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The Carnival Came to Town

The CARNIVAL came to town! In our town we celebrate PEANUTS. 50% of the peanuts grown in the United States are grown within 100 miles of our house! What a fabulous thing to celebrate! Growing up Mom & DaddyBoy always took us back to their hometown for the annual “Ag Days” celebration {aka Agriculture Days} it was always at the end of the summer around harvest time {they celebrate soy beans & corn up there}.
Paige wore her boots {although they didn’t last long… thankfully I don’t leave home without her fail proof Crocs}: It was one of those blue sky days that makes you feel so good. Unfortunately the corndogs don’t make you feel so good… but they do taste good:
And… what’s a trip to the fair without an Elephant Ear:

And Cotton Candy:

And llamas {or maybe it’s an alpaca?}:

I accidentally forgot JM’s sunhat so we had to stop on the way so I could run in a local discount store. It was slim pickin’s for children’s sunhats in November. If I was only looking for a Christmas stocking or ornament. But I managed to find a pile of Nascar toddler hats and a pair of toddler sunglasses. I didn’t know who #9 was but I hoped he was GOOD, FAST, & FRIENDLY. Justin was thrilled when I returned to the car with a Kasey Kahne hat. In fact, he said people {Caroline, was it you?} have said that he looks like Kasey Kahne. I don’t necessarily see the resemblance, oh well! We cracked up at him all day. He was so helpless, clueless and cute in his hat and sunglasses… it’s ok to snicker! We sure did on many occasions!
We thankfully didn’t have to spend ANY time at this site:

Because we travelled like this: {yes, {click to enlarge} Paiger is sitting in the stroller with JM. And no, he wasn’t too thrilled about sharing his ride! Maybe I should look into those 3 seat strollers?}
By the time we returned home the Raiger had snaked the Nascar cap and I had to steal a picture of her and daddy after a wonderful & exhausting day!

Before I had children I would always joke with Justin that the local Peanut Fair was “overrated”… just a glorified travelling carnival. But now that I have children it’s so much more. It’s an absolute delight! Being a mother has revealed a lot of my selfishness and pride. I’m learning to delight in seeing my children delighted. That’s why we took them to the fair, let them eat some junk and skip their naps. That’s why I bought Morgan that super cheesy Strawberry Shortcake bathing suit at KMart last summer and actually let her wear it in public. You would have thought I took her to the moon over that bathing suit. That’s why I let her wear the outfit that she picked out on Sunday morning to church. She had it lying across her bed when I walked in her room and exclaimed, “Isn’t it beautiful, Mommy!?” When really the whole ensemble was quite atrocious. But she didn’t know and she didn’t care. She thought it was beautiful, and each piece was… just not together. I couldn’t dare tell her, “No, you won’t be wearing that to church. You’re going to wear a beautiful smocked dress and a pretty bow like all the other little girls living in the South.”

I’m learning, I tell you, I’m learning. Learning to live and learning to delight in all little things that bring joy to little children!! While asking myself over and over, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Don’t pat me on the back, I {pridefully} explained to most people at church she chose her own outfit. As if that wasn’t obvious.

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  • becky
    November 10, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    grrrr…i just had a whole cute comment and blogger had an “error.” don’t they know it takes effort to be funny?

    anyway, as always cute pics. and we’ll excuse your initial lack of enthusiasm for our “Nut Fest”, but only because you aren’t a native (and notice i didn’t say yankee cause i like ya lol!!!)

    missin me a corndog and elephant ear…

  • craftydiane
    November 10, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    JM in his hat and glasses is cute, but I had to really chuckle at the little one in her striped sweater and socks! A Peanut festival sounds right up my alley! I love boiled peanuts!
    Have a Blessed Day,

  • Paloma
    November 10, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Darby, you seriously have the most adorable children ever!

    I have to ask…what are elephant ears? We have funnel cakes here in Texas, which are basically fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar.

  • Anonymous
    November 10, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Love the pictures of every little one in their sunglasses. You have learned an important lesson!!

  • Becky Brodbeck
    November 10, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Darby- I love you and I love the reminder to live to please God not man! -My cousin in Marianna won a beauty contest at the Dothan Peanut festival years ago:-)We used to give her a hard time too about the whole peanut celebration thing:-)

  • Sarah's Fab Day
    November 10, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I love moments like these! I remember my older son’s Halloween when he was 2, it was the best time I had ever had. He was thrilled with his costume and all of his candy. Just something about their excitement, it can’t be beat.

    I do the same things with the clothes. My kids always want to wear charecter stuff and I’m not too crazy about it. They get it from Grandparents or sweet aunts because they cave to their sweet please. I figure as long as they only have 1 funny thing on we’re good.

  • erika
    November 10, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    I love you sister, wish I could have gone to the fair with you!
    Kiss my nieces and nephew for me!

