Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas-Giving or Thanksmas?

In November, we traveled back to Oklahoma to see the family, spending a few days with each family, celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Not an easy task!  These are some favorite pics of our gatherings.

We started at Papa and Mike's house.

On Thanksgiving Day, we went to Grandma and Grandpa Beach's house.    Here the girls made a gingerbread house while dinner was being prepared.

Addyson Nicole eating the icing off the gingerbread house.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law.  Aren't they sweet?  I introduced them!
"Match maker, Match maker. . . "

Jacob Andrew - my nephew.  He will someday build the world's largest building - he is that smart!

Grandma and her Girls!

And our Christmas Tree at Grandma's - the day after Thanksgiving!

Sisters?  Yeah, we get asked that alot!

My brother-in. . . Nay, just my brother.

Next we went to Gran's house.  In 40 minutes we had torn through gifts like a hurricane, leaving a paper path of destruction in our wake!

Gran and Nana gave Chris a new guitar.  Yes, he was proud!

My BFF Kelli and her little Cade.
He is a rounder!  He loves his big brother Keith!

We were fortunate to celebrate Erica and Keith's official entry into our family  and Erica's 18th birthday while we were there.Isn't she gorgeous?  And smart!  She's going to be a famouse nurse!

So after all this visiting, we drove home and collapsed!  Literally!  We were so tired - the kids and I didn't move for a while day.  We were hoping that little Avery would be born while we were there, but, she had other ideas. . . .

How to Humiliate a Schnauzer

God had a great idea when he made pets.  We've been blessed with two great pups the past 5 years.  Sherman came from Sherman, Texas.  He was actually the kids' dog who lived with Papa and Mama Mike until we moved to Durango, CO and he came with us.  A year later, his sibling, Annie, joined us.

Recently, we had to have Annie put down due to cancer.  We have some great memories of her, though!  Like the way she would run into the back screen - she wasn't smart but was sure sweet!  She hated thunderstorms, too.  She would sneak into our bedroom and doggie crawl up the side of the bed to meld her body into mine until the storm passed.  She loved to ride a Quad, too.  When camping, she'd run towards the 4-wheeler when she heard it start up and want to ride.  She loved camping!

Sherman is now man of the house again.  Since Annie's passing, he has been treated like royalty!  He loves Cheese Puffs - the big ones!  And he's pretty fond of potato chips, too.  He already loved popcorn and is quite willing to try new foods.

Winter is his least-favorite season.  He hates the snow.  His little feet get so cold.  It does bring out a unique talent - he can hike his league and pee pee between the slats of the back deck! 

At Christmas he received a new sweater and new booties!  (look in the picture above).  He's not real found of either gift.  He walked like a duck in the booties - then he another dog looked at me, and he quickly forgot his feet in favor of "protecting" me.  He is very protective but likes to meet new people, too.  And good with kids.  Even when they are trying to catch his little stubby taile!

Merry Christmas, Sherman!

Sorry about the sweater, dude.  But you do look handsome!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Come to the Manger

I love Nativity Scenes.  I have a gold one that plays music.  A glass set that I paid 99 cents for at a dollar store when we were first married.  A bear set that a friend bought me.  And then, there's my favorite set of all!  

Now this is not a fancy ceramic nativity set.  Too stuffy for me.  It's a Fisher Price Little People's set I bought when the kids were little.  Those cute little round faces remind me of my kids when they were much younger.  I love that kids can play with this set and it won't break.

While I was picking up the house for the holiday, I took a close look at this little set and found new members!  Jesse, Woody and his horse, the little miner dude, and a plastic pig had found their way into the scene.  They were all gathered around the baby Jesus.  I didn't dare move these precious pieces.  One of our little friends and very deliberately placed these new-comers at the manger.

It reminds me that there's room at the manger for everyone.  You may feel you don't "fit" into the Christian scene or that church is not for you.  But God is for you.  And everyone fits into His plan!

Jesus is waiting for you.  Not as a baby.  Today He is waiting as your Savior.

Merry Christmas.

May the Christ of the Season
and the Baby of the Manger
Become your Savior Today.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Cookie Day with Little Friends

It was nearly a year ago that two little friends came to make Christmas goodies while their mommy was gone to bring home their new brother and sister.

This year, there were four little friends joining us for cookie making!  And mommy and sis are gone to bring home another miracle!  Cool.

