42 In Articles

The Windows are Open Wide

I have a feeling Miss May is blushing in heaven. Thanks for all your kind comments regarding the last post!
We’ve been busy this week! Mom {my mom} has been busy too. DaddyBoy {my dad} holds down a full time job in “corporate America” and spends most of the week in Chicago, leaving Mom to run the real estate happenings here in Mt. Carmel. This week she had several closings; with that comes a lot of work and time away from the farm. While she was away I attempted to hold the three little ones at bay, no small task when you’re not in your own home. Yesterday they were acting like a bunch of scallywags. Sometimes they make me want to beat my head against the wall. The best medicine {along with a lot of prayer} for crazy kids {and a crazy mom} is a trip outside.

I can think of no better time or place to be outside. The temperatures have dropped into the 70s and there is a cool breeze.

Mimi met us {with a packed picnic} at the city park one afternoon.


Mom met us there too and patiently waited for Paige to churn up a little courage.


Finally she came… terrified.


The city park is not state of the art. But it sure is fun!


In fact, it hasn’t changed much since I was a child and played there, Mimi packed this picture along with the picnic.


We looked for the same contraption I’m pictured in, we think this is it.


Or at least it’s close.


The girls loved the water fountain.


And JM loved the squirrels.


The girls have also become fast friends with the twins from across the street. They’ve played for hours and hours and it’s so nice to have such precious girls close by.


I had the pleasure of painting all 40 of their little toes.


One night Mom took us across a toll bridge that I feel certain we should have been paid to cross rather than pay to cross. It used to be a train bridge and they converted it by laying railroad ties across the tracks.


You are fully responsible for making sure there are no on-coming cars before you cross. Some locals will drive 30 miles out of the way to avoid crossing this bridge. I can see why.


I’ve also witnessed a few of these.


Today we found a hidden treasure. There is a small school in my parent’s town and behind it… a fabulous little playground. We found it on our walk this morning, hurried home, packed a picnic and then headed right back.

big picture

Hot dogs, potato chips, sippy cups, sunglasses, a blanket, a camera… and we were ALL set.


Oh, and a chicken leg too.


And now it looks like my children are barbarians by the way they eat.

It’s a small Christian school…


and sits at the crossroads of town & cornfields.


The girls were in heaven.


John Martin had a rice krispy treat with a side of pebbles.


Mimi brought out dinner to us tonight and spent time on the porch trying to hold John Martin.


But he’s such a worm.


The girls played with their new friends and their puppies tonight too. {Morgan sporting her “super hero cape”.}


And I watched the sky…


… and wondered if anyone who doesn’t believe a creative God spoke our universe into existence has been outside lately?

Psalm 72:19 Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory.

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  • CC
    July 17, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Amen to that Darby! God is good all the time. All the time God is good!

    I love the pic of your sweet one in her upside down sunglasses. Looks like y'all are having a blast.

    Soak in all the goodness!

  • cedwards55
    July 17, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Darby, I've so enjoyed your visit to God's Country this week. It makes me so proud to be from Illinois when I'm reminded of it's hard working people, quaint towns, and the beautiful skies. The clouds were just amazing today. I love it when God shows off and reminds us that He is in charge!!! Your little family is just darling. I pray that your trip back home will be peaceful.
    hugs to you~ Carol

  • Elizabeth
    July 17, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Darby, my favorite posts have been while you've been on the trip to your parents farm. I went back and looked at your pictures twice. You are good! I hope you'll share some inside tips soon.

    Paige reminds me so much of a little girl I used to babysit. I could just eat her up.

    Oh, and the picture of the girls with the twins is adorable!

  • Keri
    July 17, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    I am totally with you on how people can not believe in God… It makes no sense to me. Especially since becoming pregnant and realizing all of the minute things that have to occur for a woman to become pregnant. It is amazing! And it can only be God. He is amazing!

    I love hearing about your trip!