  • Jennisa
    November 10, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    I LOVE Paige’s blue flower dress…did you make that one? I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! 🙂

  • J
    November 10, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Darby, I TOTALLY thought you had picked out Morgan’s outfit! I’m so glad you cleared that up! 🙂 Seriously, I AM so glad there are other mothers out there who let their little girls dress themselves…swallowing my pride on those issues has been hard…and I feel like I have to on a daily basis…like MW sporting pink pants under her blue and white dress…total clash, but she was CONVINCED it was a gorgeous ensemble! And so I let her go…and we carpool with a little girl whose mom owns a children’s clothing shop…and she is ALWAYS dressed super cute…oh yes, it’s some pride swallowing!

  • alston
    November 10, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    those red cowboy boots are rockin’! and i’m with you on the whole dressing thing…henry carried a diego backpack to school last year with so much happiness, and i had always sworn to myself i wouldn’t buy those cheesy character things. so much for that. it’s far more precious to see their proud little faces when they’ve picked something out all their own – i love it!

  • The Wilsons
    November 10, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    where did you get paiges boots? SUPER CUTE!

  • Cousin
    November 10, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    So cute! JM looked thrilled with your Nascar purchase! The pic of Paige sitting on or “with” JM is equally funny. You all weren’t getting lost from each other, were you?!

  • The Martin's
    November 10, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    What a great post, absolutely wonderful and adorable! I had to laugh, though…my brother in law (lives in Dothan) was raving about that corn dog man at the peanut festival, too!

    I am also jealous you all could wear short sleeves and sandals…it’s snowing in MN!

  • MGF
    November 10, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    OMG…. I totally cracked up at the the LOST Parents sign.

  • the sweet life with olives
    November 11, 2008 at 12:48 am

    wow… that is good food for thought for me this morning. my days lately have been full of seemingly useless power struggles with my kids about cleaning up, please and thank you, listening, clothes etc… I am starting to feel like I am not enjoying the little joys as much as I should, thank you for highlighting them… here’s to dressing like Pippi Longstocking and celebrating peanuts!

  • Anonymous
    November 11, 2008 at 7:36 am

    okay, the pic of JM in his hat and sunglasses is ADORABLE! and Paige reminds my of my little sister…she is still very stylish – the clothes actually match now though 🙂

  • Hillary Dunham
    November 11, 2008 at 9:09 am

    I loved the peanut festival. There was nothing better as a kid- or teenager. They had D list country singers like you wouldn’t believe. And we loved it!! I miss it, terribly! I’m so glad y’all had a good time. And I completely agree with you about the parenting and letting go. It is so hard to do. Great thoughts!

  • Katie
    November 11, 2008 at 9:46 am

    darby you verbalize (err type) things so much better than I ever could…it gives me hope and knowledge that one day if I become a mom, it is ok to struggle with stuff…so thanks. And your Morgan looked adorable 🙂

  • aedozier
    November 11, 2008 at 9:46 am

    we were at the fair this past weekend too! i agree that it’s totally over-rated, but boy Mary McKinnon had a ball. she loved that greasy, and i mean greasy, corndog and the cotton candy. i loved that they had the children’s section seperate from all of the “big” rides. what about the area you paid $1 to feed the poor animals in the cage. my hubby loved the kangaroo. very interesting. I, like you, am trying to let Mary Mckinnon be/do things herself, but to wear the Dora the Explorer crocs with everything sure is tough!

  • andi
    November 11, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Just don’t eat that elephant ear BEFORE riding. I did that once-never to repeat that mistake again.
    An Elephant Ear, Texas, is dough that is deep fried and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. They are the size of at least two hands. They get real flaky and are so delicious.

  • The Pavliches
    November 11, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Isn’t it freeing to delight in their atrocious outfits as opposed to fighting it? And how much help it is when they can dress themselves no matter what they put on…so much help for mommy, especially while nursing a baby!

  • thelaundryisneverfinished
    November 11, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    It’s funny; just this afternoon I was telling Erick that we should take the boys to the mall (anything inside-it’s cold up here!) and make it a day all about them (aka riding up and down the escalators as many times as they want, and taking along a few bucks to ride the mini carousel). Anything to delight my kids; I love how they have opened my eyes to sheer enjoyment of simple things!

  • Anonymous
    November 11, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I LOVE your blog and your kids are SO CUTE!

    btw, Justin does resemble Kasey Kahne!

    November 11, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Honestly, Darby, your kids need to be models! They could really make you rich! They are precious and the fair looked like sooooooooo much fun!

  • Kellie Patton
    November 12, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Oh how I miss the Peanut Fair – I don’t get to Dothan anymore, but I’m determined to venture some day – if only to stalk you in person and meet those adorable children! Have you seen the way we ride around here – double stroller turned into triple? You do what you gotta do! And hats off to you for letting Morgan dress herself for church – can’t say I’ve let go of my pride that much yet (and I’m not bragging about that – it’s the sad truth)

  • Victoria
    November 12, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Oh what a sweet post and I so needed to hear it today! Thank you for reminding me about pleasing God above pleasing men.

  • Aunt Paula
    November 13, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    It’s me, Justin’s Aunt Paula. Love your blog! Loved the pictures – the little ones are gorgeous like their parents. They will be in high school before you know it, so
    its good that you document their childhood for them. Take care,
    Aunt Paula

  • simply seleta
    November 16, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Soooooooo sweet!!!!!!!