Boys baked first.

Now the girls!

Okay, who doesn't love that smile!?!  of course I mean my girlfriend,
although the puppy is pretty cute, too!

I was smarter this year:  more cookies and less candy!  And lots of mac and cheese!

From the littlest boy:  jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

From the middle boy:  jhgbdrsgsdxcuyhgbvfiopkiujhy

From the littlest girl:  ppppppppppppppppp//////////////iiiuyteeeee

From Middlest big girl:  i miss you mom  and love you too!

From you friend:  come home soon!  and Happy Ho Ho Ho!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dante Missed the Mark

In homeschooling, I have the desire to introduce my children to different genres of music and literature including those called classical as well as modern.  The music has been easy - I love so many different types of music that my playlists are very varied.  Classical, Jazz, Rock, Latin, Christian, Country, Gospel, Bluegrass.  It's all there.

Literature is easy for me as well.  Afterall, I was an English ,major in college.  I've ready more books than I care to recall and loved most of them.  I like to read to my kids and most times they like it as well.

Today, the Christmas holiday was the source for an unlikely introduction:  Dante's Divine Comedy.  First there's Limbo, the River Styx, the City of Dis, leading to Malebolge and finally the ninth level, Cocytus.  On the way you pass demons, Minotaurs, harpies and taste poisin fruit.  Though a purely  fictional picture of hell, it is a very graphic one.

But my family decided that had Dante been alive today, he would have added a tenth level:  the American Shopping Mall at Christmas time.  The crowds, the noise, the lines!  The lowest level of hell would have bound within the walls of this shopping institution.

Seriously?  It was only Farmington, NM! 

The 10th level would truly be Grapevine Mills Mall at Christmas Time!  With two toddlers.  And a husband.  And no food court.  Or stroller.    Now that would be torture!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Must Reads!

Books you must read:

*  "Same Kind of Different As Me"
*  "Scared"
*  "Arguing with Idiots"  by Glen Beck
              Not PC, but very interesting!  And a little scarey!
*  "Pirate Latitudes" by Michael Crichton
              What a wonderful suprise!  My favorite author wrote about my favorite subject!

Holiday Happenings

I have always loved having company.  Since we've moved to Durango that hasn't happened as much.  The first two years, we were doing every touristy thing imaginable just in case we were moved again.  Then we settled into work and with both of us going all the time it didn't happen much.

But this Christmas I was determined that would be different!

I started on Sunday evening - it took me two and a half days to put up 10 boxes of Christmas decorations.  Every room is decked out!  Or at least sprinkled.

Today, our Home School group came for Tea and Wii.  Tea for those who wanted to eat and visit - mostly the women;  and Wii for those who wanted to play.  It was so much fun!

There was a cupcake decorating center for the kids.  They were covered in icing and sugars.  "They" including the teenagers who were as fascinated with the decorating as the little kids!

It was a lovely morning and I loved having the house full of people and laughter!

Merry Christmas friends!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"I Need to Touch You!"

Our family loves a good movie and especially a true story.  This weekend we were in ABQ for the final soccer tournament of the season (they fought hard!) and with the games ending by 2:30 on Saturday, we neaded to the theater to see "The Blind Side".

When I was pregnant, I would cry at coffee commercials, sob at Hallmark commercials and had to give up watching any Movie of the Week special!  As I've aged, mostly from lack of hormones, I don't get quite so emotional.

I cried through this movie.

I became teary-eyed when I watched this young man walking down a street, homeless and abandoned.  I dabbed my eyes when he said he had never had a bed.  I cried at his joy over buying a new shirt and by the time he played football at Ole Miss I was weeping.  I was a blithering idiot watching the joy this family had found in opening their home and heart to someone.

This keeps going through my head:  I may not be able to change the world, but for one person I can change their world.

Where is God leading in all this?  I do not know.  I do know I'm being stretched in my preconceived ideas; challenged in my judgements and brought to repentence through His sweet Spirit.

A few weeks ago, I walked by a class at church and one of my little friends called to me in her sweet African accent, "Keeem!  Come here!  I need to touch you!"

Words from the mouth of a babe.

Who needs our touch today?  Whose world can we change?  Whose eternity can we impact?  Where is He leading and am I truly willing to go?

I am so struck by the thought that somewhere out there, someone needs us!  Someone needs a family.  Someone needs a friend.  Someone needs hope.  God's hope. 

