parents. Nothing that is Christ-like. Our schools are doing the same. Be better than your parents.

Am I willing to make the life-changes necessary to progress my family towards Christ's vision for us? Oh, I hope so.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yeah for Snow Days!

Today was great! I slept until 8am! I cooked some, sewed alot and enjoyed being at home. I think God knew I needed a Snow Day. A day just to be at home.

Thank you God for the miracle of Snow Days!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Coolest Thing Ever

I really like blogging. Leaving notes to myself. To anyone who'll read. Sharing the world with others and the Word.

But I am totally in awe of the Tafficking gadget! To see where people visit your webpage from, what blog they came from and where they go from yours. I feel like an International Internet Hub! I should rename my blog IIH!

Technology amazes me!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Prayer Need

Our friends are in need of your prayer! They are in need of a miracle to get immigration papers for their children. Please pray! Our God can!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for my husband, David.

1. His smile - it makes my heart stop!
2. His wink - yes, he still flirts with me!
3. His hands - they are strong; they have callouses from working around the house; they they are tender to wipe tears; they are able to change diapers; they can help with piano lessons; they can do dishes (very manly!); they can cook (mmm! Muffins!); they can hold my hand
4. His mind - he is a thinker; a planner
5. His heart - it has been broken and mended; it listens to God
6. His prayers - I know the children and I are on his lips as he petitions the throne of God for us

Father God: thank you for the gift of my husband. He is all I have listed and more. He is the head of our house and I gain joy in deferring to him as our shepherd. Bless him in all that he does today. Order his steps. Set his mind at peace. Give him wisdom for the tasks you have laid before him. Let his sleep be peaceful and restorative. Let his faith grow as he sees the work for Your hand.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Goodies

While Linn and the oldest of the youngest are away, Isaiah and Liberty came to make sweets for an afternoon with Ashley. We had a lovely day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Wall

There it is. Wider than the horizon yet still taller than it is wide. Slick. Smooth and cold to the touch. No footholds can be found anywhere. Running your hand along it's glassy surface leaves your fingers numb. It does not sway when pressed. It does not yield when pushed.

As the realization of your powerlessness washes through your consciousness, your knees buckle and you slide to the ground. Broken. Helpless. The air must be forced into your lungs and you fight to focus on the ground before you.

You cannot pray. You cannot see. You cannot breathe.

But you can cry out, "ABBA! Father! Please!"

And He cries with you. He sees your struggle for life. He sees your head pressed against this immovable wall. He moves.

The Wall comes down. Lifting your head, the vision before you is a winding path, along green meadows. Nature grazes alongside the road. There is no rubble before you. There is no evidence that the wall ever existed. Only peace. Only quiet.

Father, move for me tonight. I am tired. My child is in pain. She cannot walk without pain. I cannot watch her walk without my heart breaking. My chest hurts with her pain. My head is pressed against this wall. Written on it's glassy side are the words: Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, Seizure, Epilepsy, Hemiplegia, Fatigue, Depression, Sinemet, Anger, Wheelchair, Surgery, Valium, Codeine, PPA, Fall, Fault, Why, Tired, Hurt, Pain, Tears. This is my Jerico. I cannot go forward. I cannot go back. I am on my knees. Bent before You. Only You. Move this wall!!!

Cast Off!

Today, the cast came off! Her leg looks beautiful! Flaky skin included! It's tender to walk on, but she's getting there.

She was excited that the cast was clean inside so she was able to keep this Frank Chang Original work of art!

Thursday starts therapy - won't that be fun!?!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Joy! A Dream Fulfilled!

I've always wanted to be a writer! To have people read what I write! Okay, I once thought I'd make money at it, but now I want to make a difference - to brighten someone's day, to make someone smile, to lift someone's heart.

I've been writing for years - journals, short stories, stories about my kids, newspaper articles. And now I have people reading what I write! Wow!

I love seeing that people from across the US have visited the blog. Please feel free to leave a message! I want to know who you are!

Welcome to the Beach Family!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


To take care of assets that are not one's own.

What a responsibility! I'm a little overwhelmed by that thought today. What is God calling me to steward? Everything! Nothing I have is apart from Him!

On my father's side, my great, great grandmother was Jewish. The Jewish faith is looking for the Messiah. Always searching. Waiting. Praying.

My Christian faith teaches me he has come! Jesus Christ fulfilled every prophecy required to prove his deity. Now instead of waiting for the Messiah, I am living for Him.

Father, thank you for your protection for my family. For keeping my daughter safe through surgery. For my son's skills and love for people. For my husband's faithfulness to me and my family. Lord, I want to point people to Christ through the way I live my life and steward these gifts back to you. I want the stewardship of my family and gifts to always point to the cross.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Hmm, this week's list - I am thankful for -

1. Do-over's - they come in many forms - Mondays; Mornings; New Months; New Years; new hours!; Forgiveness

2. Fridays - yeah!!!!!

3. That my family is easy to cook for - they like soup and sandwiches and easy things

4. Prayer - I can go to my Father at any time.

5. Nightgowns - I love to curl my legs up in them and cuddle so warm and comfortable.

6. Washers and Dryers - I can't imagine doing the loads and loads of laundry any other way! I think the Pilgrims had few clothes, not because they were being modest or living simply, but because the women were sick and tired of washing and ironing!

7. Christmas Trees - I love their warmth and love and peace

8. Telephones - it keeps my best friends and families close despite the physical difference

9. Telephones - I can call my Sweetie any time of the day!!!

10. Bubblebath in lucious scents with matching soaps and lotions - I'm addicted! I love a hot bath and leaving the room smelling warm and comfy and leaving my husband with the scent of "me" at the end of the day.

11. Tears - they wash away stress.

12. Laughter - it can cleanse away pain

Waiting. . .

No one likes to wait. We want everything now!

But God says, wait. Be Still.

In waiting, we can grasp a bigger picture of His miracle unfolding.

God, we will wait!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Friend

My friend is in Uganda. As we sleep, she will be knocking on the hearts of Ugandan leaders to bring home two new babies. God can move mountains - he will bring these babies home with their jubilant mother and happy siblings to the arms of their waiting daddy.

