The Derek and Kim Jones Family
07/01/2007 - Three adorable red-headed, freckle-faced kids and a great mom and dad. It could be a Norman Rockwell painting, but it isn't. It's real. And it's right now in our day and age. And it's in our town. They're the Derek and Kim Jones family with sons Wyatt and Gavyn and daughter Isabelle.
|The Derek and Kim Jones family (click for larger version)|
Derek and Kim each have a subtle, yet… I don't know how to describe it… Hm-m, maybe… Jaunty?… Okay, jaunty sense of humor. For instance, when I ask them how they met, they smile at one another, Cheshire-cat style. Derek tells Kim, "I told her(meaning me)that we met through mutual friends." Kim says, "That sounds like a good story. Let's stick with that."
When I visit with their children they are just as entertaining. Though 8-year-old Wyatt has grown bored and retreated to his bedroom and his Game Boy and 4-year old Gavyn has gone to lie down on his bed after his Lemonade-Stand Adventure, 6˝ year old Isabelle, remembering that she promised me an interview after her picture was taken, walks quietly into the living room and sits beside me on the couch. She waits a few moments. When there's a lull in the conversation as I jot a few notes, she taps me on the knee and asks me if I'm ready for her interview. I poise my pen and tell her to shoot.
She tells me she'll start 1st grade in the fall at Ft. Caspar Academy. When she was in kindergarten, she liked music, art, and recess. I ask her if she knows what she wants to do when she grows up. It's apparent that the question surprises her but she gives it careful thought. After a moment she says, "I'd like to be a mom." A pause. "And a cowgirl."
"Oh. Do you like horses?" I ask her.
"I'm mad about horses."
The rest of the conversation goes something like this:
Me: Do you have a horse?
Isabelle: No. But I hope to some day.
Me: Do you go someplace where someone else lets you ride their horses?
Isabelle: No. But I hope to some day.
When Wyatt is called reluctantly back to the living room for his interview, he carries his Game Boy with him. He's not actually playing it right this very second, but my guess is he must be at a very exciting place in this particular game because I can almost see the intriguing thoughts bouncing inside his head. I don't insist that he tells me about himself, I can get the info from mom and dad. But mom and dad gently guide him and reinforce his manners and he shyly turns his attention to me.
Wyatt will be in 2nd grade next year at Ft. Caspar Academy. He likes reading, especially fiction, and recess. He loves Game Boy, his favorite movie is "Star Wars," and just a few days ago his dad took the training wheels off his bike and Wyatt is "actually getting the hang of it."
Both Wyatt and Isabelle take piano lessons. Wyatt's favorite song, and he has it memorized, is "Star Wars."
Gavyn must have fallen asleep so I don't actually get to talk to him. But his folks tell me he loves to do whatever everybody else is doing because he doesn't like being left out. He loves to ride his bike, to be outdoors, to play soccer and basketball, and to snuggle with mom and dad while he reads books.
The whole family loves to go camping and go sailing on Alcova Lake. Derek says he actually likes the Casper wind because he can usually count on it when they're sailing.
Derek and Kim have been married for 12 years. Both are Casper natives and both have degrees in Elementary Education from the University of Wyoming.
Kim currently works for the District as an Instructional Facilitator. She provides support for teachers who have non-English-speaking students in their classes.
Derek is a pilot for M & N Aviation which services the McMurray family and its interests. Prior to his employment with M & N Aviation, Derek piloted the plane for Wyoming Medical Center's Flight-for-Life.
Derek and Kim are very active at Highland Park Community Church. They are part of a "Small Groups" ministry in which members meet regularly for Bible study and fellowship and through which they have opportunities for service projects. A project could include helping a family with grocery shopping, car repair, meal preparation, or anything else that might come up. Every fall their particular small group gets together and cleans each others' yards.(Psst. Hey. Yoo-hoo!)
Derek and Kim love Casper because "it's the kind of community that pulls together in times of need." They love that the outdoor recreation is close-by. A while back, they pursued a job opportunity in another town but could only hang on there for a year.
Kim says, "We moved back because our hearts ached for Casper."
I hear that a lot. And I'm grateful that it was true for the Derek and Kim Jones family.