  • Dianne
    July 17, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Darby these farm post are absolutely your best!!! Thank you for sharing all the goodness that comes from God's love, our families, and our wonderful country. It's been a pleasure to take this trip with you.

  • KaitlynRae
    July 17, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Such beautiful pictures!
    I squeal with delight that your girls and will be able to look back on your pictures and remember your trip, their friendships with the twin girls next door, and all of the wonderful things you've seen and done. John Martin may not remember, but the pictures I would imagine, will be plenty. It's just lovely. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • L
    July 17, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    So true! I am so often in awe of His creation!! Darby, I have to say that I think your blog might be my favorite now. I get so excited when I see you've posted something new. You do a wonderful job of capturing moments with your camera and in your words, and you always give the Lord credit for His grace and blessings in your life. I just love your blog! 🙂

  • Dana
    July 18, 2009 at 12:06 am


  • Debra
    July 18, 2009 at 3:16 am

    You take the most wonderful photos Darby! Those four little girls could all be sisters. Looks like such a fabulous get-away. Your lucky Mom and Dad to have you there.

  • Kendall Boggs
    July 18, 2009 at 4:20 am

    dreamy fits this perfectly!

  • susanv
    July 18, 2009 at 4:36 am

    So sweet! This brings back memories of playing on my own grandparents' farm when I was growing up.

  • duchess
    July 18, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Such good times just hanging out & being a kid (again).
    Love the pictures & would love the cooler weather as well.

  • Melanie
    July 18, 2009 at 5:16 am

    When I gave birth to my oldest, Christian, that bridge, which locals call Cannonball bridge, was the quickest way to get the hospital where I was delivering him. Yeah…..that was a lot of fun when you are in active labor!!!! Loved the pics!

  • paige
    July 18, 2009 at 5:25 am

    always such beautiful posts.
    even the simplest of days seem grand through your eyes.

  • erika
    July 18, 2009 at 5:25 am

    wish i could be there 🙁
    your photos are the best… i'm so impressed. m&p and the twins are so beautiful. so are Mimi, Mom, and JM! 🙂
    love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anne
    July 18, 2009 at 5:35 am

    Those girls of yours are just getting cuter and cuter!!!…those painted toes–love them! And Amen to our creative Maker, the whole earth is indeed full of His glory!

  • ml
    July 18, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Darby, I just want you to know that I love reading your blog and looking at your gorgeous pictures! Thanks for sharing!

  • Amanda
    July 18, 2009 at 6:30 am

    Isn't the weather glorious? I love "hidden" parks, like little gems! Blessings to you and a safe journey home.

  • MaryBeth
    July 18, 2009 at 6:31 am

    It looks like you are having the very best time. Keep enjoying your vacation. xo, MB

  • Leigh Scott
    July 18, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Simple pleasures are the best, in my opinion, and all your posts seem to echo that as well. I love the pic of Paige down the slide, she does look terrified, so funny!What a beautiful (and well-manicured) place your parents have.

  • annek
    July 18, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Sunset is one of my favorite times of the day…and I wish I could see some of the ones you have seen up there! Beautiful!

  • Cstargel
    July 18, 2009 at 7:44 am

    I'm thinking we should set your two girls up with my two boys – let me know!

    Love the pictures!

  • The Harris Family
    July 18, 2009 at 9:06 am

    I swear you've been to some professional photography courses or you're a closet professional! Awesome post! Looks like so much fun.

  • Amanda @ Serenity Now
    July 18, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Great post! I can't imagine looking out at all the AMAZING things in our world and believing that they just *happened* to get thrown together over millions of years. 😉 I believe in Intelligent Design, and by "Intelligent," I mean GOD! 🙂 🙂

  • C and M
    July 18, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Another great post with beautiful photos! Looks like you're having a fantastic time. I'm taking a vacation vicariously through these posts. Thanks!

  • Elizabeth
    July 18, 2009 at 10:29 am

    U just love the photos of your children – they are beautiful!

  • Heather
    July 18, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Amen to that! I often wonder the same thing!