A whole church is waiting for them! A whole internet community is praying for them. Personally, I can't wait to welcome these children to their new church home!

I am so amazed by my friend's capacity to love.

I am amazed by many of my friends lately.

To walk in faith when the paycheck is gone. To move their family to follow God's call. To love children who are birthed from their heart if not their body. Friends who live by their convictions when their own families do not understand those inclinations. Friends who stand for Christ and often stand alone in their homes and places of work.

They have expanded their territories. They have followed God's heart.

God, where is your heart leading me? Leading our family? Will we have the courage to follow? What is our next adventure? What do you have for us? We will follow.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


The surgery is over. We've been home a week and 3 days. Recovery is going well.

Now it gets tough.

Juggling work, family, school and doctors appointments and therapy appointments and checking insurance claims against bills. Then add Christmas! And programs and parties.

The surgery was cake compared to what lies ahead.

Therapy is not pretty. It hurts her. It's hard to watch.

But it's essential.

A doctor once told me that he does not allow Grandparents to attend therapies or certain medical procedures because a Grandpa once cold-cocked him for causing his grandchild pain. This doctor went on to explain that a parent is willing to see their child endure pain in order to accomplish a greater good. Hence, the pain of therapy for the benefit of being more mobile. A grandparent wants to intervene and stop all pain, regardless of the benefit.

I think this is why God has no Grandchildren.

Father God is willing to let us suffer temporary pain in order to bring us into a relationship with Him. We must each have our own relationship with Him as Savior. We cannot go to Heaven on the experiences of our parents or grandparents. We cannt go to Heaven based upon the ethereal definitions of being a "good" person or being "kind". It is all about relationship.

God is longing to have a relationship with you. He wants you to know Him personally, intimately. Not just know "of" Him. The demons know "of" God. The angels in Heaven know God as creator. But only you, only a Human Being can have a relationship with Him. He will be what you need when you need it - Father to the fatherless; Husband to the husbandless; Friend to those who feel unloved. He will be your Provider. He will be your Healer. He longs to be your Father.

Won't you answer His call?

Father, I want to have a relationship with you. I want to know Father God as more than a vague reference to a disconnected diety. I want to Know you. My life has not been perfect. I am a flawed being and your perfection is sometimes intimidating. But I will take you at your word when you say you love me just as I am. I accept the gift of Salvation that you offer to me. I accept a new start for my life. I believe you are God. You are the only God. I want you to be my God; my Savior, my friend. I choose today to turn away from my own selfish ways. I choose to walk with you. Walk with my, Father. Thank you.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


What have I learned about Dreams?

I believe some people are born knowing what they are going to do in life. Their dreams for the future are so much a part of them that they do not even see them as dreams but more of a destination. The pianist who begins playing at 4, the surgeon who knew anatomy when he was 10, the preacher who was sharing at age 8.

Then there are the rest of us. Those of us whose destiny sneeks up on us. Those of us who literally fall into our dream and live there for a while before we realize that, "hey, this is what I've always wanted to do, I just didn't know how to say it!"

For us, God takes our experiences and forms our destiny in small increments. We resemble a patchwork quilt that God knits together over time. Seen from up-close, it resembles a mess, but from a distance, it is a beautiful work of art.

Lord, let me see the Big Picture. My life in quilt-blocks looks chaotic. I will trust you to create a work of art.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday

I am Thankful for. . .

My faith (I've said it before, but I so truly mean it)

My family

My husband - he is the best!

My home - we are safe and warm

Snow - what a beautiful blanket we are wrapped in tonight

Knowledge - my limited knowledge, the vastness in the medical profession and God's endless supply

Church - to worship, to serve, to teach, to love

Dogs - they make me smile; I love those little eyebrows and wagging, stubby tail

Happy Thanksgiving, Durango!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So almost one week since surgery. Was it really just 7 days ago?

Today I've reached the, "I need out of the house!" mode. David is off at noon tomorrow, so I'll do my grocery shopping then, if not tonight! It's hard for me to be still and quiet. Good practice, though!

The house is quiet. Ashley is watching a movie. Her laughter is back! She giggles when we transport her to the bathroom or carry her downstairs - really most things make her laugh.

God gives us a sense of humour to make it over the rough patches.

Father - thank you for my kids laughter. It's the sweetest sound in the world. I love their smiles and giggles and the way they can make each other laugh. Father, you must get the same kick out of us! That's why you gave us a sense of humour - it brings you joy to see your joy. Thank you for all you are teaching me. I amazed at the vastnessof your knowledge and that you would share it with me.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Satisfied Sunday

Thanks to Barb and Keith for the delicious dinner! Lasagna rocks! Not cooking is even better!

What a wonderful day. Ashley has only taken pain meds once - and then only a half dose. She's been awake all day, reading, writing notes and watching Star Wars with her dad.

Lord, once again I am in awe of your faithfulness. Thank you, thank you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I am so tired. All my adrenalin is gone and exhaustion has set it. I slept a little today and can't wait to go back to bed. I have to stay up until I can medicate Ashley again. She has done so well. What a girl!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Glad to be Home

We returned home from Denver today. The trip took about 7 1/2 hours which was pretty good with a bandged, medicated child. We only stopped once for nausea and left a gift in Pueblo. Using the bathroom in Walsenburg was interesting. My back is going to be pretty strong after hefting my daughter in and out of the jeep!

Ashley's surgeon, Dr. Chang, is known for his creative casts. It's green with stars and moons - that glow in the dark! The cast is also covered in glitter and little blue stars.

I am amazed at God's grace. We ate well and slept well - in a hospital! The people were so nice and kind.

And when leaving the hospital, we met Will Smith and a picture made with him. He gave Ashley a stuffed rabbit and a copy of a movie that he signed for her. Plus, he signed her Memory Book "To Ashley, Love Will" with a big heart. She loves Independence Day and Men in Black, so it was pretty cool for her. He's a nice guy.

I'm glad to be home. Two hours after being home, the fatigue and tears came. I had sent David for dinner and was so glad to have Del Taco and not have to cook and as I retrieved a cookbook to look for a recipe for Thanksgiving dinner, the relief came. We're home and safe.