Someone needs to touch us.

Father, my heart is broken for those who are alone.  Show me what to do.  Lead me where you want me to go.  Open doors, Father.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for my couch at this moment.  I can sit back, kick my feet up and use my son's computer to keep in touch.

I am thankful for technology.  Computers, phones, ipods - love all of it!

I am thankful for the Off Button on all this technology.  I love the quiet.  Especially in the afternoon when it's reading time.  No computers, music or tv's, just books and silence.

I am thankful for washing machines.  With all the laundry I do, I can't imagine doing it by hand and line-drying. 

I am thankful for the home friends are building and how God has proven Himself so large in their lives!

I am thankful for time to go to Oklahoma and visit friends and family.  And I'm praying those contractions Aunt Kelli were having today prove productive before I have to come back home!

I am thankful for babies.  That's sweet, gurgling, peeing, pooping, spitting bundles of joy that remind us how much God loves this world.

I am thankful for Thanksgiving - I love this Holiday!  My favorite season of the year!

I am thankful for all of those who read this blog and I pray blessings on their life today, In Jesus Name!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thankful for America

I am so thankful for my country.

For years, I have taught different children's classes from the book "The Light and the Glory for Kids" which tells about the journey of the Puritans and their dream of a new country.  It's stuff most history books leave out yet its' documentation is straight from the pages of diaries, ship manifests and original documents from the time period.

Thanksgiving is truly a Christian holiday.  It was not a holiday to thank the Indians.  It was not a holiday to praise the harvest moon.

It was a feast to give thanks to the one True God who brought them through deep waters, famines and gave them food through new friends.

It is my favorite Holiday.

This past week we celebrated Veteran's Day.  Twenty plus folks from our church met and cheered for our veterans.  We had signs and our kids waved flags.  We shouted, "Thank You! as loud as we could and cheered our own Blue Star parents as they walked with pictures of their kids.

I was privileged to be able to stand with one of my little friends whose big brother is an Army Ranger.  Both my little friend and his brother are not native-born Americans - but they got here as soon as they could!

My Little Friend has been here in America almost one year.  I remember holding him the day after he arrived and thanking God that they call made it home safely.  He's a quiet little guy and seen so much in his little lifetime.   But our Country has once again proven a safe haven for those in need.

I am thankful that our Country, as great has it has been and holding still so much potential for future greatness, is still a safe haven.

I am thankful that we can stand on a street and wave our flags and shout Thank You to so many deserving Veterans!

I am thankful for those who have served and continue to serve!

So "Happy Thanksgiving!" everyone!  Don't forget why we are thankful and to whom All Praise and Thanksgiving is due!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Better Place

It must be obvious from recent posts that I've been in a weird place.  God takes us through growing seasons;  different lessons to learn at different stages of life.

When I was probably 10 years I began having trouble sleeping.  My mind raced!  It was great for my creativity.  I would lay in bed and write stories and songs in my mind.  I would read late at night.  I can remember vividly seeming how many things I could think about at once.  I thought this was normal.

In college, I learned that not everyone's mind acts in this fashion!  In band, I found it fascinating that I could read music, my fingers play the notes and my mind be studying something else.  I used to keep a  study sheet on my music stand so I could review notes during band.  Again, I learned that not everyone could "multi-task" like this.

Coping skills have abounded in my life and years ago realized it was Adult ADD - not ADHD - there's not a hyper bone in my body - just in my mind!  I've taken medications off and on to help.  There are times of insomnia and a racing mind, but at least  I know I'm not crazy!  I once remember telling a doctor, "I don't want you to think I'm crazy.  I don't hear other voices in my head, just my own voice carrying on many conversations."

There are times I question God's design.  Sometimes I've felt worthless or ineffective and have struggled with this feeling of insignificance.  How can God use a defective tool?

Two very good friends who once shared an office with me have probably showed me the post patience!  When I'm wound up, I can sound like machine gun talking!    I become even more emphatic in my opinions (yes that is possible).  Thanks Girls!

Anyway, this is what I've struggled with lately.  Finding my own purposed beyond the obvious.

With my computer being on the outs (I'm using my daughter's!), I've resorted to hand-writing my journal.  In frustration I begin writing:

"A brilliant mind!  Yeah right.  Going all the time.  Brilliant like a diamond, a multi-facted object that reflects light at any angle. . ."  Here God began talking to me.

