Archive for the ‘General Happenings’ Category

Carly Annalise Taryn: 10 Years Old

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

My daughter is 120 months old today.

I truly can hardly express what a delight she is and how blessed I feel to be her mother.

A close attempt is to show Then and Now photos, mainly pulling of course from old blog posts!

Diederick and Carly. Rarely in photos present day, because in part because they’re not in school together. Koen and Diederick play together more so than Carly and Diederick, perhaps due to varied interests. While that’s true, the two of them have gone through similar experiences as they’re growing up, for example, Carly homeschooled last year and Deeder’s doing it this year. Although both of them appear to have become better students through being at home, neither will remain in the situation of home based learning because the element of social isolation is very real and just not beneficiary to either one of them. Siblings and friends are good but not enterchangable, so while we are in a good school district we plan to have the kids pursue education with their peers.

Carly can most often be found either reading in her room, playing on her phone or outdoors with the neighbor girl exploring in the woods. In fair weather, she’s to be found outdoors coloring with sidewalk chalk or cruising the neighborhood on scooters with friends.
Carly also adores her little hamster Oreo. He joined our family last summer and under Carly’s attentive eye is doing quite well.

The little girl sleeping so peacefully in this swing just hasn’t stopped telling me exactly what she thinks about everything, even before she could speak actually–pushing away what she didn’t want and grabbing for items that captured her fancy even before offered. She gives me more than honest answers to what she thinks of my outfits and haircuts. Everyone needs a child like her–outspoken, opinionated and enthusiastic. She’s asked if she may do some guest posts here on Oraeley.com to which I’ve agreed, so that may be an upcoming event. Of course if she does get in some writing, younger brother Koen will want to follow in her footsteps as he is determined to try and exceed whatever she puts her hand to.

Happy birthday, Carly Annalise Taryn. Mommy and Daddy love you! We’ll always be here when you need us, to talk at any time or to pray with you if that’s what you’d like to do. Continue relying on God and following in His example. Make good choices in your friendships and come to us any time for guidance. We’ll do our best to help you along your path as you grow and learn more about what you want to do. Be happy and healthy, always smile and let your spirit shine. Love you forever and always, sweet girl!

2016. Our family!

Seasons Come Seasons Go

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Here’s my house, at least the front steps into it, and the big front window where I take pictures of the sunset through, capture images of the weather when it’s too windy or rainy to stand outdoors–or even just to grab a quick picture of the kids playing basketball without their noticing. Often when I look through these windows I remember how small the children were when we brought them here. Deeder was a toddler, and Carly was so young that she stood for the very first time in the front room just beyond those windows. Koen and AJ came home to this house directly from the hospital after their births in 2009 and 2012. It was Valentines day that we spent our first night here with nothing but sleeping bags and pillows in the living room and used an ice chest as our breakfast table that first morning.

Now of course the kids are older. Still young enough to enjoy playing in the snow that builds up around the house in winter and help me break down the soil in Spring for a fresh garden. For today’s writing I’d like to show my pictures of the last week of snow, and two weeks in for my small back yard garden.

Darren bought these hedge bushes maybe five years ago. They’re perfect. There are 41 in total, expected to reach 4ft which is close to where they are. The goal is to bring privacy to the yard and give it more of a rustic feel. In Autumn the foliage turns a flaming red if the summer has been the right balance of dry spells to rainy. by late October the leaves blow away revealing small berries which are enjoyed by the finches and chickadee that come to our world with the cooler months.


Snow man to winter squash. This is the end and beginning of my yards winter transformation. It is the winter’s last snowman, and the young garden of 2018. The snowman melted within a day of the photo being taken, all that was left of him was two soggy mittens and a soaked hat which are now washed and folded in anticipation of next year’s replacement as I’m sure there will be another snowman occupying my back yard in only a matter of months. I planted three varieties of winter squash this year, celery, a pepper plant, and three stalks of corn. It isn’t much to look at yet, but each plant has at least doubled in size since I planted them. The pepper plant has two blossoms on it already which thrills Koen since he was the one to pick it out. Squash is what always grows best for me. Of everything celery has the lowest survival rate since the cats love to eat it, the sun loves to burn it, and then of course is the present threat of bugs enjoying the soft greenery of it’s delicate leaves.

I am thinking of adding a tomato plant yet. I could since we’re still in planting season. I think there’s room across from the pepper plant. I always have a tomato plant and name it Thomas. I’m sort of missing him, which is foolishness and I really believe I may find myself at the garden store this afternoon finding my perfect Thomas for 2018.

Besides having children and plants in my yard, a constant fixture is the animals. Presently we have one dog, two cats, and two rabbits. Indoors we have one hamster, Oreo, and the dog and cats whenever they please to come inside. The rabbits however live outdoors in their hutch unless in the instance of really cold weather.

Waldo is my oldest rabbit. We brought him home as a young buck when Carly was still a baby, which means he’s 10 years old at least. We can tell he’s slowing down significantly, even looking smaller than his usual 17lb body that he’s been rocking for numerous years now. “You know, he’ll probably die this summer” are Darren’s words of caution to me as he sees me in the back yard dutifully watering the rabbits yard and providing them with all their favorite treats. I know my husband’s right. It’s been true since the age 8 which is the full life expectancy of rabbits. My other rabbit’s name is Jezebel. She’s 6 years old and so tame that my kids bring her indoors, even taking her to bed with them on occasion.