Ashley's settled on a mattress on our living room floor. Her pink and turquoise Christmas tree is lit and setting where she can see it (thanks Kayle and Cookie for doing this - she loved the movie, too!). In the rocking chair are balloons and a bear from her Gran, Nana and Papa Joe; a new Webkins from Miss Kris and Ben and her Build-a-Bear Rabbit. Chris is laying on the couch near her - he's helped move her around and stretch her leg, holding her cheek while she breathed through the discomfort. David and I are in our seats, the dogs in their bed.

And things are okay.

Father - thank you. Just, thank you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I almost forgot!!!

Friends who give up paychecks to travel with you to help

Friends who pray

Family who pray




Diet Coke


My Hubby. I miss you. I love you very much a d cannot wait to be home in your arms

Kids - for smiles and tears, I would not trade them in


Here we are in Childrens Hospital. Ashley did very well even when the decided to operate on both legs! They lengthened the left calf muscle and plate on her r leg to inhibit growth until the other leg catches up. Then they did Botox injections in her l arm and hand to release the muscles. An epidural was used through the night to control pain. Today she has eaten well , gone for a ride around the floor and had a sponge bath. She us watching movie number 5 now.

We have certainly seen how God has prepared our way. The doctors and staff have been great. Room is comfortable. Food has been good and we have slept well too! I am very thankful for my itouch as well that has kept me in touch with everyone!

Father, thanks fir provisions even on the roads we did not choose and do not wish to travel.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Night

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah Ps 46:10,11

The house is clean. Laundry is done. Suitcases are packed. We've done all we can do to prepare for tomorrow.

Now, we stand.

And Moses said unto the people, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord," Exodus 14:13

How exciting! We get ready! Get dressed with the armor of God! And we stand! We watch Him work! Wow!Bold

"And having done all, to stand," Ephesians 6:13.

Lord, we will stand!

Friday, November 14, 2008


In - Out
In - Out

We do it without thinking. Most of the time.

Today a woman's kindness made me stop breathing. I was so overwhelmed by life and her graciousness made me acknowledge my sinking feeling and I could not breathe.

This past week has been a flurry of activity preparing our home for the next two weeks. Surgery and pain management then Thanksgiving! So, I've been buying holiday things this week so we can decorate the tree, wrap some gifts, etc.

This sweet lady, said, "Getting ready for the Holidays?" "No," I said, "my daughter is having surgery next week, it was unexpected..." and I poured out my heart. "I'm so sorry," she said, "I hope everything goes very well for her."

Then it hit me. Goes well? Of course it will. But this is really happening. And I couldn't breathe.

It's come and gone all day.

Traveling - breathe in.
Bills - breathe out.
Missed school - breathe in.
Missed work - breathe out.
My child - breathe in.
On a big table - breathe out.

Then I remembered a poem I wrote years ago:

Breathe Me
Let my arms wrap around you
Breathe Me
Let my Spirit surround you
Take time to fall upon your knees
and worship me.
Breathe Me!

And it's okay!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for. . .

1. My friends who read my blog and post such encouraging words!
2. My friends who read my blog and pray for me.
3. My friends who read my blog.
4. My friends.
5. Peace.
6. Sleep.
7. A place of rest.
8. My hubby.
9. My kids.
10. Cake with buttercream icing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Surgery Date

Miss Periwinkle.
Pink and Precious.
Sister Ruth.

All the many names given to our beautiful daughter.

She was born on July 24, 1998. She was so tiny. And very blue. She did not breathe on her own right away. Her Mom got her to take her first breath. We named her Ashley Ruth Wilson Beach.

Ashley - the name her daddy gave her when he first learned I was pregnant.

Ruth - after my dear Mimi, Ester Ruth Farris.

Wilson - my maiden name.

Beach - our family name.

Ashley Ruth, as her brother Chris called her, was a great baby! She slept! She ate well! She was rarely fussy. We dressed up like a doll - somethings in 4 or 5 outfits a day just to take her pictures! She wore preemie clothes for 2 months and slept in a baydoll basket my grandmother had made for my babies.

All was quiet and peaceful until she was 6 months old. Then a roll from a bed, combined with medication she was taking, caused a tear in her carotid artery to clot and 24 hours later cause a massive ischemic infarct.

Early in the morning, we were awakened by her screams. We tumbled over each other as we rushed down the hall to see what was wrong. Hours later, the projectile vomiting began - 10 feet through the bed rails across the room and down the wall.

Most of the rest is a blur. Doctors visits. Coming home. My mom holding her as she began her first signs of seizures. My mom, her Gran, holding her when she had her first grand mal seizure. Emergency room, ct scans, admittance and the word "stroke."

Nine and a half years have passed and we are preparing for her 3rd surgery. In three months, she's gone from hiking in the woods to using a wheel chair. Her tendons have tightened. The dystonia is worse. (Dystonia is like a spasm or uncontrolled muslce movement. Think of a person with Parkinsons Disease.)

Two months ago, I was beginning papework for surgery with the Shriner's Hospital in Utah. Two weeks ago, it became apparent that she needed the procedure quicker than the Shriner's could accomodate. One weeks ago I was hoping we could have surgery within 3 weeks. Today, I have 6 days to prepare for a 3 day trip.

Super Trooper.
Great Trooper.

Those are the new titles she's been given. Every teacher who wrote me, called her a Trooper! What a great legacy! Nothing keeps her down!

So, one week from today,we will be in Denver, CO. On Wednesday, November 19 we will check into Denver Children's Hospital ( and at 2:00 pm, Ashley will go into surgery with Dr. Frank Chang for a Strayer Procedure on her soleus tendon.

I'm giving you specifics so that you can pray with specifics. David and Chris will be here. It's important each child have a parent with them. Chris is the ultimate big brother, her first physical therapist and best advocate.

Our friend Marilyn Rogers will be traveling with Ashley and me. We will leave early Tuesday morning, stay in the hospital Wednesday night and return home Thursday.

And some time on Friday, I'll breathe!

But I will rejoice! I will rejoice that God redeems the pain of this world! I will rejoice for the joy that is my daughter!

