Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Just Over that Hill

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

I have lived in this safe spot for a really long time. When I’m not here, I miss it. Not this house specifically, but this valley, nearly my whole life.
Here is the view off my back porch, one step outside the door, pretty much my view year around. I think of my nature as a home body especially has I’m preparing to leave for our annual trip to North Dakota. This time of year fills me with just a bit of anxiety leaving my familiar little basin where I’m hedged in by mountain ranges, that for me feel safe and comforting. The two hour drive we’re about to set out on brings us to my husband’s childhood landscape which is a wide open landscape for some reason called the Bad Lands. One of the states we’ll stop in is Montana, appropriately known as The Big Sky state. It’s quite beautiful, seeing the sky in a way that we never do here–the land and sky really appear to meet, no trees or mountain ranges obscuring the meeting of land and heaven.

I’d like to have a bit more property to ourselves, but neighborhood living is good for the kids, socially at this point in time. We’ll see how things go in the future, if they do need a bit more space, we’ll find a way to make that happen.
Every year, I enjoy listening to Darren talk about how he’d like to move back to North Dakota and become a farmer again. Just for the twinkle of adventure in his eyes. But then reality sinks in and he says without even my prompting, “We really do have it pretty good where we live. I do like my job, could hardly beat that job.” And home we are.

Sometimes in life, home isn’t where you came from, it’s where you came together.

The true truth behind everything, and above where I’m most comfortable by nature, is that anywhere where Darren is is home for me. If we mutually decided to move to another climate I’d be OK as long as we were together. Apart I just wouldn’t be complete.

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!

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.

Happy 50th birthday, babe!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Happy birthday to my man! We’re still going strong, and while I believe the shirts we bought for you and the cards the kids drew are awesome…I really believe the gifts that are the best of all are the ones that we made together. I hope that you’d agree, and that your year is amazing, baby!!

I love you forever, and no matter what happens I want to be by yourself forever.

Thank you for always being such a provider and guidance for me and for your patience with me over the days, months and years that we’ve had so far.

We have so many more adventures to take, and plenty more laughs as our love grows stronger every day.

Happy 50th, and to many more.

I love you as much today as ever I have.

Don’t Stop

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

I wrote a post September 3rd, 2005 that I’d like this to be a Part 2 for. My heart is broken, but not as broken as it could be, looking at that post because while it’s all true, I feel uncomfortable to one of the people who agreed with me is dead–his life was cut tragically short four years ago. Today I want to talk about how the same subject and how what I said then is timelessly the fact of today.
Calendar pages have flown by, I’ve had fears and buried them so many times, and guess what…I’m still going strong. My relationship with my husband is still alive, and I’m so ready to watch more calendar pages turn and more years to fold together continuing on our story.

When I got married, well, long before I got married or was ever loved by Darren, I wanted to be the Proverbs 31 woman. Over the years I’ve realized that I’m not to be excellent in the order of these verses, I’m to be what he wants me to be. I need to never change in a way that’s unpleasing to him, and if I can do that I can remain where I need to be. What I do want is for him to smile and laugh more, as he used to. I’ve become many things, as I always hoped to be, but second to a child of God I’m the wife of Darren and that’s what I always want to be. Wherever he is, I want to be, and while cliche, I’ll say it–He feels like home.

One of the reasons why I wanted to do a Part 2 of Take It Slow is that Darren turns 50 in two days. While some days have been hard, there have been more cheerful busy days that tears. He’s become such a wonderful father, which actually he was from Day One of our first child coming home from the hospital. He knows how blessed we are to have four gorgeous kids, the youngest of whom wasn’t even talking a couple years ago and is now learning to read.

Darren and I came together on social media before social media was a thing. It was a conversation after 1am in a yahoo chatroom that we first came into conversation, reading it we sound the same in humor as we would today. Of course I have to put a link in for that as well…First Chat.
And from the time that we decided to be a couple, every conversation involved at least a small segment of mutually expressed concern about our age difference. We both agreed that as we got older the age gap, interestingly though what happened is that life became so busy that age never had a chance to matter.

We also came together over religion. Without being part of the religious group we were in, we never would have met. When that small church unit crumbled I worried that my marriage would also fall away, thankfully though God had (and still does) His hand working in our relationship and we became even stronger than what had brought us together which is awesome. Our Christian belief system is still central to everything we do, while we’ll tell you we don’t operate perfectly, as nothing is possibly perfect on earth, there are quite particular things that we cling to: keeping the Lords Day holy, not celebrating Christmas, and singing only Psalms in church. I feel myself fading on the last of those three, but because it means so much to Darren, my mouth never opens in song to anything that isn’t a Psalm.

My husband is a nurse, and here and there I get to hear stories of how much he meant to people in his care. That makes me so proud and thankful that I was where I was at just the right time for us to become an us at all. The kids and I irritate him sometimes, ok, it feels like a lot lately, but at the heart of it, we just want to see him smile. As I’m thinking about Darren and all he means to me, I’ve again brought up Thirteen Things about Darren written in 2008.

For his 50th birthday he’d just like to spend the day with me. No one wants to watch the kids for long though, so it may be like many other years. Actually, before I complain about no one wanting to watch the kids, I had better confess that we’re both working on his actual birthday–I’m working from 7:30 til 2:30 at the high school, and he does night shift that day which means we’ll only see each other between 3 and 9pm, which is better than nothing but far from how things used to be.