The other picture I’m posting today of a pet is our sweet Norman. She’s the youngest of our two cats, born on Father’s Day 2014. Norman has picked a favorite of my kids very carefully as the others hold her too tightly, that child remains unnamed under the presupposition that my descendants may read this! She’s wary of Darren and I as if she feels she’ll be reproved for something, such as clawing the furniture or jumping on the table. She’s shy, always worried about bodily harm coming upon her from the children. One of her top favorite activity is lounging about, either in the house or out, in any sunbeam she can find. Another favorite past time, enjoyed year round, is watching birds flit about outside either through the window or invading her backyard. She imagines herself as a proud and brave hunter stalking her prey which is far from her reality as the birds spy her and fly away before she can reach them.

The bible talks a lot about seasons throughout all parts of scripture. It’s quite a romantic notion I’ve always thought. God gives prosperity to his people, “for a season” and persecution for a season. He sends famine and times of plenty. In fact, across all faiths cultures and creeds we hear the story of perfection of humanity falling by the single bite of a bite of a particular forbidden fruit. In Biblical tradition there is the belief that as part of the consequence of this fall was the introduction of harsh weather that limit the season of growth of our agricultural crops. It was sin that introduced invasive plant species which constantly threaten the ability for our needed crops to thrive.

One time when Jesus was mad he took the time to curse an olive tree that was nearby. The prophet Jonah wanted God to take his life when an olive tree that he was taking refuge from the sun withered. It was an olive branch that the dove brought back to the ark as a sign to Noah that it was time to let the people and animals off the Ark. The scripture I wanted to use today links up with my writing from yesterday.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;”

Ecclesiastes is a bit of a depressing book, but I like it. It’s one of those bleak doom and gloom pieces of scripture. I’ve always felt there’s a bit of irony in the fact that Solomon wrote this book since God gifted him with wisdom. Perhaps knowing so much could be pretty depressing, but with that long life and riches he also had one could think he had a pretty comfortable life. Maybe comfort can’t be assumed equal happiness? Maybe a measure of truth to ignorance is bliss.

At any rate, I plan to be here for a very long time. Taking the same photos, watching the kids grow, and the seasons pass and come again. It’s a blessed life, and I’m happy to be here to see it make the rounds that it does.

Patience pays off!

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

I’ve had a conundrum. Now that cellphones are everything, I no longer have my big camera in hand. The last camera I bought, or rather received as a birthday gift from Darren, was oh..maybe just before AJ was born?! It cost $500. I’d go through batteries like razor blades. Honestly. Now there are phones, and while I’ve never bought a very expensive one the photo quality is equal to what I got on cameras and obviously has a lot more than just the ability to take pictures.

So, what I’m I even talking about. To the point, my blog’s admin page is not mobile friendly which means if I want to use pictures I’ve taken on my phone in posts here I am going to be emailing them to myself which will be really annoying as I really have very little patience.

What I’m going to do! Either start carrying my camera around again, and download pictures onto my computer, or email photos to myself. haha! Either way, time to start publishing a few posts!! My reason to write is the same as it’s always been: Hold on to family memories and thoughts! When tomorrow’s gone, it’s gone…unless I write about it. ;)

Better idea! I’ll buy a laptop, and slim digital cam and go back to being an amazing blogger. YES!

Big upcoming event: Annual trip to North Dakota.

Early Sunkisses

Saturday, May 19th, 2018


It’s not June yet so I have not purchased sunscreen. The mornings are still chilly enough to send the kids to school in sweatshirts.
As you can see though in this picture, we do have sunshine! I took this photo last Saturday when I temp rose to 75F–while the day was mostly overcast AJ and I did manage to aquire a bit of extra deep pink across our noses and cheeks. I really do think we look kind of cute!

Per our usual summer traditions of recent years, we plan a trip to visit Darren’s family in the midwest. Out there the sun is nearly never covered by clouds, I think the ever whirling winds across the wide open plains take care of that. I always look super shitty in outdoors pictures when we’re there, but it’s all worth it for the smiles on Darren’s face. I enjoy seeing him enjoy the farm environment that he feels he grew up with. The initial sunburns here in WA are always a reminder to me that our big trip is upcoming! It’s not a fun proposition, but when I think of all the sacrifices he’s made for us I’m 100% ready to jump in. So here we come, sunkissed days! We’re smiling and so ready for you.

Count down is on for school being out of session.

If I had alcohol to raise a cheer to, I would say, “Here’s to a happy and safe summer in which we do not drive each other mad!”

Updates!!

Monday, May 14th, 2018

I’ve decided I’ll come back. :)

Yes, really. No apologies for being gone so long, just daily writings again.

To begin with: Updating the About Us pages. Everything’s written probably around 2015. While the people remain the same who are the subjects of my writings are the same, we’ve grown up so much.

Today is Monday, May 14th. It’s a special week, because this Thursday my man of nearing 13 years turns 50. Later in May my sweet Carly will be 10 years old. If my memory serves me correctly, May is also the month that my partner for life proposed.

I used to say that life would fly by, that I’d look back and wonder where the time went…it’s that time now. The kids are getting so tall, my youngest is learning to read already.