Father - hold me tonight.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Marvelous Monday

How wonderful to awaken to fresh fallen snow. The air so still and quiet. My kids tucked in their beds sleeping peacefully. These are the mornings of which memories are made.

I'm cooking bacon and eggs and making hot cocoa to celebrate our first snow at the house. Ashley wants to make Holiday cards - a little early, I said. Chris is still sleeping - it's been a very long soccer season. He's played so well. They finished 3rd in yesterday's tournament.

Thank you Father for mornings at home. For this beautiful blanket that covers our home, tucking is in with your tender love.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursdays is catching on!

Each morning, my kids and I get in the car, back out, put the garage door down and stop to pray. After prayer this morning, I announced that today was Thankful Thursday and each person (even the guy who carpools with us) had to list one thing he was thankful for. They grumbled and mumbled and Chris finally said, "Okay, drums." "My family," sis mumbled from the back. Brandon was thankful I took him to school so he didn't have to walk!

Teaching our children to have a heart of gratitude is a lost art in today's world of speed and gimmees.

Today, I am thankful for:

1. My laptop that still works so well.

2. My car that runs well and a heater that works great!

3. Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper.

4. World's Finest Chocolate Melt-Aways.

5. The knowledge God has give to medical professionals.

6. The quiet in the house when everyone is just home and doing their own thing but they're still there under my roof.

7. God's financial provisions.

8. God's emotional provisions.

9. My talents and gifts adn the chance to use them for His glory!

10. New opportunities and adventures that are waiting just around the next corner!


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day of Pride

I believe. . .

* No one rules without God's consent
* It is my job to pray for our President
* Our Country is great!

In my parent's lifetime, they have seen segregated drinking fountains, and restaurants. They have heard bus drivers say, "move to the back." The "n" word used in the place of a persons name. They watched MLK march and listend to his Dream.

In my lifetime, the first woman Chief of the Cherokee tribe was elected, Wilma Mankiller. I have seen two African-American heads of state - Collin Powell and Condi Rice. I have seen women hold offices in our nation - myself included, as the youngest woman mayor in Oklahoma history; Phyllis Shlaffley, Hillary Clinton, and again Condi Rice (I like her!!!).

I've also lived through the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11/01. Our country's saddest moment - when our own attacked us; and the thinkinable - someone else attacked us on our own soil.

Though he wasn't my candidate, I still felt pride for Mr. Obama as he looked at where he can from to moving into the White House. I was proud that race could be considered an advantage and not a problem.

And I will pray. Like I always have. For God's grace and protection on this Nation. We are the most generous country. We give to each other, to other peoples, to peoples who ridicule and hate us afterwards. And we still will.

I recommend everyone read "The Light and Glory" to see what our history books leave out of the story of our country. We have been directed by God. We still are.

Father God - thank you for being at the helm. I know in whom my faith resides - You! Lord, I ask for wisdom for our leaders - turn their hearts to Your will. Bend their knees to Your presence. Silence their tongues for Your words.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oklahoma Trip

Some pics from our trip. It was not the best of reasons to go back, but it was nice to see and touch everyone!

Jacob working on his birthday gift -
Star Wars Lego set.

Addyson showing me her pretty hair.

Our Boys!

Chris, Keith and Cade

(Hear a trend? Kelli, Kim. . . . .)

At my mom's new house.
It's so nice!

Gina, Kelli and I
on our "Girl's Day."

Baby Cade. What a handsome dude!

Aunt Kim loved being with him.

Our Kids!

Erica, Chris, Ashley, Keith and Cade

Finally Fall!

Yeah! Halloween is over. I really don't like it. It's too dark.

But in our home November 1st officially begins my favorite season - Fall!

And, the countdown to my favorite Holiday! Thanksgiving!

It is the ultimate Christian holiday - time to reflect on what God has done for us. For His goodness and faithfulness and his unfailing love for us.

This past week has been an emotional roller coaster for us. Wheelchairs, doctors visits and insurance calls. Then this morning, Mark and Benjie sing a song telling the story of the three men in the fiery furnance. It was a beautiful song and really challenged you to stand for what is right and flee evil.

Yet, at some point in the music, I thought, "You know God, I'm thankful that we can be in the fire and not get burned and not smell like smoke. But, I'd really like to just get out of the furnace for awhile."

I think God smiled. He knows our heart. And He knows that I know His grace will sustain us.

If we never were in the furnance, we'd not know that grace. We would not experience His love and peace. Heat brings out the gold. Pressure makes diamonds. Trails bring results like nothing else.

Okay, I'll sit in the furnance. But if anyone's reading, I could use a diet Coke and a fan!

God - I see you. The fifth man in our furnace. Thanks for being there.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I am joining the Thankful Thursday bloggers. (Although this is the 3rd time I've tried to type this - I keep hitting the wrong buttons and deleting my work!)

I am Thankful for these blessings:

1. My God - you are my Life from which all other blessings come -

2. My Husband - you are my Heartbeat.
3. My Kids - you are my song.
4. My Home - it is my refuge.
5. My Best Friend - you are my sister.
6. My Friends - they are my smile.
7. My Job -both school and Church - it is my fulfillment.
8. My Family - they are my foundation.
9. My Church - my strong tower.
10. My Country - my responsibility.

Hmm, 3rd times a charm.

Thanks God for pointing me towards the important today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Perspective

In the light of day, things look better.
In the light of day, hope emerges.
In the light of day we can see the hand of God
And know that his love grows brighter
In the Light of Day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Things We Dread the Most

A new member of the household.

When Ashley had her stroke, it was funny the things that bothered me. Like Shoes. I cried in every shoe department. Because of her braces and her affected walk, she would never wear all the cute little shoes I saw. Mules, high heels, ballet slippers, flip-flops, etc.

When her forehead skin was different colors (don't ask why - they don't know - but it looked like white butterflies on her forehead), that bothered me. She was so beautiful and I wanted people to see her beauty, not the splotches.

I hated for her to wear her arm and leg braces in public after one old biddy cooed over her infant seat in a store, "honey, what did your momma do to you?" I got over it eventually and we have boxes of braces.

