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!

Silverton, CO

Here's some of our group at the Cole Crypt in Silverton. This crypt has been used since 1913 and there are 12 bodies laid to rest inside. YOu can peek in the windows at the caskets! More like crates, really.

Looking into Silverton from the Cemetery.

One of the many unusual tombstones we found on our Scavanger Hunt.
Congrats to Adam Dolbee and Chris Beach for being the first to complete the Scavanger Hunt - your prize is in the works!

Jill and Jack

Our Tour Guide at the San Juan County Historical Society Museum.
He was a "dandy" who struck gold in Galena.
The guy put alot of time into preparing for us! He had worksheets and pencils ready and was available to answer all sorts of questions!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Wonderful Tired

Today was our 2nd Field Trip - Silverton, Colorado!

I'll post photos later! I'm so tired now. Who would imagine that hiking through a cemetery could be so exhausting and yet so much fun!

I loved the conversation with one of my little friends:

"Miss Kim, what's in there?" while peering through the window of a crypt.

"Just the bones of people who once lived in Silverton."

"That's all?"

"Yes, their thinking parts aren't in there anymore."

"Where are they?" my friend asked.

"If they asked JEsus in their heart, they are in Heaven! When we die our thinking mind goes to Heaven with JEsus!"

"Miss Kim, will we get a new body?"

"Yes! And no one will be sick or hurt any more! Ashley will have a new body and new legs and arms and no limp! No Headaches! It will be great!"

"And Ashley will have a new body? and I will have a new body? And we can run!?!"

Yes, my dear friend, you can run!

Who knew a Graveyard could be the door to a conversation about Eternity!? And new bodies!

Friday, September 11, 2009


This date has great significance in our Nation's history.

For the first time since 1812, the United States was attacked on it's own soil. Wow! For 189 years, no foreign power dared mount an attack against the United States IN the United States. Our Ambassadors and Service Men had been attacked without mercy, but on that date, the Terror came home.

Yet 8 years later, we are safe. Thanks to those Men and Women. Thanks to strong Leadership in President George W. Bush. But thanks mostly to those who have prayed. Who have humbled themselves to fast and pray and seek God's face.

On this day in 2001, I also became Mayor of our Town in Oklahoma. Me. The youngest female mayor in the state of Oklahoma. On the day that America saw it's greatest tragedy. I will tell you, I learned how to pray. I prayed for our Town Administrator, my staff, our firemen, our policemen. I prayed for wisdom. Before each meeting, I looked to God for guidance. I learned to let God be my front, rear and all-around Guard!

If you've ever been in politics, it's rough. Everything you do is scrutinized. Having been raised in a Minister's home, I can say it's worse than that. I've had people on my property in the middle of the night to threaten us. I've had a gentlemen start a newspaper that should have been named the "Bash Kim Today Gazette." Drug raids, money laundering businesses - I've seen them!

I would never take back those days. Those are some of my closest friends!

But I'm not done yet!!!! Noooooo!

On 9/11/02 I underwent gastric by-pass surgery. Now, you would have thought I would have been smart enough to refuse this date when offered. Nah. Not me!

For two weeks I lay in the hospital fighting to live. After the 2nd blood transfusion, I could tell in my husband's eyes as well as the tone of the doctor that it was not looking good. From complications, a 2nd emergency surgery had been performed. They were unable to close my abdomen after the surgery and I woke to a horrible smell only to find it was me! My gut was laid open and packed with gauze which was changed hourly.

I began quoting, "I will live and not die!" Those were the only words I could muster for days. I was not going to die! And after two weeks I went home. Home but not well.

I battled pain; drug use for pain; constant vomiting (20-30 times a day). But I would not die!

My mind doesn't remember everything. I do remember my kids pulling away from me. THey were afraid.

And I do remember all those people who took care of us for 3 months. They brought food and groceries. They took care of my kids. They ran errands. They stayed with me when I couldn't be left alone.

There's shame in these memories. "If only I hadn't eaten and gotten so big!" I caused my family great pain and time and money.

But there's also great joy - these were my friends and family. To know your family is loved by so many is overwhelming.

Today is an anniversary - Our Country cannot be beaten down! God can use a strong-willed woman to guide a Town! God can deliver us from our own short-comings! God can heal! God can give Grace!

So celebrate!! Look around you today. Remember. But Rejoice! God is Great! America is Good!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Birthday from Nana

My Aunt Sharon, Nana, sent me some money for my birthday and told me to have a treat and remember her. So, I went to the local Chocolate Factory and ordered two chocolates and two drinks.

Here's to us, Nana!

Animas Overlook Hike

Today was the first field trip for the River Church Homeschoolers Group. We drove to Animas Overlook and "hiked" - it's a paved walking trail with views of Durango and up the Valley - had a picnic and just enjoyed each other!
Forty-two of us today!

This is such a great group and we are going to learn so much from each other this year!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of Vista Academy

Of the many dreams I've held in my life, I never saw myself at home teaching my kids. Home School Educator is a passion which I have only newly discovered. When my kids were smaller, I felt that if I ever HSed it would be when they were older, Middle School maybe. My certificate is as a MS/HS English teacher, so it would be a natural fit if the need or desire were to ever arise. God planted that seed to prepare me for today.

When we moved in CO, I was amazed at how much further advanced the schools were - yet I loved our schools in OK! - and the kids thrived in their education. And I went to work. For four years I worked in the school system, a job I really loved.

A job I loved so much God had to hoist me out of it! Literally. The funding ended on a federal level, state level and local level! Once I made the decision to follow God's leading, the Fed funding was reinstated! Yet, as the grant ended it became apparent that the district would not keep my program going, I went to God saying, "what next?" Should I get another job? Go back to school? I had this, dare I say, calling to HOME. That's the only word that kept coming to me. Go Home, Kim.

I knew I would be home this year. Then it became apparent that Ashley's learning style did not fit a public school setting. So I decided to HS her. As the year progressed, Chris began requesting HS too! A twelve year old who wanted to be home! Wow!

The reasons for homeschooling are as varied as there are children and families and parents. For us, I wanted to prepare my kids beyond what the schools are able to do. Their minds are sharp and full of questions. I wanted to have that precious time with them that was so quickly slipping away. I wanted to give them a Christian World View that schools cannot give.

Our name grew from this desire. Vista Academy. A School with a View. A School with a Christ-centered view.

It's been so exciting to get ready for this and today was awesome! It's going to be hard work, but it will be worth it! Most hard things are!

So enjoy these pics of our classroom and first day!

In the Classroom ready to start!
(Notice my coffee mug by the printer - filled and ready to go!)

Ashley Ruth - 5th Grade

David Christopher - 8th Grade

Sherman and Annie love having their own bed downstairs where they can watch what happens and where we go! Such a tough life!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I Made It!

Today is my 40th Birthday! Yeah!

In four decades, so much has happened. I was born physically and spiritually. I learned to walk, physically and spiritually. I have seen births, deaths; celebrations and mourning.

And it has all made me who I am: a slightly irregulary wife and mom who is extremely normal, never boring, loves a challenge and is excited to see what happens in the next 40 years!

I do have some goals for the next 4 decades. I want to:

* Visit Washington, D.C. and spend days in the Smithsonian
* Go to Disneyland with my kids
* See the Grand Canyon
* Run a mile race
* Write a book

and, much, much more!

Today I am so thankful for my family and my friends. THanks to everyone who called today and for my special song from Jinny!

I am so blessed!