The Family

Our family: Established coming on 13 years ago!

Spring 2018. Our 4.

We’re no longer making more babies, but we still feel we are growing…I simply have to show you this picture in order for you to agree. I think that perhaps I ought to find a picture of them all carefully arranged on the couch in line to really see the contrast. Conclusion: I must have blinked.

Here’s a child by child introduction. Even if you’ve followed me for years, I still like to keep my introductions fresh. In order, they are Diederick (2006), Carly (2008), Koen (2010), and our little Abegayle Joy (2012). Between Koen and Carly is a sweet young child who we never got to hold as we should have, I mark her date as August 16th, 2007. My husband of course is Darren–he’s the reason that I am here, as this blog was created to catalog our wedding preparations.

First: Deeder. Born July 15, 2006.

The pregnancy was such a surprise! I believe Darren went back to the store after our positive test and came back with four more tests, the most expensive ones that the store had. Diederick is the most blogged about child as he came before Facebook! We also did not have inexpensive or reliable phone service in Vermont, so my communication with my family was pretty primarily through what I wrote here. No Facebook live streaming for first steps or that initial bite of baby food that for some reason adults find so hilarious. Diederick was delivered at 41 weeks gestation, which is the longest I’ve kept a baby in my body. He weighed 6lbs and 15 oz and came so fast that I skipped triage. I remember there being only three pushes and out he was here. Diederick and I share more than look alike smiles, we share the same form of epilepsy. He’s been on medication since first grade, whereas I’ve only been taking Lamictal since age 15. In October 2007 I wrote a blog post about my seizures. That is before I knew I passed on the part of me I find saddest to my dear son. It absolutely is not the end of the world. In fact, we’re blessed to have each other, since we understand the other’s struggles.

Second: Little One
I miscarried. My baby died when I was only 7 to 10 weeks along, and I’m so happy that I blogged about her loss. Writing about losing Little One helps me remember the day that I lost a love and gave heaven a sweet angel. Because of Little One I have just that much more passion to live well and find myself in Heaven one day with the Lord because I will see my sweet daughter fully developed and I know she’ll know me. I was going to name her Bethany Elizabeth. From the moment of conception I felt that I was carrying a girl so I never bothered to think of a boy name. I do not mark her birth by the nine month gestation that I baby should experience, rather from when I held her in one hand and cried alone in the bathroom. That truly was the hardest day of my life. Darren did so well. He let me have that time, sitting by me as I cried. I remember the love that I felt in his kiss, and the compassion in his hug.

Third: Carly Annalise Taryn (sometimes called CATH, for her initials)

Carly homeschooled for 3rd grade, and has done amazing this year. Darren and I really credit her success this year to the individualized attention we were able to give her–after spending a year at home we see that she takes more ownership and pride in her work which is wonderful. Carly does well with anything that she dedicates herself to, and appears to be making good friendship choices in school. While she’s a good friend, she’s also incredibly honest, a little too much so in our perspective. The idea of Don’t Say Anything Unless You Have Something Good To Say just does not fit, so all we can try to do is get her to install a bit of a sensor on herself as silence is totally beyond any realistic expectation. If she’s silent we would know something to be terribly wrong.
If classmates or family members were to describe what they admire about Carly just about anyone would say that she’s a good singer and draws well. She’s also developing a passion for reading, enjoys math and memorizes lyrics to all the popular songs (much like her Daddy with songs from the 80’s) There’s nothing quite like seeing similarities between my husband and kids to make me more in love! Carly is such a treasure to both of us, and we just hope she’ll always feel that she can come to us with any concerns or news about her life. She’s independent, and has always been that way. We’re proud, thankful and optimistic for her future as we watch her day by day becoming stronger.

Fourth: Koen William (sometimes called Willie)

This man! He came fast. Among our kids, he came in the busiest point in our lives. He’s 17 months younger than his sister Carly, the shortest time span between two children for Darren and I. He was the first to hold his head up, the first to roll over, the first to want to eat steak, the first to crawl and walk, and the first to potty train. Koen’s the one who is into sports. His choice two sports are dance and basketball. In first grade he did Ballet, and in second he did Jazz. Both years he has been the one boy in his troop. Among our children, Koen is the one that I most often I am told resembles his dad and I agree 100% in all the best ways. They are both tenacious, hard working, passionate and go totally stir crazy if not on a mission to accomplish something. Darren and I agree that a good place for Koen would be out on a farm where he would have chore responsibilities which would double in purpose to tire him out and keep him challenged. Of course living in the middle of nowhere would take away his opportunity to participate in dance class and engage in the competitive spirit of basketball. I cannot end my commentary about Koen without noting how much he cares about his appearance. He wants to wear name brand clothing and insists on wearing his hair just so. He also knows exactly what breed of dog he wants to own and where he’d like to live. Currently he believes that he wants to be a police officer, but I consider myself to still have opportunity to dissuade him of this idea since he’s only in the second grade.

Fifth and final: Abegayle Joy

AJ was born not quite a week after my 27th birthday. Her birth was beautiful, but at the same time the day that I lay in bed totally numb for the longest time in my entire life with heavy hot tears streaming down my cheeks. She was as precious as ever a baby could be. With dark wispy hair, eyes like her daddy’s and a cute button nose.

Abegayle is such a charm. We picked the right name for her because she is exactly that–a joy. As Koen was the earliest to reach developmental milestones, Abegayle initially was the last, but once she was talking everything clicked into place impressing everyone who knows her. It’s just fabulous!! She writes and is making lovely strides in the beginning stages of reading. Perhaps I’ll post a video clip of her reading her favorite book Blue Kangaroo. The best part about watching her read is watching her point to the words and sound them out. AJ’s speaking only started in 2015 and she’s still in speech therapy which is OK. She’s making such strides and is so pleasant to be around, she loves the Lord and is enthusiastic about every new idea she’s taught.


In an Our Family page, my beginning and end is Darren. He’s a wonderful husband and fantastic father. The man who gave my children adorable eyes, cute freckles and an out spoken and hilarious humor. He is my rock and cornerstone spiritually. He’s sat with me in my saddest moments, whether or not he shared the issues of interest that burdened my heart. When I try to tell him how thankful I am for him, thinking I can list all the things he does to make our life comfortable, he shrugs it off saying that it’s just what he has to do. He does the shopping, takes the kids and I to our out of town doctor appointments, and makes sure we’re always to church each Sunday. I’m aiming for 50 years with this man. No one could love me more, encourage me in faith or father as well as he does. He is the best partner that God could ever bring me.

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