But mostly I never wanted her to have a wheel chair. When they said she'd never walk, I dreaded bringing home that tiny little chair. We have had a modified chair for years - but it looks like a giant umbrella stroller and is not so offensive. And people don't stare at it.

Now she has a chair.

Her left foot is causing her so much pain. The tendons are swollen and they can't straighten her foot at all. They couldn't cast it - the foot would contract in the cast and create pressure points cutting off circulation and killing the skin and possibly other tissue. She just needs off of it.
She can't use crutches because of her hand and arm weaknesses and a walker presents the same problems. So, they want her resting in a chir and they are calling the surgeons in Denver.

I know this is needed. But it is not liked.

This hideous wheeled beast needs to leave my home. My beautiful daughter is sitting in the lap of this black and metal intruder. My heart aches.

How does Ashley feel? God bless her heart - she loves it! She's mobile and fast and her foot's not hurting. She was thrilled to be fitted for the chair. I guess she's been hurting more than we realized.

God - help me. This is not a road we chose. I don't want to be here. I don't want my daughter to be here. Heal her. Please.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Talk! Talk! Talk!

To all my family and friends who know how much I love to talk! To all of those who have been the recipient of my speeches which being, "research says. . ."

I just finished reading some papers on raising emotionally healthy kids - know the #1 indicator? Parents who talked to their kids! Even if their kids didn't talk back, they were listening. Did you know that for someone to absorb what you say, they have to hear it 7 times!

How many times did you tell your kids today that you love them? Twice? Three times? If not 7, they may not have "heard" you!

So for you young moms, there's a reason why you have to say, "No, no, no, no, no, NO, NO NO!" Those little ears only heard you the last two times!

Now I wonder, how many times has God told me something and in my humanness, I'm not hearing Him yet? Am I going to make Him say it 7 times before I get it? Boy, I hope I'm not that stubborn, or stupid!

The trip to Oklahoma last week was hard. Over 30 hours of drive time; 4 states, 2 time zones, a half dozen McDonald's (we're playing Monopoly), 4 beds, 3 homes, 1 hotel. One funeral, 3 nephews, 2 neices, my own 2 kids. Three suitcases, three backpacks, new dress because the weather was warm, tons of laundry and lots of diet coke. But even though I'm still tired and recovering, I'm so glad we went. The conversations between Chris and I were priceless. In the car, it's safe to talk and listen. We don't have to look at each other but we do have to listen. Ashley's not quite ready for those deep talks. She'd rather watch a movie, read a book and do her school work. But in the nex couple of years, she and I are going to take a road trip t0gether so we can talk.

Keep talking! We know it builds vocabulary in tiny children, word sense in toddlers, conversational skills in preschoolers; social skills in Kindergarten; vocabulary practice in 1st grade; sentence structure in second grade; expository skills in 3rd grade; expansion of knowledge base in 4th grade; shared experiences in 5th grade; experiment in language styles in 6th grade; expressive skills in 6th grade. . . .and a sense of trust and a foundation for future relationships across all age ranges!

Lord, forgive me for not listening. The first time. Open my ears to hear you speak. Open my eyes to see your presence. Open my heart to love others the way you love me.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Goodbye Grandma Phyllis

Today, Grandma Phyllis went home. This afternoon she is in Heaven seeing family and friends and her Savior.

Thanks Phyllis for your life. For trips to band contests and movies. For days and nights at the State Fair.

For calling and checking on me during college and encouraging me.

Thanks for making bridesmaids dresses and my ring bearers pillow. For loving my husband liked you loved me.

For being there when my babies were born. And when one was in ICU.

Thanks for teaching my kids to love salmon patties! and for being there when Chris lost his first tooth. For taking care of my kids when I was so sick.

Thanks for raising your daughter - my best friend. She is a gift. She is hurting right now, but we'll be there for her. Don't worry.

Mostly, thanks for loving us. We will miss you.

But we will see you soon.

Kim, David, Chris and Ashley Ruth

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just Added. . .

Grab a tissue, get ready to praise God and watch the Card Board Testimonies listed in the right-hand column!

Yeah, I'm There

I love commercials! They're the most entertaining part of television - although not the safest! Recently an insurance company has been runnings ads were people are in various stages of their lives - "You know the place between moving out of your parents garage and buying a house? Yeah, I"m there."

Today, I was at Santa Rita Park with Ashley and one of her best girls, Liberty. We had a picnic lunch and then the girls rode their scooters while I tried to keep up on foot. It was a gorgeous day! The trees are magnificent shades of gold and red and deep brown. There was a slight breeze - not too cool but, really, just perfect. We stopped after a little bit and went to the river's edge and played in the cold Animas River and looked at rocks. I was struck by how blue the sky is today.

As we walked back to the car, it hit me, "Yeah, I'm there." I'm right where I've always wanted to be. This is the life I wanted. Bumps, warts and all. It's one big package and we have to take all of it or none of it. I want it - Wife, Mom, Teacher, Friend. This is what I wanted.

This package is an incredible gift from Father God - my kids, my home, my church, my friends, my work, my family!

Not that there aren't some things I would change if I could. Who hasn't gotten a gift that left you speechless and wondering how you could exchange it for something useful? I am limited in what I change. I know my limitations. And I'm okay with them.

I'll take it all!

Lord, thanks for bringing me here. To this place in the world, in time, in my walk with you. I am so grateful for each blessing you have given me. Pressed down - you've gone above and beyond. Thanks.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fall Colors

David and Ray went 4-wheeling this week to photograph the colors - and get in a ride before the weather changes! It was a beautiful day.

I love photos or roads - the mystery of where they lead, the adventure they promise.

Snow and Fall Colors!

Soccer In Grand Junction

Chris playing soccer. What you can't see in the continuous rain they played in all weekend. No wonder four boys were sick by Monday. They won this game 2-0!

Ashley and Luna. This is our friend Joanne's little dog she rescued from the pound as a pup. We've watched her grow up - kinda the soccer team dog. Ashley loves walking Luna and playing with her during the games.

It was rainy in Grand Junction and snowing on the passes, so we elected to drive home through Utah. The drive was gorgeous. Turns out the passes were okay but we would have missed a beautiful drive.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cold Season Emerges!