    I love picnics and playgrounds with the kids! And they love it too.

    I think I would have been terified to cross that bridge. Of course, I am just absolutely terrified of any bridge!!

    What beautiful pictures.


  • Margaret
    July 18, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Darby, I'm loving all of these posts from your visit to IL! I aspire to take photos half as gorgeous as yours! Glad y'all are having fun, and especially glad that you've still been blogging! 🙂

  • maggi
    July 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    How much fun y'all are having!!!
    Love Morgan's rainbow flipflops, the 40 toes are too cute!

  • Whimsy World
    July 18, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Loved your closing line, and picture! Isn't our God amazing!!!

  • Lee Ann
    July 18, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    I absolutely *love* reading your blog and looking at your pictures! Thanks for sharing.

  • ezza
    July 18, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    You said it! God is good. And you are so talented at capturing that goodness in your photos. Just love seeing them!

  • Anonymous
    July 18, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    hey i couldn't catch you on the cell phone after we talked. the pics are wonderfully pleasing! The kids and the scenery–and what about the squirrel in mid air?! Something good this way comes. love you

  • Sara
    July 18, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    I have really enjoyed keeping up with your family through your blog. It really makes me laugh out loud sometimes. Especially the picture of JM eating the chicken leg. Then I HAVE to call Lindsey over and make him read it too. Thanks for adding that fun to my night.

  • Melissa Wagner
    July 18, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I loved the Mt. Carmel Park growing up. I'm glad things haven't changed — sometimes "state of the art" isn't as great as the good ole days. I loved that rope pully ride — I think it's gone though. I loved your post of Viola and to hear what Aunt Martha said about her. It made me tear up! I am enjoying reading about your time at the farm!!!

  • Nic*Nat*Noe
    July 19, 2009 at 4:50 am

    This was the most amazing post…and my favorite part being your last sentence…that is what I'm trying to say! 😉 Thanks for sharing!!!

  • GraceK
    July 19, 2009 at 5:48 am

    What a wonderful, beautiful post. Your photos are gorgeous and I would love to visit that part of the world.

    And also, I've decided that your children should model. Not only are they absolutely beautiful, they're so natural in front of the camera! I can just see them in J. Crewcuts 🙂

    July 19, 2009 at 11:31 am

    I showed my husband a few of your last posts last night, and we just looked in awe of all the pictures. We got a little geography/real estate lesson from our home : ).

    I've been thinking looking at your pictures of Morgan that she looks SO MUCH LIKE YOU. Not her coloring, but her facial structure!

  • Mandy
    July 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    precious pictures…so glad ya'll are still having fun…and enjoying the COOl weather as we all are still burning up! 🙂 Mandy

  • CL
    July 19, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    We know a lot of the same people and I'm a daily reader of your blog. I just had to finally post tonight and tell you your kids are probably three of the cutest I've ever seen in the my life, which says a lot seeing as I've worked as a nanny and in daycare. I could just eat them with a spoon! Glad you guys had a great weekend!

  • Bill, Misty, Will, and Laura Ann
    July 20, 2009 at 6:02 am

    Amen. Our wonderful merciful Creator and Savior!!

    Great pictures. They could be in a book… "Family Americana" or something like that. Boy do I wish that I had a Daddy Boy!

  • Rachel
    July 20, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I second your last point that you made. I don't get a lunch at the company I work for. There was a time a few months ago where I started taking mini outdoor breaks, and called my husband to ask if the clouds generally "look like that." Sad, but true. We just returned from a roadtrip to Watercolor, and basked in the delight of God's great creation. I have NEVER seen so many churches & "God speak" on a road before…it was amazing! Side note: I saw a pic of JM in a Marla & Shane ad in the Destin flyers… 🙂

    I cannot get enough of Morgan in these pics. She's turning into a little model. And dear Paige, and her little upside-down sunglasses!

    Your creativity with the photography is stunning – yay for the new camera! Not sure if you ever plan to do anything with that hidden talent of yours, but I really think you could!!