Yes.  A diamond.

Ever seen a raw diamond.  Pretty ugly.  They are born under extreme heat and pressure.  They may be buried deep in the earth or in some places, lay on top of the soil.  In the raw, they do not resemble anything precious.

It takes a master craftsman to take that ugly rock, put it under his knife and began to chisel away imperfections.  Sometimes the cuts are big and ugly - just get the gunk off.  Sometimes they are precise and tedious.  Painful?   But to be a piece of art, this diamond must be examined, turned, cut;  it must endure the Master's hand.  He alone sees the finished project in his mind's eye.  He alone knows what cuts are required to perfect his Master piece.

The facets are designed - they are purposeful.  They are numerous, flat aspects to the gemstone.  They reflect the light of in various directions, in different colors.  They make it sparkle!

I heard God telling me that morning: those facets which are my numerous thoughts are used by God for his reflection.  I am not a one-dimensional person.  I have many sides.  Numerous cuts.  Some by God.  Some by life's circumstances that God has taken and with his precision hand, cut and polished and worked into His design.

And, what's at the bottom of this diamond?  A point!  God has a point for me.  He will use my facets.  He will polish me.   Sometimes, He provides rest and let's me take a breather.  Other time, he puts me under his intense light and let's me Sparkle!

I'm staying in the Master's cutting table.  I hope you know what God has a design for you, too.  Nothing is by accident.  No pain is too great that he cannot take it and make a beautiful adornment.

Hmmmm. . .  maybe this explains my fascination with diamond jewelry!  Rings, solitaires, necklaces. 

Just maybe. . ..

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Standing here at a Crossroads, wondering which way to go.  What is best for the family, where would God have us go?

Standing here at the Cross, looking for God's answers.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shhhhh. . .

Our sermon this morning? 

Be still.  Know, "I am God."


Listen to what He says.

Get quiet.  Sit down at His feet.

Years ago, God gave me the scripture, "and having done all, stand."  Just be still and let God do the battle.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


My posts lately have been few and far between and mostly just catching up with pics of the kids and activities for the family.

There's been no great revelations from God.

No thunder in the sky.

Although there is snow on the ground!

We have been busy, though!  Helped friends by watching their little ones.  Fixed food for folks.  Learned that I love Home Schooling my kids.  I love their bright minds and the wonderful conversations we have, weaving God into history, math and science.  I love their eyes when they "get it!"

However today, I feel like I"m standing at a Dead End Tunnel.  It's dark and the only sound is of sick kids coughing.  The only thing I can read are posts of friends struggling with illness.

In reading our book for this month, "Sacred Echo", I have found that I see God's love as global.  "God loves the world."  I see his love as sweet.  "Jesus loves the little children."   I see his love as transforming others.  "God loves orphans." 

Yet, I have not seen Him as, "God loves me."

It's like a Goggle Earth map with zooming perspective - God as Creator of the Universe, Savior of the World, Provider for our Nation, King of Colorado,  Lord of our City, Redeemer of our Church Body - but I never seem able to zoom into Jesus who loves Kim.

Why?  I don't know.  Maybe it's the feeling that prayers aren't answered.  My family was split.  My kids are still sick.  My daughter still has a handicap.  My son still has asthma.  My mother is still ill.  My dad still needs a job. 

I keep praying and I keep believing.  But those things still hang in the air.

God has shown his love for me in many ways - I'm not unaware of  His blessings.  I wonder, though, if those blessings are out of obligation. 

Does God do for me just because I'm one of many who call themselves Christian?  Does He really see ME?

Do we all struggle with this?

Does God see me, really see me today, tired, headache, caring for sick kids, worrying over finances and my children's health, praying for so many friends who are hurting;  whose dreams are fading;  whose marriages are dissolving and their children struggling?  Does he see me personally or just one of many with the same problems.

Am I an individual to Him that he would advocate for me, Kim Beach in Durango, Colorado?  Would he move the earth for me as He did Samson or Elizabeth?  Or am I just one of the many who walked across the desert with the Children of Isreal and God provided for as part of the group?  Am I the one sheep He would search for or am I one of the flock who always does what's told and gets left in the pin?


That's what I keep hearing.

Be still.

Calm your heart.

God, I'm sitting.  Do you see me?  Do you hear me?  Do you remember me?

I can send you my address.