It all started with David. Normally the kids bring it home, but this time it was him. Then I had the sore throat, runny nose, cough, ickiness all over. We drove to Grand Junction - the four of us sharing air in one vehicle. We checked into a hotel. One bathroom. Two beds. One breathing space.

Crawling into bed Friday night, I wondered why I had come.

Then Saturday I felt better. Sunday even better. Stood under a tent in the drizzle and watched Chris play some great ball.

Drove home Sunday. The long way through Moab in case the snow on the passes proved thick. It was only an hour further and a gorgeous drive!

Home safe. Laundry started. Nice dinner with Chris and Kayle.

Monday morning - Chris is sick. Same stuff.

Zinc lozenges. Zicam swabs. Vitamin C. Lots of water. Chicken soup. Nose sprays. Vicks.

Monday night - he feels better.

Good! I had a million things on my calendar for Tuesday - Parent Meeting; Telephone Conference; Book Fair; Spreadsheet to prepare; Parent-Teacher Conference.

Tuesday morning - Ashley is sick. Yup. Same stuff.

Here we go again.

My plans were derailed. Plans that I thought were on my "trail" (see earlier posts). I guess my calendar was the detour and being mom and at home was my path the past two days. I'm fortunate that my work allows me to be at home. Research can happen anyhere and reports can be typed at home. Days like these make me a better advocate for families - if it's hard for me imagine the single mom working and supporting kids and not having the option to miss work for the day; or the two income family barely making it and illness has used all their sick days.

Lord, thanks for this Trail today. I'm enjoying the view. Not that I want my kids sick, but there's still great conversations and loving moments and teachable times in illness. Father God, please take away this illness from our home - it's made the rounds and we're done! But mostly, thanks for the peace that comes despite the sickness. You are indeed awesome. K

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


How easy it is to see other people's flaws! The person who eats too much, diets too much; laughs too loud or not at all. The mother who yells at her children and the father who ignores them. Her house is too dirty - too clean! They're too loud! Too short! Too, too, too. . . .

We are quick to find fault in others - and all too often the fault we are quickest to jump on is that which we recognize in ourselves and yet we do not wish to confront. We'd rather confront it in someone else!

Seeing fault is different in finding fault. Seeing is recognizing a problem; Finding is searching for a flaw. Seeing seeks a solution; Finding seeks blame. Seeing results in the person being made whole; Finding results in a person being utterly destroyed.

As Christians, the highest compliment is God allowing us to SEE problems or faults or character flaws in those around us. Those faults are then entrusted to us as His hands on earth. What do we do with them? Do we lovingly correct or forcefully reject?

What do we do with our own flaults and flaws? Ignore them or allow the Holy Spirit to work them out of our lives? Too often, we hold on to them. We want them. They are safe. Though not healthy, they have become a part of our lives and to live without them seems impossible. We make excuses for them: I'm just honest. That's the way I'm made. I tell things like I see them. I love my body. If God had wanted me different, he wouldn't have made me this way.

But these are just excuses to stay in our comfort zone. To not allow God to work in us, to mold us into the person he has created us to be.

I want my Lord to call me one word today: Trusted.

Lord, remove the beam from my eye so that I can minister to the speck in others. Mend my own brokenness so that I may tie up the brokenhearted. We all come to the cross with bruises and scars - I do not want to add to anyone's hurt. Let me bring healing. An instrument of your peace. Trusted. Thanks, Father for this good day.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chris in the Parade

Chris marched in the Homecoming Parade

Isn't he handsome!

Ashley and the Girls

Ashley getting ready for her big weekend! A night at the Lodge and then hiking to Piedra Hot Springs.

Playing pool at the Lodge.

Two of our new "girls".

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Conscious Decision

Today was the 3rd Annual Parents Make THE Difference Conference for parents of 9R families here in Durango. It was exciting and exhausting and give me a few months before I"m ready to do it again!

Again, I was one of the organizers and loved seeing all the wonderful parents.

This year, I co-presented with my friend Christy on media literacy and advertising to our children. I so enjoyed the research and preparation and the presentation.

The keynote speaker was Mark Hoog, a pilot for United Airlines, children's author, and motivational speaker. His message is one of Conscious Leadership - deciding to lead; deciding to make a difference; deciding to be the differnce in someone else's life.

I was struck by the thought that failing to consciously choose to be better, do better, love better - is a choice in itself. A choice to remain satisified with the status quo. And if we are satisified with the status quo, we can't complain about the world around us. We must choose action.

The past 2 months have allowed me to see that God has placed me in a special place with a specific sphere of influence. I have a responsibility to consciously choose to serve God and live a life before this circle that reflects His love for them.

Lord, today, I choose to make a different in people's lives by consciously watching my words; choosing my steps and dedicating each day to the service you have laid before me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Never Say Never

Okay, it's almost a James Bond title. We like Bond movies in our house and argue over which is the best. (In Her Majesty's Secret Service; The World Is Not Enough, if you're asking).

But it fits.

To all those who said Ashley would never walk - she hiked over 6 miles this weekend.

To all those who said Ashley would never understanding much - she spent the weekend with her new sisters. When asked what made them sisters? They all had the same Father. Christ.

To all those who thought we'd never have children - our oldest played beautiful soccer in Telluride this weekend.

Never say never. God doesn't.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Night Dinner

We had such a great night! I loved having everyone at our house - so many different people and ideas and thoughts and one commonality - Christ.

Believers, Seekers, Tip-toers around the Truth. But what a joy to have them all here.

Lord, thank you for this great opportunity!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Welcome Master Plan!

Tomorrow is a new adventure for our family! With the birth of Eliana to Erin and Nate, we will be holding the Master Plan Thursday night dinners at our home during their "setteling in" time.

We are so excited to welcome these young people into our home!

Hamburgers for 50? No problem! Pasta Salad - Kayle's got it covered! Cleaning the house? Who cares!? They're glad to be in a home with friends and a meal they didn't have to cook!

So Friday, I think I'll have earned a trip to Gazpacho's! Right, Sweetie?

Thank you for these young adults! We are so blessed to have them in our lives! To see their energy! Hear their laughter! Let them show our kids that serving God is cool and fun! Thanks for this Season, Father God.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Relationship and Redemption

There's a certain peace that comes in knowing who you are, accepting it, rejoicing in it and being content. I am a teacher. I am so thankful to those attending the "Dream Releasers" class for helping me see that. Or at least reminding me of that.

If you've not read this book by Wayne Cordeiro, I highly recommend it. We need to remember the dream God has placed inside of us.

I can see the creativity God has placed in me as I teach others. I love teaching my kids, too.

When they were little, I was notorious for my charts. Potty Charts. Cleaning Charts. Behavior Charts. Reward Charts. To Do Charts. But they were so useful! And I still have most of them. But it let the kids know what we expected, what they needed to do and it kept us all on track.

This week, I posted an Expectation list for everyone in the family. It included the topics of Home, School, Spiritual and Behavior and in each category were things such as keeping your room clean, going to Bible studies, completing assignments and keeping a positive attitude. Even Mom and Dad got a chart! This morning, Ashley asked if she needed to check things off each day (see, I trained her well!) Though this is not a Check-off chart, she still wanted to track where she was in light of our expectations.

The Bible is like that for us. It's a Check-Up Chart - not for God's expectations for our behaviors, but for Relationship with Him. Our behaviors align with His attitudes when we keep our relationship right with Him.

I am learning this about God - it's all about Relationship and Redemption. If our Relationship with Him is correct, He can redeem the pain that living in a fallen world brings. If our Relatinship with Him is out of balance, He has already purchased the Remption to correct our fallen status.

Lord, I thank you for sending your precious son to Redeem my life. You see me as your precious child - I don't know how worthy of that I am sometimes. But because I am your child, I am worthy. You love me when I am unlovely. Thank you, Father.

Thank you for seeking relationship with me. I really like that idea. You are my friend. You want to be with me. How awesome. Thanks.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New babies!

Yeah! We have three new babies in our church today! Sadie, Eliana and Jack - and they are so precious. Congratulations to the family and a reminder - Aunt Kim is ready to babysit!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pictures of Potato Lake Hike Sept. 13

We went to Silverton by way of Lime Creek trail today and stopped to hike to Potato Lake. It was a beautiful day!

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Will Remember

9/11/01 - We Will Remember

The day our lives changed. The day we learned we were vulnerable as a nation. The day we found solace in our neighbors. The day so many lives were taken and so many were destined to lay theirs down for our nation.

I Will Remember -

Watching cars line up for miles to get gas. Standing outside City Hall and wondering how this could be happening. Calling the school Superintendent and asking him to close the campus for security reasons.

Being sworn in as Mayor. Praying for God's Guidance and Wisdom.

Picking my children up from school and taking them straight to the Police Department where I could know what was going on and have my kids protected.

The horrible knot in my stomach.

Calling my dad who worked for an airlines and making sure he wasn't traveling. He was there; his boss was traveling. She missed her flight connections which saved her life.

Watching the towers fall and fall and fall. A horrible dream. When would we wake up?

Those four airplanes were our wake up calls. Our loudly ringing alarm clock that took over 2700 lives.

I Will Remember -

One year later, having surgery and everyone in the operating room laughing when I asked anyone with 9/11 post-traumatic disorder to leave. They assured me I would be fine. Two days later, an emergency surgery and I was barely clinging to life.

"I will live and not die, I will live and not die," the only scripture that I could formulate in my drug-laden mind. And I did live.

In our family history book 9/11 is not the best of days.

And yet, we can celebrate the lives we still have. The love of God. Our family. Our friends. Our family in Christ.

Lord, thank you for your ability to redeem this tragedy - and any other if we give it to you. The horrible you do not create, but you create beauty from the horror.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Peace in the sameness. Up, down, dinners, breakfasts; homework, practice, soccer, piano. Smiles, tears, laughter. Pain, joy, gladness.

It's one great big package. We have to take all of it together. We don't get to choose only the things that make us happy.

If we were never sad, how could we recognize true joy?

If there were never any pain, how could we see peace?

Someday, when this mortal body is made immortal. The imperfections made perfect, we will not need the negative to define the positive.

Lord, teach me to enjoy the whole package. Bumps, worts, blemishes and beauty.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ashley's Poem

As you may know, our 10 year old daughter was only 6 months old when she suffered a massive mid-cerebral arterial stroke leaving her with approximately 1/2 of the right side of her brain fully functional as well as left hemi-paretic cerebral palsy. There have been years of physical therapy, countless doctors visits, horrible Botox injections and two surgeries to get her where she is today. Ashley is a trooper - she skis, rides her own quad, is an avid Girl Scout and is very tender hearted. Her dream is to be a mom. She is behind one grade level but functions quite well despite her disability.

God has truly redeemed her pain.

Ashley loves to write. Sometimes in talking, she has trouble find the right words for a conversation, but with pen in hand, she can take her time. Recently, we found the following poem she had written.

My Place by Ashley Beach

I don't seem like a regular girl, because I am so rigid
But you are wrong about me, you are wrong about me
Because you don't know me.
My days have been so wrong but I deal with it
Because I am strong, I am strong.

That's my girl! She is strong! She is compassionate! She has a heart for God. She is my hero.

Sunday Afternoon

This morning I taught the first class on Dream Releasers by Wayne Cordeiro. I wasn't certain who would come or what the reception would be - but I'm glad I showed up! Of course, it usually goes better if the teacher is there.

Anyway, good class and I see such wonderful potential in each participant. God has such great plans, we sometimes forget to get involved in His work.

Our house is a buzz of activity this afternoon. Three girls and two boys make for alot of noise. It's the house I always wanted - the one where other kids come to play. The house is full of laughter and smiles. And lots of trash! My goodness, kids make alot of trash! Of course, three 12 year old boys eat alot of food!

Lord, thanks for this life. Let me see your hand. In people. In nature. Let me hear your voice. In laughter. In conversations. Let me feel your love. In the stillness. In the busyness. In the ones I love. THX

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Standing in Line

Ashley and I started the school year off with a bang! Or rather a virus. She seems to have bounced back well, but it's keeping off my feet. I work 'til noon and then I'm so tired, I have to lay down. I hate this! I have too much to do!