United U14A and the Duke City Soccer League

The Durango United U14 A Team joined the Albuquerque (Duke City) Soccer League.  Twice a month, they have driven the 3 1/2 hours to Bernalillo, played two games and then driven home.  Their record is 5-2-1 - not bad for boys who have driven twice as far, and played twice as much on one day than their opponents!

In October, the weather was clear, crisp and spectacular - the perfect soccer weather!

The Sandia Mountains as a backdrop for the game.

He scored twice this day and played Goalie for the first time - but not the last.
 He kinda likes being in the goal!  That makes a momma nervous!

Girl Scouts Rock

2009 Rededication Ceremony
Troop 1568
Florida Mesa Elementary

This is Ashley's 5th year in Troop 1568.  Many of them began as Brownie's together and now they are Junior Cadettes.  Last year, they voted as a Troop to use part of their Cookie money on a project for the Homeless Shelter in Durango, CO.  On the last day of school, they collected gently used and new backpacks.  The girls took them home and cleaned them up, mended them and then filled them with a school supplies.  Each girl carefully filled a bag with supplies as well as other goodies.

At this year's dedication, the director for the Women's Shelter and Homeless Shelter came and accepted these gifts. 

Ashley had been working on a seperate project.  With the help of  family, soccer families and other friends, she had been collecting the little soaps, shampoos and lotions from hotel stays.  As part of a sewing project, she sewed 16 Toiletry Bags made from wash cloths and then sorted the donations into the bags.  She had supplies to make two men's kits as well as two baby kits!   These she presented to the Director as well. 

We were very proud of this darling girl.  Collecting, Sewing, Sorting - with a very big heart!

Presentation to the Director of the Women's Shelter and Homeless Shelter.

Ashley was a member of the Ceremonies Committe and carried the CO Flag.

Troop 1568 and their Backpacks

Ashley's Rededication

Ashley and her friend Gabby

Monday, October 12, 2009

Home School Group Visits the Pumpkin Patch!

Last week's field trip found the River Church Home School Group at the Pumpkin Patch in Aztec, NM.  It was a beautiful day! 

Agricultural Education from Farmer Brown.  He showed us what crops are raised at Sutherland Farms including he numerous types of gourds - even a new crop from Australia!

A Wagon rain for the little kids -

- and big kids, too! 
Graham Saunders

Beautiful blue sky above the corn maze.

Ashley and Liberty searching for the Perfect Pumpkin!

Kale has his!

Of the many blessings in my life, I count this group at the top.  Knowing other families are "breaking the mold" and seeking ways to educate their children that include God and Biblical principals is so encouraging - we are not alone!

And I love having all these kids around!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Trip to Vallecito

On Sunday afternoon we loaded the car and took the family for a drive. The fall colors are spectacular right now with just the right balance of reds, browns, oranges, yellows and greens. I love this time of the year!
We drove to Vallecito and even played some in the lake before having a late lunch and coming home.


Mom and Sis in the water.

Ashley playing in the wake.

A beautiful day for Sailboats!
Chris? He was there - just hiding from the camera!

Sewing Projects

One beauty of Homeschooling is the ability to pursue personal interests. We call them "Specials" borrowing the term from the school district to represent those Special Areas of Interest we have. Ashley likes to sew, so we have incorporated it into our school learning using the Girl Scout Badge as our guide.

First, she picked a pattern:

Next: she learned about right and wrong sides of the fabric and pinning.

Third, here came the machine! I have an excellent machine my mom-in-law gave me years ago. It purrs like a kitten and is easy to learn on. Ashley learned to start and stop a line, turn a line, press seams and press the finished product.

Do you think she's just a little proud?

Oh - don't tell any Grandma's! They may be getting a special treat for Christmas!

Home Economics

Although both kids are doing well in all their subject, I think their favorite subject is Home Ec - at least the cooking part! You get to eat your assignments! Besides fixing their own lunches and helping with dinner, they have also made brownies and cookies.

This week, we went for the big guns! Beroks and Cinnamon Rolls! Grandma Beach's recipe for a family favorite - they both require you to make home-made bread dough!

While we were working on that, we also made Homemade Apple Cider. Okay, no thanks, I'll buy that from now on. It's good but what a process!

We enjoyed the Beroks - have to work on the temperature-thing for getting yeast to rise well, but they were still good.

And Daddy was very happy to help "grade" their assignments!