I spent my morning working with the Health Team to do assessments for Kindergartners, 2nd graders and 1st graders. Of course, that could be why I'm tired, too! I shuttled kids up an down the hallways for 2 hours!

One teacher asked her kindergarten students to "get in line behind your friends!" A little girl refused to be line but stood one step to the left of everyone. I repeated the teacher's request to her and asked her to get "behind her friends." She looked at me with big eyes and replied, "No one in this line is my friend."

There's a lesson here. Sometimes we feel we have no friends. That no one likes us or agrees with us. But, where are we? Are we standing one step to the left where no one can reach us with friendship? Are we refusing to let people love us?

Lord, let me be willing to be loved, even when I feel unlovable. Let me adjust my attitude so that you can reach me. So that other people can touch me. They need me as much as I need them. THX, XO KB

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today's the day! I am now 39 years old - and closing in on 40. My mom called and wished me Happy Birthday this morning then gave me permission to begin lying about my age next year! She's too young to have a daughter who is 40! Okay, mom. I'll stick at 39.

This day has me thinking about those people in my life who are a gift. Some have come into my life for a short time and left quickly; others are life-long friends; some have drifted in and out and are always welcome. I have been so blessed to know so many people from so many walks of life!

Even the internet is too small to name everyone I am thankful to have met, but today, I want to send these ladies a big "Thanks!" and "I love you!"

Kelli and Alison - my sisters. Kristen and Marilyn - my friends. You four are are my go-to girls.

The Literacy Ladies - Libby, Christy and Diane. I am so honored to work alongside you. Thanks for breakfast!

theRiver Girlfriends - you are there, building your families, strengthening one another and it is a beautiful thing.

Ashley - I love you, sis!

Kayle - you are such a joy in our life!

The women in my family - Roorks, Wilsons and Beaches - you are so strong! Our ancestors came across this land in covered wagons; fought alongside the men in wars; nursed sick children; picniced in the snow; loved our families dearly - and still found time to sing and tell stories and quilt blankets that wrapped us in love. What a beautiful heritage!

It is a beautiful fall day here in Colorado and I feel that beauty in my soul.

Thank you, Lord for this day. For this life you've laid before me. The twists in the road have been unexpected, but worth the trip. Each day has made me who I am. Thank you for caring enough for me to take me through the rough times and provide me days for rest. I am so in awe of your love, dear Father.

Monday, September 1, 2008

One day to go. . .

Tomorrow is my 39th birthday!

My husband woke me with gentle kisses on my cheek, whispering that my birthday gift was wrapped and ready to be opened. Even though it was a day early, he wanted me to open it so I could play with it.

I was so thrilled to find a dual-display digital picture frame! I loaded it with my favorite photos and displayed it on my bookshelves. It is wonderful to turn on and watch my kids faces scroll by! He did good.

We had a quiet day with lunch on the patio at Steakworks, a movie in the afternoon and then dinner from the grill - steaks, rice, salad. Chris, Kayle and Chris's friend - get this - Chris, are here playing monopoly with Ashley. Yes, we now have three Chris's in the house! We're going to have to number them.

Tomorrow beginst he countdown to 40. It's going to be an amazing year!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Meet My Family

I'd love to introduce you to my family.

First, there's my husband, David. We met in when we were 12 years old at Sapulpa Junior High School in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Attended high school for 1 year together before I moved to Tulsa and then met again four year later at freshman orientation at the University of Tulsa. We fell in love in college and married soon after graduation.

David is my heartbeat. I love his fierce blue eyes and determined nature. The safest I feel is nestled in his arms. He makes my heart skip a beat when he winks at me. My greatest joy is being his wife. I still get giddy when I see him!

Then came David Christopher. He was an unexpected yet hoped for miracle child. After years of trying to conceive, we gave up and God took over - nine months later our son was born! He loves soccer (right defender) and music (plays the drums), riding his four-wheeler and backpacking.

Amazingly, 26 months later followed Ashley Ruth. If Chris is our "pressed down shaken together" Ashley is our "running over." We were suprised to have her join our family and elated on the day she was born. She was quiet, ate well and slept through the night. But she found her voice and her fiestiness! Ashley is a Girl Scout extraordinaire and is learning to play the piano. She rides her own quad, too!

Both kids have had more than their share of health problems. Chris had trouble with food and didn't believe in sleep! He was two years before before we got a good night's sleep! Ashley was born pink and healthy then had a stroke at 6 months of age. That one moment has shaped our lives tremendously - for the better.

This past year we have extended our family with two "adopted" children - Chris and Kayle Hardrick. We met them in a membership class at the River Church, then Kayle lived with us for a few months before she and Chris were married. We were not looking for new kids, or mentors for our children, for friends - but God knew we needed them!

This year, we will add to our "adopted" family through the college ministry, Master Plan, at Fort Lewis College. We can't wait to have these kids in our house for weekly dinners! Nate, Erin, Eliana, Linda and Russ - welcome to the Beach family (I guess we're going to have to up our number from 4!).

Rainy Sunday Afternoon

I love rainy days. We seem to have so few days where we are socked-in with clouds and rain. Some find this weather depressing, but it's like a warm blanket covering me, forcing me to stay inside and focus on more important matters - family, household chores, and sometimes, joyfully, just sitting.

We forget how to just "be" in this life. To be quiet. To be attentive. To be thoughtful.

My children hate to Be "bored". I hate that word! Just ask them! I recently read research that said boredom is the #1 ingredient needed for creativity. So now if my children say they are bored, I respond with a hearty, "Great! Now you have a chance to be creative! To Dream! To make up stories!"

I want to learn to Be. To Be attentive to my children when they call. To Be obedient to my Lord when He calls. To Be compassionate with my husband calls.

Just to BE.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Here we go. . .

I am just three days away from my 40th Birthday!

How to I preserve this trip - or survive it!?! Like I've always done - by writing. I've written volumes of journals through the years.

Blogging is new to me. This is going to be an interesting trip.

Maybe someone will join me - maybe it will just be me, the computer and God.

But, strap in, it's going to be a joyful ride!